Monday, October 31, 2011


Just a special glimpse into my upbringing for all of you.  My father is very much a fan of musicals, thus I was (and am) quite a big fan as well.  One of my most beloved possessions as a child was a compilation CD of Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals--probably explaining why, as a young child, I had a fairly insurmountable crush on the original Phantom of the Opera, Michael Crawford, even though he was never featured in a Tiger Beat Magazine alongside Kirk Cameron.  Anywho, because of this Andrew Lloyd Weber CD, one of my defining thoughts about Baltimore comes from a song called, "Take that Look Off Your Face," from the musical, "Tell Me On A Sunday."  Which is about a woman whose husband is tragically cheating on her.  In the song, a nosy frenemy tells the main character she saw her husband with another woman.  The main character than sings;

"You must be mistaken,
It couldn't have been
You couldn't have seen him yesterday.
He's doing some deal down in Baltimore now,
I hate it when he's away"

So, for this reason, I associate Baltimore with being an alibi for a cheating man.   So, of course, secretly being a fabulous gay man trapped in a straight woman's body, I was very excited to actually go to Baltimore because of this dramatic association.  

Also, returning back to me being a normal human, I was excited because I've never been, heard very exciting things about the harbor, and I love me some crabcakes. 

Well, let me just say this, Baltimore is awesome.  I had one of the best weekends I've had in a while, which was in no way dampened (pun intended--I am a comedian, much in the tradition of Tina Fey)  by the continual spitting/sleet rain or because I had to fly there and I hate flying/

I don't hate flying for the reason normal humans do--I am not scared of it.   I like to sit on a plane and look out the window and revel in how high I am.  What I do not like, is being surrounded by stupid people who smell.  That's why I avoid Applebee's restaurants and amusement parks.   When you fly, however, these people are unavoidable.  By the time I arrived in Baltimore Friday night I had had my fill of people staring blankly at user-friendly signs and asking, "Where is gate C14?" aloud like it was the riddle of the Sphinx instead of a clearly marked destination six feet to the right.  I also, having endured six other people laden, nicotine deficient hours, was ready to shake a human baby until the noise stopped.   Needless to say, when Curt cheerily called and told me he was there to pick me up my response was a full rotation of my head and to snarl that I couldn't discuss logistics with him at until I was able to find some place to basically eat the butt of my cigarette.  

Despite that rough start, Curt took me to dinner Friday night and supplied me with a crab cake the size of my head and a decent amount of gin, so I was happy.  Then on Saturday we actually did impressive Baltimore sight-seeing.

We took the light-rail into the harbour area and went to the National Aquarium, which features huge sharks, an impressive array of turtles, and best of all, frolicking happy little dolphins.   I was like a kid in a candy store, especially in that I pushed the other (children) viewers out of my way frequently and made fish faces at the fish, who I can only assume appreciated my effort to relate to them on their own level.  The aquarium has glass walls and is several stories high, so the view of the harbor from the top is impressive.  

View from the Top!

Ignore the fact that I look like a very simple-minded hunchback.  That's just the camera...

The best part of Baltimore, however, was not the aquarium or the breath-taking view of the harbor.  It was delicious baby cow.   Milk fed baby cow.   Milk fed veal from an a-maz-ing restaurant in little Italy were I was called, "Senorita" or whatever miss is in Italian, and served more San Pellegrino almost instantly after I ran out.   Little Italy in Baltimore is everything you would hope it to be, if all you hope for is lounge-y places and good food, which is basically what I want from a Little Italy.  By the end of the meal, I was feeling so "rich" I almost tried to buy the crown jewels like in that commercial, and by that I mean I did no such thing.

Baltimore, however, is awesome, so if you are a cheating man in need of an alibi, or just traveling, I recommend it highly. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lipstick Lesbian

So as you may know from my previous blog, The Women, I am warming up slowly to the idea of female friendship.   And while I love my work friends and friends from college, I am realizing I probably should be actively seeking female friendships outside of work.  So last night, when I started chatting outside the bar with a woman about my age, smoking a cigarette, I thought I was doing just that.  She seemed really funny and down to earth.  She asked for my phone number and said we should hang out sometime.   I congratulated myself for making a new friend.  She even had a gay guy with her.  I love the gays!    Maybe I would get two new friendships out of this transaction.  Win Win!

Unfortunately, when she texted me later in the evening I realized it was not at all as I had originally thought.    It was, instead, more like another previous blog, I am a weird-people magnet.   The texts she sent me were extremely salacious in nature.  And she informed me, "I am as bi as the day is long," and then went on to say she'd like me to "put on a show" with her while her bi (not gay incidentally) guy friend watched.   Shit.   I felt a combination of disgust at being treated like a piece of meat and deep, deep flattery because she also said I was "fucking gorgeous".  Is that wrong?

