Zeitbites: April 29, 2017

9:30 a.m.

The voices in my head may have been less frightening than the voices in my life.

Noon

I’ve spent the last ten days worrying myself into perturbation over my memory loss, mental stutterings, and synpatic misfires: then my phone updated without my permission and forgot the auto-fill curse words and advanced-Charlie-specific vocabulary I’ve spent months teaching it; so, at least I’m not the only machine with disconnect issues, still, I liked it better when after I’d typed “gr” my phone leapt to complete me by filling in “Grey Gardens” rather than its post-update “great”. Blah.

2:30 p.m.

Today’s most used search term to locate me — yes, there is but one thus far in my stats — is a bit less elevated than the “existential longing” search that led people here April 26. But, of course, my hits are much higher. Oh, what a world.

Underwear on the counter, and other random thoughts

I can’t risk being exposed to media today; staying off-line, not turning on television or radio, hunkering down here at Absence Aerie where I am writing, reading, and ruminating in solitude and silence, not another human in view. But the problem is what do I do with those random thoughts I must spew, those musings I usually disgorge on Twitter? I suppose I could take the Twitter hint — that land where I have been muted by so many and never followed by a certain authoress who follows nearly everyone else I know — and shut the hell up, but, that wouldn’t be me, now would it? So, here they are . . .

8:30p.m. Tornado threat, passed without incident except it was raining so hard two (who shall remain nameless) pooped in the house. (You can safely assume I was not one of them.) And now, I am, I confess, watching Survivor. If you would like to know why I am alone, watch Survivor. Caleb Reynolds is much the kind of fellow with whom I often find myself tangled. Very beautiful, very not intellectual, someone who you’d think would have some homophobia but actually has none at all, in fact, is so open, loving, embracing, and interested in sharing love, I feel certain that given the right circumstance and enough time, we will be together. We. Will. Not. But I do it, again and again. Because I am very not smart.

caleb reynolds survivor Caleb Reynolds Big Brother 1 caleb reynolds survivor 2

tea cup4:30p.m. Venerable or hoary? Whory or concupiscent? Confused or confusing? Sitting by the fire, wrapped in a quilt, reading an English novelist’s latest, I go to the kitchen to make myself a cuppa, and there, my exiled phone flashes with a tornado warning. No, I will brook no such interruptions. There is heavy rain, maybe hail, snoring dogs, restless cat, and only forty pages left of Miss Hadley. I’m sipping this tea, here, just me, my reverie, this fantasy of English-cottage-damp-afternoon, detached from the real world, nothing and no one can part the mists and reach me, not even a funnel cloud can break through — not, no, when I have only forty pages left and am busy pretending I am an Englishman, a crotchety, maybe a little magical, scary-legend to the local children, codger in my cottage. Don’t interrupt my tea time.

 

absence aerie fog 22:30p.m. Miasmal mist / creeping obscuring foreboding / disappeared here / weaving ducking shrinking from those places where i know the mirrors wait / long have i been fading / the boundaries of self that held me once intact / have ceased to be / dematerialized evanesced evaporated dissipated dissolved faded escaped / i have vanished / at last / this empty space refusing to be filled by anyone else’s matter / ever again

 

 

 

11:30a.m. Grotesqueries, gorgeous in our inability to be other than seen as other, making our world behind the tents, beyond the tents in which you pay us to perform;

clowns

In the background there, having escaped from my without-a-net trapeze work scarred only by the crowd’s unknowing, ignorant applause, I hastened to find him who knew I was not a trick, no freak, he-another-me, and there he was, being held by that other, having been seduced by a lacy collar and the mystery of what was hidden beneath those damned, striped balloon-pants;

clowns 3

Woeful, there, I hoped and I imagined after I had gone, he would full of regret spend a life of weep and ache and missing me. Likely, rather, he threw my goodbye-accusations to the ground, stripped himself near bare, and allowed himself to be tickled by the feathered headdress of another striped lover. He never could resist the stripes and I, alas, dressed only in solids, all black and white and flat, dull landscape of my average body.

clowns 2

What could I do, once I knew I had no longer a home even in the sideshow, but ache forever over that other who’d let me open myself to him, pointed his gun at me, and the boom-flag I’d expected had instead been bullets of betrayal.

 

boxers9:30a.m. Yes, that’s my underwear on the kitchen counter. I wish I had a delightfully erotic story to tell, some mad adventure with a marvelously young, gorgeous swain who stripped me with his teeth in a frenzy of lust and had me up against the sink, mad with passion. But, truth, the only frenzy of lust here at Absence Aerie has been my chomping on marvelously gorgeous foodstuffs and skipping trips to the gym, so my waist has expanded enough that my underwear feels tighter and who wants that when one could be free-balling in loose sweats while nestled under blanket, reading a stack of books one after another, snuggly on couch in front of fireplace, dogs cozied up on both sides and lap? Am I right? Of course I am, I know I am, because I have social media and my too-smart phone turned off so no one can fucking argue with me. So, last time I came out to the kitchen to get yet another snack, I thought for one second, “Damn, my waist already feels constricted, maybe I should just drink water or something?” Ha. Not likely. Instead, I did what any man who has recently been dumped by someone who didn’t even go out with him would do; I stripped off my sweats, passionately and lustfully removed my boxer briefs, and tossed them on the counter. (Don’t tell the C’s — I’ll disinfect before I depart.) OH MY — just realized I wrote last night about praying while in my boxers and used a stock photo in that post. Hmm, guess I’m boxers obsessed right now. Oh well, back to reading. And snacking.

 

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!)

ZeitBites Monday: Reads

charlie sweeney

Long ago Saturday Night Sondheim – when I was Sweeney

My life is lived to a score. Well, many scores. (See Saturday night’s post HERE SATURDAY NIGHT SONDHEIM –if you’ve any doubt, or, well, you know, care a whit?) Whether it was all my years of Broadway wanna-be/gonna-be-ism or a genetic predisposition that resulted in my translation of every moment of my life into musical theatre is a discussion for another time (and a therapist) but my point was — is — I wake up nearly every day of my life with a song in my head, sometimes, in fact, this morning, I am singing when I wake, and sometimes, in fact, this morning, the song I am singing does not exist in the real world. Today’s lyrics:

I told you YES. NO. Yes-terday. No-today. Yesterdays. Noterdays. Told-you-days.

It was sung to a catchy little tune, too. While I’ve a proclivity (or, wait, should I say predilection since choice is also involved? No, sticking with proclivity since the urge seems to Continue reading

Diagnosis: Bitterary Disease

I have removed myself for the time being from the Twittersphere because I’ve been feeling unwell, not myself.

Although, “not myself” might not be such an awful thing to be. Or, not be. But first, Adele dropped her new video. Why do they say “dropped”? Whatever. I love this. LOVE THIS.

Okay, that was to prove I’m not completely involved in my own lugubrious dwelling on my illness. Yes, illness.

Oct 2015

Me – looking like my ridiculous, exhausted self – and Momma – impatiently waiting to be broken out of hospital last Friday. She is my hero. My rock. My role model. Rock & role-model; Mommy.

The illness I thought had been diagnosed, drugged, and done away with, returned. I spent much of last week attending to my dear Momma during and after her surgery and contending with all the family dynamics such events roil; it went remarkably well on every level, about which I would write were I feeling better, more certain I could tell the story without offending any family members or other characters who showed up during the course of those days. In my current condition of physical exhaustion and the emotional upheaval the fatigue brings, I think it better not to tell those stories right now. Rather, say this: Many different kinds of healing took place before,during, and after my Mom’s surgery, and it was not just her carotid artery scraped clean of debris; Mommy managed to bring us together again, as always, by example rather than lecture or harangue. She is effortless in her Love, plugging along, accepting, doing what was best and right, without rancor or accusation or judgment.

So, she was released on Friday and later that night, I got the back of the neck chills feeling that means I have a fever, tossed and turned in fugue-half-awake, can’t stop obsessing on an imaginary event, night-sweat, no sleep sort of night. By Saturday morning I was crampy and afraid my own personal plague was returning, and by Sunday, it had, with full-on, gastrointestinal terrorism. I was (sorry to be blunt and disgusting) unable to do anything but evacuate every fifteen minutes or so, ugh, oh no, losing two pounds a day, sick, sick, down for the count again.

Long/short: Called physician Monday at 8 when they opened. No one answered – including a machine – until 8:45. No one could (or would) see me in until Thursday. I suggested this was a relapse of same illness which had JUST required MANY appointments and testings for them to figure out, that the antibiotic course had not been sufficient to kill the parasite and couldn’t they just prescribe another round? I was informed that ALL OF THE PAs I HAD SEEN DURING THAT ADVENTURE FROM HELL WERE NOW ABSENT FROM THE PRACTICE. Thus, no one was willing to re-prescribe antibiotics AND I had to come in to get a new referral for my specialist appointment on Monday AND no one could do ANY OF THIS UNTIL THURSDAY!

So, friends, staying sane has been – well, that’s not even an option, rather, it has been difficult not to go TRULY nuts. Speaking of nuts . . .

Warwick Rowers 2016 Calendar from Low Fat Media on Vimeo.

Yes. The Rowers, because, well, English and French accents and the countryside and the wardrobe (and lack of) and I want an English-accented-lover and well dammit just LOOK AT THEM . . .

I am emotionally on edge because I am exhausted from being unable to actually digest food and take in nutrients. I learned from last go-round with this disease (parasite?) that horrifying as the cramping and bathrooming every fifteen minutes are (would that I were exaggerating) it is worse to follow one’s instinct and stop eating so as to avoid the bathroom trips; not eating only results in worse weight loss and weakness so intense one can barely walk up and down the stair from the Batcave. Thus, forcing myself to eat and hydrate; I spend much of the day in the bathroom (and then cleaning the bathroom, because that is who I am); and, trying to read.

There is where my patience has worn even thinner. Truth: when it comes to bitter, I am most easily annoyed by things going on in Literary World – I suffer from Bitterary Disease: a malady of the wanna-be-writer who cannot believe the things that get published, get popular, win prizes. Or, don’t.

clegg, did you ever

Click cover for Mr. Clegg’s site and book information

I have not recovered (will likely never recover) from Bill Clegg’s Did You Ever Have A Family not having won the Man Booker Prize, for not even making it from Long to Short list. I was further annoyed when it didn’t make the cut for the National Book Awards shortlist.

However, I promised myself when I started book blogging that I would always be a cheerleader for literature, not a hater. So, I picked up the winner of the Man Booker, Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings (click on title for more information). I started reading its 700 pages. Yes, 700 pages. First of all, when a novel begins with a cast-list of more than 70 characters divided into six sub-divisions, I should know myself well enough to just stop right there. Second, when a novel is written with large sections of dialect and patois, much of it impenetrable and without handy glossary, then I should, well, know myself well enough to stop right there. But, this was a Man Booker winner so, I didn’t stop until page 200 – where I had to stop, because one can’t really read a book one has just thrown across the room.

I am sure this is my shortcoming. I am sure this prize-winning novel, lauded by people with MFAs and jobs in the literary world is an achievement of heft and writerly acumen the likes of which I can only dream about. And I am equally sure that most of the judges didn’t even really read the whole damn thing. AND I AM EVEN SURER that these prize-awarding-committees ought to have NON-INDUSTRY, real readers – like, perhaps, ME – on the panels. This is the second of the Man Booker (and, not so coincidentally, National Book Award) shortlist tomes I have read and had to stop reading in frustration, abashed and flummoxed. Oh well.

Capture Kerry McHugh

Click pic to explore Kerry’s blog – you really should

Here’s the thing, happy for Marlon James success. Happy for anything that inspires more people to read (and write) and, as the very wise bloggist and Shelf Awareness writer, Kerry McHugh (click here for her blog, Entomology of a Bookworm, you really should check it out) said to me recently — and I’m paraphrasing, she said it far more elegantly — “It’s okay not to like a book. I love books other people hate, and I hate books that lots of other people like. That’s what makes literature so great, there’s room for everyone, everything, and it’s okay to disagree and discuss.”

city on fireShe is so right. My cavil is that I think some books are the lit-world equivalent of The Emporer’s New Clothes. Someone in power (or a really good publicist) decides a book is brilliant or buzzy or the next big thing, deigns it so, deems it so, and the rest of the Woolf-pack jumps on and agrees. For example, the latest example of this is that 900 page first novel that earned a $2 million advance and has been twice-reviewed in The New York Times, multiple mentions in The New Yorker, New York, and every other book-y blog, Twitter account, and publication – before it was even RELEASED to real readers.

Am I bitter? Yes. I guess I am. Literary bitter. Bitterary. Like I said, the REAL illness from which I suffer.

And I own that. I am bitter because I’ve not come up with the pitch or cover letter or connection (I don’t actually DO connections, not my thing – I would NEVER ask someone to read my book, to give my book to an agent, to anything – not an asker, never have been, never will be – some of us are just here to answer) to sell myself. I’m not that person. And, in some ways, I am content with the thousand or so people who check in here each day — although, truth, lots of those hits are searching for dick-pics, thus the Warwick Rowers, I know my audience and I like a naked ass and English accent as much as (well, probably way more than) anybody else — and I’m not so bitter that I haven’t reserved that buzzy book at library (I’m next in line, by the way, so, it isn’t all that buzzy here in Frederick). I am just hoping that I can make it past page 200 without throwing it across the room and screaming, “WHAT THE HELL DID THOSE PEOPLE READ WHO LOVED THIS THING?!?!?!”

Okay, going, time for some pro and antibiotics and tons of water and coffee and hoping my guts calm a bit today.

P.S. Not sure who reads this, not an issue, but yesterday in my non-Twitter-ness time, I wrote letters to Cody, Rachel, and TwitLit folks, Hope and Nandini – mailing this morning, watch your mailboxes!

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

Zeitbites: Being of sound mind and body (and NOT) . . .

For reasons too involved for a Zeitbites post, I’ve been working on a new will. Understand, dear ones, for me, “working” means reading wills other people have written, getting lost down the rabbit-hole of the web’s treasure trove of crazy will stories, and scribbling notes about fictions I’d like to make. There has been very little actual progress on a new will. Oh well – or – oh will – the few stabs I have made at the document all begin with “Being of sound mind and body” – which made me laugh. What EXACTLY constitutes sound mind and body and who gets to decide?

On many levels – thanks to my 87-year-old mom needing to move from one senior living place to another and my physician suggesting I’m pre-diabetic and should be taking statins, as well as my three months of dieting and having lost thirty pounds – I’ve been obsessing on soundness of mind and body and, well, here’s where I have been going . . .

BUT BEFORE I GET ALL GROUCHY – AND PLEASE SEE NOTE* AT FINISH OF POST – ONE OF MY DEAR ONES SENT ME THIS YOUTUBE – YOU MUST WATCH IT. I DEFY YOU NOT TO WEEP. IT IS SO FULL OF THE LOVE & LIGHT WE MIGHT ALL SHARE IF ONLY WE TRIED TO REMEMBER WHERE WE CONNECT INSTEAD OF WHERE WE SEPARATE . . . WATCH!

Isn’t that beautiful? Okay, back to being grouchy —

I’ve started Tweeting with hashtags #Curmudgeon and #GymTales because my life seems to consist of being annoyed by people; their behavior, their culture, their interpretation of the Zeitgeist. Then, in response to these assaults on my peace of mind, I head to the gym where I try to relieve my stress (and lose ten more pounds) by spending hours on the elliptical and weight-machine-circuits. Sometimes someone says something nice to me in the sauna, or, even better, someone does something nice in the sauna or shower – you know, like sing?

This is all well and good but then I have to deal with OTHER PEOPLE. Here it is, not yet 8a.m., and already my nerves are being tested.

ELDER ABUSE IN PUBLISHING – go set a . . . moral lowbar . . .

First of all, the New York Times – again. Enough with these endless damn articles about the just-published first-failed-draft of a book stolen from an eighty-something woman who long ago – when of sound mind and body – and in all the fifty years since – DECLINED to publish the manuscripts now claimed to have been “found” by a caretaker-type. This whole thing is – at the very least – skeezy and, in my opinion, ELDER ABUSE! That the ENTIRE book section headline scroll on the on-line version front page is about this book – it is pissing me off.

THE MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX – let me prescribe a great big FUCK YOU!

Second of all, the New York Times – again again. I’m not going to link their stupid article about stupid studies saying more ever more even more people should take stupid statins. Instead, I am again reiterating my stance that a medical industry which busily spends its time and resources trying to convince us all we are less than normal and require pricey drugs, pricey regular testing and office visits, and pricey this and that supplied by the medical-industrial complex is a structure of which we ought all be more than a little suspicious. If more than half of the adults in the country “require” statins (and psychotropic drugs and erectile dysfunction drugs and on and on and on) to achieve the medical-industrial complex’s notion of what is “normal” and of sound mind and body, then it seems patently clear to me a re-definition is in order. I’M NOT TAKING ANY DRUGS. I’m happy, my blood pressure is fine, and I’m sure if I ever have sex again I can get this thing to work.

AND BACK TO THAT DAMN BOOK AGAIN . . . but shut up about it, you!

I’m as irritated with the people on Twitter (and everywhere else) talking about this book as I am with Whoopi Goldberg and her defense of the serial rapist. This book is the same sort of taking advantage of someone who has less information and power as is the medical industrial complex scaring everyone into taking drugs they probably don’t need and the way men in power get away with everything from rudeness all the way to rape and murder without ever answering for their crimes. IF SHE’D WANTED THE MANUSCRIPT PUBLISHED, SHE HAD 50 YEARS WHEN SHE WAS OF SOUND MIND AND BODY TO DO IT!

POLITICAL CANDIDATES . . . too much SOUND, too little MIND, forget about other people’s BODIES . . .

The things these candidates say . . .  I can’t. I just can’t. And they are encouraged by the coverage, which skews toward the outrageous, which only ramps up their crazy and on it goes. So much noise. So much crazy and hate. So much obsession over what people do with their own bodies and hearts – as if my birth control methods, who I love, what gender I am, is ANY of ANYONE else’s business. And, honestly, to live in a country where that racist, bigot, blowhard comb-over can lead the polls of a major political party – EXCUSE ME WHILE I RUN TO THE NEAREST ELLIPTICAL TO RECOVER FROM THIS AND MAINTAIN MY SOUND (sort of) MIND AND BODY.

Love and Light, dear ones . . .until the next time . . .

*NOTE: I’m only a curmudgeon because, for some reason, despite decades of evidence to the contrary, I really and truly do believe there is – at everyone’s core – Love & Light; a goodness and beauty that cannot be eradicated. There is always hope (says he, who would be perfectly content to die this moment – but that’s peace, not sorrow. Well, not all sorrow.)

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.

…here we are…flashes

Thursday, January 22, 2015 — turned my phone back on last night, first time since Sunday, I hadn’t missed any messages or texts. Got back on Twitter today, hadn’t missed any messages. Seems my disappearing is going to be even easier than I’d thought, LOL. Cue the rolling in of the green mist. Here were some notes I took during my absence — and a few added today.

Sunday, January 18, 2015 — I’ve turned off my phone. I’m rationing my on-line time. I’m not Tweeting or, even, opening Twitter. I need to re-program my brain so that I can, once again, focus hours-long on reading and writing. I’ve allowed myself to be short-circuited. Or, rather, as another step in my long and steady parade of self-destruction, I have short-circuited myself. So, in much the way I stopped with the damaging-self-negating relationships, stopped with the smoking, stopped with the drinking; I am stopping (for a while) with the techno-distractions.

However, I still get these URGES (compulsions) to drop a headline, elevator-pitch about things going on in my life. So, in lieu of Continue reading

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.