Monday, November 30, 2009
I do. And today in the mail I received a one pager from JPMorgan Chase informing me of various changes to my credit card agreement. What changes are these, you might ask? Oh, well probably only thanks to some law passed by Congress recently, they summarize it in a nice little table. It still doesn't change how insanely punishing the changes are. Here's my interpretation of the summary of what is changing as of January 1, 2010 (they JUST met the 30 day advance notice deadline btw):
1. We may use whatever interest rate we damn well please.
2. We are increasing a lot of fees by a lot of percent.
3. We are adding an entire new section of "Variable Rates" to your account. See #1.
4. The standard APR (the interest rate I agreed to when I got the card) is out the window.
5. You may be in default on this card because of being in default on any other account with any related company to Chase.
Ohhh, but I have a right to reject! I can reject everything except how they contact me. I just have to write a letter. Ask me for details if you too are a Chase customer.
I often find myself locking horns with people when I sing praises of the Walt Disney corporation. I give credit to the company for somehow being able to manufacture magic in our world today. People tell me they are heartless, soulless, a conglomerate taking over the world, one whitewashed fairy tale at a time.
Maybe so. I don't know all of their business practices. And sure, they release clunkers like the recently universally panned Old Dogs. But forgive me for saying there is a definite vision of magic present at Disney. Take a look at this timelapse video of them building a giant gingerbread house at one of their resort hotels. I saw this after having just seen a Disney holiday special last night on HGTV where they showed the months of work (and days of execution... so impressive) that go into transforming the parks for the Christmas holiday season.
For all the "wrong" they do, they still bust their humps to create magical holiday worlds for their thousands upon thousands of guests. Sure they're selling emu legs and breaking the backs of children to create Tinkerbell wings for sale in the gift shops. But look at the video! That's real gingerbread!
Allow me to also make a recommendation for anyone who's slightly insane about all things Disney... the Disney Parks Blog. This is one of the 89 blogs in my Google Reader, and I love it. They constantly churn out videos and updates I can't get anywhere else on the parks that I try to visit at LEAST once every two years.
Anyway, say what you want about Disney. I see magic here, or pretty close to magic - as far as international companies are concerned.
Whatever. I suck. That happens sometimes. I'm sure you will all forgive me.
Anyway! Another week and thank heavens for my knight in shining financial armor, Plus One Alum Jacob Baron! He was here once before, blogging for the first time in his life. And now he is back... possibly blogging for the second time in his life.
He claims he has a lot of stories to share. I like stories. Hopefully the ones he shares are good.
Welcome back to Justin Plus One... now let's get the week started!
My Site/ Sites:
Facebook (Jacob M. K. Baron)
My Best Post from last time:
Being an Obamaphile
My Worst Post from last time:
You Know You're from New York when...
Why I came back to Justin Plus One:
I did it during an historic moment in American (and world) history last year, it’s been over a year, and I still have a lot of opinions. And my standpoint on blogs has softened somewhat.
What I might blog about this time:
Why I still love Obama. Explaining the commercial real estate crash and its connection to finance in comprehensible language. Britney’s bday.
What’s happened to me since the last time I blogged:
I won my company’s Halloween costume contest for the 2nd year in a row, my life has become incredibly insane due to the aforementioned crash in commercial real estate, I’ve added Costa Rica to the list of countries I’ve visited, and I produced my first show in New York.
One More Last Word:
Friday, November 27, 2009
“You are such a Manhattan Snob!”
I’ve heard it before, many times. Perhaps it’s the fact that any city I seem to go to, anywhere in the world, doesn’t measure up to New York. Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that, when invited by friends to Brooklyn or Queens, I respond with a haughty “I don’t do boroughs.”
So I admit it – I’m a Manhattan Snob. I think New York is better than other cities, I think Manhattan is better than other boroughs, and I’m even at the point of thinking my neighborhood is better than others on the island. It happened gradually over the decade I’ve been living in the city, but I remember one defining moment – perhaps the exact moment it all began.
I had only been living in New York for about a year, when my friend SpanishFly and I decided to take a weekend trip to Washington DC. Friday night we headed out on the town, and walked into a typical gay bar in Dupont Circle.
“I’ll get the first round,” I announced, and headed for the bar.
It was not particularly crowded, but the service was... slow. When the bartender finally got to me, I requested SpanishFly’s usual: a Stoli martini straight up with olives, and a Mandarin and soda for myself.
The trouble started immediately. “OK, what now?” the bartender asked.
I repeated the order, more slowly. “A Stoli Martini straight up with olives, and an Absolut Mandarin and Soda.”
“OK – a vodka martini?”
“Yes. Stoli. Straight up. With olives.”
Badtender couldn’t find the shaker. Then, he couldn’t find the strainer. Then, he couldn’t find the Stoli. I stared in disbelief. Finally, after five minutes of fumbling around, he poured the mixture of Stoli and way too much vermouth into a martini glass. Then he turned back to me. “And a what else?”
I’m sure my tone of voice resembled a teacher addressing a four year old, but I didn’t care. “Man-da-rinnnn. And Sooooooo-da.”
He poured the drink, and set it in front of me, next to the martini. Neither had a garnish. I took a deep breath, ready to request the olives for the fourth time. But before I said anything, Badtender looked at the drinks, looked at me, looked back at the drinks, and amazingly reached for the tray of olives. He dropped three into the martini. Then he looked at my Mandarin and soda... and dropped three olives into that drink as well.
I didn’t even have the energy to express my disgust at his putting olives in an orange flavored drink. All I could think was: “This would never happen in Manhattan.”
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I’ve been celebrating Thanksgiving with friends for years now, saving Christmas as the holiday to be with family. Through the years, my friends and I had some pretty amazing meals, and 2 years ago we decided we wanted to try the Mount Everest of entrees: the Turducken.
Turducken is a chicken, stuffed inside a duck, stuffed inside a turkey. If it sounds crazy, that’s because it is. As we looked up recipes online, we realized just how ridiculous it was (the first step is to de-bone all three birds), and that we would probably never be able to pull it off. But we didn’t give up that quickly.