To be fair, there were some clues as to the direction this was going.   I just was too stupid to notice them.  For instance, usually female friends don't say things like, "You're so fucking beautiful, we should definitely hang out."  Now had a guy said that to me, I give myself enough credit to know that he was hitting on me.  But from a woman?   I just thought she was being nice...I also might have insinuated something I didn't mean when I replied, "Sure, I'd love to meet some more girlfriends in Dayton!"   Oops.

To my credit, she was wearing high heels instead of Birkenstocks, which really are the only surefire, tell-tale sign of a lesbian encounter.   But, I must ask, how the happy hell does this happen to me?    What vibes am I putting out into the Universe?    I guess it's nice to know I have a backup plan if this "man" thing doesn't work.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Exorcism of Annie Elizabeth

Okay,  I understand that it is the scariest movie of all time.  I understand that it shocked audiences so deeply that they ran screaming out of theatres when it first came out in the 1970s.  I understand that projectile vomit is groudy.   But here's what I don't understand--why is "The Exorcist" so damn funny?  

There must be something wrong with me.  When I went to the Greene for the nine o'clock showing of "The Exorcist" last night--I was actually really nervous to see it.  My whole life I have been avoiding clips of the movie that play in "Bravo's 100 Scariest Movies" and frantically flipping channels when it plays on AMC.   My mom shudders at the mere mention of the film.  She's never seen it, but she speaks about it with a certain reverence, like when people say "He Who Must Not Be Named" in Harry Potter.   "The Exorcist" is the Film Which Must Not Be Seen.  So I was expecting to be afraid, nay, terrified.   I was expecting to be afraid of walking to my car,  have to start sleeping with a cross around my neck, and avoid pea soup for the next seven years.   So imagine my surprise when, compared to the other exorcism films I've seen, this was relatively tame, almost a caricature of itself.

Unfortunately, this sometimes happens with classic film.   An aspect which at the time of the film's release broke barriers and shocked audiences, becomes emulated so frequently as to become a cliche.  This happened to my sister with "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."  "What's the big deal?  It's like every other action/comedy I've ever seen," she whined.  "I think 'The Mummy' is better."   Ok, so we won't get into why she's an wrong--but I see were she's coming from.   More correctly, ever other action/comedy is like "Indiana Jones" which is why the material seems--just like a feminine hygiene ad would say--not so fresh.

So how do I know I'm a depraved individual?   When poor, little, Regan's head spun all the way around I started laughing.  This was an inappropriate reaction.  I should have been discussed or shocked, but I just thought it was hilarious.  I guffawed at Regan walking backwards down the stairs, blood pouring from her mouth.   She looked like Golem from "Lord of the Rings".  I even snorted a little when she started yelling obscenities.   Am I wrong to think that possessed Regan seems way cooler to hang out with than the little mealy-mouthed pipsqueak she was before?   She's like a hilarious insult comedian.   I want more of the bitch slapping, less of, "I love you, Mother".

Someone needs a chiropractor.

Truly, the only thing that made me gasp was the statue of Mary desecrated.   I'm Catholic.  We don't mess with that shit.   I will say all I want about the church hierarchy, but when I'm in a cathedral, you best believe I'm crossing myself with holy water and genuflecting.  And I don't even want to talk about our Virgin Mother except when I'm saying "Hail Mary's" on my rosary.   I know my limits.
Maybe I've become desensitized because new movies like "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" are so terrifying by comparison, the horror movie that started it all just looks a little lame.   And I had such high expectations.   When I was in D.C. I frequently walked the stairs which are featured in the movie.   One sunny day, as soon as I put my foot on the steps, a storm cloud came in and thunder boomed at exactly the same moment.  I was like, "Ok, Ok, I won't play around with this."   But like so many things are, it was better in my head than in reality.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I've had a somewhat tempestuous relationship with faith.  Literally and figuratively.   Faith is the name of my first boyfriend's mom who I thought of as a second mother/best friend until she called me a bitch and said I was the worst thing to ever happen to her son.   So that's tempestuous.    But in terms of the concept, faith has always been a bit hard for me to achieve.

