Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hurting, Singing, Forgetting

Sunday 11AM, Walgreens Pharmacy, Upper East Side

I am third in line at the pharmacy window and I pull out my earphones as the woman being served says to the clerk, "I wouldn't ask you, but it's just that the pain is so bad!"

The clerk looks uncomfortable and says, "Yeah...well, um...I guess you'd just have to, you know, look in the phone book and call Planned Parenthood and see what they say and whether it's, you know, bacterial or what have you."

I don't know and I don't want to know.

Fortunately, I don't have very much time to ponder First Customer's gruesome problem because I've just become aware that Second Customer has a giant parrot sitting on her shoulder. In the Walgreens. On the Upper East Side. Usually you only see the Parrot People walking around at street fairs and at Pride. I wonder if the Parrot People are friends with the Snake People you always see at the same events? Or maybe it's like a Bloods and Crips thing and the Snake People have their turf and the Parrot People have their own?

I don't have very much time to ponder that situation either, because as Second Customer steps up to the window, her parrot lets loose with a very loud and very uncanny rendition of a hit song from 1994.

"Yeaaaaaaaah BABY! I like it like THAT!"

And then it's my turn and I no longer have any idea why I'm standing there.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Swag Girl!

In the daytime, she's quietly foxy photo editor Emily D, but at night, she rips off those identity-concealing glasses and becomes Swag Girl!

Swag Girl is seen here posing with my latest booty, courtesy of DC Comics. What happens when you tell the world that you've never held a comic book? A package is mysteriously couriered to your office. Thanks very much to DC Comics! Now then, have I mentioned that I've never held an HD-TV?

JMG: Year Three

Today is my second blogiversary.

What have these last two years wrought? 518 posts. A couple of hundred short stories. A handful of award nominations. A lot of political huffing and puffing.

But most of all, blogging has given me some wonderful, amazing, inspiring new friends. Some of my favorite bloggers have become great friends, and some of my favorite friends have become great bloggers. Blogging has redefined me. At a time in my life when I found myself slipping out of the hectic gay social scene of parties, bars, discos, a time of any gay man's life (I imagine) when the lure of the couch and the remote control is as great (or greater) than the lure of a night spent bar and/or bed-hopping, blogging has reinserted me into the world, a world which had begun to seem grey and repetitive, but now seems vibrant and always, always new. And now, sometimes, handsome strangers want to buy me drinks.

So I am grateful to all of you, my gentle, treasured readers.

As far as year three, I don't forsee any dramatic changes here on JMG. I'm still using the original template created for me in a Bleecker Street coffeeshop two years years ago by my Blogdaddy. I'm still free of advertising and product-placement and likely will remain so. I don't see myself adding any co-bloggers, creating a team of cut-and-paste news aggregators, or DVR'ing the latest reality show highlights. There's other folks out there doing that better than I ever could. I guess all I can promise you is more of my usual nonsense.

Again, thanks. I'm having a blast.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

As Promised

Thanks to Gayest Neil of Diary Of A Dandy for today's billboard. Check out HX Magazine every week for Gayest Neil's horoscope column.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Adorable Kittens

OK, this is my last gay Republican post for the month, swear. After this, nothing but adorable kittens.

However, please check out Gene Stone's Huffington Post column "The Gay Republican: Oxymoron, or Just Moron?"

Money quote: Read George Bush's lips: The party doesn't want you. Can you hear that? It doesn't want you. You can't pretend any more that you can change it. It doesn't want you. You can't make a difference. It doesn't want you. If the Republican party was a night club, you'd be that poor schlub who never gets past the bouncer. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life standing in the rain outside of a party whose members are actively planning to hurt you?

No, Be Mine

Thanks to Steve Schalchlin, author of Living In The Bonus Round, for today's billboard. I've mentioned here that Steve and his partner won last year's Ovation Award for Best Musical. Did I mention that he's written and recorded a song about me? Cuz he has. The world is a strange place, somebody oughta sell tickets. I know I'd buy one.

They're Saddlin' Up

Last night I met a gay Republican Jew.

The world is truly coming to an end.

Clippity clop. Clippity clop.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I Got Luv4Buddha

One of the most fascinating aspects of the recent boom in internet video is the phenomenon of the reimagining and resplicing of movie trailers and music videos, as seen on netvid portals such as YouTube. The result is sometimes more entertaining than the original. The most creative video productions often use entirely original images.

Check out YouTube'r Luv4Buddha's original video set to Pink's (*) blistering indictment of GWB, Dear Mr. President, in which he skillfully splices in haunting pictures along with his own lip-sync perfomance. According to his YouTube profile, Luv4Buddha is a 32-year old Harlem-based social worker. Some of his images are over the top, but I think you'll agree that he's created something memorable.

And do check out Pink's wonderful live performance of Dear Mr. President, here.

* A certain cranky-pantsed blogger wants everybody to know that Pink was accompanied by the Indigo Girls on the studio recording of Dear Mr. President.

UPDATE: Order Pink's latest album, I'm Not Dead, here.


This morning, at 3:46AM, I was awakened by the sound of a jet engine. A plane was roaring across Manhattan at a low altitude. Jumbo jet? Fighter jet? I laid there in the dark wondering. At 3:47AM, the sound was trailing off and I became aware that my heart was beating a little bit fast. I got out of bed and went to my window. Peering up into the little corner of the sky afforded me by the buildings that enclose mine, I could see nothing. Nothing, that is, except the shadowy figures of a half-dozen neighbors, also standing in their bedroom windows, also looking to the sky. I guess it's never really going to be over, is it?

UPDATE: A coworker just pointed out that today is the opening day for United 93 in NYC and that we've all been seeing a lot of local press coverage of the opening. Now I have to wonder if that wasn't in my subconscious this morning, as I've been debating whether I want to see the movie.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Hail Satan

Thanks go out to Dainty Bastard for today's rip on Exodus. Hail Bastard!

UPDATE: I clicked around the Church Of Satan site and came across internet radio station Radio Free Satan, listen here. When I checked in, they were playing Pantera. Ugh, truly the devil's music. But I did hear a funny ad for a movie called Gothic Kung-Fu Disco Vampire.

May I See Your Receipt?

Well, it's Monday and I'm feeling extra curmudgeonly.

I've have a long-standing policy of refusing to shop in stores that make me check my bag before I can shop. I don't like being treated like a thief and I've always felt that stores need to address their shoplifting problems without inconveniencing every single one of their customers. In New York, I rarely have to deal with this annoyance, as most of the shops are too busy to be able to run a bag check on every customer. There are a couple of shops with bag check policies that I do patronize, such as Strand Books, because of their unique selections.

What the retail industry calls shrinkage, a broad term encompassing all kinds of inventory loss situations, is a very vexing problem, this I can understand. I can understand security cameras, store detectives, electronic theft tags. But I cannot stomach one particular tactic the retail industry uses to control shrinkage, the demand to see your receipt before you depart the store.

Last week, at Best Buy on Fifth Avenue, I selected a zippered CD case and headed for the checkout. I waited in a short line of three or four people and at the register, my cashier appeared to be standing by for the manager to close out her drawer. When I put my purchase on her counter, she wailed, "Why I got to wait on him?" The manager waved me off and said, "Sorry, I'm 'bout to close her out." And I was directed to get back in the other line, now about ten people long. Grrrr. I waited in line again and seethed.

Leaving the store, I encountered another long line, this time the customers were being required to open their Best Buy bags and present their receipt, so that the security guards could ensure you were really walking out with what you paid for. And this really ticked me off, because the receipt checking is primarily done to prevent employee theft, not shoplifting. Employeee steal much more inventory than is shoplifted by customers, often working with a partner who poses as a customer. A 40gig iPod goes into the bag, but the cashier rings up a far cheaper item.

Already pissed from the poor experience at the register, I decided to just sail past the line of customers waiting to show their receipts, thinking, "I paid. I'm done with you people." Well, don't you know that their security guard followed me outside the store and made me show him my receipt, right there on Fifth Avenue. And then the guy put his initials on my receipt. I said, "Why are you putting your initials on this? When I get home, it's just going into the trash" He said, "If you decide to do a return, your receipt must be signed." Just like digitial rights management software punishes the few paying customers that are still buying music, these intrusive shrinkage control policies punish the honest customer. There's got to be a better way.

According to the 2001 National Retail Theft Survey Report, Where Inventory Shrinkage Happens:

-Employee Theft 46%
-Shoplifting 30.6%
-Administrative Error 17.6%
-Vendor Fraud 5.8%

Friday, April 21, 2006

Rolling Stone Nails It

Story here.

I Have Been Zinged

And I love it.


I promise to conclude XXX, my "going in" story about my first visit to a gay bar, sometime this weekend. In the meantime, I'd like to direct your attention to a couple of wonderfully written "first time" stories from today's blogroll:

David, author of Someone In A Tree, buys gay porn for the first time, in a story titled The First Crack In The Door.

Mark, author of The Mark Of Kane, dances with a man for the first time, in a story titled Hold Your Head Up.

Wonderful stories, wonderful men. Read their stories and leave them some love. And do I sense a "firsts" meme in the works?

Friday Mailbag, April 21st 2006

Today's Mailbag: Swag and Heartbreak


I read your blog regularly and think it's terrific. I also work for a comic book company, and of course I was saddened to read that you have never even held a comic book. I have some good ones I can give you if you are willing to end the comic-free portion of your life. I don't really detect any desire in your post to actually try reading a comic book, but life is about exploring new things, right?

Just think, if Hal Jordan hadn't wandered out to check out that weird emerald light in the desert, the dying alien Abin Sur would never have given him his power ring, and Hal never would have become the Green Lantern of Earth!

But of course you have no idea what I'm talking about--it's from a comic book.

If you read some comics, consider all the stupid references in popular culture that you would finally be able to understand and thus more easily ignore!

Now, getting the comics to you would require you to give your address to a total stranger; perhaps you have an anonymous post office box for purposes just like this one? I also work in midtown Manhattan and I'm willing to arrange a drop-off in person at a street corner of your choosing, if you'd prefer. I promise not to hand you anything explosive or poisonous. Well, I guess some comics might be considered poisonous to impressionable minds... or explosively entertaining!

Just let me know, and remember that story about Hal Jordan! Who never would have been Green Lantern... if he didn't try something new! How can that possibly leave you unmoved? Plus, Hal is HOT.

Name Withheld

JMG: I am standing by to be wowed and fully-clued on missing cultural references!


Dear Joe,

I found your blog today after googling for items about Exodus, the ex-gay organization you wrote about yesterday. I am a mom in Texas and I keep an eye on whatever Exodus is doing, because you see Joe, I found some of their materials among my son's personal items after he took his life in 2002. Joe, he was only 19 years old and he was just the sweetest boy you'd ever want to know. My son had problems, yes, but his father and I (we are divorced) both feel that the Exodus people took advantage of his confusion about who he was. Even though he knew that we loved him, they helped him hate himself. Please don't stop writing about Exodus and the terrible, terrible harm they do to young people. I miss my boy so much.

Just a mother, Texas

Hall Pass-ing

Today's PFOX parody comes in from Canada, courtesy of Dead Robot. Nice one, Robot! For those new to this game, PFOX is working with the Liberty Counsel to thwart diversity, hate speech and safe zone policies in public schools. I'm still waiting for somebody to turn this into something with Buck Angel. Sex change IS possible!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Slight Mocking

Every now and then I think about writing a post making fun of the obsession so many gay men have with comic books. I totally do not get it. I've never owned a comic book in my life. And I've been thinking about it all morning, and I'll have to say that I don't think I've ever even held a comic book. When I was a first grader, I had some Peanuts paperbacks, which were just reprints of the daily strips in book form. But that's about it, as far as I can recall. I haven't even read the funnies in the daily newspaper in decades.

So I can't get all caught up in the buzz about who is playing what supervillian in what new movie, and why so-and-so is so completely wrongly cast as MeterMaid. And I've never had one of those conversations about whether Voltar's Mega-Ray could defeat Gamma Girl's Pain Purse. Although I'll admit that any time that movie with with the hairy Australian (FingerBlade?) is on cable, I'll watch it. FingerBlade is hot! Otherwise, feh, I don't even know enough about comic books to make fun of you. But consider yourself mocked. Mocked weakly, but mocked.

