Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Not Safe For Work

Or for mom's - so stop reading now, ok?

And the theme for the night is: Why did Marlon Brando fall so hard? Was he always mad, and we just didn't know it for his beauty? Or did his beauty destroy him? Or maybe beauty like that is never long for this world.

Roy and I finished watching Reflections in a Golden Eye a few nights ago. It's hard to find, and I was excited to stumble across a copy on e-bay. It sounded like a lost masterpiece - directed by John Huston based on a novel by Carson McCullers, and starring Brando as a repressed gay military commander of a southern army base and Elizabeth Taylor as his out of control nymphomaniac wife. Julie Harris cuts off her nipples with a pair of garden sheers, Zorro David plays an embarrassingly campy Filipino house boy, Taylor whips Brando during a garden party, and Robert Forster rides his horse bareback and bare ass naked through the woods.

All that, yet all the movie does is bore you. It tries to scandalize us, as if that would be enough. It doesn't even work as camp - it's too slow moving. Brando is hot in middle-age but mumbles his lines. He's more of a caricature of Brando than the actual man.

And now, for the second time in a week, Brando supplies the craptastic. His posthumous novel has been nominated for Britain's Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction award. The Guardian has the long list of nominees, and while Brando is awful my vote still goes to Giles Coren. Like Zorro indeed.

This is going to be painful. You have been warned.

from Fan Tan

by Marlon Brando and Donald Cammell

In a moment Annie was on his side, Madame Lai was like a plant growing over him, and her little fist (holding the biggest black pearl) was up his asshole planting the pearl in the most appreciated place.

"Oh, Lord," he cried out. "I'm a-comin'!"

She could not answer. It is the one drawback of fellatio as conscientious as hers that it eliminates the chance for small talk and poetry alike. But nothing is exactly perfect in this life, and for Annie Doultry the delicate but firm pressure on his rear parts was in perfect harmony with the eruption of his cock. He came and he came - we are dealing with a hero here. At one point his lover backed away to inspect the unaltered gush of it, like a plumber saying to a customer, "Don't blame me. This water supply will stop when the dam's empty."

The bed creaked and its old springs twanged as he levered into action with his hungry stomach and his big slippery mouth. Annie was at work again. With a practiced flick of the wrist designed for heavier work, he eased the cheongsam's slit wider to expose the entire butterball thigh. Without perceptible movement, her legs were now definitely farther apart, and their musculature was unresistant and frothy, as if they were no longer bearing her weight. In a sense, she seemed to float upon the musty air like an arrangement of balloons. Evidently the dexterous licking of the inside of her left knee was contributing to her support, as it would soon to her downfall.

When it came, it was a float rather than a fall. Annie's left hand was completely occupied, each finger playing a separate tune upon the delicate complexities of her pussy, so it must have been the right one that slid under her ass and elevated her and floated her onto the bed - or more precisely, onto Annie, onto his broad stomach, the sturdy muscles beneath expressly relaxed to provide the comfort of a mattress of familiar Celtic flesh. An unintelligible muttering sound came from Yummee as she subsided on top of him. It could have been a prayer to one of her goddesses, or a threat. ...

Nap time is over

Well, that didn't last long. I'll be daydreaming, and find myself composing little anecdotes about my day for the blog. I guess she's not ready to be put to pasture yet.

The problem is, my favorite bloggers either document their adventures in foreign lands or detail step by step accounts of complete mental breakdowns some even set to music.

Since I can't travel for a few months, and I haven't figured out how to upload my mixes, I'll settle for psychosis. I quit smoking again 3 days ago, so this should be fun. Maybe if I put all this in writing I'll be less likely to relapse. It's not as chic as heroin withdrawal [see the music link above], but I'm sure I'll get in some good mania, depression, and GI distress before it's over.

I have two 21mg patches left over from my last failed attempt. Which wasn't even an attempt - I wore the patches on the plane so I wouldn't be a total spaz. And even then, I would rip them off at every transfer point so that I could run outside and smoke. This time I've been cutting them in half so that they will last longer.

