Thursday, January 09, 2014

Women I would switch for

Kate Hudson
She’s the cute neighbor and the mischievous best friend and the sexy vixen all wrapped in one. She has a killer body and a goofy smile and versatile hair and it all totally works together. She was born 11 years and one day after me, so we’re practically twins. She starred in Fool’s Gold with a shirtless Matthew McConaughey and politely never rubbed my face in it. She played the troubled, frustrated, bitchy Cassandra July – which sounds almost as fake as Julio Iglesias – on Glee. And when she shook her sexy self all over the “Cinema Italiano” number in Nine, forget about it. She was the hottest woman on the planet and she was shaking it all for me. I could just tell. We’d make a fabulous Hollywood power couple – her with her acting and me with my blogging – and our kids would be adorable, charming and above average. Plus my mother-in-law would be Goldie Hawn and that would be a gay wet dream, without the actual wet dream part.

Julianne Moore
She does accents! She has cheekbones! She’s 53 and she doesn’t look a day over 30! And that hair! It is her muse, her co-star and dawn’s crowning glory all in one. I’ve always thought she was beautiful, but her turn as a desperate, suicidal 1950s housewife in The Hours made me love her as an actress. Her portrayal of a liquor-soused best friend in A Single Man made me love her as my best friend. And in Game Change she managed to give a level of humanity to the one-dimensional train wreck Sarah Palin without playing her as the cartoon she is. Plus she can pull off dry comedy as the comic foil to the comic foil Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock. She’s the thinking man’s actress and the discerning man’s arm candy and if she’d give me her damn phone number so I could complain that she never returns my calls, I think we’d make a strikingly well-cheekboned couple.

Alexandra Cabot
She’s not only an assistant district attorney on Law & Order: SVU, but she’s a graduate of Harvard Law School. And she wears glasses. And she has a strong, commanding voice. And she keeps her hair in that perfect balance between intelligent-no-nonsense-attorney and glamorous-lady. She’s a distractingly attractive woman. Who cares that she faked her death in a car explosion to enter the Witness Protection Program to escape notorious drug lord Cesar Velez? Who cares that she popped out of the shadows before she disappeared (more or less) forever to show Benson and Stabler that she was not, in fact, dead? Who cares that doing this totally undermined the point of entering the Witness Protection Program in the first place? She’s beautiful and I’d switch for her, but only if she promised to prosecute me relentlessly.

John Cena
Well, technically, he’s not a woman and he’d be doing the switching, but those are just quibbles. John Cena is a textbook example of hella-mega-hotness. Except for the part where he rassles in the WWE, which is something I’d have to get used to in our marriage. Which means I’d be doing some switching too. I give and give and give. I don’t mean to denigrate the WWE – and for any of you who are WWE fans, denigrate means to belittle or disparage – but for all its macho bluster and admittedly dangerous stunts, the whole WWE thing is just … silly. If I want to watch insanely hot men roll around all sweaty in tiny swimsuits, there are websites that show these activities without pretending they’re not way totally gay. But despite all its laughable denial and goofy posturing, the WWE does bring us regularly 98% naked specimens like John Cena. So it can’t be all bad.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Letter from Chiberia


So it’s cold here. Purportedly colder than the South Pole. Or Mars. And while I agree that it’s been hella-freaking cold, I don’t think it’s been all that horrible … but then again I’ve spent most of the cold snap under a blanket on my couch.

The cold shut down my office on Monday, but I ventured out to meet my trainer in the Loop anyway. And since I went at an off-peak time, the CTA trains were not working in my favor. My first train took 15 minutes to show up. My second train took 10. And then we sat at the Belmont station for another 10 minutes with the freaking doors open.

But that wasn’t the worst part. Sometimes, for reasons known only to the travel gods, a train will suddenly “express” to some far-off location and bypass all the stops in between. Passengers are usually notified of this change at the last possible moment so we have very little time to figure out alternate ways to get to our destinations. And on the coldest day in the history of witches’ tits yesterday, my train announced it was going to express when it was one stop away from my destination. So I got to walk what I estimate to be half a mile to the gym. But I looked at it as my pre-workout cardio, even though it was in relatively brutal cold.

I had a great workout with my trainer, who is an enthusiastic young man dedicated to kicking my 45-year-old ass into fighting shape by summer. I actually think quite highly of him; in the few months I’ve been working out with him, he’s found ways to work around – and strengthen the muscles around – two chronic gym injuries that have held me back in my workouts for years. Plus he’s good visual motivation, if you know what I mean. And by that I mean he’s pretty hot.

I ended up on the drunk train on the ride home; there were two loud, slurry guys holding an endlessly inane conversation across the aisle from each other, breathing a great effluvium of liquor into the air and cracking themselves up by shouting Happy New Year! every time the conductor made an announcement. Thankfully, one of them got off the train one stop from my stop, giving me a half mile of relative quiet before I had to go out trudging in the cold again.

But before we left the station, it happened. The announcement came that my train was expressing to some far-off location beginning now, so I had to get off the train and trudge an extra half mile back to my place. For those of you keeping score at home, that makes two trips in a row where the CTA expressed one stop before mine and forced me out into the cold for a long freezing walk. There was no end to my suffering.

Bonus story!

My sister came to visit for the weekend and somehow made it back home safely in the snow and cold on Sunday. But while she was here, she cooked tons of food for me and divided it into single servings and stocked my fridge and freezer with enough meals to last me through winter. For the record, I know how to cook. And when I do, I’m not half bad at it. But I’m fundamentally more lazy than hungry and left to my own devices I’ll eat peanut butter and jelly for every meal for the rest of my life. So my sister’s cooking and portioning and freezing of food was a welcome gift. Besides, I have only eight knives so I can make only eight peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before I have to start washing things and washing knives can sometimes be overwhelming.

