Monday, August 31, 2009

The Pornstache Project: Day Five

I’m growing a pornstache for a costume party on Saturday. This is me with five days’ growth of pre-stache scraggle:

I’ll be in Canada most of this week filming an industrial video for a client. I don’t want to be the Creepy Advertising Vendor With A Wispy Pornstache while I’m there, so I’m growing out a full beard all week and then mowing it down right before the party. I’ve never grown a traditional pornstache before—I grew a regular mustache for a show 15 years ago and I look like a recidivist child molester whenever I stumble on the photographic evidence in my scrapbooks—so I don’t know yet if I have the requisite growth patterns on my face to make it happen. It looks so far like I might have some bald-spot issues on the front of my chin, but we won’t know for sure until Saturday when I haul out the clippers and start landscaping.

Since I’ll be on the road with spotty Internet access this week, I figured out how to post Pornstache Project updates on here from my cell phone. (Do you see how dedicated I am to you people? You’re welcome.) So you can follow along in what looks to be a very itchy week for me.

And since the hosts of the party read my blog and I don’t want them to know what I’m going as until I make my grand entrance, I’m afraid I can’t reveal my kick-ass costume idea just yet. But rest assured (Mom) it’s not anything related to actual pornography. Though it is totally related to the always-flattering world of pornstachery!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Jake's kick-ass lemon-feta pasta salad

I discovered this recipe on last spring and I'm treated like a god every time I make it ... especially by my husband, who I get the feeling is staying with me only because I occasionally make a double batch for him.

It takes about an hour to whip together, but it keeps for at least a week (if it lasts that long). And the zesty lemon flavors mellow nicely after the first day. Plus it's low-fat and full of vegetables, so it's completely made of the awesomeness!

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (you'll need two lemons)
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced

12 ounces penne pasta (or try multi-color rotini)
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped red bell peppers
1 cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 cups fat-free crumbled feta cheese

Boil penne until tender but firm. Drain. Rinse with cold water a couple times, drain thoroughly and put the colander of pasta in a large bowl in the refrigerator to chill and continue draining.

Zest and juice lemons. Whisk oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, mustard and garlic in a small bowl.

Chop tomatoes (drain off extra juice), peppers and onions and toss in a large bowl with feta cheese and chilled penne. Pour half the dressing over the mix, toss, pour the other half over the mix and toss again. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and chill for at least an hour before serving.

For a more authentic Greek flavor, you can also add sliced black olives and chopped cucumbers.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

How to feel popular

1. Have your blog readers vote on your home decorating.
Your comment numbers will shoot higher than a pair of “ex gay” legs in a church basement. (A word about the stencils, though: Stencils are highly period-appropriate for a home as old as ours. As long as they’re muted and respectable. You stencil haters who weighed in are obviously survivors of kountry kraft geese-with-bonnets-and-neck-bows decorating massacres. And my heart aches for you and what you’ve been through. I assure you, though, that the stencil samples in my last post would never appear in our home in the grotesque peacockery of colors you see below. We are not calico-housedress people. We do not wear pantyhose with our sandals. We do not pepper our conversations with breathless descriptions of truck rallies, remonstrations on the scourge of volunteer corn, shouts of Amen! or conjectures about the physical prowess of John Cena (unless he is appearing in all-male cinema). And we do NOT decorate our home in garish stencils that pull focus. Especially a stencil of a napping gnome, which was included below solely for his sheer absurdity. You know I love you people. I really do. But gnomes?)

2. Discover during an innocent sitemeter search that you’ve been nominated for three blog awards!
Seriously. I was poking around sitemeter a couple days ago to see how many more people had found my blog by searching for pictures of foot tattoos (my top source of new readers! and I don’t even have a foot tattoo!) or information about peeing trouble (which makes me feel genuinely bad—can you imagine searching for medical help about a distressing problem and instead stumbling on my inane ramblings … especially my “trouble peeing” blog post, which is about as clever and entertaining as a roomful of farts?).

