Sunday, March 26, 2006

It's All Kinda Starting To Make Sense Now

I think that I'm a little bit crazy, but I'm equally convinced that things are getting better as time goes on.

I grew up with a highly active brain with an under-developed sense of self-control. That's probably as succinct as one could biographize my youth. From Kindergarten through Senior Year, I was the smartest boy in the class. There was a girl who was smarter than myself. By senior year we were both out, and that made me very smug. Ha ha, religious-right assholes on the school board, your biggest geniuses are into hot same-sex action. Neither of us, naturally, was even close to the top of the class in GPA. There's a point at which you're smart enough in the one sense to be offended by all of school itself, and yet foolish enough to go ahead and say "fuck it," even though doing well in school is a pretty fucking good idea. And yet, nonetheless, I've managed to make it to the point, where it would be difficult for me to not get my Ph.D. I've got a big head about my head.

The under-developed sense of control was always the yin to that yang, though. I could never really slow down my speech to the point where people could understand what I was saying. Not that they would have anyway, since I was reading graduate-level art history books at the age of 5. My first-grade gym teacher (I was 6 by that point) told my parents on open house night that he "had no idea that Chinese coffins were enclosed in something called sarcophagi."

"Well, Egyptian ones were too," I added.

But back to that whole pesky self-control thing. I've also never (until recent years, when I've been taking increasingly large doses of amphetamines) been able to walk at a normal pace, unless I actively think about it, and even then I get this amazing sense of frustration. This also plays out in other arenas. Don't ask me the number of cars I've owned in my lifetime. My poor parents. The first week I was on Adderall was in the winter, a little over a year ago. I was driving with some friends to go snowtubing (yawn - it sure as hell isn't snowboarding) and the journey took us through the state of Maryland. "WOW!" I shouted, "I don't feel an undying urge to ride these cars' bumpers at a single carlength!" There were parts of myself - aspects of my basic behavior that I had never thought about - that could actually occur at a reasonable pace. This was new to me at the age of 25.

And the reading. That was something I looooooooved as a kid. Started reading at age two, and by the time I was five I was reading adult books, though mostly just in art and geography. I read every issue of National Geographic that was published during the calendar years of 1974-1981 (those were the eight years that my parents had a subscription to). They got me my own subscription some time around '85, and I read the new ones, too. My dad also accumulated dozens of books on Egyptian art, and I read the kid, young-adult, popular press, and college-level ones. The only one that was actually graduate level I skimmed more than anything. It was a little dry for my taste. I also just read anythingthefuck that I could get my hands on. Didn't sleep much as a kid; just read all night, every night. I'd go to the public library and practically get armfuls at a time.

Something unfortunate happened though, and that's that around the age of 8 or 9, I just couldn't read anymore. After a paragraph or two, I'd just start drifting. Decided I didn't like to read. Now, I always liked computer and video games, but around 3rd or 4th grade, they started being about all I liked. Nothing else held my interest much. I played Tee-Ball one summer (the summer I turned 8, between 2nd and 3rd grade) and I loved it for the three-week season. Then my mom signed me up for a second three-week season and I hated it. Learning the game was fun, but once I knew the rules and I had done it for a little while, waiting to bat was boring! I was smart enough not to torture myself in outfield, and usually took 1st or 2nd base when we were fielding. But still, I just didn't want to be there. And I had loved it just days prior. That was really the summer when ADHD started to kick in. Basically, a good deal of recent research is starting to suggest that the hyperactivity and the impulsivity is there from preschool, but the inattention either doesn't kick in, or isn't noticed, until some time in elementary school. Well, it happened to me.

I try to avoid the maudlin approach to looking at it all. Oh, poor me. But in a sense, it's a mini-tragedy to be a bright kid who loved to read and, over the course of elementary school, turn into a videogame addict who got enough bus referrals, conduct slips in class, and in-school suspensions that I could still be wiping my ass with them if I didn't throw them away on the way home from school every day. Wasn't my "fault" (though I think if you wanted to analyze the semiotics of "fault" you could fill volumes, so let's move on) that I couldn't sit still, keep my goddamn mouth shut, do my homework, control myself when I disliked my peers. Really strict parenting, the absence of siblings, and a small private school probably would have reduced some of the problems. However, I had none of these. I also didn't have the parents who put their kids on Ritalin. I had the "my kid's smart and he's bored with the material in school" parents. If eight-year-old kids had insight into such things, I imagine I might have said, "No, mom, YOU were smart and bored with the material in school, yet you got straight As from K thru 12. Have you noticed that you're driving me to school every morning because I can't ride the bus anymore, because I've gotten five bus referrals this semester?" But kids - although they do say the darndest things - seldom actually state things in such a darndest way, and I was no exception. And I continued to do poorly in school.

Anyway, I'll try spare you the whole sappy book at this point in time. This post is getting awfully long and isn't even proving my point yet. My point is in regard to the big head. The only thing I had as a kid was the undying belief that I was an unqualified, and yet brutally oppressed, genius. There's a reason why A Confederacy of Dunces is one of my top 2 or 3 favorite books ever written.

What's funny is how my ego grew so completely enormous around the idea of "I Am The Smartest Thing Alive" and how it shriveled, like George Costanza in the pool, around most other aspects of my life. As my childhood chaos spiraled - I was just about the worst-behaved student in elementary & middle school - I was pretty convinced that I was a piece of shit in most areas. Depression grew in middle school, abated in high school, came back senior year of high school (and then came psychotherapy and pot smoking to bring me out of it). But by the time you're a smart-but-low-achieving college student, no one seems to realize that you might have that Hyper Child Disease or whatever it's called. You're just called a slacker. And as you grow older, you do get better at suppressing the external behavior - so instead of pacing around, you sit there with the miserable urge to jump on shit and you know you can't. So again, people don't really believe that you have a natural mental deficit to pace yourself and focus your attention. Plus, depressed people can't concentrate, so ADHD got missed by my senior year of high school-freshman year of college shrink. But anyone who talked to any of my teachers ever would have had a clear picture instantly. I'm sure even my college teachers found me too much to handle.

At any rate, I do believe that when I get neurotic as an adult, as I've been the last couple of weeks, it seems to come from the ego gap: I'm trying to believe, to understand, to remind myself that there are actually some things I don't know and some times when I'm wrong. And I'm desperately trying to believe, acknowledge, and grasp that I'm not a total outcast. It ain't middle school any more. It's just tough when you're a kid who develops such extreme beliefs in two directions - "I know everything" + "I can't do anything right." Because neither is true, but if you believe them both for long enough during your formative years, it's hard to remember all the time that they're both wrong.

