Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Meant to post today, but I kept getting distracted. Well, I can post more tomorrow. We've only got a four hour day tomorrow at work.

Woo hoo!!

Monday, December 29, 2003

These are some of the things that make Christmas Christmas for me.

1) John Denver and the Muppets
2) The toilet paper roll Santa that I made in third grade and that has topped the tree ever since
3) Snickerdoodles
4) My mom's tuna and cream cheese spread that we have on Christmas morning
5) A roaring fire
6) The Christmas stocking that was knitted for me while my mom was still pregnant and has graced the mantlepiece of every house my family has lived in
7) The hand-made Christmas ornaments (my grandmother's, mother's and mine)
8) It's A Wonderful Life
9) O, Holy Night
10) A Christmas Carol
I have caught and corrected so many errors in my last two posts. I only hope I've caught them all. In my mind's eye, I can see Faustus with his red pen marking up my blog entries.

Terrifying thought.

Especially since I see him dressed up like some sort of Victorian-era school marm with old lady glasses on a chain and his hair in a bun.

Maybe I just need some caffeine.
Only two days to go until my second most hated holiday, New Year's Eve. Nothing like that and Valentine's Day to make me really aware of being alone.

Well, thank God for alcohol.
One of the advantages of going to mom's house for Christmas is that I can catch up on my reading. I didn't grow up where she lives now and I don't know anyone. I tend to stay at the house for the entire time I visit her (especially since I don't have a car). This trip was no exception.

I started with 'Ruled Brittania' by Harry Turtledove. This was a Christmas gift. While I'd never read any of Turtledove's work before, I'd always been intrigued by his alternate reality stories (several of his series are set in a United States where the South had won the Civil War or in a world where the outcome of World War II had been completely different). This book envisioned an England where the Spanish Armada had won and England was now a territory of Spain. Set in the late 1500s, the plot deals with an attempt to free England from King Philip's rule and return Elizabeth to the throne.

The central characters in the novel are William Shakespeare, whose work is key to the coming revolution, and Spanish playwright, Lope de Vega.

Considering that these are two of my favorite playwrights and that I generally like Elizabethan dramatists (Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Dekker are also in the novel), I was really intrigued by the concept.

Generally, I enjoyed it. Good use of language and an appreciation for Shakespeare and Marlowe. I thought Turtledove's de Vega was not as well drawn as the other characters, but how many people even know who Lope de Vega was? I'll give him credit for that, at least. And he does a really good job of making the period (especially the theater and religious intrigue) come to life. Worth a read, if you can handle reading a lot of blank verse.

Next I read 'The Da Vinci Code'. Um, okay. I don't really see what all the hype is about. Wait, actually I do. We live in a country that loves conspiracy theories. This is a book about the ultimate conspiracy. Of course that would go over well.

Sad thing is, though, it isn't a particularly good book. Bland characters. Action sequences that seem very forced. Illogical events.

It would have been interesting to see a better novelists' take on this subject.

Still, at least I've read it. Now I can sit in Starbucks and not feel left out of the soccer moms' conversations.

Last book was another gift (thanks, Palochi), Michael Thomas Ford's debut novel, 'Last Summer'. I really like Ford's non-fiction works, so I was looking forward to reading this book. And I've got to say it was pretty good.

Granted, it was no 'Tales of the City', though it certainly owes a lot to Maupin. And to many other gay writers. In fact, peppered throughout the novel are enough references to gay writers, icons, movies, etc., to make this both an interesting novel and a primer for Gay Studies 101. Considering that one of the story lines revolves around a high school runaway who is just finding out what it means to be gay and that Ford has written several books for gay and questioning youth, it is clearly intentional. And good for him.

Like 'Tales of the City', 'Last Summer' deals with a group of people whose lives intersect, in this case over a summer in Provincetown. The characters are interesting, the stories are engaging, and it is often laugh-out-loud funny. My only problem with the book is that it was too short. With the number of stories being told, it seemed that things moved a little too quickly. Romances that should have taken weeks seemed to happen in days. Plots came together and fell apart with incredible speed. Life-changing decisions were briefly considered then made. I just wanted things to slow down a little.

That being said, I kind of hope that Ford continues with these characters. While I don't think they'll ever replace Mary Anne, Mouse and Mona, I was interested enough in them to want to see what will happen to them in the future.