Anyway, one of the sitemeter links didn’t come from the usual sitemeter litany of blogs and google searches. And imagine my surprise when I clicked on it and found this:

I used to have an all-consuming crush on a Kurt from Indiana, but he was always waaaaay too busy being stunning to notice me. So I’m sure in the five-plus years since I last saw him he hasn’t found the time in all his being-stunning obligations to remember not noticing me. Or to stumble on my blog. Or to read it. Or to nominate it for an award. I mean three awards. So this award-nominating Kurt is a complete stranger to me. As far as I know. But I can tell he’s an erudite sophisticate of high culture and rare breeding with exquisitely refined reading tastes. Though he occasionally laughs at fart jokes. But he did nominate me for three awards. So he’s good people. Just like all of you!

So! Remember how I said I love you people? I really meant it! Even though some of you thought I was serious about the napping gnome. But there’s still time to make restitution! Just click on these three links and all will be forgiven. Plus I might make some more fart jokes!

My site was nominated for Best Humor Blog!
My site was nominated for Best Blog About Stuff!
My site was nominated for Best Blog of All Time!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Your opinions, please

So we live in a charming little 1928 courtyard building that was thoroughly rehabbed in 2004. Architecturally, the building is relatively nondescript, but the exterior features subtle elements of craftsman, art deco and even art nouveau styles. And we're trying to echo some of those styles with equal subtlety in our room decorating.

The place has freakishly high ceilings, which we've managed to play with in fun ways in many rooms: dramatic vertical stripes in the master bedroom, oversized moulding frames in the dining room, giant mirrors in the guest bathroom, full-size wall paintings of the Seven Stages of Cher in the kitchen.

When we first moved in, we painted the guest bedroom a rich, deep purple with the intention of stenciling a craftsman-style border in creams and blues and silvers along the tops of the walls. But we couldn't find a stencil we liked and we eventually stopped looking.

Until now! I did some googling last night and I actually found five borders ... five borders we both like. And finding home decor that appeals to both of us on a two-italics level is an accomplishment of epic proportions.

Unfortunately, we can't decide. So I'm leaving it to you people. Because if you can't trust the home-decorating opinions of complete strangers, what is the point of having a blog? So take a look at these options, taking care to picture them dancing across the tops of rich, deep purple walls in shades of creams and blues and silvers. And let me know what you think. Or—if you want to slow down our decision-making even further–feel free to recommend other stencils you think might appeal to us. And thanks for your input!


Dard Hunter Rose:

Como Run:

Deco Swag:

Napping Gnome:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weekend adventures: double birthday edition

By my calculations, I have not been alone—meaning truly, physically alone with more than an hour of unstructured free time—in our house in over a month. Until today.

I'd spent the weekend entertaining my friend Jeff, who was visiting from Iowa for a big birthday adventure weekend in Chicago. The domestic partner had to work on Saturday, but Jeff and I managed to have fun without him by working together to keep the Boystown economy solvent. Jeff spent more money on Saturday but I came home with more stuff, so I totally win. Plus I now have two new shirts to model this week at work. Including this one, which features a really cool print of the Brooklyn Bridge on the front, but I don't have any front pictures of me wearing it so you'll just have to imagine its frontal coolness using this side view, which is the risk you take when you buy last-minute cheap seats to Opening Jars With Jake:

Jeff earned his keep this weekend by helping me fix our bedroom ceiling fan, which had stopped talking to its remote control. For the last few months it had left us with only two setting options: fan on/light on (which is OK for summer days and great for summer evenings) and fan off/light off (which is never great in summer, especially at night). Once we got the fan working—and then shampooed out the dust buffaloes that had migrated from the fan blades to our hair—we had a lovely birthday dinner in Boystown (you're welcome, Boystown!) and then went to a friend's birthday party, where we stumbled into a hidden universe of attractive gay people I didn't know existed in Chicago. But now I'm Facebooked with some of them so they can't disappear again into a fog of tartan plaids and bagpipe wails for another hundred years.

Then this morning we hosted a big gay birthday brunch for Jeff, complete with mimosas and fruit and four kinds of frittatas. But not my mom's fabulous fruit dip because I tried to make it fat-free and it just turned into a sticky, gloppy soup. So forget what you read in the papers, kids; fat is good for you. We started the birthday brunch with four bottles of orange juice and five bottles of sparkling wine ... and we ended with three bottles of orange juice and six bottles of sparkling wine. Because when the gays meet for brunch, they bring all the mimosa fixin's with them to make sure nobody has to go without. Gays do not kid around in the mimosa department.

