Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Envious Weakling

Last nite at spanish group we started talking about books weve written, and i couldnt keep quiet and bragged I wrote a book too.

Four people out of 6 at our end of table have written books and traded title information. I was being competitive. I looked at my Amazon rating just now and it reflects a sale. it worries me that one of those people might learn all about me. Or my sister could have bought it. And read my hateful opinions and resentments, my ugly prejudices, my neurotic fear of HIV, and enthusiasm for mexican bathhouses, my rage against religious and straight people and closet cases and critique of moral scolds regarding homosexual men. My small dick fear and hatred of everyone!!

i suppose if i see some hateful comments about the book then ill get used it and the thought of them will cease to scare me. If comments are posted on Amazon, well, i guess they are there forever or until I delete the book from Amazon. Until then, I'm innocent and virgin, so to speak.

My book is no. 97 in LGBT Memoirs category today, between James St James (famous club kid in NYC in the 90's and friend of a notorious gay murderer) and Dan Savage (from Seattle advice column). Of course their books have lots of comments, mostly good, which must give them a sense of intelligence and confidence in their talent. Their books don't dissapear from the list in an hour like mine will. They aren't feeble weaklings. They dodge bullets and are clever enough to fire back with aplomb! 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Xiva in San Francisco around 1979

Xiva (Don Wright) in a portrait from around 1979. He looks like a gangster. Actually, he was a gentle person, mildly effeminate in his speaking voice and body language.

Xiva at the "Bunkhouse" Apartments on Ivy Street in San Francisco around 1979

Xiva (Don Wright) laying down on the tile in my bathroom at 419 Ivy Street in San Francisco around 1979.

Xiva (San Francisco around 1980)

I met Xiva (Don Wright) around 1980 at Cafe Flore on Market Street in San Francisco. I made photographs of him in my apartment on Ivy Street. According to him, times were changing and he didn't feel comfortable anymore visiting the Castro Street Area dressed in "Hippy Girl" drag as he called it. The popular style was levis and plaid flannel shirts, commonly known as the outfit for the "Castro Clone". He passed away from AIDS before the treatment "cocktail" had arrived. We had lost touch by then as I had left San Francisco and lived in New York. This collage was a project I did in 1993 at Fashion Institute, where I worked in the Macintosh computer design lab.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Joseph Durant on Ivy Street in San Francisco around 1982

Joseph Durant in my apartment on Ivy Street in San Francisco around 1980. We met at Cafe Flore on Market Street a couple years earlier and became good friends. He began the Aids Quilt with Cleve Jones. The following fragments about Joseph are from an interview with Cleve Jones by PBS show "Frontline":

""I was with my friend Joseph Durant, and I remember saying: "I wish I had a bulldozer, and I'd knock these buildings down. Maybe if this was a meadow with 1,000 corpses rotting in the sun people would see, and they would understand, and if they were human, they would be compelled to respond." …
So the night of the candlelight march, Joseph and I had stacks of cardboard, lightweight cardboard placards and sacks full of magic markers. We asked everybody to write down the name of one person they knew who had been killed by AIDS. People were ashamed to do it. They would put initials or just the first name, and then finally one guy took two pieces of paper, taped them together, and in big block letters wrote, "Thomas J. Farnsworth Jr., my brother -- he's dead."

Then I hadn't seen Joseph in a while, the fellow who was with me when we were putting up posters for the candlelight march. I hadn't seen him in a few months, and I saw him on the street, and he was skinny, and his skin was gray, and his eyes were yellow. I asked him, "Are you OK?," and he said: "I don't want to talk about it, but it's time for you to get off your butt and start that quilt. It's a good idea." He was still working part time in I think a theater supply company, and he stole a couple of bolts of fabric, and I went down in the basement and found a box of spray paint left over from Ronald Reagan's last visit to San Francisco, and we went in the backyard, and we made the first quilt panels. I made mine for Marvin Feldman, and Joseph made his for a man named Edward Mock.

That's how it started. It grew slowly, because it was very difficult for people to visualize it, even though I had this picture in my head that was as clear as a photograph and drove me quite crazy for a long time, because I could just see it so clearly, but I couldn't communicate it verbally to people.

Dianne Feinstein, who is now a U.S. senator, was mayor of San Francisco at the time. At that point Joseph and I made I think 40 panels for friends of ours, and a couple of other people had contributed some, and we were permitted to hang those from the mayor's balcony at San Francisco City Hall during the Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade. I believe there were about a million people that day who saw it, and then they had the visual understanding of how this could work.""

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Zacatecas (With Black mat and frame from Imagekind)

Striking Monochrome Design in Vivid Red. Fill your space with heart energy! This would make a good printed mural for a wall in a store, office, or home. Shop for it at Imagekind:

Friday, September 08, 2017

Driving Across Silverlake (Tote Bag from Society6)

I practiced yoga followed by meditation in Elysian Fields (Elysian Park north of downtown L.A.) this past week and enjoyed views of downtown skyscrapers looking south and hillside suburbs and distant mountains looking northeast. Then I drove to a meeting at the admirable AT center in Silverlake.
Lots of ants on two legs running around the anthill called Los Angeles.
A energetic design resulted from the experience.Here it is on a tote bag from Society6.…

Monday, September 04, 2017

A Remark about the Culture of Older Gay Men in Palm Springs, California

Maybe our friend in Texas wouldn't like being with other old queens in Palm Springs.

It is a reality check being in the midst of them, like having close-up mirrors everyway you turn. This is a dangerous place for fantasies and illusions.

It's the opposite of a foreign adventure to an unknown place.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Response to Hoarder friend who doesn't want to be compared to another Hoarder friend who recently died.

Why not compare people with one another? Animals, human and otherwise, do it to estimate risk and reward. Actuaries use statistics from a group of individuals to predict probability for a particular member's outcome. And then set prices for insurance accordingly, among other real world applications. A quantitative analysis of data predicts future behavior. A well designed algorithm (noun: a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer) can analyze facebook pages from around the world and determine who is homosexual with accuracy. That's an interesting example of data mining. Our behavior is predictable; yours, mine, and the stranger sitting next to me at Starbucks.

My deceased friend had one heir we know of, his sister. She wasn't at the memorial service since she lives 800 miles away. She was in contact with him while he was ill as a caring sister. Now he's dead so it makes no difference to him what she does heretofore. His house is for sale, as is, and his physical effects will be thrown out or donated, if they already haven't been. We assume the sister will receive the proceeds from sale of house and any other money. Perhaps his church will too. I imagine he had a will. No one from our community breakfast group was interested in going through his physical effects as they did that for another member of the group who died a few years ago and it was too much work to repeat. 

If anyone wants to leave me some money, i'll be happy to receive it, and have fond thoughts of the donor. but i dont want anybody's personal effects. I had my own precious items and got rid of them because i know they would have ended up in a dumpster after i die. I've saved my heirs the trouble. My heirs will appreciate a simple check, like most people, after the death of a loved one, and remember him or her fondly while they enjoy the freedom to spend it however they choose. There will be no driving or hauling, expense of storing or selling involved. That's as considerate as one can be of the living. Money is the best present. 

Older people don't need more stuff, they need money. Especially if they are short of it.