Thursday, June 29, 2006

The SF Chronicles, Part III: Billy C.

Who's Billy C.?, you ask.

Picture it, Washington, circa March 2006 (or something). My friend R.N. is in town from San Francisco for a conference and, as we gay men are (kind of unfortunately) predisposed to do, we decide to go barhopping for the evening.


Before we walked into our first bar, R.N. related a story about his friend Joe from back home. He and Joe went out to a bar one evening. As is Joe's proclivity, he spent much of the time scanning the room, probably trying not to look too desperate while still looking "available." Eventually, a pair of nice gentlemen starting chatting with the two of them. One of them, it happens, clearly took a shine to my friend, R.N.

R.N. enjoyed the conversation he was having with this gentleman. He would never have considered going home with the guy -- R.N. has had a partner for years now -- but he enjoyed the conversation in part because he enjoyed the attention. It's nice to know that you might still be considered attractive, especially in the youth-obsessed, "next best thing" gay culture we seem to have created for ourselves. It was just conversation after all, and when it came down to it, R.N. would politely end the conversation, bid the guy good night, and head home to his partner. No harm, no foul.

R.N. excused himself to go to the restroom. Upon his return, the gentleman who had been chatting him up abruptly turned to him and said, "We're heading out now. Bye." Rather curt, R.N. thought, until his friend Joe 'fessed up that, during the bathroom break, he had told the guy about R.N.'s partnered status.

R.N. and I think that Joe was just jealous that "the partnered guy" was getting some attention and wanted to end that situation as soon as possible.


When R.N. and I began our barhopping evening here in D.C., we made it clear: I would not be a Joe. I recognize that having someone flirt with you can be a nice feeling, and there's nothing wrong with it (if you don't lead the guy on too much). So we made a pact before we started that if someone should hit on him, we would ride that train. (Of course, if someone were to have hit on me, well, I and -- and have -- no shackles tying me to anyone.) There would be no mention of a husband. Heck, there would be no mention of the 2,500 miles separating home bases.

About half an hour after our arrival and as I continued to nurse my beer, a nice young man whom we know now to be named Billy C.* introduced himself. Billy C. was clearly enamored of R.N. He came over to chat with "both of us," but his attentions were clearly not directed at me. Consistent with our pact, I stepped aside and let their conversation take its natural course.

Of course, at some point, R.N. finally tired of the situation and made indications to me that he was ready to go (as was I, especially seeing as I wasn't receiving any attention from, well, anyone). We dutifully bid good night to Billy C., and made our exit.

The night sounds (and was) boring and innocent, and not typical blog fodder, but for the fact that Billy C. has now become our catchphrase for "random guy who strikes up conversation with you in a bar." From that day on, "Billy C." takes on new significance for us. "Maybe you'll get your very own Billy C.," we'll say, as we head out for another night of bar-modelling.


R.N. and I made our way out to the Castro a few times in San Francisco during this past week's visit. Being Pride weekend, things were a bit crazy. I had chatted with R.N. a few times about my desire to find my very own Billy C., but I didn't expect that it would happen.

Of all places, Billy C. approached me at a bar called "Twin Peaks," apparently affectionately referred to as the "Glass Coffin."

R.N. and I were sitting next to the jukebox in this relatively quiet bar. It was mostly populated by older gentlemen who didn't seem as into the raucous young bar scene going on just down the street. We were just chatting and sipping our cocktails when this guy approaches us and, with very little introduction or even hint of embarrassment, introduced himself and announced that he wanted to get to know me (and not in a scary, leery sort of way).

R.N. quietly chuckled to himself as we started chatting about our respective musical tastes (the jukebox near us serving as the conversational catalyst). His name was Tito, and he wanted to teach me to salsa. Which would have been fine, except that his place really had no dance floor to speak of, and, well, it would have been obnoxious to try.

Meanwhile, his friend was drunk and tired (which was funny, because apparently the friend was on the one who had begged him to go out in the first instance) and really wanted to go home. "But I want to talk to this guy!" Tito complained, and his friend just plopped himself into a chair nearby.

Because I really would not have wanted to go home with him anyway (I had work stuff to do the next day), not to mention the aforementioned lack of floor space, I politely declined Tito's offer of dance lessons. Besides, even if I were so inclined, I now know what being on the receiving end of a cockblocking wet blanket feels like, and I wanted to give him an escape valve to get rid of Mr. "I Want to Go Home Already."

