True Enough For You

Check your thighs in the mirror, ma. I'm done.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Gym Etiquette Per Craigslist

Craigslist has numerable, invaluable lessons to teach. It's only a matter of finding the time to click on every link to uncover the diamonds in the mud. Today's lesson comes from a dialogue between members of the 12th Street Gym.

Missed, Monday in sauna at 12thstreet gym- m4m:

You were in blue trunks in sauna and had a big boner I should have said hi, Hope you are around another morning.

Re: sauna at 12th St. gym:

Were you wearing white shorts with a huge shit stain? Not interested.

Thus, we learn: When at the gym sauna: boners good, shit stains bad. Thanks, Craig!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Leather, Jockstraps and Bears, Oh My!

So, my friend JC, as aforementioned, is doing some sort of research paper on the Leather Community and out of the mainstream homosexual lifestyles. As part of his project, he is interviewing people from all walks of life to see what their perception of the leather community is. When he needed someone innocent and pure as the driven snow to accompany him to The Bike Stop, he obviously put in a call to me. And honestly? We've all had that kind of night out in a S&M bar, right? He sat me down with a tape recorder after the visit to the bar and told me to talk, and talk I did until that son of a bitch of a machine needed a smoking break. After I was told to shut up, JC transcribed the brilliance/stream of conscious rambling and sent it to me in a Word document. The following are some of the highlights of said transcript:

It was sort of like a roadhouse, but with a bunch of gay guys. I think the first time I was there I actually forgot that anybody there was gay, it just seemed like a lot of really big guys in leather. And I am not a big guy and I didn’t wear leather, so I sort of stuck out like a sore thumb.

Also, we were just there and they played ‘Opposites Attract’ by Paula Abdul and that kind of blew my mind.

Especially tonight if we could of have been at any bar and it really wouldn’t have made too much of a difference, except for the fact that some people were walking around in jockstraps. And um…that really didn’t make me uncomfortable at all. I thought that it might, I was kind of hoping that it would a little bit. But it didn’t, I don’t think that um…I think it’s interesting that the people wearing the jockstraps don’t necessarily have the athletic bodies that usually accompany a jockstrap, but I guess that not everybody is looking for that type of athletic body.

I think that one interesting…interesting thing about the leather community could be that…it’s almost like they’re trying to hold on to their last vestiges of masculinity…because they um…because of course with sexuality there’s all sorts of stereotypes of femininity and…I think that…this is, this could be a way that people hold onto being a man? By being extra manly and…wait, I guess it’s not exactly extra manly at the end of the night, but…[laughs]

I think when…when I was told that he was…um…when I was told that he had the job that he had [college professor], it didn’t really surprise me that much because he seemed to…I could imagine him doing that…when I wasn’t being slapped in the face by his balls that were just hanging out of his jockstrap. But um…I couldn’t really see many other people in there in white collar professions. And that’s probably unfair of me to say, but I will say it anyway, because that was my impression and that is what I am being asked to do.

And um…we saw Miss World Leather 1994, and she was not as thin as Miss Universe…certainly. [laughs] We…I guess I met another guy who was Mr. Leather Man something or other. Was that Jim that I met? He was not – he could have been though I mean – he seemed like he’d be really great in the pageants.

Downstairs is a dungeon-like atmosphere. I wasn’t there tonight, but I’ve been there before. And I think the dungeon aspect of it is really what I was thinking that it was going to be like the whole time. I guess the basement is where they…[laughs]…where the hide all their really…um [laughs]…prevalent stereotypes.

It’s a lot dirtier downstairs – like I wouldn’t want to go there with bare feet. Not that I go into bars with bare feet – I’m not Brittney Spears.

They had some sort of apparatus on the wall that I’m sure is used for chaining people onto it and spanking them – it looked pretty medieval. I can’t vouch for what it was because I haven’t seen it in a couple years and I don’t even know that it’s still there. But it looked like a type of device that was used to implement pain for sexual pleasure. Which again I don’t really get, but I’m not judging!

The bar was hotter than I thought it would be, for somewhere that encourages you to wear so much leather. Actually people were just wearing jockstraps tonight so maybe that’s why. But that’s an interesting dichotomy: it’s either a lot of heavy leather or practically nothing at all. [sotto voce to himself] That’s pretty deep.

Me: And it seems like…this particular niche has more of a family feel to it…um…then again it could be because when I go to other gay bars it does feel like it’s a bit competitive and you have to be pretty and witty and…[laughs] smart? Hmmm?

Interviewer: Pretty, witty, and bright.
Me: Bright. Sorry. You’re gayer than I am for that. [laughter]

Stay tuned for next time when JC makes me come with him to buy hookers, meth and blow all for the sake of an anthropological experiment- to really get the answers to his academic questions.

Why Did They Stop At Ten, Anyway?

I am officially over the Boston Red Sox. My love affair with the team, like all my affairs, was brief and even scintillating for a few moments. We’ll always have October 2004. I was rooting for these guys HARD last year, not because I liked them too much, but I thought their spunky attitude and never-say-die attitude was a good antidote to the buy-a-team and piss-and-moan when we lose attitude of the New York Yankees. Their come from behind AL Championship against the Yankees was a sports fan’s dream come true. However, my endorsement of the Sox was merely a vote against a more invidious power, much like my choice in the 2004 election (Did anyone actually like John Kerry for reals?). I have close friends that were Red Sox fans, and while they were obnoxious at times, it was forgivable when you considered the years and years of disappointment they had to endure. Whatever.

My Sox-sympathy officially ended yesterday when I went to the Phillies game. My low tolerance may have been informed by the fact that I think it was 142 degrees Fahrenheit at the game. The Phillies lost a good game, and they even came back to tie the game in the 7th inning from 7 runs down. The Red Sox fans were insufferable and embarrassingly so. They were worse than Yankee fans. One of my close friends made a comment about how embarrassing it was to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Phillies’ World Series victory when they were playing the current world champs. No, embarrassing is not winning a world series for 86 years and then pretending that statistic doesn’t exist as soon as your team finally wins. They would pout and throw fits when things went wrong and act irrationally over the top whenever the Sox would score (which in their defense, was often). My point is this: it was fun to root for the Sox when they were underdogs. Their fans are too cocky now, and it’s easy to root against people who forget about their humble situation in the past. I will be happy to see them not win the World Series this year.

And please don’t think this is written out of bitterness for the Sox sweep of the Phils this weekend. I’m just not that passionate.

The rest of the weekend was fun. I saw Pink Humpy on Saturday night. My ex-roommate plays bass for the hump, and they were quite good. I also love hanging out with his family. I am like the gay, waspy, alcoholic son and brother they never had and never really wished for.

This is the most wonderful time of the year for Supreme Court nerds, like myself. From the top of the mountain today, an opinion was issued that upheld the constitutionality of displaying the Ten Commandments on government land, but drew the line on displays inside courthouses, saying they violated the doctrine of separation of church and state. The court was sharply divided, natch, and Madame Justice O’Connor provided the swing vote.* Personally, I don’t think that the 10 Commandments should be posted anywhere on government land. I think it’s tantamount to endorsement of Christianity. I don’t think it’s enough to merely keep the Commandments away from courthouses, but it’s a very tricky issue.

For any Decalogue to survive a constitutional challenge, a court must find it has a 'secular purpose' and that a 'reasonable observer' would not view its 'primary effect' as 'endorsing religion.’ Among the many inquiries the uncertain Supreme Court precedents appear to invite are whether the governmental purpose behind the erection of displays of the Ten Commandments is religious or secular; whether the effect of such displays is to advance or endorse a religious message; whether the erection of such displays fosters excessive entanglement between church and state; and whether the displays are placed in locations or settings that have some coercive effect, forcing objecting citizens to view religious content against their will. Hooray Constitutional Law!!! I had to look all that shit up as a refresher. In other words, it’s pretty much completely subjective, and the ruling today did little to clarify the murky waters.

I think it’s impossible to enter a courtroom as a non-Christian and find that the Commandments are not religious. When you think about it, (pretty much secular) Commandments 6-8 have been codified by the government and numbers 5 and 10 are nice life lessons, and the remainder are pretty much meaningless unless you believe in God (which I do, I am pretty sure), and even then I think they have little to do with the current Judicial system besides acknowledging the history of the law and Judeo-Christian ideals. I am just saying the Decalogue as a whole should not be represented as something the government sanctions wholeheartedly (or even half-heartedly). It’s dangerous and irresponsible for the government to showcase the commandments, and it narrows the already shrinking divide between church and state in this disconcerting political zeitgeist.** It just makes me want to go out and perform abortions on the street!

Wow, I am a bitch today.

Better go attend to my blood sugar now. I promise I will be more fun next time.

*Actually, I misread. Justice Breyer provided the swing vote, signing on to both Majority opinions. This means that he approved the large stone Ten Commandments on the land of the Texas State Capitol, but he condemned the hanging of a small copy of the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky courthouse. Thus, it is officially enshrined in Constitutional jurisprudence that "size doesn't matter." For the record, I would have voted with O'Connor and not Breyer, and that rarely happens.

** Also edited to add that in all my infinite wisdom of the law, I don't think these cases are very significant in the grand scheme of things. The Commandments are really just a symbol of "too much" for Liberals and a "good start" for Conservatives. It's probably no mistake that the Court waffled on their stance, and there will never be a clear Establishment Clause test with elements understandable to lay people with this current Court's composition.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

No, You're Not The First Person To Tell Me That

Many people tell me that I am obsessed with death. I not obsessed with my own death, mind you, but rather just the concept of death. This obsession manifests itself in subconscious ways, right down to the way I choose how to entertain myself. A couple months ago, I went to the Borders in Scranton (where the books outnumber the literate people) and I took advantage of one of their 3 books for the price of 2 sales. After the careful scrutiny that would make Sophie’s Choice seem like a breeze, I carried my selections to the counter. When I handed my purchases over, the woman behind the counter said, “Someone’s a little morbid…” I was taken aback at this woman’s audible judgment, mostly because she was wearing a sequined halter top that was two sizes too small on her in freezing weather. But I guess she kind of made sense. My selections were “Under the Banner of Heaven,” a book about gruesome murders committed by Mormons, “The Dante Club,” a book about gruesome murders committed by a serial killer in 1865 Boston, and “The Kite Runner,” a story about one Afghan boy who has to atone for the shit he pulled as a youngster, but he only does so after he finds out his friend dies a gruesome death. Touché, halter top woman. I just read “Assassination Vacation,” and I am currently reading “Killing Yourself to Live.” They are lighthearted jaunts through the worlds of presidential assassination and rock and roll related deaths and suicides, respectfully.

My old roommate can attest to the fact that while scanning through the channels on television I will always stop to watch anything about a natural disaster (hurricanes, tornados, volcanoes, doesn’t really matter as long as people flip the hell out) or anything about cults (preferably those that encourage mass suicides and/or kidnapping with brainwashing). I will always tune in for that “special episode” of a television show where someone dies. The other day while eating a nice lunch in the park, I couldn’t stop talking about murder, the death penalty and why I think both are a bad idea. I got a “can we please change the subject” look. I read the obituary section of the newspaper with great detail, and I love to look up eulogies online.

When I am done hanging out with a great friend, and I have had a great time with them, I often think about what I would say in a eulogy at their funeral. I try to decide how much I would say and when I would say it by measuring how much I would be able to utter before I cried. Thus, my eulogies would be frontloaded, but they would have amazing endings that could be understood through sobbing. These are the things I think about.

When I try to trace the origin of my death obsession, the obvious place to start is the fact that I grew up in a funeral home family. Because of this, my siblings, cousins and I all have a very grounded understanding of how death is a (sometimes profitable) part of life, and we’re all blessed with sick, acerbic senses of humor. My family laughs everything off or puts up a steely exterior because that has always been our job, to make others feel comfortable in the face of death. That doesn’t mean we didn’t have much fun with it, though. My grandfather used put me in the back of the hearse and have me sit up at stop signs to scare the shit out of drivers behind us. I have lain in caskets. My brother and I would play a game creatively named “death,” in which one of us would be dead and the other had to get the dead one to a predetermined place by any means necessary. For example, the dead one would go limp and fall over in an upstairs bedroom and the live one would have to get him to the kitchen. The dead person would not be allowed to complain or exhibit any signs of life whatsoever (because dead people don’t do that to our knowledge), which was difficult when you were being rolled down the stairs wrapped in a blanket.

Sometimes I felt guilty about profiting from other people’s misery. All of my trips to Florida in my youth and my first car were subsidized by someone kicking the bucket. I know it’s not normal for a child to be meeting Mickey Mouse in Disney World and wondering who had to die to make this happen, but that was me, all sunshine and flowers all the time. I thought I had every disease possible, since whatever I heard my family talking about as the “cause of death,” I immediately thought I had contracted it. The number of times I told my pediatrician I had cancer is disturbing and embarrassing in hindsight. But despite my weirdness as a child (that continues a bit today), I am still probably the best friend you can have present in a crisis or tragic situation. My calmness and understanding at those times goes beyond what is reasonably necessary, and it’s not even volitional on my part. I was just infused with those instincts growing up in a family who faced death all the time.

When I first got a place by myself, a constant thought I had (of course) was, “I wonder how long it would take people to figure out if I were dead.” I mean, there are few friends or family members that I talk to consistently every day. I figured it would take a good 3 days before anyone got suspicious that I wasn’t calling them back. (I have a reputation for disappearing and reappearing in people’s lives that I haven’t been able to pinpoint psychologically just yet). Once somebody found me, likely KC on a weekend when she didn’t have work to do. She would do some investigation, and have my landlord let her into my place where they would discover me. I imagine I would have either 1.) had an early heart-attack, punishing me for being able to eat anything all my life without gaining weight or 2.) fallen while I was trying to change a light bulb and hit my head so hard that I couldn’t withstand the trauma. If karma were in high gear, I would be wearing something horrible and embarrassing and/or possibly masturbating at the time of death.

At first KC would be shocked, then inconsolable, and then she’d pull herself together and think what a pain in the ass it was. She would allow the cops to call my family, the numbers of whom she would get from my shitty cell phone. She would go home, take a shower and then start to call my friends in order of whom she thought was most important and delegate them people to call. A phone chain of death would start. People would express shock, they would verbally express my good qualities, say something witty about how I would love this attention but keep to themselves the other thoughts like the money I might owe them or the CD I borrowed and never gave back. Email would be sent that began “I’m sorry we haven’t talked in a while, but I thought you should know…” Someone would go through my cell phone and call the numbers and tell the person at the other end. Some of them would be people I hooked up with, they would be relieved to find out that I did presumably did not die of a communicable STD and go about their day.

Not everyone would find out though. I mean I have good friends from my life that might never find out that I was dead. Right now some of them could be dead, and I wouldn’t know.

Then people would have to begin the careful balancing test about my funeral. You know the one because we have all done it. Am I good enough friends with him to travel 2 or 3 hours to his funeral and viewing? Is this worth taking time off from work? Can’t I just pray for him or think about him really hard? If I go, I have to get a motel room?! People who live in different parts of the country would have to decide if I were worth a plane ticket. Even emotional times can be reduced to simple quantitative elements in the decision making process, which is probably why I simultaneously loved and hated studying economics in college.

At the time of the service when people were asked to say something about me, I hope that it would turn into a contest to see who could be the best. Prizes would be awarded for funniest, most meaningful and most histrionic. I want to see some fucking tears! And that’s another thing. If I have one hope for my death, it is that I am able to attend the funeral in ghost form and take copious notes on the event, so that I might be able thank people or hold things against them in my next life or the afterlife. I think I am heaven-bound, by the way. Music would be played; food would be eaten; people would go about their lives and possibly think of me whenever they heard ABBA on the radio. Friends would forever lionize me, and I hope that scholarship would be set up in my honor, touting me as a misunderstood genius.

Well, no need to be too maudlin or macabre about this. So, yes, maybe I am a bit obsessed with death. Perhaps I need to think more about life.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Getting Iambic On Your Ass

For the first day of summer, here's something a little different. Two orginal poems, one a sonnet, one a haiku, one serious, one decidedly not so, both entitled "Summer Solstice."

"Summer Solstice"

Screams of our youth come amended with sighs
Barely knowing the future or past still we spoke.
Contrite in that knowledge, it’s my fault it broke.
Reciprocate contact, too genuine to guise.
Meetings replete with wandering thoughts, eyes
Pink lacks in focus what blue lacks in smoke,
A movement could startle, a look would provoke.
What belies that look is too great to surmise.
Resigned to colorless arrangements of rules,
Deflect, denigrate, deflower, demur.
Bitter pills, blind alleys are now de rigeuer,
My hands made lackluster, prosaic tools.
Atonement can never quite render hands clean;
Lamenting what summer once used to mean.

"Summer Solstice"

Sweat drips down my neck.
Divine providence would bring:
Speedo day at work.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Weekend Like Whitman: I Contain Multitudes!

The weekend came and went without a warning. Actually, my calendar alerted me that it was on its way, but it flew by pretty quickly once it arrived. It was a blur, if you will. And believe me, you will.

I started off the weekend in a purple shirt that was way too tight, it also had pink lettering, lest anyone wonder what my intentions were for the evening. Chop and I dragged our newly-on-the-market-again friend CS to the Mansion where we drank. Lots. Here’s the thing, I feel like it’s all the shirt’s fault that I got so drunk. I was very self-conscious in it with its being so tight and purply, and I think that it might have actually constricted the flow of blood to my brain. Plus, when a drink special ends at 12, you can bet your summer Havaianas that I will be getting in as much as I can under the wire. Several lapses in judgment later, I was on a dancefloor. Hours after that I was waking up to help my friend move.

JC and his boytoy AD completed their mass exodus from Norristown to center city Philtown this Saturday morning. AD got a bunch of his soccer buddies to help, while I alone represented the JC contingent. And represent it well I did! I showed up drunk, natch. I mean, it was 9:00 in the morning, what did they expect? The age old question of how many homosexuals it takes to move a large screen tv was finally – finally!- answered. (Eight, at last count). Ok, one straight guy helped, whatever. I got a free lunch out of it. They actually took bets on whether I would arrive to help or not, as their opinion of my reliability is obviously unfairly skewed. I will always show up, I just might be sweating vodka as I drag your condom drawer up the stairs, chipping of a bit more wood with every corner I round. Take that, bitches!

Then it was off to home for the Fathers’ Day celebration. My stepmother seriously threw down around my Dad’s birthday last month because none of us came home for it. Just guilted us to the punch by making reservations at a restaurant so that we had to come home. Well played. Mind you, no one in my family would even think of visiting me on my birthday if it didn’t practically fall on Thanksgiving every year. Bitterness aside, we met at my Dad’s favorite Italian restaurant where I ate everyone’s food and talked non-stop during the meal, much to the surprise of no one. I was shocked at how nice my Dad and Stepmother acted towards the obviously gay waiter. By that, I mean they did not ask him to reconsider his sexuality for the sake of image. At least, I didn’t see this happen. Their sage advice may have been included with the tip. Dinner was actually pleasant and the hyper-criticism was kept to a minimum. Which means that all ye sinners should repent, as the apocalypse is clearly on its way.

After a morning spent in a cemetery with Dad’s side of the family (those crazy Orthodox death-honoring holidays appear out of nowhere every year, I swear!), I drove with the fury of a Viking to arrive back in time to eat and go to the Modest Mouse concert, compliments of KD. He just “wasn’t feeling it” whilst we were there despite his strong emotional connection to the band, so we left sometime in the middle of the Modest Mouse set. I was fine with that; there were more Frat-holes and Sororstitutes than you can shake a paddle at. (By the way, the Camper Van Beethoven opening set was better than I expected.) We trekked back to the hood to grab some drinks before bed, because it’s not like either of us had to get up and work the next morning. While there, I met a bunch of his friends who are all affiliated with the arts in Philadelphia in some way, even if it just be a hobby while they wait tables.

Here’s my problem with the situation. I know lawyers get a bad rap, whatever. Yes, there are many super-creative lawyer jokes. None of them is really offensive to me. I assure you, they're a hoot. And yes, I know a bunch of lawyers and law students who either are or are on their way to being major, royal pricks. That there is a big overlap in the prick-lawyer Venn diagram is not a statistic I would dare to dispute. But twice last night when talking to people, I listened patiently to what they did with their lives. I genuinely absorbed what they told of their dreams, future plans, current obsessions, etc. Then they asked me what I did. I answered honestly. Without fail, they either stopped talking to me or steered the conversation in another direction quickly. I almost got whiplash (for which I would have sued them, granted). One of them looked down at the ground as if I told him I just killed a man in the bathroom (which I did not). Law can be a noble profession, and I expected more open-mindedness from members of the artistic community. I am so oppressed everywhere I go!

Regardless, the night was fun. I was exhausted from the weekend. And I was pissed to be woken up by a mosquito with some sort of vendetta at 5:00am. I am sure its name was Karma or something. I got up and killed it, wiped it off my hands and stumbled back into bed, knowing I would wake up in 2 hours beginning the week as a killer. Sweet.

New York Times, bastion of journalistic integrity and truth, claims that sometimes people can tell when people are gay. Apparently it’s this new thing called gaydar. But then they go one step further to ask…what happens when gaydar doesn’t work?! Click here for the ugly details, and check out the chart, so that you too can make stereotyping the farier 10% of the gender that much easier. By the way, here’s a hint: the guy felating others in the bathrooms of gay bars is probably straight, married and has 2 kids.

Somehow I am not the nation’s hottest bachelor blogger. I cry foul. If anyone is better in print than in person, it is I.

Oh, and you who dislocated your finger? I have no idea who you are. And I can’t even begin to understand what you meant by that last comment. Holla!

Friday, June 17, 2005

This Is Not An Objective Correlative, No Matter How You React

If you’re like me on this sunny Friday afternoon, you have the attention span of a meth-addled gnat, and you can’t keep a coherent train of thought on the tracks. Also, if you’re like me, you’re debating whether you can pull off getting a margarita or 3 for lunch, but that’s a different story. What I am trying to say is, here’s a bunch of random thoughts, observations, scruples, grunts and groans to get the weekend going:

***Quizzo went very well the other night. I wanted our team name to be “Michael Jackson and caviar both come on little white crackers.” For some reason, it was boycotted. We won rather convincingly despite the final round’s category being the 1993 Phillies. (which by they way, I knew who all the all-stars were that year: Mulholland, Dykstra, Kruk and Daulton). We learned that Lake St. Claire is a heart shaped lake, nestled between Lake Huron and Lake Erie, Anwar Sadat was the first Arab leader to visit Israel, Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor of France in 1804, Wolfgang Petersen directed Troy and Guatemala and Belize are the two Central American countries that border Mexico.

***That girl from Alabama who went missing in Aruba went by the nickname Blowfish. [Insert oral sex joke here.]

***I think I would make a great grammar cop, not to mention the sexiest one on record.

***You know how when you stretch your hands up in the air and you feel like you can’t reach anymore, you always surprise yourself by stretching just a little bit farther? That’s how I liken my love for Sandy. It grows deeper and more intense, just when I think it reaches its apex. Why? Sandy told our summer intern yesterday that she is so quick that she moves like “the sound of light.” And, thus, I should really get around to reconciling that my love has boundless parameters.

***I was in an elevator today with a real-life albino! That’s all. Move along.

***This weekend, I am traveling northward where the deer outnumber the people for a good old Fathers’ Day hoe-down. My step-mother has made reservations at a nice restaurant for the fruit of my father’s loins to sit nicely, look pretty, keep their opinions to themselves and smile to show off how daddy’s sadistic investment in his children’s orthodontic persecution is still paying off after all these years. Subjects not to be broached per the pre-dinner memo: the virtuous Bush administration, anything remotely construed as gayish (i.e. the total annihilation of everything that is good and holy) and the Tom Cruise/ Katie Holmes faux-engagement. For some reason that one is really getting to my dad.

***Because of a combination of poor timing of Fathers’ Day, my stepmother’s impromptu demands of a Stepford dinner, my guilty conscience (which may just be a hangover) and my inability to plan my life effectively, I will be missing the Bloc Party concert on Saturday. The good news is that I was invited to the Modest Mouse concert on Sunday. So, I won’t be concert less this weekend.

***Would you rather be cute, sexy or hot? I say sexy.

***I sat on a stoop last night and drank beers outside with KD. There is a redonkulously endless supply of freaks that walked past his house, and they only got freakier as I drank more. I felt something sitting there with him that I haven’t felt in a long, long time…cold. It was nice to have to put a loaner sweatshirt on.

***What kind of person would be stupid enough to try and rob building full of sassy African-American hairdressers? This one, of course. When you do something so brazen and thoughtless, you can expect copious, flailing curling irons, blood, and urine.

Alright, that’s all for now. My blood sugar is low, and methinks it's time for a nappy under my desk.

And for the person (see post below) who left a comment saying that he or she fell and dislocated his or her finger: I am sorry, I hope that it wasn’t my fault and most of all I hope that it doesn’t take away from your ability to pleasure yourself.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Ties That Bind: When Gays Get Bored

This is my first time living alone, and sometimes it’s apparent. I am sometimes so starved for robust conversation that dialogues like this transpire, reminding me I need to get out more. Just to give you, the reader, special insight into the banality of my day to day living , I present to you selections from my most scintillating email conversation this week. Just in time for Fathers’ Day, it’s about neckties. Please note the serious stance and intricate analysis with which we approach the delicate subject. (Special thanks to Pauly for daring to engage me on such a controversial topic.)

P: What are you wearing today?

Z: I am wearing navy blue suit, light blue shirt, lime green and light blue diagonally striped tie. It's heaven for my eyes and skin tone. Like I said, I am a winter.

P: Holla Back Girl! Isn’t it still a little warm for a suit? But the tie does sound divine!

Z: Sadly, I have to wear business attire all the time. Unless the judge isn't here. What what! The tie is divine. I think you would love my tie collection. It's vivid and fun, yet refined and sophisticated.

P: I think you probably do have an amazing tie collection. I need to do some work on mine. Often I buy a tie simply because it is an economically sound decision and I rationalize, "P, you are a teacher, the students don’t care what yourties look like" and "P, you never wear a tieoutside of school, so who cares?" So, it is difficult. My friend, Bill, argues that teachers may be the worst dressed people.

Z: My tie collection went from adequate to amazing with research on amazing discount designer ties. Nordstrom Rack has an extensive selection of cheap shirts and ties, and it's a virtual heaven of mixing and matching. Honestly, I could have done it all day. Teachers are notoriously poorly dressed for exactly the attitude youconfess. Students may not care about your tie, but you have to getout of the mindset that EVERYTHING you do is for the students. First,I know you're not that selfless. Second, you feel good when you lookgood. Third, students may pay more attention to ties than you think.

P: I may have to attend a good Nordstrom sale, and you are right about 3) some of the sharper students do pay attention to ahot tie. 2) I LOVE looking hot. But you are wrong, I am so very selfless.

Z: Ok, whatever. Another perk: when I first got this job, I knew I would need an arsenal of tie-power to impress the judge and to make Sandy drool. I bought about 10 ties. I was giddy with anticipation to get up each morning and wear one of them. Sometimes, I wouldn't even pick the tie until that morning! After all, I like to live on the edge. When I was at the big horrible firm that shall remain nameless, the mid-level associate/spawn of Satan for whom I had to do bidding would only utilize a rotation of 4 ties. That told me everything I needed to know about him. He was insolent; I had no time in my life for someone with that lack of variety. Predictably, all the ties were boring.

P: 1. I am so happy, for you are frontline of tie power.2. I hope when you quit you said very bitchily, "youmight want to get some new ties!" 3. You truly live on the proverbial edge.

Z: No, I didn't have a bitchy comment about that jerk's horrible tie collection upon leaving the firm. I have no idea what I was thinking. However, I might have left something similar on that asshole's voice mail once in a alcohol-fueled, drunk-dialing fit the night after my law school graduation. It just really bothered me.
P: That is delicious! Nothing like drunk phone messages, especially in a professional arena!

Z: I said my tie collection was professional; I didn't say that I was. I can't believe this tie conversation lasted so long, but I kind of love it.

End Scene.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the pinnacle of my intellectual conversation for the week so far. Kill me now.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Well, It's A Nice Day For A Pink Wedding

Newsflash! It’s hot as a baker in the Illadelph! Now, I love a good excuse not to leave the house, especially one that’s not court-ordered, but I have a problem. I haven’t retrieved my air conditioner from home yet, so as of now I am just taking the Weather Channel’s advice to stay inside and hydrated. (Vodka is a liquid, right?) It’s not as hot in my apartment as it could be, but for the next week if anyone out there wants to let me come over and let me stand and moan in front of your air conditioners for a few minutes at a time, I would really appreciate it. The Wawa down the street is starting to get suspicious why I am always there, especially after the power nap I took in the snack aisle yesterday.

Today the staff of the chambers prepared for a Pink Wedding. I don’t know the exact definition or etiquette involved with said wedding, but to my knowledge, it goes a little something like this. A prisoner of a minor crime knows he is coming before the judge for resentencing of some sort. And while he is in front of a judge, he says, what the fuck! Why don’t I get married?! In this particular case, the guy was to show up, get a harsher sentence for violating parole and then he and his babymama were going to take the plunge. I am not sure why it’s a pink wedding, but I was told that I had to wear pink in some form. I even got up early enough to iron a pink shirt and put on a purple tie, let anyone think I was not in a celebratory mood. I had to do PR for the event, so I called a couple publications, per the Judge’s request, and had them show up for the blessed event.

Then we found out the blushing bride to be, in her nicest pink do-rag, forgot to get her marriage license, so the whole thing was called off! Everyone was so disappointed. I was pretty excited to see it, but Sandy said it was better off because she smelled the bride and she happened to be emitting “funk that you could cut with a motherfucking knife.” C’est la vie. So, the proud groom had to go to jail unmarried. I am sure there will be tons of guys there for him who would love a pink wedding.

In case you haven’t heard, Michael Jackson is not guilty of all the charges levied against him. I sat around the tv with the judge and some others waiting for the verdict. The judge was really happy about the verdict, but I don't know if she's a big MJ fan or not. I think she was just happy she was right and Steve Shapiro wasn't. (The verdict was kind of a no-brainer if you ask me. That kid’s mother reeked of reasonable doubt.) My favorite part of watching it was seeing his crazy ass fans celebrating after the verdict was read. One woman even sent a dove into the sky for every time they said not guilty. She’s clearly insane, but I appreciate her ability to plan. Good for her. So, let the Michael Jackson jokes begin again. In the elevator this morning, which was packed to maximum weight capacity and 126 degrees, one huge Judge invited more people into the elevator, likening it to Michael Jackson’s bed…zinger!!!

Some right wing Christian wants to label gays as being dangerous. Gays would have to wear labels that would be like an equivalent to the warnings from the Surgeon General on cigarette packages. (Who knew pole smoking caused cancer too?) I think this physical labeling of discrete and insular minorities thing happened long ago in some other far away country, but I am not sure what ever became of it. Oh wait. It was the holocaust. My bad!

I went to a leather bar (the Bike Stop) last night with my friend JC who is doing a research project on gay subculture and oral histories of gays of the past or something. I don’t know, it sounds like bullshit to me, and frankly I stopped listening once he told me he’d buy me a drink. He wanted to get the perspective of someone who doesn’t go to leather or S&M clubs often. I seemed just vanilla enough for him, being the wolf in sheep’s clothing that I am. It was jock-strap night there. So imagine ugly older men with big stomachs walking around in jockstraps in a hole in the wall bar. Or don’t, it’s up to you. Afterwards he told me to talk about it into a digital voice recorder, and I talked for 22 minutes straight before he cut me off. When he sends me the transcript of my diatribe, I will post some of the gems of soundbites I offered for his very serious, academic research project.

If you know me, you know I am obsessed with Mormons, right? So I am thinking about going to the amazing Hill Cumorah Pageant, which reenacts the Book of Mormon with a cast of 800 people every year. It looks like the scariest stuff ever. And I want to be a part of it.

And, today I will leave you with this nugget of wisdom from a friend, “Have you heard Kelly Clarkson’s album? All the songs are about how she got burned by some dude. She’s like Tori Amos without all the rape and shit.”

I need a popsicle.

Exit Sandman

I think we have all been in this precarious position: You go out drinking the night before. You come home that night and lie in bed watching the clock tick and realize that each minute that passes by is one more that you won't be sleeping. You stumble into work, slap a security guard for amusement and then sit at your desk. You try to be productive, but as hard as you try, you just keep dozing off, hearkening back to the halcyon days of preschool naptime, dreaming of holding hands with Jude Law at a Radiohead concert. We've all been there. But maybe I am projecting.

Anyway, this site took a poll to find out what people do to stay awake at work. The answers?

1. Adderall
2. Coffee/Tea
3. Flirting with/ogling hot coworkers
4. Masturbation
5. Cocaine
6. Take a nap
7. Downloading music/movies
8. Drink Red Bull
9. Take a walk outside
10. Self-injury (i.e. giving oneself paper cuts)

It sounds like the best place to work in the history of America!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Pride Goeth Before The Fall

Hello everyone! It’s been a little while since I have had a chance to update substantively this little thing I like to call blog. My blog interns barely speak a word of English (that's not the basis on which I hire, duh). And it’s been surprisingly and disappointingly busy at work. Since the Judge summers in Italia in July, the staff has to get two months worth of work done in June. That makes for a bad June, but it means I get to bring an inflatable wading pool into the office for most of July. And where my wading pool goes, along comes my speedo.

That said, thanks for all the emails, shout outs and mean comments on the street calling me out for being lazy and/or stupid. I appreciate it!

This weekend was Gay Pride in Philadelphia. I wanted to make a shirt that said “Pride is one of the 7 Deadly Sins” or “What exactly do YOU have to be proud of?” But alas, I did not. These are good ideas for next year, though, and I am copyrighting them as we speak. So, I started my weekend with a Happy Hour on Thursday where I met up with KD and the lovely sisters Lamoureux. CL let me touch her boobies, natch, and JL got a little sick from her drinks that I can only assume were laced with some sort of illegal substance. Lesbians with GHB are everywhere; don’t even think they’re not. After I caught a bit of a buzz, KD and I stumbled to the Olive Garden and pigged out. It was a bit trashy but so appropriate; it really hit the spot. We had a pitcher of berry sangria between us.

He asked me if I thought I was a great person. I replied that yes, I did.

Friday was a chill evening replete with drinks and catching up with EK and early bedtime. I had some refreshing Bloody Ho's at Ten Stone. I am not the 24 hour party people that you think I am, reader.

So Saturday, Chop and I ventured out on the town where we avoided Bump because the air conditioner was broken and it was approximately 247 degrees outside. Philadelphia is so pleasant in the summertime! We spent most of the night at Woody’s where we danced to bad remixes of bad songs. While there I found out that 2 guys with whom I have had transient relations are now dating each other. I am sure it was their former unabashed attraction to me that brought them together. Such is the way of the gays.

