Monday, February 05, 2007

What it feels like for girl who just wants to have fun

Has anyone else noticed just how many women out there profess not get along/trust with other women? The roommate (FB to those of you who've been reading for a while) mentions how at school he hears this all the time. Most of the girls in question are late teens/early twenties. This weekend, my dearest girlfriend (we used to call her The Princess 'round these parts) was detailing out her plans for a trip with three good friends - an all-girls trip to Mexico. I told her how much I respected her for not being "one of those girls." We talked about how many women we've known - old, young and in between - can't or won't make friends with women. She relayed how much she enjoys time with her girlfriends. I, for one, can't imagine her not having them. For that matter, I can't imagine not having girlfriends to laugh out loud with and push out of the way to get a glimpse of some hot guy at the mall.

But that's not to say I can't relate.

There was a time, not long ago, when I thought I didn't get along with other gay guys, save the aforementioned roommate. One of my oldest friends used to joke that the biggest obstacle in my love life was homophobia - my own. He wasn't that far off. I'll admit that it came down to much of what last week's post dealt with: a fear of perceived queerness and of being stereotyped as such. Nothing more demeaning than being labeled "less than..." something. Especially when that something happens to be your masculinity.

The badge of honor I wore in high school and for a few years after was that plenty of people I was out to would mention how I was "normal" or " not like other gay guys" and that was why we got along great. Yes it's true, I don't now nor did I then "queen about," singing show tunes or lecturing on the genius of Judy Garland. But there's nothing wrong with that if it's who you really are. These folks might as well have said, "You're not a fag, so it's OK that you dig guys." Real back-of-the-bus treatment when you get down to it. My response should have been, "Fuck you," followed by a gentle explanation. Instead, for a while at least, I mistook this as progress. In my case, not being out to my parents will make me feel that such token acceptance was good enough.

I've learned since then that tokenism is, by it's very definition, worthless. The catch is, the people who would label you already have and probably won't stop no matter how "straight acting" you are. It's not you there's something wrong with, it's them. Which brings us back to the issue with women relating to one another. When it comes to the girls, very often the old adage about safety in numbers gets thrown out the window (except when they go to powder their noses, but I digress...).

Maybe they competed for their father's affection with their own mother or their sister(s). Maybe, in their mind, they don't stack up in some way to the other girls. Maybe it's because they feel the playing field is more level when they're "one of the guys." I think there's tons to that last one for the record. Let's face it, to succeed in the world, women very often have to suppress their feminity, their "womanity" as I call it. Being female is equated with being weaker. Which is crap on all sorts of levels.

No matter what, though - it all results in just about the same thing. As we crisscross lines and try to fit in where we have to rough off smooth edges and such, we not only lose a little of ourselves, we lose plenty of what we could learn from others.

In time, I found plenty of friends who could care even less about how queeny I might be or might not be, as the case may be. I've managed to befriend some great guys who happen to be gay - varying shades of flamboyancy* - and am all the better for it. Women who refuse to associate with other women miss out on the same. The answer isn't to try and be someone else or to retreat from getting out there because of your fear of being pigeonholed. The answer is: force yourself upon a world that doesn't think it's ready for you. It may not be. Ready or not, here you are. You and the world both lose out if you hold back.

And with, I am off of my soapbox and headed to bed.


This post was sponsored by the Gettin' Preachier Than Ziggy Committee.

*I totally think this should be spelled flambuoyoncy, instead...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

This End Up*

How to start this one? I'll say it. I've found that in general, gays tend to discriminate against their own. At the core of it is an odd push and pull between the inclination to be a little feminine and the societal demand to "man up." There's no denying a general focus on appearance in the "mainstream" gay community. The pressure to look a certain way is very much like what women in our society go through. But it goes beyond that.

What I find weird is the way the word "bottom" gets thrown around as a quasi-insult. I've got my own issues with labels, especially sexual ones, but that's not really what this is about. The idea seems to be that being on the receiving end of sex somehow makes you weaker, inherently less than...something. What that something is, I'm not sure. As far I'm concerned, whether your a bottom for life or just for the evening, you're fifty-percent of a sex act. How does this define you other than this moment? And what does anyone get out of using this inclination against you?

As best as I can tell, it comes down to the masculinity issue - gender straitjacketing if you will. Ideas placed upon on us by an overwhelmingly heterosexual society enforce the idea that men do this, women do that. By and large, these ideas are crap. And the idea of gays, on the margins of said society, buying into these ideas is worse. Because really, where do such labels get us? Broken up into further subdivisions.

