Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Word Search

Ten days after my post regarding monogamy, an interesting but perhaps predictable phenomenon is observable, at least vis-a-vis the 80+ commenters.

First off, a scant few commented on the relative value of monogamy, and mostly only to reference possible health aspects. I remain unconvinced that enforced monogamy strengthens relationships, or gives them more intensity or value or meaning. In fact, I strongly believe the reverse. For me, people. (But keep the hate mail coming!)

And I'm especially over the prissy disdainful sniffing sissies snidely implying that those who chose non-monogamy are clearly inferior humans who are incapable of even aspiring to a (mythical) higher plane of existence and that those sort of people have never known and will never know real love. Bite me, people. (But keep the hate mail coming!)

To me, the most interesting thing observable from the comments is how obvious the age break is among those that condemn non-monogamy and those that support it, at least as far I as can tell with from what information is gleaned from the commenters themselves, or their blogs.

It seems that somewhere in the mid-30's (again, just my guesstimate), vehement defense of monogamous relationships pretty much evaporates. What shall we call this phenomenon? Relationship fatigue? Futility? Exhaustion? Or do the deepening lines on ones face correspond to a deeper understanding of the male beast? The old saw about age=wisdom springs to mind, but I'm looking for something clever to call it.

C'mon people, come up with something!

.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pray Lady Day

The 6 Train, Tuesday, 8:45AM

I'm running late. I'm usually at my desk by 8:30, and here I am trying to squeeze onto one of the last-minute-if-you-have-to-be-there-by-9AM downtown trains. Part of the loveliness of being one of the first to arrive in my office is that I rarely have to ride on the super crowded trains.

A jam-packed train arrives and when the doors open, nobody gets off. The dozen or so people that are standing in front of each of the dozen or so sets of open doors stare at the dozen or so unmoving sardines that are crammed into each of the doorways. The train departs without exchanging a single passenger. Sixty seconds later, another train arrives to the same result.

I'm considering just walking to work, but my train ride is usually under 10 minutes and it takes me about 40 minutes to walk. I'm already running a bit late, so I decide to take a chance on one more train.

Train #3 arrives and I squeeze, squeeze, careful, excuse me, sorry, squeeze more....and I'm on. I make the "Oy, vey!" face at the woman I've shoved up against and she smiles. At least I've only got 2 stops before Grand Central.

59th Street. This is where all the Bloomingdales employees get off. This is the stop where I sometimes end up with a little make-up on my shirt, as the heavily painted counter girls (and boys!) push by me.

51st Street. This is where the billionaires get off. The Citibank tower is at this stop. This is the stop where I once saw Mayor Bloomberg get off. This is the stop where I waited next to a guy who shouted into his Blackberry, "No! Leave the 3 mil in the draft account. I might need that in Osaka."

Twenty seconds after we pull out of the 51st Street station, the train jolts to an abrupt stop. If the train weren't so crowded, somebody might have fallen. Instead, we all just crush heavily into our neighbors. The woman next to me makes the "Oooh!" face and I smile back.

From the loudspeaker: "Ladies and gentleman, we apologize for the delay. There's a signal problem on the track ahead of us. Repairs are being made and we should be under way again shortly. We thank you for your patience."

Immediately, from somewhere in the middle of my car, a woman starts speaking loudly. She's praying, actually. Loudly. I turn my head with the rest of the passengers to see who it is, but I can't see her. From the way everyone is looking, it seems that the praying lady must be seated.

Her voice rises and falls in a cadence surely copied from a TV minister, "Please Jesus! Protect this train and your servants that are riding it. But if it's your plan take us into your bosom today, sweet Jesus, know that we are ready. Jesus, we all know you have a plan and we're just trying to get to work today and we thank you for giving us this day and for giving us each other and ...."

(Insert image of my eyes crossing: *here*)

Pray Lady goes on. She stops when the loudspeaker comes alive, but it's the same announcement, and she picks right up where she'd stopped, in mid-sentence. "- and thank you Jesus, for giving us these wonderful transit workers..." This is where she loses even her fellow Jesus freaks, I am betting. Everyone is shaking their heads and wishing she would stop, to judge by their furrowed eyebrows and tightly held lips. But Pray Lady just keeps praying.

The air in the car is getting a little stuffy. I'm already overdressed for this entirely-not-caused-by-global-warming-70 degree-almost-December morning, but I don't even have the room the pull my arms out of my jacket and hold it. I can feel sweat running down my sides, in little sticky Pray Lady-hating rivulets. Of all days to be iPod free, it has to be today. On Pray Lady Day.

Twenty minutes pass. Seriously. Pray Lady is still going. Seriously.

"We are ready, sweet Jesus. Ready to walk into your welcoming bright light..."

The "Ooh" woman mutters, "I'm ready to walk into the welcoming black tunnel, if she doesn't stop." That gets a few snickers. Pray Lady continues, "By the blood of the cross, we submit to you, sweet Jesus. We humble ourselves to your infinite wisdom and mercy and-"

From the far end of the car comes a shout, a man's voice, deep and raspy and with a pitch-perfect Archie Bunker Queens accent, "Dear Jesus, will you please shut this bitch the fuck up? Thank you, JESUS!"

And as if on cue, the train comes to life with a squeal and a lurch.

Perfect.

.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Dapper Frappr App

In the cause of maintaining my track record of being just slightly behind the cyber curve, and continuing my streak of being a complete Google ho, here's the link to my very own Frappr Map. Feel free to drop a pin on where you is.