But there you have it. On the first night of my trip, I met my very own Billy C.


Later in the trip, the name "Billy C." found itself supplanted by an entire other name, one which will become the subject of a wholly separate blog post when I'm ready to talk about it more. But right now I'm not.


Regular readers will notice that of three posts about my week-long San Francisco work trip, no entry has been about work at all. This is because the conference bored even me (I fell asleep repeatedly -- I hope my snoring wasn't too bad), so I can't imagine what it would have done to you readers if I repeated my conference adventures.

* We actually refer to him by his full name, because he actually told us his full name and even produced a driver's license at some point, but I guess I should maintain some semblance of his privacy here.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The SF Chronicles, Part II: In Which I Become Acquainted with a Delightful Young Woman With a Charming Accent

So as I understand it, it's Pride Week here in San Francisco. Also, I should reiterate my complete and utter inabilty to function in the presence of gay men. (I can flirt and talk when I'm reasonably certain that neither he nor I are interested in anything beyond funny bar banter. But put me in the presence of a guy I might actually be interested in....) It's against this backdrop that I relate the following story.

I flew into Oakland rather than San Francisco International possibly just because it was substantially cheaper. For a good discount airfare, you catch a $2 AirBART which takes you from Oakland into San Francisco proper. Public transport rocks.

I got off the plane and dutifully made my way to the AirBARt stop. As is my wont, I began scanning the other travellers in seaarch of the one (or two, or three, or five) cute guys to fixate upon. Seeing none, I settled on a nice tattoo on one guy's lower calf. Between that and fiddling with my cell phone for no reason whatsoever, I was plenty occupied (snicker).

Not having grabbed a map or anything to help me figure out what was going on, I was basically shooting in the dark with respect to my journey into San Francisco. But I got onto the bus and started hoping for the best.

I took a vacant seat next to a young woman whose backback probably extended over her head in a height equal to her entire torso's length. She'll return to this story later.

At the second stop (there were only two before we made it into the city), three young men (among others) boarded, whom I tagged to be homos from the moment they sashayed through the doors. Okay, they didn't sashay, but let's face it, certain gay men just exude this air of fabulousness that just screams volumes about them.

One man bore a t-shirt that proclaime "This shirt is B-A-N-A-N-A-S." Cute shout-out to Gwen Stafani, I thought. I pegged him to be gay even before I noticed his oh-so-subtle left-ear small hoop earring in rainbow colors. And even before I noticed that his sunglasses were Chanel. I started trying to work up a way to make conversation.

One of his companions was also noteworthy for his awesome smile. I was actually shocked at how perfect and white his teeth were, and his smile was quite fetching. As fascinating to me, though, was a silver stud this guy had in his lower lip. I have never made out with a guy with an oral piercing before, but I can imagine it would be kind of cool. Except that this guy's stud wasn't the usual round. It was pyramidal -- it was sharp. I can't imagine bumping gums with someone while their lips are drawing my blood. Pity, would have been a normal reaction, but I came to grips with the reality that I stood about a snowball's chance in hell of ever having my lips touch his in any context anyway.

So did I speak to any of these cute, obviously gay guys? Of course not. I spoke to the young lady with whom I shared a seat, which is clearly my wont: I make friends with straight chicks and can't even deal with talking to gay boys.

She was backpacking in the city from Quebec. Apparently, although Canada is officially bilingual, she still had a prefernce for French, and her English wasn't perfect (though, of course, it was more than passable). We discussed the BART map; we talked about how to get into the city; we chatted about the difference between Fahrenheit and centigrade; we discussed our plans for the week. We rode public transport into the city together, chatting the entire time. She was very nice, and I feel like I did my part to help welcome a traveller to the country with a friendly, conversational gesture.

Did I ever speak to the cute boys at all? Nope. And it totally wasn't a huge loss.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The SF Chronicles, Part I: The Flight

As is my wont, I didn't really sleep the night before my flight. I usually do this, particularly when I have obscenely early flights, because I am petrified that I will oversleep and miss my flight. Sure enough, I made it to the airport at 5:45 a.m. for my 7:00 a.m. flight on about two hours of sleep.

