So, this is my life.

And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

the wheat from the chaff

last night, slightly drunk
only slightly, though
certainly buzzed
i deleted lots of "friends" from facebook
i guess i felt like i needed to clean house
i don't need to have contact with every person in my college class
really, there's no need for that kind of connectedness

as time goes by, i have less energy to spend on acquaintances
that's not just me, is it?

there are just... so many people

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

apparently, god sounds like a wind chime

where did you find god today?

some found him/her/it in church, in other people, in music. one guy found god between his girlfriend's legs.

today i found god in -- well, maybe you can find my post and see for yourself. maybe you'll even add your own?

take a look.

i am so ashamed

of how much i like

and that i'm still listening to

paris hilton's* "Stars Are Blind"

but it's so good.

*a/k/a Wonky McValtrex

buddha says...

if he loves even a single being, good will follow.


Monday, April 28, 2008

when we're cruisin' together

yeah, i guess it does seem like a random thing to do. some of my friends are trekking through europe or spending a week on a mexican beach. but when we were discussing our options, it was clear to me that one option offered what i really wanted in my vacation.

here's what i knew for sure:
i want to travel with my best friend. when we travel together, whether it's a road trip to tennessee or ten days in london, we have the best time. like... the best. ever. and timing worked out with her graduation, so it was obvious that we'd travel together.

beyond that, it got complicated.
see, despite my limited travels, i feel like i've had experience "traveling." from airport to airport, from city to city, from ferry to island. speaking other languages. learning new cultures. and while all that is truly wonderful, it's not exactly relaxing. not for me, at least. probably because of my monochronistic, must-be-at-point-A-at-this-specific-time, uptight nature. it can be difficult for me to relax when i have the next step in mind.

i said to D, "really all i want to do is lie around, take naps, eat a lot, and drink. and drink. and maybe dance, while drinking."
to which she replied, "why don't we take a cruise? i've always wanted to!"
"me, too! wait... you've never taken a cruise? everyone has taken a cruise."
"YOU haven't, hole!"
chances are it went exactly like that.

of course we discussed the fact that we'd be surrounded by fat, sun burnt middle-americans who binge at the all-you-can-eat buffet. and when i talked to friends and co-workers who had taken a cruise, they all told me i'd spend a week eating and becoming obese. this entices me.

people also told me to steer clear of carnival. it's all drunk kids in their mid-20's. "go on norwegian," they said. "or royal caribbean. just not carnival. carnival's just crazy and full of drunks."
we chose carnival.
for that reason.

let me just say, i am excited. 7 days in a suite balcony sweet (wait -- switch those) with my bff. cruising a couple days, stopping in honduras, belize, mexico and grand cayman. danielle insists on swimming with sting rays and dolphins. that's just asking for an injury, and i'm having nothing to do with those hateful creatures. dolphins, i mean. i don't trust them because they know something we don't. and they're so smug about it, with their dirty effing smiles.

anyway, that stuff isn't even what i'm most excited about. i mean, yes, honduras will be great. but honestly, i've seen third-world countries and starving children with flies on their eyes before. and that's all fun and exotic and beautiful, but what i'm really excited about is getting exactly what i wanted when we first discussed this trip to celebrate no longer being prostrate to the higher mind! (wooo graduation! final-effing-ly.) i'm excited about lying around. reading books. applying spf 45 every 10 minutes. and most of all, i'm excited about spending time with D. even watching her flat-iron her hair for 3 hours a day, not including post-swimming straightening. i may as well be traveling with pete wentz. and it's all going to be delightful. i can't wait.

so for that i'll put up with queeny chambermaids folding my towels into circus animals and origami. i'll put up with ice sculptures of mermaids and colossal fruit and cheese displays that look like the american flag. i'll even put up with chubby retirees from poughkeepsie new yawk asking us to take their photos.


the american dream vacation. sailing the seas on a funshipTM.

i wish it were august. now.

my cup runneth over

in other words,

eye em berry berry lucki.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

it's their generation's way

"so, teresa tells me you have a new special friend in your life?"

"yeahhhh, i have a boyfriend..."

the conversation probably doesn't feel entirely natural for a 60 year old catholic housewife.

it was really cute of her, though.

on second thought

it's i who, in a lot of ways, have gotten lucky.

but then, i deserve the best also. so maybe it's not luck. it's just... getting what i deserve.


red, red wine

last night's chianti tasted like roman summer nights. a surrogate family shared with me a true italian feast, complete with huge olives and piles of cheeses. pastas, meatballs, gelato, cookies. my mind repeatedly drifted back to that summer, not because our conversation reminded me of it, not because i think of it often (strange how infrequently i think back on that time), but because of the flavors. the smells and tastes took me back.

and i don't drink red wine, but i did back then. when in rome... and i did last night. it was actually lovely. and to think the bottle that costs us $23 here costs the italianos about two euros, and the vino probably comes in a box you can get at any and every supermarket.

i wonder if they take their wine for granted. it's like juice, it's available everywhere, for cheap. what do we take for granted in the states? food, i guess. space. time. we don't appreciate now. let's try to savor it, to taste every day. even the days we don't appreciate, like the red wines i avoid. even mondays could turn out to be lovely. it's worth a try.

i guess it went to my head.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

all yours

last night as i was walking into a pub, the tune of what used to be our song floated down from the speakers overhead. i haven't listened to it in so long, probably on purpose. i can barely stand the sound of her voice. but i listened to it. objectively, for the first time in years. 5 years almost? it's a nice song. it no longer means anything to me. i would not, in fact, go down with that ship. instead i swam.

and i could not ask for more

more from A New Earth

In the late seventies, I would have lunch every day with one or two friends in the cafeteria of the graduate center at Cambridge University, where I was studying. A man in a wheelchair would sometimes sit at a nearby table, usually accompanied by three or four people. One day, when he was sitting at a table directly opposite me, I could not help but look at him more closely, and I was shocked by what I saw.

