Friday, September 26, 2008

Dear It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:

Thank you for proving that old adage "Be careful what you wish for": tonight's episode was pretty much exactly what I thought I wanted to see for a while now.

But you did exactly what you always did: you made that creepy.

Fortunately, beefcake of TJ Hoban is excessively easy to find on teh internets, proving once again that love should be held on for teh internets.

And, should I ever get rid of my new willies about Glenn Howerton, photo evidence of his time on That 80s Show is still extant to put the kybosh on that.

Also: So, umm, how long before the Waitress and Sweet Dee bang? It's all that's left.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

2-D Boys, 3-D World

So these would be DJ Judas (third from the left) from Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil and Jacob from Octopus Pie.

I know they're fictional, but they're still pretty hot. I have mixed feelings about admitting that. A part of me would like to say "Ah, but I know their real-life counterparts" -- or the type of their RLC -- but I don't.

Having actually worked in a Manhattan organic food store, I can say with authority that there was no-one like Jacob there. Or in the Chapel Hill store, for that matter. In fact, the closest I ever saw was Crazy Brian from Dairy, who was crazy. And worked in the dairy department. And was last seen fleeing to Chicago.

I'm uncertain of the inter-relation of those three things, if any.

Oddly enough, I mentioned him when I was with Laura this past weekend, despite having not once thought of him in years*. He took me to Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill (well... Carrboro) to see a band called Cursive. It was the most awful show I'd ever seen, and was the only one I've ever walked out of, including Pedro the Lion. I hope his taste in music got better.

The closest thing I ever saw to DJ Judas**, despite being an actual DJ, was half of a bizarrely similar, androgynous hipster couple also in Chapel Hill, half of which I once danced to "Cemetery Gate" and sang along to "This Charming Man" with.

Que est-ce que c'est passe a vous, Les Androgynes, mes amours?

Noontime youths,

thighs and groins tight-jean-displayed,

loiter onto Union Square,

junkies flower-scattered there,

lost in dream, torso-bare,

young as you, old as I, voicing soundlessly a cry ...

Androgyne, mon amour,

shadows of you name a price

exorbitant for short lease.

What would you suggest I do,

wryly smile and turn away,

fox-teeth gnawing chest-bones through?

Androgyne, mon amour,

cold withdrawal is no cure

for addiction grown so deep.

Now, finally, at cock's crow,

released in custody of sleep,

dark annealment, time-worn stones

far descending,

no light there, no sound there,

entering depths of thinning breath,

farther down more ancient stones,

halting not, drawn on until

Ever treacherous, ever fair,

at a table small and square,

not first light but last light shows ...

Androgyne, mon amour.

--Tennessee Williams

*She probably would have liked him. She also liked Carl though she never met him, and Carl's claim to fame was that he had been dumped by an albino circus midget. Yes, really. Pity that was the only interesting thing about him.
And no, for anyone who's heard the story, that Carl wasn't the same one who was going to marry a Vietnamese girl to fund his coke habit.

**Although... I *do* know someone who looks like DJ Judas (sort of) but is named Jacob. Weird.

I have this theory...

...that stupid people think the rest of the world is as stupid as they are. I think that Clay Aiken
actually taking time to say he's gay
, as if anyone was unaware of it, is solid proof of this.

But then again, most of his fan base was upset with him for having a child out of wedlock, so his fan-base must self-select some level of functional daily delusion. Maybe some of them /didn't/ figure out he was gay.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Top Five Events of the Weekend

1) Ms Laura Llew. The best time of the weekend came exactly when I should have known but exactly when I was too stupid to realise. I spent the late morning one day talking about nothing specific but everything important. I'd tell you the topics but... No.

2) Fried Eggs on Hamburgers. Sounds foul, but is the height of delicious. I literally did not eat for almost 36 hours because nothing could ever be as good or as filling. You think endless French Fries sounds hot? THEY FADE TO NOTHING NEXT TO RED ROBIN BURGERS. Even with the Red Robin crack on the Fries.

3) Maxxie from Skins. Oh, how I'd love to put up a picture to illustrate this, but I can't find a picture that does justice to the character over the actor. Anyway, watch the "Maxxie and Anwar" episode of series one, the pre-title scenes have at least one lovely, up-close shot of him (freckles and all) that is pretty much a wet dream. Of course he isn't actually gay. This was the last thing I watched before I left for Charleston, and it gave me not one useful idea.

4) Brazilian Soccer Boys. What, your team had five people to a room in the Charleston hotel? Why, I had one whole empty queen bed, a sofa-bed and a roll-away! For the merest snog, you could have got you some! I can even pretend to speak Portuguese:

"O aria raio, oba oba oba

Mas que nada

Sai da minha frente, eu quero passar

Pois o samba esta animado

O que eu quero e sambar

Este samba que e misto de maracatu

E samba de preto velho, samba de preto tu!"

5) Local Comic Store Boys: Maybe I was spoiled in Chapel Hill, but Comic Store Boys ought to be more than a little cute. Certainly they ought not to insult me for liking Doctor Who. It's not like the Star Trek bitches gots a TV series on at the moment!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I wonder how much of this will last 24 hours?

It almost seems ungrateful to write the following, considering the lovely weekend I just spent. But my gut tells me this post has a minuscule shelf-life. Self-indulgence*, and that is what this post is, I make no bones about it, is the evil Siamese twin of self-loathing. And like a boil, if it's not lanced, it will only get worse. So onwards and up words (as it were), up my own arse. FTW!

It's amazing just how often you see New York City. On television. In movies. In adverts. I mean, you can make a concerted effort not to see it -- I don't know, cancel the Tivo's season pass to Law and Order or something -- but it will creep up on in something as seemingly innocuous as behind the opening title on Newsnight. Even something as unlikely as a Faulkner novel -- The Mansion, his final novel in the Snopes trilogy, a series about the effects of one family on one county in the Mississippi Delta -- gets a chapter in the City, complete with a beautifully evocative description of the kind only he could write.

Thanks, Billy, we'll chalk that up to the hooch, too. It's either that or think you have a personal vendetta against someone born a decade and a half after you died. And that's just crazy. Isn't it?

Anyway, I don't think you notice as much before you move there, or even while you are there, as much as you do after you leave. And it kills me to see it. It hurts. It leaves a big, five-borough-shaped hole right where my heart would be.

It might be the time of year. This time of year is a just a few weeks after I first moved there. It was long enough after that everything had sort of settled down. I had a rhythm going. I was learning where things were, and how to get around. The summer heat had finally broken, and it was nice to be outside, so I got to take a walk every day between Columbus Circle and Park Ave and 68th Street, right through Central Park.

And even if I didn't have a penny to /do/ anything, it didn't much matter, because just walking around experiencing New York is doing more than you can actively do anywhere else in the world. It's a part of the process that changes you from someone from somewhere else into a New Yorker.

And for a big hunk of the world, that means something. People who are from a city, any city, I think, can never understand that. But being a New Yorker has an allure all its own. You can say it's purely mythical, but it's not. Like any myth, there's some scruple of truth buried in it somewhere. It's a worldliness, a bored kind of savoire faire that comes from too much experience with endless possibility.

And that gets coupled with economic reality. It may be a cliche to repeat "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere", but it is true. And there are industries there that don't exist in the rest of the country. Nobody ever ran away to Des Moines to be a fashion designer; no little kid dreams of making it to the bright lights of Buffalo's Broadway shows. To be there, to be a part of it, just to actively work there is a culmination and success in and of itself, the answer to the prayer of a thousand days of work and the validation of a thousand nights of dreaming. Heady stuff.

And to leave against your will is... I don't know. Whatever the antithesis of hope is. The actualisation of despair? The physicalisation of failure. Langston Hughes wrote about the results of a dream deferred, but is it any more dangerous to shove your face up against the factual negation of an actualised dream than it is to explode? Exploding, at least, does something. It has power.

Hope is a powerful thing. So is the ability -- or is that right? -- to fool yourself into potential. I think someone's who's lost both, hope and its alchemized form, potential, has lost one of the things that makes himself. Or herself. Or hirself.

When I left, I expected to feel this way. I also expected it to get better after a while. It hasn't. What keeps me up at night, what I do now that I don't really sleep in any meaningful way any more, isn't the thought that I couldn't make it back there again. I could, I suppose, if I really wanted to. I just... why? Why slave for a decade and take all the hits in expectation of success when it can all go away in just a few days? Why hope?

It's funny. This weekend, I had a discussion with someone about blogging. "Ahh," I said. "I'm vain enough to think people will want to read what I have to say, but not so vain that I think they want to hear me read it aloud, audio-blog or podcasting style." The point of 95% or so of what I post is legitimately for that purpose, to be read. I think this falls into the other 5%; its purpose is mainly cathartic, I think, though it may then have better been written on flashpaper: to have served its purpose in organizing my thoughts, physically writing them out and editing them into the semblance of coherence, then to let catharsis, that reaction of the heart whose results we all know so well, but whose process remains shrouded in proud Athenian secrecy, work its magic thereon, and then to be burned so purely that no reliquary ash remains.

Through no active desire of my own, nor via any self-teaching, I remain deeply imbued with that deeply Protestant work ethic -- so basic and inherent that it transcends even the notional boundaries that separated the C. of E.nglish from their Dissenting fellows, and even the boundaries of that England from her Continental Reformed siblings, and so became the bedrock of both halves of early America, and which still may be the only thing in common between the South and the rest of the Country -- which holds as self-evident that work is of itself good and that a spell of productivity is the easiest way, not barring even love, for any man to heal himself of afflictions spiritual, romantic or political and that might be my cure**. So my impulse is to work. And I can and do devise a thousand petty tasks a day in the idea that some of it will do something good somewhere, but the little inky spot in the back of my brain keeps pointing out how that isn't working and ultimately a sort of permanent Doing Nothing seems like as a viable an option as doing very little.

And this, in the end, is one of those thousand daily tasks that add up to nothing. Well, I say nothing, but all it does is stir up within me anger and pity and loathing. Loathing all the more since I know mere loathing never did accomplish much (see above). And as much anger and bile it stirs up, it isn't aimless, at least. Never that. I know where it goes. As they say, I have a man for that.

*Mika and his Momma, of course, are wrong. Too much candy won't rot your soul. Self-indulgence will. Wait... No, Mika is cute enough for slack. I'll give this one to him.

**Which is, of course, why our president betakes himself to Crawford Ranch and clears brush all the time.