We found an easy version – Turducken light, if you will, in which you take only the breast of each bird, flatten and layer them, then roll them up. The result is sort of a bird burrito. Or a fowl loaf.
It started out fine. We bought breast of each bird, and one at a time MartiniFun and I laid them out on the kitchen counter, and then took out all our aggression on them with a meat pounder, to flatten them.
“It’s not Thanksgiving if you don’t beat your meat!” MartiniFun announced joyously, toasting the air with his Manhattan.
All was going well: the chicken flattened easily, the turkey beast without much more difficulty. Then we got to the duck. It came in a sealed plastic bag, which was filled with fluid. Blood, I quickly realized. Undaunted, we opened the bag, drained it, and set the duck on the counter. Then I drew out my trusty pounder and started whacking.
Splat! Splat! Splat!
With each pound of the gamey meat, blood shot outward. In seconds it had splattered all over the floor, the walls, and of course, us. Blood everywhere. Our hands were covered, or faced were speckled, and the walls were dripping. It looked like a scene out of Dexter.
It was at that moment that XJosh, the vegetarian, walked into the kitchen.
Things turned out fine, once we calmed XJosh down with a stiff drink and a solemn promise that no duck blood had gotten in the green bean casserole. The turducken turned out pretty well: the combination of the birds was pretty tasty, and the duck certainly kept it moist. Unique anyway. We were quite proud of our accomplishment... but the following year, we went back to traditional turkey.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The concept is simple: good literature, really, really bad sex. Now in its 17th year, fiction’s most notorious honor was dreamed up by Auberon Waugh (Evelyn’s son) “with the aim of gently dissuading authors and publishers from including unconvincing, perfunctory, embarrassing, or redundant passages of a sexual nature in otherwise sound literary novels.”
And so I checked it out. And yeah, I suppose the sex is indeed unconvincing and perfunctory:
"He had let Pegeen appoint herself ringmaster and would not participate until summoned. He would watch without interfering. First Pegeen stepped into the contraption, adjusted and secured the leather straps, and affixed the dildo so that it jutted straight out. Then she crouched above Tracy, brushing Tracy's lips and nipples with her mouth and fondling her breasts, and then she slid down a ways and gently penetrated Tracy with the dildo. Pegeen did not have to force her open. She did not have to say a word – he imagined that if either one of them did begin to speak, it would be in a language unrecognizable to him. The green cock plunged in and out of the abundant naked body sprawled beneath it, slow at first, then faster and harder, then harder still, and all of Tracy's curves and hollows moved in unison with it. This was not soft porn."
That's from Philip Roth's "The Humbling".
"'Baby.' She took my head in both hands and guided it downward, between her fragrant thighs. 'Yoni puja – pray, pray at my portal.'
"She was holding my head, murmuring 'Pray,' and I did so, beseeching her with my mouth and tongue, my licking a primitive form of language in a simple prayer. It had always worked before, a language she had taught me herself, the warm muffled tongue."
And that's from "A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta" by Paul Theroux
But there's one thing I noticed while looking through these bad sex passages: all of them are straight. Where is the bad gay sex? Are the reviewers just not looking? Are authors not writing gay sex scenes at all? Or just really, really literary one-on-one homo action?
Well, in the book I began during NaNoWriMo, Gulliver Travels, there is a fair amount of gay sex. I hope that some of this is bad, and that I make the shortlist next year.
A few weeks ago, a friend posted a status on Facebook that read:
Just found out my hairstylist is leaving NY. CRISIS.
I commented with: That situation would cause me much stress. My stylist is BY FAR my longest relationship in New York, at 8 years.
It got me thinking. In the decade I’ve lived in New York City, I’ve had 2 boyfriends. The longer of those relationships lasted just over 2 years.
I wondered, should I be concerned that I can only make a relationship last 2 years with someone I’m supposed to love, confide in, and share my life with; while someone who shaves my neck stays around for 8 years? Is it an indication of major intimacy problems? Or is it just a sign that I could very easily have a successful, long term relationship... if I just limited contact with my partner to one hour a month?
I was still thinking about it yesterday when I went for my monthly cut. My stylist greeted me with some great news: “I’m pregnant!”
One month off to have the baby, another 3 for maternity leave, and then plans to only return to work part time... I might have to find a new stylist.
My longest New York relationship may be coming to an end.
Forgive me for saying, but this is a week that's gone to the puppets. Yesterday The Muppets premiered their version of Bohemian Rhapsody on YouTube (views are already sky-high... watch them keep going.) And today, we have a clip of Sesame Street entering the No Spin Zone.
That's right. Meet Spill O'Reilly, the newest anchor for Grouch News Network on Sesame Street. Between this and the recent Mad Men skit that took the Interwebs by storm, it is clear that some new, trailblazing social media genius has entered the Children's Television Workshop.
I love Spill O'Reilly. He's got the nerve of Bill, and the voice of a stereotypical New York City cab driver stuck in traffic and late to a Yankees game.
Watch Bill O'Reilly interview Spill O'Reilly. Sure, Spill doesn't sound much like Bill, but it's great seeing Bill interact with an ACTUAL puppet (versus the human puppets he usually deals with).
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
18 N Horny Roadtrip
Okay, this makes me very, very happy. Thanks to co-worker Mark for forwarding along a brand new video from Muppet Studios.
Sure, it's years since Wayne's World took on Bohemian Rhapsody, but maybe the not-quite-mops-not-quite-puppets will give this Queen ballad a third Renaissance?
First: They cannot show clips of what Adam did on stage.
Second: They can't even SAY what he was doing on the stage.
I'm sorry... WHAT!? Why is this SUCH a prude fucking country? Can someone please explain to me why they can't even say that "Adam pretended to finger a girl on the stage?" Tell me that none of those women at that table have ever been fingered (okay, I'm convinced that Elizabeth Hasselback had her vagina sewed up for Jesus... but besides her).