So that was the reading side of my Christmas break. In addition, I watched hour after hour of cooking and designing shows and have come up with all sorts of things I want to do around the apartment. Now if I can just get my landlady to let me paint.
I'm back. I had a surprisingly good Christmas. Some nice gifts. Good family bonding time.

All in all very pleasant.

But I'm hungry right now, so I'm going to go eat lunch. I'll post a little when I get back.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Merry Christmas, everybody. I'll be back next week.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

My mother, Lord love her, after twisting my arm and forcing me to promise to travel to her house on Christmas Eve along with the rest of creation, instead of Christmas Day when everyone else will be at home, called today to tell me that if it looked like terrorists were going to attack the city or the train system, I should come on Christmas Day instead. Oy.

If it looks like terrorists are going to attack, traveling will be very, very low on my list of priorities. Curling up in a fetal position under my bed will be the order of the day.

Ah, well.

Last night I went to a delightful dinner party in honor of this man's birthday. It afforded me an opportunity to talk with Faustus for a while, which I really hadn't had a chance to do yet. Good food. Good conversation. A very pleasant evening. It was the sort of thing I imagined myself doing when I moved to New York. Going out with a group of friends and their friends, having discussions about theater and literature. More often than not, however, I spend my evenings at home watching movies. Ah, well.

Sadly, MAK had to leave early for his trip to visit his family. I walked David home so he could give me my belated birthday present, a Goblin journal. I, too, have ordered something from Cafe Press for his birthday present, a Gotham Knights Rugby Calendar.

Good times.

Today was another 'do nothing' day at work. Well, I did do one interesting thing. I played Santa Claus and took a bunch of presents to a special education class at an elementary school in Queens. The kids were wheelchair-bound and non-verbal. Many were mentally retarded. Several of the kids had feeding tubes and other physical problems.

I will say this for myself, I managed not to cry while I was dropping off the presents and meeting all the kids and their teachers.

It just broke my heart to see how much the deck was already stacked against these kids and their families.

Sure makes all my problems seem remarkably trivial.

Monday, December 22, 2003

So, let's see. Got a little catching up to do.

Last Thursday . . . drinks with Mike, MAK and PatCH. A lovely, civilized time. Any rumors you may hear about me sticking my hands down people's shirts to feel their smooth, smooth chests, stripping people's clothing off in order to see their tattoos (and other bits of their anatomy), sucking a ring off someone's finger, or blatantly staring at people's asses (especially the hot Mohawked waiter) are complete and utter fabrications and the people who spread such filth should be stripped naked, covered with honey from head to toe and . . . um . . .

I'm sorry, I seem to have lost my train of thought.

And we're moving . . .

Woke up Friday with a screaming hangover. It was worth it, though.

Friday I had a celebrity sighting. Frank Langella was at the post office choosing letters as part of Operation Santa Claus. Good for him.

That night I went to the Eagle for their Christmas party. The team was invited. Fun event. Food, open bar, good company. Sadly, my foot was absolutely killing me, so I had to leave early. As lame as it was having to go home and ice my foot instead of staying out with my friends, I really needed it. Saturday the foot was much better.

Saturday was a quiet day. Went shopping. Watched 'Get Real'. Got together with Mike for coffee at Rita's then went back to his place and watched the second half of 'Angels in America'. I haven't seen the first half, but I did see the plays when they were on Broadway, so I didn't think it mattered too much.

The show was amazing. Al Pacino was absolutely incredible. I really didn't see how they were going to adapt it for the screen, but it worked. I can't wait till it's out on DVD.

Yesterday was another quiet one. Had brunch with the new president of the rugby club. We talked about a number of club related things. In fact, the brunch lasted four hours. I'm still a little up in the air about his way of doing things, but I think I'll adapt. For now, my focus is going to be membership and developing our fan base. Should be interesting.

Got home and made dinner. My birthday gifts to myself this year (other than my, um, art DVDs) were cookbooks. Seven of them. Last night I tried out a crockpot recipe for Eggplant, Tomato and Chickpea Stew. It turned out really well. A little more runny than I would have liked, but I can fix that next time. It made a huge amount of food, so I'll have to wind up freezing quite a bit of it. Still, it's nice to have a freezer full of good food, especially for those nights that I don't feel like cooking.