When people ask what religion I am, I always hesitate.   I was raised Catholic, but I am probably a "fallen Catholic" to most of the party-line people.   I mean, I suffered through the glares of my father throughout my entire childhood when I dared to move my head away from a direct line to the priest, but I also think the Pope is fallible.  In fact I think he's basically a goofy caricature terrified of sex and trying to eradicate it by spewing bullshit like condoms are useless against aids.   I mean come on, look at the guy's hat and big red shoes.   He's ripe for parody.    And I also think God probably has better things to do than hate gay people and couples who live together before marriage. There are fundamentalist Christians on earth to cover that.   Ok, ok, so you get the point.   I am the worst. But surprisingly to most people, none of that means I don't believe in God, or that I don't want very much to have an active relationship with Him.   But this is something I'm private about.   While I will chat up to a complete stranger about that time a condom (which was given to me as a joke by my sister) fell out of my wallet in the middle of my high-school AP Gov class and everyone saw it, or share any delightful tidbit about my dating mishaps, I don't talk about my religious beliefs.   Like at all.     It's always just been part of my life, there so constant and unwavering I don't worry it's not always apparent--like a phantom limb.  Also, I don't want people to think I'm sitting in judgement or that I'm insane and religious people have a reputation for both.

Lately however, I've dusted off my faith and started relying on it more heavily.   It's really difficult and if I'm being honest here, I'm pretty much equal parts angry and scared.   I'm angry because I have delusions of grandeur, and even though I'm only 23, I thought I would be a much more impressive 23 than I currently am.   This really bothers me.   Sometimes I find myself looking at people and wishing I could have their lives--and my criteria isn't very advanced.   The other day the smiling face on a Hooter's Girl was enough to make me think, "I wonder what it would be like to be her."  My own skin just feels itchy and uncomfortable sometimes.   I'm scared because I've finally realized I'm not in control.   And this is terrifying.   The older I get the more I realize life is a crap shoot, and to a certain extent all you can do is brace yourself.

Here's to hoping I find my faith without losing my edge, because as George Michael says, faith is something you "gotta have".

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cashew Yoga

I have never taken a yoga class before for this simple reason.  It kind of scares me.   I don't much get into "new age" spirituality, nor do I believe in "listening to my body" while I work out.   If I "listened to my body" I would let it have cookies n' cream ice cream and sit on the couch while watching E! True Hollywood Stories.   Today, however, when I awoke with a pounding migraine (it seriously felt like two sumo wrestlers were boffing in my skull), sore, and stressed beyond all comprehension, I knew something had to give.    I pulled Sam aside at work.   "Can I have a two-minute bitch session?"  I asked her, somewhat aggressively.  Then I told her I was at the point where I was so stressed my body literally was collapsing upon itself like a neutron star.  "All I do is eat and work and sleep,"  I whined.  "And I do way too much of the first two and not nearly enough of the third."  Sam suggested we look into a yoga class that night, "It's a great way to relax and de-stress, and it's also a workout!"  I agreed.   I started to get really excited and felt very smug and proud I was taking this enlightened step to align my body and soul.  

When we walked into the studio we selected that night, however, I started to get a little nervous.   First, there were no mirrors.   How was I going to criticize my awkward body and poor flexibility if I couldn't obsessively compare myself to everyone else in the mirror?   Secondly, it was hot.  I mean, uncomfortably so.    There were space heaters.   This was "hot yoga".  Finally, an older man wearing sandals and with an earring was also taking the class.  Shit. All bad signs.  Sam and I placed our mats in the studios and began to stretch. As Sam and I stretched, a rather portly woman plopped down her mat next to ours.   She looked over at Sam and said, "How long have you been practicing?"   Practicing?  What?  My first thought was, "Well I was baptized as a baby..." and then I realized she didn't mean a practicing Catholic or  a practicing lawyer...she meant how long have you been practicing yoga.  Wow.   Sam replied, "Oh I haven't done yoga in a few years.  I'm kind of a beginner."  The woman looked defiant.   "I've been doing it for five years."  She arched her back and stuck up her chin as she said it.  Obviously quite pleased with herself.  I then, cruelly, thought, "well obviously it doesn't have very effective weight-loss benefits."  Already I was not as accepting and spiritual as this class was going to require.

The class itself went well, apparently all those years of cheerleading and gymnastics had allowed my muscles to stay flexible and strong, at least enough to avoid embarrassment.   Ms. Five Years over there was wheezing like a donkey, while both Sam and I kept up reasonably well.   I felt my stress melting and barely noticed the heat.   I was surprised several times to find myself covered in sweat, because my mind felt focused and calm, not the usual fatigue and dread that accompanied my ordinary workout.  There were a couple odd moments and the Indian words were entirely unnecessary where terms like "abdominals" and "Lunge" would have suited just fine.   Also, this term "practice" came up quite a bit. The instructor informed us, "do as your body tells you, this is YOUR practice, not mine."  Again, suspiciously my body really wanted to be sleeping, face-down and spread eagled instead of contorting.   I listened, politely, but decided to ignore this suggestion.