So far so good. I'm a bit hyper, but I also feel my lungs starting to clear. I'll be hitting the gym hard, so hopefully I'll bulk up instead of chunking up. I'm back to 190 [versus 180 after Istanbul]. Not sure how high I'll go this round.

Had my first internet date in a long time last night. Or 'date.' Darin [his real name, of course] and I agreed to meet at a Starbucks near his house. He never showed. Lucky for him, I think, because I called Madame L. while I was waiting ... and I learned a few things about my date.

One of the good things about having a slut for a friend is that you can get the dirty scoop on a lot of folks. And what I learned is that Darin does not quite have the athletic body he advertised. The baggy shirt in his photo was hiding pointy little man boobs, a pot belly, and skinny arms. Like one of those aliens from Roswell, says Madame L.

Oh silly man. Don't ever lie to a man with a blog, much less lie and then stand him up. I have no shame in naming names, Darin who works at Cost-Co. I waited thirty minutes for formalities sake, and when there was no sign of him I took off.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Time Out

I’m thinking about putting this blog to rest. I loved doing it while on the road. I find I’m not so interested in writing now that I’m home. I’ll probably use it as a random scrapbook of things I find interesting, and write again for an audience when I travel again ...

... which will be in exactly 88 days. I found tickets to Honolulu-Sydney tickets for $610 roundtrip. Mardi Gras here I come!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Massacre in Fallujah

I found a site that links to the Italian documentary that is causing all the fuss everywhere [except here, and why the f*** is that???]

Massacre in Fallujah

Pass it along.

The first half is alright, but doesn't offer much concrete evidence to back the producer's claims that the military used white phosphorus and napalm [MK-77, technically it's not Napalm. It's a 500 lb fire bomb that spreads a burning gel that is only similar to Napalm. Because Napalm is banned].

The second half makes up for that with the testimony of former US Marines who fought at Fallujah; photos of men, women, and children who's skin has melted off; and a horrifying video of a helicopter fire-bombing a neighborhood.

I cleaned up some old links, and added this one:

This site is the mouthpiece for a group of soldiers who are fighting in a war they oppose for a president they didn't elect while the petrochemical complex turns the blood of their fallen comrades into oil

I'm too pissed right now to write much. Life is pretty good outside what I see in the news. I started another emergency-hire stint at DLNR, and it was good to see everyone again. I got the runt office, though! We moved into new offices while I was gone, and all the good furniture was picked over. I have the squeaky chair, the mis-matched file cabinets, the smaller than normal cubicle, no computer, and ... no more window. Ah well. The permanent guy will have to fight for what he needs. I've had one interview for a full time position ... and really hoping I get it.

Friday, November 18, 2005

No More Yahoo! Emails

I use Earthink, and they seem to be having a conflict with Yahoo - I can't recieve any mail from people with a Yahoo email account. I thought it was because I was on the road, but I'm still having the same problem at home. Earthlink assures me that their "engineers are working on it."

So, if you Yahoo and have emailed me in the past month and a half, I'm not ignoring you. I haven't got your mails. If it's important, drop a line here.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

White Phosphorus

I guess this hasn't hit the US press yet ... a certain monkey thought I was making it up ... so here it is, straight from the BBC through me to you:

Iraq probes US phosphorus weapons

An Iraqi human rights team has gone to the city of Falluja to investigate the use of white phosphorus as a weapon by US forces, a minister has told the BBC.

Acting Human Rights Minister Narmin Uthman said her staff would examine the possible effects on civilians.

The US has now admitted using white phosphorus as a weapon in Falluja last year, after earlier denying it.

The substance can cause burning of the flesh but is not illegal and is not classified as a chemical weapon.

The BBC's Caroline Hawley in Baghdad says it will be some time before the human rights team reports back.

In other developments in Iraq:

  • Sunni parties demand an international inquiry into the alleged abuse of more than 170 detainees by Iraqi forces in Baghdad.

  • Three US soldiers are killed in a roadside bomb near Baghdad

  • A car bomb kills a US marine in Karmah, 80km (50 miles) west of Baghdad.

Italian TV station Rai alleged last week that the US had used phosphorus against built-up areas, and that civilians were killed.

