Monthly Archives: June 2003

6/30/03 Brooklyn, NY A few

6/30/03 Brooklyn, NY

A few months ago I rabidly bemoaned the moron-ification of Dennis Miller, but now he’s finally made it official: the motherfucker is actually campaigning for George Bush. I’m at a loss, really. It’s as if one of your best buddies in chess club at junior high school suddenly joined the football team and made fun of you with their new friends. I would love to hear his “conversion story,” and it better be as good as Saul On the Road to Damascus, because I know Dennis Miller used to be smart.

Last week, my sister was out with a guy, who, by all accounts, was reasonably attractive, well-spoken, and paid for the cocktails. She was well on her way to giving him the time of day when he suddenly revealed – after hours of being normal – that he was a conservative Republican. By the time the conversation turned to the “abortion in murder” stuff, she was stonefaced and sickened by this dude, and despite her profound kindness and circumspection, she walked off and hasn’t thought of him since.

There are dealbreakers in life, y’know? Some things you won’t live with anymore, and some things you won’t live without. I won’t have a car without AC, for starters. Tessa began falling in love with me on our second date, when I waxed pompous at the Ear Bar about the insanity of the death penalty. No, I don’t usually get political – especially on a date with a girl who has big thingies – but she asked, and if I’d had a different response, it would have been a dealbreaker.

I used to be fairly forgiving of these things. I could overlook someone being a Republican, even if I had to lie back and think of England (Queen Victoria’s advice to her daughter, who didn’t like her prince). I could even have rational discourses with pro-lifers. But I think those days are over for me, at least for a while. I’m so fucking pissed off these days that I feel like it’s time for revolution, not sitting politely through dinner while some sanctimonious fuckwad pooh-poohs the evidence of global warming. I mean, I’m still funny and charming and shit, but these people have got to understand that Coddlin’ Time is OVER.

6/29/03 Brooklyn, NY Happy Gay

6/29/03 Brooklyn, NY

Happy Gay Pride Weekend, George Bush!

Yes, I know I already used the Gay Pride flag three weeks ago, but I left my camera upstate, which means it’s going to be Retro Week on the blog.

I had to drive to Pittsfield, MA today for another stab at the Home Despot, having run out of wallpaper at about 3am last night. On the way, there was a tremendous line of motorcycles, thousands of them, lining the highway outside Stockbridge. They were all going about 25 mph and every single one of them was smiling. I tried to see if they were Harley Davidsons, but some of them were riding rice rockets, so I have no idea what they were doing.

The Price Chopper in Pittsfield is the biggest goddamn grocery store in New England, probably 2nd in the country to the Super Wal-Mart Grocery in Ft. Worth, TX. You can get lost in this thing, and you can’t see the ceiling. I’m sure it helped “ruin downtown” like all these things do, but at the salad bar, there were tons of hometown seniors, all laughing it up and gossiping about the church dinner.

On the way back to Brooklyn, another hundred motorcyclists were going the opposite way, only this time, their look was more dangerous, more leather. The handlebars were way up high, and they sat back in the bike like a Barcolounger – no doubt this means something to you bikers out there.

And then, upon arriving in the West Village, we found ourselves swimming in men. The last time I saw this many gay men together was at Oz on Bourbon Street in 1995. It was an ocean of wife beater tank tops, closely-shorn heads, striking eyelashes and expensive shoes. The pheromonal buzz was hard to miss, there was a lot of joy, a lot of drinking, and I hope, a lot of anonymous fellatio through glory holes in the back of the Roxy.

So what is today’s moral? Simply that you can’t squash a human being’s desire to congregate with their brethren. Social groups will spring up no matter how hard modern advertising and the American ethos fetishizes the individual. You can destroy a downtown, but the home folks will meet at Wal-Mart instead. You can enact helmet laws and vilify bikers, but they will still gather in gaggles. And you can hate queers with every bone in your body, but they will still congregate in the thousands and go dancing on a Sunday night.

6/28/03 Columbia County, NY Apparently,

6/28/03 Columbia County, NY

Apparently, in order to get married, you need a birth certificate. I hadn’t seen mine since we botched it up while trying to get a fake driver’s license in 1984, but I do remember it being a shitty xerox hastily signed by the county clerk – there wasn’t even a stamp of authenticity.

Those days are long gone. This puppy came in the mail from Santa Clara County in California, and it has more tamper-proof crap on it than a $500 bill. The problem is, all I did to get it was call, so it seems like pretty much anybody can get anyone else’s birth certificate for the $15 processing fee.

Looking at the certificate, I noticed that my mom was 35 when she had me, a year younger than I am now (and she already had two other kids at the time). And my dad was 27. I realize that might have been a little old to have a kid in 1967, but now that seems almost irresponsible. When I was 27, I was living at the farm with Ann and Greg Humphreys, and I made $5400 that year. I was so far below the poverty level that I qualified for food assistance (I lived on Slim-Fast and pasta anyway).

It took so much for me to be born; my mom’s first husband had to fall asleep at the wheel, she needed to have six miscarriages, my dad needed to start conducting long after everyone told him not to, the Vietnam War had to scare everyone into getting married, and I had to fight my way through anemia and an incubator. I know that everyone is the product of several million random twists of fate, but whether it is reality or some weird narcissism, my existence always seemed to me like a total fluke.

6/27/03 Columbia County, NY Unbelievable.

6/27/03 Columbia County, NY

Unbelievable. Some relatively good news has splattered into the end of this week, just when I was beginning to mire myself in frosty media isolation: first off, the Supreme Court decided to keep its arse out of ours, and legislated that homosexual activity like oral and anal sex were not the government’s domain (I’d link to all these stories, but others, like Bud, do it so much better). This ruling, of course, was over Justice Asshole Scalia’s dead body, who, in his dissenting opinion, said something to the tune of “now begins the battle for the American heart of morality.” Personally, I’d like to be on the side of everyone having butt sex; people who are fisting, felching and Cleveland Steaming their way across the heartland of America, ‘cuz they’re gonna win out eventually.

In other great news, longtime racist and sexual harasser Strom Thurmond is finally fucking dead at 100. I don’t know what piss, vinegar and Evil Juice kept him alive for so long, but that is one motherfucker who should have been set adrift on an ice floe the day after the Civil Rights Bill was passed in 1964. Instead, he soldiered on, making life miserable for everyone not living in South Carolina. True, he was one of the first people to hire a black person for his senatorial staff, but Strom probably thought he was hiring a driver. He also was Johnny-Come-Lately with stem-cell research, but only when he was close to death himself. Near the end, he was falling asleep on the Senate floor, while aides shouted out his votes for him. Good riddance.

And lastly, MoveOn’s mock online primary got a lot more news coverage than I would have thought. I’ve been involved with those cats ever since they were trying to staunch the madness around the Clinton impeachment, and they are one of the true beacons of hope in this country. Howard Dean got the most votes in their primary – even though I voted for Kucinich, whom I believe to be a much stronger progressive. Either way, I’d vote for any of these guys with both hands and a smile* – I am proudly a spiritual member of the ABBA (Anybody But Bush Again) team, and I also really like the song “Eagle” off the “ABBA: The Movie” soundtrack. I think “Dancing Queen” is boring; you really have to delve into their albums for the best stuff.

*Except Lieberman, whose proselytizing is fuckin’ unbearable

6/26/03 Brooklyn, NY We did

6/26/03 Brooklyn, NY

We did exactly what we weren’t supposed to do – walk across Midtown in the middle of the afternoon. The heat advisory went out last night and warned everybody to chill out today, but Tessa and I were determined to do two things important for the marriage – see our couples therapist, and get wedding bands.

The therapy was good as usual. Sometimes I don’t quite know where it is leading, and Tessa is much better at the therapy thing than I am. She has a natural relationship with discussing problems to a disinterested party, and I still feel like I need to put on a show. Regardless, it has to be good for us – my own parents wouldn’t have lasted three seconds with Dr. Abrons, not because he’s a taskmaster or anything, but because they would have realized how ill-suited they were for one another.

This week it was my turn to give my detailed family history, and I tried do so with equanimity, but I’m sure I lapsed into solipsistic self-pity every once in a while. I recalled a story about my CB radio in 1979 that actually made Tessa cry, and then I realized I should be a little more frugal with the woeful tales. I got a million of ’em, I tellsya, and I’m not sure if my photographic recall of every transgression I suffered as a kid is doing me any favors.

I encourage any couple about to get married to get a little therapy. Not to be an asshole or anything, but if you’re resistant to it, you should ask yourself why you are. I was definitely rolling my eyes skyward when Tessa brought it up when we were merely dating, but now that August 9 looms before us, I’m glad we have a few tools to circumnavigate each other’s complicated orbs.

Speaking of complicated orbs, something happens to us guys in the New York heat that perhaps you ladies don’t know about. Either way, I’ve started wearing breathable running undies underneath my shorts, and as Robert Frost says, it has made all the difference. The walk across town to Fortunoff was one of unending unpleasantness, but at least I felt secure and dry for today’s active lifestyles.

Hey, if you didn’t read it here, where would read it?

Inside the delightfully temperate Fortunoff, we tried to find our usual lady, but she had the day off, and we ended up with a German dude named Jakob who looked like a cross between Slugworth from Willie Wonka and the Nazi who burns his hand in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Very pleasant gentleman, however, and fitted me with my first ring ever. I’ve always liked Lindsay’s ring, an artifact from Roman times, and this one is similarly manly, with an ancient druidical flair. If I’m going to wear a ring, I want one that has druidical flair, know what I mean?

Tonight was Michelle’s birthday, but she had her party at Sahara East on 1st Avenue – I would call it the “aptly-named Sahara East,” except that the actual Sahara doesn’t have humidity. It was so hot as to be funny, so we said hello to her friends, and then went home to expire in the air conditioning. We’ll celebrate Michelle’s birthday tomorrow when our synapses start firing in the right direction again, and my complicated orbs air out a little.