Why are we so prude, America? Why can't we simulate or even talk about sex? Meanwhile, in other countries you might see a commercial with a singing penis or Hitler date raping a woman or two cops kissing because a condom wrapper flew past their squad car in between episodes of children's programming?
I had a communications professor who railed against this very fact. People are getting killed, beaten up, murdered, and ended in tons of way on every TV show from cartoons to soap operas. We have no problem with killing here in America. But the second a nipple shows up, everyone goes into a tizzy.
Why? Why America? Because we have some old-fashioned puritan view of sex? I pray that this is an Old Guard thing and that when the Baby Boomers and their parents go to the senile old folks home, the rest of us will shake out our heads, realize we ALL have damning Facebook photos proving we're no angels, and go on to worrying about real things.
Just a thought.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I've never been one for celebrities.
And I'm not really a "music person" either.
So for a while, quite a while, this Lady Gaga was just another name, just another minor blip on my radar. Sure, I knew she was behind some of the music I was grinding to at the clubs. I would give the twinks at Campus Thursdays my best Poker Face, pretending I was gaga for Gaga just like they were as I tried to Just Dance right into their tight pants.
But I never paid much more attention than that, never gave into the hype. Rolled my eyes at the boys who gushed like crazy over her concert, and certainly didn't bother to download her whole album. Why bother, I thought. She's just another pop star who could be gone in a year.
Then one day, not along ago, my colleague BrooklynBling gave a familiar warning over the wall that separates our desks. "I'm turning on my speakers for a minute," she announced.
"Why?" I asked.
"I'm gonna watch this new Lady Gaga video."
Since I was bored, and was going to hear it playing anyway, I walked around to her desk to watch as well. The most I was expecting was to kill four minutes of my day.
"Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh! Caught in a bad romance..."
Our. Jaws. Dropped.
"I DON'T WANNA BE FRIENDS!"
We stared at the screen in stunned silence, punctuated only by the occasional "What??" "Is she..." "Is that a..." "What the fuuuuuuck...."
The sparks flew from her chest as the video ended, and another moment of silence passed. Then, Brooklyn managed to perfectly convey everything we were feeling with a single thought:
"That bitch. She won me over."
Within 3 days I had every Gaga song downloaded on to my iPod, and was listening to nothing else at the gym. I didn't care what it was - Fame, Fame Monster, The Fame-ly Feud... as long as it was Gaga I had it on repeat.
I saw the youtube video of her at NYU, and was even more thrilled to find out that she does, indeed, have real talent. BrooklynBling says Gaga's voice reminds her just a touch of Cher. I think of her more as a young Madonna, with her crazy, envelope-pushing behavior and her all-press-is-good-press attitude.
Side note: I missed her performance at the AMA's, but of course caught it on video. All the talk the next day however was about Adam Lambert. He was "too shocking, too risque, to gay." I say: good for him. Madonna wouldn't be where or what she is today if she hadn't pushed the envelope: 20 years ago during the Blonde Ambition tour she was writhing on a bed, spreading her legs and simulating sex as two men rubbed her body... both she and they wearing cone breasts. And that was 1990!
I may not be a "music person," but I know this: you're goin nowhere if you play it safe. Adam Lambert knows that, and clearly, so does Lady Gaga.
Madonna - Like A Virgin (Blonde Ambition Tour)
I don't know what else to say - this girl blows my mind. Funny enough, Lady Gaga is often a point of conflict between Boyfriend Joe and I. He feels she is an attention-seeking weirdo who is past due to reach the limit of weirdness and turn staler than a donut left on a park bench.
I feel like she's an attention-seeking weirdo who will blow the lid off weird and continue to revolutionize pop and dance music well into her 80s.
Last night's AMA performance was yet another in the long line of Gaga-rific amazingness. I love her zombie-slash-seizure like choreography. Her odd fashion taste can do no wrong. And who else has ever thought to use a microphone stand to smash their way into a glass cube to play a piano that catches fire like a Hibachi grill?
I'm sure there's some mastermind behind Gaga's fashion, dancing, and stage shows... but I'll keep pretending that it is all her doing. And I'll keep loving every minute of it while I am at it.
If you haven't see the performance yet, here it is. And if you have, you should go ahead and watch it again now.
But what REALLY blows my mind is just how talented Madame Gaga truly is... and always has been.
Check out this video that's been making the rounds (over 600,000 rounds to be specific) on the Web. Here she is performing, just her and the ole ivories, at an NYU event. Back then she was known as Stefani Germanotta. She had black hair. She didn't put latex sleeves on her face.
She still kicked ass and three quarters back then!
Will we post on Thanksgiving? I mean, maybe! The question is: will anyone bother reading? I mean, I guess we'll find out on Thursday.
In the meantime please welcome back an oldie (not a comment on his age) but a goody (not a comment on how he is in bed), my pal David of the blog Manchattan! A 3-time alum himself, when David comes on this blog, we go gay all the way.
Sex becomes a much gabbed about subject, and twinks, while normally heralded and revered on this blog, are basically elevated to the level of saint or demigod. Oh and the amount of puns goes through the roof.
Anyway, enough of me. Let us re-meet David, and get this week started.
My Site/ Sites:
My Best Post from last time:
This one got a lot of good comments, but amazingly no one thought to copy the Greek and drop it into Google Translator…
My Worst Post from last time:
The one where David admits he was wrong
Why I came back to Justin Plus One:
It was too much fun not to! And c’mon, we really need to spice things up a little bit around here.
What I might blog about this time:
Sex, New York City, boys, relationships, gay stuff.
What’s happened to me since the last time I blogged:
Traveled a bit – spent the summer in Fire Island, and the fall I took trips to Washington, DC for the National Equality March, and to Los Angeles for fun, because I’d never been. You can read about all those adventures on my blog.
One More Last Word:
My own ‘blog’ tends to be more of a journal – much longer stories, updated infrequently. Writing shorter posts a couple times a day will be quite a test…but I am up to the challenge!
