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January 2002

In Your Satin Tights, Fighting for Our Rights

Actually, this is pretty gay, but sort of beautifully and trashily so...

Wonder Woman Glamour Shot

(Discovered by Toothpick Girl.)

Lame Bloggie Plea

I have nothing very gay to say today, which will surely destroy my chances to win that Bloggie for the best GLBT Weblog. Curses! Damn me and my broad range of interests and preoccupations.

Wait! I know — Mike and I went to see The Count of Monte Cristo last night (it wasn't completely awful, but it definitely destroyed some brain cells that I'll never get back now), which featured gripping close-ups of James Caviezel's nipples and washboard stomach while he got flogged in the Chateau d'If. That was kinda hot. There was a really hot waiter in Chili's afterward, too, but neither of us had hot gay sex with him.

Can you stand the glamour?


Snow iMac

Ye Olde Camera Shoppe


Disqualified! I think it's important for people to know that Tom Coates is an American bank teller with a wife and two homely children. Best European Weblog? I don't think so. Best GLBT weblog? As if.

Great Moments in Sparky History?

Why should you win me a Bloggie? because I produce, baby! (I also put out, but that’s a different story altogether. I’m not hinting, though.) Here are some highlights from the past year, just in case you need evidence:

So, welcome if you're new and thanks if you're a regular. Win me that Bloggie!

Insult to Injury

Ah, 2001 — my old nemesis — you had to have the final say, eh? You had to reach one last snaky tendril out into the new year, just when I thought I was safe. One last slight, one to make me question some of what didn't suck about you. Something that apparently went awry in 2001, that I only discover now, quite by humiliating accident during a conversation that was otherwise cheering me up. Even worse — and this is the insidiously evil part of your plan, 2001 — is that I might be to blame, for letting something priceless fall by the wayside. My battle to keep you from getting the best of me may have taken a casualty. So now I can't figure out if I should be pissed off, or if I have a big apology to make. Or both. Nor can I figure out how to find out.

2001, supervillain of the calendar.

Live! Nude! Girls!

World's skinnist modelAt the urgings of my friend Vinny, I’ve been going to a weekly life-drawing class at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (ugh, I know). It's been the kick in the butt I’ve needed to get me drawing again, but every week has also been a three-hour exercise in frustration. My hands have gotten so spastic in the ten years or so since I spent hours and hours a week drawing from a model. I curse, I grimace, I erase, and cross things out, maybe getting out one or two decent drawings if I’m lucky (and by "decent" I mean accurate anatomy and some sense of mass and space — I ain't even worrying about whether or not it's pretty). Still it's getting a little easier, and I’m sure what little confidence I once had will come back. And maybe I'll even work up the courage to flirt a little more openly with the sexy lamp designer who's been coming to class.

The models they use are generally pretty good — certainly an improvement over the parade of freaks I generally got in college (who, with a few exceptions, were an unsightly lot, even if their quirks made them interesting to draw). Today we had a wannabe fashion model who was a lot less languid than the usual art model, which was making me a little daffy, even if she was picturesque. Most models will just casually set themselves up in some pose, dynamic for short poses and comfortable and easy to hol for the long ones. The woman today was really stiff, and was worrying a lot about exactly what position to take — you could prctially see her wishing for art direction. Then she'd take some stiff pose that would slowly morph as she was forced to relax, or she'd have to shake out a numb limb and not put it back quite right. In the pose shown here, she had rotated a full 10 or 15 degrees in ten minutes, which was making awfully hard to capturte it just right. Whatever, I liek the quick poses better so I can't go back and noodle over the details and screw up whatever I got right in the first minute or two when I’m just going on instinct.

After class, I finally went to see The Royal Tenenbaums, which knocked my socks off. It was a lot like seeing Rushmore for the first time, in that it was funny in a quirky way, not always overtly hilarious, but with all these magical moments and images from a mannered, anachronistic universe that just hit me like a ton of bricks. This time, I was captivated by the odd, out-of-time New York City where the movie was set. It was definitely a bizarro New York, one that certainly doesn't exist now (even if the locations were all real) and probably never did. Still, it was the New York City of my false memories — an odd, idyllic mix of J. D. Salinger, old issues of the New Yorker, dusty hardcovers at the Strand, Woody Allen subplots, and eccentric families I’d meet going to school on the Upper East Side. Also, Luke Wilson is way hot, with that Superman jaw of his and his mild voice.

Road Trip Fever

I’d hate to squander this fun conversation with my pal Beau:

RhageRN: Hmm...I’m trying to win the road-trip Pontiac contest. Interested in a road-trip to visit favorite bloggers across the country?
UltraSparky: Oh hell yeah!
UltraSparky: It'd be a Blog Sweeps Week
UltraSparky: So what exactly do you win?
RhageRN: A Pontiac and a paid road trip
UltraSparky: Nice!
RhageRN: Roadtripping in a car with four people across the US...
RhageRN: hmmm
UltraSparky: "Max, throw a roast in the oven — we're a-comin'!"
RhageRN: Exactly!
RhageRN: We'd need costumes
UltraSparky: We should go Road Warrior style — all leather, stubble, and bad attitude
RhageRN: Yeah...and cockrings.
RhageRN: Though that will be our inside secret
UltraSparky: Chinese throwing cockrings, incase we need weapons
RhageRN: Right.
UltraSparky: Fag Force Four
RhageRN: You'd think Pontiac would be all over us...'cause not only could they film a TV commercial around us, they could do web-broadcasts live from the road
RhageRN: It's MULTIMEDIA promotion
UltraSparky: Right? We're inherently multimedia...We're grass-roots. We're viral.
RhageRN: Damn..should have added that in to the submission
UltraSparky: Well, get someone else to take that angle.
RhageRN: We're TODAY...we're more topical then obstructive pretzel nuggets
RhageRN: I’d think that we'd HAVE to end up in SF...where it just so happens an object of UltraSparky's affection resides.
UltraSparky: The happy ending to the long journey. Perfect ad copy.
RhageRN: Think they'll figure out we all suck dick?
RhageRN: 'Cause that doesn't make good copy in today's moral climate.
UltraSparky: But if we parlay that into media glamour — with good style and snappy retorts — no one will care.
UltraSparky: We may have to play down the booty calls
RhageRN: We'll need new haircuts
RhageRN: And the most UP TO DATE music
RhageRN: Sorta like Queer As Folk on four wheels...only well-written and with believable gay men
UltraSparky: Spreading our message of love and gossip across the land
RhageRN: Exactly
RhageRN: There'll be sequels
RhageRN: We'll be the biggest thing in commercial TV since that romancing couple for Folgers
UltraSparky: "Pack four sassy webloggers (look it up) together and have us visit the rest of our far-flung circle of minor media personalities. Zany, witty good fun, documented on everyone's sites at every step of the way. We're adventurous, we're multimedia, we make (and write) good copy. And we're photogenic! It'd be the perfect American adventure."
RhageRN: LOL
RhageRN: Perfect
RhageRN: If they don't pick you...then they SUCK
UltraSparky: I’m blogging this conversation, by the way
RhageRN: You're not
UltraSparky: Yuh huh. With judicious editing.
RhageRN: You should formulate a road map in your mind...like who'd you see and how'd you get there.
RhageRN: So when they call, you can knock their socks off with this, your perfect dream roadtrip
UltraSparky: Exactly

Church Cops!

This bit of news is awfully nuts. Sometime in the last year, the Vatican quietly published a document declaring that accusations of priestly pedophilia should be reported directly to the Church and treated with secrecy. Um. What? So if the local priest sexually abuses some kid, a wealthy foreign government thinks it has the right to handle the matter on its own, without the scrutiny of local authorities? Nah, that’s sounds a little too unacceptable.


Every year, the holiday season goes off like an atom bomb in the middle of my loose mental schedule of things to do and people to see. Catching a bug right in the middle this time certainly didn't help much. There are now all those errands that have fallen by the wayside, all those friends I wanted to see and subject to maudlin holliday sentiment, all those presents and paper I still have to make, that freelance project I still have to do, that endless hydra of a to-do list at work.

So now it's time to accept the casualties so far (I’ve aleady somewhat politely been told not to bother by someone I had loose plans to make a date with) and get back on the ball before I mix metaphors and drop it too many times. There's much work to do, many wonderful human beings to hang out with again, and much holiday cheer to still spread around (although any lingering Christmas presents will now be vague midwinter cheer-up packages).

Magazine Whore

Finally, an explanation for the cryptic, snarky e-mails I’ve been getting from random people I know the last couple of days. I discovered that a personal ad of mine that’s been floating around Nerve for a while was inexplicably picked to be a featured ad in this week's Time Out New York. Guess who forgot all about the little proviso warning that this might happen without warning? I’m no stranger to trolling the Internet personals in hopes of getting lucky, but somehow having this show up in print feels slightly more humiliating. Besides, I can only assume it's not likely to produce any better results than anything else ever has.

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