Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Forever Janet

Call me shallow. Call me simple-minded. You can even call me shot with luck, and more-than-my-fair-share-of-blessed.

I could never seriously consider committing suicide because I'm too curious to see what my favorite artists are going to do next (and yes, bitches, that does include Madonna)

For almost twenty years, I have bought every one of Janet Jackson's new albums the very first day that they were available in stores. Today was no different. Janet, who is the same age as me (born in 1966) has put out her latest album, "Discipline." (doesn't the lighting of her new album cover make her look like the cover art of a V.C. Andrews novel?)

Of course, it's-Miss-Jackson-if-you're-nasty is deliberately implying the whole S&M/bondage/role playing/dominatrix scene, as she sings and moans about in the title track. It's a theme that she has been consistently building upon over the years, ever since her 1993 the-joy-of-sex album, "janet."

This new album does not disappoint, as her last two albums may have, commercially, for both older and newer fans. There are some strong dance tracks that do not all sound the same. Good first impressions come easily with the first single release, "Feedback," and also with "The 1," another collaboration featuring Missy Elliot.

A coworker has invited me to see Janet perform live this week, on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show. It would be exciting to be able to see her up close in such a small venue. I have idolized her for well over two decades, now.

I had to admit to my coworker, though, that if we ended up not being able to go, I would be able to live. The earth would continue to rotate. It is directly indicative of my age that I am no longer as hyper-excited and enthusiastic about the things I love most. Things that I used to scream myself hoarse about in excited anticipation and enjoyment, I can now take or leave.

I'm turning into my mother who, whenever a new movie was released, would announce that she would just wait until it came out on video.

My age is exactly why I continue to follow Miss Jackson's career, though. Her age. Our age. We're both turning 42 this spring. Janet's been looking a little cracked around the eyes in recent years, no matter how well they airbrush some of those photos (so has Cindy Crawford, who was also born the same year).
As long as she's still "kicking it" I don't have to worry too much about acting foolish for my age: I don't have to completely suppress my perpetual desire to dance, no matter how tired it may make me feel, nowadays.

Hey. Maybe I will go to those auditions for "Pippin" this week, after all, even if they are doing a hip-hop/anime adaptation of the show.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Bette Midler of Blogging

Hugs, cheers, and accolades to the goddess Golf Widow, for being the one to pop my Guest Post cherry!

Golf Widow quickly became one of my new writing idols, ever since 2007! Even though I am older than her, I look up to her as a sort of big sister/mentor figure. Her talented writing is consistently strong, entertaining, sarcastically humorous, and extremely intelligent.

Go to her Ministry of Silly Walks to see for yourself, and then order your very own copy of her book, Getting My Think On.

I am humbled and flattered to present my very first guest post:

by Golf Widow

Once upon a time, I kept an active Pretend Internet Boy Harem online.
It was kind of a separate blogroll for my gay readers, who flocked to
me assidiously and squeed (a combination of squealing and excited
peeing) over my every thought.

I was sort of like the Bette Midler of blogging.

By the time I started reading Peter Varvel's blog, the Pretend Internet
Boy Harem had faded. There were so many other, more interesting
beards out there, not to mention flaming gays who posted dirty pictures of
themselves online and rendered me obsolete.

I blame Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It made what I was doing
(being completely accepting of - to the point of being, more or less,
oblivious to - a person's sexual preferences) not only not unusual, but
downright common.

Curse you, Carson Kressley.

(The above sentence would be a great title for a novel.)

Kathy Griffin took over my title as Queen of the Queens and I had to
resort to being funny on my own terms in order to keep myself afloat.

I have succeeded on that scale, as best as I am able, but the Pretend
Internet Boy Harem lost its power over the Intolerant and Scandalized,
and crumbled into ashes.

I'm sorry to see it go. I'm still in love with all the boys (and
girls, and heterosexuals - it was a fairly equal-opportunity clique) who
were a part of the Harem, and those of them who haven't fallen off the
face of the blogosphere are still in love with me, to the best of my

But I wish it was still active, because I met Peter too late, and
wouldn't he have been a fabulous Harem Boy?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Aw, Crap!

Never mind.

False alarm. Our IT team at work, who seem to do nothing all day but surf as freely as they want to, to any site on the web, have discovered our little break through link and have blocked us from that, too.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Coworker Lori J. is my new Awesome Goddess to worship. After months of being blocked from "social networking sites" (we had been called into a special meeting to be slapped on the hand for spending so much time i-chatting at our desks), Lori found a link that hacks through the barriers.

And it works!

It takes some patience, though. Pages are slow to come up, much like in pre-DSL days.

It is worth the wait!

Paying it forward, sharing the wealth: http://www.freetoenter.info/

Pass it on! WOO HOO!

Within the first few minutes of accessing my blog via this web site, I realized that with each click, an extra web site chock full o' advertising pops up as well.

Kinda' annoying.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dipping My Toes

I participated in my first public reading last week, for the ongoing Promising Series at the Different Light book store.

I was extremely nervous while the artist before me was reading her material!
I had trouble relaxing into it, at first, but eventually I felt my groove. So much for years of performing, although this felt different enough. Not only was I participating with published writers, as a fledgling writer, there were also a few established writers in the small audience.

And yet, I relish the fact that I get to be a beginner again. I have very youthful, optimistic, and excited feelings about my writing goals. I feel very much like I did more than twenty years ago when I had first been an aspiring dancer.

I get a do-over!

Also in attendance were two classmates from the writing course I had taken last fall, Andrew B. and Glen H. Normally, having people that I know in a small audience is what makes me nervous, versus performing for a huge audience of anonymous people I'll never see again. But I was happy and relaxed about their presence, and I was grateful for their support.

As we were leaving, I told the reading's coordinator, Noël Alumit, that I felt good about the evening. The published writers had been friendly and approachable. And I left feeling eager to participate in future readings. Most importantly, being a part of the reading only reinforced my resolve to work on my writing goals for this year.

I have a lot of work ahead of me, and life is good!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Swervy Perv'

When driving on the freeway, are your nerves ever jangled by a motorcycle that appears seemingly out of nowhere as it cuts between lanes?

As one who frequently splits lanes with his scooter in Los Angeles traffic, I'd like to apologize on behalf of most motorcycle riders. Most of us also drive cars, so we do have empathy for the surprise element of our um, driving styles. I try to be a gentleman when riding on the freeway, most of the time, and I will flash my brights when riding in between lanes during heavy traffic.

When my scooter was new to me, four years ago, someone had asked me why motorcycle riders swerve back and forth when splitting lanes. I didn't have the best answers prepared for her then, and it's something that I have pondered over since.

We swerve because:

1. It is not good for our bike's tires to "drive by Braille," just as it isn't when driving a car. As much as possible we try not to drive right on top of the dashed, dotted lines that divide the freeway lanes.

2. When splitting lanes we try to drive through the most center space available between any given two cars, without clashing rearview mirrors on either side. Cars in motion on the freeway are not always perfectly and conveniently lined up right behind each other. Many drivers hug the dashed and dotted lines with their vehicles, right in the precise spot that we're trying to pass through.

3. Sometimes there is refuse on the road that we are trying to avoid. It can be anything, from something as harmless as a squashed paper bag, to a twisted, dented hubcap that may or may not puncture your tire if you drive over it. Usually, motorcycle riders can't tell what refuse is until they are two seconds from reaching it, so it's better not to risk running over anything in case it's sharp, jagged, and pointy.

4. Many vehicles today are just too damn big, and W I D E, like the Hummer. Sometimes we have to swerve in order to manuever through and adjust to the different widths of vehicles, including city buses, utility trucks, and delivery trucks for companies such as FedEx and UPS.

To any driver out there who has seen a motorcycle out on the road, I thank you for not hitting me, for not crashing into me, and for not opening up your door unexpectedly right before I try to squeeze through between your car and another's.

I thank you for inching over to one side when you do see a motorcycle approaching from behind.

I thank you for every time you use your turn signal, and especially for the times that you actually turn your head to look over your shoulder before switching lanes.

I thank you for not shooting me from your open car window, even when we piss you off.

I thank you for driving safely and sanely, even in the most frustrating traffic, so that I can once again, arrive at my destination in one piece.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008


How come I am not able to spell check, lately, on my recent posts for blogger dot com? Neither can I download images for my last two entries . . .

I guess I should check in with Google Blogger Group and see if others are running into the same problem, as recommended by Prince, AKA Dr. Blogger (to me).

On most days, my drag name is Endora Finn.

Today my drag name is Mayda Munniknot. The accent is on the third syllable.

What's your drag name?

Monday, February 4, 2008

When I Came Out to My Parents

I told my parents that I was gay when I was 22-years-old, almost two decades ago. There was no drama, really, so it was almost anti-climatic. They said that they were:

1.) surprised--(Really? I mean, really? For all of my purple-wearin', rainbow-lovin', zero-athletics, musical-theater, wannabe-dancin' ways and you were surprised?)

2.) sad--They said they didn't expect me to get married (to a woman), but that they were sad that I might have to be all alone. My sweet, little, innocent Japanese mom actually wondered aloud what I was going to do about my natural sexual urges. I don't recall responding with an answer, not outloud.

3.) okay with it--They said they were okay with it as long as I did what was right with God, mainly abstaining from any and all sex with men.

A few of my friends were mildly outraged. "How could they expect that of you?" they asked. "How could they possibly expect you to be celibate?"

I wasn't as upset as my friends were, with that specific reaction from my parents. "I already knew that that's how they would feel about it," I had said, trying to explain. "I wouldn't have told them if I didn't already agree with them, for the most part" (having been raised as a Christian).

And I wouldn't have told them if I hadn't been struggling with depression that summer. I had gotten my heart majorly broken for the first time, that year. I didn't eat much and I didn't go to dance class. I just went to work, ran around Disneyland as Pluto for Mickey's 60th Anniversary, that year, and then went home, straight to bed.

I wouldn't have told them if I hadn't needed help. I didn't know where else to look.

I also might not have told them if my mom hadn't gone into the hospital that year for "exhaustion." In her few weeks of hospitalization, and in the therapy workshops there, she and my father started to learn about family dysfunction. They had sent one of the family therapy books for me to read. I told my father, over the phone, that the book had come at a good time because I was "going through some things."

"I think you'd better come home and talk to us about this in person," he suggested. "I just hope it's not what I think it is."

I knew that he knew.

So, no fireworks, no screaming, no yelling, no storming out of the house in tears. No drama, really.

After telling them I was gay, my father also had said, "Well, I would have rather that you told us that you had gotten some girl pregnant."

My brother remembered that he'd said that when his girlfriend was pregnant, a few years later. He had wanted to say (but didn't), "Well, Mom and Dad, at least I'm not like Peter!"