Friday, November 20, 2009
I LOVE YouTube. And I love the people who have enough time to cut together a 35-second clip taken from Sarah Palin's Oprah interview, making her say that she's unqualified, loves unprotected sex, and is pumped up on porn.
I will have to do something like this sometime.
Oh, and I'm sure that Sarah will cry "sexism". Well I cry in return that she can suck my nut. This shit is hilarious!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Sounds like the beginning of a movie about a world gone all topsy-turvy... but that world is ours. Thanks to my buddies at Towleroad, I have now discovered a company called Giant Microbes. What do they do? They make stuffed animals of diseases, including the aforementioned S-T-Diseases.
Can't you imagine the brunch conversations?
"Oh my God! Troy gave me HIV, Gonorrhea AND Syphilis last night!"
::brunch buddies blink uncomfortably::
"I mean the stuffed animals, boys!"
::pulls out cute animals, everyone laughs::
"No, but seriously, he also gave me all those STDs... he's a fucking slut, and this was his way of letting me know."
A note to friends... if you're going to give me an STD, I'd prefer HIV. He looks like a comfy pillow to lay on.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
"Where are you Plus 1?"
A good question. How funny that the day after us speaking of cubicle death that I suffered my own. Work kinda came tumbling down on me, rendering me unable to blog.
But I'm here now! And my apology comes in the form of some behind the scenes videos of Levi Johnston getting naked-ish.
Frankly I don't care much for the Alaskan native (except for the fact that he's helping bring down Queen Sarah before she can run for President). But man oh man does he do a number for my visitor traffic.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Well thank goodness for YouTube, Justin. And Facebook as well. I actually found an article several months ago in the Metro titled “Facebook, YouTube Increase Productivity”. I hung it up in my cube. The first time one of the higher-ups caught me on one of the two aforementioned sites, I just pointed to the article. They didn’t like it too much. *sigh* Managers. No sense of humor.
Anyways, I really liked the video you posted Justin. Drag queens are fun. They have always been a big part of gay culture. I love the stories of the Stonewall Riots when they talk about drag queens leading the charge against the oppressing NYPD and their bigoted “ethical laws”. There is definitely someone empowering when men put on makeup. I mean, just look at Braveheart and professional wrestling. Add a dress and a wig, and you have an unstoppable powerhouse.
In the past few years (or even decade), I feel like drag queens have sort of fallen out of cultural preference. Now, you really only see drag queens if they are performing at a club or some venue. Back in the New York day, drag queens were more of gay socialites. They would frequent various parties and bars either as an invited guest (to provide street cred) or just to have fun. It was all apart of the glitter and glam of “Old Gay”.
Fortunately, I think drag queens are now back on the rise. They are out and about more often on the scene and even featured on popular television shows (Project Runway, Ru Paul’s Drag Race, et al). I really like this trend, and I being one of the biggest advocates of the Old Gay, I hope to continue to see it grow.
I have recently been introduced into the younger and up-and-coming drag queen generation (mostly though my friend Dallas DuBois, pictured above). These girls are the future of this struggling institution, and I see a lot of promise. Many of them got their start out on Fire Island this summer and some of them were inspired by these fierce ladies to take up the heels themselves.
So if you’re out and about and you see a boy in a dress, do your gay duty to them. Encourage them, be inspired by them, cheer them on at their shows, and for god’s sake, tip them when they perform! ‘Cause if you think drag is easy, I would love to see your attempts.
And by the way, Dallas DuBois will actually be co-hosting with me at Paradise Lost, my weekly dance party at Boots & Saddle. If you want to get a glimpse at the future of drag, I’d love to see you there.
I agree with you on cubicle malaise. I don't even work in a cubicle, and yet there are days when I wish for the fate of the first bum attacked by Patrick Bateman in American Psycho (there's eyeball-slicing involved... I'll leave it at that.)
In fact, there's a great article on Quarterlife Crises that appeared online recently (and was forwarded to me by my friend Paul today). It's partially true. I'll tell you this, I have no issues with the sex I am having - it is 17-stars and twenty thumbs up. But at work? Sure. Sometimes it is dreary. Sometimes I dream of a bag full of money falling in front of me on the street, allowing me to live a life of leisure.
But that hasn't happened yet. So, in its stead, we have YouTube. And funny videos. And here is one of them. It came from my favorite blog (and not just because they sometimes link to me and said they are jealous that I get to hang in locker rooms with go-go boys) Queerty.
On it we see a over 100 dancers surprising Bondi Beach with a Flash Mob on Sat Nov 14th 2009, led by one of Australia's most famous drag queens - Joyce Maynge.
Until we break free from our cubicles, dare I say it will BEHOOVE us to keep up with the watching and sharing of videos like this.
Honestly, they may be all that we have.
I would like to, if I may, rant a bit about living life in corporate America. It's a topic I know many of my friends and acquaintances can relate to. It's a life of policies and expectations and Big Brothers (and Sisters) and ridiculous hierarchies. Needless to say, I love it.
Kidding! It's Opposite Day!
Of course I hate it. Everyone does. People only tolerate it for either the money or the hope of advancement. However, if you're a creative minded person (like me, obviously), the cubicle life is particularly hard. You're constantly feeling as if you should be doing something better. Work life becomes a waste of time.
And the biggest waste of time? Department meetings. Today was mine. These are easily the low point of my week. During these gatherings, our Director puts items on the agenda such as giving updates, pointing out noteworthy performances, perhaps a training, and ALWAYS the dreaded changes in procedure.
Now at my job, I am easiest one of the youngest and newest members. So when it comes to switching something up, I'm all for it. But for SOME people I work with... you think they were asking them to intentionally botch brain surgery. It's the age-old battle of "This is the way it's always been done."
