Monday, July 28, 2008

Mary Jane's News of the Day

Although, technically, it could just as easily be listed as "Idiot of the Week"

Teenagers have been charged after digging up a grave to make a bong out of a human skull.
Three teenagers were arrested after two of them told police they dug up a secluded grave near Houston, Texas, removed the skull from a coffin and converted it into a bong.

Kevin Wade Jones, 17, and Matthew Richard Gonzalez, 17 were arrested Wednesday night and were being held on misdemeanor charges of abuse of a corpse.
Police were interviewing Jones about an unrelated charge of debit card fraud when he told them about the grave theft.

Asked why Jones would volunteer the information police sergeant John Chomiak said: 'We can only speculate and guess to what goes on in the criminal mind.'

"They dug into this gravesite and that was enough to warrant the abuse of corpse charge.'

Police believe the grave is that of an 11-year-old boy who died in 1921 in an unmaintained 19th-century veterans cemetery.

Messanger of God vs. Logic...Who Will Be Victorious?

When retired policeman Andy Key went on a trip to Rome, he was struck by the beauty of sunlight streaming through a window in the Vatican. As the Pope made an address nearby, he decided to capture the stunning image on his camera. But it was only when Mr Key, 48, and his wife Susan, 44, returned home and and downloaded their photographs that they noticed a strange apparition in the picture. They were amazed to see what looked like the image of a guardian angel above the heads of other visitors to St Peter's Basilica.


I am so tired.

I have to stop staying up all hours and then expecting to get 4 hours of sleep and end up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next morning. I’m almost 30 – my body doesn’t work that way anymore.

Of course, work isn’t helping. Mondays are typically slow, but today we are just dead. I’ve played online checkers, updated my MySpace page, drank three cups of coffee (not good) and probably smoked half a pack of cigarettes…also not good.
I rolled out of bed this morning 15 minutes before I had to catch the bus. The clothes from the floor that I wore last night got thrown in the dryer and I was out the door in ten. I’ve been listening to a lot of Misfits and Gein and the Graverobbers, so that was this morning’s soundtrack.

And now I’m at work, checking in porn and reducing the price on a stack of girl-on-girl calendars.

What’s amazing to me is that this is exactly what I imagined my life would be while I was growing up. We were so sheltered as kids, and the outside world always seemed so unattainable – a world I would never be a part of. And yet here I am ten years later, and I grew up to be the adult I always wanted to be.

I may not be cool, but I feel cool. I may not be the greatest-looking guy in the world, but I’ve never been as happy with my looks as I am now. I feel like I’m finally starting to get comfortable with myself…

But then, I’ll probably change my mind by tonight….

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Lady in Question is NOT Charles Busch!

Acclaimed Playwright Sheds Wig for New Film
an interview by joshua.thomas

I got the assignment from my editor: talk to one of the biggest drag stars ever, Charles Busch. You remember Busch: the megastar who arrived from Broadway with a bevy of accolades and awards already under his skirt. He made a string of successful films before stepping out of the spotlight in 2003 for mysterious reasons.

Now I was in the enviable position of speaking with one of the greatest of them all, the Gloria Swanson of drag. I imagined a rundown palazzo on Sunset, Busch descending a great staircase in full Angela Arden drag, a dead chimp in his arms.

Of course, I’ve probably just seen Busch’s masterpiece Die, Mommie, Die far too many times. What I actually got was an interview with a down-to-earth regular guy with a passion for old movies that also just happened to have written some of the most successful plays on Broadway since he started his Theatre in Limbo in the late seventies.

And now, after a three-year absence from the screen, he has launched his comeback – or rather, his “return” in the heartwarming A Very Serious Person, his directorial debut. But it’s not his deft direction that has raised the arched eyebrows of the country: for the first time ever, Busch will be out-of-drag as the male nurse Jan.

Jan is at once one of Busch’s most memorable characters, part Mary Poppins, part Nurse Ratched, and part Harriet Craig. Jan has been assigned to an aging Mrs. A, played by the incomparable Polly Bergens. But the real star of the film is Mrs. A’s grandson Gil, brilliantly brought to life by P. J. Verhoest. Gil has been visiting his grandmother every summer for as long as he can remember, putting on plays and watching old movies, and the two of them are very close, more like best friends or siblings than grandmother and grandson. But this summer there is a dark cloud over the home Mrs. A shares with her assistant Betty (Dana Ivey – the Thelma Ritter of our times!) Mrs. A is dying, and not expected to survive the summer. After a string on unsuccessful nurses, Jan arrives and throws the house into a tizzy with his unconventional methods of care. Mrs. A responds almost immediately and shows improvement, which convinces Gil and Betty to warm to the cold strange man from Denmark.The plot sounds a bit familiar, and it’s quick to see why. Gil and Mrs. A’s story could almost be that of Charles Busch and his aunt Lillian Blum. Busch’s mother passed away when he was very young, and a troubled Busch was sent at twelve to live with Aunt Lillian in New York City and attend the High School of Music and Art. Her guiding hand turned his life around and became a source of strength and inspiration to the talented young man.

"She was Auntie Mame meets the Miracle Worker," Busch says from his apartment in New York, where he is busy with the new production of his hit 1988 play The Lady in Question, a send-up of 40s patriotic film noir like Notorious.

“In this film, I wanted to explore how parental figures give themselves the impossible task of trying to create a young person free of emotional baggage. No matter how hard they try, their own complexities intrude on their best intentions. One can only hope the child will find his own strength and will ultimately forgive.” Mrs. A and Jan both witness their own influence on Gil as the movie progresses and wonder if he is ready for life after Mrs. A’s passing. The parentless Gil is apprehensive about his distant cousins, who await his arrival in Florida.

However, to say that Busch is sans drag in the film is a bit of a misnomer. Jan is a sort of drag character. The Danish nurse will surprise fans of Mr. Busch’s over-the-top characters, but it only speaks to the actor’s brilliance that he is able to pull off both character types with such finesse. Busch uses an accent and minimalist emotional range to convey Jan’s withdrawn life, having been a caretaker practically his entire life.There’s also one other scene that Busch’s drag roots start to show. Gil, anxious with the inevitability of Mrs. A’s passing, decides to but on a production for her, and casts the reserved Jan as his underwater princess. It’s a nod to Sunset Boulevard in a way as Jan descends the staircase in full marine regalia, like an aquatic Norma Desmond.

I asked Mr. Busch what it was that motivated him to continuously send-up and at the same time celebrate classic movies and themes. “I have always had a fondness for the time period between the 20s and the 60s – especially in movies.” In fact, it was movies that originally comforted a young Charles when he lost his mother. When reality had become too much for him to bear, Charles retreated into a world of black and white celluloid melodrama.

“I do love old movies. I tend to watch the same ones over and over. I do love TCM, but they aren't scheduling as many rare old films as they used to. [Some of my favorites are] Marie Antoinette with Norma Shearer, Waterloo Bridge with Vivien Leigh, I Could Go On Singing with Judy Garland, The Hard Way with Ida Lupino, Random Harvest with Greer Garson and Ronald Coleman, I'm No Angel with Mae West, and a zillion others.”

His research has certainly paid off. His writing is full of his reverence, the true emotion and unintentional hilarity of the classic actresses. Maybe that’s why Busch is the only modern day “actress” that can pull off the camp appeal but still provide a moving and nuanced performance.
Of course, A Very Serious Person works largely without the glamour and the melodrama of the majority of Busch’s work. This is due in part to all of the main actors, each of which give a heartfelt and sincere performance that makes the story sweet without being sappy, heart-wrenching while still hilarious. But it’s Busch and Carl Andress’ writing, and Busch’s expert direction that make the movie an instant classic.

Do You Believe In Magic? [Part 1]

If you believe in magic, you know one of is most quoted proverb: Whatever you sow, you reap three-fold. It’s a common philosophy. If you’re a mean nasty bitch, then most likely, people are going to be mean nasty bitches to you. You get what you give. Slap it on a bumper sticker, add a couple of ‘thees’ and ‘thous,’ and Leviticus 198:15 on it and you have an instant church-parking-lot classic. I believe that magic is all around us, everyday. We don’t always know that it’s there, but if you look sometimes, you can see its tendrils creeping through the sidewalks of your mind.

My father when I was growing up wasn’t a real charmer. Myself - I considered him to be somewhat of an asshole. My first memories are of the two of them fighting; my tiny fragile mother battling against the hulk of my father. My father was always toned and in shape, so much stronger than us. When his rage broke free he used all his strength to terrify us. It wasn’t until shortly before my eighteenth birthday, when he had his accident, that he lost his control of our household. He was working at the time in construction of some sort. I was seventeen. I tried to think of my father as little as possible. I was going to college. Sure it was one town over and the hometown of most of my dad’s family. It was out that place. I had long been resentful of his antics and was ecstatic to finally be eighteen and out from under my parent’s ultra-conservative run of my life. You know: standard overwrought Thursday-night teen drama.

He and another man were burning empty concrete bags. Dad was always a bit accident prone, but I secretly wondered if it wasn’t some strange karmic intervention; payback at last for his abusive nature. He was slinging gasoline on the flames when the wind blew suddenly against him. His co-worker said it happened in an instant. One moment he standing there fine as you can, the next he was ablaze, screaming and thrashing. The echo in my mind of what he must have sounded like kept me awake for weeks.

We were at home when the call came. Mom had just walked in the door, carrying bags of White Castles. The phone rang and she set the bags on the table. I remember I was starving and the only one home. I wasn’t paying attention to the terror and hysteria that had seized my mother’s throat. Then she began to scream. She was out the door before the line was broken, muttering something about dad and an accident – going to the hospital – she’d be home later. The house was empty. I spent the evening anxiously ingesting 52 white-castles with cheese before collapsing at the base of the toilet. When she returned my mother informed me that fire had consumed 70% of my father’s body, and that they had flown him 80 miles east to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. She was only here to get some clothes and she was then gone again into the night. The next few months were like that. Mom home long enough to cry and smoke two packs of cigarettes and get a change of clothes. I spent my last summer alone at home agonizing whether it was my hatred that turned the wind that afternoon.

Fast forward two years: a giant flop of an adult, I had dropped out of college and was living back at home with my parents. I had taken up residence in a one room house on my parents land. Half of the quarters belonged to my dad and all of his work-shop type belongings, the other half was my make-shift kingdom. I had been living there for about six months when one day on the way to work, I emptied an ashtray. I had been at work for maybe an hour when the call came that my house was on fire, come home immediately. When I got there, there wasn’t any ‘there’ left, just the bare floor where the house had once stood.

For months afterward, I lost myself in the eager claws of depression and paranoia. I couldn’t leave my new place without first pacing from room to room, checking ashtrays and plugs, inhaling the air for signs of smoke. My parents got an insurance check and spent it themselves. That year when I got my income tax check I remember blowing the entire amount in the mall, rushing from store to store, seemingly trying to repurchase every item I ever owned.

Gradually I began to loosen up when it came to fire and my desperate avoidance. I could sit in a room with a fireplace and not collapse into a panic, could smell the aroma of burning meat on the grill without feeling the wave of nausea. I had officially moved on with my life. Then it happened again.

Jesus H -

Gunshots...outside - right now.


Friday, July 25, 2008

My Top 25 Listened-To Songs

My iPod has the most fascinating feature. At any given moment I can open a play list of my top 25 most-played songs.

Now if you were to ask me to list the 25 songs I thought I played the most often, the list would look quite different. So I'm always fairly surprised to see the iPod list, like I'm looking objectively at myself.

Here's my lastest list:

25. In the Night! by Famous Monsters
24. Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis
23. Blues Drive Monster by The Pillows
22. I Am Mine by Pearl Jam
21. Smells Like Teen Spirit [Electro Heaven Mix] by Dsico That No-Talent Hack
20. Strange Powers by Magnetic Fields
19. Love Is a Losing Game by Amy Winehouse
18. Twisted Nerve by Bernard Hermann
17. I Wonder by Kellie Pickler
16. Saturday Night by The Misfits
15. Visit Du Vigile by Miles Davis
14. The Hungry Grave by Gein and The Graverobbers
13. Spark by The Bird and the Bee
12. What's My Name mashed by DJ earworm
11. Despuis Le Jour by Maria Callas
10. Stripped by Rammstein
9. When You Were a Starlight [The Killers vs. Muse] mashed by team9
8. Dani California by Red Hot Chili Peppers
7. Tourist Trap by Brazilian Girls
6. Meditation (Thais) by Jules Massanet
5. Shake Me [Vocal Edit] by Mint Royale
4. I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry
3. "Pumpkin & Honey Bunny" Dialogue and Miserlou by Dick Dale and the Deltones
2. The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning by The Smashing Pumpkins
1. Dakota by The Stereophonics I rest *yawn

I have a blog...

Good lord!