Monday, October 24, 2005

“Get your history straight, and your nightlife gay.”

“Come to Philadelphia!”

Yes, Philly is indeed a gay ole town. Of late, I had dismissed it as a blue-collar, industrial throwback. But Lossome has recently relocated, looking for a change, and it was time to pay her a visit. What a wonderful neighborhood she lives in! We spent the entire weekend on foot, making it to South Street twice, the Italian market, TWO diners for breakfast, a swanky new restaurant on Pine (my favorite street), and the nearby gayborhood for a lounge with $3 martinis and then later a bar/danceclub that kept us dancing late. Of course, the girls made way more friends than I, but it goes with the territory.

Also way gay, and previously undiscovered, is Ms. Write Again Soon. It seemed at first that she was hedging on meeting us out in our lovely city to the north, but she then did indeed show up – and then proceeded to turn it out on the dancefloor, sober, for hours. Yes, it seems that Ms. WAS will soon be inducted in to the partygirl hall-of-fame, and friend of the gays, just as soon as our censors can confirm that it was not an aberration. At this point, we’re having trouble figuring out what she wouldn’t be game for.

The GO! Team

Favorite music discovery this weekend: The GO! Team.

An inventive mix of hip-hop, rock, rap, electronic, instrumental, and high school cheerleading, it has become my instant soundtrack to life. And how could it not, with chants like "We won't be defeated!" and "USA! USA! USA!," despite them being an indie band from England.

The whole album is instantly retro and modern, with cords that sound like motown and then others that sound, well, like the Black Cat in 10 years.

I can't wait to be home alone and blast this at the volume it demands.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Reel Affirmations

Where have I been? Some have asked. More have speculated. [See postings of Friends to the right for that.] Among other things, I've been fully immersed in the DC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival -- Reel Affirmations. That, and my WEbring postings officially died with the impossibly hard assignment posted by Ms. Write Again Soon, which became all the more difficult when I mistakenly read Red's and realized her imposing genius.

But I thought I'd share how cathartically great last night was, especially in light of how utterly horrifying Odete was tonight. [“Odete casts an irreducibly strange eye on grief, love, and hysterical pregnancy and is both an ironic interrogation of gay male identity and a metaphysical black comedy about the looniest of fag hags - Film Comment” -- in fact, it was simply an excruciatingly slow tale of a highly disturbed woman who fed off the grief and pain of anything around her.]

First, there was WTC View:

"New York City, September 10, 2001. An ad appears in the Village Voice for a roommate. Selling point: the apartment has a view of the World Trade Center. Thus begins this emotionally charged and haunting film. As the days progress, Eric, the handsome young gay apartment dweller, is confronted with a cross-section of New Yorkers as he interviews potential roommates. While he learns their stories of 9/11, he slowly reveals his own, as everyone tries to put their lives back together. Intense, tender, and therapeutic, WTC View is a warm and highly personal human drama that highlights the resiliency of the human spirit. Dir. Brian Sloan, 2005, USA, video, 102 minutes."

Movie was wonderful. Also perhaps the first film I've seen that has tried to grasp vignettes of the emotional responses in NYC on the days and weeks post-attack. The Director was there, who apparently first wrote and directed this for an off-Broadway production. When he brought it to film, he kept the same cast, who brought the story alive, and staging in one apartment, which made it comfortably intimate. It was a touching portrayal. At the same time, it brought back haunting details that hadn't crossed my mind in months, if not years, including the smell, the missing posters plastered on every corner, the constant vigils, the awkwardness of casual conversation. It was also a touching story about the main character and his struggles.

What got me thinking the most was how much many of the characters were left struggling with their own existence. That isn't a memory I have from that time. I think in part it is because while I was in NYC, it wasn't my city -- I was but a visitor. But even more importantly, I was already in a place of transition. I was moving forward through my education, and that gave me purpose and a destination. Many of the characters were in their late 20s, and I imagine I would have responded differently if it were today. Life is a bit more stagnant now, as there isn't anything new or big on the horizon. So perhaps it would have motivated a search for something new. I was also blessed to be in a position, on account of school, to see friends on a regular basis. So I didn't have to, as a result, seek out people I had grown apart from and reach out to them. We had no school, and were mostly stuck in the same building together. I imagine if it were today I would redouble my efforts to spend time with those who I care about. Thankfully, I've been busy doing that lately anyway.

Unfortunately, the movie was on a scratched DVD, and we didn't get to see the end. But the journey was emotional enough, so I'll gladly look for its release next year, distributor willing.

Immediately following, I met up with several friends and caught Hard Pill:

"It’s an insidious but intriguing question: if a pill could make a gay person straight, would it ever be worth taking? John Baumgartner’s suspenseful debut feature explores this charged topic, turning in a highly original work of gay science fiction, and sketching a near future that is distressingly not inconceivable. Tim Barrens is a lonely gay man who’s sick of dead ends. Doted on by women friends, spurned by other gay guys, and resorting to sex with a straight buddy, he’s enlivened by news of clinical trials for a new pill that may change his sexuality, and perhaps (he hopes) improve his life. But can his very personhood survive this test? Baumgartner’s taut screenplay and direction, supported by a sterling cast, take on a chilling prospect, drawing provocative conclusions. – Courtesy of Outfest. Dir. John Baumgartner, 2005, USA, video, 93 minutes."

While some in toe thought that perhaps this would be comedic romp through the trials of becoming "straight," I was expecting something closer to what it was -- a more sad and searching tale. There thankfully was no cliché message at the end, such as "you can't run from yourself!" But unfortunately I'm not sure there was any other lesson either. This didn't make for a bad movie, I actually really enjoyed it, but an epilogue would have been nice. Instead, it became a somewhat discomforting view of not only the main characters unhappiness, but also the depths of the unhappiness in those around him.

After several hours of this, I was moved, but perhaps a bit sullen. Still, three cheers to two wonderful film festival selection, that I hope will be brought to a wider audience soon...

Monday, October 10, 2005

"They're going to kill us all..."

If this were NYCRouge's blog [], that would be today's title. The quote comes from a conversation with Red [] on the subway this morning, returning from our first volunteer experience together (we'll get to my goal progress shortly). The murderers: breeders of foul fowl in Asia, cultivating Avian Flu.

But that's not the story I want to share today. I want to return to Faggot Crack House. I'm delighted to note that my previous post [] is the only hit when you google this dear phrase.

Last night I was headed up the street to a new coffee house, when an attractive gentleman in his late 30s, driving a well-kept car (I don't pay attention to make/model, sorry), pulled up and said, "Excuse me. I don't know if I can ask you this... I'm looking for a bath house around here." "Down at 14th and N, on your right. The Crew Club." I smiled, happy to point this kind sir to his den of depravity. As he pulled away, I suddenly realized he might actually be looking for FCH, which is not marked and thus would explain why he was lost. It was also right around the corner. I suppose I should have asked, "Would you like the reputable establishment, or the underground sex den?," but it just didn't occur to me.

In the end, I'm happy I sent him to the properly licensed and regulated option. I remain convinced they must use some sort of disinfectant there; while I'm sure FCH has pathogens breeding in a shag carpet and dirty stained mattress.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Chicago Memories

By the way, doesn't that building up on the right, with the diamond shaped roof, make you think of Adventures in Babysitting? That and they Crystals song, "Then He Kissed Me." Great movie.

Well he walked up to me and he asked me if I wanted to dance...

I Hate FedEx. I (once again) Heart Apple.

Not too long ago, Red and I had a nice Saturday afternoon excursion to our local FedEx facility. I did not previously blog about this, much to Red's horror. You see, I had a package there, an iPod to be exact (a replacement, after the last was stolen), and after a full hour of waiting for it, they informed me that it had been misplaced. Red was appalled, though I'm not sure why - it gave her ample time to learn Swedish with her books. All I could do was make friends with other people in line and serve as a deflation of their hopes that they might find their package.

FedEx first lost points when they informed me that I had to contact apple. You lost it, YOU call Apple, I thought to myself. I called Apple, and after a short investigation, they resent me a new iPod. It would have been nice to have it for my travels to Chicago and NYC, but such is life. Shit happens. Contrary to my nature, as reported by Spew, I went with the flow on this one.

A FedEx investigator even placed a courtesy call to me, to let me know those jokers wouldn't be getting away with it. Great.

Last week, I got a call from Ms. King, who asked if I was missing something. Yes, in a week of it being lost, my iPod made its way from FedEx to the black market, to a local public high school. I had my phone number engraved on the back.

I should take a moment and apologize to my last lover, who got his name and phone number etched on his iPod, for which I mocked him. But I did it myself, and am grateful. To him, I apologize.

I still don't know why this kid took it to school. I mean, there are metal detectors, and electronics are confiscated at the door. Well, he brought it, they confiscated it, and now I have it. The kid even signed up for iTunes and bought 27 songs, including "Killin my Niggaz" and "Bacon & Chedda." Alright, I made that second one up, but its what my Bacon, Egg, and Cheese was rung up as at Einstein Bagels that morning. I thought it would be a good rap song title.

Of course, its not really my iPod. Apple already sent me one. So, all proud of myself, I called Apple and told them I had recovered the stolen one, and would like to provide that information to their investigations unit, as well as FedEx's. Good, that information would be passed on and I would be called.

Several days later, and I get an automatic e-mail from FedEx saying that I can print out the attached label and mail the thing back to Apple at a local FedEx location. NO! Aren't you going to call me for more information? Aren't you going to investigate the stealing of a $400 piece of equipment?

Irate, I called Apple again. This time with two issues. First, I apologetically told them I wanted to return the 2nd one I got, saying it was too big and I just didn't like it. "Sorry," I was told. It was personalized, so it had "no resale value." Right. Next I raised the issue of the stupid e-mail from FedEx. The rep asked that I send it back. "I'm sorry, didn't you just tell me that because its personalized, it has no resale value?" I wasn't going to get screwed by their faulty logic. Look, I said, you're getting them both back, or neither. At least not if I have to do anything more to help you out. You want just the one back, you can come and get it from me.

