August 2003 Archives
August 28, 2003
It haunts my every waking moment...sorta.
I am obsessed with my new shirt.
First, it's not new - it's vintage. And it's not vintage from a Vintage Store - it's thrifted from the Value Village up on Watson Road. Three dollars. And it had a green stain when I bought it, but I didn't care. Thanks to Martha Stewart’s stain chart, it's stain free....for the moment. I'm hell on clothes.
So...the thought of this new shirt has entered my mind at least once a day since I bought it two weeks ago when I went junkin' with Mike. I love my new shirt. I have worn it three times this week and I'm not ashamed to admit it, either.
I am washing it in the sink immediately after wearing it. So there's no need to fear Grade-A Funk just in case you see me toodling down the street wearing it, which you probably will. This shirt is magic -- it dries in 5 minutes on the clothesline outside my house.
I haven't been this passionate about a piece of clothing in, like, forever. I do have moments of absolute devotion to new shoes....I got some Diesel flip-flops for $15 when I visited Bloomington with Dietrich - and I wear them at least once every day. But shoes are different.
I've always had this thing about wearing a shirt more than once a week, even if it's laundered. Maybe it goes back to my modest days on the farm in Kentucky, where we had at least 5 good outfits for school each week. There wasn't a sequence, per se, Monday this...Tuesday that...but I don't recall ever wearing something more than once a week.
And as for drag - hell...I probably didn't repeat an outfit in the same city for over five years. Going out to the gay bars (or any kind of bar, I imagine) is kinda like that, huh? Every outing is an opportuity to meet someone shiny and new....so look your best and wear something you've never worn out before? Do you repeat outfits when you go out? Write to me and let me know.
I don't know why I love my new shirt so much (it's no longer new...but it is the newest shirt I own...and perhaps it will retain that moniker – The New Shirt). It's sheer - which on me could be frightening - but with a crisp white tee underneath, I feel all snazzy. It's not too big and it's not too small. It's a funny cream color - I am an Autumn, after all.
Looking at it makes me happy. New things are like that. I keep thinking about the first time I'll wear my new shirt to Duffs, to the bar, on a date, out dancing, to the store, on a walk, out to dinner, out to a movie (maybe not - movies are always so chilly - and this is a shirt for when it is warm.) New things, new people, new places always hold the promise of being some sort of life-changing event. What will happen? Will it be magical and special? Will I remember this forever?
I do worry about getting stains on it - I almost had a tragic hot sauce accident at Culpeppers last night - and last week, the sleeve got snagged on a bit of metal in the door jamb at work (woker's comp for emotional distress?) But as I mentioned, I am hell on clothes. Even if something horrible (knock on wood) happens to me new shirt – I know I’ll always love it.
Maybe it's just the time of year. School is starting. There is a part of me that misses school. Buying new clothes, new shoes, new underwear and socks. The bags and bags of stuff in the back of my mom's car as we drove home and I wondered and sometimes worried about what the new school year would bring. I'd dash in the house and fill my brand new Trapper Keeper with college ruled notebook paper (more lines...more words...) while I summoned my energies for a new year of academic achievement.
Real life isn't like that. There's no grade. I think we're maybe kinda cruel to kids in that regard. There's not this finite period between now and mid-December in which I can scamper down the hall to my boss' office and say "Evaluate me! Evaluate me!" Granted, I do a crappy job, I get fired, get kicked out of my house, wind up in the gutter....that’s an evaluation….but there's no real opportunity to earn extra credit....
But my shirt is good!
My shirt is forever - it is spun plastic, after all. My shirt may be my legacy. Here is Rob's shirt. It made him happy and content.
I think that's pretty remarkable for a three dollar investment.
August 27, 2003
This little .gif plays 15 times and then stops - download it for hours of fun!
My mind is almost clear of all these troubling thoughts....My moment of existential angst has almost come to an end. After weeks of bitching and moaning, the omnipotent cultural power of Disney has reversed the trend towards inward examination....and on the path towards impulse purchasing!!!
Believe you me, I almost had a money mayday...and checked into cash! But...thankfully, I remained calm, but I had a moment of doubt...but the magic ding-dong bell of fresh e-mail from Friendster signaled that I was now a friend of Charo (you really don't expect a pop up here, now do you...if you don't know who Charo is, please close this window and never, ever return..ever!)
Anyway...Yes! Charo! Or a reasonable facsimile....I don't care!!
I'm still working on being friends with Kimberly....but I'm treading lightly with that one.
I have a goal of 50 Friendsters by year's end. Use my name, look me up - and join the masses. In case you don't know..."Friendster is an online community that connects people through networks of friends for dating or making new friends."
It's also a great way to meet stars!
August 26, 2003
I think I have this – and I think it’s all because of Cirque du Soleil.
I saw this show Saturday and I have never felt as happy as I was when I walked out of the big top. In my life…in my entire life…ever!
Every component of the show was outstanding:
and the performers were perfection - they were these incredible athletes/performers/actors/jugglers/singers.....
I was amazed by the level of physical and artistic accomplishment that I saw that night. Everything was sublime and I still cannot understand everything I saw that evening. And then I went to the after party for the cast and the opening night crowd at City Museum, which was, perhaps the best party that I’ve ever been to, and then on for hours of dancing to extraordinary house music.
I felt like I was on fire by night’s end.
But the next day…and the day later…and then by today…. I just felt…..empty.
In 1817, a young Frenchman named Marie-Henri Beyle — better known to us as the French novelist Stendhal — visited Florence and soon found himself overwhelmed by the city's intensely rich legacy of art and history. When he visited Santa Croce (the cathedral where the likes of Machiavelli, Michelangelo, and Galileo are buried) and saw Giotto's famous ceiling frescoes for the first time, he was overcome with emotion:
"I was in a sort of ecstasy, from the idea of being in Florence, close to the great men whose tombs I had seen. Absorbed in the contemplation of sublime beauty ... I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations ... Everything spoke so vividly to my soul. Ah, if I could only forget. I had palpitations of the heart, what in Berlin they call 'nerves.' Life was drained from me. I walked with the fear of falling.''
160 years later, in the late 1970s, Dr. Graziella Magherini, at the time the chief of psychiatry at Florence's Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, noticed that many of the tourists who visited Florence were overcome with anything from temporary panic attacks to bouts of outright madness that lasted several days. She remembered that Stendhal had had similar symptoms, so she named the condition Stendhal's syndrome. (When she first applied this name isn't clear, but it may have been as early as 1979.)
So…here I am, three days later, sitting at my laptop…. still in total amazement about my night at Cirque du Soleil. Now I know that one night at the Circus is nothing like a week in Florence (would I be in a coma if I went to Europe?), but it was still extraordinarily profound and I left feeling unaccomplished and distracted.
Distracted by a nice, cute fella who is far, far away....distracted by life, by art, by money, by porn, by television, by politics, by NPR, by Friendster, by friends, by enemies, by family.....distracted by hot summer nights, by loneliness, by company, by business, by e-mail, by music, by eating, by dieting, by coffee, by smoking, by soda, by drinking, by not drinking, by working out, by not working out, by sleeping, by not sleeping…….by this blog, even.
It’s the opposite of hopeless – because all of the things I mentioned as distractions are things that fundamentally make me happy or are things that I enjoy, or are things that I’ve given up or know that I need to give up…..
I don’t feel that I’m very good at doing any of these things --accomplished or skilled in doing any of those things, or strong enough to forgo the things that make me unhappy or are unhealthy.
I just wonder if I need to let something go – do I throw away my television, leave my laptop at work, quit going to Taco Bell?
Is my plan that when I leave my laptop at work....that I go to bed early every night, so that I can wake up an hour earlier every day and walk/workout and, in the meantime, avoid carbs and do crunches? Will doing this increase my confidence and make me feel okay, again?
Do I call my mom more than once a week, do I call my friends at least once a week, do I forgo blogging and go to a real therapist?
Do I find that creative outlet that will help me achieve a sense of artistic accomplishment? Even if I do decide what the creative outlet is, will it be meaningful or relevant, or matter?
AAARRGGHHH!!! It’s just too much.
I’m going to clean the kitchen cabinets. I think I can do that with some level of skill….
August 23, 2003
nnjdavid: Hey guy
nnjdavid: Good evening
soulpwr (this is me): ... [ Just the series of periods since I thought he was some stupid robot/porn site link -- he has no profile ]
nnjdavid: Good evening
nnjdavid: How are you?
nnjdavid: David here
nnjdavid: I am in charge?
nnjdavid: Hi thre [ uh, oh.....bad sign.... ]
soulpwr: I thought you might be a pesky little bot
nnjdavid: Not here
nnjdavid: Topguy here
soulpwr: well, yay! [ What are you supposed to say to that? Like I give a shit...... ]
soulpwr: are you in St. Louis? [ Change the subject tactic.... ]
nnjdavid: Central West End
soulpwr: why don't you have a profile?
nnjdavid: I do not know what happened to the damm thing
nnjdavid: : Stats...
nnjdavid: 172 lbs
soulpwr: LOL...it just vanished? [ He's all rapid-fire stats, and I just wanted to know why he didn't have a profile ]
nnjdavid: 37 yo
soulpwr: That all sounds nice...do I know you? [ Give a compliment...try to personalize the conversation. ]
nnjdavid: Nope......want to?
soulpwr: Hah......that I do not know...I'm not much into random hookups.... [ Just telling the truth...but by this point, I was ready to stir the pot a little. ]
nnjdavid: I see
nnjdavid: Everything starts somewhere
nnjdavid: Plus this is not church....LOL
soulpwr: Are you saying there's something wrong with church? [ Stir.... ]
soulpwr: Or just trying to pick up guys at church? [ Stir some more.... ]
nnjdavid: Of course not
soulpwr: Or cruising at church? [ Lets go for a full crank..... ]
nnjdavid: Well it would seem perhaps we are on a differnt page. Have fun and of course good luck [ of course ?? ]
soulpwr: yeah...charmed.... [ By this point....who cares?? ]
nnjdavid: Well what ever just not into coy
soulpwr: oh, I'm not coy - just not interested - I'm not into someone's first words being...Top...
nnjdavid: See ya [ Yay!!! Dreadful conversation is over.....but no!!!!!! ]
nnjdavid: Do not think was the firt words [ firt? ]
nnjdavid: I would think a tubby would be greatfull that someone showed a interest [ !!!!!!! There's so much that's wrong with this statement !!!!!! ]
soulpwr: Oh, I should have gratitude???
nnjdavid: Have a great weekend. I understand it is going to a tad cooler
soulpwr: well....my extra fat will keep me warm.....hope you don't catch a chill.... [ OK -- he hit a nerve.... ]
nnjdavid: Me to
nnjdavid: Nice guy I am sure. Just not nice to throw darts [ !!!!! Once again, huh? !!!!! ]
nnjdavid: You are an Adult...one would think
nnjdavid: And you know where you are
nnjdavid: Have a great weekend
soulpwr: throwing darts???
soulpwr: OK...this is very strange...
soulpwr: I am intrigued, yet appalled. Be sure to say hello again..... [ By this point... I am soooo confused..... ]
nnjdavid: Lets leave it at that guy....you said you were not interested....Great...stop sending privates [ Stop???Did I ever start??? ]
nnjdavid: I tried to be nice
nnjdavid: you chose to be abrubt
August 20, 2003
I've been stuck in a contemplative mode the past couple of days. Last night
at a party for the Contemporary
Art Museum I ran into someone from college who said, " the purpose of an
artist's life is to make sense of the chaos...."
Well...never let it be said that I avoid the challenge of creating order from the chaos. But I am easily distracted and sometimes work best if I have a little bit of direction. So, I sought out the advice of my psychic counselors and found way too many options:
Today, re-evaluate, and make a new plan. If you're having trouble motivating yourself to strive for the goal you haven't met yet, endeavors such as meditation, physical workouts and counseling bring passion back.
Your values will be strengthened by today's planetary alignments, Robert. Someone may challenge you by confronting your beliefs with opposing ones. Take the time to listen to their opinions and look for the overlap with your own. You will both get a better understanding of each other this way and perhaps gain a more respect for opposing viewpoints. If you are willing to learn from others they will be willing to learn from you.
Today, dear Aquarius, consider trying to channel your philosophical inspirations into some creative writing. As an air sign, this is probably something you would enjoy. So, even if you haven't expressed yourself in this way before, there's no better day than this one to give it a whirl. Try your hand at poetry or fiction. If this feels too daunting, start a journal, as this will give you a place to collect your thoughts and insights.
Sometimes you have to grab life by the scruff of the neck and shake it into submission - and sometimes you have to do that with people, too - and at some point today, you will come to the end of your patience and you will let certain people know that you have just about had it with their laziness and lack of ambition. Perhaps the time has come for you to go your own separate ways.
Hedonism and altruism struggle for your soul. Life is good, but are you required by some unwritten cosmic law to spread the wealth around when you have it? Should you serve yourself or should you be of service to someone else? Understand that these things aren't mutually exclusive. When you help a needy or desiring friend, it's a lot more fun than you can imagine. You like the same things, after all, so the magic still runs strong for both of you. Your creative solution will make everyone's day better. That's a real reason to be proud.
****sigh***** so I am supposed to make a plan, work out, journal, get into an argument and struggle with hedonism and altruism.....
That's quite a challenge. There's only so much time in a day...and I do have to find some time to work, pay bills, feed the cat, watch TV and vacantly stare out into space while I muddle through the chaos of life and establish meaning and purpose.
Well, needless to say, I didn't get all that accomplished...I did think about what I would wear to the Saturday premier of Cirque du Soleil, I walked around the neighborhood and I got into a pretty heated exchange about how sex can get a well-intentioned person into a whole lotta trouble.
I think I'm gonna stick to one horoscope tomorrow.
August 18, 2003
Tonight I watched Wait Until Dark while I worked on some ads for the next issue of the paper.
I so love bratty Gloria....well...duhh...of course I do. Nerdy...overly sensitive...jealous of Audrey Hepburn's ultra-glamminess (even as a "cranky and irritable super blind lady" - her words not mine).
Anyway, I was sitting here in the dark (as Kelly suggested) thinking about what the audience in 1967 must of thought of the film, and how they must have reacted to seeing Ms. Hepburn so helpless and vulnerable.
The music is really disturbing at moments. That spooky blourng-bwong sound creates such uneasiness. Hell, the whole film has such an uneven emotional tone that when combined with the film's neutral color scheme -- the bleak urban landscape and that janky apartment -- you can't help but feel trapped in a world riddled with crooks, thieves and mercenary n'er-do-wells (along with a bratty 'tween upstairs neighbor).
In the special features section on the DVD, Alan Arkin comments on the cultural shift going on in the U.S. at the time. Ultimately, the urban landscape really did become as menacing as the film portrays....in strange contrast to the only-slightly-menacing urban environment that the n'er-do-well Sally Tomato occupied in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Sure he was up to no good, and he was in Sing Sing, but he was still likable and Ms. Hepburn was never in any real danger. And Manhattan was sooooo pretty in Breakfast at Tiffany's....and so stylish.....*sigh*
Thinking about it, so many of my favorite movies are from that decade: Psycho...Baby Jane.....Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ....The Manchurian Candidate....Rosemary's Baby.....To Kill a Mockingbird ....The Apartment...
Oh, my goodness....feels like a Blockbuster Night (or weekend) is gonna be comin' on long and strong.
What adoring these films says about my own emotional state of mind....well, that's between me and my therapist.
August 16, 2003
TRIPPING DOWN MEMORY LANE
Our server died at work and I had to back up tons of files. In the process, I found image folders from my previous computer (that also bit the dust - do I detect a pattern??? Anyway.....)
I'd backed up a ton off stuff on the server- as well as freelance projects, and all sorts of vintage and advertising images that I use for work, for fun...for, well...life!
In trying to reorganize and compartmentalize the thousands of images that I now have on my computer (6 gigs, 7 years of digital images!!), I stumbled across some photos I hadn't thought about for a while.
I guess it's time to start thinking about Halloween 2003! Last year's homage to Timmy, is my all time favorite...and there's still time to think about what awaits us this All Hallow's Eve....but tick tock goes the glitter clock....
August 12, 2003
Yaaayyy!!! What a funny site - folks really have too much fun making this music.
The Human League was a lot of fun last night, and I was amazed by the folks who knew every single word to every single song.
August 11, 2003
I think I’m getting too old for this shit.
Saturday night, I went to a party. Little arty bohemian, alterna-crowd, lots of youngish folks in the early-to-mid-20’s, I reckon. There was mingling and conversation on the beautiful garden patio, folks were drinking, smoking, playing guitars, while others milled around a keg of beer and danced inside.
There were a couple of DJs spinning some old school Dance Fever tunes: mixing rap, trance, house into Bel Biv DeVoe then into old school Prince… and then back into Boogie Woogie magic. Then some fancy folks showed up with a wine delivery at 1 AM….and glam girls showed up around 3:00 AM straight from the nightclub.
The crowd was an interesting mix. Cute alterna gay boys, a few hot alterna straight boys (who might not have been so straight after that last beer)…lots of sassy straight girls with their hunky tattooed boyfriends (who were very straight…even after that last beer)….and some very sexy smartass ladies of indeterminate orientation. Should have been a lotta fun, right?
Trouble is….I spent a majority of my time at the party engaged in typical party mode: smarting off, dancing, laughing and engaging in gossip, while this little voice in my head kept telling me something was wrong.
Girls...give me guidance!
Back to this subject in a moment. The prelude to this is the other night before going to Les Nubians, as I was getting ready, I had a total confidence meltdown. Now, these aren’t totally uncommon. Every now and then, I hate my clothes, my aging saggy body, my greying hair…that’s just normal, we all go through it…they talk about it on The View all the time. I just find a cute outfit, drink some more coffee, or put on my contacts lenses…and I’m okay. Usually, it’s just a quick fix. But as I was styling my quickly graying hair…the thought raced through my mind that I was on the verge of becoming that slightly older gay guy that you see at parties and you wonder why is he there.
I don’t know if you know the guy that I’m talking about. It’s not the 49 year old gay guy who decides he should be a raver. It’s that other guy that you see at parties and events. He’s clearly cool – he not a poseur…he’s not unwelcome…but he is slightly advanced in years…and you always wonder (well at least I do): How does he stay connected to the scene? Why does he stay connected to the scene? Is he nice? What’s he like? Is he sad? Why is he alone? Isn’t he a little too old to be here? Why is he here?
I suddenly was shaken to the core of my being. This very strange hyperawareness of my existence started creeping in...and I was suddenly anxious. Anxious like my freshman years of high school and college…anxious and totally lacking in confidence…. It was nerve wracking, ‘coz even though there are times when I hate my gut, my grey, etc….I still have some core identity that quells the doubts, pulls it all back together, snaps it all down….and I’m ok. I usually know who I am, and know where I fit in. I know my scene and I feel confident in my place in it. But all that crashed and burned in a few seconds.
I had the same identity scare at the party. Suddenly I didn’t feel young and edgy…suddenly I didn’t feel anything but old, a tad too cynical, a little irritated by the party chatter, very irritated at some drunk boy’s sloppy advances, annoyed by the drunk girl spilling wine on her white capris…and incensed by the punk rock boy’s puking red wine on the kitchen floor…..and for a brief second, I felt like an outsider to this little world that has been my scene, so to speak, since I was in college. I suddenly felt like I didn’t belong – like I was just a welcome visitor, a spectator and not a willing participant. I felt like Diane Freaking Fosse.
I’m now wondering if the parties and the events and the things that used to matter really even matter to me anymore. I had a great time at the concert the other night and it’s not like I think I should just stay home and knit sweaters for the poor. I want to see my friends and hang out… I just wonder if I should be doing that at 4 AM with a bunch of 21 year old kids. And I do choose to hang out with 21 year olds, can I be comfortable in my 32 year old skin?
I guess this post sounds really whiny….but I’m really out of sorts. I thought that knowing where you fit in and where you don’t was a teenage crisis, not something I’d be wondering about at this point in my life. And I am starting to question whether I am a stopping point, or a point of new departure. Glamour Magazine says cut your hair, change your life.
I’m thinking a new hair do isn’t gonna do the trick this time….
Me...and my alter ego.
A case of mistaken identity…
Okay...more than ever, I am sure that I need a total overhaul. So...yesterday was Black Gay and Lesbian Pride and the paper has a booth at the event. I got a little dressed up, ironed a shirt, put on my bling and headed on over to Forest Park to pass out copies of the paper and the Pride Pages. The festival was fun, and ended with some very dramatic dance moves as the queens had this mini-ball, Paris is Burning, drag-o-rama, runway dancethon fashion showdown.
Yay! High kicks and spins and twirls for days!
I of course was so very tempted to join the fray…but when I do runway…it’s the wrong way….and the last thing I wanted to do was attempt a high kick and have my flip flop fly into some queen’s face.
So… it was down to Clementines afterwards...and that was fun. I ran into some folks I haven’t seen since I was a florist (Happy birthday, Michael!)…and Yay! More good times…
Then...once again…things got very strange. At one point, some fella pulled my shirt outta my pants…hee hee silly rabbit…the Trix aren’t for you….and I skipped off, flattered, but a little out of sorts. Then…and this is the strange part, folks, this ultra super dreamy…like way-wicked-super-dreamy fella comes over and whispers in my ear…
Can you see my soul???
I couldn’t understand him...and I turned around and then he starts this whole rigmarole about how looking into someone’s eyes gives you a glimpse of their soul….I have pretty eyes...a great smile…luscious lips…..blah blah blah….it’s 10:30 PM on a Sunday at Clementines…we’ve all heard this spiel before.
I wasn’t buying it and then he starts getting a little aggressive. OK – this is unexpected…. Super dreamy fellas trying to cop a feel….it got my attention, but still seemed a little out of character for someone so dreamy and especially since the crispness had left my outfit, my hair was looking a little Heatmeisery and my bling was leaving a welt on my neck.
So…he leans over again and starts talking about how he wants to party….then he specifically brings up drugs…huh? Then he says I look like the kinda guy that could score him drugs...or has drugs for sale!!!!!!
Oh, no! He did not just say I look like a drug dealer. And…oh…as he continued on….he did not just say I look like a coke dealer!
Ya know, I’ve encountered a lot of folks during my life…but my cadre of friends aren’t dealers, which I try to tell him ever so politely and then I start getting rude. He insists….saying he’s got money….blah blah blah…. I’m convinced he’s some hopped up Narc or some total coke head….either way, when he goes to the bathroom, I split…I headed off to the Upstairs Lounge to see my friends, where I drank a Coke and calmed down. And things, for that moment in time, seemed to be okay…..
Tonight I am going to see The Human League at the Pageant. I’m hoping trouble doesn’t find me tonight…otherwise, this little squirrel is going to batten down the hatches and hibernate for a good long time.
August 9, 2003
What an amazing show!
I am totally in love with Marie Daulne from Zap Mama....she had such an amazing presence and an incredible voice. The music itself was dense and rich and textured and incorporated technology with traditional instruments, and the flat-out unexpected -- at one point it looked like she was whistling into mini-liquor bottles (like you see on airplanes). These bottles (they could have been some sort of instrument -- I don't know) created this really weird hollow, high pitched tones tones....but it was so beautiful.
She also did flips at the end of the show....like flying through the air kinda flips...handstands and acrobatics...with no wires..and she didn't even drink whatever was in those bottles either!!! It was tremendous. There also was an amazing bass player from Zap Mama whom I met, and she, too was an amazing singer, and extra super-duper nice.
It sounds so cheesy to talk about the vibe....but it was just amazing. I image that there was a wee-bit of toking going on in the cars outside of Mississippi Nights . There were a lot of folks with really, really red eyes just bobbing their heads to the beat with big ole smiles on their faces.
Oh..and Les Nubians were good too...but perhaps a bit too slick. They, too
have beautiful voices...but their performance felt so staged in contrast to
the high kicking fun and raw honesty of Zap Mama. The performance just felt
too rehearsed...but man...they can harmonize beautifully. It was nice just listening
They did sing a song entitled Saravah. They said it's about Brazil....and saying goodbyes...and saying hello. ******sigh***** Fortunately, my French is lousy....so I just smiled, made up my own translation and tapped my foot while my mind drifted around the world.....
The show was great, but Kelly and I were ready for more flips and hijinks....
so we picked up Jim and went to the Complex...
Where I have to admit I had a really good time. I saw friends, and spent time catching up with my pal Roxanna in the back bar, listening to Dee-Lite (Lady Kier is now a DJ - click here) and talking about Dynasty reruns and what's going on NBC's Passions.
Good times all around.
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