Ex, Why, Zzz

This weekend, I broke up with a long-time on-again off-again boyfriend. We go way back, and it seems our relationship has always been this repeated cycle. Looking back on it, I think of how I knew it was coming each time, but when it finally ended, it was a shock. How could he be out of my life again? Did the last seven months mean nothing?

Some of you may not have known about this relationship, but you probably know him.
His name is Daylight Savings Time, or DST. I affectionately refer to him as Dale. And now he just seems a distant memory to me. It was as if one hour he was there, and the next he was gone. He was now an Ex. Again. What's also bizarre is as he left, I thought to myself, I wish I could get back that hour of my life. And miraculously, my prayers were answered. God works in mysterious ways. But alas, it was a consolation prize. A parting gift with an expiration date.

We promised to meet up again when things have settled. We promised each other we'd stay together longer next time... longer than we ever had before. I'm looking forward to that time we'll have together. Let's just hope the extra time doesn't turn into ex-tra strength pain if we separate again. It's bound to happen. Why do I put myself through this? Why do I let him back into my life? Is it because he brightened up my day or seemed to focus on the lighter side of life? He was a sunny fellow, and part of me will miss that quality of his. It's as if the days get darker earlier since he left.

I tried to sleep, but I'm haunted by his ghost, as if by fate, on All Hallows Eve. His ghost had changed some of my clocks but not all of them. A gesture, no doubt, to remind me that he has left and to give me a task that may bring some closure to it all. When I set back those clocks, I'm resetting myself. He may have thrown off my sleep cycle, but I have to move on. I can't live in the past.

I'm sure we'll see each other again, Dale. You are an intrical part of my life. I know there is one state you will not enter, and it's tempting to run there. But I can't. We were meant to be together. Come back to me when you're ready.

The Unexpected

Today some coworkers and I were walking back from a staff lunch in a misty rain. We approach the crosswalk, and as I turn to make sure traffic is clear, this Channel 15 News SUV barrels around the corner at 200 mph. I see the white blur whiz past and practically jump back like a cartoon character who realizes he's walked off the cliff's edge. I'm all "Good lord! Must be a slow news day so they are running down pedestrians! I can hear the anchor now... We were the only camera crew on the scene for this live, local, late-breaking report..." Joiks!

I'm listening to the new Beck CD (which I had no clue was released) and so far I love it! It has 15 songs, which is rare in this age of a shatty music industry with their typical 11-12 songs per CD because that's what appeases the short attention spanned masses formula. I hate it when artistic integrity and creativity are undercut for homogenized bullshat. Anyone can release a set of 11 songs that predictably start and stop with 2 seconds in between. But what about amazing albums with songs that segue in and out of each other, include little song vignettes, or have a cohesive, epic flow to them? I offer Exhibit A, Exhibit B, and Exhibit C as my prime examples.

Anyway, my favorite snippets from Beck's album so far:

- Very first lyrics on the album -- "1...2...you know what to do!"

- Lyrics that resonate with me very much -- "Think I'm in love but it makes me kinda nervous to say so." You'll understand if you read about my internet pursuer, Desperate Not to Be Single Guy.

He did call me because we're planning another scary movie night for tomorrow. He called to tell me he found a movie guaranteed to scare me or he'll buy me lunch. How sweet : ) Now I just need some therapy in order to not screw anything up and actually give this potential relationship a shot.

I told my friend about my dislike of the C-word... cuddle. And that I substituted it with huddle instead. She was like "Well you know, huddling implies more than two people involved." Hmm, good point. I'll have to re-tool that one.

Non-Men, Non-Boyfriend, Non-Date

Dear readers, I have returned! Did you even know I was gone? Come to think of it, I didn't get any frantic emails asking about my absence? No pleas for more stories, more updates, more thinks...

You bums!! Pay attention to me!!

Okay, I'm done with my histrionic episode -- I wouldn't be a blogger if I didn't hatch some ploy for attention once and a while...

I was away most of last week because of a conference in Indianapolis. I had a great time hanging out with coworkers, stepping out for the evening... oh yeah, I also learned a lot about my profession too ; )

One of the highlights was going out for dinner and drinks with JP the British Boss and one of the Biz-nass advisors. We started at this Irish pub, in which I consumed two Bailey's on ice and a Murphy's stout. Dinner for me was monte cristo. JP and Mr. Biz both got bangers and mash. The conversations were all over the place. I kept eyeing a hot waiter and the cute host boy. The girls next to us were singing "Living on a Prayer" waaaaaay out of tune. After dinner, we headed over to Ram for more drinks and a lively discussion about kids these days. Another Bailey's for me. I turned in at 2 a.m. Oh, did I mention I had to present at 8 a.m. LOL

After our presentation on Saturday, Feyonce and I decide to hit the downtown mall for some real shopping that the Paign just can't offer. I have a confession -- I really like H & M, even if it is mostly eurotrashwear. Some of it is a mess, but I bought a grey zip sweater with red trim -- it's swanky AND is extra long for my long spindly arms! Thank god for svelt Europeans!

