Saturday, September 30, 2006

Paging Mr. Foley

Oh, how I love a Republican scandal--especially when it involves a single man in his 50s who wears smart shirts and says he refuses to discuss his private life (which even the dimmest bulb now knows means "I'M GAY!").

Rep. Mark Foley of Florida: What were you thinking!? I will never understand how a man in his position--i.e., a congressman, someone who is under public scrutiny--thinks he can do anything in this day and age like, oh, sending sexually suggestive e-mails to congressional pages, and get away with it without anyone noticing.

There are several sorry aspects to this story. I mean, who wants to be leered at by a congressman who's not very attractive when you are 16? I think even I would have been uncomfortable, and this is coming from someone who at 17 shamelessly had a crush on an older man and acted on it. The others involve the fellow Republican congressmen who suggested the whole matter not be pursued. Then there's the larger issue. To put it bluntly: how fucked up Foley is. Will there be a discussion in the media about politics, hypocrisy, homophobia, and how American society still doesn't allow many gay men to simply feel comfortable with themselves? Well, probably not. And don't even get me started about how rich white guys in positions of power feel like they can get away with anything they want.

Ironically enough, our other gay media circus star of the week is former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, who showed up on Oprah (but not without a book to hawk, natch), and on the cover of The Advocate. I haven't read or seen any of this yet, but I have to say, with men like him and Foley on opposite ends of the gay political rainbow, I've never been more sure of the fact that I never want to run for any public office.

How's that for Anti-Climactic Epiphany of the Week?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Paid in Full

Dear Bennington College (and by default Vermont Student Assistance Corporation):

I wasn't planning on writing you a letter, but sometimes it seems the easiest way to convey emotions without a long, drawn-out discussion. And given the way you've treated me in the past I didn't think it would be wise to call.

The one thing that always kept us together in the past was money. I know, I know. You'll say that your loaning me money was never meant to be a power ploy, or a way to exercise control over me, but as I've learned over the last nearly 11 years, it doesn't mean that my feelings will change.

When I dropped my final payment of $87.84 in the mail to you today, and realized that I'd erased that $22,000 debt, not only did I feel this incredible weight off my shoulders, but I also felt like maybe now I could actually move on. I wouldn't have to be reminded every month about our relationship. I could actually dwell on only the good memories.

Don't get me wrong. I know we'll always be in each other's lives, and you taught me so much about being the person I've become today, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm happy not needing to be reminded of the role you played in my life for so long.

Maybe now that money is no longer part of the equation, we can actually be friends. I'm being honest when I say I'd like that in the future. Right now, however, I just need a little time to mull things over and get used to these changes. (And you know me, that means I need to have a few drinks!).

I hope you understand. I'll be in touch soon.


p.s. It's true that I paid some of this off by selling porn on eBay. I just wanted to let you know. I didn't want you to have to try and figure out if the rumors were true. I wanted you to hear it from me directly.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pretty Crazy

I woke up late on a pretty day.

But that's the price you pay for dinner, drinks, pool, drinks, a party at someone's house you don't know, drinks, dancing and more drinks ... by this time, water.

I was in a dour mood at the beginning of last night, but luckily Tim and Justin managed to pull me out of it by coaxing me into going with them to a surreal birthday party for a guy Justin knows socially from Akbar and who has a very unique dancing style; he totally owns the space around him on that dance floor.

Bizarre as it is to wander into a house where you know no one, it ended up being a bit more fun than I thought it c/would be. It helps, too, when Tim has had some wine and becomes super-animated and a social butterfly. I like to just watch him at times like that. I always have, even when we were 19-year-old college students. Plus, now I know he plays pool. We had gone to Casita del Campo before the party. Who knew Casita del Campo had a pool table? (And why were we there? I need to ask T and J to clarify.)

By the time we got to Akbar, it was close to 1 a.m. and there was some dancing to be done. It's always the same '80s bullshit, but it's hard to resist "Dance This Mess Around" by the B-52's, even if 80% of the crowd wasn't even born when it was first released.

My 3 a.m. bedtime meant getting up at 11 and feeling a bit like I was missing a really beautiful day. I love the Santa Ana winds and how they affect the look of the sky and sunlight--not to mention make everyone feel a bit out of their minds.

But at least I knew I was seeing Marolyn today--for the first time in 2 years. She's in the States from New Zealand, and when I finally saw her it was like I was back in Wellington, circa 2004. It seemed like nary a day had passed. We drove to Greystone in Beverly Hills to watch the city and the odd remnants of a wedding (empty chairs and fabric strewn across lawns; that god damned "You're Beautiful" song glaring from the mansion, whose exterior is always used on "Gilmore Girls"). We did impromptu photos and then ran back to my house to wander to the nearby park, look at M's wedding photos (NZ lets the gays marry, you know), and then depart for M Chaya Cafe for dinner, where we inhaled food, listened to an idiot sing songs very much OUT LOUD to his girlfriend (insipid poems with bad melodies that no one needed to hear), and cracked up at those who come to devour macrobiotic food and then get in their giant SUVs and peel away.

Lucikly, Pinkberry is now next door, so we got more photos of yogurt, us reflected in the shiny orange walls, and the graham cracker dust spilling from Marolyn's dessert. You know you have a good friend when she tries to arrange graham cracker dust to make a photo better.

I miss her. Why isn't New Zealand closer?

I hope the winds continue. Not because I want all of California to burn, but I want to see who freaks out next.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Muffin Month, Muses, and Me

I resisted this way of sharing ideas and words for a long time, making jokes about how, if I had time to post on a blog, clearly I had time to be doing something else--i.e., something that was more conventionally "productive."

Well, so much for contributing to society in more "meaningful" ways.

Like the cell phone I finally broke down and bought, I've finally realized that ... well, this is productive in a way that I find useful. So there.

I suppose it is also borne from a need to just start writing again. After working in publishing for so many years and writing so many reviews, articles, and editorials, I took a job in PR where I write press releases and e-mails and little else. Granted, this is a nice change of pace, but in the meantime, my other writing suffered, including a long-gestating book project that I never forget but cannot seem to add to right now.

Plus, I got tired of hearing Lesley threaten to play me back voicemails I'd left her that she felt were perfect fodder to share with an "audience," whatever that may mean. Case in point, the nearly manic message I left her last week as I sat at the intersection of Melrose and Vine staring across the street at Yum Yum Donuts, which was sporting a poster that proclaimed "MUFFIN MONTH!" in giant letters (avec exclamation point). Did you know it was Muffin Month? I certainly didn't, and I felt the need to share that most vehemently with Lesley on her voicemail: "Hey! Guess what? It's muffin month! Yes, muffin month. Support your local muffins at Yum Yum donuts! Don't forget!" And so on...

So, now you know. I was spurred to action by Muffin Month!

As for the name Nice Limbo, well, those of you who know my musical tastes know I am a big Throwing Muses fan, and well... "Limbo" is the name of an album and song. But the lyric that starts it goes: "Nice limbo you have here." A short, simple observation that's sarcastic, funny, and slightly troubling at the same time. I just liked the idea that limbo can, indeed, be "nice." And living in L.A., it seems doubly appropriate--a city that can often feel like it's levitating, removed from reality in some weird, wondrous way. And given the way my writing has been going lately, it now seems triply appropriate.

As for me, I spent the day doing little more than contemplating Muffin Month, buying shoes, and seeing some art that I'd been meaning to see--surfboards, queer Canadian troublemakers, and a dose of Anne Murray music. (I'll try to explain that later.)

For now it's time to eat some dinner, turn on some lights and enjoy the evening. How, I am not sure yet. There's still time.