So that's my deal. That's my tell-all open therapy session for today.

I'm Not The Only Tease Out There

St. Patrick's Day, if you'll recall, was yet another night caught in the Bizarre Mack Triangle. A nice young lady asked me if I had a girlfriend, and a gentleman and I were flirting all night. (Meanwhile another intoxicated young man told both myself and the lady that he'd transcended sex. Does that just mean that he's really, really good at masturbating? Because that's what I think it means).

Anyway, the guy was flirty all night and then was a little odd at the end of the night, and was odd when I called him (he did give me his digits, after all, so it was odd that he was odd). Then I ran into his roommate at a 'mo bar later in the week. "Hey, Hipster!" he yelled and I turned around. "There's something I need to tell you. My roommate's not gay!"

"Why did he flirt with me all night then? Why did he give me his number?"

"Well, first off, he really liked what you were wearing and he really did wonder where you got it. And, he's a really nice guy and makes a lot of eye contact with everybody. Plus, by the time the dope finally realized you were (A) gay and (B) flirting back, he was probably flattered. And he said you two had a great conversation. Anyway, he told me the whole story and we had a good laugh about it and I was so hoping to run into you to tell you!"

I think I'm the luckiest guy on Earth. Even when Karma turns around to bite me in the ass, everyone still has a good laugh.

"You're 26. You Shouldn't Be Going Home Alone."

That's what a friend of mine told me tonight as I was giving him & his BF a ride home to Adams Morgan from Halo. "Re-La-Shun-Ship." That's what a friend of mine told me two nights ago at Buffalo Billiards. What's the difference? The first friend is a gay guy; the second friend is a straight gal.

I guess I kind of feel like there only are two options, and I'm tired of thinking about both. The honest truth is that I can get good sex, and I can get a bad relationship. And the other, logically following and honest corollary, is that I'd love a good relationship with good sex.

Three friends and I got dinner tonight and then went to Halo (a non-smoking overly lit bar, for those of you not in the know) and had a couple drinks. I've had an aversion to Halo since it opened, and it's kind of silly. For someone who is good looking, well dressed, and confident (not to mention humble), the brightly-lit bar ought to be my home base. But I always feel like there's so much attitude there. A shrink might suggest that it all goes back to my teenage years, when other gay guys were so bitchy and nasty that I developed a sense of internalized homophobia that my leftist parents had made sure not to raise me with. My parents fostered a strong enough sense of gay pride in their children that their gay son came out in 11th grade, yet sadly I turned around to feel like gay men are all nasty, mean bitches. Let's be honest: in 11th grade in the mid-90s, there were two types of gay kids who came out: troublemakers who loved the fact that their innate selves pissed off those in power, and the superqueens who had been called fags since they were old enough to pick out their own clothing. Don't ask which group I was in, or I'll hit you with my purse.

I've never been into the drugs'n'dancin' scene, but its less skeezy variant - the gay bars that have drunkenness, low attitude, and lots of dancing - have always appealed to me because there's not a ton of room for attitude. Drunk people dancing is fun. And the well-lit, non-dancing places? I still have an aversion to them on some level. I have this innate assumption that the whole room is full of attitude, even though it usually isn't.

And so, when I go to Halo and I see people standing around and talking with cocktails in their hands, I instantly recoil. The funny thing is that there were about 10 attractive men whom I probably could have gone home with tonight, and I just wasn't interested. The most pressing factor was that I've been working on shit around the clock for grad school all week. Well, truthfully, I've been working all day and drinking all night this week. Not the kind of week that you want to end with having to perform for the new guy. And it's not like I wouldn't have gotten it up, gotten off, and repeated in the morning. That would have been fine. But I would have been tired, and I wouldn't have been feeling creative, and it would have ended with a digit exchange.

And that would lead to the next step: him calling me if he were more interested, or me calling him if I were more interested, or neither of us calling each other. Frankly, I'm tired of this game. I'm tired of sleeping with people and having to go through the ritual. Either it's terrible and we both bolt, or I'm interested and he's a flake, or he's interested and I am not. If the game usually worked out, there wouldn't be a lot of people on the singles scene.

Frankly, I'm a little sick of the singles scene. I was never really on the singles scene in its truest sense till the last couple years, and it's been hella exciting. But it's hard work holding out for something good, and it's hard work getting the sex you crave from randoms who are gone forever in the morning, and being called a slut by your friends if you admit that you've been getting it.

That's why I went home alone tonight.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Caught Over-Thinking Again

I have this little problem where I don't always think before I act. It generally leads to delightfully comic results, and frankly, even when you don't think before you act, sometimes your actions come out just fine anyway. Which makes my day-to-day living somewhat like gambling.

Now, it's not so bad in recent years with my amphetamine prescription, but you can't always perfectly drug-away fundamental neurological shortcomings. And I've realized that I still have that other problem, the one I don't like to think about.

The other little problem is chronic re-hashing and obsessing over past events that have already occurred. I do a lot of past-tense agonizing. My theory on this is that, if you spend your whole life doing little regrettable things, all the time, you start feeling like you can't help doing regrettable things. It's inevitable that you will fuck up a lot of things in the future. (Everyone's gonna fuck shit up in the future, but when you're hyperactive and impulsive, with attention problems to boot - you know you're gonna fuck a lot more shit up). So maybe at some point, I stopped trying to worry about shit I'd do wrong in the future - because that's inevitable - and then I started overthinking every decision I made that led to something bad happening.

Cuz that's what I feel like happens with me. No worries for the future, no worries or pride over past achievements. Just obsessive re-re-re-analysis of something that I did that led to an outcome I disliked. Maybe, I think, just maybe I can train myself to automatically make the right choices all the time.

But that's not ever going to happen. If you make automatic choices, you can't control whether they are going to be the right ones. That's why they're called automatic. What one (i.e. myself) needs to do is to not be on autopilot all the time. Stimulant drugs really, really, really help with this.

At any rate, there's no need for someone who doesn't have autopilot issues to re-hash the past. It won't do them any good. And it don't do any good for this someone to re-hash the past either. When am I going to get to the point where I just stop beating myself up over spilt milk?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Albums Of Our Lives: New Order's Substance

Welcome to part two of Albums Of Our Lives, a new series in this blog about safe-for-work topics. We now jump to the 1980s to another greatest-hits album. Some of my favorite albums are "best-of," although that's not a very hip thing to say.

Substance was a singles-y "greatest hits" album in the sense that it was all radio songs (as opposed to the "best-of" albums that have their fans' favorites). However, Substance included a second disc with the 12 best B-sides from those singles. As such, it was more like the Beatles' Past Masters albums from the same year: you got the A and B sides from the singles on the same disc, so you got all the songs that you didn't have already. I'm just going to go through the first disc, with the hits, although disc 2 is excellent as well.

