Archive for May, 2006

Oh, right, I have a blog

30 May 2006

Boy, I keep falling off the wagon. This does not bode well for the day I hafta go to drug or alcohol rehab.

School’s out! School’s out! Teacher let the fools out!

Nevertheless, I still hafta go down there for work, which is spotty in this academic nether region known as summer. Today I went down and neither of the professors I work for were there. Since I’m not in the middle of any projects I can’t really busy myself except by surfing the web. So I did that for an hour and said screw it. From there I went to the gym, which was even more of a project than usual since the entrance is being remodeled. So I had to walk around three sides of the four-sided pyramid (don’t ask) to get in. The gym’s an utterly different place at 11.30. Usually I’m there somewhere in the 15.00-19.00 range, and it’s full of hot muscle boys and even hotter personal trainers, which make me feel entirely inadequate. At 11.30, though, it’s mostly older people doing PT or taking classes without worry of bumping into a muscle god twice their height and three times their width. So, I felt marginally better about my place on the gym spectrum. I still get slightly panicky when I do the ‘real’ weights, like the bench press, leg press, pull-ups, that sort of thing. I guess no matter how big a little gay boy gets, he still suffers from the ‘real boys will break me!’ phobia. Actually, for me, it’s more like ‘sweet purple Jesus, I’m going to swing the bench press bar badly to one side, the weights are going to fall off the down side, and then the bar will immediately torque to the other side and jettison those weights. Then everyone will point and laugh, their shapely deltoids and pecs rising and falling as they cackle and gesture rudely, while I ponder jumping through the sheet glass window into the basketball court two floors below.’

For another session, however, my luck seems to have held. I even added weight to my leg lifts, clasping a 7.5 pound dumbbell between my ankles as I swung them up. The flip side (oh, there’s always a flip side) is that my inguinal ligaments and lower abs feel like they’re going to snap like rubber bands and send my testes across the room like organic shotgun slugs. I’m fairly certain I don’t have a hernia, though, as Dad had one for years and I don’t see anything on my torso that resembles the odd protuberances he hid badly for so long.

In other domains, the slow-motion train wreck that is my glorious family continues on its inexorable path toward, well, something. Not exactly sure what. My great aunt B has weekly appointments to adjust the machine in her head that adjusts how much cerebrospinal fluid can move through her system. Her sister, great aunt P, is, as ever, a gin-soaked, meddlesome wench who calls us twice a day to demand that we do something for B. Exactly what we are expected to do is unclear, since she doesn’t call us until her third or fourth martini of the afternoon. How her liver hasn’t yet coughed up a quantum singularity is beyond me.

But I digress. She’s worried to death that B is going to die, which is amusing since when her twin sister, my “mom-mom”, died, she couldn’t be bothered to cut either her hair appointment or her subsequent Sweet Adeleine’s concert tour short. This is, it is worth nothing, the same great aunt that periodically calls someone in the family a slut. The first time she did so was when my mom and dad drove to Indiana so that Ma could meet his parents before they got married. Since they were unmarried, P hushedly but excitedly rang the family to gush over what a slut she was.

Now, however, the tables are beginning to turn. Her granddaughter, my second cousin C, is getting married next month. She and her fiancé are currently on a trip in Slovakia as a pre-wedding vacation. When P rang my aunt M (she of the uncensored mouth) in order to brag about her worldly and cosmopolitan granddaughter, M says it took all of her self-control not to remark, “Oh, that slut!”

And, since B is worried that she may in fact be dying, she’s telling all the deep dark family secrets she holds as the matriarch of the clan. Soon I’ll have to write to tell the Internets of the illegitimate black child or the time my great-great-grandmother was left at the altar after the vows had been said.

At least we serve wine with our dysfunctional family theatre.


More Reasons to Love my Aunt M

12 May 2006

This evening, I picked up the phone to call my Aunt M to see if she wanted to go to dinner. Her phone rang and rang, and eventually her answering machine picked up. Halfway through the outgoing message, she picked up with the usual “Hello?”

“Hello.” I said back.

“George W. Bush is a moron,” she replied.

“Well, yes, I know that.”

“I just wanted it to be on the NSA computers since he’s recording all our phone calls.”

“So that’s gonna replace ‘hello’ for you from hereon out?”

“Pretty much.”


This aunt is known for her shoot-from-the-hip style. While in DC for my graduation, my mom and aunts and uncle and cousins were walking around the Mall/Smithsonian area talking politics. As is his wont, my uncle (not Aunt M’s husband) was talking about how wonderful Republicans are and how they never lie and never steal from the people. Aunt M turned around, scrunched up her face, put her arms out with the V salute on each hand, and exclaimed, “I am not a crook!”
That shut him up for a while.
This past Christmas, I was debating which set of china to use for the big dinner: Ma’s wedding china or the set she bought about ten years ago. Aunt M asked which had the bigger plates. I said the wedding china had bigger dinner plates. She looked me straight in the eye and said “We need the bigger plates.” Cause it just isn’t Christmas unless someone’s button pops off their clothing. Or my Great Aunt P calls someone a slut.

I love my family.

ETA: As I was finishing this post, Ma waltzed into my room and announced that she needed a drink. So we did a shot of tequila. Then a mai tai. And now I’m typing this rather drunk indeed. I love my family even more.


4 May 2006

I haven't posted in a while, mostly because I have too many things I want to write about. Ironic, isn't it? It's the same problem I have with my thesis search. I have too many subjects I'm interested in to settle down with just one.

First on the list, I really want a seersucker suit. I know. I'm neither southern nor an aristocrat (although I had a true southern gentleman tell me I am in fact an aristocrat). Part of the impetus is the fact that two of my cousins are getting married this summer, and nothing would horrify their "The Real OC" sensibilities than good old-fashioned seersucker. I doubt 99.5% of the people in California have ever even seen seersucker, so the impact would be all the greater.

While googling to feed my seersucker fetish, I came upon this site, which notes that wearing a red tie with seersucker marks one a something of a 'rakehell'. Since I don't often come upon words I've never before encountered, I then had to google 'rakehell'. According to, a rakehell is "sort of a cross between a playboy (in the classic 50s sense of the word) and a non-threatening pervert." I can honestly say I've never heard a more apt description of me. So, rakehell it is! I have the perfect red tie for it, too….

Next on my list is an open letter to the jackass who was on my flight from DCA to LAX last Sunday.

Dear Jackass,

Do you really think getting mad at the ticket agent that there's no place for people who have checked in online to just hand over their bag is going to effect any sort of change? Alaska Airlines makes maybe two flights out of DCA per day. They have like three ticketing personnel and three stations to work out of. It would be idiotic to take away one or more of those personnel just to indulge the maybe 10% of the fliers that checked in online. And bitching about it isn't going to make them say "you know what, why don't I serve this man's infantile needs?" It's going to get you reseated next to the lavatories.

In the same vein, how is haranguing a poor baggage office employee going to get our baggage there any sooner? Do you think he's sitting there with a magic button that will make our luggage appear? We arrived 45 minutes early. The baggage handling folk probably had other things to do and couldn't rush on over to accommodate us. It's not like they're playing a big practical joke and watching us squirm. "heh heh, look at the poor saps…wanting their bags like peasants. Oh, oh, he's complaining, better let it through." There are so many better ways to expend you energies than yelling and screaming about things you can't change. Asshat.



Moving on, I must be getting kinder-looking as I age. When I was flying back from DC, running on an hour and a half of sleep and looking like absolute hell, unshaven and everything, several elderly folk chatted me up and told me what a nice young man I am and how I was going to go far. I don't know how they came to that conclusion based on my telling them I was in DC to visit friends and am a graduate student, but hey, I'll take what I can get. Personally, if I saw myself with two days worth of beard, big bags under my eyes and hair you could lose a small child in, I'd make a conspicuous effort to avoid talking to me.

Lastly, I have the quote of the day. While watching What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), my movie-watching companion had this one-liner regarding Elvira, the quintessential person-of-color housekeeper:

"Before Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark, there was Elvira: the Mistress Who Was Dark."

I'll leave the question of whether that's racist or not to history. It was damn funny though.