Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Have an Irrational Fear

I can just about tolerate most of the people crawling all over this city; there are some who appall me (see L-train disaster below), and some who annoy the absolute fuck out of me (elitist assholes), but on the whole, I'm cool with people.

I am not now, nor will I ever be cool with a certain variety of non-people crawling all over this city: bugs. I'll take cracked out, wretchedly fat subway rats and filthy dirty pigeons any day of the week, but put a bug in front of me and I will throw up on you...and the bug.

I hate them.

They paralyze me.

..and I live in New York City...fucking Bug Capital USA.

The summer after I moved into my first apartment without roommates, I found a dead cockroach in a cabinet. I think the scream that escaped my mouth could have been heard in the Financial District. My body went into sheer panic mode where it couldn't settle on whether to faint or throw up. I pictured myself fainting, smacking my head on the corner of my kitchen table, being rendered unconscious on the floor while the cockroach's next of kin came to assault my nasal passages.

Nevermind all this news over the last couple years about bedbugs that has me absolutely petrified to sleep at night. My OCD issues with keeping my apartment clean were unquestionably multiplied ten fold when I found out that simply sitting on a bench in the subway station could lead to an infestation of bedbugs in my little cabinet-sized apartment. The thought of these minuscule demons from hell making a home out of the best mattress I've ever purchased kept me awake at night trapped in a psychosomatic real-life nightmare as I scratched various parts of my body convinced I felt little motherfuckers all over digging into my skin for a bloody snack.

I've even had real nightmares, when finally able to fall asleep, that bedbugs were burrowed in my skin, making little bedbug condos out of the layers of skin in my hands and under my nail beds. Horrifying. I woke up in a sweat.

I went to the movie theater two weeks ago with a friend...after nearly 2 years of avoiding them like they housed the Bubonic Plague itself. Why you ask? The fucking bedbugs. But after 2 years of being an absolute pansy, I finally let my guard down (after threatening to wrap myself in Saran wrap) and went to take in a movie. But I went prepared. It was probably 25 degrees out and I left my apartment in a simple t-shirt, jeans, the smallest pair of underwear I had, ankle socks, and a scarf. I nearly left the scarf at home, but thought theater might be cold so I'd want something to keep me warm. Ironic, no?

At the end of the movie, I turned down a request to go to a bar and raced back to my apartment (luckily only a block and a half away from the theater) and promptly put my clothes into a plastic bag. That's what they say to do. Either throw your clothes in the dryer or put them in a plastic bag and tie it in a knot to suffocate any potential demonic, blood hungry micro-monster. Not having washer/dryers in my apartment, I opted for the vengeful and sadistic torture of suffocating them to death in the plastic bag.

...and there they continue to lie. I took this picture this morning. I'm not yet convinced I can open the bag, though I'm sure if there were any alive, they're most certainly dead. I just hope that if there were any of those little fuckers, that they died a miserable death and descended back to the depths of hell where they belong. (Please note the little piece of paper under the wooden dresser...yeah. That would be a sticky pad bug catcher. Toldja. OCD.)

I know I'm bigger than them. I know I can squish them, and spray them with bleach or rubbing alcohol and watch them shrivel up and croak, but for whatever reason...when I see a bug I'm suddenly an 8 year old girl.

Whatever. I'm a fucking tiger in the sack, and that's all that really matters in the end, right?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine's Day

Let's just forget about the fact that it's been too, too long since I've posted.

We're such good friends that it really doesn't matter, right? Like high school girlfriends from years past, we can pick up right where we left off.

Valentine's Day is next week. I have a love/hate relationship with it. When in a relationship, I'm whimsical and romantic. When I'm single, I want to sit in a dark room, drink wine, and watch slasher movies. When I'm caught between being in a relationship and single, I find myself constantly questioning just how much Valentine's Day attention is appropriate.

This is exactly where I find myself as I've been lavishing in the quiet but exciting torture of "courting" a man I would most definitely like to call mine this year. Both of us are pretty intent on not making any drastic moves too quickly, however, so there is a very quiet, delicate dance that I think we're in the midst moving through. Broken hearts force us to tread carefully, don't they?

As mentioned, I have a history of being the whimsically romantic guy. Not to mention, of course, that my love life is dictated specifically by Murphy's Law, so I know not to hold on too tight as far as planning and preparation are concerned. So as the weekend draws near - when the Valentine's activities would likely materialize - I wonder what the hell I'll end up pulling out of my hat. Most often, I'll go simple. Understated. Like a cut out picture of a heart in my hands or a single rose atop a warm casserole dish with something mind-bogglingly delicious inside. Throughout time the adage remains true that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach...I ain't no fool.

So, here I remain, carrying on delicately with a guy to whom some of my friends have said I sent mixed messages. Other friends have said not much else in the way of anything helpful at all, and mostly roll their eyes as they listen to another story about yet another guy. On one hand, I'm not sure if any kind of attachment is what I should get myself into given that my career is now finally starting to take off while miraculously I'm still being grossly underpaid. But on the other hand, my heart is ablaze in a passionate fire that rages, truly wanting only to have that simple conversation about taking the next step. Not a plunge. A step. Fiery passion about a single step. May sound ridiculous, but it's true.

Like a zipper, I need to find the best way to close this gap of ambivalence, joining my conflicting sides in a harmonious line that moves forward slowly, tooth by tooth. I'm not going to disappoint Cupid this year. My pants are down, you little fatso. Fucking poke me!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Again, already? Damn it...

So, I'm another year older. Fucking hell, right? How did this happen already? And so quickly?

I blinked and we were already half way through 2009. I turned my head and it's the end of August, my birthday came and went, and summer is close to done. I half expected Christmas to be in my hallway when I opened up my apartment door this morning, and no doubt every friggin Target from Boston to San Francisco already has their fake trees lined up and ready to sell.

Time is a real tricksy motherfucker. It can be your best friend when you acknowledge and respect its power and influence, but it can also shove your face in the mud when suddenly you realize another year has passed and you struggle to think about where the hell it all went. Days can feel long, yet weeks whiz by. Seasons sometimes feel too long or too short, yet the months skip along merrily at their even pace, forcing me to flip my calendar to the next half-naked NYC Fireman of the Month. I want to really enjoy that calendar, but just when I feel like I've developed a good relationship with Mr. August, I have to prepare my goodbyes to him and start chatting up Mr. September. What a slut.

I've always said that I want to age gracefully, and I think I will for the most part. Our youth obsessed culture makes it difficult to really embrace getting older, however, I'm bound and determined to enjoy it. Naturally, I don't want any wrinkles, I want to superglue my hair to my scalp, I want a steady 5% bodyfat ratio until I'm 90, and if my penis shrinks, I'll just die.

In thinking of aging gracefully, I'm reminded of an experience where I did absolutely nothing of the sort and put "gracefully" on the shelf to replace it with "wrathfully".
I was on vacation in Florida for "Gay Days" in Orlando at Disney World. That's an entirely separate blog all together, but for the sake of setting the scene, look at the above pic and just imagine many hundreds, likely over a thousand, half-naked gay men sunning themselves by the hotel pools during the day, running amok at a different theme park each night, circuit party dance music piped in from everywhere, and mixed drink stations every 200 feet. Mind you, I don't typically find myself mixing in these crowds, but for the sake of experience I thought I might give it a go one year. It was an absolute blast.

So, it was a hot, sunny, Saturday early afternoon and I was in the pool wrapped around this blond guy who I met while down there. We floated in between all the other boys who were paired up with other boys in similar fashion and we sidled up next to this cute couple. One was very young and had himself wrapped around the other, probably in his early 30s, both floating along and giggling flirtatiously. They were lovey dovey and we thought they seemed fun so we struck up a conversation with them.

Right off the bat, the first (and only) icebreaker used was the "Guess How Old I Am" game. Blondie and I each took our guesses and were pretty spot on, the young one was just barely 21. They each looked at Blondie and guessed somewhere in the appropriate age range, maybe flattered him with a year or two off of what his actual age was.

Then, the twinky 21-year-old turned to me and began assessing my face, so I smiled and asked, "Okay, so how old do you think I am?" He kind of cocked his head to the side, squinted his eyes and pouted his lips, synapses trying so desperately to spark something inside his vacant brain. He shook himself out of his "thinking-mode" with a little jolt and a roll of his eyes and chirped, "Oh I don't know...thirrrtyyy...four?"

I was 26 years old.

In my head, I drowned him.

In actuality, I squawked something completely nonsensical, splashed him, threw out a profanity or two and then told him to get fucked, which, in retrospect, wasn't any kind of insult because that was the whole purpose of the trip for him.

Attempt at aging gracefully: Failed.

It will happen. I have my anti-aging night cream at my bedside, but I've also got a decent head on my shoulders which I hope will steer me into truly enjoying the coming years of adulthood. The decent head must, however, retain all hair for this mission to be successful.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The L Train Circus

So for anyone who is unfamiliar with New York City, the subway system here is vast. The MTA subway map is a web-like explosion of twisted and winding colored lines that someone, somewhere decided made sense a long, long time ago. If ever a group of people were to artfully portray the subway map somewhere, it would likely turn into a giant rainbow orgy.

You get all kinds on the subway and frankly, if I ever need a shot of writing inspiration, I know where to go. The train line where my judgy and voyeuristic eyes are most routinely spanked is the L train that runs east to west along 14th Street in Manhattan and also out to Brooklyn. It's like the circus. Except the circus cheats you out by only giving you three rings to watch stuff from your seat way back in the stands. On the L train, each train car is like its own ring where you see up close, and at times detrimentally, the most mind-boggling displays of some of New York's most interesting clowns.

Did I say clowns? I'm sorry, I meant weirdo hipsters.

What are some of these people thinking? I try not to let myself get annoyed and just enjoy the show, but there are times when the urge to ask someone, "What the fuck are you wearing?" just consumes you. There are times when it can be really fun and unapologetic gawking is completely acceptable. There are also times when, no matter how hard you may try to avert your eyes, like a bad car wreck you can't help but look...and then go into full-on judgypants mode. Plastic, colored glasses, skinny jeans, greasy hair, obnoxious jewelry, and way too much plaid are just the tip of the iceberg of the folks who corral themselves into the Brooklyn village of Williamsburg and the Lower East Side of Manhattan...both conveniently located right near that fabulous L Train.

I get it though. Like animals, we travel in packs, we play with our own kind, and we live in the same areas, and Williamsburg and the LES exemplify all of this quite nicely. Basically, you can't swing a dead cat in either of these places without hitting a least a dozen hipsters. Now, don't misunderstand, they're a perfectly nice cross-section of the New York City population, quiet, exclusive, and pretty passive. They have their coffee places and their dark, moody bars, and they laugh and have fun just like the rest of us. They just have an appalling sense of style that has infected their entire identity.

My love letters to each gender:

Dear hipster girl: Large, colored, plastic horn-rimmed glasses are not cute. They're particularly not cute with any "vintage" onesie/belt/legging combos, and little pink plastic barrettes. Please take care not to bludgeon the general population's eyesight anymore. P.S. Stop playing with black hair dye.

Dear hipster boy: Burn all of your skinny jeans. They're terrible. They look ridiculous and flatter no one. Ever. Eat a hamburger and wash your hair. Get your hair cut first, actually and have them shave off that fucking mustache while they're at it.

The picture at right is a great example of what one might encounter. What you regrettably can't see is the excessive gold jewelry and the plastic hair accessories. It gives credence to my judgments. It absolutely permits nearly every rational thinking individual to ponder, "But why?" Let's be real though, I think that while most of us can agree that her outfit is abysmally bad, who here can't possibly get a giggle at the guy's expression across from her who is no doubt receiving a nauseating, assaulting view of something much worse. Personally, I was caught in a fit of quiet laughter. I think I probably looked like I escaped from a mental institution...whatever, a few cocktails will do that to you.

In continuing with humility, I might add that today, I'm wearing a pair of jeans from 1994 because I have yet to do laundry and I look like Medusa given that I am attempting to grow out my hair. Why the attempt at long, you ask? Like any other yuppy male schmuck, I'm feebly trying to hold onto any remnants of hair and youth before it's all gone...which I'm sure someone on the subway must have been thinking when my mane temporarily blinded them as I passed by to take a seat.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A quick rant and a thought provoking question...

So recently I had the pleasure of working with a real manipulative bitch for 6 months and the project that we worked on finished this past Wednesday. Hallelujah. The project was a huge success and the outcome will last for many, many years. That's awesome.

Working side by side with this first class cunt was the most NOT-awesome thing that has happened to me of late. I know, the 'c' word trips some people up and they hate it, but I assure you, no one has worked quite so hard to earn the title more than this wretched woman has.

She's an early 30 something garbage pail with no sense of self-respect, humility, loyalty, or otherwise. She managed to completely alienate herself from the rest of the planning committee within days of kicking off our prep for the event. But what remains shocking to me is that, to this day, she has absolutely no idea just how unlikeable she is. There is a zero-level self-awareness factor that is just appalling to knocks discomfort levels off the chart for anyone within earshot of her, which typically means about 2 miles.

But what's the real kick in the ass is that she refuses to hear anything about how her behavior is perceived. One might think you could sit someone down and have a conversation and give some constructive feedback about what's working and what's not working. But this bitch just won't listen. I just don't get how people like her operate...and I guess I'm glad I don't.

So to hell with her.

On a separate topic - I love living in New York City if only because you absolutely cannot make some of the shit up that I see every day here. It's left me to wonder at certain points when some people learned that doing certain things was a good idea.

Let's first understand, before I delve into my daily observations of other people's questionable decisions, that it is a very tall order to be perfect. It is a cross that I carry with me everyday, and burden I would put on no ordinary man. I say this, of course, in jest while also knowing full well I have no room to really judge others given the woeful choices I've made in the past regarding my own appearance...blond streaks in dark brown hair...last summer. Need I say more? So let's resume - When did people learn that it was a good idea to...?

...grow a Mustache? Mustaches on the lips of otherwise very handsome 25 year old men - some of whom happened to be at a table in front of me when I was at lunch the other day with some friends. Why, boys? Mustaches are not okay. They were kind of hot in the 70s, but I think that's where they really just need to stay. More and more and more I see guys who I hope just lost a bet or are growing the 'stache out for a cause or something...but then after my excuses for them have run dry, I'm left fearfully wondering "what if?" What if they actually did it on purpose because somewhere along the line they learned that it was a good idea to grow a mustache at 25.

...paint terrifying eyebrows on their face? I saw this woman, probably in her very early 30s, on the subway a week ago who had no eyebrows. Now, normally when I see no eyebrows or any kind of absence of hair where it might normally be found, I wonder if it's either alopecia or heaven-forbid some kind of chemotherapy treatment that caused the hair loss to happen. However, this particular woman apparently, and very obviously, took care not to have normal eye brows and she decided it would be a better idea to paint on very thin black eyebrows that extended north nearly halfway up her forehead before swooping down around the outer rim of her eye sockets before coming to an abrupt end by the crest of her cheekbone. She was perpetually surprised. Even with a grumpy face, she was surprised. She looked like she just got into a fight with her boyfriend, and yet she was surprised. Shocked and surprised was she as she absentmindedly cleaned the dirt from underneath her fingernails. Where oh where, Eyebrow Lady, did you learn this was a good idea?

And finally for tonight a cell phone next to their boob? Curious about this one, for sure. Chick gets on the subway and is checking herself out in the reflection of the window. Hair, makeup, outfit, ass...checking to make sure all of it was still there. I'm not entirely sure where any of it would sneak off to given that she was probably pushing 275 lbs, but that's beside the point. Her boobs were about equal to nearly 4 of my ass cheeks melded together. As the train approached the next stop, she finished primping in the reflection and stored the phone she'd been holding in her hand directly into the side of her bra on the outside of her boob. The outline of the phone nestled next to her boob's exterior was jarring to my visual sense and left me wondering what her pocket doesn't afford her that her boob does. A gaze in the right direction from an onlooker? Easier access? It was unclear, but absolutely something only to be seen in a place like good ol' NYC.

As for me? When did I learn that putting blond highlights in my dark brown hair was a good idea? I think Ricky Martin told me I could get away with it when I was in college. Then I tried it again thinking it'd be sexier when I was older. It was just so terribly wrong both times.

You're a liar, Ricky Martin.

Monday, July 6, 2009

For all the Michael Jackson haters...

Drives me nuts that people will bash someone in death. Yes, he was screwed up. Yes, he did questionable things. No, it was never proven. Yes, it's shamefully unfair to take away from him the milestone legacy he imparted on the music industry.

His career successes and his personal downfalls are oceans apart. The man created the bar for generations of pop music icons to raise, refine, and further evolve. He defined a style and genre that after 3 decades, continues to impact and inspire music lovers and makers all over the world.

For people to simply toss him off as a freak of nature and be rid of him because they chose to believe the embellishments and sensationalized dramatics the mainstream media chose to employ to exploit his shortcomings and hence skew our perception of him (however true or untrue they may actually be), without at least acknowledging and celebrating his rightful place in music history, is disrespectful and unjust.

We all seem to forget that nothing was proven. He never was a convicted child molester. He was never a convicted sexual abuser. The evidence was never there. Yeah, he slept in the same bed with little kids in his big ol' happy land ranch and that's totally fucked up, but there was never a shred of evidence to prove that he inappropriately touched anyone. Money hungry parents who saw an easy way to siphon millions from Jackson took advantage of his odd behavior and went spewing venom at the very man they entrusted their children to for a night.

I'm not condoning the behavior, and again, I think it's totally fucked up. But let's not forget the one thing that Jackson never got to have: his own childhood. The one that his power hungry and abusive father stole away from him so he could make his millions on exploiting his entire family. So, in some kind of disgusting and maladjusted way, he sought to reclaim that childhood he never really had as an adult and made some pretty poor decisions in the process.

Sure he settled and paid out millions to the people who brought the suit up against him. But think about it. Wouldn't you if you could? Who wants to have that kind of awful spotlight on them for something that they claim they did not do? Innocent until proven guilty. What ever happened to that? I know if I could write a check and tell some scheming, greedy, and hateful people to fuck off and never ever utter my name or come near me again, I absolutely would.

Let's just please let the man rest in peace with our eternal thanks for his contribution to the art of music and forgive him his follies that sent the world into a spinning frenzy of crafty suppositions and hastily drawn conclusions.

I'm bad. You know it.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

An Introduction

Hello to all of you voyeuristic Internet schmucks.

Thanks for dropping by my blog to see what the hell kind of trouble someone else is up to in some random part of the world, and who gives enough of a shit to write about it. I'm a little raw when it comes to blogging, pretty seasoned at writing, and well overdone on dysfunction - so, I like to think of it as a developing triple threat.

A Most Handsome Disaster: My Life As a Total Mess. I figure it's ambiguous enough for me to retain some kind of anonymity (outside of telling only certain people I know about it and posting it everywhere) and alluring enough to peak people's curiosity. Plus, it allows me to divulge certain stories I might otherwise have no interest in sharing. I swear, though, if anyone tries to rob this title from my hands, I'll have an intellectual property suit up your ass so fast you won't remember how to shit. Vulgar, I know. But, a reasonable threat certainly worth remembering. :)

So, in beginning this venture on a real blog website, a handful of rather interesting thoughts have bubbled up to the surface about blogging and why I've, once again, revved up the engine to write.

First off, gone are the days of blogging on MySpace. I canceled my account last night. The end of an era. MySpace kind of sucks now, anyway. My blogging days there were a great start, but I'm much more interested in taking this seriously. Well, as seriously as anyone giving enough of a fuck about my life can be.

Like many people, I've always wanted to publish a book. I have a great idea for a few, with fodder overflowing for topics, I just don't have the platform yet to become the next David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs. My Life as a Total Mess is no false advertising...this is the good stuff, this is the stuff [good] movies are made from. I think this may be the way to get the ball rolling - need to start somewhere.

The blogging thing, when taken as seriously as it can be, will attempt to make better use of my time. I have failed at many things from relationships to friendships, thrown the towel in on classes and careers, and am left in need of something to take me away from the wasted hours spent drooling and entranced by the wide world of Internet fucking. To put it frankly, I need a little bit of direction and my dick needs a little rest and relaxation.

Writing has always been something I've been decent at doing so I figure, what the hell. Maybe someone will stumble upon my shoddy excuse of a life and average writing style with some worthwhile advice to pass along to me, or have taken a keen interest in helping to develop my writing further, or have completely ignored my reasonable threat above and attempt rip me off and steal all my his own risk.

I suppose it can go without say, though naturally I'll say it anyway, that all this wasted "free" time is also due in part to the fact that I'm pretty much broke. I do the paycheck to paycheck thing in one of the most expensive cities to live in. It's cool, it works for now, I'm saving for retirement, and I own up to the fact that I have an embarrassingly limited social calendar. This will give me a chance to do something besides that other wasting time thing I mentioned. (Find on this page: "Internet fucking" for reference.)

Plus, I figure it's way more fun to write about an expensive city that I can only look at through windows most of the time. True objectivity in writing. Sure, there's lots of free things going on out here, but being the silent observer, subtly taking notes, and shamelessly exploiting my overdeveloped sense of self-importance and obsessive compulsion can be so much more entertaining for everyone...and it won't cost me a penny!

So there you have it. I'm a broke and neurotic, twenty-something, New York disaster here to help you piss away your time in front of the computer by entertaining you at my own, personal, 'expense'.