Friday, February 29, 2008

Pop (Sort Of) Rocks

Pop Rocks is a Thursday night party in the city. I started going years ago when it first began and the likes of Britney and Justin were the hottest music on the charts. The disposable pop crap was always the best part of the club. The crowd was always very young and I never liked feeling like the oldest person there. But I stopped going because they never had any paper towels in the bathroom. I am not a classy person but while I am not too old to dance to a hot mix of Britney Spears singing "Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know", I am too old to dry my hands on toilet paper. The last appearance I made at Pop Rocks was with the Barbera Twins in 2004 when they were in town to do our radio show and promote their calendar. Where are they now?

Flash forward to last Friday and my friend Josh was throwing a going away party for himself. Since winning Mr. Gay USA by default, he is moving to Los Angeles to take a new job. I guess he figured life in NYC had taken him as far as he was going to go. As I mentioned in the past, Josh and I met in 2001 when I briefly tried my hand as a party promoter when I tried to launch a club night two weeks after 9/11. It was a huge mistake but meeting Josh wasn't. At his going away party, I met Mark, a cute massage therapist who also works the door at Pop Rocks. Since I am on this kick to try new things and meet new people, I thought I would kill two birds with one stone and drag Hottie Zach and my roommate Mike down to Pop Rocks for another attempt at fun.

As it turns out, last night was a Dolly Parton listening party for her new album "Backwoods Barbie." We had tickets to see her at Radio City Music Hall next week but her boobs threw her back out and now it has been rescheduled for May. In the meantime, I have heard nothing but good things about her album so I thought it was a fair bit of kismet that this was the fated night to make a triumphant return to Pop Rocks. I also tried to invite Ben Harvey at the last minute but he was out with sexy Dave Rubin who "frowned when he heard Pop Rocks." Not even Dolly could woo him to join us, and as Romaine and I have learned, when you do a show with someone you turn quickly into an old married couple and it is virtually impossible to split up once you have travelled down the road so far together.

Zach got there first and still being new to the city, he was wary of being alone in the club. I arrived and immediately ran into Mark outside at the door. But it was freezing outside and while on the train down to Union Square, Zach had sent a panicked "I'm scared" message so I knew I needed to hurry inside. Once there, we enjoyed a couple of $1 drinks in the crowded melee as well as some fun pop tunes. I heard some vague strains of something that sounded like Dolly while in line for coat check, but aside from a mix of "9 to 5" an hour later, that was as far as the listening party went. Mike joined a little while later and he and Zach got nice and drunk while I stayed sober to drive Mike home later.

The good news of the night was that I was far from the oldest person there. A few guys looked like they had escaped from a nursing home, so that was comforting. Plus, the bathroom had hand dryers so I didn't need to use toilet paper to dry my hands this time. Then again, the hand dryer was about as powerful as waving your hands in the air like you just don't care, but it was better than it used to be. I also had some time to chat with Mark downstairs under a heat lamp while he alternated eating a sandwich and passing out flyers for 1984.

By 12:30, Zach was ready to go home, and that left Mike and I with plenty of time to make the 1:00am train and get home in time to watch the new episode of Lost (which was surprisingly good, by the way). Unfortunately both of my organized military guys had lost their coat check tickets in their drunkenness, leaving them forced to plead their cases to the super bitchy coat check girl who didn't know the meaning of the word helpful, let alone how to mime it. In the past, Zach has had a tough relationship with coat check people and last night was no exception. Mike was the voice of reason but unfortunately, coat check lady was so slow we ended up missing our window to take the 1:00am train.

While they were fighting with the coat check bitch, I spotted once again a woman who looked like she had escaped, quite unglamorously, from a Soviet work camp. She had toilet paper trailing out from under one of her chunky clogs so I pointed it out to her. Instead of discreetly removing it, she lifted her foot and loudly proclaimed it to her other female friend and her adorable blond fag. The homo who had eyed me earlier in the evening, used this as an opening to start a conversation. He complimented me for rescuing a stranger from embarrassment as he ran his hand along my plaid shirt. He asked me where I was tonight and when I said I was at work he asked, "At an Abercrombie photo shoot?" I smiled politely and said no as I put my coat on. Then he said, "Where are you going? An Abercrombie photo shoot?" This is what is known as a textbook case of blind drunk, with the emphasis on the blind. But I gave him my card anyway and made out with him a bit. It was a terrible line and even though I am as old as Mount Washington, I am only human. There are a lot of sides to this square.

On our way out, I said good bye to Mark at the door and then Mike and I parted company with Zach. Since we had some time to kill, I entreated Mike to come to Taco Bell with me. Mike has sworn off fast food all year and being the horrible influence that I am, I got him off the wagon. Once there, I discovered something new on the menu (though still containing all nine of the usual ingredients). They now have something called a "Fiesta Platter" which is just the perfect thing for me to bring to the Long Kiss Good Night featuring Hillary and Barack at Jonathan's on Tuesday night. The platter with the Grilled Stuft Burrito was almost too much food for one person but I still ate the whole thing while sitting in our usual late night spot at Grand Central Station. I had a good time at Pop Rocks, but the innocent days of Britney and Justin are long behind us all. I may not be collecting social security with Danny Glover and flattering attention from blond strangers is always appealing, but I do think I am getting too old for this shit.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Keeping Things Fresh!

I have a terrible problem with alcohol. If I drink a lot and pass out, I wake up four hours later feeling completely refreshed and ready to go again. This is how casual drinkers turn into raging alcoholics. It is also fun and easy to do when you are 22 and working full-time in a drug clinic, but a decade and a half later, your body and mind may bounce back quickly, but your face tells the story of the long night before. It isn't pretty and neither are you.

Sunday morning, after not sleeping for two days because of the travel to San Francisco, I woke up bright and early at 7:30am. And could not get back to sleep. I watched some TV (thank you Chris Matthews), looked online for an obscure song from a movie and answered some emails, but mostly I just lolled around in the massive bed in my suite at the W Hotel. The night before, I had hosted the GayVN awards along with Romaine and Lady Bunny. Romaine was already on a plane back home to her baby and Bunny I suspected was nothing but a pile of shredded pantyhose and smeared mascara at that hour. I wandered out to the local Starbucks for my usual iced venti chai and a little wedge of banana nut bread to fill my stomach. During my early morning meditation, I pulled together brunch with my ex-boyfriend Curtis and my former intern Bobby (aka Bobby Intern I), both of whom I knew in other cities but who live in SF now.

I tried to nap a little bit before our 12:30pm brunch, but failing at that, I soaked in the tub for a while, and then pulled myself together as best I could. I ran into Bunny in the lobby on my way out. She had some time to kill before her flight and planned to check out some weird museum show that was going on. I only half understood what she was saying because my mind kept wandering to my own childhood visits to the museums of San Francisco, including the legendary exploratorium, during the brief time (known as the 1970s) when you could experience it's tactile dome naked if you so chose. Yes, Virginia, even San Francisco has gotten more conservative over the years.

Initially we were going to meet at Lime On Market for brunch but there was a 150 person waiting list and the blank stare from the hostest when Curtis tried (at my urging) to pull a "don't you know who he thinks he is" told us we should look somewhere else if we wanted to eat that day. I was relieved. The place was a big gay scene, the likes of which I thought San Francisco railed again, and even though I am deaf as a post thanks to a childhood obsession with the SONY Walkman and years working in radio, the place was just too loud for me. The three of us ended up settling at 2223, which was delightful. The bloody mary was the size of Mt. Everest (though much easier to climb) and the cinammon bun we all shared made me sorry Romaine had left so early.

