Saturday, April 30, 2005

So Jealous

What happened? My brother and I are music-loving, identical gay twins. Why didn’t we start a band, go to a studio and record a CD like identical lesbian twins Tegan and Sara? It makes me so fucking jealous.

I mean, I am jealous enough of lesbians as it is, with their outsider status, their political awareness, their righteously comfortable shoes--so different from the exhausting gay culture of men, muscle and maxing out credit cards.

Many people think that gay men want to be heterosexual women. Uh-uh, not me. If I was a woman, I would want to be a lesbian, preferably one of the hot ones on “The L Word”. However, if I somehow fail to get cast in that show, I would want to be my lesbian friend Sarah Kressler, who I’ve lost touch with.

(Sarah, if you googled your own name and found it here in my blog, I want you to know that I admired you, your edgy look; your cool, cool clothes; your gawky dance with the fingers waving as guns, shooting invisible bullets in every direction. I really really wished I was the male version of you, but without the long years of therapy. And if you decide to pay me the $104.75 you owe me, we can be friends again.)

For some reason, I have always had an affinity for lesbian music: the Indigo Girls, Melissa Etheridge, Clay Aiken. I can’t really explain it.

While lesbian music runs the gamut from folk to country, rock to pop, there’s always this organic quality to it, like fresh, warm, dog shit that I stepped on this morning. It’s like every note came straight from the blood, tears and sweat of hitching a U-Haul by yourself, while the stripper you met last week--now your girlfriend--sits on the curb, buffing her long, red fingernails.

There’s certainly plenty of heartsickness in So Jealous, the fourth disc from the Canadian duo. But it’s not totally despondent or morose. It’s more like a wry, I’ve-been-here-before kinda thing, which for the most part, helps cut down some of the potential corniness from their earnest lyrics, which sound like they could have been lifted directly from their diaries.

The bright production, upbeat tempos and quirky harmonizing really make this CD a lot of fun. “Speak Slow” rocks out, a totally headbanging song about co-dependency: 'when your love lets you go / you only want love more / even when love wasn't what you were looking for.' Yeah, you could pretend those bruises are from slamdancing to this song, I'll totally believe you.

My other favorite song is “I Know I Know I Know,” which is about negotiating a break-up after an infidelity. Just because you’re breaking up doesn’t mean you don’t still love each other, that even packing 'box after box and you're still by my side.' This is the best break-up song I’ve heard this year. I hope they never find true love.

The rest of the album is packed with great tracks like “You Wouldn’t Like Me,” “Walking With a Ghost” and “Wake Up Exhausted.” It’s a great pop/rock album with a bit of punk thrown in. This album is so catchy, it’ll be on heavy rotation at my house for a long, long time.

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Get the CD:

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Comfort Zone

One can’t really go against one’s nature, I think, especially with sports.

Maybe you can pretend that you are a top, and maybe you can get away with it through a dinner date. But as soon as you get into bed, your helium heels inevitably rise up in the air.

When it comes to sports, I think you either have it or you don’t. Either your wrists are built for a bat or they are built for a hairbrush. I don’t think there’s a happy medium. And Patricia Arquette just proves that I think; she doesn’t look very happy in those awful cardigans she wears in her TV show, “Medium.”

Look, I don’t hate playing sports. I just hate wearing shorts, the sun and basically anything that causes sweating. I mean, I think that I wouldn’t enjoy sex that much either if I wasn’t able to help myself to my tricks’ wallets as they dozed off.

And I don’t mean this in a gay or straight kind of thing. There are certainly many gay folk who are excellent in sports: Martina Navratilova, Billy Bean, everybody in Pro-wrestling. I think that gay people have proven that we can do anything we set our minds to. I mean, if we can elevate decoupage to an art, some little thing like gay marriage couldn’t be too far behind.

I think that ultra-right wing conservatives are really going at it the wrong way. If they want us not to marry, then they should pass a constitutional amendment to ban divorce. I think it would scare off all but the few gay men who live in Long Island that truly want to spend the rest of their lives together. And if they pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex bridal registries, I think that would take care of everyone else.

So maybe it was watching a bunch of naked actors, 'bats' swinging, playing baseball on a stage that made me sign up for softball with the local gay sports league.

Yeah, I was skeptical too. I wasn’t really sure what to expect; the locker room would either be a balls-out orgy or a royal tea party with a centerpiece made out of jockstraps and peonies, I don’t know. They would all be stretching and flexing for the speed-knitting event.

Either way, I think I’d be very uncomfortable. I’ve never been that good in group settings. The idea of a locker room orgy really scares me. Come stains are sooo hard to get out. Come would be shooting everywhere, like a warzone. You have to duck or you might get some in your eye. It would be kinda like Iraq except with designer jockstraps.

Besides, I’m really really shy, which is why I have a blog instead of a life. My idea of a three-way is when I use both hands to masturbate. An orgy would be if I also used a dildo.

But that’s why I decided to do softball. I needed to get out of my comfort zone. I needed to get out there and take some risks, but not the kind of risk where you pair an argyle sweater with plaid pants and a mohawk, which might seem like a good idea at the time, but in retrospect was really not what one should wear to a frat party, unless one wanted to be ridiculed by the object of one’s secret crush and his friends.

Last Saturday was the first practice day. I made it all the way to park where I got a hotdog, ate it and went back home.

I wrote an e-mail to the team captain and told him things had come up and my weekend schedule had drastically changed, and I was now too busy to play on the team.

E-mail sent, I sat at my desk and stared at the screen for a long time. Then, I settled in and started typing.

“One can’t really go against one’s nature...”

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Honeymoon's Over

There was a time when everywhere we went was an adventure. When a drive around the block was something to look forward to and a mundane activity like going to the grocery store was such fun.

Well, the honeymoon’s over. With the car, I mean, the one we call “Pretty.”

I thought it would last longer, but I guess six months was about how long it took before the new car smell dissipated and was replaced by one that smelled slightly of used leather and sweaty ass--two-thirds of the essential aromas of a leather bar (the third being that of human piss).

You can put in an air freshener called “new car smell,” but it’s not the same. It’s like a stuffed bra. You worry all night about when it has to come off. You hope he won’t look down and notice your penis.

I remember the day I drove home the car, my brand new VW Jetta, my little pet. I was intoxicated by that new car smell, a chemical cocktail of fresh paint, hard plastic and oily rubber. All it needs is a splash of vermouth and it’s perfect.

The smell reminded me of the freedom, the liberation of my youth, but mostly it reminded me of the glue I sniffed in our garage. With the windows rolled up, I could almost get high, but the salesman kept tapping on the glass.

They say the millisecond you drive out of the dealership, your car depreciates $3,000. I wondered if car manufacturers did anything to intensify this smell because they know it makes people irrational. It’s like a drug. Someone should make a PSA about it. At least crystal meth only makes you have unprotected sex.

But little by little, things chipped away at the euphoria.

The battery in the car key remote died, so I had to open the door the old-fashioned way--uuh--by sticking the key in the lock, like, how lame. Yeah, I know, it’s not the car’s fault, so I can’t really argue with that. Opening the door manually is quaint, but ultimately annoying and frustrating.

Batteries are so essential in modern day living. You know the five basic elements, right? Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Batteries.

I mean, one time, in the midst of a tornado warning, I saw two women in a fierce tug-of-war over the last pack of batteries at a store. The eventual winner gingerly put the battery in her cart next to the Jeff Stryker Realistic vibrator. I guess I shoulda known she would win, she looked more desperate, with her wild hair, disheveled clothes and the fat boyfriend carrying a twelve-pack of Coors.

And what do you do when you find a piece of moulding on the driver’s side door sticking out, possibly the result of some clandestine act? Do you hide out to see if you can catch the perpetrator en flagrante delicto? The evidence sickens me; it is in my face every time, like an engorged pimple on your nose, unavoidable. You wish it was on the other side, like on your ass, where you can’t see it.

Apparently, I can’t replace the battery in the key remote myself. It has to be synchronized with internal computer. It would’ve cost me $65 (I know, a scam), but fortunately the car is still on warranty. All I have to do is spend the time to get it fixed.

