Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Personally, I am a huge fan of my (and Mr. Drunk's) favorite drink: the Madras.
Mostly because it is a VERY sexy and festive name for what is, essentially, vodka with cranberry and orange juice. Also, because it speaks to the magic the combination makes. Vodka mixed with cranberry earns the very unoriginal name of Vodka Cranberry (or as Plus One Austin points out, the stuffy, unexciting, let's go tee off at 9AM, ey wot? name of Cape Cod). A vodka and orange juice, meanwhile, gets you a workman's tool (order THAT with caution at a gay bar, too.)
But, when the screwdriver and vodka cranberry are combined, much like all those annoying little ring wearing kids come together, a Captain Planet of alcoholic proportions is created and we are all that much classier, and more exciting, as we sip our Madras.
And, for some reason, when I hear madras, I think of rich people drinking and smoking long cigarettes on a balcony over looking Mardi Gras. No idea where that branding connection came from, but power to the folks that named it.
Sure it's also the name of a hideous pattern for pants, but I don't want to talk about that.
What I DO want to talk about is the strategic brilliance of a madras during a recession. Sure, you may be one classy bitch who only orders Grey Goose or Ciroc and drinks it out of the head of a baby seal wrapped in gold leaf, but boys like me need to save their pennies. Doing so requires the imbibing of the infamous WELL LIQUOR. Which can also be called poison, if you're alive enough to produce a 2-syllable word from your numb mouth.
Anyway, a Madras is the ultimate answer to well vodka (if you're drinking well something else, you're shit out of luck). Essentially the acidity of the orange juice cuts into the kick of the Popov (or Uncle Zeb's Bathtub Vodky) and the cranberry throws on a sweet finish to the acid bath.
As a note, the Madras is also an excellent open door for someone who's next to you at the bar because they can pretend to mishear you as ordering a "mattress" and then offer you theirs (whether you accept or not may very well depend on how many mattresses you've consumed that evening).
I also learned, however, that my sexy madras has an alter-ego. A stout bartender at the fabulous (read: not at all fabulous, the opposite, to the hundredth power) Astoria gay bar, the Albatross, told me that the drink is ALSO known as a cranberry toad.
Which sounds like a polite way of referring to herpes.
So don't order that at the bar, unless you're trying to get the guy next to you AWAY from you.
Whatever happened to the sophistication that used to accompany enjoying a cocktail? Justin's esteemed essay on the effects to his person of extreme alcohol consumption got me thinking about this topic.
Obviously, when we go out, we just want the libation that will get us to Mr. Drunk phase as soon as possible for as cheap as possible. But what about just enjoying an alcoholic beverage? Actually appreciating the variations in different types of whiskeys and gins? Why should liquor be treated any less than drinking wine?
Even the names of different drinks have been "dumbed down" to an almost barbaric way of just calling it what it is. For example, the real name of a rum and coke with a lime is a Cuba Libre (because it was apparently created during the liberation of Cuba from Spain during the Spanish-American War). If you order Captain Morgan and diet coke, try calling for a Skinny Pirate (although, use that order with caution if at a gay bar).
How about in the vodka family? Why don't we order Greyhounds any more when we want our favorite alcohol mixed with grapefruit? There's even a name for it if you want salt on the rim--Salty Dog (although, I will admit I thought that was a sexual act for a long time). Many of us like to consume Cape Cods, but in this one instance, I'll forgive you if you'd rather call it a vodka cranberry.
So I guess my point is, next time you're out at your favorite bar or club, try calling your favorite drink by it proper name. Suddenly, you'll find yourself not drinking a cocktail, but sipping a highball instead.
Next, perhaps we should discuss the why the two names for liquor mixtures have obvious references to the male genitalia...
In his last post, Plus One Austin outed me and my near-hot-mess self via a text exchange last night that we had while I was drunk and reveling at Musical Mondays at Splash. So I suppose I should just continue with the outing by giving you the full story about me:
My name is Justin and I am one AMAZING drunk.
Some people get offensive when they're drunk. Others get sick. Still others sit in a corner and cry. Some do a jig. I just become a that-much-more fantastic fellow (albeit one with very, very poor grammar and syntax.)
I have come to describe this dichotomy between sober and drunk me as Dr. Justin and Mr. Drunk. Because they really are two different people. Just like how Plus One Alum Adam Lehman has a drunken alter-ego named Clancy Pendergast, I have my own alter ego, and he's an interesting fellow.
First: the benefits. He's one funny motherfucker! He's also always smiling, rather ballsy, and completely fearless.
But then there are some interesting aspects of his character. A lot of people will send regrettable text messages or make shameful drunk dials. They then wake up the next morning, hung over, and page through their sent messages, perpetually shaking their heads.
Dr. Justin doesn't ever have the chance to do this for one reason: Mr. Drunk has a habit of completely purging his sent messages folder (and sometimes his inbox, too) on his phone prior to passing out. This often leads to a lot of funny moments The Next Morning when I have texts from friends answering questions I don't remember asking and WTF-ing stories I don't remember telling.
And speaking of passing out, I've recently discovered another interesting habit of Mr . Drunk. He really likes sleeping on the hard wood floor of my studio apartment. He's done it twice now, despite the fact that a perfectly comfortable queen size bed is not ten feet from where he lays his drunken head down.
This does, however, work as a fantastic warning. When I awake with a strong-feeling back and notice that I'm right next to my door, I know that my cell phone (which Mr. Drunk ALWAYS remembers to plug in... on the shelf... right next to MY BED... before turning around and going to bed on the hallway floor) will be FILLED with award winning texts from friends and foes alike.
Perhaps I should be scared of Mr. Drunk... but he's been getting the normally square and only slightly funny Dr. Justin into a lot of interesting adventures. I'm actually sorta excited to find out more about him.
Maybe he sings Confrontation before he goes to sleep?
Bet he does it better than the Hoff does, too.
I recently joined the iMovement and got an iPhone, and it is a brilliant piece of work. I'm sure most of the readers have one or know someone with one, so I'm not going to hark on the mesmerizing features and applications of this marvelous invention. The fact is, I have an iPhone and I'm not afraid to say that I'm better than people who don't. ;-)
However, I must say that one of my favorite aspects of the iPhone is the texting interface. When all my old phones displayed one message at a time, the iPhone actually saves your entire text conversation with one person in the same window, sort of like a chat window in AIM or GChat.