He seemed almost totally paralyzed. His body was emaciated, his head permanently slumped forward. One of the people accompanying him was carefully putting food in his mouth, a great deal of which would fall out again and be caught on a small plate another man was holding under his chin. Occasionally the wheelchair-bound man would produce unintelligible croaking sounds, and someone would hold an ear close to his mouth and then amazingly would interpret what he was trying to say.

Later I asked a friend whether he knew who he was. "Of course," he said, "he is a professor of mathematics, and the people with him are his graduate students. He has motor neuron disease that progressively paralyzes every part of the body. He has been given five years at the most. It must be the most dreadful fate that can befall a human being."

A few weeks later, as I was leaving the building, he was coming in, and when I held the door open for his electric wheelchair to come through, our eyes met. With surprise I saw that his eyes were clear. There was no trace in them of unhappiness. I knew immediately he had relinquished resistance; he was living in surrender.

A number of years later when buying a newspaper at a kiosk, I was amazed to see him on the front page of a popular international news magazine. Not only was he still alive, but he had by then become the world's most famous theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking. There was a beautiful line in the article that confirmed what I had seen when I had looked into his eyes many years earlier. Commenting upon his life, he said (now with the help of the voice synthesizer), "Who could have wished for more?"


gay rites

A tiny excerpt from "Young Gay Rites," in The New York Times Magazine - April 27.

Had gay marriage been an option when I was 23 and recently out of the closet, I might very well have proposed to my first gay love. Like many gay men my age and older, I grew up believing that gay men in a happy long-term relationship was an oxymoron. (I entered high school in 1989, before gay teenagers started taking their boyfriends to the prom.) If I was lucky enough to find love, I thought, I’d better hold onto it. And part of me tried, but a bigger part of me wanted to pitch a tent in my favorite gay bar. I wasn’t alone. Everywhere I looked, gay men in their 20s — or, if they hadn’t come out until later, their 30s, 40s and 50s — seemed to be eschewing commitment in favor of the excitement promised by unabashedly sexualized urban gay communities. There was a reason, of course, why so many gay men my age and older seemed intent on living a protracted adolescence: We had been cheated of our actual adolescence. While most of our heterosexual peers had experienced, in their teens, socialization around courtship, dating and sexuality, many of us had grown up closeted and fearful, “our most precious and tender feelings rarely validated or reflected back to us by our families and communities,” as Alan Downs, the author of “The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World,” puts it. When we managed to express our sexuality, the experience often came booby-trapped with secrecy, manipulation or debilitating shame.

No wonder, then, that in our 20s so many of us moved to big-city gay neighborhoods and aggressively went about trying to make up for lost time. And no wonder that some of us — myself included — occasionally went overboard.

“The expectation for many years was that if you did any dating in your 20s, they were essentially ‘practice relationships’ where you did what heterosexual kids get to do in junior high, high school and college,” says Jeffrey Chernin, a Los Angeles psychotherapist and the author of “Get Closer: A Gay Men’s Guide to Intimacy and Relationships.” “But for many gay men, your 20s were about meeting a lot of different people, going out to bars with your friends and having a lot of sex. That has long been considered a rite of passage in the gay community.”

But young gay men today are coming of age in a different time from the baby-boom generation of gays and lesbians who fashioned modern gay culture in this country — or even from me, a gay man in his early 30s. While being a gay teenager today can still be difficult and potentially dangerous (particularly for those who live in noncosmopolitan areas or are considered effeminate), gay teenagers are coming out earlier and are increasingly able to experience their gay adolescence. That, in turn, has made them more likely to feel normal. Many young gay men don’t see themselves as all that different from their heterosexual peers, and many profess to want what they’ve long seen espoused by mainstream American culture: a long-term relationship and the chance to start a family.

“For many young gay men today, settling down in a relationship in their 20s — or getting married if they live in Massachusetts — will feel like a very natural thing to do..."

Read it here.

Friday, April 25, 2008

what are you carrying around?

Two Zen monks, Tanzan and Ekido...were walking along a country road that had become extremely muddy after heavy rains. Near a village, they came upon a young woman who was trying to cross the road, but the mud was so deep it would have ruined the silk kimono she was wearing. Tanzan at once picked her up and carried her to the other side.

The monks walked on in silence.

Five hours later, as they were approaching the lodging temple, Ekido cound't restrain himself any longer. "Why did you carry that girl across the road?" he asked. "We monks are not supposed to do things like that."

"I put the girl down hours ago," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?

