Monday, July 26, 2004

When Will It Be My 15 Minutes?

Andy Warhol said that in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. That future has come and gone into the recylcing bin. I would now like to make an amendment to this famous quote:

Everyone under thirty will be famous for 22 hours.

I think that when Andy commented about fame, he was predicting that modern media and the news would come together and create a kind of celebrity that would last for as long an average person’s attention span or masturbatory session. However, Andy couldn’t have predicted how Reality TV would change the nature of fame; casting only people under 30 and run for a season spanning 22 episodes.

Used to be that people became famous gradually. First at a local level then hitting the big time on Star Search. Now, all you have to do is get drunk and unruly on your own stoop and you can be on Cops. Or if you’re more adventurous and have a penchant for semi-homoerotic stunts involving testicle torture* and you could be on an emptyVee show like Viva La Bam.

I don’t know if I could handle this kind of sudden fame. I was born in a reticent age where people didn’t air their dirty laundry or sell them on eBay—a more innocent time where child stars end up on crack, in porn or both, because they made it too fast, too quick.

These days, parents train their children to be ready for the money shot, the kind of defining moment that can catapult you into fame or infamy, doesn’t matter which, as long as you can merchandise it. And success is measured on whether you’ve had a Bobblehead made in your image.

But I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to be famous or a blonde hotel heiress. You can tell because I’ve whored myself out to Blogsnob and Blogarama. Does that make me shallow? No matter, I’d rather be shallow—I'm easier to amuse that way. Being deep just requires too much therapy.

Cindy from Michigan State University invited me for an interview for an article she’s writing about the blogging phenomena. I don’t know if she is going to mention me at all in the final draft. But maybe I will be front and center. Maybe this will be the start of my fifteen minutes, one I can parlay into a 6 episode arc on Scrubs.

Bring it on. I am ready for my close-up.

Read the interview (warning: it’s long) in the sidebar. Use the arrows to navigate.

* Nutball. Check this out.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Continued from
Part One: This Is How It Happens
Part Two: Emergency Room
Part Three: Misery


If you haven’t been reading my blog lately (shame on you!), a couple of weeks ago I spent four days in the hospital for bowel obstruction. In other words, for some reason, the shit in my intestines had formed a blockage—impenetrable, much like Dubya’s rhetoric or his wife.

I ended up in the Emergency Room after experiencing stomach pains which felt like an extreme case of gas and bloating. The gases building up in my stomach could probably destroy an entire city block with its foul smell of rotting cabbages. It’s a good thing the Al-Qaeda didn’t get a hold of me. I could have been used as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.

After four days of hunger and misery, the doctor said that I was ready to be discharged. However, in order to be sure that the obstruction was gone, I had to take a crap.

This is not as easy as it sounds given that I had not had any food for three days. On the morning of fourth day, I was given the clear liquid tray: chicken soup, Jell-O, sherbet. I wolfed it down in 4 minutes. Then I asked for another tray without thinking (Do you think they will charge me for the extra tray? I don’t wanna find a $452 item in my hospital bill for chicken soup).

I peed like a racehorse afterwards—but no crap.

I was getting worried. I really wanted to be discharged that I tried sitting on the pot for a good 30 minutes without success. Finally, Brian suggested that we replicate my normal toilet pattern by giving me a book to read in there while he’s acting like he’s impatiently waiting outside for me to finish my business.

As I sat in there, I thought that something else was missing. So, I told Brian to pretend to be my cat Cordy and scratch at the door to be let in.*

That worked!

It was small and round, like a little brown melon ball. I was elated. I literally clapped my hands and whooped. I looked down lovingly at the little turd floating in the toilet bowl. I felt like I should save it, take it home in a clear plastic bag, like a goldfish from a pet store.

I didn’t have the heart to flush it, so I turned away while Brian did the deed. A few hours later, I was home.

For the next few days I was hyper-aware of all the various comings and goings of my digestive system. I stayed on a soft diet on my own; the doctors left no dietary restriction. I was afraid that another obstruction could occur.

I even debated whether White Castle hamburgers should be my first solid food. On one hand, vegans claim that remnants of beef stayed in your intestines for up to ten years. On the other, being called “sliders” was comforting—I was assured that they would quickly find their way out.

These days, I am feeling healthy and normal. I thank you all for your concern and well-wishes. It is much appreciated.

My time in the hospital had really got me thinking. So, I leave you with this final thought: take life by the horns because one day you’ll regret it when you can’t give a shit anymore.

* I don’t know what it is about my cat Cordy, but when I close the door to the bathroom, that’s when she will mew and scratch outside the door to be let in. When I let her in, she sits and stares up at me until I scratch her under the neck, which she loves. I guess she thinks that with the door closed and my pants around my ankles, I am a captive audience.

Other posts in this series:

Part 1: This Is How It Happens

Part 2: Emergency Room

Part 3: Misery

Part 4: Discharged!

Dubya can't seem to find the Weapons of Mass Destruction, but you can! Play these games:
Dr. Strangeblix: How I Learned to Start Worrying and Looking for Bombs
Help GWB and Tony Blair look for WMDs
UN Weapons Inspector Game
Rock, Paper, Saddam

Torture innocent goldfish: T-Bone's Stress Relief Aquarium
Or, save them from the Frying Pan!

Harold and Kumar go to White Castle

My past ruminations about poo:
Dropping The Kids Off at The Pool
A Fastidious Bird

Thursday, July 15, 2004


Continued from
Part One: This Is How It Happens
Part Two: Emergency Room


They say you don’t know what you’ve got until you’ve lost it.

When you are all alone in a hospital room, trapped in bed, weak from hunger, you have a lot of time to think. You think about the Big Questions in life. How Did I Get Here? What Do I Need To Change My Life? Why Are There Only Fifteen Channels On The Hospital TV?

I had forgotten what it was like not to have cable TV. I mean, how do they expect people to get well in the hospital when you give them no reason to live?

With tubes attached to me in four places, one of which was a catheter attached to my penis, I was effectively bed-ridden.

I have had nightmares like this, where I am chained to my bed, surrounded by naked, beautiful, nubile women trying to convert me back to heterosexuality by giving me endless hot, steamy blueberry muffins. With no exercise and fatty food, I would quickly become hetero. How did they know that homosexuality is caused by six-pack abs?

Being helpless and immobile is disorienting. Without access to distractions, your imagination starts to go wild. Coupled with a gnawing hunger, you can start to think that your smiling, slightly deranged looking nurse is really somebody who has been reading your blog and fancies that she knows you. Like, really really knows you.

She wants to ease your pain, help you through your Misery in hopes that you would write about her in your blog. You hope that there are no wooden mallets in the closet.

Your heart races every time she injects something into your IV drip. You wonder if that air bubble slowly going through the tube is going to kill you when it reaches your heart. When you are still alive several minutes later you are relieved.

The first two days in the hospital were the worst. I was exhausted even though I had not moved from the bed. I could not read. I didn’t have the strength to prop up the hardcover book* Brian brought for me to read. The words on the page competed with the pain caused by the tube in my nose as they struggled through the neural pathways to my brain.

The pain won. All I had left was the brain capacity to passively watch TV. Or read teen magazines. What is it about teen magazines that makes you feel like you need to write a fan letter? I desperately wanted to write one to Benjamin McKenzie of The O.C.

TV was dismal. Basic channel line-up. Reruns of reruns, Spanish language programming, bad movies you’ve already seen a bazillion times. My limp hand was flipping the remote to the next channel, next channel, next channel, mechanically like a zombie or the last time I had to give my ex-boyfriend a handjob.

Drowsy, wide awake. Numb, in pain. Should you ask for morphine even though it makes you throw up? Being in the hospital really screws with your mind. What am I asking?!? Morphine? Throw up? Sign me up, Mary Kate!

I was glad when my friends came to visit because it relieved the tedium even as I wished they would get the heck out and leave me alone. They would chat with each other or flip through the channels until the requisite amount of visiting time is over and then there is that silence where everybody looks around, trying to decide if they want to be the first one to say they had to leave.

Then you are alone.

God, I wished I had cable TV.

As Seen on Hospital TV

Channel Guide: this is a list of all available channels in your hospital room. Press the up or down button to change the channel. If both your hands are in a cast, then you’re S.O.L.

1 – Welcome Channel
Welcome to our Hospital. We will provide you with the best health care we can provide or the quality of your health insurance, whichever is lower. Don’t wish you chose the PPO plan now? If you need assistance, press the red button. If you want to experience being in a gay bar, press the pink button and all the male nurses on the floor will come to your room, stand around and ignore you.

3 – Chapel
Camera monitor of our Hospital Chapel. Mass daily at 6am and at noon. No sound provided for your convenience—you can sleep through the service just like you were right there in the chapel.

4 – Telemundo (Spanish)
Talk Show – "I Slept with My Mother’s Lover"

6 – Univision (Spanish)
Talk Show – "I Slept with My Daughter’s Lover"

10 – Religion Channel
Currently: A debate on the existence of Heaven and Hell. Very useful information if you are currently hedging your bets. Highly recommended if you are considering your options in the afterlife.

13 – Clock Channel
It is now 9:59am. Coming up on the Clock Channel: 10 o’clock.

2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12 – CBS, ABC, NBC, UPN, WB, Fox
Reruns of the shows you wouldn’t watch the first time around. Or another airing of The Bird Cage.

* "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Leather" by David Sedaris

Next: Discharged

Other posts in this series:

Part 1: This Is How It Happens

Part 2: Emergency Room

Part 3: Misery

Part 4: Discharged!

Look what I found: Panty-less Nurse on Parade
How to give a Muslim Handjob

Friday, July 09, 2004

Emergency Room

continued from This Is How It Happens

Did I tell you how much I love my gay, gay neighborhood?

In my neighborhood, when two well-groomed guys walk into an emergency room, people don’t assume that they are straight. They assume they’re male nurses coming into their shift.

I can imagine what two straight men might experience here:

"He’s having severe stomach pains...yeah, for about an hour now...what? Am I his partner? No, dude, we’re just roommates...what’s that smirk for? Listen, I told you, we’re not life partners, he’s holding on to me because he’s in pain...leggo my arm man, this dude thinks we’re I want to accompany him? No way, he’s on his own, dude, I don’t wanna see his naked ass..."

Brian didn’t have any problems accompanying me to the ER. The gay-friendly staff never questioned who he was and why he was wearing a t-shirt from Target. They just took it for granted when we said we were partners. To be honest, I was terrified of having to be alone, not having him by my side to hear the doctor’s verdict. If I had to go under the knife right then, I would like to be able to tell him that I loved him, and to make sure he go and tell the guy at the comic book store to hold the next issue of Promethea.

The doctor examined me as I lay on the ER bed in pain. Damn, he was cute. His warm and friendly eyes reminded me of George Clooney but without the annoying political views. I tried my best to do the sexy version of my moaning and writhing in pain. He pressed the cold, metal surface of his stethoscope on my hard, glistening chest, listening to the quickening beat of my heart. He pushed and prodded my stomach under the thin hospital gown. I wondered idly if he took house calls. I could use a good massage when I got out.

Then Dr. Clooney brought two one-gallon plastic containers of what looked like milk and asked me to drink it all. It was a barium solution that is used to make your internal organs show up in a CAT scan. Just the look of it made me want to throw up.

I am serious about my so-called dairy paranoia. Dairy is the only thing that keeps me from earning my "No Gag Reflex" merit badge—something every cocksucker, I mean boy scout, aspires to have. Lactose intolerance is not glamorous enough for me; I have to have an irrational fear and disgust of all things dairy, real or faux.

For example, I refuse to eat anything made with coconut milk because it has the word “milk” in it. I refuse to eat anything with coconut in it by association. And don’t bother trying to convince me to drink horchata or rice water even though there is no dairy in it—it looks disgustingly milky.

Holding my nose and closing my eyes, I was able to drink about four glasses of the milky substance before the urge to hurl overcame me. I told the nurse frantically to give me something to throw up into. She gave me a shallow, kidney shaped metal bowl, like one might use if one were having a kidney transplant or serving Hannibal Lecter dinner. There was milky water and the remnants of my late-night Taco Bell dinner everywhere. I was sooo embarrassed. I had been telling everyone I was a vegetarian.

Later, when the doctor told me I had a bowel obstruction, I panicked for a second. Did I forget to take the gerbil out of my ass? Then I remembered—that was last week.

It was at this point that Dr. Clooney decided to admit me to the hospital. If I knew then that I would have to stay there for the next four days with no food, a tube through my nose, down my throat and into my intestines, pumping out crap, I might have demurred.

As they wheeled me to my hospital room, Brian by my side, we passed by another male couple, hands clasped worriedly, conferring with their doctor, a few beds over in the ER. We overheard their doctor say that the appendix had to be taken out; the patient had to be taken to surgery immediately. One guy gave the other a reassuring kiss on the forehead while the medical staff looked on...

*contented sigh*

...did I tell you how much I love my gay, gay neighborhood?

Next: Misery

Other posts in this series:

Part 1: This Is How It Happens

Part 2: Emergency Room

Part 3: Misery

Part 4: Discharged!

Friday, July 02, 2004

This Is How It Happens

This is how it happens. It's a Friday night, the end to your work week. You're eager to hang with friends, have some fun, blow off some steam.

Your stomach feels a little full. You wonder if you should take some time to do number two. You’re supposed to be at the restaurant in twenty minutes and your boyfriend argues that you’ll sit in there too long like you always do, doing god knows what, like maybe trying to read your fortune in the shit floating in the toilet bowl.

This, from your normally even-tempered, patient, sweet boyfriend, now sour, now in a kung power trip.

Suddenly, you’re in a fight. It’s stupid, but the annoyance doesn’t dissipate even as you give in. It just hangs there as you hurry to the restaurant where you’ll probably end up waiting for all your friends who are late. The silence is palpable you could cut it with Mary-Kate Olsen.

So you’re avoiding each other’s eyes because you’ve never mastered how to transition from anger to normalcy, much like many, many women going from day to evening wear.

The night wears on, your stomach still a little bloated, but you’re both finally relaxed and in your friends’ amiable company, throwing about jokes, light barbs, like crabs jumping about in silky, pubic hairs. Good times, good times.

This is how it happens. Your boyfriend’s ex, the one whose guts you hate, whose face you want to bash in—yeah, the one with the winsome smile and the goddamn Ph.d.—shows up and starts talking to you both, but mostly to him, probably because your smile is frozen insincerely on your face.

Though your boyfriend’s being friendly, he’s also within the boundaries, respectful of you. It doesn’t help your jealousy because you know they broke up amicably. You’d rather that there had been drah-mah, lots of it, preferably with the police and a tranny hooker involved.

Suddenly, the evening’s not so much fun anymore, and you just want to go home, maybe get some Pepto-Bismol for your aching stomach. You wish there was one for your jealous heart.

You get home, there’s no Pepto-Bismol. You decide to tough it out. After all, what’s a little stomach-ache compared to excruciating pain you endured when you wore 9" stiletto heels a couple of Halloweens ago. Just think of the Laura Bush and what she has to endure in bed. It’ll pass, it’ll pass.

It’s 2am, the pain is worse. Your boyfriend is asleep, you leave him be. You decide to go to the drugstore to get some medicine.

At the checkout counter, you clutch your stomach under your sweatshirt, trying not to double over in pain as you wait for the three idiots who decide to pay for their separate gum purchases with loose change. You want to scream "fuuuuuuuUUUUCK!!!" in the middle of the store, but you grit your teeth instead. You’re almost there, almost there.

An hour later, a double dose downed and no relief. The pain is like a stabbing knife, unbearable, like Hilary Duff covering "Our Lips Are Sealed."

You start thinking that you probably need to see a doctor. You rouse your groaning boyfriend from his slumber. It’s probably your useless appendix. Why is it the useless body parts that always cause trouble? Tonsils, foreskin, Jessica Simpson’s brain, the earlier you get them taken out, the better.

You worry about your crappy medical insurance; what’s covered, what’s not, how much it will cost. You think, shit, if you can only stand the pain, you can still buy that Helmut Lang jacket. Pain is temporary—a classic designer jacket is forever.

Suddenly, the pain is just excruciating.

This is how it happens. Your evening starts with a little light-hearted romp and ends in a trip to an emergency room...

Next: Emergency Room

This happened a week ago, I was admitted to the hospital for a small bowel obstruction. I was there for four days while they suctioned off the blockage with a tube that went through my nose and down to my stomach. I am fine now. Hopefully, I will be writing about my experiences in the hospital...

Other posts in this series:

Part 1: This Is How It Happens

Part 2: Emergency Room

Part 3: Misery

Part 4: Discharged!

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Recipe for Kung Pao Chicken