EDIT: This Frappr thing is so cool, but I think it might be a little too U.S.-centric, no? I have the map setting on "World", but I'm hearing that some readers outside North America cannot place their pins properly. Advice, my gentle geeks?

.

Manhunt Marketing Tips

An easy primer for selling yourself on Manhunt.net

1. Carefully consider your brand identity. What is your Unique Selling Point?

2. Your screenname should vividly reinforce your USP. Try to avoid overused subjective qualifiers which dilute your brand identity.

3. Determine your target demo and show them what they are most interested in. If yours is an already crowded category (i.e. insatiable bottom), then vertical marketing may work best.

4. Truthful product description, timely delivery, and courteous service will encourage repeat traffic. If marketing claims are not met, poor word of mouth will inevitably result.

5. Monitor your competition. What are they doing better than you? Be prepared to change your product and services to meet market demands. Unannounced value-adds can give you a critical edge over your rivals.

.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving Recap

"Uncle Joe-Joe, my room is the biggest. Uncle Joe-Joe, see how high I can reach? Uncle Joe-Joe, watch me. Are you watching me? You're not watching me. Look what I can do. Now look what I can do. Uncle Joe-Joe, can you come in the backyard? Will you push me in the swing? Will you play hide-n-seek? Will you play dollhouse with me? Uncle Joe-Joe will you put me on your shoulders? Can we play Marble Hospital? See these are my marbles and these ones are sick and they have to go to the hospital and you have to make the siren noise, Uncle Joe. Not that kind of siren, the sick kind. Uncle Joe-Joe, can we go to the playground? Uncle Joe-Joe, ride in Mama's car with ME!"

Uncle Joe-Joe needs to lie down.

.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Joe.My.Sybil.


As a silly break to all the seriousness below, here's a 15-face collage a friend of mine made from photos taken in 2003. A few of them, I used on this blog last year. Note the center photo. Apparently, without facial hair I look 14 years old, yuck. Click on the pic for a terrifyingly ginormous version.
.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Fucking

Sixth and last in a series dedicated to proving I am undatable.

To the best of my recollection, I was 12 years old when I had my first orgasm.

At that moment, I was fucking the 15 year old boy that lived up the street. He was lying face-down on the green shag carpet in his bedroom and he turned his head back at me to say, "What's the matter?" I said, "I don't know. But I want to stop. And I need to go home now."

That's a pattern I've been repeating for the past 30 years.

Seriously, I am Mister Hit It & Quit It. One per customer. Always accepting applications, but new applicants only, please. My lifelong interest in "strange" has been a problem, for the people I am dating, not surprisingly. In fact, I broke up with my last boyfriend, ten years ago, at a sex club, mostly because he wouldn't stop following me around, and it was ruining my prowl. (That night will definitely be in a future post.)

I've never really been in a monogamous relationship, even when I thought I was. Because even when I wasn't cheating, the other guy was. Sometimes, after things had fallen apart, I'd find out that my former boyfriend had just been having a wild ole' time on the side, while I had been chastely denying myself the same. My favorite example of this was how a Fort Lauderdale boyfriend used to accompany me to The Copa, with our friends, for a night of dancing. And somehow we'd always lose him at some point. And we'd split up and search the entire fucking Copa and never find him. Twenty years later, when I ran into him at a bar, he finally confessed to me that he'd been taking cabs to the nearby row of dirty bookstores, then returning to the Copa after a couple of hours to swear that he'd always been right there, in the corner, and that we'd walked past him a dozen times. It took ME nearly two decades to finally, FINALLY, realize that monogamy was an utterly false concept, imposed unnaturally by pietists as part of the entire grand religious "sin" extravaganza.

I don't think I know anybody today who has a completely physically monogamous relationship. My coupled friends range the gamut from "we only do threeways" to "only when he's out of town" to "anybody, anytime, anywhere". I think I've been in all three of those types of relationships.

I know what a lot of you are saying right now. You're saying "Oh, but Joe! MY relationship with MY boyfriend is COMPLETELY monogamous! We're deliriously happy with only fucking each other for the rest of our lives. Neither of us would dream of cheating!"

Which is, of course, bullshit. The overwhelming odds are that either one or the both of you has cheated, is cheating, or will cheat. And if you are part of that very small minority that is truly monogamous, I'd bet that one or the both of you wishes you weren't. As a commenter said in one of my earlier posts, "Would you rather have a cheating husband or an honest boyfriend?"

"Emotional monogamy" is what my friends now claim is what's most important to them. Well known as the As Long As He Comes Home At Night philosophy. Perhaps if I'd come to that conclusion many years ago, I wouldn't have been such a complete prick to some really great guys. Because I used to demand complete monogamy from the moment of the first date, seriously. If you dated somebody else between our first and second date, well then clearly you weren't all that into me, so move along.

But even when the penny finally dropped, I didn't handle it well. I once somberly told a new boyfriend, "I will never break a promise to you, because I will never make a promise to you." That was well received. Not.

As far as the hunt for strange, in one aspect at least, I know I have lots of company. Most of my friends have nodded in surprised self-recognition when I tell them that in a lot of instances, just having the other guy want me, is good enough for me. Often, I don't even want to go through with the actual fucking, once I'm sure that He Wants Me. The chase being more fun than the capture, and all that. Can I get an amen on that, my brothers?

