Thursday, November 30, 2006
Well, if it is, let's keep the liquor flowing and the music swinging. There isn't enough time in the day to get things done.
Will I even think to mark the third-month anniversary?
Goodbye, guys. I really, really loved my job for thirty years; and I loved being in your company during that time. But now I love my life. You're welcome to visit anytime.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
One of the exciting prospects of this production is that I am working with three remarkable young women. The men in the show are excellent as well, please don't get me wrong; but after having staged a mega-production such as Take Me Out with a cast of eleven males, I'm finding it a wonderfully different experience working with these women. All in all, women are different from men, you know. For one thing, they are not as insecure.
Taryn Vinet plays the role of Blitzen as a feminist with an agenda. She is formidable as she reveals her growing sense of empowerment along with its potential for destruction.
Mandi Turner is Dancer, a fragile doe who ineffectually tries to exhibit a tough veneer that is never really locked in place.
These three ladies are thunder and lightning. I can't wait to have a full audience witness what they are ready to reveal.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I'm a smoker, and my partner is a nonsmoker. He says his face goes numb when I give him head. His theory is that the penis is permeable and is absorbing the nicotine in my saliva. It's a good theory, but it's only his face that goes numb—his cheeks and lips, not his whole head or his dick head. He really enjoys it, so it's not a problem. I'm just curious whether or not he's right. —NOT UNDERESTIMATING MY BLOWJOBSYou can go ahead and read the rest of the column here, but I'll tell you upfront, Dan's answer comes nowhere near the imaginative level of the question. In fact, it's brusquely dismissive. However, smoking minds want to know. Can nicotine pleasantly numb the face of a BJ recipient? Is this another under-researched, innate power of the drug?
What, gentle reader, do you think?
President Bush said Tuesday that an al-Qaida plot to stoke cycles of sectarian revenge in Iraq is to blame for escalating bloodshed, refusing to debate whether the country has fallen into civil war.
"There's a lot of sectarian violence taking place fomented, in my opinion, because of the attacks by al-Qaida causing people to seek reprisal," Bush said at a news conference with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves during a stop in Estonia. ...
Bush, who travels to Jordan later in the week for a summit with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said the latest surge of violence in Iraq does not represent a new era. "We've been in this phase for a while," he said.
Iraq is reeling from the deadliest week of sectarian fighting since the war began in March 2003. ...
Jordan's King Abdullah, who is hosting al-Maliki's meeting with Bush, has warned that unless bold steps are taken urgently, the new year could dawn with three civil wars in the Mideast with one in Iraq added to those in Lebanon and between the Palestinians and Israelis.
But Bush, dodging a direct answer of whether Iraq was embroiled in civil war, tied the three conflicts together in a different way: He said recent strife in Lebanon and the heated up Israeli-Palestinian dispute are, like Iraq, the result of extremists trying to choke democratic progress. ...
He can't be this dumb, can he? Can he?
He can't be this dumb, can he? Can he?
As you prepare to put aside your girlish ways in order to assume a more matronly bent in your life, I want to thank you for all you have done to make me feel younger and freer and more charismatic than I ever imagined I could be. I don't know anyone else who could get such a kick out of my trollish belly.
As you make your preparations to leave New Orleans for either Seattle or your new South Carolina Christian beau, I want to make sure you know and understand the breadth of the joy you have suffused me with.
As you look in the mirror this morning when you wake, I want you to see the face I see, classical, unlined, serene.
I'll always be with you, sweetheart.
Don't tell Bob I wrote this.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Maybe I should go and get my third tattoo this evening. I figure the best inkers probably work at night, not at one in the afternoon. That's the time of day when Skip slashed my left arm.
Maybe I'll go out later, around the time when Bob should be coming home - if I can stay up that late.
I'd like to sit on the balcony, but it's too cold and I'm not dressed.
Haven't cracked a book since I left work. Should I try to start one tonight?
I know, I'll put on some music. What would I like to hear? Bryn Terfel? Yeah. So why are the Brobdingnagian Bards playing?
A funny thing I've noticed: when you're alone, you're younger and thinner and really buffer than when you're around other people, and much better looking. Why is that?
I did talk to my brother Russell. Twice. But, wait, he called me. That doesn't count.
I haven't taken my walk today. I slept all afternoon. But I didn't eat, so everything should balance out.
Why do you lose weight gravitationally? My neck and shoulders and arms are getting scrawny, and my upper chest is sinking. Everything else is still fat. Except that.
Reminds me of when I was a fat kid before going off to the seminary and losing lots of weight. And I just lost my train of thought. Oh, I remember, no matter how much you lose, you're always the same fat kid.
I took some pictures of myself today. It's official. I am now my own dad. But he was better looking. His lips weren't crooked.
Maybe I'll go out real late tonight. Meet a new class of people. Low.
Steve is very quiet, soft-spoken and not talkative. Come to think of it, most of my friends are that way. Parties with us tend to be like Quaker meetings.
But silent Steve certainly handed me a surprise this morning. I opened my email and got this missive detailing his Thanksgiving in San Francisco with his mother. I've met Steve's father. Now I have to meet his mom. She would certainly fit in here in New Orleans and would rule at the Latrine. Here is what Steve had to say.
My very Southern-like yet Yankee San Francisco mother made all of my favorite foods for Thanksgiving and "vegan" dishes for Kevin, yet was totally blottoed by the time we arrived at her house that day at 4pm. We left around 7 after everyone had eaten her food and left because of my godfather, S. Clay Wilson, the cartoonist of "Checkered Demon" and Zap comics who has always been published by Leo DiCaprio's dad, George, since he left the brat pack of
underground comic writers including Robert Crumb. All of them breezed through this very house of my mother's while I was a kid (we also hosted Raymond Chandler and William S. Burroughs and I believe Timothy Leary although I met Mr. Leary shortly before he died in San Francisco at Nelson Lyon's house). L.A.
Anyway, my mom's longtime best girlfriends were spending the night to help her clean up the next day...and had wonderful pot which I didn't smoke...and they wanted me to give
a ride home. Wilson, I pointed out to my mother the next day during the Cornhusker game (she is an avid fan now even though as a young hippie she boycotted their games in Lincoln), reminded me of my alcoholic friend Mary, whom my mother took in when Mary couldn't get motherly love from her own mother. They’re the kind of drunks who infuriate their lovers because they are always restless and incoherent. Anyway, Wilson wouldn't let me give him a ride home so Kevin and I went on our merry way as I toured him around town, winding up in the Castro of course. Restless drunk. Wilson
I accused my mother of being a deliberate drunk which her friends all thought was hysterical, and she admitted that she was a deliberate drunk that day. But my mother is never restless. Just loud. I realize that growing up around beat poets and underground comic artists, and the occasional writer, I had had - despite having to sleep in the bass drum of a drumset from my mom's jazz band, the Junior Earl Quartet, and other odd places in that flat of hers that we just had Thanksgiving in, that really I was fortunate to have had a bohemian upbringing. And Wilson, who always gives me a hard time because my career never took off like Leo DiCaprio's (yet), was very tender with me (and Kevin) through his drunkenness. His kisses were tender - and I know that
loves me like a son. He may be this way with Leo but I doubt it. So...I have never met Leo but hope to before Wilson is dead. Wilson
And oddly, I never did any drugs nor did I drink prior to graduating
in S.F. I asked her how on earth she kept access to these from me in THIS household...her eyes twinkled. I love my mom. Now that I've finally left University High School for good (as opposed to Northwestern for four years) I feel this "gulf" between us - but it's not negative. I can tell that she's really happy for me and I think for the first time seems to think that my life is going to turn out well. This as I keep envisioning a sitcom that runs 15 years while I'm middle aged, ending up at $10 million an episode. You have to understand that I went to college with people (like a certain “Friend”) who actually do these things. And that I'm a late bloomer. A deliberate late bloomer, actually. I admit it, a deliberate late bloomer. California
Happy Thanksgiving and much love to you and Bobby...
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
Are of imagination all compact.
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
That is the madman. The lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven.
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation, and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy.
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!
- A Midsummer-Night’s Dream, V, i
- William Shakespeare
That being said, and as alluring as it sounds, the plain fact is this: a person falling in love is useless for anything other than desiring to fulfill the desires of his object of desire. He’s no longer good for anything as basic and banal as boiling an egg or brewing a pot of coffee.
So I ask you, what’s more important in life? An egg? Or a lay?
Friday, November 24, 2006
The food was plentiful and very good. The company convivial.
And that concludes my performance - in PR-Speak.
Underlying tensions were roiling. Sperm Magnet was beginning to turn quiet and tight with anger that the New Squeeze, who was supposed to be preparing a dish for the table, had not yet arrived. The Old Gray Man was becoming impatient for the dining to begin so he could express his dissatisfaction with whatever dish he might be served. And the Spawn of Satan was there, eyeing my every move.
But I kept them all at bay and concentrated on the pleasant company that was there, Little Rick, Chuckles, Joey, Little Rick, Steve, Mr. Donnie Jay, Little Rick, Joey, Joey, Little Rick... Lots of strange - make that new - faces were there as well, as always happens when any bar puts food out in public view. At one point, while I was talking to Mr. Donnie Jay, a large man in torn, dirty jeans, scruffy work boots, and a tee-shirt advertising Johnny White's walked by to fill his plate.
I turned to Mr. Donnie jay and said, "I'm in the market for an abusive relationship this afternoon."
"He'd give you that, my dear, but I thought you already had one."
"Bitch," I said as I made to move into the main bar.
That was when the Spawn of Satan chose to make his move.
"Happy Thanksgiving," he sibilantly said. "I hope you're having a wonderful day."
"I wanted to mention to you that I intend to audition again to be the replacement for Shane Mungitt for the revival of Take Me Out. I'm not going to talk about it here today because that would be inappropriate, but I wanted you to know I will be reading for it again. I'll be in touch to set up a time to meet with you. In the meantime, I'll get a copy of the script to study it. But, no, let's not talk about it now. Have a lovely holiday."
You've taken care of that, motherfucker, haven't you? I thought to myself as I moved to sit near Bob. Just then, Sperm Magnet's New Squeeze walked in, empty-handed.
Sperm Magnet blanched, eyes narrowing, jaws tightening, and ordered a Jaegermeister. Bad news. The Magnet crosses over rapidly under the influence of this evil brew and becomes an unstoppable, raging harridan. No one is safe from the Magnet's venom. I thought it best to retreat. I don't care for horror stories off the page or screen and in my face.
"You can stay here if you want to, but I'm going home," I said to Bob.
"There. Jaeger on the bar."
"Oh, shit. Let's go."
We said our good nights and made it home where, once ensconced in the Barcalounger, I fell into a righteous sleep. I hate the holidays.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
So why was one of the uninvited walking through the door?
"I'm giving [Password-Protected Identity] a massage tonight."Then we rehearsed, and it was rough. It was longer than usual, but we accomplished a lot. When we were finally done, I headed over to the Latrine for pizza night. I don't eat the pizza because I'm dieting, but I like to be there for the people the pizza brings in. There followed other conversations.
"Mm-hmm. We made arrangements last evening. That was why I was going to ask for tonight off when you told me I didn't have to come."
"Well, has he stood you up? I haven't seen him."
"He's upstairs house sitting."
"Ah, so that was why the lights were on."
"He left a candle in the window? Sweet."
"How long is this going to take?"
"I hope all night."
"I hope not. I want to watch your ass try to make it down those stairs after he's done with you."
"I can't keep this up. He doesn't care. I'm beating my head against a brick wall, and I need to move on. Fuck him. Oh, wait, I love this song..."The adult alternative channel was playing on the Latrine's cable radio. I prefer the '60's or the '70's channels - ideally, I would have loved to have had the Broadway channel on - but I'm usually in the minority; and in a democracy, minorities don't count.
Take a note. That will be on the test.
"Effexor is an antidepressant. You don't want that for your backache. You want something like Flexoril. Effexor will just let you enjoy the pain. ..."I was dying to switch from beer to rum, but rum only makes me turn mean lately, so I came home instead.
"I'm going to Moscow in a few months. My mom has all my paperwork ready for the trip. It's only for three weeks, but it beats three days."
"You have to visit the Hermitage."
"Oh, yes, they have the world's biggest collection of Faberge eggs."
"I was thinking more of Rembrandt's Prodigal Son or a few Leonardo's that haven't gotten out much over the last several centuries. ..."
"Do you think I need a cab to get to Lafitte's?"
"Well, it's only a few blocks, and it's only a few minutes after ten. You should be safe. ..."
"Where are all the pretty boys?"
"They went to Joel's place."
"A new club? Where?"
"A private club. Exclusive membership."
"Damn, and I really wanted a pretty boy."
"I'm going to Lafitte's. You wanna come?"
"Been ... done. ..."
"What city did Hitler refuse to bomb? Don't know, do you? Prague, it was Prague. He adored the architecture there. Didn't care for Dresden, though. That's why he let the Luftwaffe loose on them."
"I think it was us and the British who bombed Dresden."
"Oh, really? Whatever. ..."
There were just too many people with too many words inside them out last night.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
You know how much I admire your dedication and commitment to your ideals. Your strength of character has always impressed me. You are always true to your own inner light.
However, something is happening in the world today that gives me concern that even you might find yourself corrupted.
"Everyone watches 'Grey's Anatomy' and thinks that all doctors do at hospitals is have sex," said Dr. Ryan Stanton, in the department of emergency medicine at the University of Kentucky.Stay true to yourself, Dave, stay the course, don't be swayed; and don't be offended when I say I don't think you have the legs for a mini skirt or heels.
Real-life doctors don't have the on-call sexual escapades that "Grey's Anatomy" stars do. But a lot of young doctors dress like they do — and their sexy clothing could be hurting their patients....
"Medical students, house staff and physicians in practice increasingly emulate the dress of their media counterparts," said Dr. Joseph Zanga, professor of pediatrics at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.
In step with their media counterparts, upcoming medical students and residents are rebelling against the traditional Norman Rockwell white-coat doctor's image by wearing mini skirts, rumpled oxford shirts without ties, unshaven chops, high heels, and other things...
Your friend who only wishes you well,
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
"... It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around encouraging young things to grow.That being the case, why don't we spread ours around to people who really want it? The Human Rights Campaign has come out with its 2007 Buyers' Guide in time for Black Friday. You can download the PDF file here, or you can request a hardcopy of it here.The Matchmaker, Thornton Wilder
Thanks to Frank at !! omg blog !! for the heads-up about this.
Buried within a recent government brief in the case of Guantanamo Bay inmate Majid Khan is one of the more disturbing arguments the Bush administration has advanced in the legal struggles surrounding the war on terrorism. Mr. Khan was one of the al-Qaeda suspects who was detained in a secret prison of the CIA and subjected to "alternative" interrogation tactics -- the administration's chilling phrase for methods most people regard as torture. Now the government is arguing that by subjecting detainees to such treatment, the CIA gives them "top secret" classified information -- and the government can then take extraordinary measures to keep them quiet about it.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Since Bobby slept all morning yesterday, there was no one demanding I leave the computer to pay attention to him, so I uploaded one of my Barbara Cook CD's into My Music folder via iTunes.
Well, iTunes being what it is, I discovered links to other Barbara Cook releases. Before I knew it, I had bought and downloaded nearly every available Barbara Cook track. Hence, the bill.
I did skip the 1987 studio recording of Carousel because I didn't like Samuel Ramy's interpretation of Billy Bigelow. I prefer my Billy Bigelows more true to life, more street-trade-like. And I was on the fence about the Lincoln Center revival of The King and I, although I'll probably slip back into the iTunes store a little later today and grab it. I love her open-throated version of "Shall We Dance?" Hell, let me get it now.
Whew, I'm back now. The tracks are downloading even as we speak.
Listening to those songs yesterday, swallowing the lump in my throat, tending to the chills, I couldn't help but wonder, Does the woman even have an inking of the kind of effect she produces? She can't, not really. The knowledge would paralyze her. Out of all the singers in the world today, she is, without a doubt, the most intelligent, the most heartfelt, the least sentimental, and the last to make the leap to leave a cheap impression. She's simple and plain, the real thing.
And she can still be had for less than a hundred bucks a pop. Thanks, sugar, you've been great. We'll do this again real soon.
Update: It's 11:01 PM. I'm reading my RSS news feeder, and what do I stumble onto, but this? Serendipity.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
However, that is not what this is about. One of the messages he quotes says, "Last night i had a dream that you were black." It reminded me of a Tom Finn story.
I have a few Tom Finn stories. Everyone else in the New Orleans gay community has a few, too; many, more than a few. None of them are very nice toward Tom Finn, but then Tom Finn is seldom very nice to anyone himself. In fact, just last night, he very loudly and very publicly refused to buy a raffle ticket being sold to help rebuild a post-Katrina Lazarus House (which was the first hospice here for people with AIDS) because the prize would be announced at a function at a bar owned by a person he despised. Well, everybody else despises this same person as well, but we were willing to help a worthy cause. Not Tom Finn. His sensibilities are complex. The only person ever to have lived on Tom Finn's earth deserving of his respect and adoration was Judy Garland, to whom "my house is a shriiine!"
But - to my story. Many years ago, a Marigny bar hosted an event to which a flock of feathered drag queens would be fluttering. I don't recall the reason for the evening, and that wouldn't have been important anyway; but for some reason, Bob and I attended. The place was packed, which meant I wouldn't last long, but we did manage to spot an area where there was a little island of open space, and we made our way there.
Near us stood two black persons in evening wear, female evening wear, both exquisitely turned out and beautiful to look at. Overhearing their conversation - all right - listening in on their conversation, it became apparent that one was a true female. And the true female was truly black. But the other was unmistakably recognizable in her flutey contralto: Tom Finn. Tom Finn in blackface drag.
S/he was saying, "Darling, I walked here. I can't believe I did, but I walked here. In this drag! In these heels! I walked. And I can't believe the things people said to me as I was walking here, people driving by in cars. They called me every name in the book. Terrified me. They did, they did. Thank God, I was carrying my friendly little switchblade. Never leave home without him anymore. And I don't keep him in my bag, oh, no, uh-uh, too easy to snatch - pardon my French - oh, no, no, no, I keep him in my garter, in my right garter. They won't get away with trying a jump on me, sister. No way, not with this little gay blade nearby. But the things they said. The slurs. The racial things, such nasty racial things they yelled at me. Well, now I know what it means to be black in America. And it ain't beautiful, honey. How do you manage it? Every day, every night. Living black. With the rude things people say. Cracker fucks. That's what they are, you know, cracker fucks. Keep that up, they'll never get the lay they couldn't begin to imagine with a hot young negroid like you or me, huh, sweetheart? Honey, how do you live with the slurs? I mean, I'm gonna go home and wash this off later tonight, but how do you live with the things people say. Oh, I truly know now what it means to black. I surely do. I do."
I looked at Bob, and he seemed to be thinking parallel thoughts to mine, Let's get out of here before the real chick reaches for her own little friend hidden in her own right garter and plunges it into Tom Finn's own left jugular, Tom Finn's black jugular. So it was back to home.
Remind me later to tell you the story about the time we stumbled onto Tom Finn screaming at the deaf man, "Answer me, goddammit! I asked you a question, and you are fucking going to answer me. I will get in your face until you do. So answer me, you fucking asshole! What are you, deaf?"
(Music crescendoes, then breaks as a single violin takes up the plaintive melody).
What has prompted this moment of introspection is this new look in our direction by the New York Times' editors of their Op Ed page:
Excuses sound hollow when you’re trapped in a flimsy trailer. For Gulf Coast residents waiting for long-promised government housing assistance, patience has given way to anger, and anguish. What is clear more than a year after Hurricane Katrina is that their needs — and the demand for action from the American public — have largely gone unmet.
In Louisiana, only 28 families have received their share of the federal dollars intended to help them repair or replace their homes. After a local uproar, and a strict new deadline from the governor, the number of residents approved for funds is now just under 5,000 — out of nearly 78,000 applications.
Louisiana’s housing reconstruction authority should not bear all of the blame for this problem. All the gears of government grind too slowly for the victims of the storm. It took the Bush administration nearly six months to request the necessary rebuilding funds. Congress hemmed and hawed until June before approving the legislation. Down the coast, Mississippi’s program has also been plagued with delays.
The federal housing money alone is not going to solve the difficulties faced by Katrina’s victims, particularly in New Orleans. The normal market mechanisms on the Gulf Coast have been shattered, and they need to be repaired if Katrina’s victims have any hope of putting their lives back together. Local banks are filling up with a reserve of billions of dollars in private insurance money. The Louisiana Recovery Authority points out that many victims who have been approved for help still have yet to ask for their checks.
Some people have shown amazing faith and determination, pressing on and putting construction costs on their credit cards. But other residents, in spite of their will to rebuild, are unable to use the funds for a host of reasons. Contractors are nearly impossible to find, and high prices reflect their scarcity. Insurance rates are rising to levels unaffordable for the average homeowner. Many victims have missed bill payments or lost sources of income, hurting their creditworthiness and leading to higher interest rates on any loans they might need.
The normal hard decisions of real estate are amplified a thousand times by the possibility that a house in an empty neighborhood in a broken city could be worthless. Imagine every house in your neighborhood is damaged or destroyed. The average government award in Louisiana is $60,200, and it will cost more than that to replace your house, and more than it was worth before the storm, when every house on the block was whole and children played out front. Do you rebuild?
The president’s Katrina czar, Donald Powell, is soft-spoken and deliberative. Those qualities have served him well in the past, but not now. As the government’s emissary (and the former head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), he has a powerful pulpit and the ability to summon all the key players — major lenders, buyers of loans like the large investment banks and Fannie Mae, and federal regulators — to help fix the system. Mr. Powell needs to speak out more forcefully and act more aggressively.
The ruin of a region and the historic city of New Orleans could not be more important, and the tangle of destruction is nowhere near unwound.
Friday, November 17, 2006
And I thought, Jesus Fucking Christ, it's really going to run again. This thing is going to happen.
Normally, this would be exciting news; but what it really means is that I have to find another Shane Mungitt since the Pisser won't be coming back. And he was hard enough to recruit the first time, as it was. Donnie doesn't share my qualms, but it's become plain to me that Donnie just figures all we need is some guy who can speak with a Southern accent and take his clothes off in front of an audience. But Shane is pivotal; and he has to be alternately funny, sad, and ultimately dangerous and frightening.
Donnie wonders why I can't just promote Duck from the part of Toddy Koovitz to the role of Shane. Now, Duck could act it and act it well; but Duck also towers over Jason who plays Darren Lemming. Physically, there is just no way Jason could believably overcome Duck in a confrontation scene - which he has to do.
I've been keeping my eyes open, and I did spot someone who was physically right for the part and had some acting experience in his background; but he lost any chance for the part and any potential respect from me by stating, sure, he'd do it - if we paid him $275.00 a night. Uh, don't call us, we'll call you.
Then there's that certain guy everyone thinks would be perfect since so much of his life parallels Shane's. But even he admitted to me after he had seen the show that he could never have performed the role.
Ah, and there's more: this one particular nameless personage who really wanted it the first time and still wants it and, as far as I'm concerned, will always want it but never have it. Aside from his basic resume of dysfunctions as a human being, Timm doesn't want him within 500 yards of his building.
So it looks like Donnie will take the bull by its keratinous material and issue an open casting call, and we'll start all over again. Surely, lightening can strike twice.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Last night, after rehearsal for the naked reindeer play, I stopped in at a nameless, notorious watering hole where I was promptly spotted by an attractive Mexican whose name turned out to be Francisco (a loaded name in my personal history - thanks, great- grandma Josephina - more sometime later).
He was casually and nicely dressed, and he made straight for me almost as soon as I had walked into the place. Once he got next to me, he moved in closer; once he was closer, his hands were on my belly, trying to lift my shirt. Normally, I like being adored, but he had doused himself in rank cologne, and I couldn't breathe, which was why I kept turning and pulling away.
"You pull away from me. Does this mean you want to go upstairs to play?"
"Oh, maybe later," I said, "I just walked in."
"I live nearby. We could go there to my house."
"Ooh, well, I think I may go upstairs then."
"Then we go up together."
He leaned into me to whisper into my ear, "You have to be careful up there."
"Oh, yes. The bartender who works up there sometimes? He's in the hospital. He's very sick. You know what I mean, he's very sick?"
"You mean, he's sick?"
"Yes, yes, he's very sick. You have to be careful who not to play with up there."
"My friends, they call me on the telephone. They say to me, 'Francisco, you go to that place. The bartender is sick. You have to be careful.' I tell them, I know. I am careful. I only pick up the old men. They are safe."
I say, "Oh, look at the time. I'm late for a meeting. Have to run."
I don't know what's worse, being considered available and safe because I'm old - or being told, "You look like Santa Claus. Can I sit on your lap?"
Oh. You don't know about that one. That's another story for another time.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Fox will slaughter the competition the final week of the November ratings sweeps when it airs a two-hour interview in which O.J. Simpson details how he would have murdered his wife, Nicole, and Ronald Goldman more than 10 years ago.What planet have I woken up on?
Had he done it.
Which he didn't.
Just ask him.
He is, in fact, looking high and low for her killer as we write. ...
The National Enquirer -- which broke the story about the Simpson book last month -- has cited a West Coast source familiar with the project in providing grisly details of what it claims to be Simpson's story in the book. The Enquirer says its source described the book's account of the double murder as "so detailed and chillingly realistic -- with O.J. as the central figure -- that it leaves no doubt it is a confession of what really happened." According to that report, Simpson was paid $3.5 million to do the book.
"No comment!" a Fox spokesman said on the phone yesterday before we'd said a word. ...
TV industry executives yesterday expressed shock and awe, and the certainty that everyone in this country would be outraged that O.J. will make big bucks off his ex-wife's murder and Fox will run a promo for the book as a sweeps stunt.
Except for their Hollywood colleagues.
"No, not in Hollywood at all, because we're all whores, but in the rest of the country where they have morals -- sure," guessed one such exec, who conceded that the moral, non-Hollywood segment of the country probably would nonetheless tune in by the millions.
"They've really kept this way under wraps," he continued. "Holy [expletive], is that a coup!"
Which pretty much summed up everyone's reaction in TV Land.
"Everybody here in town believes he did it, period, but to have framed the discussion the way Judith has is pretty unique," said the exec, who wants to be anonymous because O.J. is a free man.
- When I was in my early twenties and visiting New York alone for the first time, Bobby Short, Jerome Robbins, and Alec McCowen all cruised me. Nope, I never actually met them, which might be a good thing or might be a bad one since I was very attractive when I was young and didn't know how to say no.
- Once, when I had first moved to New Orleans, I was walking along Dumaine Street to Rampart (this was when you could walk around on Rampart Street), I stopped to look into a patio through a wrought-iron gate. I happened to glance at the nameplate above the doorbell. It read, Tennessee Williams. Nope, I never met him, which might be a good thing or might be a bad one since I was very attractive when I was young and didn't know how to say no.
- Across the street was Restaurant Marty where Lillian Gish was known to dine whenever she visited our quaint little town. Nope, I never met her, which might be a good thing or might be a bad one since I was very attractive when I was young and didn't know how to say no.
- The great Al Parker of '70's gay porn fame used to frequent Jewel's Tavern. I saw him often. Nope, I never formally met him, which was probably a good thing since I was married by then and well on the way to losing my attractiveness but still didn't often say no.
- I own a little cup of lip gloss worn by Chita Rivera in Kiss of the Spider Woman, and I also own a shoe that once adorned her left foot. Nope, I never met her, which might be a good thing or might be a bad one since no matter what I may have looked like I would not have said no.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
The nation's Roman Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved new guidelines Tuesday on outreach to gays, trying to support gay parishioners while strictly affirming the church stance that same-sex relationships are "disordered."
Gay Catholic activists immediately judged the document a failure that will push gay and lesbians away from the church.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is debating how parishes can be welcoming to gays while also upholding the teaching that gay relationships are "disordered."
The proposed guidelines before the bishops Tuesday, called "Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination," condemn discrimination against gays, acknowledge that many try to live faithfully and state that it's not a sin to be attracted to someone of the same gender.
But the document also directs gays to be celibate and reaffirms church opposition to same-sex marriage and adoption by the couples. It also discourages gays from disclosing their sexual orientation outside of a close circle of parish friends and advisers.
"I think the whole tenor of the document is trying to be more welcoming than condemning," said Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the bishops' doctrine committee. ...
The assembly opened Monday with the bishops authorizing more funding for their most detailed study yet on the clergy sex abuse crisis.
I'm reminded of something Jesus said:
O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?Matthew, 16, 3Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.Luke, 11, 44
Monday, November 13, 2006
Picture it now, a frontier town surrounded by a bowl of hills. There on the rise, you can see them begin to form, row upon row of horse-backed riders encircling the basin, preparing to swoop in attack on the tiny jail to free the son of the nearby ranch owner: the little son of a bitch (no pun intended) who ain't never got anything right and is about to be snatched up out of being held accountable for his screw-ups once again.
"Oh, Mr. Peckinpah, Ah'm ready fer mah close-up. Try to git it right the firs' time, huh, Peckah boy?"
So God the Father let him down, wasn't there for him when the chips were down, and now he's ready to accept help from the plain ole daddy he never really liked, but who was always good in a pinch to keep him out of jail, keep him out of war, and keep him out of the papers. But nobody's gonna keep him out of the papers this time, what with history seeming a hell of a lot closer than it did a couple of years ago when he assured us it wouldn't be written until long after he was dead and gone.
The word Karma comes to mind, but I think Divine Retribution is more apt and reverberant. God'll always get you.
America's Roman Catholic bishops are focusing on the many Catholics who misunderstand or disregard church teaching, instructing them on beliefs about homosexuality, marriage, contraception and Holy Communion.
In a national meeting to start Monday in Baltimore, the bishops were to consider new guidelines on ministry to gay parishioners, explaining the theological underpinnings of the Catholic mandate that marriage must be limited to one man and one woman.
The prelates were also to take up documents on worthiness for receiving Communion and on the church's widely ignored ban on artificial contraception. Surveys have found that only about 4 percent of Catholic married couples of childbearing age use natural birth control, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Out of control, out of touch, and out of their minds. Somehow none of this strikes me as very important or even relevant. It certainly doesn't seem to have much in common with the sayings of that Jew who roamed the Middle Eastern countryside back in the days of the Roman Empire, the one they claim to follow.
What's next, Latin and Gregorian Chant?
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Then one night you stop in for an evening's entertainment. The place is full, so you stand. You stand for something like two hours. Eventually, three tourists leave their places, taking all their belongings with them and walk to another area of the bar.
You move into the vacant spaces left by the tourists. Your friendly bartender happily serves you and receives his tip. You're become engaged in conversation when, about fifteen minutes later, he returns to tell you, "Oh, I'm sorry, those people who left are coming back, and I promised I would watch their seats."
Now, it often has happened that you have had to journey two yards to the restroom of this establishment. When you have done so, you have left:
- a pile of money,
- a full drink,
- a packet of cigarettes and a Zippo,
- maybe even your mobile phone (you trust the staff and the clientele).
You don't mean to be petty, but you're sick and tired of being a doormat to these passersby. And you're more disheartened to discover that you mean less to someone you have helped to support than a passing visitor who will never return.
So, say goodbye to the bartender who saved the tourists' places after collecting your money and his tip; you will not be back to see him. Say goodbye to the owners, may they lie in the bed they've made, happily ever after, alone with their - what? - florid emptiness?
Tonight you realize that you have visited places recently where people seemed to welcome you. You will be spending your time in those places from now on. No hard feelings.
Luckier still to have him and our older brother Jimmy to serve as surrogate extra fathers. Whenever I believed I was being treated badly by our dad, it was Jimmy and Russell who would take me aside and explain, "You don't know shit about how bad he could be. When he'd get mad at us, he would take us and throw us through doors into other rooms like we were bowling balls. Or, if he caught us outside, he would knock us down, grab our ankles, swing us round and around then smash our heads on the chinaberry tree and make 'em explode. He doesn't treat you bad, he loves you. So get over yourself, sissy, and take it like a man." And I would try, though I did find myself avoiding that chinaberry tree.
It was Russell who used to put me to sleep by lying with me in my makeshift bed (which was a fold-out sofa in the living room) and nestle my head in his armpit. The first time he did this was after I had watched a television showing of Dracula's Daughter and was too terrified to be alone. He climbed in with me, and I burrowed my head deep into that safe dark nook and drifted off, safe in the cleft of warm flesh and big-brother scents.
So, many happy returns, big brother - even though Jimmy did explain to me more than once that you weren't really our brother, that somebody had dropped you off on the doorstep and that mom and dad couldn't find anybody willing to take you on, so that was why they kept you. None of that matters. You were always extra-specially good to me, and I love you.
Thursday, November 9, 2006
The official who directed the Democrats' successful campaign to win back a majority in the House of Representatives says that the Bush administration's botched early response to Hurricane Katrina played a "very big role" in his party's victory.
Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said that Katrina was on the minds of voters, even though few candidates used the hurricane as an issue in ads.
It came up, he said, in individual conversations on the campaign trail because "in many ways it revealed a White House that was both out of touch on the issue of competence that was a selling point for this White House."
Emanuel said the nation watched the suffering in New Orleans, with people waiting for days on rooftops or stuck in the Superdome and the Convention Center, without functioning bathrooms or adequate supplies of food and water and thought to themselves "that's just not how we treat fellow Americans."...
"The public perception of incompetence by the Bush team in Iraq and New Orleans was an important factor in the election," said Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution. ...
Although the hurricane hit more than a year ago, an eternity in terms of political attention spans, the slow pace of the recovery in the New Orleans area helped keep the issue fresh in voters' minds, Emanuel said.
Of course, they didn't stay long.
And, just as a postscript, I am dying to know who at Twentieth Century Fox visits me nearly everyday using the bigezbear.com referral, rather than the blogspot version. Should I start revising my resume?
Tuesday, November 7, 2006
I imagined a new tee shirt with a new identifier on the back. I just had the first one made. Behold:
Monday, November 6, 2006
Time for Rumsfeld to go
“So long as our government requires the backing of an aroused and informed public opinion ... it is necessary to tell the hard bruising truth.”
That statement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Marguerite Higgins more than a half-century ago during the Korean War.
But until recently, the “hard bruising” truth about the
Iraqwar has been difficult to come by from leaders in . Washington
One rosy reassurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: “mission accomplished,” the insurgency is “in its last throes,” and “back off,” we know what we’re doing, are a few choice examples.
Military leaders generally toed the line, although a few retired generals eventually spoke out from the safety of the sidelines, inciting criticism equally from anti-war types, who thought they should have spoken out while still in uniform, and pro-war foes, who thought the generals should have kept their critiques behind closed doors.
Now, however, a new chorus of criticism is beginning to resonate. Active-duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the war’s planning, execution and dimming prospects for success.
Army Gen. John Abizaid, chief of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee in September: “I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I’ve seen it ... and that if not stopped, it is possible that
could move towards civil war.” Iraq
Last week, someone leaked to The New York Times a Central Command briefing slide showing an assessment that the civil conflict in
now borders on “critical” and has been sliding toward “chaos” for most of the past year. The strategy in Iraq Iraqhas been to train an Iraqi army and police force that could gradually take over for troops in providing for the security of their new government and their nation. U.S.
But despite the best efforts of American trainers, the problem of molding a viciously sectarian population into anything resembling a force for national unity has become a losing proposition.
For two years, American sergeants, captains and majors training the Iraqis have told their bosses that Iraqi troops have no sense of national identity, are only in it for the money, don’t show up for duty and cannot sustain themselves.
Meanwhile, colonels and generals have asked their bosses for more troops. Service chiefs have asked for more money.
And all along, Rumsfeld has assured us that things are well in hand.
Now, the president says he’ll stick with Rumsfeld for the balance of his term in the White House.
This is a mistake. It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation’s current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.
These officers have been loyal public promoters of a war policy many privately feared would fail. They have kept their counsel private, adhering to more than two centuries of American tradition of subordination of the military to civilian authority.
And although that tradition, and the officers’ deep sense of honor, prevent them from saying this publicly, more and more of them believe it.
Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in
rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt. Iraq
This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth:
Donald Rumsfeld must go.
That's usually when I wake up; and I'm one of those people who wake alert and not groggy. I've been encouraged to stay in bed and go back to sleep, but my early-morning mind is too alive to let me do that.
Some people find pre-dawn to be their spiritual time, I find it to my sensory time. Spiritual time is later in the day for me. So I rise.
I like to slip out into the patio to feel the air. Chilly mornings like we've been having for the past couple of weeks are crisp and invigorating, inducing involuntary goose bumps. Most other mornings down here are sultry and humid with warm, languid breezes, causing a layer of light sweat to moisten my pores. I look into the tremulous lightening darkness at the plants growing all around and listen to the sounds of an awakening city. In the sky above me, I can see stars, a site renewed since Katrina struck. Not all of the city has been re-illuminated yet.
For a few hours I have this entrancing world to myself in tranquil solitude.
Sunday, November 5, 2006
Saturday, November 4, 2006
The Rev. Ted Haggard agreed to resign as leader of the New Life Church after its independent investigative board recommended removal, saying he was guilty "of sexually immoral conduct."So, it's:
"We, the Overseer Board of New Life Church, have concluded our deliberations concerning the moral failings of Pastor Ted Haggard," a statement from the church said. "Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct."
"Okay, that'll look better on your resume."
Either way, he's as much a white trash idjit buffoon as Jimmy Swaggart.
Hey, "Haggard" - "Swaggart".
Aw, hell, yes, I can. But I can't get over feeling that this is just too mindbogglingly fucking outrageous. It's nothing less than cynical, circuitous illogic.
A suspected terrorist who spent years in a secret CIA prison should not be allowed to speak to a civilian attorney, the Bush administration argues, because he could reveal the agency's closely guarded interrogation techniques....He can't talk to a lawyer because he might tell the lawyer he was tortured. What is it going to take to convince the people of this country that we are living under an evil regime? This is no government under our Constitution. It is, plainly and simply, a fascist oligarchy.
When are those people cuddling snug in their warm beds going to wake up to the realization that it's only a matter of time before they themselves are going to be dragged from their beds in the early dark hours of some morning and secretly jailed for "crimes" unspecified and unknown? What acts will they admit to under torture? Why doesn't somebody put a stop to this?
Of course not.
Everyone was really kind, and I received some bracing encouragement for the pictures I had thought might be too experimental for this particular crowd. Note to self: Follow your instincts and do what you think is right.
The only downside - that I can discern so far this morning - is a result of J R's kindness toward me last night. J R was tending bar, and it's apparently his policy (if not the management of Cutter's Bar) to serve free drinks and make erotic overtures to the artist-of-the-month at his opening reception. Well, of course, it follows that the more erotic overtures one receives, the more one keeps coming back, and the more one keeps coming back, the more one is given more booze.
I never knew Miller Lite beer could cause this kind of hangover. Maybe it has something to do with my current diet. Nevertheless, I woke up this morning with compacted sinuses and the voice of the way, way mature Roz Russell.
Already at 5:48 this morning, via text-message (a new and exciting means of communication that I am learning from my younger friends), I've cancelled a long-awaited photo shoot. Later, I'll probably have to postpone the laundry. And I sure as hell won't be able to help Bob take down his Halloween decorations. Oh, the encumbrance of under-the-weatherness.
Update, Sunday, November 5th: Someone has commented on the show.
Friday, November 3, 2006
Now one of the first lessons ever taught to a Christian in the making is that lying is a sin. I can still feel my sainted Sicilian mother's right hand on my little tender butt teaching me that lesson; and it's one sin that makes sense. It's a basic wrong thing, not one of those sins that were devised and developed later over time by a megalithic ecclesiastical power structure out to maintain control over the people it ruled. You know, like the present Bush Administration.
So, okay, the staunch holy Christian, Mr. Haggard (I will not honor him as reverend) is a liar. That means he's a sinner, just like what he would have termed "all the rest of you", meaning, really, "us." But how decrepit is the soul of someone who, while in the midst of freefall through space and time from the heights of power, screams out, "All right, I bought the drugs, but I didn't buy the cock or ass"? Think about it, wouldn't you be screaming something more along the lines of, "Oh, sweet Jesus, get me outta this"? I guess Mr. Haggard doesn't need Jesus so much as a good PR man. Oh, did I say man? Sorry.
What a twisted code of right and wrong! To admit seeking out what most of us consider a nasty, destructive, offensive drug and to vehemently deny the need to give and receive pleasure from another person - because that person had the same genitalia as you: It stinks to high heaven.
Thursday, November 2, 2006
As of now, all the pictures are hung on the two walls with care in hopes that well-wishers with money'll be there.
We'll see how it goes.
At least, there's supposed to be food.
That should draw some of you.
The Rev. Ted Haggard resigned as president of the influential National Association of Evangelicals on Thursday after being accused of paying for sex with a man.
If he'd only been up front about it (in a manner of speaking), he'd have saved a lot of money, never wounded and humiliated his wife, nor destroyed his children's lives. What a pathetic excuse for an asshole.
Haggard who has been a leading opponent of the drive for same-sex marriage also stepped aside as head of his 14,000-member New Life Church while a church panel investigates, saying he could "not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations."
The investigation came after a 49-year-old man told a Denver radio station that Haggard paid him to have sex nearly every month for three years.
Haggard, a married father of five, denied the allegations in an interview with KUSA-TV late Wednesday: "Never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I'm steady with my wife, I'm faithful to my wife."
Be sure and cruise on over to this site, too.
Visiting next week, wondering if there are any good gay hangouts - 32
Date: 2006-11-02, 12:13PM CST
I am in town for the week, wondering if there are some cool gay bars or hangouts that would be a good place to meet a cool guy.
Thanks for your help.
- this is in or around French Quarter
- no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Last night I got a couple of the actors over and took some shots before Timm came down to chat with us. We had a pleasant time, and when I was getting ready to leave, Timm said he would like to discuss a proposition with me when he came back from his upcoming vacation, but in the meantime, would I give some thought to taking on the position of resident director for his theatre company? Good night. See you soon.
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Once upon a time, in a far-away land called New Orleans, a beautiful, hotcha lady came to dance and sing and bring joy to the tired townsfolk of that land.
What I'm saying is, between twenty and thirty years ago, Chita Rivera couldn't land a Broadway gig because of the new thing, British Bombast. So, trouper that she was, she went on the road, doing a national tour of the Blue Room nightclub circuit with an act created for her by Kander and Ebb. I had the profound good fortune of seeing her from the front row of a massive room built to hold hundreds - but on that night hosted only about fifty people.
I remember looking around and wondering if she would even perform when, imperceptibly, the opening bars of her music began. The rest is a whirling blur of colorful memories: songs and dances - incredible dances on a tiny stage - high kicks and jazz hands, hip-pops and elbow jabs.
Until that night, I had believed that if the audience of any given show numbered fewer than the members of the cast, you cancelled that performance. After that night, I knew something deeper.
A born performer - an actor, a singer, a dancer - doesn't drink energy from an audience. That's a myth created by the second-rate who always manage to get into print. The born performer, the gifted performer, pours energy onto an audience; that performer is as profligate as nature in pouring his or her gifts onto any audience, even an audience of one.
And, yeah, we all do it for love - because we never had enough love in our childhood.
But the gifted performer, the star, knows that it never matters who, or how many people, love you. What matters is that you love. What matters is that you care. What matters is that you give everything you've got to give until you think there's nothing left for you to give and then you find it's all refreshed and you have everything to give again - and again.
It's as simple - and as devastating - as that.
And as for Miss Rivera this one night - with only fifty people in the audience - she did her full complement of encores. She even dedicated one of them to Bobby and me on the front row. It was a Kander and Ebb specialty number called Trash.
Make of that what you will.
Nevertheless, ever since that night, in my heart, I have striven to live up to that one standard of hers: always leave 'em with the encores.