1. Ceremony: This is a Joy Division song. So, after Joy Division's lead singer (Ian) offed himself, the new lead singer (Bernard) of the new Order tried to sound like him at first. He must have bottomed out his vocal chords. They got better, though.

2. Everything's Gone Green: I resisted electro-sounding music in high school, so I didn't even listen to New Order until college. And I didn't buy this CD until grad school. It's embarrassing, but we all make mistakes. I've caught up by listening to this CD a lot a lot in the last three years. This song was totally re-hashed for "Blue Monday" a couple years later, and I'm totally OK with both songs.

3. Temptation: OK, I lied. I listened to one (1) CD in high school that had electropoppy music on it, and that was the Trainspotting soundtrack. And I loved this song. It's funny that I never checked out the rest of their material, although I was clearly scared of music that sounds like a computer wrote it. Too bad I held this bias for so long. Temptation has a warm, familiar feel to me though, and I think it's because it's the song I listened to the most before I heard anything else.

4. Blue Monday: The first song on the CD that, when played in the car, your friends will sing along with. The chorus of "Temptation" can be sung, but "Blue Monday" begs to be belted out. Everyone wants to know, "How does it feel to treat me like you do?" Indeed. The instrumental music in this song is just depraved. If you haven't heard it, you don't know, but if you have, you know it just feels dirty somehow. I like that.

5. Confusion: I never remember the name for this song, and yet I always sing it. New Order is, of all groups I can readily think of, the one that tries the hardest to give their songs names that sound nothing like the songs. I think "State of the Nation" is the only song of theirs from this CD (and, of all time, "World In Motion" is the only other one), that actually uses the words of the hook in the title of the song. So tricky.

6. Thieves Like Us: Listening to this song is like breathing in the 1980s. To think that a complex melody (that sounds like it's supposed to sound like a violin but greatly missed the mark) could be played on a synthesizer. Ahh, but we were so much older then; we're younger than that now. This song could be the background to Beverly Hills Cop; it's not that off of Axel F, which came out three years later. At least New Order helped create this sound. Thieves Like Us is about love, and how it belongs to everyone but us. That's sad.

7. Perfect Kiss: One good thing about New Order is that they don't sing till they're damn well ready for it. And well, hell, Bernard Sumner might just stop for awhile too if he damn well feels like it. And let those synth-y things make some cool noises. (I'm a little dumb when it comes to describing electronic music)

8. Subculture: Close your eyes and imagine: what if J.S. Bach came back to life in the post-disco, post-jazz, post-punk 1980s? I think he definitely would have either written this song, or killed the guy from Skid Row who stole his name. Maybe both. Anyway, New Order was the first band since the Doors to really get baroque music. Fuck all those 1970s progressive rock bands: New Order made Bach rock as opposed to making rock Bach. OK, well, honestly, the only thing really Bach-y is the synth organ that starts the song strongly and then returns throughout to make the song cool. It's not really that stylistically old school. But I like to think so.

9. Shellshock: Love to sing along to this one. Fast beat, makes you want to dance to it. And that can't really happen much, except at U St. clubs, which is why I go places where I can dance to this shit.

10. State of the Nation: this has a maddeningly (in a good way, if that contradiction is possible) mid-tempo pace. It's not a fast song and it's not a slow song. And these songs are all long - most are between 4-1/2 and 8 minutes long. Yet they all remain compelling the whole way through. That's the sign of some good fuckin' musicianship.

11. Bizarre Love Triangle: This is another song that I will sometimes tell people is my favorite song. It's up there with "The Boxer" on the short list. This was the second New Order song I listened to, as it was on the soundtrack for (and this is really funny) - my favorite movie in high school, which happened to be Threesome with Lara Flynn Boyle, Stephen Baldwin, and Josh Eddy. The media was corrupting, corrupting, corrupting me from a young age. I take no part of the blame for my own decadence.

12. True Faith: There is a reason why gay dudes love indie music. All the whiny boys who end up being straight men write music that expresses the same whiny childhood neuroses as those held by the whiny boys who ended up being gay men. "When I was a very small boy, very small boys talked to me / Now that we've grown up together, they're afraid of what they see." How could I not relate to this song? "My morning sun is the drug that brings me here / to a childhood I lost, replaced by fear." The best song possible to have ended the CD with.

...and that's two albums. Is this at all interesting? Should the exercise continue, or go away?

Albums Of Our Lives, Part One Of Many

As a music snob and an obsessive-compulsive mp3 hoarder, I resist the urge to come up with lists of "best songs/albums ever." I happen to find the movie High Fidelity repugnant. John Cusack's character's repeated listing of "best breakup songs ever," etc., comes across as dull and self-important. I don't need to know what other people's exact rankings of the Best. Songs. Ever. are - but it's fun to talk about music. So I thought I'd give the whole thing a stab in terms of LPs/tapes/CDs that have been big influences for me at different points in my life. In fact, they're all still favorites. Let's start with one, and maybe I'll continue this later if y'all and I find it interesting.

Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits (1972). This was the tape of my childhood that became the CD of my adulthood in high school. There are few things in this world that we like consistently from birth through the present, and never stop liking, and this album is one of them. The tracks:

1. Mrs Robinson: Actually my least favorite track on the whole CD. What I love about this song is that it cues me for the rest of the disc. No, it's true: in any other context, I'll totally skip this song, but when I put this CD in, I have to start here.

2. For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her: The live recordings of their older material is really what makes Greatest Hits such a gem in its own right. Art Garfunkel has a really, really high voice. It's almost creepy. This song has, on a number of occasions, made me cry for no good reason other than the fact that I (maybe not-so-secretly) love to cry. I especially love to cry to specific sappy types of music and gay cowboy movies.

3. The Boxer: I most frequently will tell people that this is my favorite song ever. I'm not a fan of picking any one song over any other song, but The Boxer really hit a chord with me some time around the age of 5 or 6, and it's stuck. I actually - and this is kind of embarrassing for one's favorite song - am still not sure exactly what that instrument is. It sounds like an oboe when it's at the forefront of the mix, but the same melody is played by what sounds like strings in the background. So, are there both strings and woodwinds in this song, or is it the same whatever-it-is in the front and back of the mix? Such an enigma. Oh, yes, and this song also introduced me to one of my favorite words, "whores." At age 5, I just assumed it meant manual laborers, and the "manual laborers" non-sexually-harassed the protagonist by yelling "come on buddy" or something to that effect. I was once innocent only a couple decades ago. Damn you, Simon!!!

4. The 59th Street Bridge Song: Again, the live tracks on this album are uniformly better than the originals. I would have loved loved loved to have seen my dad's favorite group for $3 as he did in college. Damn you, dad!

5. The Sound of Silence; 6. I Am A Rock; 7. Scarborough Fair/Canticle: Besides being my dad's favorite group, one of my mom's favorite groups, and the only non-classical tape that my parents ever listened to in the car, I think that Simon & Garfunkel resonated with me as a kid because they used a very childish rhetoric. There's really an "Emperor's New Clothes" logic behind a lot of their music. These three songs comprising the end of the A side of the LP/cassette are probably their best "gee whiz, why can't we all get along" tomes, hitting three different angles: first, the "everyone's yelling at each other but no one's listening;" second, "the reason I'm not listening is because I've been burned before and I'm sick of crying;" and third, "all most of us want to do is find love, so why are we fighting wars in foreign places for no purpose?" Scarborough Fair/Canticle really achieves, in much more gorgeous and poetic form, what the preacy "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" attempted. That's one of the great legacies, in my humble opinion, of the great Simon & Garfunkel: every urban left-winger in the '60s picked up a guitar and preached to the choir, but most of them were unsubtle and unmusical. Yet these guys figured out how to do both. Using a centuries-old English love song with a subtle background message to get the point across was genius, AND beautiful to listen to in a way that Pete Seeger/Phil Ochs/etc. never acheived.

8. Homeward Bound: You can really sing the songs on this CD. It's well known that S & G had some of the best harmonies out there, but when you think about it, they started with the best melodies. Even as a one-person unit, any of their songs would still be phenomenal. Although, once you've heard their tight harmonies, you'll never go back. And for the record, these guys were most strongly influenced by the Everly Brothers. Putting "Bye Bye Love" toward the end of their last CD wasn't a fluke or a throw-away. It was a shout-out to the guys who taught them how to do what they did best.

9. Bridge Over Troubled Water: Paul Simon has had some really, really, REALLY obnoxious attempts at multi-culti crap in his career. The horrendous wanna-be gospel of "Loves Me Like A Rock" makes me cringe; and true, "Graceland" was excellent - yet "Rhythm of the Saints" is slightly yawn-y. And the more recent albums - can anyone listen to them? Especially knowing what he's capable of? But let's backtrack to 1969, when a white urban folk duo made a fucking spiritual. A. Fucking. Spiritual. One more time: this is an honest-to-God spiritual written on a piano in a New York apartment. Is that even possible? I can't imagine anyone writing a spiritual today. Kanye West's "Jesus Walks" is definitely killer, and is as close as we'll probably see to a new spiritual. And "Bridge" isn't sung by a gospel choir or anything, either, but it's definitely inspirational. It might be the last pop song to cleverly bridge the love song/friend song/God song gap ever ("You've Got A Friend," which came out just a couple years later, is pretty safely on the secular side of things). And some might disagree with me that it's even really a spiritual at all, but I get the "God" feeling from this song that church sure as hell never did for me. At any rate, it's a spine-tingler.

10. America: My mom said, when I was in high school and a good 10 years into my S & G listening, that this song summed up her entire '60s generation. If there was one song that captured the Zeitgeist of '60s America, it was "America." Well-titled, boys, well titled.

11. Kathy's Song: This was one of the first songs I learned on the guitar, sophomore year of college. It really illustrates something about Paul Simon, and that's the fact that he's a conscious songwriter (up there with Willie Nelson and Carole King). You don't really imagine his contemporaries (the Beatles, Hendrix, Dylan) sitting down and plotting out a song: "well, I want three verses that start at the end of the measure, followed by three that start at the beginning of the measure" (Check it out between the 3rd and 4th verses: it's a conscious jump in the style of the song). And in no way does the songwritery-ness of the composition make "Kathy's Song" any less heartfelt or aching. I don't doubt for a minute that all he believes in is Kathy, and that he'd die like a raindrop if not for her. (Yeah, this one has made me cry on occasion, too)

12. El Condor Pasa (If I Could): This was my least favorite as a child, but it bumped ahead of "Mrs. Robinson" in high school when I got past the simplicity of the Andean arrangement (the oompah-ish beat has never been my favorite; I had neighbors a few years back who had a Tejano band that practiced next door at 10 AM on Saturdays, and this didn't help either). What really works for this song is the vocal track. I think the ornateness-yet-triteness of the instrumentation has a way of distracting you from the fact that the vocals are really yearning.

13. Bookends: As a child (I was perhaps 7 years old), I told my mom that this song was weird because it just kind of faded in and out for like a minute and didn't say much. This, of course, became precisely why I grew to love it. One of my favorites to play on guitar (all those double stops) and also possible to play on people's doorbell pipes if they have 3 or 4 (I've done this at parties and the melody is indeed recognizable. I'm an artist).

14. Cecilia: Simon and Garfunkel had a way of making songs that everyone can love. You don't have to be into the '60s (as I was raised to be) or a folk-music person (as I was raised to be) or a perv, or anything, to love this song. It's totally pervy (and helped warp me as a child, or so I like to believe), but it's totally cute. It's anachronistic, as Simon's best attempts at multi-culti songs are: you don't really feel like you're listening to a traditional Latin American folksong, but it doesn't sound like anything else that was released in 1969. All you know is that you want to clap your hands, stomp your feet, and sing along to what a silly hoe Cecilia is and how you don't care as long as she comes back. A metaphor for life, really.

I love music.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I Heart Threesomes

M'Lah: "Hipster, how many threesomes have you had since your divorce?"

Hipster: "Oh, if you don't count the two different bisexual ones in '04, I've had three gay threesomes in the last 6 or 7 months. So really, not that many."

M'Lah: "You realize that five threesomes in two years - even forgetting your college days, mind you - is more than most people ever have in their entire lives?"

Hipster: "No, that can't be true. Really?"

===

Apparently, there are reasons why I scare people sometimes. But it's not like I tell strangers my sexual history when I meet them. Still, there would seem to be a general personality trait in there somewhere. Something in the disinhibited-thrillseeking realm? Perhaps.

Threesomes can be hard to coordinate, and they can spell doom for a couple-on-the-brink; further, they quite often involve a lot of drama between people. And, it's exponentially harder to repeat a threesome with the same cast than to repeat a one-night-stand between two people. You're looking at a one-time shot for that exact menage.