6/25/03 Brooklyn, NY After Tessa

6/25/03 Brooklyn, NY

After Tessa and her mom went to their bridal shower, I went back into the apartment, where it has been swelteringly hot. Our bedroom, however, has an AC unit pumping furiously, making it the only breathable spot in the building. The mere act of walking from one drenchingly humid room to a relatively delightful room in the same household threw me instantly back to the actual Pink House. It was a dj

6/23/03 Brooklyn, NY We had

6/23/03 Brooklyn, NY

We had what will officially be known as The Worst Ride Home From Upstate Ever today; we started with a good old-fashioned heated disagreement at 9:30am, a clunky trip through Hudson to sign our Last Will and Testaments, and then a ride back on the NY State Thruway that could only be described as “blood-curdling tedium.” A bunch of trucks were playing chicken with each other, blocking both lanes for about a hundred miles, stacking traffic at a 40 mph clip. Then we sat on top of the Tappan Zee Bridge – no lie – for 45 minutes doing absolutely nothing.

Once we got over the bridge, the traffic going the opposite direction was at a standstill for about five miles. Then, of course, the BQE blah blah blah whatever. A trip that normally takes us 2 hours ended up taking nine. By the time we got out of the car, I had a migraine so bad that I missed a very fun dinner (by all accounts) at Bistro St. Marks, attended by Tessa, our editor Jessie, and our music supervisor Amy Seidenwurm, who came here all the way from Los Angeles to talk shop. Amy’s one of those treasures: a rare mix of unassuming and talented, combining practicality with a true appreciation for the absurd.

I know I’ve said this before, but marrying a movie to its music has to be one of the hardest tasks in film, especially a comedy, when so much rides on the pacing and emotion of a certain sequence. Throw away your favorite albums when you make a soundtrack – songs may be the perfect complement to your life, but they will destroy your movie. Also, if you’re making an indie film, anything you’ve heard of will be too expensive for you to get. We are vying for this particular XTC song and it will no doubt eat up all our music money, but goddamit boys, some things are worth it.

XTC’s Andy Partridge

6/22/03 Columbia County, NY I’ve

6/22/03 Columbia County, NY

I’ve been fascinated to learn that there is a large cloud of unknown data currently clogging up the internet, leading system administrators and general dorks around the globe trying to find the source of it all. A good guess is some sort of “replicating worm” virus that takes up a lot of the world’s processing power and just makes it do a bunch of random shit. The difference with this particular cloud is that it is truly mammoth in scale.

The human equivalent to such an event is rampant obsessive-compulsive disorder, an affliction where patients fill their brains with useless minutiae and basically “think” themselves into a pathology. I know such disorders well, as my own youth was plagued by OCD to the point of semi-paralysis. I won’t go into the details here (putting them into text always make them look even worse) but suffice to say that things like walking to school take three times as long when you’ve got so many leaves, cracks, cars, squirrels, number of steps, swallows and making clicking noises with the back of your throat to worry about.

I definitely could have used what my nephew Lucas is taking, but they just didn’t have those options back in 1976. The way people take care of kids has got to be one of the most unheralded revolutions of modern society – everything is different now, even 20 years later. This was hammered home in Spellbound, a wonderful documentary about kids in the national Spelling Bee we saw today – these geeked-out students are surprisingly well-adjusted, and even the pushy parents know when enough’s enough.

Ah, but the fuzzy clouds of data wafting through the internet. It probably delayed you getting here by a half-second or so. It brings up another specter: the black, unknown cloud masses that lurk in the nether regions of the universe. One wonders how many more galaxies we’d see if it weren’t for these massive blockages, making me think that if there is a Creator, then It, too, occasionally thinks too much to finish the job.

6/21/03 Columbia County, NY Complaining

6/21/03 Columbia County, NY

Complaining about the weather is something that should be restricted to a quilting bee from the 1840s: nothing, except perhaps unrefrigerated halibut, ages worse than reading about how bad the weather was during a particular era. But this is a blog, a diary, and if I’m going to be reading this years from now (or if I get tremendously famous, and my biographers are picking through this thing posthumously) they and I need to know just how bad it has been.

I used to think that moving to Florida was the most efficient way to bring quick death to your dreams. Old people did it, and slid into early dementia, their brown carcasses hanging off their cancerous bodies, tennis lessons featuring players who can barely move, games of mah-jongg where nobody says anything for three days. Now that doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

The weather since mid-October has been one dreariness after another. It is so bad that the New York Times is running a different story each day about the collective mood of the Eastern Seaboard. To put it into numbers, it has been one of the coldest winters since 1888, the coldest spring since 1940, the wettest June ever recorded, the daily temperature has averaged 15 degrees below normal each day, and it has rained in New York City 29 of the last 52 days. Up here in Columbia County, it has been colder and rained more. Even Tessa, who normally views the weather with the same insouciance she reserves for hockey, finally lost it today.

On behalf of New England, I would officially like to extend my middle finger to the troposphere and say FUCK OFF ALREADY. I first posted this little forecast I made for March – almost four months ago – and it still holds true today. Just change the temperatures by a few degrees, and you’ve got it: