Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A better version of me

For those who are keeping tabs, the new Fiona Apple album is due out next Tuesday. Rolling Stone already gave it four stars. Not bad - but they've been giving out five and four-and-a-half star reviews like candy recently (hello, The Rising, Get Behind Me Satan, To The Five Boroughs, Late Registration, Love And Theft - ok, that one deserved the classic status).

Two weeks until my trip to Tucson. Mission - to find a job that will afford me to relocate there. Only problem is that I'm having a severe attack of low self-esteem. I most likely need to drop 5 to ten pounds before I get there. I need to get my swagger back, but still be humble for interviews. I will take the interview in stride, but knowing that this interview will mean the difference between starting a new life in a very cool region of the U.S. or... spending another soul-sucking year in Omaha at a job I hate.

No pressure.

So, I fully realize that I've spent about $400 on this trip. No one is going to lift my spirits and get me back on track but me. If I fall on my ass without putting up a fight, it's a wasted $400 (most likely $550 when you consider spending money). So... here it comes in the next two weeks - my plan -

- Up the workouts to two a day - either before work or during lunch
- No granola (even though it's organic), no oatmeal cookies at Wild Oats or Whole Foods
- Get more sleep

No doubt there's another laundry list of stuff to do, but that's the stuff that needs tending to now.
So... here it comes - a better version of me -

Kickin' it - old school

Like many bisexuals, I would classify myself as obsessive compulsive. Not the "spend two hours cleaning your sink" obsessive compulsive, or the "get restless, run to the mall and run up $400 on your credit card for clothes in a two-hour consumer orgasm" sort of obsessive compulsive. More like the 'near constant self-analyzing' obsessive compulsive.

I watched House last night, and House did a great observation at his boss: (I'm paraphrasing) "Nothing is good enough for you, that is what makes you a good boss. And that is also why you will never be happy." I'm a writer and a journalist. One of my friends said my writing lacked passion and "sex" (however, in my defense, when you're writing a news story on housing, you really can't 'sex it up' for the masses if your sole purpose is to explain a trend in housing). He may have a point, but he's also a creative short story fiction writer.


Because of financial reasons and just general dissatisfaction, I cut Lexapro and therapy - cold turkey. I was fine for two weeks, now, I'm wading through this malaise (yes, it's physical, not mental) and self-loathing. I can barely wake up in the morning. Nothing is exciting me, writing wise. I'm in full retreat mode from my friends. I have a work vacation in two weeks and I know I have to be totally 'on.' That will mark about a month away from Lexapro. I'm hoping that after three weeks, this stuff is officially 'out' of my system (the psychological part still has to be worked on, I know).

But, living without the med (it was a small dose), has caused me to look closer at my behaviors. I so want to get out of Omaha and away from the baggage that is my family. I hate the sprawl of Omaha. I hate the boredom. I hate the conservatism. I also know that it's a neat city, but I believe you have to be away from it to truly 'miss' it. I look at my writing and I do see a lack of passion. I see writings in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and books by Anthony Bourdain that totally blow my shit out of the water. I know you're not supposed to think this way, but it's easier said than done. Confidence is a thing that you constantly try to wrestle with, especially if you're on the obsessive/compulsive side. When you need it, it's non-existent and when you are in a situation when you need to reel it in and keep yourself humble, it's usually in that situation where your stockpile of confidence is overflowing.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

On weight

I hate the gym.
Absolutely hate it.

I hate the muscle heads who are benching three times my weight. I hate the sculpted housewives who run on the treadmill while watching FOX News. I hate the over-energetic, but always positive music that's pumped overhead. I hate the banal conversation about what body parts they worked tonight that I overhear in the steamroom.

I hate the feeling that I get when I'm too exhausted to do another set of leg curls. I hate the feeling deep in my shoulder when I lift. And I hate squats. I would much rather be outside running or biking, but because it's either dark or allergy season, I'm here.

