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Life is only what you wonder.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Brrrr!

OK, this is my obligatory once-yearly "I hate Winter" post / rant. Please bear with me while I get this out of my system, and then you won't have to hear (read) it again.
(Until next year, that is.)

[RANT]
I hate Winter!

When Sping and Summer are in full bloom, I don't even think about Winter. It's like I forget that such a thing as Winter even exists, and then Fall comes, and then Halloween, and then I suddenly remember it's coming and I absolutely dread it. Like a root canal.

For one thing, it's cold. Butt-ugly cold.
I don't like being cold. I'd rather it be 110 degrees with no air conditioner, sweating my skin off.
I've heard that because of my Nordic ancestry I should be able to stand the cold better than other people, but I don't believe it. Maybe I have thin blood or something.

You have to wear too many clothes in the Winter. Sweatshirts, sweaters, Long Johns, gloves, scarves, hats. I don't think we were meant to be wearing that much fabric. If I was meant to be in cold weather, I should have been born with a fur coat.

And the snow is a pain in the ass. Shoveling sidewalks, sweeping snow off the porch, brushing snow off the car, de-icing the windshield, sprinkling salt on the pavement.
Oh, sure, the snow makes everything look pretty right after it lands, but two days later you have big piles of dirty snow all over the place from the plows and black slush on the side of the roads making the city streets look extra ugly.
Kids love to play in the snow, but that's just because they don't know any better. Kids will also eat detergent if you let them.

Just like skydivers hurtling to their possible destruction disquise their (natural) fear of death into a feeling of "exhileration" when they jump from a plane, people try to fool themselves that wintertime is "fun" when it really isn't.
A perfect example is these two ladies in the restaurant just yesterday.

Lady #1: "My, it's brisk out there today!"
Lady #2: "It sure is! The wind is bracing, isn't it?"
Lady #1: "Yes, it's crisp, but it's so invigorating!"
and I just wanted to say, "It's not 'brisk'. Lipton tea is 'brisk'. And the only 'bracing' thing about the wind is that you have to brace yourself to go into it. And what the hell is 'crisp', anyway? Potato chips are 'crisp'! The wind is not 'crisp' and the only way it's 'invigorating' is that you're using all your vigor to get the hell out of it. It's fuggin' cold! If we all had any sense we'd be in California or Florida or someplace else warm!"
I didn't say any of that, of course, but I was biting my tongue the entire time.

All I know is that I'm praying for Spring.
And if that fuggin' groundhog sees his shadow again this year, I'm taking a trip to Puxatawney and strangling him with my own two hands.
[/RANT]

There! I feel better now.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Something Queer Is Going On Here

Just a random observation, but do you realize that homosexuals (I hate using that word, but I need a synonym) have completely taken over the words "gay" and "queer"? They used to be happy, innocent words once upon a time.
"Gay" meant "joyful and carefree" and "queer" was used when something was odd or strange. You don't hear them used that way anymore.

Who of us doesn't smirk just a little (even if it's just on the inside) when we hear the theme song to The Flintstones when they get to the lyric "We'll have a gay old time!" or when Maria belts out "I feel pretty, and witty, and gay!" in West Side Story, or when Alice has downed the bottle that says "drink me" in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and is "feeling quite queer"?
We smirk because it's sounds strange to us.
Queer, even.

Just like we say Kleenex when we're talking about any kind of tissue, and Q-Tips when we mean any kind of cotton swab, "gay" and "queer" aren't really used in any other kind of way but to mean homosexual (there's that word again) nowadays.
No one (at least I've never heard it) goes around saying "I had a gay time last night!" or "I'm feeling rather queer today", unless they're trying to be funny.

It's ironic, though, because "happy", "carefree", "odd" and "strange" are words that describe me perfectly.

Friday, January 28, 2005

How Far The Gods Hath Fallen

Are you ever having what seems to be just another ordinary day, and something happens which totally throws you for a loop?
It seems to happen to me all the time. You'd think I'd eventually get used to life's little surprises -- but I don't.

Yesterday was just another ordinary day. It's a little slow in the restaurant, and I'm spending most of my time trying to keep myself occupied. This consists mainly of nibbling on food I'm not really hungry for, or exchanging "trivia factiods" with my co-workers. A song will be playing and one of us will say, "This song is on the soundtrack to what movie?" and everyone tries to guess.
Fun, right?
My favorite person to do this with was my gal-pal Mary, but she doesn't work there anymore. I miss her.

Anyway, I'm trying not to bug my guests too much, which isn't easy to do when we're slow, and I notice this guy and a woman who appears to be his mother sitting at a table a couple sections away.
The guy looks vaguely familiar, and I'm sure I know him from somewhere, but I just can't figure out where. And after awhile it starts to bug the Hell out of me. "You know that guy," I told myself, "But from where?" And it's just nagging at me, you know?
Then like a bolt of lightning, it hits me where I know him from.

