Sunday, June 29, 2008

What the hell
do gay people have to be proud of?

We’re proud because despite relentless persecution everywhere we turn—when organized religion viciously attacks and censures and vilifies us in the name of “morality,” when our families disown us, when our elected officials bargain away our equality for hate votes, when entire states codify us into second-class status, when our employers fire us, when our landlords evict us, when our police harass us, when our neighbors and colleagues and fellow citizens openly insult and condemn and mock and berate and even beat and kill us—we continue to survive.

We’re proud because pride is the opposite of shame—and despite what the Christian hate industry works so hard to make the world believe, there is nothing shameful about being gay.

We’re proud because more and more, we are able to live our lives openly and joyfully without fear of losing our jobs, losing our housing, losing our families and losing our lives.

We’re proud because we are smart enough to overcome the self-loathing that our increasingly venomous, mindlessly theocratic society forces on us, and we have the power to stop its destructive cycle by fighting back and by making intelligent choices involving sex and drugs and money and relationships and the way we live our lives.

We’re proud because after all we’ve been through, the world is starting to notice and respect us and emulate the often fabulous culture we’ve assembled from the common struggles and glorious diversity of our disparate lives.

We (and from this point on, I really mean “I” when I say “we”) are proud because we ran the Proud to Run 10K yesterday morning in uncomfortable heat and managed to finish, though not in an ideal time.

We're proud because we finally have a house big enough that we hosted our first pride brunch after the run yesterday, and we managed to fill all our sweaty, stinky runner friends with egg casseroles and pastries and fruit and lots and lots of mimosas. Even though they collectively made our house smell like a giant armpit.

We're proud because we attended the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus concert yesterday, and it was fabulous. And in some places it was even better than fabulous. And even though it was hard sitting in the audience instead of standing on stage singing with everyone like we normally do, we had desperately needed some time away from the rehearsals and the obligations and the cumulative exhaustion, and sitting out this show turned out to be a very good decision for us.

We're proud because we woke up this morning all snuggled up next to our domestic partner and we paused to savor what we had built together: a happy home, a safe environment, a mutual respect, a reciprocal love and a blissfully stable marriage.

We’re proud because we decided to take in the parade today against our better judgment (neither of us is much of a parade fan) and in the space of a few hours we endured sweltering humidity and torrential rain and two clusters of religious angerfucks hell-bent on screaming the gay out of us. And even after our 100th sweaty drag queen and our 100th sweaty attitude queen and our 100th drunken crack-whore queen—not to mention our umpteenth god-hates-fags anger queen—we could still see through the “pride” in the parade and enjoy the underlying Pride in the parade.

Quite simply, we’re proud that we have so much to be proud of.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

ChicagoRound: Threatening poop signs

I run by this sign every morning on my way to the lakefront trail. I'm not sure what's most disturbing about it: the bad clip art, the alarmingly large rats, the sophomoric art direction (capital letters and italics! for emphasis!) or the very fact that the sign exists in the first place. But I have to say I have yet to encounter a dog doot or a rat* in the area around this sign:

* Not that I have ever seen a rat anywhere in Chicago except for the ones who scurry around the tracks in the subway. But I do see a lot of abandoned dog doots all over the city.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dear American Airlines,

I don't want your goddamn credit card. Please stop asking. You're starting to look desperate.

You too, United. Get the hint.

I have a new habit.

A kind of weird one.

I keep catching myself rolling my upper lip under itself when I run. I was hoping it looked I-don't-care-how-I-look manly to everyone I encounter on the running trail. But then Matthew took this picture of us last weekend, and I see that it actually makes me look like I'm desperately trying to hold my dentures in:

But if you click on this picture to embiggen it, you'll see I'm in good company. And by "good" I mean "people who look like monkeys."

Oh, and here's our whole group after last week's run. In case there's anything you wanted to look at again:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Movin' movin' movin' right to the top!