And because of this feature, I can relive the texting moment I had with Justin as I was missing out on one our favorite evenings, Musical Mondays at Splash. (You may also want to note my use of correct grammar, spelling and punctuation and Justin's total disregard of it.) And I quote:
J: You should come [to Musical Mondays]! Tyler (name changed to protect the innocent) misses you! lol
A: I know. He's so in love with me.
J:hahaha yo twinkykiller
A: That should be my new nickname! Twinky Killer!
J: might get you arrested lol
A: Nah. The "killer" part is obviously a euphemism. Or a metophor... Not sure which one...
J: onomatopoeia? lol
A: I'm surprised that you know how to spell that. No, I think an onomatopoeia would be "Twink Boooooiinng!!"
J: hahahahahaha yessss
And this is why we're friends.
Monday, March 30, 2009
As many J+1 readers probably don't know, I work a corporate job for 40+ hours a week. The reason they don't know is because it's not an important part of my life... and even as I type that I have to ask myself why I spend so much of my time on something I ultimately don't consider my passion. To make money? To pay the bills? To feel secure?
I come from a background of various dabbled and creative pursuits--short film making, acting, painting, directing, writing, sexual nirvana, etc... But somewhere down the road, I decided to settle for jobs that were "normal" jobs. At first, I told myself that having secure jobs would allow me the money and the freedom to pursue other aspects of my life that I really enjoyed. However, as you settle into these types of jobs, you realize that the time and energy you have to spend in these other pursuits gets smaller and smaller, all the way to the (seeming) point of no return.
I had a "Come to Jesus" moment last week when one my coworkers who shares my fanatical enthusiasm for musical theatre told me about her experience with this job. "I told myself that I could do this job for one, maybe two years," she said, "and I could really work hard on my writing. But here I am, seven years later."
At this point, she grabbed my face in her aging hands and looked into my eyes. "You're young, Austin. This is the time of your life where you should be making plans and setting down that path to your ultimate goal. Don't do what I did."
I just stared back and couldn't say anything. I thought these moments only happened in movies. I went home that night with that image of her looking into my eyes stuck in my thoughts. What is my plan? How am I going to get there? Am I supposed to quit my job?
This is the contemplative state I am currently in. So I guess it's good to have J+1 to get the chance to type it all out. And to end this melodramatic moment, I give you this highly appropriate song. Enjoy, lovies. ;-)
In his last post, Plus One Austin Helms spoke of how he'd be one of the dancing hippies making merry in the green of Central Park in the musical Hair.
The video that came to my mind is one that they play at my favorite weekly party - Musical Mondays at Splash.
It's from the movie of Hair, and it goes something like-a this-a:
And, indeed, I can see how Austin might be one of those guys. I mean, look at his hair! Just tie some juniper berry branches and tulips up in those locks and he's 90% of the way there. Now all we have to do is take away his job, not let him bathe for a few days, and give him some porcini mushrooms and tell him they're magical...
Any way, I wish I could say that I, too, would be one of these carefree stoner lover-not-fighters. Oh to pretend I'd be content laying around all day in Central Park watching The Fuzz on their pretty dancing ponies.
Alas, not true. I would be the L-7 SQUAAAAARE twinky boy who wonders in in his suit halfway through the clip. People at Musical Mondays often laugh at that man's face.
"What's he thinking!?" they scream over their cosmos.
Well, I don't answer, but I know what he's thinking, because it's what I'm thinking.
Who are these filthy freaks?
Why don't they have jobs?
Oh god is that an ORGY? But they're covered in mud! Can't they shower first!?
What the fuck is Aquarius? Is that a new restaurant down in meatpacking?
Yes, I am a bit of a stiff suit that way, but I just wouldn't be able to go ahead and abide by the hippie lifestyle. I like having a job. Showering. Being uptight. Buying stuff. Sure, I can dig the "free love" orgies, but only if the twenty others bathed in the past 12 or so hours.
Oh, and facial hair. GOD do I not go for facial hair. And it seems like hippies and goatees or big ass mustaches are intrinsically linked.
Why is this? Maybe it's backlash. My parents were HUGE hippies. My mom wore the flower dresses and pranced through meadows in Queens as a child, her beatnik boyfriends and lovers chasing after her, painting her, writing songs for her, writing her love poems.
And then there was my father - in a high school yearbook full of smiling suited stiffs (you know, like the guy in the vid that I would be), one may flip through page after page of smart looking haircuts, nicely pressed jackets and ties, bright learning-hungry eyes... and come upon good ole Jay, wearing just a pair of overalls (which were clearly too restrictive, as he let one strap down), his hair in a wild lion's mane-style fro, his eyes practically closed, his jaw slack and grinning.
Yes, maybe it is a backlash after all.
We are in the midst of terrible economic times. Sure, the lines at Best Buy and filled tables at Per Se seem to speak to the contrary, but if you look to your friends and loved ones, you will see lost jobs, cut hours, garnished salaries (garnished celery!? no!!) and all sorts of uber-depressing signs of our times.
But, until now, I've been very very lucky to avoid the sword of God-Damnacles dangling over the heads of Americans everywhere.
This all changed this past weekend.
Let's call him Kevin. We met online and had discussed meeting up. He was a smart cookie from a good school, with a great body. Plus he loved Arrested Development! (Note: if you ever want to marry me, have Will Arnett perform his pennies from heaven trick and I'm ALL YOURS).
So Kevin and I had promptly planned to meet up and spend some sweaty time together (marathon training! manual field labor! standing in those old timey metal tubes women used to lose weight in the olden days!) but I took ill, and therefore he couldn't come by.
Just this morning I shot him an IM saying that I was available this week and so we could get together for some hot fun (sunbathing! hot coal spa treatments! volcano jumping!) and he said
"Well, there's a slight challenge we've been presented with."
A challenge? What!? Had he suddenly gotten a boyfriend? Did he turn straight? Was he dead and contacting me from beyond the grave?
