Saturday, March 29, 2008

We Da Bessssssssssss'

This is my current fitness inspiration:



Check out ol' girl's hips and tail, family (this is work safe, you perverts. It's video of a capoeira group)! Brasil, yo! Ai, mami!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

This Far and No Further

My friend, Paul, and I were talking earlier about this guy on whom I have a paper-crush [which is to say, I've never met this person but I like to weave fanciful tales for Paul about what will happen when I successfully seduce this French-Canadian bastard] and Paul, who likes to torment me, asked me how I would deal with it if this guy--let's call him Jean-Luc--brought me back to his pad and wooed me with good wine and witty conversation and then ambled over to the stereo and started playing some Steely Dan. The answer is, I would jump out of a window and run for the street. I can't stand Steely Dan. This makes me some kind of renegade in black bohemian circles, apparently, as along with Teena Marie and Led Zeppelin we're all supposed to be cool with the Dan. Bump that. I'll turn in my card. Steely Dan is the biggest of deal breakers for me. Steely Dan makes me want to kill people in the face. While I was having this conversation with Paul, another colleague revealed that he didn't mind Steely Dan at all; but this was after he copped to admiring Camille Paglia, so I had cut him loose already.


Family! What are your deal-breakers?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

You'll Never Get Off On Your Own ,Girl

Speaking of Spock, it turns out that I've always been attracted to a man with a powerful brow:









This post brought to you by the letters W, T, and F.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Redact

How is it that I occasionally lose my self-edit function? I just shared a wildly inappropriate story over in the comment section of a blog I love, and it occurred to me while posting it that a)I can never post short comments--I always wind up leaving a little doofus pamphlet; b) no one gives a crap about my bootleg Samuel Pepys-stylee; c) let's leave some mystery, shall we? I don't know. In person, I can be wildly private. But there's something about a comment box that leaves me powerless. It might as well be a confessional. Weird.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Great Day in the Morning

OH MY GOD, FAMILY.


Is someone keeping track of this?!

God's Jukebox: 15 March 2008

A short time ago, I blogged about how my babydaddy was dissing my requests on air; this was a supposition,* of course, because unlike back in '05, I didn't get a shout out by name. Well, today I did get a shout out by name and I got my Sister Rosetta Tharpe request played AND I got dissed. Dang. Mark Lamarr is not happy with me. But can I just say in my defense that I was not bugging him (at least, I didn't think so). I sent in a request several weeks ago, and then another last week (because I'm nothing if not wildly optimistic) and they were both dashed off in about 30 seconds and the gist was something like "hey, Mr. Lamarr, I don't know if you'll play this, but..."

Anyway, I've become a requesta non grata.

Oh my. I am torn between being horrified and being a little excited that the few people I still know in London might potentially have been listening to the radio and heard someone trash talk me out of effing nowhere.

*read: paranoia

Thursday, March 13, 2008

What I Meant Was

To clarify: I embedded (a delightfully apt word given the source material) that video of A Streetcar Named Desire because in this Tennessee Williams play that I call my life, D plays the role of Stanley Kowalski, I play Stella, and the part of tormented Blanche Dubois represents everything in his life that D doesn't understand -- which is to say, 90% of everything.* I think that part of the reason I enjoyed Songs My Mother Taught Me is because of the maddening resonances between my boy and a figure like Brando...and a character like Stanley, whom Brando was born to play. Which is to say, D often behaves exactly as Stanley Kowalski does: that is he is absolutely magnetic but also --occasionally, dangerously** -- monstrous. And unintentionally hilarious.

They are both very physical men, too. In fact, D's current job*** is quite a bit more physical than his last, and the amount of muscle he has accrued makes him resemble MB here. I don't know. It's weird. I tripped hard the first time I saw this movie.

* like why food needs to be refrigerated
*not literally, physically dangerous, so save the emails
** he's a welder by trade

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

For Us, Mainly



In honor of my and D's 3 year anniversary today. This video only makes sense if you really know him.

Monday, March 10, 2008

It's Harder Than It Looks, Being the Fourth Part of Five

See part three below.

Size Matters

So I began. And right away, I realized that I was operating under a host of misapprehensions. I was cocky (ha..."cock") : because it seems extraordinarily easy to knock off (heh heh...“knock off”…ffs, part of the danger of writing this stuff for any length of time is the way everything becomes a double entendre) 80 pages or so (about 25k words-- a common length...heh heh, “length”) of something that you don’t have to research and, if some examples are any indication, don’t have to spend too much proofreading.

