Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Wednesday's Child is Full of Woe...

I was therefore not even remotely surprised to learn that I was born on a Wednesday. It's good to finally have an explanation of all this woe. And of course, it's all my own fault...I was due on Monday, which would have made me Fair of Face, but I wasn't quite finished wouldn't believe how hard it is to get a proper crease and a good manicure in utero. On the other hand, that Monday was Christmas, and I'm not sure a fair face would be adequate recompense for having to share my birthday with Jesus Christ, rather than with Marlene Dietrich. I mean, sure, the former redeemed humanity and saved us all from sin and godlessness (or so They claim), but I'm more impressed by the latter's abilities to wear a twelve-foot-long white chinchilla coat in a hot spotlight and sing badly before a stadium full of screaming fags who paid top dollar to be there.

So anyway, back to the bitching about my woe (you didn't honestly think I would start a blog with that title and not launch immediately into a lurid bitchfest, did you?)

I realized a few days ago that this bleak, mopey, verge-of-tears, I-hate-everybody feeling I have been laboring with this month is just my cyclical Depression stopping in for its biannual visit. I usually sink into a depressed state every six months, generally falling in the August/September and February/March ranges. Bipolar disorder and other various forms of depression run rampant in my family tree, hand-in-hand with a predilection for substance abuse, weak teeth, teenage acne, degenerative myopia, and considerably more intelligence than attention-span. It made my occasional depression easier to get through, though, when I realized that it was a condition, a physical problem rather than a circumstantial problem. It's like catching a cold instead of being hung over...not my fault, nor other people's faults, just nothing I can do about it but ride it out...until someday down the line when it gets so bad that I have to be medicated. From what I understand, this sort of inherited depression is very like inherited gets worse as you get older.

The thing is, though, that even while I understand that my feeling low is just a chemical imbalance, it doesn't stop me from cracking under the pressure of everyday misfortunes. I feel that every thing that happens to me this month is another evidence that God doesn't like me, that I must have been a real asshole in a previous life, and/or that some supernatural agency (be it Fate, Fortune, or Miss Cleo) is out to get me...I'm not paranoid, it's just that they're following me...

Take Monday for example. It was spectacularly bad!

The weekend had been tiring, but fun: on Saturday I cleaned almost the whole house in one morning (exhausting, but satisfying) then traipsed off the the City to get together with some friends and officiate at Drag Bingo (someone else was supposed to call the numbers, but that someone pooped out, so I got to live the undreamed-of dream, calling Bingo in drag), then got back out of drag with the same friends and went out for midnight breakfast at Baghdad Cafe; Sunday I had to get up early and help Grandmother pack, then went out to (morning) breakfast with her, her nephew Lee (whose visit occasioned Saturday's housecleaning), and my uncle, before Lee and Grandmother took off for a visit to GM's old hometown, Visalia CA...then spent the afternoon scouring a few flea markets and second-hand stores (without finding anything worth buying), and the rest of the evening loafing around the (empty and eerily silent) house, playing video games and watching television.

But come Monday...I should have known when I woke up with my shoulders painfully hunched and my back curved unnaturally, with all of my muscles clenched and sore, that it was going to be a bad's a rule of thumb for the future: if you have to do relaxation exercises and electric massage before you can even get out of bed, you may want to just stay there. So anyway, when I did manage to get myself unraveled, showered, and breakfasted, I got to the office and found that the parking spaces were I had to park way the hell over on the other side of the District Office, which is a good fifteen-minute walk away. A pleasant walk, but I had to go right into the sun, and I didn't have either a hat or my sunglasses, so I got to the office with a lovely headache and a squint.

When I arrived back at the office, I was just in time to see the Boss Lady go into a meltdown. Certain dramas are going down here in the world of my office, and she is getting all emotional over them...she broke down in tears on four separate occasions during the day, notably when she took me to task for publishing a meeting agenda containing a certain item that she'd told me to delete; she went on to accuse me of passive-aggresively sabotaging her work and making her feel unsupported and unloved. I took that with a certain equanimity, even though I felt it was unfair, because I know from long experience that rational argumentation and over-emotional crying people do not mix.

Later on in the day, when I was enjoying a quiet moment at my lunch hour and typing away about my thoughts on book-to-film conversions (in relation to The Queen of the Damned) and expressing my extreme loves for the novels of Dorothy L. Sayers and Mary Renault, I accidentally hit the menu key and the letter B, instead of [SHIFT]-B (damned fingernails), and lost all of my quite voluminous and interesting writings as the browser reverted to the previous page and discarded all unsaved information. It made me so angry my stomach hurt. And I didn't have time to retype the bare skeleton of information, much less look up all my links again. So I just sat there, screaming on the inside, for about ten minutes before I managed to get up and go do something else.

Finally, at the end of the day, I went hiking back to my car, and discovered on arrival that my passenger-side window was gone...actually, it was all there, but half of it was lying on the sidewalk and half was scattered across the seat. Some idiot asshole moron of a thief had come along, saw my $17 portable CD player lying on the seat, and so broke the window out to take it. Fortunately for me, though much to my irritation, the thief did not linger to make a proper haul, but instead left some jewelry in the glove compartment, my checkbook and credit card in the saddlebag, my camera and birding glasses behind the seat, and an expensive overcoat in the back. It's vexing to be robbed, but even more vexing to be violated by someone of such crashing, monumental stupidity. I mean, anyone of the meanest intelligence would have seen that the CD player was manufactured by Tozai, and had less market value than my hubcaps, which would have been much easier to obtain.

Well, it was hugely inconvenient, and cost me $122.65 and two hours out of my work-day to get it fixed. Plus one of my favorite Ella Fitzgerald CDs was in the player, so I'll have to replace that as well...not to mention getting a new portable CD player for the car (the moron didn't even try to take the tape-deck adapter or the DC-adapter lighter-plug, for which I also paid more than I did for the stupid CD player). But it could have been worse, I keep telling myself...but it couldn't have come at a worse time, when I just didn't have the emotional strength to deal with it. I spent most of yesterday trying not to cry over every little thing, which ended up giving me a sinus headache.

Well, now that's all taken care of, I have the rest of the week to get through. And hopefully the Depression will be over soon. Charting the progress of general bitchiness and cynicism in my blogs here and at the Galaxy Girls Site, I can see that the depression got started in late January, so it shouldn't take more than a week or so to run its course. And I can get back to being a cheerful, happy type of person that I like being, the creature of sweetness and light and optimism that I admire so.

In the meantime, at least I can soothe the savage breast with my vast collection of gorgeous-man photographs:

Friday, February 22, 2002

AAAUGH! The Friday, the Friday! Help!

Why don't I just start taking Fridays off? This one has been less of a disaster than some of the others, but it's nevertheless been a little slice of Hell all day!

First, I had two seemingly simple projects to get through: count ballots for a delegate election, and put together a garage sale flyer. Easy breezy, n'est-ce pas? Well, I'd forgotten how mind-numbingly tedious it is to count ballots. Then you have to muddle through the chagrin of so many incorrectly cast ballots, and worry that these people are teachers and librarians and counselors and are yet unable to read and follow simple instructions. It took most of the day. So I had very little time to give to the flyer, which is the thing I most wanted to do. Still, I got it done and sent and finished, and brought my day to a close.

Well, my next item was to go shopping for new jeans, which are on sale at Mervyn's. Caroline tagged along for the ride, as she found herself at a loose end. Well, we went out to Southshore Center, I got my jeans, and was ready to go...but by then Caroline had started shopping, and I swear to God she's the worst person to shop with. She has to try everything on, in at least five different sizes and colors, and she stands there in the dressing room staring at herself forever, trying to decide how the garment will look with different shoes, if she lost five pounds, if she gained five pounds, if she were standing in a high wind, if she were sitting in a chair, etc. That's what makes women so hard to shop with: men try on clothes to see if they fit our bodies, women try on lifestyles to see if their bodies fit them. Well, I ended up getting a couple more outfits while I waited for her, so it was okay, after all. I even got some really cute stationery. But it was boring nonetheless.

Then I went to the bank machine to get out some cash (because I couldn't find my checkbook, and I had promised my sister $100 to pay for my niece's piano lessons for the month). So after I withdrew the cash, my ATM receipt registered my balance as zero. "?!?!?!" When I got home, I went online and checked my statement, and it said my last deposit had been for $187.30...when it had in fact been $1,087.30! Big difference! So I had to call up the bank and listen to horrible lyricless acoustic-guitar hold-music while they straightened themselves out. One nice thing about Bank of America, though: when they screw up, they always admit it promptly and put it right with dispatch and courtesy.

Then when I logged into my email, I found that I had used the wrong logo in the flyer! Eeep! So I came running back to the office, since I didn't have any pertinent phone numbers at the house (I had left my address book on my desk, where it does me no good at all, since all those numbers are also in my computer). Fortunately, the logo thing had been settled at the other end, so I didn't have to do anything. But still, it was a scare.

And that is why I am sitting in my office at 10 pm on a Friday night. Oy. They say the definition of insanity is to repeat an action over and over, expecting different results each time. I keep thinking my Fridays are going to get better, but they never do. I should just accept the fact that Friday sucks, and move from that point.

Well, there is one part of Friday that doesn't suck: The Friday Five!

1. Hey, baby, what's your sign? Do you think it fits you pretty well? Capricorn (with Gemini rising, Scorpio moon, etc.) Following the link in the FF, I find this definition of Capricornity:
    When you find that you are smarter or more knowledgeable than those around you, you are also too clever to be arrogant about it. The Capricorn personality succeeds best through steady perseverance. Capricorn is symbolized by the goat, an animal sometimes considered stubborn, but one with great endurance. A mountain goat may not be able to go straight to the top, but must carefully find its way around boulders and along steep paths until it reaches the peak. So, too, the Capricorn personality does not always achieve immediate gratification, but will triumph in the long run. The Capricorn personality may sometimes be a little too practical. Don't let yourself become so serious that you forget to have your fair share of fun in life. People who know you well will come to admire your wisdom, and to place a high value on your advice. Most Capricorns make good friends because of their discretion. They don't force themselves into situation where they aren't wanted -- but they are usually wanted!
Yeah, I guess that suits me pretty well. I am not very serious, though sometimes I am boring. I'm not very perserverent, either, I tend to give up easily. And I just love immediate gratification, though I occasionally enjoy delayed gratification, and sometimes I forget which desire I'm trying to gratify...but if I don't get it fairly soon, I just stop wanting it.

2. What's the worst birthday gift you've ever received? Nothing. I hate getting nothing. And I often get nothing.

3. What's the best birthday gift you've ever received? Money! My mother once gave me $500 for my birthday, and that was really great (her mother-in-law had just died, leaving her a small chunk of change, and gifts were lavish that year). The second-best was the utterly perfect pair of vintage Hobé earrings that Shiloh gave me this year.

4. What's the best way you've celebrated your birthday thus far? My 24th birthday was lots of fun, as it corresponds with the big check mentioned above. After a shop-a-thon, I got good and dressed up (in an adorable black taffeta cocktail dress); then I took a bunch of friends out to a nightclub that had a comedian at the piano-bar. We ordered bottle after bottle of champagne, laughed with the comedian, then danced the rest of the night away. It was ever so much fun!

5. What are your plans for this weekend? Drag Bingo. Use your imaginations.

And now, for something lovely to look at:

Isn't he just too cute for words?

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Blog Is Tryin' to Tell You Somethin'

So last night I got home from my aunt's birthday dinner full to the brim with negative energy; it seems that my road-rage isn't limited to when I am thwarted or irritated as a driver...I get just as infuriated when I am sitting in the back seat. My uncle was driving, and I was cramped up in the backseat of his Mitsubishi Diamante (why is it that cars built in Asia, where the average person is 5'5", but for a North American market where the average height is 5'9", are nevertheless scaled to an Asian proportion?), and by the time I got back home I was in an absolute rage over SUV's, Humvees, people who hang their left hand negligently out of the window (especially if there's a cigarette in the hand), people who drive dangerously slow, and halogen headlights. So I sat down at the computer and started pouring my rage into my blog, delineating a very precise and honest essay on the evils of timid driving and lane-blocking, the self-centered mindset of SUV-drivers and halogen-headlight-owners, the inherent tackiness of Humvees and Volkswagens...a vituperative account rounded out with a few home truths about my own less-than-fabulous driving skills.

And after an hour of cathartic venting, I clicked the 'Post & Publish' button and...nothing. One of those "page not available" scripts came up in the posts window, and the edit window went blank, taking an hour's worth of worked-out anger with it. Of course on this one occasion I forgot to save the text before I posted it, as I usually do (prompted by the other times I've lost huge amounts of text in this fashion).

Well, I didn't have a hissy fit, though I sort of wanted to. I just didn't feel the anger any more. I had vented; okay, so my work was lost to posterity, but there really wasn't anything in there worth saving. I mean, I don't save my own puke in a little zip-lock baggie, do I? I don't scoop turds out of the pot and have them bronzed and mounted on the mantel. I don't preserve my urine in little crystal flagons. So I don't really need to preserve my infuriated spewing blogs for the enlightenment of posterity. Sometimes they're funny, but they're not important. The purpose of venting is to get rid of the emotions, not to write them down so you can remind yourself what pisses you off later on.

Thank you, Blog, for teaching me that valuable lesson.

I still hate SUV's, though. Patience and tolerance. Patience and tolerance. Patience and tolerance. Patience and tolerance. Patience and tolerance...

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Patience and Tolerance...Wuzzat?

Ah, those Cardinal Virtues. I used to be steeped to the gills in Virtues. Now I'm just a mess. I have to get back my patience and tolerance, as well as all my other virtues that I've misplaced in the last few months...or years. I don't remember exactly when I started on the downward spiral that I currently ride, it may have been fairly recent, it may have been coming on for some time. Hard to tell. But I know that when I had patience and tolerance for my fellow man, I also had love for my fellow man (it all goes together). And, though I seem to have lost track of it lately, my own personal philosophy is that the Purpose of Life is to Laugh and to Love.

Anyway, I heard something very wise tonight, and I am going to take it out in virtual needlepoint right here: Patience is like a muscle: everyone has it, but you have to exercise it to make it grow. Ain't that a kick in the rubber parts? Arnold Beckhof says?...via Harvey Fierstein? One of my all-time favorite movies (I'm talking about Torch Song Trilogy, in case you didn't know). I could use a good cry just about now...I wish I had it on tape, I would put it in, fast-forward to that echt scene where Harvey and Anne Bancroft (as Arnold and Ma) have the big showdown, and at the end of the scene Arnold is holding the little totems of all his loved-ones as Ella Fitzgerald croons "This Time The Dream's On Me"...that scene always chokes me up.

Goddamned sentimental pap. Ooops, that slipped out. Exercise tolerance and patience, Marlénè! And a one, and a two!


I have to go take out the garbage now, and get in bed, and all that.


(Sorry, no piccie tonite...I don't want to overload the page so it takes forever to come up...scroll down and revisit an old favorite, OK?)

Monday, February 18, 2002

And Now For Something Completely Different

A brief blog entry: I had a helluva weekend! Great shopping (new jeans and CDs of Fitzgerald, Lee, and Piaf), great drag show (meet and greet your favorite bloggers, pelt them with Dove Promises), great reading (Dorothy L. Sayers, Lord Peter Views the Body). Bad diarrhea (leftover from the cold or flu last week), bad sleep deprivation (nightmares and getting-up-in-the-night caused by abovementioned), bad niece in my hair (love her, but don't love having her in the house...too noisy and girly).

I have so much more to say, but I'm too damned tired.

Tomorrow: it's another day.

And, too, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words. Have a bite of Bidgood.

Friday, February 15, 2002

Frightfully Fried Friday!

Well, if there's nothing else good you can say about me, you can say I'm consistent. So after a week of coming in sick to work, just barely able to muddle through my days, but somehow managing to get plenty done, I have come stumbling in for another Friday of incomparable stupidity. And I'm not sick anymore, so I can't use that excuse. Friday is just the day for me being SO STUPID!

How stupid are you?

I'm so stupid I came to work on a Holiday! The District decided for some unconscionable reason to split President's Day back into the origingal Lincoln and Washington days, and then bookend them into a four-day weekend. And I totally forgot about it! I'm sitting here doing actual work, so proud of myself that I'm finally having a productive Friday, getting a mailer ready and printing fliers to be distributed at the four campuses. And so I start calling all the ladies who distribute fliers for us at the campus mailrooms, and I kept getting answering machines! "Quelle strange," I said to myself. "Hey," I went on talking to myself, but in English, "I also noticed that the flags weren't flying across the street...I wonder?..." So I called the District Office, and the answering machine there told me that it was Lincoln's Birthday Holiday Observance, implying that only a moron of the first water would try to call the District Office on a holiday celebrating the life of the Great Emancipator.

Oy gevalt. I had better get going. I have some shopping to do...leftover Valentine's goodies await me, and I would like a white or cream-colored belt to wear with my new red jersey dress this weekend. But before I go, it's time for that one highlight in a typically dismal day, the Friday Five!

1. What was the first thing you ever cooked? I believe it was Boy Scout Stew...unfortunately not made with real Boy Scouts. It was done for a Merit Badge and turned out okay, if a bit salty.

But a better story is the first time I tried to cook, at the age of three: Mother had been taking us almost daily to a local diner for breakfast (I think she was dating the owner), where we always sat at the counter so we could see what was going was the first time I had been in a position to actually view the cooking process, and I was always extra fascinated watching the short-order cook fry eggs and pancakes and such on the big flat grill. So one morning when we didn't go to the diner (Mother was probably recovering from a rough night), I decided that I could make breakfast just like the man at the grill. Little did I know, however, that heat was the required element, not just the flat surface: I was bemused to discover that eggs didn't cook by themselves if you cracked them open on the kitchen floor, not even if you poked at them with a spatula. And being a cynic and an optimist at once, I had to test those results over and over until I either achieved success or ran out of eggs. Mother was not amused to find a dozen and a half eggs broken on the kitchen floor when she rose at noon.

2. What's your signature dish? Omelette aux fines herbes. It's the only thing I've ever managed to consistently do right. But then I also grill a mean steak, and have been known to assemble seafood scampi with moderate success.

3. Ever had a cooking disaster? (tasted like crap, didn't work, etc.) Describe. Here's a helpful hint: never bake shark. It isn't nice! Another helpful hint: don't drink and cook! My sister and I once tried to make fried chicken when we were ourselves quite fried on Bacardi & Coke, and we couldn't figure out why the chicken was black on the outside and red on the inside...turns out you're supposed to fry it on low heat. We ate it anyway, without ill results, which just goes to show that God looks after idiots and small children.

4. If skill and money were no object, what would make for your dream meal? Mmmm...start off with a perfect French onion soup with vegetables julienne and a quail's egg at the bottom, a slice of gruyère toast on top; then move on to a risotto del mare with scallops, salmon, catfish, shrimp, clams, carrots and peas in a cream sauce; then pork loin medallions in some kind of better-than-sex sauce, with new potatoes in butter & chives and steamed lemon-peppered broccoli on the side; then a salad of crisp baby greens with black olives, white grapes, thinly sliced purple onions, and pine nuts; then, for dessert, a Sacher torte (dark chocolate cake with raspberry filling and fudge ganache icing) with a raspberry sorbet, and strong espresso. After all that I could face a firing squad with complete equanimity.

5. What are you doing this weekend? I have a show on Sunday, the Galaxy of Love. Other than that, I am free as a bird. I guess I should do some cleaning around the house, but something tells me I'm going to be spending a lot of time in front of the TV.

Have a slice of beefcake, and a lovely weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2002

I Wish You Love

Happy Valentine's Day, my dears! I wasn't going to mention the V-word this year, but I somehow managed to hook into the spirit of love and affection that was once-upon-a-time the basis for celebrating Valentine's Day. Besides, I got prezzies, and that always softens me towards a holiday (Belgian chocolates and a Murano glass heart from one coworker, a pot of live white tulips from the other). So though I was just a few days ago disparaging Valentine's Day and everything associated with it, I am now wishing you a happy one. Every day there's something new for me.

Here's something else I've never done before: posting song lyrics. The following ditty is written by Albert A. Beach (oh, him) and set to music by Charles Trenet (good old Charley Trenet, where would we be without him). I learned to sing it in my recent voice class, and have always thought it was a nice sort of encapsulates how I feel about all the boys I've loved who couldn't love me back.

I wish you bluebirds in the spring

To give your heart a song to sing.

And then a kiss, but more than this,

I wish you love.

And in July, a lemonade

To cool you in a leafy glade.

I wish you health, and more than wealth,

I wish you love.

My breaking heart and I agree

That you and I could never be.

So with my best, my very best,

I set you free.

I wish you shelter from the storm,

A cozy fire to keep you warm,

But most of all, when snowflakes fall,

I wish you love.

Happy Valentine's Day

Well, now, having gotten all that sappiness out of the way, let me tell you how I really feel.

On the topic of Romantic Love, I have often wondered why I have always been such a failure in that realm. I mean, I have never fallen in love with anyone who fell in love with me, or even lust, or even deep like. Nor have I (to my knowledge) been the object of unrequited love, I have never had the burden of deflecting a love I could not return. Pourquoi? Perche? Por qué? Why-Oh-Why-Oh-Why-O?

So is it just Fate? Kismet? I'm suspicious. I always think "fate" is the lazy intellect's excuse, the trump card played when you can't admit your own part in something that happens to you. Or when you want to make something more than it really is, trying to convince yourself and others that what you want is a noble and inevitable thing, that your merest obsessive lust is a Love That's Meant To Be. In fact, I just don't believe in Fate.

Everything in this life is about choices. Yes, you are dealt a certain hand of cards by birth, your gender and your predilections and your looks, your socioeconomic status and nationality, all your many potentialities...everything you can become is given to you by the near-random accidents of nature and society that come together when you're born. But what you make of your life, what you do with that you've been given, how you live your life, what you do or don't do, which priorities you weigh in which balance, is all a matter of choice. And when our choices turn out wrong, or with different results than we desired, we blame it all on fate, as if Fate were some malignant diety pulling our strings for her own amusement. I just don't buy that.

So then there's the question of personal responsibility. Do I purposely set out to fall in love only with men who won't love me back? Do I somehow sense the other person's indifference, and act on it by constructing my feelings like a house of cards around that person in a self-destructive attempt at pre-sabotage? That requires a certain ESP that I doubt I have. Or perhaps it is that I am conscious of types who are incompatible, and purposely fall in love with them? Or perhaps I back up and run the other way when I sense that something might come of my attentions? Perhaps, perhaps.

But it's difficult to believe that I can have been so focused on self-destruction as to fall in love with six separate individuals, consecutively, who could not or would not love me back in a similar or even appreciable manner. Okay, the first two were straight, so that was just doomed anyway; the last two are still my friends (love is love, even if I can't have them like I originally wanted); in the middle are one I mishandled badly and wasted a really long period of time over and one who just sort of fizzled away before he moved to another state. But it seems to me that, over the last twenty years, I might have accidentally by pure dumb luck managed to at least fall into mutual 'deep like' with someone. Anyone. But no...I have been fully consistent in my romantic disability from the time I discovered sex to the present day. Twenty years. Jeez!

Well, while I don't believe in fate or predestination, I do believe in astrology. Not as a method by which one might plot one's course — I don't read my daily horoscopes and act on them (unless they tell me to do something I like doing, such as shopping or pampering myself) — but I do believe (to a certain extent) that some of the traits we start out with are determined by the moment of our birth, the various signs and planets under which we are born. I don't have any scientific evidence of it, except that it seems to me that too many people display traits that are attributed to the signs under which they are born for it to be a mere coincidence. It's not that I think the position of the stars affects your personality, so much as I believe that certain types of people are born during certain times of year, just as certain types of fruit and flowers bloom at specific times of year...a bit of biological programming that science hasn't completely codified yet.

So I once had my charts done professionally, and aside from finding out intriguing little tidbits — such as that my moon is in Scorpio (making me slightly nutty) and my Jupiter is in Virgo (making me slightly anal in work) — I was told that my Pluto was in Gemini at the eleventh house (or something stupid like was years ago, and I've long since lost the charts), which meant that I would not be happy in love until later in life. And so far, that has been utterly true.

But where astrology and the accidents of birth come to a halt is where I start making conscious choices about my life. I chose, after the final NO was stamped on my last romantic quest, to let it all admit defeat in Love and to just move on to other things. And in the last two years, I have made the conscious decision to abandon Romantic Love and all its many pitfalls, channeling my love and passion into my family, my friends, and my work, while devoting myself to purposeful celibacy (in the old-fashioned sense of the word, as in 'perpetually unmarried,' not in the modern sense of being sexless...I'm still a man, I still have testosterone, and I still require regular orgasms in order to be comfortable and happy). And in that time, I have learned to better do things, eating in restaurants, going to movies, travelling and sightseeing, playing cards, all the activities for which one usually wants a partner...and have learned to not want a man in my life. I don't really have time for a man right now, certainly not with my family responsibilities and my inability to share my stuff or do without my lavish amounts of free time; and even if I did have the time, I still have all my sexual hangups and personal shortcomings and general eccentricities, none of which should be carelessly foisted on some unsuspecting stranger.

The thing is, though, man is a mating animal. Although I give more credence to reason than to biology, I cannot completely escape my natural impulses, such as the reckless, pointless, purposeless yet entirely inexorable need to 'hook up.' So I figured that if I didn't want to fall into unrequited love again, and wasn't really interested in casual sex, there must be some sort of middle ground. So I thought..."dating."

Well, that was a pain in the ass...and not in a good way, either. Perhaps I went about it the wrong way? I put personal ads online in three or four places; I loved writing the ads, discovering my own personality in the process of advertising it. But out of the pitifully few responses I received, only three or four got past the email stage. And those three who got all the way to meeting me in person disappeared immediately thereafter (with one exception...I had to 'fade' on him, he was too creepy to date and too nice to dump). A most disappointing outing. Not just because I didn't get what I went after, but I also discovered that even the mildest forms of rejection have a deeply wounding effect on me.

And trying to date people I meet socially or in other person-to-person situations is even more fraught with peril. I have great difficulty expressing my interest in people, and never have gotten the nerve together to just blatantly ask someone out on a date. It's the same problem I have with casual sex: the possibility of rejection is much too present...and there is absolutely nothing, not even a painful prolonged death by burning at the stake, that I fear more than rejection. It's not rational, I know, it's a pathological phobia; but that doesn't make it any less real or any less compelling of a reason to not ask guys out on dates. (We shall pass over the glaring and painfully suggestive fact that nobody has bothered to ask me, thereby precluding my having to ask and risk the rejection.)

So with all of the above in consideration, I believe I made the right choice in celibacy, avoiding the behavior while I address the problems that have caused my past failures. And while I am fairly happy with my life, sans homme as it is, I do see and feel the lack of a Significant Other in my life's inventory. Especially around this time of year, where Romantic Love is so much discussed and fêted and made much of. I do tend to get a little bitter about the lovers I see and the couples I know. But then, I often struggle with being bitter about not being really young anymore, about not being beautiful in a Calvin Klein model manner, about not being able to dance ballet. And sometimes the sweetness and light of my preferred personality comes up against the grumbling, materialistic, the-world-owes-me-a-living personality traits I was also born with.

Well, anyway, it's nice to get all that off my chest. Happy Valentine's Day, my precious readers, and may Love and Happiness surround you wherever you go.

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Naïve Decadence

Pardon the mysterious title, but I coined the phrase earlier today and am very much in love with it.

Today is the day for computer graphics! I've been scanning, editing, and uploading all sorts of pictures today. And while I was at it, I decided to upload some of these new pictures into my Webshots community page, and then found some more pictures to upload into Webshots as well as my own FTP space. As a result, I have spent most of a very enjoyable day on line. And all because I couldn't find a picture online that I could post for Valentine's Day.

Hey, aren't you the queen who just said a couple of days ago that she'd rather eat broken cheap crystal than celebrate Valentine's Day?

Yes, yes, I know. But I am really only disdaining the overwhelming crass heterosexual commercialism of the holiday, not the imagery or the ideas. So maybe I'm not Falling in Love with Love, per se...but one of the things I love most in this world is a pretty man; and even more, I love a pretty picture of a pretty man. So here's a sample, a sort of pre-Valentine for you:

The above is by photographer/filmmaker/designer James Bidgood. I absolutely adore Bidgood's work, it inspired the phrase "Naïve Decadence," which I think describes his style really well. I mean, there's a rank sexuality and overblown opulence in the settings and costumes, but the colors and the apparent intentions are really sensual and quite innocent. I have a lovely coffee table book of his work. The model is Bobby Kendall, with whom Bidgood worked extensively over a period of six years, preserving the extraordinary beauty of the boy at its peak. I scanned the picture myself from the postcard version of the book. Sort of Valentine-y, I thought. Put me in the holiday mood.

I'm still not going to buy Valentine's least not until Friday, when they will all be half-off! I plan a hell of a spree down the chocolate aisles, plucking with greedy fingers at the leftover hearts and flowers! Then when I'm good and fat, I'll start hunting for a husband. Any cute young boys out there who want to hook up with a fat old drag queen with an attitude and no money?

Monday, February 11, 2002

I Be Illin'

God help me, I'm sick again. Another one of those nasty cold/flu bugs is making the rounds, picking off the weak and the deformed; I over-tired myself last week, and then spent a lot of (really fun) time this weekend in close contact with other people and physically exerting myself in the cold, et voilà! Now I have the cold/flu, and am utterly miserable...stuffy runny nose, congested chest, slightly sore throat, headache, muscle ache, and dramatically decreased sentience.

The worst part of being ill is that everyone has their own Special Remedy, and they feel that my misery will be assuaged if only they share their Gothic cures with me. My Grandmother is a big proponent of Cold-Eeze brand medicinal drops, which are mostly zinc and Vitamin C, and do absolutely nothing for me but coat my hard palate with a foul-tasting film. Others swear by echinacea, which I think tastes like old cigarettes and cobwebs with chicory, as the cure-all. There is the hot-tea-with-honey school of thought, and the wrap-yourself-in-blankets-and-sweat method, and the over-the-counter pill-and-syrup brigade. Now I hear tell that Dr. Dean Edell, that chicken-necked network-radio quack/hack, has come out with the startling information that you can consume dairy products when you have a cold, that avoiding milk and cheese and yogurt and butter when you're phlegmmy is just an old wives' tale (I wonder how many $$$s the National Dairy Council deposited in Dr. Dean's Grand Cayman Islands bank account to procure this claim). There are other remedies of varying degree, from eating garlic or curry to smearing your chest with molasses and mustard (what am I, a ham?) Then they tell you to go home and get some rest.

Yes, I'm one of those evil people who go to work when they're sick. In the three years I've worked at my current job, I have only taken six hours of sick leave, and that was for an emergency dentist's appointment and some long lunches for personal sanity leave here and there. It's not that I feel I have to go to work, that the whole joint would shut down without my invaluable services (it does, but who cares?), but I seldom ever feel quite miserable enough to warrant staying home. I guess it's from my early training, where my father and stepmother instituted a rule (designed to limit our faking illnesses to get out of tests) wherein one had to either vomit, have diarrhea, and/or run a fever before being able to stay home from school.

Still, since I'm almost completely alone in my office most of the time, it's not like I'm spreading the flu around. If any of my three coworkers wants to avoid my germs, they can stay home. As it is, I'm the only person in the office who knows how to do about three-fourths of my daily tasks, and I'd just as soon be miserable at work in my ergonomic chair and big computer and boiling-water tea-tap than at home with the bed and the TV and the...bed.

So this evening I watched some of the Olympics, the pairs' long program (at least I think it was long program...I have no knowledge of the terminology, and wouldn't know a long program from a short program if you shoved them both up my ass). Figure-skating is so pretty! It's hardly even a sport. I especially liked the American couple, Zimmerman and Ina. He's such a big honeyhunk! (six feet tall...of course, most of these athletes are so small that an average five-nine looks like a giant next to all those four-ten and five-two skaters and gymnasts and divers) And of course she was as cute as a bug. I loved their little dip-dyed blue silk outfits, too. Just scrummy! I wanted to see the Canadian couple, Pelletier & Salé, who were shown warming up backstage (he's awfully handsome, and I do have a thing for Canadian men), but the network in its infinite wisdom cut over to the luge competition before they went on. I don't understand the luge at all...laying on your back and shooting down an ice tunnel, like a frozen turd in Jack Frost's colon. In fact, I don't understand most snow sports. The idea of sliding downhill at incredible speeds just doesn't appeal to me. It seems too much like falling down, and I had enough of that in my drinking days to last a lifetime.

Well, I guess I'd better get to bed now. The only cold "cure" that works for me is to drink plenty of fluids, eat nutritiously, and get lots of sleep...the way I see it, there is still no cure for the common cold, and all these remedies just prolong the suffering. So I just let the germs have their way with me, run their course, and exit the other end with as little fuss and obstruction as possible, taking as good of care of myself as I can, and only taking enough Advil and Robitussin to prevent myself from lying awake in actual agony or drowning in my own snot while I sleep.

Mmmm...Robitussin. It's calling to me. Do you hear it?

Buona sera, carissimi!

Sunday, February 10, 2002

Hooray for Love?

I am sick to death of Valentine's Day. There, I said it. I feel better. I'm trying not to be bitter, trying not to project my own romantic disappointments on the world at large, trying to present a calm and rational example of enlightened celibacy to the world, but it's really hard to do with all this free-floating V-Day expectation/anxiety. I mean, everything is red. It's very nerve-wracking.

What's worse is that I find myself wearing red a lot lately. I'm wearing red right now, even. I love the color red, I love almost every conceivable shade of red...the background of this here website is one of the prettiest, richest shades of red I've ever seen (which is why I chose it). But for some reason all the red in the newspaper ads and the tv ads and the magazine ads and the shop-windows and the restaurant counters and the deli cases is getting to me. Enough already!

So here's a little dilemma: I don't like Valentine's Day, I don't approve of Valentine's Day, and I don't intend to celebrate Valentine's Day. But everyone around me does like, approve, and celebrate Valentine's Day. So what do I do? Should I buy heart-shaped boxes of chocolate for my coworkers? Should I get something for the Grandmother? Should I send cards to my friends? Or should I take the high road and ignore it all? Should I refuse Valentine's Day gifts? One must if one has no intention of reciprocating. Is a puzzlement!

Oh, I know! I'll send out Chinese New Year's cards and gifts! Instead of Valentine's Day crap! What a fabulous solution! In Asia, red is the color of celebration (which makes one think about Communism in a rather different light) rather than of passion, as it is in Europe. And since I'm one-quarter Chinese, I can celebrate my Asian heritage! Instead of my three-eighths Irish heritage...which comes next month. Chinese New Year instead of Valentine's Day: I could get behind that.

So Gung Hay Fat Choy, darlings! Take your Catholic saint and your Hallmark-plotted Consumption Conspiracy and shove them!

I'm free!

I'm babbling.

I think I'd better go to bed now.

Good night, Moon!

Friday, February 8, 2002

Friday, the Fried Day

God, this has been a long week. I am so glad it's over! I'm utterly exhausted.

And to make it worse, I spent all day at the office today doing data entry. Is there anything in the world more tedious than data-entry? Fortunately, I was entering data into the very slow-moving online database of our national affiliate, so in between entries I could surf the internet, play Rummy, and answer the phone.

In our weekly travels we have come again to the Friday Five, and this week we have (quelle suprise!), a Valentine's Theme:

1. What's the most romantic thing you've ever done for someone else? Not surprisingly, I'm not a very romantic person...well, I'm not very sentimental, anyway. I've also never really been in a position to do romantic things. So outside of flowers and gifts, holding hands in public, and once having one of those awful amusement-park caricatures made (a ludicrous double-portrait with ghastly little floating hearts, it's been tucked behind my closet door since the 'romance' went phut), I've done nothing especially romantic for anyone.

2. What are your erogenous zones? There are parts of my neck that are extremely sensetive, more than anywhere else...but I'm pretty standard, I guess...genitals, nipples, toes, etc.

3. How old were you the first time you had sex? Care to expound? I was nineteen. I had no idea, outside of fiction, what was involved in the whole sexual intercourse thing, and hadn't a clue what to do. Unfortunately, neither did Joey (he was seventeen)...and what made it worse, he acted as if he did know what he was doing. When you have two people expecting the other guy to make the first move, you don't get anywhere very fast. I don't remember enjoying it very much, being too overwhelmed by the novelty to really pay attention to the details or savor the sensations...but then, it was fifteen years ago, so I'm surprised I remember it at all.

4. What's the most unusual place you've ever had sex? I don't think I've ever done it anywhere that nobody else had done it, and, apartments (kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, baths, terraces), public restrooms, cars, all the usual places. I tried to have sex in a mausoleum once, but the other guy was creeped out. I think the faculty courtyard of my neighborhood elementary school was the oddest place I've ever done it...but I'm sure we were not the first, or the last, to use that particular garden for that particular pastime.

5. Do you have plans for Valentine's Day or is it just another Thursday? I hate Valentine's Day. It pisses me off. All the "Be part of a couple"-ness of it all. No room for us celibate, single-on-purpose, antisentimental types. But for some reason I am socially very much in demand this year. I am going to a Find-A-Valentine dinner party on Sunday, and I've been invited to an Anti-Valentine Pity-Party on Thursday...but I'm not sure if I can go, because Grandmother is thinking about having the niece and nephew over for dinner that night (my niece and nephew, not hers...the kids are her great-grandchildren). And as usual, the day after Valentine's is one of my favorite days of the year: all that candy, 50% off! I'll have to make sure I have plenty of spare cash next Friday.