Turns out that, a few weeks ago, the science lab he was working in let him go because they lost their grant money. (Nevermind the fact that his ass-stupid boss didn't realize Big Daddy Obama is sendin mucho dinero his way soon enough.)
"Okay?" I said, "And so?"
"My parents made me come home, they don't want to pay for me to live unemployed in the most expensive city in the world."
My heart (and something else) dropped. What!? He went home!? Why would they make him do that!? Why did I have to be sick last week!?
But I rallied. So what was the worst that could happen? They moved him back to New Jersey or Connecticut or Long Island? So he'd have to take a train, and we'd still be able to have some Fun Times (Chutes and Ladders! Hopscotch! Scavenger Hunts!)
"Okay, that's fine, where is home?"
If you heard some terrible noise this morning, and you live in the tri-state area, that was me screaming.
And now, finally, after all of this time, the recession has negatively affected me. It just shows you on how many levels something this dastardly can go. Jobs and homes are just the begining.
Hey, Obama! How about a Cockblock Bailout? All I need is plane fare.
I've often thought of what I would have been like if I was in my late teens/early 20s during the tumultuous times of late 60s. If I had been in Mississippi (where I grew up), I think I would have turned out relatively the same. However, if I had grown up in NYC. I truly feel like I would be one of those hippies scaring tourists in Central Park. I'd be a drug-using, peace-slinging, oversexed flower child.
Now if I had been that age in the 80s, forget about it. I would have done the same sort of drugs and sex as my 1968-alternate self, but the 80s version of myself would have been a little too extreme. I can just see myself lying limp in a sequined suit, blood dripping out of my nose, and a doomsday STD running through my veins.
So for now, I'd stick to my hippie status in the 60s. I think the only thing that keeps me from being that now is just all of the health-related information we know about drugs and unprotected sex now. I guess back then, ignorance really was bliss...
In all my travels, I've learned (at least) two things. 1) A great hamburger is hard to come by, 2) Boys will be boys, and 3) some people are just bad at sex. The last gem of wisdom can be disappointing to some people, but I prefer to take it as a challenge and a chance to improve our world a bit.
Case in point: I was with this young, twink of a thing a while back (and I hope he doesn't read this blog). He was cute and funny and charming in that just-got-out-of-high-school way. So of course, I just had to take him home for the evening. It starts out with kissing, which he was all right at. But unfortunately, that was about the only thing he was okay at.
As the session progressed, it was obvious this was not going to be great. So, I just ended up faking the orgasm in a true When Harry Met Sally Moment. I was going to feel bad about it, but then I thought about what the alternative would have been. Why make him feel inadequate? He was very eager, and I didn't want to dash his future sexual potential. Confidence is a big key in sexual prowess, after all. So I took the high road.
Many people may disagree with it, and I can understand that. If this was more than a hook up for me, I might have taken the time to coach the boy. However, in this situation, I think I did what was right. And actually, I ended up finding this guy again a few month after that, and he had improved in leaps and bounds. I had my moment of sexual karma satisfaction then and there.
Wow, I just realized this was my intro post. Way to set the standard, Austin. This is going to be a fun week, right Justin?
It's a pleasure for you to meet me.
The sun is so bright! The breeze is cool! People are out and about and not drunk! So THIS is what daylight is like again! Oh I did have ever so much fun with Chris last week, but I forgot the beauty of daylight, judging from the fact that I never saw it except from behind closed, heavy eyelids.
So, back on my standard day schedule, I am pleased to welcome BACK a Plus One Alum, and good friend of mine - Mr. Austin Helms of the Upper East Side (that's right, we're like neighbors).
Say hello to Austin, and stick around with us this week as we bring Justin Plus One back to its traditional daytime schedule.
Upper East Side, Manhattan, New York City, NY, USA, North America, Planet Earth
My Last J+1 Residency:
December 21 - 25, 2008
My Site/ Sites:
My Best Post from last time:
My Worst Post from last time:
Why I came back to Justin Plus One:
Justin was really depressed after I left last time. He called me, on average, 23 times a week, but I always let it go to voicemail. By the time he started showing up outside my window, I knew I probably should come back. We have a very healthy relationship.
What I might blog about this time:
Acting, knitting, warm weather (hopefully), sex, music, theater, bisexuality, alcohol, or more likely, I’ll just type a series of streams of consciousness…
What’s happened to me since the last time I blogged:
I got bored with all my Christmas presents. I did a one-act play Off-Off-Broadway. I discovered DudeVu.com. I learned how to crochet.
One More Last Word:
I miss PopRocks and cola.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Someone asked me the other day "If you had to choose any other person to be president, who would you choose?" Easy answer for me. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE OBAMA! But if I had any other choice for President, I would have to choose Judith Shiendlin (aka Judge Judy).
Many of you are aware of my love of her, but it goes far beyond that. I also think she's one of the smartest women in America. She protrudes sagacity. She's almost always right and I've never agreed with one single person's views more than I do her. I think she's so in-tune with what's going on in the world and she always knows what's "right."
She's tough too; as demonstrated in her courtroom drama. She's pretty much merciless and goes after the scum of the earth degrading them down to nothingness in front of "10 Million" people as she so aptly puts it.
I think Judy would work anywhere you put her, behind a desk, on the battlefield, in a terrorist negotiation, etc. She has an amazing power of persuasion and ability to tell who's telling the TRUTH.
Now why wouldn't I want someone like this running our country? Of course it's all a dream for me, but I think she's pretty much indestructible so maybe the future of presidency still awaits Mrs. Sheindlin. :-)
Now enjoy one of the BEST Judge Judy episodes EVER!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
In his last post, Plus One Chris Ryan gloated about how his precious nightlife world is not feeling the effects of our horrifying recession.
Oh that the rest of us were so lucky.
One place that really felt the recession was Broadway (which I blogged extensively about during the deathfest), where over 10 innocent (and mostly terrible) shows were left in bloody, moaning piles, their gore mucking up the Great White Way.
But unlike Fox News, this girl knows that it's not Barack Obama's fault. We should put her on the morning news circuit. If anyone can convince America that someone else is to blame, it is surely her.