Anyway, a little bit of persuasion, and Apple has agreed to take BOTH back. Yay! I can get a smaller, simpler one, that doesn't feel like a brick in my pocket. Meanwhile, I hate FedEx, as their investigator, who was gonna get those suckers!, has failed to contact me for details. And apparently all FedEx paid to Apple was $100. B*tches.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I figured it out! See below!


Our next stop, Syracuse, was pulled. Rumor has it the drummer knocked up a 17 year old in Detroit and was detained by the local authorities.

I can't say I'm sad the Tour came to a premature end. I was getting tired and I need some time at home in my domicile to become one with my mattress. Look for some an extended at home for once, and maybe those goals can finally get wrapped up...


World Tour, Stop #3 - Hudson Valley, NY

With a days rest, I tried my luck, AGAIN, with the Chinatown bus and shot up to NYC in record time. This go around I'd be crashing with Timmy, a dirty brute of a breeder whom I adore madly. We spent hours out drinking that night, and while Timmy closed yet another bar down, I made it home and to sleep by 3am or so.

The next morning was the real purpose of our trip - the marriage of Ms. Heng Ting Hua - so named after a Chinese phrase that, to the best of my knowledge, is roughly translated to: "S/he with soft, smooshy ears, is a submissive mate." Ms. HTH was to marry a gentleman I had only met once, outside along the Hudson in a small town setting that was a bastion of white New England. I have to say, for a moment I held my breath, as I realized the bride refused to make eye contact with the groom. Was she trying to keep from crying, or from bolting? While the latter would have made for a better story, in the end it seems best that they married without incident.

And what does one do at a noon wedding? Hit the open bar by 12:30 and work your hardest to make a wedding video that would be memorable. For that, I had Timmy. Multiple songs featured only Timmy and I breaking it down on the dance floor, flipping one another, or what have you.

I also relished the opportunity to be the token gay guy at the wedding who went over the top. :) Mind you, this wasn't my idea. But they played some fun games to loosen up the crowd. The M.C. promised these were Chinese wedding games, something the Chinese side of the audience didn't seem to agree with. I wouldn't have believed this random white guy of an M.C., but he often broke in to extended Mandarin to explain things to the native speaking guests. Where did this guy learn MANDARIN?

Anyway, the groom was blindfolded, and a line of female guests were asked to proceed to him and kiss him one after the other, in hopes that he could identify his new bride. At that bride's beckoning, I joined the line, and even got a strong consideration from the groom. Alas, I guess I hadn't shaved recently enough, as he didn't mistake me for the floppy eared submissive type. Oh wait, that was Idaho.

'Nuff said. Saturday was another late nighter on the town, until I couldn't manage and headed back for a fuller night sleep. Wish I could have seen more people, but elated to be there for the wedding.

World Tour, Stop #2 - Chicago (recap)

I LOVE Chicago. Chicago is a great city. Granted, it was sunny and an ideal temperature, so that had to help. Biting winds at 10 below might not be so nice. In the meantime, Chicago in September rules. I trekked all over the city. If I ever figure out this photo upload thing, I'll even share a snapshot from my camera phone. [Update: I figured it out!]

I was joined in Chicago by Ms. Blue Like Mine. [I have yet to figure out that title. Anyone know? I saw a book cover while boarding a plane there, and almost attacked the man when I saw "Blue Like..." but, it turned out to be "...Jazz." Googling her title brings a great array of possibilities.]

Best of all, we were treated to the city by my second cousin, the joys of which were only newly discovered. I actually called once I was already in the city, and the goading of my mother. I've only seen this guy a half dozen times in my life, and all we share, in theory, are our great grandparents Kness. That and the competing adoration of our mothers. Well, Walker was greatly responsive to our visit, and took us out on not one, but TWO tours of city haunts. Each night was a different; each great fun in its own way. Walker is now a self-sufficient, worldly, and amusing 23 year old. I had a blast with him. As Ms. BLM suggested in a drunk stupor: "Aw! He's so cute! He's like a mini gay DK!"

If you are looking for a blog devoted to solving computer programming problems (or that's the best I can ascertain that it does), check him out:

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Baby Genie - WEbring Assignment #7

[yes, I'm behind]

From Ms. I'd Rather Be Traveling: Assuming you will have a child in the future, what one attribute or personality characteristic or natural ability would you like to secure for that child (assuming the magic Baby Genie (not to be confused with the Diaper Genie) gives you One Wish). Also, the attribute can not be exemption from a specific disease/disability.

Although I would guess I could wish for MiniDK some cool ability, like flight, or freedom from sleep, or the ability to put his index fingers together and freeze time around him (ala Out of This World, yet another cheesy sitcom (1987-1991) that time forgot), I suppose I'll go with something a bit more practical. So I guess I'll choose a strong sense of compassion. Whether this gets displayed by a life of public service, or just a strong desire to volunteer in the community, I don't really mind. But as I think about the trait I'd like to have some control over as my child were to grow up, it is this idea of being a member of community, and that we are not only our brother's keeper, we are our brother.

For more magical babies, read Friends to the right:
Write Again Soon
Wish To See
A Little Meryment
Post No Bills
A Prize in Every Box
Lugnochro [Ms. I'd Rather Be Traveling]

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