Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Suzie and Joshua


My half-sister Suzie was in town from Barbados with her son, my little nephew Joshua. I picked them up and took them to Sylvia's for lunch. Then we decided to go to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and there, basically, went all of my money. I was robbed - again - by NYC. Why are these kid-friendly events so expensive? We had to sit up in the balcony, even. All our money was not enough, apparently, to purchase a seat in the orchestra. When Santa said, "And a special 'hello' to my friends in the balcony!" I heard the implied rebuke in his voice, and I was reminded yet again that we must purchase love even from Santa. I shivered an exquisite shiver with the thought of that, up in the balcony.
Suzie and Joshua are wearing winter clothes in this picture. Suzie is wearing my hat. Of course, no one wears winter clothes in Barbados, where it is pretty much 83 degrees all the time. I haven't been to Barbados in about seven years, since my half-brother Craig got married. At the time, I had the sneaking suspicion that Joshua was crazy, as he kept making repetitive motions with his hands and playing video games and ruining the wedding. Luckily, he has turned out to be quite smart and mentally sound. He even has a little bit of my sense of humor. He made a joke about "balls," and not the kind you bounce.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rip in the crotch


I made it all the way to work yesterday before I realized there was a rip in the crotch of my pants! Right before my meeting with Mauro. He already thinks I'm crazy. Now he will think I'm secretly homeless, to boot. (I should call my memoir "Homeless to Harper Perennial.") I loved these pants - a sort of bone-colored twill from Theory - too small when I bought them, but now loosely fitting, due to my fluctuating weight, which has fluctuated downward, happily, in recent years - and I was heartbroken. Do I get them repaired, or do I just try to find another pair just like them? (There is no pair just like them).


Of course, the rip took me back to my days at college, sophomore year, when I was taking a class with an eccentric sociology professor named ... I can't remember her name! Whoever she was, I complained to her about a similar rip then, and she told me she would repair my pants, for free. I was incredulous. A professor mending my pants? But I gave them to her. She returned them a couple of days later with a huge, bright-blue, iron-on patch attached to the outside of the pants. I stared at her. "I can't believe you just put a crazy patch on it!" I said. "You want me to look like Raggedy Andy!" She was highly amused, as was the entire Utica College faculty when I got finished with disseminating that story. But in reality, I was really grateful - my own mother probably would have just ripped the pants up to use as rags, as I wept. I felt mothered by that professor, and safe for a second, which is all I need. I wish I could remember her name ... there are very few eccentrics in the world - fewer still, eccentrics who make us feel safe - and I'd like to collect them all, at least within my memory, and keep them safe there.


I have earlier, murkier, memories of rips in crotches. My mother would take me, in these memories, to the store (Sears, or Alexanders, or somesuch), and announce that the pants had to be "STURDY IN THE CROTCH." (And "HUSKY," of course.) Luckily, these memories float in and out of my consciousness like a schooner into fog, and can't hurt me anymore.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bill's Bar & Burger


I am clearly obsessed with Bill's Bar & Burger in Rockefeller Center. I went there again yesterday with my old college classmates Vicki and Tom (Susan was supposed to join, but she believes that she is busier, even, than us. Ha!). I was wearing a flimsy blue blouse from H&M, a maroon v-neck sweater from the Gap, and Levi's jeans - surprisingly down-market today, but I don't remember whether that was on purpose or not. Maybe I was trying not to scare Tom? Who knows.


The wait was supposed to be 30-35 minutes, but the host and I have a mild flirtation going, and he got us seated in 15 minutes. That's what my ruined beauty buys me - 25 fewer minutes of wait time. (Then he gave me his card and wrote down his work mobile number so I could call ahead the next time I was coming, so he could make sure I didn't have to wait. I immediately felt the simultaneous shame and pride that arises in me when I become a regular somewhere, and the ambiguity that arises when I'm not sure if I should take the flirtation to its natural, certain-to-be-humiliating next level).


Tom was my journalism nemesis at Utica College. One year, we went to the journalism department's awards dinner, and Tom won, like, every award. Afterwards, on the drive back to the dorm, Heather asked me to sing her a song, and I sang "Maybe This Time," Sally Bowles' showstopping anthem of scorned love from "Cabaret," with its lyric, "Everybody loves a winner. So nobody love me!" Yesterday, Tom asked me why I wasn't in attendance at the most recent NYC Utica College reunion, but then blithely answered himself: "maybe it was just for award winners?" Har, har, har.


Really, I have an inferiority complex when it comes to all of my old classmates. Tom, of course, is a journalism stud who has a Pulitzer Prize-winning wife and writes for the Wall Street Journal, which he landed at after his gig at the New York fucking Times. Vicki seemingly has to fend off men just crossing the street, and has what once would have been my dream job: a corporate recruiter. (I would hire only crazy people and studs). And Susan, awash in cash, texted me recently that she was looking to buy not just an apartment, but a brownstone this year. And me? What have I become? I ask myself the same question sometimes, but then I try to eat a burger and flirt with a host.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Zoe at Burberry


I accompanied one of my authors, Zoe Heller, to her reading at Burberry on 57th Street. I sometimes don't go to my authors' events, but this one was so goofily arranged that I elected to go to make sure Zoe wasn't harangued into getting a plaid tattoo or something like that. We sat together in Burberry's "green room," and a parade of beautiful, waifish, bubbly young women and men came in and out (one by one) asking us if we needed water, champagne, magazines, to go to the bathroom, a special pen, etc. I confided in Zoe that, last year, I had handed my business card to an ugly fellow who works at Burberry, with the internal logic that an ugly fellow was my lot in life now that I'm old. That this ugly fellow, my last resort, would now, in some final, horrible irony, be my true love - teaching me a difficult but necessary lesson about the nature of love itself. Needless to say, the ugly fellow didn't call me, and, as I walked into Burberry for the event and saw him standing there, I burned with the shame of it. Burned!


Zoe is an amazing writer - I think of her in the same category as a Lynn Freed or a Mary Gaitskill. Her writing is clean and harsh at the same time, and laugh-out-loud funny. In the green room, she peeped inside the closet and found boxes of "Burberry Brit" cologne, which she cagily suggested that I abscond with. (I didn't). After the reading, she was trying to get Burberry to give me a clothing discount, as well. I was as charmed by Zoe as can be - she even shared her limo home with me. We talked about the gays, about Christmas, and about her boyfriend, who sounds cool. The night made me think of countless other wintertime nights of author readings, sudden bonding, and fresh evidence of old rejections - and, as Zoe's limo pulled off, I ran across the street to meet up with Chris, and I felt so much fondness for Chrismastime that I practically burst with the wonder of being alive. Merry Christmas to everyone! Except for the ugly fellow from Burberry. May you, sir, have as preposterous a Christmas as has ever occurred.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Dad's party


Here is my father - wearing a nice blue suit - along with my sister and her longterm boyfriend Kevin, at the party we had yesterday for my father's 90th birthday! 90 years - God bless him! He has survived multiple heart attacks, innumerable strokes, a broken hip, prostate cancer, and pneumonia. Truly, he is the One. He is immortal. At the party, when we handed him the microphone, he immediately indicated that he was "living day to day" at this point. I thought everyone would gasp in horror at his macabre assessment of his current situation, but instead, he got some "amen"'s from the crowd, and some good-natured chuckling. I was mortified, and I wanted to cut the power to his mike, but instead I stood there, sitting in my own feelings, which is something that I have learned in my own old age. My father is beloved, and his friends overlook his sometimes inappropriate sense of humor. (Truly, the apple didn't fall far from the tree in this case.)


My favorite memory of my father is from Christmas 1988, when, as a very young man, I told him that I had recently purchased a calendar for myself. (Even at that young age, I was held to strict accounting of the money I had spent - a lesson learned, but obviously forgotten as soon as I had any actual money). My father looked at me and replied, "A Chippendale's calendar?" (Even as a child, I was clearly as gay as a goose.) I looked at my father, aghast at the awkwardness of that comment. Awkward moments from an awkward father for an awkward son in an awkward world at an awkward time of year. It has taken me years and years and years to see how alike me and my father are, and still more to appreciate it.