Mandisa: Out PFOX-ed

Our first parody take on the PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays) anti-gay billboard campaign comes courtesy of JMG reader Chris M, who references recent American Idol contestant Mandisa, widely considered to have been booted from the competition due to her anti-gay views. As Kenneth Hill, managing editor of AOL Gay & Lesbian put it, "You can't win American Idol if you cross the gays. It's that simple." Owned! And well done, Chris M!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

NY Post Gives Good Head

On occasion, I read the NY Post. Yes, it's right wing. Yes, it's written at the 3rd-grade level. But the headlines! The headlines kill, they just kill. Most of you have probably heard of their most famous headline, Headless Body Found In Topless Bar. That one even spawned a movie.

For the last few days, I've gotten a kick from their headlines about the elderly woman who was roughed up by her transexual daughter, in a case the Post has dubbed Tranny-Trauma Mama.

But today, the Post headline writers have outdone themselves. You may be familiar with the case of Dan Hoyt, Manhattan's famed raw foods chef and restaurateur, who's been repeatedly caught masturbating on the subway, including by one swift-thinking woman who took his picture with her cellphone. Hoyt has been remarkably unrepentant, telling a Post reporter who asked him if he thought women secretly wanted it, "She may hate me. She may like me and want to go home with me. It's her call." He even wanted the cellphone woman charged with a crime, noting that it's illegal to take pictures on the subway. Amazing. Yesterday, the judge slapped him on the wrist with two years probation and a warning not to do it again, despite the protests of a group of women who all claim to be his victims.

Today's NY Post headline about Hoyt is here. I'm don't want to give it away.

Airshaft Lament

Pigeons, dey's just feathered rats
Dey's make more noise than fucking cats
Me and neighbors, in cahoots
Stomp them with our steely boots
Make dey's little heads go splats

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Some of you may recall that back in October of last year, I took a picture of this billboard, which "Ex-Gay" group Exodus had put up near Orlando's famed Parliament House, a gay disco and hotel complex.

A month before I took my photo, fellow blogger Justinsomnia had posted this parody on his blog. Last month, Exodus engaged the legal services of the loathsome Liberty Counsel and sent Justin a "Cease And Desist" order, ridiculously claiming copyright infringement. Justin brought in the ACLU among others, and Exodus has limped away, dragging their flaccid "Ex-Gay" cocks between their legs.

Now that Justin has done the legal groundwork for us, let's have some fun, shall we? Either post your parody on your own blog and send me the link, or send me what you come up with and (if it's funny) I'll post it here. Extra points for making fun of the hairpiece and/or clever play on "Sex Change Is Possible".

UPDATE: Justin tipped me off to this Wikipedia article, scroll down to "Billboard Parody Controversy." Justin also advises that the Exodus people have been repeatedly making edits to their own Wikipedia entry.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Please feel free to call the Liberty Counsel in Orlando, if you any questions about becoming an Ex-Gay. The number is 800-671-1776. The Liberty Counsel is launching their "Change Is Possible" campaign and is encouraging good Xtian students to attempt to thwart diversity and safe zone policies at their high schools by putting up anti-gay posters and distributing literature that warns (among other things) that "Acting out on same-sex attractions has devastating psychological effects, including increased drug and alcohol abuse."

That number again is 800-671-1776. There's a phone sitting right there on your desk, right? You've got questions, right? I mean, even if you aren't interested in becoming an Ex-Gay, you like to chat on the phone, right? 800-671-1776. It's a free call. I know I have some questions and I'm sure you do too. You might start by asking them how many teen suicides their campaign will cause.


UPDATE: Try PFOX's spokesperson, Regina Griggs at 703-360-2225 or Ask her whether she'll feel badly when teenagers kill themselves because she shamed them into doing it. Bet she won't.

I, Pastafarian

As a devotee of Intelligent Design, I must urge to you to check out Bobby Henderson's Gospel Of The Flying Spagetti Monster, just out from Villard Books. Praise be to the Flying Spagetti Monster and His fearsome Noodly Appendage. All proceeds from the book go towards the purchase of pirate vessels.

Mighty Raël

For this Monday's bit of New Yorkana, I present this man, almost as permanent a fixture to Union Square as the statue of George Washington. This man is a Raëlian, one of the more interesting and less frightening of the science/religion cults. On most days, you can find him marching up and down the sidewalks of Union Square.

Like the Scientologists, the Raëlians believe that the Earth was terraformed by aliens. But unlike the Scientologists, the Raëlians do not believe that we have billions of aliens souls living in our body, forcing us to make bad decisions like remaking the same tired movie over and over.

The most fascinating aspect of the Raëlian religion is that they believe in punitive reincarnation, through cloning. That way suicide bombers can be cloned from their bits of DNA and then we can throw their regrown asses in prison. Pretty sweet, huh?

Their scientists are actively working on the cloning part, but they admit they are having trouble getting the old mind transferred into the new body. A couple of years ago, their company Clonaid falsely claimed to have successfully cloned a human baby. I've always thought that Clonaid sounded like a charity concert for homeless clones. We are the world, we are the fake children....

Mighty Real

At the nutty little gay Seder I went to on Thursday night, all the traditional rituals were performed. Only instead of leaving the door open for Elijah, we left it open for Sylvester.

Then we went back to drinking the blood of Christians.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Girl Singer

Sometime back in the summer of 1984, my roommate and I drove down from Orlando for a weekend of clubbing and beaching in Fort Lauderdale. My roommate was especially keen to get to the Copa to hear the latest track artist belt out the gay disco hit du jour. Every Saturday back then, the Copa would trot out some young singer, usually somebody with only one moderate hit single and often only one name, to her name.

The artist would take to the stage sometime around 3AM and nod to the DJ (usually Robbie Leslie), who'd then cue up the instrumental side of her record, if we were lucky, or the vocal side if we weren't. We weren't usually lucky. It all depended upon how self-confident the singer was or whether she was, in fact, talented. We'd either watch her lip-synch her own track, sing over her own vocals, or on the odd occasion, actually give it a live go to the instrumental version.

On this particular summer night in 1984, the Copa was mobbed. Business was up, way past the normal summer doldrums that continue to seize the Fort Lauderdale scene in the off-season. My roommate and I gamely tried to hold on to some dancefloor real estate, a vantage point from which we'd get a good view of the stage, but the pushing, and most of all, the heat, finally drove us out to the Copa's outdoor patio for a respite.