After all, at the forefront of "traditional" thought is that it is inherently unmasculine for men to be attracted to one another. Their own insecurity about violating this rule leads some self-professed "tops" to feel the need to look down on those who they label "bottoms" (whether they choose that label or not). I got a newsflash for these guys: you've got options. I'll assume you have two working hands at your disposal. Do the math. There's also toys out there just for you. Rubber is neither feminine nor masculine and it'll never be too nelly or fey for your taste. It will also never expect you to reciprocate.

The final option is a bit more radical and requires more tools than the mere physical. Ready for the revolution? Grow. The. Fuck. Up. Spend less time worrying about the sexual inclinations of others and realize that much of the world has been too worried about yours for far too long. Lose the pettiness, the labels, and just be. Be who you are: the labels in question could be switched out so easily for "gay" and "straight" or any other host of illogical comparisons you'd like to make.

You know what they say about protesting too much. I can't help but make the same assumption I'd make about an overly homophobic "straight" guy here. Maybe there's a certain amount of jealousy that plays a part. In any event, the only real bottom as far I'm concerned is the part of the barrel that's being scraped.


This post was sponsored by the Squarely In The Middle Committee.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Smirnoff on my window

Short but sweet tonight. (Like anyone reads a blog on Fridays...)

Local vodka bandits (on hiatus since October 2005) are on a reunion tour. Last time around, they had one of the flavored ones. Now they've stepped down to the garden variety. Still a step up from Potter's vodka, though. Seriously, drinking Smirnoff out of a plastic bottle is like smoking Basic cigarettes in a soft pack instead of a box: undeniably ghetto, but you gotta do what you gotta do if you're addicted, right?

I'll stick to sneaking flasks into movie theaters , thank you very much.

No updates on the kissing buddy yet. If anything interesting comes of that and is shareworthy, it'll go here. Who knows? It may actually provoke a weekend blog. See you when.


This post was sponsored by the Does Nobody Drink Out of Paper Bags Anymore? Committee.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Today was far less hectic than yesterday. FYI: the scorched wreck is still there. The traumatized driver left a note to try and make sure it wasn't towed. Probably needed the insurance pictures before letting it go to junk. I almost took a picture of the note, but I thought better of it. Then when my conscience was asleep, I took a break and went out with the camaraphone. Sadly, the note had flown away no windshield and therefore no wiper. Cue the music: So you had a bad day...


Hey, does anyone remember when I told this story? After twenty some years, I actually found my first grade kissing buddy - online of course. I have to say that he's changed a lot. He seems like a cool guy, even if he is straight. (Can't help but feel a little cheated there. Who wasn't rooting for that improbable story when J. meets the love of his life - again? OK, maybe just me.) But the face and the sleepy eyes are pretty much how I remember them. I haven't messaged much, just a "Hello. My GOD it's been a lifetime or six." I'll keep posting about this one as it develops. I mean, how often do you reconnect with your first kiss ever? It is a little more emotional than I expected. Not in a bad way, just more than I expected to feel and remember.

Then again, I usually try not to feel too much. So even a little might seem like a lot to me. That whole sentence came off way dirtier than I expected...


As a result of my unepxected encounter, I'm running low on functional thoughts for tonight so I'm gonna close up shop and actually get to bed before 1am. Tomorrow, I've got a priceless picture that should yield a decent post. See you then!


This post was sponsored by the Boiz II Men Committee.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Burnt. Out.

The car to my left was still smoking and spewing toxic ash when I passed it on my way in to work this morning. I felt like it looked for most of today. The phone on my desk wouldn't stop ringing and my boss (whose voice I love to hear say mean things about everyone else and then giggle) had laryngitis. The day was so busy and so nerve-racking that I almost didn't get to enjoy the fact that perhaps the stupidest person I've ever worked with quit in a huff when he found out he was going to get a verbal warning. For tardiness. Nothing permanent, just a "Don't be late anymore, Mmmkay?" And he quit. The truth is that management were clearly building a case to fire him, but with that in mind, maybe he should have just started scouring the classifieds before storming off. Anyhow, he won't be missed. Not just because his very presence made everyone else have to work harder to compensate. Not just because he always had food stuck in his braces and bad breath to go along with it. Not because he talked at a frequency only dogs and gay men (yup, like me!) could interpret when he got upset. Actually, wait - for all of those reasons he won't be missed. Also, he occasionally made eyes at me. Eeewwww..... The freaks always do; it's rare that normal guys find reason to. Seriously, it's happened once in the last two years. But I digress: the moron's exit saved me from having to hide a body or confess to a crime I never would have felt guilty about. I shouldn't say that. Morons deserve better than to be compared with him.

Tonight's American Idol wasn't nearly mean enough for me. I find it hard to believe that Memphis had that many good singers compared to the number of freakazoids. As usual, I'm crying out for more crazy Paula and more costumes! The roommate (some of you might remember him as the blogger formerly known as FB) and I were thinking that we should audition next year as a duo. We were thinking of a guy-on-guy Sonny & Cher act singing "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails. Alas, I will be too old next season - this is after all, the year I bid farewell to my twenties. Is it stuck-up to say I look damn good for almost 30? Oh well. This almost 30 year-old doesn't care.

The cold finally snapped this week. It's not the drop in temperture that really bothers me. I can manage with an extra layer while exposed to the elements. It's just that when the sun's out, I expect it to be warm. The West Coast weather gods should always keep in mind that L.A. is all about appearances. Actually, warm looking but frigid is a pretty accurate description of much of the city. I think I may have to go create a personal ad just so I can use that as a heading.

And with that, I'm off to my distraction for next hour or so. Yes, like an unwelcome ex or that uncle you thought died years ago, my insomnia is back. At least insomnia can be treated without having to repress memories or take out restraining orders.



This post was sponsored by the Insomniac On The Floor Committee.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Monday evening (sort of) chatter...

I used to have a five to seven minute walk to work. When I switched jobs in September, I began a daily ride on a bus that eventually ends up in Hollywood. The ride itself is usually no more than 15 minutes, twenty if there's extra pickups. I don't actually have to leave my house until about 7:45a, so oddly enough, I'm sleeping more. I attribute this to the fact that I let my waking distance privileges fool me into thinking I needed less sleep than I actually do. I'd love to regale with stories of various one-night stands and drug binges, but the truth is I was usually reading or surfing Wikipedia to see what Esther Rolle's life was like before and after Good Times.

Anyhow, as random as this may seem to anyone, the point is, I think that I've begun to fool myself again. Last night I found myself deciding where to put pictures and rearranging sock drawers past 1am. Tonight I find myself blogging past midnight and searching out June Lockhart. Yes, I get on kicks wondering whatever happened to TV's moms. Don't try and analyze me.


A couple of weeks ago I developed a nasty ear infection. Which surprised the hell out of me, because I didn't realize adults actually got ear infections. As a child, I had them all the time. I went on antibiotics so many times that I think bacteria had been plotting it's revenge for the past twenty or so years. I woke up one Monday not knowing why my ear felt like Van Gogh had used me for practice. Upon looking it up, I determined that unless the pain got worse and it didn't clear up, I would just stay in for a few days and not see a doctor.

I should have seen a doctor - he might have given me a note letting me out of work. You see, my boss - who I'm actually good friends with was out that week on jury duty. She's also the only backup for certain systems that I have access to, making it necessary for one of us to be there on any given day. Team player that I am, yes, I dragged my ass into work and ran the reports and sent off the files that needed to be done. Then I went home and slept.

The thing that sucks about an ear infection, at least my ear infection, is that your ear is ringing and you have a dull pain inside of your head. TV is out of the question - not only was it always too loud, but I could hear the high pitch frequency it emits. This also made the computer my enemy (it still was until this week). Worse still - my iPod was usable, but only in the good ear. This, I must say, had it's upside. I heard some interesting mixes of songs that helped me pick out some lyrics and chords I'd never noticed before. Another upside? When I felt better, I went out for tacos and margaritas with the work crew. The Big Boss came along and bought a couple of rounds. She said that she was so impressed with my showing during my illness, that she wasn't even going to count any of of my time off. Lo and behold, my paycheck told me that she made good on that one. So the day my bled a little (it's normal, I checked) wasn't for naught.


And on a final note, I just to make this clear: I love the American Idol auditions. I have long held that the show is only worth watching in the first few weeks, when the costumes, attitudes, and delusions are at the all-time high. If you want you fifteen minutes that badly, I reserve the right to laugh at you when drunk Paula falls off of her chair or Simon makes a face. After this point, I just can't follow. A bunch of B-rate singers thanking their "fans" and mangling Stevie Wonder tunes just isn't my cup of tea. They have karaoke bars for that - and the cheap booze is preferable to Seacrest any day of the week.

Until next time,


This post was sponsored by the Let Me See Your Esther Rolle! Committee.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Let's Hear It For...

I'm not sure what that saddest thing about James Brown's death is. Fact 1: His death is making roughly the same headlines as Gerald Ford. Granted Ford wasn't an elected President and despite his nice-guy status, his wasn't a particularly distinguished run in office. But he was Commander-In-Chief nonetheless. But I've long resigned myself to the idea that celebrity trumps pretty much anything these days.

Fact 2: Here was a man whose success and talent were visible proof and catalysts for the success of the civil rights movement. And yet in his final years, he was reduced to punchlines about drug and weapons arrests. His wife was already married when they were married. He was arrested and pled guilty to something akin to spousal battery and they sorta stayed together. Where we should be remembering how he helped to make "colored" a word of the past and "black" a proud and defiant definition of self instead we're thinking of juicy tidbits.

Fact 3: His musical legacy pretty much ended in the sixties with much of his hit making, as he descended into the mire that Fact 2 covered. Sure, we all know "Living In America" and it won a Grammy. But we all know "Kokomo" too. The Beach Boys' legacy can't be reduced to that one-off "comeback" hit any more than The Godfather's legacy can be summed up with a gimmicky single.

In the end, legacy is intact and so are the tabloid aspects. Crank up anything from Live At the Apollo (which is weird to write since his body is lying in state there right now) for a good remembrance.

Or reminisce like me: Patton Oswalt recounted J.B.'s appearance at the ill-fated Woodstock '99 in his standup a few years ago. Patton was the correspondent for the event which took place shortly after J.F.K. Jr's plane went down. In between songs, Mr. Brown stopped the band and asked the crowd to "join in a moment of silence to remember, John F.K. Junior." Bewildered at just who John F.K. was, the crowd fell restlessly silent. After a few moments, James broke and yelled out, "Let's hear for the Kennedy's!" He then launched into, "I Feel Good".

Choose your memory. I know what I'm walking away with.


This post was sponsored by the Dead Presidents Committee.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Post Christmas Clean-Up

Long story short: I can't stand most of my family.

This is why I spent yesterday in my pajamas, intermittently catching pieces of TBS' marathon of A Christmas Story and generally not thinking about the outside world - which is why I did't notice that my cell was going straight to voicemail because it wasnt charged and the home was going straight to voicemail because it's stupid like that. Damn digital phone lines - I'm having the worst luck with technology lately.

I think that the day after Christmas is a lot like the moments following masturbation. In many ways, they're both just something to get through. You have to do it, but it's more out of respect for tradition or to substitute for something else - like your birthday. Sure, the cleanup’s a little easier for one than the other, but you're often still left thinking, “I spent all this time on ________ and all I got was ________?” Both experiences should be more than that. But in the aftermath, all that usually remains is paper to be thrown away - be it toilet or wrapping.

Of course, my cynicism should, as always be taken with a grain of salt. On holidays, I'm an orphan, avoiding extended family like the plague and communicating only with my parents and sister to thank each other for our gifts. For me, Christmas Day always requires a delicate balance of denial, acceptance, and bargaining for me to get through.

And I know what some of you out there are thinking. The answer is: I don’t drink alone or at home if there isn’t a gathering of at least four people.

The moral of the story? Christmas isn't as good as your birthday and a wanking isn't as good as sex. Other than that, I got nothing.


This post was sponsored by the Only 364 Days Left Committee.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I hate goodbyes.

Jeffrey (at left, aged about 3) was my mother's constant companion for a little over 16 years. My dad, my little sister and I picked him out at the pound one day and surprised Mom with him on her anniversary. He started out a backyard dog, moved indoors and became a little brother.

In his 16 years with my family, he survived an earthquake. He survived other dogs moving on his territory. He survived a move to Texas (no small feat considering other family pets didn't last more than a year after the move). But on Tuesday, Mom had to make the decision that no one ever wants to make. Jeffrey was in real pain for the first time in almost 17 years and it was time to say goodbye.

I keep repeating his age because it's one of the things that's supposed to make you feel better. Like, "He had a good life," or "He's in a better place now," it rings a little hollow. They'll sound better in a month, even better in a year. And one day, I'll say those words without choking. For now, I'm reduced to the 13 year old boy who brought his puppy home from the pound.

I'd been expecting the call for what seems like forever now and still it shot me through the heart. How my mother managed alone (Dad's out of town on business), I don't know. She's not famous for her resolve in times like these. She loved him enough to keep it together until it was over. He was never alone, right up until the end. He deserved no less. He never left her side, until he had to.

You were a good boy even when you weren't. Goodnight Jeffrey. Say hi to Jamie and the others for me.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

As a result of recent experiences, I’m establishing some strict policies if I ever open up a venue that hosts comedy and/or music. They are as follows:

1. No children. We won’t ever be doing children’s amateur night, so there’s no reason to drag your kid out past his bedtime.

2. Yes, we have a bar. Yes, you may drink. If you start talking loudly and bothering other patrons, we won’t throw you out. We’ll call the police and have them taser you. Then they can throw you out. No refunds.

3. Heckling or singing along loudly at any time will result in the same fate as generic drunken loudness (see punishment above). If the performer wants audience participation, they’ll ask for it. So until then, hold onto to your “A” material like, “Freebird!” and “How hot was it!?”