Monthly Archives: February 2004

found while packing

2/29/04

Some years ago, my Mormon cousins – the Worsleys – sent us a Christmas card featuring all the daughters in the family. It was 1991 on the East Coast, meaning it was still 1986 in Utah – so the sheer volume of hair care products was something to behold. The next Christmas, Sean, Michelle and I sent a card back to them.

I include both here because some things are too good not to share.

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Merry Christmas, Everybody!

A 74mph fairy tale

2/27/04

Did I ever tell you I wrote a novel? Well, I did. I can say that, and it would be true.

I highly recommend writing a novel, or completing any huge, unfathomable work of art, because it will cure you of the notion that “you don’t have it in you.” During the two years when I was writing, I kept on telling myself “just think about how good it will feel to write the last sentence,” and I was right

merci merci me!

2/26/04

Oh my god, could I like, totally love the internet any more than I actually do? I hate to break it to those Luddites in their 50s who are proud of the fact they can’t turn their computer on, but when the history of This Era is written, the birth of the Internet will have the same significance as the birth of Christ. You think I’m kidding, or being offensive, but let’s meet again in 450 years and see. If my predictions turn out to be churlish and stupid, then drinks are on me.

Anyway, through the magic of the Internet, I have found out the following things:

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1. My TiVo is expandable. Not having read any newsgroups or anything, I assumed that 11 hours of quality video was all you were going to get. Then I visit Salem in Jasper, GA and he’s got a TiVo with more memory than the Supercomputer Cluster at Virginia Tech.

So I did some more research, and found this page, and now I’ve got a 120 Gig drive coming in the morning. May sound like a luxury, but it wasn’t that expensive, and I’ve got to record a zillion TV shows for career reasons. Thank you, The Internet!

(Oh yeah, if you really want to be dazzled, check out this page full of TiVo Cheats, Backdoors and Shortcuts. They will probably have their TiVos reaching Mars before NASA does.)

milano.jpg

2. Grundle pain begone! As I am a dabbler in all things bicycle, I assumed that a big, thick plushy seat on my bike was going to make me comfortable. After all, it worked on my orange Huffy in 1977. But after a series of rides, I began to have a distinctly unappealing sensation in my, well, grundleoid area. I hate the name “taint,” preferring “perineum,” but you get what I mean.

After talking to Kevin at The Spin Cycle, I decided to go for the Specialized Body Geometry Milano saddle, which is cheap, stunningly comfy and “medically proven in clinical studies to prevent and reduce saddle-related numbness and impotence.” Won’t hurt yer grundle because there isn’t a seat where your grundle at! Thanks, The Internet!

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3. I narrowly avoided fucking up my Wireless Airport. After reading the excellent discussion boards at Apple, I found out that the new firmware update and Airport software were screwing up everyone’s previously-working wifi. This was seconds before downloading the damn thing myself, and giving me one more wireless ulcer. Now I am pleasantly basking in the land of He Who Did Not Go First, waiting for someone at Apple to fix the problem. Thank you, The Internet!

4. Oh yeah, I re-established a connection with my now-wife, I made a great living for years, my family started talking every day again, and I get to break virtual bread with all of YOU. Yes, that’s right. The first three aren’t really as important as Jesus, but the last one is. Thank you, the Internet.

huh? oh yeah. huh?

2/25/04

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I just finished another rewrite of the play that we plan to put on next month in Los Angeles. I mention this because:

a) maybe momma didn’t pay enough attention to me

b) I worked on it, subconsciously and consciously, pretty hard for the last two weeks

c) my therapist told me that I might have Attention Deficit Disorder.

I always thought A.D.D. was for other people

isn’t it queer

2/24/04

Dear 69% of the Country Who Believes Marriage Should Be Only Between a Man and a Woman:

What the hell is wrong with you? No, really, I want to know. What is it exactly about gays getting married that actually hurts you? Are you so filled with hate, or xenophobia, or disgust at anal sex, or the mindless blatherings of moron kids at summer camp in 1980 that you can’t fucking see straight? Sure, women can vote, you can deal with having a black boss, and you respect the Japanese for making pretty great motorcycles – but you just hate fags, don’t you, 69%?