As these things usually go, the moment we surrendered our position and got outside, the singer took the stage to the roars of the crowd. We briefly considered fighting our way back inside, but the steam billowing out the club door dissuaded us from the attempt. We took up barstools under the thatched Tiki bar and waited it out. I don't recall that we were very disappointed, there seemed to be an endless supply of these thin-voiced disco singers, most of whom we never heard from again. And anyway, another customer driven out by the heat reported to us that "she wasn't singing live" anyway. Feh.

Over a year later, back in Orlando, my roommate and I excitedly bought tickets to see Bronski Beat, whose landmark single Smalltown Boy had been torturing our souls. Smalltown Boy remains one of the defining songs of my life. The yearning, the wistfulness, the sorrow, the defiance. I had cried the first time I heard it. By coincidence, Bronski Beat was visiting Orlando as the opening act for the singer we'd missed seeing at the Copa the previous year, but we were much more excited to see Bronski Beat.

But we never saw them. Lead singer Jimmy Somerville was arrested having sex in a park restroom back in the UK, and Bronski Beat was pulled from the tour at the last minute, replaced by the Beastie Boys. Ugh. We gave away our tickets in disgust. Years later, I would become quite a fan of the Beastie Boys, but back then we were so disappointed to miss Bronski Beat that we wouldn't even endure a few minutes of the Beasties as the opener for the girl singer, for whose concerts we were now 0-2.

Over the last 23 years, that girl singer has gone on to quite a career. And while I'm not a fan, I'm not NOT a fan, either. And I did buy her most recent record. On Monday morning last week, my buddy Ken got half of his office to log into Ticketmaster, in the hopes of getting us tickets to her upcoming tour. The first two shows at Madison Square Garden sold out within ten minutes, but an hour later when two more shows were added, we got lucky. At the mere price of $375, plus service charge, I will once again attempt to attend one of her concerts. If things don't work out again, I won't get too upset. Ken is treating.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Wood Friday

I need to remind myself to take this day off next year. Midtown is deserted. Coming to the office on a day when every Jew and Catholic in NYC is staying home? Ain't nobody here but us chickens. At least I'm all alone with my internet porn.

Among with my employers' generous days-off package, which includes 15 personal days on top of vacation days, (hello, it's wonderful to work for the English), I am offered the annual option of taking one of these three days off: Martin Luther King Day, Good Friday, and Yom Kippur. I always take MLK Day, strictly on the principle of it being the only non-religious one. Next year, I'm not so sure.

Back to my....research.

Friday Mailbag, April 14th 2006

Today's mailbag theme: The Hills Have Eyes

What's up Joe?

Just finished up with your Black Party posts and my BF and I finally realized that YOU were the guy that was sitting behind that castle thing writing things down during Buck Angel's second show. You were dancing next to us later on, you were with a bunch of Asian guys. I never knew you were so short, but I guess I hadn't thought about it. Anyway, next year we'll definitely say hello.

Allen and Alan in Albany (TripleAAA on Bear411)

JMG: TripleAAA - I am over 5'7". That's not all that short.


Hey Joe!

A long time ago you told me to check it out [JMG], and I did, but I only became a "regular" over the past few months or so. My boyfriend Scott has been reading your blog for at least a year. When he brought that to my attention, I was like "Oh, Joe? I did him...Uh, I mean, Oh, Joe? I know him--he's an old friend."

Anyway, since then we have both been reading and discussing your blog quite frequently. We were both disappointed that you didn't win that "Bloggy" award. (Is that what it's called?) Anyway, it's fun to keep up with your goings on through your blog. You never fail to amuse me, move me emotionally or just make me think. Thanks for that.


JMG: Thanks Mike! When do I get to make "friends" with Scott?


Dear Joe,

I don't read that many blogs (i'm a law student--not a lot of free time on my hands), but I recently came across your blog and try to read it whenever I can. If I recall correctly, you live on the upper east side, as do I. Usually I would think nothing of it but today when I was sitting in my bedroom (I'm on east XXth street) and I noticed 2 men taking pictures on the roof of the building next to me (my bedroom is on the same level as the roof of the apt building on XXth street).

I think I recognized one of the men as you, although I am not sure. I didn't want to stick my head out of the window, but I was just curious to see if it was you or not. If it is, hello neighbor! Anyway, you have a great blog that definitely helps pass the time in class.

-- Ru

JMG: Ru, yes that was me. My buddy Eddie and I decided to update our blog photos and since it was such a nice afternoon, we took to the roof of my building. The old JMG pic was taken in Dec. 2004 and although I've posted plenty of photos of myself over the last year, I was way overdue to make a change. Just wondering, can you see into my apartment? Cuz that would be hot.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


If you are wandering Midtown and a Japanese person says "Book off!" to you, don't take offense, they are probably looking for this store on East 41st Street. New York doesn't have much of a defined Japantown, unlike San Francisco, but there's a pretty decent number of Japan-centric businesses in the few blocks between the Main Library and Grand Central Terminal. I've always thought the Book-Off signage looked rather Ikea-ish and I have no idea what Book-Off is supposed to mean.

Worst Job I Ever Had?

That's an easy one.

Not the summer I spent as a busboy at Red Lobster. Not the month I spent as a copy editor for an start-up Orlando newspaper that never published, never paid me, and whose owner was dragged out of the joint in handcuffs. Not even the semester I spent as an assistant in the news department of a public television station, which primarily involved me spending my afternoons on my hands and knees, hand-writing that evening's copy on a paper scroll (pre-teleprompter).

No, the worst job I ever had was the six weeks I spent in 1985 as the emcee of a comedy club. Six nights a week, two shows a night, I had to introduce the same six lousy comedians. Who did the same lousy material every lousy night. Two times. And three of them did Nicholson impressions.

I'd stand there, staring down at the audience, most of them totally hammered conventioneers, most of whom would talk right over my intro and right on through the comedian's set, and think, "I shoulda never left Red Lobster."