Brunch with Curtis and Bobby was so pleasant. By way of introduction, they both told each other stories about me, which anyone who knows me knows could keep me entertained all afternoon long. In between they talked about gay life in San Francisco, other places to see and be seen, and other topics of no interest to me whatsoever. I did tell Bobby that I had been invited by John Rutherford to join him later that night at a party honoring our friend Jack Mackenroth of Project Runway. Bobby really wanted to meet John and coincidentally he had already planned to be at Fresh, the club where the party was taking place. We endeavored to meet up at the party later.

I walked back to the hotel, stuffed to the gills and hoping the walk would both relieve the bloated feeling and wear me out enough to take a short nap before the party that night. I looked plenty haggard at brunch, which was fine, but going to a nightclub was a whole other matter. I needed to look at least halfway human. Along the way, I bought a giant family-size bottle of Gatorade and some Mega Millions lottery tickets (Hey! You never know!) since water and the $220 million jackpot could go a long way toward looking halfway human. I sent a text message to Erik Rhodes to see if he was alive and wanted to be my plus one at the event later. The night before he had told me he wasn't leaving until Monday either and didn't really have anything to do. So I promised him I would make contact and if he wasn't dead to the world (or just plain dead) maybe we would meet up. He was still feeling the night before quite hard but I told him I would check in with him later to see if he was more ready to face the world. That was the last I heard of him.

Back at the W, I threw myself on the mercy of the bed and passed out for a delightful and restful three hour nap. Just before six pm, I got a text message from John Rutherford asking if I could be ready to go in fifteen minutes. I agreed to Name That Tune, hopped in the shower and pulled myself together. Well, the nap must have done the trick because I woke up looking more like a human being than I had earlier in the day. What a relief.

John and I found Doris Day parking just down the street from Fresh only to discover that I was not on the guest list and he didn't have a plus one. Despite having a national radio show and having been one of the earliest employees at PlanetOut, the parent company of the folks throwing the party that night, door queen had no interest in letting me in. Finally I squeezed in as Jack Mackenroth's plus one. Apparently, I wasn't the only one who got shade at the door. When Jack arrived, door queen asked him to spell his last name to see if he was on the list and he said, "Honey, it's the one on the invitation." Things picked up almost immediately for me when the bouncer asked to see my I.D. "You are just the sweetest man alive." I said as I pulled my card out of my wallet. "Ah" he said as he handed me my I.D. back, "I can see now why you said that. Have a good night." That must have been some kind of a nap I took.

Inside, the party was just getting started. I ran into Cassandra, the Gay.com publicist for the event and it turns out I had met her many times before when she was helping promote adorable Eric Himan. John Rutherford and I hung out in the VIP area (you can see his alternate take on the evening in his blog) until Jack finally arrived and then we wandered off with him to the autograph table set up for him. Jack was wedged quite unhappily by the men's room and spent most of his time there blocked by the long time of shirtless hunks waiting to do coke in the stalls. John commented on the bad placement and I reminded him of my famous adage that fame is nothing more than a series of humiliations and how famous you become depends entirely on your willingness to be humiliated at every turn. Jack didn't seem to mind as long as the money and the booze was flowing his direction.

While there John Rutherford noticed an adorable guy checking me out while waiting in line for the bathroom. I didn't believe him at first but then after considerable staring, I did notice him staring and smiling back. I waited for him to come out of the bathroom, but by the time he did Cassandra from PlanetOut was all up in my grill and he was beseiged by fag hags and then disappeared into the crowd. Once that happened, I knew it would be virtually impossible to find him again. In the meantime, another hot guy showed up in line wearing a terrible white tank top with semaphores on it. The outfit was awful but his pouty lips were Angelina Jolie worthy. I tried to get John to "discover" him for Buckshot but he didn't even have a business card on him. I offered to give him mine, but when I reached in my wallet, I realized the last of those were gone too. A couple of terrible businessmen we are!

Soon enough, John had grown weary of the party atmosphere, and I offered to walk him out since I fully intended to go to the Jack In The Box across the street when he left. He agreed that nothing sounded better than that so we both headed in that direction. Once on the sidewalk we ran into Bobby Intern arriving. Since he was starving too, the three of us decamped from the glamorous shirtless hunk party and sat down in as sketchy a fast food joint as I have ever seen for a witty conversation and a greasy stack of fries. For me, this was the perfect evening. My favorite local fast food, a bit of an alcohol buzz on and good friends. After we dispatched our meal, Bobby and I said good bye to John and then headed back to the club for more drunken adventures.

Once inside, we connected with Jack back in the VIP room and Bobby and I continued the evening that John and I had started together. While hanging out in there, suddenly the cute boy who had been checking me out earlier wandered into the VIP room. He was now sweaty from dancing and his shirt was firmly in his back pocket, but he was all smiles for me. He had spotted me from the dance floor and thought I might be able to help him get backstage so he could dance in the special area with the professional dancers. I unfortunately didn't have that power, but he settled for a kiss instead. The next thing I knew, I had him up against the wall and we were making out and grinding up on each other like it was the end of civilization. I would have been embarrassed for myself but I was just having too much fun.

Knowing that was the high water mark of the evening, and seeing how well Bobby and Jack were getting along, I figured I could head back to the hotel at a reasonable hour and try to get at least a couple of hours of sleep before my 5am trip to the airport and another 7am flight. I left Bobby and Jack and some of Jack's friends as they headed off to the next party, while I turned and walked down the hill back toward the hotel. Overall, it was a perfect night. I got carded at the door. I got to make out with a cute guy. I even danced a little with Bobby. It is true that at a certain age, some pleasures don't have the same easy delight to them that they used to have. But every once in a while, if you can pull yourself together, for a few hours in a dimly lit nightclub you can feel a little Fresh once again.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The GayVN Awards

It was with some trepidation I journeyed to San Francisco this weekend for the GayVN Awards. There is nothing I love more than hosting a live radio show for four hours and then arriving home just before midnight, packing, writing a show newsletter and then hopping in the shower without any sleep to drive at 4am to the airport for a 7am flight across the country to host a show where the audience is primed and ready for me to fail. It really is inspiring. At least the GayVN folks put me up in a really lovely suite at the W Hotel. The bed looked so sadly comfortable and inviting when I threw my bag down on it and headed off to a full day of rehearsal and listener meet and greet before the GayVN show that night.

First up, Romaine and I had brunch at Foreign Cinema with John Rutherford and his boyfriend Tom, who greeted us quite literally with a hug and a bloody mary. Both were so welcome. It was John that first accepted Romaine's demand that we host this show and passed the message along to Chi Chi LaRue who made it happen the next day. Following brunch, we enlisted them in helping us pick up the big props for the show: a pair of flowering plastic plants, at a Mexican 99 cent store. TheSword.com had compared us to houseplants so Romaine and I agreed that the best way to start the show was to have the trophy boys carry the plants out center stage while we did our 75 second opening monologue from backstage. Contrary to Jason Sechrest and other unpopular opinion, our opening set was kept short not because of "bad press" but desperation on the part of AVN to keep the show under two hours. The original concept called for a ninety minute show and the final rundown ran a breathless 1:47 after squeezing in 15 minutes for Lady Bunny. The final show clocked in at a reasonably swift 2:10, given that the Hall of Fall section itself lasted for almost two hours. We had wanted to include all of TheSword.com's dire predictions for the show as a running gag through the evening, including Jason Sechrest bursting onto the stage in song and being dragged off into the snakepit like Frances Farmer, but AVN nixed it all for time. In the end, all we had time for was a reference to the houseplants.

