Friday, April 07, 2006

Mr. Johnston

Friday, 12pm, Amtrak southbound NYC-DC...

Just outside of Baltimore, a man seated at the rear of my car begins talking loudly on his cell phone.

"Yeah, Dan? Yeah, hi. It's Jack Johnston from mergers in the New York office. Can you hear me, HELLO?"

Purely by chance, I'm seated in the "Quiet Car" where cellphone usage is banned. I notice a few passengers turn around to give Mr. Johnston a "look". I don't turn around myself, but I think that if I were Mr. Johnston, I'd have gotten the message. Nevertheless, he continues, loudly.

"Yeah, OK. No, I hear you. Dan, I'm about 30 minutes outside DC and I'm hoping to get a moment of your time today to run a proposal by you. Hello? You still there? HELLO?"

More passengers turn to give Mr. Johnston a look. He proceeds at full volume, unchecked.

"Yeah. Yeah. Ok. Yeah. No, that's great. Glad to do it. I'll see you there. That's the place on M Street? Fantastic. Thanks so much, Dan. I really appreciate it. Bye." (pause...) "I love you too."

The entire car makes a slow, slow, turn to look back at Mr. Johnston, myself included.

He's sitting with his phone closed, smirking at all of us.

Winner, round one: Jack Johnston.

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Friday Mailbag, April 7th 2006

Three letters to kick this feature off: one sexy, one sweet, one sorrowful.

Hey Joe,

Just a quick note to tell you a thing that may make you giggle. My fuckbuddy and I picked up a guy online Saturday night and he was already on the way over when I realized I recognized his Manhunt pic from seeing it on your blog on your Frappr map. Not that I waste tons of time cruising Frappr maps or anything. Anyway, after we played for about an hour I said "I bet you read Joemygod" and he did the funniest doubletake. LOL. We decided you're probably a prick in real life but usually a good read.

(name withheld)

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Joe,

I gotta love anyone who feels the same way about Souvenirs as I do. It’s been my signature record my entire career and never fails to get me where I live. It’s also heartening to read that you truly understand what an emotional experience the dancefloor can be to anyone that can actually open up, listen and feel what is going on. Those moments when the room is unified… I call it the “universal mood”. I just wanted to let you know how good it made me feel to read what you wrote.

Best Regards, DJ Michael Fierman


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Morning Joe,

[T]oday I read your posts about Sullivan, and right wing conservatism and then found your story about very gay Terrence and I wondered about what coming out meant to you. In the midst of listening to the now ubiquitous Mr. Blunt singing "Goodbye my lover" backedited to cutscenes from Brokeback, I had a good cry and wondered what being gay meant to me and why I find it so hard.... which is actually easy to explain but rather more difficult to understand. My desperate question if you would allow someone you don't know at all to even pose it, was it never a stuggle for you? Did being gay sit so well with how you felt and what you wanted that you never wondered if maybe there was another way round? That sounds deeply closeted and I was, now sort of, but still unsure. Not that I'm gay. But that I'm screwed because of it. Anyway enough rambling, I'm sure you're flooded with enough rabid, anonymous emails to drive you crazy but thank you for your blog and for maybe listening.

Andrew

Andrew, thanks very much for your letter. I think I was luckier than most in that I never really anguished about my gayness per se, mostly I was tortured by how to put it into action. I wish I knew what to tell you to make things easier, other than telling you something like cliched like, "Those who mind, don't matter. Those who matter, don't mind." Maybe my readers can. By coincidence, next week happens to be a rather notable anniversary for me in that regard and I'll post something on that topic then, but I doubt that my teenage remembrances will do you much good today. Maybe it'll help us help you to hear some of the details of your situation.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

What I Look At When I Blog

I try not to steal ideas from other bloggers, but seeing as how we're friends in real life and stuff, hopefully he won't be pissed. Slightly less grand view, eh? If this turns into one of those "my left foot" memes, I'll be very embarassed.

UPDATE: Here we go, meme-wise: Boys Briefs, Daily Blague, Big Gay Sam, RED. More of these to come, doubtlessly.

Libby Fingers Bush

Dick Cheney's former top staffer, I. Lewis Libby, has just revealed that Cheney told him that Bush himself had authorized the leaks of critical military intelligence about Iraq, well known to the blogosphere as "the Valerie Plane affair".

While not illegal....

"Mr. Bush's alleged instruction to release the conclusions of the intelligence estimate appears to have been squarely within his authority and Mr. Fitzgerald makes no argument that it was illegal. While Mr. Libby said he gave that information "exclusively" to the Times reporter at their breakfast meeting at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, many of the findings of the estimate were formally declassified and discussed at a White House press briefing ten days later, on July 18, 2003."

The Dems will make several billion tons of hay from this....hopefully.....

"The fact that the president was willing to reveal classified information for political gain and put interests of his political party ahead of Americas security shows that he can no longer be trusted to keep America safe. - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said."

(via CNN & NY Sun)

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan: "Bush Nailed".

Current mood: Snickering in delight. <--Totally not mocking LJ'ers with this. Much.

Lost In Frappistan

Kids, I have no idea what the deal is with my Frappr map. Everytime I look at the thing, they've changed the user interface and there are more and more (often confusing) features. As of today, 559 of you beautiful people have joined my map. I've added a slideshow of your photos (located right under the map, so NO, that guy with the glasses and beard is not me), but only the 50 or so most recently added photos seem to appear here on JMG. For reasons unknown, some of the earliest added photos have vanished from the actual map, including my own. Also, it seems that the Frappr map is slowing the load-time for this blog, opinions?

A few months ago I've mentioned the Interstate-10 corridor romance that has arisen between two of my Frappr'd readers. I also blabbed about an apparently one-time hook-up that occured with two JMG'ers at Esquelita. And now this morning, I get an email about a three-way that took place over the weekend in which one of the guys recognized one of the other guys from his pic on my Frappr map. Hilarious? Kinda creepy? I can't decide. I've also heard that some of you are emailing each other within my Frappr. I'm a mini-Manhunt!

Roses Are Red, Cheaters Redder

While I get ready for work in the morning, I usually listen to one of the disco oldies stations. One of them has a somewhat humorous running gag in which a listener, suspicious that their spouse may be cheating, has the radio station call their spouse at work, and tell them that they've won a dozen roses (from an actual website called RedRoses.com, the commercial tie in).

With the audience listening, the DJs listening, and the spouse listening on the other line, the suspected cheater is asked who he'd like his free roses to go to, and what the message on the card should read. As you'd might guess, once the cheated-upon spouse hears the name and message, all hell breaks loose. The DJs just sit back and let the mud and the blood fly, albeit with a LOT of bleeping out of curse words.

Well, today the suspicious spouse was a gay guy.

(Dialogue approximated)

Caller: Hi, my name is Dan and my partner's name is Brett. He's always been very flirty with other guys and he says a little flirting keeps a relationship strong and that I'm always paranoid, but lately I've been real suspicious of where he is all the time. I really think he's seeing someone else.

DJ: OK, well let's call Brett and we'll see if your suspicions are correct.

(phone ringing)

Brett: Hello?

DJ: Hi Brett! This is Sammy from RedRoses.com and you've just won a dozen roses....(blah blah blah)

Brett: OK, great! The roses should go to Rodrigo (last name bleeped).

(Dan is silent on the other line.)

Brett: And the message is (I turn off the shower here).....the message is "I wish I knew how to quit you".

(I collapse into helpless giggling.)

Dan: Why you (bleeping) Brokeback bitch! You bitch! You Brokeback bitch!

Brett: Dan? Danny? Is that you? What the (bleep) is going on?

(The DJs and the greater NYC metropolitan area collapse into helpless giggling.)

Brett launched into some clumsy denials, but I had to turn it off. WKTU-FM podcasts their War Of The Roses schtick, here. If they ever post today's Brokeback Bitch, I'll let you know, it's a classic.

Brokeback Mountain is proving to be a cultural reference point with some serious legs, isn't it?

Make it STOP. Please.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hey Grampaw, Whut's Fer Supper?

Things I can no longer do without my glasses:

- operate my iPod
- shave/trim my beard
- unlock my apartment door
- use an ATM
- pay for drinks
- work my remote controls
- make a call on my cellphone
- glue on my hairpiece
- purchase a Metrocard
- zip up my coat

I guess I should swallow my pride and stop calling them my reading glasses.

My Favorite Texans

My two favorite Texans have a lot in common. They are both handsome 30-ish men, they are both academians, they both toil in the Texan university system, they are both very, very smart, and they are both on my blogroll.

Please drop on in my favorite queer theorist, the GayProf, at Center Of Gravitas, where he riffs on the generational divides that often blockade unity among gay folks, in a brilliant article titled Mind The Gap. If the GayProf is already viewed as an anachronism of gay activism by his students at his age of 31, they would probably think that I was from another dimension.

Less social scientist, more hard-data empiricist, is my real-life drinking pal Dagon, who authors At The Mountains Of Madness, and is currently on a Manhattan hiatus, loaning his talents temporarily (we all hope) to the University Of Texas. Go read Dagon's funny and frightening take on disease, overpopulation, and Andrew Sullivan in a post titled I Believe That Corpses Are The Future.

Mosey on over to Texas, but y'all come back now, ya hear?

April....Showers?

It is snowing like a mofo right now. Seriously, I can hardly see out my office window.

The weather has gone nuts, people. Just nuts.

Email from Aaron: "AWESOME! I luv cataclysmic climate change!"

From up here in my office on 42nd Street, I can see thousands of office windows. It's more than a little bit eerie to look at them now, to see most of those windows darkened by humans standing in wonder. I wonder how many of them are thinking about this.

UPDATE: Five hours later: sun shining, sky clear and brilliant blue, temperature is 55. Go back to what you were doing, people. We've not no crisis here. Nope.

Log Cabin Republicans Continue Working From The Inside

The interweb has been buzz, buzz, buzzin' for the last few days as rumors swirl that new White House Chief Of Staff Josh Bolten is a big ole closeted gay homosexual. On Friday, Mike Rogers over at blogACTIVE posted this photo of Bolten, on a "date" with notorious Republican beard/photo op prop Bo Derek, who also used to "date" that right-wing gay homophobic Uncle Mary, Congressman David Drier (R-CA).

The evidence seems thin at this point, but you might be amused by a blogACTIVE commenter who said: "Being 45 and unmarried in itself is not evidence of being gay. Being Bo Derek's date in itself is not evidence of being gay. Being into motorcycles bigtime in itself is not evidence of being gay. Being 45, unmarried, dating Bo Derek and being into motorcycles... bingo! We have a winner. It is not necessary to break into Josh's pad and find the cast album of Gypsy. He is gay."

UPDATE: Bloggers buzzing: Meanwhile.

Monday, April 03, 2006

California Speakin' On Such A Bitchin' Day

Despite that I am a former Californian, I loathe the California dialect of American English. I hate surfer/skateboarder talk, I hate Valley Girl talk, I hate the way the actors on The OC talk. It has taken me years and years to get to the point where I can say the word "dude" without raising my fingers to put ironic quotations around it.

I am particularly riled by the spreading usage of upspeaking, what linguists call the High Rising Terminal. Upspeaking used to be pretty much limited to California, but in the last decade it has spread like an ugly verbal rash across America. Upspeakers are typically teenage girls, young women and most aggravatingly, gay men. Upspeakers give every statement a rising intonation, as if every sentence were a question, thereby causing the other person to feel obliged to respond to these motherfucking non-questions, as assurance that they are indeed paying attention. My own mother calls this phenomenon "forced listening".

Queer: So I went to the maaaallll? <-- Upspeaking.

Me: Uh huh.

Queer: Because I wanted to buy a sweaaaaater?

Me: Uh huh.

Queer: And I ran into my ex, Daviiiid?

Me: That must have been awkward.

Queer: Riiiiight?

That's where I'd want to smack that queer. The current craze of using the High Rising Terminal version of the word "right" is the single most annoying speech device in American English. I'd endure all the hip-hop slang in the world, all the "dawgs", all the "ho's", all the "know whut I'm sayin's", if we could just blot out the scourge that "riiiiiigght?" has become.

UPDATE: My blogger chum Curly McDimple, she of Ham & Cheese On Wry, has just hipped me to a very recent New York Observer article on this very topic, here. Thanks, Curly!
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Chelsea Gay Bars Raided And Closed

I ran into a bartender friend last night who reported that several Chelsea gay bars, including Splash, View Bar, and Avalon, were still closed yesterday after being raided by police on Friday night. Apparently the charges include underage drinking and drugs, although what "drugs" means, I don't know yet. Usage by patrons? Trafficing by employees? If anybody can find a news story on this situation, please send it to me and I'll post it here.

UPDATE: Splash's website is reporting "Yes, we are open!"

UPDATE II: Aaron found this story on Newsday's site. Looks like other places closed include Spirit and Club Deep. Club Speed and the Steel Gym were issued restraining orders against illegal activity. "Police said they closed the nightspots after a nine-month undercover probe that found numerous illegal drug sales, drug use, and alcohol sales to minors. Marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin were purchased on numerous occasions by undercover officers in the clubs, police said."

UPDATE III: Over on his blog, Aaron says: "I also have weird feelings about the NYPD continually "cracking down" on gay bars for serving liquor to minors, while allowing minors to be served at a million straight bars in the city. It just seems like the city government thinks that gay people need extra babysitting or we'll hurt ourselves. Do we?" Join the conversation, here.
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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Weekend Reading Assignments

Ah, where would I be without my beloved Farmboyz? These days I'm completely caught up in "The Shay", Farmboy T's burgeoning epic over at Perge Modo. Some of you have expressed enjoyment with my own serialized stories in the past, so I urge you to begin at Part 1, of The Shay.

Second up, I recommend y'all skip gaily over to El Toro Rojo's Johnny Is A Man for an episode of Brokeback Mountain Comix. Keyword: puffmeat.
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