I can't wait to try out more of the recipes. One of the cookbooks is nothing put 'one pot' recipes. Soups, stews, casseroles, etc. It's going to be great cooking some of those dishes.

And I have to say that I love coming home to a house that is full of the smells of cooking. Walking in and smelling garlic, tomatoes, oranges, cinnamon, dill, bread . . . well, it makes it feel more like home.

Tomorrow night, I'm going to mull cider, so the house should smell amazing after that.

Sunday night I watched 'Billy Elliot'. Even though I said that 'Beautiful Thing' is my favorite movie, I think 'Billy Elliot' really is. It's also one of those movies that I really can't watch with someone else (except maybe Mike since he has little or no respect left for me) because I always end up crying like a baby at the end of that movie. It's kind of embarrassing with people who don't know me that well. There are several scenes that kill me. The bit where Billy's dad breaks the strike to try to earn money for Billy's audition and training. The scene with Billy saying goodbye to his father and brother at the bus station. Billy trying to say goodbye to his grandmother and she pulls him into a fierce embrace, knowing that in all likelihood, they won't see each other again.

Yep. I'm tearing up now thinking about it.

But then, I cry at the drop of a hat. What can you do?

So here I am today. Nearly done with my shopping (or at least the shopping I have to do before Christmas . . . some of my friends and I exchange gifts after the holidays). I have to buy something Barbie-related for my niece. I need to get something for my stepsister and her husband.

Finally, I have to get some presents for my Operation Santa family. Not the most original thing, but I think I'm going to send them a gift certificate to Toys 'R Us. There are four kids and I only know what one of them wants. I figure it's safer to let the parents deal with all that.

Well, that's it for now. Tonight is David's dinner party. I can't wait. I've got to say, I've made some great friends by having a blog.

Friday, December 19, 2003

As I've mentioned, I've got great luck when it comes to raffles and drawings. Witness the trip to Trinidad that I recently won.

Well, I just got an e-mail today saying I'd won a weekend at a bed & breakfast in Upstate New York. Food and ski passes included.

So, who wants to be my ski buddy?

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Woo hoo!!!! Blogger has redeemed itself. My site is updating.

Well, I'm really drunk after a night of partying with MAK, PatCH and Mike. PatCH is an evil person when it comes to stealth ordering drinks for people. But I had such a great time.

Rather than posting all the good gossip, I'll wait to see what MAK and PatCH post. If they spill the beans on me . . . well, I'll be sharing a little bit about them as well.
Bloody blogger isn't updating my site. Same thing happened to Brian a few months back.

Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks!!!!
Go here and let these "pro family" dicks know what you really think of gay marriage.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I love 'Beautiful Thing'. In fact, I think it is probably my favorite movie. Sure it's not perfect, but it's so romantic and beautiful.

And on that note, I'm off to bed. Have to be up super early to see ROTK.

Woo hoo!!!!!
I'm taking off from work tomorrow. It has nothing to do with going to see 'Return of the King'. That is just a happy coincidence.

I'm so excited I could pee. Or maybe that's all the coffee I've been drinking.
Didn't make it to the party last night. Between the cold and my foot, I didn't feel very social.

Instead I went home and watched 'But I'm a Cheerleader' which is such a fun movie. Just what I needed. Monday night I watched 'Broken Hearts Club'. As you can see, I'm working my way through my gay-themed DVDs. Tonight might be 'Beautiful Thing' or 'Get Real'.

I didn't have my usual insomnia last night. I did wake up every four hours needing another dose of cold medicine, but at least I was sleeping between doses.

Monday, December 15, 2003

For those of you who were curious about my Amazon Wish List, I've finally figured out how to post it. It's in the Links section.

You don't have to buy me anything. But browsing through it might give you a little insight into the fucked up chasm of my mind.
Continuing with this week's my-life-sucks theme, I have a nasty cold and my fucking foot is messed up again. I'm going to make an appointment with a doctor and find out once and for all what the hell is wrong.

Hell of a way to start a week.

On the up side of things, I'm supposed to see a friend of mine who's in town tonight. She's throwing a party for all her friends at the Fat Black Pussycat, which one assumes is a bar.

If I don't feel any better, I may not go. But it would be good to see her again.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Another weekend in the bag. Not a fucking thing to show for it.

Friday, coffee with Mike. First time in three weeks that I saw him.

Saturday, sleep late. Pick up some art books and prints and stuff that I'd bought off of eBay. Go to Paul's party. That was a bit of a fiasco. I was going over there with English David. Neither of us brought the address. Once we got to Jersey, I had to call Mike (three times before he picked up) and had to have him log in to my e-mail for me and find the address. Brilliant.

The party was a lot of fun. Good company, lots of singing around the piano, good food and drinks . . . everything you could want.

Wound up taking the PATH train back the wrong way and ended up at the Trade Center stop. That was odd. Macabre, I suppose. If you think about it too much.

Today, saw 'nDavid's opera. It was okay. Saw Mike for a few seconds after the show. He was with David's family so we didn't really talk.

You know, I'm happy for him and David. I'm happy about his job and everything like that too. But I miss my friend.

Guess I'm getting a full dose of the holiday blues. And all the lonliness that goes with it.

Well, time to go finish my laundry.
Paul's party was a blast.

More later.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Well, I can't access my blog, but at least I can update it.

Since I can't seem to catch a fucking break this week, here was my day.

Work, blah, blah, blah.

Go to the opera to see 'nDavid. Train breaks down at 34th St. By the time I get uptown, the show has started. Try to buy tickets for the Sunday show. The box office woman tells me the box office is officially closed. I have to buy the tickets the day of.


Go back downtown. Get together with Mike. Bitch about rugby stuff. Mention the fact that he forgot my birthday. He gets upset at himself, though frankly, I don't much care. He has David. He has his job. He has his family. I'm more at the outskirts of his life right now. He doesn't love me any less; he just doesn't have as much time for me or my life. And my birthday shouldn't be something that he is concerned about. I mean, I'm not a kid. Birthdays don't have the same meaning that they did back then. I told him not to beat himself up and that we would go out to dinner sometime.


At least tomorrow is Paul's party. Should be fun. Even if it is in Jersey.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Good news: I'm going to Trinidad.

Bad news: I'm going to Trinidad.

Turns out it's just one ticket. Damn.

On the bright side, I've found the website of the local Rugby Union down there and will endeavor to see some games while I'm down there. Hopefully, I'll be able to hang out with them and drink, too.

MAK and PatCH, you're both welcome to come with me, but you'll have to buy your own tickets. Hotel is on me, though.
And one funny little story from yesterday.

I take the V, or whatever other trains run on that track, into work every morning. My station is at 23rd and 6th. When it rains, the street floods next to the stairs leading down into the station. As luck, and shitty planning, would have it, that is also a bus stop.

Yesterday, a well-dressed young woman and I were descending into the station when a bus plowed through the flooded street, causing a huge wave of water to soak us both. We were both wearing coats, but our pants were soaked on one side. At the same time we both looked down and said "Son of a bitch." Then we looked at each other, chuckled, and continued downstairs to catch our train.
So what am I doing this weekend, you ask? Well, tomorrow I'm going to clean my house. As this will be my first crack at it since I moved in, I don't expect it to go well. I will then reward myself by going to a housewarming party for one of my teammates.

Sunday, not a fucking thing.

Ah, the exciting life of a single, relatively young man in Manhattan.
Rather than going to either party last night, I went home, had a bite of dinner, and went to bed. Despite two people calling at 8 and 8:30 p.m., I managed to get a little over 11 hours sleep.

Very nice.

That will prepare me for going to see 'nDavid (of Mike'nDavid) in an opera tonight. I repeat: I wish the fucking week would end already.

I should point out that I recognize the irony of my complaining about so few rugby guys coming to my birthday party when I skipped one last night. Fine, I'm a hypocrite. So sue me.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Decided to blow off my office party (even though that's probably the closest I'm coming to a year-end bonus this year). I'll probably still go to the birthday party, though. Mostly I just want a drink.
Jesus, I wish this fucking day would end already. Scratch that. I wish this fucking week would end already.
I just sent an e-mail resigning from most of the administrative stuff that I've been doing for the rugby team. I thought it would freak me out a little more than this, but I actually feel okay.