This usually isn't a big deal because, unlike many people I know, I can sleep on planes. Without a problem (with the exception of those annoying knots in the neck and the uncomfortable tightness in the butt). Sometimes I'll crash out even before the plane has taken off. Especially now that most flights don't pass around food, there's no real reason for me to wait up for anything.

So sleep I did, and thought nothing of it.

I woke up, by sheer coincidence, just as we were preparing to land in Oakland. I made a quick trip the bathroom, then took my seat just as the pilot announced that the flight attendants should prepare for the descent.

Then I had the following conversation with my seatmate:

Him: So, are you from around here?
Me: No, out east. Uh, you?
Him: Louisiana.
Me: Ah, cool.
Him: [...] So are you married?
Me: ... Uh, no.

By this point I'm wondering what the hell is going on. Asking where I'm from is, I guess, standard acceptable conversation when you're talking to a fellow traveller, but this is an odd leap from a perfect stranger.

He pulls out an index card on which he was scribbled a few notes.

Him: You're going to want to see a doctor when you get home.
Me: [groans softly]

His note card contains some observations he had made during my slumber. They included "loud snoring" and "stopped breathing," and the dreaded words "sleep apnea" (which is apparently also known as a gay sleep disorder).

Him: You possibly have sleep apnea.
Me: I know. I've actually been dealing with issue for years now.
Him: Well, at least you know.
Me: Yes. And thanks for your concern. Though now I'm terribly embarrassed to have snored so loudly right next to you. And then to have stopped breathing.

Well, something had to counterbalance the unsolicited and greatly appreciated "upgrade" to a bulkhead seat with its attendant extra legroom.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I Got Some Flowers in My Hair

I'm heading to San Francisco for work for a few days. Well, that and a little pleasure. In a shocking coincidence, it's Pride Weekend in the City by the Bay this weekend. We all know what I think about Pride, but what the heck, it means the city will probably be teeming with gay men even more so than usual. What that means I'm not sure.

I may not be able to blog in during the next few days. Behave in my absence.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Someone is Watching Out For Me.

This post is meant to be a great big shout-out to the people at Discover for saving my ass, and to the awesome people at an outfit called Crutchfield for their likewise awesomeness.

On a recent weekday morning, as I was getting ready to head out of the apartment for work, I heard the phone ringing while I was in the shower. Never one to pick up my land line (it's usually telemarketers), I let the machine get it and went on with my day. Here's the message I got:

Hi, this message is for Dennis! This is Austin, I'm with Crutchfield Corporation. I'm calling about an order that was placed with us. Please give us a call back at 800.XXX.XXXX. The order number is XXXXXXX. We're open until midnight eastern time. Thank you.

Knowing nothing of these people, I blew them off with the intent to listen to the message again when I got home, or during a lull at work. I hadn't heard the message carefully, so I figured it was some kind of sales call or something.

At work, I retrieved my messages again, only to find that I had received yet another new call:

This is the Discover card fraud prevention department. Please call us immediately regarding recent activity on a Discover card account. This is not a sales call. You can reach us at 800.XXX.XXXX. The ability to make future charges on this account may be restricted until we hear from you.

Suddenly things were piecing themselves together. I backed up and listened to the Crutchfield message again, and I'm pretty sure the blood drained from my face.

I called Crutchfield first. Making my way to a live person was easy, and I found myself on the phone with a very nice young lady who asked for my order number. I gave it to her, then asked what it is they sell there. (I'm sure this raised a red flag for her right there: "Here's my order number. Could you tell me what it is I'm supposed to have ordered?").

So we had a very nice discussion wherein I advised this sweet young woman that, in fact, no, unfortunately, I did not order any products from her company. I even made sure that they didn't use any third-party vendors and that I didn't accidentally order from them through amazon or something.

Here's why Crutchfield kicks so much ass: When trying to authorize my card, the card couldn't properly authenticate my billing address, so there was some issue with clearing the card. They actually did a reverse lookup on me to find my home telephone number to contact me. Okay, so maybe they did it just to try to get their money, but in my mind what they ended up doing was providing me first alert service that my credit card number had been compromised.

Crutchfield promptly cancelled my order. I thanked them profusely for alerting me to the problem and not blindly shipping the product off and charging me for it.

