Tuesday, September 25, 2001

vince vaughn in "Made" was so frustrating i couldn't decide immediately if i liked the movie or not. many many many times during the film, whenever vince's character ricky was on the verge of fouling things up for jon favreau's lovable character bobby, i felt myself grinding my teeth and tensing my neck muscles. the movie is definitely funny and it echoes the characters from jon favreau's last movie "Swingers."

"Love is not the easy thing
the only baggage you can bring
is all that you can't leave behind."

- "Walk On" by U2

i was listening to this on the bus as i was reading sandra bernhard's semi-autobiographical book "Love, Love and Love." these words from bono echo sandra's book. in the book, sandra's characters all fall in and out of relationships: bisexual, straight, gay, the characters are desperately finding that elusive thing, that emotion called love, they can't afford to bring in any baggage than they can carry in case they have to move on quickly. in many of the stories, i don't think the characters even know what love is. they try to approximate it, but every single one, not any less emotional than the other, because even if they don't know what love is, they don't give any less of themselves.

this book to me, reveals sandra bernhard as a person. she doesn't really write fiction, even though some of the stories are really fictional. one gets a sense that the characters are thinly veiled versions of herself. names dropped like flies, labels on parade and luxury items enumerated, catalogued and expounded upon. it's all very much a desperate, ravaged, fabulous lifestyle.

the book is kinda hit-or-miss. some of the vignettes are incredibly powerful, but some are just tedious. the paperback included a section of stuff that was supposed to be the pieces that she "left out," but left in to reveal to us the process in which she chose the pieces that ended up in the book. this section is a train wreck. incredibly bad stuff littered with misspellings, bad grammar and 5th grade musings but ultimately revealing. if these were the raw pieces, i hope her editor got paid a lot of money, because the final product had no resemblance to this dross. the book, despite its skim milk approach to literature, had a kind of liquid gloss to it. the bad stuff was just plain bad--clunky (as in tin cans, not shoes).

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

i'm right in the middle of Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and i am very absorbed in this novel. i have read two of his previous books "The Wonder Boys" and "The Mysteries of Pittsburg," but this one is very different in tone and pacing. it may be because it's set in the 1930s about how two down-on-their-luck guys who start a comic book and get involved with with major events happened in that era. this novel is kind of Irving-esque, in that the story is sprawling and has several themes going. as with other Chabon novels, this one has a gay character as well, and the romantic aspect of this particular character is written quite well. this novel won the 2001 pulitzer prize for fiction.

if you see a guy this week reading a hardcover copy (no dust jacket) of this book on the 135 lasalle bus, that's me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

The Day After

yesterday, we were sent home from work early because of the proximity of our building to the sears tower in chicago, which people feared was a potential target for terrorist attacks. i have often wondered what would happen if our building, which has 23 floors, ever caught on fire. would i have the presence of mind to find the exit and run down quickly enough to escape?

in 1991, when i was still living in manila, there was a massive earthquake whose epicenter was a few miles away from the city. our 8-story building shook fearsomely. the walls swayed at least six inches and i was sitting there petrified to my seat. even though we had been trained to head for the nearest exit and run as far away from the building as possible, i had NOT acted. i was in shock and i couldn't move.

when i saw on tv how some people jumped off from the building because they couldn't stand the flames, i felt for them. they knew they couldn't survive the heat, and so they pray that the jump would deliver them.

i feel numb.

Friday, September 07, 2001

The World of Gay Dating: Fake Boyfriends

last night is the first night of the fall quarter at depaul where i am taking classes in preparation for my MBA and holycow! who do i see? my straight "fake boyfriend" from the gym who i call "SUPERBOY"! Superboy is maybe 24 or 25 (way too young for me), has short dark hair, stands about 5'6", has broad shoulders, and massive quads. the "Superboy" aspect comes from the fact that he has a cute, clean cut squarish face (which would look great with a pair of dark clark kent glasses) and a yummy cleft chin.

now, every gay guy i know has a "fake boyfriend"; it's usually somebody straight, may be someone from the gym, their classroom, in their building, etc. it's usually someone they see quite frequently but have no personal contact with. thus some of us stare longingly at the object of our affection and usually have a romantic fantasy relationship (even for those gay men who are relationship-phobes) with these men. usually we chisten them with some kind of nickname like "Gap Boy" or "Kellogg Guy" or even real names like "Jeff" or "Charlie."