But this was my first mistake. It’s incredibly difficult to plot a piece of novella length. I’m sure that other[lazy, hacky, whiny, worryingly glib] writers will back me up here when I say that it might just be the most irritating and least satisfying literary genre of them all. It’s got none of the sweep and scope of a longer work, so it doesn’t allow you to really stretch very far; but at the same time, it’s too long for just one marathon sex scene. You actually have to string together some semblance of a plot and character arc. It’s not a natural or intuitive length, but instead demands an uncomfortable allegiance to some kind of Platonic ideal of erotica: you start to wonder what the optimum number of sex scenes is, and just how much growth your characters should experience. You start writing post-it notes to yourself: “too many pages since last encounter – fix with masturbation or quickie scene," or “still need a reverse cowgirl and m/m/f anal scene before the end of chapter seven,” etc.

The second problem with my arrogant assumptions about the current e-rotica market was my profound ignorance of the manifold distinctions between genres. The first thing many people will notice about many smut publishers on the web is the wealth of material that caters to a readership interested in science fictional, supernatural, or fantastical settings. There’s also the thriller/noir alley, the western homestead, the erotica devoted to Japanese pop stars…there’s something for everyone, and that’s surely something to be celebrated. Except some houses get a little tetchy about what they will and won’t accept: submission guidelines can be absolutely opaque to the uninitiated—or anyone with a more than passing awareness of how fluid generic boundaries are in any one text. One publisher takes pains to note, for instance that they will accept paranormal and supernaturally-themed stories, but absolutely no SF. That seems a curious cut-off point to me, as once you step out onto the precarious limb of speculative fiction you might as well walk all the way out. Or maybe that particular rule gets to me personally because I am a huge science fiction geek, and I’d much rather spend time bashing the keys composing an epic-ette set on a space station than one that takes place in a haunted monastery. But whatever: every woman’s kink is her own.

What I truly don’t get are the publishers who stipulate that they will take paranormal but not paranormal horror. The distinction is actually lost on me. I swear, though, the submission guideline that finally broke my brain was the one that indicated the editor’s willingness—nay, eagerness—to “explode the paranormal boundaries.” Sounds good to me, I thought—until I read further and saw that she was looking for stories about manticores. That right there? That's the definition of an indecent proposal. That kind of frottage will kill you.


Up Next: Part Five-- Writing Outside the Box (the box...heh heh heh DO YOU GET IT?!)









Type rest of the post here

Sunday, March 09, 2008

It's Harder Than It Looks, Part the Third

See Part two below.


Smart Bitches, Trashy Books


It’s fitting that I came to this at-best mildly questionable decision here in southern California, the undisputed center of the porn universe. Of course, the pool into which I am attempting to dip my imminently indigent toe is that of erotica e-books: not webcams or amateur photo shoots. I’m not even really interested in writing those infamous letters to the Penthouse forum. I mean, I was: but my natural indolence reasserted itself when I couldn’t get any pertinent submission information after I lazily googled “how to submit to Penthouse Forum.” I came up empty handed. I figured, either they have so many readers submitting already that they’re actively trying to discourage new hopefuls, or they want to weed out the people with only mildly interesting fake tales to spin. You have to be really committed to sharing your fond memories of walking in on your blonde girlfriend blowing some massive brother to spend the necessary time finding out which member of Penthouse staff is paid to give a crap.

No, the whole point of taking a shot at the erotica market was that the rules all seemed so delightfully transparent.

Many – if not most—of the erotica-publishing community would take issue with me lumping it in, even in passing, with pornography: that over-lit, oil-slicked, hyper-inflated, peroxided realm of soulless “as.smasters” and “cu.m queens.” But as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter if the audience is men or women; it doesn’t matter if the women are “realistic” looking or not; it doesn’t even matter if the medium is primarily visual or literary. The minute someone uses the term “cock,” I think we have entered a rarefied dominion wherein all boundaries break down.

I think that’s great. And I don’t mean to be coy here: I’m well aware that there is a difference between a seventy page novella about a lonely [rugged, taciturn, melancholy-yet-horny] widower and the voluptuous new schoolteacher in town, and a three minute clip on xtube of a military gangbang. I’m just not interested in being precious about the ways people choose to get off—not when my patented brand of lazy narcissism has me convinced that I can plot, outline, and knock off one of those novellas in a week.


