4.30.2010

I Know Someone Who

I know someone who got two black eyes this weekend because while at work this toy fell on her face.

4.29.2010

Poem In Your Pocket Day, 2010

Happy Poem In Your Pocket Day! This year, I'm pulling from my virtual pocket Runaways Café II, by Marilyn Hacker.

I started by sending a poem to D. Goldman and the other HRGers back in 2005. Here are my choices from previous years:

2005: As Planned, Frank O'Hara

2006: Having a Coke with You, Frank O'Hara

2007: Nostalgia, Billy Collins

2008: Collaboration: Letter to Charlie Chaplin, Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg

2009: Poem, Matthew Rohrer

Hail, poetry! I hope it brightens your day.

4.26.2010

Notes on Saturday

This is what happened on the Best Day in Denver:

I woke up with JP. I went to get the oil changed. Waiting, I read an article on Glee. JP stopped in to make sure all was okay. Then he went to work.

I went to the post office. I mailed a time capsule to Elena; I mailed license plates to the Garden State.

I was meeting Tom C. Having time to kill, I went to Twist and Shout Records. I bought the album I’ve been meaning to (Avett Brothers: I and Love and You, and as a bonus, in the Used, Mermaid Avenue). I drove to Steuben’s, put my name down, took the Danny Tanner placeholder, swung around, got Tom downtown.

We brunched. We talked couch surfing and gay Mormons, fake ID’s, skiing, New York, and Huntsman. (Tom, so cute, in his business suit.)

Derek and I watched Lost. (Kate dug up a time capsule with her childhood love.) I debated who was my favorite. I told him my friend Tom was coming. “Oh, so he’s your friend now? Not ‘friend of a friend’?” “We went to brunch together. What would you call us?”

JP came over. We went to the game. We sat in the outfield. Katie and Tina met us, Tom did, too. JP had nachos with fake cheese. I had a brat. We drank from Tina’s soda so she had room to mix the whiskey in. The weather was Spring. Tulo’s at-bat song was Miley’s “Party in the U.S.A.” When the sun set, Katie said she loved it when the sky was dark and the Qwest sign shone bright. “Have you made a wish tonight, Brian?” I told her I didn’t know that was “a thing.” She said of course it was. “That’s why we’re lucky to live in Denver.” A joke I doubt I’ll forget.

(But they are leaving soon.)

Katie and Tina made friends in the stands: Lauren and Nick, the couple behind us. We invited them to come dancing and join our merry band of queers. Numbers were exchanged. Lauren was surprised I knew her area code was Kansas. Meanwhile, Tom achieved my goal of landing on the big screen.

The Rockies won.

Derek went to change and Tom to check out. JP and I walked to Tracks with Katie the Artist and Tina the Athlete. We stopped at the sight of their first non-date to have a drink and wait.

Tina said she hated her name. “'Christina' sounds like a middle-aged secretary, and 'Tina' sounds like a Latin whore.” Her last name displeased her, too. When they married, they’d change their names to something completely new, like “Kannopolis” (the first that Katie had heard of this).

At 32nd, with still six blocks more, Derek roared up like deus ex machina. We piled into the back of the truck. We lay down and looked up. We could see the Big Dipper right above.

We danced for a time, drank strong drinks. Tom got to stay for two Gaga songs but soon had to catch his flight. We said good night, safe travels. Derek stayed to dance, of course; the rest of us took a cab.

“What was the best thing that happened to you all day?” Katie asked.

“Well, I took a two-and-a-half-hour nap,” said the driver. We were impressed.

“What was the best thing that happened in your life?”

“The birth of my two daughters.” (Twins, eight minutes apart.)

“When you’re not driving cabs, what do you like to do?”

“I like to see the neighbor gal across the hall.”

We were dropped off, we drove friends home. JP said they were the same kind of silly as me. He made me smile. We went to sleep.

4.25.2010

Movies and Magazines

Saw this while reading comments for this. And while you're at Gawker, this was the best thing I saw on the Internet last week.

4.24.2010

Inspiration

Tini recently posed the question, "What is your favorite painting?" Yvonne is doing the photo project. And I finally watched that Georgia O'Keefe Lifetime movie with Joan Allen, which has got me thinking about:

The first painting I was interested in is this one: the map of the world as viewed from New York. I saw it in a framing shop in the Morris County Mall near the Happy Booker when I was a kid. I asked for it for Christmas or my birthday. It hung in my bedroom. Maps and New York: what's not to like?

In middle school we learned about Georgia O'Keefe. I loved the colors and the magnitude of those flowers. In 8th grade, the French class took a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to look at the Impressionist collection. I came back with a poster of this cow's skull. I like the colors. (Looking at it, the colors match the blog!) I like the bigness and the simplicity. You look at this and can't forget it.

In the first year of high school, I wrote a History paper on Romanticism, and I never really let that go. (Hey, remember that time I fell in the driveway after I stayed up all night writing a History paper?) I was totally inspired by William Blake, that he was a poet who illustrated his own works. Then a line of his from Auguries of Innocence showed up in a Chemistry video, I guess because molecules were like holding infinity in the palm of your hand. I don't remember being struck by a particular work of his; I just liked the drama.

In a college French course, we all had to do a short oral presentation on a painting. I kept it Romantic with The Raft of the Medusa.

These days I have a Van Gogh on the wall next to my bed in the Whip. I love the blue. This one relaxes me. [Sidenote: while searching for an image I found the intriguingly titled www.hayinart.com.]

And in my bedroom in Denver, I have The Heart of New York. At least that's what my mom saw in it. I think she's right.

Relationship

"Does he psychoanalyze you?"

"Not to my face."

4.22.2010

10,000 Spoons

Miss Cristine H was afraid to fly
She packed her clarinet in a clear bag
And kissed her Barbies goodbye
She was forced by the damn band
To take that flight
And as the plane crashed down
She thought, "Fuck."

4.21.2010

Running Commentary #8

I finished the Platte River Half Marathon in 1:53:56. Happy Birthday to me; that's a new PR! In terms of number of runners, it was the smallest half marathon I've done (only about 2,000 people). I did not come across any dead bodies. (Someone told me that a few years ago, the race had to be stopped or re-routed because there was a cadaver alongside the route. The race is only 9 years old, so this couldn't have been too far in the past. Creepy!)

I did not get into the 2010 NYC Marathon. That means I'll probably do Denver: 10/17/2010.

4.19.2010

MoMA

I repeatedly saw this link over the past week and finally clicked on it: the paintings at the MoMA in two minutes.

Dear Bitchlog: Well Played

[Prologue: does this border on TMI? C'est ma b. Whatever.]

Dear Lady Who Scheduled My Colonoscopy,

At first I thought it was ridiculous, but the more I thought about it, the more I found it genuinely hilarious that you believe Comic Sans font, colored blue, is appropriate for e-mail use in your line of work. It was like a joke so laden with irony that it buckled and became true.

Thanks for that,

Brian

[Epilogue: everything's okay.]

4.18.2010

Samurai

Love, love, love this song.

4.17.2010

Sexy Beast

"Like in Beauty and the Beast, I wish he had stayed a beast, because that prince was not very good-looking."

"Yeah. Yeah!"

"The prince was sickly, anemic. And he had long hair."

"And he had light coming out of his toes. NOT okay."

4.14.2010

Animal Review

Patty Patrice sent me a link to this NPR story about Animal Review, a blog that grades animals. It makes me laugh that pandas got an F. I went to the source to check out the ostrich, who scored a B:
Another irony: though their big adaptation is speed, ostriches look really ridiculous when they run, like old women being chased from a Bridge game. Whatever speed they achieve is far outweighed by the fact that they look so stupid. Gym class is a hellish memory for many an adult ostrich.
The garden snail is pretty cool, too. I foresee hours of entertainment in my future.

4.13.2010

Showtune Tuesday: Barnum

Dear hearts, it's time for a Showtune Tuesday hiatus. Although I have a list of shows that haven't been featured, most of those are musicals I'm not very familiar with, and I don't feel as excited about sharing them with you. The nice thing about Showtune Tuesday, besides sticking a song in my head for a few days, is it has forced me to update le blog. I might try to think of an alternative regular entry to replace it.

