Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bailouts, Babes and The Deranged Elderly

Meet The New Underwear Models... uh, I mean, Survivors!
CBS has unveiled the latest batch of adventurers willing to undertaken 39 days of semi-starvation, lack of sanitation, and a series of suspense-free "blindsides!" Yes, yes, we are all shocked when total strangers conspire against someone to win a million dollars. The biggest question for me this season will be, which Survivor will my roommate Mike cheer for/lust after. It's a toss up between Erik and Ben. I am a John boy all the way myself. On the lady side, former Marine, Harley, canine kids, mullet... say hello to lesbian stereotype Shannon!
On the hotness scale: (3 sizzles out of 5): The men are okay but the ladies look like a Victoria's Secret photo shoot shipwrecked in Somoa. No need for all those Cialis ads on CBS. They'll be getting it up on their own this season.

Bras Before Hoes
It is quite clear the elderly are out of control. Who knew that expanded lifespans would lead to such unrest and unruly behavior? It was one thing when they were just passing out behind the wheel and plowing through a crowd of pedestrians, but now they are aggressively fighting back. First, grandma got tased on the side of the road. Then they started screaming at town halls about government threatening to take over Medicare, a government program. And now, another grandmother has attacked a camera crew with a hoe.
On the crazy scale (5 nuts out of 5): Sarah Palin's "death panel" idea is sounding better and better!

My Bailout Needs A Bailout
Banks are hitting the ground like a safe and now the FDIC itself is running low on funds. The great Sheila Bair insists that they don't need to tap a line of credit even though funds are low and more bank failures are sure to come, but the FDIC is in the worst financial state it has been in since 1992 at the height of the savings and loan crisis.
On the danger scale (1 threat out of 5): Not out of the woods but the trees are thinning.

Road Headache
Yes, I will be in Ft. Lauderdale this weekend (Saturday night at Boardwalk, Sunday at Coconut Cove for the Pool Party), and Southern Decadence in New Orleans Labor Day weekend (dropping by the Decadent Ducks OMNI Royal party Friday night and the rest of the weekend stationed at Bourbon Pub next to David, the world's best bartender). But this is just the beginning of the busiest travel season of the year for me (take that June!). I've also got Dallas the weekend of September 19th, Philadelphia the weekend of September 26th, Anaheim the weekend of October 2nd, Hustlaball NYC on October 11th and IGRA Finals in Albuquerque the weekend of October 24th. If I am in your area and you don't come see me, I automatically hate you.
On the excess baggage scale (4 bags out of 5): If I only have 3 ounces of Morphine on me, can I put that in my carry-on?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Irritations

Yes, Mondays are designed to annoy but this is ridiculous...

It has nothing to do with you, but I'm going to ask anyway.
Out Magazine's Dustin Fitzharris wonders aloud to Reba if there is a place in country music for an openly gay star. Hmmm... maybe that was a question he should have asked k.d. lang twenty years ago.
On the irritation scale: (4 groans out of 5) A little research goes a long way.

Life on the outside is going to be a hard adjustment.
I have been a big fan for years of Mugshot Mondays on the Famous Like Me blog. But the site is devoid of mugshots today... or anything for that matter. Looks like the site is abandoned and the name is available once again from Now where will we go for sexy parole violators and studs who drive under the influence?
On the sadness scale: (5 sobs out of 5) I loved that site so much it's criminal!

Douthat thing you do that I love so much.
I don't know Ross Douthat but I would like to buy him one of those $5 snack boxes on my next coach flight to Anywhere USA. In this morning's NY Times opinion section, Ross clearly lays out that the stagnation problem in Washington DC is not Obama but Reid and Pelosi in Congress. I agree!!! You would think the two were operating in the minority or the barest sliver of a majority with the way they talk and act instead of presiding over the largest majorities in both houses in more than a generation. Don't worry, Nance and Harry. If this keeps up, the job you have will be downsized in 2010 to the job you've been acting like you have.
On the outrage scale: (8 out of 5) Replace Reid with a liberal nut, Pelosi with a fembot.

It's chapter 11, only smaller!
It should come as no surprise that things aren't going well in the publishing world. Hey, when even the Famous Like Me blog can't hold on, what change do ancient magazines have? In words short but none too sweet: Reader's Digest has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. I guess when the median age of your subscribers is cadaver, these things are bound to happen. What will Reader's Digest reorganize into? May I suggest some kind of green energy business? Magazine, recycle thy self.
On the surprise scale (0 out of 5) That's Life! And McCall. And Collier's...

I don't want to see me in a bathing suit either, but...
You probably aren't as irritated as I am but in this case it is my own dumb fault. Guess who will be in a bathing suit surrounded by hot people in bathing suits this weekend in Ft. Lauderdale? Me! At the pool party at the Coconut Cove Guest House. It's all for a good cause (raising money for hot bartender Travis who has a not hot case of the cancers), so join me there in the south Florida sun!
On the humiliation scale: (1 out of 5) In a bathing suit? Bah! It's for charity!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The End

This has been coming for a while and I suppose it isn’t a surprise now that the day has arrived. I’ve been writing about my adventures out on the town for a few years now, so long in fact that I started with links to the profiles of total strangers. In the process, I have annoyed good friends and created near-enemies out of casual acquaintances. That isn’t to say that some people haven't enjoyed what I have written, it’s just that at a certain point the vehicle in any adventure simply runs out of steam.

I went to an amazing party in an apartment in the sky back in June. My friend Bobby who invited me has been impatiently waiting for me to write it up for months. And there was so much grist too. I flirted with an extremely drunk guy who no doubt has no recollection of either said flirting, nor my Herculean efforts buttoning his tiny cutoff shorts back up for him. There were friends in from out of town (Clay Lee!), adorable Matty K and party doll Will Wikle. It even had Lance Bass and party-crashing paparazzi, and Lance’s boyfriend mistaking me for a bartender and trying to order drinks from me. This is an important detail since the bartenders at the party were as hot as the panoramic city views and if anything, the way I am dressed, I am usually mistaken for a bike messenger.
But it has been two months and pertinent names have already faded into the distance. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why I hadn't written it all up. At first I told myself that I didn’t want to annoy the billionaire apartment owner upon whose largess I would hope to impose further in the future. Then, I told myself in between repeated viewings of Mad Men that I was just too busy. In reality I am just tired. Tired of facing down the inevitable ire of people I genuinely care about and fighting with doormen to hold onto a nightlife that has been on life support for some time. And for what? So I have something to write on the internet? Enough.

So this will be my final posting in this form, at least for a while. Maybe if the spirit really moves me, I will post another epic long story. In the meantime, my blog will take a different tack, closer to daily and in a pop culture form, and the reluctant personal life I am so reluctant to reveal will slip once again behind the veil.

Fitting then that there was an ending of another sort tonight as Jonathan held his goodbye party at Vintage in Hell’s Kitchen. He is moving to Los Angeles for his own exciting adventures out west. Maybe he will write a blog about it and you can follow that for a while. I was the first to arrive and we sat for a few moments in the back of the bar on paired red velvet sofas like talk show guests forced to interview each other. While he told me about his recent work off in Nevada, I tried to remember the last time I was at Vintage. I think it was with Terry, who showed up a few minutes later with his boyfriend Doug. The place looked so familiar even though I think then it was wintertime and I feel like John Tartaglia was there but I don’t remember how many years ago it was (2004?) or why I was there.

Normally I wear a blue polo when heading out to a gay bar, letting my icy eyes blend like camouflage into the color creating a matching accessory. But Jonathan also has blue eyes and since we can often be found dressing alike, among other alike things, I figured I would play it safe and wear a yellow Otter polo, a color I never wear and I suspect he wouldn’t wear either. After all, it is his party. No need to pull focus.

The other guests started to trickle in and I settled down on the couch with Terry, who has been my friend for 14 years. Like always, he overestimated the years, this time to a whopping seventeen. He always does that! I guess he just goes by how long it feels. “The years stretch as you get older,” Margo Channing warned us in All About Eve and she wasn’t kidding. Since both Terry and I lived in LA once (we met there), we both took turns torturing Jonathan with stories of West Hollywood life. Naturally, all of them revolved around sex.

Being in your mid-twenties and gay in West Hollywood is a bit like locking a kid in a candy store, only the store doesn’t open again until you are thirty-something, bloated and filled with regret. Jonathan had considered moving into an apartment on Palm Avenue, which coincidentally was the first street I lived on in West Hollywood. This set us off on a war of remembrances of tricks past, most residing in the notorious Mediterranean apartment complex at the foot of that hill.

“It’s a labyrinth,” I warned Jonathan. “You won’t even know you are in it until you are already inside. You are guaranteed to sleep with at least one person who lives there.” Terry nodded vigorously behind me.

After Jonathan went off to attend to the other guests and escape our dusty war stories, Terry turned to me with sudden seriousness. “That was a whole lifetime ago.” I am going through my old writing preparing a book to go out this fall that chronicles my life then so I know exactly what he means. Reading again what I wrote then and it feels like it all happened to someone else. A long time ago, in a sunny sex galaxy far, far away… filled with cheap food at Baja Buds, smoothies at Jamba Juice and late night noshing first at Canter’s and then when we had more money, the Jerry’s Famous across from Cedars.

Terry and his boyfriend Doug left and I tried talking to some new people. And they were nice enough. But my heart wasn’t in it. I hate saying good bye to Jonathan but I know that LA is the right place at the right time for him. And what’s next for me is right here in New York. His other friends didn’t see the finality in his jump to the left coast but I do. I know what it is like to be 27 and in West Hollywood with the whole wide world in front of you. Why would you want to carry groceries eight blocks in the snow or wait endlessly on a sweltering subway platform when there’s paradise in a beat up convertible sailing up the Pacific Coast Highway at sunset?

So off to LA for Jonathan. And for me here, something new. Maybe I will write about people I don’t know for a change. Matty has a boyfriend and I don’t see him so much anymore. Kugie is off in Chicago visiting and while he is a good sport about the blog, we can’t just hang out for the sake of entertainment. We gave at the office. And even though I am not going anywhere, I am ready for a change too. This blog has been like an infection in Manhattan: raised temperatures, broke out in a rash, and then ran its course. And now that the center of gravity is shifting to Brooklyn, with all its expanding waistlines and hipster edginess, I feel as arcane as Carrie Bradshaw. Even I don't live in Manhattan anymore. The time has come everybody. Hang up the Manolos already.

On my way to the train, and the inevitable final blog written on the Hudson line north heading off to my Don and Betsy Draper dream world, I dropped by the terrible Starbucks near my office. The guy behind the counter kind of flirted a bit and charged me an iced coffee instead of my iced venti soy chai. I left the two dollar difference in the tip jar, smiled and waited for my drink. That attention felt good, in a color I don’t like to wear and under such harsh lighting. But maybe he was just being nice, one New Yorker to another. It’s like that when you live here. Maybe that is something Jonathan will miss. No one who has ever lived here likes feeling like an outsider when they come back. Or worse, a tourist. NYC gets in your blood and it never leaves. For a while I had switched to vanilla lattes and even dropped soy altogether from my diet, but now I am firmly back in the old routine. I guess it’s true what they say: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

So even though I am saying goodbye, maybe you should stay tuned. Life has a funny way of surprising you. You never know what might be waiting next.