Dear ones, may the coming year be awkward for you all ... it is through awkwardness that we learn to grow. And if you need 2011 to be a little more awkward, you can always borrow my dad.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sombrero


Yolanda and Chris went with me to Chevy's in Times Square. I've been dying lately to go to Chevy's for some reason, but no one would go with me! So I practically had to coerce the two of them to accompany me - I just didn't want to be alone eating a smothered burrito in Times Square that night. We had a meal that was okay (why don't I ever remember that the food at Chevy's is just okay?), and then Yolanda tried to get me a free dessert by telling the waitress that it was my birthday. The waitress said she couldn't get me a free dessert, but she brought me a sombrero. It was a nice sombrero, and we were convinced that it was a "house sombrero" that couldn't leave Chevy's. But then our waitress said it was mine to keep! Hurray! "Yes," she said. "Most people just take some pictures with it and then leave it behind in the restaurant. But it's for them to keep!" Instantly, in my mind's eye, the sombrero had been worn and discarded by countless Chevy's customers who were confused about whether or not the sombrero was a gift or a temporary loan, and it was by now infested with bed bugs and scabies. But then I reminded myself that scabies and bed bugs, really, would have to "get in line" to ruin my life, as it were. I wore the sombrero home, expecting at any moment to be jumped. But the good thing about having a birthday the same week as Halloween is that no one will jump you for wearing a sombrero on October 28. I walked into my apartment and threw it on the floor, and there it sits still.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kat Von D



A lot of my colleagues know that I hate going to author events - even my own authors' events. But when I got a message in my inbox at work asking whether or not I would like to go to a Kat Von D book signing, I had to reply (to myself), "Why, yes, yes I would."




You may know Kat Von D from her tattoo show, where she basically tortures people on camera, with a cheerfulness that I have to say sort of turns me on. Or, you may know her as the on-again, off-again (currently, on-again) girlfriend of Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx (though she was until last week dating Jesse James, while "off-again" with Sixx. You may know her from the video ads for celebrity designated drivers from taxicabs in New York City. (Hers, naturally, is Nikki Sixx, ha ha. And now, I have mentioned the name "Nikki Sixx" four times in a blog posting, which I never would have predicted when I first came up with the idea for this blog).


My colleague Teresa is Kat's publicist, and I am very jealous of Teresa for this fact. Teresa, perhaps sensing that there might be trouble between us at the Kat Von D event, directed me to the wrong Barnes & Noble. Like a fool, I blithely made my way down to the Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue and 18th Street. (On the way, I ran into someone I had blogged about a few months ago, and he told me he liked my blog posting about him - but I remember that it wasn't a very nice blog post, and now I know that our mutual friend Ada engaged in some email tomfoolery there. How else would he have found my blog? But that's fame - walking in the street and having someone compliment you on your blog. I'm going to live forever). But the author event wasn't at that Barnes & Noble! It was at the Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue and 46th Street. By the time I made it over there, I was sweaty from rushing. Teresa, apparently wanting to keep me off-balance, practically pushed me into Kat to have her sign a book for me! Ack! I was all sweaty, cutting a line to meet a celebrity I have a little platonic crush on! I had an attack of shyness, and I couldn't even talk to her - especially since I remembered that I had forgotten to pack a change of underwear when I went to the gym before work, and was going "commando," as it were. I was literally naked and shy in front of the coolest lady on the block. It was over so fast. I wanted to show her my cat tattoo, and have her hug me, and tell me that I was cool, and that everything was going to be okay. I'll get you, Teresa.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Alternative earth - day 2!


Day two with my magical outfit!


After work I went out for a bit, and an English fellow sat next to me and started talking about his travels to New York. I asked him what he was doing here, and he said he was dancing in "Swan Lake!" I said, "hey! I saw you dance yesterday at City Center!" It turns out he was one of the wood nymphs! And also he was a male swan! We had a very lovely conversation after that, and we took lots of pictures (here's one). I told him that I was 37, and he replied, "oh!" sounded a little bit shocked to meet someone from my generation. I assured him that I was still clinging to life somehow, albeit barely. Then I had to rush off to meet Chris. I showed Chris the picture, and he said that my dancer is wearing awedding ring. Mwah, mwah! It's not a wedding ring. The dancer (Simon) was sort of flirty, and told me he wasn't seeing anyone, and he described his hotel for me, touting the lovely view. I knew that, if I wasn't feeling so lazy, I could have enjoyed the view myself, but I'm pretty old! I can't wrestle around with a ballet dancer! I might break my hip.


I decided when I got home not to wear the magical outfit for a third day, because of odor issues. And also because, if you tempt fate too many times, God may just smite you, in your fancy outfit.

Alternative earth - day 1!


I had a particularly good day today. I was wearing Alternative Earth, Jil Sander, Levi's, and New Balance. Nadia took me to see Matthew Bourne's "Swan Lake" at the City Center, and then I took her to B.R. Guest's new burger establishment, Bill's Burgers, in Rockefeller Center. Once, when I was a temp at MTV, I lunched daily at B.R. Guest's Ruby Foo's, reading my paper at the bar. One day, after, like, my 15th day in a row eating lunch there, the manager of Ruby Foo's and his assistant manager came over to me and presented me with a gift copy of Zagat's. Like, "get out. There are other restaurants in Manhattan, you dolt." I wonder how long it will take before I get a gift Zagat from Bill's Burgers? I've already eaten there about five times in less than two months.


After Nadia went home, I went to the gym and then went to G, where I ran into the gym god that I like. Deciding to go immediately on the offensive, I punched the gym god on his massive arm, and then chatted him up a bit. When he was leaving, I went to give him my card, but he indicated that he was seeing someone, but that I was definitely "tempting." Tempting! I love it! Thank you, outfit.


Afterwards, on the corner of 22nd and 8th, a black fellow chatted me up. A black fellow! I never get chatted up by my bruthas, for some reason. And they are very, very hard, I find, to get into bed. But this one was a bit horny, and when I told him my name was Gregory, he said, "Gregory, I want to have sex with you." I declined his offer to go with him to the Gym Bar, but gave him my card. Then I rushed home and took off my magical outfit, laying it aside neatly. I decided to try an experiment and wear the exact same thing the next day, to see if more crazy encounters would ensue. Thus ...

Monday, October 18, 2010

A "date" with John - at Fall for Dance!


Do you ever invite people you like to go out with you, in the evening? Even though you aren't sure if such an outing is technically a date or not? I do! It's fun! Knowing whether or not you're on a date is overrated, in my book.


Case in point: I took my new friend John to see "Fall for Dance" at the City Center, the annual, instantly-sold-out event that's been charming dance-loving New Yorkers for seven years now. I told my therapist earlier that day that, although I did not know whether it was a date or not, I would definitely know by the end of the night. That turned out to be true, and I knew sooner than I had anticipated. When I greeted John outside the City Center, he took me by the shoulders and immediately gave me a kiss - pointedly - on the cheek. "This is not a date," I immediately realized. Oh. The formality of his peck was not the only clue I had received, of course, over the last few weeks of our acquaintance, but being clueless about nonverbal communication is one of my many charms. We settled into our seats.


All throughout the performance, I got to work through - silently - my issues with space. As many people know, I have a strangely large "personal bubble," and don't really like casual touching as a rule. But the seats in the City Center were very close together, and John, as though trying to at least give me something for the tickets, engaged in some prolonged leaning-in and heavy rubbing of his shoulder against mine - practically frottage. Each time we touched, I held my breath and giggled on the inside. Hee hee!


One of the dancers from the Dresden Ballet had on a lime-green tutu with what looked like a small circular table attached, keeping her partner at arms length. "How I yearn to wear an outfit like that," I whispered dramatically to John. But not right at that second, of course. I wouldn't have wanted that outfit right then. For a middle-aged man at a dance performance in Manhattan's midtown, with the first tinge of fall in the air, sometimes a little rubbing is as good as it's going to get, and you sort of don't want anything to get in the way. Or, at least, so I've heard it said.

Juliana and Evan



I went to see Juliana Hatfield play a gig with Evan Dando a couple of weeks ago at the Mercury Lounge. I went out of respect for the completist in me, not because I thought they were going to change my life or anything. (Okay, William?!) Juliana has already changed my life, anyway, and now when I go to see her play, it's mostly because I'm a glutton for punishment, or maybe I'm just feeling nostalgic.


Juliana came out wearing a sheer grey blouse and some dirty old jeans, and Evan came out wearing, I swear, the exact same shirt he used to wear for publicity shots in the 90s. Juliana loves awkwardness, like I do, and several of the love songs she sang were meant, I believe, to leave the audience wondering if she was singing about Evan. I thought it was the height of awkwardness that she sang "Waiting for Heaven," with its plaintive chorus: "Heeeeaaaaaven ... where are youuuuuu?" Of course, just drop the "h" in "heaven," and there you go. But she topped herself in awkwardness later in the show, by playing a song literally called "Evan."


I remember the first time I saw Juliana play, in 1993, at Irving Plaza. She wore a pair of pastel chinos, and a pastel polo, and I thought it was funny that she was trying to embody the term "college rock" with her outfit. More than ten years later, she released a record titled "Juliana's Pony," and I went to see her play a gig where she wore a black silk blouse and a silver necklace with a pony on it. At that point in my life, I was about to play some shows myself, and I went out and bought myself a silver necklace with a bird on it, because I was writing a song called "Jesus loves me like a bird." I remember telling some craggy old Weezer-jack (a lumberjack who liked Weezer) this story, and he looked at me like, "you tool. You had to buy the accessory before you played the gig."


I love Juliana Hatfield, no matter how cold she has been to me when I've met her in person, no matter what people say, no matter the quality of her output. When you fall in love with a singer, it doesn't matter to you if it's cool or not, and there's nothing you can do about your love. It's matter-of-fact, like a birth defect that can't be operated upon. I left the Mercury Lounge that night with her new cd in my pocket, although I knew it would unlock no doors for me. It burns a hole, still, on my table at home.


Burns!




Sunday, October 3, 2010

Moore and Sons


I went with Alyse to Googie's Lounge to see a gig by Moore & Sons. Chris from Moore & Sons agreed early in the summer to be my drummer (that's Chris in the white tank top). I went out to Brooklyn then to jam with him, and he turned every song of mine into a rock song, and I felt like I was in Big Star or something. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. We rocked. But right after that, I had one of my breakdowns, and have been recovering ever since. But I still go see Chris when he plays - he's awesome. I have a feeling that, pretty soon, I will no longer be "between inheritances," and then I will ask Chris to make a record with me. I hope he says yes. I will call our record "Sexual Tourism," and Chris and I (and a bassist, if I can find one) will go on tour opening up for a girl band. (Girls get me).


I love that Chris is always wearing a tank top. I wish I had the nerve to wear one, but I have a few weird hairs that grow out of my shoulders, and scars from a battle I don't remember fighting. One day, also when I am not "between inheritances," I will pay a doctor to sizzle my whole body with a laser, from head to toe, so that my scars and hairs disappear. Perhaps the doctor can also shine the laser into my brain, to alter my fucked-up personality, as well. I'll let you know if that happens.


I got a copy of Moore & Sons' new record, and have been listening to it ever since. I love "Junk to begin with" - I feel like it describes not only my life, but my times. Some of the songs are a little Grateful Dead-ish, which I usually don't like, but love in this case.


After the gig, Alyse and I went to American Apparel, where she bought a new outfit and changed into it at the store. She gave me a bag filled with the outfit she had been wearing, and I've been trying to catch up to her to return it ever since. Slow down, Alyse! Little red corvette, I want to return your old outfit.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rage inside the mansion


I'm going tonight to hear a punk rocker expound upon his views on atheism. Usually, I love it when people self-identify as punk rockers. It actually seems to fly in the face of punk to self-identify as a punk, at least after 1973 or so. But punk itself flies in the face of everything, does it not? So I give punk rockers the benefit of the doubt when they identify themselves as such. And whenever I see a mohawk or a tartan flannel, I view it totally without irony, as surely the wearer intended.


Sometimes, when I listen to "punk" music, it sounds more like New Jersey hardcore to me, but maybe it's just my untrained ear. I was always into sad music than angry music, and thus I rock out to people like Paula Frazer. When I met Paula Frazer once, we were having such a nice conversation, downstairs at the Knitting Factory, but then she mentioned that her guitarist was playing a gig upstairs from us. "Oh," I said, "the guy with the big head?" She frowned. "Yes, the guy with the big head." To frown at a mean statement is not punk rock in my book! But I still love you, Paula Frazer. Or Tarnation. Or whatever you are calling yourself today.


I decided to make a punk rock statement with my outfit to hear this lecture tonight. So I am wearing my "punk rock pants," a green, utilitarian number that wouldn't really be out of place on St. Mark's Place. But I paired it with pastels! To me, fruiting an outfit up makes it even more punk - as what is more punk rock than those rock 'n' roll gays, and their alley-dwelling, crotch-diving, lady-evading ways? But, again, I have an untrained ear. And perhaps I did take this outfit too far, with the purple shoes.


Punk rockers apply their principles, I find, unevenly in their own lives. For example, the rocker I am going to hear tonight certainly has a punk personality, but he insists on staying at the Taj. What do you call that? "Rage inside the mansion?" Whatever, I will be dressed for the occasion, in my own way, and, believe it or not, on the inside, I will be rocking out, just a little.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vince


I had a dream last night in which someone was explaining to me that my basic problem in life is my issues with "control." I smiled evilly and with great rage and condescension at the speaker in the dream, but I simultaneously thought to myself, "Why, yes, actually. That is my problem. I should really be able to accept that spot-on critique." That's why when I am invited to a party like the one Alyse had for her birthday on Friday - a party in Brooklyn - Brooklyn! - a borough which everyone knows I find insufferable - on a roof - a roof! - so of course I spent the whole night afraid that I would fall off the roof and splatter on the concrete below - when I felt bloated - bloated! - and then was introduced to a young lady I was sure I'd met before, but only when she insisted that she didn't know me did I realize that she was an actress in my favorite television show - now, sadly, cancelled - famous people! - and when, every time the doorbell rang, a still-hotter fellow entered the party - hot fellows while I'm bloated! - it can seem like my antithesis.


But in reality, Alyse's party was the most fun I've had in a while. Everyone was so nice to me, and I was so nice to everyone! I didn't stalk the celebrity. I noticed a guest wandering near the corner of the roof by himself, checking his messages, and I went over and engaged him in friendly conversation. I partook of the communal pasta. I helped carry things back downstairs to Alyse's friend Josh's apartment. I didn't make any new enemies, which is huge for me. Why was I so relaxed, even with all the afore-mentioned goings-on?


Then Alyse posted this picture on my Facebook wall, and I remembered: it was a black party, but I chose to wear plaid. I think this shirt is by Vince. And at one point during the party, the very hot Cassandra (seated next to me) offered me her bedazzled armband. It was so sparkly, it appeared to have been made out of Liza Minnelli. I demurred, as that was her accessory. I had to be in control the whole time, at least of my appearance.


I have a friend named Hermann who would say to this post, "Girl, you just need to get f*cked." Oh, Hermann. He says that about everything I say, actually. And then sometimes, (much to my surprise), I find him putting his advice into action. Was that him in the dream? Does anyone wear Vince anymore? Why am I so often in Brooklyn? One night in the near future, I will dream the answers to these questions, and more.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Purple cape


I went to Emmett's party at his lovely boutique on Elizabeth Street. In the back of my mind, I remembered SVB's comment that Emmett had designed a purple cape that was really beautiful. A purple cape - can't you just imagine it? To own a cape is to own an escape route from one's own life. I wanted to find the cape in the store and drape myself with it, and then fly off into the horizon. So I excused myself from the party in the back garden and went into the main boutique, where I found a lady who worked in the store. I asked her where the cape was, and she replied, "Which one?"


"There's more than one?" I asked, incredulous. And she showed me to the cape section. But they weren't the capes I was expecting. Apparently, a "cape" can also refer to a women's jacket that's shorter in the front than in the back. I experienced a sinking sensation.


"Oh!" I said. "No, I'm looking for a cape."


"Oh, you mean like a Superman cape?!" she said, in one breath.


"Yes."


"We don't have those," she said, and then she excused herself. Humiliation, my old friend, descended then, and draped me in its familiar way. I have to say, I am really ready for a new look.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Empire Hotel


Alyse called me up and asked if I would go to her friend Daniella Kallmeyer's "look book" show at the Empire Hotel last night. Of course I would. I've been missing "Gossip Girl" so much this summer, and I wanted to see if Chuck Bass really hangs out at the Empire in real life. But what the fuck is a "look book?" While there were no "Gossip Girl" cast sightings, I did really enjoy the show. Daniella's models were standing on platforms, evenly spaced throughout the Crystal Room of the hotel, wearing her spring/summer looks. It was a little disconcerting that they were just standing there, and one of them kept staring openly at me. Perhaps she was supposed to represent the "look book?" But they were all dressed in really interesting, fun clothes. Alyse wants to wear the leather jacket pictured here for her birthday. She brought along her new love interest and his sister, who were both ebullient and young and made me feel crazy. After the show, they were really excited to see a rapper named Nicki Minaj come out of the hotel. I wish I listened to the radio so I could know who people are and be excited, too! I'm still rocking out to the first Neneh Cherry record. I finally made it home, exhausted, and noticed that my Tivo was recording the first new episode of "Gossip Girl" in months! My friends are back! I won't have to be alone anymore. I love you, Chuck and Serena and Blair and Little J and Dan and Nate! Perhaps my biggest question about your show - why don't you just trace those email blasts? - will be answered this season? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fashion's night out


It all happened so quickly. Mary got out of work and called me up, saying we should go to Fashion's Night Out. Although neither of us is that into fashion people any more, we went. I put on a simple Paul Smith henley from two seasons ago and some jeans and my Adidas, and took the train to Bleecker Street, where she was waiting for me on the corner, wearing pre-Betsey Johnson Betsey Johnson. We took the train up to 57th Street, and stopped to take pictures in front of a bubble machine. A nice fellow asked if he could take a picture of himself with me in front of the bubbles, so I put my arm around him and Mary took the picture. Awkward! That picture will probably end up with some terrible, unintended caption on some German porn site, shaming me forever. We were photographed again in Van Cleef and Arpels by an acquaintance, Jonathan, who looked so bored to be there, but who had a magic camera that flashed three times in quick succession (we felt the flashes as puffs of air on our faces) and made us feel glamorous.

Then, Mary produced a magical press badge that someone had given her. The badge allowed us to cut the line and get into Bergdorf Goodman, where - again, magic! - Victoria Beckham was scheduled to present her fall line. Victoria fucking Beckham. We practically knocked mannequins over rushing to the staging area for this event, and we squeezed ourselves into the crowd. Many people know that I love Victoria Beckham - I was one of the few people in America to actually see "Spice World," and the scene where she wakes up from a nightmare in which she sees a "giant head - but with no makeup" - made me squirt Diet Coke from my nostril. As we waited for Victoria to arrive and make her presentation, I had time to ponder several important questions. Why do fashion people still thrill me on some secret level? Are you still considered fashionable if you are wearing Paul Smith from two seasons ago? (No.) Is it jarring to the fantasy of the night to admit that, after this, I will be headed out to Queens to tend to my elderly father, who would roll his wheelchair over Victoria Beckham if she got in his way to the handicapped bathroom? After the Bergdorf excitement, we motored down Fifth Avenue, stopping in Bendel's to see if the makeup cuties were working (only one was). And then I got on the train to Queens, exhausted. It is hard work, as a non-fashion person, to make myself presentable for one night, removing my ever-present cloak of irony and replacing it with a woolen blouse. Whew!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Purple socks


I have perfected my gym attire over the years. Grungy blue shorts, New Balance grey sneakers for old people, and a white v-neck tee shirt, preferably stained with food, blood, and/or coffee. What do I think this get-up says about me at the gym? Hopefully: "I am crazy. Don't come over and talk to me. After all, look at me!! I'm covered in blood." Or: "I have very little invested in being fit. I go to the gym every day merely because I have OCD." Or: "I am not cruising you, sir."


Much to my surprise, then, a handsome fellow approached me yesterday, while I was smoking outside of the gym, preparing to go in. For some reason, I was even sloppier than usual. It seems that I had practically emptied a cup of coffee over myself. And I hadn't shaved my head in days, so I was looking my age.


We exchanged pleasantries, and then the fellow remarked that he was enjoying standing there, flirting with me. At this I giggled with surprise. Such bravery on his part, to admit that he was flirting! NEVER does anyone make a fool of themself for me; it's me who makes a fool of myself for other people, all the time. Immediately, I was drawn into what the (obviously insane) fellow was saying. And I told him that I was surprised he was flirting with me, since I was suspiciously covered with coffee. He replied that he wasn't looking at the coffee. ;)


Given that I only had a few moments before my cigarette went out, I quickly sussed out his general situation: not a junkie, employed, handy - a step up from my usual prospects! As we parted, I said something a little crazy, as is my custom, (it helps to weed out the humorless or the fussy). "You have beautiful eyes," I said. "I'd love to get lost in them some time."


And then I went to the gym, where I worked out extra hard. After all, I have to get fit if I can hope to take off my clothes in front of the new guy without crying. But I wondered after I left the gym, how did he know I was gay? After all, when I first saw him, I was hanging out outside the gym with my cousin Alyse. Didn't he think I was with her? I like to think that I am passing for straight at all times, (at least until I open my mouth and a handbag falls out, as they say). I wracked my brain during my workout and after, but I couldn't figure it out what gave me away. Was it my posture? The way I smoked a cigarette as if putting hot things in my mouth was a pretty common occurrence? Was it, as one of my songs goes, "the silver inside of my sweet, detached eyes?" Then, back at home, I looked down and realized what it was. Silly me, I had been wearing purple socks.

Monday, August 16, 2010

V-neck tee


I love the singer Jeff Buckley, and, as an homage to him, I started wearing simple white v-neck tee-shirts years ago. Perhaps this is the same tee I began wearing years ago, as it is long past "white," to be frank, veering into yellowish-grey territory.


Once I saw Jeff Buckley during one of my blistering daily runs around NYC. He was standing outside of the Bottom Line, actually, and he watched me approach, giving me "the eye." I didn't think too much of this - I knew he was straight, but that he was an awful flirt. I ran past him without a backward glance, though inside I was all a-flutter. That will show you! I thought.


The next time I saw Jeff Buckley, he was on what I later learned was his first date with real-life disaster Courtney Love. They walked out of some theater, and the paparazzi yelled, "Courtney!" I yelled, "Jeff!" and he flinched, startled. I think he thought I was a photographer trying to get him to look into my camera. My friend Justin told me later that he was so freaked out by his date with Courtney Love, he immediately got on a plane to Europe. (Ah, to be able to get on a plane to Europe when freaked out ... )


The next time I saw Jeff Buckley, I was at a Dark Carnival show at Coney Island High. The singer, Niagara, had just pushed a girl (her opening act, in fact!) off the stage, saying "go, b**ch! You tell 'em b**ch! You've got the prettiest hair in town, but you got f**ked!" (The opening act had just hijacked Niagara's microphone, and revealed to the audience that she hadn't gotten paid for playing the opening set). I started laughing soooo uncontrollably. But the pushed girl later got even with me - she threw me and my friend Alia out of the Beauty Bar because my friend didn't have her ID. Was she making the sign of Satan while she did it? She should have been. And then she married one of the guys from H2O and moved out to New Jersey.


Anyway, Jeff Buckley was in the audience at the Dark Carnival show, and as I watched him watching what was among the most guitar-heavy shows I have ever witnessed, I could see the rock come down over him, and I predicted that his next record would be rockin'. Sure enough, it rocked. But he was gone by then.


When I read that Jeff Buckley had died while swimming in Memphis, I called up Alia in Los Angeles. She said that he was now singing in the "big riverboat in the sky." Do you see what she did there? She alluded to Memphis' rich musical riverboat history in her evil response. Even in her meanness, there was a sparkling sense of play and joy.


I still listen to "Vancouver" and "Morning Theft" at least once a week, and even now, the rock still comes down over me. Rock may break your heart, but it will never die.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

American Tourister


Often enough, my friends mock me for carrying around my own popcorn seasoning in my bag at all times. I carry it around in case I find myself at the movies, which is always a possibility at my advanced state of age and boringness. But my friends laugh at me because of it. So you can imagine that when, last week, I discovered that my popcorn seasoning had leaked inside of my bag, I couldn't tell anyone. "Well, now he's got his come-uppance with that blasted popcorn seasoning," they would say. Instead, I quietly laundered the bag and hung it up to dry.


While I was waiting for the bag to dry, I decided to debut my late mother's American Tourister bag. My mother used to use this bag on family vacations we took. This bag has sunned in Nassau and observed strange family dynamics in Aruba. I have had it for years now, but I was always too afraid to wear it, for fear that my friends would mock me for carrying around a lady's bag. You know these gays. But I decided to finally use the bag so that, when I was mocked, I could say "It's my dead mother's bag!" and run away crying - embarrassing both them and myself with my sense of humor, which is forever macabre. But sadly, no one mocked me. I even tried to bait a couple of friends - Daniel, Chris H. - by asking them their opinion of the bag; but they both merely said they liked it.


