I’m posting this from the library. Why? Because it's the 21st century and I can. I’m happy to report that the 1960's wrought-iron desk chair I use at home is much more comfortable than the plastic butt-torture (not the good kind) devices they have installed here at the library. Apparently, this is how they discourage people from hogging the public terminals all day.
I’m very pleased that Jessie pointed me in the direction of Camper, who is not only something of a dollface, but also writes great copy. Vicious, funny, catty, saucy copy. Just my speed. It's a shame we never ran into each other when he and I lived in Boston at the same time. Unfortunately, I started reading Camper's site on a day when I had nothing to do but sit around (on a desk chair that is MUCH more comfortable than this infernal library chair) and wait for enormous PDF files to process and upload. This means that I plowed through the whole site — a couple of year's worth of wise-cracking faggotry — and now have nothing to do but wait for him to write new posts. Oh, why couldn't I have paced myself?
I did the same thing when I first stumbled across Doll Soup while I was in the midst of killing time at a job I hated. Read the whole damn saga, and then became a junkie in need of a fresh fix. Luckily, both Camper and Paul (the genius behind Doll Soup and other brilliance) are fairly prolific. The public demands comedy!
Unfortunately, though, Mike has apparently been getting hate mail because of me. This makes me sad, because he seems like a nice fella. At the risk of digging a deeper hole, I tried to expand my little theory about flirting by sending him this:
I think it's clear that for better or worse, men respond to flattery differently than women. I don't think this is a deeply psychological issue, but as you say, one that results from injustice and humiliation. Our culture clearly tolerates a lot of unfair treatment of women, and a lot of objectification of them. I’m sure many men don't see the harm in behavior that is taken this way, but it's definitely out there, and it's easy for me to see what makes women wary of unwanted flirtation.
I don't think this a male/female issue, though — I think it's an issue of perceived threat, or at least perceived nuisance. When I say that I’ve flirted innocently with straight guys who've seen it as a compliment, I should point out that I don't flirt with homophobic straight guys who are likely to take it as a predatory homo pass. In an instance like that, a guy can feel just as threatened as a women leered at by a crew of construction workers might feel. But if there's no sense of threat, or unwanted attention, it's easy to see a little flirtation as innocent fun. I think that goes for both men AND women. Women, unfortunately, have generally gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to unwanted attention.
At least I know my straight sidekick Proven agrees with me on this one.
As if I didn't have enough to do already, I decided to throw together a wee little something about the whole Boy Scouts brouhaha, with a few reference materials pulled from my vast archive of fun stuff.
First, an excerpt from a Boys Scouts of America guide to physical fitness, ©1968:
Another subject about which there is much misinformation is homosexuality. This term is generally used to describe a fixed adult pattern of behavior in which an individual is sexually attracted only to members of his own sex. Many boys before they become interested in girls develop strong friendships with other boys. This is perfectly normal and will lead to many strong friendships for the rest of their lives. It does not mean they are homosexuals or are not manly or will not develop an interest on girls. As they grow and widen their circle of friends and activities, they will become attracted to the opposite sex. If a young man has any questions about this area of friendship, he should certainly consult his parents and spiritual adviser for guidance.
There's been a lot of hullaballoo about the Supreme Court's ruling that supports the right of the Boys scouts of America to exclude gays from the organization. Despite my inherent belief that gays should be able to do whatever the hell anyone else can do, I must admit that I’m with the Supreme Court on this one. If the Boy Scouts are willing to stand by the idea that the right to exclude homosexuals from membership is a central part of their mission and their ideological foundation, then they should have the right to do so. The flip side to this is that they have to take a situation that they would probably prefer to ignore and make it a central part of their ideological foundation.
I hope the scouts do make this a big issue, but I really hope that people have the good sense to take them to task for making exclusion — rather than acceptance — a central part of their mission. I hope this is something that forces to the scouts to reevaluate what it is they're doing. scout literature talks a lot about upholding ethical and community standards, but the organization is acting as if those standards are static, and not subject to evolution or variation from place to place. that’s crap. I wonder if something like this happened to Jewish scouts at some point. I wonder if the scouts will change this as homophobia continues to erode in this country. I wonder if this will cause a splintering of the organization as people involved at the local level who believe in the more humanistic ideals of the organization decide to stand by the gay people they know. I wonder.