The report sparked fury among Italian anti-war protesters, who demonstrated outside the US embassy in Rome.

The US initially said white phosphorus had been used only to illuminate enemy positions, but now admits it was used as a weapon.

BBC defence correspondent Paul Wood says having to retract that denial is a public relations disaster for the US.

A Pentagon spokesman, Lt Col Barry Venable, confirmed to the BBC the US had used white phosphorus "as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants" - though not against civilians, he said.

He said earlier denials had been based on "poor information".

Washington is not a signatory to an international treaty restricting the use of the substance against civilians.

The US-led assault in November 2004 on Falluja - a stronghold of the Sunni insurgency west of Baghdad - displaced most of the city's 300,000 population and left many of its buildings destroyed.

'Particularly nasty'

San Diego journalist Darrin Mortenson, who was embedded with US marines during the assault on Falluja, told the BBC's Today radio programme he had seen white phosphorous used "as an incendiary weapon" against insurgents.

However, he "never saw anybody intentionally use any weapon against civilians", he said.

White phosphorus is highly flammable and ignites on contact with oxygen. If the substance hits a person's body, it will burn until deprived of oxygen., a defence website, says: "Phosphorus burns on the skin are deep and painful... These weapons are particularly nasty because white phosphorus continues to burn until it disappears... it could burn right down to the bone."

Britain's Defence Secretary John Reid said UK forces had used white phosphorus in Iraq, but not as "anything other than a smokescreen to protect our troops when in action".

The UK Ministry of Defence said its use was permitted in battle in cases where there were no civilians near the target area.

But Professor Paul Rogers, of the University of Bradford's department of peace studies, said white phosphorus could be considered a chemical weapon if deliberately aimed at civilians.

He told the BBC: "It is not counted under the chemical weapons convention in its normal use but, although it is a matter of legal niceties, it probably does fall into the category of chemical weapons if it is used for this kind of purpose directly against people."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Woke up this morning and read that the US used chemical weapons in Fallujah.

I hate our president. I hate what he has done to our country. His team has violated all the basic values that we were founded upon.

I don't see any way out short of giving Bush up to the Hague. Try him for war crimes. Hang him for treason. Tie him to a horse and drag his ass across Texas. I don't care. I just want my country back.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


This is it for Michigan - I fly back to Honolulu tomorrow. Good timing - there was a tornado watch this evening [all we got was a lot of cold icy rain], and snow is on the way. Hawai`i will be a change - I love being on the road, and though I want to be home and I'm looking forward to starting a new job I also want to keep on moving and exploring.

The wedding was beautiful, and for the first time in years the whole family was together. It was nice to see everyone, and I got my first look at my new nephew [ho refused to play with me]. My Dad's pocketbook must have taken a hit - he took us all out to dinner quite a bit ... we had the Rehearsal Dinner at Cottage Inn, the Wedding Reception at Webers, a few lunches at Knights, a dinner at Argerio's, and a final Indian feast for 10 at Shalimar. And somehow I still lost weight. It must be all the wine. I'm gonna test this diet and patent it.

I didn't take many pictures, but got some nice ones after the ceremony that I'll post in a few days [as well as the last of the Istanbul pics]. I choked up a bit during the Blessing of the Hands. I googled it, but couldn't find the exact version they used. This one is close ...

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and as in today, tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

My City Was Gone




- The Pretenders

That song used to haunt me in the 80's - it seemed to capture Saline, the farming and factory town where I grew up. There were a couple thousand people, and a one-stoplight downtown with more than half the shops boarded up. I was sure the town was dying, that suburban shopping malls and Reaganomics would combine to destroy it. The factory would close, and one hot summer a strong wind would come and blow the remnants of Saline away.

I wasn't totally opposed to the idea. The place could be small minded. We had Klan sympathizers in town and Survivalists in the woods. There are still rumors that some of them were involved in the Oklahoma bombing. Mexican immigrants would come up in the summer to work the strawberry and pickle farms, but we never, ever saw them. I never even knew they were there until I was 20, and danced one night with a girl at the bar who turned out to be a migrant worker on the farm next to our house.

There were good things too. There were small town, Frank Capra style liberals - the kind that seem to have disappeared everywhere else. A few friends were Mennonites [Amish without the buggies], and their home-life fascinated me. The countryside - rolling hills and old farm houses - really was pretty. Our school would empty out the first three days of deer season, as all the boys headed up into the north woods to hunt with their fathers. And I did have some good friends, even if we felt ourselves outcasts. But for the most part, I thought: Let the wind blow, and take this town with it.

Ann Arbor was my oasis - five miles down the road, and a world away. It was all aging hippies and leftists and freaks. And even though its main street was also half boarded-up, the bars that remained were full of musicians and artists. Everyone shopped at the food co-ops, and the churches offered Sanctuary to people fleeing Reagan's wars in El Salvador and Guatemala and Nicaragua. Marijuana was semi-legal [a $5 ticket per joint]. At the time, it seemed like paradise.

But life is change, and even before I left both places were starting to transform into something new. Saline's farms were closing, and being replaced by golf courses and gated communities. And Ann Arbor was gentrifying, the old leftists being replaced by limousine liberals. And now, what? Saline is rich. The dirt roads have been paved, and are now lined with mansions instead of farm houses. The new high school is huge. And Ann Arbor is even richer - instead of empty shops with newspaper-covered windows, Main Street is all cafes and brew pubs and ethnic restaurants.

And my cities are gone, and I'm not sure what to think of either.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Homo-thugs on the Astral Plane

First up, business: I was catching up on my reading and saw that Steve and Tomahawk of Minnesota surf fame were let down that I ranked my day with them as only 'pretty good.' It was Nordic understatement - I was channeling Frances McDormand's character in Fargo, maybe. It was twelve hours of good conversation, beautiful weather, relaxing nekkid in the hot tub, and breakfast in a cafe with a do-it-yourself Bloody Mary bar. It was hella-good; pretty good as in absolutely lovely.

Back to NYC - Roxy was a disappointment. The music was just thud thud thud without much variety or creativity. The club space was cool enough, and the men were alright [although Hollis didn't think so], but something didn't connect with me at all. I was like an outsider watching the party. I danced a bit with Ed and Bruce, who were as hot as ever, and looked around but never found Jean. We left pretty early.

Sunday I went to the Virgin Megastore and listened to happy music for a bit, and felt better. Met another friend, Ariel, for a pint in Chelsea [he has an Irish boyfriend and the lingo must be rubbing off]. We watched the Chelsea muscle boys walk around, then I headed back to Jersey to get ready for Sunday night.

Yeah. Umm, technically I'm staying in Jersey City, not Manhattan. I'm Bridge and Tunnel, but without big hair. I might have left that out last time I posted.

Met up with Drew. We had met in Montreal a few years back, and stayed in touch. Our plan was to hit a few newer parties: The Ramble (at a place whose name I've forgotten) and Spirit, which took over the space Junior Vasquez used for Twilo.

The Rambles party was alright. It was a good space, but a young crowd and there was nothing to keep us there for longer than a drink. Spirit, though, was unreal. It was pure New York after-hours madness. The club was dark, with one big black dancefloor and lots of side rooms and passages. The crowd was beyond eclectic - it was a random mix of homo-thugs, Harlem queens, tweakers, twinks, angels, punks, and circuit boys.

Mike Cruz [Movin' Up] was spinning, and - as Drew put it - he didn't seem to have an agenda. He changed the music as the crowd evolved throughout the night. I probably heard more variety in the first five minutes than I did in three hours at Roxy. Early on [midnight?] the crowd skewed younger, and his beats were fast and discordant and with a constantly shifting rhythm. I liked it, but it was so fast that it was hard to find a solid groove and then oh, why hello astral plane. This was unexpected. Now I get the music. I didn't think I'd find a portal here. Greetings from the West Coast. It's been such a long time since I visited. Things are a bit different from a New York City perspective. No angels. Things are darker and more twisted. But it's not such a bad place, not at all.

So we lost ourselves in the music, and watched the drama unfold around us. At one point a punk decked out in a mohawk, bad facial hair, and a death metal t shirt, approached, glowering at us with dead eyes. He was pretty drunk, and at first I thought he was looking for a fight. Then he stepped out of the shadows and into the light and damn he looked about twelve. I can take him, I thought. But turns out he didn't want to fight. Little Satan just wanted a kiss. Fine. Too bad he was too drunk too dance; in the end I had to shake him off. Later, it looked like there would be a dance off between two houses. Cool - I've never seen one of those outside of South Park. Even Drew seemed to be getting excited. I couldn't make out who was who. Drew thought it was between two groups of guys. I thought the target was a big-haired Jersey girl.

Poor thing. She never had a chance. At one point this skinny little queen was breaking on the floor and twisting himself into all kinds of contortions. She was down low too - who knows why - when he arched his legs over behind his head, wrapped them around her neck, pinned her to the floor, and vogued some Psycho-style Norman Bates stabs onto the top of her head. Round one goes to Harlem.

Later I saw her hugging her boyfriend, who was giving the queens the finger. I don't know what he was thinking. Not even Mike Tyson would take on these boys. I missed what happened next, but ten minutes later I look over and she is being dragged off the dancefloor by her hair. Literally. It was awesome. Her fat little legs were kicking in the air, the rest of the Harlem boys were vogueing and throwing poses around her, the muscled Chelsea boys kept on dancing, and her boyfriend was nowhere in sight.

Security finally rescued her, and I thought the party might be over, but the DJ switched into a hard and perfect circuit set, and the party stayed strong until dawn.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

New York City

I made it safe and sound back to the US of A. I thought I would just sleep last night, but Hollis and I went to meet friends at a party on the Lower East Side and ended up staying until daybreak. Oops.

I've tried to explain to people what İstanbul was like, but I think I write stories better than I tell them. I figure I'll put together an article in the next week or two and then shop it out to various magazines. İstanbul has been in the papers a lot the past month [Newsweek, NY Times, Condé Naste, National Geographic Traveler], but my version of the city is a bit different ... I'll give them ageing gigolos, rent boys and circuit boys, melancholic Kurds, Western sexual imperialists and heart-broken ex-pats, working class Gypsy boys looking for a nice transvestite to marry, Englishmen on the skids, an unsolved mystery, the Russian mafia, gay Anatolian farmboys trying to make it in the city, and high-society Turks discretely entertaining guests in their walled Ottoman gardens.

Condé Naste it ain't.

Tonight we are off to the Roxy. All the times I've been to NYC, and I've never been to the big clubs.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

İstanbul Noir

I know, I haven't posted in a week. I'm saving these stories for the screenplay.

This town does not stop. I just checked out of the hotel, but don't leave until 5am this morning. I was hoping to go to Hagia Sophia - I have been trying for days, but I keep getting distracted en route. This town does not stop, and it's been one strange and exciting adventure after the other.

Now I hear Hagia Sophia is closed for Bayram, the holiday that marks the end of Ramazan. I can't believe I've been here a week and missed this. I've barely even explored Sultanahmet, the historic district with all the mosques and markets and ruins. On the other hand, I got to know Taksim and Beyoğlu quite well. Sultanahmet and Nişıntaşi (the high end yuppie district) are the places most tourists see. They are missing out - Beyoğlu is the beating heart of the new İstanbul. There are miles of pedestrian walkways winding their way around the cafes and embassies and clubs and stores. I've seen so much, and have met a novel's worth of characters. I really do think I can get a killer story out of this for the Advocate. İstanbul is better than hip - it's pre-hip. One day Beyoğlu will be known and the beautiful people will all flock here again.

So I missed the Hagia Sophia and the museums. The only other regret is that I lost Duwane's number - the American I met earlier. I clicked with him in that rare way that sometimes happens. We hung out a lot, and I got to see the city through an ex-pat's eyes. It was all good, until I went to call him yesterday ... and couldn't find his number. And he doesn't have mine. I knew his address, and went out to his neighborhood yesterday to leave a mesage on his apartment's front door, but got chased off by the apartment manager. And now I'm stuck - how do you find someone in a city of 15 million?