Anyway, as we're going round the stores, I can't help but notice how un-men menswear has become. Capri pants, cutsy underwear, and carry-alls? I'm all for metro and getting in touch with the feminine, but we are still men, right? Guys, am I right? So what's with all the manpri pants, manties (men panties), and murses (man purses) out there? What happened to Bermuda shorts, boxers, and a wallet? There can't be that many gay people in this world! And by the way straight white men, quit trying to encroach on the minority fun! Trying to be blacker, latino-er, gayer, female-r... you get unparalleled access to power positions and wealth -- get your own identity!

And speaking of which, has anyone seen Carson Daly recently? Is he trying to get an ethni-change? He looked faux-tanned with relaxed hair when I saw him on his show? Was it just the lighting that episode? I don't normally catch TV, so it's been a while since I saw him in his Total Request Live days, but he looked supiciously like he wanted to look like someone who was ethni-cool.

I teased Feyonce about her Non-Boyfriend. She refuses to use the term, which I find humorous. She kept picking out these sheer outfits at all the stores, which I called fore-mal wear (i.e., foreplay pre-sex romp-wear). She was all "but it's 50% off!" To which I replied "and it will be 100% off once he sees you in it!" I'm so happy Feyonce has a Non-Boyfriend Man Lover.

And speaking of which, I had a hang-out with my internet pursuer. Note how I will not use any of those familiar terms either. He came over to hang out for a bit and watch a scary movie. He insisted on "Session 9" as he had never seen it before. We agreed the only way to view such a movie is with all lights off. He admitted to getting freaked out during creepy movies and said he may need to "cuddle." During the movie, he kept edging closer during the unsettling parts until we were touching under the blanket. And we did huddle for a while, which was nice. Afterward, we watched the special feature that's creepier than the movie. Allie can attest to that! Then we talked for a while about ourselves, photography, and listened to some music. Turns out he's been inside Ashmore Estates, too! Each of us tried to play a song on my piano that's the most out of tune piano ever -- we pulled the dischord on that pretty quickly. Then he left with our plans made to watch another movie again soon.

It felt natural for only having a few conversations beforehand. Even though he's more touchy-feely than I am (which doesn't take much), it didn't feel forced. And I like that. I will have to take back my earlier judgmental wise-ass comments... well, not all of them. That would require me to erase my entire blog!

Now comes the hard part. I have to come up with a name for him! Who knows... maybe he'll become my Non-Boyfriend?

Inflation, Currency, The Meet-Market

My Random Sunday got me thinking about a few things:

First off, winter has put its foot in the door a bit too soon. Nobody likes an early house guest who just lingers around and makes you all uncomfortable. Winter, like all good seasons, must wait its turn! In fact, show up fashionably late, like at a quarter-to-NEVER!

Ambiguously Straight Guy called me out of nowhere to have dinner at a delicious Mexican restaurant in town (no, NOT Taco Bell). He met this friend though a hobby/interest of his and wants to set us up. I'm like, is it because we're the only two gay guys you know (besides yourself)? I like trying to throw him off guard because it's my personality and it's my form of flirting with him. He tried to back pedal, which was humorous to watch.

He's telling me how he's getting a new bed (currently has a twin size!) and I congratulate him on graduating into adulthood. He wants 800 count sheets because the "ladies" know the difference. I was like, you need all the help you can get huh? Already need bells n' whistles at your age? Again, I'm being a punk. He says something about a professional paying attention to every detail. I'm all, so you are a professional? What service agency do you escort out of? Or are you an independent contractor? I kid him a bit more about being a sexpert, again, to be an ass. There was also some joke about him being an orgy guy... and I point out no one likes an anal-retentive orgy coordinator... but maybe an anal-attentive one. It was all gutter-bound from there, thanks to me. But he did go to a gay dance club and shake his groove in the cage with two girls (i.e., his future fag hags). I was impressed he went, and he blushed about a guy saying he was cute. Mmm-hmm.

Afterward, I went to my favorite coffee house to do some work and enjoy a chai tea. Like usual, I ran into the Two Dollar Lady on the street. She's famous downtown for always yelling, "Hey Mister! You got two dollars?" Since when do the homeless ask for TWO dollars? Has inflation made that much impact? What is the minimum wage for a beggar? I have to say, she does treat panhandling like a job, and Two Dollar Lady is truly a shrewd businesswoman. Personally, I think she's one of those eccentric misers who collects money and stuffs it in her pillow cases to appease some kind of hording compulsion. Next time I see her, I'll be like "Hey Miss? You got two million dollars?"

Then I got to thinking that if a panhandler can up the ante, maybe we need to update our traditional sayings. Is it enough to give our two cents worth anymore? Doesn't that just add up to a shitty opinion these days? Benjamin Franklin said a penny saved is a penny earned, but in his day, that penny went pretty far. Now it gets you a horsy ride at the grocery store for 30 seconds. Heck, we're giving away pennies at the gas station! If alive today, would he say a dollar saved is a dollar earned? Maybe a fiddy saved is a fiddy earned? Did the U.S. Mint anticipate all this inflation and for that reason, stick his likeness on a hundred dollar bill and not the penny?

After an onslaught of emails, I finally got to chat online with Desperate Not To Be Single Guy. He seems nice and is looking for similar things in a guy that I would want. But I'm just a take-it-slow person and not a fan of the contrived realm of "dating." I don't like that word. Too charged for me. Fraught with certain expectations. In fact, I tell people I've never been on a date. But I have hung out many times. Yeah, I'm weird. Send me recommendations for a good shrink!

The worst person to pair me with is someone who comes off as desperate or pushy or eager. I've already lamented about Ted in search of his manacea. I like casual, effortless, natural situations. Desperate...Single Guy was ready to move in and be my husband! Well, not that bad, but I was all -- deep breaths, I'm not going anywhere, let's not look for commitment rings just yet. I have to say, this guy is persistent! This Army was evading his advances with skilled aplomb and shooting down his requests with Patriot missiles of Maybe! What is it about me recently that screams "keep harping Army for his attention"? Or let's bury him in a ever-growing manslide?

Why am I complaining about this? I being the anal-retentive one whose checking for all the details I want to see and not just letting things unfold. Is it because I've been single for so long, I feel too safe in my Army of One? Maybe I have become afraid of a kind of relationship inflation - from my single status to that of a couple? If I have an interest, I should meet up with him. And think of it as a variable interest... I'm not locking into a fixed interest that will keep me stuck. Great, first I associate marriage with death and prison, and now I'm treating dating like a financial transaction. Maybe I should be in the escort service, as it turns out. God knows I have a growing clientele base!!

At any rate, I should sell while my stock is high, lest I hold out too long and am forced to sell out to the lowest bidder -- loneliness. I think I've stretched this metaphor too far.

Addendum: Raining Men

It's cold enough outside to be snowing men, but that just wouldn't make sense, now would it?

As a punctuation to A Night Like No Other Part 1 and Part 2, I am being pursued by this guy through a social networking website (NOT Myspace...I do have standards, after all). He's come out of no where and keeps sending me messages! He's already requested my IM screen name and asked me to text him (which my olden days phone can't do). He's all trying to hunt me down and forciably chat with me! He's gathering intelligence, scouting my defenses, and preparing to invade my borders.

What is it with men?! When it rains, it certainly does pour! The man drought is officially over! And I can't stop punctuating with exclamation points!

Like A Calliope, Army Let's Off Some Steam

Movement One - Rage Against the Machine

I may work in the asbestos infested Nexus to the Portal of Hell, and sure, at any moment the whole damned thing may cave in and kill me, but at least I don't work for the college on our campus that recently joined the Axis of Evil. I have decided to protect its anonymity, so I'll refer to it as the College of Biz-nass. They operate like a bunch of Imperialists in ivory palaces. And underneath their white gloves are gold-ringed greasy fingers eager to clutch wads of sweaty money. They probably have a money bin like Uncle Scrooge's somewhere on campus. And I bet they hate babies, too.

So what bothers me about Biz-nass? Is it that students need a 6.0 GPA to get in? Or their elitist velvet rope mentality of growing a small college...on a campus of 31,000? Or their lame inability to be honest so they can come off as good guys? Don't get me wrong, I think majoring in Biz-nass is ultra boring and oversubscribed. But the only thing worse than another Economics class, in my opinion, are snooty little trolls with bad attitudes towing the college line.

Biz-nass skirts the rules, throws their weight around, makes up their own policies, and they carry on unchecked. Worst off, they aren't student friendly. That's what mostly pisses me off. They are alumni friendly. And corporate sponsor friendly. They are running Biz-nass like it is a business. And the only thing worse than snooty little trolls are corporate fat cats smoking in the back room, sipping brandy and talking war strategy...while kicking puppies and using bullshit buzzwords.

Show some dignity. If you want to be all superior, do it with class. And remember, you are here to help the children. You know, those bodies in your classes paying ridiculous tuition for your snooze-a-thon classes in Finance blah blah blah?

Movement Two - Rage Against the Brattlings

Around 9:30 p.m. last night, I'm driving Schteener to her car, and we see all these students heading to the campus bars. These are probably the bums who don't come to our appointments because it's too cold, too wet, too warm, too early, too late, Friday, Monday, or any other lame-ass excuse. But don't they look lively in their matching shirts on the way to a bar crawl? Schteener asks what's bringing them out to drink on a Tuesday. I'm like, because it's a Tuesday. Or a Wednesday. Thursday. No excuses required when hoochies, dudes, and cheap brew are involved. Homework stands in the way of no undergrad!

Can you tell we've been overworked and need a break? We don't really despise the kids, but some of them make you wonder.

Then I start my tirade:

"Little brats can't be bothered to show up to class or even pass their exams! But they all want to go to Biz-nass and cash in their degree for a high paying lucrative management position! Not going to happen! They should all just drop out right now. Or better yet, they should attend the College of Booze-ness! Can I major in Alcoholism? I want to get a B.A. in Drunkeness. That's just B.S. !"

I think it was more eloquent as I said it, and I had Schteener hurting laughing. You should see me on a rampage. It's pretty funny when I let off steam. And maybe this is too situational, so you all aren't getting any of this. Inside humor!

Movement Three - Rage Against You

If you're still mulling over what a Calliope is, do I have to spell it out for you? Go look it up for crying out loud!!

A Night Like No Other - Part 2

Before you continue, make sure you’ve read Part 1 of this tale…lest you be confoosed.

So we left off with everyone deciding to hoof it to the Gay Dance Club that will somehow be more comforting to Conflicted Jock. Crazy J is leading the way with a hot-foot, which I’m all about because I’m a speed walker. Slow pokes drive me nuts. Conflicted Jock is grumbling about going to the gay bar and Definitely Single Guy is giving me the knowing eye. Sheesh. Conflicted Jock asks why we’re walking so fast. Then, as if imbued with an articulation unbecoming of him, he asks, “Can you set more of a glacial pace?” Glacial? How metaphorical for Jock. I was taken aback by his words. Crazy J gave him some sass and continued his river rapids rush.

First off, I love how this club stamps you for drinking age. If you are under 21, you are stamped as a “bottom.” If you are 21 or over, you are stamped as a “top.” Don’t you love it!? Cheeky!

Let me preface this entire thing with a historical fact – I NEVER see anyone I really know here. I’ll notice people from around, but never do I run into friends or acquaintances. Also, I NEVER get hit on here, except a few times by one random barney. I’m not trying to be all “I’m too cool” but it’s the truth. The one socially awkward guy seeks me out (or has his sassy roommate do his dirty work – but that’s another story) and it gets weird.

Within seconds, I see my friend B-Dub and his boy, El Nino. We’ve always talked about going to Gay Dance Club together but never have. And we randomly ever go there, so what are the odds. I temporarily abandon my other peeps for my two boys. Intermittently, Crazy J stops by to “check in” with me about his status of being bad and misbehaving. Then off he disappears into the crowd. B-Dub introduces me to his friends from out of town. One is Social Guy who’s already met EVERYONE at the club. The other is his friend, Louis Vuitton (named so because B-Dub noted his Louis jacket (and not a swap-meet Louis either), which was otherwise lost on me. Could have been from Old Navy for all I knew). Eventually, DSG pulls me aside by the poker machines (no innuendo) to debrief me on some hoo-hah about Conflicted Jock’s behavior. He’s all upset by his weirdness. And dude is weird. It’s just a vibe you get around him.

Then I get pulled on stage to dance with Crazy J. And we’re being all dirrtay but in good fun. B-Dub, El Nino, Louis Vuitton and Social Guy join us on stage, and I make my rounds to dance with each of them. It felt surprisingly fluid to intermix with everyone, and not like that scene in Mrs. Doubtfire where she’s running back and forth between the tables at the restaurant. Well, and shockingly, no one was dressed like a woman there, except the women. Including the Three Hot Lesbians. How could I forget about them?

At one point I find myself next to Conflicted Jock, who’s all “How do you know everyone here? You have guys all over you.” And he’s not being condescending, more like intrigued and a bit bummed he’s not getting hit on. I try to explain what’s going on. And he’s like, “I hate gay people.” Say huh?

Confusedcious says, “Speak in dissonance and non sequitur.”

I try to spin it with “How can you hate gay people? You’re here with all these wonderful guys and your gay friends?” I can’t remember his response, but whatever. Dude’s chewed.