Even still, our opening bit with the plants was enthusiastically received, especially after I asked the burning question: "Seen any good assholes lately?" And Romaine replied, "You mean like Mike Stabile from TheSword.com?" Even Fleshbot in their tepid review and liveblog acknowledged it wasn't as bad as they thought it would be. How nice of them to notice that we kept the show moving, without giving us any credit for that, and noting that the show lagged after the middle (coincidentally when we were absent from the stage for more than a half hour). They even cribbed a couple of my jokes without attribution and completely ignored every laugh line we got. I guess it's too much to ask them to admit they were wrong. TheSword.com was equally coy in their semi-opaque praise, although they also reprinted (with some glee) the erroneous notion that our time was kept short due to their criticism, as opposed to the annual criticism that the show feels longer than the Vietnam War.

There were some folks who thought we did a good job and didn't just say it to our faces. Of course we can rely on show contributor JC Adams to praise us. He is a frequent guest on our show! His review of the GayVN show included all my best zingers (read them or watch them), which the people who seemed to not like us failed to mention. It doesn't bother me though. Someone who said terrible things about us got cut off at the knees later that night in the lobby of the W Hotel when his boss apologized for our pre-show coverage, said I was nothing like he thought I would be ("Why?" I retorted, "Because I tell jokes like a fat guy?") and suggested I should write for them. Maybe someone who hates me will have a new reason to hate me if I take his job. Don't worry, you coward who didn't dare face me at the event or afterward, you can keep your gig. Just know that some of us show up and face the music. It's called being a professional. Get to know it.

"It was a fun night," I reflected as I finally slipped into bed after going two days without any sleep. The highlights for me were standing backstage during Lady Bunny's umpteenth rendition of her canned act with Michael Lucas standing next to me "predicting" all of the song parody punchlines. "Ah. Here. See. It takes two to make a hole feel tight." And seeing the terrified looks on some of the porn stars faces waiting backstage to go on, fearful of what I might say about them after my comments about Jesse Santana's nuclear tan and some people reading slower than a special ed class. Though not my hearty pals Erik Rhodes and Matthew Rush who were good sports about my innocuous ribbing about their dating lives. The low point was seeing Bunny blowing a trophy boy to help keep him warm. And here old-fashioned me offered him my coat. And other than the ticket price and the cash bar, the worst grumbling of the evening was about the lack of an official after party. So when all was said and done, there were much bigger complaints than a pair of sleepy radio show hosts from New York. I doubt we will ever be asked back, but it was fun to stand for a few moments in the lion's den with nothing but a whip and a chair. And a pair of plastic plants.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Rebirth

I had a dream last weekend that it was 70 degrees outside. After a week of temperatures in the 50s, I started to think that winter was in its last throes. New grass was growing in the backyard and there were green buds on the trees. The wishful thinking side of my brain was in full gear, gazing hopefully at an imaginary thermometer. Today, winter returned in full force, perhaps one last offensive before a final surrender. Who can say? It was a delicate powdered sugar dream at my house as I walked down the hill to the train station today, but in Manhattan, it was an ugly mix of snow and wind-swept rain covering the sidewalks in a brown sugar slush. Yes, it is definitely still winter.

Today is my roommate Mike’s birthday. The number is unimportant when compared to the timing: two days before Valentine’s Day. In retrospect, I guess I am fortunate that my birthday is three days before Halloween. As much eye-rolling as my mother’s insistence that if I had been born seventy-two hours later, she would have named me Jack O’Lantern Hartley has caused (“I would have just said your middle initial was O. No one would have known!”), it still beats a birth near Valentine’s Day or Christmas. My mother’s birthday always falls near the floating weekend of Mother’s Day, which meant no matter what happened, we never had a good reason to miss either one.

Of course we went to a bar tonight to celebrate. It was somewhat impromptu. Mike hates going out and being social, and at a certain point in a gay man’s life, a birthday stops being something worth celebrating. But I just couldn’t bear us not doing SOMETHING, given what couch potatoes we already are. And snowy winter days only brings out your worse hermit instincts. I haven’t been blogging recently about my bar adventures, but not because I haven’t been having them. Friday night at Vlada was a drunken brouhaha for example, but by the time I had time to actually blog about it, it was days later and the spirit of the spirits was gone. I try to be as timely as possible, and lately I just haven’t been able to get to Blogger fast enough to commit my boozy adventures to memory. In a way, they are like dreams. So vivid in the moment, but they dissipate just as rapidly as they come upon you.