Three of the comedians were already never-was-es, having done every comedy club in the country, tried out for Johnny, maybe appeared on Merv, but basically unwilling to realize that it was never gonna happen for them. The other three were totally unfunny weirdos, thinking they were gonna be the next Andy Kaufman. They weren't even Gary Muledeer. Existential humor is very, very hard. Do not try it before the sodden attendees of the United States Bowling Congress. Really, don't. Did I mention that three of them did Nicholson? I did? Do you need some time to stop the screaming?

These guys all had their intros written on index cards and I was to memorize them and make sure to hit the right lines the right way during their walk-on music. Did I mention that two of them used "Party Train" by The Gap Band? Cuz they did. The worst of our performers was the guy who did a bit involving imaginary conversations between the keys of typewriter. was the guy who did a bit about what traffic signs on the moon should say. "Slooooooooooooow." Ha, ha, ha. Slow. Ha, ha. ha. Moon. Oh, maybe it was the guy that did the bit about Ronald Reagan visiting a hooker. Actually, I take that back. That bit killed.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mexican Flags Visible: Zero

This is yesterday's pro-migrant rally in Washington, DC. Photo from the NYTimes. Unlike last week's rallies, which were a sea of Mexican flags and t-shirts, upsetting even those inclined to be sympathetic, now we see nothing but the Stars & Stripes. These guys learn fast.

Michael Hartney

Hot and funny Michael Hartney is hot. And funny. He introduced himself to me at the NYC Eagle a few weeks ago and I've been enjoying his blog, So I Like Superman, ever since.

UPDATE: Michael is promising to "show skin" to anybody that returns to his blog today. Hey, where'd y'all go?


Last night, during my usual post-work Law & Order marathon, I had a funny thought. Wouldn't it be great, if like the lawyers and prosecutors on Law & Order, we could go through life getting away with saying really nasty shit to people, as long as we followed it up with "Withdrawn!"?

Assistant District Attorney Jack McCoy: Isn't it true, Ms. Twatdiddle, that you were widely known in the accounting department as the girl who was always having a party in her mouth and that everybody was coming?"

Defense Attorney: OBJECTION!!

Judge: Sustained!

McCoy (throwing up hand): Withdrawn!

Judge: OK, then.

See how great that works? I'd love to be able to use that in my personal life.

Joe: Isn't it true, Vice President Spankerton, that you are the laziest executive to ever draw a check from this company and that you have been known to spend your "business" lunches visiting the 8th Avenue porn shops in pursuit of your obsession with underage Asian girls?

Vice President: You're fired!

Joe: Withdrawn!

Vice President: OK, then.

Or you could use it sexually, like when you pick a guy up online, based on his photographs in which he looks exactly like Matthew Fox.

Door opens.

Yoda: Mmmmmmph. Joe.

Joe: Withdrawn!

Door closes.

YODA: Ok, then. (departs, not using The Force to blow up building.)

I can even seeing using this technique to take back a cruise you've just given in error.

Hot guy coming down the sidewalk sees you cruising him. He gets closer, cruises you back, and then you realize he's not so hot.

You: Withdrawn!

Not Hot Guy: Ok, then.

Scandalous! True! Confessions!

WYSIWYG's next show, Scandalous! True! Confessions!, is this Tuesday, April 18th, at their new home, the Bowery Poetry Club.

Unlike WYSIWYG's old venue, the Bowery Poetry Club does not offer advance/online ticket sales, which is probably why I completely flaked on the last show and went uptown to my apartment after work, missing the show. But one thing BPC does have over the old joint, they sell booze.

The Warm Up Act

This is starting interestingly....

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


How long would it take...if they left?
Leaving laundries and crop fields bereft?
Within days, (I'd guess...thirty?)
We'd be hungry and dirty.
Stealing a life is not theft.


Virgin Megastore, Times Square, Monday 8PM

Me: Excuse me, can you tell me what that song was that just ended?

Clerk (bored): I wasn't listening, sorry.

Me: Oh, well can I find out? Is that a DJ up there?

Clerk (rolling eyes): I can call up and ask. What was the song?

Me (unnecessarily sarcastic): Well, if I knew that we wouldn't need to call the DJ.

Clerk (Delivers unblinking stare. Long pause): OK. How did it go?

Me: Um, it says something about "I wanna draw you a fish." I heard it in Florida last year and-

Clerk (interrupting): I wanna draw you a fish?

Me: Yeah.

Clerk: Right. OK. I'll ask. (wanders away)

Ten minutes later, the clerk returns, smirking merrily.

Me: Did you find out?

Clerk: Yeah, actually it's called "I Want To Call You My Bitch."

Me (shrinking): Oh.

Clerk (laughing): What did you think it was? I want to draw you a fish? Ha, ha, ha!

Me: I never said that.

Clerk: Ha, ha, ha! Fish.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Chicks Flick Dicks

In 2003, Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines quipped during a London concert that she was "ashamed" that George W. Bush was from her home state of Texas, prompting me to start paying attention to their music, which I'd previously ignored, as I do with most of the largely inauthentic "country" music that's out there Twaining across the airwaves.

The new single and video from the Chicks, Not Ready To Make Nice, is validating my late to the fan party arrival. Watch the video, here. It's one big "Fuck You" to the Amerikkkans that deluged the Chicks with hate mail and death threats after Maines' 2003 ad lib. I'm not sure I would have made the blood for oil mental connection, had I heard the song without seeing the video, but wow, the imagery is powerful, yet elegant. And the Chicks look stunning, particularly Maines.

The best moment of the song and video is when Maines lets loose with this:

I made my bed and I sleep like a baby,
With no regrets, and I don't mind sayin'
It's a sad sad story when a mother will teach her,
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.

And how in the world can the words that I said,
Send somebody so over the edge,
That they'd write me a letter sayin' that I better,
Shut up an' sing or my life will be over?

The Dixie Chicks new album, Taking The Long Way, comes out on May 23rd. Aaron pointed out to me that the album is six weeks away from release and it's already #26 on Amazon's sales chart, surely it will debut at #1 on Billboard. Go Chicks, go.

Ride A Painted Pony

Today's New Yorkana: The Bryant Park Carousel. Grandly titled "Le Carrousel", in keeping with Bryant Park's overall French classical theme, the carousel was built in 2002 by Brooklyn's own Fabricon. It strikes me as oddly reassuring that there's a company out there making beautiful brand-new carousels, because when I first noticed this one a few summers ago, I assumed it was an antique, just beautifully restored.

