Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Racing to Oscar Night

Well, it soon will be the bewitching hour. Sunday Night-The Oscars. I will be attending a fund raising event with my gay friend Steve. He is referring to me as his "Arm Candy" and I refer to him as "This Hansom Man". I think he is. You may not agree. Anyway, he talked me into buying a ticket for this fancy dress ball. It's black tie. He's rented a tux -$130-and that's with a discount ! The tickets were $50.00 each. It was supposed to save us money. What kind of self-respecting gay man doesn't own a Tux ?
My friend Mary Martha has lent me a dress and some Austrian Crystal jewelry-gold with reddish stones. Really beautiful stuff. I 'm concerned the dress won't fit me. The dress I had , that I thought would fit, because it was so big the last time I wore it-well, it doesn't fit. It was a black lace over maroonish satin, strapless, worn with black opera length gloves and black fuck-me pumps.I could either wear it bunched up around my neck or bunched up just above my knees. Either way , the midlands would be left exposed.
I don't know what I'm going to wear . There was a time in my life when I would buy fancy gowns for "Just in Case". I'm pretty sure I've thrown them all away -or they got paint on them. I would try to borrow a wedding gown. That's fancy ! But it would be frought with meaning and it may negatively tempt the fates.
My concern with an event like this is that I won't be able to focus on what 's going on on the screen. I don't want to be interrupted to converse with some ninny who hasn't seen any of the nominated films or hasn't been to the movies since 1989. That was NOT a good year for movies ! My friend is on the board of the Screen Actors Guild and his partner (who won't be attending) thinks it would be good for him to attend this event. I don't think it's going to be particularly good for me but Steve is a lot of fun and there may be good food.
I have seen all the nominated films and some of the Actor nominations. I saw Transamerica with my friend Cathy last night. We both liked it . Felicity Huffman did a kick-Ass job. However, I'm rooting for Reese Witherspoon. I know she's young , but I thought she did a really good job. I didn't see Keira Knightly's performance-I like her but I can't imagine she could have done a better job than Emma Thompson. I had no interest in Cherlize Theron's film. They give her a bad haircut and expect us to believe that she would take a job like that ? Her skin is too good to be a woman who works in a mine. Monster-she deserved it. As my friend Keith has pointed out-in reference to Kim Basinger in "8 Mile"-"If she looks like that , and lives in a trailer park. .. .She likes knives".
I'm torn on best actor because I think Phoenix did a killer job as Johnny Cash and it was a real challenge to sing -when you're not really a singer. There are several moments when he comes across as so in the moment and confused and honest. But Phillip Seymour Hoffman is truly despicable as Truman Capote. I'd be satisfied if he got it.
Best film ? I'm going to go with "Crash". It was an original story, well acted, cast, directed, lit. Beautiful in many ways. However, I was thinking about Brokeback Mountain days later. It was really beautiful to look at, and the images stayed with me. I will probably buy Walk the Line for my dvd collection. I liked it that much.
That is all. I should get ready to go to the jobs.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Bathrobe Bound

I'm sitting here not getting ready for work. I checked the Kvetch Board, my friend Denises's blog and my friend Korte's blog. Dee had updated it 3 times since the last time I checked, Korte hasn't touched his in a couple of weeks. I wonder what the etiquette is to nudge a person to update their blog ? Man. . . . I don't have time to waste , yet here I am noodling around in the ether.
My back hurts, more specifically my right hip. I'm hungry , but I don't know what to eat. I caught some Girl Scouts selling cookies last night and got a couple of boxes. . . for my private use. The Lemons and some chocolatey-biscuit things. I'd really like some fried clams right about now.
This isn't a very good blog. I should have a story line or a point. Today, I don't.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Freedom Land

I went to the movies tonight and saw Freedom Land. It should have been a better film. Some real talent in there-Samuel L. Jackson, Julianne Moore & Edie Falco. I kept thinking it was a 6th Sense type of film because so much wasn't adding up to me. I kept thinking it was all allegories about life and death.
It wasn't . Too bad. It should have been a good film.

Monday, February 20, 2006

A Curious Horse

It was a couple of weeks ago and it was a beautiful day on the common. The Ranger of the Year was working and he was riding Fred. Fred is an alpha horse. Other horses, herd horses, will whinny to each other if they can hear another horse in the distance. They want to be in the herd, like dogs prefer to run in packs (some people are like that , too!). Fred doesn't give a shit about other horses. He's working and he'd like to be fed. That's it.
I don't know how you size a horse , but he's big and chestnut brown with black hair. He is sentient and looks you right in the eye. When he's not walking around the park, he's tied up to a post out back. He looks at everybody who comes in or goes out. He's on duty as well.
The manager had gone to a meeting and it was just a couple of us in the center. I looked up to see the Ranger and Fred standing outside the door looking in. I was concerned because I thought there was something going on right outside the door and we couldn't see it from inside. I opened the door to step outside to see what was going on. I was still inside the center but stood in the door to ask what was going on. Fred looked at me and thought I was talking to him and he started to walk into the center. He's a big horse and if we got him in we would have a hard time getting him out. So, he just stuck his head in and looked around. Apparently , he thought there might be some food in there for him . There was, but nothing he should really be ingesting.
I know this may seem kind of quaint and boring but I think it's really neat that I work at a job where I can interact with horses every once in a while. These horses are well cared for and the Rangers treat them with respect and affection. I love when a Ranger will talk about one of the horses like he's a co-worker or a relative. In much the same way my friends and I will talk about a house pet. It was funny that Fred wanted to come into the center to see what we were up to . He's a great horse.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

