Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Illness Pays!

Remember the surgeries I mentioned in my last post? Well, to make matters worse, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last January. I should've known. I had "the thirst" for the better part of the previous year. I ignored it.

But I plunged into caring for it with all the gusto I brought to my heart surgery in 2004 and my endarterectomies in 2005. 2006 was going to be my year for diabetes.

My old internist (I fired him in March) put me on an aggressive pharmaceutical regimen almost immediately. My A1C1 (a blood test) was 13.4, which was not good. I joined a gym. I stopped eating sugars and carbs (I looked at the labels on everything.... you'd be shocked to find out how loaded with carbs things like fruit-juice are).

I took another A1C1 test in early July, as part of my introductory physical with my new internist. It had dropped to 6.1 in six months.

I didn't know, until today, how astounding that was.

As part of my regimen for monitoring my diabetes I have a monthly 1/2 hour telecon with my diabetes coach at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick. She's an RN who specializes in caring for diabetics. About six weeks ago she asked me if I'd be interested in serving on a diabetes education oversight committee at the hospital, as a civilian "stakeholder". It involved sitting in on a meeting once a year and offering my input as a "non-medical" interested party. I said yes. It seemed like the least I could do.

We started to meet in the lobby of the hospital around 11:30 a.m. today. I was surprised at the number of high "muckety-mucks" who were on the committee. The doctor who heads the Endocrinology Department, the AVP in charge of nursing and other, important, department heads were all there. Mostly I just listened, but I piped up regarding a couple of issues, mostly having to do with the importance of "face-to-face" medical care. They'd been making a lot of noise about doing internet (read: e-mail) coaching. I bridled at that one, and said so.

They're going to do what they're going to do, but I stuck up for the patients as best I could. My coach thanked me afterwards and said that I had done a fine job of representing patient interests. Then she surprised me by asking me if I'd be willing to become a permanent member of the committee! I was flattered and said, "YES, OF COURSE."

All of this is well and good of course, but what I really want to KVELL about is the lunch. They fed us, buffet style. I was afraid it was going to be typical "hospital food." Boy, was I wrong! They had tuna wraps, turkey & cheese wraps, a really delicious salad and all kinds of fresh fruit. It was great!

It occured to me on the drive home that, at long last, one of my various medical conditions had FINALLY started earning its keep.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Brave Little Wimp

I had quadruple bypass surgery 3 years ago, come next March. My friends all made a big deal over it at the time, but I pretty much just walked through it without giving it much thought. I could've easily croaked on the table that day.

Last year I had bilateral endarterectomies. They sliced open both sides of my neck and then opened up and scraped the congealed cholesterol out of my carotid arteries. I didn't give too much thought to that, either, even though there was a high risk of stroke during both surgeries (they were done separately, two months apart).

I faced all that like it was a day in the park. So how come I turn into a puddle of wet goo at the prospect of buying a home?

I'm a hundred years old and I've never owned my own home. Well, that's not completely true. I did inherit one, once. But I immediately sold it for about $6,000.00 It was left to me by my grandmother. I was 20 years old at the time and going into the Navy. I really had no need of a house.

My mom wanted to leave me her home, but that all changed when she developed Alztheimer's and I had to (literally) bankrupt her in order to get her full-time care in a facility geared up to handle that for the last five years of her life. Frankly, I was relieved to not have to suffer the burden of home ownership.

There's so much to "do" when you own a home (like, everything). I got spoiled living in my ex's New York City coop for 15 years. The super(intendent) did everything. Old joke, "How many upper-east-siders does it take to change a lightbulb?" Answer: "Two. One to make drinks and one to call the super!" So true.

I've always been a tolerated guest in somebody else's home. From childhood. The first "home" I remember was actually my grandmother's house where I was constantly reminded that she was "taking care of me" because my mother couldn't or wouldn't. By the time I got around to living with my mother I felt like a tolerated guest in her house, too.

And so it went.

Oh I've paid rent, one way or another, throughout my life. But I've never had a mortgage in my name. I've never had a sense of "belonging" or "home", either.

I was born feeling like a gypsy. I think maybe that I'm just afraid of that much commitment. "Two keys and a big loan" is what I think of when I think about buying a house. And buying a townhome or a condo is, as far as I'm concerned, just looking for trouble. What if the neighbors go disco dancing every night at 3:00 a.m.? What if they have a bowling alley in their living room upstairs? What if the plumbing goes "kafloohey" in the middle of the day, when I'm at work in New York?

What if? what if? what if??

I'm terrified of defaulting on a mortgage but don't give a rat's patootie if they rip me apart in the OR.

Let's face it, I'm just a great big, butch, macho Wimp.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Another Opnin'

My buddies Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu's off-Broadway show, "The Big Voice - God or Merman" is opening this Thursday (I'm seeing it Saturday). I'm excited for Steve and Jim. This is a very big deal for anyone in the theater. I secretly hope that the show is a huge success. Traditionally, this is done by saying to them: "Break a Leg!" It's considered bad luck to wish somebody good luck in the theater. Nobody knows why. It's always been done that way. The theater has all kinds of odd-ball superstitions, like "no whistling in the dressing room" or "no shoes on the makeup table." Stuff like that. Actors are pretty crazy people.

I did a fair amount of theater in high school, which was the usual haven for burgeoning queers back in the 50's and 60's. But I really cut loose in college. I did 17 shows in three years at the University of Delaware. Oscar Wilde, Joe Orton, Tom Stoppard, Shakespeare, you name it, I did it. Musicals, too. "Where's Charley", "Damn Yankees", "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." I barely went to class, as is clearly evidenced by my transcript.

It turned out that I had a "hole in my soul" that seemed to get temporarily filled up by the adoring laughter and applause of an audience. I eventually got so addicted to it that I thought I couldn't live without it.

When I got out into the real world I was very disappointed to find out that people actually wanted me to audition for roles. How I resented that! So I didn't bother and, in time, I grew out of my need to act. Mostly by filling up the hole with other stuff, like booze and sex.

I eventually did join SAG, AFTRA and Equity (the three big actor's unions), and did a lot of commercial and print work in the very early 1980's. But my ex eventually tired of me being underemployed, so I wound up on Wall Street which, in it's own way, was the best acting gig I ever had. God knows it paid good!

These days I'm content to bask in the reflected glow of my friends' success. Oh sure, there are times when I miss the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd, but I'm no longer willing to do what has to be done to make a decent living in the theater. It's hard work, and I'm older and lazier these days. Folks who do it have my endless admiration.

So here's to my friends Jim and Steve on their big New York Opening!


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thank You!

I've been out of town. Way out of town. I spent Thanksgiving with an old, dear friend of mine who lives outside Charlottesville, Virginia. It's a long drive, but worth the effort.

We spent Thanksgiving morning taking the bird out of the oven to baste every hour or so and watched the Macy's Day Parade. No, that's not a misprint or a typo, I said the Macy's Day Parade. Let's face it, Macy's has a lock on it. If they bailed out, what would you do on Thanksgiving morning? Watch the Target Day Parade? Wal-Mart?

No, it's been The Macy's Day Parade since "Miracle on 34th Street" premiered in 1947. The parade is actually 80 years old (this year), but Macy's didn't take possession of the day until the movie came out. That's when mothers all over America started calling it "The Macy's Day Parade". "Turn on the tv" they'd yell from countless kitchens... "the Macy's Day Parade is coming on!"

And sure enough, it did.

Oh, in olden times it had some ostensible competition. I remember something from Detroit called "The Hudson Parade" and, of course, Philadelphia had "The Gimbel's Parade", but they were pale imitations of the real-deal... The Macy's Day Parade, with it's floats and clowns and marching bands from just about every high school in the U.S., not to mention THE FABULOUS ROCKETTES! And what little gay guy, stuck in some hickburg with a name like "Dead Cow" or "East Jesus", parked in front of the 13" black and white, donned only in his Davy Crockett coonskin hat and pjs, didn't want to grow up to be one of those? WHY, NONE!!!!

So, here's a great big thanks to you, Macy's Department Store! Thanks for the memories, thanks for the parades, thanks for Thanksgiving but most of all thanks for giving little gay guys like me all over the country something to dream about and something to hope for.

God bless us, everyone!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Is it Drafty in Here?

Bring back the draft. No, I'm not kidding.

I was kidnapped off the streets by the US Government in 1968 and, more or less, sold into involuntary servitude until 1972. It wasn't the best thing that ever happened to me, nor was it the worst.

But it did do this. There was NOBODY in my "class" in boot camp who thought Viet Nam was a good idea. Nor were there any gung-ho ground-pounders in my electronics schools who couldn't wait to get "in-country" so they could eat dead, burnt Cong bodies. And by the time I actually got into fleet service, in the summer of 1969, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that the war was a waste of money and lives.

And why was that good?

Because an army of involunteers is far less likely to support a coup d'etat than an army of paid mercernaries is. That's why. Many of my shipmates in the Navy, especially at my base outside of Washington (the Naval Air Test Center at Patuxent River) used their copious free time to volunteer for anti-war duty (organizing protests, participating in same) in Washington. I even knew some officers who were up to their eyeballs in the anti-war movement. I remember bringing fistfulls of the local underground paper in Washington, The QuickSilver Times, back to the base to distribute to my not-so-covert anti-war comrades. It contained the news that wasn't being published in the Washington Post, such as the rallying points around town for the May Day demonstrations in 1970 and '71. Demonstrations which, I would estimate, were populated by at least 1/3rd active-duty military personnel (in civvies, of course).

If you want to end an unpopular war quickly, have an armed services that's loaded with a bunch of disgruntled, shanghaied conscripts who are just one more bullshit order this side of stringing up an Admiral or General and who only pretend to have respect for authority (remember "fragging"?)

Furthermore, I still fold my socks and underwear the same way I learned in bootcamp.

Oh, and I'm not pee-shy, either. You get over being pee-shy (and poo-shy, too, for that matter) when the men's rooms (aka "heads") lack such niceties as "dividers" and "stalls." You'll go if you gotta go bad enough.

Oh, and I notice that they now have "privacy curtains" surrounding the bunks on-board ships these days. We did not have "privacy curtains." If you needed to take care of some matter of pressing, hormonal, origins, you just did it and let the chips, as it were, fall where they may.

As a gay man, I have to admit that I miss those wonderful mornings when I would awaken and look around at the forest of "morning wood" that surrounded me on the top-tier of bunks.

Ahhhh, the good old days.

So yes, please, bring back the draft.

And get rid of those friggin' privacy curtains while you're at it.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I've still got an emotional hangover from Friday (see: previous post). When I fall into the trap of believing that I'm supposed to be perfect and that anything less than perfection somehow, or other, makes ME the mistake, it takes me a couple of days to talk myself back into some semblance of stability and sanity.

This is how crazy I get... last night a friend of mine invited me to come over for "game night", an event he has at his home once a month or so. A normal person would leap at it, thinking, "oh boy! this will get me out of myself!" Not me. Oh, no, I couldn't possibly. I'm feeling terrible about myself, I think I'll go home and isolate and really talk myself into feeling even worse!

So I did.

Luckily I had to get together with a bunch of friends of mine this morning for a regular Sunday morning gig we have and, by the end of it, I was feeling much better. I was no longer "the" mistake.

So now I'm ready to go into that office tomorrow morning... and pretend like nothing happened. And if HE should bring it up I'm prepared to say, "Are you STILL stuck in that? Get over it, I have."

Thanksgiving Week is starting up. I'm leaving for Virigina first thing Tuesday morning and won't be back home until next Sunday. I'll probably post tomorrow but the remainder of the week might be spotty.

Like Bev, I don't want anyone wondering if I'm lying in a gutter somewhere... dead. No. Most likely I'm stuck in traffic on I-95 somewhere between NYC and Richmond (try the Beltway around DC... that's always good for a laugh... and a 17-mile backup)

Jeez, it's practically Christmas.

What are you getting me? :-)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Infuriating Bosses

My boss is making me crazy(er).

He sent me an e-mail yesterday morning asking "get me to Chicago 1st thing tomorrow morning, returning last thing tomorrow night". Okay. I got him the information. "Outbound at 6:00 a.m." No good. "Don't they have a red-eye to Chicago tonight, returning tomorrow night?" Okay. No, they don't. "Alright, then, what were the times tomorrow again?" I told him. "How about going out tomorrow morning and coming back first thing Saturday morning." I went back and got him the times for that. "No good. Too early. See if they have something going out around 8:00 a.m. and coming back on Saturday about the same time." Okay. "Well, don't they have anything in-between 6 and 8?" No, they don't.

He finally agrees to go out on a 6:00 a.m. on Friday and return on an 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. I book it. Great price. $300+ round-trip.

I come to work this morning. He's already in Chicago and sent me an e-mail, "what times are the last flights from O'Hare to LaGuardia on American tonight?"

Okay. I get him three flights AND the information that changing his cut-rate ticket at this point will result in him having to shuck out an additional $700.00. He goes ballistic (via e-mail). I call the travel agent and find that if he'd booked a fully-refundable ticket yesterday it would've cost him $1,100.00 round trip from NYC to Chicago. In other words, it would be the same.

I haven't heard a word from him since.

Naturally, I'm sitting here feeling as though I am, somehow or other, the failure in all this.

My rational mind, though, says, "he's insane and he's taking it out on you. You are NOT responsible for his shitty life. You are NOT supposed to be a mind-reader or a fortune teller." I know all that, intellectually. Still, I'm feeling "less than" right now.

Infuriating bosses have the nagging habit of bringing out the lack of self-esteem in me.

I hate when that happens.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sleeping Dawgs

The title of today's blog has two meanings. The first refers to my friend Bev Sykes, who is up to her eyeballs in puppies. Bev is a canine caregiver these days. She had lots of practice for the job. After all, she did raise five kids. Bev has a good soul. The puppies are adorable. Go check out her website for a real heartwarming read.

The second sleeping dawg I'm referring to is someone I knew during a brief career, long, long ago.

I'm heading to Virginia on Tuesday to spend Thanksgiving with a very dear friend of long-standing. Jan and I are real soulmates in a lot of ways and different as night and day in others. But we've always enjoyed the hell out of each other's company. I always look forward to some quality time with Jan.

I first met Jan when we were both wet behind the ears writer-producers at HBO/CineMax back in the very early days of the networks. It was so far back that we actually attended something called the "Cable ACE Awards" in those days, because cable shows weren't eligible for Emmy's, then. We didn't win.

I remember one time when Jan, who was not exactly a sports afficianado had been handed the assignment to write a bunch of promos for an upcoming prize fight. With the deadline staring her in the face she started calling all the other WPs to run some copy past them. "How does this sound?", she asked. "HE'S BIG, HE'S BLACK, HE HITS PEOPLE." We all agreed, it needed some work.

I have a ton of funny stories about Jan, as I'm sure she has about me, and the handful of other young writer-producers at HBO back then, and about our exploits working for a real firecracker of a character named Ken Keefer, who headed up the on-air promotion department at HBO, virtually from its founding. In fact, the whole network owes its' "look" to Ken Keefer. It was he who came up with idea for the great swooping camera shot, starting in space and diving down into the model city and along the streets that preceeded the premiers of 1st-run flicks on the network.

In addition to being a wordsmith, Ken was also a jazz afficianado. He loved Bix Biederbeck, Herbie Hancock and everyone in-between. He had a great collection, not only of 33's, but also of some vintage 78's. But he loved wordplay. I once wrote an intro to a film clip, which was to be said by our on-screen hostess, the comic Anne Meara, which used the word "hectored." Boy, did I get called on the carpet for that! "HECTORED!?" he bellowed. He could be quite intimidating when he put his mind to it. I responded, "What's wrong with sending them to the dictionaries once a month?"

He agreed. It stayed.

Ken was also what was euphemistically referred to in those days as a "confirmed bachelor." Jan and I both suspect that Ken was gay, but that he was just close enough to the previous generation to want to remain closeted, even in more liberated times. If it was true, it was a real shame. I liked Ken a lot. Maybe even enough... Well, that hardly matters now. Ken died about 15 years ago. He was still a fairly young man, late 40's-early 50's at most.

I didn't know Ken for very long. Just a few years, really, before I was dragged down to Wall Street. In all that time he was always somewhat distant and, deep down, untouchable. He could be quite maddeningly vague and mysterious at times. But he had a wonderful laugh. Infectious. And he was very supportive and nurturing of "his kids" on the writing staff, few of whom had had any real training for the job. Like Bev, he liked taking in orphans and watching them grow and flourish.

One of the little regrets of my life is that I let that sleeping dawg lie. I wish I'd put a little more effort into waking him up.

Who knows what could've happened?

p.s. check this out. be sure you remember the tune to "SuperCaliFragilisticExpialidocious", though.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

South Africa

As you know I'm not necessarily a big fan of so-called "gay marriage" which would sound to me like a tasteful parody of Brittany and KFed's marriage if it weren't for the fact that their marriage already was a parody.

But South Africa has now legitimized gay marriage, and I suppose it would be churlish of me not to join in the general celebration over it.

The article in today's NYTimes quotes one Melanie Judge, the program manager for OUT, a gay rights advocacy group, as having said some nice things, but she finished with (and this is what struck me).... "Equality does not exist on a sliding scale."

In other words, "separate but equal" is not good enough.


Well, not quite. Isn't "seperate but equal" exactly what the New Jersey Supreme Court recently suggested in it's namby-pamby decision ordering the legislature to "do something" to "make things equalish" between straight couples and gay couples.

Boy, that'll bring us right up to 1954, won't it?

I suppose I should be grateful (for f*cking crumbs). It IS a better world for gay people than it was in, oh, say, 1964, when I was in high school. We still get the crap beat out of us but at least we have a chance to have our day in court, provided we make a big enough stink about it.

So yesterday South Africa, a country which up until a decade or so ago was still living in America's 18th Century, made a dramatic leap past us, into the 21st Century.

South Africa is a wonderful place to be black these days.

Gay, too!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I just read on Wonkette that Mel Martinez is being pimped for Chairman of the RNC now that Ms. Mehlman is stepping down. The article jokingly headlines that the RNC is "flirting with heterosexuality" or something close to that.

Look, there's been a ton of press in the last few months about all the self-loathing faggots in DC who work, strenuously, and against their own interests as human beings, for anti-gay Republican candidates in order to secure good jobs for themselves after said fag-bashers are elected to public office.

They see absolutely nothing wrong with it. It's just about "winning" in their book.

They mentally disconnect themselves from the real-life physical harm that may/probably ensues to real-live gay people out there in the hinterlands at the hands of overzealous followers who feel justified and redeemed in their views that the "only good queer is a dead queer" because their rabidly anti-gay candidate won by a landslide.

Never mind that said candidate has an office full of queers, manning the campaign.

Meanwhile, after "their guy" wins, those selfsame queers circulate throughout the inner-beltway, flitting from gay bar to cocktail party to fundraiser, winking and smiling and pinching each others bottoms, in an endless round of utter denial than anything they have done has any implications whatsover in the lives of millions of gay people out there, somewhere, west of Georgetown.

Remember the 1994 mid-terms? That's when the "Contract with America" crowd got elected. I was down in Rehoboth Beach the following summer, as I had been for umpteen eons, drinking like a fish and hanging around the gay bars in this seaside resort where Haute Gay Washington (and Baltimore) spends the summer.

I was in one of my favorite watering-holes, The Blue Moon, one night, elbow on the bar, looking pretty good for a man in my pickled condition, when this beautiful young thing sidled up to me and flashed me a winning smile. "Hi" he said. "My name's [fill in the blank], and I work for Congresscritter So-and-So" (which meant nothing to me). He just got elected from [some district way out there in JesusLand I've never heard of]... [HERE COMES THE KICKER] ... AND I BELIEVE IN THE CONTRACT WITH AMERICA."

I was stunned. I mean, first of all, who in their right mind deliberately "outs" their political affiliation in the middle of trying to pick someone up? Do serial killers announce their intentions when they first meet their next vick?

And then to top it off with an admission that you enthusiastically work for and support anyone who is antithetical to everything you are to your very core is... well, I think it's an abomination.

I looked at the hapless twerp and said very sharply, "Please get away from me you freak."

In retrospect I shouldn't have been surprised. It was his first summer in Rehoboth and he probably had every reason to believe, based on things he'd been told by others of his ilk back home in DC, that Rehoboth was "the summer Capital" (which it advertises itself as), and that everyone there was going to be just like everyone back home in the bars around Dupont Circle.

Boy, was he wrong.

I'd already had a Republican boyfriend (I'd just left my ex the previous December) and I wasn't interested in finding another one. In truth I wasn't looking for a boyfriend at all. Twelve years later I'm still boyfriendless (and loving it). But that didn't matter.

It was the fact that he was living such a self-deluded lie that horrified me.

I'm no saint, but at least I don't sell bullets to my executioners.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Best Bumper Sticker of Last Week!

I love it.

And then there's this one, which I think captures the true essence of ME! ('cause it's all about me!)

Sober Reminder

An acquaintence of mine just returned from a business trip to eastern Europe and, while he was over there, he managed to acquire a new sobriety date.

His former sobriety date was the same week and year as mine. As of this morning he has 3 days "back" as we say.

It happened "just like that." It always does, from what I hear. This disease of mine (ours) is cunning, baffling and powerful. And I'm always just a heartbeat away from losing my mind and sobriety.

We have a saying amongst my kind that there will come a time, for each of us, when "the only thing standing between me and a drink, will be my Higher Power"; (I'll) be totally alone with the liquor (drug, food, porn, racing form) and "no one will ever know." Except me and that Higher Power of mine (however I'm conceiving of it that day). THAT will be my moment of truth. That is when only my total reliance upon and surrender to God, as I understand God, will come into play to save my sorry @ss from myself.

My friend apparently forgot that, took his own will back, thought to himself, "Hey, I can do this now" and found out, in very short order, that he couldn't. That first drink, within hours, turned into a full-blown drunk and he very nearly blew the deal he'd been sent there to conclude by showing up vomitously hung-over the next morning and being sick all the following day.

Oh, and he gets to start counting his sobriety all over again. He's up to Day Three now.

I was not kind to him after he announced it. I didn't know what to say and what I did say was pretty cutting. He jokingly asked me how he was supposed to keep track of his sobriety date now that we no longer shared one. I said, "well, whose fault is that?"

Before this day is out I must call him and apologize to him for that comment.

He does not need to be castigated. He knows what he lost. What he needs now is my full love and compassion.

And if I expect to stay sober, it's my job to give it to him.

And THAT'S the way it works.

Friday, November 10, 2006


I told my buddy Steve Schalchlin yesterday that I'd had a "blinding flash" moment in the morning whilst commuting into Manhattan.

Believe me, I'm no St. Paul. I'm much nicer than that self-serving, woman-hating, closet-case ever was. But the thought did come out of the blue. "Wouldn't it be nice if someone gay could get a message to Ted Haggard that said, basically, 'a) God doesn't make garbage, b) God doesn't make mistakes and c) God loves you just the way you are.'?"

I think he might really need to hear a message like that right about now because I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that he is currently as sequestered under wraps as a Gitmo detainee by a bunch of ChristoFascists intent on brainwashing the queerness right out of him, come Hell or High Water!

And you can bet your bippy that they're looking at or listening to every letter, postcard, e-mail, and phone call that comes his way. Nothing is getting through to him uncensored.

Which is why, of course, that I would love to find a way around all that.

When I found out that James Dobson had abruptly resigned from the self-appointed ChristoFascist BrainWashing Committee, which had been hastily convened to save Teddy-Boy from the evil clutches of rampant Whoopie-Times, due to "previous commitments" or somesuchbullshit, the thought flashed through my mind, "Hey, maybe Teddy-Boy doesn't want to be brainwashed. Maybe he's relieved the whole thing is finally out there!"

Just a thought.

So, if any of you knows of a secure way to sneak a message to Ted Haggard, I'd be glad to hear about it!

Meanwhile, some of the talking heads on Fox News are coming completely unglued over the Democratic victories in the House and Senate. Neil Cavuto is practically foaming at the mouth that the stock market is on the verge of collapse and that it's the end of capitalism as we know and love it. There's even rampant Gore bashing vis a vis Chuck Schumer's suggestion to George Allen to do the gentlemanly thing and to step, graciously aside. They have their knickers in a twist because nobody immediately suggested to Gore that he should step aside (in Florida).

I have to admit, publicly, here and now, that I absolutely RELISH the thought of watching Fox News and checking out the Fox website every day for the NEXT TWO YEARS. There's absolutely nothing more amusing than watching the enemy run around like a junkyard dog after it's balls have been cut off.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ding, dong...

the witch is dead.

Yeah, Rummy has resigned (or got kicked out - part of the "deal" Dubya had to make with Pelosi to get continued funding - for the time being - for his insane war). It's a shame we can't vote for Vice-President every two years. If we could, his ass would be gone, too.

And speaking of Pelosi, I would've given just about anything to have been in the room when Dubya had to call her and kiss her lily-white, San Franciscan, liberal-progressive @ss over the phone.

And we now have a woman who is third in line to the Presidency if, God forbid!, anything should ever happen to our well-beloved President and Whatshisname.

Women are continuing to creep up on the throne. It will happen in my lifetime.

I am content with having the House. All spending legislation originates in the House. The Senate fulminates over weighty matters of state, such as flag-burning and gay marriage.

We may have a split in the Senate, but I'm not overly concerned about that because James Dobson and his EvangeliNazis have lost their golden touch (he resigned from the "Healing Haggard" committee today - maybe Haggard don't want to be healed!!) now that it's been revealed that whole bunches of people they've backed in the past all turned out to be Big-Nelly, Screaming-Homo, Evangelical, Meth-Snorting, Bible-Thumping PageF*ckers. This newly found lack of spine on the Radical Right will embolden more than a handful of moderate Republicans to actually do the right thing socially, now and then, rather than having to constantly suck up to the Born-Again Douchebag crowd.

But I must try to be a good winner and offer my hand to the losers in friendship and love.


For more years than I care to remember THAT SIDE of the aisle did everything it could to diminish, demean and deplete me as a human being, a man, a gay person and an American.

I wish them nothing but ill-will.

Someday, when I'm a better person, I might ... MIGHT, find forgiveness in my heart.

But that day is not today. And today, I am one happy, f*cking, camper.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Breaking News

There was just a "red banner headline" on the CNN website. Britney and K-Fed are ... well, they're Fed Up and filing for divorce citing "irreconcilable differences". Yeah, approximately 140 million differences.

CNN knew that we'd want to know.

What they don't want you to know is that they, and the other networks, have been feverishly exit-polling all day but you won't hear about it until the polls close. Why? Because they don't want to lose advertising revenues to the blogosphere. Oh, they'll tell you the reason is that they don't want to repeat mistakes of "mis-called" elections, as they've done in the past. But that's all bullshit. It's about the $$$. It's always about the $$$.

I haven't voted yet although New Jersey is probably one of the most hotly contested senate seats up for grabs. I'll vote when I get home around 7:00 p.m. I know how the voting machines work in my little 1-square-mile patch of paradise. I also know all the local poll workers, and they all know me.

I used to hate living in a small town. "I'm the only gay in the village" was my mantra (okay I stole that from the BBC show "Little Britain"). Now I like it. Only it turns out I'm not the only gay in the village anymore. In fact, a number of very rich gays from NYC are invading MY town and snatching up ancient Victorians (and believe me you know within months which ones they've bought... they look FABULOUS) and drive real estate prices (and real-estate taxes) through the friggin' roof.

Fucking fags. God love us.

For those of my faithful readers (Hi, Bev, hi Alan!!!) on the Best Coast, please ignore everything you may be seeing or hearing and drag yer asses out to the polls as soon as you can.

It ain't over until it's ALL over.


It's the least any of us can do.

And if you really love me, you'll vote Democratic, which is hardly breaking news to anybody who knows me.

Monday, November 06, 2006


When I was a kid we had a class in school called "Civics." I don't think they teach it anymore.

We were taught to revere, even idolize, the founding fathers (rich white guys), and that we had civic responsibilities to attend to, such as town meetings, jury duty, voting, paying taxes and going off to die in meaningless wars in order to make the world safe for the Ford Motor Company (does anyone remember that Robert McNamara came to be SecDef AFTER being Chairman of FoMoCo?)

Anyway, in those days I don't remember anyone ever mentioning values. It was understood that the only good queer was a dead, or at least horribly mangled, queer; that jews and niggrahs were to keep to themselves, in their own neighborhoods, and to show proper respect to the white christian men who ran the nation, that women were sperm recepticles/breeding stock and that God (on old white guy on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel) Blessed America.

Those were our "values" in the 1950's and early 60's.

Now our values include acting out on our self-hatred by beating up on ourselves and anyone else whom we even suspect of having the same qualities that we loathe in ourselves. Reverend Haggard hates himself (and queers in general). You'd better believe that Mark Foley hates himself (and he's none too thrilled with the Pages turned Rats -- those little f*cking Lolitas). And I firmly believe that the blind beligerence of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney are based in self-doubt and self-loathing over having run away from their military duties as young men and that they MUST be perceived as "manly men" at all costs now. It's a form of redemption for them.

But they are chickenhawks (not to be confused with "chickenshit", which they also are, but never mind that now). When I was young a chickenhawk was an older gay male who chased after younger gay men. Now chickenhawks are just washed up draft-dodgers (probably with small penises) who feel the need to demonstrate just how macho they can be with other people's lives and money.

What patriotic cause is being served in Iraq? I believe that it's the Bonesman "cause" of a son completing the father's unfinished business. I believe that Dubya has long felt shame, not only for his own shortcomings as a younger man, but also over the failure of his father to "complete" the business of deposing Saddam at the end of the First Gulf War.

And I believe that George W. Bush would happily march this entire country straight into Hell in order to fulfill his personal desires.

Tomorrow I intend to fulfill my civic duty by voting in my local precinct for any and all candidates who abhor George W. Bush and his cronies and his policies as much as I do.

And may God, wherever She is, bless us all.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Who am I anyway? Am I my resume?

Yesterday morning I asked a guy who's in early recovery how he was doing. His answer was something along the lines of "Oh, well this week I closed three big deals and went out on a couple of business dinners and..." by then I'd tuned him completely out.

I, too, used to think that I was what I did. That was before I got sober. Then I found out that most of what I'd done in my life was a) in a drunken stupor or b) to shut somebody up or c) to make somebody else happy.

Nowhere in there was there anything to do with me and what I wanted.

A shrink once asked me if I haven't derived any satisfaction out of my so-called career on Wall Street. "No", I said. "It wasn't my career. It was my ex's idea of what my career should be." It's not my ex's fault. That poor schlub didn't know he was buying a dysfunctional budding drunk when he met me. I wound up on Wall Street because I thought it would shut him up and make him happy.

I was wrong.

Okay, so what would make me happy? I don't know. I never really thought about it. Oh, I'm good at seeing, in retrospect that I "could've" done this or that or the other thing. But I don't look back, ever, and say, "gee, if I'd only stuck with that I would've been truly happy!" I don't have those kinds of regrets.

I go through this every year about this time. It's Peter Pan season for me and, sad to say or happy to report, depending on how you look at it, at the age of 58 I'm still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up.

Any suggestions?

Friday, November 03, 2006

I Did Not Have Sex ....

Reverend Haggard's in trouble.

Having been caught with his hand, and God knows what else, in the proverbial cookie jar (he's admitted to "some" of the allegations), he has retreated to the last resort of a scoundrel or bottomed-out alcoholic, total denial:

'Late Wednesday, Haggard told KUSA-TV: "I've never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I'm steady with my wife, I'm faithful to my wife."'

Which is, technically, true. He HAS never had a "gay relationship" with anybody. What he had were blowjobs and butt-f*cking with a rent boy.

And since he's probably never gotten blowjobs from nor butt-f*cked Mrs. Haggard, then he probably thinks he didn't, actually, have sex with that rent-boy, either.

Just like President Clinton didn't have "sex" with Monica Lewinsky! (because BJ's don't count!)

All that's missing is the cum-stained dress. Maybe somebody will turn up with a pair of cum-stained assless chaps, instead! That would be highly entertaining on the evening news!!!

So, this is where we've arrived in America.

I certainly understand now what I've always intuitively suspected... that 100's of thousands of the bible-thumping loudmouths who ranted and raved against the evil homosexuals were, themselves, hanging around drunk in adult bookstores on Saturday nights looking to get their rocks off in whatever mustachioed orifice that appeared on the other side of the glory hole.

Which is why, to this day, they claim that it's a matter of choice.

Yeah. In their cases. They oughta know because it's something they choose every single day.

Whereas people like me, who've never harbored a heterosexual thought in our lives, are left out to dry (in Republican parlance, "collateral damage"), rightless, nationless, disenfranchised outsiders who've been made to feel like freaks our entire lives by a theocracy posing as a self-righteous democracy.

I remember, way back in the 90's, being upset by, and suspicious of the motives of, ACT-UP, and their tactic of outing people. I really thought that public people were entitled to their private lives. I even defended that view, much to my shame now, in a Compuserve forum where I wound up offending someone whom I now love dearly, while thinking I was defending someone who turned out to be a self-serving louse.

Thank God I now know.

Anyway, my feelings have changed 180 degrees on the subject. I now feel that if anyone puts themselves into a position whereby they are publicly critical of someone else's life in any way, shape or form, they'd better be damned sure that their house is utterly spotless first.

All the politeness is now removed from politics. All that's left are the "ics."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Queer (and drunk) as the Day is Long

I knew I was "different" by the time I was six. I doubt if too many of the other little boys on the schoolbus (or any of the little girls, for that matter) harbored secret fantasies about "being alone" with the bus driver. I didn't know too much about the mechanics of sex in those days, but I knew that I wanted to be very much alone with him.

And I also knew that that was one little thought that I really couldn't share with anybody else. So I didn't. Thus was born my first secret shame. There'd be lots more, later.

By the end of my first week of grade school I'd managed to latch on to a new best friend whom, decades later, turned out to be both gay and a recovering drunk like me. Two years later the duo became a trio when we transferred grade schools.

It's interesting how even the smallest children automatically gravitate towards others who share their secret pains. Or their secret plots. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out, for example, that fledgling Republicans latch onto each other by the time they're five or six. Or serial killer wannabe's. Just like us queer drunks had done, and probably continue to due in grade schools all over the world.

We three budding queers (two of us budding drunks), who'd yet to have our first cocktails, or to suck our first c*cks, had identical, insane, home lives, which we never talked about. We didn't need to. We all felt very comfortable in each other's homes AND we never needed to explain to each other what was going on. We intuitively understood the dynamics of crazy, alcohol-fueled, families. We also intuitively understood that the craziness inside our homes was NOT the norm for the rest of the human race and, therefore, was never to be discussed in the world at large.

Nobody told us that. We just knew.

Secrets. Lots and lots of secrets. Even from each other.

I found out, later, that the two of them were sexually experimenting with each other by the time of puberty (I was saving myself for the boy next door, Michael.)

I forget which one of us came out first. I think my First Grade friend did. But I was the first to do it so publicly. And, self-centered drama queen that I am, I waited until a time when it would have a) the maximum effect on others and b) the minimum consequences for me.

I've always had a few things about me which I strongly felt gave me my sense of identity. When I was little I thought that it was being part Irish and fully Roman Catholic, but now I know that it's being gay and a recovering alcoholic.

The first two things were told to me by others.

The second two things I had to find out for myself. The hard way.

Of those four things, guess which two mean the most to me.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Sweet Smell of Politics.

With six days to go til mid-term elections it's time for all of us to really start strong-arming our friends and relatives into a) going to the polls and b) voting our way.

Things are getting pretty ugly all over. Some guy in Virginia got the crap beat out of him for having the temerity to ask Senator George Allen (R-VA)why he had "spit" on his ex-wife. Mike Stark, a student at UVA and a former marine,was assaulted at a public event by a couple of Allen's campaign goons and has vowed to not let his country be taken away by “thugs.”

One interesting thing that could arise out of this election is that if Mr. Ford pulls off a win in Tennessee I may, in my lifetime, be faced with the prospect of having to vote for a black, gun-toting, bible-thumping Dixiecrat, over a white, gun-toting, bible-thumping Son-of-a-bitch for President of the United States.

Which I'll do, but only if Hillary runs for Veep.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (noo joisey) that Stinky-Pants Mr. Menendez seems to be holding a slight edge over that Poopie-Brained Mr. Kean. It turns out that some rich guy from Texas (where else?), who was behind the Swift Boat ads against Kerry in '04, has poured about 4 million bucks into the negative ads against Menendez in NJ.

Nice thing about money. You can send it wherever you want.

But niceness rears it's ugly head now and then. I understand that Alec Baldwin is seeking an injunction against some documentary filmmaker to have his voice-over removed from a film about The Governator (Ahnold), which portrays him as having Nazi tendencies. Well, isn't that a step in the right direction?

I think it's important to remember, as we're bombarded with political rhetoric over the next couple of days, that even Tony Soprano doesn't think he's a "bad" person. He thinks he's just a businessman, trying to make a nice living for his family.

And although the Republican Party does some remarkably hurtful, stupid and disgusting things, and it's heavily populated with a bunch of self-loathing, closeted, homosexuals who'd happily sell "the base" the bullets to get themselves shot with, if it meant a Republican victory next week, I doubt if any of them are really Lucifer, Goldfinger or Lex Luther at heart.

No, that would require thoughtfulness and planning.

Rather, they are more like Adolph Eichmann, dutifully fulfilling what they see are their obligations to the Reich, er, Party.

They are, in fact, personifications of Hannah Arendt's shocking characterization of Eichmann as being nothing more than...

The Banality of Evil.

"The deeds were monstrous, but the doer ... was quite ordinary, commonplace, and neither demonic nor monstrous." Hannah Arendt, The Life of Mind - Thinking - Willing (New York-London: Ed. Harvest/HJB Book, 1978), p. 04.

Mindless. Uninformed, unquestioning and determined the remain that way. Meticulous, dogmatic and staid. Unfeeling and prudish. Good citizens. Good bureaucrats. Good soldiers.

The Banality of Evil.

Of course I could be wrong.