A New Earth.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

it's time

i've held off as long as i could. you all know how i get when i read a book that i love, and this one in particular i've tried to not gush about. i don't want to alienate you by talking about my spiritual journey -- besides, it's my own. it's private. then again, what is "private"? what is anything? what is a unicorn?

i think i've held off long enough. it's time to talk about A New Earth. cpg and i read it together, and we've had some fun discussing and applying it. the book is also getting a ton of internet chatter, both praise and criticism -- likewise for its author, eckhart tolle, and the channel through which about a billion people have come to hear about the book: oprah. as you may know, tolle and oprah are being criticized for "repackaging Buddhism," "profaning the church," and creating their own religion. but i'm telling you, this isn't about religion. this is about you. us.

i'd like to share with you, over the next few days, a few parts of A New Earth that spoke to me in special and memorable ways -- just a few, despite the fact that i found so many portions of this book to be eye-opening and moving. do with these excerpts what you will. if they speak to you, then go grab a copy of A New Earth. if they don't, that's all right, too.

NOTE: i've found that tolle's writing takes patience. if you can make it to the end of a paragraph, or the end of a chapter, you're more likely to see the big picture. it can be a slow walk, though, i'm warning you.

* * *

The greatest achievement of humanity is not its works of art, science, or technology, but the recognition of its own dysfunction, its own madness...

To recognize one's own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence. A new dimension of consciousness had begun to emerge on the planet, a first tentative flowering. Those rare individuals then spoke to their contemporaries. They spoke of sin, of suffering, of delusion. They said, "Look how you live. See what you are doing, the suffering you create." They then pointed to the possibility of awakening from the collective nightmare of "normal" human existence. They showed the way.

The world was not yet ready for them, and yet they were a vital and necessary part of human awakening. Inevitably, they were mostly misunderstood by their contemporaries, as well as by subsequent generations. Their teachings, although both simple and powerful, became distorted and misinterpreted, in some cases even as they were recorded in writing by their disciples. Over the centuries, many things were added that had nothing to do with the original teachings, but were reflections of a fundamental misunderstanding. Some of the teachers were ridiculed, reviled, or killed; others came to be worshiped as gods. Teachings that pointed the way beyond the dysfunction of the human mind, the way out of the collective insanity, were distorted and became themselves part of the insanity.

And so religions, to a large extent, became divisive rather than unifying forces. Instead of bringing about an ending of violence and hatred through a realization of the fundamental oneness of life, they brought more violence and hatred, more divisions between people as well as between different religions and even within the same religion. They became ideologies, belief systems people could identify with and so use them to enhance their false sense of self. Through them, they could make themselves "right" and others "wrong" and thus define their identity through their enemies, the "others," the "nonbelievers," or "wrong believers" who not infrequently they saw themselves justified in killing. Man made "God" in his own image. The eternal, the infinite, and unnameable was reduced to a mental idol that you had to believe in and worship as "my god" or "our god."

And yet... and yet... inspite of all the insane deeds perpetrated in the name of religion, the Truth to which they point still shines at their core. It still shines, however dimly, though layers upon layers of distortion and misinterpretation.

* * *

sam's town

i feel an energy beneath my feet

like something underground is gonna come up and carry me

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

sucks for them

i bet the advent of the iPod has decreased street performers' daily income dramatically.

as i walked past a violin player on broad street today, all i could hear was beyonce singing loudly in my ear PIKCHAH US DANCIN' REAL CLOSE IN A DARK DARK CORNAH OF A BASEMENT PARTAYY.

running into an old flame on the street

that's what it felt like this a.m. when i heard one of my oldest, most favorite songs ever come onto the radio.
why aren't you on my iPod? i don't know. it's been years. everlong, if you will.
nice to hear from you again.
you're still sexy.

* * *
breathe out so i could breathe you in
and hold you in
and now i know you've always been
out of your head, out of my head i sang
and i wonder when i sing along with you
if everything could ever feel this real forever
if anything could ever be this good again
the only thing i'll ever ask of you
you've got to promise not to stop when i say when


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Neverland Generation

this morning as i walked down market street to the office, passing hoards of old men and women in suits, i found myself wondering if there will come a day when i'm that old man.

will i wake up some morning and suddenly be a balding, old lawyer, with a 38-inch waistline and an affinity for scotch? is it only a matter of time before i become a part of the older generation, or is the generation gap so wide that i will never cross it? --rather, that WE will never cross it?

i posit that there's something different about our generation. whether it's a flaw, a blessing, or a neutral cultural phenomenon, our generation refuses to grow up.

you know, i'm not far from 30. that was difficult to type... i need a second to stare at that...

okay, i'm good. i'm almost 30. as i near the big 3-0, my life is nothing like the life our parents led when they were 30. at that age, my mother had 2 children, multiple jobs, an overwhelming mortgage, and a big lawn that needed to be mowed on weekends. and here am i: still renting, still in school, with no mortgage or car payment. my biggest monthly expense is my cell phone bill, which my mom pays (OK, i know, that's kinda pathetic. i just... never changed the billing address :-). don't even get me started on children! though i have come a long way by keeping my catticus alive for almost 2 years now.

and it's not just me! i know plenty of "adults" who lead lives that are strikingly similar to mine. professionals, attorneys, people in their mid- to late 30's who still spend their weekends playing Guitar Hero and going for long bike rides and getting way too drunk at happy hours and professional networking functions.

as i sat at my desk at work, being productive as usual, i found myself pondering this phenomenon. so i started discussing the topic with my buddy patrick. actually, he brought it up by mentioning the fact that we're almost 30. when i told him my theory on our Neverland Generation, he concurred in part.

"i don't know what age i am," patrick shared. "teenagers look like little kids to me, but at work I still feel inferior to the adults... and my little bro looks at us like we're ancient, and my parents look at me like I'm 12..."

whereas patrick thinks this phenomenon is exacerbated by urban living, i think it's a cultural shift. on one hand, he's right that city-dwellers who are chasing financial success have a different focus, a different way of viewing the world. but all across the country there are 30-somethings wasting their evenings playing video games (case in point: my older brother) and partying like they're still 21.

we're the generation that will contribute $300 to a pair of jeans before we'll contribute it to our 401K. we're the yuppies who work hard and play hard, rather than just working hard and resting, like our forefathers dreamed of. at the end of the day, i think we're innately different from those fat, old lawyers we see on the street.

we didn't get to discuss the generational gap for very long, because the conversation quickly turned back to Guitar Hero, which is how patrick is spending his economic stimulus act money. i think i'll spend mine on jeans...

planning for the future

i was chatting with my good amigo manuel recently about plans after graduation, the job search, getting married, and other crazy things that seem so far away but are really just around the corner. during the conversation, manolo said something that shocked me, something i've thought about a lot since.

he said, "within two years bill and i plan to move to move to denver. we thought about new york, but... it'll be underwater someday." so matter-of-factly. so certainly. as if new york being flooded were as certain as the sun setting.

i couldn't help but wonder: should i consider global warming as i plan my own future? should i begin moving inland now? should i visit venice one last time, before it sinks completely? should i get a cool map-of-the-world tattoo on my back like that creepy little girl in Waterworld had?

i don't know about all that, but what i know for sure is, there are a few cities to which i will not be moving:
-new york

and to my dear friends in new york... um... maybe you can find your house on here? :-)


Monday, April 21, 2008

oprah says...

This is what I know for sure: the screenwriters of that movie Love Actually had the right idea, their premise being that Love is all around.

The chance to love and be loved exists no matter where you are. Most of us can't see it because we have our own preconceived ideas about what it is (it's supposed to knock you off your feet and make you swoon) and how it should appear (in a tall, slim, witty, charming package). So if Love doesn't show up wrapped in our personal fantasy, we fail to recognize it.

I know this for sure: Love is.

and matthew says:
i totally agree, and not only because she's oprah. she makes a lovely point, and one that echoes back to how paulo coelho explains God. "God is." more on that later, because i don't have my copy of The Witch of Portobello with me right now.

also, this reminded me: could whoever has my Love Actually dvd please return that ish to me? i need it, especially since finals are coming up and it's time to re-watch all my movies and re-read all my favorite books before june. thanks.


they've got a lot of nerve

i don't know what kind of training program trader joe's has, but the employees of that store are out of control. i've noticed it a few times. they act like personal shoppers, telling the old folk what to buy. they explain why their non-brands are better than brands. the produce vegans are super sassy and haven't showered in ages.

and last sunday, as i was shopping at tj's with my bff danielle, i almost killed the checkout counter kid. i say kid because i thought he was a boy, whereas when we left, danielle said "wait, that was a girl... right?" and i'm not one to get all concerned with gender, because it's nothing more than a social construct, but for the sake of making me feel like i was correct, let's call him a boy.

as he was ringing up my cart o' food, the checkout kid commented on my purchases, with comments like, "ooh, indiannnnn. yummm." and "skim MILK." so random. and then he crossed the line. as he rang up my CLIF Builder Bars - all natural protein bars - he looked at me and asked, "oh, 'ya tryin' to get big?" danielle started laughing and turned away. i didn't know what to say, so i answered truthfully: "yes."

i. was. livid.
embarrassed, really.

who told him he was allowed to ask personal questions of customers?

what if i had bought condoms? "ooh, 'ya plannin' on doin' it?"
or laxatives? "oh, 'ya wanna crap?"

call me old-fashioned, but i prefer my checkout wenches to keep their mouths shut, heads down, and meek smiles polite as they hand back my AmEx. period. full stop.

i'd even prefer the amazingly rude staff of Superfresh, who don't seem to realize that a) they're getting paid to work or b) opening up another checkout line is more productive than standing around expressing amazement about how many people are shopping on a saturday afternoon.

needless to say, i am now boycotting trader joe's, for up to a month, or as long as it takes until i find someone to drive me back there to get more groceries.

add this to the list of other things i continue to boycott:
-Cosi (except at breakfast time)
-heterosexual weddings
-pork & seafood
- (and apparently) studying

Sunday, April 20, 2008

and i quote

Ask yourself this: Are you a human being having a spiritual experience, or a spiritual being having a human experience?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

such a charming tale

when was the last time you paused to appreciate how sweet, charming, and inventive the pina colada song is?

has it been a while?

has it been too long?

let's take a moment to enjoy it, because i've been humming it and need to get it out of my head. we all know that the only way to get a song out of our heads is to sing it once, all the way through, without stopping. so i'm singing out loud. this is okay only because the roommate's away this weekend.