I don't care what anyone says, she would have made an EXCELLENT Melchior Gabor.
PS: Special thanks to fervent fan and daily reader Brian for sending the video.
OH! And Chris, I found two good videos for you related to the Prohibition ;0) ... you're welcome!
Don't take that literally...but in my world, do.
In club world, recession = drink/go out more. It's the honest to god's truth.
I'm constantly being asked by people when I'm out, "So how does the recession affect your nightlife business?" I tell them, "it doesn't!" People seem annoyed at the fact that's the case, but history always repeats. In the time of the great depression, we had prohibition which outlawed the sale or consumption of alcohol. What did people do? Flagrantly BROKE the law and drank more!
Of course we aren't breaking the law now by drinking alcohol (although I do think some people are breaking it by how MUCH they drink, ha-ha) but we are seeing growing alcohol sales. The only thing I can say decreases in this time is people wanting to pay cover. However, we're able to make up for that with liquor sales.
Is drinking really helping the situation? Well, I actually think it is. Liquor sales are on the rise and surprisingly that's helping the economy, no not to a great amount, but it's a taxed commodity in New York.
So what do I say!? Go out and drink more (at my parties of course!) Ha-Ha, just kidding. Everything in moderation!
PS Sorry I didn't have any funny photos or videos for this one, but you try googling and finding something with "drinking/recession"! So here's one of my favorite videos/songs of the week. (Hey it has drinking and a club in it!)
But it's really not fair to just qualify me as a Queer as Folk superfan. Yes I've seen every episode at least four times. Yes, when my ex Paul and I were catching up on them at Blockbuster (god, showing our age, where were YOU NetFlix?) we actually went BACK to Blockbuster four times in one night to return a disc to get the next one.
And yes, I am one of the few who will readily admit to turning down Brian for Justin. What can I say? I never really saw what made Brian so HOT. Justin was always my cup of t. (for twink, duh.)
But I have more of a vicious Love/Hate relationship with the sordid, sexy tales of Brian Kinney, Justin Taylor, the guy from Talk Soup, the hick guy who's now doing voice work for that lego cartoon on Logo.
Why? Because it DESTROYED my sense of the gay party culture before I had a chance to see it myself. As a young, twinky, not-too-clubby boy watching episode after episode of ramped up HIV and hate crime drama, I had nothing to compare their world to mine. I was going to a small private school in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The gayest thing we had nearby was a hole in the wall gay bar that looked more like a cabin commandeered by lesbians than a gay club.
So, when I finally made it to NYC and the big-ass clubs, I was ready. I was ready for hundreds of shirtless, hairless, supermodels. Throbbing. Gyrating. Bashing groins together and drinking. Gogo boys without surgical scars. Back rooms full of the hottest three and ten ways you had ever seen.
If you've been to clubs in NYC, you'll know that they are no Babylon. Sure! There are hot guys, there is fake smoke and wandering strobes and gobos.
But you know what? It's just not the same. To go back to what David said:
There's never anything accurate about gay clubs depicted on tv or in the movies. Justin, who was a huge Queer As Folk fan (now outed) can attest to that. You can tell as soon as you see Shit Falling From The Ceiling, which happens in EVERY club on TV (see clip) and NEVER happens in real life, that everything you're witnessing is fake. Lucas - the bathroom scenes were filmed in XL, which has since closed. I'm pretty sure the rest was filmed on a sound stage, not a real venue. Though SATC did shoot other episodes at Limelight/Avalon, and Barracuda. (I'm a fan, now outed.)And he's right! I let Queer as Folk lead me astray! I wanted falling glitter. I wanted 8-pack abs. I wanted to meet Justin Taylor and take him home with me (even if it was just so he could make Brian Kinney jealous.)
But what did I get? I got REALITY. Which is a lot less hot than television fantasy. Not everyone has nice bodies - in fact a lot of them had bodies like mine! Back rooms were filled with very, very hairy guys with no hair on their heads and fumanchu mustaches and beards that went clear to their navels. No one was smiling! So many scowls! So much unhappiness, cattiness, bitchiness.
But I didn't give up. Queer as Folk HAD to be telling me the truth! Maybe I just hadn't been to the right club. 20 clubs later, I was just about ready to fly to Pittsburgh, figuring maybe these magical clubs were out there (or to that place in Canada where they filmed the series.)
Alas, this was many years ago. I have since come to love reality. I find imperfections to be some of the sexiest things about people. In fact, when I find what I would describe as "perfection," I stay far away, afraid they're a cyborg, or the anti-christ.
And yes, me and Queer as Folk eventually made up, and I bought every season of their show on DVD (before the massive price drop - d'oh!)
Oh, and one final note to Showtime: The L Word is not, was not, and never WILL BE Queer as Folk. You, Showtime, I will not forgive. Not until you bring back Queer as Folk. You know you could totally do it. Get the cast back together, they aren't doing much these days. Bring in a few more twinky waifs, and a handful of waify twinks. Go back to writing your over-dramatic, soap-opera-esque story lines.
Because you know what? Even though so many gay men decry the show, I'll bet you dollars to poppers that they'd watch it all the same.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
First, I'd like to thank Justin for the "plugs". You're a sweetheart and now you never have to worry about paying for cover or your drinks again! (haha jk) ;-)
Second, everyone needs to get 8-9 hours of sleep a night, take vitamins, drink green tea & exercise. Follow this regiment (and come to my parties) and I promise you, you'll be healthy!
It's been a love/hate relationship since the day I've signed up. And after months of receiving those damn spam e-mails on facebook "FORWARD your friends: Facebook to start charging," it's finally coming true!
Fox News has reported tonight that Facebook will start charging a yearly fee within the next year. I understand everyone's hard up for cash, but Mark Zuckerberg and his team of Harvard Graduates do NOT need our cash!
Besides charging me, Facebook has done everything in their power to make sure my work is harder. Here I list my PROBLEMS with Facebook:
1. Takes 3 or more hours to click the boxes next to each name and invite all 5,000 friends to an event/group/etc.
2. They limit you at 5,000 friends! Now I know this is reportedly a problem for only 1% of current facebook users, but for those of us that are constantly meeting new people whether it be online or in person, that number is going to grow past 5,000 for MANY of us!