Oh sure, you’ll speak of “civil unions” and “giving them some benefits of ‘normal’ couples” and all, but when it comes down to it, denying same-sex partners the right to call themselves Married is just plain old homophobia. Someone has to define it for what it is, and since I’m not running for a Senate seat, I’ll help move this debate along. It’s just a simple, boring belief that gays are beneath you and don’t deserve it. 69%, I wonder how you sleep at night.

Back in March 2002, we were in Washington D.C. for the evening, and Colin Soloway gave us the gossip running around Newsweek: Bush wanted to invade Iraq. The idea seemed preposterous to us, and we refused to believe it. Surely he was posturing, surely he was just shoring up some conservative base. But no, ten months later, Bush bombed the jehosephat out of Baghdad, and the unthinkable became commonplace.

The same happened this morning. I never believed he’d actually go through with it. I couldn’t fathom that he’d actually rewrite the Constitution of the United States to include a clause that specifically discriminates against a certain kind of people. Maybe he knows he can’t win, and this is a desperate, cloying move to get the Feverish Right back in his camp. But this comes at the expense of MILLIONS of schoolchildren who look up to the President, a man who is willing to go in front of the country and tell them that homosexuals aren’t equal to the rest of us. This kind of damage takes DECADES to undo. All these children will have to be reprogrammed into tolerant creatures.

69%, I would like to show you some pictures. These images were snapped at the exact same moment last weekend when our dear friends Lee and Suzanne got married in San Francisco. The top is Lee and Suzanne, the middle is Chip and me listening at Southpoint Mall in North Carolina, and the bottom is Jason Lyon listening in Los Angeles (note the cell phones in each shot).

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This was a moment of joy I wish you could understand. Here’s another picture, an outpouring of love for the gals when they got back to Durham:

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And these are not freaks, these aren’t deviant Sapphic orgiastic child molesters; these are teachers and bike shop owners and students and folks who run ice cream parlors. They are a mix of straights and queers. They are smiling at you – and you, 69%, are telling them to fuck off.

I have no agenda here. I am a straight white male who grew up in a middle-class house in Iowa. I am married to a fairly straight blonde chick from Texas. Granting gay marriages provides nothing for us personally.

I was once like you, maybe. My household was fairly tolerant, but there were the odd comments about fags being bandied about. My high school experience was so sexually shut-down that I could barely fathom heterosexuality. In college, I called Christian Laettner a “fucking homo” just like everyone else. It wasn’t until all of my friends in high school came out, and I immersed myself in the artistic scene in New York in the mid-90s, that I understood these things for what they were.

So there may be hope for you, 69%. You might be able to claw your way out of the wet paper sack that holds you hostage. I have no such hope for our President, who has shown himself to be a total asshole. But you might have a second act in you after all. Don’t be on the losing side of this. Every 40 years, America changes for the better: 1884 brought the child labor laws; 1924 gave us the first presidential election where women could vote; 1964 had the Civil Rights Act, and now 2004 brings this.

History will brand Bush as a loser, a James Buchanan trying to keep slavery the status quo, a latter-day Dred Scott decision. History views a human rights violation as a virus, and works around it. Keep the big picture in mind, and you’ll be surprised at what seems second-nature even a few months later.

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today’s Herald Sun piece—click on image for story (thanks, Steve)

oh SSRI can you see

2/22/04

In Which the Cheese Almost Totally Slips Off My Cracker

I take Celexa so you don’t have to. At least that was the purpose of this blog, going back to the first real entry so many years ago. Since that date, I have never actually run out of pills, an event that finally happened somewhere in rural Virginia two days ago. Unable to reach my psychotherapist for a refill, I decided not to worry about it and wait until I got back to Brooklyn.

That’s almost three days, cold turkey, off the anti-depressant, and I am here to tell you IT AIN’T A GOOD IDEA. Apparently Celexa is water-soluble, meaning it starts its inevitable journey out of your body the second you swallow. Fully 25% of the medication is gone by the next day, meaning that you can have it flushed out of your system pretty quickly. Your brain, however, is not so quick to forget.

The second night off the drug, I woke up in a cold sweat because I had dreamed that Tessa and I had turned into al dente pasta. I could not move my arms or legs because they had the floppy consistency of wet durham wheat. I tried to keep the conversation afloat at breakfast with Maud Casey, but I kept getting distracted by the Wang Chung songs on the ambient speakers, and lost entire five-minute stretches of time while Maud and Tessa wondered why I was fidgeting like a 3-year-old on Almond Joys.

By the time we got back to our apartment in Brooklyn yesterday, I felt like my brain case had been stuffed with wool socks. I laughed, I cried, I explained things to the dog. When I would turn my head to answer a question, my brain’s perception was stuck where my head had just been, making the whole world off-sync like one of those shitty educational movies we had to watch in science class.

I just took my regular dose again, and normality has still not called my body home.

I just drifted off while writing that sentence and wiggled my foot for ten minutes.

I am off to sleep, perchance to dream, of fountains that spurt mustard, hats made of meat, and Wink Martindale.

look homeward angel

2/20/04

And I thought my internet dial-up was bad yesterday… today we find ourselves at a Days Inn in Glen Burnie, Maryland, where they were proud not to have any decent internet access, as though they were “keeping it real.” Apparently they do have a Business Center where you can mimeograph your stolen Russian documents, but only if the water generator is working.

Leaving Chapel Hill today was very difficult, and not just because I kept forgetting shit under the bed. It was nearly 70 degrees, one of those glorious hints of spring that burst out in the winter months like a dandelion through cracks in the concrete. It snowed two days ago, and it will freeze again on Tuesday, but those 2-day stretches of bliss go a long way to vaccinate your tolerance against the vicissitudes of a horrible winter.

I have a very long, deep, complicated relationship with Chapel Hill, which was basically my girlfriend for 13 years. Each visit takes on another flavor of nostalgia, waves of anger, moments of ecstasy, and various hues of melancholia. This particular trip was totally awesome, as I was able to do the things I love most: commiserate with some incredible human beings, play hoops with Chip, eat BBQ pork at Mama Dips, shrimp and grits at Crook’s, watch three Carolina basketball games in person, and do a night’s worth of writing in Davis Library.

Thomas Wolfe was right, but he didn’t live long enough to be wrong

1200 baud

2/19/04

I’m gonna say it loud, and say it clear: DIAL-UP INTERNET ACCESS BLOWS GREEN DONKEY CHUNKS. We are staying in the one place in Chapel Hill that has neither wireless, or an Ethernet plug, and it has untimely ripp’d my ass back to 1996, when downloading porn was an all-night affair. I have about fifty unread emails stacked up in my inbox, filled with delightful links, and pictures, and I have to SAVE them all, because it would take the better part of a weekend to view them now.

Seriously, how is dial-up still tolerated in this country? I feel like I’m using a cat-whisker quartz radio attached to a dipole, powered by hamsters. I know it can’t be intellectually true, but this feels slower than the 14400 baud modem on my mom’s Powerbook 165c. I think my brother Steve had one of those modems Matthew Broderick used in “War Games,” you know, the one where you put your phone receiver down into two upright cups, and the two devices scream at each other

how about Pierre, SD?

2/18/04

While dining in Efland, NC tonight, we sat around in a circle and discussed where on earth we could live if we didn’t live, you know, where we live. I know I’m repeating myself, but I have some pretty arbitrary thoughts on the subject. To sum up:

– there has to be a healthy gay population (even though I’m neither)

– an up-and-coming band scene, regardless of the fact that I’ll hate all of them

– lots and lots and lots of free wireless internet all over town

– an orchestra that can get through Mahler 8

– three or more respected colleges or universities

– loud, omnipresent liberals

– places that can make a soy latt