But damn, there are just things you can get out of a threesome that you can't get out of a deux-some:

(1) Oral sex - by - deux. Fun to go down on a stranger with a buddy. Fun to have two buddies go down on you together. Do both people lick the head? Or does one focus on the dick and the other on the balls? Not to mention the rimjobblowjob, also known as the "ohmyfuckinggodthatfeelssogoodicantbelieveitshappeningtome."

(2) Synchronized fucking. If you're lying on the bed, you get a phenomenon I like to call "The Double Earthquake." Imagine two different sine waves of thrust: the first is going in and out of you, but the second is a little more distant, and modulates the first. This is like being fucked by a Bootsy Collins LP when you're used to being fucked by Pat Boone.

Now, if you're in the middle of this one, you're feeling "The Night At The Roxbury." You somehow have the most and the least control at once. This could also be called the "How D'y'like THEM Apples" position. Slap on a jimmy hat, start goin' to town. "Oh, you like that? You like that?"... and then comes Mr. 3 from behind with a big ol' HowdyDoodyUpTheBungHole. This is definitely about the most involved one can be in a threesome. Hell, if this were the only thing that you did in a threesome, those in the first and third positions of the Funk Orchestra could plausibly (and Clintonianly) argue that they've never had sex.

Being the caboose in a synchronized fuck is a blessing and a curse. You don't always get the full-on-plow because you're working with weird angles. But this is totally made up for by the fact that you're drivin' this train, goddammit, and there's something really exciting about fucking the first person by remote. (Is it a bisexual threesome? Are you fucking the guy into the girl? HOT. Is it a gay threesome? Do you get to fuck your friend/BF/stranger with someone else's dick? Oh Hells Yes you do).

(3) Voyeurism. Some people (kinky couples?) like to have other people watch them fuck. But it's much more fun when you get to be really in on it, when you can move in and out of the action to watch (or just crane your neck from wherever and whatever you're doing). Yeah, you can see the basketball game a little better if you're a few rows up. But isn't the courtside experience just a little more exciting? You're damn right it is.

(4) Auteurism. We can't all go to film school and make movies, directing actors to bring our whims and fantasies to life. But we sure as hell can tell the two people in bed with us what they ought to be doing to each other. However, this can bring about the next perk...

(5) Triadic Power Dynamics. Did you ever think bullying and ganging up on people, and being bullied and ganged up on was hot? If you've read this far, you're probably in the percentage of the population that acknowledges this and not in the percentage who pretends it's a lie. Mmmmm, by the time you're having sex with two other people, the "easily persuaded" dynamic is in the air and real fun - real, hot fun - can occur. None of this "let's stare at each other in the eyes and intellectualize about everything" bullshit. More like, whatever two people can agree on is what the third is going to do. This frees you up to get what you want from them, and it frees them up to get what they want from you, and it frees all of you up from worrying about anything but pleasing each other.

(6) The Whole Silverware Drawer. Oh yeah? You like to spoon? Like to be the little spoon or the big spoon? Fuck that shit, when you got a fork, knife, and spoon you're having a picnic of sweet dreams. Just be sure you packed enough condoments for "breakfast"...

So, in summation, it has hereby been proven by one Mr. A.H. Hipster on this day that Threesomes Officially Rock. Put that in your pipe and smoke it... with two friends, of course...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

14-Hour I.V. Beer Drip

St. Patrick's Day fell on a Friday this year, at the very start of Spring Break week. It had been a long, long week for me and prior to Thursday night, I hadn't had a good night's sleep in God-knows-when. That meant I had to make good use of the holiday.

I woke up around 11 and hung out on the internet, downloading music for awhile before taking a nice, warm shower. Spied the green plaid shirt and knew I had to wear it. It's one of the coolest shirts ever in the collection of a man who only buys cool shirts. It's a little Vegas Cowboy, which I'm totally OK with. It had to be ironed, but that's a small price to pay for a drinkin' shirt for one of the Triumvirate Of Boozidays (viz., St. Green Stout Day, All Highballs Eve & New Beer's).

Rolled in ten minutes late to my 1:00 lunch date on the hill with Anne, the baby sister of one of my co-best-friends-from-far-away. I had suggested Tortilla Coast for lunch as she was over that direction already. I added the disclaimer that I've only ever gone there for margaritas and fajitas at night, so I don't know what the food's like sober. We remedied this by ordering a pitcher of Grand Marnier-spiked margaritas, which we were well into by the start of lunch. She told me so many things that I can't tell her brother. Fortunately for everyone, I probably killed off enough brain cells over the rest of the day to lose most of it anyway.

After wandering around the National Gallery East and ripping on classic Modernists, we found a couple great Picassos to stare at and discuss how much we love drinking.

Sobered up for the most part, we went back to my place, made some coffee and I played guitar while she talked. Her brother trained her well in that he always did something else when she talked, so I could play Nintendo in front of her if I wanted to (and maybe I have...). Anne had to meet her aunt and cousin for dinner, so around 6:30 I walked her to the metro, and headed over to my friend K's house four blocks away.

We started drinking Guinness and finding mp3s on K's roommate's computer. We listened to a lot of '80s pop and talked about nothing of importance, which is just how it ought to be. My friend Schmitty came over. He'd never met K and crew, but got along splendidly with all. Schmitty is a first-year graduate student whom I suspect actually just emerged from a Norman Rockwell portrait to come get a Ph.D. and then jump back into other portraits to solve problems with social-science solutions. Kind of a Weird Science-meets-Erin Brockovich postmodern superhero, really. Eerily nice for being neither Quaker nor Homosexual. He's so damn wholesome that I just want to corrupt him.

Finally, Irish Guy came over to bully us all up out of K's house to go see his cousin's Irish rock band at Staccato in Adams Morgan. Not a bad walk at all if you have 8-10 people in your posse and you've been drinking beer all evening. Staccato was packed, and we all had to wait in line for the bathroom. While in line, we could hear (but not see) the band's singer say, "we're the multi-ethnic Irish rock band!" and the audience cheered. "Really, everyone gets to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day," Schmitty said. Donning an Andy Rooney-in-Breakfast At Tiffany's Chinese accent, I replied with "I Rish!" - yet another moment when I realize I can never run for President.

The line for the bar was crazy, and I wanted to step next door to get a drink. Next door happens to be the Duplex Diner, which is for all intents and purposes an aggressively sexual gay bar for rich guys in their early thirties. Schmitty was at just the right moment in his corruption to be introduced unwittingly into such a scene. The bartender was impressed that I ordered two Maker's Mark-on-the-rocks, and the regular crowd was impressed that two mid-20s hunks walked into their mid-30s meat market. We ran into a guy our age that I had met at Wonderland's gay country night on Wednesday and whose advances I had pretended not to perceive. He gave Schmitty the evil eye - Man Thief.... ooohhh... - which made me glad that we had gone. Plus Schmitty and I got to people watch. I think it was fun corruption for him. He's asked to go along on a barnstorming-of-DC tour before, and I didn't want to disappoint. A good night in DC for me often involves the magic formula of (1) house party; (2) straight bar; (3) gay bar; (4) different house party. This was a good night. We went back to the Irish rock band till they finished their set, and then headed off to the next house party, pulling the sweetest guy ever from the crew with us.