3. I've been kicked off twice with my entire profile deleted for either adding too many of my friends at once or accepting too many friend requests at once..WHA!?!
4. News Feed has become a nightmare, need I say more.
5. (And I'm guilty of this one, sorry) Event invites are out of control, I end up clicking "maybe" to all of them now.
6. I stopped consistently using MySpace because of the amount of spam I was getting, well now Facebook has procured massive amounts of spam
7. STOP CHANGING THE LAYOUT!!! Or at least give us a choice!!!
Now if they fix these problems, I won't mind paying a small fee each month, maybe that will get rid of the spam profiles!
Oh and yes, to answer the numerous questions I've received about this, I do have two profiles and that's because of the 5,000 limit. Both profiles are completely seperate and no two friends on each profile are the same. I've made a seperate to allow people to add me there since they can't on the other. So no, I don't have an evil twin running a seperate profile against me on Facebook, it is me. :-)
Oh and continuing on Justin's "Infromercial" blog...Here's a fun Facebook (E-Harmony Parody) Infromercial
Oh and this is HYSTERICAL! Imagine Facebook in "REAL LIFE"
As some of you may know, I have been sick the past few days. My co-workers and caring friends and family members have taken this as a springboard opportunity to attack me about my party-monster style actions the past few weeks.
"Of course you're sick! You can't be out all nights of the week, til 3 in the morning, get up at 7, eat close to nothing except the lemon rinds in your madras and expect to stay healthy!"But my defense is, how am I supposed to stay in when I'm getting emails and promos and texts from Plus One Chris Ryan every day? Of COURSE I want $4 vodka crans at Rewind at Ritz! Of COURSE I want to get in for free to Campus Thursdays at Splash! Why WOULDN'T I want $5 cover for the Friday party at RUSH?
Well, today when I called to schedule an appointment with my doctor, the lady at the desk told me that I would have to wait because he was home sick with the same illness, one that is apparently plaguing all of Manhattan.
As my cousin and Plus One Alum Kristin said "New York City turns into a gigantic fucking petri dish, it's pretty goddammed disgusting."
Now I do not take being sick lightly. In fact, I get very angry. Imagine a gym teacher father yelling at his 8 year old son who can't stay balanced on his ice skates, let alone lead his ice hockey team to the county championships.
That bitter, unhappy, unfulfilled gym teacher is my brain, and that innocent, verbally abused child is my body.
I become downright militant when I'm sick, confining myself to my apartment to down gallons of orange juice and swallow zinc pills like it's my job. Every day I wake up still feeling sick is a failure. I howl like a werewolf, practically pounding at the swollen glands in my throat, threatening to rip them out if they don't go back to their normal non-swollen sizes.
Oh, and I also watch a lot of TV.
Last night I had NY 1 on, which for those of you NOT in NYC, is our local news channel. It's low budget brilliance, with awkward call-in shows, news that plays on loop throughout the evening, and apparently a morning news show where the host reads the local newspapers.
It also has a lot of infomercials. And from there, in my feverish mental oblivion, I started thinking about infomercials. They're terrible. Poorly designed. Shabbily thrown together.
The people in the grainy black and white footage have dramatic panic attacks over simple challenges like wire tangles or the presence of wire hangers.
And yet, we'll watch them any way. Why? Because they're tragically wonderful. And half the time we're watching them we're either stoned or drunk and just too lazy to turn off the TV or switch on the DVR.
With that in mind, I think I'll post some of my favorites here. I invite the rest of you to add your favorites as well.
Does anyone remember Amazing Discoveries? I used to LOVE this show. Why? Because it found a way to make infomercials that much more believable - by having a common show where the silly products could rotate through with the same host (and look at that hideous sweater!)
Of course there is everyone's recent top fave, The Snuggie:
It takes something standard and accepted, like a blanket, and makes it a challenging, unfulfilling product that should be destroyed.
Last night I caught a new one for the ShamWow:
This guy is just fantastic. He looks like Steve Buscemi and he compliments the Germans!
Another fave of mine, and my friend Paul would have to be THE MAGIC BULLET:
The charming british accent of the host almost soothes you to sleep, and chain-smoking neighbor Basil is an inspirational character.
And last night I also came across the commercial for the Obama Commemorative Plate:
I love the man who is handwriting (so old fashioned!) a letter, probably to a fellow Patriot, who then takes a break to gaze upon his Obama-emblazoned plate for the will to go on with his powerful message. Oh, and get it fast because they will DESTROY THE DYE used to make it.
Of course there are tons more where these came from, but I only have so much time to think of them and post them here. I defy you to go ahead and post others in the comments. What are YOUR favorite infomercials?
Anyway, Justin posted a blog the other day "A Rant From Old Man Tweet" and he used a photograph of the wonderfully talented, toughest, kick-ass guy of them all...CLINT EASTWOOD. Who just so happens to be my hero! Yup! Not Britney, not Cher, not Madonna (although a close second), Clint gets this honor!
I've been asked by people recently who my hero is, weird right? Last week while sitting in G Lounge, drinking some wonderful frozen cosmos, a friend of mine was sitting next to me and we don't get the chance to talk a lot so he began asking me some questions; He paused and asked "So who's you hero?" I told him, "Clint Eastwood." He was completely stunned and maybe even a little horrified ha-ha. He said, "I've never heard a gay man say such a thing." I think I offended him for some unknown reason, but I explained to him that while I love all that is gay culture, I still love a man's MAN!
Clint has been the ideal man's MAN for me. Whether he's running around as the vigilante cop, Harry Callahan, or Blondie, in the "Good, The Bad & The Ugly", he's always just done it for me as the ultimate tough guy.
I used to sit in my room replaying my favorite scenes from his movies and then I'd go out and pretend to be him (that would often get my ass kicked). But, believe it or not I wasn't dressing up my Barbie Dolls or hugging my Tele-Tubbies, I was a gun-toting, ass-kicking, cop/cowboy/secret service agent tough guy!
Okay now, out of imagination-land and back to work!
Here's one of my favorite Clint movie scenes... Oh and...Do you feel lucky?
I want to HEAR who YOUR HERO'S are!
As Chris and I once again awaken from a wild and rowdy night bouncing from the East Village sex clubs to the Hell's Kitchen S&M (that's Stand and Model, you see) bars, we've decided to keep it easy and breezy this "morning."
What, you've been at work since 8 or 9 am? Jesus. I think that's about the time that we piled into the cab. And get this - it was the Cash Cab! We won the jackpot and everything. Then we stumbled into some sports bar by my place and crashed into the fat, bald guy from Beer Money. We won there too.
So, all in all, a CRAZY night. We're up about 500 dollars (when you go out with C-Ry, he doesn't let you pay a penny!)
And, when you wake up in shambles such as we, it's always best to go for the hair of the dog that bit you. So we're pleased to share with you the newest gay hottie making a name for himself on the Web. On YouTube he goes by the name "Captainl0ver".
CaptainL0ver is surely on his way to Web celebrity... so maybe Plus One Chris and I can be his tipping point. Check him out because:
- He's hot
- He's dancing rather well to Britney
- He performs the lyrics in SIGN LANGUAGE
- He looks REALLY good shirtless
Hey, Chris darling? What do you think of getting this guy to one of your events? I think he'd do nicely in a YouTube themed evening... get him,
and the two tranny brow twinks that redid the Numa Numa song.
Just a thought.
Kill The Lights
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
So today I got some pretty great news, I was told by an editor of The Advocate that I was chosen to be in their "40 Under 40" issue which features people who have made a tremendous difference in the community (post stonewall-era). Quite the honor, huh? I'm on the same list as Dustin Lance Black ("Milk") and 39 other well-known people.
I must admit it hasn't been easy making it to this list. People often come to me and say, "wow, you have a dream job, you get to drink/party and get paid for it!"
Event planning/production/promotion is a FULL-TIME JOB! I don't go stay up in my room & drink and party to loud club music! It requires me being on the job nearly 12 hours a day, if not more. Especially considering the fact that I do four weekly parties, three monthly events, website maintenance, e-mail marketing, utilization of the social networking sites & oh so much more. I then have to talk to several companies each week regarding giveaways/sponsors/performers/etc. I basically do everything that a PR company does and all by myself. Trust me, there's far more than what I've listed. Its amazing that I am even able to write a blog!
It was a major risk for me to decide to resign from my full-time job in order to pursue my own business. I was pretty much betting it all on the fact that I would definitely be able to survive & make it in the world of nightlife. It since then has turned into much more than just nightlife. A lot of people don't know that I also get paid to do advertisements via my e-blasts, website & even my facebook. A promoter's gold is their list of contacts/emails/network. Without those at hand, we wouldn't go too far.
I usually don't tell people this but come Sunday, I'm ready to give it all up and go back to the mental health field. It's extremely wearing & more tiring than when I was working full-time in the clinic. I get up early like everyone else but end later, the only upside is that my office is a mere 5 ft. from my bed, so the commute is beautiful (don't throw tomatoes at me).
All my joy comes out of seeing people happy and enjoying my events. I get no greater satisfaction than knowing people had a good time. I don't care for one second if I did; it's all about the people I do this for. (Not the people I do, however they get great satisfaction too!)
And making it where I've made it just short of 3 years has been a merciless climb to the top of the virtual mountain. I've been lucky enough to do what I do and receive the honors I have in just a few short years. Receiving an honor from the Governor of New York (David A. Patterson) for my accomplishments in nightlife and activism was the highlight of it all, it was almost surreal. I just can't believe how far I've come. It's times like these I smile and say, hey, its definitely been worth it.
PS It's been a very long day!
Reading Plus One Chris Ryan's commentary on this bright, beautiful new 140-character maximum kingdom better known as Twitter was so precious I almost couldn't stand it. It was like gazing into a magic mirror that was able to send me far, far back into the past - roughly four months ago when my boss and friend dragged me, kicking and screaming to Twitter.
"NO!" I screamed, practically frothing at the mouth, "I already HAVE a blog! I already have a Facebook! I'm on Linkedin and YouTube! Del.icio.us and Digg and Reddit! No more! Please!"
But he would hear nothing of it, depositing me firmly at Twitter.com and telling me to join promptly before he make my life a living hell. Well, I thought, if I HAD to do it, I really had no reason not to join.
Now, when I came to Twitter (god, it really is like immigrants coming to America, isn't it?) I arrived on the same rag ships as most businesspeople. This is when the New York Times was just starting to mumble about Twitter. When the most cutting edge interactive and internet minds were jumping on the site to say they were there when.
And so I set up shop over at www.twitter.com/JustinRZB and began my daily posts. Again, hearing Chris talk about his 3 tweets a day, it's like a bittersweet flashback.
Anyone who follows me today knows I can tweet anywhere from 20-50 times a day. It all depends on what articles I come across, what my Twitter network of blowhards is root toot tooting about on that morning, and how bad the weather is outside (man do I know how to bitch in a concise 140 characters!)
From my humble roots, I still remember my Twitter milestones: my first 100 tweets. My first 500 tweets. My first 1,000 tweets (which I wasted on a dumb question to @reecer).
I remember when the number of people following me ecclipsed the number of people I was following. I remember getting enraged when all the SPAMbots appeared, following me to tell me I could make money by selling my testicles on the black market (note: they're full of shit.)
I also remember the day that those no good kids showed up. Kids like @ChrisRyanNYC.
And I'm talking about my friends and younger family members. Much like when my mother and aunt invaded Facebook, I became immediately aware that friends my age were suddenly on Twitter and tweeting in my general direction.
Where did they come from? What were they doing here? God were they really tweeting about the OATMEAL they were having for breakfast!?
I felt like an old man on a rocking chair, threatening to shoot youngins who come too close to his rutebagas. This new generation of Twitter folks were mucking up the joint.
- They weren't following @guykawasaki for awesomely interesting links.
- They didn't give a shit what @SteveRubel had to say about the state of the Internet.
- And they were blissfully ignoring the death bell pealing over at @themediaisdying
- They only recently started Internet god @abartelby because they saw him as a Plus One Alum last week.
They don't know what a TinyURL is, but they're glad they appear. They aren't signed up and vigilantly watching their Qwitter alerts. What the fuck is HootSuite? They have no idea. And I'll bet you they don't care to launch a twtpoll either.
While I diligently tweet thought leadership articles about eStrategy and politics to please my higher ups in between work assignments via either my TwitterBar or TwitterFox, they are wandering the streets of NYC sending pictures of cute dogs to TwtPix. I've mastered the fine art of hash tagging to appear in the right Tweet Decks of the right thinkers, and they forget to RT me when I post totally awesome web sites.
I market my blog, and they bemoan Fox News' treatment of Trent Reznor. Or the rising price of Pinkberry. In other words - they're using Twitter the way it should be, and I'm a boring curmudgeon.
So, am I bitter? Probably. But, much like that old man rocking on his porch, shotgun in hand, I don't need to reason or think through anything. I can just take out my teeth, cluck my tongue, and refuse to give them back their football, even while they're begging.
Twitter is feeding the trend of a nation with a condensing attention span and disinterest in detail. :-)
And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
Since I've discovered Twitter merely two weeks ago, rather signed up for it, I haven't stopped using it. I couldn't understand what the CRAZE was about! I was trying to justify in my mind how anyone could get any enjoyment out of a site that allows you to spell out what you're feeling/thinking/doing/etc in just 140 characters!
But then here I am now twitter'ing (micro-blogging) at least 3 times a day and that's actually reasonable. Some of these guys on here twitter over 20 times a day! I started following, mainly, celebrities on twitter just to see what they post and I was shocked to see HOW much they use this thing. Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy, whatever he calls himself nowadays, must post 20+ times a day, and most of it's complete bs! (Sorry Puffy!)
I'm just shocked to see that we've basically scaled down Facebook to a STATUS Update! Are we really that ADD that we can't read more than 140 characters now!? I guess so! Even the politicians on Capitol Hill have fallen victim to this new craze.
Well I better stop writing, if you're a twitter addict, by now you've fallen asleep!
How many of you guys are twittering? Do you like it? What do you like about it so much?
Oh and here's a ridiculous little video about Twitter...
Monday, March 23, 2009
With Plus One Chris Ryan now on board, I've been thinking about bars and clubs. Sure, one big reason for this is that I spent 6 of the past 7 nights at them (don't judge!... and also don't ask how much I spent on booze, because, frankly, I agreed with myself to forget that number). But another thing is that Chris is a promoter, and I'm constantly getting his texts and emails that get me in to the fun places for free.
One thing that I absolutely hate about NYC bars (and something that Chris is partially responsible for) is that the ones I like going to are often sickeningly packed. Bars like Ritz, G Lounge, Vlada (which I no longer hate, yay!), and even Posh. Saying you're packed in elbow to elbow is putting it gently.
You basically have to penetrate the person in front of you in order to make room for the two guys double-penetrating you already.
Getting to the bar is a Herculean feat that requires more ducking and juking than you'd need to win a Heisman.
And these bars really illustrate the term "sea of humanity" because, once you enter them, the tide of comers and goers literally drags you to the back of the bar, spins you around, pushes you back where you came from, and kicks you out the door to the curb.
But still we go out in NYC. Why? Because, while the club may be packed, our apartments are small. They are essentially dorms in the giant skyscrapered college campus that is Manhattan.
As many of you may know, I have my own studio on the Upper East Side. I also think that Chris has his own in HK - C-Ry, let me know if I'm right here!
My place is not large by any stretch of the imagination but, when compared to how it was when my two other boyfriends lived here... well, it's a kingdom. But still, it's kinda tiny. I could stand to have larger digs. As I'm sure most of you would.
It's part of the trade-off of living in the greatest city in the world. You sign on the dotted line and agree to ridiculous things that no one else in any other city would - things like showers in the kitchen, or hot plates and no stoves, or just enough room for a mini-fridge, or a "1 bedroom" that is really just a closet that fits a twin-size bed diagonally against the wall.
But, even if you think that where you live is a little... cramped... I have stumbled upon something that will make your space feel much more... spacious. It's called
and it's a photo series by photographer Michael Wolf’.
Three years ago, Wolf persuaded 100 residents of Hong Kong’s oldest housing project to let him photograph their 100-square-foot apartments. Some lived like monks, with a bed here, a mini-fridge there, and minimal clutter. Others look as if they’re sitting in the back of a totally packed U-Haul.Seriously, though. It's very, very uncomfortable to look at these photos. Trying to find the bed. Trying to imagine how someone could live in that room. One man has shit stacked so high I imagine him dying, crushed underneath it all, and no one hearing it.
Despite the poor surroundings and cramped spaces, Mr. Wolf doles out very little judgment as he shoots. Most of the photos are straight on, featuring the tenants who more often than not proudly smile in the center of their 100x100 kingdom.
It's not schadenfreude that I'm feeling... or, if I am, it's a slightly more benevolent version. I'm just very appreciative of what I have (and very impressed at what people do with the space that they get.)
Check out Michael Wolf's 100 x 100
Friday, March 20, 2009
Well, Mein Damen und Herren, it has certainly been a fabulous week for me, and I have definitely enjoyed sharing you with Justin over the past five days. Being Justin's Plus One this week has been an invigorating experience, and I thank you graciously for reading my ruminations that have run from sex, to relationships, to social networking, and back again to sex.
If you'd care to keep in touch you're more than welcome in the salon over at my blog, The Curious Affairs Of Atherton Bartelby; we've a lovely crowd of rather fine gentlefolk over there just waiting to make you feel at home. Or, if you prefer your Atherton Bartelby in smaller, more manageable, does, you're also welcome to join me on Twitter, or on my Tumblr, The Curious Addenda.
Until our paths cross again,
Occasionally I stumble across items I find on the internet that make me engage in what I've come to refer to as "epic eye rolls," i.e., items that annoy me so much that I roll my eyes so violently that I threaten said eyes with spontaneous retinal detachments due to the vehemence of the eye roll. This happened to me twice yesterday.