The brunch was a smashing success, except people ate only two of the frittatas—the two I liked the best, natch—so we'll be eating a lot of sub-delicious egg-based leftovers this week. Which I guess cuts down on this week's food preparations.

And then.

Jeff hit the road home to Iowa. The domestic partner had to go back to work. The last brunch stragglers helped me put the house back in order. And suddenly I was left alone in the house with a huge bucket of sweet, sweet silence ... punctuated by the occasional soft click and whir of the dishwasher. Which hardly counts as non-silence, but I'm including it here in the interest of full disclosure.

And what did I do with my newly alone self? Well, I started cleaning the bathroom. And in my scrubbing and organizing I stumbled on a forgotten trove of skin-care potions. And before you could say the domestic partner can scrub the damn shower this time, I was up to my crow's feet in a fabulous home spa day complete with a bright blue mud mask for my face, pumiced rubs for my runner-calloused feet, minty body scrubs for my non-face and non-feet skin, and a world of wrinkle creams and lightly scented ablutions. And in only an hour I was refreshed and relaxed and I'd shaved weeks off my appearance and years off my progress toward becoming "ex gay."

But we all know "ex gay" is just a shorter way of spelling "still gay," so as long as I ex-gayed myself into a state of younger-looking skin, Pat Robertson would just look even more ancient and ridiculous by comparison. And that's really the best birthday present a couple gays could ever ask for.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

10 things I remember about my grandmother Ester

1. She made pajamas for my sister and me when we were kids. I didn’t really like the nightshirts she made because when I’d roll over in bed they’d often stay where they were and I’d end up mummified in my sleep. But the pajamas with their matching pants and tops were totally cool. Plus she’d sew a red B in the back of the waistband of the pants so we’d know it was the back.

2. She’d also wrap a quarter in cling wrap and stick it in the pocket of our pajama bottoms. Yes, our homemade pajamas had pockets. And they weren’t those cheap patch pockets; they were suspended pockets. And even when they were crammed full of stuff, they didn’t bulge. Grandma was a master seamstress.

3. She also made spectacular quilts for my sister and me featuring illustrations from children’s coloring books that she’s painstakingly transferred to the quilt fabric and then embroidered. To this day, our Deedle Quilts come out of storage only to be admired and then carefully put away again.

4. If that weren’t enough, she also made life-size dolls for my sister and me so we’d never be lonely. They were given the names that weren’t used for us: Gus and Susie

5. Grandma made paper-thin sugar cookies that she’d decorate with colored frosting for every major holiday. I didn’t know until I was an adult what made them taste so much better than any other sugar cookie in the world: orange zest. Thankfully, her recipe lives on, and my mom and sister to this day continue to churn out paper-thin frosted sugar cookies every time a holiday rolls around. And now so can you.

6. Like most grandmothers’ houses, hers was filled with fascinating stuff: the coffee table made from a slab of pink marble (originally meant for a sarcophagus) that was given to my grandfather when he retired from being a cemetery sexton, the toy dog with the real silk ears that had been my mom’s, the go-fish card game that used books by authors like Longfellow and Tennyson instead of suits and numbers, the antique red metal toy cash register she’d let me decorate with contact paper when I was little, the melted glob of colored glass and metal that had been salvaged from the wreckage of her burned-down church, and her fabulous Blue Willow china featuring an exotic Asian scene on each piece that was delightfully out of character for her practical Midwestern sensibilities.

7. I had bunk beds in my room as a kid. When she’d come to visit and sleep with me in my room, she’d take one bunk and I’d take the other. And when for whatever reason I decided I wanted the bottom bunk, she’d gamely climb the ladder and sleep on the top one.

8. As she got older and sicker, she stayed with us so much that we started calling our guest room the “grandma room.” And when she started having trouble climbing stairs, we just curtained off our family room and made a semi-permanent bedroom for her.

9. I had a morning paper route all through junior and senior high school. On the cold days when I’d rubber-band the papers in our warm living room, she’d get up, wrap herself in her robe, sit on the floor next to me and help me.

10. She paid for my piano lessons from when I was in second grade until she died when I was in high school. 25 years ago today. So when I played Chopin’s somber Prelude in B Minor at her funeral, its simple melody, honest harmonies and controlled emotions were the most I could muster in tribute to a woman who continues to teach me to be frugal, loving, creative, practical, adventuresome and maybe just a little bit fabulous.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Congratulations to David and Alma

You two are the coolest people I know. And I know a lot of people.

I will always remember how happily you welcomed me into your world when my husband first introduced us. And how you didn't even blink over my bizarre sense of humor. And how you continue to lower the bar in every conversation we have.

I will always remember that when I had my fake heart attack last year and got whisked away in an ambulance while my husband was out of town, you tracked me down and stayed with me in the emergency room for the five hours it took the doctors to figure out I only had a cracked rib and a pinched nerve.

I will always remember how often you went out of your way to include my husband's developmentally disabled brother in your plans ... often just to give us an occasional night to ourselves.

I will always remember how gracefully you included him in your wedding ... from the ring shopping to the wedding party itself. He was so proud to be a part of your day. And I was so proud to know you.

You two deserve every happiness. And I wish every day of your lives to be happier than the last.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Snapshots from Rehoboth

And by “snapshots” I mean “verbal descriptions of memorable moments” and not “photographs” because while I did manage to “bring my camera” I never was quite able to remember to “use it” to “take pictures” of “things I wanted to remember from my vacation.” Which makes me kind of “lazy.” But I'm also “resourceful” because I “stole some pictures from total strangers' Facebook albums” so I could show you some “snapshots of my vacation.”

Which brings us full-circle in only one paragraph. I must be some kind of god.

Anyway, the vacation was pretty fantastic, notwithstanding the fact that the domestic partner couldn’t come with me. But let's not think about that. Instead, let's take a look though my fauxto (HA! I just made that up!) album together:

The beach house
We were invited to spend a long weekend with our friends Mark and David in their beach house. Which is pretty much all they told us. So I pictured the four/three of us spending four days lounging on the beach and cooking simple meals and maybe playing board games or reading quietly. But their definition of beach house is far more fabulous than mine; their beach house is actually two houses with enough bedrooms and fold-out couches to sleep about 20. And they sell shares in the house to their friends, who come to Rehoboth with them in various groups every weekend. I believe at our peak we had 12 people—12 interesting, educated, endlessly friendly people—wandering through the house looking for other friendly people to sit and chat with. So there was a built-in cocktail party going on any time we wanted one. Which was pretty much always.

Rehoboth is a charming little beach town in southern Delaware. It's so charming, in fact, that it looks like Disney designed it as one of its themed resort properties. Which—before you throw rocks at me and brand me a Philistine—you must understand is high praise in my world. Disney's Imagineers are masters at creating detailed ambiance, and I get a little happy feeling inside whenever I'm surrounded by rambling porches and beadboard wainscoting. Which I think is actually Reheboth's town slogan. Anyway, Rehoboth is the go-to weekend getaway spot for all the happenin' DC gays. Which means everyone there—at least on the weekends—is all smart and connected and policy-wonky. Which is like intellectual porn to me. But even on the weekdays when all the gays are slaving away in DC to pay for their next weekend of adventures, the town is still full of history and character. As my new friend Albert emailed me this week about the beach house: "You've got Tallulah Bankhead shacking up with a Dupont heiress across the street, Alexander Haig retiring just up the street, and Kathie Lee Gifford's parents living in some pink mansion downtown ... Rehoboth is a fun little place, isn't it?"

And that's not the half of it. As I was winging my way home on Monday night, I stumbled across this little tidbit in a New Yorker article about the bikini: “The first known bathing-beauty competition (not counting the ones on Minoan cave walls) took place in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, in 1880. One of the judges was Thomas Edison. First prize, which went to a young woman named Myrtle Meriwether: a trousseau.” I bet Alexander Haig never won a trousseau.

The gay beach
It was about four doors from the beach house. So it was freakishly easy to be a beach bum with the gays ... then pee in a civilized toilet with a sink ... then be a beach bum with the gays ... then grab an electrically refrigerated bottle of Gatorade ... then be a beach bum with the gays. Which we did. A lot. Unfortunately, it's been a long time since I've been near an ocean. And apparently in that time the Atlantic has developed the power to sink the Titanic. And to scrub SPF 70 off my body without me even noticing. Because all my beach bummery resulted in a very burned tummy by the time I went home. No word on why the ocean spared the rest of me from the heartbreak of sunburn, though.

I packed my running shoes and my running shorts and my running sunglasses and my running watch and my running watch charger with the full intention of completely blowing off running on our trip. But we actually went running. Mark and David and I ran about 7.5 miles on Saturday afternoon through downtown Rehoboth, some gorgeous tree-canopied neighborhoods and scenic Cape Henlopen State Park, which gave us great views of Delaware's famous WWII submarine watchtowers. Originally built to help triangulate the location of enemy submarines, they now stand sentinel over little more than the tides of the Atlantic seaboard. And they look fabulously grumpy—kind of like Lou Grant on the verge of bursting into song—in this picture I stole off the Internet:

The parties
The boys of Rehoboth like their theme parties. And they take them seriously. We were invited to a pop-icons-themed party on Saturday night, but we didn't start thinking about costumes until Saturday morning. But more on that later.

We got to the party that night to find a huge red carpet running down the driveway. (And you doubted me about the "seriously" in the paragraph above.) The red carpet took us to a stage at the back of the house, where we were blinded by Klieg lights and introduced to the cheering guests by a gargantuan Wynonna Judd:

Here is our handsome host John, backed by a few party-pooper guests who clearly have no respect for themed parties. Or pop icons. Or probably even the sanctity of marriage:

Here are some guests who do have respect for the sanctity of marriage. You can tell by their delicate bone structure and the way they don't waste makeup:

Batman and Robin were there, too. I'm including this picture solely to show you the depth and breadth of costume ideas people came up with for the party:

Here is my handsome beach-house host Mark with his handsome friend Peter. Mark is giving you a sneak preview of our group costume. Peter can see Sarah Palin from his house.

But back to our group costume. We spent a great deal of time brainstorming a fun pop-icon theme. We even visited a CD shop to look for pop-music ideas. And when we finally realized that as gay men we all owned the mandatory black swimsuit (duh), we knew we could convincingly re-create the Single Ladies video if we all just bought matching black tank tops and cheap big-girl shoes. And it took only one trip to Walmart ... and Payless ... and Marshalls ... and Peebles to find five pair of sturdy shoes in freakishly large sizes. Add an authentic re-creation of that weird Beyoncé robo-glove and it's uncanny how much we look like the women in the video:

Without even knowing we'd have a stage and a sound system and lights and even an emcee, I'd volunteered to pull some of the choreography off the video and teach it to the girls. I mean Ladies. I figured we'd be performing in the corner of a crowded living room, the way I picture Barbara Walters getting her start in "the business," as some of the insiders call it. But when I saw our stage and our lights and our red carpet, I was very thankful we'd invested so much time and money building our costumes and rehearsing our number. To my knowledge, there is no footage of our Grammy-winning performance at the party. But some of the boys in the house did manage to capture one of our final dress rehearsals, which I am showing you here against the advice of every voice in my head. In our defense, what we lack in ability to stay in formation we totally make up for in enthusiasm and just plain fabulousness. Of course, sturdy shoes can do a lot for a girl's professionalism. And we look like we have the oldest professionalism in the world:

Apparently this video is working or not working with complete randomness on people's computers. I apologize, but I'm so not smart enough to help you make it work on your computer if it's not already. Because it's not working on mine. But that's the gamble you take when you read blogs written by technological morons. NoFo regrets the inconvenience.

That's the name of the big Rehoboth dance bar. It's in the basement of a former church. (Get it?) And it's the only bar of the three we went to all weekend that charged a cover. Except for us single ladies! We were told at the party that we'd get in free if we wore our outfits. And "wore our outfits" seems to have meant "showed up" because we all had our cargo shorts and boy shoes on by the time we got to the bar and they waved us right in.

