Thursday, December 30, 2004

Finalist



...and our next finalist...No Milk Please!

For a second, I couldn't move. My hand flew to my trembling mouth, my ears filled with the roaring applause. I felt the gentle nudge of a fellow contestant, her mouth forming the words "go, go," urging me to join my fellow finalists already lined up in front of the stage.

In slow motion, I walked forward, carefully navigating the steps in my high heels. I hoped the duct tape holding my penis down inside my one-piece swimsuit will hold up a little longer.

Hot Toddy, another finalist, pressed his cheek against mine. Fellow Chicagoan NoFo smiled and waved from the end of the line. I waved back and thought to myself, I hope you bitches break a heel and fall.

Tears formed prettily at the edge of my eyes, but not enough to smudge my make-up. I smiled, my teeth shining with the vaseline I smeared on them. I made a mental note to buy another jar in case any of the panelists need 'persuading'...

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No Milk Please is a finalist for Best LGBT Blog at The BoB Awards. I am truly honored that people have nominated this site without my coersion or paid endorsement. I didn't even know that this existed!

Thanks to Catt at Does This Mean I'm a Grown-Up? who is also nominated for Most Humorous Blog. Also, thanks to Gurustu, H79 (again!) at Object-Oriented and others for their nominations.

Congrats to Hot Toddy and NoFo for their nominations in the same category. Also, Daniel at ...was I there? for Biggest Blogwhore (I thought I was the biggest one?).

Voting starts January 1st, 2005. Vote Now!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Drowned World


(c) 2004 Reuters

I have been following the news of the devastation that was brought on by tsunamis caused by an undersea earthquake to the magnitude of 9.0 off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. In the Aceh province in northern Indonesia, 25% of the population is said to be dead.

The news media is predicting that the death toll could top 100,000.

In Thailand, many vacation spots were enjoying peak season visitors when the giant waves collapsed on them, turning the resorts into watery graves. Reports that at least 1,600 foreigners were dead and 3,500 were unaccounted for.

The pictures of unidentified/unfound rotting and decomposing bodies littering the shorelines and streets are horrible. The number of people dead could rise because of the lack of food, water, medical supplies and the spread of the disease.

I was just telling Brian a few days before the tsunamis struck that South Asian people were used to turbulent weather like tropical storms, cyclones and typhoons. It was just a way of life. We are a resilient people.

But the magnitude of this has surpassed anything I could have imagined. I am in shock. If the earthquakes had happened on the eastern shore of Sumatra, then the islands of the Philippines, where my family and friends live, might have fallen victim as well. I feel a pang of guilt for being relieved where others are grieving for their lost kin.

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Very graphic photo (large) of this tragedy via Overworked & Underf*cked
Earthquake/Tsunami simulation
Before & after photo
The Drowned World - A Time Magazine photo essay
Celebrities caught in the tsunamis
Satellite photo moments before the tsunami impact in Sri Lanka
Countries hit by the tsunamis
American Red Cross donation page
Aid groups accepting donations for tsunami victims, please do what you can to help!
Survivor e-mails at CNN.com
Tsunami facts

Monday, December 27, 2004

Baby's First Christmas

When a baby gets born into a family, it’s a wondrous event. It brings a sense of hope that maybe somehow, this generation will be the one to first to go to college, become a professional, learn to put the toilet seat down.

I spent this past Christmas at my friend Jordan's home, who recently became an uncle. It was the first Christmas for his nephew, the 5-month old Justin, the first grandchild in the household. Everyone was ga-ga over this baby, of course, as is expected since this family has a history of mental illness.

Everyone went overboard with the gifts, stuff that the baby wouldn’t use for years to come: books, toys, a crack pipe. People laughed when they opened the box of condoms I ‘gave’ the baby, jovially slapping me on the back, winking and elbowing me. I realized then that I switched the gift tags by mistake; the condoms were for the parents.

Deanna, one of little baby Justin’s aunts, was quite taken with the him. She couldn’t keep her hands off the little tyke. She was cooing at it and making noises. But then, she started having one-way conversations with it.

At first, she was just talking nonsense, repeating the same phrases over and over, in a girlish, high-pitched voice designed to irritate the baby into responding.

Aren’t you cuuute? Yoou’re sooo cuuute! Koochy-koochy-koo! Does that tickle? Oooh, that tickles, doesn’t it? That’s so adorable and cuuuuuute!

Then it seemed that Deanna was using the baby to send messages to anybody within earshot, like his parents.

I hope you liked that car seat we got you for Christmas. It must be very comfortable and safe for little babies like youuu! I spent lot of time looking for just the right one! And I didn’t even think of the priiiice! I wanted your mom and dad to know I got you juuuust the right one!

Then it really got weird.

I hope you grow up biiiig and stroooong and smaaaart, unlike my boyfriend Carl who can’t hold down a job or pay me back that $300 he owes me. You have such as cuuute smile, just like your dad, who would’ve married me if my little sister, your mother, didn’t screw him and gotten pregnant with you...

Even though I was just a guest, I decided to intervene by relieving Deanna of the loveable little load. As I rocked the baby to sleep in my arms, I felt something overcome me, a maternal instinct maybe, which felt like my balls shrinking and rising and trying to stuff themselves back into my body cavity, trying to fold themselves into a vagina.

As I gave little Justin a kiss on the forehead, I saw Deanna playing with the chihuahua Twinkie, his little face in her hands, their noses almost touching...

You’re such a pretty dog aren’t you, Twinkeeee, arentchooo? You wouldn’t pass off a cheap-ass ugly plastic salad bowl as a real gift when everybody knows you got it from your Secret Santa at work...sooo cuuute!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Red Envelopes

Don't be shocked by this revelation: until I was twenty-three years old, I have never, ever received a Christmas present from my parents or my siblings. The closest I got to a Christmas present was when I was fourteen, my dad gave me a girlie calendar he got from the auto parts company he did business with that year, still gift-wrapped. I think he was trying to teach his queer boy something, you know, like maybe how to straddle a five foot long spark plug in a bikini and red, stiletto heels.

No, my parents are not horrible or stingy. Quite the opposite: they would help you up if you slip and fall; politely laugh at your lame jokes; sue your ass when you rear-end them. They're real salt-of-the-earth kinda people. They don't put on false airs--they own up to their farts, even the real stinky burrito ones.

I grew up in a Third World country. To my traditional Asian parents, Christmas gift-giving is much a western concept, like "tipping," "driving in your own lane" or even "getting an allowance." For a little pocket money, we kids had to get straight A's, do household chores and assemble a few hundred garments for export to the USA.

Still, we had it good. On a good day, I made 70 cents. And at least we worked for a major designer label like Kathie Lee Gifford, sold exclusively at Walmart. The Cruz girls from down the street always looked enviously as we walked past them on our way to the sweatshop; they had to glue on plastic "Proda" labels on ersatz leather goods (tacky!). Oh, how I felt sorry for them.

My parents, born to Chinese immigrants, subscribed more to the tradition of giving "red envelopes" or ang pao during special occasions like birthdays, graduation, your first prostitute. Christmas, though not a Chinese tradition, fell into this category. My grandparents, aunts and uncles would visit our house and present us with red envelopes containing small bills.

My mother, who wanted to teach us the value of money, would tell us that we could go spend it on toys now or save it for our education. She would tell us, "if you go to college, you make enough to have nice crib, have Cris in the fridge, maybe some nice bling."

I guess when she put that way, it made sense. I handed over my ang pao to her and she put it in my Hello Kitty savings account. Years later, I used my Hello Kitty savings to move away to Chicago.

I know that many people think that money or gift cards are a such a thoughtless gift to give, but I really think otherwise. What could be better than giving somebody the power to buy whatever they want?

But you know, sometimes I get really excited when I open a carefully wrapped gift and find a gift receipt taped inside the box. The bulky reindeer sweater inside was a really thoughtful gift--for someone else.

Also, people always think that they know you better than they actually do. I mean, I mention one day that I thought that pez dispensers are cute, next thing I know, I have a shelf full of pez collectibles. I don't even like pez candy! Maybe one day I will casually mention that I think giant buttplugs are cute and see what happens.

After I moved to Chicago, I have gotten more into the holiday spirit of maxing out my credit cards. I spent last weekend driving around looking for a parking space and standing in lines, just to get that very special gift that says "I hope you enjoy this thoughtful gift because I will be filing for bankruptcy next year."

But even though my family and I never exchanged gifts on Christmas, I never felt that was missing anything. The money filled the emptiness in my heart. And I never thought about it before, but I really think that I enjoyed the holiday season more.

These days, I am not sure how much time I am going to have to feel any peace-on-earth and goodwill-towards-men; I still have a lot of shopping to do.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Time Traveler's Wife

buy hereIn Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler's Wife, Henry DeTamble has a disease called Chrono-Displacement Syndrome. It makes him time-travel. Henry can't control it; it mostly happens when he's feeling stress or going through some emotional turmoil. He has utterly no control over where or when he's coming or going. He doesn't know anybody else who has this disease.

Sometimes, he'll appear in a time and place where he already exists; he can interact with a younger or older version of himself. Many times his travels take him to the same event in time, like a treasured moment with Clare, the titular wife. Clare has known Henry since she was 6 and because Henry has time-traveled numerous times to visit after he first "met" Clare when he was 28 and she was 20.

The book opens with the scene where Henry, working at the Newberry Library in Chicago "meets" Clare for the first time. Henry of the present has no clue who Clare is. Future Henry has been careful not to tell anybody in the past, including his past "selves," about the future because Henry is afraid to contemplate the nature of fate. This creates a tension for a the reader who knows in bits and pieces of things that occur in the time continuum for Henry. We are time-traveling not just with one Henry, but many Henrys, because each Henry at any point in time can be displaced.

Henry's fear has to do with determinism: the past, present and future has already happened and there is no way to alter the course. What you do now has changed your future and if you travel from your future to your past, it has changed the present. There is no paradox. By not telling his past selves what happens in the future, they can live in the knowledge and/or illusion that they have some "control" over their destinies.

Of course, my only experience with determinism was when a guy I was going out with had foreplay, sex and climax all at the same time before I had taken my shirt off. Then, I was determined not to go out him anymore.

At thirteen, Clare asks a 35 year-old Henry, "What about free will? What about God?" Henry doesn't answer her, but he knows that at that age, "Clare believes in Jesus and Mary. In ten years, she will believe in determinism. And ten years after that, she believes that the universe is arbitrary, that if God exists, he does not hear our prayers, that cause and effect are inescapable and brutal, but meaningless."

Chicagoans particularly will enjoy this novel as it is set in our city and Clare and Henry spend a lot of time at many familiar neighborhoods. The Newberry Library where Henry works; Beau Thai, the restaurant where the couple had their first date; the Get Me High Lounge, the bar where Henry gets pissed-ass drunk--these are all real places that I have been to and are part of the local Chicago neighborhood color.

In its heart, The Time Traveler's Wife is a love story. The Chicago Tribune calls it "a soaring celebration of the victory of love over time." It is not a romance or science fiction novel, which I think broadens its appeal. I think that Niffenegger had a real challenge of writing a novel that would not get bogged down by the literary device and the "science." I think for the most part she does it successfully.

My friend Annie, book pimp extraordinaire, who lent me her copy, said that as long as she didn't think too much about the logistics of the book, she liked it a lot. Personally, I was engaged throughout the novel and at the end, I was happy that I was along for the ride.



Do you believe we have "Free Will," "Determinism" or that God is micro-managing us? Personally, I can't see the latter. Even a compassionate God would grow tired of listening to the prayers of people hoping to win the lotto. Plus, when would he have time to watch Desperate Housewives or Arrested Development on TV...?

Monday, December 13, 2004

Thank you!

vote for me here!A big "thanks" to all you people who voted for me at the 2004 Weblog Awards. It was my first ever nomination for anything. Even though I didn't win, for a few days I was contemplating what my acceptance speech would've been and at which word I would cue my tears to well up beautifully on my face. Here are the results of the voting.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

If I Could Turn Back Time

There are many things in my life that I wish I could take back: those hurtful, angry words I threw at my father when I was seventeen; kicking my seven year-old sister in the stomach (when I was eleven); that pink flowered shirt from Dolce & Gabbana. Those were things done in the heat of passion, when my emotions and good taste were out of control.

Often, I would look back and tell myself, if I had only kept my cool, that retail queen would have refunded my money, especially since I had worn that D&G shirt only twice. I even made sure I didn’t get it dirty, which is a feat considering there weren't really any clean places to lie on in the backroom at the Manhandler.

There are e-mails I wished I hadn't sent. One of the drawbacks of having instant communication is that we could 'say' things that aren't what we really meant. E-mails, instant messaging, even blogging puts things out before we've considered their effects. Things we would never say to somebody’s face while they are sober and with a knife in their hand.

Oftentimes, the act of writing a letter by hand, of putting point of pen to paper diffuses our emotions that by the time we get from salutation to closing, we have already resolved our feelings or at least cooled down to a point where there is no need to actually send the letter. In the past, I have stood at a mailbox ready to drop a letter but pulled back at the last minute, throwing it in the trash instead.

Now, we type unmitigated rants on our keyboards, like high-speed machine-guns, attach nude photos of our ex-boyfriends taken in more trusting times and send it to everyone in our address books, all in a click of a button. Our volatile emotions now has an outlet that is just as unfettered.

I had written a string of e-mails like that to my friend Patrick once, a back-and-forth of recriminations, emotions running high. Afterwards, I looked into my sent mail folder and read some of these e-mails. I was aghast. Even if the emotions were true, it was not 'the truth.' And though I thought I tempered my tone, the only thing the e-mails reflected was my anger, not my good intentions. How do I take these words back? Should I write another e-mail? I decided to leave it alone. Our friendship would either survive this blow or fall by the wayside.

A year has passed and now I am battling Sean Hayes*, star of Will & Grace**, for custody of Patrick as a friend. I kid you not. It's been very ugly, like the bickering of the girls on MTV's Battle of the Sexes 2. One takes a friend for granted until a TV star comes by and swoops away with them, plying them with top shelf liquor, weekend getaways and celebrity games of Monopoly where the only property on the board is Park Place and everybody stays in hotels.

Patrick reported the morning after one of Sean's parties that he had a faaabulous hangover. He’s never had a faaabulous hangover at my parties. He just couldn't stop talking about how good the cocktails were. Is he subtly telling me he knew I had been filling up empty Grey Goose vodka bottles with Skol?

If I could turn back time, could I make things right? Or could a different Cher song express my feelings? It's a very hard question to answer, one I would have to dig deep into my underwear drawer for. Even if I could change the things that I have done, I cannot change who I am: a regular guy, with a regular job and a cabinet full of cheap liquor.


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* not his real name
** not his real show

Friday, December 03, 2004

Super Powers

What child didn't grow up wishing they had super powers: to disappear, to fly, to grow hair in their armpits? A child's life is fraught with disappointments, loneliness and fear. It is only natural to dream of having power when one has very little.

When I was a youth, I wished that I had telepathy, the power to read minds or make people do my bidding. I wish I could say that I had altruistic motives for wanting to have super powers, but alas, I only wanted them because I wanted to have a toy very badly, or I was being teased at school or because little Billy wouldn't play "Co-dependence" with me. I mean, Billy was already beating me up in the playground. All I wanted him to do was to hold me afterwards and beg for my forgiveness, which I would tearfully and happily supply.

I was also convinced that I could develop telekenesis through mental exercises. When I was about ten, while I was in the bathroom, I remember seeing one of those little thingamajigs that holds an earring to the back of your ear on the floor. I concentrated on it, focusing all my brain power, willing it to move towards where I was sitting. I pushed and pushed and pushed, but the only thing that moved were my bowels. Finally I gave up because my leg was falling asleep and my little sister was pounding on the bathroom door. I will never know whether I could have moved that thing if I only had a bigger piece of shit to pass.

I don't know how many times I wished I could read people's minds to know if they were gay or not. I had not yet learned that one could tell if a guy was gay by the way they crossed their legs or by which side they wore their dangly chandelier earring. Those were the days when one had to learn the subtle cues that people used to indicate that they were gay. I mean, it must have been so hard to tell who was gay while hanging out in the men's room at the truckstop.

I would have used my mental telepathy not for the good of all Mankind, but for giving good head for all kinds of men. I would have used it to find out if the Dubya and Condy are having a secret affair or if Laura is in on it too. I would have used it to compel Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas to masturbate under their robes while court was in session to get them disbarred.

It's a good thing I do not have super powers.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Vote this site for Best LGBT Blog!

vote for me here!Hey all, please vote for me for best LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered) blog at the 2004 Weblog Awards. If you can spend a few moments, please click here and vote! You can vote a maximum of once a day per IP address. I would appreciate it if you could vote every time you visit! Voting ends Sunday, Dec. 12th. Thanks to Cristina at Escape Key and H79 at Object-Oriented for nominating me!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

A Haunting

I really hate traveling. I hate the process of booking flights, rental cars and hotels primarily because I hate being taken advantage of. I hate that I could pay $250 for an airfare and the guy sitting next to me only paid $100. Of course, being an MBA, I understand the concepts of supply and demand, pricing elasticity and other crap like that, but it doesn't make me feel better to think that the tiny bag of peanuts and a half can of soda really cost me $150. I felt like ripping the peanuts out of the other guy’s hands, but I really don't want to get into trouble.

Instead, I go to the lavatory and steal the almond-scented lotion and soap and stuff my pockets with complimentary tampons. I figure I can always give it away to my poor Asian relatives as gifts or something. They go crazy for airline shit like that. They think "United Airlines" is a luxury brand.

When I was about twelve, after we arrived home from New York in one of my first airplane trips, my mother gleefully opened her carry-on baggage and showed us the stuff she took from the plane.

She drew each item out of the bag, pausing to show it off, turning it this way and that, as if she were one of the girls on The Price Is Right before laying it on the floor for us to examine. She drew out the two cute, little coffee cups, all the modern looking silverware we used, the square compartments that once housed the bland, tasteless salad and squished carrot cake. Then at the bottom of the bag, the pièce de résistance: the tray that the whole thing came in.

Those were the days when the stuff they used on planes were cool and worth "taking." My mother never thought of it as stealing because we had already "paid" for it. For the longest time, I never gave a thought this, I just thought that this was the way things were. I think that I only realized that my sainted mother was wrong was when a few years ago, the hotel concierge stopped me after checking out and asked why I was taking the mini-fridge with me.

In our recent trip to San Francisco, Brian and I stayed in this hotel called the Warwick Regis Hotel. We had used Hotwire to book the rooms. Hotwire offers hotel rooms at a big discount. They provide you with information on where the hotel is, what the star rating is, etc. What they don't give you is the name of the hotel until you book it. Again, as an MBA, I understand this. Ostensibly, this is to prevent a prestigious hotel from having a low (cost) reputation, which to me, is ironic for one particular hotel chain whose celebutante daughters are running around spreading VD.

I felt a little worried about our hotel accommodations since I had not heard of the Warwick Regis Hotel, even it had a five-star rating. I was betting (hoping) that a hotel that named itself after Dionne Warwick and Regis Philbin would not be a fleabag hotel. The location was great, a block away from Union Square.

As we walked into our room, I was relieved that it was clean, if a bit small and slightly humid. What I didn't expect was that it was going to look like my grandma’s boudoir, if my grandma was French and a high-class hooker, which she wasn't--she only charged $20 for oral.

The bedding was covered with a heavy, dark taupe damask. The pillows were the same but trimmed with gold tassels. The wallpaper was antique looking, a shade of tea rose with a fleur-de-lis pattern. There was a small velvet curtain above the bed that draped over the headboard. You can read more about the rooms here. The descriptions are fairly accurate; the décor is tasteful, if a bit fusty.

Brian and I only had sex once in that room in the three days we were in San Francisco. A vacation should surely be a time when sex should be plentiful. But try as I might, I just couldn't get the image of my grandma lying on that bed with a black lace corset and bright red garters out of my head.

It felt a little like a haunting. I kept thinking my grandma, who passed away a few years ago, was looking over my shoulder giving me tips, telling me to breathe through my nose, be careful with my teeth and not to forget to tenderly massage the balls...

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Other posts about this trip to San Francisco:


Part 1: Wedding Party

Part 2: Boystown USA


Part 3: A Haunting

Part 4: Detour



Why do tampons have strings? For people who floss after eating.
- Tampon Humor at the Museum of Menstruation

Oops, my tampon is showing
I thought beer cozies were weird, look at this.
Just in time for Christmas: Tampon Angel Ornaments
Tampon Bowling Game

Contestants lose their tops at The Price is Right
Public View of Paris Hilton courtesy of Avatar at Overworked & Underf*cked
What an MBA can do

Friday, November 19, 2004

Boystown USA

I suppose that for San Francisco, the notion of having a gay ghetto like the Castro district is almost redundant. Although for most gays, I think the word "redundant" is redundant in itself. Our culture is a Culture of Excess; why wear one tiara when five is so much more fabulous? And three nostrils make it so much easier to snort coke, even if it bleeds sometimes.

I think in San Francisco, the Castro district is almost an anachronism, a quaint little reminder of how gay folk over there used to need a safe place to meet, congregate and smear body glitter all over each other. I mean, if you live in San Francisco and you're in the closet, you must be one fucked up dude. You should really do something about that, like, give me your phone number so we can hook up.

We are immigrants of a sort. We followed the yellow brick road and ended up in the pink ghetto. We arrive at the gates downtrodden, with dreams of finding friendship, love and a full body makeover.

There are many of these ghettos, these boys- and girls- towns all over the world, little pockets of fabulousness and gaiety. It may be a string of gay merchants on a block, a couple of gay bars on the same street, or the little wooded area behind the gas station.

We invented "reinvention." It is necessary after having to go through our shared stories of leaving our families and homes to find a better life, more tolerant community, a higher thread count in our bedsheets. For myself, I wanted a fresh start, away from all the sadness and pain inflicted by those who didn't know my safe word.

In my neighborhood in Chicago, I found a great gay community; friendly and welcoming. I was ready to come out of my shell, meet new people and blow copious amounts of my wad and I wasn’t going to stop until I find my one true love or until my balls shriveled up.

Even though I miss my family a lot, I don't think I could have become the man that I am today if I had not moved away and into this gay neighborhood. I needed to find my own way and I couldn't do that with my mom and dad looking under my bed for gay porn.

I still live in Boystown, but I find that I "need" to live there less and less. I find myself thinking about moving out. I think once I thought that this was my final destination: to move into a big city and into the gay neighborhood.

Maybe it's because I am getting older. I no longer need the neighborhood as much I used to. Or maybe it's because more straight people have moved in and it doesn't have the same "feel" anymore. I mean, it is really awkward to use the same public toilet with someone who refuses to use the gloryhole between you...

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Other posts about this trip to San Francisco:


Part 1: Wedding Party

Part 2: Boystown USA


Part 3: A Haunting

Part 4: Detour




My Online Gay Neighborhood
Advice for Recent Arrivals - Dos & Don'ts & More Don'ts for Gay Boy Refugees
What is a Safe Word?
Public Toilet Museum
Anywhere can be a public toilet for women with this
An Executive Toilet

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Wedding Party

Ahh, San Francisco, the City By The Gay, the world's largest importer of lycra and lube. A city where a "painted lady" refers to a Victorian-style building or a drag queen. Within its boundaries lie the Castro District, our Gay Mecca, the place where all homosexuals come to pay tribute to the Holy Trinity of camp, couture and club music.

Brian and I flew to San Francisco to attend a close friend's wedding party. My friend had eloped a couple of weeks before, with only a few people attending witnessing the event. I think it's a good way of getting married, unless of course you have a $65,000 Vera Wang wedding dress, in which case having less than 650 guests would be just plain stupid. I have a theory that the number of people invited to a wedding should be directly related to the amount a bride spends on a wedding dress. I mean, if you spent less than $300 on your dress, then you shouldn't really be inviting a whole lot of people because you could be endangering their lives with those yards of flammable fabric.

As we emerged from the plane and into the airport, I was a little disappointed that there was no banner proclaiming "WELCOME GAYS." I always thought that since this was the gayest city in the world, that I would be immediately swallowed into Mardi Gras-like festivities, our flight attendants pulling out feather boas and bursting into song. Instead, it looked just like any other major airport, "modern," encased in glass and just a tad dingy. No matter, this is our Mother City, we were happy to be here.

In my mind, the gay people in San Francisco would be plentiful and easily identified by their looks, mannerisms or cutting, yet witty remarks. It would be like finding a city full of long-lost sisters. I imagined striking up a conversation with a stranger about culture, art or the STD du jour.

But the people of San Francisco, while friendly, did not seem more gay to me than the gays in my own backyard. I felt uncomfortable in my outfit: tight-fitting velour pants, baby blue blazer and an ascot tied around my neck.

Did I miscalculate? Should I have packed clothes of a more subdued palette like lavender and crocodile? Or maybe there is a new fashion trend going on in the West Coast? It seems that the current trend looks to be some sort of straight drag--brilliantly ironic, I must say.

At the wedding party, everyone was casually dressed. Both the bride and groom were in t-shirts and jeans. It was a wonderfully sunny day, filled with hope.

It brought to mind that only a short time ago, San Francisco had voided all the thousands of gay marriages that were performed when Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered the county clerk to issue licenses to same sex couples.

I wondered what my newlywed friends would say if somebody told them that their marriage was null and void. It seemed to me ironic that people have decided that the only way to defend marriage is to strike down the marriages of people who are fighting for the right to be married.

May God bless your marriage, my friends, let no man put them asunder.

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Other posts about this trip to San Francisco:


Part 1: Wedding Party

Part 2: Boystown USA


Part 3: A Haunting

Part 4: Detour

Monday, November 08, 2004

Press Here

En route to San Francisco, I saw this at the Chicago O'Hare Airport:

press here to listen to your congressman

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Catalyst

I voted today. Got up at 6am and went a couple of blocks to the local voting station to cast my vote.

Outside, the sky was overcast and it was raining lightly, but I felt strangely clear-headed, enervated, possibly because I didn't have time to take care of my morning wood, which is what I often need to steel myself to get to work. It's just a little pick-me-up to get me through the workday. Also, I find that it makes me less likely to want to rub one out at work. But I digress.

The last time I voted was for Jon Peter Lewis in American Idol. He had me at his little trippy "A Little Less Conversation" dance. I called the toll-free number like, fifty times in one night. It's funny, I think, that more people participated in voting for American Idol than the last Presidential Election. Maybe we could use the awful American Idol outtakes as a weapon to drive the terrorists out of their hiding places.

The local Jewish temple served as our neighborhood voting location. The first time I had to vote there a couple of years ago, I felt a little trepidation going into a house of worship that is alien to me.

But the nervousness fell away as I walked through the temple doors. There were no statues or pictures of beatific figures laying prostrate, bleeding, suffering from stab wounds, dying. It was G-rated as opposed to a Catholic Church's R-rating. Just plain wood paneled walls like a country club--perfect for Bingo Night.

At 630am, the place was just starting to get crowded. I was voter number 67. I ran into a couple guys I knew from the neighborhood. We smiled wordlessly at each other. It felt good to see other people performing their civic duty—it didn't matter to me whether they are voting for my candidates or not. We were all participating in the system. People were friendly and open. I'll have to remember that this was a great way to meet guys. Bonus: there was no cover.

I am not worried about the results of the election. If George W. Bush wins, it will become the impetus for all of us to try harder to make things change.

I remember that just a few years ago, until people told us we couldn't get married, gay people would have been happy to have a less-than-equal civil union. And years before that, then President Reagan steadfastly maintained that an AIDS crisis did not exist. It will be ironic, that the efforts of right-wing extremists to encroach on my rights will be the catalyst for protecting them.

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Voters in 7 States OK Gay Marriage Ban
A Fisher-Price voting device
Voting for Dummies
Virtual Church - pray here
Virtual Religious Experience

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Pumpkin Carvin'

Here are some pictures taken from a pumpkin carving party hosted by Brian and Joe. This is the first time I have ever carved a pumpkin and I think that I didn't do too shabby. Check it out, mine's the one with the skull, Brian's is the one with the scary face.

Click on the pics to see a larger view.

from left, brian's, paul's (no milk), patrick's pumpkins sleepy inebriated patrick
sneering patrick brian hard at work
book buddy annie from left: scott, joe, liz and paul
my first jack-o-lantern ever! a parade of lanterns

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Downhill Ride

Aren't we are wasting valuable non-renewable resources in order to manufacture useless things like triple-scented candles, sequined throw pillows and beer cozies?

Beer cozies. What's that about? When did our beer start needing a little cozy? Is it to keep the beer warm or cold. I can't figure it out. Does it need a down jacket too? It might get frostbite in the fridge. Besides, I like my beer bottles the way I like my men: long, hard and naked.

What will happen when humanity has used up the last drop of crude oil or scrap of metal? When we cannot grow any more crops because we have used-up, polluted our environment, what will we do with the never-used cappuccino makers our sisters gave us for Christmas? It’s too late to re-gift it then. There will be no coffee beans, sugar or milk to make cappuccino with.

What about all the energy and raw materials, labor and marketing used to make a yellow rubber LIVESTRONG band, just to convince people to donate money for cancer research? And when I asked a girl who was wearing one what the band was for, she said she got it because she thought it matched her Louis Vuitton purse. I was so angry, how dare she? Anyone can see that the purse was a knock-off!

Besides, charity is not a fashion statement. Charity is not buying a Fashion Targets t-shirt, Greenpeace bumper sticker or a red kabbalah g-string. It's a upside-down world we live in where charity comes from a good marketing strategy.

Also, it may be hypocritical of me to rant about this, since I do enjoy my modern conveniences. In the interest of full disclosure and bragging, I do have a toaster, a toaster oven and a regular oven and a microwave, all of which more or less do the same function. There's no danger of me joining the cast of Survivor: Champaign/Urbana anytime soon.

I guess the line between modern convenience and utter frivolousness is blurred. One woman's electric hand mixer is another woman's sex toy. I guess we will just have to wake up one day to find that there is no more gas to run our cars or electricity to light our homes.

I don't even know if we can stop this from happening. It seems to me that we are on a downhill ride on a very steep mountain.

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Keep your beer cozy
This guy needs a lot of beer cozies
Beer Can Bob for president
A girl in a red g-string not practicing kabbalah
Here's a crotchless version and with suspenders (not work safe)
Greenpeace: Save the Whale

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Cool Ads

Check out MarriageRights.com for some cool ads about equal marriage rights for gay people!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

In Syndication

I just added a new feature in my sidebar to make it easier for those who subscribe to a site feed. Just click on the link!

blogroll me! add me to your livejournal friends subscribe at bloglines add to my yahoo page add me to kinja

To subscribe to my comic strip The Deep South (which is less frequenty updated), go to the notify list in the sidebar over there.

Thanks y'all for indulging in this bit 'o' shameless self-promotion!