The weird stuff, didn't really happen until the end of class.   The instructor told us to find our, "icbeivbrhlewvfb" or that's what she might as well have said.  Sam and I exchanged giggly glances with raised eyebrows.    The instructor continued, "That's your place of peace" she said.   Ok, fine.   I laid on my back with my knees up, however, as I glanced around, to my horror, there were people beginning to huddle in the fetal position.  The only time I'm getting into the fetal position in public is if I'm attacked by a bear, and then it will only be so he'll think I'm dead.  However, adults, some of them middle-aged, crouched obediently on their little yoga mats.   Then we were supposed to meditate.   I actually enjoyed the quiet time, but then...there was a gong.  I shit you not.  A gong.  I sat bolt upright (like I assume is normal) and was disturbed to notice no one else shuddered.   Everyone else was in their "happy place" content and unaware.  I tried to relax again on my back. Then the gong rang again.  I waited for instructions.  Nothing.  Finally, on the third gong, came a human voice speaking english.  Needless to say I was relieved.  "Return to a seated position," it said, "but in your own time.  Move slowly.  You may want to  take time in the fetal position, to acknowledge the positive feelings of rebirth."  I pictured a group of sweaty adults bursting through the uterus.  We ended with a "Namaste".    

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"The Leftovers"

I started reading a book today (something I haven't done in a long time. I'll admit it--I was afraid I didn't know how anymore) by one of my favorite all-time fiction writers.   It's called, "The Leftovers" by Tom Perrotta.   The premise is kind of fascinating; what if, the rapture actually happened, but instead of the devout being swept away to heaven, a seemingly random sampling of Jews, Hindus, atheists, gays, and bisexuals disappeared one day into nothingness--and what if you didn't.  What if you suddenly lost a sister or a husband or a child? And what if life didn't drastically change?  What if life was expected to go on as usual--you still needed to fold laundry, take showers, buy groceries, and fix dinner.

I remember several instances in my life where I felt like the world ought to stop.    I remember feeling like  this  when my first love, my first boyfriend, and my first time, seemingly out of the blue, stopped talking to me.   That was over five years ago and I still haven't spoken to him since.   But my world ended for a little while.   That first day, I couldn't eat.  I couldn't concentrate.  All I did was cry and try and will myself not to be alive anymore.   The world didn't grieve with me.  I still had papers to write, homework to do, college applications to fill out, and I still had to pretend to be present in my own goddamn life.   For a while every sunny day seemed like a giant middle finger directed to me.   An intentional mockery of my pain.   But eventually I starting laughing again, I fell in love again, and now thinking about it is only a distant, dull ache, like the memory of a sprained ankle or a broken arm.

I might as well have seen this...

I also felt like the world ought to have ended on 9/11/2001.   I was in seventh grade, brace-faced and awkward, but I still was old enough to feel the whole country's grief upon my shoulders.   The confusion and the sadness was so overwhelming I felt like everything just needed to start over, like a level in a video game.   The feeling returned again in college when one of my best friends died tragically in a car accident.   I sat in the bathtub shortly after I found out, shivering despite the hot water, and balling.   I mourned all the phone calls I would never make to him, the laughs we would never share, and the adulthood I would have to experience without him.  

  I think we all feel like "Leftovers" sometimes.  A small, pathetic minority, left out and desperate, with no real direction or focus.   I feel like that on a small scale every time I look at Facebook pictures.  I scroll through the jubilant tailgate scenes, the snapshots of smiling couples, the adorably goofy baby pictures, and I feel like these people are living out some existence that is just beyond my grasp, like I'm looking at life through a foggy window pane.   I always say I feel like there was some day in first grade that I missed where manuals were given out on how to be a functional human.

Something beyond my fucking comprehension...

I've felt like a "Leftover" lately, and I'm not sure why.  Nothings going wrong, but sometimes I still get that itchy feeling that I'm missing something, or as my sister would say, "Fob-lo," fear of being left out. I haven't written very much this month, because while I wish I could blog about dinners I make (Pumpkin Ravioli most recently) or funny things that happen to me (an old doctor checking me out while I sat with my mom during a pretty serious procedure) when I write all that pours out of me is this.   This terrible, overly honest, outpouring of estrogen.    I only hope that when I write this someone feels the same as me.   Otherwise it's like I'm praying to a God who has forgotten me or as Claire would say, "tits on a bull,".  Translation:   All this blogging would be useless (as tits on a bull).