Then on Sunday it was the pride festival. Truth be told, I still don’t really get the pride thing. I know it very important to be proud of who you are on the inside. As aforementioned, I think I am a great person. They set up the festival in an abandoned, weed-filled parking lot no where near any gay bars. Gay organizations set up booths that showcase everything ranging from important health issues to a spanking booth. (A dollar a spank…for charity or something.) The whole thing was a freak show that’s enough to make you turn straight (if electroshock therapy doesn’t do the trick). It was a bunch of sweaty freaks in rainbow flags and bumper stickers, wearing their very best tank tops. There were boustiers (on men) and hiking boots (on women). The gay world can be a bit empty, depressing and embarrassing. Don’t get me wrong, I had a good time with my friends, but it’s hard to feel like I fit in or even want to fit in. But in many ways, Pride can be just nasty and alienating as Shame. I always feel that being gay is, and should be, the least interesting thing about me (or you). Yes, it makes me more fabulous than you most likely, but it’s still not what defines me. That said, I think I looked totally cute.

Of course, the Christian Right was in effect protesting, no doubt taking off some time in their dogged attempts to stamp out stem cell research, and the scourge of terminal disease prevention. I got some pictures taken with their protest signs. They are posted on my Friendster page for those of you in the know. What was great was that there was a Gay Christians group who was peacefully protesting right in front of them. Like the Supreme Court says, the marketplace of ideas is so fucking hot! (paraphrased).

When I returned home from Pride a little blonder and pinker than I was when I left, I was delighted to find that there was a marathon of the first season of America’s Next Top Model. Heaven. A nice walk in the park at night (once it cooled down to normal Earth temperatures) with KD capped off the prideful weekend.

In other news, you can send your friends, enemies and lovers anonymous e-cards that tell them about STDs that you might have given them or gotten from them. I know it’s supposed to be an important, effective tool in fighting the spread of disease, but since I have the maturity of a 12 year old, I will be sending them to everyone I know.

I saw the crazy girl from Fado who asked my table if we were gay the other night again at Fergie’s. Bitch is crazy. She asked the bartender for a pair of scissors so that she could cut her top to be more conducive to flesh-baring cleavage shots. Then she approached me and KD, told us we were cute (ok, she really just said he was cute), and asked us if (drum roll) we were gay. What is this girl’s problem? Whatever it is, I have a problem, too. I think way deep down I love her!

Signing off for now, but GO PHILLIES!!! They’re on a roll.

Friday, June 10, 2005

10 Complete and Utter Lies About Me

1. As a youngster, I fell into a well in my backyard. My daring and dramatic rescue was televised for all the world to see.
2. I was so convincing speaking Hebrew at my Bar Mitzvah that no one even knew I wasn’t even Jewish and faked the whole thing to make some extra cash as a 13 year old.
3. I had a number one hit in the early 90s with “Informer,” an exciting hybrid of rap and reggae that drove teens wild.
4. I had a bit part in the movie “The Preacher’s Wife,” starring Whitney Houston, playing a parishioner who believes in miracles and gets “taken by the spirit.”
5. I miss my 3 illegitimate, half-Japanese children who currently reside in Binghamton, NY, but not enough to send them child support payments.
6. The combination of his political integrity, fine looks and good morals makes me want to have sex with Karl Rove.
7. Valtrex helps me live a normal day to day life, although I am aware that it only prevents outbreaks and doesn’t completely make the problem go away.
8. I alternate chewing Kodiak Long Cut and Skoal tobacco, and I always swallow what I should spit out, just to remind myself I am alive. Grrr.
9. I'm a lot like you so please. Hello? I'm here; I'm waiting. I think I'd be good for –you, and you'd be good for me.
10. I feel that Star Wars wrongly portrays my father. The only things my dad actually has in common with Darth Vader is that his arms and legs were cut off in a sword fight, and he was burned to near-death by liquid hot magma.

100 Things About Me

Yes, I know I have been absent for a few days; thanks for all the reminders.

Until I can write about the last couple days, I will post this list I have been working on. Many other blogs contain the 100 Things Challenge, and a couple people told me I should do it. Since I respond to peer pressure and procrastination, without further ado, here are 100 things about me:

100 Things

1. My full name is Zachary Roman W********.
2. I hate tomatoes, but I love all derivatives therefrom.
3. My feet have touched the ground of 3 continents.
4. I have worked as a drug courier, bartender, lawyer, carpet layer, tour guide, waiter, bank teller and in the funeral business, among other little jobs.
5. I was baptized Eastern Orthodox (due to a coinflip) and confirmed Methodist.
6. I envy people who can fall asleep easily at night.
7. My ears are entirely different shapes and look like they should be on 2 separate heads.
8. Wintergreen is my favorite type of mint.
9. I sing second tenor.
10. I have blue eyes and hair that turns blond in the summer.
11. I like to read several books at one time.
12. I have met both female Supreme Court Justices.
13. I saw the Space Shuttle Challenger blow up live and in person.
14. I am afraid of eye doctors.
15. People often cannot tell when I am joking.
16. My first car was a 1991 Chevy Cavalier that was named Conchita.
17. I used to keep a copy of a novel at all times in my glove compartment in case I nroke down somewhere and needed to read.
18. I have been in love with a woman and a man.
19. I can barely get by in Spanish.
20. I am nocturnal by nature. Much like the rap group.
21. My favorite concert I have ever seen was Travis.
22. I was raised in Peckville, Pa. I lived a block away from my grandparents.
23. I am allergic to dogs and cats. My family discovered this when I was 2 and playing with a dog at a playground. I broke out so badly that it looked like I was beaten with a frying pan. The hospital to which I was taken called Child Services. Ha.
24. Regardless, my family got a dog when I was in high school. A boxer, Jasmine.
25. I am able to grow a full beard, but it’s in everyone’s best interest that I do not.
26. I have a scar above my left eyebrow from when a shovel got thrown at my head.
27. Once a moth got stuck in my right ear. It was rescued alive and set free in the emergency room.
28. I wear a silver ring on my left thumb.
29. I am very mean when I wake up in the morning.
30. I think one can be both outspoken and softspoken.
31. Both of my parents are conservative Republicans. I am decidedly not so.
32. Sometimes my birthday falls on Thanksgiving.
33. My Grandfather and I share the same birthday.
34. I am a Sagittarius born in the Year of the Snake.
35. I do not drink hot beverages. I don’t understand them.
36. I learned to swim at the same time I learned to walk.
37. I have never broken a bone, but doctors discovered (when I was 22) that I was born with a broken bone in each foot that went unnoticed. I just got used to it.
38. The only video games I have ever truly enjoyed have involved Mario, trivia or both.
39. The first album I ever owned was Thriller by Michael Jackson.
40. Law School was the first time I ever studied in earnest.
41. If I were born female, my name would have been Emelyn Marlo.
42. I was almost kidnapped in a KayBee toy store, and I can still give an accurate description of the kidnapper.
43. My family owns a funeral home.
44. I went through a phase as a teenager in which I frequently oil painted.
45. I have played the xylophone, trumpet, French horn and mellophone.
46. I have worn glasses on and off since seventh grade. I lost my first pair after 3 weeks.
47. I was valedictorian of my high school class.
48. I think guilt is a terrible emotion, but a necessary one.
49. I miss the show 120 Minutes on MTV.
50. My parents are divorced and have been for quite some time.
51. I am the only person in my immediate family with naturally curly hair.
52. I don’t like seafood, but I like calamari.
53. I love snow.
54. I like red, orange, purple, yellow and green Skittles, in that order.
55. Low blood sugar makes me have severe mood swings.
56. I love trivia games, and I am pretty competitive about them.
57. I hate when people don’t chew with their mouths closed.
58. I am told I have an extensive vocabulary.
59. I dream in color; I dream every night.
60. I can feign a pretty convincing British accent.
61. I can change a tire on a car all by myself.
62. I give inanimate objects human characteristics. I anthropomorphize.
63. I like Star Wars, but I hate Star Trek.
64. When I was young I threatened to cut my fingers off if I had to take piano lessons. Now I regret not being able to play the piano.
65. I prefer crunchy peanut butter to not crunchy.
66. I give great back rubs because I took a seminar on it in college.
67. I own a digital camera that I don’t use enough.
68. I think cheese is a wonderful food.
69. I like sports a lot more than people think I do.
70. As I get older, I play the "If this hadn't happened to me, then that wouldn't have happened" game more often.
71. I have O Positive blood type.
72. I hate guns, but I am an excellent shot.
73. I love Chinese, Mexican and Italian food.
74. Crazy people are drawn to me; they love me.
75. I saw the Daily Show with john Stewart live before it became the phenomenon it is today.
76. I once went to a mall to meet Jodie Sweetin, Stephanie Tanner on television’s Full House.
77. I have never smoked a cigarette and likely never will.
78. I am on a never ending quest to find the world’s best macaroni and cheese.
79. Unless I have an invested interest in a sports team, I will always root for the underdog.
80. When I can afford to, I would like to decorate my residence with maps.
81. I have only owned one computer in my entire life.
82. I am the shyest extrovert I know. Or perhaps the most gregarious introvert.
83. I believe if someone can quote the movie “Heathers” or “Waiting for Guffman,” he or she can’t be all that bad.
84. I believe that gender exclusivity in prose hurts people.
85. I sing loudly in the car and shower.
86. I always get my Halloween costume at the very last minute.
87. I have an overactive imagination.
88. I often dream that I have conversations with people. I believe that I have had these conversations in real life and get angry that no one understands what I am talking about.
89. I have been student body president of 2 of the 3 schools I have attended. I didn’t try at one of them.
90. I wake up to Sportscenter every morning.
91. I have a hard time comprehending the fact that some people don't read for pleasure.
92. My senior prom date wore a red dress. Sadly and typically, she was in the bathroom peeing when “Lady in Red” was played.
93. I am told I look much younger than I am.
94. I want to name my children after strong literary characters and my grandfather.
95. I was frisked by a policeman once regarding a crime I did not commit.
96. I would like to run a marathon someday.
97. I have déjà vu all the damn time.
98. I am the oldest of three. My siblings have more common sense than I do.
99. I have been very lucky with roommates for the most part.
100. I really love lists.