So at today's meeting, we were going over some new inane process of putting students through financial aid (I work in college admissions). The yammering went back and forth. People were jeering and booing. I swore to myself if I heard one more pretentious use of the words "onus" or "behoove", I would purposefully puncture both of my ear drums. Another coworker started Googling "large stain glass windows"
on his Blackberry and whispered to me he wanted to find the best one to jump out of. Thank the gods for my iPhone. If I didn't have Mafia Wars and crosswords, I would have been directly behind him.
It's now 1:30, and I am finally having some blog therapy. I guess now would be a good time to actually start my work day.
To top it all off, I just looked at the training agenda for next week:
"Time Wasters and Other Roadblocks to Success".
Maybe I'll finally have something to say.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Austin and Justin are friends again! Yay!
*whew* I'm glad that's over.
So here I am at 8:30pm, and I'm still at work. Of course, I would rather be at Musical Mondays (I'll be there soon), but I had some late work to be done. I came back to my desk to find Justin's latest post. I have actually never seen The Wire, but I hear good things about it.
To great expectation of entertainment, I began watching the clip. I mean, I figured the 100 Greatest Quotes from this series would be a great way to gauge my potential interest. However, it seems that the basic premise of the show is how to use every swear word in the dictionary in the smallest amount of time... that, and some sort of sporting event... and drugs and violence. Am I far off, Justin?
Anywho, after 10 minutes of hearing the F-bomb dropped in every possible way (sort of like a curse word Kama Sutra), I began to realize how de-sensitized we have become. I'm sure it's an argument that has been spun since sitcom husbands and wives began sleeping in the same bed, but it does seem like TV and movies are being gratuitous just for the sake of gratuity.
I love a good rousing swear word like the next person, but come on. Do people really talk with that much color in their language? If they don't, then the kids watching these types of shows sure will. Also, aren't we getting away from the true purpose of strong language? It should be to emphasize or call attention to something. A well-placed profanity will cause more of an impact that a string of profanities.
I guess I'm not fighting for the entertainment business to clean up their language, per se. I just want them to use these words sparingly so the next time I say, "Fuck you, you piece of shit asshole!" it will have the desired effect. Is that too much to ask entertainment industry? Huh?
Have you no decency, sirs? At long last, have you no decency?
Oh Austin, I could never remain angry at you! So let's let bygones be bygones and move forward with some bloggity blogolicious blogging.
I'll even offer an olive branch that is covered in crack cocaine.
I don't watch much TV these days. Okay, besides the occasional 30 Rock, SNL clip, or episode of The Soup, I don't really watch ANY TV.
But there is one show I WOULD watch, had I the time. And that is The Wire. Cousin Kristin and I actually got 2.3 seasons in to this show before life took over and the Netflix discs began to accumulate dust.
The Wire takes place in Baltimore, and has a lot to do with the many onion-like layers of the city, its upper and lower classes, and the po-po that try to keep it all together.
The best part of the show, in my opinion, is the writing. These characters are so realistic, so dynamic, so deep, and so flawed. Every word out of their mouth is gold.
How lucky for me that some fanboy (or girl!) took the time to cut together the 100 best quotes in this 10-minute video that is worth every one of its 600 seconds.
But I will try.
Yes everyone, I'm back for my fifth go at J+1. Apparently, the word on the street is that this blog has been going downhill since my last time here. I wouldn't know, of course, because I don't read JustinPlusOne... not even my own posts. However, Justin must have realized his slow descent into obscurity and did the only thing that could bring this site back to its former splendor--bringing me back on.
So here we are. My glorious return. I've been cleaning up virtual palm leaves all morning after procession into the J+1 gates. This time around, I will be as fierce and funny as ever. Possibly more. The longer I live, the gayer I get, I think...
However, before I can even BEGIN to blog, I believe I need make up with Justin. These last two posts have already been too tumultuous, and I know it's stressful for you, dear reader. Justin and I need to once again be e-lovers in order to mix up the special blog mojo that we know so well.
So what do you say, old friend? Are you determined to widen the chasm between us? Or shall we mend our ways and have a kick ass week of blogging? The choice is yours.
(and maybe Musical Monday tonight? is that a possibility? let me know.)
Of course I kid. I love me some Austin Helms! One of my favorites from the pantheon of Plus Ones, Austin has been doing a lot since he blogged here last... including becoming a promoter like me and throwing a party based on literature I read back in college!
::finger to ear:: I'm sorry? What? Oh. Paradise Lost isn't a Milton reading party? I see. It's just another gay butt banging evening in the West Village? Oh. Well. That's pretty lame. ::removes finger::
Well, so he's throwing gay parties, and not literary parties. That's fine, too. What's most funny is that I don't think I've even SEEN Austin since before the last time he blogged. I guess that's what happens when both parties get boyfriends and have better things to be doing.
Welcome back Austin! And let's do another MM soon, yeah?
Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York City, NY, USA, Earth
My Site/ Sites:
Paradise Lost, the gay West Village Party blog
Broke Straight Boys (NSFW, and I'm pretty sure he's not actually on here.)
My Best Post from last time:
My Worst Post from last time:
These ones. (oh wait, that’s Justin’s.) "ohhhh snap, bitch." - Justin
Why I came back to Justin Plus One:
After touring the world with my new book, How to Be the Best Guest Star Co-Blogger in the Universe (Other than Me, Of Course), I had a bit of downtime. Although I have an extensive history with J+1 (four previous times, in fact), I figured I could never have enough blog cred. So here I am again!
What I might blog about this time:
Nightlife, gay coupledom, sex, knitting, travel, Broadway, drag queens, New York City, sex, music, technology, sex, kitty parenthood
What’s happened to me since the last time I blogged:
Hmm… still at the same job… I started a new dance party in the West Village that I host… I directed a cabaret show… I got cats…I’ve had about 4.5 different hairstyles…
One More Last Word:
“Only when one’s pants are off can you truly know the measure of a man.”
Friday, November 13, 2009
When presenting ideas, I hope that there is room for criticism. At times I can be conclusive; I try to be as succinct as possible (blogs can never be too long). Hopefully most of my jokes were understood and my satire was comprehensible. It has been a most enjoyable experience. Justin Plus One gave me an outlet for my haughty silliness.
Thanks for everything, and maybe I’ll see you again.
P.S. Below is my goodbye song, courtesy of Mister Rogers.
I also LOVE time-lapse video.
Needless to say, combine those two loves and what you end up with is this video that shows Disney World changing their decor from Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween to Mickey's Not-So-Jewish-Inclusive Christmas Celebration.
Religiously exclusive? Sure! But the severed, preserved head of Neo Nazi Walt Disney would have wanted it that way (we know this because the head can still speak from its storage vault beneath Space Mountain, and we can hear it barking orders on quiet evenings when the park is closed).
Individuals cannot transcend realities. This is true because we are beholden to certain physical laws; these laws are inextricably linked to established societal norms. Often, the mind makes the most injurious men seem important. The origin of this irrationality is a result of man demanding and constructing the organized society. For 25,000 years, people worshiped Gaia (mother earth), in contrast, male entities have only been worshiped a tenth of that time. It was believed that the uterus was the cosmic universe, so women were worshiped, and men were set on fire. In around 6000 BC — in the area now referred to as Kenya (Obama!), men overthrew the women with rape and murder. Hence, phalluses became the symbol of power.
Structure and function is a construction of man. Our symbol-making capacity is dependent on our ability to organize ourselves in subtle ways. In the beginning, our separation was grounded in the division of labor. Naturally, as society progressed, more symbols were created. This is the source of divinity, the point where man looked to god. It was an exasperating search, one that has yet to conclude. And throughout history, many claimed to be divine through force. Our militantism is what organized labor, so this translated to the battlefield. It is action and result.
Unquestionably, the industrial revolution brought a new age. Ordinary men could no longer flock to a battlefield for power, given that the division of labor was forever changed. Since labor is more static than ever, supremacy can only be attained through coercion, no military needed. If one can reorganize society, it can be positioned to collapse. The bible is clear when it details the dangers of worshiping the false idol. Without question, our primal roots are attached to the idea of finding god; we must accept that the kingdom of heaven is within us, and not in the sky (as stated in the good book).
In nature, a wild animal is only as good as its ability to function amongst its surroundings. For example, prides constantly change leaders; it is a matter of utility. If a lion cannot secure the pride, it does not have purpose. Foolishly, many assume that instinct is what drives life, when it is rationality that allows us to survive. Our leaders have tasks, not supernatural appointments. There is only one god.
The eternal soul is not an extension of ill thought actions. But, man can redeem himself in death, as the totality of our actions can become lore (thus, serving as a paradigm of behavior). Man is guaranteed to be a legend if he refuses to be common. This can only be accomplished if both mind and body are free.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Don’t worry; I’ll explain the title in a sec. Justin is an alarmist, for the reason that Mario is alive and well (he is also a vegetarian). Peta serves as a nice transition to the topic at hand, seeing that the organization frequently uses women as a means to an end (see video below).
Okay, The Onion News Network achieved a great parody, yet it had real truth. American history is clear; blacks were given the right to vote— before women. John Lennon once wrote/sang that women are the niggers of the world:
We make her paint her face and dance
If she won't be a slave, we say that she don't love us
If she's real, we say she's trying to be a man
While putting her down, we pretend that she's above us
Woman is the nigger of the world...yes she is
If you don't believe me, take a look at the one you're with
Woman is the slave of the slaves
Ah, yeah...better scream about it
We make her bear and raise our children
And then we leave her flat for being a fat old mother hen
We tell her home is the only place she should be
Then we complain that she's too unworldly to be our friend
Woman is the nigger of the world...yes she is
If you don't believe me, take a look at the one you're with
Woman is the slave to the slaves
We insult her every day on TV
And wonder why she has no guts or confidence
When she's young we kill her will to be free
While telling her not to be so smart we put her down for being so dumb
There is a sad reality to John’s lyrics, and the song is rather apropos. B. Obama was elected as a transformative figure. His empty rhetoric isn’t what garnered votes, it was the association of his blackness with distinction. The man is a walking/talking rhetorical device. Sarah Palin wasn’t so lucky, as she was plucked from obscurity for political reasons. Still, nobody has ever given her the benefit of being capable of learning. A mongoloid can learn to clean floors properly; however, Sarah lives in a supposed void of ignorance, so she is incapable of reaping the benefits of her worldly adventures.
Ms. Palin is a formidable personality. On the surface she is a person who has great wit, and a charming tone to her voice. Her colloquialisms make her stand out, as she doesn’t modify her speech pattern to suit her audience (see Obama black voice, white voice and serious voice). Sarah Palin has an impressive resume, not by Ivy League standards, but through her perseverance. She is a true autodidact. This self learnedness has propelled her to sports reporter, city councilwoman, mayor of Wasilla, Chairperson of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, governor of Alaska and vice-presidential candidate. Has she had an impressive life? Yes.
Constantly, personalities ask whether Sarah Palin is divisive. Isn’t anyone with a political position a bit polarizing? Her children are attacked, her teenagers and infant. Everyone in her life is put under a microscope. As if she has done something wrong. Just this week, Reuters prefaced an article with; “Get ready, America. Like her or not, Sarah Palin is coming to a city near you” (http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE5AA3K520091111). The article was written by Steve Holland, an idiot who can barely contain his partisanship.
Sometimes I am convinced that her critics don’t have jobs. Recently there was an attempt to label her as a quitter, given that she resigned as governor. Well, where was the media when she resigned as Chairperson of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission? This is what professionals do, they move on to bigger and better things. The choice was to remain governor or make millions in the private sector. Let’s not kid ourselves; we all would make the same decision. Mr. Obama never had that choice as a non political candidate; because he was a failure as a lawyer (he lost asbestos cases).
It is apparent that Sarah Palin faces an uphill battle to the oval office, not only among her opponents, but with saboteurs inside her own party. She lives by her principles, making choices that many of us could not fathom. In the end, she will prevail against the misogynistic cretins that question her aptitude. I am sure of this, because it is what she has done her whole life. God bless Sarah Palin.
I recall earlier this week you spoke of your life without eating meat. Impressive, regardless of the reasons. I, myself, find meat positively yummy in almost all forms, and prefer to maintain ignorance as I devour it - pretending it came from some magical place instead of a factory of death and illegal aliens.
Anyway, one group of people who would find me to be a terrible person is PETA. Well, now I can find them to be just as terrible - because while I may contribute to the killing of animals, this organization has contributed to the killing of one of my favorite video game icons - Mario.
Check out this flash game "New Super Chick Sisters," created, no doubt, by a flash game shop that has a lot of free time since they don't have to go hunting for their food. The platforming is terrible, the music monotonous, and the use of Nintendo's precious trademarks beyond illegal.
Hey, at least I embedded it so you can play it here on Justin Plus One!
Hop on a few immobile angry burgers, attempt to navigate the poorly laid out maps, and try your best not to choke on the monologues delivered by chickens that communicate PETA's messaging in a way that could never be called seamless.
I have to say, Justin has a knack for convincing me to write about unplanned subjects. Carrie Prejean is not an elected representative of any party, attacking her is vicious and uncalled for. CNN is such a pitiful joke, attacking her integrity and then “ironically” having a caller ask her about gay marriage, is just pathetic. Wow, The Daily Show has uncovered another editing gaffe at Fox News, now they should go after the rest of the news networks. This whole amalgamation of events has led me to think the world is smoking up, which is the subject of this post.
Marijuana users are professional cherry pickers (like The Daily Show). This is a fact. My deduction is a result of using Google to look up information regarding the side effects of the magic leaf. If you happen to see an article supporting the cause to legalize pot (there are millions), some are not sourced, while many gleefully cite a scientific journal. The problem is, nobody actually reads the journal article, and they just accept a truncated fragment— and assume it accurately summarizes a piece of writing. Not the case.
Here is the good news for all you junkies; there is little evidence for physical dependence, which has been stressed Ad nauseam. Of course, the bad news is, there is a substantial link to psychological dependence. For example, if one stops using alcohol after extended use, the body will react in different ways. With marijuana, the brain reacts when not stimulated by the drug. One of the default pothead arguments is to argue how bad alcohol is. The logic is tantamount to justifying a murder with not being a mass murder. If stoners wanted to have a consistent argument, they would argue that alcohol is great for society, not the opposite. I saw a few websites that listed a Harvard study that found a large percentage of aggravated rapes to be caused by alcohol use among college students. Girls are always so unwilling for anything while high, right?
It has been suggested by comedians, that perhaps marijuana should be legalized, if only to silence the intolerable proponents of legalization. Yes, it is a comical suggestion, yet a war against science is prevailing. Psychiatry and Neurobiology has proven unequivocally that there is a link to cannabis and madness (which includes numerous psychological disorders). If you would like to do some reading, you can brush up on psychosis vulnerability and drug use.
Drugs do not make a person more creative or smarter. Substances can ease stubbornness, but that would mean the user is an asshole. It is fine to use drugs for a specific function. In my personal life, I have known cocaine users that took advantage of certain properties. They used as needed, and didn’t need it to fill a personal or intellectual void. This is self governance, the ability to handle life, sans the intrusion of a governmental deity.
Ultimately, it is within one's right to subvert the rules of the land, while also being subject to the punishments of the law. It is so funny how much of a Christian nation we are. Even those not part of the church, are afraid of doing something wrong. So the guilty rush to their metaphorical penance, which is the legitimization of marijuana, making it as common as apple pie.
First, Sean Hannity admitted to my hero Jon Stewart that he had "accidentally" aired footage of a more popular healthcare rally while talking about the recent one.
Second, and better in my mind, is Carrie Prejean, the disgraced former Miss California, making an idiot of herself on Larry King Live (and NOT just because she said Sarah Palin is her hero.)
Following videos are Jon Stewart pointing out the "accident", and then Sean Hannity "apologizing."
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck's Protest Footage|
Sean Hannity "apologizes" to Jon Stewart
But that wasn't enough. She decided to remove her microphone, and sit there, like a pretty tool, staring at the camera and speaking sans volume.
Man oh man. It's a good day to be a liberal.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Personal reward orientation is a factor in deciding if things are ok or not. Amongst primary-school classmates, one might begin to understand that social intelligence begets amity. Those who fail to realize the value of camaraderie, eventually fall into line via punishment and then obedience (hopefully).
At a certain point, the aggregate of our experiences is what solidifies our persona. Typically, we covet what we see (Thanks, Bible and Hannibal Lecter). If Johnny sees someone who has a nice hat, he will want to assimilate the hat into his fashion repertoire. The same goes for our moral compass. Our surroundings have many moral hats. For example, good boy vs. bad boy or law abiding vs. not law abiding— whatever the choice— there are consequences.
Interestingly enough, there is science that shows differences between male and female moral development. Males value independence (there is an evolutionary explanation, but it is lengthy and I prefer not to bore you), autonomy, and conceptions of fairness. Females value communication (talking, not necessarily coherence), reciprocity, and see conflict as an unnecessary breakdown of communication. There is a critique of this assessment (See Carol Gilligan).
Conflicts create great learning experiences (despite what the female brain “feels”). Amongst the living, disagreements are usually settled. When it comes to the World Wide Web there is no resolution. This is because the internet provides us with a secret identity; one can take vile positions without justification. Little Johnny can criticize videos as queer, gay, stupid or retarded. Sadly, such cowardice goes unchecked, since the forum is detached from what is real.
Is there a solution to this predicament? No. One cannot be engaged through a comment section, as it takes willing participation. As a society we are inundated with announcements that advise against illegally downloading music, movies and games. In certain states, there are cyber bullying laws. Evidently, there is no PSA concerning how we react to what we dislike. In fact, empty statements are encouraged. As a result, we are a global community of beasts.