The word carousel is derived from 12th century Arabian games of horsemenship called "carosellos", in case you were wondering, which I'm sure you were. Also, did anybody get the lyrical reference of this post's title? Also also, my mother loved this picture so much when I emailed it to her last summer, she's got gottten it blown up and framed on her sun porch. Also also also, you can ride Le Carrousel for $1.75 and book it for private birthday parties.

You know, I would love to do a bear invasion to the carousel one summer day. I call the pink one.

Eight Of Clubs

Fifth in a series of reviews of lesser-known gay bars....

Eight Of Clubs (no website)

Location: Upper West Side, 230 W.75th @ Broadway
Specialties: None. Local saloon, pool table, jukebox
Door Charge: None
Drink Prices: Average
Clientele Ethnicity: mostly white
Average Age: late 30s - late 50s

I think it was this reader that suggested I visit Eight Of Clubs, after my spate of bar reviews back in February. The Farmboyz suggested we all check it out this Saturday, so with Eddie in tow, we dropped in at 11PM.

Eight Of Clubs is located in the basement of a somewhat decrepit apartment building, just off of Broadway on the Upper West Side. When we stepped into the bar, we were momentarily struck dumb by the decor. Seriously, the tacky just about jumps up and smacks you in the face. The room is long, low, and narrow. The walls are painted bright purple, with shiny red crown molding. Nailed to the walls are many, many yards of rope lights. There's a rainbow flag tacked onto the ceiling over the bar.

Eddie took one look around the room and announced, "I am way too hot to be in here on a Saturday night." Father Tony took one look at my face and said, "Um, so are we not staying for a drink?" I said, "Oh, hell yeah, we're staying! Look at this place! Total blog material!" We ordered a round of Rolling Rock after the bartender told us that their beer selection was "Rolling Rock, Heineken, or Bud Lite in the can." Three beer brands. In a gay bar.

The place was actually nicely populated for 11PM on a Saturday night. All twenty or so of the barstools were occupied, mostly by guys right out of the Lonely Alcoholics catalog. A guy with a ferocious country accent (Kentucky, I asked) was playing pool with a mannish woman who told us she was the bar's "handyman". Father Tony begged her to lose the purple walls. She shrugged. The music is jukebox only and this is some of what the patrons selected while we were there: Cher "Believe", Madonna "Hung Up", ABBA "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme". You get the picture.

We learned that the patrons only use the ladies room, because the men's room door has a big hole where the doorknob should be, allowing patrons seated at the bar to see directly to the toilet. A long time ago, that probably would have been done on purpose, I think. We retreated to the bar's outdoor patio, which is actually quite large and which has even more rope lighting than in the bar. We huddled in the chilly air and discussed our next destination as a gigantic drunk swayed nearby eavesdropping. He stepped over and slurred, "Are you guysh talkin' 'bout bear bars?" I said, "No, we just have beards. Sorry." A couple of minutes later the guy crashed to floor inside, bringing several barstools down with him.

Eight Of Clubs is grim and depressing, but most of all, it is spectacularly, memorably, get out the camera, tacky. I kept getting flashbacks to the horribly similar bars in Orlando that I visited in the early 80's. And while I'm very sure that Eight Of Clubs has a devoted group of patrons who love, love, love the place as their neighborhood hangout, where everybody knows their name, I just hope to Jeebus that I never become one of them.

Chance of returning: Hell fucking no.

Previous reviews: Escuelita, O.W. Bar, The Web, The Townhouse.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Pogonophilia Rages Unchecked

Looks like somebody has been reading the NY Times.

For amusement, check out this comprehensive list of philias.

Travel Plans

Sunday, 2:45AM, outside The NYC Eagle....

Bear 1: So, did you go home with him?

Bear 2: Fuck no, he lives way the fuck out in Brooklyn.

Bear 1: What, you're too good to cross the river?

Bear 2: No, I'll cross the river. But only to Queens or Jersey. Cuz that's like, close. Like, fifteen minutes, tops.

Bear 1: Yeah, but no Brooklyn? That's fucked up.

Bear 2: Dude, he lives in Flatbush. That's like an hour to get to. Fuck that noise, I'm not riding an hour just for a piece of ass. Plus there's the ride home.

Bear 1: Right, right. I feel you.

Bear 2: I also will not go to the Bronx. The Bronx? Fuck that noise. The worst porn I own is still better than riding up to the Bronx for a piece of ass.

Bear 1: What about Staten Island?

Both: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

When I go back inside, they are still laughing. I'd make fun of them, but I won't even cross the river to Queens or Jersey. Or go below Houston. Or above Central Park. Even the Upper West Side, I'd have to think about.


Friday, April 07, 2006

Mr. Johnston

Friday, 12pm, Amtrak southbound NYC-DC...

Just outside of Baltimore, a man seated at the rear of my car begins talking loudly on his cell phone.

"Yeah, Dan? Yeah, hi. It's Jack Johnston from mergers in the New York office. Can you hear me, HELLO?"

Purely by chance, I'm seated in the "Quiet Car" where cellphone usage is banned. I notice a few passengers turn around to give Mr. Johnston a "look". I don't turn around myself, but I think that if I were Mr. Johnston, I'd have gotten the message. Nevertheless, he continues, loudly.

"Yeah, OK. No, I hear you. Dan, I'm about 30 minutes outside DC and I'm hoping to get a moment of your time today to run a proposal by you. Hello? You still there? HELLO?"

More passengers turn to give Mr. Johnston a look. He proceeds at full volume, unchecked.

"Yeah. Yeah. Ok. Yeah. No, that's great. Glad to do it. I'll see you there. That's the place on M Street? Fantastic. Thanks so much, Dan. I really appreciate it. Bye." (pause...) "I love you too."

The entire car makes a slow, slow, turn to look back at Mr. Johnston, myself included.

He's sitting with his phone closed, smirking at all of us.

Winner, round one: Jack Johnston.


Friday Mailbag, April 7th 2006

Three letters to kick this feature off: one sexy, one sweet, one sorrowful.

Hey Joe,

Just a quick note to tell you a thing that may make you giggle. My fuckbuddy and I picked up a guy online Saturday night and he was already on the way over when I realized I recognized his Manhunt pic from seeing it on your blog on your Frappr map. Not that I waste tons of time cruising Frappr maps or anything. Anyway, after we played for about an hour I said "I bet you read Joemygod" and he did the funniest doubletake. LOL. We decided you're probably a prick in real life but usually a good read.

(name withheld)



I gotta love anyone who feels the same way about Souvenirs as I do. It’s been my signature record my entire career and never fails to get me where I live. It’s also heartening to read that you truly understand what an emotional experience the dancefloor can be to anyone that can actually open up, listen and feel what is going on. Those moments when the room is unified… I call it the “universal mood”. I just wanted to let you know how good it made me feel to read what you wrote.

Best Regards, DJ Michael Fierman


Morning Joe,

[T]oday I read your posts about Sullivan, and right wing conservatism and then found your story about very gay Terrence and I wondered about what coming out meant to you. In the midst of listening to the now ubiquitous Mr. Blunt singing "Goodbye my lover" backedited to cutscenes from Brokeback, I had a good cry and wondered what being gay meant to me and why I find it so hard.... which is actually easy to explain but rather more difficult to understand. My desperate question if you would allow someone you don't know at all to even pose it, was it never a stuggle for you? Did being gay sit so well with how you felt and what you wanted that you never wondered if maybe there was another way round? That sounds deeply closeted and I was, now sort of, but still unsure. Not that I'm gay. But that I'm screwed because of it. Anyway enough rambling, I'm sure you're flooded with enough rabid, anonymous emails to drive you crazy but thank you for your blog and for maybe listening.


Andrew, thanks very much for your letter. I think I was luckier than most in that I never really anguished about my gayness per se, mostly I was tortured by how to put it into action. I wish I knew what to tell you to make things easier, other than telling you something like cliched like, "Those who mind, don't matter. Those who matter, don't mind." Maybe my readers can. By coincidence, next week happens to be a rather notable anniversary for me in that regard and I'll post something on that topic then, but I doubt that my teenage remembrances will do you much good today. Maybe it'll help us help you to hear some of the details of your situation.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

What I Look At When I Blog

I try not to steal ideas from other bloggers, but seeing as how we're friends in real life and stuff, hopefully he won't be pissed. Slightly less grand view, eh? If this turns into one of those "my left foot" memes, I'll be very embarassed.

UPDATE: Here we go, meme-wise: Boys Briefs, Daily Blague, Big Gay Sam, RED. More of these to come, doubtlessly.

Libby Fingers Bush

Dick Cheney's former top staffer, I. Lewis Libby, has just revealed that Cheney told him that Bush himself had authorized the leaks of critical military intelligence about Iraq, well known to the blogosphere as "the Valerie Plane affair".

While not illegal....

"Mr. Bush's alleged instruction to release the conclusions of the intelligence estimate appears to have been squarely within his authority and Mr. Fitzgerald makes no argument that it was illegal. While Mr. Libby said he gave that information "exclusively" to the Times reporter at their breakfast meeting at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, many of the findings of the estimate were formally declassified and discussed at a White House press briefing ten days later, on July 18, 2003."

The Dems will make several billion tons of hay from this....hopefully.....

"The fact that the president was willing to reveal classified information for political gain and put interests of his political party ahead of Americas security shows that he can no longer be trusted to keep America safe. - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said."

(via CNN & NY Sun)

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan: "Bush Nailed".

Current mood: Snickering in delight. <--Totally not mocking LJ'ers with this. Much.

Lost In Frappistan

Kids, I have no idea what the deal is with my Frappr map. Everytime I look at the thing, they've changed the user interface and there are more and more (often confusing) features. As of today, 559 of you beautiful people have joined my map. I've added a slideshow of your photos (located right under the map, so NO, that guy with the glasses and beard is not me), but only the 50 or so most recently added photos seem to appear here on JMG. For reasons unknown, some of the earliest added photos have vanished from the actual map, including my own. Also, it seems that the Frappr map is slowing the load-time for this blog, opinions?

A few months ago I've mentioned the Interstate-10 corridor romance that has arisen between two of my Frappr'd readers. I also blabbed about an apparently one-time hook-up that occured with two JMG'ers at Esquelita. And now this morning, I get an email about a three-way that took place over the weekend in which one of the guys recognized one of the other guys from his pic on my Frappr map. Hilarious? Kinda creepy? I can't decide. I've also heard that some of you are emailing each other within my Frappr. I'm a mini-Manhunt!

Roses Are Red, Cheaters Redder

While I get ready for work in the morning, I usually listen to one of the disco oldies stations. One of them has a somewhat humorous running gag in which a listener, suspicious that their spouse may be cheating, has the radio station call their spouse at work, and tell them that they've won a dozen roses (from an actual website called, the commercial tie in).

With the audience listening, the DJs listening, and the spouse listening on the other line, the suspected cheater is asked who he'd like his free roses to go to, and what the message on the card should read. As you'd might guess, once the cheated-upon spouse hears the name and message, all hell breaks loose. The DJs just sit back and let the mud and the blood fly, albeit with a LOT of bleeping out of curse words.

Well, today the suspicious spouse was a gay guy.

(Dialogue approximated)

Caller: Hi, my name is Dan and my partner's name is Brett. He's always been very flirty with other guys and he says a little flirting keeps a relationship strong and that I'm always paranoid, but lately I've been real suspicious of where he is all the time. I really think he's seeing someone else.

DJ: OK, well let's call Brett and we'll see if your suspicions are correct.

(phone ringing)

Brett: Hello?

DJ: Hi Brett! This is Sammy from and you've just won a dozen roses....(blah blah blah)

Brett: OK, great! The roses should go to Rodrigo (last name bleeped).

(Dan is silent on the other line.)

Brett: And the message is (I turn off the shower here).....the message is "I wish I knew how to quit you".

(I collapse into helpless giggling.)

Dan: Why you (bleeping) Brokeback bitch! You bitch! You Brokeback bitch!

Brett: Dan? Danny? Is that you? What the (bleep) is going on?

(The DJs and the greater NYC metropolitan area collapse into helpless giggling.)

Brett launched into some clumsy denials, but I had to turn it off. WKTU-FM podcasts their War Of The Roses schtick, here. If they ever post today's Brokeback Bitch, I'll let you know, it's a classic.

Brokeback Mountain is proving to be a cultural reference point with some serious legs, isn't it?

Make it STOP. Please.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hey Grampaw, Whut's Fer Supper?

Things I can no longer do without my glasses:

- operate my iPod
- shave/trim my beard
- unlock my apartment door
- use an ATM
- pay for drinks
- work my remote controls
- make a call on my cellphone
- glue on my hairpiece
- purchase a Metrocard
- zip up my coat

I guess I should swallow my pride and stop calling them my reading glasses.

My Favorite Texans

My two favorite Texans have a lot in common. They are both handsome 30-ish men, they are both academians, they both toil in the Texan university system, they are both very, very smart, and they are both on my blogroll.

Please drop on in my favorite queer theorist, the GayProf, at Center Of Gravitas, where he riffs on the generational divides that often blockade unity among gay folks, in a brilliant article titled Mind The Gap. If the GayProf is already viewed as an anachronism of gay activism by his students at his age of 31, they would probably think that I was from another dimension.

Less social scientist, more hard-data empiricist, is my real-life drinking pal Dagon, who authors At The Mountains Of Madness, and is currently on a Manhattan hiatus, loaning his talents temporarily (we all hope) to the University Of Texas. Go read Dagon's funny and frightening take on disease, overpopulation, and Andrew Sullivan in a post titled I Believe That Corpses Are The Future.

Mosey on over to Texas, but y'all come back now, ya hear?


It is snowing like a mofo right now. Seriously, I can hardly see out my office window.

The weather has gone nuts, people. Just nuts.

Email from Aaron: "AWESOME! I luv cataclysmic climate change!"

From up here in my office on 42nd Street, I can see thousands of office windows. It's more than a little bit eerie to look at them now, to see most of those windows darkened by humans standing in wonder. I wonder how many of them are thinking about this.

UPDATE: Five hours later: sun shining, sky clear and brilliant blue, temperature is 55. Go back to what you were doing, people. We've not no crisis here. Nope.

Log Cabin Republicans Continue Working From The Inside

The interweb has been buzz, buzz, buzzin' for the last few days as rumors swirl that new White House Chief Of Staff Josh Bolten is a big ole closeted gay homosexual. On Friday, Mike Rogers over at blogACTIVE posted this photo of Bolten, on a "date" with notorious Republican beard/photo op prop Bo Derek, who also used to "date" that right-wing gay homophobic Uncle Mary, Congressman David Drier (R-CA).

The evidence seems thin at this point, but you might be amused by a blogACTIVE commenter who said: "Being 45 and unmarried in itself is not evidence of being gay. Being Bo Derek's date in itself is not evidence of being gay. Being into motorcycles bigtime in itself is not evidence of being gay. Being 45, unmarried, dating Bo Derek and being into motorcycles... bingo! We have a winner. It is not necessary to break into Josh's pad and find the cast album of Gypsy. He is gay."

UPDATE: Bloggers buzzing: Meanwhile.

Monday, April 03, 2006

California Speakin' On Such A Bitchin' Day

Despite that I am a former Californian, I loathe the California dialect of American English. I hate surfer/skateboarder talk, I hate Valley Girl talk, I hate the way the actors on The OC talk. It has taken me years and years to get to the point where I can say the word "dude" without raising my fingers to put ironic quotations around it.

I am particularly riled by the spreading usage of upspeaking, what linguists call the High Rising Terminal. Upspeaking used to be pretty much limited to California, but in the last decade it has spread like an ugly verbal rash across America. Upspeakers are typically teenage girls, young women and most aggravatingly, gay men. Upspeakers give every statement a rising intonation, as if every sentence were a question, thereby causing the other person to feel obliged to respond to these motherfucking non-questions, as assurance that they are indeed paying attention. My own mother calls this phenomenon "forced listening".

Queer: So I went to the maaaallll? <-- Upspeaking.

Me: Uh huh.

Queer: Because I wanted to buy a sweaaaaater?

Me: Uh huh.

Queer: And I ran into my ex, Daviiiid?

Me: That must have been awkward.

Queer: Riiiiight?

That's where I'd want to smack that queer. The current craze of using the High Rising Terminal version of the word "right" is the single most annoying speech device in American English. I'd endure all the hip-hop slang in the world, all the "dawgs", all the "ho's", all the "know whut I'm sayin's", if we could just blot out the scourge that "riiiiiigght?" has become.

UPDATE: My blogger chum Curly McDimple, she of Ham & Cheese On Wry, has just hipped me to a very recent New York Observer article on this very topic, here. Thanks, Curly!

Chelsea Gay Bars Raided And Closed

I ran into a bartender friend last night who reported that several Chelsea gay bars, including Splash, View Bar, and Avalon, were still closed yesterday after being raided by police on Friday night. Apparently the charges include underage drinking and drugs, although what "drugs" means, I don't know yet. Usage by patrons? Trafficing by employees? If anybody can find a news story on this situation, please send it to me and I'll post it here.

UPDATE: Splash's website is reporting "Yes, we are open!"

UPDATE II: Aaron found this story on Newsday's site. Looks like other places closed include Spirit and Club Deep. Club Speed and the Steel Gym were issued restraining orders against illegal activity. "Police said they closed the nightspots after a nine-month undercover probe that found numerous illegal drug sales, drug use, and alcohol sales to minors. Marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin were purchased on numerous occasions by undercover officers in the clubs, police said."

UPDATE III: Over on his blog, Aaron says: "I also have weird feelings about the NYPD continually "cracking down" on gay bars for serving liquor to minors, while allowing minors to be served at a million straight bars in the city. It just seems like the city government thinks that gay people need extra babysitting or we'll hurt ourselves. Do we?" Join the conversation, here.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Weekend Reading Assignments

Ah, where would I be without my beloved Farmboyz? These days I'm completely caught up in "The Shay", Farmboy T's burgeoning epic over at Perge Modo. Some of you have expressed enjoyment with my own serialized stories in the past, so I urge you to begin at Part 1, of The Shay.

Second up, I recommend y'all skip gaily over to El Toro Rojo's Johnny Is A Man for an episode of Brokeback Mountain Comix. Keyword: puffmeat.