Then I called Discover.

The phone number they gave me was a direct line to a fraud prevention hotline, so I was put directly in touch with a specialist who could look up my account and ask me about my most recent purchases.

Most cool? They were calling about purchases that hadn't even posted to my account yet. I was looking at my account online while talking to him and I couldn't even see the Crutchfield charge, because it was still pending. Discover made the effort to call me about a purchase that hadn't even made its way through yet.

So I told the nice young man on the phone that no, I haven't used my card since last Sunday, and that the TWO pending charges he saw on his account could not possibly be mine. I owned up to a few charges on Sunday (though part of me was tempted to tell them that those charges weren't mine either, to save a few bucks), and told him the rest was bad news.

What amazes me most about Discover is that they did this even though I have strange spending habits in the first place. If you look over my charge history on that card, there's all kinds of strange stuff on there: books, drinks/dinner, on line shopping, gym membership, blah blah blah... I use that card for almost everything. There's very little rhyme or reason to my purchases. Yet they were able to identify this one as "anomalous" and took swift and appropriate action. How awesome is that?

The nice young gentleman put a hold on any new charges on the card from Sunday forward, and is issuing me a new card with a new card number (which will arrive in seven to ten days).

So here's to these two places. Even though there's a chance they only called me because there was an obstacle to the actual exchanging of money, I prefer to think that they still cared about consumer safety, took the time to make sure that this particular consumer didn't find his bank account and his credit rating screwed.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Ow Ow Ow Ooooowwwww.

Some people just have too much time on their hands. Then again, if all that time is spent making videos make me laugh so hard I have stomach cramps, it could well be worth it.

First, this video:

has been making the rounds on the Internets for a while now. It's not funny. Really, it's not. No one should derive that much amusement from another person's clear misery.

Though that doesn't stop me from laughing my ass off every frigging time I see it. Someone on youtube commented that she sounds like an orphaned calf. Poor dear.

Then, someone else took the "orphaned calf" noises and ratcheted up the ante by like, a gazillion:

I swear, after watching that, I couldn't breathe for a while. Kudos to you, "roytromlley."

Seriously, though, I do wonder whatever happened to that poor woman.

Music Answers

The answers to the music meme I posted earlier this week have been posted. Songs which no one got are in blue.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Just for fun, I've put a Frappr map on my sidebar. Seems like a neat service. Feel free to click on it (somewhere... I'm not exactly sure where) and add yourself to the map. Umm... yeah, that's about it.

Given my low readership, this might not be anywhere near as exciting as it could be. Hahaha.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Music Meme

I've seen this meme around the blogosphere for a while now (most recently at Kenneth in the (212) and Scott-o-Rama) so I thought I'd go ahead and run it here for shits and giggles. (And because I wanted to post something frilly and fun and less bitchy and whiny.)

Meme rules:

Step 1: Put your iPod/MP3 player or iTunes on random.

Step 2: Post the first line(s) from the first 20 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing the song.

Step 3: Post it on your blog and let everyone guess what song and artist the lines come from. (Instrumental songs removed for obvious reasons.) Yikes! There are 4,301 songs in my library.

Step 4: Update the list with the song title when someone guesses correctly. (I will identify any unguessed songs on Friday.)

Step 5: For those guessing the songs (this is where you come in): You can make your guess by leaving a comment or e-mailing me. I need title and artist! (Though I'm sure some tricky covers will slip through.) Honor system: No Googling or other internet-aided search engine!

Here we go:

1. I thought I'd move to Sydney to get a little piece of city life...
The Waitress, The Waifs (Bebe Lapin)

2. Love, love, love. Love, love, love.
All You Need Is Love, The Beatles (Drew)

3. Look straight in the window. Try not to look below.
When I Fall, Barenaked Ladies

4. What'll you do when you get lonely, and nobody's waiting by your side?
Layla, Eric Clapton (Katie)

5. I can't figure you out. But a heart must be the one thing you were born without.
Save Up All Your Tears, Cher (Will Z.)

