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June 2003

Boys *heart* NYC

Chris and Jessie

You're Allowed to Ask

For the first time in a while, the subject came up a couple of times this week once while discussing a project, again while chatting with Jessie and Chris during a much-needed caffeine break. I realized how much it's become my open secret, the thing everyone knows but still never mentions, except with extremely obvious and awkward oversensitivity.

I, of course, still think about it all the time. I think about it every time I take medicine, when I wonder how I'll feel when and if that one, easy-on-the-system pill isn't enough to keep things under control. (I don't try to hide the medicine when I take it anymore. Have you noticed?) I think about it every time there's a drop of blood from a bad hangnail or a schaving scrape. (I usually wonder how I’d react if I ever had a more serious scrape that I couldn't tend to all by myself, where someone else might want to help stop the bleeding or clean the wound.) I think about it when I remember what it was like to have sex, back before the antidepressants and the guilt and the fear and the mixed feelings. (I know I shouldn't judge, but I do, and no one was more reluctant to admit it than me, especially when I realized I was my own jury.)

I don't mind talking about it, you know. Seriously, it's alright to be curious, to wonder how things are going. The answer might just be, "Fine. A little depressing from time to time, but still fine overall. The numbers are all holding steady, just like I hoped for." Sometimes, I may not want to get into it then and there, but what topic (except the weather, maybe) isn't like that now and then? It seems weird that it never comes up, since it was once such a big deal when we had to talk about it.

I don't know if I expect a certain reaction or not. I don't think I do, but the topic seems conspicuous by its absence. Maybe I just want to be a little less stoic I don't want to fall back into those old habits of acting like I can handle it all by myself and smile all the way. That didn't work out so well, after all.

And don't rush in and act all concerned all at once, because then I'll feel totally self-conscious. That would be awkward

I know, it's a little unclear what the best approach would be. Sorry about that, but I don't know what to advise, or if I’m even trying to give advice or just...you know, get it off my chest. that’s life, I guess fuzzy, unclear, something you figure out as you go along.

My Forgotten Laundrette

My Beautiful LaundretteLast night I watched My Beautiful Laundrette for the first time in about fifteen years. What struck me most was how much I had completely forgotten about the movie, or at least how much I never processed the first time around. It's a swirling mix of class war, race relations, sex roles, social upheaval, and on and on, but I didn't remember a bit of it. I had even forgotten that it had a happy(ish) ending.

No, the only detail that seared itself into my retinas and my memory so long ago was the first time that Daniel Day-Lewis and Gordon Warnecke kiss. It seemed so sweet, hot, and unsensationalized when I first saw it happen, in a way that I hadn't seen in the few movies I’d already seen where the subject of man-on-man had appeared. I guess I was still a few years away from making sense of why I was so affected by that image, which is why it blasted the rest of the movie into oblivion for me. What impresses me even more now was how easily it worked into the fabric of the whole story, a piece rather than the whole point just like life. that’s exactly what I keep longing for whenever some new indie gay flick comes out, and what is so rarely delivered.

Point, Shoot, Become Obsolete

Kodak Disc 4000Speaking of the technological wonders of 1983, do any of you remember the Kodak Disc camera? You know, the one with those tiny little negatives arranged like spokes around a plastic center? While going through all my old negatives (spanning from about 1982 until the present) and the treasure trove of old negatives I just got from my dad (spanning from about 1968 to 1983), I’ve found at least three dozen of these obsolete babies. Of course, since he and I shared the camera from about 1983 to 1985, these have negatives contain some of the most incriminating shots ever taken during my awkward years.

This whole effort to gather all these negatives was a desire to capture them digitally before it's too late, with the help of my trusty new film/slide scanner. I’d completely forgotten, though, about the variety of old formats buried within those old boxes: the discs, the strips of 110 film, and the other stuff I can't even identify. I guess, I'll have to hope my crappy desktop scanner with the crappy transparency adapter can salvage somethng from all these tiny relics. I’d be surprised if there was even a way to get anything printed from the Disc negatives at this point: I'll probably have to pop the plastic core out of them so I can make them as flat as possibel for scanning.

I’ve worried for years about the threat of obsolescence posed by various digital formats and storage media (I’m a nerd I worry about these things), but I hadn't even started to worry about the related problems posed by the various attempts to come up with new, cheap film formats for consumers during the last few decades. I wanted to preserve all these old images before they deteriorated in someone's attic, but now it looks like my preservation project may be even more crucial than I thought it would be.

Of course, once I digitize everything, I'll have to worry about which storage medium and file format will last the longest...

Your Receipt, Sir?

Now, even I will admit that I like to see some context draped around statistics (I’m always immediately suspicious of flat statistics being tossed around by someone trying to make a point), but nevertheless here's a very interesting comparison of military costs in Iraq vs. the distribution of tax savings with the new plan vs. the social services eliminated to close some of the gap.

Now that’s a spicy meatball.

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