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.