6. We got the afternoon. You got this room for two.
Your Body Is a Wonderland, John Mayer (Drew)

7. Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin' for a train...
Me and Bobby McGee, Janis Joplin (among countless others -- I think I have like four versions on my machine) (Drew)

8. He's not a lover. He's not a one-night stand.
Fuck Buddy, Pansy Division (Mango de Mallorca)

9. How do you cool your lips after a summer's kiss?
Insensitive, Jann Arden (Drew)

10. I don't do black music. I don't do white music.
Who Knew, Eminem

11. Red as the roses come. Our love it never was....
Shades of the Past, Debbie Gibson

12. In the corner of the bar there stands a jukebox with the best of country music, old and new.
Please Mister Please, Olivia Newton-John

13. Feels like I'm standing in a timeless dream
I Love You Always Forever, Donna Lewis (Bebe Lapin)

14. Sun breaks over the spritsail yard / Jib sheet's hailing to leeward hard.
Fare Away, The New Main Street Singers (from A Mighty Wind)

15. Am I fooling you? Do you fall for it all or do you just see right through?
Labour of Love, Frente

16. It's these substandard motels on the (lalalalala) corner of 4th and Freemont Street.
Build God, Then We'll Talk, Panic! at the Disco (with an assist from Ryan)

17. Jessie is a friend. He's always been a good friend of mine.
Jessie's Girl, Rick Springfield (Drew)

18. Speak to me of universal laws
The Whores Hustle and the Hustlers Whore, PJ Harvey

19. You may think that I'm talkin' foolish. You've heard that I'm wild and I'm free.
Forever and Ever, Amen, Randy Travis (Drew) (poor, poor Drew... :) )

20. I can't believe what is happening to me, my world is spinning.
Ship of Fools, Erasure

Have fun.

(Post script: Really, I have a better taste in music than this list reflects.)

(Post post script: If this post hasn't completely turned you off from this game, you can also take a gander at Drew's and Sam's musical tastes.)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pride 2006

About a year ago, during last year's D.C. Pride season, I wrote a post questioning the meaning of Gay Pride in this community.

My thoughts on the matter remain largely unchanged.

Don't get me wrong, I still did the whole out and about thing. The parade was interesting, but not as "affirming" as I somehow remembered it to be. There were a surprising number of politicians in the parade. It started, there was a gay group or two, then -- I am not making this up -- a slew of something like 200 local politicians. Mayoral candidates, city council candidates, Eleanor Holmes Norton. As far as I know, two of these people were gay. It was unclear just how friendly any of these people were to gay causes. Even though it was kinda boring, I thought it was a little neat that these politicians know that gay people are such a huge and influential voting bloc that we cannot be ignored.

(Speaking of, was Carol Schwartz totally absent this year?)

The usual cast of characters was present as always. I shed a small tear of happiness when PFLAG came around, and SMYAL too. I and some friends basically begged for cheap stupid trinkets like beads and candies (even got beaned in the head a few times) and some discount coupons for crap I'll probably never need. The Results float, as usual, didn't impress me. An ideal representation of gay pride? Not particularly.

After the parade I met up with some other people and hit a bar. Thankfully, we picked a not-too-popular one, so we could talk, have a few drinks, and relax. I accidentally flirted with Mr. Mid-Atlantic 2006, who was smokin' hot and very nice to boot, which made him that much sexier. Bodies I can take or leave. Nice personalities attached to those bodies? I swoon.

Today I dragged myself out to the festival for a little bit. I sound bitter and old when I say this, but it was kind of the same tired crew of tents as always. Overpriced foodstuffs in the midst of tent after tent of the same groups I've seen there year in and year out. By now if I haven't joined these affinity groups, I'm probably just not going to. I suppose a part of me only went to the festival because, in the event that someone was actually counting, I wanted to be one of the people "counted" as taking part in the celebration. But in the end I really only stopped at one booth, registered for a drawing for a trip to Barcelona (wish me luck!), stood around with my friends, then bailed to hit a bar.

My friends and I just generally made absolute fools of ourselves for a few hours, during which time I only consumed three beverages (I was feeling cheap). Even flirted with a random guy upstairs. He has my card. I'm not holding my breath. Even if he does contact me, I'm still the Mayor.

And that was my pride weekend. It's odd that I still feel like it was strangely anticlimactic. What more did I expect of it, given my negative-skewing view of the entire affair? I don't know, but a part of me acknowledges that by now it's a tradition that I'm strangely duty-bound to respect: each year I, with the city's cadre of fellow queers and queer-friendlies, proudly and happily take to the streets. And each year I'll probably complain just a little bit more about it.