And I'll continue to work my abs, chest and legs. I'll continue to feel bad when I break down and munch on a bag of organic chips (sea salt and vinegar) while I'm playing on the X-Box. I'll continue to estimate the caloric intake every day, since I know I can easily regain the 60 pounds I lost. I will do this because it's healthy. But I will also do this because, gay, or straight, when you're in your early 30s, you start to pay particularly close attention at that spare tire that just does not whittle down to that sculpted abdominal package you so want. You start to strive to attain that skinny, geekly look because the alternative, the muscular bear is against everything you hold dear. You do it because regardless of your personality, you know that something has to attract you to someone first, and 99 percent of the time, it's physical. Yeah, physical looks are fleeting, but no doubt first impressions mean everything, especially in the youth-obsessed world of gay culture.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Elusive Middle Ground

I'm going to go easy on this one because I detest the 'why can't I find a boyfriend?' type of blog. I fully realize that a person's inability to find a mate is partially as a result of the person who is asking the question. It's not a bad thing - a relationship is something you should never 'settle' for. But still, here's the issue - at least in Omaha and Lincoln - guys are either the pierced, go to the Max five nights a week, get tweaked six nights a week and have unprotected sex as often as I shop for used CDs (about three times a week). These guys rarely see my face as I don't have time for that ilk.

Contrast that with guys I usually date. Warm, caring and ... nice. After a date or two of witty conversation, I go back to his place just to hang out and it hits me. There are only five CDs in his tower (and three of them are party dance mixes). DVD library consists of cheesy 'girl' movies (Never Been Kissed, Miss Congeniality) most ALL of the Disney movies and a big budget no-brainers like Armageddon and Independence Day - maybe, maybe one serious movie like the Shawshank Redemption or Amistad. Their refrigerator is packed with take out boxes from Olive Garden and Applebee's. No spices in the cupboard and no spice with the person.
I'm not saying that you are what you own, but a decent CD collection and a refrigerator filled with produce, herbs and a cupboard that has something other than salt at least shows that a person is somewhat passionate food and/or music.

The last guy I dated didn't drink. That's not a biggie (would love to use that as an excuse to dump someone "he didn't drink"). But at his graduation party from college, he and his friends did nothing but play charades and drink soda. Some people can't drink because they are recovering alcoholics, some because of medical reasons, some because of some traumatic event. I fully empathize with these people. I myself bought a keg of Fat Tire for my college graduation and ensured that at least one bottle of quality gin, vodka and rum was circulating. Still, this just brings to front the gap between the dating selection. Most of the "nice" people have a general "whatever" or "that's good" attitude toward everything. I ask where they would like to go for dinner "oh, whatever, I like everything." I ask what they thought of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - if they watched it, it was "good." The same "good" review these folks applied to The Fantastic Four, Sweet Home Alabama and Monster In Law.

Most of the women I've dated have been a lot more successful balancing between the occasional self-destructive night of debauchery and still are able to hold down a day job and be selective with who they go out with. Most of the women I've gone out with I've talked with them for hours on music, movies, the political climate. And for some reason, it's usually the women that share the same type of passion I have toward these things. I don't know if it is because most women have to be more defensive than guys in the dating world so they are inevitably more responsible, despite their own needs to cut loose every once in awhile or most women have a broader range of emotions than guys (gay AND straight).

I won't give up hope though. There's a moody, geeky, introverted, video-game loving gay guy out there for me somewhere that has three towers of CDs and who has the following items in his kitchen at ALL times: garlic cloves, ginger root, soy sauce (not the salt water soy sauce from stores) and a decent set of knives.

Preemptive strike
Easy there sport. Usually the person receiving your wit is the ultimate judge whether your comment is 'LOL' - able. Some of these folks in the chat rooms or via IM have a nasty habit of attaching 'LOL' to everything. Example: "Oh, I'll probably do nothing tonight but laundry and pay bills - LOL"
NO! That's a perfectly reasonable way to spend a Tuesday or hell, even a Friday night. It's not even remotely funny. These are the same types of people who laughed hysterically at their own jokes BEFORE the Internet age. Just goes to show you how far we have to go as a human race...

Friday, September 16, 2005

It only takes one...

I do claim that I'm bisexual. But I do have to admit, that first crush - no matter the age - no matter how innocent that crush is - will inevitably put you on a path to discovery. For me, that came with Star Wars. The kids in my block wanted to be Han Solo but had a secret thing for Princess Leia (even though girls were still waaaaaaay gross).

I tried. But there was something about that lost lonely boy Luke Skywalker. His outfit. His refusal to be stuck in a dead-end farm job. That hair. There he was - a better version of me (sorry, had to put in a Fiona Apple lyric into this). I didn't know what I felt. Definitely not an attraction since I was still a kid, but a definite 'tug' - like how kids would feel about Lady Jaye of G.I. Joe or that first glimpse of Faye Valentine if they caught their bigger brother or sister watching Cowboy Bebop.

So, there you go, Pat Robertson. I don't blame family for my leanings. I don't blame the culture. I blame Star Wars. Add that to your hate list.

Preemptive strike for the weekend:
Predatory gay bikers at parks. Guys - seriously, I am actually there because I love biking on single-track. I'm not there to pick up anyone. These parks are filled with steep hills, curves and ruts (just like gay life). I'm doing good enough to keep on my bike not to be distracted by any creepy whistles or cheesy pickup lines. Shut up, bike and save that sh** for the bars or Pride Fests, where they belong.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

No wonder I'm bisexual...

Straights think that bisexuals are either exhibitionists. Gays and lesbians think that bisexuals are fooling themselves. Bisexuals know better -

For those who wonder why I'm bisexual - I only offer you this makeshift scorechart. If you're gay, then most of the 'x's or checkmarks will be placed within your sex. If you're straight, it will most likely be in the opposite sex column. And of course, if you're bi, a little from column 'A' and a little from column 'B.' So... with that, here's the score chart to determine your sexuality (for geeks).

Category Guys vs. Gals Importance (1 - 10) scale
General physical attraction x 10
Intellectual compatibility x 10
Music taste x 9
Cuddling skills x 9
Would most like to take to dinner x 8
Ability to disarm you with a smile x 7
Can keep up with your political rants x 6
Taste in movies x 4
Shares your passion with sports x 2

Total score : 34 (guy) 32 (gals)

Feel free to add on to this list! Send me your scores!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Activism and Self-Loathing

Mar . riage - 1 - The state of being married. 2. A close union

That is the 'big' issue of gay rights for the past few years. The Terminator of California is going to veto a bill legalizing gay marriage in California. I see the horrors of poverty, New Orleans and growing complacency toward AIDS. Is this really worth all of our efforts when we have so many other issues to tackle in addition to gay marriage? After all, a lot of our issues (e.g. power of attorney, estates, property etc.) can be resolved with your average lawyer. It angers me sometimes that the gay community is so good at rallying support for something such as keeping Will and Grace on for another year, but when it comes to caring for our own community, we succumb to petty bickering. It pisses me off because unlike the civil rights movement of the '50s and '60s - the gay community of today, unlike the civil rights community of those decades, has no sense of history and is so youth-centered that people in their mid-20s are considered to be entering the 'twilight' years of gay life.

I see all of the strides the gay community has made. I see how much more accepting society in the U.S. has become and I want to scream at some of these people who are screaming 'oppression' for this marriage thing - look at Saudi Arabia, look at Iran. Places where people are executed for the very crime of being gay. THIS is oppression, folks.

But then, I see how this anger I have is a manifestation of the self-hatred I've had to deal with growing up. I'm mad at how petty this gay marriage debate seems, but I know it's partially because I was taught to view being gay as being something abnormal. I grew up in the '80s and came of age in the early '90s. The big issue then was inter-racial dating and marriage - whereas the same BS arguments bestowed upon those couples "they can do whatever they want, but think of what the children will have to go through in school" are the same arguments I'm hearing now.

So, yeah, I guess I would rather have the gay and lesbian activists be rallying to get more people involved in fighting poverty, AIDS and being more inclusive to older members of the community. But then, I do realize we need these agitators to keep hammering away at this unjust exclusion of rights. You can spin this marriage thing anyway you want - a church issue, a state issue - but in its essence is the fact that currently, gays and lesbians are second-class citizens with this law.

Pre-emptive strikes for today...
I've dated younger guys. So... yeah, I may be a bit hypocritical on this - but dudes who have the following in their profile... 35, bear - PVT only if you're cute, below 23 and not fat - well, don't expect to get much in terms of private messages. Those who are 23 are doing what 23-year-olds should be doing ... preying on the 18-year-olds. It's all good to be attractive to the younger crowd, but try, just try - to hit in your age bracket. You may be surprised...