DSG pulls me aside again for another one-off debrief, this time about some guy he met online who was there, and was acting like he didn’t know him (or some blah blah), and something about his boyf being there and trying to assert his presence. Quite honestly, I blocked some of it out. And Conflicted Jock was lingering, probably thinking DSG was all talking about him. Just go find a dark corner and f**k each other already. You’re both driving me crazy.

Crazy J pulls me back on stage (this time on the elevated platform) for a more intense and suggestive bump-n-grind-fest. I play along because he’s beyond tipsy and I was having an already surreal night. As I’m coming off stage, I see someone I notice. She used to be a student worker in our college. I’m all, “hey!” She does a double-take and is like, “Oh my god! I can’t believe I’m seeing Army here!” She’s all stunned and says, “So you’re gay?” “Yep. You didn’t know?” She’s all, “I need a moment.” LOL We chat for a while and that eventually melds into some freaky-like dancing. Crazy J comes over to hang on me and says something to Stunned Student. I can tell SS is tipsy and her friend eventually pops up behind her to escort her home. Before leaving, SS hugs me and is like, “Wow, Army. You know I would have f**ked you.” SAY HUH!? LOL – This night is cracking me up!

I turn around and B-Dub is there smoking a cigarette and sipping booze. Smokes and drinks. I pause with shock. I’ve NEVER seen him smoke or talk about it or anything. I’m all “Who ARE you???” He tells me he only smokes randomly when he’s drunk. I’m like, “Your name is changing to Suddenly Smoking Guy!” El Nino had apparently given him a nicotine clearance before going across the club to talk with the only other guy in town named El Nino (obviously not his real name, but suffice it to say, his real name is so rare I never heard it before).

Social Guy chats me up for a while about all sorts of stuff, and he tells me how he knew Conflicted Jock from a few years back and he was conflicted back then. Social Guy's all "he gives me the creeps!" Yeah, I dig, man. And as it turns out, a bit later I have one more heartfelt convo with Conflicted Jock. He confides that he wants a nice guy to "make love" with. Um, you want a guy now? You mean one of those gays you hate? He comments again on how all these guys are chatting me up and he’s by himself. He tells me it's his last night of being gay. I'm all, "What, are you on gay death row?" He says something else, and I’m getting this vibe that he’s insinuating something to me, but I wasn’t going there with him. Clearly his brain fog has kept him stuck at that crossroads on that Bi-Way.

As the evening comes to a close, all my storylines comes to a crazy climax. Crazy J propositions me. Outright. That was very surprising because even though we were getting jiggy, I didn’t get a sense he was into me. And as Crazy J’s driving hard to get me into his bed, DSG tells me he needs to drive Conflicted Jock home so he can put this night to bed. And Crazy J is making a strong case with the ultimatum “now or never.” Seriously. And B-Dub is there to back him up, saying if he wasn’t with El Nino, he’d take up his offer. Some friend! And it’s nothing to do with Crazy J because he is cute. But I just don’t roll that way, especially with someone who’s drunk. I know I’ve disappointed some of my friends with that statement (you know who you are!), but my Mom would be proud!! LOL

So I explain it to Crazy J, DSG is practically tapping his foot and his watch, Conflicted Jock is looming, and Social Guy swoops in to ask me not to leave. What’s going on? Louis Vuitton suddenly siddles up to me (with whom I’ve said basically nothing that night) and asks, “Are you leaving?” As I’m being pulled out the door, Louis adds, “Do you need a ride home?” LOL - What kind of Twilight Zone have I fell into?? All these men driving hard to jump on me… it was like running the gay gauntlet. Was it a full moon on Saturday? It was flattering, but also quite disorienting. What was going on? Was it all that brain-rattling music and dim lighting?

Whatever it was, the man drought turned into a Noah-style man flood! And despite the man-handling, I left man-less. By choice. It was truly a surreal time. And I have to admit, the attention was kinda nice. I’m still perplexed by it all, as I do not see myself as someone that guys openly hit on. Especially from my past experiences.

Conflicted Jock, DSG, and I all chat on the way back and a bit more tension ensures between those two. DSG is bad with directions, so I play navigator. Along the way, we find Bliss Street, and I have a thought. This night was blissful. It felt fun and good, and I was very pleased I didn’t decide to be a homebody again. Once Conflicted Jock was returned to his Mom’s (hee hee), DSG confides his attraction for Jock is gone, replaced by frustration. We debrief a bit more and part ways. Yeah, he's clearly ONLY a friend to me. He's still too much into himself and too much of a control freak. And to come from me, THAT'S saying something. I wish I could share DSG’s better nickname with you all, but I want to keep his real name anonymous.

I call B-Dub (Suddenly Smoking Guy) when I get home to debrief about the evening. He tells me that Social Guy really likes me, and I can’t help but laugh. Join the club! I thought more about the night as I washed the ink off my hand and the smoke from my body. Confidence and extroversion are powerful. They can tip the scales in social settings, making you seem more attractive and approachable. Because I met so many new people and familiar faces, it was a combination that drew me out of my otherwise isolated social self. As a psychology major, I already knew of these concepts, but it feels different when it happens to you. I didn’t realize how powerful it could be. I should have remembered my hero, Albert Bandura!

After all is done, I have no regrets. Well, maybe I should have went with Crazy J. Then I would have had a Part 3 to report... That'll have to be for another night, another post.

A Night Like No Other - Part 1

The night started with a call from Definitely Single Guy (formerly known as Maybe Single Guy). After a few previous hang-outs, I decided he was just a friend, even though he is attractive and has brilliant brown eyes. Too many weird hang-ups, and I don’t just mean how our telephone conversations ended.

He invited me out for a night with his friends, and I decided I needed new material and a reason to reassess my homebody status. Little did I know exactly how the evening would fail to disappoint me! I arrive at DSG’s apartment, which is obsessively spotless. I’m ordered to remove my shoes in the entrance way. He’s blasting Tina Turner on his laptop while bustling around the apartment like a gal before the prom. Come to find out this ex-fling of his was joining us, and DSG still has the hots for him. Apparently, just like in our school days, this guy likes to play Hot and Cold with DSG. He likes me, he likes me not. I knew right then I was going to bear witness to an adult version of recess rife with innuendo, double meanings, and playful banter.

It's prefaced that this guy is big, muscular, and has a dumb jock thing going on. When he gets in DSG’s car, he immediately lives up to his preview. I didn’t find him that attractive, but I have niche appeal it seems, so he could have been attractive. He certainly had the beef cake thing going on. But a dead fish handshake… yikes! Interestingly, that was the least of his conflicted nature.

He’s also a sexual pile of rubble. If Jock had a guru to whom he would devote his life and mindfulness, it would be the sage Confusedcious. See, Jock is lost somewhere on the Bi-way from Straightstown to Gaysville. And he don’t got a map. Or a clue where he’s going. But despite all his lane changing, Jock is trying really hard to get to Gaysville – he just doesn’t fully know it.

We arrive at a local trendy bar for drinks and a meet-up with DSG’s friend Crazy J and his complement of Three Lesbians. When they arrive, I find to my surprise the Lesibans are all really hot! They were every straight man’s fantasy come true. Too bad we didn't have one in our Gaggle of Gays. Crazy J is quite funny, talking about how he’s going to get into trouble tonight. It’s clear he’s a regular in the bar scene, and I was just taking in his antics.

After a round, it's decided we will leave and go to the Gayest Non-Gay bar in town, which I like to call the Haven of Beautiful Men. This was where I would once again run into Thinny Kravitz. Though we made eyes a few times, nothing else came of it. I was too busy listening to Jock and DSG go back and forth, DSG touch him in all these playful and familiar ways, insinuate, and generally make me want to scream, “Just get it over with already!” But Jock was uncomfortable here because he works at the Haven of Beautiful Men and isn’t out at work. So he’s roaming around with killer ants in his pants… instead of DSG.

Before me is a sea of gorgeous men, far more than I thought could ever wash up on the shores of this land-locked town. For a minute I believe they are all plants shipped from exotic locales that could never grow locally. It was an o-gay-sis in a man drought. *pinch* Nope, not dreaming.

And in walks two Chris’s from the Chris Continuum. My friend Foster knows three grad students in his department named Chris, all of which I’ve met at their happy hours. He refers to them as Metrosexual Chris, Eurotrash Chris, and New Chris (whom I call F**king HOT Chris). They are all “straight” but Foster and I have very strong suspicions that Eurotrash Chris also follows the Book of Confusedcious. He makes more conflicted comments and passes at Foster than Ambiguously Straight Guy does at me. What is it with straight men these days? Pull yourselves together!

Anyway, Eurotrash Chris and F**king HOT Chris come in with other people I recognize from their department. I make eye contact with Eurotrash and purposefully look away. He’s going to get an earful from me soon because he keeps toying with Foster, and I don’t like him jerking my friend around like that, even if he's clueless about it. Tonight wasn’t the time.

But it all got better when I met my Evil Twin Susan! As soon as we were introduced, we hit it off, riffing back and forth like we were old friends. We decided that we would be each other’s evil twins because that’s what people drinking at bars come up with. Our repartee is interrupted by DSG who wants to leave because Antsy Conflicted Jock is driving him crazy. I scan the crowds once more for a chance encounter with Thinny Kravitz, but he's disappeared or turned sideways. With the Hot Lesbians and Crazy J leading the way, I ask about our next location.

I should have know... where else to take a sexually flustered boy than the Gay Dance Club! And that’s when my night truly began…

To be continued… Read Part 2 here.


I'm Running B-arely-eta!

By now, I should know to avoid the term "Beta." It's just a decoy. Sure, it has the promise of a fresh package, a rare and exotic novelty, and the exploration of a new toy. With all the successful conversions out there, surely Blogger Beta would jazz up my blog, too! Those stars in my eyes were caused by the light at the end of the tunnel, sure... little did I know it was an on-coming train.

See, Beta really means "unfinished." It's a testing stage. To work out the bugs, glitches, kinks, snags, errors, problems, headaches, frustrations, and moments where you give up and bellow, "What the fook!?" to yourself. I should know this by now. I've tried to be a beta TESTER for video games before. Apparently the true test is how quickly I can catch on to reality. The results are in, but I can't look at my score just yet.

I remember when Beta was a videocassette format -- smaller in size and considered superior in quality to its more popular cousin, VHS. My family would travel to Video Towne, and I remember there was a single Beta rack with a pathetic, paltry selection of movies. Back then, people spent several hundred dollars for a lead-heavy brick cassette player that with a top loader and a remote on a wire. All that wonder, quality, and cash for what? To watch a vivid copy of "Real Genius" or "Soap Dish" because that's all that was in stock? Shortly after, Beta disappeared altogether, the eventual splat of the on-coming locomotive. Did I learn?

If we take a page from portfolio investments, we learn that beta is a measure of volatility and risk in investment. Clearly, in the realms of unfinished business, beta is too risky for me. And yet I already played the market. My blog is now partially Beta-ed, but I can't upgrade the template. And I've searched high and low for a fix -- nothing yet, official or otherwise. Why did I not associate all these bad betas with one another? Was it guilt by lack of association?

So now I wait with beta'd breath for a solution. And in that breath, I say, "You won't beat me, Beta. Not this Army.

A Pile of Evidence

So Feyonce and I were in her office working hard long hours, deep into the afternoon. We had the office suite all to ourselves for our session. I had been sweating, it was so hot... outside! WHAT? You dirty-minded scoundrel, this is a PG blog. I know what you were thinking! Gosh dang.

We met up to put together this presentation, blah blah, and all the while snacking on these Halloween candies. Did you know the little Reese's Peanut Butter mummies (or whatever they were) have no hydrogenated oils!? I was all, "These are healthy!" And with that twisted logic, soon we had accumulated a pile of wrappers we referred to as the nest. Feyonce broke out her cell phone camera to capture the comical image. Meet our shrapnel, the remains of a sugar-coated thought-fest and chocolate covered plan-ology.

Then Feyonce's friend and co-worker, Janky, drops by. They talk shop about some kids in their major, blah bloo bleh. Janky points to our nest and says, "had enough candy?" I'm all, "WHAT?" in an innocent and clueless tone. "You have no proof." "There's your evidence" she pokes like a robin feathering our nest. "Circumstantial evidence at best" I retort with mock certainty. Yeah, we're dumb enough to find this exchange funny.

Then Janky tells us about this guy who sits in the front of her class and never takes notes. She's trying to figure him out. I say, "he's hot for teacher" as I give her the elevator look. "Oh yeah?" "Sure, he wants to see your legs and curves, baby. He's taking the bends like he built the roads!" WTF does that mean? LOL -- I certainly don't know, but yet, we laughed. Was it an insult or flattery? I'm not quite sure either. I have no proof.

Nice Day For A Why Wedding

So marriage in this country isn't exactly the sacred institution it was once thought to be. What has changed? Is it our reasons for marrying? Is it the ease and expectation of it all? Isn't it harder to get onto an airplane now than it is to get married? Did Dennis Rodman, Brittany Spears, Married by America, and My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance do it for you?

I wondered if marriage is the doomsday device I've often thought it to be. Because I don't believe in the institution, I believe in the two people who form their union together. Like any merger, it's a good idea if initiated for the right reasons. That's usually the whole love thing. But that isn't enough, is it? What about shared values, communication, and similar attitudes? If you think about it, that's what makes a business merger successful. If you do it just for profit, you end up like AOL and Time Warner -- continued operation doesn't equal success. And what is the marriage equivalent, you ask? Getting married because of children.

Which brings me to the Why Wedding I attended this weekend. Without going into a storied past, let's just say I work with Bride and from all accounts I've heard from her, Groom is a bum. He's done things that are simply unacceptable. Allegedly he's changed but whatever. I think the marriage is because they had a child. There was NO talk of a marriage prior to said birth. So this all brings us to the big question, "Why, oh why?"

I felt bad about not wanting to go, so I guilted myself into it. And I was too lazy to fabricate a modest excuse. So two coworkers and I decide to attend the best part of the wedding -- the reception. Which sounds like an ass thing to do, but here are the reasons:

1) Everyone in our office was directed to an invitation on the bulletin board -- we didn't even get a personalized card. It was an unvitation. A snarky question by a friend, "Were there little pull tabs at the bottom you could rip off?" LOL

2) Bride is truly just a coworker - not a friend or acquaintance. She's nice, don't get me wrong. There's just nothing more to it.

3) There are no freebies at the wedding ceremony.

4) This was a Why Wedding in which we didn't exactly support the union.

So we arrive and see Smartens and Rasmatic pull up. I'm all "Did you guys ditch the wedding, too?" Smartens is like, "No we went. There were only 20 or so people there." Cue the needle-across-the-record sound effect. We'd been had! Our absence was conspicuously so. In fact, we saw Bride and got what was either a crook-eye or stink-eye. Either way, we were on her pooh list. Maybe she'd think we were just there for the food, which is mostly true. Hey, we showed up to support this fauxship when no one else would, isn't that enough?

Let me just run down a few observations from this reception:

1) Groom and Bride barely interacted. Mostly during the coreographed events (like making the entrance, cutting the cake, the toast). Elsewise, he was elsewhere.

2) I thought I was down-dressed in my button-down collared shirt (untucked) and herringbone khakis... until Dude showed up in jeans and a tanktop (of undershirt quality). Suddenly I was quite dapper.

3) One of the pregnant bridesmaids was smoking. I repeat, the pregnant bridesmaid was smoking.

4) We formulated our exit strategy since we arrived, and finally organized an escape through the closest means of egress without even getting cake. Had to cut our losses.

I could tell you more, but then I'd just sound like a catty shrew. Instead I come off as a pompous, judgemental ass -- and I'm more comfortable in that role.

This whole experience got me thinking. As for gay marriage bans across the nation, perhaps it is a blessing to be spared such a fate. Because if two people love each other, they can easily live happily ever after without a marriage. Symbols are not guarantees. And if you think about it, a marital union is a kind of financial merger involving two partners. And as commercialism goes, marriage and divorce are really for-profit businesses, just like death and prison. And isn't funny that my mind immediately made that connection? I've said enough...

Only Whom Can Prevent House Fires?

You may recall that I work in a beat-down old house from yesteryear. With recent emergency response protocols being discussed on campus, JP the British Boss decides he will conduct a random fire drill -- LOL. I'm all for safety first, but I think we know about our exit routes. And being that our house is held together with ancient timber left over from Noah's era, I have full mind to hot-foot (in a most orderly fashion) out of that place because it will be eaten alive in flames. Unless the lead paint and asbestos tiles provide barrier protection. So JP send out an email to stay frosty that a fire drill looms on the horizon.

The Man Who Cried Drill

So one afternoon, I'm in the lobby chatting with Dimitria, and JP steps out and announces to us in an unauthoritative and somewhat side-comment-like way there will be a drill. So he goes over to the security alarm and sets it off. D and I share a look of "what's he doing over there" on our faces. Then he gets all excited and starts coaxing "Let's go, let's go! It's a drill!" No one is coming from the upstairs. And it's because he was testing that security alarm earlier that week, so no one paid it any mind. And it only went off for about 5 seconds, LOL. So D has to send an email to everyone with a subject heading "there's a fire drill. please evacuate now" or something like that. JP bounds upstairs to hustle out the top floor.

We start gathering across the street, making jokes about how the house should really be on fire. Then we're chanting "Burn! Burn!" while Sylvia has her student advisee with her. She probably thought we were crazy. Then JP comes out and is like "good job team, but we met up in the wrong place." He wants up to go NEXT DOOR in case of a fire. I told him, "I'm putting a street between me and a fire, not a 12 foot stretch of grass." It was all quite comical.

And bless his heart, JP tries to be on top of things. He made these signs to put up that direct people on evacuation during an emergency. Two things, though. 1) He found an image online of a medical cross with an arrow... but it always points to the right, even if the nearest exit is to the left, LOL. 2) It says "Find nearest means of egress" on it. JP, we live in the US! Americans don't know what "egress" means! Sylvia said she'd die in the fire because she'd read the sign and have to look up "egress" on her computer to find out what it meant.

Sorry Smokey, I think we let you down.

Fight Fires with Literacy

Foster and I are on our way to dinner one night and there's a fire engine, lights a-twinkle, in front of the Post Office. We slow as we approach so we can go around it. And all I see is a firefighter in full gear, reading a newspaper while leaning against the wall. No other activity. I found the image quite funny.