Uh... Happy Pride. :)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Kickass Videos

I figured this post would do well just before Pride weekend here in DC.

After surfing through various videos on, I had to help share these awesome videos. They're generally PSAs about AIDS prevention. The cartoon ones are cool, and the last one is extremely powerful.

*** --- ***

This is a PSA produced in France. It's cute and all, but I can't get over the feeling that this boy lacks self esteem in a major way. He seems to fall into bed with every man who's even remotely nice to him.

*** --- ***

Because gay men aren't the only ones who should be concerned about STDs, including HIV and AIDS. The stuff at the end says "Live long enough to find the right one," like the last video.

*** --- ***

This one is really depressing, but hot damn does it drive home a point.

There are way too many people out there (gay men in particular) who seem to have forgotten -- or taken to willfully ignoring -- the importance of protection when engaging in any sexual behavior.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Chicka bow chicka bow chicka bow-bow

For a substantial chunk of time on Sunday, I somehow found myself viewing my life as a series of porn moments waiting to happen. You know how some movies and TV shows use alternate timelines to establish humor elements (like Ally Mcbeal getting arrows shot through her chest)? Yeah, it's kinda like that.


[Photo still from the film Beach Babes 2: Cave Girl Island. Yeah, don't ask, I dunno either.]

I headed out to a grassy park near where I live just to lie out for a bit. The good thing about living where I live is there is no shortage of hot guys. On hot summer days, these hot guys tend to run around shirtless, either playing frisbee or football, or just lying around looking hot. (Actually, while I enjoy looking at them, part of me also thinks they're a bit arrogant. Such is the double standard of my life.)

I sat down on a bench with a book which I barely intended to actually read. Instead, my eyes scanned the park to see if there was anyone to lock on to.

After a few minutes, I noticed someone entering the park from my right. He didn't look around much and sat down on the bench about 10 feet away from me. I have no idea he was doing. He wasn't carrying a book or paper or anything. Unlike me, he made no attempt to disguise the fact that he was just sitting there looking at people.

Eventually, conversation was struck up:

Me: Lazy day today, huh?
Him: Yeah. Nice out.
Me: Kinda hot, but I guess you get used to that in this city.
Him: I just moved here a few months ago.
Me: Oh. I've been here for a quite a few years now.
Him: Is it always this humid?
Me: In the summer? Uh, basically yeah.

And then in my mind the rest of the conversation played out:

Him: So you live around here?
Me: Yeah, a few blocks over. You?
Him: Over in the [name of building].
Me: Ah cool. Nice building.
Him: Yeah... nice views. Wanna see it?
Me: Sure, why not.

Chicka bow, chicka bow, chicka bow bow...


I went up to the roof of my building to lounge around in the pool for the little bit after spending a good portion of the day outdoors in oppressive humidity. I donned shorts and a t-shirt, grabbed a towel, and headed upstairs.

I expected to be greeted when I opened the door by at least a handful of other residents who had the same idea I did. I was wrong. The only person I saw on the roof was the lifeguard, who was clearly somewhat bored.

I eased my way into the pool, making the poor lifeguard work for his money (i.e., I made him actually sit there near the pool and watch me, rather than wander around the roof doing ... well, who knows what). Eventually, I decided to talk to him briefly.

Me: So, have you ever had to jump in and save anyone?
Lifeguard: Not yet.
Me: So I guess you've never used that stabilizing board either? [There's one of those boards with foam pads to support both sides of your head sitting in the corner of the pool area.]
Lifeguard: No.
Me: So where are you from?
Lifeguard: Serbia.
Me: Oh, cool.

Keep in mind, my lifeguard isn't as hot as the guy whose picture is up here, and his grasp of the English language isn't perfect.

The rest of the conversation is imagined:

Me: So, if I were drowning, would you jump in and save me?
Lifeguard: Yes.
Me: Would you jump in like that, or are those breakaway sweatpants you're wearing?
Lifeguard: They're breakaway. Want a demonstration?

Chicka bow, chicka bow, chicka bow bow...


[Photo still from the movie Adored: Diary of a Male Porn Star.]

