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July 2000

Ancient Chinese Secret, My Ass

Note to self: The very friendly Asian woman who runs the grimy laundromat down the street and speaks no English should not be trusted to wash those expensive, richly colored dress shirts that you can't afford to replace right now. There is no ancient Chinese secret being used there. Only cheap bleach.

Dorkitude Never Dies

Old habits die hard. No matter how old I get, or how much poise and self-confidence I have, I still have these occasional relapses to my high-school social instincts. Meaning that a lot of the time when I find myself around the cool, popular kids, I become a shy, awkward, babbling, grade-A loser. Why must the simplest things sometimes be so difficult?

Social Niceties

Another public apology to Jonno: I’m sorry I ran out of Fat Cock 29 so soon after you arrived last night. It was great to finally see you again, and I certainly wouldn't have been so impetuous if I didn't know we'd be boogeying at P.S. 1 with Dori and the Minx later today. It's just that I’d gotten there early and ran into my friends Alan and Vincent and then Alan introduced me to some friends of his, including this cute, cute boy I couldn't stop staring at. You know the one, the one I introduced to you. Well, you can imagine my surprise to discover he was staring at me the whole time, too — that kind of stuff doesn't happen to me that often, especially in bars full of delicious downtown hotties. so we were chatting, and then pushed together by the crowds, and then flirting, and then kissing and stuff. since you guys hadn't shown up yet, I figured you may have decided not to deal with the long line outside. So when this fetching young man suggested we beat a hasty retreat, I was all over the idea. Then there you were. Doh! I didn't mean to be rude or anything, I swear. I'll make it up to you.

Taxicab Confessions

OK, now for a great New York moment: Riding a in a cab over the Manhattan Bridge, watching the skyline twinkle while making out, and hoping the occasional pothole doesn't lead to a very unfortunate Garp moment.


Happiness is having a copy of the totally fun Powerpuff Girls album, Heroes and Villains, arrive in the mail when you least expect it. Thanks, Unca Dave!

No Trees for Me, Thanks

It looks like UltraSparky is down this morning, so I'll just put today's entry here:

I felt complete sympathy with jOnnO (man, it gets tedious to type it that way) as he pondered the mysteries of camping. I also had to go and look up what a rebar was, just in order to get his joke about not knowing. As a diehard city kid, camping is a complete mystery to me. I’ve never been camping, I’ve never had the desire to go camping, I’ve never seen the appeal of camping. I just wasn't made to be the rugged, outdoorsy type. Living in the middle of the ghetto can be rugged enough for me — at least I’m still a subway ride away from a decent meal.

And hiking doesn't have much more appeal. This isn't laziness on my part — I tend to walk miles and miles every day. I just like to see a little human activity and decent architecture while I do it. I’ve been hiking before, but it's had to have some kind of prize waiting for me at the end, like a crystal-clear glacial lake or a wanton sexual adventure. But trudging through the woods for hours just for the hell of it? screw that! My time is too valuable, and plants and trees don't have a good effect on my delicate respiratory system.


I had a ball (so to speak) last night trading favorite porn images with Steve. This was a whole lot more fun and informative than trading baseball cards. Who knew that I could have so many interests in common with a guy from a small town in Newfoundland? Thank you, dirty pictures, for bringing us closer together.

I don't really seek out porn that often, but I’ve noticed that I’ve actually amassed a bunch of it during my years of trawling the Internet. (I save everything, of course, because I’m a pack rat.) Looking through my archives made me realize how much my tastes have changed over the years as I’ve gotten older, more secure in my tastes, and more sexually confident. I’ve gotten more jaded certainly, and more demanding about the overall production values. I don't get all a-flutter at the site of just any naked guy anymore, like I did when I was younger. Now, in fact, I’m a lot more likely to get turned on by a well-done photograph of a guy in clothing that’s more suggestive of what goes on underneath. One of the most powerful elements of sexual fantasy, it turns out, is letting your imagination fill the gaps the way you want them filled. I find a lot of the porn I see so explicit that it's actually quite dull, because it leaves so little room for engaging my imagination. There's not a direct conduit from my eyes to my dick, after all: What goes on in my mind in between is the crucial part of getting turned on by something.

And that goes for both porn and life.

Re: Dear John

It's a very modern, very Internet-enabled thing to have someone break up with you via e-mail and AOL IMs, but it doesn't feel very savvy. It still sucks.

I was waiting for this one to happen, but I’m still sad. And yes, I feel dopey for being sad, since I was expecting it, and since nothing had even gotten serious yet, but still...

Boys Suck

Either he's been kidnapped or he doesn't have the nerve to start that Final Conversation, because there hasn't been any response to my messages. I have a pretty good idea which of the two it is. I’m sad, because I thought we may have been on to something. He was scared for the same same reason. Or maybe it was the both-of-us-having-the-same-name thing. Who knows? Yeesh! Kids these days!

Interior Decorating Triumphs

In happier news, I finally have pictures to show what the Rumpus Room looks like furnished. Loyal readers have probably seen the unfurnished version, but you can now see what I’ve done with the place during the last year. (Just so you know, I only made a very half-assed attempt to color-correct these photos. You'll have to come visit to get the full effect.)

Pictures, Not Words

I’m so damn lazy that I’ve only just processed all the film I’ve shot since the beginning of the year. Expect a slow trickle of scans to be posted here. For starters, here's a nice shot of me with my idol, Paul Baker:

Two great tastes that taste great together

Also, some new shots for Adam, Mark, and Dave. Here are color versions, where available:

surly Adam HHAction Hero Mark scarolastone-Faced David Zubkoff

And, until I build a page for all the mini-Polaroids, here are a few for ya (as if you actually care):

Mark and AlexMe and my sister Ellen
SimonMarkMe checking my tonsils
My nephew MichaelMy nephew JamesJoao
EddieEric HammerMe again


I wanna have sex with the new Apple G4 cube. It's THAT unbelievably droolworthy. Not a single analog part in the whole damn thing. No fan. Only 8 inches high and wide. Did Wallpaper* finance the design of this or something?

And thank you, steve, for being my knight in shining armor. Which is usually not a scene I’m into, but I'll try anything.

The Ugly Truth

Despite what you may think, things are not very glamorous here in the Rumpus Room. After reading Tim's theory that we designers work in incredibly pristine areas, and then going to look at the impossibly sexy Apple G4 Cube, I took a look at myself and my desk. This is the sad truth about why I don't want a webcam recording me (not for the squeamish):

In other news, my friend Dave sent me a recent sears portrait of him with his two brothers — Michael, the shiksa-marrier with the heart of gold, and Ira, the medical student we suspect of being a gold-digger. I asked Dave about the weird dark spot on his head that I noticed, and he responded with this delightful anecdote:

The splotch is a bet I have with Michelle [his girlfriend] (she started it, honest!): $100 that I won't grow in a comb-over. It was my idea to shave everything else as usual, but grow in a strip along the left side of my head that will eventually grow long enough to cover my embarrassing bald spot. I’m about 3 weeks in, and reaction is confused, for the most part. Mikey is very angry and wants to pay me the $100 now to shave it off — there were some very tense moments leading up to the photo session, because I refused to cut it off. In the end, I assured him I could Photoshop it out and make sears-quality prints for everyone. (I won't take his money, of course, although I have considered taking it and letting him know that it will finance a new tattoo, so maybe he'll finally understand that I’m a big boy and know what I’m doing). Daisy [another friend of ours] is preparing to start a collection and match anyone who offers me the $$$ to stop to keep me going. I get stares on the T and walking down the street, but for now I think it's kind of funny. I’m sure I'll get bored long before it goes all the way across and drop it.

This, That, Other Things

Oh god, it's happening again. I'll warn you all right now — you won't be hearing much from me for a while. This is not a vacation from dealing with the website, this is just a hunch that I’m going to be sitting in my uncomfortable deskchair sweating bullets for a few days while I try to crank out a few projects before deadline. Here's a few topics for you to mull over and e-mail me about in the meanwhile:


Like I’ve always said, Jonno is not stocky. But — god love 'im — he is an exhibitionist.

Clearing Things Up

Don't believe a word Jonno says! I would never stalk him outright. I’m much too sly for that. Besides, I’m the one that gets all the flattering-but-vaguely-abusive e-mail from HIM. And so what if I happen to end up in the same Easy Village or Brooklyn watering hole at the same time as him? It's a free country, right? (Not a question I’d care to ask our dear mayor, perhaps.) Yeesh! You swear undying, unconditional, unrequited love and loyalty to someone ONCE and look how they turn on you.

Unlike Chris, I actually HATE the sound of my name, especially when it's spoken (or whispered or shouted or grunted — I DO like variety, after all) en flagrante delicto. I just think it sounds dorky. An old boyfriend from Colombia (hot cha cha cha cha!) was the only one who could ever make it sound good. Of course, "Sparky" doesn't sound much sexier, but at least it has character.

What's even weirder, though, is that I’ve been dating a guy with the same first name as me, a goofy situation that I always hoped I would never find myself in. He has already been rechristened "Dan Too" by my friends to avoid confusion. It sounds so freaky to me to address someone by my own name in any tone that approaches sultry or cutesy. I practically stop mid-sentence and then force myself to keep going. And phone messages! I always get that momentary flash of feeling like I’m leaving a note for myself in my own voicemail.

But it's a small price to pay for the attention of cute boy who makes me laugh.

The Midsummer Round-Up

Woo Hoo! 11 days into July and I finally post! Yes, it's true. I’m not dead. Hell, I haven't even been assuming that anyone would notice. If I were really desperate for attention, I might pull a stunt like this, but thankfully I’m not.

I’ve had friends in town for the last couple of weeks, keeping me entertained as I finished up a huge project or two, so there's been plenty of fun. And plenty of media consumption. some highlights:

Oh yeah, I also managed to knock out a complete and total redesign of UltraSparky in a few moments of spare time.


Man, you try to take a little vacation from the online world and look what happens — The Rumpus Room goes down, and on a weekend. AFTER my ISP's tech support leaves. Curses. And just when this whole site here is in complete disarray while I update and tweak a bunch of stuff. Oh, the injustice!


Screw it, I’m just too busy to sit down and write anything long and funny or deep or whatever. I'll get around to it. But I'll show y'all a whole stack of mini-Polaroids once I’m back up and running.

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