Jul 30, 2009

Charlie and Ted and (not) me





This is Charlie Cox. I'd become smitten with him a while back .
I'd seen two of his films and he was pretty much the only thing keeping me watching either.

Since then, I've done some mental archeology and realized (part of) the attraction. He reminds me of someone.

Once upon a time, in ENLS 418-The Later Romantic Movement in Britain, I spotted a boy. As was my m.o. in those days, I scoped out the cute boys the first day of class. It helped me determine whether to drop or add. Turns out the professor was cute too.
Jackpot!
Also typical of my m.o. at the time was sitting in the back row of class. My life was a dynamic tension of pathological shyness and a need for attention. It still is.

Anyway, on the first day, I got there very early and sat as usual in the back right hand corner of the room, six feet away from the door. Easy exit. Maximum distance from professor.

Each day, however, I'd move desk by desk closer to the boy, like some sort of stalkerish chess game. Within the first week I was sitting right next to him. Within the next day I'd shamelessly made contact.

He was sweet and charming and his name was Ted. He was from suburbs and so was I! He loved Shelley and so did I! He needed a pen and I had one!

He was also straight as straight could be, and had a bit of the b.o.

Mo + M.O.= b.o. is how I guess I could sum up this tale of woe. (ok, I'll stop)
But whatever, he kept me going to class every day promptly, and I got an A, so it all worked out in the end, right?

Anyway, Charlie up there reminds me of him a bit: the pale skin, the dark long hair, that flyaway chest hair, those dreamy eyes. Ah...

Honey in the sun

I'd first heard of Camera Obscura a few years ago by way of my friend Michael, (and truth be told, never really liked them much), but this song, just sent to me by him in fact, I really like a lot. It's something about the horns maybe.
It's also kind of how I'm feeling now, I think...but without the twee Scots accent, unfortunately.



Go here for the official video
and
here for lyrics.

Jul 28, 2009

16 things learned while in Florida



1. I'm apparently a freak for not flossing every night.

2. Dried dates taste a little like caramel.

3. Kelly Ripa is frightening.

4. Mean Dirty Pirate is shirking his truck stop hooking responsibilities. He's probably moved on to one of the better motels and upped his price.

5. If one watches 48 straight hours of "The Golden Girls", one will not go insane. Well, completely. One might hallucinate at 5 am and see Dorothy at the foot of one's bed with a cheesecake and a knife, however.

6. I snore.

7. In a pinch, one can fashion a makeshift ice chest out of a frozen margarita bucket and some ice.

8. The sight of (female) breasts will make the beach-chair boys bend almost any rule. It's better than money.

9. There's never a camera when the Ralph Lauren Outlet mall men's fitting room attendant with a truly impressive shelf like ass turns around you need it.

10. I can do math (sometimes).

11. "All you can eat seafood buffet" is rarely a good idea.

12. Wearing a hat and an opaque layer of SPF 50 sunscreen does not prevent one from getting a burned nose.

13. No other part of one's body will tan, no matter how exposed.

14. According to GPS, the nearest drive thru daiquiri shop in Florida is in New Orleans. Should have figured.

15. Never buy Walmart frozen pizza.

16. When driving home, immediately upon entering Louisiana, it will rain. Immediately upon entering New Orleans, one must detour because of a murder scene.

Jul 24, 2009



Hi, I'm sorry I can't come to the blog right now. Please leave a message, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.


So, because I'm such a shameless attention whore, I'm presetting this post for my birthday.
Yes, that's right.
Anyway, it's always a pretty sucky time for me, and this year is suckier than most, so any cheering up greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Pic, of course, from the ever wonderful cake wrecks

Jul 22, 2009



I've just bought a heifer!
Well, part of one at least.
Gee, I hope it's the udders. Nothing sexier than udders!

I also bought a goat, but really, who wants to see that?

It's the idea of Heifer International.
Pretty cool idea.
Turns out, heifer.org is not a porn site. Who knew?
Too bad, since they'd probably make more money that way, you know?

Jul 19, 2009

wacky packages


Back when I was a kid, on summer afternoons when my mother was boring me with her droning soap operas, I would take a walk. Even the blinding heat was better than "The Guiding Light".
I'd walk all the up the street...up to the corner...through the back side of a now destroyed apartment complex...past the huge rumbling industrial washateria...along the drainage ditch...(looking for turtles and crawfish, sometimes catching a few)... avoiding the nutria and snakes....carefully pulling myself up where there was a hole near the concrete embankment (snakes there)...up and across the busy highway bridge...back down into the ditch side...off through the parking lot...and finally into the air conditioned convenience store.

I was in hot pursuit of Munchos, Slim Jims, Ding Dongs, yo-yos, Pop Rocks....and these:
Wacky Packages. They were stickers that came courtesy of gum. The gum, needless to say, was an afterthought. These are what I have left, found the other day in my childhood closet.
Pardon the flash.

The humor is rather lost on me today, I'm afraid, though I remember being endlessly amused by that "Scary Lee" package. Now I (we all?) live in a world that seems absolutely smothered in sarcasm.
But way back then, even sarcasm seemed somehow naive, you know?

Jul 16, 2009

Trancun


Tonight my friend Dennis treated me to dinner for my impending birthday. Because we wanted to support Dine Out For Life, we were limited to only a few places.

(I kept embarrassing him by calling it The National Night Out Against AIDS instead...but that's not a bad title, is it?)

Anyway, we decided upon a terribly adequate Mexican restaurant, only to find it packed. We were shocked. Even more shocking was that the crowd was not what we expected (hoped?). Yes, there were a few gays here and there, but for the most part it was populated by very boisterous straights. It was like Spring Break in a suburb of Cancun. Since we didn't have a reservation (?!), we were put out in the courtyard to swelter.

The restaurant, however, seemed to be almost entirely staffed by trannies.
Very exciting.
One greeted us at the door, in fact, and languidly ushered us to the courtyard.

Our waitress was a particularly glamorous specimen, of indeterminate ethnicity...in a tight denim miniskirt, silicone chest heaving up out of a very low cut white blouse. Her honey blonde weave, however, looked a bit acrylic in the moonlight.
She couldn't have been a worse waitress. She took at least 30 minutes to even show up, and when she did, she had an attitude. Then she clicked her heels and disappeared for nearly an hour.

Suddenly she rushed up to the table with a refill. "Oh....y'all don't hate me please!"

We didn't say anything. I was distracted by the heaving silicone.

"I am so sorry, y'all! I completely forgot to put in your orders. What did y'all order again?"
We told her.

"Girl, I have nevah done this in all my years of workin' here. I swear! I am SO sorry," she drawled the best she could, through her freshly injected lips.

She was mortified. Well, as mortified as a tranny in an eight inch skirt and four inch heels can be.

For the rest of the evening she was completely dutiful (except for bringing me the wrong food....I didn't bother telling her). Every time she came back, she pouted sadly and apologized again and again....and offered freebies. She plied us with free margaritas and flans and turned the turbo fan in the corner on blast, aiming it just for us. It was like being at the beach, the noise of Cancun drifted away.
All in all, a lovely meal.

Jul 15, 2009

psychedelic turds

Tonight I went to a small local grocery store, its chief attractions being its all- British-all-the-time 80s soundtrack and its morgue-quality air conditioner.

I entered the ice cream aisle to The Psychedelic Furs' "Love My Way".
Lovely.

Of course the temperature being subarctic, I found myself having to use the restroom. While there I checked up on the "Petaphile" manifesto on Stall # One's left wall...
only to find that it had been dutifully covered up by an entire new sheet of laminate. No whitewashing here. Nope. It was covered over with an entire new sheet of pristine beige plastic, lest the petaphilia bleed through, I guess.
However, our intrepid petaphile prophet had taken his Sharpie to the margins, writing, just as neatly as ever, but smaller:


"They all talk thru my body
and some of you think its me.

If you think I am a petaphile you
are part of a cult."


In the bowl was, well, disgustingly, the title of this post,
pretty much.
Maybe, like the ancients, who could read the future in tea leaves and the entrails of slaughtered animals, our Petaphile prophet had read these too...and got it wrong.
Who knows.
All I know is that he had made no mention whatsoever of his prophetic mistake about the world ending on March 13th...so I flushed it down the toilet and walked out to Roxy Music's "More than This".

"I like a woman that loves everything and everybody

because I love everything and everybody..."



One of the songs which made me into who I am.

(Thanks to Mistress MJ for making me remember this.)

Jul 14, 2009

happy bastille day!



which is French, I'm pretty sure, for "ten days till jason's birthday."

from failblog of course

Jul 13, 2009

unexpected beauty




The other day, driving in a very bad part of town, not far from my home, I caught a glimpse of this building, shining in the sun. I was startled.

It seemed to have appeared from nowhere. I'd never noticed it before. I think it had been hidden until a building obscuring it had collapsed, maybe in the last hurricane or so. I'm not sure.

Whatever the case, I thought it was just beautiful. It seems to have been some sort of laundry at one time, based on the art deco terracotta probably from the 30s.

happy meals

Every day before noon, my phone rings at least five times. There are the robot calls that come as regularly as an alarm clock, machines mumbling ominously about credit cards scams....and then there are the calls from my mother which come just as regularly and ominously.

Like today's. Two within an hour.

Sometimes it's the semi-vague: "It's just me. Wondering when you might be coming over."
Sometimes it's more the blunt: "It's just me. Wondering if you were coming over. It's 11o' clock. I'm lonesome."

Like today.

Umm...let's just say "subtlety" is not my mother's strong suit. No sirree.
She's blunt to a fault. And loneliness is my Achilles' heal. Well, one of them. So, what does one do when she pulls the "lonely" card out?

One quietly cancels one's plans and one drives over to drive her around on her errands. One does this just about every other day when one is "on vacation." Sometimes one does this every single day.

Today, thankfully, was happily free of her complaining. She does a lot of that, mindless complaining. She has no internal filter like most people do. What she thinks comes straight out of her mouth. Having been raised by such a creature, I can be exceptionally quiet, I think sometimes that I'm subconsciously trying level out some sort of karmic equilibrium which her constant chattering has disrupted. Who knows.

Anyway, today I took her to Target to do her shopping and then to one of her endless rounds of doctor's appointments. We had lunch at McDonald's. It was pretty mundane, almost pleasant. It's not always.

When she goes to McDonald's she always gets a Happy Meal. Sometimes so do I. It's cheap. It's not too bad. It's a way of keeping from eating too much....and, hey, there are two toys!

We keep the toys to give to various children, sometimes to my cousin's little son, sometimes to the little boy across the street from her. I encourage her to lavish gifts on the few children in her life.

Long ago, I'd given her my cat, Pye, as a surrogate grandchild, but since the cat died in February, well, her house is that much emptier. She's decided she's too old now to take care of another cat, so she's just now given away all the cat paraphernalia for good.

Christmas is usually sad around here, because there are no children around, and now not even a freaking cat. I don't even have friends with children. What's up with that?

"Come not near me lest thou be smote with the plague of barrenness."
I should market myself as birth control.

Anyway, a nun, whom I know, works with the homeless, and each year I sponsor a homeless child. It's an excuse to get into the spirit of the season, otherwise it would be too sad. What's Christmas unless there are toys and gifts to buy?

Being a gay only child is not as fabulous as it might seem. In her defense, however, she's gotten better about it in the past years. The tears and the blunt (see above) pronouncements of despair: "I'll never have grandchildren" stopped eventually. But every now and then, when she's playing with a stranger's child in the checkout line or listening to her brothers and sisters constantly crow about their own fabulous grandchildren, I know she feels bad again.
And so do I.

Jul 10, 2009

a trip to the landlord's

The other day I went down to my landlord's 1850s mansion (not pictured here or anywhere for fear of incrimination...or maybe a whipping). It was time to re-sign the lease. It's like something out of Faulkner. Last year I made the presumptuous mistake of using the front entrance. No one came until I called on the phone. Clearly I did not know that I needed to use the slave entrance in the back.
This year, I got there early, so I decided to take my new little 99 dollar camera out on a walk with me, while waiting for him to finish up whipping the negroes in the back forty...or whatever he was doing.

A cute, non mansion-y house, on a side street.

These angel trumpets were shading the sidewalk. The smell, if you've never smelled them before, is incredible. I remember as a kid hearing the tales of the liquor one could brew from them that was hallucinogenic. If the smell is any indication, I wouldn't doubt it.



Insert your own joke here.


As I took a photo of this yard, (actually, just to test the camera out), I wondered, topiary? Gay! Soon afterward he drove up in his Jaguar. Right again. Gays love Peniston.

Mansion-ish, but not quite as nice as the landlord's.

More non-mansion-y little houses.



My favorite house. I love the color. Notice the corner of a white Lincoln Continental hood in the front.

un-kept


Once upon a time, when I was all of 24 or so, and even more naive than I am now (if that's possible), I placed my first personal ad. This was in the days before the internet, and all communication was conducted through a local paper and a phone answering service.

I could fill a lifetime of embarrassing stories about myself from these experiences, but there's one that came to my mind tonight. I'm not sure why.

He was a perfectly ordinary looking middle aged man, nothing horrible about him, nothing particularly attractive. His personality was much the same.

I remember meeting him at a restaurant in the French Quarter. I don't remember which. I remember that he insisted on paying, despite my objections. He seemed charmed by them in fact. I'd never had anyone pay for my meal, and it felt wrong. I didn't want to lead him on. I had purposefully ordered the cheapest thing on the menu, a salad which had some sort of cranberries in it. I remember the dried cranberries in my salad but not what he looked like.

He was just a little more than twice my age then, I guess.

After dinner we walked back to his "pied a terre", I suppose you could call it. He was from California somewhere, L.A., I suppose, but did business here often, so he had purchased a small carriage house in the French Quarter. I remember framed Audubon reproductions on the walls and a tastefully dull plaid sofa in forest green.

Of course you're all thinking you know where this is leading, but, alas,
I'm not that kind of girl.
Sorry.

No, we sat on the dull green plaid sofa and talked. I'm sure I asked him all about his job. I'm sure I was dutifully attentive. I'm sure he talked and talked and talked all about the intricacies of Whatever Inc. I can't remember. He asked me about my ambitions. I told him that I had just started grad school, that I'd hoped to be a writer or a journalist or something equally ridiculous. It sounded like something I ought to say.

Most of all, I remember that he seemed very lonely, and that I felt bad for him.

Somewhere in our conversation, he suddenly offered me a proposal.

He insisted that he would set me up in a house. He showed me photos of the house. It was a beach house in Malibu, no less. It wasn't particularly lavish, but still. It would be all mine. He'd support me and I'd be able to "write." He explained the deal enthusiastically. I was equal parts flattered and horrified.

Before my head could get too big, however, he told me about his former "protege", sighing about how "good looking", he'd been, but how temperamental and "not nice" he'd also been. I realized that he wanted to skip the looks for "nice" now.

He proudly showed me the pictures of his former kept boy. In a crystal frame was what seemed rather like a second rate male model from a 1980 Sears catalogue, all bushy moustache and tanned physique. I felt very plain.

I'm sure we had more small talk after that. I'm sure I told him how "flattered" I was and "thank you" but how I didn't think "that would be right."
I don't remember.
I know we parted genially, and I assured him that it would be "great to have dinner with you again if you come into town."

Of course, that never happened.
Anyway, I hope he's all right, where ever he is.

Jul 9, 2009

po-(gay?)-boys



I just got back from a lovely lunch with my friend Jenn, visiting from Detroit, where she works up in the film industry. We went to Parkway Bakery, not far from my place so she could get a French fry poboy:

Something, I guess, you can't get in Detroit. This is the closest to veganism you can find around here. I had the more mundane shrimp...or "shwimps" as they're sometimes called round here. (thanks again, Jenn!)

More interesting than the food, however, was the clientele. Sure, there were the regulars, New Orleanian folk, but a good mixture of ambiguously gay young men there too. Ambiguously gay, but very un-ambiguously non-local. Hey, I may not be able to tell if you're gay or not, but I can tell if you're from here.

Aside from the confusing ambiguity, I was even more confused as to why they seemed to congregate here of all places at lunch on a Thursday. Mysteries wrapped in an enigma, fried in lard and served on french bread.

Anyway, as I told her, I'm glad I'm not a young woman nowadays, because I just can't deal with cramps , seriously, some of these hipsterish types (as were there) are just maddeningly ambiguous, you know? Their mannerisms and dress are so hard to read that every time you think you've figured it out, it quacks like a goose.

hello




(no need for me to comment on anything here...nosiree...at all.
More at dlisted

I'm sure you're ignoring these words anyway, right? I know I am.)

fig time



Figs from the back yard, photographed just before being plucked and boiled in sugar. Too bad the picture is a bit blurry. I guess they were nervous, knowing what was coming. I might just have enough for my grandmother's fig cake. mmm

"no kissin' on the belly button and stoppin' now..."



Thanks to the ever fabulous tjb for reminding me of this at this ungodly hour.
My deep love for Millie has been documented here before, but I had almost forgotten this track. As you might expect, there's some profound wisdom in here, lemme tell you.

Still, I'd always been confused by her "AB" and "Orange Bird" reference. I'd never got it. I was too young and naive. Until reading the comments to this clip. Seems she's referencing none other than Anita Bryant herself. Makes it even more fabulous.

Jul 8, 2009

You only go around once in a lifetime...

words to live by from the sages of Shalamar

Jul 6, 2009

Whatever crushes

The other day, I took myself to see Woody Allen's "Whatever Works".....any excuse to see Patricia Clarkson (who was the best part, by the way).

I didn't have very high expectations, but I (and the rest of the audience too, seemingly) found it to be delightful.

Part of the delight came from the discovery of the impossibly beautiful Henry Cavill. I'd never heard of him before. How did he escape my attention? Dreamy.
Easy enough to have a crush on him, of course. Requires no work at all:






More interestingly, also in the cast was another one of my early, less predictable crushes.

Yes, Ed Begley Jr., still looking mighty fine today, in my opinion.


Mighty fine.

Here's the best I can do with some early Begley beefcake.
(You're welcome.)



I have very catholic tastes in my crushes, it seems.

Jul 3, 2009

buzzed off

I just got back from the hairdresser. My hairdresser is a very bossy, glamorous Vietnamese woman. She's also a friend of the family of about 20 years.
She squeezed my appointment in during her one day work week, post San Francisco holiday, pre July 4th holiday. Anyway, She refuses to cut my hair the way I want it. Well, she has once, but that's it. And yet I continue to go there. It's a combination of co dependence, loyalty and masochism, I suppose. Much like my life.

The other day, another Vietnamese friend of a friend told me, "Oh, that's how all Vietnamese hairdressers are. They don't listen." She told me this before I even had the chance to mention my problem to her, so I guess it's true.

I think she was particularly distracted today telling me about her best friend's husband's multiple affairs. Anyway, she did a really botched up job. It looked all right in the front, but when I got home and looked more closely, the back was a mess. Even my mother commented on it.

So today I bought a hair clipper and cut the rest off myself.

I now look like I've just escaped Auschwitz.

Or more like the one overfed prisoner who's been scamming the others for their crusts of bread, you know. Still, there's some small comfort knowing that at least my students aren't around to make fun of me. That's what, I guess, friends are for.

Jul 2, 2009

Why I Live at the P.O.

Come the Fourth of July, I can't help but think of Eudora Welty's 1941 short story,
"Why I Live at the P.O." It's one of my very favorites.
Here's the beginning:

"I WAS GETTING ALONG FINE with Mama, Papa-Daddy and Uncle Rondo until my sister Stella-Rondo just separated from her husband and came back home again. Mr. Whitaker! Of course I went with Mr. Whitaker first, when he first appeared here in China Grove, taking "Pose Yourself" photos, and Stella-Rondo broke us up. Told him I was one-sided. Bigger on one side than the other, which is a deliberate, calculated falsehood: I'm the same. Stella-Rondo is exactly twelve months to the day younger than I am and for that reason she's spoiled..."

If you haven't already, read the rest here

(which I'm pretty sure no one will...but anyway...)

crazy in love



Antony and the Johnsons' cover.

Better than Beyonce.

Jersey wisdom



Apparently, Jersey has a direct pipeline to Marrero, because this is exactly how it was (ok, is) there. There's some Buddha-level insight going on here. For example:

"Women always have a strike up on men. We've always got our bodies (if you keep it in shape) and we've always got the check to cash."


Found by way of dlisted and Colleen and probably a million other sites too. I'm sure it'll spread like wildfire.

Jul 1, 2009

Four things recently found on the ground:


Bottle of Upper 10, circa 1960(?)
Found: in a cache of other vintage bottles, exposed by low water on the banks of a small bayou outside of Baton Rouge.
Currently: on my windowsill, holding a sprig of stolen rosemary from the neighbors.


Decapitated angel.
Found: backyard, buried in the sand. Smelling strangely of vanilla.
Currently: impaled on a stake in the garden, as a warning to other rogue cherubs.



Pristine pair of Foster Grants.
Found: Target parking lot.
Currently: on my face.



"Crazy Penis" Cd, title scrawled in what seems to be lipstick.
Found: corner of Coliseum and 6th street.
Disappointingly, neither porn nor psychotic-woman-scorned created revenge. Actual band. Electronic-ish music.
Currently: in my car.