Lately I have been spending more free time with the original Jonathan (and hottie Zach for that matter). After years of having no regular circle of friends to hang out with, I have suddenly started to develop it with those two. It is probably because they are both recent transplants to the city. They don’t have set routines yet, so it is much easier to fall into one with them. My friends who have lived here for the better part of a decade I see less often than my family on the west coast. Manhattan is a town of regiment and routine. It is so complex, it has to run with the efficiency of an assembly line, right down to the friends you hang out with. Add a step to the process, like a new friend, and it throws the whole machine out of alignment. It is better most times to stick with things just as they are.

Jonathan joined in tonight, but Zach bowed out of the last minute journey to Therapy. Mike’s regular friends were there: George, Duke, JP, and the other Mike. That is the core. I got so used to seeing them every Friday night in our apartment for Sci Fi Fridays that when it moved to Sundays and we moved out of town, it was like the end of an era. Now when I see them it almost feels like a college reunion. The drinks flowed aplenty but when they announced the stage show was about to begin, we bolted from Therapy like it was on fire. Moments later, most of us were stationed against the icy bar at Vlada, sucking down the infused vodka cocktails that had been our downfall last Friday. In an email today on his way to Los Angeles, Ben Harvey swore them off forever after they caused a forty-eight hour hangover on Friday that no VH-1 marathon could assuage. Knowing that I would have to drive Mike home later, I just stuck with a series of cokes, which only made me long for a nice spicy bloody mary all the more.

The crowd at both bars was the same as always. It is amazing to me how alike the gays are, falling so neatly into archetypes. I caught hell on the air for comparing homosexuality to Down’s Syndrome, but I am sorry, there are just too many similarities. Besides, you can’t argue for a genetic cause for your gayness and then complain when it is compared favorably to another genetic issue. When Sean and I went to Zurich in 2003, we went to his first gay bar. “How does this compare to gay bars in America?” he asked.

Paraphrasing Tolstoy badly I deadpanned that “every gay bar is unhappy in the same way.” The bar in Zurich was indistinguishable from any old bar in America. There was the one guy dancing alone on the dance floor, too drunk or high too early. There was a knot of twinks in the corner, giggling and cruising, although with a drinking age of sixteen, the twinks were even more twinky than usual. The regulars sat around the bar nursing their drinks and personal insecurities while the older patrons lingered in the darker fringes of the room. Aside from my difficulty in ordering a Malibu and pineapple with my rusty high school German, it was as perfect a copy as any country in Epcot’s world pavilion.

Back at Vlada surrounded by the smell of vodka, my thoughts turned to Ninotchka, which I had watched earlier in the day on the train to work, while Jonathan cruised a Brokeback Mountaineer in a plaid shirt. The country boy was clearly on a date, but Jonathan was still intrigued. He was cute, but also standard issue clean cut Midwestern gay straight out of central casting. Meanwhile, a crazy drunk guy was running around taking digital photos of guys he thought were hot, I suppose so he could masturbate to their visage later. That was a bit of a twist on the usual, I thought, but not enough to make the night really noteworthy.

I was reluctant to leave the vodka bar and head out into the wintery night. It was like the worst stories of Siberia out there, but then again, inside wasn’t actually springtime in Paris, Comrade! I wish all the time that life could be as simple as an old movie, and I guess in some ways it really is. When you spend an evening in a gay bar, it is just as formulaic as any studio era classic. Well, certainly less polished than a grand MGM flick, more knockdown like a Warner Brothers film really. But the story always feels the same. It is as predictable as the weather, which I suppose is the silver lining in all of this. True, it may be winter now, but soon enough it will be spring. The bar tonight didn’t hold any promise for you, but that doesn’t mean promise isn’t right around the corner. And one day, seventy degree weather won’t be wishful thinking in a dream; it will be a pleasant reality worth celebrating with a little orchestral fanfare as the words THE END flash onto the screen. It, like everything, just takes a little time.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Double Talk

What a week.

Generally, I lead a very quiet life (as my infrequently updated blog can attest). This week turned out to be something else. In a nutshell, seven days ago, I got a call from Chi Chi La Rue asking if Romaine and I wanted to co-host (along with Lady Bunny) the GayVN Awards (after Romaine had not so subtly asked John Rutherford about it on the show). Romaine spilled the beans on the air. I posted it in our weekly newsletter. JC Adams picked up the assumedly harmless item on GayPornTimes.com, and then the shit hit the fan. First, it was Jason Sechrest with his cutesy, bitchy patter about what a letdown we are compared to last year's host Kathy Griffin (agreed). Then came an anonymous posting on NakedSword.com's new blog TheSword.com where we were raked over the coals. I posted one of my usual dignified and restrained responses. And now that brings me to the latest curious twist in the whole matter.

In a follow-up posting, the previously anonymous blogger identified himself as one Michael Stabile (pronounced like stuh-bile, not stable) and instantly the name looked so familiar but I couldn't quite place it. The follow-up posting was a snarky mea culpa that somehow lumped our filthy, deranged outrage of a show into the category of establishment gay media with only queer identity politics as a focus. It is clear that Mike has never heard our show because if he had, he would have noticed that second only to sloppiness and a certain lack of professionalism, the number one complaint about our show is that it isn't about anything (i.e. gay marriage, politics, gay issues, gender issues). We never met a dirty bathroom story we didn't like and last week an hourlong discussion by our listeners of disgusting things they experienced at work will likely be the highlight of the year.

Oh but Mike was listening. At least on the day we were talking about his blog posting and gently ribbing Jason Sechrest about his video blog. He had even emailed me a personal email earlier in the day and then called the show. His email (titled "Contrition, Conflation and Contractions" and scheduled for publication in 2009 in a new book of essays called "SAT Words I Use Every Day") stood in stark contrast to his spicier blog postings:

"I don't actually have a subscription, I've heard you a few times but I'm not a big talk radio fan... I actually feel badly that I hurt your feelings -- and more particular that I made an already stressful event even more stressful for you. You guys are charming, but it's just not my bag... I'd love to see you guys when you're in town and apologize in person. You'll do great -- don't worry -- and I'll clap heartily. "

When I got the email, it struck me again how familiar his name was. A quick search through my mail brought up this classic gem he sent to our show producer dated April 24, 2006(the bold is my emphasis):

"I'm the producer of the Tim & Roma Show (www.timandroma.com) adult-oriented (though not hardcore) webcast and the editor of the GayPornBlog (www.gaypornblog.com). We're huge fans of Derek and Romaine and my on-air talent has been prodding me to make contact with you for sometime. While we've worked with many of the same people (COLT Studio's John Rutherford and Kristofer Weston, Violet Blue, Dr. Carol Queen) and covered many of the same topics, I'm interested in seeing if we could work more closely together. "

And he signed off with the following:

"Please keep up the good work -- and please thank Derek and Romaine for keeping me going on a day-to-day basis."

When I confronted him on my radio show about the apparent contradictions between his insistence that the show isn't his bag with his previous email, he replied that he was just doing his job as a producer. Which I assume since the tone of his blog is very different from the tone of his emails, by voicing opinions he doesn't actually believe, he is just doing his job as a blogger.

The big problem I have here is that while he may claim to be a nice guy underneath it all, he just comes off to me like a chronic and habitual liar. The listeners have complained that when he was on the show and I had him in my crosshairs, I didn't fire with deadly force. But that just isn't my style. On a certain level, Mike is right: we are just all here trying to make a living. I just happen to think there are better ways to go about doing it.

You know, ones that don't involve being willfully uninformed and then lying about it.