Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Everyone's favorite redheaded fairy

Oh, and in other news, instead of using the holiday weekend to cavort with the shirtless boys, I stayed in and watched Tori Amos videos. No, I'm not suddenly a lesbian or reverting to my sophomore high school days. I needed to review the two-disc set, Fade to Red, for a web mag and figured it was a little more interesting than overdrinking and ending up broke and bemused. So, if you were needing a Tori fix lately, now you know where to get it. And if you're really nice, maybe I'll even mail you my copy...

wacky stuff

Last night I sat by David Bowie. I was attending "La Pasion segun San Marcos" by Golijov and conducted by Spano for Lincoln Center's tribute to the composer. I turned around and was like, "I don't think that's David Bowie, but it looks just like him."

P was all like, "You're sure it's not him?"

Then, by the end of the concert (which was weird, eclectic and wild -- not normal things you say about "classical" music--even "contemporary classical"), when we were all standing up for the ovation, I turned and it was true. That WAS David Bowie. He didn't look skinny enough. A little too young. Something was a bit off so, if it wasnt' the real Bowie, it sure as hell looked like him. He was attending with a middle-aged Asian man. They seemed to really be enjoying themselves.

Well, that was the end to an interesting evening. Yesterday was my first day at the Press and it included lots of wacky stuff: my boss' two pit bull puppies jumping all over me, an old Eastern European who kept shuffling through the office and eventually sketched a portrait of the editor, a writer on staff who's nearly blind and sits in front of his computer with a huge magnifying glass.

Today has been a busy, stress-filled day as we attempt to put the paper to bed. And in the middle of it all one of my writers came in to meet me -- she happens to be the daughter of Gay Talese. What she's doing writing for us (albeit under a pseudonym), I don't yet know. But I hope to attend the Whitney Biennial opening with her next week.

And tomorrow, we finally get down to business to try and whip this paper into shape.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

ties to remember

"Who taught you how to tie a tie?" Patricio asked the other morning as I stood in front of our bedroom mirror tying the last necktie I hopefully will be wearing for some time.

"Huh. It was Shane I guess. Not my dad."

It's true. The only time I've ever seen my dad wear a tie were the navy clip-ons which were regulation attire for his dress blues.

Shane, my second boyfriend (a teacher and 10 years older) who I began dating while in high school, is not only the person who introduced me to ties but also should be thanked for my early penchant for vests (he had a huge collection and received a new, homemade one tailored by his mother every Christmas), a collection of awful plaid blazers from J. Riggins (remember THAT store?) and for the gift of my first pair of saddle Oxfords.

"It was difficult for birthdays and holidays cuz all the other kids, or at least the cliche is, they bought their dads ties and golf stuff," I continued. "I never understood that -- he didn't wear ties or golf."

"So, you were dealing with the class differences back then too," Patricio said.

"Yeah, I guess you're right. Who taught you how to tie a tie?"

"I can only remember my grandfather. In fact, all the 'father' things seem to have come from my grandfather, not my dad."

"Hmm. And mine are from my boyfriends. That's strange."

In fact, I did enjoy wearing ties at first because it did seem to set me apart from my background and my family. But now the white man's noose seems like such a nuisance and relic. "Why can't men have interesting choices to dress up?'" I often complain. You see women in skirts and pants, blouses and sweaters, short sleeves and no sleeves. But men are given a button-up and a tie. At least in the corporate world.

But I am leaving my short stint in the corporate world. Friday was officially my last day doing the admin job and, as I said earlier, my last day wearing a tie to work. Tomorrow I start as the interim arts & entertainment editor at the New York Press. We'll see what it entails but it seems like the start of another adventure, and one in an area where I can hopefully latch on and learn a thing or two.

Plus, one thing I definitely appreciate about working at newspapers, newsweeklies in particular -- no dress code.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

the best temp week and an easter special

All the managers are out for the week. That means that I sit here in the office and answer a couple of calls, do "catch-up" work and, well, surf the net.

Here's a quick important message to tide you over while I devise another, more developed post. From "Harper's Weekly" email dispatch:

"The BBC is planning an Easter tribute in which Jesus Christ will sing 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' by Joy Division before joining Judas in a duet of 'Blue Monday' by New Order. Later, as Roman soldiers flay him, Jesus will sing 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now' by The Smiths."

Now, who's gonna get a copy of this for me? I gotta watch!

Friday, February 10, 2006

the oxy-mormon

TrayB has been bringing me all around town. Thanks to him last night I was at a fashion week after party and gorged myself on bacon-wrapped scallops, crab cakes and other fingerly foods that the skinny girls refused. Before that we were at a book launch in a beautiful Tribeca apartment (where I gorged myself on free sushi, goldfish crackers and purloined a book used for display on my way out. "How tacky," Trayb said. "How free," I replied.)