Monday, June 06, 2005

I Believe in Miracles: A Lesson in Dry Lips and Redemption

When God closes a door, s/he opens a window or tears the roof off. Or something like that. I am not really sure how the old adage goes, but I am certain of one thing. Today I became a believer in kismet!

This morning as I was completing my moisturizing and exfoliating regime, I shocked to discover that I had run clear out of Chapstick. If there is one thing that this boy will not tolerate, it’s dry lips. Now normally this kind of revelation would send me reeling back into bed where I would remain covered and in the fetal position, peeking my head out periodically only to catch glimpses of the brave women on Starting Over. I relate. To make matters worse, I knew that I would be the only person in my office today, since Miss Sandy was fulfilling her civil duty as a potential juror. As she put it, “Girlfriend’s got some jury duty.” These were ominous portends that indicated a bad week lay ahead.

Somehow I mustered the strength to pour myself into a khakis and sport coat ensemble and march off to work in the 150 degree heat, dry lips and all.

For lunch I went to Club Wa to grab a quick sandwich and get some cottage cheese and peaches. I had been craving Wawa Iced Tea all day. When I got there, I was saddened to see that there was no Wawa Iced Tea! Of course, by "saddened" I mean in a homicidal rage. All my nightmares were coming to fruition in one day! Needless to say, after I grabbed a Snapple Iced tea to go with the rest of my lunch, I flipped out Ninja-style, beat up everyone in the room and burned the Wawa down, leaving a smoky pile of ashes where the once convenient mart once stood. I walked back to my office, lunch in hand, a bit hungrier but no less frustrated.

I sat down to eat lunch, hoping that each bite would give me a bit more strength to persevere through the day. I was alone, defeated. I ripped the perforated slit down the side of my Snapple bottle’s safety seal and twisted the cap off, being met with the delightful pop of a bottle well kept. I readied myself to read the underside of the cap. Surely, the factoid therein would cheer me up. At the very least, it would be a nugget of information that I could cast into conversation at a wholly inappropriate time. But wait, what was this? It seems that instead of getting a factoid (which would have been plenty), it turns out I won a Snapple-sanctioned prize. And what was it?

Snapple Lip Balm. Who knew!

I guess everything really does happen for a reason.

It was a nice weekend of drinking, dancing and bike racing. Actually, I just watched the bike race, but it was fun. I got to see Cecily Tynan on a motorcycle!

Last night I saw a great movie (Crash), and had some quality drinking and walking time with a wonderful guy who finds himself conspicuously inconspicuous in many of my blog entries. So there.

All in all, a nice weekend. The next time I write something, I hope my lips will be in much better shape and possibly iced tea flavored.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Yes, I Know the Proper Term is "Mentally Challenged," But You Weren't The One Being Hit

As I am wont to do on lovely afternoons after I am released from the CJC, I walked to Rittenhouse Square to do some reading. Currently, I am switching off between two amazing books, Atonement and Freakonomics. The day was temperate: warm enough to convince you that Summer was on the way and cool and breezy enough to remind you that Spring’s last vestiges are in all their resplendent glory. I found a bench that was ideal for people watching and was still catching sunlight at this late hour. I removed my sport coat and folded it over the back of the bench, rolled up my sleeves and loosened my white and powder blue necktie. I crossed my legs at the knee, leaned my head back and inhaled the fragrant, floral air on this perfect June day. It was heaven. That is, until I was physically attacked by a retarded person.

You see, before I knew what was happening, I was being battered about the chest and arms by a stranger. I couldn’t tell at the time, but he was about 6 feet tall with graying hair and a massive underbite. He was screaming something I couldn’t understand at first, but it became clearer that he was exclaiming that he didn’t like the look of me. This may be a common sentiment among the populus, but I have never had anyone take out their frustration with my appearance with physical violence. What I did know was that I couldn’t fight back because you can’t fight back with a retarded person. I also noticed at this point that everyone around me was giving me dirty looks, like I had done something to incur the wrath of this seemingly innocent mentally disabled person. With all his weight braced against my slight frame and for some reason desperate to throttle me, he flailed his arms against me until he had a better idea. See, he was carrying a polaroid camera. I know he was carrying that because he was lifting it over his head to hit me with it before his parents restrained him. I assumed that the people who restrained him were his parents. He continued to scream that he didn’t like me very much. Everyone stared at me in shame.