I did notice that, while I was using the bag, I got into a fight with a friend, which could very well mean that it is possessed by the spirit of my famously mean mother. Or it could mean that this Friday the 13th was too big to be contained by just one day, and spilled out over into Saturday. Oh, well. My regular bag should be dry by this afternoon, so my latest foray into mother-obsession, demon-baiting, and casual transvestitism will now come to an end.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happier days


This is a picture of my two friends named Chris. The Chrises! How I love them. I decided to blog about them now, because whenever the gays love each other, they sleep with each other and ruin everything. Or they enter into a blood feud with each other over some ill-timed catty remark. So, this is a time capsule of sorts - I'll call it "Happier days" so that when I look back in the future, I can remember us how we were back then, and weep. But not from my eyes. (Aren't they yummy!?) I didn't bother to show their outfits, as they pretty much wear the same thing every day, poor dears - just like my friend Alia H. - just like Chrises all over the world, I'm sure. Dear Lord, please let their feelings toward me be as same-samey as their wardrobes, and I will be the happiest gay alive.

Strange evening


What a strange evening I had on Friday! I went to see "Dinner for Schmucks" with Teresa. On the way to get cupcakes beforehand, we ran into Matthew, the fashionista from a few posts back. I called him "Andrew" by mistake - whoopsie! :)


After we saw the movie, I took the train towards my home, but decided to take it a few extra stops so that I could take a long walk home. On my way to my apartment, I ran into Aaron, who was looking scrumptious as ever. I was wearing the same shirt that he had told me once that he also possessed - we both got it at Uniqlo. I didn't mention this, although I weirdly felt awkward running into him wearing that shirt! I affectionately punched him in the shoulder - but I punched him really hard by accident. Ouch. Oh, well - he already thinks I'm crazy. Now he can add violent Gregory to his list of Gregorys.


I headed for the East Side, and I ran into a fellow who looked very familiar. He reminded me that I had spent the night with him seven years ago. Ah! I remember that night very well, actually! Here's why: I literally spent the last money I had then to take him out to lunch at a Tex Mex place on Park Avenue the next day. After that, I had no job, no money, and no prospects, and I survived only because my friends Fionna, Mary, and Vicki rose to the occasion to help me, which I'll never forget. (And plus, I got sober and stayed that way for years. You could say this fellow was my "rock bottom."). We exchanged cards, but I didn't hear from him seven years ago, and I certainly don't expect to hear from him now. Plus, as I was chatting with him, I noticed him discreetly passing a small baggie to a friend of his.


Continuing up Second Ave, I heard someone calling out "Gregory ... " I turned around, but I didn't recognize the couple who was calling out to me. They told me that they had just visited my ex Joshie in SF, and he had been showing them pictures of me in a photo album, and talking about me. How flattering! I told the couple to tell Joshie that I looked fabulous.


Nearing 13th Street, I took this picture of myself, so I could remember not to wear this obviously powerful outfit again in the future, unless I was prepared for wildness, for coincidence, for magic ... then I went home.

Sophia's last week


You know what I love to do? I love to sneak inside Sophia's cubicle at work and quietly sit down next to her and stare at her until she notices me and screams and screams. She hates that, and she has begged me not to do it, but she doesn't realize that as long as she screams, I'll do it again the next time. I have no behavioral filters.


I won't be able to scare her much longer - this is her last week here. I will miss her ways. Today, she gave me soothing advice about my inappropriate texts to Jason A., my bout over the weekend with erectile dysfunction, and my tardiness to work today. Who will sooth me when she is gone? I will all id when that happens.


In this picture, taken right before I scared her out of her wits, Sophia is wearing a dress from Urban Outfitters. I love Urban Outfitters! I used to sort of like this guy who worked there, many, many years ago, when I was 22 or so. He was flaky, but he kept my interest by repeatedly telling me to "come again" in a suggestive voice. That pattern - me being consistently intrigued by fellows who don't show up, as long as they every now and then show me a little interest - repeats in my life like a favorite outfit.


*Sigh* I truly am ashamed of myself today. Fortunately, whenever I am stuck in my own head and lost in my own self-centered shame, something truly horrible happens in the real world, and I realize yet again that I didn't know how good I had it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

French cuffs



I went downstairs for a cup o' joe with Sophia W., the heiress intern, and I asked her to take a picture of me. I'm wearing a delightfully textured shirt from the Co-op, along with some khaki pants from Theory and New Balance sneakers. I had no idea when I bought the shirt, at the Warehouse Sale, that it had French cuffs. I mock people for wearing shirts with French cuffs, but I didn't mean to buy one, so it can't be my fault! I didn't realize.




Years ago, when I was still working at Sotheby's, my boss Benjamin Doller tried to give me a pair of cufflinks as a gift. When I glanced at them, I saw that they were the kind that you could slip your own tiny picture into, to customize them. There was already a sample picture in it, of a self-satisfied little baby. "Oh, no!" I exclaimed. "I'm not walking around here with a picture of some little white baby on my wrist!" Benjamin seemed amused by my outburst, but I was fired shortly after that. Ah, Sotheby's - where everything is for sale, even your soul.




Because I didn't accept those cufflinks, I now can only wear this shirt with the sleeves rolled up. What do rolled-up sleeves mean to you? To me, they mean "This outfit is not beyond salvaging. There is still hope."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pat Field


Daniel and I went to see "Winnebago Man," then walked up Third Avenue to get some coffee. On the way, he pointed out the (semi) new retail location of Patricia Field. In my youth, it was on 8th Street. Then it moved to - I believe - Mulberry? Now it's on the Bowery. Tomorrow, who knows where ... Wherever the smug need asymmetric tunics, I suppose.


Once, I pretended that I'd worked at Patricia Field, to get a job at Citizen Clothing on the Castro in San Francisco. I'd moved to SF with no aim, no goal, and I ambled past the store one day and happened to look inside. A hot young fellow working inside gave me "the eye," and I got all excited and went in a day later and applied for a job. Talk about aimless! I gave them the number of my "manager at Patricia Field" - actually, my best friend Alia, in Los Angeles - and they called her for a reference, and she lied her ass off, and I got the job. It turned out to be sort of a lame job - they only gave me 20 hours a week, so I was pretty much destitute for those beginning days in California. I had to handle a lot of shiny blouses, which the gays were hot for at the time. But, a couple of months later I was dating the hot young fellow. A couple of days after that, I went home for Christmas. I returned to find that I'd been fired in a most passive-aggressive manner - I'd merely been removed from the schedule, and not been put back on. I guess I didn't bring as much to the position as you'd need to. I found a job as an administrative assistant at Lehman Brothers instead. There, I learned far more than I ever needed to know about real estate investment trusts.


Daniel recently purchased a pair of shorts from Patricia Field. I hope to help him out of them one evening.

Monday, June 28, 2010

So much going on


There is so much going on in this picture that I don't know where to begin.

Chris and Michael and I were at the Stonewall Inn, to commemorate the beginning of Gay Pride weekend, and also to show up for Chris' roommate, who is an adult cheerleader. Adult cheerleaders are sort of the opposite of me - they are optimistic and unironic and unselfconscious, and they can often be found in gatherings of people with strong senses of group identity.

We decided that we were going to stay for one cheer by Chris' roommate's cheerleading squad, and then leave to prowl to the Pier. But before we could leave, we saw another cheer, outside. And there was some sort of tourist there, who insisted that we photograph him with the cheerleaders. When I looked at the picture afterwards, I saw why. What a joker - he is looking up that lady cheerleader's dress. Oh, well, I'm sure that the lady cheerleader had prepared herself for that eventuality. When one is a lady cheerleader, I imagine, one must be prepared at all times for lawless tourists to peer up one's dress in a photo, on the day before Gay Pride, in the West Village of Manhattan.

Really, I had merely wanted a photo of the bear, so I could expound upon - what? Bears? "Fuzzies?" There are many euphemisms in use currently in the world of sexually active adults, and in this paragraph, I have used two of them.

Alyse in Madrid


As some of you know, my cousin Alyse is traveling through Europe currently. This picture is from a batch she posted on her Facebook page. In it, she is wearing a striped tee from American Apparel, jeans from Uniqlo (with the super low crotch cut / boy cut), some high top Vietnamese Converse knock offs from a vintage shop in Brooklyn, and a multicolored backpack from a vintage shop in LA. She is all over the map in this pic, as it were.