And from the Department Of Supreme Irony comes the knowledge that now that I have finally sussed out that monogamy doesn't work, and that I'm going to be completely honest about my fucking when in a relationship, well ...now I'm just not all that interested in fucking OR relationships anymore, certainly not to the incessant degree the pursuit of both had previously consumed me. I think it was about five years ago that I was standing in a bar and had been struck with the realization that I hadn't bothered to make my bed or tidy my bedroom before I went out on the town, and that I really had just "gone out for a few drinks". My libido has crash landed on my karma.

To recap, fucking me means that I'm probably fucking other people too. On the upside, my middle-age libido crash means that it won't happen very often (dammit!), but when it does, you'll know it, I'll be truthful. However, honesty about fucking is SO not what most gay guys are ready for. They'd rather have a pretend-monogomous relationship. See why I'm alone?

(Previously: The Doing)

.

Allah Knows

Burger King, 86th Street & 3rd Avenue, Manhattan

Thug #1: Bitch, you don't speak no Arabic.

Thug #2: I know I don't, why you trippin?

Thug #1: Cuz you be all "Allah" this and "Allah" that. Allah just be God, why you can't say God? Thaz fucked up.

Thug #2: Allah knows I'mo fuck YOU up.

.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Imbalancing Act

How many times a day do we trust strangers with our lives?

We step out into a crowded avenue and trust that all six lanes of oncoming strangers will be sober and alert and physically able to stop their vehicles before slamming into us.

We sit down in a restaurant and trust that the dozen or more strangers that have handled our food have packaged it securely, transported it at the proper temperature, prepared it without cross-contamination, and served it before it spoils.

We lie down in our apartment towers and trust that our neighbors aren't falling asleep with cigarettes in their hands or with pots boiling on their stove, and that they haven't left the front door hanging open and allowed bad guys into the building.

We get on planes and trains and buses and trust that the vehicles have been properly serviced, and that the crew can handle problems and that other traffic in the skies and on the ground will stay out of our way.

Every day we surrender our physical safety into the hands of uncountable strangers, and we don't think twice about it.

But whom do we trust with our hearts? Often, not even the people that know us better than anybody in the world.

There's an imbalance there, don't you think?

.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Friends In High Places

Last night I saw Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire in a screening room in the south tower of the Time-Warner Center, thanks to my buddy Captain Steve, whose husband is a some kind of major player in the entertainment biz.

As longtime readers may know, I'm not a big fan of movies about magic and mythical creatures, so the main reason I tagged along with Captain Steve, aside from his charming handsome company, was to see the screening room itself. But surprising myself, I really enjoyed the movie, far more than the previous three installments.

I should mention that the PG-13 rating is very well earned. There were a few kids under 10 years old at the screening, and I bet those kids don't sleep until March, after seeing gory transformations, lots of blood, and freakish attacking creatures. There's a bunch of new characters in this episode, but I was most amused by the David Beckham-esque TriWizard champion, Viktor Krum.

And I still can't believe they killed Hermione.

.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

We Three Kings

Walgreen's, 2nd Avenue, 7:45am

I'm in Walgreens and I need batteries. I didn't have time to rip yesterday's music purchase onto my iPod, so I've grabbed my dusty Discman off the shelf for the short train ride to work. I haven't touched the Discman in months, so naturally the batteries are dead.

The old ladies of the Upper East Side must be shoplifting batteries these days, because the Duracell display is out of reach, behind an unattended counter. I glance around for the Walgreen's police, then zip behind the registers and grab what I want. I get in line at the one open register. The first five customers are women, then two men, then me.

Lady #1 is buying a Snapple Iced Tea and chewing gum. She pays with her ATM card but doesn't bother to take her earphones out to hear the clerk asking "Credit or debit?" There's some pantomiming before the customer finally presses the right button and her non-cash purchase of $2.61 is completed.

Lady #2 is buying a raft of travel size items and they spill from her arms towards the clerk, who grumpily catches them. After all eleven items are scanned, only then does Lady #2 heave her purse onto the counter and begin looking for her wallet. She pays by Amex and is as equally baffled by the card swipe as the preceeding customer.

Lady #3 has been talking on her cell phone since I arrived in the line, and she continues to ream out her assistant as she gestures towards the clerk that she doesn't need a bag for her large bottle of Evian. She tells her assistant that for the last time, she doesn't want to change planes in Atlanta, and why can't she get that through her thick skull? Lady #3 also pays with an Amex, and when she signs the $1.69 receipt, I can hear her acrylic nails clicking on the counter. Before she leaves, she opens an elaborate folder and tucks her receipt into an already bulging pocket.

Lady #4 is holding Walgreen's Sunday Times supplement and wants to know why they haven't restocked the Neutrogena Instant Nail Enhancer and who does she need to blow to get a rain check around here? (OK, but she sounded like that's what she meant.) After a manager is summoned, she moves out of line to wait for her rain check, managing to conspicuously check her watch a mere 7 million times before he returns.

Lady #5 buys the New York Post. It's 25 cents and she pays cash. Then timidly, in a small voice, she asks the clerk if she wouldn't mind recommending a nice place for breakfast. Someplace nearby, and not too expensive. But nice, you know...and clean. It has to be clean. The clerk purses her lips as she considers her choices, then offers three different places, complete with directions.

Over the last ten minutes, the two men in front of me have exchanged significant looks several times. The looks say "Good grief!" and "Women!" and "Can you fucking believe this?" Both men are holding one item in their left hand and a $5-dollar bill in their right. I smile to myself because I am doing the exact same thing. The two men notice my smile and we all share an unspoken bond.