His parents were profusely apologetic to the point that it was causing even more of a scene than the actual attack. They made him apologize to me, as well. They even joked about hoping that I wasn’t a lawyer. I just giggled awkwardly and didn’t let them know that I had about 30 criminal and civil grievances listed in my head. It was like live-action bar exam fact pattern. I was remarkably calm throughout the whole ordeal. And I am glad I possessed the emotional wherewithal not to fight back and beat the shit out of him (not that I could have, really, this dude was deisel). As great as it would be to be the subject of the headline “Philadelphia Lawyer Beats Retarded Man in Park,” it’s probably better if I gain notoriety in a manner that doesn’t involve protests from ARC mounted on my apartment building stoop.

Anyway, the family walked away and I was left to ponder that my very existence bothered someone so much that he felt compelled to pummel me in a public place. Sure, he was mentally disabled, but still. Why do I attract crazy people like I do? As a cohort of mine told me via email: your essence must really be distilled and studied at length one day. I will take that as a compliment. But if you, the reader, ever get the feeling you want to pull back and slap me silly, let’s talk about it first. I am a part-time lover, full-time hater, but never, ever a fighter.

With the recent revelation of Deep Throat’s true identity, it’s only understandable that I have been asked several times to discuss this blog’s official policy on anonymous sources. Often I accept advice, story details and encouragement from sources who wish to remain anonymous. Surely, if anyone wants me to tell a story on here that involves confidential information, I will as long as I can maintain the reliance that the reader has on me to be honest and full of integrity. To preserve that fragile trust, I give you the True Enough For You Blog official policy on truth and anonymous sources:

1) I will not print information from an anonymous source unless I read it in an official email. Or if you tell me when either of us is really drunk.
2) I promise to ensure the accuracy of any information you give me unless I find it really, really funny written another way.
3) Sometimes a source will remain anonymous because I forget your name after you leave in the morning. No offense.
4) Confidential sources must have direct knowledge of the information they are giving me — or they must be the authorized representatives of an authority, well known to me, who has such knowledge. Or they could have heard it from their boyfriend’s cousin’s best friend from college’s friend who works for 12 Street Gym, or someone they met at a bar last night. Or they could have dreamed it. Whatever, really.
5) Sources abusing their anonymity to engage in personal attack will be congratulated and encouraged to be my best friend.

So anyway, tell me something good. And know that you can trust me!

Yesterday was the amazing National Spelling Bee. Those little bitches can spell! Some kid from California won. This is the word he spelled correctly to win the whole thing:

Appoggiatura- An embellishing note, usually one step above or below the note it precedes and indicated by a small note or special sign.

All I have to say to that is ,”Duh.”

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Prince is Like 5'2" of Pure, Hot Sex

Hooray for Memorial Day! There’s only one memorial fit for our nation’s fallen, and it’s called packing your weekend full of so much crap and booze that you feel like you never even had an extra day off. The weekend started off with a bang at a Bump happy hour. Sometimes happy hour is the best idea in the world. It is the alcoholic springboard that thrusts you into a night of drunken debauchery. Sometimes you peak too early, get pissy and snap at anyone who comes near you doesn’t promise to immediately let you take a nap. This Friday was an example of the latter. My friends and I decided we hated life and each other, and decided to go home early. On my way home, walking alone, I met a man who was carrying a blueberry muffin. We chatted on my steps about said muffin. Then, I went to bed.

The next day I decided to go to Peckville for the evening. It was sexy as ever because in the town next to my favorite little hamlet, La Festa Dei Ceri was occurring. Jessup, the neighboring town to mine, is very Italian. It’s a quaint little town with great food and crazy Italian grandmothers, none of whom are allowed to be over 5 feet tall (city ordinance). In fact, it’s the sister city to Gubbio, Italy. Every year in Jessup, they run the Race of the Saints and have the accompanying St. Ubaldo Festival. This shit is bananas. Basically, there are three teams made up of townspeople whose families have pledge allegiance to one of three saints: St. Ubaldo, St. George and St. Anthony. Everyone in town wears the color of their favorite patron Saint. I imagine the assignment of saints is something like the Sorting Hat ritual from Harry Potter.

Then, a huge statute of each of the saints is affixed to huge platform and then burly men grab the platforms and run all over town racing them to the finish at a big park. The town is built on hills, so the teams have the challenge of keeping the statues of the saints upright or they will face “the ultimate disgrace.” I have no idea what that is. To this day, to get “Ubaldo’d” at home means that you are picked up by a bunch of people and then thrown at high speed. It was a popular gym class torture. Since it’s his festival, the St. Ubaldo team has to win every year and everyone has to pretend it’s a huge surprise (city ordinance). Also, everyone gets completely hammered.

Back in the days before everyone was so damn litigation happy or before anyone had any regard for duty (I am talking TORT duty here, y’all.) to keep others safe, the race was out of control. The racers would smash into the crowds that lined the streets, mothers would throw themselves in front of their kids and everyone would break into huge rumbles about what saint was the most awesome. It’s still fun, but I no longer fear death like I used to. So, I didn’t go to it this year. Instead I hung out with my grandfather. However, two of my friends, females, got into a bar fight and one of them was dragged away in a police car in cuffs. I wish they all could be Peckville girls!

Hanging out with my grandfather was a great time, and he is holding up as well as can be expected. He told me a story about how when I was 3, someone gave me a toy truck for my birthday and I handed it back to her and told her I would much rather prefer getting books and that there was nothing that I could learn from a truck. His point was that I have always been an outspoken, pretentious little snot. After visiting mom’s and dad’s houses, I came back to Philly Sunday night.

That night I went to Silk City for a Madonna/Michael Jackson/Prince dance party. Which was? Awesome. The music consisted exclusively of the catalogues of Madonna, Michael Jackson and Prince. This included the Jackson 5. At one point during Prince’s “Baby I’m a Star,” the DJ was throwing his hands in the air (in a manner that indicated that he just don’t care) and the dance floor was going nuts and I thought I was in the movie Purple Rain. It was followed by “Pretty Young Thing,” so I pretty much lost my shit. There were several moments like this. My description would do them no justice. Of course, a highlight for me was “7” by Prince, saving me the trouble of getting wasted and screaming at the DJ to play it, like I usually do at every other bar I have ever been to.

There was one catch. Although friends of mine ended up being there, I was kind of there on a date. The date had another guy show up who was into him. And that other guy whom we shall call Ugh, kept hanging out with us, dancing with us and hovering, lurking. It was so not cool. Now the Z of last year would not have handled this well at all; he would not have shown the considerable maturity that the Z of this Sunday exemplified. I let him do what he wanted and got the best revenge: by looking great on the dance floor. Ugh shook my hand and hugged me on the way out, which was odd. I didn’t want in any way to make it look like I wanted some sort of compromise or resolution, but again, maturity got the best of me. I still ended up leaving with the guy.

So in sum: if you’re going to show up somewhere and try and steal my date for the evening, be more attractive and fun than I am, bring cooler friends than I have and be able to compose an interpretive dance to “Like a Prayer” better than I can. Good luck with that.

You might not think that on of Sandy’s best girlfriends is Jackie Frasier-Lyde, championship boxer and daughter of Joe Frasier. But you’d be wrong. She’s here right now in the office, and she just told me I am a gift from God. Holla! And she brought some girlfriends. We’re all sitting around like the Women of Brewser Place, hanging out and telling stories about the good old days. I am the only white boy there, but by now, I think Sandy just accepts me as a Black woman.