I got out of the pool after about half an hour of, well, just sitting around in the water, and made my way back downstairs. Towel wrapped around my waist (covering my wet trunks) and wearing my shirt, I got into the elevator. As the elevator made its way down, it stopped at 9, and a hot young number walked in, dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, and carrying a backpack and iPod.

Him: Hey.
Me: Hey. Going to the lobby?
Him: Oh. Yeah. [I hit "1" for him.]
Him: So I guess you were checking out the pool.
Me: Yeah, it was cool. Like, literally.
Him: I guess so, huh?
Me: Yeah, it's in the shade for a lot of the day. But it's all right when you get used to it.
Him: I should check it out sometime.
Me: Yeah, you should.

The rest of this conversation took place in my head:

Me: Well, I'll head back up and keep you company if you want to go for a dip.
Him: Mmmm... sure, why not. I'd have to get my trunks though.
Me: Yeah, that would help. Want me to meet you up there?
Him: Actually, why don't you come to my place while I get changed into my swim gear?
Me: Okay.

Chicka bow, chicka bow, chicka bow bow...


I wonder what's causing me to think like this.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It Was Bound To Happen.

It was bound to happen eventually.

I had mentioned my blog to a girlfriend of mine several times, each time resolutely refusing to disclose the URL. (As we all know, I prefer to blog in some semblance of anonymity.) "I'll tell you the URL if you start up your own blog and we trade info," I told her.

Apparently, that night, she found my blog. Then, only more recently, she revealed herself, having not come back to this blog for a little while afterward. She finally set up her own blog, so the quid pro quo arrangement has been (belatedly) fulfilled.

(I will say this: I was relieved when she revealed herself, because for the past several months I've been living in fear that one of these girls had found me, and, well, that would not be good. Of course, one of them might still have found this site, but it seems less likely now that I know who the 2/11 stalker was.)

This brings to five the number of people I know in real life have read this blog.

I daresay it's a little intimidating, and in a way that's not related to my original concerns about blogging openly to my friends. I'm not so much concerned about what I might write about my newest reader -- because she hasn't ever given me cause to say anything negative about her -- Hi, Lillian! -- but now I feel like I'm pressured to write really high quality stuff (and this post is not one of them).

I suddenly realize that it's easier to write when I don't know who's reading me. Of however many readers I have out there, I've met three (though I'm wholly open to the eventuality of meeting more*). Those three aside, with the anonymity of this blog comes the ability to not give a damn if I'm not consistently producing high-quality posts. I can blow off unseen faces with a "so I'm having a bad blog day/week/month". I can choose whether to justify my opinions/biases/prejudices or just ignore a critical (usually anonymous) commenter.

But with a personal friend actually reading this blog, I feel some pressure. I feel the need to write well. No longer am I writing into the wind to be read by whoever happens to land on this page. I now am writing for at least one person who has ability to pick up the phone and say "I read your blog again today."

Don't get me wrong, it's a good pressure; it's a pressure that usually drives me to do better. I've always done best -- at least in school -- in high pressure situations (well, at least those times when I didn't break down in nervous tears). (Don't get me started on the bar exam. I remain eternally grateful that those things don't involve an oral presentation component.) But it's a pressure nonetheless, and though it's an impetus for improvement, it's still strange and unpleasant and exhilirating all at once.

I'm sure this reaction is just the "newness" of having a friend read my blog. Hopefully, this self-consciousness will wear off over time, and I'll return to my normal blogstyle which I have so carefully cultivated over the last two years.

And eventually, I'm sure, I'll lose all my inhibitions in the first place, and feel free to openly tell people, friends included, that this blog exists and that they're more than free to read it at their leisure.

But until then, I lurk in the shadows of obscurity, pouring my efforts into a mediocre blog which generates rather low daily traffic... and loving every word of it.

So, all that having been said, I'd like to welcome Lillian** to the blogosphere, even though as of this posting she hasn't let loose her wit and style on the world just yet. (Give her time.)

* Yes, I'm talking about you. Email me and we'll have drinks. And if you're not in the DC area, we'll have drinks when next I visit your fair city. Unless you're a Friend of Bill W., in which case we'll skip drinks and have a nice coffee drink instead.

** At her request, I am not linking to her site just yet, as the inaugural post has not even made its way up yet. See, this is also weird to me: being able to consult with the subject of my post!