But that’s not the bonus story! On Saturday we wandered out in the snow and toured Millennium Park and the Art Institute and had a lovely touristy time. Spirits were so high, in fact, that not one but two homeless guys complimented us on what a cute couple we made. One even told us he could tell we’d been together for a long time. Which, having been siblings for 43 years, is technically true. But we hardly qualify as a couple. At least not north of the Mason-Dixon line. But since two guys had commented on our cute coupledom, we figured maybe the world knew something we didn’t. So we got MARRIED!* And this picture of us in Chicago’s famous bean sculpture (called Cloud Gate by purists) is our joyous wedding photo:

I’d normally register for extra peanut butter knives, but since I now have a wifey who can cook, I’ll be registering instead for pots and pans for her. And Chipotle gift cards for date nights. I can be selfless like that.

* Not really.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Have I lost the will to blog?

Only the pundits can say for sure. But scores of recent evidence suggest my blog is among the detritus of a growing disinterest in lots of things on my part.


It’s a new year. Resolutions must be made. Attention must be paid. Blogging must be gayed. (I don’t know what that means either; it just had a nice rhythm to it.) And I’m trying to will myself back into a state of blogging enthusiasm.

First, let me catch you up on the interesting things that have happened since I last blogged with any semblance of intent:

I ran the New York Marathon! It took four years to get in (it’s based on a lottery system with a brutal curve) and it was a tough run (New York City is WAY hillier than you might think) but I did it and loved it and am officially counting it as my last (and most glorious) marathon. Limping my last few miles through a shadowy, late-afternoon Central Park – where the temperature abruptly dropped exponentially and I was still in my relatively skimpy running garb – is truly a cherished memory for me. I finished in my worst time ever (5:14:35) and I hadn’t packed any warm clothes (or cab cash) in my gear-check bag but I was positively euphoric as I limp-shivered over a mile back to my hotel on what turned out to be the wrong side of Times Square, given the location of the finish line. And – contrary to my normal policy of never wearing a marathon medal in public once I’ve taken a shower – I proudly wore mine on the plane home the next day.

I ran two Disney half marathons! My I.T. bands and I may be done with marathons, but I can still limp through a half marathon or two if I put my mind to it. And if you run half marathons at both Disneyland (in California) and Disney World (in Florida) in the same calendar year, you get a third finisher’s medal – officially called the coast to coast medal, but since neither park is on a coastline and you actually run through the iconic Disney castles in both races I think it should be called a castle to castle medal. But no one asked me. Of course, both races were filled with Disney magic, whether we were running through empty parks at dawn (Disneyland) or after dusk (Disney World) or stopping to pose for pictures with myriads of costumed Disney characters or just hearing Disney songs blaring over loudspeakers along lonely stretches of road. And the Disney World race, which you may recall from the previous sentence was after dusk, ended in the Epcot Center parking lot … and culminated in three more hours of private access to all of Epcot for the runners and our guests. Which translates to NO LINES. But lots of gamey park guests. Still, if you run and have even a modicum of fascination with all things Disney, I heartily recommend running a Disney race. It’s well-organized and fun and entertaining and magical … plus you’re at freaking Disney! What’s not to love? What’s especially TO love is the big yellow buttons I pinned to my red running shorts, which made me look EXACTLY LIKE MICKEY.

I got another tattoo! I’d been holding myself to the one-tattoo-per-marathon rule for quite some time. But the year I ran the two Disney half marathons I also ran a third half marathon. And three half marathons = one tattoo, right? Right?. This one is in a place that could spark a morality riot if I showed it to you in its entirety, but I’ll give you a peek and let you fill in the blanks mentally. To help you picture it correctly, I’ll give you a hint: It’s over a foot in diameter:

I rappelled down the side of a 30+ story hotel! It was terrifying and I can't even say I'm glad I did it. Do you see the happy smile I have in this picture? It's a LIE.

I’m single. After six and a half years, the boyfriend and I parted amicably and are maintaining a friendship that I sincerely hope continues to grow stronger.

I’m bipolar. I forget when exactly I was diagnosed, but the diagnosis was applied retroactively to a large number of years, given the history I presented to the psychologist who diagnosed me. So I’ve been a mess for quite some time. At first I was embarrassed and actually quite ashamed to have a mental illness. But it slowly became a kind of cool secret I told to only select people. And then I couldn’t turn my filter off (which I don’t think is a symptom of bipolar disorder but I’ll blame it on being bipolar anyway) and I started telling everyone. And now it goes a long way toward explaining my manic swings (which are intense in a 100 mph kind of way, though they only last about four hours) and my depressive dips (some of which quickly become depressive collapses). And at least I finally have a name for my long-time adversary and I know what I’m up against when it makes an attack. To make my medical problems even messier, I also have a pituitary adenoma (a tiny benign tumor on my pituitary that causes marginal problems with its performance) and hypothyroidism. And at my peak, I was on 10 medications to control everything. I’ve since been downgraded to my current level of seven daily meds, and I hope if I demonstrate good behavior I might soon get paroled down to even fewer.

I’ve run outside in December in a Speedo and a Santa hat! Three times! My picture was even used in the promotional materials for the second annual Most Fabulous Santa Speedo Run.

Whew! I think that’s enough catching up for now. Check back soon; I hope to make this blogging thing a regular habit and there just may be another post when you visit next.