But it all started on Sunday when he brought me to see Confessions of a Mormon Boy in Soho. Some good things, some bad. If you want to know what I think, I turned it into a review for a new online mag for which I'm now writing.

Thanks Mr. B.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

messy confess. (part 3, final installment)

"Isn't that Moby?" I asked meatcute.
And yes, yes it was. He was sitting at a table next to where the two of us were standing in the Slipper Room. We were there to hear oh-so-clever authors read at the Opium magazine anniversary party. Moby ostensibly was as well. I had to keep doing double-takes since he looked just like any other bald, be-spectacled hipster in the LES. Except he continually checked his BlackBerry and didn't seem to enjoy the witty, the precious, the earnest authors. Well, we were together there. I had to leave the bar twice I felt choked by it all. I did love the space. Beautiful proscenium.

It was Saturday night, and I had survived the two previous days of work despite the fact that I somehow contracted a virus that tried its hardest to wear me down. Let's blame it on the lack of sleep, too much drinking, doing god knows what with strangers. Whatever it was, I was feverish, shaking, in short, I was falling apart. I went to sleep, shaking and sweating, my mind racing a mile a minute. Dreams I remember:

My sister and a man were naked on a bench. My father and me stood behind them, watching as they sat in melted ice cream, the boy trying to stick his finger in my sister's butt crack. My dad noticed this and raged at the boy, picking him up and throwing him across the room, kicking and yelling. He had transformed into this large, muscular beast and I pounced to try and keep him from killing the boy (who was not my brother-in-law -- who I'd let him destroy -- but rather some nice, attractive guy). I was hanging off a bicep, yelling something like, "The more you try to control her, save her, the more you hurt her. Stop!" Then he took out a large pistol which had a barrel like a shotgun. He had to "break" the gun to load bullets. I put my mouth over the gun, stuffing my tongue in the empty barrel, tasting its dry, metallic death. Then I woke up.

Why do fevers cause dreams to be so much less subtle and more Freudian.

At least by Saturday morning I was feeling like I would live so, after a day of architecture lecture at Columbia I met up with Glennalicious and his ol' Lubbock pals. They were looking for fun, and I felt like P needed to get out and be gay again after a week of constant reading, writing, studying. So, after meatcute and I cut out on the lit crowd, I headed over to the Village to meet P. After a miss at The Other Room (no longer quiet or romantic but rather filled with desperate young things looking to score) we ended up at Barrage.

I like this Hell's Kitchen establishment: nice, friendly, never too crowded. We were accosted by a guy named Jeff who ended up introducing the disparate groups and got them all talking. "I'm your leader," he commanded, and he seemed to be right since he got several people making out or otherwise involved. Me? I wasn't drinking. I sat there watching as the others slowly got sillier and I got more tired. When Glen left with Ty and Anthony, I couldn't find P. I looked, I called, I figured he was otherwise occupied.

Finally, he re-appeared with a guy named Conrad soon to follow.

"I know where your were," I said coyly.
"Yeah, I felt the phone vibrate," he said and smiled. "But I was vibrating in other ways."
"I see. Well, good, you needed a little slutty bathroom action."
"Yeah, he followed me in and there are these mirrors so you can see the guy's dick next to you and..."
I went to check out for myself and found another guy standing at the urinal slowly stroking his stuff. Unfortunately he couldn't quite get hard although he wore a tight cock ring and was lubed up. Oh well, it's the thought that counts.

I left him there and returned to P. He was satisfied. He'd at least gotten a little attention and didn't feel like I was the crazy one galavanting around the city getting into trouble. That's all we needed: a little ego boosting and reassurance that we were still alive and kicking. Now it was time to go home and cuddle up in bed.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

messy confessional (part. 2)

I awoke at 7 a.m. with a headache, bloodshot eyes and lots of misgivings about the night before, but I couldn't let that stop me: I had a new job to get to in a couple of hours. So I put on my nice pants, a pressed shirt and tie and got myself out the door. I was sweaty and looked rough, but I had to work dammit!

So, it's at a mid-sized pharmaceutical company, the same one where I had my first temp job, but this time I was being trained to replace someone's administrative assistant. (I don't dare name said pharm-farm, maybe I need the job longer and don't want to blow it? Let's just say a dash of anti-depress mixed with memory for the aging).

Now, I've said I wanted a job like this: easy, straightforward and with nothing to do with my writing life. But for some reason I began to freak: it was so shiny and corporate, the people were so nice and shallow, I had to wear a tie again.

It was nearing the end of restaurant week so when the other admins asked me if I wanted to dine with them I agreed, although it meant blowing my week's lunch allowance in one sitting. Joe, the only other male admin (and it so happens queer as all get out. He's from Domique which also gives him an intriguing accent) chose Le Colonial -- a swanky French/Vietnam restaurant with a three course menu, fine china and attentive waiters. While I probably would have been better off with Mickey D fries than shrimp wraps, it was a great meal ($24 plus tax) and I got through without anyone thinking me too daft.