Well, what else? I can't think of a thing. So, I guess I ought to put up a picture for you...hmmm...oh, here's one you'll like!

I wish I had two of him, I could make bookends.

Thursday, February 7, 2002

Oh, and another thing...

I was just wandering through my 'Favorites' menu, cleaning out old shortcuts and defunct sites, and I wanted to share this one with you before I deleted it:

What I find most disturbing about this extremely disturbing domain is that the woman is in complete earnest. You would almost swear it was a joke, but it isn't...and that just absolutely chills me.

Well, my day is finally done. I have some database maintenance to do tomorrow, but it's going to be another nice boring Friday for me. Staring at the wall, hunting for pictures of cute boybutts, fielding stupid phone calls, and hopefully writing. I wonder what the Friday Five will be?

Gruß und Kuß!


I'm late I'm late for a very important date!

I can't believe how busy I've been this week! I've been getting a lot done in the office and around the house, which is certainly nice, but I just haven't had time for really important things like blogging, napping, pornsurfing, or playing Rummy against the computer. I can't wait for next week, when there's nothing happening in the office and I can return to my usual goldbricking ways. This working business totally sucks!

Speaking of things which suck, or things we might like to suck, or things whom we wish would suck us, ponder the following:

Tuesday, February 5, 2002

Me Big Man, Build Things

You wouldn't believe what I spent my entire weekend doing: in the process of Organizing My Room, which is Phase II of the Taking-Control-of-My-Life Project, I spent the weekend building shelves. I feel like such a man now.

Of course, it's not like I went and bought a bunch of raw lumber and a router and such (am I the only one who thinks that guy on PBS's New Yankee Workshop is really creepy?)...the two sets of bookshelves came pre-packaged, finished planks with cut-out things where one inserts strange bolts and turns them with the little tool, which resembles the key that comes with tinned sardines (side-note...have you ever tried opening a ham or a can of sardines without the little key? It can't be done, which is why we have a drawer full of little keys salvaged from old cans). The wall-mounting shelves were similarly prefinished, almond enamel racks and 'maple' veneered shelves. But still, more than a little assembly was required, I had to obtain new tools, there was sawdust and drop-clothes involved, and I felt utterly, unspeakably butch afterward.

I mean, I bought them at Home Depot. And I enjoyed being at Home Depot (there was an unusual number of cute guys there). I also bought, while I was there, a studfinder, a level, and an electric screwdriver. So manly! And I really enjoyed assembling the bookcases and mounting the shelves on my walls. I even enjoyed moving my furniture and arranging my closet and all that crap. I had a really fun weekend doing work!

Sometimes I worry about myself. Whatever shall become of me?

Fortunately, this coming weekend is going to be very different from the last housework, no home improvement projects, no domestic drudgery of any kind. Just a drag show! Yay! And a Valentine's dinner. Hmmm. And church. Gack.

Maybe I should get some more shelves instead...

Friday, February 1, 2002

Another Friday, Another Blah

Ah, here we are at another Friday, the day for feeling stupid, the day for surfing porn, the day for catching up with all those little things in the office, the day for wishing I were lying on a beach somewhere far away from here where it is warm and balmy and a hot tight-muscled blond boy is serving me a glass of mango nectar with an umbrella in it.

But there's one bright spot on the Friday schedule: yet another installment of the Friday Five. Rather a lurid topic. Brace yourselves for nastiness:

1. Have you ever had braces? Any other teeth trauma? I was supposed to get braces when I was twelve to correct a small overbite and a majorly crooked front tooth, but Daddy lost his insurance before we got past the mold-making process. However, my mouth has been a constant source of trouble to me, starting with having two canine teeth growing upward from my hard palate (surgically removed at age ten) to the latest tooth extraction wherein the molar in question broke into several small pieces during the extraction's a very distinctive noise, tooth-breaking, and I hope to never hear it again as long as I live.

2. Ever broken any bones? No. My bones are freakishly strong. I broke my toe once, but that was a cartilage-break, not a bone-break. It hurt a lot.

3. Ever had stitches? Yes, but only from surgery. Three from oral surgeries (see above, then add the wisdom teeth), one from having an infected lymph node removed from under my chin, and one when I was a baby and had a duct-cyst removed.

4. What are the stories behind some of your [physical] scars? The scar under my chin is from the abovementioned surgery, and the one on my groin is also from above...but I think the most amusing scar I have is a tiny little burn-scar on my upper lip (now so small that you can barely see it) that I got when I was seven or eight: we were roasting marshmallows at the fireplace one winter's evening, and I started eating one of them before I noticed that it was actually on fire (those little blue flames, so hard to see). I set my whole face on fire, pretty much, starting an amazing panic among the womenfolk (my stepmother and -sisters were such drama queens) before I managed to put it out. I had a fabulously hideous burn all around my mouth and along the right side of my face for quite some time, but the only lasting scar was the little bit along my upper lip. I also have a tiny (but once-huge) scar on the palm of my right hand where was holding a bobby-pin that I decided to shove into an electrical socket when I was three.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend? I'm going to put up shelves! Basically, I have too much stuff in my room, and most of it is books and clothes. So I'm going to Home Depot and then IKEA and getting a bunch of shelves...wall-mounting, free-standing, closet-organizing, and anything else I can get my hands on for less than $300. Then I am going to rearrange my room for maximum storage space. That ought to take the whole weekend.

Well, that's all for me right now. I'll probably have more to say later on, when I am avoiding doing all the work that is involved in reorganizing my room. In the meantime, here's a little slice of cake for you: