Tuesday, July 15, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

Well, it's been almost a month now since my last post here, and to my regular readers, it must be obvious by now that Show World is going--quite gently--into that good night. It occurred to me today that I shouldn't let that happen without some kind of comment, to at least provide explanation and, perhaps, closure. Essentially, the deal is that I'm just not that jonesed about the idea of keeping a blog anymore. (That, and the simple fact that, like going to the gym, once you fall out of the habit of updating it for a prolonged spate, it's hard to return to it.) When I started this blog nearly a year ago, just after Labor Day, I was barely writing anything, except for the occasional piece here and there, and I was stuck in temp hell wondering if I'd ever get my journalistic career back on track. In that context, doing a blog appealed to me as a way to write on a steady basis. Since then, of course, not only did I start a great new job at a great magazine, but my real writing has really started to take off, both at the mag and at some regular freelance gigs; when you throw in the work I've recently begun dedicating to my long-planned book proposal (complete with sample chapters), it seems like I'm writing practically all the time these days. So not only do I have little time to post my little entries anymore, I also lack much of my former interest in doing so. And thus, I must bid this blog--and you--adieu.

For those readers who may want to keep in touch or simply stay aware of future developments in my life and work, please feel free to e-mail me at schroedernyc@hotmail.com. (If enough people are interested, I might even send out occasional Show World-like dispatches via e-mail.) Thanks for reading, and Godspeed.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 0

I actually bought a pack of Parliaments last night after a particularly stressful early close at work. Anyway, just wanted to post something, anything, to demonstrate that I'm still alive and kicking. To my faithful, sorry I've been so sluggish in writing; things have just been cray-zee lately, and I've been doing a lot of non-blog writing, so I have little time for the actual blog. But I promise to post an extensive item in the next few days filling you all in. Until then...

Sunday, June 08, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

Number of days since updating this blog...way longer. I know, I've been terrible about writing, but I've been really busy lately (yeah, yeah), not to mention the fact that writing about myself is increasingly becoming a bore. I come home from work at maybe 8 or 9 at night, turn on the tube to watch For Love or Money, or America's Next Top Model, or Fame (all of which I watched last week), and then just as soon as I think to blog I think why bother?

Anyway, I went to the soft opening of the new club Plaid, formerly Spa, last night, at which the band Interpol played. The space is radically reworked, so much so that I couldn't decipher the outline of Spa (not that I'd been there in at least two years, and then only once or twice), and it was packed to the brim with major scenesters of all stripes, including several colleagues of mine (whom I went with) and my boy G-spot, who I ran into unsurprisingly (he's basically my coolest friend). I might never have seen so fully dense and extensive a scene in all my three years in New York. And the best thing is we got in for free, received comp drinks, and, due to publicist confusion, even sat in the best banquette in the house for a time, directly overlooking the stage, until said publicist unglamorously ejected us. Oh, and Interpol? They were amazing, despite my being shoved up against the mixer booth all the way in the back and barely being able to glimpse lead singer Paul Banks' head through the snooty crowd. When we left at 2, there was a throng of "regular" folk penned up outside, asking us if it was worth 20 bucks (!) to get in. I said no.

Earlier I spent the day hanging out with Best Friend, who was in town the last week visiting her fam and attending the New Fest, in which she was screening a short film. We went to brunch at the Pink Pony, then to a few screenings, where we met up with T. and S. (whom I hadn't seen in ages--not since my birthday, in fact, back in February). Afterwards we all went to dinner at Moustache where, two languorous hours later, I left them reading the dried patterns of coffee grinds leftover in their cups, the way the Lebanese tend to do.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 5

I got my second dose of the hepatitis A/B vaccination this morning at Callen-Lorde, at the hand of the male nurse who I believe flirted like mad with Marvelous on a recent visit of his there, then proceeded to ask Marvelous out. He declined. But at least I'm on my way to being immune to hepatitis, God forbid I'm ever exposed to it. (And I found out the results of the lab work I had done weeks ago in connection with my recent STD: I tested negative for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea--even though I was obviously symptomatic for one of the latter two. Maybe it was too early for whatever I had to show up; at least the antibiotics killed it and it's gone.)

In other news, my therapy group officially disbanded after this Tuesday's meeting. Two of the members, including the new father, are joining my shrink's other group; the other father is going back to his personal shrink for individual sessions; and I'm going back to my shrink one on one. I decided to forgo more group therapy mostly because I can't afford to do it and individual therapy at the same time, and I just haven't been getting enough out of the group to warrant continued involvement. Plus, I feel like my voice has basically been marginalized--with all the other group members' almost ten or more years older than me and in committed relationships, living out their fantasies of domesticity, I didn't feel like I totally belonged. Of course, my shrink would reject this as a reason to leave, and almost did recently when he asked if such alienation prevented me from doing my own "work" in the group. Well, yes and no.

As soon as the new father, who just returned to group after a month-long absence in which he "took possession," as it were, of his newborn adopted daughter, started talking about his kid, which he did for more than ten minutes in a row, I knew I made the right decision. It was so insipid. Who really cares?

P.S. I still owe you guys the account of my crazy Saturday night. Perhaps I'll save it for a boring streak...

Monday, May 26, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

Despite the atrocious weather (is this, like, the worst spring ever?), I still managed to have quite a lot of fun these past two nights. I've rarely left my apartment during daylight hours the last four days (I had Friday off too), but I've more than made up for it at night. Last night, for instance, I hung out for several hours with L.Ho and our friend C.B., visiting from D.C. We started off at Korova Milk Bar on Avenue A, which is possibly one of the worst bars in the city (I'd only been there once before), but C.B. wanted to check it out for its A Clockwork Orange-inspired everything, and I'm not one to disappoint out-of-town visitors. That, and I was basically just meeting them before moving on--there was no heavy time investment (in fact, I was there for under an hour).

Then we hightailed it to the Park for The Rambles, where, in addition to the usual festivities, an editor of one of the local gay rags, who happened to go to the same college as me, was hosting his birthday party upstairs in the lounge and deck area. I was expecting an open bar and a huge spread of food, even cake (!)--not to mention a big crowd--but I was disappointed on every count. So we descended to the actual Rambles party, where we partied down for the next two or three hours. That joint was packed, no doubt due in part to people's washed-out plans to go out of town. I've never seen so many people there (not that I've gone that many times, but still); when we were leaving, in fact, at 1:30, the line to get in stretched down the block. (Why people were even waiting in line so late, I don't know.) The crowded house made for an especially lively time, and the go-go boys, who seem to have increased in number, were in fine form. One of them, before we realized he was a dancer, was standing next to us by the bar, and smiled at C.B.; the next thing we knew, he was dancing on the bar clutching a pair of overalls over his crotch, pubes peeking out from the sides. Hot.

After catching the Cooler Kids' performance, which was fun if not as good as I might have expected, we jumped in a cab and headed to the Marquee for the Cheez Whiz reunion. I'd only been to the original Cheez Whiz once, so I was dying to check it out again (apparently its successor, Star Tartare, never quite got off the ground), and it certainly didn't disappoint. Sweetie was highly entertaining as usual--I'd say she's my fave queen on the scene these days--and the other performers (Juicy Absolute and Poison Ivy among them) were too. And SammyJo, the DJ, made for some tasty eye candy. I never had a chance to observe him so closely before--he's lovely. If only he weren't madly in love with Justin Bond (who was at the party, as was Kenny Mellman and who we think was Casey Spooner), I might fantasize about him.

After the performances, we danced around for awhile (the go-go boy from the Park who smiled at C.B., and who I thought was mad sexy, showed up, then proceeded to dance with C.B. for a hot minute or two to my chagrin), then called it a night. By then it was 3:30 or so, and the rain hadn't returned yet--nor, of course, had it started to get light out, as it did the night before, when I didn't get home until 6:30 a.m. But more on that tomorrow, I think.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

If Nicole Kidman can bum the occasional cigarette, then so can I--and I shouldn't feel guilty about it.

So I snagged a copy of the just-released new version of The Joy of Gay Sex at work yesterday (courtesy of a thoughtful colleague), and I've been enthralled ever since. I've always been curious about the information and descriptions, both verbal and pictorial, contained within the book; now that I've had a chance to peruse them, they certainly don't disappoint. The pictures alone, an interesting collision between middle-school health-class imagery and a hard-core porn aesthetic, have titillated me enough, so much so that last night while I laid in bed reading the book, I ended up jacking off. I got that hot. (Not, it should be noted, that everything the book covers is hot. The sober explanations of the dangers of barebacking and other ill-advised yet popular gay male activities are enough to chop down any woodie.)

Still, The Joy of Gay Sex is mostly entertaining. It even caught the attention of a seemingly straight boy at the bar Welcome to the Johnsons last night, where I was showing the book to L.Ho and M-dash (who departed today to tour Europe for several weeks with a punk band). They were just as bowled over by it as I was. Back to the boy, though, I saw him steal several glances at it from across the narrow aisle separating us from him and his friends. Of course, I also saw him steal several glances at me. In fact, he touched my foot with his own once while returning to his seat from a bathroom break, in such a way that it could've been premeditated. Not that anything came (pun intended) from any of this, except an emboldened sense of mine of the possibility of seducing straight hipster boys. (And may I add here that the bartender there last night was my ideal type: tall, lanky, with black greasy longish hair that fell in his face, and a tightie-whitie waistband that kept peeking out of his pants whenever he extended his body. Yummy.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 0

Ugh, did you see the double coverage of blog culture in the Times yesterday? Both by Warren St. John, one on Elizabeth Spiers and my fave, Gawker; the other on blogs and bloggers in general, particularly those of the so-called "New York school" that St. John references in the Gawker piece. Totally atrocious and vomit-inducing all around.