I resigned from all of the projects and committees that have been giving me fits (or worse, in which I have to do all the work because no one else wants to do it). I've offered to continue working on the projects that I actually enjoy doing, which is still four or five things. This will keep me busy without making me crazy.

If nothing else, next year will be a little less stressful.

Pity I can't do the same with work and my family.
Last night was the rugby banquet and it was a blast, due in no small part to the hard work of this man. The food was good, the company was great, the awards were fun and touching, and the kangaroo court went really, really well. All in all, one of the best events this week.

Down side is that it was also the team elections for next year's officers and board. I wasn't elected for either of the positions I was running for. I'll admit to being a little down about this. I feel like I bust my ass for this team, but it seems that all the stuff I do is behind the scenes. I guess I was just hoping for a little overt validation. Of course, the fact that I was elected vice president and board member for this past year was nothing to sneeze at.

Looking at the bright side of all this, I'm going to have a lot more free time next year. Since I won't be taking care of all the little administrative nightmares and being the go-to man for the jobs that no one else on the team wants to do, I can focus my energy into the two committees that I'm in charge of. Well, one committee. The second one I agreed to help out on until they find someone to take care of it. But since I will have more time, I may go ahead and take it over, too. We'll see.

I will admit that losing wouldn't have stung quite so badly if more than four of the rugby guys had shown up at my birthday party. I guess I'm getting a high-school sized dose of insecurity about my place in the team.

On the lighter side, I'm being taken out for a belated birthday lunch by some of my coworkers today. Getting some noodle soup at Ollie's. Just what I need on a day like this. The tonight is my firm's holiday party and Groundskeeper Willie's birthday party. I'll probably make a brief appearance at the former then head to the latter.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Yea!!!! I can finally update. I've been having some serious Blogger issues recently, but they seem to be resolved. At least for now.

So here was the list of fabulous things I've been up to.

Saturday: Toby (our rugby club president) turned . . . I don't know, 50 or so . . . and to celebrate, had his birthday party at a karaoke bar in the East Village. Despite the fact that there was a bachelorette party and that most of the people had voices similar to Yoko Ono, a good time was had by all. After hearing more of my teammates sing than I ever want to again, we retired to the Phoenix for drinks.

Sunday: Birthday eve. Marie's Crisis. Drank a rum and coke or two. Sang a few (dozen) show tunes. Drooled all over myself when a beautiful boy (currently in the cast of Movin' Out) showed up and started singing. Tried to get to beautiful boy by inviting his female friend (hate the term 'fag hag') to come join the rugby boys and sing and drink. She did. He followed. *sigh* Later I began to realize that I was asking the pianist to play songs that he'd already played a few minutes before. I also noticed that my speech was beginning to sound less like slight Texas drawl and more like a stroke victim. I decided that it was probably time to head home. By the grace of God (and thanks to my friend Dino who saw me safely home) I made it to my apartment where I managed to strip off most of my clothing before passing out.

Monday: Woke up. Called in sick. Puked. Repeatedly. Slept. Met David O. for coffee at Rita's. Went to my Steak Frites dinner with Stuff, David, and his boyfriend, Rob. Ate way too much (mussels, steak, and fries). Wanted a port, but my stomach gave me an unequivocal no. The waitress brought me a scoop of ice cream with a candle in it and, fortunately, no one sang me 'Happy Birthday'.

In fact, my mom was the only one who sang me 'Happy Birthday' this year. She sang it on a message on my office voicemail, on my cell phone, and on my home answering machine. She also sang it today when she finally reached me (we played phone tag for days).

Tuesday: Work. David O.'s holiday party. Lovely time surrounded by my rugby friends and lots of the 'beautiful people'. Horribly intimidating. Eventually, only the ruggers remained. We're always the last to leave a party.

Today: Work.

Tonight: Rugby end-of-season banquet, featuring officer elections (I'm running for president), Thai food (we have the whole restaurant to ourselves), a gazillion awards, and the world-famous Kangaroo Court. I'll be serving as the defense attorney for this one. Can't wait.

Well, that's it for now. Let's see if this entry actually posts.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Soon I'll be off to my traditional birthday dinner, Steak Frites near Union Square. Yum.

Despite my passing out and only waking to throw up overindulgence, I had a great time last night. Rugby players, show tunes, bloggers, rum and cute twinks. Really, what else does one need?
Happy birthday to me.
Happy birthday to me.
Happy birthday dear Crash
Happy birthday to me.

Sadly, I'm sick. I think most of it is just from a little overindulgence last night. But I think I might have a little bug, too. Blech.

Fun weekend. I'll write about it later.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Welcome to Crash's Birthday Rockin' Eve. As a reminder, I'll be over at Marie's Crisis Cafe tonight at 7:30 p.m. to drink/sing in my birthday. Marie's is on Grove St., just west of 7th Ave.
You know that feeling where you reach your mid-thirties and you realize that you're in a dead-end job, you're ass-deep in debt, you haven't put pen to paper for months and months and you are all alone with no one to love?

Anyone . . . ?

Bueller . . . ? Bueller . . . ? Bueller . . . ?

To quote the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons (episode: Treehouse of Terror VIII 'Homega Man'): Oh, I've wasted my life.

Granted, he said it while looking at a missile with a nuclear warhead barreling down on him, but really, isn't a missile with a nuclear warhead just another metaphor for middle age?

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Last night's insomnia special was The Night We Met by fellow blogger Rob Byrnes. I'll write more about it tomorrow, so I'll just give a quick teaser.

I thought it was great. Laugh out loud funny in several parts. Romantic (which is always a hugely important thing for me). And there were lots of great characters. Given that so much gay fiction today uses nothing but cardboard cut-out characters because the focus is on the sex, it was nice to see a little depth.

I suggest running out and buying a copy. Or get online and do it . . . it's cold outside.

I'll write a little more about it tomorrow. Assuming I don't get lost in a snow drift.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Right now, I'm all about the pretty, pretty snowflakes.

In about an hour and a half when I head home, I'm going to be hating it.

To quote one of the great philosophers: Isn't it ironic . . . don't you think?
Yet more proof that everything King George does is more choreographed than the Bolshoi Ballet.
So last night instead of sleeping (still with the insomnia), I read A Density of Souls by Christopher Rice. I said I never would, but I did.

For years, I've hated Christopher Rice. In fact, hatred doesn't even begin to cover the depth of feelings I had for him. He was too young. He was too pretty (the fact that he is physically my 'dream type' was particularly galling). He had rich parents (well, mostly his mom) and would never have to work a day in his life. He could use her contacts to get published. He could churn out reams of shit and still sell millions of books because his mom is an icon. He hadn't even published his first book and he was a darling of the gay and straight press.

When I thought of him, I could taste blood.

I went to his book signing for A Density of Souls in Manhattan. I wanted to see him in person. To look for flaws. The voice that was a little too high-pitched. The sibilant ess that escaped every now and again. The effeminate hand gestures. I gloried in all of it. Surely I wasn't the only one who could see he was a fraud.

I trashed his book. Complained about the whole Southern Gothic thing. Said that he was just ripping off his mom's style. That there was no story. That he was a hack.

Thing is, I'd never read it.

Because I was afraid. Afraid that he might actually be a good writer. Afraid that my hatred wasn't really aimed at Christopher Rice but at myself. That I was merely jealous of something that I was too scared to pursue.

So last night I finally read his book.

And it was good.

Not great, it was a first novel after all. But good. And full of promise. He is a good storyteller with an ear for dialogue and an eye for detail.

I'm going to go out and get his second book this weekend.

And I can't hate him anymore. That facade was knocked away and all I have left is my jealousy and envy. Hopefully it will motivate me instead of just eating me up inside.
Just read this entry on LMGTS and had to run out and buy the book. Didn't have it on the US Amazon, so I bought it on the UK site.

Then since I was throwing money at Europe, I hopped onto the French Amazon and bought the new French Rugby Calendar, Dieux du Stade (Stadium Gods). If you run a search for this phrase on google (the phrase in French, not English) you will find dozens of sites with photos from this calendar. It is the most homoerotic straight sports calendar you will ever see.

Woof. Or as they say in French, woof.
Take a look at this picture and ask yourself if Dick Gephardt was wearing pants.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Fucking Blogger lost my fucking post. Fuck them. Fuck.
Note: I'm having to recreate this post since Blogger lost my original. And that pisses me off because it was clever. Clever, I tell you. And funny as hell.

Christmas in New York

Even looking at the words makes my guts knot up. Why, you ask? Well, if you're asking then you don't live or work in Manhattan.

The reason is simple: tourists. And by tourists, I mean anyone who doesn't live or work in the borough of Manhattan, who comes into the city for any reason. You see them everywhere. Blocking traffic in Times Square so they can take a picture of Toys R Us (I mean, it's just another fucking store. Get over it.). Or speaking some sort of moon-man language at each other (usually German) while slowly strolling five abreast down Madison Avenue. They crowd around little card tables on the sidewalk to buy knock-off Fendi purses, while asking, in all earnestness, "Are these real?"

No, you stupid cow, they are not real. And you no longer deserve to live.

This time of year tends to sneak up on you. First, there are a few more people than normal around Thanksgiving. More people seem not to know where they are supposed to be on the sidewalk. Simple rule: Keep to your right and you'll never go wrong. Corollary to Simple Rule: If you scream that at someone and throw half a bagel at them, they will run away from you in terror. But they will also have a cool story to tell their friends.

But the real turning point is when they light that damn Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.

I try to avoid that area, generally. But during the Christmas season . . . I'd rather gnaw off my leg than go there. Sadly, because of work I often have to (go there, not gnaw off my leg). Slaloming through a sea of tourists encumbered with boxes and children . . . perhaps even boxes of children, who knows . . . is enough to turn any Kris Kringle into a Scrooge. And I'm more Scrooge than Kris Kringle to begin with.

I knew I was in trouble when I started walking to my focus group (Money, money, money, money . . . MOOOOONEY) and the streets were gridlocked. So were the sidewalks. There were parents with more kids than the Von Trapps. Jersey girls with hair taller than a Christmas tree (and equally decorated) dragging their drunken, leather jacket wearing boyfriends. And on that note, who gets drunk to go to a family-oriented event. I mean, they're Guidos so I don't expect a Vulcan-like sense of decorum and logic, but come on. You don't have to get drunk for every event. Or is it just to drown the embarrassment caused by their girlfriends' hair. I managed to dodge them all and my five-minute walk to the focus group (Money, money, money, money . . . MOOOOONEY) only took fifteen minutes.

After the focus group (Money, money, money, money . . . MOOOOONEY) was over, the streets were once again gridlocked and the sidewalks full.


This time the crowd was from that other level of hell, Brooklyn. Sneering girls and white hip hoppers and poseurs, oh my. The fellow who stood next to me on the train, wearing his baby blue velour Sean John tracksuit, gold chains and knit cap (oy vey), had eyes so dilated that I could see his brain. Waitress, I'll have what he's having.

I guess there's nothing to do but hunker down and wait for New Year's Day. By the time I've finished my hoppin' john, with any luck the out-of-town freaks and weirdos will have left and we local freaks and weirdos can get back to our normal routines.
Riddle me this, Batman. How is it that I've only had two fucking Dr. Peppers in the last three fucking days and I still have fucking insomnia?????

I went to bed at 11 last night. Stared at the ceiling until 1:30 a.m. when I got up and had some water and a bite of hummus. I think I fell asleep around 2 or so.

This blows.

Needless to say I slept through my alarm again. Just one day I'd like to get to work on time.

Luckily I have a bunch of books and DVDs that just came in this week so when the insomnia hits tonight (which it better not if it knows what's good for it), I'll have some pleasant diversions.

Speaking of books and DVDs, why is it that going to Amazon to buy a Christmas present for a friend usually seems to involve me buying at least 5 things for myself as well? I think there's some sort of subliminal shit going on at their website.

And speaking of Amazon, I've decided to make my wishlist searchable. I'll add a link to it when it's been activated. Anyone wanting to buy me a birthday gift will be more than welcome to. But when you're going through the list and you notice all the various photography books, remember, they're art, not porn. Art, do you hear me? I swear.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I started writing about my trip to the beach. Oddly enough, the more I wrote, the more it sounded like 'A Very Special Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe Thanksgiving'. So rather than expose you to that sturm und drang, let this suffice. I got to spend more time with my dad than I have in years. I read five novels over the week, generally not too good, but only two of them sucked. I didn't kill any of my stepmom's family (Thank God for my steely resolve. And I should point out that I don't include my stepmom in that group. Love her, but her family makes me crazy). Bought two pairs of Sketchers. I ate enough food to play the entire front row next season (got to hit the gym). Listened to the ocean and the wind every night. Enjoyed myself a great deal. And really, isn't that what a holiday is all about.

That being said, when I go to Trinidad, I hope to come back with tales of wild island debauchery.
Last night, instead of sleeping, I read the new Mark Richard Zubro mystery, Dead Egotistical Morons. I tend to like this guy's books. Sure, he's no Lawrence Block, but I still enjoy the stories and the characters (he has two series: the Paul Turner Series about a gay cop and the Tom and Scott Series about a gay school teacher and his pro baseball player boyfriend.) As I said, I like the characters so I read the books.

But he must have phoned this one in. Not only was it a pretty boring read (which most of his others haven't been), it didn't add anything to the development of the principle characters. The new characters (the murder victims, suspects, etc.) were two-dimensional cut outs. Frankly I'm surprised he even bothered naming them. We had Evil Record Executive, Slimy Reporter, Horny Choreographer, Asshole Agent, and the members of the boy band (Dead Guy, Fragile Guy, Joker Guy, Dead Guy 2 and Other). Then there was the guy who had no motive whatsoever to be the killer, so you had to be pretty sure he was. But the reason he was the killer . . . ? Well, let's just say, you don't see it coming. Why? Because it's stupid.

I still recommend checking out his books. But I think his earlier ones are better.
I had a Dr. Pepper at lunch so I'm feeling slightly more civil. Add to that the cup of tea I'm about to have and the $150 I'm going to earn at a focus group tonight and I may actually turn out to be somewhat merry by tonight. ($150 for an hour and a half's work. I feel like Julia Roberts in 'Pretty Woman'. Only that's a lot less than her character made, I'm not that skinny and my lips don't look like a baboon's ass. Otherwise, I'm just like her.)

Well, okay. I may not wind up feeling merry. But I won't feel homicidal either, and that's a step above this morning.
This makes me feel like some sort of vengeful god. I love it.

Thanks to this guy for pointing it out.
After a rather interesting cardiac episode on Monday, I've decided to cut way back on my caffeine consumption.

This is my second day. I've had one cup of tea since Monday afternoon.

My normal caffeine intake was: one XL Duncan Donuts coffee, a couple of sodas, one Venti Starbucks coffee and then a couple more sodas.

I repeat: I've had one cup of tea.

I'm torn between wanting to crawl under my desk and hit my head against the floor until I'm unconscious and wanting to rip the head off of someone who is irritating me then drink the blood straight from their still-beating heart.

Sadly, neither of these is an option where I work.

I'm really, really ready for my head to stop pounding.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

This is disturbing, yet amusing.

However, it is not as disturbing and amusing as the new Seattle Quake Calendar (featuring nekkid ruggers). All I'm saying is it must get mighty cold in Seattle.

In case any of you Quakers are reading this, I kid because I care.

You should run out and buy one. Assuming, of course, you've already bought one of our calendars. Remember, Gotham Knight Calendars are the perfect holiday gift.

I know I promised Zenchick that I would write about my complete lack of adventures in Delaware . . . but, to misquote the Kenny Rogers/Sheena Easton song:

I know it's late
I know I'm weary
I know my plans
Don't include blogging

So I'm going to bed.

I promise, promise, promise that I will write a little about my Thanksgiving tomorrow, even if it means blowing off all the work I need to do. Really, that's the sort of sacrifice I'm willing to make for my friends.
Next week, I'll be turning 35. In honor of the occasion, I will be going out Sunday night and drinking myself blind.

I'd love for you all to join me. (Free drinks for TX Mark, WeHo Mark, Jalal, Scott, Jeff, Sherry and everyone else not in the NYC area who actually show up)

For those of you in the city who care to join me, I will be going to Marie's Crisis Cafe on Grove and Seventh Ave. to drink and sing and drink a little more. This will be Sunday, December 7th at 7:30 p.m.

I hope to see you there.
Snow, snow, snow.

It didn't last very long, but for a while it was snowing.

Ah, I love this time of year.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Instead of coming home and blogging, I went out and ate guacamole and drank pomegranate margaritas.

Blog tonight? I don't think so.
Bitch of a day at work. I'll try to blog about my complete lack of vacation adventures later this evening.