I will leave you with a parting gift: I recommend checking out Project Rungay's Musical Mondays recaps (see the bottom left of their homepage.) Get their take on our recently featured Mary Poppins: "Our story starts here, over 1910 London, as Satan's Bride prepares herself for her next mission of fucking up some poor family." Or you may prefer West Side Story. (They give an amazingly accurate and concise description of "I Feel Pretty," and yes, life WOULD be fabulous if all our conflicts were settled with mambo dance-offs.)

Thank you for the music,

Brian


4.09.2010

Multi-Tasking

Steve Carell called Tina Fey a "national treasure" in an interview the other day. I concur.

4.07.2010

Big Gay Links

First off, Can Animals Be Gay?

Secondly, I left Ralph a voicemail about filming a remake with me, but I have not heard back yet.

The first article is more interesting, but the second one has a better HEADLINE!

Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux

I don’t like this guy. Misogynist. Racist. Adulterer. I was turned off by his defining statement in Rabbit, Run: “If you have the guts to be yourself, other people’ll pay your price.” He’s an asshole.

But so much about the story feels like a real life. Ten years pass between the first and second book, but you don’t feel like you’ve missed out on anything. Both stories are punctuated by major events, but otherwise you could easily summarize what happens. (My favorite thing about the movie Adaptation: “I don't want to cram in sex or guns or car chases or characters learning profound life lessons or growing or coming to like each other or overcome obstacles to succeed in the end. The book isn't like that, and life isn't like that, it just isn't.”) In Rabbit Redux, Harry meets Reverend Eccles by chance while riding the bus. Eccles is significantly involved in Harry’s life when he’s a young man, but now he’s just this guy! It happens. The universe in these stories is tightly focused around the people that are important to Rabbit. You get an impression of an entire town, but at the end of the day there are only a few characters that you have met.

It was interesting to think about the role of technology in everyday life. How many times is the television set mentioned? I can’t imagine how you’d write a “portrait of Middle America” novel today and have to work in the impact of the Interwebs.

The dialogue is perfect. (I’m currently reading another book where the dialogue sounds like everyone was born on a planet with manners; it’s distracting.) There was a line that I thought was hilarious:
He tells her, “I learned some things.”
“Anything worth knowing?”
“I’d rather fuck than be blown.”
I don’t always know what motivates Rabbit’s decisions: why does he let Skeeter stay with them? You get other people’s opinions, but there’s still some room for discussion. “Charlie’s theory is…you like any disaster that might spring you free.” Mim tells her brother, “Everybody else has a life they try to fence in with some rules. You just do what you feel like and then when it blows up or runs down you sit there and pout.” It reminds me of how you might speculate on a friend’s behavior without really knowing their reasons.

I think he’s an asshole, but I want to know what happens.

4.05.2010

Tell Me All Your Thoughts on God

Rabbit's mother asks him if he ever prays, and he says, "Mostly on buses." For me it's airplanes just before takeoff. I secretly fear the plane will explode, so I try to make peace with the possibility that I might be experiencing my last moments of life. When I'm on the plane, I don't make a sign of the cross. But I wonder about the sign. Lately I have begun imagining it as a holy Bat-Signal, something that gets God to tune in and listen, like if the world were viewed from Heaven you'd see a Morse code of flashing lights made up of all the people praying.

In high school, when we learned about the Enlightenment, Deism sounded cool: God created the universe but does not intervene in day-to-day human affairs. And yet I still pray. And ever since I learned that my aunt thanks God for small things like finding a good parking spot, I do the same.

I was seated at the right hand of my father watching the Yankees game. He was drunk. "I can't believe it's Opening Day on Easter. I think it's sacrilegious. I really do. It's un-American." It made me so angry! I wanted to ask him to weigh in on the sacrilege of the recent explosion of sexual abuse scandals or the subsequent defend-the-pope theatrics, but I didn't see the point.

I was looking at the water, an old friend or nemesis (ever since that time I got stuck as a kid, not to be underestimated). I thought, "You were here since the beginning." ("And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.") The day was hot, the water mostly nice, but there was a chill I hadn't felt before. My niece didn't notice it. I wondered if this is what it meant to be older, if this was the way the sea would call you back, if the day of reckoning was sooner than I expected.

The Best Thing My Mom Said on Vacation

"If you're ever in Las Vegas, Brian, go to Hooters."