The first item came in the form of an internal AIG memo leaked to the media, concerning AIG Corporate Security's Tips for, as Gawker so elegantly termed it, "Surviving An Angry Mob." As someone who himself worked for ten years in an office of a similar global insurance consulting firm, I am no stranger to these types of security memos that are issued to staff during times of negative media / public scrutiny. AIG's memo read exactly like the ones I had read during my employ with my old firm (in fact, my old firm's Risk Control Consultants likely wrote AIG's for them). So I rolled my eyes epically at precisely the same items yesterday as I did when I first read them at my own former firm the last time PETA launched an international protest of all of our offices because our London office underwrote coverage for a company that tested on animals. (My co-designer and I wore furs to work during that entire week, by the way, just for the lulz).
- Avoid wearing any AIG apparel (bags, shirts, umbrellas, etc.) with the company insignia. Now I have never been one to give my employer free advertising by walking around with logofied promotional items anyway, even if my company wasn't in dire straits in the media and the eyes of the American public. I look at it like not wearing garishly large designer logos: as long as I know it's Armani, nobody else has to, you know?
- Ensure any badges with the AIG insignia are not readily visible when exiting the office. This is kind of similar to the first item but in a different way because it speaks to those people who wear their company identification badges and security access cards like jewelry, of which I have never been one. I dislike jewelry in general and certainly do not need to be seen in public, even in my office, wearing my cards as expandable bracelets / lanyard necklaces. Not only is it unwise to do so in times of a public relations nightmare, it is also, at all times, highly unfashionable.
- Avoid public conversations involving AIG and do not engage any media personnel regarding the company. Here is where the list of admonitions begins to become increasingly eye-roll-inducing, because we are getting into an area that is less about "special emergency situations" but really should be about "everyday common sense." It's unwise for anyone to be discussing work / clients in such a way that would identify your employer at any time, I think; and when it comes to media, hello! Doesn't everyone know by now to refer media to your company's flacks? *facepalm*
- Do not give out personal information over the phone or via email. And yeah, here is where it gets embarrassingly didactic in a kindergartenish way, so I'll stop now.
My point is that, nearly all of these behaviors should be common sense all the time, and not require a moment of international crisis to be instituted via a company memo.
The second, and perhaps far more egregious item, comes via the Brand Flakes For Breakfast blog, which yesterday linked this story about a lucky job applicant who tweeted: "Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work."
Are you kidding me?!
Not only does the individual have the audacity to be unappreciative of a job offer with a major company in this economic climate, but they are also idiotic enough to tweet about it?!
Tim Levad, a channel partner advocate for Cisco, saw the individual's tweet and replied: "Who is the hiring manager? I'm sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web." After which the user in question quickly made their Twitter account private.
One can only hope that Cisco found out who the individual was and rescinded their job offer immediately.
+ + +
P.S. And speaking of epic eye roll inducing things, has anyone else ever noticed that those birds in the fail whale graphic are not all flying in the same direction? WTF?!
Okay, maybe I'm not yet done oversharing. Two days ago I admitted to you that I am an unapologetic crybaby. And today I will air another secret about me...
Never heard of it? I wouldn't be surprised, since Blogger is telling me I spelled it wrong (i didn't!)
First of all, I didn't make it up (oh man I wish I did.) No, emetophobia is pretty real (and it sucks!)
Emetophobia is an intense, irrational fear or anxiety pertaining to vomiting. This specific phobia can also include subcategories of what causes the anxiety, including a fear of vomiting in public, a fear of seeing vomit,a fear of watching the action of vomiting or fear of being nauseated.  Emetophobia is clinically considered an “elusive predicament” because limited research has been done pertaining to it.So yes, there you have it. I am petrified of throwing up. Irrationally so. When I tell people this, I get one of two reactions:
1) Are you serious?
2) Oh yeah, puking sucks... wait... are you serious?
Yes! I am serious. Another hard to believe fact I will share with those I admit this to: I have not vomited since Preschool. Not kidding. And yes, this means I've never gotten food poisoning, never had a stomach virus, never been bulimic (which would have been SO much easier in college, rather than all the effort I put into being anorexic). Nothing.
Why haven't I thrown up in all this time? I think it's because of the fear. Or a fantastic heavenly body that is protecting me from this horrid action.
I think it's mostly a physical thing. Because, I believe, vomiting, in the end, is a conscious decision. Now if you're some sort of scientist reading this post, first of all, why are you wasting time reading something so non-educational as this blog? Second of all, if I'm wrong and it's not a conscious decision, you tell me why I haven't thrown up in over 23 years!
All I know is that I don't even get nauseous these days. BUT back when I did, well, I would do something different from most people. When a NORMAL person feels nauseous, they often induce pukery.
A normal person follows this formula:
To an emetophobe it is this:
So an emetophobe will stay nauseous until the feeling passes. For hours and hours and hours. A normal person will be nauseous and throw up to feel better. In other words, emetophobia sucks.
Now, why am I an emetophobe? Well, I don't really know. In the many years I've had to think on this I've come down to a fear of loss of control (but I've disproven this since I started getting drunk) and also the fact that it's just been so long since I've done it that I don't know what it will be like.
And, like I said, I don't enjoy being an emetophobe. It means I don't go on roller coasters. It means I'll be careful with what I eat (i often choose vegetarian options at strange restaurants and weddings). If a friend or loved one says they feel like they're going to throw up, I literally bolt in the opposite direction. If I'm at a party and someone says they don't feel well, I immediately scan my brain to remember if we ate the same thing.
I mean, sure there are worse fears. Like Anatidaephobia. Or a fear of pennies.
Apparently Tyra is afraid of dolphins.
(But really, isn't everyone? They're the only other mammal that has sex for pleasure... and who wants to be raped by a dolphin?)
(Thanks to Matt for the Tyra and penny tip)
Either way, there you have it! Overshare number 2. And I have to say, I am comforted recently because, as I grow older and meet more people, I encounter other emetophobes. It's wonderful to know that I am not the only crazy afraid of something so silly as vomiting.
My name is Justin and I am an emetophobic.
Don't throw up near me. Don't expect me to ride Kingda Ka with you. And if I ever get quiet and weird, it's because I'm afraid the pizza we both ate might be making you sick.
Oh, but despite all of that... I still think this clip is FUNNY SHIT: