Saturday, December 28, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 11

I saw 25th Hour tonight, Spike Lee's latest, and was astounded by how good it is. Not astounded, because I think Lee is a great filmmaker, even though I've only seen two of his other films; more like literally blown away. Best Friend and I sat in the theater dissecting it until the credits finished, in marked contrast to the rest of the audience members in the packed theater, who waltzed out the doors quickly. Apparently not everyone was as enthused about it as we were. Some asshole even shouted, "Thank God," when the film ended. Granted, it dragged a bit, but give me a break. The amazing thing is that I sat through two-and-a-half hours of Ed (excuse me, Edward) Norton, whom I don't particularly like. I don't get him as an actor the way lots of other people do. But Anna Paquin and Rosario Dawson were great, as were Barry Pepper and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. And Brian Cox too, whom no less than Kim Cattrall was breathily praising for his performance in Adaptation at the reception following the screening I went to for that film a few weeks ago.

Geez, I'm dragging myself here. I wanted to see The Hours, which I've been sweating over for more than a year, but we screwed up and all the screenings all over town were sold out. It was fun just gallivanting around the city with Best Friend, though, like the old days. After returning these fresh high-top sneakers at the Adidas store that I bought in an ill-advised binge two weeks ago (they're just not my style, unfortunately, although I know I could rock them if I really wanted to), we schlepped from one theater to another before giving in and getting tickets to 25th Hour. Then we had a leisurely dinner at Sapporo East, our fave sushi joint, and dropped by the Strand before hitting the movie theater. Then I walked her to the express bus and walked myself home.

Oh, and the coolest thing about 25th Hour? The several extended scenes in Double Happiness, one of my top three fave bars in the city!

So I've been doing a terrible job keeping up this blog, and it won't be any different for at least the next week, as I'm leaving for Amsterdam in the late afternoon today and I won't be back til the end of next week. I'm going to celebrate New Year's with L. and Mochachild, our great friend in London, and M-dash, and some of Mochachild's pals from the UK. L. and Mochachild and I have this thing where we try to celebrate the new year each year in a different major world city. So far we've done London, New York, and, shortly, Amsterdam. And D.C., of course, back in the day, which is where I know them from, but I don't know if that lame-ass city counts as "major." Too bad it's going to rain the whole time. I didn't know the extent of precipitation in Amsterdam in the winter, or else I might have not decided to go.

Nah, of course I would've. I just would've purchased a poncho, and galoshes. Anyway, happy New Year! Here's to my coming back with a Dutch boyfriend, preferably named Friedrich, as in my hot new Dutch boyfriend Friedrich has a hot, huge, uncut European dick. I like the sound of that rhyme.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 5

So I flew down to my parents' house outside Houston last night for some much needed R&R and holiday cheer. Well, not so much the latter, as I've almost had it with bombastic Christmas-inspired mania, but if I have to put up with it to attain the former, so be it. I didn't get home until 12:30 a.m. (my flight was delayed almost two hours due to the bad weather in the city earlier in the day), and then my mom gave me two Excedrin PMs, which are even better than the Tylenol PMs I sometimes take. They totally knocked me out and I slept for 12 blissful hours. I feel so good today, and my skin is fairly glowing. Too bad I have nowhere to go and no people to show it off to.

It's 5:15 p.m. and it's still light out here, which is nice. The clouds are breaking and the diminishing sun is turning the sky pink. I'm happy to be away. The good news is that my interview Thursday with the weekly went really well, and I'm coming in the first full week in January to start freelancing as a reporter. Right now it's just a two-week commitment, but if it goes well, as it should, I'll keep coming back each successive week until I'm finally hired outright. I'm totally psyched, though it's taking a few days to sink in. It's enough of an opportunity that I quit my temp gig at the law firm yesterday, which I've been dying to do (although I'm going to miss everyone I worked with--who knew they would all be so cool and fun?). Now I just have to cross my fingers, pray, be absolutely perfect for a few days, and hope that this gig will lead to more and better things. Onward and upward, as El Mar said on the voicemail he just left me.

The one piece of bad news, which I can't help but see as offsetting the promising career progress, is that the 23-year-old kid from last Sunday whom I was so smitten with hasn't returned the call I left for him Wednesday night. At this point, I'm not nearly as intoxicated by him as I was--ah, the short-lived charms of infatuation--but I'm still kind of bummed. I think he's worth one more communique, though, even if I run the risk of seeming overbearing.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

Yes, I managed to smoke a single cigarette last night whilst at Urge with good ole Nicodemus, whom I haven't seen in ages. He's apparently quit smoking himself, at least for the time being, so the fact that I smoked despite the lack of instigation on his part is all the more remarkable. And sad.

Also sad is the news I received yesterday that I didn't get that job at the daily paper I was up for. But in the kind of brilliant rebalancing of the cosmological yin and yang I've come to count on in my life, today I was called, totally out of the blue, and asked to come in later this week to interview for a reporter opening at a local weekly magazine. You can imagine my excitement. I'm hoping this, finally, will be my ticket out of corporate temping hell. Not that I'm getting my hopes up or anything--they can be so quickly dashed, it's not worth it.

I've been so busy over the past week and some change that I haven't been able to update this blog properly, but let me try to briefly recap some of my recent stories. The best one, at least for me, is that I met another boy in person Sunday night whom I met initially online a week earlier. He's the hyper-cute architect boy who, upon chatting with me via instant messages for about three minutes, pronounced me "fascinating," and said he thought he could really get to like me. Being the cynical, skeptical, jaded asshole I am, I immediately dismissed the possibility of anything happening between us--how could it, when he's so obviously earnest and interested, two qualities I usually detest in men? I went through with meeting him anyway, though, mostly because he looked so cute. I wasn't disappointed. He was even cuter than his picture indicated; in fact, he was an adorable little puppy dog. I mean, really brutally cute, and pleasantly touchy-feely to boot. After we sat down on one of the window seats at Bouche Bar, he immediately touched my leg and complimented my jeans. Later he would draw so close to me that his face was literally a centimeter from mine, his crossed legs (we were sitting Indian style) bumping up against mine.

I walked him home, stopping at a curio shop on 1st Avenue on the way, then, against my stated intention, went up to his apartment. We violated another stated intention of mine when we ended up hooking up, but it was so fun and frisky I didn't mind. I really dug him, actually, which surprised me, and now I realize I'm hopelessly smitten. I thought I detected the same vibe from him, but I also haven't heard from him since Sunday night, so I'm not exactly sure where we stand. My horoscope yesterday advised that I should go slow with the object of my affection, so even though he didn't go slow with me at first, in the chatroom, I've got the brakes on for now. How much longer, I don't know.

As for Saturday night, I capped a supremely busy day (Xmas shopping, producing meeting, application writing, hanging out with L., waiting in line for 45 minutes at 24-hour post office, etc.) by hitting my bro's holiday party, which he kept referring to, terribly insensitively in my opinion, as a CHRISTMAS PARTY (his caps)--as if we, especially the non-Christians among us, need to be slammed over the head with the upcoming anniversary of Jesus' birth anymore than we already are. Aren't the holiday songs on morning television every day enough?

Anyway, his party was lovely, and I quite enjoyed myself. Of course, I had arrived so late that by the time I left, the birthday party back downtown in the East Village I was supposed to attend was breaking up, so I totally missed it, which meant I also missed meeting the hot Indian boy who works for Tom Ford whom his friend the birthday girl recently talked up to me as someone I might really get along with, and not just in a platonic way. (Court seconded that prediction, and I trust her taste immensely.) I seemed to hardly care, though, and headed down to meet up with some friends (J-bird and A-roc, among others) leaving the birthday party for Tiswas at Don Hill's, the weekly Saturday night '80s party I hadn't checked out yet. It was fun, and I met Justine D from the Motherfucker crew (A-roc somehow managed to score me a drink on her), but overall I thought the vibe was way too straight, and NYU, for me.

And Thursday night (Friday night I stayed in 'cause I was zonked), well, let's just say I was repeatedly accosted by drunken straight people, including a particularly smashed couple, at a holiday party thrown by some of my friends at work. For example, the male member of the couple must have asked me six or seven times whether I thought he was attractive (he is), but I demurred from answering. He also told me he considered it "flirting" when we exchanged ironical attitude at the copier a day or two earlier. Then he told me he was a virgin. Last but not least, he said his cock was huge--furthermore, that it was "girthy." All this while his dutiful girlfriend, whom he's managed to distract enough that she's missed several law school-application deadlines, stood right there. Man, talk about issues!

Friday, December 13, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 0

Not to pull a Mariah Carey or anything (and let me take this opportunity to say that I saw her mini-concert on the Today show Wednesday morning and I was hardly impressed by her new songs, except for that '80s hair-band cover, which I could tell has the potential to be really great even if she didn't do such a great job of performing it), but my life is spiralling out of control, in a good way (if that's possible), and as a result I haven't been able to post here as I would like. I promise to post better starting tonight.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

So Saturday night I broke my self-imposed hibernation in a major way and had a great night out on the town. I also became, temporarily, a total sex maniac: I got laid twice in a span of about 10 hours. In fact, my two sexual encounters nicely bookended my evening.

The first one occurred with one of the guys I had met online last week, when I was inexplicably drawn to the gay.com chat rooms. We'd chatted Thursday night and agreed to get a cup of coffee on Saturday afternoon, which is what we did. He met me at my building and we walked up the street to the Pink Pony, where we had an entirely pleasant conversation that lasted about two hours. He was an older man, supposedly in his mid-40s, though by his shock of thick white hair I wouldn't be surprised if he were actually a few years older, possibly in his 50s, but he was in good shape and bore a striking resemblance to Richard Gere, whom I think is hot. Of course, I also have a thing for older men, but not men who are too old. In retrospect, this guy was on the fence in that regard.

Anyway, after coffee (I had green tea, as usual), we strode back to my pad, where I invited him up despite my ambivalence about whether I wanted to hook up or not. (For one thing, I had a rather nice streak going, not having had sex for two months, and I was keen to keep that alive--and no, that night at Happy Ending a few weeks ago didn't count as sex, with either guy.) But hook up we did, and he was very giving, even worshipful, and I simultaneously enjoyed the attention and was slightly put off by the intensity of it. He was so enraptured it was almost scary. By the time he left, saying as he did that the next time we got together he wanted me to spend the night, the feeling that I was being objectified, which had been brewing inside of me since the minute I met him, finally erupted. I realized then that we would never get together again.

Marvelous showed up about two hours later, around 10 p.m., to kickstart our night out, and within moments, whatever lingering discontent there was evaporated. Thank God for Marvelous, because he's always a savior like that. We downed a few drinks in my pad and caught up, then set out for a holiday party that our friend Mateo was having all the bloody way uptown near Columbia. We knew it wouldn't be all that, but we felt obligated to at least make a cameo appearance, and plus we'd be killing a bunch of birds at once by seeing several people at the same time whom we wouldn't otherwise want to make room for in our busy schedules.

So we did that. Afterwards, feeling intrepid after having ventured so many blocks out of our usual territory, we checked out the gay bar Saints, down the block from Mateo's apartment, where I was promptly come on to by a Columbia M.B.A. student--so not my style. Then Marvelous was cruised by another business-looking fellow, who seductively snapped his gum at him. Soon after we bolted, split a cab with Edster (who had left the party with us), dropped him off at home, and proceeded to ride down to Stella's, the so-called hustler bar in Times Square that one of my editors had recommended to me. Needless to say, Marvelous and I loved it, though by the time we left after last call, we were dismayed that no one had asked to pay us for sex.

We were also insanely drunk and strangely awake, so we decided, uncharacteristically for us, to search out an afterparty to attend, one that wasn't Roxy or Earth. We didn't have any ideas, but we brilliantly theorized that if we headed down to Chelsea, perhaps some of the boys there would have some suggestions. Unfortunately for us, that turned out to be a better theory in concept than in practice, because by the time we arrived at Eighth Avenue and 23rd Street, the streets were mostly empty, and the few passersby we accosted didn't have a clue. Well, except for the short mustachioed troll with the beer belly who said he was hosting an afterparty at his place. Survey says: I don't think so.

We were losing hope as we neared Barracuda, but then this beautiful guy suddenly appeared out of nowhere, like a religious vision, asking us, in a brutally sexy, accented voice, if we were looking for a party to go to too. We said yes, so he joined our mission. His name was Claudio, he was from Mexico City, he was in New York doing some kind of program at NYU in (ironically) business, and he spoke perfect, elegant English. I was immediately smitten. Which meant, of course, that when we gave up our search a short while later, having ended up in the Meatpacking District, I took a cue from the troll above and invited Claudio back to my apartment. He readily agreed, and the next thing I knew, we were naked, getting all sweaty on my bed. It was the most wonderful surprise. Every time he came up for air he cutely exclaimed, "This is a fun afterparty!"

He was gone when I woke up early Sunday afternoon, so hung over I was nauseated, but as soon as I pried my eyes open (I'd passed out with my contacts in), I spied the note he'd left on a paper towel. It said "Thanks 4 the Party!" and included his number.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 5

I've done remarkably little this week aside from working, which is totally unlike me. Hibernation has come early for me. Usually I spend the whole month of January in my apartment, then pop out for some cameo appearances around my birthday the first week of February, and then I hibernate some more until I can feel the first signs of the spring thaw in the air--usually around late February. But this year, winter came early, and I'm having to adapt sooner than expected.

Not that I've been too lazy to correspond with gay.com prospects, like the fortysomething Richard Gere look-a-like I'm getting coffee with tomorrow (or today, rather, considering it's Saturday already), or the brutally cute MTV bit player with the sexy southern accent i've been chatting with almost nightly--we're supposed to get a drink Tuesday night now. And there's the hyper-cute 23-year-old architect boy who wants to take me to dinner (he said he could really get to like me after we exchanged about three sentences worth of information) and, of course, the software consultant who keeps sending me the sweetest missives from Minneapolis, where he's on assignment right now, and vowing to show me the ropes of the video-game world. Then there's all the other guys online I've been wasting my time chatting with, like the loser from Rochester who was bragging to me about how many sartorial items he owns, e.g., 65 pairs of shoes, 25 coats, etc. I'm sure it's all shit. He's a hairdresser, which means he's poor, and he lives upstate, where there are no cool stores, so it would have to be, wouldn't it?

But I'm being unnecessarily catty. It's the holiday season, after all. I should be more generous (though I could make the case that I was being quite magnanimous in talking to that dude for as long as I did).

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

So, just my luck, there were major delays with car services tonight (apparently due to the Rockefeller Center tree lighting) and instead of leaving work at 9 when I wanted to, I didn't get out of there until 10:15, by which point the PrimeTime Live special on Whitney Houston had been over for 15 minutes. I was dying to hear Miss Thing admit, as the Daily News reported today, that she's abused alcohol, weed, coke, and "pills" (use your imagination) in the past and that she's still abusing some of them. She also reportedly claims that she's addicted to sex, which I wanted to hear her say even more. (Bobby Brown, for his part, who was also interviewed, says that the only drug he does is weed, which he uses to treat his so-called "bipolar disorder" because it "levels" him out.)

But no worries, because Whitney says that Jesus loves her, so she'll be fine!
NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

First off, my archives mysteriously reappeared today, for which I am very grateful. I disciplined them severely for straying like that. I get so worried when I don't know where they are (though I'm trying not to use any form of the word "worry" anymore on my therapist's advice--he told me today that if I say that I'm worried, I'll feel worried, which is true, so I'm trying to use more positive, proactive words instead that don't stress me out). Alert reader and blogger Brian eased my pain by informing me the archives were present at least as recently as this weekend, so I guess it was just a momentary lapse after all.

Anyway, aside from two-and-a-half hours of therapy--my individual session and then the group session--nothing particularly dramatic happened to me today. Well, that's not entirely true: my heart was ripped out when I learned that the group member I've had a crush on for months now, DJ Boy, was leaving. Actually, he's only going on hiatus until his drastic financial crisis is resolved, but still, I won't get to see him every Tuesday for the foreseeable future, and that makes me so sad I almost cried in front of him. But then I pulled myself together and had a lightbulb moment: I realized that perhaps his absence from group is really a blessing in disguise insofar as I can date him now. He even said several times tonight that he wants to hang out, and he made mad eye contact with me all session long, much more so than he made with everyone else. And, he kissed me on the lips when he arrived and when he parted. Not bad, huh? Too bad his life's such a mess that I can't, in my right mind, date him...

Once I reentered the non-therapy zone that is the world, I had two chance encounters, in quick succession. The first was with Turkish Delight, whom I haven't seen in ages. I bumped into him on the downtown 6 train; he looked so cute, and his sexy international accent slayed me, as always. We chatted briefly before he disembarked at Astor Place, proposing from the platform that we hang out this weekend. I'm not sure if that will happen.

I stayed on the train until Bleecker St., at which point I transferred to the downtown F train, getting off at the Delancey St. stop and immediately proceeding to the ingeniously combined Taco Bell/KFC across the street. There I joined the back of a line that was headed by none other than one of the gay boys who live in the apartment building adjacent to mine, the one who isn't the DJ. I've noticed him on the street before--he's cute enough to catch my eye, but not, I'm afraid, to fantasize about--but never had I encountered him in such close, stationary proximity as this. He was short. He also took a rather long time to order, apparently because he couldn't make up his mind, to the consternation of the people behind him in line, including me.

The important detail, though, is that as he moved away from the register after completing his order, he totally cruised me. Then he got on the horn, which he clearly didn't have to do right there in the area you wait for your food, and began to talk rather audibly about his evening's plans, which apparently included a trip to the Happy Endings party--he kept saying, loudly, how it was "right down the street from my house, literally two minutes away." He added that he might also attend Beige. This was all obviously for my entertainment, yet I refused to indulge him by looking his way. By the time I calmly placed my order (two hard-shell beef tacos and a side order of potato wedges), he was on his way out. I don't know whether he looked over his shoulder at me as he left.

The funny thing is, this is not the first time I've seen a fellow gay boy in this particular Taco Bell/KFC, which leads me to wonder: How the hell do they stay so skinny if they're eating greasy, high-caloric fast food all the time? I suppose they could wonder the same thing about me, but I only eat that shit once in a while.

Monday, December 02, 2002

NOTE: I just discovered that my archives appear to be missing, and probably have been since this blog began. I'm filled with horror at the thought that visitors have not been able to access them. Please bear with me as I try to remedy the situation, even though, at this point, I don't have a clue as to how to do that.
NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

Just to get it out of the way, yes, I did go two straight weeks without smoking a cigarette until I bummed a Parly from Ash last night after book club. I really wanted one. So what?

On to other disgusting habits: in a prolonged moment of weakness, I spent most of last night and Saturday night online in the gay.com Manhattan chat room, chatting with boys. This is a particularly nasty habit I thought I had kicked, especially since my last, disastrous Web-mediated hook up over the summer (the one with that guy who seems to be following me around town). In fact, I haven't visited the debauched online chat scene since then.

Until this weekend, when I decided to return, out of boredom I suppose. Nevermind that I had plenty of other productive things to do to occupy my time. Instead, I decided to completely waste my time talking to guys who use the word "heart" when they mean "love," e.g., when one grunge-influenced fellow from Seattle, who said he was graduating college in a few weeks and moving to either New York or L.A. to pursue a film career, said to me "I heart smokers," meaning, "I love smokers." (My online picture shows me smoking a cigarette; it was taken a few years ago.) Something is clearly amiss in the world when language has broken down as much as this synonym confusion seems to indicate. Anyway, the guy stopped chatting with me a few minutes later after I made a joke about him being in a grunge band.

Another guy, who wanted to pay me a hundred bucks to sit on his face, while he presumably ate my ass (although he never actually used that phrase), found it worthwhile to inform me, after we had briefly chatted on the phone (I know, I'm shameless), that I looked much "str8er" in my photo than I sounded in person. Then he said that he didn't mean it as an insult. I told him I would have a hard time construing that comment as derogatory.

On the plus side, however, I did meet one very nice young man, a software consultant, who couldn't have been sweeter, or cuter (though it's impossible to genuinely tell from any guy's photo); we've struck up a pleasant e-mail correspondence, which is making me want to meet him in the real world and go out. I also met another very nice young man, much funnier than the software consultant, though to be fair he seems to make his living that way, as some sort of comic musician, whatever the hell that is. We chatted two nights in a row and then exchanged numbers. I'm supposed to call him tonight or tomorrow. I think I will.

All this activity has got me wondering whether I might run into the cute gay boy who lives upstairs online sometime. After all, I did once chat with a cute DJ boy who lives in the building to the right of mine, even if nothing came of it. It would be so convenient if the one in my building could just come downstairs and have sex with me.

Then again, I'm trying to be strong and refrain from revisiting gay.com--and from having sex for that matter.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 12

My folks departed early this morning for Houston, wrapping up their three-day jaunt to the city to celebrate Thanksgiving with my bro and me. We all had a good time, even though we spent the vast majority of the time together in my brother's apartment. But he has cable, so I can't complain. In fact, it's the main reason I trek all the way up to his apartment on the Upper West Side. That, and seeing him, of course.

I was in a great mood last night after hanging with the fam and scoring a dope new winter coat from Club Monaco courtesy of my parents (it's black, long, very warm, and vaguely connotative of the old-school Russian military--and it was half off!) so I connected with M-dash for a long overdue night on the town. I hadn't seen her in three weeks and she's been depressed lately due to a fucked-up roommate situation that's driving her from her apartment, so we wanted to get wasted and have fun. Though she was almost two hours late, she looked really good and seemed pretty stable; she told me later she had finally switched mood-alterers from whatever she was on before to Wellbutrin, and she was doing much better. Plus, because Wellbutrin contains some kind of anti-nicotine agent, she'd effectively quit smoking, thus removing herself as a major instigator of my own on again-off again smoking habit. Neither of us smoked a cigarette the whole night, which is the first time that's happened with us.

Anyway, we spent most of the night at the month-old scenester bar Pianos on Ludlow St., where Jack Osbourne was spotted last weekend. It's the latest joint in the ever-expanding local rock and electro revival scene, with a rather tranquilly designed bar space in the front and a small, dark performance area in the back (there's also a loungey space upstairs, which we didn't check out). At the door I was shocked to find The Mouth, an old friend of mine from my college days who I rarely see nowadays and who I try to avoid if I do. He was collecting the $3 cover for the Gang Gang Dance, who were supposed to perform that night. He didn't make us pay, which was cool, though I expected to pay for the generous gesture later with a long, boring conversation--that's how he earned the nickname The Mouth among my social circle in college.

We didn't stay long enough to catch Gang Gang Dance, a duo of art-world chicks I've been slightly interested in hearing, but we did catch the last half of the set of a band called Dead Combo (we think), who were amazing and apparently Finnish. Then we darted around the corner to Arlene's Grocery for cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, which spurred on our mounting drunkenness. After coining a new mantra for ourselves--"Life: Live It, Love It!," proclaimed in a boozy, faux-glamorous way--we called it a night. It was a good thing, because I kept seeing two M-dashes in front of me.

Friday, November 29, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 10

As I type this my apartment is being sweetly perfumed by a cinnamon-scented candle that my mom bought for me. I'm watching a Will and Grace repeat and eating leftover apple and pumpkin pie. Not a bad end to a very good day.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 9

Last night I saw the new Spike Jonze/Charlie Kaufman film Adaptation at a special producer's screening at the Sony screening room, which A. invited me to (he worked for the producer prior to his current art museum gig). I've been waiting to see it for like two years--in addition to Jonze and Kaufman, the movie features Meryl Streep and Nic Cage, both of whom I love--so it was satisfying to finally be able to do it. I enjoyed it, though didn't think it was quite as brilliant as I expected to.

Post-screening I found myself more obsessed with the fact that I had sat directly behind Jonathan Safran Foer, the hotshot first-time author of this year's massively acclaimed novel Everything is Illuminated (which he published when he was 25, something that makes me sick to my stomach every time I think about it), and his girlfriend Nicole Krauss, who published (at an older age, thankfully) her own, slightly less acclaimed, debut novel Man Walks Into a Room, than with the actual film--another sign that it wasn't as stellar as it could have been. They darted away directly after the credits, leaving Kim Cattrall the only celebrity in our midst at the casual reception that followed. She more than made up for it: she was gorgeous, even better looking in person than she is on TV, and so tall she was practically an Amazon. Plus she was rocking these really fly suede boots. I tried to focus on what A. was saying to me but kept averting my eyes to steal looks at her. I don't think she noticed. Then again, she probably did.

Today I took the day off from work and went for an interview, finally, at the paper where I applied for a job more than two weeks ago. It went well, albeit briefly, and I expect to get called back for a second, more intense interview with a few of the other editors. At least I'm praying that I do. Then I hightailed it up to my bro's place on the Upper West Side and hung out with him and my folks, who are up from Texas for the holiday. That meant that my dad and I mostly watched TV (including the Dr. Phil show, which I've never seen) while my mom and my brother baked pie after pie after pie. Then we went to dinner and, afterwards, strolled past the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade floats that were being blown up and tamed on the two streets on either side of the American Museum of Natural History. It was freezing, and for awhile I thought I'd stepped in dog shit, but it was fun too.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 7

So the sickest thing that happened to me yesterday was running into the same nasty Internet trick I'd run into on the 1st Ave. L platform headed to Williamsburg about five weeks ago. Then I unfortunately made eye contact with him, albeit briefly and without any acknowledgement of anything on my part. Yesterday, luckily, I didn't even make eye contact. But his presence a single table away from me at Java 'n' Jazz, a quasi-coffeehouse a block north of Union Square that I didn't particularly care for (the green tea was gross, and one of the employees accidentally stained my $400 Diesel leather coat when she was clearing the table I was sitting at--the eye patch she was wearing might have explained the mishap, but still), unnerved me regardless. I was in the middle of discussing co-producing two plays with a friend of mine--actually a member of my therapy group--when I heard what I assumed was the voice of a gay male, so I sneaked a surreptitious look behind me to scope out the bearer of the voice and, to my great horror, noticed who it was. I shuddered and tried my best to concentrate on the conversation I was having until it concluded.

What have I done to deserve this regrettable karmic payback? I wouldn't enjoy running into any of my past online hook-ups, but this specific one is probably the least tolerable of them all. And to run into him not once, but twice (and who knows, considering this nascent pattern, how many more times)! It begs the question of why. Why me? Is it to remind me of what a good boy I've been in not soliciting sex in chat rooms since my dismal encounter with this guy over the summer?

Somehow I think the reason isn't nearly as redemptive as that rationale is.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 6

I'm totally exhausted from running myself into the ground the past few days, so this post will be brief. Let me just say that I had a most enjoyable time with Best Friend, who was in town since late Wednesday night to attend the MIX Festival, where her first short film was screened Thursday night. It was a pretty big deal, and it was great to see her film on a giant (or fairly giant--this is Anthology Film Archives after all) screen. There was a motley crew of us in attendance for the screening to cheer her on; afterwards, Best Friend, T., and I went for storefront Chinese food and furiously conversed, as is our wont. Then Best Friend and I went to the after party at Urge, where the festival's technical director flirted madly with me and the executive director, whom Best Friend had told earlier in the night that I thought he had a sexy voice, basically ignored me. We got drunk and went home at 4 a.m.

Friday night, after recovering from being hung over all day, she and I (and her sis) got sushi, then I went to Bowery Ballroom with L. to see Mr. Scruff, who dropped a great, highly danceable set. He's on Ninja Tune, which used to be one of my fave record labels.

Yesterday I worked all day, then went to the terrible bar Subtonic (underneath the rock club Tonic) for drinks with A. and A., my friends who are engaged. A friend of theirs was spinning there; otherwise we never would have stayed in that dingy dungeon filled with oversized former pickle barrels that customers were actually sitting inside. It was like a sick combination of The Brady Bunch family room and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Blech. I'd rather go to a water sports party than go there again.

And now--now I'm going to sleep.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

I stayed home tonight to watch the Victoria's Secret lingerie show on TV instead of attending the opening night of the MIX Festival. Talk about having your priorities out of order! But I'm kind of pissed at the MIX folks for denying me press accreditation, even though they gave it to me the past two years. I guess freelancing isn't as cool as a full-time media gig like I used to have. Reason number 234 that I need to get a full-time media gig again: to regain my status as a journalist.

Last night Marvelous and I checked out for the first time Jonny McGovern and Dean Johnson's "Happy Endings" party at the bar Happy Ending, which is a convenient four block stroll from my apartment. I've been hearing such scandalous reports about this latest venture of theirs, so I was looking forward to making the scene. And it was a scene, all right--but a very predictable one, composed of the same crowd that seems to show up at all their events. Lots of fashion tiredness. (Like, what's up with the poor-boy caps still? Weren't they trendy a year ago? Same goes for the thrift-shop truck-driver hats, the faux hawks, the Metallica t-shirts, and all the other formerly cool items many guys were sporting last night. Sheesh, move on!) Lots of music tiredness too, as Johnson was spinning all these old records, like Destiny's Child's "Survivor"--what's up with that? With all the hot music that's been coming out this fall, you'd think he'd be dropping some of that shit and actually making an effort to be hip. But probably the grossest aspect of the party (aside from the several instances of barebacking I witnessed later) was the presence of two seemingly prepubescent boys who were wandering around wearing white towels and clear plastic flip-flops and nothing else. When they first appeared in the jammed bar upstairs, it was like Moses parting the sea: almost everyone turned to stare, with all the older (read: anyone over 25) guys ogling them like mad, practically drooling. It was so sick, I thought I was going to throw up. Marvelous was equally appalled. And then you wonder why people sometimes lump gay men together with pedophiles... For the record, while the boys were standing near us at the bar, I leaned over and asked one of them how old he was, and he told me 21, although he admitted he looked younger.

But enough of my complaining. All in all, I had a fun time, though the back room, which made good use of the downstairs bar area, with its half moon-shaped banquettes and two red-lit ceramic-tiled rooms (where later I spied those twinkies were being blown by men twice their ages, whatever they actually are), was not nearly as scandalous as I had expected. In fact, it was downright friendly, and I hooked up with two guys. One was this nice, older (he looked like he was in his 30s) fellow named Lou, whom I happened to be standing next to at one point when Marvelous and I paused from circulating. He reached over and groped my crotch, and the next thing I knew, he was licking my ear and unbuttoning my jeans, pulling my dick out to stroke. When my eyes finally adjusted to the dark, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that he was cute too! And he was such a gentleman: after he sucked me off, not only did he not expect reciprocation, but he actually held me in his arms and massaged my back! I couldn't exactly believe I was in a raunchy, dehumanizing back room. It felt like Oz.

I wandered back to the front of the room and rejoined Marvelous, who hadn't been as successful as me yet. I dispatched him to find a brief moment of happiness, then entertained myself by watching the rest of the action, which I could survey quite well from the banquette I was kneeling on. I figured I'd get my voyeurism on some more, wait for Marvelous, and then bounce. But all of a sudden, this brutally cute guy, who had cruised me upstairs towards the beginning of the party, wandered into my view and sat down a foot or two away. I saw that he saw me, and just as I was wondering if anything would happen, he got up, walked behind me, and started stroking the side of my leg. I was so excited! I faked resistance for a few seconds, turned around, leaned into him; he undid my jeans, pulled them and my underwear down to my knees, and started jacking me off right there, in the better-lit part of the room, in front of several casual onlookers. Even though I had just came, I popped a major boner. I dragged him to a more secluded spot a few paces away and feverishly tried to undo his jeans but the buttons kept sticking. He kept working my dick and shoving his finger up my ass. Soon enough I freed his dick and tried to kiss him, but he avoided my lips, which I found unsettling but strangely alluring. I couldn't stop thinking about how skinny he was--he was literally a toothpick, with just the slightest hint of an ass--which, in turn, made me think that he was a drug addict. That only made me hotter for him.

Fast forward a few frames: he pulled up my shirt, pressed his dick against my stomach, and came all over it and my hand. Then he pulled his finger out of my ass and embraced me, and we just stood like that, frozen, for awhile. Eventually he pulled away, hiked up his jeans, walked out of the back room, and disappeared. I don't think I once looked at his face.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 0

Okay, I caved and had not one but two whole cigarettes tonight while feverishly conversing with C. about this new job I'm (hopefully) up for. She works at the place and has been doing major behind-the-scenes legwork for me, so we were strategizing, and she was giving me the lowdown all night long. Thank God for her. I haven't seen her for almost two months, so it was great to hang. We had a lot of catching up to do. Met up with her at the Slipper Room to catch this rather whitebread cabaret act, which she was checking out for an article she's currently reporting. Not nearly as good as the Fun Club, the monthly multi-culti burlesque show there that some friends of mine are involved with and that I've written about before here. Then we dropped by Lolita, right around the corner from my pad, for a few more drinks and some more fast-paced conversation.

Unfortunately, nothing else remotely interesting happened to me during the day, which is making me worried, considering that there was a huge spike in traffic to my blog today, thanks in part to my new friend Kel., the purveyor of that slash site I linked to yesterday. Also thanks in part to Justin Timberlake, whom people are really interested in from a queer perspective. Random web surfers across the world are apparently searching for info on him in connection with gayness, and they're stumbling across my humble little attempt at self-expression. I hope my scintillating writing keeps them coming back. That is, if I can achieve scintillation again now that I've effectively begun my winter hibernation and stopped being social (hence the worrying)...

Oh, and poor Justin! It's recently come to my attention that the newly emergent solo star has broken his foot! I hope that doesn't ruin his rise to world musical domination. It's bad enough that he has to compete with tons of major records coming out between now and the holidays--now he can't even perform! If he can't shake his cute little ass, what will become of him?

Monday, November 18, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 8

Just a few links tonight, as I did absolutely nothing of note today, except for fantasizing about what my life would be like if I were rich. The other night, when I was in thrall to the "details" section of my blog's Sitemeter profile, I discovered the most interesting website, which was included, along with my blog and several other sites, in the results to a random person's Google search for "Justin Timberlake interview gay." Basically, all the stories contained in the website are a kind of "slash," which is an appropriative genre of writing where the writer depicts straight, fictional characters of popular culture in a decidedly queer context. But this particular slash, because it is constructed around non-fictional, real people (namely 'N Sync members), is known as real-people slash, which the creator of the website told me is highly controversial and frequently hated. I love it, though, and am now obsessed, to the point where I'm searching out as much as I can.

The author of those slash stories also referred me to an interesting article on the queerness of Justin Timberlake. You can read it here. And at the end of that article, I discovered a fascinating article from The Advocate a few years ago on the young gay boy following of boy bands in general.

And last but not least, when I was cleaning up my apartment yesterday I came across a catalog for Heifer International, a group which purchases animals, from cows to llamas, for indigent people across the world to help them prosper financially. For some reason I get a lot of socially engaged junk mail, so I'm used to these entreaties for money, but this organization is just plain weird. You tell me if it's real or satire.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 7

So I never made it to my therapy workshop this morning, which really doesn't surprise me at all. I wasn't properly registered to begin with, and when I woke up at 9:30, tired and feeling gloomy in solidarity with the weather, I decided it was too much effort on too bad a day to travel all the way up to 14th Street (all the way, I say--it's only 18 blocks, which is four stops on the F train!). Instead, I reset the alarm for 12:30, turned off the TV (I always set the TV and alarm, which go off simultaneously), and eventually dragged myself out of bed at 1:30. Actually, although I did surface out of the bed linens, I really have left my bed all day.

The only time I left the apartment, in fact, was to get a cup of tea with this British dude visiting from Manchester whom I met on mygaydar.com. We went a few blocks away to one of my fave cafes, Rivington 99, at the corner of Ludlow, and had an amiable chat. He was nice, but very British, if you know what I mean. He's a filmmaker, though interestingly enough, we didn't talk about film once. We did chat quite a lot about celebrities, mostly about my distaste for them, and about cosmetic surgery--in particular, Michael Jackson's recent nose-tip collapse, which was given big play in the Daily News earlier this week. I told him I was listening to the Streets lately, that British rapper from Manchester whose real name is Mike Skinner, and mentioned that Skinner was from the same territory as him, and he looked at me blankly, then said he didn't know that. I found that highly strange. Finally we parted, and he said something vague about dropping me a line in the future--I couldn't tell whether he meant the immediate future, i.e., next week when he's here, or whether he meant the Future. I also didn't care.

Now I'm just chilling at home, for the second straight night. I forget how much I dig this! I did a bit of redecorating, which normally I'm loathe to do: I hung in my window this glass orb an ex-paramour gave me, which has been sitting on a shelf since I moved in over a year ago; I rearranged the Donald Judd-inspired self-created sculpture on one of my walls; and I put up above the door to my bathroom this old Museum of Modern Art exhibition poster for a show on furniture by Mies van der Rohe. Hey, if I can't afford a chaise longue or a club chair designed by him, at least I can stare longingly at schematic renderings of them.
Correction: Actually, those three magic words do appear in this blog--if I knew how to link to past entries, I'd show you the instance. They just don't happen to appear in the context the Google searcher was hoping for. NB: In verifying that information, I made the additional discovery that the Google searcher used the German-language version of the search engine.
This just in: I was drowsily checking my Sitemeter statistics a moment ago when I noticed that someone visited this blog because it was listed as a result for a Google search for "Nicky Hilton pussy"!!! Isn't that awesome? I don't mean to embarrass the visitor, who may or may not be following my blog now, but I'm just bowled over by this discovery. It's the coolest thing ever, especially considering that, to the best of my knowledge, the proper name "Nicky Hilton" and the term "pussy" are nowhere to be found on these pages. But now they are...
NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 6

I feel like my social life is slowly crumbling. I've been increasingly neglecting it in the past few weeks, mostly because of the increasing cold and my increasing productivity on the job-searching front, not to mention the increase in workload at my day job. This week my stomach's been in knots most of the time due to the most current job prospect, which isn't exactly a condition conducive to having fun. One positive outcome of lessening my schedule: I'm finding out who calls me unprompted and who doesn't it. As it turns out, it's only one person in particular who hasn't been calling me whom I kind of thought would have been.

The good news is that two of the ideas I pitched to the publication I'm gunning for (I ended up staying home from work on Wednesday to write a four-page story memo) have actually shown up in the publication since I pitched them. Obviously their appearance has nothing to do with me--the stories had to have been in development before I applied for the job--but it does seem to indicate that I have the right sensibility, which I'm hoping the editors are in the process of realizing.

Tomorrow morning, or rather this morning, considering that it's officially Saturday even though I'm still living Friday, I'm supposed to go to this psychotherapy workshop at Identity House on images of gay men in the gay male community and the culture at large, and how those images affect us. I had planned to attend their September workshop on sex and dating but royally overslept after a particularly boisterous night out. I've never been to Identity House, nor to a therapy "workshop" before, but I'm hoping it's a good way to meet guys. I hope so, at least, because I'm starting to think I can only date boys who are also going to therapy.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 5

In route to meeting Court, J-bird, Lazy, and M. at Sea in Williamsburg tonight, the identical twin (only much bigger) of my fave Thai restaurant on Second Ave., I got caught in a literal jam as I was exiting the L stop at Bedford Ave.: a tall scraggly guy with a British accent was trying to enter through the same turnstile I was trying to leave through. Allow me to set the scene. Everyone's streaming up the stairs, flitting through the turnstiles by the tens, hurrying to meet people for dinner or a drink, or just eager to get home after a long day at work, and I'm following them. As I near the left-most turnstile, I spot the guy in question hovering near it on the side that I'm trying to get to, like the rest of the crowd, but I don't pay him any attention and proceed towards the bar, where suddenly I run up against him. Our chests meet, he drops his token into the slot, I attempt to push forward anyway but he blocks me, pushing back, nearly screaming, "Come on, man!" "Dude," I say, in the most annoyed tone I can muster, and glare at him. "I just put my money in," he shouts. Realizing that this means he'll lose his dollar fifty if I successfully dislodge him, I back away and take the high road, wordlessly moving into the turnstile lane to my immediate right. He's still not happy, though, and as he passes me he snarls, "For fuck's sake, I can't let everyone pass!"

Moments later I wished I had told him he was a dickhead, but right then I simply ignored him, not wanting to dwell on his negativity or allow it to invade me. As I bounded up the stairs to the street, I felt a rush of pride for standing up to him and forcing the issue--because, really, he was clearly in the wrong (why, yes, you can let everyone pass, that's the polite thing to do)--but the next second my eyes welled up and I thought I was going to cry. I didn't, but I was irritated that this total stranger had almost made me. It surprised me, and I couldn't figure out why I felt that way. I still can't.
NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 4

I just finished watching Nightline and the topic tonight was very interesting: a secret training program in North Carolina for U.S. military special forces units. Obviously it's not so secret now that Ted Koppel's has had his grubby hands all over it, but clearly it was a calculated ploy by the Department of Defense to gain some sympathetic publicity for once. The training program is set up so that the special forces trainees (in this case, they were training to be Green Berets) actually have to enact a military operation with the aid of freedom fighter guerillas against the enemy occupiers of their land. The whole thing takes place in a forest somewhere over two weeks, and real local citizens participate in the charade, which I found weird. For one thing, I apparently missed whether they were using live ammo or not, though I would assume they weren't. And yet, it sure looked like they were firing real rounds...

The weirdest thing was the names the military cooked up for the "countries" enmeshed in the pseudo-conflict. There was "OpForLand" to the north, which apparently comprised most of the mid-Atlantic region above North Carolina, "Pineland," which I believe comprised most of the South beneath North Carolina, and "Occupied Pineland," which was North Carolina. All of it. Which was being ruthlessly occupied by OpForLand.

Now, I don't even know what OpForLand could possibly mean or stand for or refer to, but I certainly know what Pineland is, and it's dumb as shit. Can't the military come up with a more creative name than that? Furthermore, how could anyone seriously defend a country called that?

If I were unfortunate enough to have been born in Pineland, I would definitely emigrate.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

So more job prospect-related stress: today I spoke with my ex-colleague who's one of the features editors at the publication where I'm applying for a job, and he strongly suggested I submit story ideas to the editor who's handling the hiring. I sort of knew he was going to say that, and was sort of hoping he wouldn't, so now, instead of venturing out to Happy Ending tonight to check out the McGovern and Johnson party (the official name of which I can't quite figure out from the various e-mails I've been getting, each calling it something slightly different), I'm sitting here typing up a list of them. Actually, procrastinating. Mostly because I'm apprehensive, because the ideas could make or break my candidacy, and I'm working from a disadvantaged position, considering that I lack the resources (such as lists of upcoming movie and music releases and regular communication with a plethora of entertainment publicists) I would have if I were currently employed at a publication.

I know, cry me a river, right? I'm doing my best, and I think it's going to be fine. At least that's what I keep repeating to myself.

Monday, November 11, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

BUT, I went eight straight smoke-free days before having a cigarette (okay, three or four) on Saturday night. What could I do? I was hanging out with two smokers, and I felt like I deserved a reward for not smoking for so long.

Anyway, I'm zonked. I've been focusing all my mental energy lately on this great new job, which I'm absolutely perfect for, that I found out about late Thursday. Since then I've been marshaling every resource of mine (including two former colleagues who work on the publication that has the job vacancy) in order to snag it. The actual applying for the job has been easy, though I was making myself physically ill this afternoon when the fax machine I was using to send my stuff to my friend, who was going to hand it directly to the editor in charge of the hiring, kept screwing up the transmission. No, it's the sheer anxiety-inducing wait for something to happen that's killing me. But that's all I can say for now, lest I jinx the whole thing and not even get called in for an interview, God forbid. If you're reading this, please pray for me.

(FYI, if you're a devout media observer like myself, there's a fairly fascinating thread on mediabistro.com's boards right now in which various members of the media detail a day in their lives. It's all anonymous, unfortunately, but still interesting. I successfully wasted almost an hour reading this shit today.)

The other reason I'm tired is that my old college boyfriend and his current boyfriend, whom he's been seriously involved with for over a year, were in town, and I was entertaining them. Talk about focusing mental energy: mine was honed to a point so sharp it could kill. I mean, considering that I hadn't met my ex's boyfriend yet, I was ready to wield knives. Luckily I didn't need to--the boyfriend was surprisingly acceptable, and he got on my nerves in only a low-key fashion. I was afraid I might feel jealous, either of the boyfriend, despite the fact I was sure he wasn't going to be nearly as cool or as hot or as smart or as well-dressed as I am (and he wasn't), or of their relationship, which clearly blows out of the water my measly four month-long affair with my ex (which terminated over three years ago when he graduated from our college and moved to Berlin; I had another year left in school and was going to spend the summer in New York).

But I wasn't jealous at all. I was happy for them, and I was happy for myself. I realized they have their thing, and I have mine, and we're both satisfied. The only weird thing was that the current boyfriend kept touching me, sometimes even putting his arms around me, which I thought violated some kind of rule about how one should act in the company of the ex-beau of your current boyfriend. I occasionally wondered if said touching might lead to a threesome (which El Mar immediately suggested when I told him who I was hanging out with this weekend). After all, they were staying at the W Union Square Saturday night, and I would've loved to see their room.

Turns out, as my ex confessed last night, his boyfriend is rather conservative when it comes to incorporating others into their sex life, so a threesome was off the menu from the start. Which was fine, because neither of them turned me on.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 6

Tonight I reached a new milestone in my life, one which I hadn't even considered a milestone until after the fact: I met my first blogger. Because he is innocent, and because he already has a large, avid readership (and, for that matter, because I've previously linked to his blog in these entries and I'm not even getting paid to be his publicist), I will protect his identity by not naming him. But for the record, let me say that it was a quite enjoyable experience; I'm already looking forward to the sequel, and, perhaps, if the stars have ordained it, the whole franchise.

He has good taste, too, exemplified by his choice of Tea & Sympathy, the glorified British teahouse on Greenwich Ave., as our meeting spot. I've always wanted to check this joint out but, because I rarely venture to the West Village--especially since El Mar, who lived on Waverly Place, moved to L.A. in August--I'd never managed to do it. I'm so glad I finally did. It's wonderful, and now occupies a favored position on my list of local haunts to frequent. If only I could have deliciously homemade macaroni and cheese and a pot, preferably with adorable little teddy bears painted on, of green tea all the time. Then I think I could truly be happy.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 4

The best thing about Election Day, which is one of my favorite days of the year, aside from watching the election returns and listening to the TV talking heads dissect them, is that my sweetheart Terry Moran, ABC News's White House correspondent, gets lots of air time. Doesn't he look adorably cherubic in that publicity photo? I so want to be his boyfriend. Sometimes when he's answering Peter Jennings's questions on air, I imagine his formidable lips clamping down on my dick--what an appealing thought.

In other news, I'm feeling much less sick today, thanks to all the fluids I drank yesterday, which caused me to pee all the germs away. Also, I purchased J. Timberlake's album Justified, which the record store near my job was completely sold out of when I went at lunch (I had to go back after work), and I have to say, it's fucking amazing. No one's going to believe this, but I really think it's like the new Off the Wall. It's that good. It exerted such dominating power over me that while riding the smelly, slow-moving M15 bus to my back-to-back therapy appointments tonight, I was happily tapping my foot to the album's dope beats, barely noticing the fact that I was being crushed to death. Normally I would've nearly screamed; instead, I was smiling.

It's so good that I'm not even upset that Stanley Aronowitz, the Green Party gubernatorial candidate whom I voted for this morning, is--with 98% of precincts accounted for--some 10,000 votes short of the 50,000 he needed to get in order for his party to gain official status.

Monday, November 04, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

So I'm sitting here on my bed, sniffling, slowly chafing the sides of my nose into oblivion, typing away on my computer (it's a lap-top, hence the reason I can sit on my bed and work), listening to my boy Justin Timberlake live on Z-100 answering questions and previewing his new album, which drops tomorrow. I just heard the next single, "Cry Me a River," and it's hot! I know it's totally cliched for a gay boy like myself to be digging on J.Tim., but I can't help it--he's the anointed one. He's got progressive musical tastes, the best producers (the Neptunes, Timbaland, et al.), major rock-star quality, a great voice, and he's the cutest thing ever. Verging on the obsessive, I also watched his interview with Barbara Walters earlier tonight on TV. My only comment is that he seems to have a strangely Oedipal relationship with his mother, constantly referring to her, thanking her, claiming that she's his best friend. She even appeared in half the interview! What is it with these gay (or seemingly gay) pop-cultural figures who, while self-consciously shoring up their straightness on the surface, also unconsciously paint themselves into psychologically revealing corners that seem to contradict their public discourse? Is it only noticeable to a queer theory-trained observer such as myself?

Anyway, to segue into a more self-pitying mode, I'm slightly ill, which I blame entirely on smoking too much last week. Now that I've quit, if I smoke too much, I irritate my sinus tracts. So I'm reaffirming, once again, my desire to forgo cigarettes completely. And I mean it.

Ooh, now they're playing "Senorita," another track off Timberlake's new record, and it's hot too!

Sunday, November 03, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

Had a blissfully low-key weekend, sans Friday night, when I got schlitzed at G-spot's under-attended cocktail party and at Wonder Bar afterwards. The only piece of news that emerged was that Nicodemus confirmed that he strongly dislikes Benji.

Yesterday I went to the Met with L. and Babydoll and saw the Avedon show, the Vija Celmins' prints show, and the Costume Institute's exhibition on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and their coterie of society friends--all quite wonderful and satisfying. I also paid a visit to the spirit of Nany, an ancient Egyptian princess whose sarcophagus, wig, and turquoise scarab pendant are on display around the corner from the Temple of Dendur. I'm working on a piece of writing about her and needed to be re-inspired. I was.

Spent the rest of the night (we visited the museum late in the day) at home, slowly drinking one of the massive Russian beers my dad brought me from his trip to Moscow over the summer (it's been safely refrigerated since then) while first watching Mildred Pierce on PBS and then reading Peter Cameron's novel Leap Year, which Nicodemus lent me last week, proclaiming it one of his fave books ever. I went to sleep early and was very grateful to have stayed in for the first Saturday night in forever.

Today I went to work for a few hours, came home, finished reading Leap Year (it's a fun, quick, light read, but certainly not deep or brilliant or anything, making me question Nico's judgment in yet another realm, despite the fact that he's pursuing a humanities Ph.D. at a respectable university), watched Alias (Sydney discovered that her father programmed her to be a spy as a child!), and cleaned up around the apartment. Now I'm watching the Giants; soon I'm going to sleep.

Friday, November 01, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

Happy fucking belated Halloween!

Last night came close to being a total washout; were it not for the heroic efforts of Marvelous, who stayed true when others couldn't or wouldn't, I would've never left my apartment (which is what I had planned to do originally, as this year I was completely not into dressing up or any of the rigamarole that goes with it). Ended up at Phoenix for a cocktail, then to Wonder Bar, where the staff was costumed and the ceiling had cute, home-made, Caspar-like ghosts hanging from it, for a nightcap. Then Marvelous and I parted ways and I went home. Score one in the not-being-accosted-by-crazily-attired-nut-jobs column.

Wednesday night I hit up the Fun Club new wave-burlesque Halloween-themed show at the Slipper Room, up the street from my humble abode. Ash was decked out as some character from Star Wars, complete with a Java the Hut constructed out of a mobile garment trolley. How she was planning to ambulate around the city Thursday night with that accessory, I don't know. Court and J-bird were totally drunk, which I found amusing. We agreed to start a regular movie night at J-bird's new loft--she just purchased a film projector, and she has the wall space to use it properly. We also quasi-feverishly discussed Halloween plans that, less than 24 hours later, they inexplicably quashed. It's okay, though; I love them too much to hold it against them.

This morning I had a physical check up at the Callen-Lorde Community Service Center and found out a) that I don't have testicular cancer (I was concerned about a mysterious lump I had noticed a few weeks ago in the shower, which I was told was not a tumor or anything cancer-related but was, in fact, my epididymis); and b) that my apparent occasional heart palpitations are perfectly normal for someone my age. My doctor suggested that I refrain from consuming caffeine, which probably causes them. Too bad I just slurped down a Diet Coke.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

It sounds like it's sleeting outside, which is a scary thought, considering that it's not even November yet. I am so not a wintry-mix kind of guy. I'm more like a palm tree--I like warm, sunny, breezy weather.

Anyway, I'm amused that the purveyor of one of my fave blogs found himself ruminating today on the meaning of love, which is the very same topic that Nicodemus and I were arguing, fairly drunkenly, about Friday night while ensconced in his cozy apartment, sheltered from the rain. We, however, were deliberating on the finer points of attraction, which, although clearly not the same as love, is certainly intimately bound up with it. Essentially, the discussion was thus: Nicodemus, romantic that he seemingly is, strongly supported the idea that there is such a thing as falling head over heels for someone--that you can be intensely attracted to a guy, which is to say that your body registers said attraction as a strong, identifiable feeling--whereas, being the jaded cynic that I am, I refuted that claim, writing such a sense of attraction off as mere infatuation, a druggy sensation (as my therapist describes it) utterly without content. I proposed that what attraction actually is is just the desire to spend time with someone who treats you well and whom you enjoy hanging out with, and with whom you can have a satisfying sexual relationship. Everything else ascribed to attraction, I said, was simply the product of Hollywood and the rest of the culture and wasn't real.

You can imagine the machinations at work in a conversation like this at 3:00 a.m. after depleting a bottle of Absolut. But I came away thinking that the truth about love and attraction is somewhere close to halfway between Nico's opinion and mine.

In other news, I lost my Cheez Whiz virginity Sunday night and I was laughing the whole time! I was relieved, as well, to find out that although the party is ending at the Parkside Lounge next Sunday, it will resume shortly thereafter at Rare (formerly the Cooler), at which point it will be called Star Tartare. Thank the Lord, because this is the best party I've been to in awhile...

Sunday, October 27, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: .5

Well, I suppose everyone knew this day would come, yours truly included, but I have completely fallen off the wagon with this nicotine thing. Smoked several cigarettes (Gauloises, of all brands!) Friday night when I was hanging out at Nicodemus's place, which we didn't leave the whole night due to the pouring rain but also to the convenience (free drinks, the ability to choose our own music, book-borrowing privileges). Had a great time. Too bad he's not interested in me romantically or sexually, because I think I'm in love with him. At least when I'm drunk, that is. Swooning my way down Broome St. after leaving his place at 4 a.m., I couldn't stop thinking about him; when I awoke early Saturday afternoon, I laughed at myself and didn't feel a single pang of attraction.

Smoked several more cigarettes last night at J-bird's party for Nangstarr's birthday, but then I was drunk and coked up, so it was excusable. Couldn't help but think of the last time I was at J-bird's for a party, about six weeks ago, when I was drunk and coked up and successfully avoided all nicotine. Wish I could reclaim that will power.

Or maybe not--am planning to smoke again tonight when L., M-dash, Babydoll (who's up from D.C. for two weeks freelancing at L.'s firm), and I check out Cheez Whiz for the first time. I read here that this evening is the penultimate edition of the party, so I gotta make it there while I still can. I'm sure it's going to be awesome and I'm going to regret the fact that I could've been going every week, but que sera sera. Something else will likely come through the pipeline to replace it.

Saw the movie Heaven this afternoon and loved it. It was strange, beautiful, affecting, and the acting, courtesy of Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi, is top notch. And the best part of all is that the script is by an all-time favorite of mine: the late, great Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski. It felt good to be able to commune with his spirit again. Tom Tykwer's own direction was quite inspired, but I couldn't help but wonder what the film would've been like if Kieslowski had been alive to helm it.

Friday, October 25, 2002

P.S. RIP Paul Wellstone.
NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 4

But I'm going out with Nicodemus tonight, so my short non-smoking streak will likely end. It's a shame.

Internet boy, amazingly enough, still hasn't contacted me, via phone or e-mail, so I guess the whole things is really off now. That's also a shame. His loss, though. I was sort of expecting him to get in touch today with some lame excuse, apologizing for our not getting together last night, and I would give him some shit, then fold and reschedule, just so I could have sex with an ex-porn model with a huge tattoo blasting his name across his lower arm. Sounds heavenly to me. Too bad it's not gonna happen.

At least my fortune-cookie fortunes came through for me for a change. I got five cookies from one of the take-out joints I order from, and after being a total pig and scarfing down a huge egg roll, mounds of pork-fried rice, and some chicken chow mein (it wasn't that good, and plus I had chicken on my salad at lunch today), I proceeded to crack open four of them (I'm giving the last one to Nico when I see him in a bit) and discovered what destiny has in store for me. Looks pretty good:

1) "A chance meeting opens new doors to success and friendship."

2) "You will step on the soil of many countries."

3) "Romance moves you in a new direction."

4) "You will be awarded some great honor."

I wonder what Nico's fortune will say?

Thursday, October 24, 2002

To take my mind off of my Internet-date fiasco, I've been reading up on my new love, Ty Murray, the famous bull-riding champion. He's a real man. He would never stand me up like this. If we were dating and I was suffering from the cold, all I'd have to do is call him and he'd be over in a jiffy to warm me up. And if I couldn't date him, I'd date one of his fellow bull riders on the PBR circuit. I was blown away by these boys when I happened to catch their competition in Columbus, OH, this past weekend on TV. If they can ride bulls like that, can you imagine what they could do in bed? Perhaps, on occasion, just for fun, wearing their long leather chaps?
NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

Apparently my Internet date has stood me up. That's right, the former Playguy model (how many times have I invoked that credential thus far?), whom I was supposed to meet in person for the first time tonight. We'd agreed that I'd call him yesterday to sort out the details, which I did, although later in the day than he probably expected (around 10 p.m., when I got home from work). He wasn't there, so I left a message, and the bastard has yet to call me back. Can you believe it?

