Saturday, January 08, 2005

Odds and ends

Jude Law is off the market. But Brad Pitt is back on.

I saw Jude Law naked and in person before he was famous. He was in a disturbing little Jean Cocteau play called Indiscretions on Broadway with also-yet-to-be-famous Cynthia Nixon and starring an in-over-her-head Kathleen Turner. Jude (I call him Jude) started Act II in a tub and spent a good part of the opening scene drying off and wandering around the stage looking for his clothes. And I was in the front row. I have never, for the record, seen Brad Pitt in person, naked or otherwise.

Apparently the sidebar on my new blog template isn't showing up in Inernet Explorer browsers. And I'm not sure what to do about it. But it looks like once again, Microsoft is incompatible with the rest of the world. Imagine that.

I saw the boringly named National Treasure last night with Eric, and we freakin' LOVED IT. A fabulous hybrid of Indiana Jones, Leonardo "Da Vinci" Code and Alastair Cooke, it has everything I love in escapist adventure movies:
• Ancient secrets propelling modern protagonists (and antagonists) from adventure to adventure all over the country
• A quest for long-forgotten treasure that may or may not even exist
• A creepy old ghost ship that—BONUS!—has lain undisturbed under ice for centuries
• Comically implausible plot twists you happily embrace just to keep yourself in on the fun
• Rah-rah American patriotism that makes me tear up with no warning
• Educated scriptwriting peppered with arcane and pretentious historical tidbits
• A wrinkly old (way older-looking than he actually is, at least) leading man who thinks he still reads as virile and sexy paired opposite a nubile young love interest who looks half his age
• A goofy sidekick who just gets cuter and cuter as the movie progresses

If when you go see it, don't be a dork like your friend Jake and make sure you pee first. By the time the movie was over and the butler had killed everyone before being devoured alive by the alien I was markedly uncomfortable—and more than a little worried as I waddled as fast as possible to the bathroom.

The pain is virtually gone (except when I roll over in bed). The swelling has gone down enough that I'm clearly smaller around the middle than when I started (but I'm still puffy and still not so pretty). The bruises are all healed except for the big painful one right on my pubic bone. The giant black porno cock has faded from aubergine through the periwinkle family to its current state, where it looks like I went commando in a new pair of jeans and suffered some minor dye-to-sweaty-crotch transferring. I've more or less gotten used to the girdle, which is good because I may be wearing the damn thing for another week.

And I'm still shocked by the the reactions I've been getting. I thought I was taking the route of admirable honesty by being open about it—instead of giving me undeserved pity for undergoing a mysterious "operation" and undeserved praise for working out so hard when they see the results this summer, people will know up front that 1) I chose to suffer through surgery and recovery and 2) if I look good this summer it will be from a combination of hard work and surgical help. In any case, that honesty is lost on pretty much all the straight guys I work with, who now give me a you're-a-freak look when I talk to them. Yay.

The lipo has also inspired a bunch of blog posts about gay self-image issues—some of them thoughtful and introspective and some of them about the "rage" they feel as gay men when they see guys like me succumb to aesthetic pressure.

I know my inability to write short posts may have clouded my explanation for deciding to go through with lipo, so I'd just like to state it again. And I'll try to be short about it: I had love handles that made me extremely self-conscious and would not respond to more than a decade of eating right, working out regularly and running competitively—including a marathon. I gave it a lot of thought, I did a lot of research, I saved up for five years, and I decided to surgically remove what wasn't going away on its own. While I was going to be having surgery and suffering through recovery anyway, I asked the doctor to also remove the thin layer of fat over my abs while he was in there—though he said it probably wouldn't make a huge difference. But I'd worked hard (waaaaay harder than most, and without the "help" of drugs) and I wanted the body to show for it—for no reason beyond the fact that I simply wanted it, kinda like some people want Hummers or yachts to show off their wealth; it's superfluous and largely symbolic, but I wanted it nonetheless. So I decided to have both procedures done.

I honestly don't see a difference between what I did and someone who gets floppy ears pinned back, a woman who reconstructs her abdomen and breasts after childbirth and breast feeding, HIV patients who have fat injected into their cheeks to mask the effects of wasting, balding men and women with plugs or implants or Propecia prescriptions, people who straighten and whiten perfectly functional teeth—and, to a lesser degree, anyone who's had a piercing, tattoo, body waxing, laser hair removal, tan or even a dye job. We all found something we didn't like about our appearance, and we all had it fixed, with varying degrees of risk but with no degree of necessity.

Anyway, sorry to keep harping on the topic. I'm just genuinely surprised by all of this oddly hostile backlash. But, for the record, I've definitely had my last adventure with plastic surgery.


Jase said...

And they said I'd never be able to get Brad from Jennifer.. they can now kiss my Pitt-ravaged ass!

shadowfoot said...

