ZeitBites: Eggs and Andys and Hollys and Dickory Docks

Monday Morning, December 7, 2015

sunset blvd gifI woke up this morning wishing one of you out there in the dark was here in the dark so I could just spit this all out really quickly and be done with it rather than having to blog it — and since MOST of my followers (for some reason) and hits come from European countries, I like to delude myself that my lack of having someone with whom to share my life (and my rantings and ravings) is to do with me having been born in the wrong country (or, in the wrong era, but that’s another blog — which I’m pretty sure I’ve already written somewhere but I’m old and wake up all night and I can’t remember these things, dammit) and so, it is a comfort, thinking of all of you over there who’d love me as I am, honor me and all that and Listen To Me. But until that time I get a passport renewed and money enough to sail (I’d sail, you know, rather than fly. Just seems more 1930s and, like I said, I was born in the wrong era — I did say that, didn’t I?) I’ll just have to blog all these fleeting, random thoughts I have.

(I know, you’re saying, “Have to? Maybe just shut-up, Charlie? Ever thought of that?” Yes. I have. But, I can’t really. You readers — European and non — and even those just clicking in because I have old tags saying DEREK HOUGH NAKED — are the closest I have to lovers, real companion type lovers, so, pretend you like this or remain silent — or, if you want to be truly like my past lovers, abandon me saying you never much enjoyed me in the first place and were just killing time until the kind of blog you wanted really came along.)

— but since you’re not here, here goes. Why did I get up at 5:55 a.m.?

  1. I have been tossing and semi-weird-waking since I lights-outed at 1:00 a.m.-ish with the half-fever worry that I needed to get the eggs out of the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature for today’s continuation of Christmas cookie baking. So—-
  2. — Christmas makes me think of Andy Williams because my Momma loved Andy Williams and it was really Christmas when she got out the Andy Christmas albums. And-My Momma worked in an egg factory which brings me back to the eggs at room temperature worry, plus —
  3. —I have been doing this odd thing where I wake at 2:22, 3:33, 4:44, 5:55 – and despite my lack of faith or belief in anything, this frequent waking I do and the feverish-fugue into which it puts me, triggers childhood fears and despite knowing it is completely impossible, I worry that if I go back to sleep, the next time I wake I will see 6:66 on the clock and the Baby Jesus will never be born because I have sinned. Thus —
  4. — I get out of bed to shake it off (and get the eggs out) and I weigh myself and I look awful and I think, “This is all your fault, Andy Williams, because you are Christmas and all that cookie baking and tasting yesterday is to blame for this weight this morning and FUCK YOU, ANDY!” Which —
  5. dallesandro and woodlawn

    Joe Dallesandro & Holly Woodlawn

    — Reminds me that Andy Warhol Superstar, Holly Woodlawn [click here], died yesterday. And I think, “Holly” – deck the halls with boughs of and all that. Weird. I miss Andy and his Superstars and the thrill of discovering them and all those connections and when I was away at theatre camp and introduced to Lou Reed’s music and — shit, Holly inspired Walk On the Wild Side and Joe Dallesandro — who I follow on Twitter — announced her death there yesterday and posted all those pics of his younger self. I miss my younger self. Joe was my first trade-crush, I think. He was so beautiful naked. dallesandro joe dallesandro warhol Why am I alone? Cause of porny crushes on beautiful naked guys for whom I will never be their type? Like —

  6. colby christmas

    Colby Keller coming down the chimney, down

    — Colby Keller. Oh, he did all those Christmas shots last year. Shit, I need to wake up and get busy on these cookies. Christmas. Andy. Williams. Warhol. Holly. Dallesandro. Colby. Get the eggs out. Jesus I look awful naked — JESUS? Did I actually worry this morning in some haze of old-man-back-pain-too-many-hours-on-my-feet-Christmas-cookie baking-frenzy-brainfade that Baby Jesus wouldn’t be born because my clock might say 6:66 if I committed the sin of going back to sleep. And, see —

  7. —  that whole sin thing, which in my egg-factory, Andy Williams Christmas, hallucinatory youth
    dallesandro rolling-stones-sti_3287029k

    Dallesandro’s dick on Rolling Stones album cover

    thing was conflated with wanting to hickory dickory with Joe Dallesandro who I discovered because the theatre camp bad influences (perfect influences) introduced me to Lou Reed and we talked out loud about wanting to fuck Mick Jagger and it was only years later I learned that the dick on the front of Sticky Fingers belonged to Joe Dallesandro and — art and porn — like Colby Keller Does America [CLICK HERE] is doing now and —

  8. — here I am, blogging.

 

But, those lyrics:

It’s the holiday season
With the whoop-de-do and dickory dock
And don’t forget to hang up your sock
‘Cause just exactly at 12 o’clock
He’ll be coming down the chimney
Coming down the chimney
Coming down the chimney, down!

Tell me this: What the hell does dickory dock mean?! I mean, you are aware of what dick-docking is, correct? Were the Christmas tunes of Andy Williams that my mom played — over and over and over — sending me subliminal messages?

(According to the ever-reliable Yahoo Answers, “hickory, dickory, dock” means eight, nine, ten. From a British nursery rhyme. SEE, EUROPE AGAIN. Come on, Neville, FIND ME! Anyway, who knew? [CLICK HERE FOR YAHOO ANSWERS DICKORY DOCK INFO- NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH DICK-DOCKING INFO- LINKS FOR WHICH I  TRUST YOU CAN FIND ON YOUR OWN SHOULD YOU BE INTERESTED.])