But! When we got there, the DJ played an extended Single Ladies dance mix and the owner/promoter literally pulled my cargo shorts and tank top off of me and pushed me up on the go-go box with David, the only other one of us too slow to get away when the song started. So we danced like the 40-something go-go boys we are on a big dancefloor box while the people below us actually stuck money in our little black Speedos. I have never held my stomach in that tight for that long, but it was totally worth it because I made three dollars! I bet Barbara Walters never made three dollars dancing in a little black Speedo.

The people
So my paralyzing shyness and I are not always so good at meeting people. But I'm getting better. Much better, in fact. And! I found the perfect way to overcome this barrier: Be introduced by a massive drag queen as the only person in apparently the whole state visiting from Chicago right before you dance in an exact replica of a Single Ladies outfit on a stage at a huge gay costume party in Delaware. Seriously. I have never in my life felt so popular from the moment we got off the stage. For the next 48 hours we couldn't go anywhere without strangers yelling Chicago! at me and people running up to us to shake our hands and introduce themselves and tell us how fabulous we were. I should really find a way to patent this proven social anxiety disorder therapy and sell it on the Internets. Before Barbara Walters does.

The return trip
We drove back to DC on Monday so David could go back to work and Mark and I could grab lunch with my friend Doug and then race through the National Gallery before he dropped me off at Dulles for my 4:55 flight. My 4:55 flight that never came. Because of weather in stupid Chicago. Who the hell ever goes to Chicago? And the weather kept us at Dulles for a full five hours, which obviously screwed up a lot of people's connecting flights. So the passengers who had planned to fly through Chicago dutifully lined up to try to find alternative bookings ... when the world's biggest douchebag decided that Weather Delays Are Unacceptable and I Have To Get To Work Tomorrow and What Are You Going To Do About MY Needs? In fact, he was so adamant that his problems were far more important than everyone else's that he came back to harass the gate agent about it a whopping seven times—once for 45 minutes while the rest of the passengers stood patiently in a gargantuan line behind him. And when he started swearing at the poor agent on his fifth visit (I was bored with my New Yorkers by this time so The Real Douchebag of Gate B48 had my full attention), I might have whipped out my camera phone and branded him a douche on Facebook for all eternity. Which I have a feeling is not the first time. And now I might be doing it again on my blog:

I am so ashamed of my actions. But I told the gate agent what I'd done right before we finally boarded our plane and he very professionally cocked his eyebrows and cracked a tiny smile and said nothing incriminating and I'm pretty sure he's not judging me harshly.

I hate to end this story on a negative note, so I'll leave you with one more picture of me and the Ladies. It's uncanny how much we look like the originals. And you just know Barbara Walters couldn't pull this look off. At least not as well as Alexander Haig.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Please hold

Thanks to a five-hour weather delay getting home Monday night, I've been all catch-up and no blog since I got home. But the vacation was fantastic and I have so many stories to tell.

Here's a sneak preview to reward you for your patience. Or to cement in your head the fact that I'm gayer than a treeful of kittens. Or to show you that Beyoncé has nothing on me and my fierce bitches:

Friday, August 07, 2009

We're off on the road to Rehoboth!

And by we I unfortunately mean I; the domestic partner got stuck working this weekend and since he's mortgaged his very soul to be off work for the entire coming week and next weekend for his cousin's wedding and all the family festivities that go with it even though neither of us got asked to be flower girl or even junior bridesmaid he's not really in a place to tack four days in Rehoboth onto his growing litany of Reasons He Won't Be Showing Up For Work For A While. So I'll be visiting our friends at their fabulous beach house this weekend all by my lonesome. Boo.

But! I have a stack of unread New Yorkers and a complete wardrobe of swimsuits and a credit limit in the tens, so I think the three of us will manage to have a hard-partying, hotel-room-trashing, family-values-Senators-and-their-goats kind of time without him.

But first, I'm savoring a weekday morning where I don't have to get up at the unholy hour of 5:45. My flight today isn't until 1:30 so I moved my trainer from 7:00 to 10:00 and here it is 8:26 am and I'm lounging leisurely in bed writing a blog post and contemplating a breakfast that involves actual dishes while the domestic partner drifts in and out of sleep next to me ... and occasionally rolls over to kiss me on my shoulder before adjusting his pillows and falling back into blissful slumber. If I didn't have to pee so bad, everything would be perfect.