I don't really have anything against the Boy Scouts, except for their reactionary stance on this particular issue. I was a Cub Scout for two years, and I thought it was pretty lame. But I know other guys — gay and straight alike — who had a number of good experiences with the scouts, and think they are better for having joined them. (As a matter of fact, I know guys who had a number of good sexual experiences in the Boy Scouts. Will they have to institute a "Don't ask, don't tell" policy? I wonder.) But I think that now's the time to ask if the scouts are really doing such good work if their idea of preparing young men to be good citizens is to just out those who don't agree with them. Or who might — heaven forbid — help them live up to part of their own Oath: "A scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own."
So I’ve been reading this one blog, Firehosé, which doesn't have much content yet but it's really beautiful. And, I must admit, Pepe is cute and I’m a sucker for shit like that. He breezily tossed out this link, however, which cooled my ardor and brought back some unpleasant memories. Yes, for those of you who follow details of this site closely, that’s the scar. This is the sort of thing that does not do wonders for the self-images of thirteen-year-old boys whose bodies are already giving them enough grief.
Just to make life more confusing, it was in the hospital recovering from this particular trauma that my mother quietly warned me not to talk to the guy whose bed was across the room from mine (who was a big ol' homo, although my innocent young mind wouldn't have even processed information like that at the time), because "...they like young boys." I have chosen never to remind my mom of this particular bit of raging homophobia, since she has always been so fantastic in every way since I came out to her. But I guess that until she had to really think about it in her own life, it was easy just to believe the worst ideas that she grew up with and read in the papers.
Thank you, that ends this uncharacteristically candid journal entry.
Yeah, yeah — I know — I haven't been updating the journal much during the last week. so sue me. I’ve been awfully busy with my two freelance projects consuming most of my free time. (Granted, I found time to go the Mermaid Parade, but Chad has already written about that event, so I’m not going to bother.) At least I’ve been adding stuff to the Basement Blog once in a while. When somethin' interesting happens, you'll all be the first to know, I promise.
In the future, according to Titan A.E., all that will remain of Earth's culture will be cargo pants, muscle shirts, and homo archetypes. I know this movie was manufactured specifically for 12-year-olds, so I wasn't expecting quality, but I was genuinely surprised to see how well they managed to make the hero into a Chelsea muscle twink and make the villain character into his pseudo-butch Chelsea-daddy type. There wasn't much romantic subtext, thankfully, but I swear that the characters were drawn from pictures taken from circuit-party snapshots. I couldn't stop giggling.
I’m happy to see that responses still come in for my Village People survey. There have been lots of great responses so far. Here are a few that I’m particularly fond of:
- The all-American boy
He's called Kip or Jock and wants to carry my books home. We make out behind the bleachers (whatever they are) and he gives me his pin.
- The skater boy
You know him, you love him. he has no time for you. He's attracted to rails, walls, ramps, the thrill of death, his muscles, and his homies. sex is good, any more than that and he's perplexed and terrified. skate or die. Nothing about love in there.
- Crazy Aunt Harold
That weird uncle of yours who's fifty and just...never...managed..to...settle. Typically fat, fey, and unexplained in family circles. Has a persian cat and lots of flannel.
- The "TV Naturalist" Character
David Attenborough is a TV naturalist here in the UK and I used to have long and complicated sex fantasies about him when I was a distraught teenager. He has the sexiest voice in the world and is not afraid of great white sharks.
- The Cyborg Kickboxer
The star of many a straight to video movie, he is lithe and muscular and can lift one leg straight up over his head (which has to come in useful) and also he's a machine and is not very bright. If you hit him in the face there's all metal and flashing lights underneath which would break the ice at parties.
- Aging Toughguy
Wears jeans (black or blue), cowboy or combat boots, a T-shirt with a regular shirt over it, a dirty baseball hat, and butch-looking wrist jewelry. They usually have one or two Phillipina or Brazilian ex-wives (danger). Always, always younger women. Variations: Method Actor, Downtown Artist, Macho Chef, and Macho Writer. spent their formative years at CBGBs breaking bottles over people's heads, or like to pretend they did. They have seen it, done it, fucked it, eaten it, and smoked it and still somehow seem genuinely interested in your attention (because they are master egotists). sometimes short and prone to fighting.
- shy sensitive Boy Genius
Dresses in a mélange of Goth, dork, summer camp, and some weird grandpa shit he got at the thrift store. Blown away by your knowledge of French Existentialism, The Beatles, and the Lost Generation. Drawbacks: Premature ejaculation. The bright side: all your grooming turns him into a pussy magnet and he gracefully abandons you just when you were getting annoyed. see: Harold and Maude, Rushmore, Dead Poets society, Rebel Without a Cause.
- The Fixer Upper
He's the gentle soul with the sad eyes and the completely dead self-esteem. Does he like me for who I am, or just because I'll talk to him? Who CAREs! I can nurse this broken bird back to health. He gets extra love if he's an alcoholic, junky, or member of a religious cult.
- Punk Rocker
He's down, he's dirty, and he can kick the shit out of those pansy-ass skater boys that everyone else is gaga over. Taking his shirt off in the pit and rubbing his sweaty torso against perfect strangers just makes his day. He's powerful and aggressive, but young enough to still have that baby-face. Unfortunately, some bad tattoos are usually somewhere to be found...but a few piercings never did anyone wrong. He's probably a sex-pig. Extra points if he's the "smart-punk" into youth-crew or non-militant sXe or vegan scenes.
So as you can see there's plenty of fun to be had. Go on, do it. You know you want to.
Since I spend so much time at home these days, slaving away at my workhorse old Mac and leaving my snazzy laptop to keep me connected to the outside world, I have developed an unfortunate habit. Well, maybe it's just sad. The thing is, I have become fixated on the webcam at SixKill. Oh, I know it's wrong. I know it's hopeless. But his eyes are SO pretty. And maybe some day I'll get to see Billy show off his bike leathers. A boy can dream, can't he?
It's Homo Overload...whoops, I mean Gay Pride Week here in New York, so I guess it's only fitting that I chime in on the subject. But before I do, I just want y'all to think about this question posed by the Paris ACT UP chapter: "Proud of what?"
Gay Pride doesn't inspire any particular pride in me. In fact, it makes me cringe with embarrassment and loathing. Not the idea of it, but the actual event in all its glitzy, our-way-or-the-highway madness. I don't even know where to begin. (Paul Baker's Burn Your Jockstrap site articulates my frustrations with gay culture much better than I ever could, anyway, so go look at that.) The homos are pretty homogenous — at least within each of their cliques — and it irritates me that there's a parade to prove it.
The thing to keep in mind is that I love being gay. I mean, there's no question about it. I’m really, really gay. And yes, I’m proud of it. I don't mean that I’m a prancing nancy, or a pumped-up pretty boy, or straight-acting bear (all of which are terms that could be used to describe people I love). I’m Sparky. I am, among other things, an enthusiatic lover of other fellas. And goddamn I’m proud of that! It's a part of me, and a pretty significant part, one which influences a lot of the other parts.
Coming out wasn't a huge dilemma for me, even though I did it at the ripe old age of 21. I did it when the time was right for me, when I had the insight and energy to deal with that aspect of life. No trauma, just a couple of awkward conversations. But to get to that point, I had to figure out some stuff about my life and the world around me, and that’s good. If I weren't gay, I may not have thought as much about what makes me the person I am. I’m proud that I had to ask myself difficult questions, and proud that I sorted out some sort of direction in a sea of conflicting opinions. I’m proud that I chose for myself what I want, and didn't hold myself to what my folks or my school or my friends naturally assumed would be the way things worked.
I didn't shut off that way of thinking when I confronted gay culture, which is why I get so incensed by this feeling that the so-called gay counter-culture would, if it could, impose the same kind of rigorous expectations on me as the so-called mainstream. screw it. I’m not any more likely to go to the gym to beef up my tits than I am to marry the girl next door and settle down in a house in Nutley, New Jersey, or shoot heroin in a crack den. I said "no" to all that. And I don't wish to be told I’m a loser for not making any one of those things a priority.
For me, gay pride is an everyday fact of life. An excuse to say, "that’s me, dig it or ditch it," just like any other aspect of myself. I don't want to be like every other gay person in the world, especially not if they're trying to be just like everyone else (except, of course, for more inherently fabulous because they're gay). If I were to let that happen, I’d be a whole let less Sparky, wouldn't I?
As you may notice, all those software demos didn't kill me, although I did get an extra nine hours of them that I wasn't expecting. Every once in a while during the meetings, I would be amazed that people were actually deferring to my analysis of one damn thing or another, and it seemed just crazy. Who am I that I should be expected to have a reliable opinion about anything? Then, of course, I’d remember that I am almost thirty, after all (despite my boyish good looks), and I’ve been working in some variation of the same field for about 10 years. Then I would ask why I’m not more successful, and then I would remind myself that I purposely kept switching gears to learn or to do cool new things instead of just plodding ahead, and...
Oh well, you get it. The mind wanders when one is tired, right? But it's been a week like that. Too poor to go out much. Too hot to have much sex when the opportunities present themselves (seeing as they've only been presenting themselves in places where it's much too hot). Too much work to just hang out in the hammock and catch up on this month's magazines (Wired, Paper, Metropolis, Emigre, Wallpaper, Nest). so all the mind wandering squeezes itself the little nooks and crannies of my attention span, forcing itself its way into my jam-packed mental space.
Today's entry is dedicated to my faithful Manservant Hecubus, as a reminder that he's still aces in my book, even if I have been too big a lazy bastard to write and catch up lately.
This weekend's overall theme was "Making the Internet Less of an Abstraction." that’s just a fancy way of saying I tried to get the hey away from my screen for a change and enjoy the real world, but all of those real-world activities somehow stemmed from my immersion in digital realms.
It started off easy on Friday night, when I went to wander the gay bars of Park slope with Vincent, who I originally met after one of my more chaste AOL flirtations, and his friend Pam. It was a lot of fun, although the heavy pub food we had at the beginning of the night put a damper on everyone's energy level. We almost lost Vincent when Pam and I got uncharacteristically bookish and began extolling the joys of studying math and chemistry, but we rallied and got back to all the cruel gossip and the innocent cruising. Thought for the night: "Why can't that skinny, shaven-headed young man with the Fraktur letters tattooed on his neck see that I wish to rock his world?"
The Internet aspect of the weekend was upped a few notches on saturday, when I played tour guide to visiting cartoonist/zinester Groc and his boyfriend Tony, visiting from the UK and anxious to get an alternative to the Times square tourist traps. The run-down Brooklyn waterfront was just the right touch.
Then before going to see my new squeeze, who I met through an online personal, I remembered that I was also supposed to meet for drinks with a bunch of prominent Web folks. Yikes! so I made a brief pit stop in the East Village to hang out with my sidekick Proven and the ridiculously talented Anne, and then meet up with scott, Maura, and Christine, all of whom I admire. I am proud to say that there was not a single digital camera to be seen among us. Unfortunately, I had to run off early, so I never got to meet Christine or enjoy everyone's company quite enough. If only I realized that those other people sitting around looking like dorks waiting for someone, just like I was, were actually scott and Maura also waiting for Peter and Anne, just like I was. A solid half-hour wasted on being shy!
I like crossing the line form Internet association into real-life friendships and whatnot. It's good — that’s the shit that communication's all about. so if you think you'll be around New York City any time this summer, let me know if you want to have a big, Blogtastic picnic or something.
One of my freelance gigs is a consulting project for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, doing some research about a computer system they want to buy. (Yes, I am also a nerd-for-hire by other nerds. Who knew?) Today, I will be sitting through a couple hours of software demos, which would not be much of a treat under the best of circumstances. After my unfortunate bout of insomnia last night, all those PowerPoint presentations and all that corporate jargon will surely kill me.
since I work at home by myself these days, I can go for long stretches of time without saying a word or making a peep. As a general rule of thumb, it's rare that I will sit at home by myself and suddenly laugh at loud. But after telling my friend Terry about the Jim Carrey movie my lodger is working on, he sent me this mini-rant, which had me loudly guffawing:
Oh great. Jim Carrey: how did that cunt ever get famous? He pulls stupid/irritating faces, wobbles around like a spastic and everyone now thinks he's cool because of that goddamn Andy Kaufman/REM "Take-Over-the-World Bid" film. If he was from Dungannon he'd have been kneecapped by now, that’s for sure. If he comes to your home, then I’m going to phone up and hurl vicious and unnecessarily violent abuse at him and tell him that I plan to rape him Pat Califia-style, then tell the National Enquirer that I had a gay love affair with him, and that he likes eating poo and being fisted. Oh yes.
By the way, I apologize for Terry's use of the word "cunt". He's a foreigner.
Sweet Canadian Steve, who's just revealed that he's actually kinda foxy, led me to the Big Fun site, for which I felt a strange affinity, even though I’m not an underage southern punk rocker living in a huge old house with no electricity. But I want to be, sort of.
I’ve had lots of conversations with the Kanes and with Adam about how much I’d actually like to ditch city life once and for all and set up in an old house somewhere with a few like-minded creative types and a big, fat T1 line — sort of Internet-enabled arts commune, if you will. No more getting to see my closest local friends only after two weeks of schedule negotiations. No more Chelsea queens. No more freakin' New York City taxes! As much as I do love about living here, I also love the idea of going to live someplace quiet and dirt cheap where an occasional design job will be enough to allow me to devote more of my time to handmade books and photography. I’m basically following a similar instinct by holing up out here in my Brooklyn loft, where I can do what I want with the place and have a decent work area for when the mood hits me. Hell, I already live without TV and radio — as long as I could make a living and have access to e-mail and snail-mail, I don't think it would be such a problem.
This notion started after college, when I had (and, to some degree, still have) such trouble meeting guys who were any fun that I assumed that the Berkshires and the Catskills were surely filled with colonies of funny, quirky, goofy homosexuals who had all fled the city and left me on my own. Well, of course, that’s a huge overstatement, but you get my drift. I could leave the city if I had somewhere to go and a few folks to go with (or to), even if it would mean learning how to drive.
When my friend João came to visit me from Holland a couple of summers ago, we took a weekend trip up past Saratoga, New York, to go visit his boss from the art college where he teaches who owned a little farm about an hour from the dinkiest little town you can imagine. He bought a few acres, renovated a couple of barns and built a couple of little buildings with the help of some friends, and spends his summer and winter breaks puttering around and having friends and students come visit to use the dance studio or the painting cottage or the guest tower of the sauna. He's made friends with a few fun people in the town who love having a little more variety in the area, and all is happy and good.
I’m hoping we get to pay another visit when João comes to visit again this summer. I could use a dose of inspiration these days.
And I’m a big fan of collaboration and group projects (as long as the groups aren't randomly chosen), which is where the whole commune thing comes from. The Kanes and I have a huge list of barely begun ventures, all crippled by our crazy schedules and our living so far apart. We've often entertained the notion of grabbing a few chums and retreating to some plot of land in some god-forsaken place like West Virginia where we can plan our cultural domination from the solitudeof our own little compound. Geez, just thinking about the possibilities for architectural whimsy...
For such a film nut, there are huge, gaping holes in my classic-films checklist. I blame it on my youthful fascination with trash culture. (Which I still love, but I temper with appreciation of the finer things.) I always pooh-poohed all the greats — the silent films, gorgeous black-and-white masterpieces, taught thrillers — as long as I could get a chance to see something more fun, like Valley Girl or Class of Nuke 'Em High. Thankfully, I’ve gotten over that kind of short sightedness. Now, whenever I see something generally regarded as a classic, it's always such a revelation, and I could kick myself for not catching it sooner.
It happened the first time I saw Buster Keaton, who I now regard as one of my all-time favorites. It happened when I recently saw Sunset Blvd. and suddenly realized how many other images I had seen on film over the years (not to mention that whole Carol Burnett skit) had drawn from it. And it happened again tonight when I finally watched the DVD for Notorious that I picked up a while back, thinking that I ought to watch it, if just because it was set in Rio and Duran Duran did that song about it. What a gorgeous movie! Just beautifully done. (And it made me very nostalgic to see footage of places in Rio I had been to when I was there.)
Wow! That Hitchcock guy knocks my socks off every time. Do people know about him?
And I don't mean to get too faggy — and this is above and beyond, even for me — but did Edith Head sell her soul to the devil or something for that kind of talent? We would have a totally different image of Hollywood glamour if it weren't for that woman.
Things could get wacky here this summer. I don't mean "here" as in this site, although there could be spillage into my online life, but "here" as in my house, since I’m taking in a lodger for the summer. My old roommate David, he of the Twine Tour, is going to be in town for the summer working on a movie and we figured that we could solve the problem of his accomodations and my rent increase with one fell swoop. I haven't had a non-romantic roommate in a long time, and I have no interior walls in my loft, so this should be kooky.
Of course, things have always been kooky for David and I. When we first met, small-world factor reared it's ugly head when he realized that the year before a good friend of his had been telling him about a guy (me) he met at a movie who also had a copy (just like David's) of the photo-novelization of Can't Stop the Music, the Village People movie. Kismet! Our kitsch-loving paths would be forever intertwined from then on.
In other news of kookiness, the new episode of Ooze is finally out, much to the dismay of the easily offended everywhere. My oldest pal Eddie and his cronies continue to spread the word of juvenile antics. Be sure to check out their promotional video for PWEETA, People Who Enjoy Eating Tasty Animals.
I’m a big fan of snack foods and I’m glad that I’m a skinny little slip of a thing despite that. Today's indulgence? The ever-so-tasty and surely unhealthy salt & Vinegar Pringles. I love any food that can make your lips sting after you eat it. I guess the phallic shape is my own contribution to today's dick theme.
Boobs are fine if that’s your thing, but for me they are two of the — ladies, you'll have to pardon me for this — squishy parts that remind me why I dig guys' bodies better. standing around the bookstore where I used to work one day, we booksellers concluded that regardless of which sex you prefer, squishy parts are the litmus test.
I have a new fan: Proven's mom! shout-out to Mrs. Rubin for making me blush!
I never said I was a punk, so you can't call me a poseur. (sorry, John, but I’m a true believer in the pop-up link as a means of making it clear when you're leaving Sparky-sanctioned airspace.) I was never good at committing to just one "scene", since my interests were always so eclectic, although like many disaffected teenagers I went through my skater, New Wave, punk (Ah, 1987 — the year all the Staten Island New-Wave kids went punk...) , rude-boy, and newly-out fag phases before amalgamating them all into the Sparky you all know and get fed up with today.
Anyway, the subject was punk. I went to go see The Filth and the Fury last night, the latest documentary on the Sex Pistols. Although I was never much of an angry, working-class kid, the sex Pistols really captivated me way back when, and it was easy to see why as I watched footage of Johnny Rotten shouting and snarling into the microphone as he stared wild-eyed at the crowds. I could feel my whole body tense up with excitement. It was also surpisingly moving to hear him talk about his rage and sadness at how sid Vicious just fell apart once he became a junkie. I guess it's not very punk for him to get teary during an interview, but I guess he's John Lydon now and not Johnny Rotten, so we'll cut him some slack.
Julien Temple thankfully doesn't take the whole thing too seriously, even though he's trying to show a more historical view than he did in The Great Rock 'n' Roll swindle. Even though Josh didn't think he handled the passage of time well (whatever wanky film-biz nonsense that is), I liked the way he built a context for all of it with a hilarious montage of film and video clips, including a bunch of apropos snippets from Richard III and British TV news. He also kept the contemporary Pistols in silhouette when he interviewed then, which was a deft way to not ruin the impact of all that combustible young anger by showing what they looked like all old and bitter.
The Internet tells me who I am. For instance, my Bond Girl name is Anita Mandalay. My Wu Tang name is Top-Heavy Hookjaw (or possibly Homicidal Terrahawk), my cyborg name is S.P.A.R.K.Y. (Synthetic Positronic Android Responsible for Killing and Yardwork), and my Jedi name is Rha-Da Gosta.
My ass is killing me! Except for an hour-long emergency nap, I basically sat in my uncomfortable desk chair for 17 hours straight yesterday, moving from some blogging to designing tedious trade show banners (and does anyone else think Adobe Streamline sucks as much as I do?) to hours and tedious hours of formatting lesson plans for a Thirteen project.
Yes, the deadlines are starting to come together, I’m in that uncomfortable space between one income trailing off and another beginning, and the IRS just realized that I neglected to include a check with my tax return for last year. You'd never know from my apparent poverty that I actually make pretty decent money. But a series of ridiculous expenditures over the years has kept me in a constant state of catch-up, and it sucks. Here are the primary culprits:
- Moving back to New York from Boston I had no debt at all shortly before I left Boston, but a last-minute trip to China put me in the hole. so when I got back, the whole move down here basically done on credit.
- The Bushwick Loft An enormous, awesome 4,000 square feet of raw loft deliciousness that Mark and I lived in when I first moved back to New York. It was cool as hell, but it took many visits to Home Depot and Ikea to get it to look that way. Ch-ching! Of course, all that money was wasted by the next year because the junkie we were subletting our half of the floor from basically chased us out. Oh yeah, then paying for another move 14 months after moving in.
