Apr 29, 2008

Random Thoughts of Disco

Frontier Psychiatrist reminds me that an affordable copy of "The Last Days of Disco" is still not readily available.
That's a shame.

I really only ever see movies in a theater, since I have neither VCR nor DVD player, so I've only seen it once, way back at the end of the last century, when it first came out.

It's amazing that I remember it at all. I do remember being excited about it, since it was among the first films to look at a period I actually fondly remembered (Middle school). I'd like to see it again, actually, but the best I can do is youtube. So here's a clip:

Chloe looks so lovely here, really, doesn't she? It's almost enough to make one forget that whole "The Brown Bunny" nastiness.

And Robert Sean Leonard...well, he's just dreamy.

I like that they got the transition from the 70's to the 80's almost right...the slight "hardening up" of the time. There seemed to be a distinct shift then in the atmosphere in my recollection, of people cutting hair, dressing more neatly, becoming more conservative, at least in looks.

Disco wasn't all polyester and platforms. It was really (in my mind at least) more Chic than KC and the Sunshine Band, if that makes any sense.

Anyway, in my very cursory searching of the Internet, I see that the film has an "official" website. Whatever that means.
You'll be treated to an never ending loop of what sounds like "Let's all Chant," which never quite climaxes. Typical.

Oh, random "Last Days of Disco" fact number 2 (or maybe 3?)
I remember about a year after the film came out, I was in a heated (delusional) email correspondence with a freshly minted English professor. I even drove up to Baton Rouge to meet him. He confessed quite needlessly his former ecstasy addiction, from which he had recovered, and his love of "bland spaces" (like BR) from which he was not, unfortunately, seeking recovery.

He was cute and a bit dour.

I made the mistake of mentioning a former friend of mine in his program and he freaked a bit, that he would be found out as a "gay."

Anyway, back to my oh-so random "point." His email address was something to the effect of "Loyal Scottie." I wondered if he were Scottish, or just some sort of dog fancier (which would have halted the correspondence right then and there, thank you very much. Sorry), so I asked...politely, of course.
Thankfully, he claimed that his friends had given him the nickname after a character in the film, the cute earnest one.

I never did do a fact check on that. I'd like to see the film again, just for that.

He met someone else "in the tomato aisle" and that was that.
Long story. Or maybe not.
Anyway, he was a wonderful writer, he was.

Apr 27, 2008


Friday morning, I thought ahead.
I've had two years' worth of experience, after all. Friday morning, I packed some clothes (just in case) and headed off to work. I came home around four, and surely enough, there was nowhere to park...nowhere...anywhere near my apartment...or even not nearby.

My neighborhood, and all adjacent neighborhoods were flooded with tourists' cars. It's the first weekend of the Jazz Fest. I couldn't afford to go, (50 dollars?), but even if I could, I wouldn't have been able to. I couldn't even get home.
I don't even really live that close to the fairgrounds. It's a good way away, but not far enough away to escape the parking problems.

Friday afternoon, as I had last year, I drove to my mother's and decided to spend a few hours there until the crowds dissipated. While there, however, the rains came torrentially, and I was flooded in. There was water in a few houses not too far off.
It's been raining all weekend. You'd think that would keep the crowds away, but it doesn't seem to have.

So what was supposed to be a few hours turned into the weekend, a "vacation," as it were, in the suburbs. It was one long endless trip to BigLots/Target/Dollar Tree, and lots of bad suburban food.

I've just gotten home now. The tourists are still wandering the neighborhood in the rain, looking for their cars.

Just to rub it in, I check my email before heading to bed and get this note from (my perpetually pessimistic) friend Mark:

When I was flying back to Toronto this morning, guess
who was in line in front of me to board the plane: Tim
Gunn of Project Runway.
He was sitting in seat 1A in business class,
was wearing a suit (dark with white stripe, but not
all that appealing, frankly). That was my only brush
with celebrity. Of course all the men of NYC ignored
me, not that there were all that many appealing ones
that I came into contact with. The most fascinating
one to me was one of the ushers at the Broadhurst
Theater. Will give you the full recap of the trip

Tim Gunn!
Just to rub it in further, here's the photo he sent, outside the theater after having seen it:


Apr 24, 2008

rear window

I have long wondered about my neighbors to the rear. The kitchen is all of twenty feet from my head now. I can see directly into the bathroom (which has never been used from my experience) and the kitchen, which often is, always at odd hours.
Occasionally I've seen the resident. He always seems to forget to close the microwave. It annoys me. I want to reach over and shut it.
Yes, I'm a sick man, but then you know this already.

"Voyeur" is such an ugly word, isn't it? I mean just because it's French and all, doesn't make it any better.
I'm just curious about people, that's all. Is that so wrong?
(Don't answer)

Anyway, if you don't want people looking in, get some freaking curtains, people!
Hell, I have two separate sets of blinds, curtains and brown paper on my windows.

Besides, I don't look often, only every now and then, and it's even less frequently that I ever see anyone there anyway.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah...

Despite this, I've seen enough of the occupants to construct a fantasy life for them. Not that this is that special. I can do this for someone I'm behind in the grocery checkout line.

One half of the couple is an early twenty-something blond boy. He's of medium height and of a slightly slender wrestler's build. The other is a taller, dark-haired boy of about the same age, but thinner.

The blond I see fairly often. The brunet not so much. I imagine them to be waiters at one of the nicer restaurants. That would explain the odd hours. I've long speculated that they are gay.

There are clues: the full range of organic Australian hair products on the bathroom window sill, the well equipped and decorated kitchen, the curtains.

But this is just circumstantial evidence, I know.

Tonight, out of boredom, I peek through the double set of blinds and catch sight of them cooking. The two of them are together in the kitchen. The window is open in fact, letting out the heat. The blond is cooking. The brunet is having a drink.

Of course I watch.

The brunet downs another swallow of what seems like a margarita. (God, I'd love a margarita right about now, in fact). He says something animatedly. The blond is stirring a pot. Then the brunet clutches at his t-shirt, as if grabbing imaginary pearls.

Ding ding ding.

A few minutes later the blond (in a sleeveless shirt, by the way...ding) steps away from the pot for a drink of his own, and the two of them share a very quick hug.
Ding Ding Ding DONG.
Game over.

I think that question is pretty well settled now...and somehow suddenly, I have less interest now in spying.

I go back to eating my sad little drive-through hamburger alone.

Where's Grace Kelly when you need her? Or, hell, even Thelma Ritter?

Apr 23, 2008

"They can get you in East Hampton for wearing red shoes on a Thursday"

Thom of Fabulon graciously pointed me to (yet another) Grey Gardens fashion spread, this one from Harper's Bazaar.
(Thanks again!)

I've seen a number over the years. In fact, on the dvd, there are interviews, I believe, with both John Bartlett and (the ever lovable) Todd Oldham about its influence on their work.

The photos are by Terry Richardson, it seems, and are pretty good.
(I have to wonder however, if the Edies would have ever had such a plaid herculon couch. Somehow I doubt it.)

I like this one below. Aside from the nice replication of Little Edie's VMI dance, you can actually see the clothes. This is one of my pet peeves with fashion photography nowadays: I hate when you can't see the clothes clearly for all the tricky posing).

Apr 19, 2008

"Seven Dating Rules to Ditch"

Whenever I check my email, microsoft uses its infinite wisdom to hand pick articles that their robots have determined must be in my best interest. The one staring pathetically at me beneath my empty email box is titled
"Seven Dating Rules to Ditch." Here's a handy synopsis:

Rule #1: Never date a co-worker
"Obviously, there are plenty of good reasons to be cautious if you’ve fallen for someone you’ll be running into every day at the office coffee pot. But unless your company handbook forbids relationships between employees, there’s no reason why you should abandon any hope of romance..."

Hmmm...Not applicable to me , well, unless I wanted to date elderly religious fanatics perhaps.

Rule #2: Always wait for the third (or fourth... or fifth) date to have sex
"OK, so we’ve all heard a relationship is doomed if you sleep together too soon. But sometimes our feelings just get the best of us, and that doesn’t necessarily mean it will amount to nothing more than a fling. Rather than sticking to some rigid, “no sex until date six” rule, trust your gut and enjoy the moment if it feels right for both of you..."

I think she's probably on to something here, but I'm all I'm aiming for is a second date most of the time, let alone to "sleep together." Sheesh.

Rule #3: Rebound relationships never last
"Give yourself time, they always say. While it’s healthy to mourn a relationship’s passing, that doesn’t mean you should ignore anyone great you meet while you recoup. “Not all breakups are the same,” explains Brent Atkinson, Ph.D., of The Couples Clinic (www.thecouplesclinic.com), adding that some couples have mentally broken up months before things become official..."

Ok, I can see that this might be true. Still, I've never seen it happen in real life.

Rule #4: Never date a friend’s ex
"Your friends’ exes are usually off-limits when it comes to dating… but what if you felt a genuine connection with a friend’s old flame? This scenario can create a delicate situation for everyone involved, but according to Dennie Hughes, author of Dateworthy, there are ways to make it work. If you alert your pal to your feelings before acting on them, your friendship doesn’t necessarily need to suffer..."

I think the key is probably time. If your friend has moved on, it's probably fair game, but still...

Rule #5: Only date one person at a time
"Every so often, the stars align, and several new prospects come along at one time. But contrary to popular wisdom, you don’t have to settle for just one person. Hughes notes that playing the field is the smartest way to find what you’re really looking for....”

Finally a rule I can get completely behind. Eggs, baskets...you know the rest.

Rule #6: Wait for your date to say “I love you” first
"Saying the L-word for the first time is a huge turning point in any relationship, so it’s no wonder why most people say you should wait for your partner to take the lead..."

Another one I can get behind. All terribly hypothetical, of course.

Rule #7: Couples who are in love spend all their free time together
"One of the perks of being in a relationship is always having a standing date to do anything, from going dancing to washing your car. But that doesn’t mean you and your partner have to be joined at the hip. Spending time apart is actually a secret of happy couples, according to Hughes..."

Well, this one is just so obviously stupid, it has to be "broken." But then again, there are any number of people I've seen who've made that mistake, the mistake of spending all their free time together. This is something I wouldn't want to do ever, no matter what. As co dependent as I can be, even I know this is bad.

Anyway, what would you add, (other than not listening to dating advice at all) to this list?

Read the unabridged, full-of-anecdotal-evidence article by Lisa Cericola, the self proclaimed 'queen of rebound relationships' here

perfect for a saturday

While browsing the internet, I noticed that
Dj Ayem8y has a wonderful mix tape over at his website, called "Music to Make Bisquits By"

It's so groovy I can hardly stand it.
Do yourself a favor and have a listen.

Sven Libaek's "Soul Thing" and the Dave Pell Singers' "Oh, Calcutta" are personal favorites, but there's not a dud on it.

Thanks to Mean Dirty Pirate

Apr 18, 2008

bitching and dropping names

Today, again, I was kept in traffic both going to work and coming from by what seems to be (another) film crew. I looked down the street and saw the ubiquitous film crews. I see them every week somewhere it seems. I did a bit of research and found out that it's a film about the founder of The Chess music label in the 50's and 60's. That would explain the vintage cars.

It's called "Chess" (Like about eight other films in the past it turns out).

I've never even heard of the actors in it, except maybe Alessandro Nivola.

Of course, a few years ago Brad Pitt was in the neighborhood and earlier still Jude Law and Sean Penn were camped out in my (pre-K) neighborhood for a week or so. That movie was a complete dog. I didn't even see it. I think the Brad Pitt one ("Benjamin Buttons") is still unreleased, but that doesn't seem like a good omen for a good movie. Let's hope this "Chess" has better luck, but it sounds unlikely.
It doesn't say on imdb, but it sounds like a Showtime or HBO production to me, not even a "real" movie, but who knows.

All in all, it's getting to be more of a hassle than a novelty.

Apr 13, 2008

Footlong Hotdogs in the Vagina Monologues

Last night Stuart, Michael, a straight male friend of Stuart's, and I went to the huge Vagina-palooza at the Arena. All in all, it was a wonderful time. (Thanks again, Stuart.)

The superdome next door had been the site of a huge two day long "super love" event, with massages and seminars and other things off limits to men.

It was all part of V-Day in celebration of "The Vagina Monologues" tenth anniversary.

Here's a clip from Today with Jane and Eve explaining, "so why New Orleans?"

(She kind of has a point.)

Anyway, we arrived to find huge tour buses full of women. The parking garage was filled with license plates from all over the US. It was a fairly diverse crowd: a number of straight women, busloads of lesbians, a few straight men with girlfriends, and a number of young gay men.

On the way in crossing the street, two straight women ahead of us were singing from sheer happiness, thanking the police for "protecting" them.
Inside, it wasn't all pink loveliness, however.

The women were getting a little rowdy. The Arena is our basketball stadium, and with the lines at the concession stands it looked like nothing less than a ball game. The mood was oddly similar. I was half expecting them to be selling big foam vaginas to wave in the crowd.

I bought a foot long hot dog, just so I could say I'd eaten a foot long hot dog at the Vagina Monologues.
It just seemed like the right thing to do, you know.

While in the bathroom, I heard a giggling butch voice, "Are there any men in there?" I didn't answer. "We're taking over this bathroom!"
The giggling intensified, joined now with others. The Revolution had begun. Soon there was a line in the men's bathroom of the overflow from the women's room. I had to pass a procession of giggling lesbians on my way out of the bathroom. I'm surprised I wasn't heckled.

The play itself was good. I'd never seen it before, so I had only a vague idea of what it would be like. There were parts that were moving, funny, and just plain eye rollingly cheesy.

The chief draw scheduled was to be Oprah, of course, (who didn't show "due to an illness" and Salma Hayak whom I think I may have just missed while in the bathroom, who knows.) I really didn't care about Oprah anyway.

A few random thoughts about the performance:

1. I have students who can perform better than Jennifer Hudson. Maybe she was nervous, but she practically read from her cards. She should have just sung.
2.Jane Fonda is a dynamo...and a pro. No cards for her. I could see the stage and where she was sitting when she was not performing. she was beating the stage with her fists.
3.I'm suddenly intrigued with Calpernia Addams
4.Kerry Washington is a much better actress than any of the other high school actresses I've seen performing her monologue on youtube.
5.Rosario Dawson is much more beautiful in person than on screen. She was also wearing some ridiculous Marc Jacobs shoes.
6.I have a crush on Jennifer Beals. (a crowd favorite, needless to say)
7.Didi Conn looks fantastic for her age, and no one remembers her. Though one of the women behind me squealed, "It's Frenchy from 'Grease!'"
8.Christine Lahti does not look good.
9.Liz Mikel (I'd never heard of her before) should be a star.
Here are some pictures. I tried to capture the scrolling lcd lights spelling out "cunt" along the perimeter of the arena, during the "Cunt" section of the play, but it didn't quite come out. This was the weakest section, I thought, since three fourths was done in Spanish and some still unregocnizable language. Oddly pc for an a monologue about not being pc.

This was the view from my seat. We were very high up, but only a few feet away from a huge screen. Actually, the photo makes it look further away than it was. I was staring straight into the vagina logo.

Jane Fonda, not using a single notecard. This, Jennifer Hudson, is how a *professional* does it.

Apr 11, 2008

"It's Official..."

I can't think that the people who put up the "Entertainment" headlines at
yahoo don't know what they're doing.

Sarah Larson: How I Met George Clooney
It's Official: Prince William Is a Top...
Jessica Simpson 'Couldn't Be Happier' for...
More Celebrity News » provided by People

That's some genius use of ellipses, that's all I'm saying:

eye candy

Another fantasy room. (I wish I could remember where I found this, perhaps apartmenttherapy? It's been too long.)

I just love those windows...and of course the fantasy of having all those books around me.

Apr 9, 2008

coffee date

The other night, I had a first date with a guy who'd answered an ad of mine.

I sat there for a few hours, thinking to myself as he went on and on and on about his ex, "God, how am I going to get out of this?"

Actually, it wasn't quite as bad as all that, but sometimes I feel like these "dates" should be earning me some social work credit hours.

Anyway, the next day, I got a email that was as friendly as could be, but clearly saying "let's just be friends."

This is exactly the best outcome of this situation possible, exactly the best thing I could wish for. Seriously.

So why did it sort of hurt my feelings? I don't know why, but it kind of stung.

I swear I'm crazy sometimes.

Anyway, in happier news, I did finally did get to go to (the seemingly always closed) coffeehouse down in Bywater, Coffea.

It's really quite nice there. I wish I could have found a photo of the inside.
In the bathroom there's a baby's crib, complete with mobile...and lots of Victorian bird paraphernalia on the two Eastlake style mantels...in the bathroom.
Most odd. Most cool.

the model, the waitress and the middle aged man

As you can see, I'm playing hookie today. I really have been feeling kind of off lately, probably depressed, but for some intangible reason. It being a short day anyway, I felt justified in taking a personal day, especially since my entire vacation was sucked up by jury duty.

Anyway, I took myself to lunch. My waitress wasn't very good, but as adorable as could be. She's Russian. Every waitress there seems to be a pretty young Russian girl, which is odd, because it's a Lebanese restaurant.

Next to me, two middle aged (well, more middle aged even than me) were obnoxiously irritating another of the Russian girls.
"I've just gotten back from Russia," Mr. Tie and Pleated Pants tells her.
"Oh," she replies.
"Yes...." and then he launches into a longwinded description of his trip to her, interspersed with questions about her "village."
She clearly just wants him to order and shut up, but he doesn't.
He wraps up the story with, "There's a woman at the university from your province. Would you like to talk to her?"
He pulls out his flashy cell phone.
"Not now." she smiles awkwardly, and goes to another table.
"She didn't seem to want to talk about her village," Mr. Tie with Pleated Pants tells his companion.
No kidding. Amazing how rude people can be.

On the way back, I put in a cd. How amazing it is to have a cd player in a car for the first time in my life! I blindly pulled one out (they're all old, since I haven't bought a cd in 4 years it seems) and it turned out to be, Kraftwerk's "The Model"

I wish I could just live in this song.

Apr 5, 2008

marvin meme

Just for kicks, I'm stealing this meme from joetohell (and his genius answers by way of Madonna)

I decided on Mr. Marvin Gaye.

Musician Challenge: Pick an artist - Marvin Gaye
Rules: using only SONG NAMES, cleverly answer these questions...
No repeating song names...

1.) Are you a male or female? -- Trouble Man
2.) Describe yourself? -- Sanctified Lady
3.) Describe your day? -- Mercy Mercy Me
4.) Describe where you currently live -- Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's my home)
5.) If you could go anywhere, where would you go -- Flying High, in the Friendly Sky
6.) Your best friend is -- Right On
7.) Your favorite color is -- Inner City Blues
8.) You know that -- You Ain't Livin Till You're Lovin
9.) What's the weather like? -- I Wish It Would Rain
10.) If your life was a television show, what would it be called? -- If This World Were Mine.
11.) What is life to you? -- God is Love
12.) What is the best advice you have to give? -- Funk Me
13.) Describe your ex? -- What's The Matter with You Baby?
14.) Your current relationship status? -- I Want You To Want Me
15.) What's your favorite hobby? -- Too Busy Thinking About My Baby
16.) When you think of your friends? -- What's Going On
17.) What do your friends think of you? -- Something Stupid
18.) What does your current love interest think of you? -- When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You
19.) You always travel with? -- You're all I Need to Get By.
20.) The best way to end a long day? -- Sexual Healing
21.) Your occupation is? -- You Sure Love to Ball
22.) When you grow up, you want to? -- Save the Children
23.) What does your family think of you? -- Stubborn Kind of Fellow
24.) Your favorite food is? -- The Onion Song
25.) You want to be remembered as? -- A Funky Space Reincarnation

Apr 1, 2008

absolutely gratuitous post

(Watching "Tea House of the August Moon," and can't quite concentrate on the plot.)

still life

Found this, the work of a British artist, James Hopkins at Apartment Therapy(a really cool site, by the way).
It's interesting how he "blurs the line" (as they put it) between interior decoration and art

The best I've ever done is to arrange my books by color, but he does give one ideas.