I was tired of my lady
We'd been together too long
Like a worn-out recording
Of a favorite song
So while she lay there sleeping
I read the paper in bed
And in the personal columns
There was this letter I read

"If you like Pina Coladas
And getting caught in the rain
If you're not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you'd like making love at midnight
In the dunes on the Cape
Then I'm the love that you've looked for
Write to me and escape."

I didn't think about my lady
I know that sounds kind of mean
But me and my old lady
Have fallen into the same old dull routine
So I wrote to the paper
Took out a personal ad
And though I'm nobody's poet
I thought it wasn't half bad

"Yes I like Pina Coladas
And getting caught in the rain
I'm not much into health food
I am into champagne
I've got to meet you by tomorrow noon
And cut through all this red-tape
At a bar called O'Malley's
Where we'll plan our escape."

So I waited with high hopes
And she walked in the place
I knew her smile in an instant
I knew the curve of her face
It was my own lovely lady
And she said, "Oh it's you."
Then we laughed for a moment
And I said, "I never knew."

That you like Pina Coladas
Getting caught in the rain
And the feel of the ocean
And the taste of champagne
If you'd like making love at midnight
In the dunes of the Cape
You're the lady I've looked for
Come with me and escape

update: singing didn't get song outta my outta my head. had to purchase song on iTunes. now playing on repeat.

rather than continue to answer this question, i wish to clarify that i am, in fact, NOT "tired of my lady." but i AM still listening to this song on repeat.

Friday, April 18, 2008

overactive jiminy cricket

hey e,

remember that time we were at the indian casino in upstate NY, and we were standing in line for that all-you-fat-americans-can-eat buffet? and then that annoying blonde girl came around to pester everyone by asking each person in line if he or she would like to sign up for a super savings gambler rewards card? i think the card was called the "You'll Probably Lose Your House and Be Forced Into Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Within a Year of Signing Up for This Rewards" Card. OH, and it was FREE!

but my point is, remember how when that annoying girl got to us in line and asked us if we would like to sign up for the YPLYHABFICSBWAYOSUFTR Card, i brutally rebuffed her by saying, "umm.... i think gambling is a sin," and then turned my back to her, only to hear her move on down the line of potential compulsive gamblers, asking the same question repeatedly?

so, i remembered that incident today, spontaneously, and i felt GUILTY. like... weirdly guilty. for probably an entire minute, i felt bad for what i said to the girl and wondered if i might have upset her.

but then, as per my usual m.o., i rationalized my way out of feeling sorry or guilty.

i figured that, at the very least, i gave that upstate new york part-time beauty school student something to go back and tell her co-workers in the breakroom. and i imagined them all screaming "omigaad then why was he in a casino??" and her being all like "i know, right?!" and then i felt happy about what i said to her. because everyone loves to have a story to tell.

be it bad news or good, if the story is interesting, people enjoy being the one to tell it first. that's human nature. and this facet of our ego explains why i took a tiiiiiny bit of pleasure in witnessing the girl get stabbed on the subway earlier this semester (see previous entry entitled, "a not-so-funny thing happened on the way to class"). that story carried me for DAYS, preventing awkward silences in multiple social settings. i told professors, even.

so, that's what i was thinking about earlier today.

slow news day.

oh, but did you hear tom and katie might be getting a divorce?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

i had a pear for breakfast

and then i enjoyed this memory:

Seth: What's that like? What's it taste like? Describe it like Hemingway.
Maggie: Well, it tastes like a pear. You don't know what a pear tastes like?
Seth: I don't know what a pear tastes like to you.
Maggie: Sweet, juicy, soft on your tongue... grainy like a sugary sand that dissolves in your mouth... How's that?
Seth: It's perfect.

i used to watch this movie compulsively in high school. probably about 40 times, no exaggeration. but i haven't seen it in years. maybe since high school.

city of angels, obviously...

at one point, seth reads one of my favorite books ever, A Moveable Feast, which i feel the urge to read every spring or early summer. i've blogged about it before, and i probably will again in the next few weeks, when i re-read it for the 101848th time.

the part seth reads, and to which he refers in the film:

As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.



it creeps in
beyond attention
but it gets stuck
if only for a few minutes
a dreadful few minutes
what if __?
maybe ___.

thankfully it ends
by a call
or a message
and all along it has been okay
all for naught
how silly of me

but i wish i could stop
myself from going through this

waste of time

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

heavy metal's new gay rights spokesman

who knew big screaming rocker henry rollins would become a leader in the fight for gay rights? and he's not even gay.

'To me it’s just common sense. You come out of the womb and you’re something. You’re straight, you’re gay or you’re lucky,' he said. 'You know what you are very soon in your life. So when someone says you can’t love that person, you can’t marry that person I’m like, 'Really, fuck you!' Boy, if I was gay I would kick your arse!'"

Said Rollins in an interview with a Cleveland newspaper, "I think it's really lame what's going on with those that are gay and I'm not gay. I was raised around gay folks. I was raised in the DC area. There are a lot of gay people there. My mom had gay friends. I had gay bosses.
. . .
What if it was weird to be straight? What if someone said, 'What's wrong with you?' for staring at a woman? I think if Bill and Tom want to get married, they should be able to in America. If someone has a problem with that, go on your way."

okay, i never liked black flag, and i think his music is just all screaming and noise, but he has always been sexy in that "he is either going to beat me up or hug me" kind of way. but -- um -- well, i guess all that is beside the point.

the point is, thanks, henry. . . you big stud!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

buddha says...

If you find a good companion, who is following the same spiritual path, travel together, overcoming obstacles as they arise.

and matthew says: cpg, i'm glad we're traveling together. you are a good companion on the path to the new earth. :-)

Monday, April 14, 2008

in a moment of weakness

i e-mailed the homophobic fox news dummy bill o'reilly. this is it:

* * *

Homophobia or willful ignorance?

Matthew to

This is not hate mail, nor is it a rant.

I would just like you to know that of the many comments you have made about homosexuals and the homosexual agenda, there is one that hurts most, simply because it is so wrong. It's a comment I wished for years were the truth. I tried. I prayed. I went to Bible college. I cried. I pled. And after years of struggling and abstaining from action, I had to face the fact that what you said, what I wanted so badly to be true, was wrong:

"There's a difference between who you are and what you do." The suggestion that homosexuality is an act. It is not an act. It requires no action. It needed no choice. Honestly, who would choose this?

I understand the ignorance of your supporters and supposedly your ignorance as well, because I come from a very conservative background and, in many ways, remain a conservative. I would have remained as conservative as you, had I been able to convince myself that homosexuality was a choice, a sin, or simply an action.

I also agree that there is an agenda: it's an intelligently orchestrated, pervasive campaign for acceptance and respect of one another, despite differences. A tactical attempt to foster recognition that, really, I do not deserve to be treated differently than you simply because of genetics or whatever makes a person a homosexual. What is so terrible about that, in the eyes of social conservatives, I may never know.

Thank you for reading.

Philadelphia, PA


you know how, after you have a sexy dream about someone about whom you shouldn't be having such dreams, you feel just a little bit guilty?

even worse, the next time you see that person you feel really guilty and awkward? maybe a little embarrassed? . . .especially when you run into him or her that morning, just hours after the vivid dream.

yeah, so . . . i feel awkward in the office this morning.

it was a fun dream, though.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Q: was it worth it?

sunday night, and i haven't done my work yet. 2 deadlines tomorrow. i ignored them all weekend, aside from when i was complaining about all the work i had to do.

instead of doing work friday, i took a nap and went to the neighborhood pub.
instead of doing it saturday, i rearranged my living room and took a nap and went out again.
say work again. "work."
today i suffer and i cram and i rush.

this weekend's infraction is not an isolated incident; rather, it has become a pattern this year.

A: definitely.

eternity. a new fragrance from james joyce.

senior year of college. dr. dickinson's literature class. silly me, i chose to write my paper on one of the most difficult books in our collection of modern classics: james joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

i wrote the paper, and i think i got an A- or something like that. but to this day, i have no effing clue what the book was about. not a clue.

when i stumbled upon this quote from the book, though, i was able to digest this little piece. joyce writes about ETERNITY and how incomprehensible it is. . . kinda like his novels, if you ask me.

at any rate, it's beautiful. i just wanted to share.

"For ever! For all eternity! Not for a year or for an age but for ever. Try to imagine the awful meaning of this.

You have often seen the sand on the seashore. How fine are its tiny grains! And how many of those tiny little grains go to make up the small handful which a child grasps in its play. Now imagine a mountain of that sand, a million miles high, reaching from the earth to the farthest heavens, and a million miles broad, extending to remotest space, and a million miles in thickness; and imagine such an enormous mass of countless particles of sand multiplied as often as there are leaves in the forest, drops of water in the mighty ocean, feathers on birds, scales on fish, hairs on animals, atoms in the vast expanse of the air: and imagine that at the end of every million years a little bird came to that mountain and carried away in its beak a tiny grain of that sand. How many millions upon millions of centuries would pass before that bird had carried away even a square foot of that mountain, how many eons upon eons of ages before it had carried away all?

Yet at the end of that immense stretch of time not even one instant of eternity could be said to have ended. At the end of all those billions and trillions of years eternity would have scarcely begun.

And if that mountain rose again after it had been all carried away, and if the bird came again and carried it all away again grain by grain, and if it so rose and sank as many times as there are stars in the sky, atoms in the air, drops of water in the sea, leaves on the trees, feathers upon birds, scales upon fish, hairs upon animals, at the end of all those innumerable risings and sinkings of that immeasurably vast mountain not one single instant of eternity could be said to have ended; even then, at the end of such a period, after that eon of time the mere thought of which makes our very brain reel dizzily, eternity would scarcely have begun."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

i just liked it

we are the ones we've been waiting for

saw it on an away message
didn't know where it came from
a google search shows it's from multiple sources
obamarama "borrowed" it for a speech as well
i still like it

everybody's got his something

things that center me:

*doing laundry
*buying new shoes
*throwing away outlines post-exams
*cleaning my abode
*falling asleep at the beach
*shaving and getting ready to go out
*driving, preferably fast
*creating a new playlist on my iPod
*finishing a book
*updating my checkbook

feeling centered is similar to feeling happy, yet the two are different.
in my mind, centered is more comparable to joyous.
joy is more pure, more simple than happiness.

happiness is its own category. it should probably get its own quick list

things that make me happy:

*getting cards in the mail, especially when it's NOT my birthday
*going an entire day without receiving a pointless text message
*pizza anytime after midnight
*random gifts. . . and not-so-random gifts
*talking to d on the phone


Friday, April 11, 2008

Lois, the wise black receptionist, says...

We cry because we don't have no shoes, but what about them people who don't have no feet?!

good point, lois. you certainly are the office sage.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

when blogging gets (really) personal

okay, so most of you know that i'm a total blogaholic, right? i become invested in the opinions and interests, and now even the personal lives, of people i do not know and will probably never meet.

during any given week day, i may skim 20 blogs. i take weekends off . . . mostly because nobody posts new blogs on weekends.

well, one of my favorite -- though less frequently updated than i would like -- blogs is Josh & Josh, a blog written by two cute new york metro homos. it's random, it's fun, it's not political. these are three qualities i appreciate in a time-wasting device such as a blog. these are things i look for to distract me from school and work.

one thing that surprises me about Josh & Josh is that they gladly break one of the cardinal rules in blogging: they put personal, identifying info about themselves and others on their blogs. sure, we all do that to an extent, but one of the Joshes recently did something i try really hard never to do (though sometimes my giddy self causes me to fail). check it out:

March 03, 2008

Josh H. Goes On A Date

Tonight I went on a great first date.

We had dinner at a small, authentic family-run Italian place on Smith Street. After dinner we meandered the streets of Cobble Hill and its rows of brownstones and ornate stoops until we reached the Brooklyn Heights promenade.

The promenade, hugging the shoreline of the East River, has unparalleled views of lower Manhattan. The skyline, from the Statue of Liberty up to the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, glittered like so many towering jewelry boxes, strings of lights stretching across the Brooklyn Bridge and branching out into the city.

We stopped for coffee and then continued winding through neighborhood streets, holding our hot drinks and looking in over-sized brownstone windows at elaborate tin ceilings and walls of books and ornate chandeliers, pointing out details we admired.

On a street corner near home, as it was time to say goodnight, he leaned in.

I did, too.

It was the ideal kiss. Not too much; not too little. Just right.

Then, the magic words: "I’d really like to see you again," he said.

"Really? Um, me too. Maybe Friday? A movie?"

He smiled. "Okay. Sure. Friday. A movie."

As I set off toward home, turning my head to take one last look at him, I turned up the collar of my jacket, stuffed my hands in my pockets, and smiled.

To say the least, I’m looking forward to Friday.

-from Josh & Josh are Rich and Famous

cute, right? yeah, i know.

and do you have any idea how hard it is for me to not write a post like that after every super fun date (like i had last night) with boy? HARD.

but living vicariously through josh h. will quench my desire to gush, so long as he keeps kissing and telling. i wonder if his boy du jour has since read the blog. . ?

yeah! what HE said!

“I wish many times that I would or could’ve shut up. But, I could just as well try not to breathe… I cannot be but as God made me.”

-Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Archbishop

when i read this, my heart skipped a beat. a little under a year ago, in a melodramatic moment during an argument, i said this in not so many, and not so eloquent, words.

i know at least one man understands me. my buddy desmond, that is.

to put his statements in context, rather than just make it all about me, tutu gave an acceptance speech tuesday night upon receiving the OUTSPOKEN award from the international gay and lesbian human rights commission.
* * *
according to my source, the san francisco bay guardian, "The theme of the evening was 'A Celebration of Courage.' Tutu is most definitely a living example of fearlessness, given his noted stand against apartheid in his native South Africa, as well as his outspoken support of female, as well as gay and lesbian, ordination in the Episcopal Church, a topic that has threatened a schism in that denomination. His fight against homophobia and sexual exclusivity in religion earned him the honors on this particular occasion."

Said Tutu during his acceptance speech, “How sad, how tragic, that the Church be so concerned with this issue when God’s children all the world over are suffering,” Tutu said. “I ask for your forgiveness for the way the Church has ostracized you.”

thanks, desi. that acknowledgment means a lot -- to me, at least.

gay marriage from a feminazi perspective

. . . well, probably. i am not sure who this blog commentator is, but it's an interesting point. and i quote:

* * *
You wrote:

If Wildmon could have seen our wedding, he would have witnessed two families, of all generations, bringing two men more closely together and in greater communion with their own parents and sisters and brothers and nieces and cousins and nephews and friends.

That is precisely what would have horrified Wildmon about your same-sex wedding. For fundamentalist Christians, a wedding is about the joining of a man and woman in a way that reinforces certain ideas about patriarchy and divine authority: God over man; man over woman; couple over child. When you and Aaron married, you rebelled against the idea that marriage and family is a way of submitting to the correct order of creation. Instead you replaced it with all sorts of horizontal and egalitarian commitments that celebrate love, equality, companionship and the joining of families rather than the production of children within a hierarchical family unit.
No wonder Wildmon sees you as a threat to civilization. If we followed your example, pretty soon we'd be out of metaphors for a God who looks a lot like an abusive, judgmental father-lord.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

dreaming of summer

a: but i think we should go somewhere
a: lets go somewhere warm..
a: just drive along the coast until the water gets clear and warm

i don't care about the stress that the first 2 months of summer hold. i'm still looking forward to it.

seeking original thought

i am so effing sick of the word "pandering."


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What if this really is as good as it gets?

I might be the only person on the face of the earth that knows you're the greatest woman on earth. I might be the only one who appreciates how amazing you are in every single thing that you do... and in every single thought that you have, and how you say what you mean, and how you almost always mean something that's all about being straight and good.
I think most people miss that about you, and I watch them, wondering how they can watch you bring their food, and clear their tables and never get that they just met the greatest woman alive.
And the fact that I get it makes me feel good, about me.

and i dance

i have stretched ropes from steeple to steeple
garlands from window to window
golden chains from star to star

and i dance

arthur rimbaud

Sunday, April 6, 2008

one shining day

weekend, actually. a shining weekend.

i did nothing but live. no school work, no bar application progress (oops). just happy hour, catching up with a friend i haven't seen in 2 years, drinking, dancing, sleeping, lunch, running, dinner, a trip to target, driving around for hours with boy, mexican food, laundry...

i did so much, yet i feel like i relaxed all weekend. such a lovely weekend.

now it's sunday afternoon, and i simply can't face all that i've been avoiding this weekend. instead i'm catching up on one of my truly guilty pleasures: celebrity playlists on iTunes. i totally buy into the "ooh, i guess if kelly ripa loves the song, it must be good..."

it's often surprising to me what celebs like. carrie underwood loves hard rock. vince vaughn listens to nothing but classic country music. most surprising to me was that aforementioned retard and co-host of regis and kelly actually has fantastic taste in some funky artists like damien rice (<3) and mazzy star. i would've guessed that she listened to nothing but hannah montana and the soundtrack from 'the little mermaid' on broadway. not that there's anything wrong with that.

some of the celeb faves weren't so surprising. queen latifah doesn't have one white artist on her list. backstreet boys listen to nothing but boy band pop. and homo alan cummings' list is full of gay icons. i won't rip on him, though, because i took his suggestion and just bought a really fantastic song that i had never heard before clicking on his playlist.

cyndi lauper

I'll stand by you

Don't try and push me away 'cause I'm just gonna stay
You can shine I won't deny you
And don't be afraid it'll all be okay

Do you know my name?
Well I ain't gonna take that big time line,
Won't be beat by a lie

Gonna call out to these embers waiting to ignite
Gonna pull you up by your love, by your love and tell you:

I'll stand by you...

I can see the frown you wear
All around like some faded crown
Like a watch over wound
Gonna call down to this diamond buried underground
Gonna pull you up by your love, by your love and tell you

When it's said and done
What you need will come and time won't let me
Let you let me waste it this time

this is the gayest and most brilliant thing. i'm not even a big cyndi fan. her day (and this song) def. came before my time.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

do all gays have blogs?

someone asked me that the other day when i mentioned my blog. i responded, "yes, of course."

maybe it's just the mo's i know who have them.

but then, doesn't everyone have a blog, in a way? everyone has a means of voicing his or her opinions, complaints, gritos, wishes, and dreams. people have diaries, e-mails to friends, letters home to grandma, pen pals in prison, etc. some of us just choose to put it all online, out in the open, where it can be viewed by complete strangers.

why would we do that, you ask? well, because... um... hm. why would we do that?

i don't really know why.

come to think of it, it sounds like a somewhat crazy idea.

excuse me while i review previous posts and delete any private information or maybe even entire posts, like last month's post entitled "my social security number."

also, i'm re-watching the wedding date. don't judge me.

Friday, April 4, 2008

it slowly rises

i wish we could open our eyes
to see in all directions at the same time
oh what a beautiful view

-marching bands of manhattan. one of two exceptions to my anti-deathcab, pro-postalservice stance.

four thousand calories

some days you just have to throw your hands up and ask, "who put the pony in the pony house?"

it's really all you can do.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

a lovely date

tonight i watched a basically straight-to-dvd from 3 years ago that i had just never bothered watching until now. my loss.

it was lovely. the wedding date. if you haven't seen it, i recommend it. it was fun, fast-paced, and had a soundtrack that was 70% michael buble'. if you know me at all, you know that buble' (or, as danielle used to say, "bubble," wins my heart.)

that reminds me -- in fact, most of the movie reminded me -- of london. even if we spent the entire trip listening to "i wanna go home..." we both knew we were in heaven. we didn't want to go home. london was so nice. so... right. it really felt like home. it probably wouldn't have, had you not been there. but you were there. and it did.

at one point in the film, they played cricket in kensington gardens, where we spent a rainy afternoon wandering and talking, searching for the marble arch. it's big, but it isn't easy to find.

at any rate, here are a few of my fave quotes from my date tonight. but i suggest you watch it for yourself.

* * *
I've been spilling my guts all weekend and I don't know a thing about you.
... I'm allergic to fabric softener. I majored in comparative literature at Brown. I hate anchovies. And I think I'd miss you even if we never met.

* * *
There's no such thing as "out of the blue".

* * *
What's wrong??
Nothing that a bottle of Jack and a straight razor won't fix.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

flashback. spring 2003.

Patrick: we had dinner and a walk and nice talk last night
me: did you walk barefoot and get ice cream?
Patrick: no, that was the cutest walk ever

5 years go by so quickly. wow.

i still remember the smell of early spring in grove city. so soft.
philadelphia doesn't smell quite the same, even on warm spring days like today.
i'm sure the same goes for new york, eh?