I like the forlorn-ness of this pic. What is she looking at? Who is she photographing? Perhaps Alyse herself doesn't know.

Often in my life, I have formed lasting bonds with people only to have them move away. In high school, it was Fatima P. After college, it was Alia S. Recently, my friend Tim moved to Berlin, where he blogs in a blog in which he has never mentioned me. I am very self-absorbed, as you must know by now, as you are reading a blog in which I reveal my life story through my outfits.

The most recent example of these friendships-with-separations was the intense bond I formed with Alyse last year. For a while, we were inseparable. We traded awkward stories starring my type-A sister, Maxine. Alyse cat-sitted for the Colonel. I mocked her other friendships (especially her friendship with her friend Midori, who can barely speak English!). Then she left, breaking my heart.

Where is Alyse now, on her European tour? She could be in Lisbon, I guess. She could be just about anywhere. She says she may return to NYC in the fall. I know, I know, I will probably be dead by then. But I will try to hang on, even if just to see what she's wearing then.

Nice legs!


Daniel and I went to the Highline, because that is the thing to do. Daniel has complained about his legs to me in the past, saying that they are so pale he hates to wear shorts. But he is wearing shorts in this picture, some white ones with blue stripes. Daniel actually has the best legs I've seen this summer, and I hope he continues to wear shorts. (Update: while he was observing the Pride Parade yesterday, someone handed Daniel a sticker that read "nice legs!" Really, gays? A sticker, even?)



How is it that some fellows have amazing musculature without even working out? I, on the other hand, pump iron mercilessly almost every day, and still am considered a "hard gainer" by the trainers at NYSC. I wish I had Daniel's figure, but I must make due with my African and Dutch genes, forever storing fat for an apocalypse that surely has already come.



After we disembarked from the Highline, we went to meet up with Johnathan and Christina for the "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" documentary in Chelsea, at which I laughed my head off. On the way there, we passed a blind albino, walking slowly with a cane. A blind albino! Isn't that just God saying "f*ck you?"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cherita and Yolanda



It was Cherita's birthday last week, and Yolanda and I took her out to dinner last night to celebrate. For the last ten years or so, whenever it's Cherita's, Yolanda's, or my birthday, we go out and have dinner, just the three of us. I wish one of us was a documentary filmmaker, as that would be an interesting movie - a yearly look at the lives, loves, and outfits of three college friends who are a little too into clothing.


Yolanda, of course, is the most stylish of us - she dresses people for a living, and just finished up years of work as a stylist on the t.v. series "Ugly Betty." She's starting work on a movie in July. In my recent marathon session of apartment cleaning, I dug up the debut issue of Black Hairstyles and Trends, the magazine she worked at for a minute in the mid-90s. I'm so sentimental - I couldn't bring myself to throw it away, even now. I'm sure even she doesn't own that issue now. Maybe I have a hoarding problem. Last night, Yolanda told us about the fellow she's been dating, and I was struck, as usual, about how quiet she can be. We probably would never have heard about this major change in her life if we hadn't asked! I wish I wasn't so loud-mouthed - I feel like I drown out my friends sometimes.



Cherita's outfits are the most idiosyncratic of the three of us - to me, she often seems like she's planning ahead for grandmotherhood - or senility. She had just come from an extended trip to Los Angeles, where she liked one guy and dated another. I can totally relate to that kind of trip, Cherita.


Yolanda called me "skinny minny," but in reality I've gained back most of the weight I lost this year. I'm going to stop eating chocolate during the day, that's what I'm going to do.


I took this picture as we were walking away from Hill Country. Thanks, ribs!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

MARY reading

I did a reading for MARY Literary at KGB Bar this past Sunday. I read my story "Here's what happens at the movies," and I wore a t-shirt with a bunch of birds on it. I bought the shirt years ago from Urban Outfitters, but it's hard to wear, so I don't wear it often. Look how horrible I look in this photo! Whenever I see pictures of myself, I usually think, "m-m-m-monster!" Really, is this how I look? Well, at least my biceps are poppin'. Some of William's entourage was there - including Aaron and William's mysterious boyfriend. (I recently used a mental image of William's boyfriend when I needed help "finishing up," but then I was overcome with feelings of shame). I came to the reading with one fellow who I have romantic feelings for, but which it probably won't work out with. Teresa says you can't sleep with a friend and have it still be romantic. Then it's just lust. Bah! I'll settle for lust, Teresa!
At the reading, Teresa and Vanessa sat together. Johnathan sat with Sloane. Matt's hot girlfriend Josie was there, too, and the amazing writer Pete Pavia. I don't know who took this photo - it was either Oscar or Paolo. I noted with interest that, although I read a story about pedophilia, the audience was still with me 100% when I finished. I seem to have really found my niche.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Endomorphic


Nicky was in town, and we decided to go to Filene's Basement. Humph! Nicky spotted this mannequin and pronounced it "endomorphic." That's a new word I've learned today. I like this mannequin's t-shirt, and I don't think the mannequin is endomorphic at all. Poor li'l mannequin! You're really quite a catch, when I think about it. A nice body and a missing head - definitely a cheap date, if nothing else!


Throughout the evening, I was giving Nicky a crash course in using Grindr, the iPhone's G.P.S. app for loose gays. Nicky isn't gay, but he wishes he was, so that sex would be ubiquitous for him, as it seems to be for the gays. Oh, Nicky. Sex may be ubiquitous, but people become less fun when they've had too much fun, as it were. These days, I mainly use Grindr to send messages to my friend Daniel, who has complained to me before about friends of his becoming "endomorphic" and him losing interest in them. This was not a good time to quit smoking, I'm sure, as I've been eating like an endomorph for over a week now. Oh, well. If I hadn't quit smoking now, I might have burned down my apartment while Daniel was asleep inside, which I'm sure would also have irritated him.


Really, there is much to discover about oneself during a visit from a friend, in the early days of summer.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The pilgarlic


In 1998, I had a word-a-day calendar in my cubicle at Lehman Brothers in San Francisco. I don't remember a single word from that calendar except for the word "pilgarlic." Pilgarlic! Who has ever used that word in conversation? Apparently, it means a "bald man," and also a "sneaking fellow." How my friend Hilary, who worked at the next cubicle over, and I would laugh about that word!


I certainly wasn't laughing three years later, when I met a real-life pilgarlic. I met him somewhere on the LES - I forget where. He mentioned that he couldn't get home that night, and, because he seemed like a really nice person, I offered to let him crash at my place. How crazy of me! We spent the night talking, lying in my bed, and he told me several times how he "got" me. He suggested that the world was insane, not me. (I already knew that). By the morning we were making plans with each other in them. He went to buy some pot, or somesuch. Then, I got a call from my bank. He was attempting to make a cash withdrawal across the street! Of course, this can't happen - he didn't know my PIN, although he apparently had made several inaccurate guesses. What were his guesses? "Guitar?" "Vodka?"


Over the course of the day, my pilgarlic made a few purchases with a couple of credit cards he had also taken. A coat at the Burlington Coat Factory. A Metrocard. I canceled the cards, and the charges were reversed, but he did get to keep the merchandise. I got to keep this pair of his socks, which he carelessly left behind and which I've clung to all these years, wanting to at least get something out of that night. He got so much - I got his socks. I went to the local police precinct and filled out a police report, thinking that that was the end of the story.


A few months later, I was boozing it up at the Boiler Room when I saw him again. I ran into the street to call the police. He ran after me, followed by Xavier, my favorite bartender. The pilgarlic shouted at Xavier: "This man (me) is an alchoholic!" Xavier and I both burst into laughter, and I said, "Oh, we all are!" How silly of him - he was at the Boiler Room, after all, not Le Cirque.


Anyway, he jumped into a cab and sped off. I grabbed the door handle of the cab, but it kept driving, dragging me down the street. I let go and tumbled, it seemed, back into the Boiler Room. Xavier wanted to buy me a drink. I wasn't so sure that was the right idea, but it was nice to be led somewhere, so I let myself be led. The manager of the Boiler Room, whom I hated, approached me and demanded to know what had happened. I declined to tell him. He insisted, saying that he could "86" me. I told him to go ahead, and flicked my lit cigarette at him, catching his shirt on fire for just a second. It suddenly got very serious in the Boiler Room, of course, and EVERY bartender in the joint told me to get out. I was, apparently, banned for life. I calmly told the manager I would gladly get out, but that first I was finishing my drink, which I did. Then I walked out, highly amused and ashamed, both - a simultaneous duo of emotions that even today I seek out. I STILL don't go back to the Boiler Room, which speaks both to the power of the "86" and the sneaking power of the pilgarlic.