If I’m honest, I actually first got the idea to try to make a career out of e-rotica from the fantastically funny women at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (smartbitchestrashybooks.com) over a year ago. The incredibly successful site recently found itself popping up in “serious” news outlets due to the role they played in uncovering the Cassie Edwards plagiarism scandal (covered, at last count, in rags as prestigious as The New York Times ). Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, in keeping with the caustic wit of their name, make it their mission to sharply critique the content and packaging of popular romances. The women who run the site and the legion of fans who visit daily are all long-term, self-identified fans of the genre. While not all of them also read erotica, a good number do. And increasingly, the brick and mortar publishing houses who produce the lines these women read are developing and promoting erotica lines to cater to the taste for more explicit, sensual, frank discussions of sexuality in this market. They are slightly behind the curve, however, because there is already a booming market for erotica e-books that can be purchased directly off a website and require nothing more than a few bucks and a reasonable internet connection.

I haven’t been a regular reader of romance novels since the purple prose-bulimia of my two-a-day Harlequin habit in the seventh grade. Nevertheless, I occasionally dip my toes in now and again, and I’ve been gratified about the upsurge in titles from diverse writers, featuring multicultural heroines. But I’m not interested in writing something that I’d want to read. I’m interested in making a quick couple of bucks. And some of the internet publishing companies that the Smart Bitches mock mercilessly on their site seemed like the ideal place to do it. After all, if they were doing such shoddy work on the accompanying artwork, the writing inside is probably a rush job, too, right? How hard could it be to write one of these things? After about two minutes of what I was generously calling “market research,” I got started. I’m going to finish this in a week, I thought. Maybe less. I’m going to turn this into a business and crank these out like these people have never seen. I’m going to need four or five pen names just to keep up with my oeuvre.

Coming Soon: Part Four -- Size Matters

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Think About It, Think, Think About It


Which one of you street hoes wants to go see Amp Fiddler with me this Wednesday in Santa Monica?

In Which Things Get Temporarily Derailed

Right, so I'm interrupting the scintillating-I'm-sure account of my ill-advised foray into e-rotica to bring you this equally useless information: I've finally caught up with Doctor Who. Watched all the episodes of season three, watched all the video diaries, watched all the Confidentials.


You know how hard it was to negotiate the tangled morass of my emotions about this show. It didn't help that I watched it all askew. I think I watched the middle third of S.2 (Tennant/Piper) before knocking off the whole of S.1 (Eccleston/Piper). By the time I finished S.2 for real, I was feeling things very deeply, children. You know that I am very sensitive. I might have shed a tear. I might have felt the stirrings of real human emotion in my cold, dead heart. I might have.

Of course, my boo-hooing was tempered by my exhilaration at the impending arrival of Freema Agyeman as companion. Let me come out the gate and say that, before I watched a single episode of S.3, I knew I was going to be Team Martha. I liked Billie Piper as a companion, but frankly, I like my Doctor to maintain a little psychic effing distance from his companions, and by the beginning of Tennant's tenure in S.2, the audience were being sold all this malarkey about the Doctor being in love --in serious Time Lord love--with Rose. Unlike some of the other haters out there, my irritation was not thinly-veiled classism. I couldn't give a good gatdamn that Rose was 19, a former shopgirl, or looked like she ate mayonnaise sandwiches. Rose could have been the dean of Merton College; the Doctor is supposed to be aloof, family. He maintains a little bit of the ol' aristocratic hauteur. I like my doctor wry, maybe a little moody,

or even a little loco.

Tortured and lovestruck doesn't work for me on the whole.

So I was very excited by the change in companion. I liked Rose, but I was getting tired of the wistful looks and grand gestures, frankly. Sadly, a change in direction was not to be. We spent all of the third season watching Martha unconvincingly moon over a slightless hopeless Doctor. And when I say that she was unconvincing, I don't mean to cast aspersions on Agyeman's acting. I loved her to death. But her hopeless crush on the Doctor just seemed so completely forced.

The Martha Jones who existed in every scene not involving the Doctor would have blanked his tired behind so fast for pulling some of the monkeyshines he got up to with her. Just ridiculous. Martha deserved better. Actually, what she deserved was something different. I can't help but feel that the chemistry that I was supposed to see between Eccleston and Piper didn't actually manifest itself until Tennant-Piper...but that Eccleston-Agyeman would have been an explosive pairing. Because as much as I love David Tennant and think he's hot to death, Christopher Eccleston brought the noise and Martha could have, too, if he had been her Doctor.

The preceding nerdlinger rant brought to you by Saturday afternoon, Netflix, and Ernest and Julio Gallo.