- Brazil An incredible trip, but it basically wiped me out. that’s what I get for travelling to exotic foreign countries on a whim. Again. It was one of those moments where you have such an incredible time that you think, "I’m young, I’m fabulous, and I have the rest of my life to pay for this. Oh wow, look at the bunda on that one..."
- Grad school A very, very expensive way for me to learn that I have too much experience to get much out of being a part-time student in a program that’s not as customizable as it first appears. Doing just enough work to finish in time for class still had me somewhere at the top of the curve, meaning I could slack off when I didn't have time to devote to my projects and no one would worry about it since I was still getting A's. (And for the copy editors out there, I know there should be no apostrophe after that A, but I just don't want it to look like "as". Deal.) Oy! The money I spent on tuition and my projects. And those student loan people are like vultures!
- Gadgets! I’m one of those guys with the gadget gene, meaning I begin to salivate uncontrollably when I see electronics I think I need. Now, I admit that I needed the second computer for a huge freelance project, but did I really need to splurge for the Palm V when I needed some way to keep track of my hours? I know it's sexier than the earlier ones by half, but it was a little pricey. Oh well, as long as the G4s stay completely, stratospherically out of my price range, I guess I’m safe.
- That one month where I had to pay my rent with my credit card Oh, I don't even want to think about it anymore.
So remember kids, if you or anyone you know is in need of a graphic designer with a truckload of experience and mad skillz (as the kids say), don't be afraid to come a-knockin'. My real expertise is with typography and print, but you might have noticed that I also know how to throw together a web site.
Once again, coming back to Brooklyn on a weekend night has been an odyssey of train delays, shuttle buses, and alternate routes. Ya know, if I didn't have so much space for so little money, I might not be tempted to put up with it. But, since I have a sweet deal, I'll just continute to rely on my thorough familiarity with the subway system. At least the Morplay show I went to was a whole lot of fun, even if Cazwell's cute roommate still won't flirt with me.
I’m tired. In my efforts to shed my commuter's sleep schedule, I’ve been staying up later and later and sleeping irregularly, and now I can't get drowsy before 4 in the morning. It's hell on those mornings when I have to get up for meetings and stuff. I need to pretend I have jet lag and stay awake for 30 hours or so and shock myself back into a schedule that is a little more practical. (Note: This would be slightly related to the tactic that got me in this mess in the forst place, back when I decided to go out and stay out all night, just because I could for the first time in seven months.)
In the words of Proven: "if you can't walk in on some man-to-man lovin' at work, then what hope is there?"
My idol Paul Baker is at it again. He's added two fantastic sections to his already sprawling web site. Not content to stick to kitsch and comedy, our Paul is tackling a few more serious issues this time around. Burn Your Jockstrap! is an articulate critique of the oppressive nature of gay culture, and Kill the Clause, Mary! is a tongue-in-cheek attack on scotland's Clause 28, which forbids any promotion of the homosexual lifestyle. As if we needed any more publicity! Check out the sites and be sure to submit any relevant links or materials you may have. I really applaud this kind of grass-roots community building. And this kind, for that matter.
And I’m not just mentioning these because Paul says such nice things about me.
Speaking of gay culture, I sat around watching Xanadu while I folded my laundry tonight. Man, oh man, is that a zany flick. Robert Greenwald, the director, must have had a whole stack of incriminating Polaroids in order to get the go-ahead to make a huge homo roadshow like this. It's brilliant, in its campy way. I remember when I was 10 and all the neighborhood kids desperately wanted to see this movie. We thought it looked cool because it had rollerskates and cool special effects (of the two, it only has rollerskates, trust me), but it's a good thing we didn't get to see such flamboyant homosexual perversion at such a young and impressionable age.
If June comes bustin' out all over, don't think that I’m gonna clean up the mess. I have enough to do this week.
I have taken a moment, though, for a shout-out to a bunch of my Internet pals. As a nerd, there are a whole lot of folks I chat and correspond with regularly — and have even met in person occasionally — who I’ve come to know and treasure, but yet it seems odd to put them in the same group as all the friends who've been on hand for road trips, breakdowns, and other assorted hijinks. I dunno.