i guess for me, it's a fun way of ogling at guys. it's really quite harmless, i suppose, although i don't know how straight guys would react being treated like a piece of meat :-) straight men really don't know how to handle being on the receiving end of the mating game. i guess, in a way, it make sense. the whole mating thing is almost about one person imposing themselves on another person hoping to get a reaction. males are conditioned to make a move and females to react. when i hang out with my friend dave (who's straight) at durkin's, a local straight bar, the dynamics of the people, as opposed to a gay or lesbian bar are markedly different. dave agrees and is quite fascinated when we hang out at spin or girlbar because he sees the difference there.

maybe my fascination with my fake boyfriend will cease now that i actually have contact with him, because the fantasy can't be sustained when reality intrudes. i am not the kind of person that will hang around a straight guy hoping that they will "turn gay." i just tend to think of them as my brothers or colleagues, sexless, in a way. i may appreciate their attractiveness, but i don't think of them as potential sex partners, because that's futile. i'd rather be spending my energy trying to meet a guy in a gay bar.

but for now, my fake boyfriend has a real name: brian. if i wanted to be a stalker i guess i could look up his address or phone in the phone book or his e-mail on the internet and or maybe find out if he has a webpage. WOW!


A Google search revealed this picture. He's the one on the left.

Tuesday, September 04, 2001

Top Ten Gay Breakfast Items

breakfast is the most important meal of the gay man. it is what resucitates those who go out partying all night because they skipped dinner to fit those lung-busting, bone-crushingly tight clothes. after walking out of the club at 530am, and the boom-boom-boom of the dance music fades away, the growling of the stomach can no longer be ignored. besides, if you failed to pick up that cute guy at the club, chances are, he's at the local eatery and you can continue the pursuit. so if you are a server, memorize this list and you will have an easier time of it.

Top Ten Gay Breakfast Items

10. Water
- it's free and you can chat and dish about that hottie without spending a cent.

9. Soup
- well, somebody's got to order something otherwise you'd have to leave. usually by the guy who is trying to get into your group of "A-Listers".

8. Steak and Eggs, hold the Starch
- for the musclebound gym bunny, protein is the most important ingredient--2 servings please.

7. The Works
- 3 egg omelette with cheese and choice of filling, side of hash browns, wheat toast, buttered, pancakes on the side. If you didn't get laid, damn it if you'd stifle another craving.

6. Lipstick
- for the drag queen, why order food when you can find it in your purse?

5. Cigarettes
- if you don't live in California, nicotine is the only drug you can afford after you spent it all on the hard stuff.

4. Grease
- not the musical, as in french fries.

3. Orange Juice
- it's like a mimosa without the champagne.

2. Coffee
- you have to go to work in a couple of hours coz you work retail.

1. Drugs
- why end the party?

The Cider House Rules

i finally finished The Cider House Rules by John Irving. it took me a while to finish the book because it was so long. i think it took about 3 weeks. however, the book was excellent, full of characters that you want to root for. in it's heart, it's a story about fatherhood and the complexities of our familial ties. seen through the eyes of a orphan who desperately wants a family, we are made to re-examine our own feelings for our families to whom we are thrust with no choice. the scenes which depicted Dr. Wilbur Larch, the director of the orphanage, as an inadvertent father to Homer touched me deeply, because it reflects a little on my own relationship with my father. my father spent his life working and trying to make ends meet, we hardly spent any time with him when we were growing up. when finally he had reached the financial stability he had worked for and had more time to spend with us, we were already in our teens and had no idea how to communicate to his kids, much less sullen and rebellious teenagers.

although this is only the second john irving novel i have read, i noticed that while he is a master at creating characters that are lovable, he has a tendency to lose his way at the end of the novel, as if he wants the novel to continue but is forced to spend the last few chapters trying to wrap up all the loose ends. as if the end of the story has to be the end of the character's life, instead of wherever it should logically be. the result is that the last few chapters seem to deal with the distant future of the characters and the narrative becomes forced and rushed.

thanks to my friend annie for recommending (and lending) me the book. because of this, i went out and bought hardcover 1st editions of The Cider House Rules, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and Hotel New Hampshire by the same author.

Recommended books by John Irving:
"it's not meant to be a strife
it's not meant to be a struggle uphill

you're trying too hard
give yourself in
you're trying too hard :
y o u ' r e t r y i n g t o o h a r d"

from "Undo" by bjork

Sunday, September 02, 2001

today i am sad. i want to say more but i feel that if i do, then i wouldn't be able to stop. so i am going to stop.