Five minutes later, the three of us, We Three Kings of efficient commerce, ride together under the city towards our offices, where I imagine that like me, their bosses are women.

.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Doing

Fifth in a series dedicated to proving I am undatable.

I am the Worst. New Yorker. Ever.

In March I will have been here for five years, and folks I'm totally serious when I tell you that I have never been outside of Manhattan. Never been to Brooklyn. Never been to The Bronx. I've certainly never been to Staten Island and never to Queens either, unless you count taxi rides to JFK and LaGuardia. I am Outer Borough Free.

I've never been to Coney Island or the Bronx Zoo. No Yankee Stadium, no Mermaid Parade. I have taken the Staten Island Ferry, but only to ride past the Statue of Liberty and I never got off in Staten Island.

I wasn't always like this. I used to do stuff. "Joe, what do you wanna do today?" "I dunno, let's just get in the car and see what looks fun!" - Seriously, I used to be like that. But now....now an afternoon spent on the couch, surfing 200 channels, seems a lot more appealing than the huge chore of putting on pants and shoes and leaving the house. Maybe it's the whole no-car-having thing and that I'm always weighing going someplace against how far that place is from the subway.

I know what you're all saying. You're all sitting there in your cubicles in Duluth and Des Moines and Diebougou and you're crying out, "Hello? Joe? You live in New York Fuckin' City! The most exciting place on Earth! Get outta the damn house!" And you are right, you are completely right.

Did I mention that I live in Manhattan and I've never seen the George Washington Bridge? Cuz, it's like TEN MILES AWAY and I don't know anybody who lives in Washington Heights, so I've never been up there. In truth, I haven't seen much of Upper Manhattan, despite living on the Upper East Side. Aside from a couple of trips to Harlem, I haven't really gone above 90th Street.

Part of the problem with doing stuff is that I don't like to do what a lot of what people like to do.

I'm not a big fan of museums. I live about a dozen blocks from one of the most famous and ginormous museums in the world, the Metropolitan Museum Of Art. Never been. I have been to the MOMA a couple of times, to placate visiting friends, but I spent most of those visits sitting on benches, waiting while my friends cooed and woo-hoo'd over paintings of soup cans. I think my personal museum record has to be my 22 minute visit to the National Portrait Gallery in London, I mean, how many thousands of paintings called Madonna And Child can a person withstand?

I should mention that I live three blocks away from Central Park and I've been in there twice in the last year, both times to see Christo's The Gates, because friends wanted to see the display. Naturally, I thought it was kinda dumb.

I'm also not a big fan of Broadway. Oh, I've seen the odd show here and there, when friends have had extra tickets and I was unable to creatively weasel out of attending. But as is typical with me, by halftime I'd be checking my watch and tapping my foot and spending more time looking around at the audience and admiring the theatre than watching the stage.

It's an embarrassment to me, considering how much I love my people, but I am completely tortured by musicals. Searing white hot pain unto my soul, do I endure when confronted by Sondheim or Webber. Remember how Beethoven's 9th affected Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange? Such is my reaction to Into The Woods. I try hard to mask this when around my theatre friends. I smile and nod my head while they excitedly recount the triumphs of the Sunset Boulevard or Phantom Of The Opera, while I try to think of puppies and rainbows.

To recap, doing stuff with me means no shopping (we've covered that), no Broadway, and no museums, and probably nothing outside of Manhattan, unless you have a car. In my defense I should mention that I am adventurous, really. If you find something unusual or nutty, I'm down for it. Still, see why I'm alone?

(previously: The Watching)
(next: The Fucking)

EDIT: Before y'all begin to doubt my homosexuousity, I should reveal that I just got back from buying this.
.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Today's Hit Parade

Here's some fun stuff from today's blogroll:

Madonna's new album is "entrancingly transiently transcendentally meltingly beltingly everything-just-SO, sometimes-life-is-just-like-the-movies, move-over-losers-Miss-THING-has-come-to-town ", according to Troubled Diva, my Encyclopedia Blogtannica for all things UK-gay.

"I'm the bloggers' blogger. I'm like the "Arrested Development" of blogs - critically acclaimed and forever low-rated, " says West Coast hottie blogger Johnny Is A Man, who calls himself the Emo Phillips of blogging. And check out his MP3 blog, Lost In The 80's.

And finally, somebody who "keeps track of Condoleezza's hairdo so you don't have to". Supremely evil cuntiness + fun with Photoshop= Princess Sparkle Pony.

.

The Absolutely Last Nice Sunday

Sunday 2pm, Union Square, Manhattan

It's an unreasonably beautiful fall day.

Despite it being mid-November, Union Square is littered with young people in shorts. In the air, a palpable sense of malaise is forcing people to sit, to lounge, to bask in the Absolutely Last Nice Sunday of the year. There are a dozen skate punks performing tricks for a largely uninterested audience. The usual break dance troupe is trying to gather a crowd, their painfully overamplified music crackling and bouncing off the surrounding storefronts.

On the west side of the square, I wander amongst the vendors, artists mostly. There's the guy who sells his "pinhole-camera" prints. There's the guy who makes tiny sculptures out of wire hangers. There's the guy who sells small framed prints of his watercolor Manhattan landscapes, most of which conspicuously feature the World Trade Center.

