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.