Okay, well maybe not so much the Spiers article, although the bloggers mentioned in it (Jonathan Van Gieson, Lockhart Steele) are definitely obnoxious, pretentious, and, worst of all, boring. Van Gieson, for instance, who has only been blogging since December, perpetually refers to how "famous" he is, and how "exciting" he and his "famous" friends are, without the slightest trace of sarcasm or irony or self-deprecation. (Lockhart, at least, provides occasional scoops about goings-on in my neighborhood.) Can he really be so myopic and self-absorbed as to think that because he writes about himself he's somehow notable or worthy of attention? Isn't that taking the whole "I think, therefore I am" business a bit too far? It's not like the Times is an arbiter of cool, after all. They published a piece yesterday on trucker hats, which wannabe stylin' hipsters have been sporting for over a year and a half now. Pretty of the moment, eh?

But despite my love of Gawker, I have to say that Spiers seems to be getting a little too big for her britches. Reading articles like this one (not to mention her own constant self-promotion on the site) makes me wish that the concept of selling out never went out of vogue. If all the bloggers willingly interviewed in these two articles (Deirdre Clemente, Rick Bruner) aren't the definition of selling out, then I don't know what it means. And let's not forget the fact that for the most part, they're pretty bad blogs too.

Okay, blast off. For now. It's just shit like this really gets my goat. I never feel more out of step with my generation than when it comes to seemingly everyone's wild desire for publicity of any kind. Whatever happened to actually deserving attention because you were good at something, not because you demanded it, or sought it?

Anyway, in news of my own life, I had a wonderful set of beers in the cozy back garden of Iona in Williamsburg tonight with the married A. and A. and J-bird, none of whom I've seen in several weeks. It was so nice catching up with them and enjoying the pleasantly temperate weather, even though a tiny toy dog took a dump less than a foot from where we were sitting. It reminded me of the two toddlers who, with the assistance of their parents, took dumps onto mulch less than a few feet away from the group of us celebrating Edster's birthday yesterday afternoon in a park in Chelsea. That, of course, was much, much worse than the dog. At least his owner wasn't holding his forearms, pointing his ass to the ground, helping him to defecate in plain sight of people, as these parents were doing with their kids. Tactless.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

I got nicely drunk last night and ended up in the chat rooms of Gay.com at 3:15 in the morning, wondering what the hell I was doing. After all, I had just bragged to my shrink a mere few days earlier about a) not having had sex with anyone in almost three months (my escapade at Happy Ending notwithstanding) and b) not having gone online in a sex-related way in much longer. At least I had the gumption to refrain from meeting up with anyone, even though I was approached with participating in two separate threesomes, one with a 21-year-old. I knew they'd end up in disaster, so I allowed myself to take a pass. When I woke up this morning, I was so glad I did. Guess my therapy is working...

Still, I did meet one interesting guy, a Libra, whom I chatted with for quite some time and seemed to hit it off with. I've been dying to meet a guy of his astrological persuasion because it's my most compatible sign, and I've never not gotten along famously with a Libra. Anyway, we resolved to get together in person in the near future and see what happens, despite my dismal track record with converting online chemistry into its offline counterpart. We will see. He promised to call and, as yet, hasn't. Probably a good thing.

Had a fun time out on the town with Edster last night, whom I hadn't seen in awhile. We did the usual East Village bar crawl, which I haven't done in weeks, and were shocked to discover that Wonder Bar, fail-safe standby, was pretty dead for a Saturday night--especially for 12:30 a.m., when the joint is usually bumping. In fact, I've never seen as few people as were there last night. Which is not to say that it was deserted or anything, but that was almost the case. I waited for Edster to chat with some boring-looking acquaintances while I finished my drink and then we left for the Phoenix, where we also stayed for just one drink. Then it was back to the Slide/the Marquee for their High-Life/Low-Life party, produced by Danny Nardicio, where we had started the evening off a few hours earlier, when the fabulous bouncer let us in for free even though the cover was five bones at that point. I'd read in Page Six that Marc Jacobs and Pat Fields (who lives near the space on the Bowery) had shown up the week before, which made me feel like I was missing out on something. As I always say, at least to myself, if there's a scene, I want to be there, even if just to check it out.

And this party was definitely a scene. Edgy, electro-tinged dance music downstairs, which hipster rock-and-roll go-go boys were getting down to, and a live performance by the queer boy-fronted band Bullet upstairs, where host Sweetie was reigning free. There were sexy, entrancing, slightly threatening rocker boys galore, and I spotted Justin Bond in the crowd. (Later I bummed a smoke from Scotty the Blue Bunny, sans outfit, who apparently is involved in throwing the party. I regret not working him more so that I could ensure future free entries.) Although the age of most revelers seemed decidedly in the thirties--the adorable, fashionable mid-twenties gay boys so often seen in the East Village were few and far between, save for myself of course--the overall vibe made up for it. Which makes sense, when you consider the fact that most of them were around for the last significant flowering of the East Village scene, in the mid to late 90s, so they know how it's supposed to be. In any event, I'm planning to make this party a regular fixture of my nightlife schedule.

Earlier in the day I had gone to the Met, alone, where I caught the Thomas Struth photography show, which I had been jonesing to see, and the Manet/Velazquez exhibition, which was quite interesting if exhaustive (and exhausting). And I also, as is now customary, checked in on the remains of my favorite Egyptian mummy, Nany. I've been trying to write a poem about her for over a year now, and I'm happy to report that I was so inspired yesterday after seeing her that as soon as I got home, the words just spilled out of me, to the point where I now have a pretty good working draft of the poem. I'm thrilled, not least because I was beginning to think that my talent for writing poetry was beginning to fade away. Working and freelancing all the time (and planning to work on a book proposal and then not following through) are not particularly conducive to crafting personal creative visions.

As for Friday night, I stayed in, after seeing that new film Blue Car with some friends from work straight after work. It's really good. And tonight I'm going to stay in as well and watch the Masterpiece Theatre adaptation of Zadie Smith's White Teeth on PBS.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

So plugging that snapshot of La Zeta naked smoking has apparently driven my blog traffic through the roof--in fact, to heights I never thought my modest creation would ever reach. At first I thought the increased visitors were due to the blog's own merits--I thought perhaps some more famous blogger had discovered and linked to me--but then I noticed all the Google searches in my Sitemeter breakdown and realized the true reason. Not that I'm complaining. I'll take new readers any way I can, and hopefully keep some of them too. Just goes to show you that cigarettes ain't all bad.

Well, I made it through my mad week and on to La La Land, where I arrived a hair before midnight Thursday to visit my boy El Mar, whom I hadn't seen since he visited me here two months ago. We had the best time, even though, until Sunday, the weather was hardly representative of Southern California's famous sunny climate. But we persevered anyway, getting up at the crack of dawn Friday (after sleeping less than four hours) so that I could make my debut on talk radio as a guest on a morning drive-time show broadcast on the OutQ channel of the new Sirius satellite network, also available online. It went really well, and I look forward to more gigs in the future, possibly as a New York correspondent.

Later that day, after chilling and catching up on some sleep, we went to Santa Monica to have lunch with an old friend of mine from high school, whom I hadn't seen in almost five years, mostly because he basically disappeared as soon as he graduated from college. Then he was my rave buddy and drug guru; now he's a successful video game programmer with a chipped tooth who told me he made over $100,000 last year. I didn't protest when he offered to pick up the check.

That night we saw X2 with 9998 other people at this wonderful old-school, art-deco movie theater formerly owned by Fox in Westwood. I loved it, and the flick too. Then, while it poured out, we hit up the Pop Stars party at the West Hollywood club Ultra Suede with some of El Mar's friends (and some of their friends). It's basically like Pop Rocks here, but not nearly as cool (although Pop Rocks isn't all that either), yet El Mar paid no heed to my calls to go elsewhere as he was trying to, first, hook up with an HR employee at a new record label where he was trying to get a job and, second, hook up with an up-and-coming young agent at one of the top talent firms. (He's an actor, so sleeping around comes naturally to him.) He ended up going home with the latter, leaving me fairly drunk and alone. Somehow I managed to find the rental car (a convertible red Sebring, which I'd been upgraded to!) and drive back to his apartment a few blocks away.

The next morning we had brunch with the talk show host and an only-in-L.A. gaggle of his gay male friends (one of whom hugged me when we were introduced, then counseled me on the lessons of the Kabbalah) at a popular WeHo eat place. Then we hit up the main branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown (I'd been to see a Takashi Murakami-curated show a few visits ago at the Pacific Design Center), where we sighted Lucy Liu (and her tall, white boyfriend, along with members of her family). Next I hit up the vintage shops of Melrose, scoring a Judds 1991 farewell concert tour t-shirt and a Michael Bolton "Time, Love, & Tenderness" one for five bucks each. And that night we checked out ex-New Yorker Mario Diaz's Hot Dog party at the Parlour, where I had one of the best times I've had out in quite some time. Although the boys weren't nearly as cool, or as cute, as the ones I've come to expect to see here, the vibe and music (electro-y but not too electro-y, with plenty of classics thrown in for good measure) were unmatched.

On my last day there, Sunday, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, so we mostly just drove around with the top down, zigzagging through the Hollywood Hills on Mulholland Drive, which I'd never been on, and going out to Malibu, where I hadn't been before either. I forgot to put sunscreen on, so my face got a little burned, but the ride--and scenery--was totally worth it. And on the way back to El Mar's apartment, we made the requisite stop at the Kabbalah Centre in Beverly Hills, the very one Madonna studies at. The whole place radiated "cult" to me, but that didn't stop me from purchasing a bottle of Kabbalah water (slogan: "cleansing the soul") as a souvenir, as well as a piece of red string that cost me 20 bucks and supposedly, if worn properly, will protect me from evil. I hope so, because these days, we need all the protection we can get.
NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

So plugging that snapshot of La Zeta naked smoking has apparently driven my blog traffic through the roof--in fact, to heights I never thought my modest creation would ever reach. At first I thought the increased visitors were due to the blog's own merits--I thought perhaps some more famous blogger had discovered and linked to me--but then I noticed all the Google searches in my Sitemeter breakdown and realized the true reason. Not that I'm complaining. I'll take new readers any way I can, and hopefully keep some of them too. Just goes to show you that cigarettes ain't all bad.

Well, I made it through my mad week and on to La La Land, where I arrived a hair before midnight Thursday to visit my boy El Mar, whom I hadn't seen since he visited me here two months ago. We had the best time, even though, until Sunday, the weather was hardly representative of Southern California's famous sunny climate. But we persevered anyway, getting up at the crack of dawn Friday (after sleeping less than four hours) so that I could make my debut on talk radio as a guest on a morning drive-time show broadcast on the OutQ channel of the new Sirius satellite network, also available online. It went really well, and I look forward to more gigs in the future, possibly as a New York correspondent.

Later that day, after chilling and catching up on some sleep, we went to Santa Monica to have lunch with an old friend of mine from high school, whom I hadn't seen in almost five years, mostly because he basically disappeared as soon as he graduated from college. Then he was my rave buddy and drug guru; now he's a successful video game programmer with a chipped tooth who told me he made over $100,000 last year. I didn't protest when he offered to pick up the check.

That night we saw X2 with 9998 other people at this wonderful old-school, art-deco movie theater formerly owned by Fox in Westwood. I loved it, and the flick too. Then, while it poured out, we hit up the Pop Stars party at the West Hollywood club Ultra Suede with some of El Mar's friends (and some of their friends). It's basically like Pop Rocks here, but not nearly as cool (although Pop Rocks isn't all that either), yet El Mar paid no heed to my calls to go elsewhere as he was trying to, first, hook up with an HR employee at a new record label where he was trying to get a job and, second, hook up with an up-and-coming young agent at one of the top talent firms. (He's an actor, so sleeping around comes naturally to him.) He ended up going home with the latter, leaving me fairly drunk and alone. Somehow I managed to find the rental car (a convertible red Sebring, which I'd been upgraded to!) and drive back to his apartment a few blocks away.

The next morning we had brunch with the talk show host and an only-in-L.A. gaggle of his gay male friends (one of whom hugged me when we were introduced, then counseled me on the lessons of the Kabbalah) at a popular WeHo eat place. Then we hit up the main branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown (I'd been to see a Takashi Murakami-curated show a few visits ago at the Pacific Design Center), where we sighted Lucy Liu (and her tall, white boyfriend, along with members of her family). Next I hit up the vintage shops of Melrose, scoring a Judds 1991 farewell concert tour t-shirt and a Michael Bolton "Time, Love, & Tenderness" one for five bucks each. And that night we checked out ex-New Yorker Mario Diaz's Hot Dog party at the Parlour, where I had one of the best times I've had out in quite some time. Although the boys weren't nearly as cool, or as cute, as the ones I've come to expect to see here, the vibe and music (electro-y but not too electro-y, with plenty of classics thrown in for good measure) were unmatched.

On my last day there, Sunday, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, so we mostly just drove around with the top down, zigzagging through the Hollywood Hills on Mulholland Drive, which I'd never been on, and going out to Malibu, where I hadn't been before either. I forgot to put sunscreen on, so my face got a little burned, but the ride--and scenery--was totally worth it. And on the way back to El Mar's apartment, we made the requisite stop at the Kabbalah Centre in Beverly Hills, the very one Madonna studies at. The whole place radiated "cult" to me, but that didn't stop me from purchasing a bottle of Kabbalah water (slogan: "cleansing the soul") as a souvenir, as well as a piece of red string that cost me 20 bucks and supposedly, if worn properly, will protect me from evil. I hope so, because these days, we need all the protection we can get.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

Nothing like a swab stick shoved up a urethra to quash a libido. That's what happened to me on Friday when I went to have my STD treated at Callen-Lorde. After discussing my symptoms and the behavior that led to them, a very cute, strapping, thirtysomething male nurse asked me to pull down my jeans and underwear and then, er, sampled my penis with his cotton-topped wand. It hurt like hell; he told me to breathe. It reminded me of some of my experiences being fucked. And because I was totally crushing on the nurse the whole time I was in the examining room with him, I nearly got hard when I uncovered my dick. I tried my hardest not to.

Anyway, I haven't been able to stop thinking about him since then, but the important thing is that my little infection is no more. I still don't know what exactly I had--they haven't called me with the lab results yet--but I'm glad that whatever it is, it's gone.

I'm also glad--ecstatic actually--that I finished writing the two articles I had to do over the weekend. It was such a nightmare doing them at the same time, and I will make sure to never get myself caught in a similar bind again. The interviews were scheduled at the last possible moment (Saturday night, one before and one after the show they were connected to), leaving me only Sunday to take notes on the tapes and write the pieces in order to make their Monday deadlines. Turns out I was only able to get one in on time (for my regular gig), though the editor for the other one was totally cool and allowed me to turn it in today. But because I've been creatively blocked, as well as stuck at work late on deadline, I ended up getting up at 6:45 this morning to crank out the shit. Luckily it passed muster, despite the editor's fairly aggressive editing in certain parts. Which reminds me: he wants me to look it over and "restore my voice" if I feel that's necessary. Fuck my voice! I'm tired.

In other news, NBC and madonnarama.com have confirmed that American Life will debut at number one on the album chart tomorrow, which makes me happy. I watched the special Dateline interview with her tonight, and that made me happy too. When she strummed "Stairway to Heaven" on acoustic guitar, I almost died.

And last but not least, I found out today that I've been booked to appear on a gay talk radio show when I'm in L.A. on Friday! Well, it's not actually a radio show on the actual radio, but it is on the Web, which for now is good enough. Once I find out the details, like the exact time I'll be on, I'll post them here...

Thursday, April 24, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 9

I hope everyone got a chance to see the photos of a massively pregnant, smoking, topless Catherine Zeta Jones before they were taken down, apparently due to a cease-and-desist letter from her legal counsel. Her huge tits (and nipples!) glistening in the sun were classic. I was practically turned on! And the cigarette? A beautiful touch. I wonder why she didn't try to sell them to a tabloid...

As for the much-hyped new mag Radar, well, I managed to nab a copy last night after spying a whole row of them on a shelf in the tiny newsstand on one side of the passageway between the Rockefeller Center concourse and the 50th St. F train station. When I got home, I actually read it for two straight hours, and have been perusing it on and off ever since--I like it quite a lot. The cover story on monstrous celebs and other powermongers is hysterical!

And as for my under-hyped STD, I was able to schedule an appointment at the Sexual Health Clinic of Callen-Lorde tomorrow afternoon, just in time to be cured for my second date with T. (whom, you'll remember, I went out with three Wednesdays ago). We're getting sushi, and I can't wait.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 8

So remember my celebration of back room sex in my last post? Well, now that I think I have a fucking STD, I retract any such enthusiasm and, once again, renounce all sexual activity. That's right, I think one (or more) of the guys I blindly gave myself to at Happy Ending last week gave back in kind and rewarded me with an infection in my wee-wee. Thankfully it's not that nasty, but it has me upset--and slightly uncomfortable--just the same. This marks my second such situation, after contracting crabs back in college (I actually got it twice from the same guy). When I was writing the other day, I was going to make a crack about how the back room seemed like the perfect way to spread SARS; ironically--and unfortunately--I forgot about other more common contagious diseases. (And no, I don't have genital warts.)

Anyway, I'm going to try to make it to the Callen-Lorde Center tomorrow or Friday and take advantage of my newly acquired health insurance, which recently kicked in, by getting this shit sorted. Aside from maintaining my health, it's especially important that I get rid of this motherfucker because I have to be in tip-top shape this weekend: I have two articles to write, on the same topic, for two different rags, from two different angles. (One is for my steady gig, the other is for a new one for me.) Luckily the editors have been very understanding about the matter--as they should be, considering it's not my fault they both assigned me the same damn story. But even though it's a bit of a nightmare all around (mostly because I'm going to have to work all weekend long), it's also a bit flattering, I have to admit. And I think I'm up to the challenge.

In other news, I got Madonna's new set yesterday and LOVE it. I don't care what the naysayers (read: straight white men) say, American Life is hot--even if that does make me sound like every other fag in the world.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 6

Pretty good on the smoking tip, eh? And looks like smooth sailing ahead, as I'm not expecting to hang out with any of my smoking friends for the next few days.

So I made myself dinner tonight for the first time in ages. Ever since I moved into this joint almost two years ago, I've gone out to eat or gotten take-out (or ordered in) practically every night, and maybe two or three times I heated up some soup. But actually cook something? No. Lately, though, I've been getting sick of that routine, plus I've been trying to batten down the hatches in regards to my eating habits (with the warm weather coming on, I got to tone up), so I thought I'd pick up some organic eggs and cheese from the organic grocery store on Ludlow St. and make myself a nice, carb-free omelette. Which is what I did, and I was proud of myself. But I also managed to cut my right thumb opening the bottle of olive oil (for the skillet), which only reminded me of why I don't cook. At least no blood ended up in the omelette, thank God.

Afterwards, I watched the American Idol special, so I was finally able to catch up on all the contestants. (Now that the show airs at 8 on Tuesdays, I can never watch it due to my therapy session.) Kimberley and Clay are still my faves, but I'm perplexed as to why innuendoes and jokes about the latter's supposed straightness persist. Can't everyone tell he's just a big fag--literally (he's so tall!)? I mean, I know nothing as bold as his coming out could happen, but must everyone involved with the show conspire so conspicuously to obfuscate his sexuality (especially when two of the players, host Ryan Seacrest and judge Simon Cowell, are so obviously gay themselves)?

In other Idol news, I heard Kelly Clarkson's new single tonight and dug it.

Anyway, as I mentioned previously, I took three days off in my increasingly busy life to go home for Easter and chill like the villain I am. It was so restful, though not, of course, long enough to be truly restorative. It was also good to see the folks, and the weather was so warm that my bro and I tooled around Galveston Bay in my dad's convertible Mazda Miata (a 10-years-too-late mid-life crisis present to himself). After going to the two hour-plus Easter liturgy Saturday night, our big plans were to go the Dairy Queen and get Blizzards. Fun! Welcome to suburbia...

On the scandalous tip, Marvelous and I made our return to the Happy Endings party at Happy Ending last Tuesday and had a great time, despite the fact that the bitchy, out-of-it door girl tried to charge us ten bucks to get in even though the e-mail clearly stated the cover was five before 11 p.m. (She tried to do something similar the last time we were there, in late fall.) Bitter cold winter temperatures aside, I don't know why we hadn't gone back sooner: free drinks til midnight; groovy, mood-setting tunes; the cutest, sleaziest, coolest crowd of any current gay party; and oodles of commitment-free, anonymous sex in a dark steamy cube covered in square tiles. I loved it!

Last time I was there, I hooked up with two guys; this time, I technically only hooked up with one, but several others either touched or sucked my dick, backed up against the wall in the sardine can-like space as I was. It was truly liberating. Due to the pitch blackness, I couldn't tell what my paramour looked like, but I could hear him all right--he kept saying "Give it to me," which at first I took to mean that he wanted me to shove my finger up his ass. Only later did I realize he actually wanted to shove his dick up my ass--not that I let him do it. (The condom he was wearing should've been a giveaway.) I could, however, tell that he was a hottie, so that pleased me. We had a pleasurable tete-a-tete, which was only slightly interrupted when another, equally mysterious man sucked me off. Then guy no. 1 and I continued at it for a little while longer, until I decided I was fully spent and pulled my jeans up and buttoned them. I walked out of the back room area, bummed a smoke (that's right, smoking is still allowed there), and waited for Marvelous to appear. When he did, he told me he had yet to cum, which is usually his problem in these situations. I guess that's what happens when you're in a committed relationship like he is, albeit it with someone who lives across the country.

Monday, April 21, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 5

Just a short post for now to let you know that I haven't vanished or anything. Well, actually, I did vanish, from the city at least--I was chilling with the 'rents in Houston for the past three days for the Easter holiday, and just got home about a half hour ago. I'm zonked, as you can imagine, and am about to down some Excedrin PMs and hit the hay. I promise a more detailed entry shortly, filled with sex and career progress!

Monday, April 14, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 5

So I'm totally exhausted--my normal Monday night condition--and I haven't started on the article I'm supposed to write, which I had intended to begin working on as soon as I got home around 6:30, in an ambitious attempt to actually get a head start on something for once in my life. Instead, I sat around reading Instinct for hours, which I happened to come across while I was searching in vain for the new Radar. (I was told by the newsstand vendor that it would be out on Wednesday.) I haven't flipped through a copy of Instinct in quite some time, and I have to say, it's really improved. I've always thought it was funny, irreverent, and readable--much cooler than a mag like Out (though obviously less respectable)--but now it seems like it's a bit more professional than it used to be. And it's thicker and glossier. It all makes me want to send them my clips, despite suspecting that I might be compromised by writing for them. Still, I don't know how a no-name like Ned Stresen-Reuter made it onto the cover, aside from the fact that he's roomies with Instinct contributor Craig Chester.

If I couldn't rouse myself to work, though, at least I ordered in a healthy dinner of steamed tofu with basil, carrots, and snowpeas. (Too bad I also ordered the Vietnamese spring rolls, which contained some strange mystery meat-like substance I didn't particularly care for.) I've been veering dangerously far from my anti-carb stance lately, and I need to get serious again. And, considering I haven't been to a gym in more than a year, I'm going to start doing crunches in the morning. Plus I learned in Instinct how to tighten up my ass, so I'm going to try some of those exercises too. I might even buy some free weights! (Editor's note: I'm not fat.)

Oh, and the new Marc Jacobs jeans I rocked today? LOVED them.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 4

Today I did my part to usher in the warm weather by having an absolutely glorious day outside with my girl A., the one who recently got married. We haven't had quality time like we had this afternoon in ages, and it was so nice. It felt the way it used to feel when we would hang out two years ago, back in the spring and summer of 2001, when I still lived in Brooklyn (Greenpoint, to be exact) down the street from her, and she hadn't started seeing A., who eventually became her husband.

We met up in Soho, then took off straightaway to the Marc Jacobs enclave at Bleecker and W. 11th, where my newly hemmed jeans were waiting. (They only make them in a length 34, thus necessitating alterations for nearly everyone except sample-sized models, a species to which I do not belong.) We took our sweet little time meandering up Sixth Avenue and then along Bleecker, chatting away the whole time--even while it took forever for the sales boy to, first, locate my jeans and, second, to give them to me once they were found. I noticed that he, apparently a part of the sample-size ilk, had a very taut, pert ass, the kind you can ricochet quarters off of. (He also had a perfectly sculped torso, which I glimpsed through his sheer shirt.) Were it not for his glazed eyes, which gave away the fact that nobody was home upstairs, and his generic cuteness, I would've been impressed. What was impressive, though, was that he didn't make me pay for the alteration, normally a $15 charge. A. said that it was probably 'cause it took so long, but, at my prompting, she also said it was plausible that he just thought I was cute.

Instead of venturing to Magnolia for a cupcake afterwards, as we had planned, we went for a bite to eat at Petit Abeille, the cutest little Belgian cafe, directly across 14th St. from Pastis. We laid low there for awhile, then made our way back to Magnolia where, horror of horrors, they were temporarily out of yellow-cake cupcakes--A. doesn't eat the chocolate ones. So we kept wandering down Bleecker, finally coming across a gourmet ice cream shop, the name of which fails me now, and we ducked inside, ice cream striking us as an even better idea on a beautiful early spring day than a cupcake.

After indulging (she in chocolate sorbet, me in a fresh batch of tiramisu ice cream), we ended up in Washington Square Park, where we took in the scene for about an hour, still talking, commenting on the seemingly infinite variety of dogs (and dog owners) on display everywhere. We wondered whether there was a scientific explanation for a dog's desire to sniff another dog's ass. Then we walked up Broadway, stopped by the Strand (where I picked up a vintage copy of Tama Janowitz's Slaves of New York, complete with an early '80s graphic design scheme), then saw A. off at the L train. I nipped into the Virgin Megastore, listened to a bunch of CDs, and bought the new Turin Brakes' album Ether Song, which I've played three times already. It's awesome.

Anyway, today made up for not doing anything yesterday, aside from conducting a quickie phone interview for the latest piece I'm working on for the gay rag (my deadline, fortunately, was extended until Thursday) and reading more ZZ Packer stories. Was supposed to hang out at night with Edster and Dubya, a new friend I'm testing out, but our plans succumbed to their flakiness. And Friday? Well, Friday was apparently Indian pride day for me, as I went to lunch with my colleagues at a new Indian joint in Murray Hill that the mag I work for reviewed; to see the movie Bend It Like Beckham, about a female Indian-English soccer player, with my Indian friend A., after work; and, finally, for drinks to Barramundi, which is Indian in name if not in decor or vibe. As my brother put it, that's just the kind of culturally aware guy that I am.

Friday, April 11, 2003

NOTE: By the way, it looks like my archives are all messed up again; please bear with me as I try to figure out how to fix them.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

Well, I'm totally zonked after busting my ass all day long at the mag, checking gossip column and party page shit, trying not to think about the article for the gay rag that's technically due tomorrow, which I haven't even started working on yet. (It was, however, assigned to me exceptionally late in the week.) I'm allowed to turn it in Saturday if I want, an option I'll have to take advantage of now--that is, if my subject calls me back. I left word on cell and landline earlier and she/he (a sometime drag queen) hasn't deigned to call me back yet. Writing every single week for them has become a bit overwhelming, especially when I'm working on my own, albeit short, article for my day job.

Another reason I'm exhausted is the coke binge with Court, Lazy, and J-bird at my apartment last night, after catching the Dopo Yume show at Bowery Ballroom. (They opened for OK Go, whom I had heard were good--seems like they have so much buzz right now--but who in fact aren't. Basically a frat band masquerading as an indie rock outfit. Dopo Yume, though, were the real thing. They rocked!) I did so many lines I lost track of them, and when the gang departed close to 2 a.m., I had a hard time falling asleep. No surprise, considering I was fucked up and my body was buzzing, but still. Eventually I drifted off, thank God, and managed to sleep the poison off, though when I woke up this morning, it hadn't entirely left my system. Didn't really until almost lunch.

Also had a date last night with this guy I met at a friend's house party a few weeks ago. He's older (33) and corporate (although he was an actor in his twenties), but well-educated and talkative. And he's taller and stronger than me, which I like. He was so cool, in fact, that when I accidentally flung most of the beer out of my glass--and all over the table and floor--less than 10 minutes after being there (don't ask), he didn't bat an eyelash. Instead, he laughed and suggested that we move tables. Maybe if I had gotten more than just a few drops on his knee, he would've reacted differently, but I won't question the reaction I got. He e-mailed me today saying he had a great time, commenting on how charming the combination of my "smarts" and "feistiness" was. Get a load of that! Older fellows have always appreciated me more than my peers...

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 4

So my blog was discovered by a new friend of mine, the purveyor of his own blog--which means he's the only reader, as far as I can tell, who knows my identity. (Well, actually, I can think of one other, but I deliberately met him once.) Not that it would be that hard for anyone to suss it out, considering how thinly veiled the renderings of my life herein often are. It makes me think that maybe I should just drop my attempt at anonymity and come clean, especially since my adventures don't seem nearly as scandalous as they once were. Maybe they never were.

I saw the televised Cher concert tonight, and that was fun. I forget what an amazing career she's had, and even though she's a nut, she's still an icon. God love her. Watching the show, I remembered I own a vintage Cher album on which she covered all these diverse songs, including Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." Seems an incompatible choice, but she really rocks it. I can't believe how many fags were in the audience, though, cheering and making fools out of themselves. It seemed like every guy there was gay. God love them.

Therapy group was strange tonight. Still getting used to the new member, a 41-year-old guy who lives with his partner of eight years in Westchester. They're about to adopt a baby girl. The chemistry is a little off, so I hope it comes around. The 34-year-old wasn't at the meeting, and I missed his presence, not only because we've become friends over the last several months, but also because he's closer to me in spirit (and age!) than the other two guys. Sometimes I feel like the group is merely a forum for the pedestrian gripes of middle-aged suburbanites, and that's so definitely not what I signed up for.

Anyway, I'm zonked, and I want to read some more of ZZ Packer's new (and only) book of short stories Drinking Coffee Elsewhere...

Sunday, April 06, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

Still trying to get back into the routine of posting here after my mini-sabbatical. As usual, I'm starting to mourn the loss of my Sunday, as the minutes tick away towards midnight, and then to the beginning of the work week. Ugh. I did nothing today except read the Times, which I haven't done so thoroughly in a long time, and watch The Simpsons and Alias, which was a repeat of an episode I hadn't seen guest-starring my baby Ethan Hawke. It was so good. I also happened to catch this new show on Fox called Oliver Beene, which follows The Simpsons, while I was fussing around on the Internet and, to my great surprise, discovered that the best friend of the 11-year-old title character is a budding fag! In fact, the episode tonight centered on the two boys' finding a straight porn magazine, at which the gay boy turned his nose up in disgust! Isn't that great?

Yesterday, I did almost nothing as well. Somehow I managed to sleep in til 4, then putzed around the apartment for the rest of the day and evening (and bear in mind, my apartment is about 200 square feet, so there's not much room to putz around in the fullest sense of the phrase), catching up on some magazines lying around and watching TV, including this awesome old documentary on MGM movie musicals on PBS. I also watched SNL and read this week's New Yorker cover to cover. Scintillating, I know--if I were a slug!

At least I had a productive week, pitching story ideas and firming up relationships, and writing another article for the gay weekly I've been contributing to. And Friday night, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I went to the opening of Andy Horwitz's Potty Mouth, directed by a member of my therapy group. It was good, much tighter than the last time I saw it, but what was really good was my bringing this new guy in my life, Dubya. He's a friend of El Mar's whom I've briefly hung with once or twice in the past, but then I ran into him at my boy Edster's housewarming party last Saturday (he just moved into an impressive duplex in Chelsea), and we totally cliqued, hanging out together the whole party. We ended up e-mailing all week, and then I invited him out Friday, to see the show and to get drinks with Andy and other assorted hangers-on (like ourselves) afterwards. It was fun up until he said he was tired and was going to go home, despite my offer for him to stay at my place, which, conveniently, was a mere 10-minute walk away from Urge, the site of said drinks. He declined, but when he got home, he sent me a highly effusive e-mail, thanking me for a great time. Is another date in the offing, or will he just become my latest partner in crime? Too soon to tell, I guess.

Friday, April 04, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

Don't have time to fully post--I'm going to the opening of Andy Horwitz's Potty Mouth at the Marquee in a few--but wanted to link to the Salon.com exclusive bootleg copy of Madonna's spiked video for "American Life," which I discovered via Gawker. You have to watch a dumb-ass ad first (unless you actually have a paid subscription to Salon), but it's worth it, 'cause the video is cool. Pretty grainy, though, and seems to have more than a few gaps in it. Still, you get a good sense of what Madonna was trying to do. And, hearing the song in its entirety for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised: it's better than I thought it was going to be. In fact, I dig it. Conrad Ventur, electroclash guru Larry Tee's boyfriend and business partner, told me earlier this week that Madge's next single is called "Hollywood," and apparently it's dope, straight-up electro. Can't wait...

Thursday, April 03, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 0

Leave it to me to screw up taking advantage of the smoking ban, which I had hoped would help me not smoke, by smoking anyway. I just got back from XL, where I passed a posse of smokers on my way out the door and managed to not bum a cigarette. But earlier this evening, as my boy Marvelous and I were leaving a Chelsea television studio after waiting in line for an hour to sit in the audience for a taping of the Graham Norton show (on BBC and BBC America) only to not get a seat, I bummed a smoke from one of the walkie-talkie assistants simply because he asked me a question. Isn't that sick? Normally it's the reverse: I would bum a smoke at the bar and not even think to snag one at a non-bar. What's wrong with me?

Anyway, I know I've basically vanished from this blog for a few weeks now (two-and-a-half weeks to be precise), but I'm back in business, at least for the time being. I was kind of shocked to find that no one wrote to inquire about my well-being until yesterday, when a very nice, avid, anonymous reader e-mailed to see if I was okay. (Thank you for asking.) No one else did, though, which I have to say I find a bit troubling. The simple explanation for my absence is that I've been tremendously busy with work, houseguests (after El Mar, my ex-boyfriend, who seems to become more boring with time, came to visit for five days two weeks ago), and freelance writing (I'm in the process of writing my fourth article in four weeks for the gay weekly), and the last thing I've wanted to do in my down time is anything that requires too much effort, like this blog.

But now that I'm back in the saddle again (and hello, I hope that Urban Cowboy stays on Broadway long enough for me to see Matt Cavanaugh ride the mechanical bull!), it doesn't feel too bad.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

NOTE: I tried to post this much earlier today, but Blogger was malfunctioning.

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

I've got to dash off for my friend Nangstarr's art opening in Williamsburg--it's her first solo show--but wanted to try and post first. Unfortunately, I don't have that much to say as I totally wasted the day sleeping. I don't know what my problem is that I slept for nearly 14 hours last night! I woke up at 12:30 p.m., ready to face the day, but instead, I went to the bathroom, turned all the lights in my apartment on, and then got back into bed, planning to just lie there a little longer before getting up for real and doing my thing. Of course, I fell right back asleep and didn't wake until almost 4. Some day, huh? I'd been hoping to take advantage of the warm weather by going over to the Marc by Marc Jacobs shop on Bleecker St. and buying a new pair of jeans, followed by a cupcake at Magnolia on the other side of the corner. Now I'll have to do it tomorrow. At least the weather's supposed to be even higher then: 59, possibly even 60 degrees!

Wednesday night I went to see the play Fifth of July, starring Parker Posey and Robert Sean Leonard, with L.Ho, M-dash, and Court. It totally blew us away. The Lanford Wilson play, first staged in the late '70s, tells the story of several friends, former '60s radicals at Berkeley, who reunite on the Fourth of July holiday only to have a more personal kind of fireworks display go off between them. Leonard was brilliant, and Posey had more star power than the rest of the cast combined. But every performance was good, and the overall effect was quite powerful. There's nothing like great theater to really inspire and invigorate you--especially when you're in the front row, as we were. (If we wanted to, we could've grabbed a smoldering cigarette from an ashtray on the stage.) Afterwards, we headed down to the bar Revival near Union Square, where a bunch of exhibitionist, ugly middle-agers were slapping each other on the asses and smoking cigs clasped between people's toes. It was disgusting, and distracting. Somehow we managed to have a conversation anyway.

Thursday night I worked on an article for the gay weekly, doing the interviews and writing up the text. I turned it in Friday morning and my editor loved it. (I thought it was pretty good too.) Then he assigned me another piece due this Friday. As I've mentioned, with the huge pay cut I'm taking at my new job, I'm short some 200-300 bucks a month. If I have to write a story a week for the gay weekly, which pays terribly, to make up the difference, that's what I have to do.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

Gawker is my latest online reading fix, which I turn to after the Times, Romenesko, mediabistro.com, various local, national, and international newspapers, the Observer (depending on the day), Drudge, Page Six, and some others. And I can't forget my precious blogs, only a few of which I'm still reading, in part because a few of my faves have gone on "hiatus" and in part because I've lost interest in a few of the others. Eh. All good things must come to an end sometime. Or not.

I feel much better about the state of my finances today after receiving an e-mail from my mom counseling me to keep my apartment and after my therapist said I was "directing my energy" very well and being extremely proactive in considering a plan of action. He also dismissed El Mar's advice that I give up my apartment as just that, advice, and not Truth or anything, which especially improved my mood as El Mar's the one who got me in such a tizzy telling me to move--a suggestion, I should note, that no one else has made.

I forgot to post that I saw the hot-thing actor Michael Pitt on the downtown 6 train Friday night going home from the Whitney. He got in at Grand Central, but I forgot where he got off. He was wearing boring khaki pants, sneakers, and a nondescript shirt and jacket, and he was reading what I'd like to assume was a script. He looked directly into my eyes when he stepped on.

Monday, March 10, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

Easy does it. That's one of the three slogans of many a 12-step group, such as Al-Anon or Debtors Anonymous, both of which my best friend happens to attend. (The other two slogans are "keep it simple" and "let go, let God.") She told me that saying over the weekend, when I was describing the extent of the financial crisis I've inadvertently fallen into with this atrociously low new salary I'm making at the magazine. Easy does it, she said. Don't make any rash decisions. Suss the situation out and see what happens. All of which makes sense to me; in fact, they're principles I tend to abide by in my life in general. But it meant a lot to me when she counseled me to take it easy, because at the time, I was on the verge of apoplexy from intensely meditating on the state of my financial affairs, desperately trying to figure out how to make this shit work. My best friend has always been brilliant and she's in the process of becoming a brilliant filmmaker, but she was especially brilliant in talking to me about everything, giving me some great ideas but, more importantly, some great support. I've felt much better about everything since our conversation.

Well, I've run the numbers a million times now and the verdict is that if I cut way back on my expenses (including, sadly, my therapy--after all, what's more important, not being insane or not being homeless?), I should be able to survive for the indefinite future, even paying the exorbitant rent I pay. It won't be pretty, but it's doable. And that's not including any extra money I can plausibly make writing for the mag or freelance writing for others. However, if it turns out that I can't ultimately swing it, then I'll just have to give up my apartment, despite my great love for it. There's no shortage of rooms for rent in two- or three-bedroom apartments in Manhattan neighborhoods I want to live in for $800 or $900 a month--for example, at El Mar's place, where there's a decent chance I can get in. To my mind, that's the best possible scenario at this point. Interestingly enough, though, after almost having a coronary when I told him how low the salary was, my pop intimated that he might try to help me out a little. We'll see. In the meantime, if anyone wants to make any donations, let me know. I'm serious. It's not like I'm getting paid to pour my sometimes scintillating, sometimes prosaic thoughts out like this, you know.

In other, less depressing news, El Mar returned to the West Coast in the early morning today after a whirlwind five-night stay in the city. We had a great time, even though I thought we might come to blows at a few points. I love him to death, but sometimes he drives me crazy. Our nightly itinerary for the duration of his visit went something like this:

Wednesday night: Bar d'O

Thursday night: Ryan McGinley and Spencer Product's Hot Monkey/Hot Ass party at Ivy South, followed by Metropolitan (both in Williamsburg)

Friday night: Ryan McGinley show (which sucked) and Diller + Scofidio show (which blew me away) at the Whitney, followed by Formika's Area 10009 party at Opaline, then Wonder Bar, Phoenix, and the Cock

Saturday night: party for El Mar at Barramundi, followed by the Slide, then Wonder Bar and Starlight

Sunday night: The Rambles party (at the Park), followed by B Bar, where Avenue D, El Mar's fave band, were performing (though I didn't stay to catch them due to the overwhelmingly annoying scenesters assembled, the worst such crowd I may have ever seen; also, I don't really like Avenue D)

The only major scandal was that Thursday night, after getting super-trashed, I ended up bringing this guy whom I met at Ivy South (and who actually used to live in the building immediately adjacent to mine, and who knew at least two people that I knew) home with me, despite the fact that El Mar was sleeping on the couch about three inches from my bed. The guy and I had sex, of course, while poor El Mar closed his eyes and tried not to move for fear of us hearing. Apparently we got it on for almost an hour and a half before I came and passed out, during which time El Mar was wide awake, hearing every little detail--details he took major pleasure in telling EVERYONE about in the days after. The whole thing was a really bad job on my part--I shouldn't have done it--and I was royally embarrassed, even though I'm a sexually open person. It was just plain rude, and I totally violated the golden rule, considering that I would never have wanted to be in El Mar's position. The sensible thing to do would've been to not hook up in the first place, but, failing that, I should've at least gone back to his place. Thank God the drama eventually blew over--El Mar, to his credit, was barely fazed, and our friends, to their credit, thought the whole thing was fucking hysterical and nothing more.

Anyway, needless to say, I'm wiped out, and now I'm going to sleep.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

But the smoke was entirely justified--I was officially hired at the magazine yesterday! Woo hoo! And in addition to all of the nice perks that come with being permanent, such as benefits, relative job security, and a masthead mention, I get business cards, which I've never had before (at least not from an employer--I have my own that I did myself). I'm totally psyched. El Mar and I cracked open the bottle of Veuve Clicquot I've had for nearly a year (I got it as a going-away present from the last magazine I worked at), poured it into the Cartier champagne flutes (also a going-away present) I'd been dying to christen, and downed it all while watching American Idol. It was just like old times. Later we grabbed a drink at Bar d'O with his old college friend (and sometime object of my affection) D. and his roomie F. That's when the smoking occurred. It felt well-deserved.

The bad news, as I discovered today, is that my salary is only 26K, a 10K decrease from what I'm currently making as a freelancer. (Only in the magazine biz!) Needless to say, this is quite a bit less than what I need to survive on, especially with the mad expensive rent I have to pay on my cushy l'il pad. I spent the whole day conceptualizing contingency plans and reworking my monthly budget in my head, trying to figure out how to make this financial disaster work. Basically, if I drastically sacrifice and cut corners (and if my parents are willing to resume "sponsoring" me, at least to a small degree), I think I can do it. The only saving grace is that I get paid $1 to a $1.75 a word for any articles I write for the mag, and I already have my second one assigned already. Plus I have my fairly steady, if paltry, income from the gay weekly I've been writing for. If I can just start writing regularly somewhere else too--or start hustling again (just kidding)--that would make a world of difference.

Either that, or I'm going to have to give up my place. El Mar's decided to move back to the city at the end of the summer and return to his old apartment on Waverly Place, which he's been subleasing out, so maybe I can move into one of the three bedrooms there, provided that someone moves out. Or maybe I can move in with my bro uptown; his roomie's graduating from law school in the spring, so he's gonna need another mate. If I had to choose between living with people or living outside of Manhattan, I'd much rather live with people, even though I hate that. I couldn't bear to move to an outer borough.

Anyway, any magnanimous financial professionals or lawyers interested in donating to my charity?

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

So El Mar makes his return to New York in less than eight hours, after living in L.A. for the past seven months. He's only here until Monday, though, and then he goes back to Cali. Staying with me the whole time, which will be nice, even though we're sure to get on each other's nerves. The best thing is that I expect to have plenty of nightlife hijinks to report on over the next few days, considering that this is my former partner in crime--and let me be the first to say that this blog could use them. I spent most of the night cleaning up my rathole of a place; sadly to say, it really needed it. I'm not much of a cleaner. It's not much of an Aquarius trait.

Speaking of things Aquarian, my beautiful tattoo is beginning to peel. I know this is a normal part of the tattooing process, but I'm somewhat scared that my tattoo is going to be ruined. It can't be, can it? I love it too much for it to vanish...

Sunday, March 02, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 0

Eh, so I've fallen off the wagon in a major way again, having smoked the past three nights, even though I've been feeling slightly ill and have been trying to not get really ill. Luckily, despite the smoke, I've managed to thwart any impending sickness. At least for now.

Tonight we resumed book club after a two-and-a-half month hiatus, minus two members, but with our reading spirit intact, possibly even intensified. We'd read The Alienist by Caleb Carr, a bestseller in the early 1990s and a much more mass-market novel than we typically read. We met at Puck Fair in keeping with the 19th-century, old New York vibe of the book--notwithstanding the highly contemporary pop music the pub was blasting. It was the perfect occasion to show off my brand-new tattoo to Ashes, Court, J-bird, and A.J.

That's right, I finally got my much-anticipated tattoo!!! It happened last night, totally on the spur of the moment, when L.Ho, M-dash, and I stopped by New York Adorned (owned by a member of punk band Bouncing Souls and the place L'il Kim and my friend G-spot got their tattoos) on Second Avenue after checking out photographer Aaron Cobbett's opening up in Chelsea--and after snagging some stellar, priced-to-move merchandise at the DDC Lab sample sale. (I've always wanted to own something by that ultra-expensive label, and now I do!) Originally we'd planned to just scope out the tattoo artist books and to schedule an appointment for me later in the week. But then M-dash started jonesing to get an ear piercing of hers redone, and then she did it, so I was like, what the fuck, let me just get my tat now too. I wanted to seize the moment. Fortuitously, one of the artists I liked was just finishing up a job on someone else, so 15 minutes later, I was in the back, getting inked. L.Ho had already designed the image--a cartoony, stylized Aquarius sign--so the guy just traced it right below my left shoulder, then fired up the needle. It barely hurt, and less than a half hour later, I was the proud owner of a new body decoration. When I looked at it in the mirror, I was so thrilled. "It looks like a superhero symbol," I fairly shouted. "That's because you are a superhero, aren't you," the tattoo artist replied.

I could've kissed him. And he did have a point.

Friday, February 28, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 6

Well, actually, I smoked four earlier tonight, but until then, I hadn't smoked for six days, which is pretty good.

I know many of you, faithful readers, may have feared I dropped off the face of the earth this past week and a half (not that I got any concerned e-mails or anything), but the truth of the matter is that my landline phone service was temporarily restricted because I hadn't paid my bill for several weeks, so I couldn't connect to the Internet. I could at work, of course, but I don't like to update my blog where people can see me, so I refrained from doing so. Know that you were all on my mind, though. I missed you terribly. And now that I've finally been getting regular paychecks at work--not to mention the fact that I'm going to be hired officially in a matter of days (I've been freelancing, remember)--Verizon should never be able to interrupt me from my blogging again.

Anyway, I'm a bit drunk (from happy hour at Barrage with Edster earlier), a bit sick, and a bit tired, so I'm going to sign off. More news tomorrow, for sure.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

Nothing stellar to report today. Work went fine, much better than expected actually. Group therapy was fine too, though I noticed again that I've been feeling disengaged with the whole thing lately. I almost voiced my discontent but then decided not to. I think I might bring it up during my solo session next week. Notably, I realized again that I'm just not that interested in what the fortysomething gay dad has to say anymore. He's always talking about the same issues, and though he's making progress in resolving them, I'm kind of sick of hearing about them. My shrink always asks us for our reactions to things group members say, and I just don't have any new reactions. Plus, when the father talks about things not directly related to his issues or our group--things like his self-described arduous commute home last Friday--I'm bored to tears. Of course, I'm sure he sometimes, or frequently, feels the same way about me, so whatever.

I also got into a bit of a friendly tiff with my shrink towards the end of the session about the difference between our worldviews and our perspective on things. He actually praised me for confronting him, which is one of the things that therapists do that I find so amusing. I told him essentially that we were of different generations (he's in his late 50s) and had different senses of the politics that frame gay culture, and that in general I thought he was more conservative than me, which often colored his assessment of my opinions or predicaments. The situation was provoked by a discussion of commitment and its definitions--I basically said that I didn't see myself ever being with the same person for my whole entire life, that I was more of a serial monogamist at heart and that I expected to have several meaningful long-term relationships over the long haul. In his response to that comment, I thought I detected a bit of criticism, that what I had just said somehow opposed commitment. Anyway, we hashed it out in the few minutes we had left, we reached a kind of middleground, and everything was fine.

And the fortysomething father? He didn't seem to get what I was talking about at all and proposed that when I was older, I would want to live together with someone for the rest of the time I was alive, which was his ideal kind of relationship. He's definitely not the brightest bulb I've ever met.

Monday, February 17, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

If we're having a whiteout, how come I'm not getting high off the fumes?

As much as I'm sick of all the snow we've had this winter, I managed to enjoy this blizzard, at least today. Yesterday, when I woke up in D.C. to a foot of snow, all my social engagements for the day obviously cancelled, not having a hat or a sensible pair of shoes with me, I was less than thrilled. I was staying at the apartment of my ex-boyfriend (of four years ago) on Capitol Hill, and we trudged our way to one of the main drags there to have brunch, then trudged back to his place, where I quickly packed my shit. Then we left again and walked 30 minutes to Union Station in Antarctica-like conditions so that I could catch a train back here. It was total chaos, but I ended up on a train 10 minutes after arriving. Nearly seven hours later, after sitting for almost an hour in pitch blackness at the Philly station (chief among several interruptions) and having to weather the inane, boring chatter of my fellow passengers, who were more than a little stir crazy, I disembarked at Penn Station. Usually the trip takes three hours. It was just starting to snow hard in the city, and as the cab inched its way down to my apartment, I couldn't help but smile at the true winter wonderland beginning to take shape before my eyes.

I was in D.C. for my friends A. and A.'s wedding on Saturday, my foremost social obligation of the weekend, but I was also planning on seeing three old friends of mine during the day on Sunday before leaving. Ashes and J-bird and I roadtripped down Friday night in Ashes's sporty red car, getting to J-bird's 'rents place in the Virginia 'burbs around 1 a.m. (We'd left the city late, and had to drop one of Ashes's friends off in D.C. on the way.) We had a lot of fun chilling on the massive leather sectional in the basement (J-bird's dad is a heart surgeon, so the house was appropriately grand as well as luxuriously outfitted), watching cable and devouring food and wine. We got totally smashed and fell asleep.

In the morning, we took our sweet little time getting ready for the wedding and watched the middle portion of the movie crazy/beautiful, which was surprisingly good. It was nice to check out Jay Hernandez in action, an actor I'd pitched several times at a former job to no avail until a top talent agent told my editors' that he was the shit. Total hotness. Eventually we made it to the ceremony, which was minimalist, unorthodox, and completely contemporary. It took place in a Quaker meeting house in Dupont Circle, and I was blown away by the beauty of it all. Perfect flakes of snow fell in the giant square windows while A. and A. exchanged vows, and I couldn't keep my eyes from welling up. Ashes was so overcome that she practically choked at one point and accidentally blew snot rockets into the pew in front of her. Luckily no one was hurt.

The reception afterwards was equally unadorned, and I continued to be touched, especially when A. asked me to dance, making me one of the few guys other than A. or her relatives to be so honored. The whole experience was truly moving. I hadn't been to a wedding since the '80s, when my aunt and uncle were hitched, so the event was a major eye-opener for me. I feel like I finally got the significance of marriage--why it occupies such an important place in our culture, and why the various battles over it are so heated. The combination of love, hope, family, and community was intoxicating. It made me want to get married, even though I oppose the institution of marriage on principle. I found myself visualizing my own union to someone, and I decided that Central Park would be a good location for the ceremony. But considering that I think I'm more of a serial monogamist, I might have several such ceremonies. The more the better, right?

After the reception ended, I headed over to my ex's place, and we promptly went to Remington's, this gay country-western bar on Capitol Hill. The experience was just as moving as the one I had at the wedding. In fact, I think I may have found my calling. Watching all these guys--some buff and beautiful, others just earnest and ordinary, all wearing cool-looking cowboy boots--two-stepping and line dancing with each other was amazing. It reminded me of an earlier, less pressured time in the history of dating, one where codes of chivalry and courtship, which I'm trying to revive, were practiced too. It also reminded me of the Marlboro Man, and I realized that he's my ideal boyfriend.

Anyway, I've decided to pursue this new-found vocation here in the city via Big Apple Ranch, which sponsors dancing, including lessons, every Saturday night at a studio in the Flatiron district. I wish we had a full-fledged bar where I could hone my skills, but this will have to do for now. The only thing is that I'd prefer to have a partner in crime, and I highly doubt I can persuade any of my boys to check this scene out with me. Are there any game readers out there who'd like to accompany me? I think it's going to be so much fun...

Thursday, February 13, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 4

Apologies to my regular readers--whose support is much appreciated--for not posting over the past few days, but I've been insanely busy with work and with writing my latest article. I basically spent all night Monday and Tuesday working on it, and I e-mailed it to my editor this afternoon after covertly tweaking it during my mini-lunch break. It's decent, but could use a little tightening. Hopefully my editor will even send it back to me for a revise, but he doesn't seem to do that. I could use a little longer to work on it.

Either way, though, it'll be fine. I finally heard back from the new editor at another mag that I've written for in the past and she told me she doesn't have a budget to assign me anything. I was disappointed at first, but then realized the mag I'm working at now covers the same beat, pays more money, and is ultimately more reputable, so I'm not sweating it. I wish I could write for the Times.

Anyway, this is all boring careerist bullshit. M-dash's party last Saturday was fun, even if most of the crowd was a little on the young side for me. (She's taking courses at a local art school, so she's been hanging out with a lot of undergrads.) In fact, Nico's out-of-town friends were on the young side too--they were undergrads. So of course I wasn't in the slightest interested in them. We ended up drinking tons of cans of Tecate, taking bong hits (the holder to the glass catch was missing, which meant I burned my finger), watching Desperately Seeking Susan (which I'd never seen before if you can believe it), and flipping through an old Kate Moss book. I called the car service around 5 a.m. (she lives in Williamsburg) and arrived home shortly thereafter. Oh yeah, her new pad is much cooler than her old one.

Saw M-dash again on Sunday 'cause she needed to do some research on the Web and wanted to use my computer; then we went to dinner at the Hat, around the corner on Ludlow. Since then I haven't done anything but work.

I think one of the fashion assistants at work has a crush on me--every time we pass in the hall, he smiles at me so intently, it's obvious. I have to admit, it turns me on. He's actually cute, and tall, and a bit bulky, which is sometimes just the way I like it. Maybe he'll be the paramour my horoscope keeps threatening I'll meet on the job.

Saturday, February 08, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

I interviewed that photographer today, and we had a nice conversation, if not a scintillating one. He's one of those artists who isn't particularly articulate about his own work, which makes it tough for me as a writer to write about it. But I like a challenge. His new show's going to be dope--I saw the photos, which he jut finished printing, and they're great. M-dash and I are already planning the outfits we're going to wear to the opening.

Anyway, nothing else of note has happened today, though I'm going to be heading out to M-dash's housewarming party in a little bit, so maybe something will go down there. Nico's coming, along with two out-of-town friends, one of whom is an ex-boyfriend of his, whom I've been forbidden to hook up with. Seems a little extreme to me, but whatever. Bros before hos, right?

Friday, February 07, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 2

So the fallout from calling in sick yesterday was non-existent. My boss didn't even care; in fact, she said it would've been "stupid" for me to have come in. Score one for me! But I paid for my absence by working my ass off today, even though all I wanted to do was chill. At least I got to leave around 5:30, as always on Fridays, contrary to my gig at the law firm and to my past magazine job, both of which often required me to stay way late on Fridays.

Not that I had any plans to get ready for--I've realized that my social life is completely in shambles. Last Sunday I went out with Marvelous and Edster to the Dugout, that bear bar (well, on Fridays and Sundays) all the way down Christopher by the West Side Highway, and then, finally, to the Rambles at the Park (which was fun if not blazin'). Since then, the only item on my social agenda was my birthday, which turned out to be a major event (especially considering I'm still a bit congested from the coke binge), but still, that's pretty shabby compared to past schedules of exploits. Thank God M-dash is having a housewarming party for her new pad, which is right over her old pad, where her roomies where wacko, tomorrow night. I should be able to kick it there, and at Metropolitan, the (relatively) new Williamsburg gay bar, afterwards.

Theoretically I stayed in tonight to prep for an interview I'm expecting to have this weekend with this downtown photographer for an article I'm writing on him for that weekly gay rag--but he hasn't yet responded to the two messages I left on his answering machine today (his mobile was out of service). Which means, of course, why bother preparing if I don't know when I'm doing it? I spoke to him on Wednesday, so he knows all about the article, but he doesn't seem that on top of things. Not that I am, or that many people are, but you'd think he'd be a little more disciplined about the free publicity I'm offering him here. (Speaking of free publicity, that performer boy I was trying to court a few weeks ago hasn't called since our last phone convo, so that's unfortunately dead in the water.)

Just now I heard one of the gay boys in my building walking up the stairs. I think there are two gay male residents, but their voices sound similar enough that I can never tell who's who when they're chatting it up on there cell phones while ascending the stairs, as they invariably do. I've caught glimpses of them in the stairwell before, and they're cute, but I've never had a full-on encounter. I'm curious to know what would happen if we did--would we try to cruise one another?

Anyway, I'm totally babbling here, and I'm suddenly distracted by ice cream. Mmm. I'm weighing the merits of venturing outside onto the slushy sidewalk to pick up a pint of Ben and Jerry's Concession Obsession or the new limited edition Bananas Foster flavor from Haagen-Dazs against the decided demerits of freezing to death and then tracking melting snow back into the house... At the rate I'm going, between ice cream and McDonald's and greasy ordered-in lo mein, even if it is vegetable, I might never leave my apartment again. How can you when you weigh 600 pounds?

Thursday, February 06, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 1

So I survived another birthday yesterday--in fact, I would say I rocked it. One of my colleagues baked me the most delicious gourmet chocolate cake, even though she was sick (which made me a bit squeamish about eating it), and the rest of the factcheckers took a break from work to gather together and wish me a happy birthday while we all ate. I think that means they like me, they really do! Especially considering I'm only freelancing, and I've only been there for three weeks. I was touched.

I wasn't so touched that we had an early deadline this week and I was at the office until 9:30 waiting for the article I'd checked to close. I was on the verge of having a coronary because people had been showing up at Bouche Bar, the site of my birthday celebration, since 9, but then my supervisor graciously let me go even though the editor in chief was still tinkering with the article. (Factually it was all correct at that point, so I wasn't particularly worried.) So I hopped in a cab and arrived at the bar 10 minutes later, where I found a bunch of my friends organized into a rough circle, charmingly chatting with each other, with more people on the way. Ultimately everyone was there: M-dash, L.Ho, J-bird, Court, Nicodemus, Marvelous, Edster, A. and A. (who are getting married next week), G-spot, T. and her latest boyfriend, S. and a friend of hers, and one or two others. It was exactly the way I wanted it to be. By the time J-bird, Court, and I called it a night around 2, we were doing tequila shots with the bartender and shouting boozily to each other "I love you." It was great.

Of course, J-bird wanted to hang out more, and so did I, so she came back to my pad, even though we both had to go to work in a few hours, and proceeded to burn through a bag of coke, which we had started back in the bathroom at the bar. I don't know what we were thinking, because we were already wasted, but we ended up doing lines, smoking cigarette after cigarette, and talking until 6, at which point I was really wasted. When the alarm went off at 9, I felt sick to my stomach and still fucked up (J-bird apparently only felt tired), and I realized I was in no condition to go to work. So I called in sick--not exactly the best thing to do when you've just started working somewhere. But I knew today would be really slow, and I thought it'd be better to stay home than to go in and risk puking on the subway or, worse, in the office. Then there were my totally blood-shot eyes, which would've looked suspicious.

Anyway, I feel better now, but leave it to me to potentially fuck up my new job situation by partying too hard. I've been praying all day long that the fallout will be minimal.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 5

I'm afraid that the 21-year-old intern I work with, who happens to be a cute little gay boy, thinks I'm cool. Today he not only told me, from behind I might add as he followed me up a flight of stairs, that he liked my jeans (a yellowish/greenish grafittied pair by Diesel that I love), and later, as he waited for me to don my black leather faux-motorcycle jacket so we could leave the building together at the end of the day, he said I looked "bad-ass" and jokingly asked if I had a motorcycle parked on the street. Isn't that cute? I always aspired to a rebel biker aesthetic with that particular jacket, but no one ever said as much to me. Leave it to the intern to do it.

Anyway, my birthday begins in less than five minutes. I have to sign off so I can cry.

Monday, February 03, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 4

I wore my new refurbished brown boots to work today after not wearing them for several months because the soles were coming loose and not a single person commented on them. I was slightly disappointed, but every time I glanced down at the shiny burnt siena leather, I felt much better. They cost me $250 at Omari over two years ago, plus $28 to be repaired last week, so they're an investment at this point, but I love them so much--and they look so cool--that they're worth it. The cobbler, a sweet man with a no-frills storefront all the way down Delancey towards the bridge, added thin new rubber soles onto the decaying wooden ones, so they no longer make their satisying thumpity-thump as I walk, but I'll happily trade any ancillary noise delights for longer wearability.

Anyway, work was good--I chatted briefly with the cute, slightly puffy-faced editor in the elevator--though I think I probably should have stayed a tad longer tonight, because everyone else, including the intern, did, but it was impossible for me to make any more progress on my assignments, so why bother? All I wanted to do was go home...and go to McDonald's! I've been totally binging lately on Big and Tastees with cheese, fries, and vanilla milk shakes. Okay, just tonight and once last week, but for me, someone who rarely eats fast food, that constitutes a major binge. But I can't help myself: it just tastes so good. Mmm, grease and fat and sugar.

In other news, Long Island Boy replied sanely to the e-mail I sent him yesterday breaking off our tete-a-tete and said he agreed, that it didn't seem like we had a lot to talk about. He still wanted to stay in touch, though, which of course begs the question of why?

Sunday, February 02, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

L.Ho just came and went--she was down in Chinatown, catching the dregs of the New Year celebration, then swung by my place and we went around the corner to Fried Dumpling to get some of their scrumptiously delicious dumplings (Ruth Reichl of Gourmet once listed them among her top five New York food faves), which she's been dying to try. Of course, I totally forgot they only have pork dumplings, and L.Ho's a vegetarian, so she had to settle for some veggie spring rolls, but we were happy nevertheless. It was good to see her, considering I haven't seen anyone in almost 48 hours. For the most part, the virtual isolation was due to my desire to chill, but I think it also had something to do with my troubling "date" with Long Island Boy Friday night, which just bummed me out and put me in a borderline bad mood.

Not that he was mean or nasty or anything--it's just that I realized that we so totally didn't click. It was almost laughable. Instinctively I knew that we weren't a match made in heaven, but he was so sweet and gentlemanly, and so different from the other guys I usually date, that I thought it might be good for me to see him again, that maybe we could make something happen.

But right from the get-go I knew it wasn't to be. We were supposed to see Confessions of Dangerous Mind at the Union Square monstrosity, which I was all pumped about, but we hadn't bothered to get tickets earlier in the day, so the 8:00 show we were planning on seeing was sold out. I was crushed--there's nothing worse than finding out at the last minute that you can't see the very movie you've been psyching yourself up all week to see. Of course, there were several other flicks playing there I would've happily forked over ten bucks for--Chicago, About Schmidt, Antwone Fisher--but my date didn't want to see any of them. Then we checked out the Loews theater on 3rd Avenue and 12th Street, where The Pianist and The Quiet American were playing, both of which I want to see, but, again, he didn't want to see them. Final Destination 2 was playing, which he wanted to see, and although I wouldn't have minded seeing it, considering there were a ton of other movies I actually wanted to see, it would've been a grave injustice, for me and said movies, if I had. So we ended up scratching the whole movie thing, which was the first sign of impending disaster. I mean, if you can't go to the movies with someone, can you really date him?

Instead, we shifted to our post-movie plan of going porn shopping, which he was really keen to do. Of course, he wanted to go to a primarily straight porn shop a few blocks away on 14th Street, which had a minuscule queer section (and which, conveniently, was that much closer to his Grammercy Park pad), but I was so aghast at the idea that he agreed to go down to Harmony, that bi-level porn shop on Christopher Street. Not particularly scintillating conversation ensued as we walked there. We kept passing all these cute gay male couples who looked very sophisticated and probably had a lot in common, and I rued the fact that I wasn't with them. I even contemplated ending the date right then.

At Harmony, after dissing Asian boys and turning his nose up at the men-of-color videos that I was perusing, he purchased a cheesy European DVD. Then we went by Magnolia, at his suggestion, to get cupcakes, which slightly redeemed him in my eyes. Then we caught a cab and went back to his place, where, almost immediately, he inserted the porn, turned off the lights, and sat down on the bed next to me. A few minutes later, he started to stroke my back, then my crotch; pretty soon, he had my dick out and was busy slurping at it, just as he had asked me if he could do earlier in the week. It wasn't sexy at all. He jacked himself off as I came in his mouth, then went to the bathroom, spit my cum out, presumably cleaned himself, then came back out to the living area, pants buttoned up. Everything happened so clinically, and quickly, that I felt as if I was in a porno. I didn't like it.

Anyway, he turned off the porn, turned on HBO, which was showing the last 30 minutes of the dumb, early '90s Eddie Murphy movie The Distinguished Gentleman, and we just sat there, watching it. As soon as it was over, I got up and left. He didn't even try to kiss me. Still, by the time I got home an hour or so later (I'd stopped by the Virgin Megastore to listen to some CDs and try to exorcise the negative feelings leftover from the date), there was an e-mail from him saying how much he enjoyed hanging out. The next day, Saturday, when I still hadn't replied, there was another e-mail, asking if he was going to hear from me again, and hoping that the whole "sucking your dick thing" didn't make things awkward.

I replied, finally, today and said that although I thought he was a sweet guy, I just didn't think we had enough in common to continue seeing each other. Another one bites the dust, and I'm depressed as hell over it.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 4

As I suspected, I found out today that the two bar writeups I did for work were cut, though the cute, if slightly puffy-faced, editor (who I think has a bit of a crush on me, which I'm trying to work to my advantage) was totally nice about it, and even offered to pay me a kill fee for my effort, something I wasn't expecting. He also assigned me a new bar to write on--SX 137, conveniently around the corner from my apartment--so I called up L.Ho and she met me after work to check the place out. I'd been there once before, right after it opened in the summer of 2001, but unfortunately it hasn't worn very well. In fact, it looks like it's seriously struggling. Plus, the bartender didn't have the proper ingredients to make the specific drink I wanted to try. It wasn't an entirely negative experience, though: there was some Fader magazine event going on, so at least I got to pick up the latest issue for free. Then L.Ho and I jetted and caught a drink at Barramundi, after which we called it a night.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE SMOKING A CIGARETTE: 3

Nothing really to report today. Well, my ongoing e-mail correspondence with Long Island Boy (he actually lives in Grammercy Park but was raised out there), whom I still haven't met up with for a second date yet (he had to work all weekend), took a turn for the worse when he asked me if I was a top or a bottom--a conversation we already had when we met online two months ago. Of course, this question came after he asked me yesterday whether he could go down on me when we hang out this Friday night (I said yes, naturally), and after we'd already agreed to go porn shopping together, also postponed to Friday, so it's not like this most recent question came totally out of the blue. It did, however, start to up the ante in direct opposition to my desire of late to get to know guys before I have sex with them, so I wanted to head off the trend ASAP. To his gentlemanly credit, he respected my wish to cease and desist, as he always does (for instance, he kept asking me to come over to his place and "chill," which means screw, and I kept resisting in favor of actually doing something, and he finally let up).

Too bad the exchange was turning me on--if only my principles got me so hard.