Not that long ago, or a lifetime ago, depending on your point of view, when I was single and was at the club (usually the Hippo) almost every night partying with my friends, I used to see this guy almost every time I went out. I found out his name was Jonny. He was a "speaker boy", gyrating on top of the big speaker near the dance floor, maybe a few years older, but not by much, wearing tight jeans and usually shirtless. Handsome face, good hair, body by Soloflex -- perfectly proportioned in every way. He was the object of many fantasies of mine. I'd see him dancing there, looking all buff and beautiful, and I'd think, "God, if only I could have that just for one night, one hour, 15 minutes."
One night I'll never forget I actually met him. Sort of.
I was standing at a table near the dance floor and he jumped off the speaker and stood near me and starting wiping off his sweat with his shirt that had been tucked into his back pocket. He was less than a foot from me. Now was my chance to talk to him.
"Hey." I said, "You're a great dancer," and I smiled my winning smile at him.
(OK, not the best pickup line in the world, I'll admit. I was never good at that anyway. "Come here often?" and "Where have you been all my fife?" were never really my style.) He looks at me, kind of looks me up and down, and then looks through me as if I've suddenly turned invisible, and then he walks away toward another part of the club. No response at all to anything I said. It's as if I didn't even exist.
Instead of thinking, "What an asshole!" (which would be my response these days,) I internalized it. "What's wrong with me?" I thought. I wasn't devastated and totally crushed, but I will admit it hurt me somewhat.
Well, after that I couldn't even look in his direction anymore when I would see him out. Not long after that, I didn't see him around anymore. I don't know if he moved, or what, he just wasn't around. The speaker position was filled by another gorgeous body.
Not long after that I almost totally forgot he even existed.
Almost.

Until I saw him yesterday.

Time is not kind to any of us. No matter how much you try to keep it at bay, eventually it's going to catch up with you.
Jonny doesn't look anything like he used to. He's pudgy (almost but not quite fat) with a big inner tube around his midsection. He's lost alot of hair on the top of his head, he's graying slightly at the temples and he looks so old. What the hell happened?
I guess I should be glad or gleeful. "Look at you now, fat boy! You aren't so high and mighty now, are you?"
I'm not, though. I wish I could be like that sometimes. Petty and spiteful. As hard as I try, I just can't do it.
Instead, it just made me sad. Like the idea of Michelangelo's David crumbling to dust.
It's a shame.

Is there a point to my story? Not really.
This is not a fable by Aesop. It's just something that happened.
Come up with your own moral to this story, if you really need one.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Random Things I Was Thinking About Over My Coffee This Morning

I'm warning you now, I just woke up 15 minutes ago, so this might not be that coherent. I apologize in advance.

  • Men are just naturally better-looking than women. It's true! I'm not just saying that because I'm gay, either.
    Before you protest, hear me out.
    Go to your local drug emporium (Rite-Aid, Walgreen's, CVS, whatever) and stroll down the aisles and what do you see? Like 3 aisles devoted to nothing else but female grooming products and cosmetics. Hair color, permanants, makeup, powder, eyeshadow, mascara, nail polish, eyeliner, lipstick, hair-removal kits, etc. I'm not including products that both men and women both use (hairpray and gel, lotion, soap, deoderant, etc). 3 aisles devoted just to the ladies. That's alot of shelf space!
    Men don't even get one full aisle. We get one rinky-dink shelf near the motor oil and other automotive supplies, and our "male grooming" items consist mainly of razor blades, shaving cream, Vitalis, and shoe polish.
    It's almost like an afterthought. "Oh, I guess the menfolk do need to shave. Hey, Shirley! Clear a space next to the Power Steering fluid!"
    Men are just naturally beautiful. We don't need all that crap to look good.

  • Rico is staring to hump pillows (and occasionally he tries to hump my leg).
    My little boy is growing up so fast. *sniff*
    We're still discussing whether or not to neuter him. My opinion is if it ain't broke, don't fix it. They say it makes dogs happier and healthier, and the husband suggested having him snipped, but I wouldn't want anyone neutering me -- no matter how healthy I would be afterwards.

  • Some Irish Cream would sure taste good in this coffee right now. It's 9:30 AM in the morning as I write this, though. It's a little too early to be hitting the bottle.

  • Gee, my email is piling up! Guess I sould reply to some of those messages.
    Ah, screw it. I'll do it later.

  • The debate rages on whether or not Clay Aiken is gay (or not). I don't really have an opinion on the matter. I think I would care more if I thought he was sexy. It's not that he's ugly, he's just kind of gangly and dorky looking.
    The boy can sing, though.

  • My mouse pad is filthy! I wonder what would happen if I threw it in the washing machine?

    OK, my mind has been wandering enough. It's time to post this, change from my jammies and slippers into real clothes and figure out what I want to do today.
    What do I want to do today?

  • Monday, January 24, 2005

    I Just Can't Hang

    All this snow got dumped on us on Saturday, and amazingly enough, the restaurant shut down.
    I called Saturday afternoon and they said, "Don't bother coming in, we're closing in 15 minutes!"
    Yay! I LOVE snow days!

    Then when I went to work yesterday, business was so slow (what with a lot of churches being closed) that the restaurant closed at 6:30.
    Let me tell you, that never happens.

    But instead of relaxing there's so much I have to do. I'm almost out of socks and underwear, so washing clothes is at the top of my list.

    You know, I never could get the hang of walking around without underwear. Without underwear my penis just flops around all over the place. To the left, to the right, to the left again, to the right again. Down the leg of my pants. Down the other leg of my pants.
    Have you ever sat on your cock accidentally? That's a rude surprise.
    My cock constantly rubbing against the front of my trousers means I'm semi-hard all day from the friction.
    And God help me if I really get aroused. There's no mistaking that bulge in my pants.
    It's OK if I'm at a bar or club --as a matter of fact, when I was single and used to go out tricking, I would purposely not wear underwear-- but it's not so OK if I'm at the supermarket.
    No, underwear is essential. Nice tight briefs keep Mr. Happy right where he needs to be.

    So anyway, I have laundry, housecleaning, and some grocery shopping to do.
    I might even decide to cook something.
    Actually, probably not. Cooking might be a little too ambitious.
    Plus, there's still a case of Ramen noodles in the cupboard.

    Saturday, January 22, 2005

    All About My Husband

    Several people have written me wanting to know more about my husband.
    "I know alot about you," someone wrote, "But almost nothing about him!"
    This post should clear things up a bit.

    His story is a long and sad one.
    He was born in the wagon of a travelling show. His mama had to dance for the money they'd throw. His papa would do whatever he could: Preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of Dr. Good.
    Wait a minute, that's not his life story, that's a song by Cher.

    OK, let's start over.

    We'll begin with his description. He's very tall, and very handsome. People swoon and hold their breaths as he walks by because he's so totally and incredibly gorgeous. (Kind of like the Girl from Ipanema, except he's not a girl, and he's not from Ipanema.) He could very easily be a model for Abercrombie and Fitch.
    Wait, did I say he was tall? He's a short guy, barely comes up to my waist.
    And he's not what you'd call handsome, really. As a matter of fact, he looks like he fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. He looks like Billy Barty in Masters of the Universe.
    No wait, now that I think of it, he's pretty average. Not tall, not short, not handsome or ugly. He's kind of plain, really. Nondescript. He's not anyone you'd particularly notice in a crowd.

    He's old and wise looking. And wrinkled. You take one look at him and you just want to iron him.
    Wait, did I say he was old? Actually, he's younger than I am with the clear-skinned fresh-faced look of youth.
    He's young enough to be my son, really.
    Well, not really. More accurately, he's just old enough to be my father's son. (But he's not. That would make him my brother and that would be incestuous.)

    He's got very fair skin and straight spiky yellow-blond hair and eyes the crystal blue color of the morning sky.
    No, his eyes are the rich, bright grass-green color of emeralds.
    Wait a minute, his eyes are brown, actually. And so is his hair. And his skin is brown too, now that I think about it.
    As a matter of fact, he's as black as the ace of spades. In the dark, all you can see are his eyes and teeth.
    Actually, he's more of a tanned, sun-kissed light golden brown. Like a pancake, except without the butter or syrup. (Well, I did cover him in butter and syrup once, but that's not really relevant and I probably shouldn't even go there.)

    Is everything clear to you, yet?

    The husband asked me not to show his picture or reveal anything about him, because he doesn't want his business out there, and I have to respect that.
    In fact, his initial might not even be G. It could just as easily be F, X, or Z.
    I'm not swearing to anything, OK?

    He is male, though. I can tell you that much. Definitely and absoloutely male.
    And I love him with all my heart. That much is true, also.

    Tell you what, whenever I mention the husband just think of your favorite leading-man type movie star, or even your favorite action-adventure hero.
    Chances are he doesn't look anything like that, but it will at least give you something to visualize.

    Friday, January 21, 2005

    My Childhood In A Box

    I got a package in the mail yesterday. I always get excited when I get a package, even if it's something I've ordered myself.
    Unexpected packages are even better.

    I saw right away it was from my mom.
    What could it be? I was hoping it was homemade cookies. (My mother makes the bestest Toll House cookies in the world!)
    It turned out to be even better.

    When I opened the box, this note was on top:

    Dear James,
    I thought you might like to have these. They're old photos and mementos I've been holding onto.
    Don't worry, there's plenty where these came from! (ha ha)
    Thanks for the current photos you sent with your Christmas card. It meant alot to me.
    You grew into a very handsome man! I think you get your good looks from my side of the family. (ha ha)
    I love you very much,
    Love, Mom
    I opened the box with trembling fingers.

    The box was full of photos of me growing up. Photos I haven't seen since I was a child, and some pictures I've never even seen before.
    Nudie shots of me in the bathtub when I was a baby. (Do all parents take kiddie porn photos like these?)
    School photos and class photos from Kindergarten to sixth grade.
    Photos of me as a toddler in the seventies with a bowl haircut wearing plaid bell-bottoms and a turtleneck. (Yeek. I wore some pretty tacky outfits back then!)
    A photo of me with Do-Bee when I was on Romper Room. (I could've been a child star like Danny Bonaduce.)
    Photos from camping trips, trips to Yosemite, me with a dolphin at Sea World.
    A photo of me right before Senior Prom. (I wore a white tux with tails, with a top hat and a cane!)
    Photos of people, places and events I hadn't thought of in years.
    Plus there were report cards ("James is a superior student and works well with his individual classwork, but needs to participate more in class discussions . . ."), achievement awards, "Good Citizenship" awards, "playbills" from all the school productions I was in. (I was quite the actor when I was a child.)
    I could go on and on.

    It was amazing that so many memories could be contained in such a tiny box!

    I know you're probably tired of hearing how emotional I get, but that doesn't make it any less true. I laughed, I cried, I laughed again. I cried again.

    Little things really do mean alot.
    Thanks, Mom.

    Thursday, January 20, 2005

    It's All In Your My Head

    I Found this in my INBOX the other day:
    Jimmy-
    This is just a note to say how much I love your blog.
    I especially like your writing style -- you write the way I think!
    Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that.
    Your fan,
    Chris
    Thanks, Chris. 'Priciate it!

    I don't know if you'd call it a writing style, though. I write the way I talk. If you ask anyone who's had a conversation with me, they'd tell you I talk pretty much like this. It's not fancy, but then it really doesn't have to be as long as my point (if I actually have one) get's across.
    I write, it gets written, I do a spell-check and then I post and publish.
    It's not something I think too much about.

    I might write the way you think (or the way you think you might think), but I certainly don't write the way I think.
    If I wrote the way I think, a typical post might go something like this:

    Isn't it strange that any CDs you buy have lyrics printed in the little book thingie in the front of the jewel case, but Rap and Hip-Hop CDs don't? Do Hip-Hop artists not want you to know what the lyrics are? To get the lyrics you have to either listen to the song a couple hundred times, or do a search on the internet. Who has time for that? All CDs should come with lyrics if you ask me. That's the problem -- nobody asked me! If any artist needs a lyric sheet, it would be Snoop Dogg. (S to the N to the double-O P, D to the O to the double-G!) Where was I? Oh, yeah --Snoop Dogg. Half the time I can't understand half of what he's trying to say. I think that means only one quarter of what he says ever gets through, but I'm bad at math, so let's not dwell on it, shall we? Why do they make CDs so difficult to open, anyway? First you have to remove the shrink wrap, which is impossible to do with only your hands unless you have some kind of length to your fingernails, which I don't, and then you have to take off that sticker on the top, which most likely will leave that tacky residue on the front of the jewel case (why do they call them "jewel cases", anyway?) and that's just gross, you know? Tacky residue sucks! I know they sell that CD opener gizmo at the music store for five dollars, but I'm not paying five dollars for a small piece of plastic that was made somewhere in China by somebody making seven cents an hour, which is probably like five American dollars an hour, which isn't really bad when you think about it. "Yay! I got a job at the factory where they make those CD opener thingies!" I can almost hear someone shouting. They'd shout it in Chinese, though. They wouldn't shout it in English, would they? If they did, they'd have other Chinese people saying to them, "Hey, you're in China, buddy! Speak Chinese!" And of course, that would be in Chinese, too, because that's what people speak in China, right? Where was I? Oh, yeah -- China. There are an awful lot of people in China, aren't there? Like five million or so people. That's alot of fucking people! Why do they keep having babies? There's alot of people fucking, that's why! You'd think they'd do something about it, wouldn't you? About all the babies, not about the fucking. People are gonna screw no matter what kind of law you pass. You'd think they'd have clinics on every other corner giving out free vasectomies and tube-tying operations. Even with some kind of support group (Fornicators Anonymous?) people are defin'ly gonna screw anyway, so contraception is defin'ly the way to go, Right? Speaking of contraception, don't you think it's a little odd that we call condoms "rubbers" when they're not really made of rubber? We should be calling them "latexes", shouldn't we? That's what I think, anyway. . . .
    And so forth.

    A horrible mis-mash block of run-on scentences and going off on tangents every other second. That's how my mind works, usually.

    It might be fun to read once in awhile, but you wouldn't want to have to suffer through it every day, would you?
    Well, would you?

    Tuesday, January 18, 2005

    Burn, Baby, Burn!

    Some very interesting and thought-provoking stuff here:
    Burn Your Jockstrap!
    (Not that I agree 100% with everything that's said. But whether or not you concur yourself, most of these articles will at least make you think, and that's something I always advocate.)

    Monday, January 17, 2005

    Almost Human

    I've been ill the last couple of days. Not bad enough where I felt like I wanted to die, or send for a priest to perform Last Rites -- just a general feeling of sickness and ickyness.

    It was bad enough for me to call out sick Saturday and Sunday, though. I thought I'd get alot of flack for it. They're our busiest days at the restaurant after all, and me not showing up means everyone else has to work harder.
    But Cathy (the floor manager) was very understanding about it, mainly because I never call out. I've called out sick only once in the year and half I've been at this restaurant and maybe twice more in the four years I was at the other restaurant. Considering there are some servers who call in sick every other week, that's not bad at all.

    Most times if I'm sick I just go to work anyway, take Actifed, DayQuil, Pepto-Bismol, or Extra-Strength Tylenol (depending on my symptoms) and just struggle through it, blowing my nose in the server's station between tables and complaining bitterly to anyone who will listen how horrible I'm feeling. That's partially because they're depending on me to be there and do my job, but mostly because if I don't work, I don't get paid. Not only am I lying there in bed, miserable, but there's no money coming in. If I'm miserable anyway, I might as well work, right?
    (I know when I work when I'm sick I'm just spreading germs around everywhere, and that's terrible, but sometimes you don't have the luxury of calling out, especially if bills are due.)

    Anyway, I've spent the last two days doing almost nothing more than lying around in bed, drinking tea, watching TV, and reading. Relaxing, yes, but also very, very boring. I'm feeling OK today, though. Not up to 100% --more like 97.4%-- but I'm feeling almost human for the first time in a few days.

    Mondays and Tuesdays are my normal days off, but a co-worker asked me yesterday If I'd work the second half of his double shift today because he has a doctor's appointment. I told him it depends on how I'm feeling.
    He didn't like that answer. Most people don't --they prefer a firm yes or no-- but what else could I say? There was no way of knowing yesterday how I'd be feeling today. Plus, I'll admit I was trying to weasel my way out of it.

    I always say "I'm the boy who can't say no", but that's not entirely true. I can say no, but whenever I do, I end up feeling guilty about it -- even if there's no reason I shouldn't.
    I get this from my mom, I'm sure of it.
    I remember one time when the PTA asked my mother to make something for the Bake Sale to help raise money for something-or-other. She hesitated for only a moment, but then she said okay. Later, she was baking in the kitchen, muttering under her breath how she had enough to do without having something extra added to it.
    "Mom," I asked, "If you didn't want to do it, why'd you say yes?"
    "Well, all of the other mothers are making something," she replied while mixing batter in a bowl, "How would it look if I was the only one to say no?"
    She was baking an anti-guilt cake.

    So, I'm trapped in a dilemma. Should I work for my co-worker, or shouldn't I? It's entirely up to me. Any kind of question like this starts an internal dialog/debate that's totally exhausting.
    It's like being caught between Scylla and Charybdis. Or as I like to think of it, caught between Graciousness and Selfishness.
    + If I say yes, then I spend one of my days off where I'm almost feeling like myself again slaving away in that dammed restaurant.
    - If I say no, then my co-worker is going to have to struggle to find another way to make his doctor's appointment. (Technically, that's not really my problem, but his asking me kind of makes it my problem, if you get my meaning.)
    + If I say yes, I can make up (somewhat) for the two days I was lying around not making money.
    - If I say no, the story is going to get around the restaurant that "Jimmy could have worked for me, but he chose not to". (Just like mom in that PTA story above.)
    + If I say yes, I might make myself worse. I'm not really feeling 100% better, after all.
    - If I say no, I'll be spending yet another day in the house, in bed under the covers drinking tea. How boring is that? Plus, I've worked before feeling worse than this.

    And on and on and on.
    Does anyone else go through this kind of internal struggle, or is it just me?

    Well, just to end the suspense, in a few minutes I'll be getting ready for work.
    Selfishness lost the battle this time, I guess. I still have my day off tomorrow, though, and I'm not working for anybody, no way, nohow! You can be sure of that.

    P.S. I almost forgot today was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday. I usually go watch the parade, but I won't be making it this year.
    Happy b-day anyway, MLK!

    Saturday, January 15, 2005

    Oops, I Did It Again

    Add another one to my list of faux pas and social blunders.

    Picture this:
    Three ladies are seated in my area. Two of the three ladies are carrying mylar baloons which say "Congratulations!" and "Happy Anniversary!" and "I Love you!" and "Way To GO!".
    "How nice!" I thought, "A lesbian couple is celebrating their anniversary with their friend."
    So, I'm waiting on them, and they're nice, and everything's OK, no problems. One woman takes me aside at one point, indicates the other two and whispers to me, "It's their anniversary today, do you think you can sing 'Happy Anniversary' to them?"
    "No problem at all!" I reply, "I'll see to it myself."
    So I gather all the servers together and we march to their table. I'm carrying a cake that's covered in whipped cream, sprinkes, non-pariels, and a candle is burning on the top. I place the cake before the couple and I make an announcement.

    "Today, we have a couple celebrating their anniversary!"
    (cue claps, whoops and cheers from the servers)
    Then to the ladies, I ask brightly, "What are your names, and how long have you been a couple?"

    Well, I knew something was awry when the woman who originally asked me to sing started laughing so hard I thought she was going to fall out of the booth.
    One of the women turned white and sat there totally stunned, a total deer-in-the-headlights reaction.
    The other woman flushed visibly, then turned and hissed at me between clenched teeth, "It's not that kind of anniversary! It's an NA/AA anniversary! We've both been two years with no drugs or alcohol!!!"

    Oops.

    "They've been two years clean and sober today!" I continue in my 'announcement' voice, "So we're going to sing 'Happy Anniversary' to them! Help us out, why don't you?"
    So we sing 'Happy Anniversary' and clap and cheer. The one woman is still laughing so hard she's crying. Tears are streaming down her face.
    The other women looked non-plussed, like they didn't know what to do.
    All I wanted to do was go in the back, crawl into the ice machine and die.

    Hopefully this won't cause them to fall off the wagon.

    Friday, January 14, 2005

    It's In The Bag

    I have a confession to make. I am with bags the way some women are with purses. I have a ton of them and I keep on buying more. Messenger bags, bookbags, backpacks, gym bags, totes, and duffle bags, I have them in every conceivable color and size, from the incredibly small (only big enough to hold a pack of cigarettes, lighter, housekeys, and fare for the subway) to the utterly humongous (big enough to carry a large walrus.)

    There are even a few I've bought specifically because they were the perfect size to carry Rico around town in.
    Yes, I carry my dog around in a backpack, OK? You want I should carry him around in a papoose? All I know is any bag snatchers I happen to encounter are in for a rude surprise.

    The only trouble is, the bigger the bag, the more I'm tempted to carry around with me. When I had my large (walrus-sized) bag, the following list of things were invariably contained within:

    • Emergency money (One $10 bill, one $5 bill, five $1 bills and $5 in quarters -- not to be used unless absoloutely needed)
    • A couple bags of snacks (trail mix, chips, Doritos, etc.)
    • A couple bottles of water, juice, and/or soda (I dehydrate easily)
    • Aspirin or Tylenol
    • Travel-size pack of tissues (Because you never know)
    • A couple of saftey pins (Ditto)
    • Travel-size bottle of hairspray, travel-size tube of gel, and a small (unbreakable) comb (for touching up your 'do on the go)
    • travel-sized bottle of mouthwash, collapsible toothbrush and travel-size toothpaste (because you never know whan you'll get that not-so-fresh-feeling)
    • At least one magazine (Details, GQ, or Tiger Beat)
    • Latest Baltimore City Paper
    • 2 paperbacks (1 partially read, the other unread)
    • Appointment book and electronic organizer / calculator
    • Spiral notebook or marble composition book
    • Pens, pencils, multi-colored Sharpies, Marks-a-Lot markers (Enough to outfit a whole classroom of children)
    • Spare pack of cigarettes, 2 spare lighters, and a handful of books of matches (Because I am NOT going to be without fire)
    • Discman and CD carrying case (that holds 20 disks)
    • 4-pack of AA batteries
    • Pocket-sized set of screwdrivers (flat-head and Phillips) and penlight
    • A few band-aids
    • Snakebite kit
    OK, I'm lying about the snakebite kit part.

    And --guess what --those were just the basics. Depending on the weather and anything else going on at the time, any number of things could be added: umbrella, scarf, gloves, bus schedules, GO Pass, sunglasses, sunscreen, (then disposible) camera and anything else under the sun I could throw in there. After I'm done the bag weighed at least 25 pounds.

    I used to be a Boy Scout, so I am a firm believer that you should always be prepared, but wouldn't you agree that's an insane amount of stuff to be lugging around everywhere?
    It's convenient, because if you (or someone you know) needs a safty pin or band-aid -- Voila! -- you've got it right there.
    But after dragging that stuff around every day and not being involved in eathquakes, floods, railway accidents, or an elevator stuck between floors, I realized how foolish I was being.

    Now I don't even carry half that stuff around with me. Rico needs his space.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2005

    Sweet And Low

    Last night G. went to the carry-out down the street and then over to the video store to pick up a DVD.
    Dinner + a movie = quality time with the husband.
    I hoped for the best, because we have very different tastes in movies.
    Thankfully, he done good this time.
    Below is the movie we watched, along with my "review".
    Sugar (2003) Brendan Fehr, Andre Noble, Maury Chaykin, Sarah Polley

    Based on short stories by Bruce LaBruce, Sugar opens with the birthday party of Cliff (Andre Noble), a gay suburban teen who "hasn't done anything with anybody."
    After the party, as a present his (very cool) kid sister, Cookie, gives him vodka, a joint, and fare for the subway.
    "Drink the vodka, smoke the joint, go downtown and have sex," she tells him.

    Once there, he meets a tough young hustler named Butch (Brendan Fehr). Through the course of the night there is abundant drug use, a naked hustler boy party in the back of a limo, and a she-male catfight, among other things. Before the night is through, Cliff is obviously smitten by the handsome hustler. "I think I have a boyfriend!" he beams at one point.
    Falling in love with Butch means much more than just giving in to youthful rebellion, though, it means opening himself up to people and places (and risks, and agonies) that his relatively sheltered existence would never allow.

    The fly in the ointment is that Butch remains aloof. He won't even admit to himself his attraction to other guys, or his growing fondness for the innocent, sweet Cliff. He is a hustler, after all. Emotions and sex are totally separate in his world. Plus, it's obvious that he's not used to having anyone care about him the way Cliff does.

    The acting in this film is top-notch. There were several points when I totally forgot I was watching a movie. The camera work has a distinctly documentary feel, which only adds to the feeling that what you're watching is something that could actually have happened.

    There are some really great and also some very disturbing scenes in this movie. To reveal much more would spoil the plot, but I found the scene where the couple jack off under the kitchen table while eating their Corn Flakes particularly entertaining.

    Would I recommend this movie to others? Absolutely.
    The movie really well done, portraying the glamorous aspect of hustler life and also it's seamier, darker side as well.
    Also, the actors are sexy and not afraid to show a little skin, so it's good for the eye candy at the very least.

    Monday, January 10, 2005

    Who's That Guy?

    It's time for the hot guy o' the month.
    This time I'd try something a little different. Instead of posting photos of a model, actor, singer, or sports figure like I usually do, I chose a real-life guy. Somebody sexy, but someone you could conceivably meet out on the street or at a tavern or club.

    Who's that guy? It's my buddy Chris. (Hey, if you can't exploit your friends, who can you?)
    If you're local you might have seen him tending bar at Grand Central or Spike, surrounded by his legion of admirers.
    As you can see by the photos, Chris is filthy gorgeous. But he's not only that, he's also very sweet and an all-around nice guy as well.
    I'm glad I know him.

    Sunday, January 09, 2005

    Every Day Is Payday

    The best part of being a waiter is that every day is payday.
    You're flat broke and don't even have two pennies to rub together? Go to work and you'll have a fat wad o' cash when the day is through.
    The worst part about that is, in order to pay your bills you have to learn to save.
    You have all this money, but you can't spend most of it, because bills have to be paid. Saving was never my strong suit. I've got money in my pocket, I want to spend it!
    Saving is one of the hardest things I had to learn.

    But there's the alternative, which is just as bad. If you work a "regular job" and you collect a paycheck every two weeks, you've got to learn to stretch.
    Oh, you get your fat paycheck but then you have to take x, y, and z amount out for rent, electric, telephone, transportation, food, and your other bills and whatever's left has to last you until your next paycheck.
    I've never been that good at stretching, either. I know what it's like to be totally, hopelessly broke and payday is five days away. It sucks.

    "Don't you get a paycheck?" I hear you asking. Yes, I get a paycheck for the measly $2.30 an hour they pay me to wait tables, but by the time they take federal, state and local taxes out, my check is barely enough to pay for drinks at Happy Hour.
    My paycheck doesn't pay my rent, my tips do.

    OK, here comes the "true confessions" thing. I'll admit I don't claim 100% of my tips to the IRS. If I did, I wouldn't even get a paycheck at all. I'd feel really bad about this, but the fact of the matter is this: nobody claims 100% of their tips.
    Nobody.
    I've worked in restaurants for years and I've never ever seen anyone claim everything they made. I claim 50-75%, which is more than some waiters I know.

    Speaking of waiting tables, I gotta get ready for work now. Hopefully, I'll be charming, polite, and helpful enough so I'll make lots of moolah.
    I've got bills to pay.

    Saturday, January 08, 2005

    It's That Time Again

    It's time for everyone to nominate their favorite blogs for the 2005 Bloggies, so cast your vote NOW!

    And if you want to nominate this blog for something, well, I wouldn't say no.

    Friday, January 07, 2005

    Threes

    Three names you go by:
    Jim
    Jimmy
    James

    Three screen names you have:
    Wonder_Boy
    wonderboy
    w0nder_b0y (At least I'm consistant!)

    Three things you like about yourself:
    My big blue eyes
    My ability to make friends and influence people
    My enormous penis

    Three things you hate / dislike about yourself:
    I'm prone to being lazy
    I'm not a good housekeeper by any stretch of the imagination
    I don't answer my emails in a timely fashion

    Three parts of your heritage:
    Irish
    German
    Nordic (I'm basically as white as you can get without being albino)

    Three things that scare you:
    Heights
    Cockroaches
    George W. Bush

    Three of your everyday essentials:
    The husband
    Rico
    Toilet paper

    Three Things you are wearing right now:
    White t-shirt
    Baggy jeans
    Tighty whities (Calvin Klein)

    Three of your favorite bands / artists (at the moment):
    Scissor Sisters
    Liz Phair
    Eve 6

    Three of your favorite songs at present:
    "Comfortably Numb" - Scissor Sisters
    "Emerge" - Fischerspooner
    "We're Not Gonna Crack" - Longwave

    Three things you require in a relationship (Love is a given):
    Honesty
    Trust
    Passion

    Two truths and a lie:
    I played Riff Raff at The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Midnight Madness
    For a short period of time I was a Goth Boy (It didn't last very long; I'm too cheerful for that.)
    I'm not the least bit obsessed with my hair

    Three physical things about the opposite (or same) sex that appeal to you:
    Shapely calves
    Muscled forearms and biceps
    Lean (but toned) torso

    Three things you just can't do:
    Blow a bubble with bubblegum
    Work a hula hoop
    Complex math eqations

    Three of your favorite hobbies:
    Reading
    Blogging (Is this a hobby?)
    Tryin' ta overtrow da gubbermint

    Three things you want to do badly right now:
    Get on a jet headed anywhere sunny and warm
    Recieve a deep-tissue massage (non-sexual, of course) from a certified massage therapist
    Spend some "quality time" with the husband

    Three careers you're considering:
    Attendant in an insane asylum
    Working in the Monkey House at the zoo
    Porn star

    Three places you want to go on vacation:
    LA
    NY
    Boise, Idaho

    Three kids names:
    Leetah
    Tod (with one "d")
    Marmaduke

    Three things you want to do before you die:
    Travel around the world
    Skydive
    Become famous (Rich wouldn't be bad either!)

    Three people who have to take this quiz now, or die painfully:
    Robbie
    Sean
    Tony (You've recieved the calling, boys. What are you gonna do?)

    (Special thanks, a big hug, and snaps to Miss Muffy for the inspiration.)

    Tuesday, January 04, 2005

    Photo Ops

      "Must you take that camera everywhere?" G. asked me recently.
    My answer, after thinking for less than ten seconds, was yes.
    Yes, I must.
    Every single time I've left my camera at home, I've regretted it.
    Case in point: Halloween night. I was in such a rush I left my camera behind and misssed about two dozen funny, interesting, sexy, or weird "photo ops". I kicked myself in the fanny for days afterwards. (By the way, it's not easy kicking yourself in the fanny. Try it sometime and see for yourself.)

    Anyway, here are some (more) photos I took recently.

    Happy To Wake To Every Morning Sunshine!

    I love my Chinese clock. It's one of my favorite Dollar Store purchases. Printed on the side is the phrase "Happy to wake to every morning sunshine!", and on the face, "Those were sunny days . . ."
    Yes, they were.

    Daddy Christmas


    Hal, bartender at The Drinkery, was wearing only some Christmas boxer shorts, a leather vest, and a Santa hat.
    "It's OK if you take a picture," Hal told me, "It's not like I haven't been on the internet before!"
    Oh, really, Hal? Do tell!

    The Place That Time Forgot

    Traveling in time is easy when you know how. Go to Belair Road, between Erdman and Lake Avenues and you'll see a red-striped spinning tube next to a door. Walk through the door and you are intantly transported back in time to at least three decades ago. There is not a fixture or stick of furniture in this barber shop any older than that. There are pictures of Roosevelt on the walls, for Pete's sake. The cash register is even the old-fashioned non-electrical kind.
    ca-CHING!
    I expected the Time magazine in the rack to say "Is God Dead?", but the magazines are actually current, but that's about all.
    A shave (with a straight razor) and a haircut doesn't cost two bits, though. It'll set you back five dollars.

    Plate O' Ramen

    Last night's dinner becomes today's photo op.
    Mmmmmmm. Beef flavor.
    Makes me hungry just looking at it.
    You thought when I said I could live on Ooodles of Noodles I was just kidding?

    Everyone's A Star

    Go to Leon's, in Mount Vernon, and while you're getting your drink on, why not buy a star, or three, or a dozen? They're only a dollar, and all proceeds go to to the Moveable Feast, a very worthy charity that provides hot nutritional meals and groceries for people with AIDS.
    Plus, your name goes up on the wall. How cool is that?

    Leggo My Legos!

    Quick, while it's still there, check out the Lego displays in the windows of the Enoch Pratt Free library -- they're nothing short of amazing.
    I remember Legos. I had the big box with like 10,000 pieces. Most of which ended up under the living room sofa, much to my Mother's frustration.
    Apparently they don't sell them like that anymore. Now you buy "kits" to make helicopters, submarines, thermonuclear warheads and such.
    A pity, really. I think it's more fun to use your imagination.

    Sleeping Boy

    Riding the bus late last night, there was no one on there but me and this boy who was sleeping in the back.
    I slipped my camera out of my pocket . . .
    SNAP! I gotcha!
    He spontaneously woke up one block before his stop, rang the bell and exited.
    Damn, I wish I could do that!
    The one time I fell asleep on the bus, I stayed asleep 'til the very last stop and the bus driver had to shake me awake. I never could get the hang of sleeping in public places.

    A Secret Place

    When the hustle and bustle of city life is dragging you down, don't you know, and you need a few minutes to compose yourself and get your wits together, trot your tootsies to Brown's Arcade (at 326 N. Charles Street). Through the glass doors, past the florist and the cellular phone store, all the way in the back, you'll find a little pocket of paradise. A little park with a cobblestone floor, trees, plants, and a skylight. Sit down on a bench, sip your triple espresso (which can be purchased right across the street at Clayton & Co.) and relax for a few minutes.
    I call this my "secret place" because as many times as I've gone, I have never, ever seen anyone else there.

    Rico, The Sock Fetishist

    My dog Rico loves socks, OK? He loves chewing on them and carrying them around the house in his mouth.
    But not just any old socks for him -- no way! They have to be my socks. He doesn't go anywhere near G.'s socks -- only mine. I guess mine must taste better or something.
    And not clean socks, either. Dirty, stinky grungy socks from the laundry basket, that's what Rico likes. The stinkier the better. He will dig in the basket until he finds the dirtiest, stinkiest sock there is.
    I love him anyway, even though he's a little pervert.

    * * *

    I hope you enjoyed them!
    I'll probably do another post like this sometime soon.
    It might even become a regular thing. No promises, though.

    Monday, January 03, 2005

    Picture Perfect Day

    I don't know what's going on, but it's been unseasonably warm the last few days. The sun is shining, the sky is a bright blue, and a warm(!) breeze is foating by.
      It's springtime! Springtime! Spriiiiingtiiiime!!
    Well, not really, but it sure feels like it. It seems foolish to be wearing a sweatshirt and jacket on a beautiful day like today, but the rational part of my brain keeps telling me, "It's January, Jimmy! Don't be stupid. You need to put something heavier on."

    I'm off today, and I plan on enjoying it. Since the weather is so nice, I'm talking Rico to the park for a run, and then I plan on lounging.
    It's good to do that once in awhile.

    P.S. In the spirit of "out with the old, in with the new" I've updated the blogroll (AKA the Special People Club). Any blogs that haven't been updated in a few months, or blogs where the siteowner made an announcement that they were discontinuing blogging (or have deleted their blogs) have been dumped.
    Sorry about that. If you were there in the first place it means I really enjoyed reading your blogs and I'm deeply upset that they're gone.
    I'm keeping my eyes peeled, however, so if any should update or return to blogging, you'll be back on the 'roll where you belong.

    I'm off to be lazy now. Have a nice day.

    Sunday, January 02, 2005

    There's Got To Be A Morning After

    Happy New Year!
    OK, now that I've gotten that out of my system . . .

    My New Year's Eve was fun. I didn't end up getting off from work 'til late, because five minutes before we locked the door a party of twelve came in and was seated in my section. I was kind of pissed because I was almost finished wrapping everything up and I was preparing to rip my apron off, holler "Yabba dabba doo!" and race out the door.
    "Don't you people have a party to get ready for or something? Losers!" I thought distainfully.
    Because of them, I didn't end up leaving the restauant 'til 10:30 or so. Then it was a mad race to change my clothes, do my hair and get where we were going before the ball dropped.

      I'm coming up, so you better get this party started!
    We decided not to go the house party thing, even though we had recieved several invitations. We were going to bar-hop instead.
    As long as I was with the husband, anywhere was fine with me.
    We got to our first destination, Leon's, at 11:30, and by 11:35 I had a Long Island Iced Tea in one paw, a noisemaker clutched in the other, a plastic glass of champagne in front of me, and a party hat on my head.
    Perfect timing.

    Just to ensure I don't bore you too much, here's a summary of the rest of the night:
    Drinks hastily drunk, PDAs with the husband, ball drops, "Happy New Year!", champagne is drunk, kisses and hugs all around, more drinks, off to another bar, shots of various liquors consumed, more drinks, more PDAs with the husband, over to another bar, more drinks, and then home for more champagne and (eventually) sleep.

    When I got to work the next afternoon, everyone was playing the usual "morning after" games, which are always very popular on New Year's Day. You know what they are -- you probably played them yourself at one point or another.
    There's one I call "Cocktail" where you tell how many of what drinks you consumed the night before. It usually starts with the phrase "I got so drunk last night!" (or a variation therof), and then the speaker launches into their alcoholic shopping list, "I had three beers, then a whiskey sour, then a half a bottle of champagne, then Debbie ordered us double shots of tequila, and then I had another whiskey sour, then a shot of Jager, then a Mind Eraser, and the next thing I know I'm passed out on the bar with my head in a puddle of my own drool!"
    Fun, huh? With the right storyteller, this can be very entertaining.

    Then there's the game I call "Hangover", which usually begins with the phrase, "Oh, my achin' head!" It's basically a list of all the symptoms of why you feel like death warmed over from partying too much the night before. ("Cocktail" and "Hangover" go hand in hand.)
    "Oh, God!" they wail to anybody that will listen, "My head is pounding like it's about to burst! I'm so nauseated, my stomach is all twisted up in knots! I feel like I've swallowed razer blades! I hurt all over! I want to die!" This is sometimes punctuated by a statement where the speaker vows to "never drink (that much) again", but don't you believe it. They don't even believe it themselves.
    Although I've gleefully done this in times past myself, I don't like this one very much. Neither does anyone else.

    Then theres one I call "I'm No Alcoholic". It's not as wildly popular as the two I stated above, but it has some very avid followers. It's where someone emphatically makes a point of stating that they didn't drink a drop of alcohol last night, they just "spent a quiet evening at home" and "went to bed early". Maybe they "watched a little TV" or perhaps they "curled up with a good book", but they certainly didn't party. Heavens to Betsy, no!
    This information is delivered with a self-righteous smirk, as if to say, "Other people might get drunk and go crazy and act like total lunatics, but not me. I'm above all of that".
    I never, ever go that route. It smacks of pomposity (if not sanctimony), and I try never to act that way. They're your brain cells, who am I to tell you you shouldn't kill 'em all if you want to?

    Anyhoo, it's 2005! I wonder what's going to happen this year?
    There's only one way to find out.
    Stay tuned.