Oh! And the handsome stranger from Market Days sent me the pic his friend took of us. Here I am sucking in my gut with Jason, the boy in the story two blog posts below this one. Aren't the Internets amazing?

I'm not bringing my laptop to Rehoboth, so unless there's a computer and a surfeit of boredom there I won't be posting until I get back. I hope you've been reading this post slowly so it's already Tuesday by the time you get to this sentence.

Be good while I'm gone!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

What to pack for 4 days in a Rehoboth beach house:

• 7 T-shirts across a casual-dressy continuum
• 5 swimsuits
• 5 pair underwear
• 4 tank tops
• 4 pair of socks
• 2 sleeveless shirts
• 2 pair of shorts
• 1 pair of running shorts
• 1 pair of all-gay-occasion tennis shoes
• 1 pair flip-flops
• 1 pair running shoes
• 1 running watch and charger
• 1 pair decent jeans
• 1 Volkswagen full of clowns

Monday, August 03, 2009

Not that I'm planning on quitting this blog

But when work explodes—as it has again (what recession?)—I tend to get too tired to write anything to post here. Anything clever, at least.

And sometimes I wonder if maybe I'm just done with blogging. After all, I'm doing it mostly for my own amusement. And maybe a little to vent some righteous gay anger. And possibly also to give myself an easy cut-and-paste holiday letter project every year. So when five days go by and I haven't even thought about making a post I think perhaps that's some kind of sign that I should just go back to watching In Search Of ... or whatever it was I was into when I discovered I could share embarrassing stories and gratuitous photos with strangers around the world without even putting on my pants.

And then something totally charming happens. Like yesterday. I was waiting to meet my friend Marc at Market Days, the Boystown street fair that gets so crowded it makes eating fried foods and talking to friends a violent contact sport. I got to our designated meeting spot (Sidetrack, right in front of the show tune speakers) early and was standing there waiting for him like a total loser who had no friends even though there were ten thousand people all within three feet of me when suddenly an adorable guy runs up to me with the biggest grin on his face and he starts telling me how much he loves my blog and he was visiting from Boston and he'd told his friends he'd hoped to run into me while he was here and he was so sweet and charming (and cute!) and one of his friends took our picture and then he disappeared back into the crowd and probably only two minutes had gone by but he totally made my weekend. And not only did I suddenly have something to blog about (thanks, handsome stranger!) but I had a newfound Reason To Go On. (And I'm sorry but I'm a total douche and I can't remember your name. But meeting you was a standout experience in a weekend filled with standout experiences. I'm humbled and flattered that my endless ramblings can make a perfect stranger act so happy to see me. So thanks. And I hope you enjoyed your visit to Chicago. And I really hope meeting me wasn't the vacation high point you painted it to be. There are sooooo many more fun things to do in Chicago than talk to my awkward self.)

This isn't the first time something like that has happened either. I get recognized from my blog about once a month. And I never know how to respond when people approach me. I certainly don't see myself as a celebrity or even a sad little celebrity wannabe so when I get fan-like attention from strangers I get all goofy inside and have absolutely no idea how to respond when people compliment me on my ... marathon training narratives. Or my disassociative metaphors. Or my dated jabs at easy targets like Rush Limbaugh. Or Sarah Palin. (Seriously? Vice president?) So if you've ever come up to me and said something to me about my blog and I've gotten all wooden and dazed-looking like ... um ... Sarah Palin at a spelling bee, please don't think I'm a douchebag for not saying much to you. I seriously have no idea what to say that doesn't sound like I think I'm waiting for my Pulitzer nomination. But do know that every time someone compliments me on my blog, a "family values" Senator gets caught having an affair with a goat. So please come up and say hi if you see me out and about. If not for me, then for the goats.

Oh, and moments after my handsome stranger disappeared back ino the crowd, Marc showed up. And someone we actually know took our picture. Right in the exact same spot where the magic had just happened and a helpless little goat got his innocence back. And the picture is thoroughly, shamelessly gratuitous: