Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chicago Missed Connections

As seen on Chicago's craigslist:

FFC E Lakeview - m4m - 29 (Stairs)
We past each other and I glanced down the stairs and saw you looking up. Was around 7:30 I think. I think we have a future together.

Straight (?) guy at my gym... - m4m - 26 (Chicago Park District)
You: Tall, muscled white guy at gym in tight black tank top and red shorts. You looked hot benchpressing 220. Me: also tall, white muscled guy who spotted you. Tell me where my mole is located on my face and how many hairs are sprouting from it.

Sidetrack Sunday - m4m - 38 (Sidetrack)
I was there with a bunch of friends, you were there with your tall friend. We were in the glass bar chatting. We headed to eat dinner and I left without getting your number. Tell me what hat you were wearing and what you do for a living so I know it's you. I'm very interested in your tall friend.

nice guy in a blue blazer suv - m4m - 28 (franklin park)
u used to pick me up and take me to your place. I miss you would love to hear from you again but you have a restraining order against me.

looking for charming ace - do you know him? - m4m - 31 (Lincoln Park )
i don't know your real name. you are persian and everyone called you ace. you are gentle, handsome, polite and smart. i'm sure that you meet a lot of people but hopefully you can guess who this is. we met at a birthday party last week, i was wearing glasses and a brown shirt, but you were too busy being popular lol. i wanted to talk to you more but you didn't come back from the bathroom after i told you about my herpes. your big eyes and smile are unforgettable. what are the chances that i can see you again? Matt

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Burning - Redux

Remember back to when I first reported a burning sensation I had back there? You don't? I don't know why you would forget such an important event in my life that involved my butthole. I question your loyalty.

Anyway, once in a while it flares up and I wondered why I am suddenly plagued by this when I am pretty hygenic in that area, as you never know when somebody will have to come by and kiss my ass at work.

But newsflash, I read on the internet that using the 'personal moist wipes' instead of toilet paper can cause anal itching due to the excessive moisture and/or the chemicals or perfumes that are in the wipes.

I was aghast. This was a paradigm shift for me. That this could be the cause of itching is quite distressing as the moist wipes are very very comfortable. The idea of going back to my old way of butt cleansing, you know, with leaves, is troubling. I will have to research this further and report back to you...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Recession Depression

It's really not that easy to stay upbeat in this recession. Some of my friends here at work have lost their jobs. The worst part about it is the Survivor's Guilt that I am feeling, that I am still here and they are gone. I mean, would it be better if there was an Elimination Ceremony, complete with tiki torches? It's hokey but I suspect that it would be better than this emptiness, this sudden vacuum. I'm sorry it was them, but at the same time, it's like, better you than me, better you than me...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In With The New...

With the Inauguration of our new President, the White House website has been updated.

I don't think I had expected to see LGBT issues to be front and center at the new website, but I was totally surpised and delighted to see it. Here's the Agenda for Civil Rights at whitehouse.gov:

Support for the LGBT Community

"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."

-- Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dumpster Diving

I knew, of course, that one day this would happen to me, that I would end up in the dumpster, though the mere idea of it tickles the vomit-trigger in the back of my throat. I mean, it's irrational I know, but for some reason, I always knew that I would actually end up in a dumpster at some point in my life. I don't know why, I don't have a fetish for it or anything.

I've fished things out of the dumpster--I mean, who hasn't? Lamps, home accessories, a half-eaten hamburger--but you don't get in the dumpster for that. Most of the time, like the lampshade I found, it's barely even touching any garbage or rotten food in there. And although there may be a few flies hanging on it, one can easily shake them off.

Also, it seems that these days, people in our neighborhood will just set the things out beside the dumpster instead of in it, as a form of recycling. I fully subscribe to this. I believe that by recycling, we can lower our carbon footprint. So, when we had decided to get a new living room set, I took the old sofa, the end tables and a few old knickknacks and left them by the dumpster in our back alley.

In order to encourage someone to take them, I even arranged the furniture and things in such a way that they could imagine how this stuff would look like in their own living rooms. I draped a throw blanket casually on one end of the sofa. I angled the end table to create interest. I was tempted to run upstairs and get a small votive candle which would be great for this look, but I stopped myself. This was junk after all. I didn't want it to look perfect.

The finished look, with the brick wall of our building as the background and our gritty alley, was not unlike some urban/derelict/loft look that I see in CB2 catalogs. In fact, I think I did such a good job, that I checked the CB2 catalog afterwards to see if they had a dumpster in there for me to buy and put in my own living room. Maybe a smallish one, painted a bright distressed orange or something.

But this morning, I had been in a hurry to get to work and I had hooked my car keys on one finger along with three bags of trash. As I threw the trash into the dumpster, the key fell off my finger.