Below you will find a video of consequences personified through Charlie and his brother.
No, not like Roadrunner. More like Beaker the muppet. You know, the crazy-haired partner-in-crime of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew.
Video proof below:
And this video is actually pretty close to what the principal of a Massachusetts high school is afraid of...
Principal Thomas Murray of Danvers High said he told students they would be suspended for saying "meep," a favorite utterance of lab assistant Beaker from "The Muppet Show," because students were using it to disrupt school and it was part of a massive disruption being planned by students on Facebook, The Salem (Mass.) News reported Tuesday.
Murray did not disclose details of the Facebook-related disruption, but he credited phone calls he made to homes with preventing it from coming to pass. The phone messages threatened non-compliant students with suspensions.Just imagine. Hundreds of students roaming the halls making meeping noises. It's as close to the mooing protest from Rent as you'll ever get.
Too bad he threatened suspension. Maybe another school's student population can take up the banner and fight for their right to make puppet noises. I vote for Mr. Magoo's laugh:
With the exception of certain humans, all animals are pretty much mindless and filthy. I hate being confused for an environmentalist or an animal lover, as I am neither. Recycling is fun, only because it satisfies my compulsion for cleanliness and organization (In reality, recycling is costly and inefficient). Additionally, coal energy has lots of long-term benefits, don’t believe me? Read some research on the properties of particle matter. I am a vegan because animals are disgusting as food, and as pets. It is true, the human body is designed to eat some meat, but I am choosing to evolve.
Years ago, when I was a smaller version of myself, my parents thought it would be great if seven-year-old Al visited the Italian countryside. My summer was spent watching winemaking, slaughtering and insect killing. I liked the wine part; however, I didn’t understand the carnage portion of my tour. Peasants would show me bunnies, let me touch them, and then slaughter the darn things. They would kill bugs on the basis of proximity. Why not open a door? I didn’t get it. The experience left me confused, and since then, I have never shed a tear. One thing was for certain, I was forever changed.
As a teenager I took a soft stance on animal liberation, meaning, I made my position known— if asked. Three years ago, as I was boarding a train for Boston, someone handed me a pamphlet regarding abandoned pig adoption. Quite simply, it was a sanctuary for the neglected and abused hogs of the world (curiously, the caretakers looked surprisingly plump in their photos). What caught my attention was a challenge; daring meat eaters to try one vegan meal per week, and if it was satisfying, try two days. It is exactly what I did. The experience was amazing, and I was officially done with animal products (including leather and cleaning goods).
My position is not one of sympathy, even though the process to extract meat is barbaric. Life deserves to be free of constraints; this includes everything with a central nervous system. There are degrees of sentience, but any degree warrants autonomy. Over the summer, my brother went on a trip and asked me to watch his dog. I agreed. Dogs are stupid, filthy, needy and overtly obnoxious. Domestication only removes wild behavior. Animals still need to be stimulated in certain ways, and can’t in an apartment with a grouchy neo-conservative. I attempted to take the dog to a park. This is where I met pet owners, and this group can be described as elitist Neanderthals. They kept asking me if the dog was a rescue, I didn’t care or know. Apparently it matters, because when you adopt it doesn’t cause kids to see a doggie and ask mommy for one. Yeah, right. Dogs only like you because you feed them! There is no difference between a kennel and a puppy mill, the two work together and push animal slaves into the arms of people who need a hobby.
If there is anything to learn from this rant, it is one thing. People with pets are complete turds.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It is official. There is no way I can reveal my true identity. You can thank Justin's last post (really, I would be ostracized). Top or Bottom? I'm not completely ignorant about the sexual dynamic of homosexual relationships. Nevertheless, I can still offer some rational analysis.
The human brain learns via analogy, we associate and then process. So, I can relate to Justin's sexual conundrum, through the experience of a friend's encounter with a girl who covered her eyes during sex. One day I was sharing a vegan burrito with kids from my hood (Williamsburg), and a teenager was bragging about his current exploits. He paused and nervously mentioned that his current girl didn’t do anything during sex, she just covered her eyes and laid still. Being the mentor that I am, I concluded that it was likely that this girl was molested and had issues with coital activity. My little friend was amazed with my quick breakdown. He texted his piece, and of course, I was right.
Ok, if the abovementioned girl had been part of the gay community, would she get a brand? What would this girl be labeled, a submissive peek-a-boo? A prerequisite for sex is having the necessary parts and being able to consent. Someone who enjoys urine for sexual release is not healthy; there is an underlying emotional issue. Ms. Peek-a-boo shouldn’t create a group on Facebook, she should seek professional help. As should our friend who requires urine.
Moving on to May-december romances. It is common and is a result of the basic psychological need to suppress the young from overtaking the old. The sexual act is meant to conquer (See Freud and his interpretation of Greek mythology, namely Zeus and Cronos).
To conclude, I am going to whine about the cheap shot aimed at Fox News. There isn’t anything that differentiates Fox from any other cable news network, other than the ostensible conservative slant. Rival networks are merely marching to a different tune, yet the bias remains. It is a problem, but jokes should be designed to combat the entertainment component of news, not political ties. There is one network that has no favoritism, CSPAN— the end.
Are you a bottom? If not, do you wonder how some of them may think? Or if you are, do you wonder how other bottoms think?
Meet Scott and Maxime. Their video blog, The View from the Bottom features cocktail sipping as well as a thorough tackling of the important issues including:
1. Golden showers
2. Sleeping with older guys
3. Body hair (Maxime apparently had his face lasered)
4. And why the new President of Iran is a sexual fantasy
Setting gay men back? Pushing them boldly forward? Doing both and turning it into a sexy dance of progression and regression of our social group?
I report, you decide. (But for real, not like Fox News does.)
I'll say this, though. I think I liked this better when it was a podcast called Manchattan (which is now a FABULOUS blog by my boy DJ Cala).