After more than a year and a half of planning and building and picking carpet colors, my company is finally moving this weekend from a gray, drab, mousy-blah office in a near-nothing-interesting neighborhood to a custom-built, high-tech, all-singing, all-dancing new office in the heart of the Loop.

Benefits of our move:
• Exponentially nicer space that will give us exponentially more credibility with our clients
• A whole new smörgåsbord of lunch options
• An opportunity to use smörgåsbord in a blog post with all the fun diacritical marks
• Closer access to everything that makes working in downtown Chicago so worldly and glamorous
• More microwaves in the kitchen
• Really nice photo of me on my new ID badge

Downsides to our move:
• Longer commute for me
• Crappy cell phone service in the heart of the concrete jungle
• No more lunchtime sightings of Mr. Pipes, the perpetually sleeveless construction worker erecting (ahem) the shiny new building next door to our old office
• Farther walk to the bathroom
• We have to wear goddamn ID badges

The moving boxes were delivered today. Here is about a fourth of them all neatly stacked outside our front conference room:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's exactly halfway to Christmas Eve

And we all know what that means: It's my sister's birthday!

My sister is the quintessential supermom who is raising two uncommonly photogenic children, starting a business with her husband, and spearheading community initiatives like preserving a kids' science museum and transforming a sad little petting zoo into a multifaceted interactive livestock experience. That last phrase could sound naughty if you choose to read it from an inappropriate perspective, but I know you're more mature than that. Besides, it's my sister's birthday, so please don't spoil it. And don't tell her, but I'm the world's most unimaginative gift giver (well, you can tell her that because she probably already knows) so I'm sending her ... well, you'll just have to guess. But I can promise you it's not a tie. Or a rake. Or a handgun. Because those are hard to mail.

As a cosmic bonus, it's also the domestic partner's cousin's girlfriend's birthday! Woo-hoo!

You know how when you enter into a relationship and a big part of the new equation is you get new family members whether you like them or not? Well, I hit the jackpot with the domestic partner's cousin and the domestic partner's cousin's girlfriend. Not only do they get my sense of humor, but they take my off-the-wall jokes and run with them. And I mean run. Like a child being chased by a rabbit wielding a rake and a handgun. Sometimes I think they're even weirder than I am. Plus, they are just decent, kind folks who go out of their way to help us care for the domestic partner's brother, who has been living with us since October.

So today is a celebration of the birth of two of my favorite people, one new and one old. Well, not old old, but neither of them should still be holding on to a subscription of Tiger Beat, if you know what I mean. And neither of them is getting a rake or a handgun. In case anyone's still guessing. But happy birthday to the both of you nonetheless!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Oh, hai.

Remember me? I used to write a blog here.

But then my hometown flooded and it seemed kinda rude to write about my glamorous, starlet-filled life when 25,000 people back home were struggling to rebuild their suddenly very different lives.

And then my whole freakin' staff went on vacation at the same time last week in some diabolical plot to give me an ulcer. And to prevent me from blogging. But! A new Subway opened up across from our office and I think the guy behind the counter likes me (and not in a thank-you-for-being-our-valuable-customer kind of way) because in four visits I've managed to get his name, nine punches on my frequent-eater card AND a free cookie.

But the waters have receded and the cleanup has begun and life in Cedar Rapids is slowly moving forward. And my staff will be back to 100% starting tomorrow. And by Wednesday I'll qualify for a free sandwich.

Which is good because this weekend the domestic partner and I managed to spend $450 (minus $150 in gift cards) on patio furniture and a few Asian-inspired decorative accent lights. So now we can finally use our back porch for more than broom storage.

If I get a burst of initiative, I may take a picture for you. Assuming I'm not too busy relaxing in the warm glow of Asian-inspired decorative accent lights.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The floodwaters are receding

The massive stained glass window in the Cedar Rapids veterans' coliseum has survived the flood. The coliseum is one of the three federal buildings on May's Island in the middle of the Cedar River. The island was completely submerged in the flood, and in the few aerial shots I saw, the waters looked as though they climbed about a third of the way up the window.

The window was designed by Grant Wood after the first world war. It features an angelic female figure hovering over six American soldiers representing the six major wars America participated in before 1928, when the window was commissioned. The model for the female figure was Grant Wood's sister, Nan Wood Graham, who is best known as the model for the dour wife in Grant Wood's iconic American Gothic. The window also comes with a great story—click here to read about it.
Amid all the destruction the flood caused, there is a striking beauty in this image. The benevolent figure hovers over the mud and muck left behind, and the window's reflection in the puddle gives the promise of hope that early daffodils bring at the end of a harsh winter.

The beautiful Paramount Theatre didn't fare as well. Built in the 1920s, it shimmered in ornate rococo reds and golds, with grand staircases, dramatic balconies, alcoves filled with statuary, mysterious catacombs, a mirrored lobby inspired by Versailles, and hundreds of happy memories for me as an audience member and performer in the 32 years I lived in Cedar Rapids. The floodwaters rose just below the marquee last weekend, and in their fury, they managed to knock the entire wall of front doors out of its framing and onto the marbled ticket lobby floor:

While the mud and the muck pose a formidable cleaning challenge alone, I wonder what hidden damage the water did to the marble walls and the two sub-basements of dressing rooms, boiler rooms and storage.

Here is what's left of the mighty Wurlitzer organ, which sat on hydraulics in the 2,000-seat theater's orchestra pit. The water obviously floated it out of the pit and banged it around before leaving it dead and broken on the stage. There was no power on in the Paramount when this picture was taken, so the wreckage in its dramatic shafts of dark and sunlight evoke the early images of the debris fields when the Titanic was finally found 20 years ago:

Fortunately, the organ's pipes are high in the theater's walls, where the only damage they could have sustained is from humidity and mold. I'm sure we have a lot more disheartening discoveries all across Cedar Rapids before people can repair and rebuild their lives.

Monday, June 16, 2008

We are back from Iowa

In the legendary floods of 1993, the Cedar River rose to the point where it was just lapping at the support beams of its bridges in my hometown, Cedar Rapids. But it stayed within its banks. The real destruction came from the rising water table, which filled basements with water, left lawns across the city squishy and wet, and caused giant trees to become so waterlogged that they snapped at their bases and crashed into houses and cars.

The flood damage of 2008 is the opposite. The lawns are fine. The trees are standing. But more than 1,300 city blocks within a mile of the river are completely submerged. See the horizontal stripe of water near the top of the photo below this paragraph? That's the river. The little tufts of buildings just left of center in the middle of the river are the veterans' coliseum and the courthouse and the jail that occupy the charmingly landscaped four-block stretch known as May's Island, where horse thief and general roustabout Osgood Shepard purportedly settled what was to become Cedar Rapids in 1837:

Here's a New York Times photo taken this weekend at the height of the flooding. The skyways in downtown Cedar Rapids connected buildings at the second floor:

This is the jewelry store where I bought our engagements rings last July. The owners are old friends of mine, and they still can't even get in the store to get a sense of what their future holds:

The old Roosevelt Hotel (in the foreground) was a magical place for me as a kid. It had a subterranean barber shop that I thought was pretty cool because it had no windows! And down the hall from the barber shop was an Atlantis-themed swimming pool with columns and statuary and giant palm fronds. I'm sure it was a remnant of a 1960s makeover, and looking back I'm sure it was probably horribly tacky, but it was glorious and theatrical and positively magical to me when I was a little proto-gay. The building was converted to apartments more than a decade ago and I haven't been in it since. Now I'm sure that whatever was in the basement is gone for good:

Here's a shot down First Avenue, the city's main drag. The river officially crosses under First Avenue four blocks from where you see the water starting. The Roosevelt Hotel is hidden behind the giant concrete structure on the right. Behind that is my dad's office. Or what's left of it. There is talk that his office building -- a 20ish-story highrise -- is so compromised it may have to be torn down:

Here's that same spot on First Avenue taken from a parking ramp that we snuck into ... and subsequently got kicked out of by the National Guard. The building to the left with the asymmetrical white paint is the back of Theatre Cedar Rapids, my second home when I lived in Cedar Rapids. Some of my favorite memories ever are from the shows I've done there, including Forever Plaid, A Chorus Line, Big River, Little Shop of Horrors and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Theatre Cedar Rapids had a fabulous theater organ with a console covered in black velvet and rhinestones. Early word is that the organ was saved, though everything below stage level was completely flooded. I haven't heard anything even that positive about the mighty Wurlitzer in the architecturally extravagant Paramount Theatre a couple blocks closer to the river. Early word has it that the organ was completely submerged, along with a great deal of the first floor of the theater.

* * * * *

When the domestic partner and I arrived in Cedar Rapids late on Thursday night, a call was going out on the local TV stations for volunteers to help sandbag the city's last uncompromised water processing plant. 20 minutes later -- the time it took us to carry our stuff in the house, grab something to eat and run to the bathroom -- the stations were announcing that more volunteers had arrived than they could use so everyone else should just stay home. Which tells you everything you really need to know about Cedar Rapids.

The sandbagged plant survived the night, but the other three that serve Cedar Rapids were flooded. Which left the whole city on extremely limited water use: no bathing, no dishwashing, only judicious flushing. Fortunately, my sister and her husband's house had enough water activity in the basement that their sump pump produced gallon after gallon of water we could use to flush away our ... um ... flushable stuff.

* * * * *

The initial purpose of our trip to Cedar Rapids was a three-day celebration of my folks' anniversary, my sister and her husband's anniversary, my sister's birthday and Father's Day. The restaurant we'd planned to go to was in the historic Amana colonies, half an hour away on roads we didn't trust to be above water. So we went to Plan B: a picnic on my sister's front lawn featuring pizzas from my favorite pizza chain and an ice cream cake that was so delicious I would happily buy bigger jeans if I could eat it for every meal the rest of my life:

The next night I took everyone to the Vernon Inn, known locally as The Greek Place. It's a charming little restaurant with delicious Greek food near the house where we grew up, so it's impossible to go there without running into at least 10 people we know. Even when the city is under water. Since the restaurant was on water restrictions too, they served us our fancy anniversary dinner on paper plates. Which was obviously fine, but I thought it was a little rude that they served us asparagus in the middle of a no-flush injunction.

* * * * *

I was scheduled to run 11 miles on Saturday morning with the AIDS Marathon program, so I dutifully got up early and ran 5.5 miles out and back (see how good I am at math?) with my sister's next-door-neighbor on the scenic and well-manicured Cedar Valley Nature Trail. It cuts a clean, straight swath north of town through endless corn and soybean fields, many of which were sadly buried under pools of standing water. I took this picture at our starting point to show you how relentlessly straight the path is, but my camera phone just doesn't offer much depth of focus:

Here we are at the end, having triumphantly returned from running 11.5 miles (because we got to talking and missed our turnaround) and stinking like pigs in a city that won't let us shower. Fortunately, we had a secret weapon: some friends who live outside the city limits get all their water from a private well, and after the run, my family took turns luxuriating in their shower and changing clothes in front of a big window facing a dense woods.

* * * * *

I've been writing this post in fits and starts all weekend. I apologize if the time references jump around confusingly. But I'm pleased to report that at this writing, the waters have receded enough that I just received this picture of the Alliant Energy tower a block away from the river. It had been submerged to its second floor, and now the sidewalk is exposed again and people are allowed to come back and start surveying the damage. But look how the surging water blew out windows and tore through drywall and left absolute carnage in its wake:

It's devastating to see -- and awe-inspiring to contemplate -- what running water is capable of doing. But my little town is resilient and its people are some of the nicest you'll ever know and though there is a long, ugly journey in front of everyone, I have every confidence Cedar Rapids will emerge better than ever.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Letter from Cedar Rapids

Our weekend in my home town was supposed to be a celebration of my folks' anniversary. And my sister and her husband's anniversary. And my sister's birthday. And Father's Day. June is an expensive month for me, and I was looking forward to treating everyone to an indulgent dinner at any of our favorite restaurants.

But instead we're just staying in and hanging out with each other. And watching the nonstop local news. Because in the last 18 hours, Cedar Rapids has turned into a mini New Orleans. The Cedar River breached its banks around noon on Thursday, and the city has lost staggering numbers of its landmarks. The courthouse. The jail. The veterans' coliseum with the massive Grant Wood stained glass window. The library. My beloved Paramount Theatre. My old second home, Theatre Cedar Rapids. The National Czech and Slovak Museum. My dad's office in one of the two highrises that dominate the Cedar Rapids skyline. Downtown proper is flooded -- in areas to the point of complete submersion -- at least eight blocks in either direction of the river. May's Island -- the mass of land in the middle of the river that holds the beautiful old federal buildings -- is completely under water, along with the three sets of bridges that cross it. It's just gone. The CRANDIC railroad bridge collapsed today with a load of train cars on it. As we speak, they're evacuating everyone in Mercy Hospital -- including its long-term care residents -- ten blocks away from the river. The entire Timecheck neighborhood -- home to countless low-income families -- was evacuated before it completely disappeared under water.

In less than a day, my home town as I know it has changed forever. Here's the photo that currently dominates the home page of the local paper's web site:

At this writing, though, nobody has been killed. And there are countless reports of volunteers showing up in the middle of the night to fill sandbags and direct traffic and open their homes to the newly homeless. Which is why I love my home town so much.

The domestic partner and I left sunny Chicago at 5:00 today, incredulous that there could be such distruction just a few hours away from our beautiful day ... and filled with trepidation about the weather that awaited us as we drove there. The drive was relatively uneventful, though there were deafening periods of torrential rain and entire city grids without power. Outlying towns like Lisbon and Mount Vernon were so black we didn't even realize we were driving through them. We were turned away from only two flooded roads by some very helpful, very wet volunteers. But we made it here in one piece and three huge Diet Cokes and some very tight hugs of relief from my mom.

The flooding has yet to hit its predicted crest, more than 31 feet over its standard level. At least I think that's what they said on the news tonight. I was still a little overwhelmed when they explained it. But all we can do now is sleep. We'll get a better understanding of the devastation in the morning.

A brown chicken walks into a bar.

She orders a drink and then notices a beautiful brown cow standing in the corner.

The chicken walks up, “accidentally” brushes her wing against the cow’s bodacious udders … and before you know it, they’re making out.

Question: What music is playing in the background?

Brown chicken BROWN cow!

(Sing it out loud. Pretend you're the sound editor for a 1970s porn studio. One that specializes in lesbian livestock.)

Monday, June 09, 2008

New math

1/2 mile run
1 mile sprint
1/4 mile run
1 mile sprint
1/4 mile run
1 mile sprint
1/4 mile run
1 mile sprint
+ 1/2 mile cool-down
= not as bad as you'd think

We had our second Miracle Mile training run on Saturday, and though my times are nothing that will ever see the inside of a record book (or, more immediately, nothing that will ever see the light of day on this blog), the run wasn't as horrible as I'd anticipated. Finding parking near the track (a few blocks east of the John Hancock Center) is about as fun as sharing underwear with John Hagee. So I got there early Saturday morning. As in an hour early. But so did a lot of people. And we all found parking rather easily. (Thank goodness I was wearing our lucky underwear!) And as we were all standing around and chatting and casually stretching before our run, Peter, Matthew and I suddenly realized we were all doing the exact same stretch at the exact same time. Like, OMG!

Then we did the run. Which I will not describe in any detail here, except to say that I have not yet mastered the art of recording separate laps on my high-tech new running watch. And it does not seem to have mastered the art of not losing touch with its GPS signal whenever I pass under the tree in the southwest corner of the track. So my official sprint times are lost to the ages. And since we were all pretty much running on our own, it's not like I could just borrow the official time of anyone in my pace group.

Speaking of, our group continues to be a revolving cast of characters that have yet to coalesce into any kind of social entity. But Matthew continues to bring his camera, and even though we didn't even pretend to run together this week, we still took a team picture. And if you can tear your eyes away from the right side of the picture, you'll notice me there on the left. I'm the one in the yellow tank top. And the red arms. And the white legs. Remember me?

Thank you. You may now return your eyes to the right side of the picture.

Sunday morning, Matthew and Peter and I decided to whip out a quick six miles on our own. Unfortunately, we picked a path that was all concrete and no trees. And a morning that was all heat and no breeze. (HA! I MAKE POEM!) And by the time we'd reached our three-mile turnaround, I was woozy and goosebumpy. Which also means I was also totally buzzkilly. Because heat + goosebumps does not = a body processing heat correctly. (More math metaphors! Alliteration runs rampant!) But Matthew and Peter walked me to the nearest cab, and for the first time in my running career* I actually aborted a run and cabbed back to home base.

*And by "running career" I mean "please don't laugh when I use the term running career to describe my running hobby." Because I'm as apt to make a living on my running skills as John Hagee is on his underwear modeling skills.

By the time we'd gotten back to our cars, I was fine enough that I consented to join in Matthew's post-run cross-training plan. So for the next half hour, the three of us alternated between jumping rope, running up and down a surprisingly steep hill in Lincoln Park, and resting. And it was HARD. But it was in the shade, so I was able to participate without being the wheezy old guy who spoiled everyone's fun by dropping over dead in a puddle of my own vomit. To keep me distracted from the pain, there was a statue of some rich-white-pillar-of-the-community-type dude at the top of the hill. I'd never heard of him, so I tried to memorize his name so I could google him when I got home and talk about him here as though I'd known who he was all along. But his name didn't stick, so I was also a failure at perjuring myself on Sunday morning. But I don't want to leave you hanging, so I'll just say it was a statue honoring Howie Mandel for the cultural contributions he's made to Chicago through his selfless work on Deal or No Deal.

ChicagoRound: Hidden Architecture

I love a lot of the obvious things about Chicago: The lakefront trail. The free concerts in Millennium Park. Hundreds of big gay homos singing show tunes at Sidetrack every Sunday night.

I also love the architecture—both the giant buildings and the hidden gems all over the city. I particularly love the idea that whenever you walk by a beautiful old apartment or neighborhood hotel, you are probably only feet away from an ornate lobby or a charming little alcove that only a handful of people get to enjoy every day.

The domestic partner's best friend just moved into a beautiful 1920s-era apartment clad in red brick and glazed terra cotta. We helped her move last weekend, and I probably irritated everyone by sneaking off for a few moments to take pictures of her theatrically Spanish provincial lobby.

I imagine in its day, the lobby was pretty stunning. It's still beautiful–and it's been lovingly maintained—but many of its charms are now hidden under no-nonsense carpeting and behind discount-store art.

Here's the charming little alcove just inside the door. It's beautifully cozy, and the rough plaster has been faithfully maintained so its faux-adobe personality remains intact. In unfortunate counterpoint, it was decorated by TJ Maxx. See "discount-store art," previous paragraph.

I love this Mannerist wall fountain. It's the dominant architectural element in the lobby proper, though what I imagine was a complementary terrazzo floor has been hidden under purpley indoor-outdoor carpeting. There's a cherub face mounted near the top of the fountain with little round lips that at one time probably spit water into a basin that in turn overflowed into the base of the fountain. The basin now holds plastic plants.

Turn to the left and you'll see the hand-crafted staircase meandering to the upper floors. Note the detailing on the banister. And the slightly ornate corners of the door frame.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Always a bridesmaid

Dear Jake,

Thank you for applying to the ING New York City Marathon 2008. We're sorry to inform you that you were not selected in the random lottery drawing. Although we wish everyone could be accepted, we have to limit the size of the field to ensure the best experience for each of our runners.
Two years in a row! I feel so ... Susan Lucci!


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My gmail must be broken

It’s been one of those long, exhausting days at work, and not one friend has chimed in with a friendly email as a balm to soothe my weary soul. Not one. Stupid friends.

Plus, our building management decided long ago that the workday ends at 5:00, and any poor suckers too stupid to stay in the building after that do not deserve fresh circulating air. Since it’s muggy and rainy outside today, it’s muggy and sweltering inside our office tonight. It feels like a jungle in here. Or a third-world laundromat. Or a mouth.

And while I’m being a big whiny victim, let me also complain about the new MacBook I got upgraded to at work last week. So far the computer itself is pretty nice, with noticeably faster speed and a keyboard that doesn’t have the last user’s crumbs under the keys and a slight whiff of new-computer smell every time I fire it up. It also came loaded with OS 10.5.2, which is—as far as my needs are concerned—basically the same but different compared to the operating system I’ve been using for the last year and a half. And it has a built-in camera above the screen. Call me paranoid, but I put a strip from a Post-It note over the lens because the last thing I need is some video circulating on the Internets of me doing something embarrassing at work like picking my nose or wearing last season’s Old Navy or scratching in a way that could be interpreted as an audition for Your Mama Don’t Dance. But that’s not what I’m complaining about. I’m complaining because my new MacBook came loaded with Microsoft Word 12.1.0, which sucks more than a family-values politician in a blowjob factory. I spend the vast majority of my workday in Word, and this stupid generation of what I already view as a stupid piece of software has built-in formatting defaults like automatic spacing after each paragraph that apparently can’t be globally overridden. I thought the Republicans were giving us less government. So how come they leave the subprime-mortgage and the poisonous-toy and the hate-a-fag-for-Jesus industries unregulated but I’m robbed of free choice every time I write a copy deck? Why?

But I can’t dwell on all that right now. I have to reformat some paragraphs manually. And fan myself discreetly. And check my gmail for any notes from my friends that may have gotten delayed in transit. Just in case.

Stupid friends.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Don't tell him I told you, but the domestic partner is 35 today.

He's not big on birthdays or all the attention that comes with them—in fact, we had dinner last night with friends and he wouldn't let me tell them his birthday was just moments away—but this is my blog and I love him and I just want to share with the the world how happy I am he was born. And that we met. And that he loves me back. And that he folds our laundry so nicely. Seriously, this boy has a FREAKISH talent for making all the shirts and towels in the house look like they're on display in a high-end department store. His mad folding skilz are just a small part of the many ways he really classes up the joint.

In other news, we ran nine miles on Saturday. But Matthew wasn't there with his camera to provide any photographic proof. Then the domestic partner and I helped his best friend move into a charming apartment within walking distance (well, summer walking distance ... I'd hate to make the trudge in February) of our condo. After a hot shower and a long nap, we had the aforementioned non-birthday dinner with our friends and then went to a beautiful-gay-boy party in Boystown. And the guest list was actually populated with nice beautiful gay boys. Plus one hunky shirtless bartender. He also seemed nice, but he was hunky and shirtless so who cares? (And don't get the impression that we habitually go to parties where hot men walk around shirtless—we are not even remotely that interesting—because this was a fund-raiser for a friend who's doing the AIDS Ride next weekend (go here if you want to sponsor him) and the hunky shirtless bartender was just a lure to get everyone to show up and cough up some sponsorship money. And it totally worked!)

On today's actual-birthday docket: family brunch, presents, birthday dinner, show tunes. And a couple demure pecks on the cheek to show him that I still love him despite his rapidly advancing age. I'm a good boyfriend like that.