The house party was fuckin' killer fun. Hosted by an ESPN-lovin' gay guy who was three sheets to the wind, in honor of his birthday and the birthday of one of my Fight Club neighbors. In the indie-rockin' U St./Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant world, the guys are always such a great mix of the probably straights and the probably gays. Who likes obviousness from either angle? I enjoy the mix. However, seeing as I wasn't aware of the gay potential of the party, both my straight-guy-friends-in-tow were reasonably impressed at the fact that we had shown up at this party and there were all these guys flirting with me. I turned to my two friends and started singing "All Bout U" by 2pac... "ev-ry-oth-er city we go, ev-ry-oth-er radiooo, no matter where I go..."

They finished the chorus for me: "I see the saaaame hoo-ooo-ooo-ooes..."

Not that the party was full of hoes. One gentleman was quite drunk, and out of nowhere - I wasn't hitting on him in the least - gave me the Morrissey speech. I didn't think it was going to go there, but it did. "You know," he told me, "I'm not in the habit of going home with people who charm me." I said, OK, and sliently wondered where this was even coming from. "Nor am I in the habit of going home with people whom I charm."

"You haven't charmed me yet, so you're OK. Are you trying to say that you like me but you don't get down on the first night and you'd like to take me to dinner first?"

"Look, you're a charming guy," he said, "You are. But I just feel like I've transcended sex, you know?"

"Sure," I said.

Morrissey Jr. was drunk, and frankly I've met a lot of people like him before. I met two a couple New Years' ago, at a party that was hosted by my friend's boyfriend - who happened to be roommates with my ex's baby brother. Said baby brother was not OK with me helping his friends (male and female) out of their shirts, and my collecting True Gay Confessions from his unbeknownst-to-him closeted friends. Then again, I've always wondered if said baby brother is gay himself anyway. Wouldn't surprise me.

Anyway, Morrissey Jr. went to go hit on a poor girl, who I had engaged in mutual clothing compliments with earlier. The poor girl was getting hit on by Mr. I've Transcended Sex and so I then followed him to her to save her. At some point, she and I stepped out on the front stoop, and she confessed her attraction to me and asked me if I had a girlfriend. (You know, that thing that I totally love but feel totally guilty about - yeah, that. Had one of those this St. Patty's Day).

She then asked me if our Smiths-frontman buddy was gay, and I told her the whole exchange that I'd had with him. Poor girl, she actually seems both cute and sane, and I feel bad for ladies who honestly get burned by two fags in one night. I was in drinking-all-day-suave-dude-Swingers-shirt mode, and I haven't pretended to be straight since Halloween. It's cruel and was totally unintentional in this case. I wasn't trying to fool her. Next time, I'll be more upfront about being a mo.

But of course, the funny part is that if you're too upfront about being a mo in such circles, you lose cred with the ambiguous indie-rock boys, who'd prefer you were a little lower-key. I don't always act the most mo-ish or the most het (last Halloween aside - OK, a lot of times aside), and that just has the potential of confusing people.

So aside from Morrissey Jr. and Poor Girl, I also had a good amount of back-and-forth with another gentleman. He was acting interested-yet-disinterested (which is really the smoothest way to act) and we impressed each other with our wits. Or rather, I think we did. He went to the Black Cat, or the 9:30 Club, or DC-9, or something, for some period of time, but eventually came back.

I love my Fight Club neighbors. Aside from having killer rapelling-into-keg-stands-mud-wrestling-doing-body-shots-off-of-18-year-old-straight-boys parties, they are also unafraid to be intellectual to the point of nerdiness even when three sheets to the wind.

Most self-centered alcoholics will tell you that they are intellectual when they drink, and even when you yourself are drunk, all you can hear is blahblahblahblah. Not so with these boys. We had an hourlong discussion of linguistics, a pet field of all of ours, bringing in some neuroscience, psychology, computer science, social theory, and other topics, while continuing to suck down Yuengling. A perfect way to spend a holiday, in my book.

The gentleman came back from the rock-or-dance-or-something event, and resumed talking to me. The sports-nut-birthday-boy-host broke out the weed, and about half of us smoked some. The gentleman passed, but if you go to parties at the houses of friends who smoke pot, on a Friday holiday, you probably aren't that worried about a guy you like smoking pot. We talked some more, but then everyone started to leave so I got his number. Me: "so, would you be interested in getting dinner or something this week?" Him: weird expressions. Me: "you don't have to be." Him: it's [number].

On the way out the door, the host pushed a small bag of weed into my hand. That's props. That says "you're cool, let's hang out again sometime." Could be sexy, could be chummy, leaves it up in the open. Nothin' says lovin' like a bag o' drugs.

It was pushing 5 AM and I got a ride home, where I slept like a baby. Saturday found me not really getting up till about 3 pm, but having absolutely zero hangover. No Advil at bedtime, none upon rising. You can have somewhere between 12 and 24 drinks and not get hungover with the I.V. beer drip* (*including tequila and bourbon drinks). And that's why St. Patrick's Day, when it lands on a Friday, is priceless.

Postscript: I think the gentleman is going to flake out, and that's fine. I didn't have my heart set on him; it just seemed like he was interested in something other than a hookup, and I could have been too. But Morrissey Jr. told me up front - even ahead of time - that he wasn't interested in anything, and I told Poor Girl directly that I wasn't interested in anything. So there's no point in his being flaky. However, I've been flaky before so I can't even complain. C'est la vie. But even better:

Postscript #2: Saturday night blew Friday night out of the water.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Maybe Everyone's Like That To Some Extent

In my recent attempt to understand my romantic life by clustering men into categories, I wonder if I overlooked the fact that those categories of people really reflect general patterns in all of us (or at least all of us in the MSM dating pool). At least at some point in time. Then I wonder if I'm being too nice in trying to backpedal my own beliefs. To break it down: how am I like, or not like, the kind of guys I usually date?

I don't identify as much with the sweet-clingy-low-self-esteem kind of guys so much. There have been times when I built people up somewhat, or put them on pedestals, but I've never been much to throw myself at people. I'll push hard or flirt too heavily, but that's a little different than "go ahead an be an asshole, it won't change my love for you." Nonetheless - to a lesser extreme - it's not so bad to be able to fall madly, deeply in love with people and look past their faults - providing you're not a doormat. But "sweet" is a good thing - it shouldn't be a perjorative. I want guys who are sweet, as long as they don't want me to treat them like crap all the time.

I also can't totally identify with the hot slutty fratboy type. Being skanky can be kind of hot, but sometimes it's just pathetic or gross. It's hard for me to totally understand just wanting to have sex with everyone or everything. I saw a documentary the other night on gay sex in NYC in the 1970s. And those guys were doing it all day, every day, with everybody. But here's the hitch: they were all on drugs practically all the time. And one of them said outright that with every guy he had sex with in The St. Mark's Bathhouse, he kept the hope alive that that guy could be The Guy. It's human nature to keep such hopes alive, which is why I'm totally confused when someone really just wants to sleep with different people all the time. Now, I've had my share of one-night-stands, but rarely did I go out with the explicit intention of finding someone to sleep with. I've met cool people, hooked up with them, and maybe we decided in the morning to go our own ways. But if I thought ahead of time with every guy, "I really want to hook up with you once and move on" - I wouldn't be able to do it. Keep hope alive for some kind of romance - if you just want to get off, masturbate. It's not a bad idea. But still - who doesn't like to get face-fucked once in a while by someone that they aren't interested in settling down with? Sometimes everybody likes to be a little skeezy.

In terms of the self-loathing perfectionistic thing, let's be honest. I have more than a little of that myself. From my Halloween antics of "pretending to be straight" (although this was a fun social experiment, and I did conclude that the only way to really pretend to be straight is to pretend to like women, big duh to me) to my needing the best degree (doctoral), best body, best clothes... I might not be a clean freak, and I might be fairly low maintenance, but I want to be The Best. I don't think there are too many of us in the man-on-man world who are totally free from perfectionism or heterocentrism. The world would have to be a lot different for us not to develop these habits as teenagers, even if we can say as adults that they're wrong. But even with the perfectionism vs. homophobia thing: being able to say you're not a neat-freak gay guy (i.e. not perfectionistic) is one of the most socially sanctioned ways to be internally homophobic. So there you have it.

And the stable but squeamish type that tend to get freaked out by me? Well, I get freaked out by other people too. In fact, I won't date anyone who's freakier than me, so I can't really hate on people who set the bar slightly higher than I do and exclude me as part of the "freaky" category.

Alcoholism? Well, I have had times in my life (*cough cough* junior year of college) when I was well into the realm of alcoholic drinking (every night heavily before my 10PM - 3AM factory job - wow...) and these days I'm a fun social drinker. So it's hard to hate on people who are in that bad phase now. I just hope they'll pull out of it and not make it a lifetime habit.

So it's not that the guys I date are necessarily fucked-for-life-totally-undateable, nor totally different from me, nor totally different from most of us. Just cuz some are a little more in one direction doesn't make them the worst people ever.

And what do I want? What kinds of qualities do I *need* to look for in a guy? What will I put up with? Those will have to go in a future post. Good night...

Monday, March 06, 2006

MySpace Is Creepy Slash Everyone From Highschool Is A Redneck

"Minnesotans aren't all sheltered rednecks," I like to tell people. "We're an educated, urbane wonderland, and if it weren't freezing, everyone would want to live there." Ever since I moved to the East Coast, I've been telling people this.

I have some friends (e.g. MintyFresh) who've been trying to get me onto MySpace for about a year now, and I finally bit the bullet when my friend's friend from the Southland was visiting, and extolled the virtues of MySpace. Well, actually, what really did it is that she sent me the URL so it was too easy to join. You gotta know that's how I operate. Put the URL in front of my face and I might actually do anything.

But God DAMN. There are just too many people on MySpace to find anyone. The best search I was able to do was people from my high school who actually admit to having gone to my high school.

They are now - pretty much every last one of them - fucking redneck hick inbred hillbillies.

Actually, I found my girls - those hot, budding lesbians who had great taste in rock music and leftist politics in high school - who were low-key enough that no one cared that they were lesbians. And I added them as friends. And there were a couple other friends that I found and added. But for the most part, people who (1) went to my high school, (2) admit to having gone there, and (3) use MySpace, are divorced with children. And trucks. And that's sad.

Then I went to my grad school and looked around, but grad students aren't on MySpace. However, undergrads are, and I found a few whose major is the same as the class that I TA for. I am deathly scared for the future. I also didn't need to see the abs of the retarded 18-year-old straight boy who sits in the back of the class. I don't have a ton of barely-legal fantasies; hell, most dudes under 23 are inept at sex anyway. And I didn't need to see his abs. I've licked so many nice ones that I don't want to see those of people that I have no patience/time/energy for.

Now that I think about it, everyone who has encouraged me to use MySpace is heterosexual (might have been one or two bisexuals in there). Maybe the 'mos are smart enough not to use a site where the words STRAIGHT, GAY, or NO ANSWER (which I think is the Latin term for CLOSET CASE) appear right next to your grinning picture. I don't care how out & proud you are, that's a little off-putting. Also, people get less and less interesting the more space & freedom you give them to prattle on about their pets, transportation devices, children, and ex-spouses - not to mention giving them the freedom to chintz out their background and add a MIDI file of bad pop music that plays at full volume the minute you click on their profile.

So if you're on MySpace and you read this blog and you know me (this is going to be, like, 2 people max), go add me, since I have no idea how to find people other than those who admit having gone to my high school. I'm hating on it, but I'll probably use it.

Too Many Men, Too Little Time

...that title could be bragging, or it could be flogging. I hope to achieve both.

In the dating/fucking world - particularly the one involving hot man-on-man action - it's just too easy to always have someone around. And always having someone around can be both good and bad. It's good to have the charisma and the skills and the BP to be able to always find someone to have a date with, or sleep with, or both. But it's bad to have so many people around that you can't evalute what's going on, or the people you're with, because you are always jumping.

I think about the the dating/lickingfistingtribadism world - you know, the one involving hot woman-on-woman action - and how the constant criticism both inside and out of that world involves the jumping from relationship to relationship. Every lesbian relationship seems like a rebound from the last one. And yet, everyone seems to see the gay world as so different. Those gay men are just so independent and happily slutty. They can just jump from bed to bed without getting attached.

But maybe every gay one-to-three-night-stand is the short-term equivalent of those lesbian one-to-three-year relationships that run into each other. Just as problematic are those short "relationships" that occur when you meet someone, share a portion of your life story/goals/dreams/quirks with them over the course of a few dates/hookups, go to third base or maybe fuck, and move on because one or both of you want to.

Because when you keep jumping, you get good at sharing your life story/goals/dreams/quirks (e.g. from Minnesota; getting a Ph.D; love coffee and music; want an urban life) and you get good at having a fun time with guys (e.g. getting sushi; sucking their dick; getting your dick sucked; supplying Gatorade and Advil; driving them home in the morning), and you get good at figuring out how to move on (e.g. they stop calling; you get tired of their hairy moles/cocaine habit/whininess; you both are being too cool to open up to each other more; neither of you wants to bottom for the other)... but you never have time to sit back and analyze what's happening, who you are most compatible with, or what you really want.

So I think it's good to look back once in awhile - try to breathe, contemplate patterns in your dating/fucking life, and see what's working and what's not. Here are some trends among people I date, or rather, some archetypal patterns of people I've been with.

The Sweet Clingy Low-Self-Esteem Guy. He's intelligent, he's going somewhere in life, and he has no faith in his own good qualities. This is one of the most common types that I get with. I think this "guy" (really, guys in this category) is a good person and can go somewhere. He worships me because I am a good person (in a lot of ways - really!!!) and can go somewhere... but I realize this and therefore I'm seen as larger-than-life. This one never works because I only like to be on a pedestal if I'm making a week's salary as a TA in five minutes of dancing in my underwear. It's not comfortable for me to be with someone who thinks I'm better than him - for very long. Granted, the "rape by soccer captain in the locker room" fantasy is pretty hot to enact once or twice, but eventually I'm going to want someone who will tell me when I'm being a jackass. As my friends will.

The Hot Slutty Fratboy. Come to think about it, I don't get with this type nearly enough. It never works - but neither do any of my other relationships in recent history - so I might as well throw more of them in. This guy is great, but he is trying to taste all 31 flavors and you were blond/smooth-chested. He'll have a lot more before he settles down, because he's hot and he knows it, but he's not actually that smart or that interesting, so he knows better than to try to spend too many waking/sober hours with you, because he knows you're far better read than he is and he'll get bored of literature, politics, and social science if you make him go to brunch with you more than once. He knows it, you know it but you repress it because he's got the nicest eyes and likes to get face-fucked. You keep his number in your phone in case he texts you in the future at 1 AM. You both know that shit will be hot, because it will. Keep his [belt/shoes/t-shirt] in your car to give back that one time you do hook up in the future, because that's the last time you'll see him.

Self-Loathing Guy. God, this guy has "husband" written all over him! Smart, good job, phenommmmmmmenal abs, knows great restaurants to have dinner with, enjoys hanging out with your straight friends, has great taste in indie music. He's just totally perfect for you! But oops, there's one problem. This guy thinks that he has one unforgivable flaw, and that's the fact that he's a sodomite. If he can just be perfect in every other way, then maybe God and dead Grandma can forgive him for this terrible sin. This guy is detected by a few key markers: when you go to Blockbuster, the only new releases he'll skip over immediately are gay-themed movies; he'll look past all your 30+ Bob Dylan CDs and point at the two Madonna CDs and tell you he hates dance music; and he has a way of bolting for the door the minute after the morning's happy ending. SLG can't wait five minutes for the coffee to perk, and he doesn't need you to hand him a towel for the buddy shower. Because SLG hasn't realized yet that straights are no more moral or saner than gays. He's still convinced that God/Mother Nature intended for him to be straight and that some sort of mistake happened that wasn't his fault. Oh, yeah. and he'll be certain to tell you that he had a totally normal childhood where he played with G.I. Joe and didn't drop any hairpins ever. Whackwhackwhack, get over it. You'd be great if you didn't hate yourself (and the rest of us by association).

Stable Guy Who FInds You Freaky. This guy is kind of the best and worst all in one: the good news is that there's nothing wrong with him; the bad news is that he's shy and sweet and is creeped out by the fact that you've stripped on stage for cash and tried mushrooms & cocaine a couple times each, and had a couple bi-threesomes in college long after you came out. He'll be great for someone else and so will you, but because there's nothing wrong with him, it's still irkful that it can't work out. Gotta breathe and move on with this one.

Alky. You like to drink, you have gay friends, and you meet a lot of the guys you date-and-or-fuck at bars or parties. So it's hard to tell the alky apart from the rest of the crowd. Say you meet when you're drunk and go home to hook up. You pour some water and bring it to bed, where you have some satisfying drunken oral sex. But on date two, you notice he's getting drunk at dinner, and you go out with his friends and he's the one buying rounds of shots for everyone. By the time you get back to his place, he's poured himself a 20-oz. bourbon-on-the-rocks and tells you that he likes to sip on bourbon till he passes out. He also seems to really be into mutual masturbation while drinking himself to sleep. And frankly, it's not really any better than when you engaged in solo masturbation while drinking yourself to sleep when you were 19. And in that case, you always woke up in your own bed. Oh, alky, put the damn bottle down for a minute.

It's kinda sad that the majority of the men in my life end up in one of these categories. I ain't sayin' that I'm perfect or that all gay men are nutjobs. But whether I meet them at "unhealthy" locations like a bar at 1 AM, or "healthy" venues like internet dating or friendsoffriends, there's usually a legitimate reason why it doesn't work out. And I'd like something to work out. So do I keep dating at a frenetic pace so that I meet enough people? Because the right one will eventually sit on my lap? Or do I go into celibacy mode till I find the right man? Both get old...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Mr. BP

Thursday night, I was coaxed out of my home office, where I was illegally downloading all 100 of the Best Indie Singles of All Time (1977-1992) on my new 20" iMac with the new Intel chips. "We're going to Cobalt," my friend K. said. "I thought you didn't like that queeny dive," was my response. "Come on, man, dollar beers." So I went.

By 11 PM, I had been bullied into entering the Best Package Contest, in which four young men with amateur-stripper inklings dance in fresh-out-of-the-box low-rise briefs - and nothing else - on boxes, get tips from the 200-person crowd (which is a lot of strangers critically evaluating your virtually-nude body), and ultimately are voted on by audience cheers and applause as to who has the Best Package. Although, really, it's less about the actual volume of the skimpy underwear and more about the overall package.

Now, to be totally fair, I actually entered the contest last summer - twice, I have to admit - and just didn't do it right. It would have been that much more exciting to win $200 plus tips on the first try - but the past is the past, and it's pretty fucking cool to go to Starbucks on Sunday afternoon and have people I barely know say, "hey, Mr. BP! How's it going!" Especially when it's people who weren't even there.

I think there are worse ways to be a local celebrity.