And while I’m Zeit-bite blabbing: Is it just me, or have large eggs gotten smaller?

cookie dayLike I said, I spent yesterday making Christmas cookies. This effort required a $200 trip to the grocery store Saturday night, an $80 trip Sunday morning, and another $50 trip Sunday afternoon. So far. Now, after the baking of three kinds and the concoction and refrigeration of dough for a fourth —

(The New York Times Cookbook best chocolate chip cookie recipe EVER, which people ask me for all the time — not the recipe, the cookies, because most people are too lazy to do the weighing and waiting required — plus, I use a secret combination of six kinds of chocolate for the chips, chunks, pieces — so, there’s that) 

— with eight more varieties to go, I’ve already run out of storage containers and need a few more ingredients, one of which is butter — HOW DID I NOT GET ENOUGH BUTTER?

But, I swear, eggs have gotten smaller. Or, is this a trick of age? When I was a child — from age six to, I think, twelve — my mom worked in an egg factory. It was a simpler, kinder time, and Mommy would sometimes take various of us to work with her, and we would be allowed to do some of the jobs there. I did candling, which was the job my mom and her friend Helen alternated, a job no one wanted as it required hours of  standing in a cold, dark booth watching eggs roll by on an lit-from-below conveyor belt and plucking off those eggs with bloody or fetal yolks, tossing them into a waste-bucket which smelled. I also used what I called “the sucker”, a vacuum type affair egg candlingwhich picked up lots of eggs at once and fed them onto the belt that led to the candling booth. And, too, I packaged, which meant I stood at one of the chutes down which the eggs were rolled after the post-candling machine sorted them into sizes. I usually manned the extra-large or the small chutes. The large chute required a very skilled and speedy packager because the majority of eggs fell into that classification and handling the volume at that station — getting the eggs into cartons, getting the cartons into cases, moving the cases to yet another conveyor belt — turned me into Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory. It occurs to me now that the working conditions in that egg factory would not pass OSHA standards for adults today, let alone children, but I loved being there and feeling needed, important, useful.

And, I swear, those large eggs were bigger than the large eggs now. I tried (not very hard) to find information on-line about when standardized egg sizes changed in this country, if they changed, but all I managed to determine was this: What is considered large in the U.S. would be medium in Europe.

From this — it being Monday morning weigh-in, me being me, and without benefit of gastrointestinal parasite to help me maintain my recent hard-won slimness, and seeing my naked self in the mirror as I stepped on the scale this a.m. — I thought, “Well, I may be large in the U.S., but in Europe, I’m medium!” So, there. BUT THEN, me being me, I thought, “Well shit, I’m no Dallesandro in more ways than one, so if Large in the U.S. is only Medium in Europe, then my Average in Europe is probably small. DAMMMMMIT! I’ll never get a lover there either.”

And we’re back to where I started. All babble. No one to listen. Eggs. Cookies. Christmas. Andy. Warhol. Woodlawn. Dallesandro. Dick. None. I’m fat.

So, I’ll leave you with Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side, with images of Holly and Joe and Edie, too.

And if you, like me, prefer something a little less safe for work and more Joe — well, it’s the holiday season — so, hang the holly or Joe is hung or something someone more clever than am I would say. This is Lou Reed again, Make Up — which is really just an excuse for naked Joe Dallesandro.

Later. I have cookies to make and more loneliness to explore. Cuz, you know, this isn’t Europe and I am large and not large and I sleep alone and it is up to me to make sure we all avoid the 666 which will keep the Baby Jesus from being born. I mean, I guess I really do miss feeling useful, needed, important, like I did as a child, carefully handling those eggs, watching them roll by, looking for the flaws, looking for the bloody yolks, watching how few were extra large or extra small, so many larges. Ha, large. What does that even mean? Jesus. I mean — Baby Jesus? Shit. I wish Colby Keller was coming my way. So to speak. I think – maybe – I need a nap.

(Yes, I know, you are saying: CHARLIE, REALLY, SHUT UP!)

A Wastrel’s Wednesday: Saunas, Survivors, Empires, and Horror Stories

Gentle Readers; I am trying to blog daily. After all, I manage to gym almost every day, I maintain a healthy diet, I have sort-of programmed myself out of reflexive snark and judgment, surely I can return to daily writing? Alas, since gymming, dieting, reading, and non-reflexive, carefully considered snarking do not generate income enough that I might acquire the swarthy, toned, sneering twenty-something young man whose job it would be to keep me in line – or, writing lines – I shall have to discipline myself. So, here I am, going. And hoping, with daily entries (let’s be honest, I’ll likely stop tomorrow) I might keep things under 1000 words. (HA!)

Parker, Dorothy

Mrs. Parker

When it comes to culture, well, with apologies to Mrs. Parker; You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think. I spend a lot of my time in ways a lot of you might consider wasting it. (In fact, I considered the syntax of the preceding sentence for ten minutes; the composition, the rhythm of the repeated “a lot of” and the echo of “way” in “wasting”.) My ambition, it turns out, has always been to achieve wastrel status, a goal of those with (credit to Mrs. Parker again) “congenital lowness of brow.”

Goal: met.

And with further apologies to Mrs. Parker, I say;

Observation

If I didn’t care for fun and such / I’d probably amount to much./ But I shall stay the way I am,/ Because I do not give a damn. (First printed in New York World, 16 August 1925)

When it comes to damns, I give quite a few, but not many for things about which those who dismiss me as wastrel think I ought. I weary of closets, the toeing of lines, subterfuge of any variety, and cultural conformity. So, while I have long cultivated the Continue reading

Horror Stories … existential variety …

gif jessica langeI’m not quite as caught in the undertow as I was  in yesterday’s post “Homes, Housepets, Husbands, and Heartaches Not My Own; A How Not To Manual” [click it] but, warning, still not as perky as I might be. Trying. Really, I am.