But as the day waned, so did I. I waited for the bus to take me xtown and began to freak: what was I doing? was I meant to be an admin? What if I ended up working this job fulltime? What did that mean about me? It didn't help that during the course of the day I received no less than five calls from other prospective suitors, wooing me about potential fulltime gigs. Why when it rains, does it so confoundingly pour?

By the time I reached our apt. I just wanted to collapse on P, wail about my confusion and ask him to never make me go back to that slick world of corporate infallibility. It wasn't so easy.

"You don't take us seriously. What were you doing last night? What were you thinking?"
Yeah, I finally got P mad at me. And I deserved it.

So I prostrated myself to him, begged forgiveness and explained my plight and how I needed to discuss my crisis of career as well as my crazy night. He relented. We understand each other too well and felt like it was a way of me acting out before having to go back to the soul numbing office environment. Perhaps, but I just needed to pour out my conflict of conscience. And, good as always, P was there to listen and help.

But not for too long because I had to leave in a couple of hours to make it to the bookclub. And I couldn't miss it because I had chosen the book (The Long Night of White Chickens and the author (Francisco Goldman) was invited to be there to answer questions.

So, after being forgiven, and getting my shit straightened out, I left to a strange apartment and met up with Robin (her first time at the club) on the Upper West Side. Hany's apartment is incredible: A corner unit in a former residence hotel at 73rd and Broadway, it has a domed living room with a staircase that wraps up to the outdoor terrace with a view of Midtown and beyond. He'd agreed to host the event and it was a wonderful evening.

When Goldman showed up we got down to business and began asking questions. I enjoyed listening to him discuss the book he'd written decades ago and was moved by his inspiration words that "fiction is an art form that celebrates life" and why it was vital to have people creating. I bumbled and was inarticulate but it all turned out right in the end.

I made it home but the evening wasn't over. I needed to finish up my story for HX on sex workers and a new course to help them manage their money, build their own website and even figure out how to date while selling their stuff. Yeah, Trayb thought it's be a perfect story for me to want to cover. So sorry to disappoint but the night ended late, but a little bit sober, a lot tired and me too exhausted to worry much about what the next day may bring.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

messy confessional (a little late) (and in three parts)

This has probably been the toughest (and longest) week I've had since living in this city. It started out reasonably enough: some freelance work, some laundry and plans to meet up with some guys for happy hour on Tuesday.

Oh that Tuesday. MV told me a lot of the NY gay bloggerati would be around so I decided to join meatcute at the Townhouse (yes, THAT townhouse once again) to meet the meta-bunch. Ended up, Glennalicious was there, as well as Famous Author Rob Byrnes and others, but I don't have their links (yet). The plan was one drink and then back home to work on freelance stories. Then P bought a second round of drinks. Then this guy named Robert bought some drinks. Some shots were bought (I think) and I remember a fourth vodka gimlet in my hand before things got sketchy.

The story is either
a) these two men, both middle aged, well dressed and from out of town, flirted, convinced me to leave with them and I did.
b) I got it in my head that it would be a swell idea to introduce myself to two complete strangers who were eyeing me from across the room and tell them to take me home (this is meatcute's take on the night but I have my reservations for not supporting it).
c) a strange little alien crawled into my mouth during the night and was secretly operating my body as if it were me, but really I was some vessel for its ultimate plan to see how much a human could handle before he became inoperable.

In any case, I did end up in a car that took me to a run-down hotel room where my pants did come down and I was somehow worshipped for being moderately young, moderately hairless and fairly pliable. I don't think anything too sinister happened.

I hope.

I then ended up in a car that was driving me to a train station so I could get home. I was being obnoxious and not smart enough to ask the man driving me (who reminded me a little too much of my friend Crow) to actually drive me home which of course would have been a considerate and normal thing to do and favor for which to ask.

So I ended up on the 1 train around 50th street. Until I nearly got sick on me and the other passengers of the train. I rushed out and vomitted on the platform. The train left. I waited for the next one and quickly fell asleep.

I came too soon after and left the train when the doors opened. I walked out of the station, towards elevators. Until I suddenly remembered, My stop doesn't have elevators. I wasn't at home. Where was I? I wobbled, saw that it was 191st street. 75 blocks north or where I live. In fact it was my friend Ben's stop. Perhaps some unconscious part of me thought about all this and got me off before heading off to the Bronx. So I got on the next train downtown, didn't fall asleep and made it home.

This all happened before midnight. The next morning I needed to be up for a new temp job. Patricio was already in bed. He was not happy.

TO BE CONTINUED...