It's Harder Than It Looks, Part the Second

See Part One below.

Editor's note: For the next couple of posts (or whenever I feel like adding more) I'm going to excerpt here an article I wrote a few months ago. You'll immediately see why it's so dated (for one thing, the strike was still going on). But I think I'll be revising it for submission somewhere eventually.

…I Never Thought It Would Happen To Me

A few months ago, I did one of the stupidest things imaginable. I moved to Los Angeles to try to make it as a screenwriter. Within two weeks of my arrival, the WGA was flexing its righteous might and no one was pitching anything, no one was taking meetings – hell, no one was even supposed to be writing, period. I’m not a member of the WGA (although I hope to be one day), but as Hollywood takes as its credo “Fake It ‘Til You Make It,” I decided that it couldn’t hurt to behave as if I already was. Any time a solicitous family member calls to ask how close I am to selling a script, my response--that I’m no closer than the day I arrived--is met with incredulity. Why?! All those writers are on strike! Why can’t I use this golden opportunity to get in like Flynn? My explanations about the exigencies of this labor negotiation fall on uncomprehending ears; family and friends in Minneapolis honestly have no idea why this [theoretical] short term gain might spell a serious long-term screwing of my Hollywood career. After all, they reason: you don’t have a career now. Why not try to grab one, even if it disappears soon?



My Midwestern family and friends are not rubes, and neither am I. None of us seriously thought that someone could just choose to be a successful screenwriter—as if it’s a bona fide career option that doesn’t depend on truly staggering amounts of good fortune. I’ve been a writer (creative and academic) for a long time, and I’ve yet to make a living at it. The average working writer makes something like five thousand dollars a year. And that’s in markets that don’t have nearly the cutthroat competition of the screenwriting business. When I stepped off my discount Sun Country flight in October with a fraying messenger bag full of scripts, blinking into the bright sunlight of a southern California morning, I was ready to pay my dues. Good thing, too. Everyone seemed to be chanting the same refrain.

Five years, my writer friends said. Give it five years. You need at least five years of knocking yourself out before you even start knowing this business well enough to know if you should stick with it. Five years.

Couple of months in, and I already know I’m terrible at it. But at some point in the time I’ve been here, I’ve reacquainted myself with something else that used to be important to me: eating regularly and paying my car insurance bill. I’ve run through my meager savings and am staring indigence in the face. Something has got to be done.

The employers of the great state of California don’t seem to share that opinion, however, as my resume can’t seem to get a second look and I’m not wowing anyone in the few interviews I am able to land. Things were, and are, looking dire. At some point, I’m reminded that a writer writes. No word on content. Just: a writer writes.
And that’s when it hit me: internet porn. I would try to get my hands on some of that sweet internet porn money.

Up Next: Part Three -- Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Friday, March 07, 2008

Movin' On Up

Editor's note: For the next couple of posts (or whenever I feel like adding more) I'm going to excerpt here an article I wrote a few months ago. You'll immediately see why it's so dated (for one thing, the strike was still going on). But I think I'll be revising it for submission somewhere eventually.



"It's Harder Than It Looks"

Right off the bat, I decided that there were a few genres I wouldn’t even bother with: anything involving ghosts and anything where the main character’s fur might make an ill-timed and inappropriate appearance. Everything else was fair game, though; and after some furious scribbling, I had a faerie fable, a vampire chronicle, a futuristic thriller and a southern gothic pressure cooker all in active production. And if I could have thought of some good names for this lonesome-cowboy yarn, I would have been off and running on that one, too.

Eight months into full-time unemployment and a couple of months into the WGA strike—and no sign of a sea change on either front—I was banking on the online erotica market to save me from looming financial ruin. A writer writes: that’s the tired millstone of a dictum that hangs around the neck of every would-be auteur. Well, a writer may write, but a writer also eats. And with my cash flow slowing to a trickle, and then sludging to a stagnant standstill, I decided to embrace the letter of the mantra, if not its presumably Puritan spirit. A writer writes—ok, well, this writer was going to crank out some wildly explicit female wank-fodder and maybe pay rent on time for a few months.

Next up: "I Never Thought It Would Happen To Me..."

Still Hot...

Hot in uniform!


Hot when evil!

