Friday, February 26, 2010

Snowicane 2010

The before picture. This is what my front yard looked like when I bought my house. Below is what it looks like in the midst of our double whammy snowstorm dubbed: Snowicane 2010! Note how high the branches for the crabapple tree are off the ground.

Two feet of snow at the house and my front lawn is a sea of dead branches, mostly from this old tree which, conveniently enough, is right over the power lines to the house. Fun!

This is my crabapple tree, bending precariously into my driveway and blocking the cars from leaving. Mike and I had to trim the crap out of it just to clear the area. Some of the branches cracked but didn't break off completely. That's gonna be a bitch.

Just so you can see how much snow is in the yard, here is my BBQ and the patio furniture. I hope there is some Carson's in the freezer!

This is the basketball hoop in my driveway. The snow is a slam dunk! Also across the street is the dutch colonial that Mrs. Ashton used to own but now my scientist neighbors have bought and are remodeling. Love that house!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fruit On The Vine

I almost walked up to Sherry Vine tonight and told her, “I thought I smelled Gonorrhea.” Then I remembered that we’ve never met.

Two weeks ago, I ran into Adam Sank out at Therapy when we were there for Mike’s birthday. He did not recognize me. I guess I have the opposite problem. I believe I know people that I have never met. Lynn and Alex from the Amazing Race? Mistook them for listeners outside The Round Up in Dallas and gave them my full “thanks for recognizing me as the movie star I am” treatment. It’s not pretty being me, and not just in the morning or bathed in fluorescent lighting.

But I did know David Young, who is in town, and he joined me for a post show drink at Therapy. I also dragged Erik off down there too to drown his sorrows. Drag queen karaoke is the best place to forget your troubles, mostly because you can’t hear your own thoughts over the caterwauling. Sherry Vine did a few numbers, probably a few lines in the kitchen, and then succumbed to the temptation of playing her Lady Gaga parody video that was last year’s sensation. I don’t know about you but I love a greatest hit tour.

After the talent portion of the evening, the music started playing and I noticed that my adorable friend Keo Nozari was DJing. So nice to see him again since RockIt served me with that restraining order last year. Apparently, the Fashion Police have stronger powers of enforcement now under the USA Patriot Act. No big deal. I think the Kuge still likes it there, but I think I have aged out of bars with names that sound like trying-to-pass-for-butch catchphrases. When the former Roxy reopens with “Lady, please” Wednesdays, I will be first in line with my John Blair gold card, a glow stick in a bottle of water, and a mysterious rash inside my Calvin Klein white briefs. The fruit of the loom indeed.

We are in the eye of a “snowicane” as the always cautious weathermen have termed it, and tomorrow will be another blanket of icy powder, even worse they say than the one yesterday. I am done digging out. I just want to wait for the thaw. I guess I feel the same way about the nightlife. Scanning through the bar there wasn’t a single man I wanted to talk to or even look at. Perhaps the grapes are just not tender enough for me. The coat check guy only charged me a dollar for both my bag and my coat, making a big show of fanning out the money in front of me and giving me a knowing look. He probably just wanted a fancy tip but instead of seeing the gesture as a sign of possible blow jobs to come, I was just happy to have the extra dollar. I think my social life is also suffering through the Great Recession.

So then I come back to Sherry Vine, valiantly fighting irrelevance in a bar filled with Grindr gays more interested in what they can put in their own ass than what is coming out of Sherry’s mouth. Even though, in some cases, it might be the same thing. Those stage gigs inside a bar are hard work and a sense of calm washed over me as I thought how much better it is that it is her up there instead of me. A drag queen lip synced to a version of Man of La Mancha sung by a woman. It was so meta, I wondered if Salvador Dali was off in a corner painting us. It reminded me of the gay boys mouthing along to Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy” on a dance floor. Yes, sweetie, we all wonder what that would be like.

After a few minutes talking about our various troubles, David made a suggestion. “If this is going to get heavy, we should get a drink first.”

“No one says heavy anymore, David.”

He turned to me. “Then what do people say?”

“How should I know?” I shrugged. All I know is the gays are skinnier than ever and are serving up ties and V-neck sweaters like Clark Gable in It Happened One Night, and no one is saying “serving up” anymore either. Sherry Vine has three million hits on You Tube. Maybe she knows the answer. I’ll add her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and imagine tomorrow when I am snowbound that I am Don Quixote but singing my own parody of the Song of Solomon. I am here to spoil you Sherry Vine, for you have tender grapes. And possibly gonorrhea.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Head In Search Of A Hairstyle

New York City itself is an act of faith. I know that sneering Fox News pundits (New York residents all, by the way) love to deride the People’s Republic of Manhattan as a Godless island floating in a sea of filth, but I would argue that its very daily existence is based on faith. I am reminded of the story of the tourist approaching a New Yorker waiting on a subway platform. “When does the train arrive?”


The tourist is incredulous. “But what if it never comes?”

“It always comes eventually.” And it does.

As the title suggests, I am a head in search of a hairstyle. For several months now, I have been growing my hair out with the idea that I will finally break down and have a real hairstyle. Tom Ford’s A Single Man was luscious and inspired me to get Nick Hoult’s dreamy shag bangs though it would require me to flat iron my luxuriously thick hair to duplicate it. Lately, I have been leaning toward keeping it long like Matt Bomer’s hair on “White Collar.” But maybe I just want Matt Bomer or Nick Hoult and not so much their hair.

But as my hair grows out, I resemble more and more a mad scientist when I struggle out of bed in the afternoon. It is not pretty or as my roommate suggested the other day: “Whatever it is you are doing with your hair, it isn’t working.” And today, it really, really wasn’t working. I briefly tried to split it down the middle and deliver a straight up early 80s feathered center part that would have looked very comfortable on a ride along with Larry Wilcox on CHiPs. When that collapsed in disaster, I doused it and the idea of it with cold water and pulled the bangs up and away from my face in what I hoped would be a romantic wave and ended up being more sea foam than a surfer’s dream curl.

As much as I would have liked to have used my hair as an excuse not to go out to Brooklyn, today is Ben Harvey's birthday. And so, like the good friend I pretend to be, I trotted down to Dumbo intent on only staying for thirty minutes. “I will drop my coat at coat check, buy Ben Harvey a drink (didn’t happen), and then pick up my coat and go.” I tell myself the sweetest lies. Not only did I not buy Ben a drink on his birthday, I stayed much longer than thirty minutes. And I didn’t even get to say hello to Dave Rubin. But I did get to spend plenty of quality time with Matty, who dragged me away to sign a birthday card. As a writer, nothing fills me with more panic than trying to be witty in a birthday card. Signing my book to people is just as creatively paralyzing. “The best of the best,” I scribbled incomprehensibly, in every sense, and then signed just my first name.

“You have to put your last name,” Matty was adamant. “No one can tell what you wrote. You can’t even see the D in your name.”

I traced in the D as best I could and wrote my last name in my best doctor’s handwriting and Matty ran off, leaving me standing next to Chris and Cub. Chris and Cub, you may have noticed are never really separated in my blog because they are never really separated in real life. They are the only couple I know who always stand together at parties. I am pleased that I know them now well enough to know their unspoken signals. While I was rambling on about something that Cub was very excited about, Chris gently ran his hand up the small of Cub’s back. I knew what that meant. “Figure skating. Get your coat.” He might have actually run his finger in a figure eight for all I know, but Cub was blocking my view.

But before they left, Cub ran to the bathroom and Chris passed me off like a tray of appetizers to Adam, originally from DC who was nearby. Adam had been talking to Ben when we walked over and since Ben was saying good bye to Chris I made what I thought was cute small talk with Adam about us being in an alphabetical circle. “Adam, Ben, Chris, Derek,” I said pointing around. “Now all we need is an Eric and a Fred. Although knowing the gays we will just get two more guys named Chris” Well, I thought it was cute. But Adam responded “Or Cub.” I guess he missed my joke. Or maybe, as my ex-boyfriend Curtis pointed out, “Sometimes when Derek is talking, he has no idea who he is talking to.”

Adam looks like an actor whose name escapes me at the moment. At first, I thought I knew him. I wonder who he chose for doppelganger week on Facebook. Maybe that will help me figure it out. I suppose it is possible that we have met before. We do all run in the same concentric circles. And after a while, all gay men look alike. The factory just keeps churning them out. Only the hair and the clothes change.

Even though Matty told me tonight that I look younger and thinner than ever, we all suffer the fate of the law of diminishing returns. Seeing the same gay guys over and over again can give you a repetitive stress disorder. Trying to figure out what to do with my hair has been a forty year journey, I could just as soon do without. And speaking of forty, Andrew, who it should be noted is 22 years old, told me tonight that he doesn’t worry at all about turning forty. “I don’t fear death, why should I fear forty?”

I gently put my hand on his young, firm shoulder and gazed into his eyes through those patented Nick Hoult dreamy shag bangs of his and said, “The difference between forty and death is simple. Death is like losing your keys somewhere in your house. You know they are there somewhere and you’ll find them when you least expect it. Forty is losing your keys in the toilet. You know exactly where they are and how much it’s going to suck retrieving them.”

Adam left without saying good bye. Even though when he told me he used to teach at Georgetown, I said, “I’ve heard of that school. It comes up a lot on Jeopardy. Mostly on college week.” And my personal best, “I’ve been to every continent except South America.” To which he replied, as I hoped he would, “What about Antarctica?” I smiled, “I was there for the white party three years ago. Everyone in white parkas. It was amazing.” It made me happy that he knew Antarctica was a continent, but more importantly, I think the white party joke would have been awkward if he had said Africa, don’t you? Of course I still would have told it. But maybe it was all awkward and only in my head was I both hilarious and charming with beautiful luxurious hair.

“Go after him!” Matty demanded but I stayed put. New York City is about faith, after all. Even though Adam misheard my name as “Pierre” when I met him, if he wants to find me again, he will. Just like my hair. I will figure out a style for it one of these days. And in the meantime, it will just keep growing anyway. I don’t have to do a thing. After I left the party, I hurried down to the subway platform, just to watch the F train depart for Manhattan without me. I was worried about the time because I didn’t leave myself much of a margin of error to get to Grand Central Station for the final leg of my journey home. But I thought about the tourist and the New Yorker on the platform and I realized the train would come when it comes. And just like that, there was a New York miracle. A second F train right behind the first. All you need is a little faith in this town and everything works out the way it should.