I guess a honeymoon is like a warranty period, right? It don’t cost you anything to get your little foibles fixed.

But unlike the warranty on a car, you don’t know when the honeymoon will be over. One day, the car will unexpectedly come to a dead stop, right in middle of the road, and you just hope to God that with the right repairs you can get it started again.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Take Me Out

When my friend asked me if I wanted to go see naked men parade onstage at Madrigal’s, the premier local strip club, I was aghast that he would even ask me to go. Why would I go to a strip club for naked men, I asked him, that’s what theatre is for.

Besides, the guys that frequent strip clubs belong to the lower rung of the gay population, you know, the guys who are looking for relationships. I mean, you wouldn’t think so, but strip clubs are where you can find guys who are rich, horny and desperately lonely--all the qualities that nurture successful relationships.

After perfecting musicals, the gays have moved on to the next brave frontier in theatre, the artful presentation of gratuitous male nudity, or as I call it, “nudicals.”

I think it’s very sophisticated to go to nudicals. You get a very cultured boner and you get a souvenir Playbill. And being a proponent of efficiency, this makes me all warm inside, when you can handle two stones and one bird.

And what’s with the spelling of “theatre”? What’s with the “-tre” in the end instead of “-ter”?

Well to begin with, thea-tre is pronounced theeatuh, preferably in a British accent--Cockney if you can manage it, coz I like the sound of "cock."

Theatre is a night on the town, of love and romance. Theatre is art, glamour and wonder. Theatre is what women drag their husbands and boyfriends kicking and screaming to, a night of intense, emotional blackmail.

How about thea-ter? Three words: Blue Man Group.

"Theatre schmeatre," you might say, "what’s the difference? It’s ALL gay. Straight theatre, that’s an oxymoron."

You know what’s an oxymoron? President Bush.

So off we go to a night of theatre.

My friend John S. scored us tickets to a preview of Take Me Out. A preview is basically a full dress performance to iron various kinks out in front of an audience.

Ironing the kinks out. Hmmnn, this kinda brings to mind laundry day for an S&M couple. It also brings up the question of whether there should be a crease in a pair of leather chaps or not, but I digress.

The story is about a popular and well-loved pro baseball player, Darren Lemming (Derrick Nelson) who is at the top of his game. Darren believes that he was put on Earth by God to play baseball. The fact that he was bi-racial and homosexual was beside the point. Darren was not in the closet, he just didn’t feel his homosexuality was relevant to the game or is anyone's business.

But after a conversation with his best friend (who didn’t know of Darren’s homosexuality) about being true to oneself, Darren, without hesitation, decides to come out during a TV press conference. Darren, naively or arrogantly, believed that his mythic prowess would overshadow this teensy revelation.

The play then goes on and examines how the fans, his teammates and friends react to this outing. Some are supportive, some are shocked, still others are resentful and hostile, but not necessarily to Darren’s homosexuality, but for this “lie” of his true nature.

One stand-out performance was that of Tom Aulino, playing Mason Marzac, Darren’s geeky gay accountant and new fan. “Marz” was a veritable mass of tics and nerves, like a Woody Allen unencumbered by the confusion between step-daughter and Korean sex slave, providing comedic relief in just the right places.

Take Me Out blends the various hot topics of our day: race relations, homophobia, circumcision and parades them in front of you, sometimes producing a very uncomfortable feeling inside of my pants. I had to place my Playbill on my lap to cover my 'rising embarrassment,' especially when redneck Shane Mungitt (played by an intense and sexy Kyle Hatley) was being wrestled by Darren in the shower. Also, I found out uncircumcised penises were more prevalent than I thought.

Take Me Out is about baseball, the love of it, the magic of the game, the magic of the fans, but most of all, the magic that happens when hard buns are encased in skintight pants.

I went to see the play because of its merits: a Tony award, glowing reviews, nine sets of ‘twigs and berries’ and I was not disappointed. The play lived up to its reputation and even if it didn’t, the nudity certainly did.

Take Me Out is showing March 24 to May 1st at Steppenwolf Theatre. Chicagoans, go get tickets, it's worth it.