The trees still have a surprising amount of leaf cover, and in the shaded areas there are dozens of couples lying on blankets, or sprawled on the shallow steps. The Mister Softee truck parked next to Virgin Megastore is doing brisk business and again, I'm struck by the incongruity of the scene and the season, considering that there are Xmas decorations on the ice cream truck.

Along the 14th Street side of the square, I encounter the activists. Always there, always shilling for some mostly unpopular cause or another. There's a card table staffed by the nutjobs that claim 9/11 was staged by the government. There's the guy wearing a sandwich-board advertising his book about his alien abduction. There's the short round man offering "free yoga lessons".

Near the subway entrance, I encounter a looming man, almost 7 feet tall, advertising his book about longevity. He has a few handmade posters about his breakthrough life extension techniques and taped on the posters are photos of him in various meditation poses. As I pass, the man gives me a direct, strange stare, and I'm quite startled by his pale blue eyes and his unlined face. His poster claims that he is 84 years old. I move away from him quickly, uncomfortable with his staring.

Over at the dog run, I lean over the chain-link fence and happily watch the two dozen or so dogs racing around on the loose gravel. A young dyke brings her Labrador up to the entrance and when the animal realizes where he is, he emits a hilarious yelp of joy and strains at his leash. His mistress drops the leash with a smile and the dog gives her a quick grateful look before bounding directly over to a cocker spaniel and mounting it. Horrified, the young dyke chases the two dogs, her own charge remaining on his hind legs, hips thrusting, as they elude her. Everybody finds this quite amusing, except the young dyke.

I head back to the subway entrance where there's now a small group representing the Socialist Workers Party. They have a card table set up and a grim grey-haired woman is hawking copies of a newspaper called The Militant. I stand back and watch them for a minute, but my eyes are repeatedly drawn to their poster advocating for Puerto Rican independence. "End the occupation! Free the political prisoners!"

The grim woman sees my attention and proffers a copy of her newspaper. I shake my head, but remain standing there and she gives me a questioning look. Another moment passes and I can't stand it anymore and I point to her sign, "You spelled 'independence' wrong." She turns her back to me, and I head down the subway steps.

.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Big! Room! Blowoff!


Bob Mould and Rich Morel have just released the schedule for the Blowoff parties through June of 2006, and I am out of my head mit da crazy to see that there are SIX big room parties planned for the 9:30 Club . While I definitely have a blast at the smaller, more intimate Blowoff parties held in that club's basement lounge, the big room party I attended this year was just over the top fun with a sold-out crowd of hot hairy hotties who were hot. Mix-Master Daddies Bob and Rich not only spin, they hit the stage to play their own stuff! I'm making this my first Must-Do of 2006.

EDIT: Bob just pointed out that the January Blowoff coincides with MAL weekend. Oh. My.

Last Night

So you did guys notice that during last night's Survivor:Guatemala there was a ......

Heh.

.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Watching

Fourth in a series dedicated to proving I am undatable.

Television. The thing that couples share more than any other waking activity. More than sex, more than eating, more than anything else, you spend the most time watching television with the person you are dating. And that's fine with me, as long as the other person is completely willing to surrender to my inflexible watching habits.

Do you like Desperate Housewives? Lost? Survivor? Well, kiss 'em good-bye, because I don't watch those shows. Likewise for The Apprentice, America's Next Top Model, CSI, and Extreme Makeover. I've never seen a single episode of those shows. Don't plan on seeing one, either.

In fact, let's just rule out three entire television genres entirely, shall we?

You and I, my potential lover, will never watch a single reality program. Never, ever. No Being Bobby Brown, no Newlyweds , no Growing Up Gotti. Not one single dumbass show about the boring everydayness of celebrity lives will ever flicker across my screen. You'll have to find someone else with whom to enjoy those reruns of Richard Simmons' Dream Maker.

Likewise, we will never watch any contest shows. No Amazing Race, no American Idol, no So You Think You Can Dance. In fact, let's include game shows in this category. Absolutely no Celebrity Poker or Fear Factor. Bob Barker perfected the game show with The Price Is Right, anything beside that, you're watching at your own house, alone.

The third category of television shows that we will never share, my nonexistent lover, is makeover shows. There will be no Swan, no Supernanny, no Biggest Loser. I don't want to see someone undergo gruesome facial surgery, or watch screaming children misbehave, or endure a bunch of washed up C-List celebrities stage fights with each other. I can see all of that in real life, at my office.

So. What does that leave us, my unseen schmoopie?

First of all, hand me that remote. I'm the only one allowed to operate it. In fact, I'd prefer it if you just tried not to touch it too much. I like my settings the way I have them. Don't mess with my Favorites, don't reconfigure my Preferences.

Tonight we'll be watching reruns of Law & Order on TNT. If it's a good night, they start at 7PM and run until 11PM, although I'll be asleep by the time the 10PM episode starts, but DON'T YOU DARE change the channel or turn the tv off! On sucky nights, TNT has basketball or some crap, in which case we'll spend the evening flipping between Discovery, History and the 30 movie channels I pay for. And YES, I am perfectly capable of following the plots of ten different shows on ten different channels simultaneously. Why, aren't YOU?

Oh, and another thing, my darling. You can trash the VCR. You can sell the Tivo. I only watch what is on RIGHT NOW. I haven't recorded a television show in my entire life, not even the episode of 20/20 that I WAS ON. I don't own any DVD box sets of vintage tv shows, I don't even own a single movie. I've got over 200 channels and they are all on RIGHT NOW, and that's what I'm interested in.

Fuck, I almost forgot the real deal-breaker. I have never watched a single episode of Buffy.

To recap, watching television with me means this: the television will be always be on and you'll be surrendering every whit of your personal viewing habits to fit mine, which will include relentless channel changing and an unreasonable number of Law & Order reruns. See why I'm alone?

(Previously: The Shopping)
(Next: The Doing)

.

Stop The Presses!

Yesterday, like an excited lottery winner, nervously yet ecstatically checking the numbers on his ticket, I looked at the paper with unbelieving eyes. I checked, then I checked again. Is it possible? Could it be real? Did I? Finally? For ONCE?

Yes. Yes, I did.

I voted a completely winning ticket in Tuesday's election. Every single one of my choices went on to win. I'm stunned, completely stunned. I don't have a very good track record of siding with winners (Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry....etc.). And while this was only a local election, I'm still inordinately pleased with batting 1.000 in 2005.

And.....AND...the guy whom I most wanted to lose, the guy who I couldn't even vote against because I live in District 5 and he was running in District 4, that Uncle Tom's Cabin Republican guy...HE LOST. Another gay Republican bit the dust!

I really should get a webcam so y'all could have seen my happy dance yesterday.

.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

One Ugly Black Stick

This, in my opinon, is the ugliest blight upon the Manhattan skyline, this stunning photo of mine notwithstanding. The Trump World Tower was finished shortly before September 11, 2001 and I remember hearing that mentions of its immense height were immediately stricken from press materials, in the hopes of making the building less of a target for terrorists. It was the tallest residential building in the world, briefly, and the only really cool thing about it is the 600-ton mass damper that slides back and forth on the roof, to quell the swaying that such tall slender building must withstand. This is one ugly black stick, folks. Blech. (Here's a cool site to look at some of the tallest buildings in Manhattan, existing and proposed.)

EDIT: Perhaps the picture below better illustrates how ugly this building is. It looks like a smokestack with windows. Click on it for a huge version.


Monday, November 07, 2005

The Shopping

Third in a series dedicated to proving I am undatable.

Gentle readers, I am completely gay. As gay as the day is long. Gayer than the kick line of chorus boys in 42nd Street. Gayer than listening to Ricky Martin while driving your Miata to Provincetown. Gayer than wearing a Prada unitard to your step-aerobics class at David Barton Gym.

And yet, I hate to shop.

I hate it with the heat of a thousand white-hot suns. I hate it the way I hate when pianos fall off of cranes and land on my head. I hate it the way I hate having a rope looped around one ankle and being dragged down a sharp gravel road and then having my road rash doused with flesh-eating bacteria.

When there is something I need, I have a very revolutionary method of handling that situation. I figure out where that item is likely to be, then I go there and get it. I don't window shop, I don't typically check what other stores have exactly the same item for possibly a dollar less. I walk in, select item, pay, return home. I know it's not entirely cost-effective, in some cases, but it is sanity-effective, for me.

I should probably single out clothes shopping in this post, because gay men probably like clothes shopping more than anything else in the world, outside of watching porn in the nude on the sofas of men they just met on Manhunt. Most of my friends would be hard pressed to describe a more delightful afternoon than one spent traipsing from boutique to discounter to department store, whimsically trying on things that they don't need, while always keeping an eye out for something they didn't know that they wanted.

However, for ME, an afternoon spent in that kind of torture and I'm completely ready to confess any crime. Seriously, the CIA would only have to confine me at the opening morning of the Barney's Warehouse Sale, and I'd give up every one of my Al-Qaeda contacts. I'd sing like a canary. I'd tell you anything you wanted to know, just let me out of this store!

My needs are simple. I don't need to shop for shoes, because I already have 5 pairs. All black. Work shoes, gym shoes, dress shoes, snow boots, combat (disco) boots. When one pair wears out, I replace it with the exact same pair, or the closest thing I can find to it. I don't need to shop for jeans, because I already have a couple of dozen pairs. I only wear Levi's or Lee's, and I don't see why the ones I already have won't last me another 10 years or so, at least. As for shirts, I refuse wear anything with a label mark on it. No Polo's, no alligators, etc. If you can tell who made it, I won't wear it. I like very simple shirts. For example, when Old Navy came out with a new line of ringer-T's this summer, I bought one in every color they offered. Summer clothes shopping? Done!

Another thing gay men love to do is go "art shopping". Which actually means "art looking", because of all the galleries I've been dragged to by dates and boyfriends, I can only think of one time that an item was actually purchased, and that item ended up being left in a foreign city because it wouldn't fit into the suitcase. I'll admit, I have a low tolerance for most art. I find a lot of it pretentious.

Artist (sweeping grandly with his hand): "And this, is of course the central piece of the installation, expressing the futility of hope, the emptiness of existence, the meaninglessness of life itself."

Me (flatly): "It's a used up tube of toothpaste."

Artist (nodding solemnly): "Precisely."

Disclosure: I have never owned an original work of art. But I've also never owned a black-lacquer framed Nagel print, and I bet most of you queens reading this can't say THAT.

Since I have a sort of Zen aesthetic when it comes to my home, it should be no surprise that I hate shopping for tchotchkes more than anything else. So please for the love of Lucy, don't ask me go candle shopping. Or glass figurine shopping. Or flower vase shopping. And please don't ask me to hover nearby while you coo and point into the window of some beat up consignment shop at their "gorgeous assortment of vintage glass pieces." The worst part about this kind of shopping is that it often results in going to the three most hellish places on earth: 1) a flea market, 2) a junk store, 3) a garage sale. Kill me, kill me, kill me. Seriously, if you'd like to see my brain slowly seep out of my ear holes, lock me in an antiques store.

To recap, shopping with me means this: quick, focused, result-oriented trips to a single destination with only very rare detours. No visits to anyplace that sells anything that isn't brand new. No window shopping, no sale-flyer-in-hand shopping, no grand openings, no going out of business sales. See why I'm alone?


(Previously: The Eating)
(Next: The Watching)

.

Grand Central Glory


This bit of glorious fabulosity is the ramp that leads down into the enormous food court on the lower track level of Grand Central. Unlike mall food courts, the one in Grand Central features mini outposts of some famous local restaurants like Junior's (cheesecake!), Two Boots Pizza, and Little Pie Company. You won't find a Chick-Fil-A down there.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Parking Space

The East Village, 1st Avenue near E.10th Street

A woman is attempting to parallel park her SUV on 1st Avenue. Amused diners seated outside at an Italian restaurant watch as the woman repeatedly rocks her vehicle back and forth into the spot. It's about her 6th or 7th cut as I'm walking by, and I notice that she is conducting this exercise with only one hand on the wheel, as she has a cell phone pressed to her ear with the other hand.

Her hair is flipping around her face as she whirls her head back and forth checking her mirrors, chatting on her cell animatedly, while her driving hand darts back and forth between the steering wheel and the gearshift. Finally satisfied with being almost mostly in the space, she turns the vehicle off. But when she takes her foot off the brake, her vehicle burps forward and delivers a resounding thump to the car in front, triggering that car's alarm.

The bumped car's apparent owner happens to be seated outside the Italian restaurant. He stands up and silences the alarm with a sharp, annoyed gesture. He remains standing, expectant. We all wait for the woman to exit her SUV, presumably embarrassed, presumably contrite, but instead she flounces down from the cab, checks her hair in her side mirror for a second, and without a glance towards her audience, moves briskly down the sidewalk towards St. Mark's Place.

Not three seconds pass before the bumped man shouts after her, "Hey, you dumb broad! You're ALREADY driving while FEMALE, you shouldn't make things WORSE by talking on the phone too!"

The woman doesn't turn around, but we can all hear her. "Sit down and eat yer fuckin' meatballs!"

Sometimes, I love New York City.

.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Eating

Second in a series dedicated to proving that I am undatable.

I will eat just about anything.

Anything cooked, that is. Sushi aside, I enjoy every cuisine. Hunan, Tuscan, Martian, whatever. Put it in front of me and I'll eat it. But the period before it gets put in front of me is a problem, you see. I hate to wait for food. It drives me unreasonably mad. When told of a 30 minute wait at a so-so restaurant, I'd rather go next door to McDonald's and eat right away. And I certainly have no snobbish issues about eating at an Olive Garden or an Applebees, both of which I rather like.

When told of an hour wait at a 'good' restaurant, which more often than not is a manufactured or built-in period meant to steer customers to their expensive bar, I'd still rather get fast food right away. I don't mind the period between ordering the food and the food arriving, within reason. After all, I'm comfortably seated, I have a drink, I have my company. But waiting in the cow herd at the bar or worse, at the front door, that I cannot do.

Another thing I cannot do is cook. Never learned. I have successfully made spaghetti in the past, but friends have advised me that softening egg noodles and soaking them with Ragu does not qualify as "cooking". Therefore I have "made" spaghetti much like I have "made" bowls of cereal.

Cooking angries up my blood, seriously. Even the afore-mentioned spaghetti making enraged me quite irrationally, as during boiling the water all I could think of was how there were hundreds of things to eat, right downstairs, right on my block, and THEY were ready, right fucking now! I used to say that my cooking skills consisted of three words: "Vent With Fork", but even those days of happy microwaving are now behind me as my beloved Marie Callendar, whom I used to refer to as 'my personal chef', has gone all complicated on me. Remove sauce packet, set aside. Remove chicken bre---ARRGH! It's too much!

So there will be NO delicious, lovingly prepared home meals at my place. In my last apartment, the oven was filled with books, just as the oven in my new place will be, as soon as I can get the super to come up and shut off the gas. For the record, I do have plates and glasses, because sometimes you need to re-plate the take-out food. Don't ask me where my silverware is, I know I have some somewhere, but if the restaurant did its job, there's a spork in the bag! My fridge usually contains three items: Budweiser, soda, and condiments.

Now, to the delicate topic of "foodies". You know who you are. You, who wax eloquent over the rapture of "pan-seared salmon in a lightly buttered taragon reduction sau"ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ---sorry, were you SAYING something? Two of my dearest friends are self-admitted foodies, and I've been accused of "tyrannical" behavior because I wouldn't devote an extra two hours on a meal that I wasn't interested in having. Really, all that fuss. It's all just meat and vegetables.

Five days a week, I have breakfast and lunch at my office desk. I used to go out into the wilds of Manhattan to scavenge for my lunch, but I grew weary of the bedlam of the typical midtown restaurants, which are only open for lunch, and therefore must crank out umpteen thousands of meals in 2 hours or so, just to turn a profit. There is lots of waiting in lines and lots of shouting and once I realized that most of the time I was just trucking the meal back to my office to eat in peace anyway, I may as well have it delivered. And thanks to the internets, I can order most of my meals with a single click, without have to scream my order over the phone to someone who just arrived from former Soviet Republic of Frikzakistan. Once, I couldn't understand why the order taker kept asking me about my "kitty cat." Kitty cat? KITTY CAT?? Oh. Credit card.

To recap, eating with me mean this: lots of fast food, only take-out or delivery at home, nothing fresh in the fridge, and never ever anything that I've made myself. See why I'm alone?

(Previously: The Sleeping)
(Next: The Shopping)

.

A Met Life Morning


I already showed you folks the view from the eastern side of my office. This is the view facing north. It's a glorious fall morning in New York City.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Sleeping

First in a series dedicated to proving I am undatable.

I can sleep anywhere.

Anytime. Any way. I have slept soundly on the floor of a nightclub waiting for a friend's punk band to finish their set. I have slept soundly, flat on my back in the marble hallway of a busy airport terminal. I have slept on a transcontinental flight from before leaving the gate right until touchdown on the other side of the country. I can catnap in cars, on trains, or on the sofa in my office. I've even fallen asleep on a slow-moving ride at Disney World.

But I can't sleep with somebody else in the bed.

Which certainly means this: No Cuddling. Now, I'm as affectionate as the next person when I'm on my feet. But try and throw an arm around me while lying in bed, and the rest of the night will be spent with my huge unblinking eyes staring into the darkness. I simply cannot sleep soundly with somebody touching me. Or with the potential of somebody touching me.

Oh, I doze off, but not for long. Nights spent with somebody else in my bed are an uncomical series of briefs naps, punctuated by brusque awakenings. I sleep with lots of pillows, usually an oversized one between my knees (for my sore back), and I flop around and move these pillows continuously all night. By morning, I'm usually teetering with half of my body hanging over the edge of the bed, as I've slowly squeezed myself away from the other person. I've had entire relationships collapse because of this. My inability to sleep with another body on top of me (and this includes cats and dogs too, for the record) is usually turned into psychobabble about fear of intimacy or self-loathing and whatever dude, but just get the fuck off of me!

Adding to my sleep issues is my preference of falling asleep with the television on. About half the time I do switch it off just as I start to nod off, but often I don't kill the tube until I wake up for one of my two trips to take a piss during the night. Not surprisingly perhaps, this too has been a sore point with others in the past, as has been my ability to sleep with the lights on, which doesn't bother me in the slightest. I've had boyfriends who were such fiendish light-phobes that they would put electrical tape over the blinding ready-light on my VCR, or they would stuff towels under the crack of my bedroom door to stifle that torturous beam of hallway light.

And finally, somehow in the last 10 years, I have become a morning person. I no longer own an alarm clock, because no matter what time (or in what condition) I fall asleep, I wake up around 6:30am. Some mornings, I'll just lie there and mull the upcoming day until it's time to get ready for work, but most days I'll turn the TV on and watch the morning news. Apparently, watching the 7:00am news or clacking loudly on my computer keyboard or making a bowl of cereal before the sun comes up, is very annoying to most people. But what can you do when you live in a Manhattan-sized studio apartment? It's not like I can go into the other fucking room. I've actually been told that the polite thing to do would be to sit quietly in the dark for the several hours it takes for the other person to wake up.

To recap, sleeping with me means this: no cuddling, lots of moving around, bright lights, television sound, and waking with the sun. See why I'm alone?


(Next: The Eating)

.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Taste Test With Mike And Joe

MIKE: Did you see what Diane got at her bridal shower yesterday? Bubble-gum flavored lube.

JOE: Bubble-gum? Yuck. I've never understood the flavored lube phenomenon. Who the fuck is buying this stuff?

MIKE: Freaks, that's who. I know I don't want my junk tasting like non-fat decaf cappucino or blueberry cheesecake!

JOE: Or raspberry vinaigrette. That lube is so Olive Garden.

MIKE: Totally the house lube for tossing salad. What would be the worst lube flavor ever?

JOE: Sushi, no question.

MIKE: I don't know, a little California Roll on my cucumber might be nice.

JOE: How about with wasabi?

MIKE: Ha, yowtch!

JOE: (suddently thoughtful) Hmm, come to think of it, maybe a little BBQ sauce flavor might be nice.

MIKE: For a really big date, maybe.

JOE: Oh no, for a really big date, I'd start with black truffle mousseline, then a palate-cleansing raspberry sorbet before I'd segue into a fig chutney and finish up with something sweet, maybe a nice dab of carmel-cream.

MIKE: I'm so hungry.

.

The Reasons I'm Wrong For You

"If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people."

- Virginia Woolf

The above quote was provided to me on October 6th, one day after I posted a list called The Ones That Were Wrong For Me. The person who sent me that quote was one of the three "wrong for me" guys on that list who have contacted me since I made that post. Whoops. Who knew those guys even remembered me, much less had found this blog and then found themselves talked about on it? Seriously, I haven't seen any of them in almost 10 years.

In any case, I was thrice mortified.

All three of my correspondents suggested that while they did have the issues that I mentioned in my post, that I certainly was no issue-free, neurosis-free, quirk-free garden of roses. Accordingly, and at the vehement request of one of my victims, I will begin a series of posts wherein I will recount all the reasons I was wrong for them, and most probably wrong for just about anybody. I have been single for many years, and likely always will be, a prospect which I neither relish nor abhor, it just is what it is.

I have broken these issues down into broad lifestyle categories, and will post one per day, for about ten days, or until I run out of reasons that I'm wrong for everybody. The first one will go up later today.


.