At first, it was just sitting on top of one of the garbage bags, but as I leaned into the dumpster to try to reach for it, it slipped further down. I had only one chance to get the keys as it would be out of my reach if it moved one more inch.

But as I stood on tiptoe to reach for the keys, the dumpster moved and there it went--my keys slipped to the bottom.

For a few seconds I wondered if I really had to go into the dumpster, especially since I was wearing a nice jacket and I had a cute tie on, ferchrissakes. But, you know, this is like when some dude asks you when you're giving him a blowjob if "it isn't the biggest fucking dick you've ever seen", it's rhetorical. It isn't the biggest dick you've ever seen, but why blow the moment? So you just nod your head and wait until he's asleep and then steal his wallet.

There's only one thing that comes to mind when you're standing in the middle of a dumpster, pushing garbage around, fishing for your keys, and that's "how pathetic am I for being in here and what a fucking ass of a boyfriend do I have that I have to throw out the garbage and make me drop my keys into this shit."

It doesn't matter that it was my fault that the keys fell in, and the three bags of garbage are all filled with empty beer cans and wine bottles that I'm mostly responsible for. He's the one to blame for me standing in there, with some clammy wet thing oozing into my shoe...

Monday, January 05, 2009

Ghosts of Chicago

John McNally, ever the self-promoter (just like moi), had sent me a copy of his new book and asked me to write a review of it in Amazon. Honestly, I try not to write the straight review, because that's just not me, but I don't think the readers on Amazon would get my usual style, so here I am.

To his credit, John didn't say that I had to write a good review, but he did sweeten the pot by offering me his autograph. Anyway, I read the book, which is a short collection, and I enjoyed it immensely. In my review below, I talked a little bit about my favorite stories in the collection.

John McNally's new story collection Ghosts of Chicago is full of portents, mysterious circumstances and haunted people. McNally has the ability to get to the essence of his characters and allow them to live their stories. And just like real life, they are full of unexpected events and comic turns. There is ravaged beauty, bits of magic and hopefulness in these stories.

The book opens with "Return Policy," a very affecting story about Mark Timbers, whose wife had left him after 18 years of marriage. Mark gathers up all the items in his house that were given to him as wedding presents and sends them back to their givers, because he felt that he no longer deserved them. Along the way, he attracts a stray dog, a dead cat, a deadbeat neighbor and the sales girl from a department store that was going out of business. How the story ends, demonstrates how people come together in times of grief. It brought tears to my eyes.

In "I See Johnny," a young woman, known to us only as Miss Betsy, is the host of a successful local children’s TV show. The titular Johnny is the boy Miss Betsy dated when she was 16, who was killed in Korea. The title refers to a segment in her show where she holds up a hand mirror (with the mirror removed) to the camera, and calls out the names of the children who have written letters to the show, "I see Martha! I see Jim!" What seemed strange to Miss Betsy is that even though there are lots of mail, she never sees Johnny. There are no little boys named Johnny. Every week she looks for Johnny, whose very name evokes some nameless longing in her.

Who hasn’t tried to play detective and try to track down somebody from their past? In "The Immortals," Rudy is sitting in an El train when he glimpses a woman standing outside who he recognizes but whose face he can’t place. The woman sees Rudy, recognizes him and calls out to him as the train leaves the station. Too late, Rudy remembered who this woman was: Leila, his ex-wife whom he hadn’t seen in 15 years. Leila took all their photo albums when they divorced after a brief marriage, telling him that it will be easier for him to forget her if he couldn’t remember what she looked like. A year after this chance encounter, Rudy picks up another lead on the whereabouts of his ex-wife, who is rumored to have been decapitated...

In “Men Who Love Women Who Love Men Who Kill,” Brandon Dawson is dating a girl who is in still love with a man in Death Row. Today, however, is the day that man is to be sent to the electric chair and Brandon goes out to buy an engagement ring. However, the fates are conspiring against him...

The Silverfish is the unlikely superhero in "The Remains of The Night," but this story is about his butler. Crazy.

Author James Frey was crucified by Oprah for not being completely factual in his biography, A Million Pieces. In a similar fashion, in "The Memoirist," an author may have fudged his facts a little too far, and his readers are going to give him a taste of his own medicine.

In "Contributor’s Notes," what seems like a straightforward biography about the author John McNally, turns into a hilarious romp with the type of punch-in-the-gut writing that shows us McNally’s mastery of the short story form. I loved this story! And what’s even better is the twist in the ending which was so unexpected that I was frickin’ amazed at McNally’s inventiveness. It's the perfect story to end the collection. And as I turn to the backflap, and there is this photo of John, in a Chicago Bears cap, scruffy beard, peering sexily above his dark frames...

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Related posts:

Author Stalker - How does it feel to stalk one of your favorite authors?

Interview with John McNally - If you like 'em rough, troublemakers are his specialty. Check out The Book of Ralph.