I have clung to the pilgarlic's socks for years now, but by now, in the year 2010, they are full of holes. I threw them away this morning. Come, quietly, to your own conclusions.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

SOMETHING RED / Babatunde's shirt


I went last night to the launch party for Jennifer Gilmore's new novel SOMETHING RED. Isn't that the best title ever?! I had some dumb thought that I would wear the shirt that Babatunde custom-made for me and outshine Jennifer at her own party! But, as you can see, she easily defeats me in that fashion battle. (But Babatunde, all day long, I was getting compliments at HarperCollins on the shirt. It was a hit! I had a bit of a date later in the evening, so I brought a change of shirts in case the shirt was too "gay" for a first date. I needn't have worried! When I arrived on the date, he was wearing denim jeans and a denim jacket - a fashion faux pas that secretly thrilled me). Also of note about the party: Albert Mobilio from Bookforum called me a slut!


I used to be Jennifer's assistant at Harcourt, and now we go to each other's events all the time. At my last gig, at the Living Room, she called out "sing an Indigo Girls song!" and I responded by playing the first verse of "Freebird." I don't know from the Indigo Girls!


I'm reading SOMETHING RED right now, and will be writing a review of it, too. It's buzzing with paranoia and resentment, and, though set mostly in the 80s, seems to have lessons within it that are right up-to-the-minute. And, lurking within, there's something else, too. A call to arms? A jeremiad? I'm halfway through, so I won't say too much else about the book, except that I am looooving it. I love Jennifer, too. Buy her book! :)

Alia's missed connections

Alia H. was in the building for a meeting, so I met up with her for a drink afterwards. We went to the French restaurant where yet another of my emotionally unavailable boytoys works. (But we didn't go to his section, we stayed downstairs. I'm too old to stalk anymore, and plus, I've already enjoyed his company many times. And I am always afraid that he will accost me in the restroom of the restaurant, as he's warned me he will! Restrooms are for peeing!)

Alia is famous for having had five "missed connections" entries written for her, which is crazy to think about! But today, Alia was mourning a real missed connection - she just broke up with her boyfriend! Arg, I liked him for her. Such a sad situation. We commiserated about that sort of stuff, then, as a joke, I showed her the "GrindR" app that's all the rage with the kids. Right away, she coerced me into emailing some nearby guy, and now me and the guy are just as chatty as teenagers. She's such a good cyber-wing-woman! I forced her to accept a couple of hugs from me as partial payment.

I loved her outfit, but then when she took off her scarf and coat, she was wearing the same thing she always does! I love her consistency, and her ways in general. We will movie it up soon, Alia H. Stay strong. Doomed relationships lead to better ones. Things happen for a reason. Hugs are therapeutic.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Another sneaker shot


I went to meet up with Robert at my new favorite bar, XES. As I walked, I noticed that the hem of my pants was badly stained yellow-ish brown, and I practically fainted with embarrassment. What happened there? I haven't worn these pants in so long (they are among my "punishment pants" that I've kept to remind myself how fat I got a year ago). I kid you not, it looked like I had stepped in poop. But I reasoned that this gave me much-needed "street cred," and I kept walking, head held high.


I wanted to blog about walking around in poopy pants, but then Robert put his feet into the pic, too - so it turned into a different pic, and a different post.


The last guy I photographed with our feet together for my outfit blog - I'll call him "N" - performed a wonderful dance last week at Dixon Place. I texted him with gushing praise afterwards, but, as usual, he kept his own counsel. Whenever I contact someone that I know with gushing praise and don't get much in the way of response, it feels like I am teetering on the edge of a cliff, about to topple over! I will keep my praise to myself in the future - I'm learning that it doesn't pay to be as friendly as I've become. Must ... grow ... colder ... to keep up with the gays. I am grateful that I went to that performance, though - I stopped off afterwards at a nearby, nearly empty gay establishment, and made a weird new friend. Perhaps there will be a picture of his shoes and mine in a future post, but perhaps not. Either way, I didn't use exclamation points in my texts with him. See? Growing colder already! :)

Ada's party


I went to a party for Ada Calhoun's new book, Instinctive Parenting. I was worried that there would be a lot of mommies at the party, but I worried for naught. Instead, the party was filled with East Village arts-types, Ada's famous (and very cute) parents, and Tim Gunn from "Project Runway." Since I didn't know anyone there, I ended up talking to Tim briefly - I wanted to find out if he was as nice as people say. We talked about our mutual friend Emmett, and Tim suggested that we hang out together with Emmett soon. What a nice thing to say! I will suggest that to Emmett soon, once my downward spiral is less downward.


Also there was Kenny Mellman, who sometimes performs as "Herb" in Kiki & Herb. I vaguely know him, so we chatted for a second about JD from Le Tigre's new band, MEN. I miss Kiki & Herb! And I miss Le Tigre! When will they play again?


I also chatted, most awkwardly, with the manager of The Phoenix who banned me for life from that bar for making fun of his band. Have you ever chatted lightly with someone with active hatred in their eyes for you, for a minor incident that occurred ten years ago? It's both disturbing and refreshing to see people hold on to their emotions for so long.


Ada wore a beautiful black gown, with a bunch at the waist - I couldn't tell what it was - maybe a sash, or a hidden brooch? She's in the center of this pic, partially obscured by a redhead. I loved her outfit, and I truly respect Ada - anyone who could draw such a kooky, jazzed crowd at her party is probably someone I would get along with famously.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My friend Matthew


I have a friend Matthew who decries all things "gay," but who works designing accessories for ladies. This must present such an internal struggle within himself! Every time I say something with a twang, he mocks me and calls me gay. "So saith the fashionista," I said drily last time he said that. The ironic thing is, the gays have never really liked me, so I am as non-gay as a gay can be.


I really loved a bag Matthew made, with ostrich feathers, and I am going to commission one from him for my friend Alia's graduation this May. She likes ostrich feathers, and now that she is going to be a lawyer-on-the-go! she will need a bag.


This is a picture of him in my apartment, holding a copy of Justin Taylor's Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever. I love that book! Matthew told me not to blog about him, because he knows lots of lawyers, but I am blogging about him anyway. You can't really tell who he is from this picture anyway. Bring it on, lawyers! :)


Matthew is so mean to me! He calls me names, but then he sends me sweet, assuaging texts calling me "babe." *sigh* It probably isn't going to work out with him. He is 20 years old ... urk. I know, I know. I am always lobbing arrows of desire out towards the gays of the world, but somehow they fall outside of my age range. Why is that? Is that because my personality is so ... off somehow ... that only the insane and the young can relate to it? OMG, Matthew had a mid-term yesterday. I sent him a text telling him we should celebrate when he could, and he replied, "Ha ha dork." Pretty soon, he will probably send me another one calling me babe, which will assuage me yet again. I'm pretty easy to assuage. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Paula


I went last week to my cousin Paula's exhibit at the "Wearing Spirit: Aesthetically Personifying the Feminine in African Sacred Traditions" show, at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Insitute. Whew - I'm glad I finally had a reason to go to the CCCADI - they send me emails all the time, but I never want to go see their shows, and have felt terribly guilty about it (I'm Caribbean, after all!). So I'm glad Paula gave me an excuse to go.


In this picture, she's standing in front of her piece, a quilt/collage that's so intricate I had to stare closely at it for a few minutes to even begin to absorb it. I love collage - most of my best work (and my best outfits) have involved lumping together random, disparate pieces and then standing back and hoping a general "tone" has emerged. Sort of the Anne Sexton way of dressing.


I absolutely adore Paula and her husband Luther. It's been one of my best accomplishments in my adulthood that I've grown close with them. And when I end up in an institution (or vice versa) I'm sure we'll be there to visit each other and make collages out of each other's psychotropic medications.


St. Patrick's Day


As always, I forgot to wear green today on St. Patrick's Day. In fact, I'm wearing brown and purple and blue - I am spitting in the face of green, actually. (But not intentionally - green is my favorite color).


I work a block away from the parade route, so I went to watch it, briefly. Maybe this evening I'll go to Barrage and see what people are wearing. In the olden days, I would stay away from the bars on St. Patrick's Day because it is "amateur night," as it were. But now I enjoy watching people get drunk. It's comforting for some reason.


I took this picture of the St. Patrick's Day parade crowd in front of a weird clothing store. I have a bit of a crush on someone who works inside, whose home is even more squalid than my own, but you have to play it cool with these things, you know? ;)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jeans and a t-shirt


I went to the MARY launch party this past weekend. My story "Here's what happens at the movies" is going to be in an upcoming issue of MARY - yay! I was going to wear my new shirt created by my friend Babatunde to the party, but then I got a pimple, and didn't want to rock two new looks at one affair. So I went in jeans and a t-shirt instead, and William's sweet boyfriend took a picture of me. He said I looked evil, but I think I look sort of innocent! :) (And Babatunde, don't worry! I will wear your wonderful shirt soon!)


I once saw Cher being interviewed on "The David Letterman Show," and she told David that, when she wasn't doing a movie, she liked to hang out in "jeans and a t-shirt." I was a child then, but even then I was struck by the wonder of that statement. I wondered what kind of jeans, what kind of t-shirt Cher would wear. Perhaps jeans of baby's tears and a t-shirt made of flame. (Looking back, I probably related a little to the narcissism of her saying that. That's probably why I'll never forget that statement).


Once I read an interview with Debra Messing, who joked that when Cher appeared on "Will and Grace," she dropped out of the sky from a rope ladder, said her lines, then climbed back onto the rope ladder. Ever since, sometimes I try to convince people that I've just seen Cher hanging from a rope ladder, being transported throughout NYC by a helicopter that she never actually entered, just hung from.

Mark Morris Dance


Last night I ventured out into godforsaken Brooklyn to see Mark Morris at BAM with the lovely Suzanne D. It was our first date!


The dances were a little cerebral, and the audience seemed distracted. A couple of cellphones went off, and at one point, a couple walked out and started having a fight, which was audible to the whole theater. Suzanne and I were sitting immediately in front of a group of teenagers who made it clear that they were not amused by modern dance. It reminded me yet again why I hate seeing dance in Brooklyn. I loved the first dance, though. And the last one, which was a story cycle about Socrates, featured a hilariously homoerotic interlude between Socrates and Phaedrus. At one point in the dance, Socrates told someone that he owed him a cock. That's my new pick up line! :)


I wore a new purple blouse from Benjamin Bixby, and I told Suzanne about a recent major life decision I've made, which sort of dominated our conversation thereafter. According to About.com, purple "can boost a child's imagination or an artist's creativity. Too much purple, like blue, could result in moodiness." I expect I'll be wearing more and more purple as the months wend on - but I won't grow cold, just brief.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Crazy heart


I saw "Crazy Heart" a few weeks ago with Mary, and have been obsessed with Jeff Bridges' tinted glasses ever since. I ordered myself a pair of (prescription) sunglasses with around the same tint from Moscot (I told the saleslady that I wanted to look like an old Southwestern man with burnt skin who looks for coins at the quarry with a metal detector, and she quickly found the tint I needed). I am rockin' them today at work, and no one has asked me to remove them, which surprises me a little ... perhaps by now my co-workers' policy with me is to let me sink or swim as I may.


I loved "Crazy Heart." I didn't think I would. I don't like movies about guys, generally, and I don't particularly like that funny lady from "Secretary," either. But the music won me over, especially "Funny How Fallin Feels Like Flyin (For a Little While)." I want to say that to someone who has fallen down the stairs. Ha! Also, I have a "crazy heart," too. But perhaps you knew that already.


NYC badly needs an injection of the Southwest, I think. I took this picture of myself in my favorite Southwestern establishment, Chipotle. All I need is an iguana on my shoulder.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Butt Magazine party


I braved the cold to go to the Butt Magazine party, wearing my new, very long shoes. I was the fanciest-dressed one at the party, which was my intention when I was selecting an outfit. If you're going to be in a room full of sullen, ghostly hipsters, there's something provocative about wearing Ferragamo and Burberry and dancing up a storm. It's like saying: "F*ck you" with fashion! I felt free. This is me accosting Felix from Butt Magazine and Pin-Up Magazine outside the party. He is so hot! I ran into Seth at the party, and two of his friends, and I ended up going with them to Brooklyn for some shirtless dancing and random making out. I was not in the mood to dance shirtless, however, so I put my shirt back on after one dance and cabbed it back to Manhattan. My shoes survived this night, but I'm not sure my self-respect did.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

H&M pants


Last year some time, I purchased a size 32 pair of dressy pants from H&M. I wanted to support H&M's movement into dressy territory. But it was something like 80 bucks! And, when I got the pants home, they didn't fit! I decided to punish myself with the pants, and I started dieting. Today was my first time wearing them, and they fit okay now. I work across the street from an H&M, and I briefly debated going in to the store, asking for the manager, and then telling him the whole saga. But I figured it would be too time-consuming. And the manager might ban me from the store for life, like the manager of the Phoenix bar did.



I used to sleep around with Nick Snider, the current "face of H&M," but it never went too far. He had limited interest in talking to me, and talking is what I like best about the fellows. I mean, I can sex it up with the best of them, but if there's nothing to say afterwards, my mind goes blank. But I follow his tweets now, and he seems to have an interesting interior emotional life. I worry, actually, that he's losing his mind.



And I used to date this fellow Joshua who worked at H&M Corporate. But he lost interest in me after I had a conversation about diseases with him. Someone told me later that they saw him featured in a Time Out New York dating feature. I laughed about it - ha! You couldn't pay me to advertise myself as a "single" looking for love in Time Out New York. But he was a good kisser, and a good kid, and I hope he's happy.

That's pretty much all I have to say about H&M.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Punishment shirt


Are you like me? Do you buy shirts one size too small to punish yourself for being fat, and then unsuccessfully try to diet your way into them? Well, I finally lost enough weight to fit into my "punishment" shirt, a red, striped affair from Rogue's Gallery. Next, I want to try to fit into that blue dress pant from H&M that I bought last year. It's a size 32, so I didn't know I'd be punishing myself with that one. But apparently, H&M pants run very small? Who would have thought?


Anyway, I wore my newly fitting shirt to the movies with Alia H. We saw "Terribly Happy." I thought I was going to love it when the cat said "goodbye," but ultimately I thought it was misogynistic. I asked Alia to take a picture of me, but the pictures kept making me look fat. She told me to spread my arms out, to look thinner, so this picture is of me looking thin and gay. Look at me! I'm about ready to fly out of the movie theater! But I like what the camera did to my eyes.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love: the debate

I went to a panel discussion on love last night at the Algonquin. Two of my authors were on the panel, Ben Greenman, from the New Yorker, and Simon Van Booy, from outer space. Also on the panel were the unbelievably adorable Rachel Shukert, and queen of darkness Ariel Leve, whom I want to be my new best friend. (I don't think she'd have me, though). I was impressed with Ben's outfit - as he proved at the panel, he is a mildly sarcastic, intelligent, dark comedian - but he didn't feel the need to dress that way. Does that make sense? I mean, he could have come in in leggings or a tunic or in drag or something - he sounded like he was in drag. But because of his confidence in his message, he didn't feel the need to dress oddly - he kept it simple, with a navy blue shirt and black pants. I have a similar fashion policy. There's no need for me to have tattoos and piercings - I feel the piercings are part of my personality, and should be inferred. That's why I dress in muted beige tones, mostly.

I was saddened somewhat during the panel discussion, because it made me realize that, by Ariel's standards (and my own), that the only person I've ever really dated was Joshie Zerkel, twelve years ago in San Francisco. One romantic interest per lifetime - is that the usual formula for happiness? I remember taking him to the restaurant Stars in San Francisco for Valentine's Day. I had scouted it out the week before, assuring myself that the prices weren't too outrageous. Then, we got there on Valentine's Day, and they had, like, a whole new menu. (!) But that's history...

I was happy reading Ben's forthcoming book, though. It's called WHAT HE'S POISED TO DO, and like Ben's fashions, it toys with your perceptions a little. With that title and the cover photo, I was expecting it to be kind of raunchy. But I am finding each story to be a heartbreaking masterpiece - sort of a "Missed Connections" for the Charlie Rose set. In almost all the stories, letters are sent (sometimes postcards) or letters are not sent. I can only read one story at a time - to read them quicker would be to have the book end quicker. It's soooo sad - and it makes me want to write letters and not send them.