It's Worse Than I Thought

Crappy Valentine's Day ! Did you have a Crappy Valentines' Day ? Hmmm ?
I received no cards, no calls. My friend's Mother gave me a pound of premium foil wrapped chocolate hearts, yesterday. I need a pound of premium chocolate like I need a peanut butter jar full of heroin and bet on the fifth race at Pimlico. Even my sainted, white-haired, 85 year old Mother got 3 Valentines cards. She even got one from the cat !
No one thought of me for Valentine's Day. I am beloved by many . Not loved by a a single man. Even my Dad didn't want me. He wanted my Mother to have an abortion. If I wasn't here, I wouldn't be thinking about this. You wouldn't be reading this and we'd all have a nice , different life.
But my morose attitude really doesn't have all that much to do with this "Holiday". I put "Holiday" in quotes because I used to work at a flower store and this is a "Holiday" to make money for florists and restaurants. 7 years for a mean catty coke snorting gay florist. Nothing wrong with that . I participate in and endorse capitalism. I've had other "holidays" I used to enjoy ruined by my various retail commitments. I have a B.A.S. -in Theater ! I've made some shitty choices in my life. . . .
Still, these reflections have little to do with the "Worse" in the "It's worse than I thought".
Since no hansom young men were vying for my attentions. No dinner date plans were offered. I went out to the movies with my friend . I'm lucky to have a friend to go to the movies with. She's about my age and people are starting to ask if we're sisters. . . . . No one gave her any Valentines either. Her OWN mother gave ME the chocolates she should have received. . ..and I didn't share . . ... so. . . I have a guest at my pity party.
Still, I am not at the "Worse" part yet. We went to see Harrison Ford in "Firewall". We see a lot of crap at the mall. Which gives us a bit of an advantage to recognize something when it's good, because there is really so much crap out there. It wasn't a great movie. We still like Harrison Ford ,though.
The movie wasn't the "worse" part.
The "Worse" part . . .. . and I am torn besause the worse part may have a financial advantage for me later.
The "worse" part is . . . the kid we bought the tickets from . . . gave us a Senior Citizen discount. We got $2.oo off each ticket. We didn't say anything. WE didn' t point out his mistake or act indignant. Or giggle , like when I'm carded at a liquor store. We took our tickets and went into the movie.
We giggled in the theater and kept referring to each other as "Grand Ma" and "Nana".
There is no point in trying to look good. There is no point.
The point is.... There is nothing I can do.
It's just worse than I thought it was.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Jury Duty

Shortly before Christmas, I recieved a notice about reporting for jury duty. I didn't read the whole thing through and about 3 weeks ago,I got a notice reminding me to report for jury duty. I was supposed to fill out the original notice and mail it back. Postage was on the return postcard. I forgot to send it back , but I had made note and notified my manager and the person above her that I would be required to serve jury duty. Then , last week, I got another notice saying that I may not have to serve but that I could find out by calling the number on the card after 3 pm the day before I was scheduled to serve. I called and my presence would be required. Somehow, my manager thought I said I would not be going and they didn't schedule anyone to cover for me. They got someone and it turned out someone else was also working, it just wasn't on the schedule. Yes, I felt bad about the work situation but I wanted to get the civic duty out of the way.
I had to be there by 8 am. Preferably before 8. I had to decide whether or not to drive to the commuter parking lot or take the bus. Which bus would I need to take to get there on time ? Apparently the 6:37 bus. The driver didn't even bother to turn the lights on. When I got on , he lit it up. This was a different bus from the one I usually take. This went all the way to Harvard Square instead of Alewife station. Still, it only took about 20 minutes to get from my house to the square. I had a token. Made the transfer to the green line . The trolley discharged everybody at the next stop and the one after that took me all the way to the end of the line.
Some guy sat down next to me and when we got to the last stop , he stood up , like a gentleman to let me out ahead of him. However, I had a tote bag with my lunch and reading materials and I had trouble getting my bag out from where it was stuck under the seat in front of me. He's standing there smiling and people are backing up behind him to get off the trolley and I 'm getting self conscious and irritated ( what else is new) . Finally, I jerk my bag free and scamper off the bus as quickly as possible.
I arrived at the court house about 7:40. Went through the metal detector and up to the 5th floor. I was concerned they might pull me over because I had a spoon and a pair of safety scissors in my lunch bag. I got right through.
When I got to the 5th floor, there was already a line. When I almost got through the door , I looked at the form in my hand and realized I hadn't filled it out. I got out of line and filled it out.
I was "Impanelled" as 11-1. I hadn't looked closely and thought that it was 1-11 had thought that was a good number . As it turned out my number was a good number.
They have you sit down and wait until they're sure everyone is there. Then they bring you into a court room, referred to as the "Main Assembly " room. Everyone is trying to maintain their own personal space and so, a lot of people will be standing along the walls. The Court officer will have none of that and every body is encouraged to move toward the middle of the bench row to allow for everyone to be seated. The guy makes a speech basically saying that your civic duty is necessary to the smooth running of our governemnt and basically if you aren't where you're supposed to be when they call your panel you will be fined. However, you probably won't be needed but you have to stay until they say it's okay for you to leave. If you leave without authorization, you will be fined and /or jailed or both. Then they show you a movie about the process. I was amazed at how many of the judges in the video had speech impediments. It's almost as if you study hard because you can't speak well and, eventually, you'll end up as a judge. After the movie , they called a couple of panels to line up in the hall. They called every one's name that was supposed to be there and off they went. I fell asleep in the back of the "Main Assembly Room".
Throughout the process, I was in Air plane passenger mode. I tried not to make eye contact with anyone, else I would be saddled with a new best friend for the duration of my stay. There was a "Ladies" lounge that I went to because it was nice and quite and I wouldn't be in teh line of any men's wayward attentions. I had to leave the Lounge beause two women kept talking in low voices - I couldn't really hear what they were saying , it was just loud enough to be really distracting. Unlike a work situation, I could get up and leave. I didn't have to listen to their empty yammering. Also, I felt that I was being tracked by a couple of guys. I remember reading an article in Cosmo one time advocating jury duty as a great place to pick up guys. That may be true and I may have missed a golden opportunity , but my relationship is still wheezing along. And by "Relationship" I mean I speak with a straight man once a week . . .
They called a couple more panels and then we were "broken" for lunch. I ate my lunch in the lobby where the elevators were and there was the smallest concentration of jurors. I had called my manager at the first break and the lunch, just to let her know where I was. I didn't want to spend my money in the cafeteria. I packed a nutritious lunch.
After lunch, they brought us back in and released us. I wasn't called to serve. This was the third time in my life I had been called to jury duty. Roughly once a decade since I registered to vote. I was glad to perform my civic responsibility. I'm glad I didn't get called . I was afraid I would say something like "I have a problem with 'you' people". Which is a catch all phrase and could be used to offend just about any demographic.
I'm sure I have neglected something from my experience, but I feel like I covered the basics.
Carpe Diem !

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Commute Home

I attended a function , related to my job , after work. Which means I had to take a later bus. It was actually a nice evening , so my co-worker and I walked all the way from the North End to Park Street station. On a map , it looks like a long way but it only took us about 15 minutes.
When I got to where I get my bus , I had missed the last bus by 10 minutes and had to decide between A) Waiting for the next bus, that drops me off across the street from my house or B) Taking a bus that comes sooner but requires a 15 minute walk, up a hill, in the dark. Either way, I'm walking through the door at the same time. I opt for A.
Same route, different time, different bunch of people. This bus came roughly 2 hours later than my usual bus. I couldn't get a seat facing forward, I got a seat facing the rear exit. This bus was surprisingly chilly. I could smell someone sweaty, chicken casserole and gin. The guy across the way from me had a stack of instant lottery tickets. He was scratching them the whole way until he nodded off and then snapped up and headed toward the front of the bus to make sure he didn't miss his stop. I kept trying to identify the chicken smell-a cross between my Mum's chicken casserole and fried chicken from KFC.
Because I was cold, as soon as I could, I moved closer to the front of the bus (and heat). I had to wait for the single individuals sitting in the double molded plastic seats to exit the bus so I could have a double seater to myself. An Asian woman in a pink beret got off the bus and I took her seat. As soon as I had situated myself, some guy sat in front of me in the double seater that was also now vacant. I felt mildly stalked. I hadn't even seen him down back. His tweed coat smelled like pee. He wasn't homeless, I think that that tweed got wet and it was time to take it to the dry cleaners.
After the sun sets, the ride is really dark and you can't really see where you are from inside the bus. I saw the interiors of some of the homes on the route that don't usually have their lights on because I ride past before the occupants get home. There's some nice looking houses on my way home. Sky lights and great rooms and cozy dining rooms with mahogany chairs and peach pink walls. Warm and inviting and emphatically "home". If you sliced my house open , it would look the same.
There was a slight detour because there was a Keyspan truck performing surgery on a major artery near my home. I couldn't tell if it was gas or electricity. Since the lights still seemed to be on in the houses , I surmised it was gas. A gas leak is probably worse. After we got past the trucks and the hole in the ground, we made the turn down my street.
I have to pay attention because the interior lights are so bright, it's hard to see the scenery outside. Also, there is a robot voice that says the name of the next stop , but almost every bus or train I've been on , randomly says a name of a stop near the end of the run , in the other direction. Don't trust the robot voice. Use your eyes ! I do. I got home. The bus dropped me off across the street from my house .
I know. Not terribly funny or interesting, but it's what I was thinking about.
Ther End