I can, because this is what happens more often than not, to me at least, when it comes to online dating. It's like the complete lack of physical presence emboldens people to do whatever the hell they want, including dispensing with normal standards of etiquette such as returning a fucking phone call or refusing to follow through on obvious sexual chemistry. If this guy is half the pig he says he is, he would've been dying to hook up, in the fullest possible definition of the word.

Eh, I'm just being dramatic. I don't really care. What with the cold weather and all--and I'm really irked by the seeming super-early onset of winter--I don't feel like going out anyway. I did manage to step out for a spell after work, though, and catch a few drinks with one of my current editors--in fact, the only editor who's currently publishing my work. It was long overdue, but we more than made up for it. I didn't realize what a fascinating history he has. Aside from being around the block enough times that he's probably run a marathon by now, it actually turns out that we worked at the same magazine, albeit it many years apart. I thought that was cool. Alas, our get together yielded no writing assignment, but I have a few new ideas that I'm getting around to pitching him, so hopefully one of those will stick.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 0

I called in sick to work today, ostensibly so that I could devote the day to my own work (i.e., applying for permanent jobs in my chosen profession), but all I did was watch The People's Court, read magazines, pay a few bills, and sleep. I also got drinks with a certain ex-colleague, a social engagement I've been avoiding for several months, and watched that new legal drama on Fox called girls club. I have to say, I was entertained. It's no Melrose Place, but it's definitely got potential to be my guilty pleasure this television season.

All in all, though, nothing to brag about in the accomplishments department. The only thing of note that happened today is that I had a conversation, finally, with that guy from mygaydar.com that I blogged about last week. Unfortunately, I was majorly disappointed--he's a total fashionista who, crushingly, works as a fashion publicist! As far as I'm concerned, that's the greatest sin of all! Why do I always attract this type of guy? And in the face of the fact that I've sworn off them, because it just never works out. They're too appearance oriented (this guy actually managed to refer to the vintage Yves Saint Laurent blazer he was wearing tonight in the second sentence of our phone call), pretentious, or queeny for me--and thus far, this guy seems to possess all three traits. Plus he radiated flakiness, which is another turn off. Obviously, I'm disappointed, especially considering that his profile and e-mails conveyed the impression that he was a genuine skater boy, the complete opposite of what he really is.

But I'm going through with seeing him anyway, on Thursday, not least because of his huge cock (he posed for Playguy back in the day) and his tattoos and his general laissez-faire attitude. We'll see what happens.

In more positive news, Nicodemus is back in town after a two-week jaunt to Morocco and, no, I'm sorry to report, he didn't seduce any young Arab boys. He did, however, make an alarmingly serious effort to pick up this raspberry Stoli and Sprite-swilling boy at Wonder Bar last night while we were celebrating his return home. How you can respect anyone who drinks a drink like that is beyond me.

Okay, I'm going to go sort the color copies I made of my writing clips the other day in a last-ditch attempt to salvage an otherwise wasted day.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

Between last night and the course of today, I have encountered a medley of boys that I've had and that I have not had but would like to have. In fact, this afternoon, while sitting on a bench on the Brooklyn-bound platform of the 1st Ave. L train stop, I was literally nauseated. Sitting next to me was this 100% fine guy, absolutely beautiful, stick thin, wearing a sexy outfit, who I believe checked me out as he sat down. As I was meditating on the serendipitous cruelty of having to sit next to him and yet not be able to do anything about it, I caught out of the corner of my eye the visage of some Internet trick of mine from way back in the middle of the summer who was walking past me with two girlfriends. Unfortunately I think he saw me look but thankfully didn't stop to say anything--I hadn't really dug him, and when he asked for my number as he was leaving my apartment after the dirty deed had been done, I refused to give it to him. In this present moment, the combination of the powerful distaste I felt seeing him and the powerful attraction I felt for the hot number to my right made me want to throw up. To make matters worse, the hottie didn't seem to look at me once when we were actually on the train.

Later on, after scoping out some cuties at Beacon's Closet in Williamsburgh, one of my two fave vintage clothing stores, but failing to purchase anything stellar (I almost snagged this funky beat-up old brown pleather jacket, but it didn't fit quite right), I was back in the city, buying an over-the-door hook rack from Surprise! Surprise! and a new bottle of Ultra Facial Moisturizer from the Kiehl's store (I got samples of their rosewater skin toner!!!). I checked out the new Japanese supermarket further down Third Ave., then stopped in St. Mark's Bookshop, where I discovered Butt magazine--as well as another boy I wanted, a member of the scruffy trio at Wonder Bar from Friday night, who was right in front of me on line and who was also getting a copy of Butt! I wanted desperately to talk to him--I saw that he noticed me too--but in the quiet atmosphere of the check-out area, I felt extra-insecure at the prospect. I saw him take a right as he exited the shop, so I thought I could follow him, but, alas, when I turned right, he was nowhere to be found.

On top of these events, I had a fairly disorienting and depressing time last night at my friend T.'s housewarming party at her new apartment in Prospect Heights, to which I brought M., Nicodemus's friend whom I had sex with and who later disappointed me that Saturday afternoon a few weeks back. I guess I thought he was worth another shot, and, sure, I wanted to get laid and I enjoyed our hook up the last time. Plus, he's college friends with the editor of HX, so I'm hoping he can introduce me to him so I can start writing for that rag. However, though we did have really hot sex again after the party and though he is a genuinely nice guy, I've concluded that we're simply not compatible, so I'm going to have to kick him to the curb.

That revelation--yet another potential paramour come and gone!--was one reason I had a bad time last night. The other reason was the presence of T.'s Cousin, a short Lebanese guy who teaches at NYU and who possesses the most beautiful, deep, inviting eyes. I hadn't seen him since the first week in August, when we fucked right underneath the nose of his long-term, live-in boyfriend. All day yesterday, when I realized I was going to see him at the party, I was hoping I was going to be able to withstand the spell he usually casts over me; as soon as I arrived, though, I realized that would be hopeless. He kept talking to me, leaning in close, touching my stomach, complimenting the new shirt I was wearing from Vice, calling me sweetheart in Arabic, even with his boyfriend hovering nearby, and it was clear that he still harbors a crush for me. He was endearingly attitudinal towards M., less endearingly passive aggressive when he introduced me to this awful, older professor friend of his, then split. (The professor proceeded to nearly obliterate me with his boring conversation and later groped my crotch, which set off minor controversy when I told T.'s Cousin, who broadcasted the info to everyone.)

Not even the fact that T.'s Cousin and his boyfriend were dressed almost identically in black leather pants and black tops was enough to prevent me from feeling like I was in love with him.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

I went five straight days without smoking, actually, then broke down last night, when out with Benji, G-rod, Marvelous (and his friend from out of town), Edster (and his friend from out of town), and, of all people, the 48-year-old father from my therapy group. He'd heard I was going to see Potty Mouth, directed by a fellow group member of ours, and e-mailed me to meet up at the show. Which was fine, if a little weird. So that's what we did, me with Benji and G-rod in tow (Marvelous's friend's train was delayed so long that they had to miss the show). They seemed rather amused by Father, as I usually am, but were great sports about his tagging along after the show when we went to Wonder Bar. That hadn't been in the original plan, but as soon as I sat down at the show, he happened to mention that his friends keep telling him how great that joint is (which is strange, if you ask me, considering that they're all older, and W.B. caters to a much younger crowd), as if reading my mind, because we had already agreed to meet Edster and co. there.

Anyway, there was a fun crowd at W.B., though they weren't really that down with dancing, except for this trio of scuffy boys (whom, if I weren't trying to be celibate lately, I would've made an effort to bag) and this other tall black dude who danced with me, while singing the lyrics, to a No Doubt track. It was too crowded to dance properly as usual, but that's pretty much the only reason I go to this bar. Edster and his friend departed for Starlight; Father got a booty call (!) and jetted (which I found ironic); G-rod and Benji called it a night. Marvelous, his friend, and I went to Urge, where we found Edster and his friend sitting by a pack of brutally cute, majorly drunk college boys, who kept making eyes at us. They were all talk and no action. My friend S., who I bumped into, was also all talk and no action: he kept calling me his little "boo boo" while fondling my ass and trying to rub my nose with his, yet never actually said he wanted to hook up. Not that I would have, but still, it would've been nice if he had asked.

At the end of the night, it was just me and Edster's friend, who desperately wanted to get laid and who was then, at 3:45 a.m., playing tonsil hockey with a seductive Latin guy named Alvaro. I was surprisingly unmoved. I was also tired and had to get up at 10 to let my super in to investigate what I thought was a gas leak in my apartment, so I bummed a smoke from Alvaro, said my goodbyes, and walked home, braced by the cool night air.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

I'm exhausted and should be asleep, but, as usual, I can never seem to go to sleep before 12:30. On rare occasions I'll conk out at 11:30, but that's the earliest I remember retiring in a long ass time. And what have I been doing that's preventing me from bedding down? Certainly not job search-related shit, like I'm supposed to be doing. No, I was reading other people's blogs and fussing with my own.

Anyway, got a nice surprise today when checking my messages at mygaydar.com (an automated e-mail showed up in my inbox reminding me that I hadn't been to the site since June, when I created my online ad, and saying that I had several new messages). Apparently some super cute, 26-year-old, "inked sk8tor boy" (his description), horny as hell, has the hots for me, and after reading his message and accompanying profile, I feel the same about him. He's like the man of my dreams, almost too good to be true. My favorite line in his ad is "I like a boy who's a pig on the inside but who's still nice enough on the outside to bring home to mom." How romantic. He posed for Playguy a few years ago and has the pictures to prove it. He only likes uncut dick, which, thankfully, I have. I wrote him back, so hopefully he'll respond, even though it's been more than four months since he originally contacted me. I've always had a fantasy about getting with a skater boy--maybe it'll finally come true?

In other news, the new member of my group failed to show his face today, and didn't show up at the solo appointment he had scheduled before the meeting either, so I think he might have freaked on the whole psychotherapy thing and bailed. I hope not. We could use some fresh blood. Spent the whole time discussing the financial and career woes of the member I have a crush on, problems I strongly identified with. Afterwards, before he invited me to a book reading by Dan Savage on Thursday (which unfortunately I can't make due to a "fall harvest" drinking session with colleagues that evening that I've already committed to), he told me, when we were by ourselves by the elevator, that I made a lot of great comments and he really appreciated it. I was touched. I felt he was looking deep into my eyes and I wondered, for the umpteenth time, whether he was attracted to me. I forgot to mention that his hair looked amazing tonight.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

Failure, again. Failure of a different kind a moment ago when, after spending an hour carefully composing an e-mail to this features editor at a downtown fashion magazine I've been trying to write for, all four of her plausible e-mail addresses didn't work, and said e-mail bounced back to me. Four times. Reminding me what a stupid idiot I am. Because, of course, I could just call her and ask for her address instead of wasting all this time. I did speak to her once before, over the summer, after I sent her some clips at the suggestion of my friend who works with her (who, inexplicably, hasn't returned my queries about her e-mail). But calling her is scarier than just e-mailing her, even though the latter option now seems impossible. Guess I'm going to have to get some balls and do it anyway. At least I followed up with this guy at this hip hop/street culture magazine that I also want to write for, who's a friend of J-bird's. I can't wait to see his reaction after he reads my decidedly queer clips.

Yesterday turned out to be a fun-filled, long day. Got brunch with E., who was back in town but thoughtfully stayed with G-spot this time because she knew how much I had been working. Then we went shopping (we always go shopping--sometimes I think it's her only bona fide cultural pursuit), dropping by the Triple Five Soul sample sale (nada) and then Barney's Coop, where I was surrounded by attractive, attitudinal, fashionable gay boys, just like I love/hate them. Discovered that the Seven denim line now makes men's jeans (as does Earl Jeans), though when I tried on this dope pair they basically looked like girls jeans, and I don't like that look on me, or on any guys for that matter. I was secretly thrilled that they fit, considering that they were a 30 and they run very small. Alas, the pair of jeans I did want, by Paper Denim & Cloth, they didn't have in my size.

E. departed fairly soon after that to visit her relatives in Jersey and I went home to deal with more Amsterdam accommodations shit. Talked on the phone for almost two hours with Best Friend, who unsettled me by strenuously arguing, completely out of the blue, that I should move out of my apartment into a much cheaper space, possibly in Brooklyn, with roommates. Then went to my book club meeting, in which Court did a great job of contextualizing the The Body Artist's idiosyncrasies for me, which I had mostly found repellent. Still don't like the book that much, but have a greater appreciation for it.

Last appointment of the day was a tete-a-tete with an old college friend of mine who was visiting town. After almost two hours of chatter at Bouche Bar I was pretty much ready to call it a night, but he wanted to check out that wine bar Simone on 1st Avenue, and as I hadn't been there in ages and I was drunk (I'd been drinking wine since book club), I said what the hell. Got more drunk there and found myself fancying having sex with him, wondering what it would be like, even though he's straight and developing a gut (then again, we all are) and a bit ungainly and someone I frequently hated in college and, again, straight, and I'm never attracted to straight guys in principle. I'm sure part of that desire had something to do with my feeling pity for him for having such a hard time getting laid, being straight and all, as he told me at length, and part of it was surely due to the alcohol in my blood. In fact, most of it was due to the alcohol in my blood. I think I need to stop drinking. It's one thing if I'm tempted to smoke when intoxicated, but it's an entirely different ball game if I'm tempted to screw straight people. That could kill me.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 4

Spent the whole day relaxing after a punishing week at work--I was there past 11 p.m. every night since Wednesday, and until 5 a.m. Saturday morning. Managed to scuttle my whole schedule today, giving myself the day off, which I desperately needed. Read most of The Body Artist for book club tomorrow night (it's short) and caught up on bills and this week's issue of The New Yorker. Even washed some of the dishes in the sink, which I hate doing, and researched and queried places to stay in Amsterdam over New Year's, which, with seven people (a crew of three from New York and four from London), is not as easy as it would be otherwise. We bought our plane tickets this week so it's mega-important that we get this accommodations shit sorted. Slightly scared that all of our choices are booked already.

Still pondering one of the topics at group this week--the possibility that some of us might be attracted to one or more of the others. I initiated the conversation accidentally (or not--I've been meditating lately on my own attraction to one of the members, which comes and goes, so perhaps there was a half-conscious motivation there) by asking, after our shrink mentioned that one of his new clients is interested in joining our group, whether he was attractive (apparently he's 27 and an actor, so I thought, what the hell, might as well prepare my expectations as much as possible). Next thing I knew, he reflected the question back to all of us, trying to make us talk about what it would mean if an attraction surfaced among us. Awkward silence. One member, who lives with his long-term boyfriend, volunteered that he was attracted to all of us at different times on different levels, but ended his comment at that. No one else said anything at all, or anything worth remembering. Meanwhile, I was sitting there practically burning up, hoping I wasn't betraying my little crush by blushing. Of course, my little crush didn't say anything, so who knows how he feels. He once said that his physical ideal, embodied by his boyfriend (now ex) at the time, was tall, well built, and clean cut, which isn't exactly me. Then again, from our group conversations, I know he likes sex a lot and has it frequently, often hooking up with online mates, so his libido would clearly be amenable to the prospect. The whole question is moot anyway because romantic and/or sexual relationships between group members is strongly discouraged, and I love the group so much that I wouldn't want to ruin our dynamic, honed over so many weeks over so many months, with an ill-advised affair, which probably wouldn't even last.

Friday, October 11, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

As the statistics plainly point out, I'm not doing too good with this whole anti-nicotine kick I've been on. Copped one--a single one--leaving the Townhouse Tuesday night when I was more drunk than I realized at the time (I realized it about 10 minutes later when Marvelous and I stopped to catch a cab back downtown and I felt wobbly). It was good, but was it worth ruining my streak?

We'd started off that night at Red, where we've never been before, at the Jocks party that this dude K.C. Guy promotes. Apparently McGovern & Johnson were throwing yet another raunchy party that night at Happy Ending, this cool bilevel bar about five blocks directly west of my apartment, for some porn star or some shit like that (I didn't read Formika's e-mail carefully enough to remember), but I wasn't feeling it. In fact, I slightly resented their taking over of a fairly unknown, favorite bar of mine, and I balked, as I usually do, at their 10-dollar cover. It also made me wonder if they're worried at all about becoming overexposed, played out. They're starting to get that way for me.

So instead Marvelous and I caught the M-15 bus up to Red on E. 53rd for what I hoped would be a nice contrast to the two-and-a-half hours of therapy I had undergone earlier in the evening, first in a solo session, then in the group. I was talking to El Mar (who moved to L.A. two months ago) as I walked to Marvelous's and he said he once tried to go to Red but was freaked out after seeing a hooker enter. That only made me want to go more, to see if all the hype about the hustlers and sugar daddies was true.

As it turned out, the hype wasn't true--there were definitely lots of older gents there, and many very young guys (some of whom were obviously trying to mack on their more mature counterparts), but there were guys of ages in between those two extremes present as well. And although a hustler aesthetic was prominent among some of the patrons (including yours truly), there were no, at least to my eye, bona fide hustlers actually working the crowd. There was, however, a crew of extremely youthful guys hanging out in the back room of the bar who seemed to have been plucked straight from the ghetto and instructed to look as cute as possible while dancing like *NSYNC and eating Doritos (and giving back massages to their girl friends). Marvelous and I theorized that they were queer runaways who were drawn into prostitution and were currently being loaned out by their john to add some flair to the festivities at Red, much like up-and-coming models would be. But, man, they had their dance moves down! These dudes must have watched that instructional teen-pop dance video for weeks while they nailed down every aspect of each routine. When "Oops, I Did It Again" came on, three of them launched into a perfect, harmonious rendition of the video's choreography. They were so cute I could've eaten them.

Anyway, Marvelous and I dug the strange, mixed crowd, the hustler ambition, the faux exclusivity (the glazed-over door is unmarked), and the downtown decor so much that, upon departing Red, we vowed to make it our regular joint, at least for the time being, before we get bored again. I was getting sick of the East Village circuit; this could be a way to jazz up my routine.

We dropped by the Townhouse next, where we had a drink and nothing exciting happened. The last time I was there with Marvelous, two days before 9/11/01, we managed to lure a fun thirtysomething business traveler into a hot threesome in his hotel room (it was his idea). I was disappointed that nothing similar happened this time.

Monday, October 07, 2002

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LAST SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

Didn't make it to Jonny McGovern and Dean Johnson's new party The Rambles last night due to the continued presence of straight girl friend in town and my own exhaustion (and the manuscript that Marvelous, who was going to be my partner in crime, has been editing for days for work). Haven't read any reviews from any of the blogs I've been following yet either. Whattup with that?

Woke up this morning super early to a) see my friend off and b) let my super in to replace the lightbulb in my bathroom ceiling lamp and ended up catching Natalie Krinsky, sex columnist for the Yale Daily News, on the Today show. This Carrie Bradshaw/Candace Bushnell wannabe was featured in the Times on Friday on the cover of the metro section (read the article here) along with several other collegiate sexual muckrakers, and Today picked up the story, which only fueled my curiosity about her. So I spent a good chunk of the work day covertly reading her columns (you can do the same here) and was totally hooked. I'm fairly jealous--of her gig, her writing talent, and her new-found fame. Bitch.