It's their problem, not yours. You did it for yourself. You didn't do it spur of the moment. Don't worry about it, just show off your body to them and let them deal with their issues.

Christopher said...

Something occurred to me while reading people's comments on other blogs about your lipo - do you think that your harsher critics would have been more understanding if you had been a woman who had lipo?

The reason that I say that is that I have a number of girlfriends who have had boob jobs and nose jobs and the like and I don't remember them ever receiving any criticism of any kind. But when my friend Toby had a nose job everyone commented behind his back and to his face on what they considered to be his immeasurable vanity.

I guess at the end of the day, perhaps many people do still feel uncomfortable with men wanting to look great, sexy, etc.

I made a small contribution to the cause today – I bought a Jean Paul Gaultier “Le Male” kohl pencil! Not quite sure if I’ll ever use it, but I like the idea of my eyes looking even more pretty!

Will said...

I use Explorer and haven't been getting your sidebar except that sometimes it flashes on for a split second and then disappears. However, when I click on your comments function, the entire sidebar appears after the last comment. Go figure.

Concerning that "wrinkly old man," Nicky Cage is actually only 40. A lot of much older wrinkly men have been paired with nubile young things. In fact, I used to think that all leading men over 50 had a standard contract stipulating a roll in the hay with an under 24 leading lady some time in the first reel.

I just found out by chance that there's another nofo on the web--this one's a home furnishing store.

Don't let people get to you, Jake. It's their hang-up, not yours.

just call me jeff said...

"The pain is virtually gone (except when I roll over in bed)."Honey, we've discussed this repeatedly. When you roll over onto your stomach and let me, um, visit you from behind, it will always cause a wee bit of discomfort. We'll just keep practicing and the pain will eventually turn into mild discomfort. In the meantime, I love that you're willing to sacrifice for my pleasure : )

Rex Mottram said...

Forget the critics, ignore the jealous remarks, and enjoy what you have done. I congratulate you for having the lipo done (it has unfortunately left me looking at my own wee handles). And as to if it be vanity....well we only have ourselves to answer to.
I've had cosmetic surgery twice (to remove burn scars) but I did it to look better and it made me feel better, so why shouldn't you or anyone else...

Having spent so much time and money (and pain) on yourself I'm pleased to hear the colour is now "dye-to-sweaty-crotch" blue and no longer "aubergine".

Andy said...

Vanity is one of the fews sins of men - we sympathize with women how might have a surgery to lose some unwanted pounds - but lash out at the men that go under the knife. How dare a man spend his hard earned money on his appearance? As I wrote over on Dunner's blog - the revolution of women in the workplace was supposed to tilt them from being valued for their abilities (and not their beauty). Instead I think men are now viewed more and more for their beauty.

I'm still torn - I'm all for improvements but I really get disturbed when I see people radically change the structure of their bodies - especially their faces - especially if they're trying to appear more white/european.

As plastic surgery becomes even more accessible to everybody, it will become popular to talk about what you've had done - just like when you talk about a new pair of jeans or techtoy luxury. Eventually Chanel and Gucci will license doctors to produce that perfect pout.

Right now, I have the same feeling I do with drugs or anything that risks health with feeling/looking better. I'd hate to die on the table for a un-necessary surgery. I guess I picture all the bitter sniping at my funeral. But then again, I risked my health by engraving ink under my skin for the rest of my life now didn't I?

Maybe we all have our concocted notions of who we should look like - maybe we do it for ourselves - maybe we do it to appear sexier/richer/cooler than others.

Ryan Dunn said...

Jake, you can do whatever you want with your thousands of dollars that you saved up and now want all sorts of credit for. Bravo for you for being financially smart. I don't have a problem with it; I'll just express my disappointment and my "rage" with some of the choices those in our society make.

And you're right, there is no difference between your getting lipo done and a balding guy getting plugs. They're both misguided. Unfortunately, TO ME, it seems that instead of true personal growth, you've taken the road of cosmetic enhancement. If that brings greater self-satisfaction, go with it.

Jake said...

I don't need "all sorts of credit" from anyone for anything I've done, financially or otherwise. It's why I don't blog about my volunteer work, my financial donations or anything else I want to do quietly to make this world better for the people around me.

And what makes you think I've had no personal growth? Are "true personal growth" and mere "cosmetic enhancement" mutually exclusive in your world? The hard work I've put into my career, the anonymous philanthropy I mentioned above, the sacrifices I've made for my family, the devastating losses I've survived as friends and loved ones have dropped dead around me from disease, suicide, murder and terrorist bombs --- it sounds like you cancel all that out because I don't want a flabby midsection poking out over the top of my jeans and I have finally done everything in my power to make that not happen.

I don't live in a world of such misguided extremes. Life is tough enough as it is. Why manufacture conflict where none exists?