Hot wearing my dad's favorite shirt and looking like a sensitive New Age-y art teacher!

pictures ganked from www.trekweb.com, zapatopi.net, theneedsofthefew,blogspot.com...I can't vouch for the righteousness of a couple of those. I'm just telling you where I got the photos, family.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Yeah

One of the things I love about living in Los Angeles: the slick Willie style of the indigent. Today I was walking by a homeless woman who looked liked one of the be-tightened, peroxided, hopelessly-fashionable, indeterminately-aged women who roam this city like urban samurai. She was sitting at one of the outdoor tables near The Coffee Bean a block from my job and she looked as if she was chatting away on a bluetooth. It was only when I got closer (and started paying attention) that I saw that she was guarding a shopping cart full of her earthly possessions and was just yapping to herself. Now, people are always going on about how you can't tell the difference between crazy people and people on their hands-free sets. Whatever. Of course you can. For one thing, people holding actual conversations actually look as if someone else is [occasionally] talking back. There are pauses, however infrequent, however quick. That's how this woman looked. She was just yabba dabba doozing away, and her skank chic was indistinguishable from that of the women I work among (and probably my own as well). It was bananas, yo!*

*Say this in your best Ashanti voice to get the full effect.

Monday, March 03, 2008

This Is Mainly Just An FYI to Orlando, Fergus, and Bernie

43%


ganked from Spock Jones, who is killing it these days. Killing it, family.

I've Been Rumbled


Orlando susses out how I got my hot new job at THR: by using my emergency resume.

File It Under Raw Emotion

Elder statesmen of The Get Down will remember how I geeked out when Monsieur Lamarr ["The Lake Street Get Down: Mark It Down"] waxed lyrical over my LL Cool J/ Sam Cooke requests on one his BBC2 shows shows back in 2005. I flew off that for months, family. For months. Well, shiver me timbers: two and a half years later, ML addresses another one of my requests, but only to mock it. The bit I'm talking about comes about 50 minutes in* (click on the "listen again" link. I don't get a shout out by name this time, but it's my Sister Rosetta Tharpe request that he's dissing!

*it's right before he plays Nina Simone

ETA: LL Cool J haunts both shows, weirdly enough.


Also, as promised, I'm taking that picture of Boy George down. His red-rimmed eyes were giving me the jinks.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Why I'll Never Be a Proper Editor

The email address in the sidebar has been wrong for months. It's fixed, should you care. I wonder if anyone has been trying to get hold of me? I have news that people can use! I have my finger on the pulse! Also, I know where to find the ebony street hoes that guy in Florida is always looking for!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

From So Far Away



An interview with Chris, in which he talks about working with DJ Logic and Vernon Reid, and being influenced by Cameo and Prince.

It's a bit sad noting the brief appearance of his trusty cigarette, as Whitley died of lung cancer in November 2005.

For those of you wondering, I have triumphed over the 8 month curse, have stayed smokefree [and pissed off about it] since July '07.

News here of a Chris tribute--



The 3rd annual celebration of his life & spirit
Bellows Falls Opera House
Bellows Falls, VT
April 26, 2008

* Alejandro Escovedo * Vernon Reid * Dan Whitley * Trixie Whitley * Melissa Sheehan *
* and special guests *
Hello everybody,
Mark your calenders as this is going to be
an event for all to remember, an
extremely special weekend with headliners: the ever
awe-inspiring Alejandro Escovedo and the creative genius
of Vernon Reid!

Both Alejandro and Vernon share the creative
values of Chris and both EXTREMELY important artists
whom Chris himself respected in a huge way. This year the event will be bigger and take place in the newly renovated Bellows Falls Opera house were they also show films, it is a full size theater as well as opera house and stage with killer sound, complete with balcony too... very classy spot and fitting for the event.
Also, there is talk of that Fri night (before the saturday music) the showing of Chris Whitley video's and tons of Chris performance footage... plus a saturday ope mic dedicated to Chris covers so stay tuned for updates!

Tickets will be onsale soon, more updates/info to follow over the next few days and thank you
for all the support!






Slip under the radar tonight
No one will know where you have gone


It's Full of Stars

--Post edited after the fact because I felt like it--

In other news, missing from those increasingly ubiquitous "Black People are Like This/ White People are Like This" lists: my man, Jack McBrayer.*



Now there are two things about this video that make life worth living: McBrayer's performance and Mimi's wardrobe. Will someone please escort that woman from the 5-7-9 store and take away her Claire's Frequent Buyer card? Dang!

*full confession: this one
makes me laugh, as does this one, but only because it includes Skip Bayless--and as longtime readers of The Get Down know, I don't let a week go by without clowning the Bayless boys