Saturday, January 31, 2004

Another late night at work last night. Whoopee.

Then I met Dan for an even later showing of Monster. The movie is thoroughly disturbing, and I don't care to see it ever again. But it is amazingly written and acted, with a heart-wrenching performance by Charlize Theron.

And you know how everybody thinks pretty actresses are so brave to gain weight or wear ugly makeup to play a part? Well, Charlize certainly let herself go for this role (and we see a lot of the jiggly evidence in the film) but she plays this unattractive, angry character with such force and dignity and nuance and honesty -- never once going for the easy pathos or the obvious caricature -- that she leaves you exhausted. And thoroughly moved. Go see it. (And never, never pick up another trashy hooker on the highway.)

After the movie we headed to Sidetrack for a quick drink and my grand debut as a two-eyed homosexual. I have to say, this LASIK stuff is pretty awesome. And so is the extra attention you get when you're not wearing glasses. I got more eye-locks and grabass in two hours last night than I've gotten there collectively in the last three years. (Of course, the place wasn't exactly teeming with competition; the smart Chicagoans stayed home and out of the bitter cold.)

Now I'm off to some far suburb for the chorus' first CD recording session. Look for us on your favorite music Web site this summer!

Friday, January 30, 2004

So I got this great idea today to google my blog's URL. Nothing. But when I googled people who have linked to my blog's URL, I got two results: Mark's blog and this guy's blog.

I've been writing this thing for about six months, and I've been doing it for many reasons: my own amusement, the discipline of writing something succinct and (one would hope) clever on an almost-daily basis, the narcissism of keeping a diary that anyone can read, an organized database to draw on when it comes time to write my epic four-page, single-spaced Christmas letter, the opportunity to write about stuff I care about more than what I have to cover 50-60 hours a week at work, and even to establish one place to put the funny/interesting Web links I stumble across.

Whew. Rambling, awkward sentences notwithstanding, it's also a good way to show the world my writing skills. But since blogger doesn't offer me a hit counter -- and since not one stranger has clicked the Write Me link to say hi -- I have no way of knowing if the world is even reading it (except for my friends who randomly comment on stuff I post here).

So I have to say it was TOTALLY COOL to find out that a total stranger (note that as far as I can tell, that's still just one total stranger) has not only linked my blog to his, but that he states unequivocally that he actually reads it.

Woo-hoo! I'm somebody!

Thursday, January 29, 2004

I had a rather quiet night last night. I worked until 7, stopped at Walgreen's for eye drops and a birthday card for Mom, and then burrowed in for a cold winter's night of chicken 'n' pasta, reading, South Park, and (guilty pleasure) The Bachelorette.

Thankfully, Meredith kept my favorite blond for at least one more episode. I hope we get to see him shirtless pretty soon. I'm getting really tired of waiting ...

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

You will laugh out loud.

It's not what you think.

We learned our numbers last night in French class, and the above mess is apparently the impossibly complicated way the French say ninety-nine. It translates -- if I wrote this down correctly -- as four (times) twenty (plus) ten (plus) nine.

And it explains a LOT about the whole Jerry Lewis thing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

My poor little niece has contracted a rather virulent rotavirus infection, and she's spending her second night in the hospital tonight. She's doing fine, though, and she's lucky enough to have a mom and two grandparents able to dote on her every need -- and take care of my nephew -- while this week's Midwestern snow dump has trapped my sister's husband in Florida on business.

The niece is currently in the unpleasant throes of her Terrible Twos, and this infection has kept her blessedly docile, my sister reports. So there is a small silver lining to this viral cloud.

One of the bad homosexuals from my old gym followed me to my new, otherwise-bad-homosexual-free gym. Matt is one of those social-climbing parasites who's vaguely nice to you unless someone he finds more appealing comes along. We used to make small talk, then I made small talk while he grunted answers and looked around, then he started walking away from me while I was in the middle of making small talk. So I started ignoring him completely, and now he wants to be "friends" again.

His pallid, bug-eyed boyfriend is also named Matt (could you just barf?), and while Matt #2 won't even make (buggy) eye contact with anyone not on his pre-approved friends list, he's all hands whenever I find myself near him in a crowd. Ugh.

And now, though I was sincerely hoping otherwise, (at least one of) The Matts will be invading my space yet again as I work out. I can only hope our friend R. Kelly mistakes him for an underage girl and (allegedly) pees on him in the shower.
Monday night is always show tune night at Sidetrack, but not wanting to get smoke particles in my expensive new eyes, I stayed home and played on the computer and watched Average Joe.

I don't mean to buy into the hot-is-better camp -- and the eight hot guys on the show have all proven themselves to be unrepentant assholes -- but if I had to choose among the sixteen options as they stand now, I'd have to pick this guy. And my runner-up would be this guy. (But then again I have a blond fetish, so what can you expect?)

Of course, the last guy I'd pick -- even if it meant I'd never date again -- would be this guy.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Let there be sight!

So Friday's LASIK was a smashing success. It was a little creepy watching the surgery being done from the inside, but the doctor talked me through everything he was doing and everything I should expect -- pressure on my eye to the point it would black out, a burning smell when the laser was hacking away at my flesh, etc. -- and I made it through with only a few little panicky moments. And one very audible whimper.

I took my Valium before the surgery, and while I don't think it calmed my nerves during all the abovementioned carnage, it sure knocked me out cold once I got to the car. Poor Mom had to drive me all the way home from Schaumburg through unfamiliar territory in a snowstorm, but she got me here safely and ushered me up to bed for a long slumber with my eyes hidden away under protective welding goggles designed to prevent me from 1) rubbing my eyes while I sleep and 2) sleeping in any position that isn't flat on my back (i.e., any position I find comfortable).

And when I woke up ... WOW! Things both far and near (including the layers of dust blanketing my condo) immediately appeared to me with startling clarity -- albeit behind a slight haze not unlike the Vaseline coating directors put on their lenses to hide the fact that Joan Crawford, Linda Evans, et al. were not aging gracefully. This haze is to be expected off and on for a couple weeks, I was assured at yesterday's follow-up visit with the doctor -- who also proclaimed my recovery to be complication-free and my vision to (eventually) be 20/15.

(Coincidentally, I ran into a guy I used to date -- a very attractive guy I used to date -- while I was waiting for my follow-up doctor visit. He'd had the surgery a few hours after I had, and he and I and my mother made awkward conversation for a good half an hour until we were called in to be checked.)

After the checkup, Mom and I headed out for some celebratory shopping at nearby Woodfield Mall. My first order of business was to buy some cool sunglasses right off the rack -- which I haven't been able to do for more than 15 years. I quickly discovered that when you're not limited to flat frames that can hold prescription lenses, you are forced to choose among literally thousands of styles of sunglasses. It was more than a little overwhelming, but after two hours of looking, I managed to stumble out into the sunlit parking lot with three cool new pair of glasses and a celebratory new shirt.

But our shopping was far from over. Before we headed back to Chicago (in yet another snowstorm) I also bought a new blanket, bedspread, clock, set of funky picture frames and two horrifyingly ugly tchotchkes for Kelly and Anders -- all without wearing glasses!

I also made another exciting discovery on the darkened drive home: I now have nighttime depth perception! I used to see stoplights in the distance and not be able to tell if they were one block or three blocks away, but my LASIK magically cured me of that confusion! Woo-hoo!

Since I wasn't sure I wanted to take my still-in-danger-of-being-jostled-out-of-place corneal flaps out into public last night, we invited Matthew and Richard over for movies and cheesy canapés and a chance for Mom to get to know some more of my Chicago friends.

Then, Mom's nursing duties successfully over, we packed and gassed and windshield-wiper-fluided up her car this morning and she headed back to Iowa in the cold while I stayed indoors to play on my computer and do some more quiet reading with my magical new eyes.

And I'm left with five more days of medicinal drops that make my eyelashes as thick and luxurious as dried wheat, and another week of sleeping in welding goggles and showering with my eyes closed. (Honestly, I don't know how the blind don't fall over more often -- especially in the shower. All those slippery, uneven surfaces and all that splashing water make for quite a disorienting environment when you're trying to wash yourself. Try it sometime.)

Thursday, January 22, 2004

So Mom made it in yesterday to mother me through tomorrow's LASIK surgery, and we spent last night watching our first-and-last-ever episode of American Idol. What a friggin' stupid show! That fat, hairy Simon takes out all his too-repellent-to-get-laid frustration -- with a marked absence of wit or creativity or any remotely constructive feedback -- on everyone who shows up to audition, and then he's apparently too stupid to comprehend why people get mad at him. I understand there's a need for drama and conflict to make the show interesting, but his sophomoric attempts at insult humor would give any fledgling television writer a failing grade and a fast-track path to a career involving frequent use of the question "Do you want fries with that?"

And Simon, if you (know how to read and) are reading this, you are allowed to tell people "You have the worst voice I have ever heard" exactly once before you start to exponentially undermine what little credibility you have as a judge of talent.

After our disappointing evening of television watching, Mom came to work with me this morning to check out my cool new office and to spend the day shopping up and down Michigan Avenue. She also stopped by for lunch with me and a bunch of co-workers, who went out of their way to make her think they like me (thanks, guys!), so the charade continues uninterrupted. Mom's afternoon shopping exploits took her to Hot Tix, where she managed to score two awesome seats to Hairspray tonight. (The seats weren't as awesome as the fifth-row-center ones I got the week before, but the show was as spectacular as ever.)

Now I'm off to bed to rest up for tomorrow's surgery. It's my last night as a myopic, astigmatic show-tune aficionado. Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

The end of an era

I got my nipples pierced on May 1, 1999 -- more or less on a dare. It took a good week for them to stop being white-hot beacons of pain, and another six months for them to stop bleeding and crusting and oozing and generally being puffy and repulsive.

Once they settled down, though, they made great conversation starters when I was shirtless, and they gave me a harmless little naughty-boy I-have-a-secret thrill when I was all buttoned up and normal-looking on the outside. And over the last almost-five years, I amassed a small menagerie of nipple jewelry as I switched from hoops to barbells, had the holes stretched and replaced random pieces as they fell out. I even had to have one nipple re-pierced after a barbell fell out and the holes grew shut before I noticed.

But there are milestones in a man's life, and doing certain things past those milestones just makes you look desperate, stupid and/or foolish. Like getting wasted past the age of 22. Or wearing Abercrombie & Fitch past the age of about 28. Or having body piercings in your 30s. Clearly, at 35 (and a half) I was on borrowed time, and clearly I was overdue to reclaim my nipples.

But I needed a push. And that push happened yesterday morning when I woke up to discover that one of the barbells had fallen out again. And that I couldn't get it back in the holes when I finally found it. So, resigned to the obligations of propriety that come with my advancing age, I unceremoniously removed the other one and went boldly into the world sans chest hardware for the first time in almost five years.

But I'm looking at it as part of my very own Extreme Makeover: I've been using Crest Whitestrips for the last few weeks. I'm having LASIK surgery on Friday. And I'm thinking of getting my hair cut this weekend.

Top it all off with my almost-normal-looking nipples, and I'll walk into work Monday morning a new man.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The high price of (allegedly) peeing on children

So Bill and I think we have the Hummer mystery solved. See, every noon when we go to the gym, there's a huge urine-colored Hummer illegally parked right in front with its flashers on. And since everyone knows Hummers are purchased only by parvenus, Republicans and/or the small-penised, we assumed its presence had something to do with the fact that we see rapper and (alleged) child pee-er-on-er R. Kelly and his equipment-hogging posse at the gym every day at that time.

Today, we also noticed that there's always this R. Kelly-posse-type dude (you know: bling, baggy velour sports ensemble, well-practiced street scowl) sitting glumly by the front door every time we walk in. And today we figured out he's the meter-maid lookout. He sits there every day guarding the flashing Hummer against The Man's evil penchant for ticketing the gold-plated wheels of oppressed rappers.

So therefore R. Kelly doesn't park illegally every day because he's above the law. Quite the contrary -- he has to park illegally because his defending-himself-against-(allegedly)-peeing-on-minors legal bills preclude him from affording the legitimate parking that the not-(allegedly)-peeing-on-minors rest of the world enjoys.

Mystery solved!
Click my finger!
So I got home late enough last night to fold laundry and catch Average Joe 2: Hawaii. I kinda liked the first Average Joe -- what little I caught of it -- because the "hot" guys weren't oh-my-god hot, and they clearly didn't see themselves in Darwinian proportions.

But the "hot" guys on Average Joe 2 -- though some of them are pretty amazing to behold -- are assholes. They're clearly arrogant and competitive and filled with a disturbing glee over the prospect of hurting the unattractive guys -- which is something they probably already get to do (glee or not) every moment of their not-on-TV lives.

I wonder where they get this need to behave like vicious junior-high-school girls -- proudly recorded on camera, no less. If they weren't fighting for the affections of a woman, I'd venture an educated guess that they were all gay crack-whore circuit trash.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Keith and I spent yesterday shopping and eating and just hanging out in Boystown, and then we capped off our day with a showing of The Company, which we really loved. In addition to Altman's brilliant restraint in letting the story tell itself, the focus on some of my favorite Joffrey dancers and the casting of a bunch of Chicago actors I recognized -- including the woman I saw so brilliantly play Desirée Armfeldt in A Little Night Music just two nights earlier -- I think I got the biggest kick out of seeing an endless parade of Chicago locations I recognized in this movie. It's cool that after only three years here I feel such a sense of ownership and belonging in Chicago -- and that I've gotten to know the city so well I can pinpoint location shots in movies, commercials and TV shows.

This morning, after a leisurely reading of the paper over orange juice, toast and big-band jazz, Keith headed off to the airport and I headed to the laundry room for some long-overdue sartorial cleansing (six loads!). A cute guy I've never seen before in the building tried to chat me up in front of the dryers, but I had my Crest Whitestrips in, so I couldn't make charming, flirtatious conversation ... and he eventually wandered off. Sigh. But while my clothes were sloshing and spinning their way to cleanliness, I rotated my mattress (only 18 days behind on my strict three-month rotation regimen) and did naughty things with my credit cards on Within the week, I should be getting a huge shipment of DVDs including Finding Nemo and Bedknobs and Broomsticks and cast albums including Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, Urinetown, Wicked and Avenue Q. (Some picker/packer in some Amazon warehouse is probably making fag jokes as we speak.)

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Jake's Great Big Theater Weekend

So Thursday after work I met up with Bob for dinner and an amazing production of A Little Night Music. Of all the Sondheim oeuvre I have committed to memory, I probably know Night Music the best, and I've seen some pretty excellent productions of it over the years. This one was no exception -- and it was filled not only with great performances but fun little knowing winks to those of us who love Sondheim's work, including a few whistled quotes from his other shows.

I had toyed -- long ago -- with the idea of auditioning for this production, but 1) I was chicken and 2) on the very, very very remote chance I got cast, I would either have to quit my day job that so nicely pays my mortgage or turn down an opportunity to play some dream roles (Carl-Magnus or either guy in the quintet) in what I knew would be a fabulous show. I couldn't bear the thought of either scenario, so I wallowed in my professional inertia ... and here I am writing about it from the audience's perspective.

The production was exquisite -- right down to the sumptuous costumes, the lush, full orchestra, and the balls-out operatic delivery of the cast. (And while I think I could have held my own singing with this quintet, I couldn't hold a candle to the brilliant comic performance delivered by Michael Cerveris as Carl-Magnus.) One very pleasant surprise was the casting of Barbara Robertson as Desirée Armfeldt. I had been so moved by her hurricane-force performance in The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? at the Goodman a few months ago that I came back to see it again, and her visceral talents brought Desirée to marvelous life here like no other actress I've seen in the role.

After the show, Bob and I walked to the Orange Line to meet my stunningly handsome Disney dancer/singer/actor friend Keith, who flew in for the weekend to visit. After a long, gabby catch-up session on the train home, we sat up and talked a bunch more (mostly about theater, because we're a couple of big queens) at my house and then crashed for a long winter's nap. We spent next afternoon in the suburbs with Keith's delightful friend and former dance partner Holly, and then we headed home to get all prettied up for my second amazing theater experience of the weekend: Hairspray.

I just have two words to say about this show: HOLY SHIT.

I left the theater unsure whether I should be bubbling with excitement over having seen one of the hands-down coolest musicals ever or seething with bitterness and jealousy that I'm a 35-year-old copywriter doomed to a life of writing junk mail at a desk that looks like my grandma's deep freezer when I know I belong up on stage shaking my only-starting-to-get-slightly-flabby tush in such a brilliant, energy-filled show.

It helped that we got to see the show from the fifth row center -- spectacular house seats secured for us by my new friend Jim, who just happens to be the show's distractingly handsome musical director. It also helps that Keith is friends with Bruce Vilanch, the show's star who invited us backstage to his dressing room afterward for some handshakes and friendly gossip. (Me? Backstage after seeing the national tour of the coolest show on Broadway? I about DIED.)

So I don't know where to start with how much I loved the show. The music and lyrics are amazing and clever and infectious and so damn fun you just can't help but smile all the way through them. The costumes are downright (you'd think I earn a nickel every time I use this word) fabulous. The choreography is masterful -- exuberant and over the top at moments and judiciously restrained at others. And the cast is first-rate from top to bottom -- high-energy, adorable, talented, graceful, goofy and blessed with rank upon rank of powerful, Teflon-coated vocal cords that repeatedly raised the roof and sent shivers down my spine for almost three hours.

Speaking of adorable, my handsome musical-director friend Jim has some competition in the distracting-beauty department. The actor playing Link starts out the show all cute and talented and stuff -- but kind of skinny. Then he shows up in shorts and a tight white T-shirt revealing an impressive set of arms. A nice little bit of eye candy, I think. But I quickly focus back on the magnificent show. And then he comes on stage in tight pants and a blue T-shirt that hugs his tiny little waist (let's hate him) and his well-sculpted pecs and his nicely veined pipes ... and suddenly a whole raise-the-roof gospel number goes by and I realize I didn't hear a single note of it.

But with my advancing age comes a nice grasp of reality, and I fully understand that I get fun, short-lived little crushes on every hot actor I see in every show I see (just scroll through my archives for paragraph after paragraph of proof), and in a few hours my torrid affair with Link will be nothing but a nice little memory.

In the mean time, Keith and I have a weekend of Chicago fun -- starting with some long-overdue breakfast -- ahead of us, and I need to get in the shower.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Celebrity workouts!

So when R. Kelly isn't (allegedly) peeing on underage girls, he and his posse share a workout schedule with Bill and me. R. himself isn't so attractive in person (he looks kind doughy), but one of his boys sure is hot. (I wouldn't let him pee on me, though.)

And my brushes with fame don't stop there! Apparently I'm also working out every day with the lanky and quite tall Kyle Farnsworth. Poor Kyle can't seem to afford a decent workout wardrobe, though; he's worn the same grungy Jesus is my Homeboy T-shirt every day for the last two weeks. But he sure is cute. And he has a very, very, very nice butt. I just saw it in person. Naked. Grrr!

After judging Kyle's butt, I headed over to the CADM offices to be a judge for the
Tempo Awards. I've been the designated awards entry coordinator at work for the last year or so, so it was interesting to get a look at how other agencies submit their entries -- and at the way everything is judged. I was downright inspired by the creativity behind some of the entries I saw today ... and I was outright appalled at the abject simplicity behind some of the others.

In any case, judging was a nice respite from my hectic workload -- and it made me feel all accomplished and important that I was even asked.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Bonjour! Je m'appell Jake!

My first French class went well last night. There are only eight students, and four of us are gay! As I walked in the building, I ran into two guys holding hands, and they ended up being in my class. And I registered with my friend Keith, so our people have 50% representation in the classroom. Woo-hoo!

The class is at a very early beginner level -- the alphabet, which letters get pronounced, how to make nasal sounds, etc. But we covered a lot of material, and I think I'll learn a lot. Liza, my officemate at work, even lent me two French books, so I can conduct my own extracurricular practice.

Now if I could just find a cute, datable guy, we could practice other aspects of French with each other.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

New York was fun!

(But only if when you hear the word fun you think about spending endless hours in a plane, in a taxi and behind the mirrored wall of a focus group research center.)

Actually, I don't have any reason to complain. My friend Jim happened to be flying out the same time I was, so he gave me a ride to the airport. I got roomy exit-row seating for both flights. Traffic was never very bad. The hotel was posh and clean and conveniently located. My colleague Karin and I had fun hanging out together. And there was another big homo at the focus groups, so he and I dished about Broadway shows while we waited for our volunteers to march in and be focused.

But New York is big and loud and it looked kind of dirty -- and while I loved visiting and I can't wait to go back, my trip just reinforced how much more I love Chicago.

During my brief moments of down time, Karin and I had a very filling lunch at Maxie's Deli (where our sandwiches were so crammed with meat they looked like two human heads on small buns), and I joined my NY friend Arno for a few hours of show tune fun at Splash Bar -- which just can't hold a candle to the energy (and the dedicated queens) at the show tune nights here at Sidetrack. But Splash Bar did have waaaaaaaay hotter bartenders -- and they were shirtless! Even better, the place was smoke-free, so I didn't leave smelling like a damn ashtray. Chicago can't adopt similar smoke-free laws soon enough ...

Karin and I got back to the Chicago office today just in time for a lunch workout, where apparently I shared the gym with rap poser and (alleged) child rapist R. Kelly and his equipment-hogging workout posse (who loudly did their part to propagate Ebonics with repeated uses of phrases like "let me axe you" and "you know what I'm sayin'"). Classy.

But I've been up since 4:30 Chicago time and I'm starting to fade. But first I'm off to my first French class. Then right to bed.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

A cold weekend in Chicago.

It's too damn cold here to lie around inert, so I'm keeping myself busy and my blood circulating:

- Keith and I signed up for French lessons yesterday. Neither of us has studied French, but we have proficiency in German and Spanish, respectively. Our language-learning prowess notwithstanding, the hottie at the Alliance Française insisted that we start with the pre-beginner class. So I guess we'll spend the next 10 weeks mastering our vowel sounds and numbers and days of the week.
- I made the long, ugly trek to Menards and Home Depot yesterday to return all the unused stuff from my hallway-painting-and-light-switch-replacing project. Driving all the way down to the traffic-clogged North and Clybourn area is always such a treat.
- Matt and I enjoyed a taste of suburban chain food for dinner last night on our way to Chuck's housewarming party in East Rogers Park, where we chatted and gossiped and flirted with people until 2 in the morning.
- I currently have nine articles of rarely-worn winter clothing in my giveaway pile. I vow to take that number to 20 before I drop everything off at the Brown Elephant on my way to tonight's chorus rehearsal.
- And I have to be in bed early tonight; I take off at 6:30 tomorrow morning for a whirlwind trip to New York City where I'll get to observe five hours of focus groups. Whee!

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Pick a candidate impartially.

Just click off your beliefs on a range of subjects, add level-of-importance ratings to your answers and presto! You get a list of candidates ranked in the order of best to worst match to your political opinions.

Not surprisingly, Dean comes out on top for me with a 71% match to my ideal theoretical candidate. And Kucinich and (oddly) Gephardt are right behind him at 70%. I was surprised to see Clark in the bottom half of my rankings, though, with only a 56% match.

Not surprisingly, Bush ranks a distant second to last for me, just above that oddball LaRouche.

My only complaint about the site, though, is that it doesn't cover any gay-rights issues.

But check it out -- and then vote for Dean!
The first Big Gay Movie Night of 2004!

A random collection of friends. A tablefull of pizza. A pile of DVDs. And a blustery, snowy Chicago evening. The perfect setting for a Big Gay Movie Night. This time, we voted to watch my new Xanadu DVD -- which wasn't as train-wreck horrible as I remember it being.

Sure, there are plot holes big enough to drive ten shoulder pads and a sparkly headdress through. Sure, Olivia's dancing body-double looks nothing like her. Sure, poor Gene Kelly's entire career must have flashed before his eyes during his big-band flashback pantomime. But the movie perfectly captures a world on that magical cusp between the innocent sexuality of the peasant dress and the war-paint hostility that inspired makeup trends well into the 1980s. And Kenny Ortega's choreography is still fresh and inventive and shamelessly exuberant.

And best of all, the movie is really funny in French!

Thursday, January 08, 2004

After a 12-hour workday (whew!) I retired to Shoebox Manor last night for a toasted turkey-and-cheese sandwich, steamed green beans and carrots, and the last half hour of some Extreme Makeover follow-up special.

But with 100+ channels at my disposal, I could find nothing worth watching afterward, so I popped in disk 2 of my new Pirates of the Caribbean DVD to see if I could get it to work. (Disk 2 has all the cool extras like behind-the-scenes footage and the blooper reel, but last weekend when I watched the DVD with Paul and his friend visiting from SF, the disk wouldn't let me toggle through the menu, so we couldn't watch any of that stuff.) I still couldn't toggle through the menu last night, but in my frantic button-pushing I discovered the disk would recognize my random button -- so I watched a lot of the special features in total random order. Which was better than not at all, I guess.

This morning on the train I was minding my own business listening to show tunes and reading my New Yorker when this woman stumbled on in a floor-length fur coat with two HUGE and awkward-to-hold (especially in a fur coat) boxes. Normally I offer my seat to everyone with children, fetuses, packages, handicaps or other impediments to standing -- unless they're reading Bibles. But today I amended my list of people who don't deserve to sit to include fur-coat wearers -- especially floor-length fur-coat wearers. I'm no PETAphile, but fur coats are becoming increasingly gross to me. (And yes, I have a leather coat, but it's dyed black so it doesn't make me look like a taxidermy project -- and this is my blog, so I get to harbor my own hypocrisies here.)

Ironically, the New Yorker article I was reading was interrupted by a full-page ad with a picture of a cute little animal and the headline "She needs her fur more than you do." I read that spread extra slowly, making sure Fur Coat Woman could see it as she glared down at me through her pelt.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

The pilgrimage has started.

Last night Dan came over to admire my new walls and get caught up on our gossip over pizza (which makes four pizza dinners in a row this week for me and my amazing expando-butt).

After he left I bleached my teeth and watched the only episode of Queer Eye I hadn't seen yet. Then I read up on Medicare reform for a client project (whee!) and snuggled into bed while the cruel winter raged outside.

It was a good night.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Jay came over last night to admire my fabulous new hallway and watch an interesting new reality show with me. He just moved into a condo about a block from me, and I foresee many more evenings of TV, gossip and pizza for us.

Yesterday it was supposed to be cold and I wore a hat and ruined my hair for the day -- even though IT WASN'T COLD. So today I didn't believe them when they said it was supposed to be cold and I didn't wear a hat -- and I FROZE MY EARS OFF. I literally had one eye frozen shut by the time I got to the train this morning. Brrr. I just can't win in the weather wars ...

Monday, January 05, 2004

Bill and I had our first workout at the gym by our new office building today -- and it was awesome! It's cleaner and brighter and better laid out than our old gym. And the locker room is bigger and nicer -- and the showers actually offer you some privacy. And the guys are waaaaaay hotter. I was getting tired of all the bitchy old queens at the old gym -- I was more than ready for a change of homosexuals ... or even no homosexuals. I think we'll be very happy here -- and get in much more productive workouts.

My first (real) workday at the new office was great too. I love the space, I love my office, I love the location -- and I'd really missed my colleagues over the holidays.

Of course it's 7 pm and I'm still here. I so did not miss the hours.
So it's my first day back at work in almost two weeks and I'm having a HORRIBLE hair day. Blame it on the sudden drop in temperature we had yesterday -- I had to wear a hat today AND I apparently didn't put in enough hair product this morning ... so here I sit with a bad case of mange and a thoroughly undermined sense of beauty.


Sunday, January 04, 2004


It's all done. I finished painting the front hall today -- after starting on Tuesday. The stripes look really cool, but all that measuring and taping and peeling took forever. I also got all the new light switches installed (now a good 75% of the switches in my house are on dimmers -- how gay am I?) and the carpet scrubbed and vacuumed and everything put away. Now all I have to do is hang the pictures and return all the DIY stuff I bought but didn't use.

And I got everything done just in time for Matt and Matthew to come over for Sex and the City. They were duly impressed with all my handiwork -- though they could have just been being nice so I'd let them drink my soda.

I also called W. and T. to thank them for last night. They seemed genuinely pleased to hear from me. And I just melted. :)

Now I'm off to bed so I can be all rested up for my first day at work since the 22nd.
I could have daaaaaaaanced all night ...

Is it possible to have a crush on a couple? I just spent the most delightful evening with W. and T. Not only are they interesting and fun to talk to and completely devoid of the arrogant pretense that makes most gay men unbearable, but they're HOT. And their house is AMAZING.

We met at 5:00 for dinner, and from there we chatted, flirted, watched TV, snacked, enjoyed each other's company ... and suddenly eight hours had passed. And now I'm crawling into bed at home kinda wishing I was crawling in between them at their house instead.

Maybe on our next date. :)

Saturday, January 03, 2004

I'm dialated to meet you!

So the LASIK pre-qual checkup yesterday went well. Mapquest got me to Schaumburg with only one wrong turn, I found my way back with only one wrong turn, the doctor says I'm a fine candidate for the surgery (though I'd already learned that from a more expensive doctor in Chicago) and I got to watch someone else get the surgery on a huge screen from my seat in the waiting room.

I'd never had my eyes dialated, though, and I don't care to go through that again anytime soon. Thankfully, it was an extremely overcast day, so driving home didn't require sunglasses.

I stopped for more paint and electrical supplies in Chicago, and now the front hall is about a third done. The nice warm chocolate base coat is up and dry, and now I'm busy measuring, taping and painting all the stripes I had envisioned making the area look all fancy and sophisticated. The second color is MUCH lighter than I'd hoped (as opposed to the first round, where the second color was MUCH darker -- I just can't win), but it's up and it's staying up.

And -- if the gods are with me -- this whole messy thing will be done and cleaned up and handsome-looking by the time I report for work on Monday. Whew!