Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Glitter And Be Gray

It never occurred to me that this post would end up being about Gray. After all, I hardly know him. And in most of my blog entries, he is a secondary figure, mostly lurking in the shadows. I have made fleeting references here and there but he has never been the subject. Not even a featured player really. If anything, a dress extra. We aren’t even Facebook friends! But suddenly the episode has turned out all about him, even in his own fleeting way.

Last night started out as usual. My annual Spring ritual of returning to Bowery Bar on the first decent Tuesday evening of the year. I try to make it downtown at least twice a year. Once in the Spring and finally on what appears to be the last good Indian Summer night of the Fall. The latter is much harder to time. As I have written before, Beige, like the gay men who attend, is a fair weather friend. You don’t want to rely on it for anything important. It is just there to be fun and pretty and forgotten quickly when things turn dark.

I wanted to spend the evening with Matt Kugelman since Bowery Bar is where we met last year. I was out with Clayton and we rescued poor innocent Matt from standing on one of those sidewalk gratings out front. This began a quick but frankly awesome friendship. And he was there, already drunk when I arrived, with his friend Chip. But they didn’t last long. Moments later, I turned around and they were gone. Later I got some text messages from Matt about a raunchy burp and tequila. Enough said!

Fortunately, I ran into Chris and Cub, who were standing with that hot bartender Aaron who loves my show. One of the few gay men in NYC that has heard it and he is hot too! What a bonus. I first met Chris and Cub at Ben Harvey’s alliterative birthday brunch and spoke more with Chris than with Cub. This time around, Cub and I got into deep far-reaching conversations about the role of academia in the ongoing collapse of the American Empire. He thought they should change from majors to interests to better match the world at large while I wondered if they could even change fast enough with our rapidly evolving times. And I wondered if Americans were adept enough to adapt to a world changing so quickly around them now that they have no skills. Kind of deep for a bar that serves up nearly as many cocktails on a Tuesday night as it does new cases of syphilis.

Well all of that didn’t last long because they had to run out of there, dodging some crazy drunk mess like a creditor. That left me standing alone in the bar once again. Earlier I had spotted Gray and walking in right behind him, Matty. I knew they were still in the bar somewhere. But where? I sent Matty some text messages. No response. A few laps and I was about to throw in the towel. Finally, I found them, hiding in the SE corner of the bar, down where I never go because that outside bar doesn’t stock peach schnapps so I can never get a sex on the beach there.

Matty and Gray were huddled in a deep conversation of their own, too deep for me to want to wade into. So I hung back with trim marathon runner Andrew. His eyes looked especially blue but he also seemed a little weary of the whole bar thing. Beige can do that to you. He was standing with a guy I have met before but didn’t remember the name of. The guy said I was cute but then got annoyed that I lived upstate, basically implying that I was cruelly waving goods in front of people like they were available only to snatch them out of grasp seconds later. It turns out that he was quite drunk, like all the men that flirt with me are, and as soon as Matty and Gray finished their huddle, they dispatched him quickly to the nearest exit, and one assumes rehab facility.

We all wandered a bit and ended up hanging out with Jared who does the Sexy Back Thursdays @ The Park party with Matty. I had never met him before, but Matty took a snazzy photo of him in front of the Bowery Bar sign. I talked a bit with Andrew and give him my theory about why I thought Bowery Bar was still a success after all these years. “It’s the tables,” I told him. “They leave them out and it makes it impossible to get around. But that also makes everyone easy to see but hard to attain. A challenge. So the place always feels packed and the guys are always just a little out of your reach.” He liked my theory and I have to say, it was pretty good. Better than my academic musings with Cub where I, as a lowly college dropout, was way out of my league. My major in college? Sleeping in and skipping my morning classes.

Andrew wasn’t drinking and was feeling a lot of pressure to be drunk like everyone else. Bowery Bar is a peer pressure kind of place, as Cub pointed out earlier referencing his own flip flops in a sea of trendy Converse shoes. I always seem to be swimming against the tide on points like this, even if Babst has accused me in the past about caring more about fitting in than I like to let on. As for sobriety however, I have to admit, I was on Andrew’s side on this one. Being around drunk gays is no fun if you are sober. They are so annoying and messy and obvious. Which oddly enough brings me back to Gray.

I love the movie “Defending Your Life” and in it Buck Henry has a short scene as Albert Brooks’ fill-in attorney: Dick Stanley. “He’s a good man. Quiet but effective.” That’s Gray. He plays it all very close to the vest. He is like the polar opposite of me. My emotions are like weather patterns moving across a Doppler radar map. If severe thunderstorms are on the horizon, you know it! But Gray gives you nothing. He is probably an excellent poker player. When he wants to give you blank, that’s what you get. He is the master of the expressionless expression. And what a contrast to Matty and his whirling dervish of vitality. Gray fascinates me because he is like a neatly wrapped present that you can’t quite pull the bow off of. You want to know what is inside but you can’t get past the beautifully constructed exterior.

And then he was gone. A lovely soft kiss good bye and then a blur into the hazy crowd of gay chattering. Matty was dragging Andrew out of there too, though he was more than willing to make a run for it on his own. I piled into a cab and headed uptown to my waiting car in the parking garage around the corner from my office. My long drives back to the suburbs always give me time to reflect. It made me wish for a moment that I was an international man of mystery like Gray. But then I realized, in my twice yearly appearances at Bowery Bar in my wrong shoes and nine dollar shirts, I already am. So maybe in one small way, Gray and I have something in common. And I don’t mind that at all.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Tale Of Two Sissies

I love a mystery but you know, the kind of mystery that Jessica Fletcher solves when the tea kettle blows and it reminds her of something crucial. There was a mystery of sorts in my blog last fall when I wrote about a bunch of queens bursting out of the Cabanas and heading to Brandon Voss’s apartment. Now I know Brandon, the erstwhile former editor of HX Magazine, and tagged him as such in my blog. But then Brandon wrote to me and insisted it wasn’t him, that he wasn’t even in town that weekend. “That’s the other Brandon Voss” he insisted, but come on. That seemed ridiculous. How could there be two gay men named Brandon Voss in the gay club scene of Manhattan. It seemed impossible. That is until two weeks ago when the other Brandon Voss tried to friend me on Facebook.

I wrote him back, told him the story and how I had believed he was a myth. At first he disowned the queens but on further prodding agreed that they may have headed to his apartment but that didn’t mean he invited them. Fair enough. His reason for adding me was that he thought I looked familiar and he was inviting all the hot guys he knew to a new party he had started called Rockit Fridays. Always open to the sincerest faux flattery available online and looking for new places to blog about, I assured him I would be there on my first free Friday, which it turns out, was tonight.

Conveniently located in midtown near my office and Matt Kugelman’s apartment, we agreed to rendezvous there and get the lay of the land. At first we were dumped into a basement segment of Amalia on 55th Street that had no coat check or cell phone reception. The lack of coat check was a bigger problem since the sudden transition from winter to summer meant plenty of people brought jackets thinking it would be cold only to be jammed into a sweaty dutch oven with nothing to do with their heavy outerwear. As it was, we enjoyed the early 90s tunes, with heaping helpings of En Vogue to make you forget your troubles.

Soon the upstairs opened and as it did I thought I spotted Henry on the stairs. I wasn’t sure it was him until I spotted his boyfriend Dan standing next to him. We caught up with them at the top of the stairs and there we stayed under the watchful eye of DJ Keo Nozari for the rest of the evening. While Henry was busy proving to everyone that White Men Can’t Dance, Dan and I commiserated about life in straight bars that only go gay one night a week.

I am annoyed by cocktail waitresses and the vain attempt at bottle service, an outrage that gays will enjoy for free as VIPs but would never, ever pay for with actual money. He hated the bathroom attendants handing you towels and I had to agree. In a gay bar, if a guy hands you a towel in the bathroom, it’s because you just had sex with him. Our talk was prompted by a bouncer trying to shove us out from our perch at the top of the stairs and keep the walkway clear. That’s crazy. How are you supposed to meet people if you don’t stand at the top of the stairs so you can see everyone who comes and goes? After all, if gay bars didn’t have pinch points, I don’t think gay men would even know how to get laid in person. G lounge in Chelsea was designed with an oval bar that creates a virtual Tailhook Convention around it almost instantly, the only 360 degree pinch point in all of Manhattan! Guaranteed sex.

Ben Harvey soon arrived, having just attended a taping of the new season of The Big Gay Sketch Show. He was blond and trim as ever and I realized later on my walk back to my office to get my backpack that I haven’t had a real quiet moment with Ben since his birthday brunch, and even then we weren’t exactly alone. It seems we are destined to only ever be seen in public together. I also saw Matty’s friend Tyler who swung through at the most inopportune moment while Dan was telling a story about meeting Beyonce and he couldn’t even stay for a split second for the story to end for a proper hello. MUST. KEEP. TWIRLING. And he was gone.

Later I saw Conor standing on the landing near the DJ. I tried to get his attention at first by throwing ice at him, but then I just kept throwing ice at him because it amused me. He was clearly annoyed until he finally saw that it was me, which registered zero surprise on his face. After all, who has worse manners than I? No one! Conor was there with his friend Andrew who once again I did not remember meeting, until he called me a douche and I realized he was the guy from Facebook who tried to add me and became so irritated by my form response denying access. I wrote about him last week. This time Andrew and I spent more time horsing around and I discovered that, like me, he is a birthday deleter on Facebook. This is a genius move, by the way. When someone’s birthday comes up, you check to see how well you know them. If they aren’t vital, that is the moment you delete them. They will be so wrapped up in Happy Birthday posts on their Wall that they won’t notice you are gone for weeks, maybe months.

I really didn’t want to stay all night. Fridays are a tired night for me and all I want to do is get home after a long exhausting part-time week of talking. Plus, I had a stone patio to finish putting together in the backyard and Manhattan gays on the prowl don’t understand what a productive weekend day is unless you count spot checks at the free clinic on your way to the gym to party pump for Saturday night. As I headed for the door, I ran into Ben Dixon, who was on his way in. I wish I could have stayed longer to chat but I did have a train to catch. He has a house upstate so at least he understood the need to get an early start on the weekend and get something done. Pretty doesn’t just happen you know. Maybe in your twenties you can just Rockit and get away with rockin’ it but for the rest of us, weekends wait for no man.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Furricane

This is going to make me sound old, but in my day, you went to a nightclub week after week and it always stayed in one place. Some lasted longer than others, and the ones which burned the hottest usually flamed out the fastest. And maybe that is just an LA thing. I used to love Club Louie, enticed by the rumor that Madonna was part owner, but it vanished so fast I don’t even remember what neighborhood it was in. The Men’s Room was a great Thursday night party until it got a glowing review in the Los Angeles Times. Street cred obliterated, I don’t think they even bothered to open the next day. I loved this place on Sunset until the doorman shot two people. Then they turned it into Project Angel Food. Well, it was a more innocent time then, as we like to say.

I went once to The Skinny when it was located just up the street from my office. My friend Danny of the solid packed body and skimpy underwear was one of the bartenders. Matt Kugelman is a mutual friend so he was there too. Then, last night was Thursday again and since Matty’s party at The Park is on haitus, I checked in with Kugie to see if he was going. And then I noticed that it wasn’t in midtown anymore, it was now in the grey area north of Chelsea near Madison Square Garden. So Matt and I met up at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ on 31st and 8th Avenue for dinner and then headed around the corner to 28th for the new Skinny. And just as an aside here, I was not feeling too skinny myself after I downed that chicken fried steak. The doorman recognized me and even knew my full name, which shocked the crap out of me, especially after that woman Kris from Long Island recognized me earlier in the day at the Starbucks downstairs from our office. Where did my precious anonymity go? It’s the beginning of the end everybody.

Once inside, I ran off to find the bathroom and it was a crazy quilt of stairs and passageways and printed signs that took me upstairs, around the corner, through a brightly lit photo shoot, past Sweetie looking not so sweet behind the bar, down into a dance floor open only to the lunatic fringe and then finally, hidden behind the DJ booth and near a fire exit: the bathroom. I felt like Ashley Judd in that Morgan Freeman movie where she was trapped underground by my boyfriend Cary Elwes: “There were doors…There were walls.” Yes, yes Ashley, very descriptive. Very helpful. “Okay,” I thought as I sighed with some relief at the urinal, “it’s going to be one of those nights.“ Downstairs, I met up with Matt again. He was talking to a guy who was running his hand along his forearm. “Furry,” he purred, “Are you furry everywhere? Is your butt a furry hurricane and the hole is the eye?” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that’s a furricane.

During dinner, talk had turned to Matt’s screenwriting class, and later at The Skinny, in a cinematic fervor, I engaged Danny in a conversation across the bar and through the legs of an aggressively gyrating stripper. I figured the stipper at some point would step over us, but until the conversation ended, he bumped and ground over our heads, my hands resting gently on the bar between his ankles. After we got another round of drinks from Danny, we headed upstairs to look for Matt’s friends who were apparently there somewhere. In point of fact, they were everywhere. It was a complete reversal of last week at The Park, now with Matt the one with the popularity and the proximity.

The weirdness continued upstairs with a cute bartender in tiny underwear with what looked like an exceedingly painful wedgie. “No no,” he assured me. “It doesn’t hurt. And it just happens when I keep doing this.” He then proceeded to turn around and shake his ass like a blender blade until nearly all of the underwear had been sucked up into the smooth eye of his not-so-furricane. Some idiot tipped him $300 and then was mystified when he didn’t continue to get the same loving attention he was lavishing elsewere. Everyone knows you give them the $300 at the end of the evening. If that’s your opener, there is no reason to stick around. Three big bills buy a lot of brown rice and cocaine when you are twenty years old and live six deep in a studio apartment waiting for Fire Island to roll around again. Idiot.

Downstairs the real show was about to begin. One of the strippers on the bar recognized Matt from a previous party a few weeks ago and started a long distance flirt with him from his station on top of the bar. The stripper was furry himself, though he had an appropriate Chelsea trim to him. Wearing a jock strap under his underwear, his back to us, he playfully ran his fingers along his lips while making eye contact with Matt. Then he ran his hands down his back, gently pushing his underwear down and slipping his middle finger into the eye of his furricane. Then he pulled his finger out, drew it up to his face, ran it playfully along his chin until, when he had our complete and undivided attention, he stuck his finger in his own mouth and sucked on it.

This was a revelation. Not since the topless drag show in spanish at The Plaza on La Brea in Los Angeles have I seen such a display of unabashed and playful raunchiness. And there the tranny dancer had popped out from behind a screen in just a bikini bottom, spun around a bit, took a cigarette from a man in the front row, puffed on it, jammed it into the cheeks of her ass, did a cartwheel, pulled it out of her ass, puffed again and then handed it back to the patron, who let the cigarette burn itself out in the ashtray in front of him untouched. For my money, this ran a close second.

As our gasps of horror at The Skinny subsided to cheers of delight, the stripper jumped down from on top of the bar and engaged us in conversation. He even shook my hand, which in retrospect was probably not the brightest thing I ever did, but life is an adventure right? Apparently at a club last week, he had done a similar trick with a blow pop that did not go over well. “After that, I looked around and realized that I should probably just go home because no one here is gonna want to make out with me now.” I am pretty sure if someone did, that would be true love. But what do I know about true love or blow pops?

We were so entranced by the strip show we barely noticed that the place had cleared out like it was on fire. It wasn’t until we saw a guy do a cartwheel down the middle of the bar, followed by some impromptu drag balling that we noticed how dead the place was. And the only action was a straight couple making out in the corner. It might actually have been a fire because as we were saying good night to Danny all of us could quite distinctly smell smoke, and not in a good way. Our evening was at an end and we hardly needed smoke signals to see it.

I guess all good times have to come to an end eventually. The twenty year old bartender’s good time will end five summers from now when his bloated corpse is found floating in a Fire Island pool some post Labor Day afternoon. The days of The Skinny may already be numbered. Five club promoters and they could barely fill the place for a couple of hours. No wonder Sweetie looked so sour. I drove home up the Henry Hudson Parkway along the river, the top up on my convertible on the final chilly night of the year until fall. The cold has come to an end too this weekend, which just goes to show you that the end of one chapter and the beginning of another isn’t always so bad after all.

Friday, April 17, 2009

In One Year And Out The Other

I have spent a lot of time at The Park lately, now that it is Matty’s new haunt. He hosts a monthly party which is a nice excuse for me to get out of the house every once in a while and update my semi-annual blog. I feel a lot of pressure to go out just so I can have something to write about, especially as I see a particularly empty month sitting lonely and forlorn in the blog archives. That is the funny thing about the passing of time. You don’t really notice it until it’s already done.

So it’s been another year since Matty’s last birthday. As I recall, I haven’t been around for many of them. Thanks to timing I am usually off at some pride event somewhere on the same weekend that he chooses to celebrate. For the last five years it has been the same routine. Matty gets excited telling me that his party is coming up and I dash his hopes by not being around. It’s not that he doesn’t have a zillion other friends, after all he was able to launch a popular club night right out of his iPhone contacts. That’s all fine for any run of the mill Thursday but when it is a special occasion you want all of your favorite people around.

Last night at The Park, there were so many gay men that I knew there that it would probably be easier to just list the four gay men I know that weren’t there. I invited Matt Kugelman to join me, speaking of people who have plenty of other friends, and we cabbed it down after the show. I have been trying to keep my strongest yenta urges under wraps and play it cool on my feverish desire to marry him off to someone. However, as primer, I casually dropped subtle questions like “so, is there anything wrong with you?” to see if I could get a better idea of what kind of guy to eventually lock him in a small closet with to see what develops. The problem with someone like Kugie is that he is something of a universal donor. He would be the perfect boyfriend for almost anyone, which makes it hard to distinguish who he would actually be good for. You can’t tell if you are reacting to genuine chemistry with him, or feeling the effects of the same magnetism that draws everyone else to him too.

We walked into the upstairs lounge and headed off to get drinks, though I was instantly way laid by the crowd. Everyone I knew was there! Kugelman gentled chided me about my fame and popularity but it is really Matty’s popularity and my proximity. Big difference. John Saldivar had joined up with Roommate for dinner first (aka margaritas) and they were already there, drinks in hand, when we walked in. Young Bradford was the night’s DJ, working twice as hard as usual, assaying both Samantha Ronson and Lindsay Lohan, all while perching frantically in front of a large aquarium. Ben Harvey and Dennis Hensley were talking while Gray walked behind them like Hamlet’s ghost. Every time I turned my head someone else was right there. My former boss’s old assistant from 2001! Corey Johnson! That guy I accidentally slept with last year and his resentful boyfriend! Then suddenly I realized I had lost Matt in the deep end of the gay ocean!

I ventured further into the lounge, shoving through the crush of bodies with my usual mantra “lady with a baby!” Sometimes if I am really in a hurry, I yell “Is that Madonna?” which might have incited a fire in a crowded theater style riot in the early 90s but these days hardly warrants the energy it takes to lift a heavy eye lid. Along the way I found the birthday boy and Hanno, visiting once again from Austria. Also standing with them was long distance runner Andrew, him of the crisp button down plaid shirts and zero body fat. I hugged them all profusely but left just as quickly as I arrived to find Kugie and my coke. Finally he texted me wondering where I was, worried perhaps that I had invited him to a bar just to ditch him the moment someone better came along. I sent him a message back to meet me at the aquarium, and reveled in how much better life is now that we can so easily rendezvous in crowded public places thanks to our modern conveniences. It was a God-send later at the bar when I needed to get Roommate a beer and his favorite wasn’t on the list. A short txt message later and a substitute “Heiny” was on its way.

At the aquarium, we chatted up Bradford, who snapped a photo of us while we stood on what felt like a very rickety futon. Apparently deprived as a child of furniture to jump on, Matt seemed to delight in bouncing on the couch that I was certain might give way underneath us at any moment. Brian Babst was there and I grilled him quickly about the terrible Star Magazine photo swirling around Facebook that morning of his real estate client Rupert Everett. “Just make-up” he sighed of the photo on the set of Martha Stewart’s show that a plastic surgeon “expert” insisted looked like $25,000 of work done badly. I noted that Brian’s shoulders were a solid mass of muscle when I hugged him and put my head lovingly on his neck like I always do. Memorial Day weekend must be nearer than I thought. I suppose it is time to get ourselves into order.

More and more people kept pouring in. Kenneth In The (212) blogger Ken wandered by on his way to meet up with Misadventures In The (213) author Dennis. Chuck finally arrived after a series of frantic “are you sure you are going to be there” text messages. Ben Harvey and ADD Jeff and on and on. My head was spinning from all the familiar faces. A guy I didn’t know and I don’t remember meeting before came up to me and grilled me about my blog. I think he was hoping for a spontaneous mention, but I didn’t even get his name and now he would be impossible to find. Sorry you. Apparently I also met a hot guy named Andrew but didn’t remember it when he tried to add me later on Facebook. After I sent him my standard form letter denying FB friendship and directing him to my fan page he turned belligerent. “We met on Thursday… you’re a douche.” Both grammatically and factually accurate. I can’t argue with logic like that.

Maybe this blog is more trouble than it’s worth. The more people I meet, the harder it is to remember all of their names and keep them all straight. Who did I miss from this blog entry? Who will be upset? Who will be relieved? It’s exhausting. And after nine years of FantasyMan Island and several years of this chronicle, I have to ask when will the remembrance of things past end? Matty is the one a year older but I am the one feeling the miles trying to keep all these cocktail glasses in the air. I was never a party animal and though we have all been dumped into the same gay aquarium, swimming around feverishly gets exhausting after a while. A few laps around the bar and I was ready to go back to my ceramic castle. At what point do you surrender and just float belly up to the surface of the water, waiting for someone to scoop you up and take you away from it all? The big flush is coming! Enjoy the bubbles while you can.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mexican Jumping Scenes

You may not know this about me but I am something of an amateur biogenetic engineer. As hobbies go, this may seem like a pretty strange one, but then again, what about me isn’t pretty strange? I am not making super crops hydroponically in my basement or trying to cross a dog with a cat. My work is in a more social realm, trying to bring disparate peoples together, often to disastrous results.

For a long time, I have been a notorious matchmaker. Without rhyme or reason, I am constantly trying to get people together. It is a horrible habit. And after many decades, I have only one moderate success under my belt. Undeterred by reality, I charge ahead. After all, when you meet a perfect gay specimen of man like Matt Kugelman, it naturally causes the fingers in your brain to start twirling the old mental rolodex. But my social bioengineering is not limited to love. In fact my primary work is in friend bonding. I have been saving up for years for a portable fission machine and until then, I will have to continue to do it the old fashioned way: over dinner at Arriba Arriba.

When I lived in Los Angeles, my friend Paul used to hate my habit of inviting him out to dinner and then in the intervening days or even hours, ballooning the intimate meal for two into a ragtag fugitive fleet of random strangers. B Listers as Paul used to call them. As in, “what B Listers will be there?” Despite his recent woeful claim that he himself has dropped somewhere below C level, I am certain that if I invited him out his first question would be “who else is coming?”

Falling into an old rut, I did some rapid-fire inviting and suddenly I had filled the round table of Arriba Arriba, out back by the bathrooms and emergency exit. I had been wanting to see Ben Harvey forever and as usual invited him to a social setting where any hope of an intimate conversation would be impossible. He was hanging out that night with Dennis Hensley at a screening, so it was a perfect opportunity to see Dennis too. On a whim, I invited Kevin and Christopher, who because of their own nighttime schedules take for granted that people eat dinner at 10:30pm. I threw in two new people (the aforementioned Matt and John Saldivar) into the mix to really stir things up, and asked my roommate, even though he hates going out late on a school night. However, I think the guest list wooed him since it was many of his favorite people too, and no B Listers!

Christopher finished his show early and was starving, and didn’t know other people were coming, so told me to meet him after my show at the bar at Vynl, across the street from Arriba x2 (or as Matt calls it Arriba Squared). Chris was in good spirits despite the literally back breaking new schedule for Shrek The Musical, through which he performs and dances eight shows a week on his knees. We were happily chatting away and I (as I can do) lost all track of time and disregarded the other five people waiting at the restaurant. But moments later, we were there and it turns out I had nothing really to worry about. They were all busy chatting and enjoying margaritas at the bar. And no one was a complete stranger. John knew Mike who knew Dennis who knew Ben who knew Matt. A thin tangential thread but a connection nonetheless. Gay society has thrived on less for far longer.

We all sat down, waiting to order food until Kevin arrived but not hesitating on rounds of margaritas. I pulled a standard Agatha Christie opener “I am sure you are all wondering why I brought you here.” Everyone laughed but there was a grain of truth to it. After all, it was a table full of people whose sole real connection was me. And that isn’t narcissistic at all. Maybe that is the problem I have. The only thing I care about in my social experiments is bringing together the elements I care about, without regard to how they will mix. I am pretty sure that’s how my Uncle blew his finger off in high school. This dinner didn’t blow up in my face and in fact, turned out to be quite a success. And my Uncle had mixed those chemicals before without incident. I guess, we all have our share of successes and even when it all goes badly you can still find a silver lining. That finger in a jar of formaldehyde years later made a killer show and tell item for his daughter. After all, any bad interaction can still leave a juicy story behind.