First world existential issues: my internet connection here where I am house/pet sitting is iffy and odd and disconnects me frequently. Being frequently disconnected feels oddly, terrifyingly symbolic. I’ve been disconnecting myself – as it were – anyway, and other than yesterday’s blog, pretty much hiding out in my own weirdness. Too, one of the doggies here has wakened today – and did I mention they make me get up at 4:30-5:00 a.m. here? – with stomach issues. Gwennie didn’t eat her breakfast, has chewed a lot of grass, shat on the rug, and has stomach-growling going on the volume of which challenges mine from a few weeks ago. I sympathize, Gwennie. She is on my lap, passing gas and gastro-gurgling as I type.

Life is hard right now. There is a lot of Continue reading

Zeitbites: The Lost Weekend (this is what happens)

Ray Milland in The Lost Weekend

Ray Milland in The Lost Weekend

It’s the Monday morning after my most recent Lost Weekend. Not Ray Milland-y, alcoholic haze lost, but, rather, an existential sort of wandering (and, thus, wondering) around: gym, coffee shops, bookstores, retail outlets, parks, here and there in order to afford some privacy and space to the people with whom I live, who put up with me. And, since most of my friends are fictional, virtual, long-distance, or busy, most of my pursuits are solitary. In the process, I become many different people: these are their stories.

Djokovic 1

Novak Djokovic – not bad for a man his age.

 

WIMBELDON & NOVAK DJOKOVIC’S ASS Serena won Wimbeldon again. I love Serena. I love watching her play. I love that she won. But holy crap, have we not evolved beyond the coded (and blatant) misogyny, sexism, and ageism that suffused the coverage of her win? The New York Times in particular should be ashamed. But, I’m a bright side kind of guy – thus, in an effort to spread the gender-bias-objectification-judge-y shit around, here’s some Novak Dojokovic objectification. He won Wimbeldon too. I was surprised the ass on a man Novak Djokovic’s age was so firm and juicy. Good thing too, because his shorts were tight. No doubt he wanted to show off his rumored-to-be very large package. He’s still hot for someone his age, and, wow, he can still play. Sadly, he hasn’t the Nordic-blonde-Aryan beauty of Lleyton Hewitt, or who knows how much money he’d be making from endorsement deals. (What? He’s worth in excess of 90 million already? That’s my boy! And Djoko – is that dick pic floating around the web really yours? If so, nice one.)

UNEMPLOYED & BROKE & NORMA DESMOND I AM NOT . . .

It’s July and I’m home … this is not good. Not good because the prevailing cultural norm suggests one ought to vacation during the summer months. Well, not only am I not vacating, none of my usual clients are vacating either. So, I am stuck in the batcave during the sunny (although, not so much with the sun this year) summer months generating zero income. But . . . (Another aside: I would be happy to discuss house sitting or pet sitting for you – all you people out there, my people, out there, in the dark.) It’s a life theme, that; Generating Zero Income. So, going with it, here I am, blogging for free. Why the hell not? I hereby promise to Zeitbite you more, darlings, meaning; I shall spread my particular brand – Sure, I have a brand, why the fuck not? – of Love and Light more often. Which means regular doses of dash & aside & idiosyncratically punctuated blathering; sometimes happy & funny & snarky, other times insightful & deep & contemplative, and other times dark & sad & suicidal. (See how I use ampersands/& when grouping adjectives but write out “and” when moving to a new-ish topic? That’s me – idiosyncratic. AND WITHOUT AN EDITOR BECAUSE I WOULD SURELY DRIVE ONE – or, a few – TO DRINK.)

JUSTIN BIEBER’S ASS (is this ass thing a theme?)

Bieber's ass - Summer 2015

Bieber’s ass – Summer 2015

Other things happened this weekend. Justin Bieber deleted his ass pic. He has feels. Listen:

“I deleted the photo of my butt on Instagram not because I thought it was bad but someone close to me’s daughter follows me and she was embarrassed that she saw my butt and I totally wasn’t thinking in that aspect. I felt awful that she felt bad. To anyone I may have offended I’m so sorry. It was completely pure hearted as a joke but didn’t take in account there are littles following me!”

Oh Justin, I know what it’s like to have Littles following you. In fact, just last night JustinBiebersLyrics followed me on Twitter. I blocked it, like all the other bots. Anyway, your Bieber-ass is pretty enough – but you’re no Djokovic. (Notice how easy it is to type the words “Justin Bieber” and “ass” close together? Poor Little Biebs – although – Biebs – is that dick pic floating around the web really yours? If so, nice one.

SPEAKING OF ASSES 3 (or, make that 15 now I think). . . . . .  insert here the name of any of the GOP Presidential candidates. I refuse to type them.

SPEAKING OF ASSES literary . . . . . . I am a book blogger – sort of – so I ought probably to write about the big release tomorrow but my feelings about it are all tied up in having spent a lot of time in my life with people in their eighties – especially those in assisted care, and having a lot of manuscripts and writing of my own packed and boxed away, and how I might be persuaded – should I live into my eighties (and please I do NOT want to) and have need of a trusted someone to manage my affairs, how I might be persuaded by that someone – no matter how good their intentions might be – to reveal/publish/share things I NOW, sound of mind and body (well, sort of, shut up) would choose NOT to share. The whole thing makes me feel dirty and I’m not going to read it. (Confession – I didn’t care much for TKAM anyway.)

SPEAKING OF ASSES . . . mine . . .

July 2015

July 2015

Yesterday at the gym a fellow who is in no way someone with any interest in any sort of shenanigans with me said, “You are really looking good.” That was nice. I have worked hard to lose nearly thirty pounds in a healthy way – a pound or two a week for months, exercise daily, good food. It was nice for someone with whom I have no relationship other than sharing a gym to tell me my consistent efforts were noticeable even to strangers. Thank you, Universe, for that Love & Light. (No ass pics nor dick pics of me floating around anywhere – that crazy I am not.) The pic was one I posted on Twitter. You should follow me there. I’m kind of funny (sometimes) and sad (other times) and I’ve been singing little snippets of songs for my darling, Her Grace, the Duchess Goldblatt (you should follow her, too, because she is the Queen of All Things.) In the past 24 hours I’ve talked about the gym, teens eating all my frozen diet treats, Chet Baker and how I love singing “My Funny Valentine”, my late night trolling of the Algonquin Hotel website, the thickness of mattresses on fold-out-couch-beds, Djokovic’s ass, Troubles by J.G.Farrell, new shoes I want, being judge-y about other people’s depressions, and more. I’m a renaissance man, a flaneur of the interwebs. FOLLOW+ME+DAMMIT+ (and re-tweet me and publish me and stuff – you don’t want to be an ASS entry, do you? Wait . . .  ass entry . . .  never mind. Love and Light, dear ones.

Zeitbites Sunday: I’m Feeling Sed

So, these things have distracted me briefly from this seemingly intractable heaviness of mood:

Schiele, Egon 3

Egon Schiele

  • Egon Schiele at the Neue Galerie. [CLICK HERE] Why don’t I live in New York?
  • I HATE the new stats page that WordPress has forced on me. But, I’m a free user (which seems only fitting, as I am a free writer) and so, there’s that. And, too, WordPress jumped to my defense [CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS] when Ben Affleck’s people at FOX came after me for posting a screencap of his genitalia. Well, part of it anyway. So, six (or eight) of one and … you know the rest.
  • Other than my home page, the following post from another Sunday — this one in August of 2013 called “Sexting (re-visited)” about Russell Tovey and wanking [CLICK HERE] — was my highest clicked post this week. On reviewing my “searched for” terms, turns out, oh dear, the way most people find me has to do with typing in a celebrity name and the words naked or nude or dick. It is somewhat ironic (tragic?) that it is my writing which is sought out when people are in pursuit of dick, when in real life … well, never the case, really. Then again, I’m not sought out in real life for my writing either. Then again, in real life — I’m not sought out, thus … my Saturday night follows.
  • Last night in my usual “sought out by so many people, so little time” life, I was again absent Saturday night invitations. So, I started watching Empire, [CLICK HERE] about which I’d read various things, good and bad, but someone compared it to Dynasty in its campy, soapy hey-day, and that was all this ghost needed. Holy shit. LOVED IT. And while, once upon a time, I dreamed of having Alexis Carrington’s nerve and cash, now I want to be Taraji P. Henson —

— well, as her Cookie character — the THINGS SHE SAYS! She speaks to power. Speaking of such speaking (and how little it accomplishes) . . .

  • Oscar nominations. Old. White. Men. In. Power. Sick of it. Also sick of living in a world where conversations still include identifiers of gender and race and sexuality and age and religion and nationality and on and on and on and on … because I really, really, REALLY thought when I was younger — had HOPE when I was younger — that the quality and make-up of one’s soul would eventually be the only thing thing we saw about others. I hate to say this, but, despite some improvements, I don’t know that it is getting better — divisiveness seems to be selling. Big. Politics (Cruz and Rubio’s Republicans, Isis, Putin’s Russia). Religion(homophobia, misogyny, Duke University kicking out the Muslims) . TV (Fox News, Duck Dynasty, Duggars) – I don’t need to give anyone reading this any more examples — hate sells. Divisions and encouraging people to think what is rightfully “theirs” is being taken by those “others” is STILL a thing. Still makes bombs. Still breeds hate. Sadness. Solitude. Isolation. Speaking of which . . .

I don’t know that I have ever been quite this lonely and sad. But, with things like the NCAA approving child-rape by re-instating co-abuser Paterno’s wins and Penn State’s eligibility, who wouldn’t be sad? In the same vein, with the St. Paul/Minneapolis Roman Catholic archdiocese claiming bankruptcy to escape its duty to those children and families of children its priests raped, who wouldn’t be sad? With the church in Rome backing such a move — despite the Roman Catholic church being one of the wealthiest organizations in the world — who wouldn’t be sad? With that majority of old white men on the Supreme Court being given the power to decide whether people of the same gender can wed, who wouldn’t be sad? WHY IS IT A QUESTION AT ALL? Why, in fact, does the state have ANY interest in marriage? I find the concept of marriage idiotic, but that the state should have any hand in sanctioning and rewarding it, even more so. I took my Mom to her hair appointment Thursday and had to listen to two people at salon trashing Jane Fonda as “un-American” (because, apparently, speaking your mind is un-American unless you agree with these women) and “all these men getting married in magazines and on TV is making me sick” — aside from that syntax, the sentiment is just — well, WHO WOULDN’T BE SAD? I was turned down this week — not by literary agents (for a change of pace) — and not even for JOBS, BUT FOR INTERVIEWS FOR JOBS collecting grocery carts in parking lots and sitting with the elderly.

WHO WOULDN’T BE SAD?

And, sitting in my bed, reading, as I so often do and am, enjoying a particularly beautifully composed section of Celeste Ng’s brilliant Everything I Never Told You [read here where I wrote about it]  it came to me with terrible force that in all my centuries of living, no man has ever told me he loved me and wanted to spend his life with me.

And, memory flood. Bad dreams. Slaps of visions of past slights and contemptuous affronts and dismissals, one after another, came at me, beating me into the ground, burying me alive — alas, ALIVE.

That time I said, “When you turn on me, and you will, I want you to remember that I am still going to love this person you are now, this true you, always.”

And how, I never said that to me.

Those times I cooked and cleaned and cared for and supported and believed in and saw and stood with and beside and behind and walked ahead to take the hits and fought the fights for and carried and counseled and was there, showed up, and how, now, I would, so much, like it if I was enough — or, even, just didn’t ever again have to hear about how I am not enough, how I am wrong — and how nice it would be to be in a situation where I didn’t have constantly to worry about living on a grate, where someone fixed my dinner and made my bed and cleaned up after me and did for me what I did for them, and loved me, really loved me not because of what I could do for him, for them.

Yes, I am having a lot of bad dreams. And memories. And I am sad. And I am lonely. And I feel unseen. Or, incorrectly seen. Or, just, NOT. I feel NOT. And I want a room, a bedroom, with windows, and to be able to spend my days in rooms with sunlight and silence. I am sick of having to sit in the dark. I am weary of all the noise. The endless noise that has followed me my entire life and follows me still. Always other people’s noise. And in the face of all that noise, someone always telling me to be quiet — I was just told to be quiet again yesterday. And I am — how many times can you say this you whiner — EXHAUSTED.

And, to sum it up, wasted some time at Boscov’s this week — because my Mom wanted to use her gift cards, and throughout the store, this sign:

Clearence

. . . so, yeah, I am totally fucking sed.

 

 

My Year in Reading, Sort of: 2014 Highlights

reading falneur

(HOLY HOLY HOLY — UPON PUSHING THE “PUBLISH” BUTTON, I WAS INFORMED THIS IS MY 700TH POST ON THIS BLOG?!?! SOMETHING ABOUT THAT STRIKES ME AS … STRUCK. LOL)

Reading is my passion.

I’ve found great comfort and solace in reading. Reading took me to worlds I longed to visit but could not otherwise reach. Reading educated me. Reading saved me by making me aware of  possibilities and lives and loves I could never have imagined on my own. Reading gave me New York, the Algonquin Round Table, the Bridesheads, Jane and Paul Bowles, Helene Hanff, gay men, Fran Lebowitz, Andy Warhol and Studio 54, the Beats, the Bloomsbury Group, the Violet Quill bunch, and, holy of holy, as is Stephen Sondheim to my musical theatre jones, so is Joan Didion to my reading addiction. I actually think that without Joan Didion — and all the others — I would have killed myself long ago. Truly, I think it is reading that has kept me alive.

I’m not sure how much a favor to me that has been but that is another blog.

BooksReading has been my escape. Reading has been my constant lover and friend, my companion through my entire life. My memory may be going but I can still tell you where I was, approximately how old I was, and what was going on in my life when first I read HARRIET, THE SPY and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE and Proust — okay, I’ve never actually finished Proust — but I can tell you all the times I bought new translations, new versions, why I did so, and what they looked like. I have in storage not one, but TWO CARTONS of versions of Proust and books about Proust. And I can tell you that I first read Joan Didion in Saturday Evening Post magazines I stacked and date ordered in one of the rooms in the abandoned wing of Libertytown, that room with the blackboard still on the wall left over from when the house had been an academy for wayward boys, that room I — the most wayward and lonely of boys — had Continue reading

Part 3: Existential Cozies, Comforts, and Joys

Well my little hall-deckers, if Christmas it must be, then the Yuletide ought always to be like last night! Maybe there is, after all, something to this keeping an account of my cozies, comforts, and joys. So, Part 3.

MEGAN HILTY

andrea and charlie

Me and my Andrea between shows. Big drinkers; me with a coffee, Andrea with a Coke. Yep. Whoo-freaking-hoo!

Big fan. First saw Ms. Hilty as Galinda in Wicked. Next saw Ms. Hilty as Doralee in 9 to 5: The Musical. Next, became rabid fan of Smash, founding member of Team Ivy. Then, my dear Andrea birthday-surprised me earlier this year with tickets to see Ms. Hilty in concert at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre. And then AGAIN, a few weeks ago, Andrea surprised me with tickets to see Ms. Hilty’s Christmas Concert at the Kennedy Center for last night’s 7:30 show. It was only yesterday afternoon that Andrea told me she had gotten tickets NOT ONLY to the 7:30, but, also, the 9:30. And so, the two of us, front row, aisle, house right — for the first show, somehow, despite it being sold out, we were the only people in the front row, and for the second show, the only OTHER person in the front row was a yawning, unkempt looking fellow in aisle seat, house left. I don’t know HOW Andrea gets these amazing seats, but, uhm, she always does.

About Ms. Hilty. Wow, the last time I saw her, my birthday concert (yes, MY BIRTHDAY concert), she was quite preggers. She delivered the girl-child, Viola, three months ago, and is back, better than ever. She can belt with the best of them but she is also able to quietly croon you to tears. She invests each song with its beginning, middle, end, telling the story with an expressiveness of voice and emotional depth I think is rarely equalled among current singers and Broadway performers. She really is a treasure. Listen to this — which she did last night in an arrangement of mostly guitar (as played by her husband, Brian Gallagher, more below).

And, MOST OF ALL, the relationship between Megan and her husband, Brian Gallagher, who plays guitar and sings with her during these concert appearances, is so freaking beautiful. I want to be one of them. The love they share just radiates from the stage, envelops you in its warmth and fairy-tale goodness. Ms. Hilty sang the song A Place Called Home from the Broadway musical version of A Christmas Carol, and she started weeping just introducing it and speaking of having found “the love of her life” and having a child. Not only was she crying, but as she sang it, so did Mr. Gallagher weep. Both shows. It wasn’t performance, it was life, and love, and so much Light on stage. Great show. If you’ve a chance to share some time with these people, you really ought to. And for me, being there last night (BOTH SHOWS!) with them and Andrea, so much comfort and joy.

COMFORTS, JOYS … quickies

  • And gas is really cheap right now, which is great, as I will soon be returning to Aftermath — where I love to be, which bucolic setting is twenty minutes from the gym. So, cheap gas is good.
  • And, thanks to a niece, found Starbucks Christmas Blend Keurig Cups for 8-something a box. This is a VERY good thing. I know it’s ridiculous, but I don’t think I could function without a Keurig.
  • And I have discovered (thank you TwitterLiterati) the Agatha Raisin mysteries by M.C. Beaton. Delightful fun. Happiness.
ford penis necklace

Tom Ford $800 Penis Necklace

  • And Tom Ford is selling what appears to be a gold phallic symbol. [See New York magazine article here.]  How cool is an $800 dick necklace? I’ll tell you how cool — Bill Donohue of the Catholic League [click here for the fucking moron] is upset about it. And, an idiot. I mean, who even THOUGHT this was supposed to look like a cross? I mean, now, every time I see a nicely arranged set of male genitalia, I’m going to connect it even more vigorously to my memories of my catholic youth — those years when my knees were hardened and trained to the tasks and sacraments for which the catholic church so lovingly prepared me. Thank you to the catholics for making me so good at so many things involving being on my knees … speaking of which ….
  • And, at the gym yesterday, a really good-looking guy came on to me in the showers. I have no idea why someone as good-looking as he was would come on to someone like me, I didn’t see any mistletoe hanging on the shower head — but — without going into details — this was not another one of my hallucinations. He actually, really and truly, did come on to me. I did not reciprocate nor respond except to politely indicate the gym-showers were not a location where I intended to frolic. Truth, I am still snotty and unwell — this cold thing — and it would have been not just dangerously undignified (and, possibly, illegal?) to fool around there but, too, I’d have been spreading cold germs. But, you know, HOPE —

SPEAKING OF HOT MEN … Russell Tovey is cheating on me …

russell tovey nude looking

Russell Tovey on top of the home-wrecker and fantasy-killer, Jonathan Groff

Andrea broke it to me last night that she’d seen a preview for Season 2 of HBO’s Looking and it seems as if Russell Tovey — who I claimed as my own YEARS ago when he was in The History Boys on Broadway — is continuing — in the plotline — to have sex with Jonathan Groff’s character. I am not happy about this. And, clearly, the universe and all the demons of hell sent after me because of my lapsed catholicism and ever-increasing atheism (wait, that doesn’t make sense, well, so what) have conspired to torture me because this morning, Russell is everywhere. He posted this one of himself:

Tovey, Russell Dec 2014

Tovey by Turner

CLICK HERE FOR the website Cocktails and Cocktalk, and a whole series of new hot Tovey photos.

And, as if that wasn’t enough to get me all … well, whatever it is a man my age (who, I hasten to add, was COME ON TO in the showers yesterday — WHILE NAKED) gets, then, I was assaulted by this photo to the left in my Twitter TL. An entire new set of Tovey photos. Dear god (in whom I do not believe) STOP!

SPEAKING OF GOD … final comfort and joy of the day …

Andrea. My dear, dear Andrea, she who allows me stays at Aftermath with her dear, dear Judah, yes, Andrea is a Pastor. Pastor Andrea. A person of the cloth.

I know, right? I can hear many of you exclaiming — as did my family and some other friends when I spoke of Andrea and they inquired as to details — “How is a Pastor friends with you?”

Well, here’s how. In a life you meet/have a very few people — if you are lucky, and I am INCREDIBLY lucky in this way — who “get” you. These people see you, who you are, at the soul, at the source, at the center of your Love and Light. They don’t judge you, they don’t try to change you, they don’t forgive or accept, they don’t have to — they KNOW you. They never see anything but the Love and the Light. If I believed in God — and when I did believe in God — it was that sort of seeing I thought defined God. My complicated cosmology didn’t have room for sin or hell or right or wrong — but, rather, had space only for the aim of seeing only the Love and Light at the source, at the core. Not saying there aren’t people who behave in heinous ways, saying, instead, the job of a God — the job, I think, of everyone, all life — is to believe PAST all of the heinous, to believe that — ultimately — the Love and the Light, no matter how distorted they may become, are all that are. All That Is, the truth of the Love and the Light. Everything else is illusion, temporary, words, labels, not important.

How does Andrea stay my friend? Because for Andrea, that is all there is. Andrea is what anyone who wants to do God’s work should be, a person who works always to live in and see in others that core of Love and Light, and believes in it — no matter how those others parse it or fuck it up or hurt themselves and others or fail at life — Andrea sees and encourages and cultivates and BELIEVES in the Love and the Light.

That’s faith. Faith. That’s God. And I am incredibly blessed and comforted and cozied and joyed and un-deserving of having found this late in life (although I hasten to add I was come on to when naked in the shower yesterday by a very attractive much younger man — ARE YOU LISTENING RUSSELL TOVEY?) a friend, a dear one, a treasure, like Andrea. Andrea, a Pastor who doesn’t measure me by whether or not I profess to believe in God; Andrea, who doesn’t measure me at all except by the glow of my Love and Light, and finds me to be friend-worthy. I love her. So much.

Here’s wishing all of you have an Andrea and such blessings as do I to count, and, my dears, at least one who sees your Love and Light like Andrea sees mine.

Love and Light kids.

 

 

 

ZeitBites: Links and such

I spend such a lot of time reading and exploring the on-line world, wanted to share some really cool stuff with you. And some cool pics. (Oh, and P.S. before the fact – I’ve updated my Links Page — check it out. CLICK HERE)

 

Williams, Tennessee and Brando, Marlon

Tennessee Williams and Marlon Brando – I’m in love with both of them in so many ways; they are the stuff of my fantasies.

 

Here is an interview with Elizabeth McCracken — if you know anything about me, you know how much I love and adore Elizabeth McCracken. She’s currently on a Twitter-break, which is horrifying and like losing a friend, but she is on break so she can write more, which is wonderful and like knowing a long-desired present is on the way. So, plus, minus. OTHERPPL ELIZABETH MCCRACKEN INTERVIEW [CLICK HERE]

 

Angel Wings ripped out

This photo study of wings ripped — in theory — from an angel — started me on yet ANOTHER story this week. I have an angel obsession — despite my lack of belief in them. Oh well, I don’t believe vampires exist either, but still, I love reading about them.

 

And here’s a great piece from a site I just discovered via a Twitter-friend. The site is called Cafe and this piece is by Deborah Copaken and titled How I Got Rejected From a Job at the Container Store. [click here] It’s incredibly well written. Funny. Touching. Sort of terrifying and has an amazing depth. Really speaks to all the things about which I’ve LONG been talking — the wondering if the cultural norms about what constitutes “success” and “being productive” really make a difference. And, how you can do ALL the things you’re supposed to and still be screwed. Give it a read.

 

boys jumping

My Mother used to say that cliché, “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you too?” Well, I was a smart-ass and I could not swim, so I always had some smart-ass answer. However, had I had a group of friends who looked like this — damn straight I would have jumped, and relished being saved and mouthed-to-mouthed by any of them.

 

Here’s another piece that really touched me. Found it on a place called Matter. It’s by Cord Jefferson and is called On Kindness: My mother is sick. [click here]  Really beautiful writing – again. Amazing how much fantastic, interesting, thought-provoking, fabulous stuff is floating around for free. Does ANY art-form other than writing give so freely of itself?

 

Heart removed

I’ve been removing myself of late because I am feeling too many feelings — everything is just overwhelming me — as a dear one said, “You are a trusting soul, Charles. Often to your detriment. But, trusting indeed.” Yes. I am — despite my pose of cynicism, ever hopeful and trusting and ALWAYS surprised when that hope and trust turns out to have been misplaced. SO, when I saw this photo study of the scarred chest and — I think — eyes gouged out too — it set me on another story idea.

 

And CLICK HERE for an article from AP via MSN news, a piece about Brittany Maynard. She was in People. She’s the 39 year old who had terminal cancer and decided to end her life, legally, while she was still in reasonable shape, so as not to leave her family and friends with memories of her deterioration. All the usual suspects are arguing about it.

 

smith's

Finally, sad note, Smith’s, where I and my dear ones went on the occasion of my birthday trip to NYC in April, has closed. Victim of another greedy Manhattan landlord. First Marriott screws with the Algonquin, now, this? I miss OLD New York.

Much Love and Light, dears. Love and Light.

ZeitBites Friday: Can’t Write Now, I’m Writing!

I’d love to write more but I’m trying to write more. Point being, my usual blogging rumination, meditation, consideration, speculation, contemplation, theorization, and excogitation – all done in the service of my pathological procrastination – must be put on hold today that I can complete what I have come to call my two Halloween projects, neither of which is, I can assure you, a costume. So, links and tiny, little thinks today.

  • MY CONTRIBUTION TO EBOLA PANIC . . .

Ebola Nurse MovedYesterday, my favorite bank teller said in response to my, “How are you?”, the following; “Well, could be worse. At least I don’t have Ebola yet.” I suggested Ebola was nowhere near us, and her chances of getting Ebola were quite slim, and it seemed silly to worry about that with so much else going on in the world and, too, since we lived in Frederick, Maryland, home to Fort Detrick, rumored birthplace of the AIDS virus and storage location of all sorts of things so powerfully toxic and germ-warfare-deadly as to make Ebola seem like a head cold. I was feeling all clever about that when last night on the fictional  Scandal it was revealed that the President’s son had been murdered with a strain of deadly virus stolen from Fort Detrick, right here in Frederick, Maryland. I felt a little less clever when during the fictional How To Get Away With Murder, a Breaking News run appeared across the bottom of the screen announcing that Nurse Pham, Ebola patient from Dallas, had just landed at the Municipal Airport in Frederick, Maryland – less than five miles from my house and across the street (and a rather large-ish field or two) from my Mother’s Senior Living Complex – for ambulance transfer to N.I.H. in Bethesda. And after I’d promised my favorite bank teller everything would be fine. I still believe that. I am flabbergasted by the combined over-reaction and under-reaction to this. We couldn’t be bothered to do virtually anything about it before it happened here, and now, BAM, mass panic and ridiculous amounts of finger-pointing and “WHAT ABOUT ME?”-ism.

Let me say THIS; Every minute, EVERY MINUTE, four children die of hunger. We have the resources and the ability to SOLVE world hunger, and we don’t. We buy new I-Phones and try to stop people from marrying and PANIC and ACCUSE about, “OOOH, what if Ebola happens to us?” Come on people, aren’t we better than this? But, I guess not, just a brief look at and listen to yesterday’s idiots on the congressional panel questioning the response to Ebola prove how selfish, stupid, and self-involved we all are. Sucks to be us.

Now, if I HAD to panic and be all quarantined and such, could it possibly be with two male strippers – slash – models – slash – authors? From the New York Daily News, HERE. LOL.

  • HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER …

Last night’s How To Get Away With Murder did it again. WOW. Gay sex scenes on this show are just wonderfully hot. Really. There was some Twitter-patter-mini-uproar about the villain of the piece being gay and his self-defenestration, but, you know what? Internalized homophobia is a thing, and having villains of all stripes is what happens in the real world. This show manages to represent a slice of real world BETTER THAN most other shows and I was not at all offended. I was, however, uhm … watch:

The Pax character later said – prior, of course, to tossing himself out the window: “He did this thing to my ass that made my eyes water.” I am telling you, this is QUALITY TELEVISION. This actor, Niko Pepaj, obviously going places.

Pepaj Niko

  • LOSING, LOSS, meditations on letting go . . .

My blog entry yesterday: Fallterations: Edit, Expand. Lose, Learn. [CLICK HERE] , was my first in nearly a week. Long week. Hard week. I was sick for a few days and I quit drinking. And the Baltimore Orioles were swept to defeat in the American League Championship [CLICK HERE], thus dashing my Mom’s hopes that after a three-decades-plus wait, she would see her beloved Orioles win another World Series. Looks like she’ll have to live at least another year.

  • AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW

Dear Ryan Murphy, I love you. This season is killing it. Literally and figuratively. LOVE. Sarah Paulson. Amazing. So many lines this week were amazing. WATCH IT.

And Finn Wittrock as Dandy along with Frances Conroy as his Mother. Holy sideshow. Amazing.

  • OFF AGAIN …

I leave for a house/pet gig tomorrow for a few days. Lap top. Writing. Reading. I have way too many books in my stack of musts, and more were added yesterday. Three from my friends at The Curious Iguana [CLICK HERE], and one through the mail, discarded from a library.

October books

Add them to the list. Argh. Guess, like my Mom, I’ll have to live another year too. So, I’ll start with this weekend … and my books … alas, I will be reading alone.

reading oct 17 7 Reading Oct 17 2 reading oct 17 6 Reading Oct 17 3 Reading Oct 17 4 reading oct 17 8

Later, friends.

 

 

Bargain-basement-*Balzac-blogging. SHUT-UP AND LINK!

balzac1I’m feeling testy. And I’m writing fiction, which, for me, is a journey of tangents and digressions and discursive asides and interpolations in concert with crazy-making reconsideration, re-ordering, removals and re-insertions. The rhythm, the cadence of the sentences, the shape, the syntax, the actual out-loud-silent sound of the words.

For example, I could not use in fiction the opening; “I’m feeling testy.” Not unless the speaker was someone I wanted the reader to imagine groping testicles. Because, despite the presence of the letters spelling “testy” – as in cranky and irascible and generally annoyed with the human race in whole and in all and each and every of its parts (which is the case with me, today, RIGHT DAMN NOW) – the homophonic “testes” – as in balls and gonads and reproductive organs – would play in the minds of many readers; perhaps not at the level of consciousness, but, nonetheless, THERE. And, depending on the reader, and the gender of the narrator speaking “I’m feeling testy” there would then come into play all sorts of feelings – conscious and un – about sexuality and groping and . . .  so, I could NOT start a fiction with that line unless I had a very specific character situation and impression I wished to convey. After which writing, I would worry I had been, perhaps, too subliminal about it.

Which would make me feel nuts.

You see?

coffee writeAnd because I nearly lost my shit last night (now THAT phrasing produces all variety of unpleasant visual, yes?) while trying to settle on an opening sentence/paragraph for the project I am now torturing out of myself, running from my home like a mad-person to escape my mind, my milieu of literary-purgatorial-stasis – my pen had been scribbling / crossing out / scribbling / crossing out for hours to no avail – and ending up at a nearby coffee shop, where watching the comings and goings of pretty, young, tightly-fleshed, loosely-wrapped young people from the nearby college finally gave me the “a-ha” I needed to (almost) settle on that opening, I promised myself I would limit my bargain-basement-*Balzac-ian-blogging today and KEEP WORKING.

So, less than 500 words. And lots of links. (Send coffee shop gift cards please, at the rate I’m going, I’ll need to be sitting at a Starbucks for another – oh, say – thousand years to get this short story finished. And, too, now that I know it is populated in the evenings by tightly-fleshed, loosely-wrapped college men – well, we see where this might be going.) Happy Friday.

  • coffee guycoffee guy 2coffee guy 3LINK: Great review by Peter Straub in the Washington Post of new novel, The Boy Who Drew Monsters. He compares it to Wuthering Heights and uses the phrase “all-around swellness”. Who, I ask you, could resist? CLICK HERE
  • LINK: On The Town has been revived. The son of one of its original creators talks about it in Vanity Fair. Loved, loved, loved! CLICK HERE
  • LINK: Alan Cumming, currently starring on Broadway in revival of Cabaret, has written a memoir. He talks about it, CLICK HERE.
  • LINK: Elmer Gantry, in musical version, is opening at the reliably-brilliant Signature Theatre near D.C. and they’ve posted a clip of one of Sharon Falconer’s songs. Hell, why link, I’ll insert.

  • LINK: Finally, we need to talk about dying and aging and why our fear of both is causing us to both prolong life and yet, somehow, devalue the lives and worth of those who live longer, removing dignity and choice. This from Mother Jones about Atul Gawande’s book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. CLICK HERE

*Balzac? Really? Because, in my still-unsold-un-agented-and being cut again novel – there is an episode not unlike one from my misspent twenties in which I said one night, under another mirror ball, “All I want is a guy who doesn’t giggle when I mention Balzac.” So, again with the confusions about testicles and such. Argh.