While there are a few cuties on American Idol this season, it should probably come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that my favorite contestant to look at is 22 year old AJ Tabaldo. Tabaldo is by his own admission an ethnic mutt, part Filipino and Portuguese with Spanish, French, Italian and Chinese. I think he is adorable.
This is sort of a re-run or best of from my blog. I think I might feature some of these from the past three to four years of blogging. This one is from my original blog back on rediffblogs.com (hence this one is the NEW Gays of our Lives). Some of the things are still relevant, some are not. But the sentiment remains the same.
Thursday, September 25, 2003
yesterday's blog was just a bit too damned long and even more damned
depressing. I will try to stay brief and upbeat today... but I ain't
making any promises. In any event, all the talk about change got me to
mulling over some of the things I miss, not in a depressing way
but in a fond and reminiscent way. Like for instance, I miss being
young at back-to-school time. I miss shopping with my mom for school
supplies - pens and pencils, book bags, lunch boxes (the cool ones with
the thermos), the Crayola 64 pack of crayons (complete with built-in
crayon sharpener), folders and the rest of the required items for
matriculating at St. Edward's. Our family also used to make its annual
fall pilgrimage to Reading, PA,
which was a factory outlet capital of sorts, to shop for school
clothes. There we would stop by Moss Street and Vanity Fair, which
housed the Lee factory outlet. I hated our stops here however. My mom,
without fail, would manage to find some bargain basement pricing on Lee
jeans for me that she just could not pass up. I hated Lee jeans. Nobody
else at school wore Lee jeans. During that period of time, kids either
wore Levis, Wranglers or Jordache. There were only two kinds of jeans
that were less cool than Lee... JC Penny Plain Pockets and Sear's Rough
Riders. I remember one particular shopping trip where my mom found the most hideous plaid sports coat, which because of it's deeply discounted price she insisted was a must have. Damn, what were you thinking Mom?
Speaking of Sear's, another thing I miss is the utter sense of joy I would feel when the Sear's Christmas Wish Book
would arrive at the house. I would spend hours, paging through the Wish
Book. I would so seriously ponder my own personal Christmas wish list,
which would be neatly written on theme paper, in my best penmanship,
complete with the corresponding page number where the item appeared in
the Wish Book. I would do all of the leg work for my parents (short of
paying for it, of course), going as far as providing the item number,
size, color and any other pertinent information. Yet amazingly, they
must have failed to forward the information on to Santa Claus each
year, because I almost never got anything
on my Christmas wish list. Not that I didn't get some great gifts. I
cannot forget when I got my first cassette recorder along with a Tony Orlando & Dawn and a Dusty Springfield
cassette. I remember hitting my sister Angela with that cassette
recorder sometime later. I also remember playing "Tie a Yellow Ribbon",
"Knock Three Times", "Son of a Preacher Man" and the "Windmills of my
Mind" to death.
Another thing I miss, is going to the Hegins Pigeon Shoot
each Labor Day Weekend with my father, grandfather and sisters. OK, the
thought of a pigeon shoot is mildly repulsive now (only mildly, I hate
the winged rats), but at the time it seemed harmless (except to the
pigeons, I guess). But the real highlight was coming home and smelling
the chili sauce, stewed tomatoes, spaghetti sauce and green tomato
relish, which my mom always canned while we were gone. The smell of the
tomatoes cooking and the seasonings would permeate the whole house. It
is truly one of my favorite fall time memories.
Smells seem to
play a big role in my memories. Another smell I miss is the smell of
freshly baked bread from Yoch's bakery, which was a big commercial
bakery that was located a block from my house. The smell was fantastic!
I am sometimes reminded of the smell, when my BF [now ex-BF] and I are walking
around in his neighborhood on the UES. There is a bakery there, called Yura,
and the smell is heavenly. Anyway, I digress. My Uncle Albert worked at
Yoch's for many years and would sometimes smuggle me and a few friends
in for a tour of the bakery, complete with a stop in the icing room. He
would give us a donut or a cake and let us put the icing of our choice
on it, always in copious quantities. It was so sweet and so good, but
always led to an upset tummy.
Not all of the things I miss and think about often are from my childhood. For instance, I miss the view out of my living room window
in Millis, MA. I miss seeing the big tree in the yard and the horse
farm across the street. I miss being able to walk down the road to
Tangerini's farm for a fruit smoothie or homemade ice cream. I miss
sitting on the picnic table, eating said fruit smoothie or ice cream
while looking out over the farm. I miss gardening in my yard. I miss napping in my big, comfortable, over-sized chair in my living room. I miss Karen. I miss her as a friend; a roommate; as a constant companion; as a co-host of dinner parties with friends; as a person to watch and enjoy TV with at night; as someone to laugh and joke with; as someone to eat dinner with; as a travel partner;
as someone to share my problems with and share in hers; as someone to
take long roadtrips with on the weekends to nowhere in particular. In
general, I miss the best friend I ever had.
I miss the
relationship I had with my family before I came out. While things have
improved, they are still not, nor will they probably ever be, the same.
That makes me sad. At 37 years old, now is when my relationship with my
family should be at its strongest. My parents are aging, as am I. My
relationship with them has been tarnished by my coming out of the
closet. I know I should not beat myself up about it. I know I did what
I had to do for myself. It still hurts though. I miss my mom's cooking.
I miss talking with her like we used to. I miss being the only "normal"
kid in the family. I miss late night TV and chat sessions with her. I
miss hanging with the old man on weekends. I miss my sisters and my
nieces and nephews.
I miss my grandfather Buggy.
I miss my friend Chris.
I miss my old SallieMae and Honeywell friends.
I miss working in an office with people.
I miss my fraternity brothers, Kaz and Zog, and the times we used to spend together.
I miss going to Pittsburgh Panther football games.
the oddest thing is that I think I also miss some things that I never
experienced or that I only rarely experienced. I miss being touched,
like I was genuinely desired and wanted and found to be attractive. I
miss being popular. I miss being really and truly happy. I miss feeling
innocent. I miss the early adult years of my life being completely
comfortable with myself. I miss feeling like I have a purpose and am
making an impact. But you know what? The good thing is that it is not
always too late to recapture the things you miss or experience the
things you missed out on... not always, anyway.
Well, whatever it is, I went on one on Saturday. If you had attended, you would have realized that a blarg closely resembled an East Village pub crawl by gay, somewhat bear-ish bloggers... about 40 of them. The event was organized by Joe.My.God and is from what I gather an annual thing. The evening started with my new, very sexy BFF Andrés and I grabbing some Venezuelan arepas at one of my favorites spots in NYC, Caracas.
Then we headed off to meet the already assembled group at Nowhere Bar (former home of Big Lug, now sort of home to Nothing). Not long after we got there the group moved on to Phoenix, a bar I used to go to every now and then on Wednesdays. Once Andrés and I finished our drink, we moved on to meet them there.
When we arrived, we ran into fellow rugby alum Byrne and someone who claims he has showed me his penis but I was too drunk to remember (if I had a nickle for every time I heard that, I'd have... well, less than a dollar... LOL).
Soon the crowd was off to Dick's, a spot that I have not surprisingly never been to before. It was there that Jorge and Juan caught up with us. We also caught up with Paul and Damian of Big Lug's "Gut" Thursday fame. On the way out of Dick's, we ran into Eric and his sexy friend.
With some arm twisting, I convinced Andrés to continue on with us to Big Lug before wussing out. I hear the place has a sexy, cute and available doorman who works there on Friday nights (tell all your cute, single Latino friends... LOL).
Andrés bagged after Big Lug, but Jorge and Juan along with a few friends we picked up along the way followed the group onto the Boiler Room, a place I have only been to once and that was almost five years ago.
After the appointed time at the Boiler Room had elapsed, what remained of the group moved on to the Cock (which by the way is now in the Hole). Jorge, Juan and I were reluctant to pay a $10 cover charge to get into the Cock, so we checked out Urge briefly and then decided that we would rather grab something to eat. So it was off to Moonstruck Diner.
After some chow, we poured into cabs to go our separate ways and I stumbled in the door at 4-something in the morning and ended up sleeping until 12-something Sunday afternoon.
I know I met some other bloggers but don't recall all their names or URLs. All in all though, it was a fun night spent with a nice group of guys. There were lots of funny stories, which I would like to say I won't repeat, but I probably will at some time in the future. Makes me thankful that I passed up on the gay and lesbian karoke pub crawl for this. Thanks to Joe.My.God for organizing it. I am looking forward to the next one.
Some pics... two are mine and one is borrowed, I think from Joe.My.God (I think I remember him taking it):
What a fucking jackass!!! Seriously, this guy is a fucking douche bag. If the NBA and its commisioner, David Stern, had any balls whatsoever any association Tim Hardaway could have with the NBA should be over. And if it doesn't, gay men and women and those who hate bigotry should see that the NBA feels the financial impact associated with not condemning this incident in the strongest manner possible. What am I talking about? If you have been living under a rock and don't already know, here is the deal.
On a Miami radio show Wednesday, former Miami Heat basketball star Tim Hardaway was asked how he would interact with a gay teammate. The discussion was sparked by last week's announcement that retired NBA center John Amaechi is gay.
of all, I wouldn't want him on my team. And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know,
really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that is
right. I don't think he should be in the locker room while we are in
the locker room."
When the host told Hardaway those comments were "flatly homophobic" and "bigotry," the player continued.
"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."
Hardaway also said if he did find out that a teammate was gay, he would ask for the player to be removed from the team.
"Something has to give. If you have 12 other ballplayers in your
locker room that's upset and can't concentrate and always worried about him in the locker room or on the court or whatever, it's going to be hard for your teammates to win and accept him as a teammate."
Later that night, Hardaway apologized during a telephone interview with WSVN-TV in Miami. "Yes, I regret it. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said I hate gay people or anything like that," he said. "That was my mistake."
Make sure you not that he is sorry for saying he hates gay people, not for hating them.
Of the debate underway in Congress over non-binding resolutions that
oppose his plans in Iraq, the president said "it opposes our new plan
before it has a chance to work." While Congress has the right to debate
the policy, Bush said, it also needs to approve funding that will give
U.S. troops what they need to carry out their missions in Iraq. [emphasis added]
I really don't know what to say. Can he really be that clueless? They oppose it because they do not believe it will work. Do you really expect them to sit by idly AGAIN and let you pursue a foolish policy based on lies and ignorance? He honestly does not think he needs to listen to anyone... advisers, Congress, allies, diplomats, experts or even the American people. He is damned and determined that he is going to do whatever he feels like doing regardless of whether the American people or they elected representatives oppose it. He thinks he was elected imperial emperor.
As I have always been fond of the Chicago Bears (though not nearly as much as my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers -- we will miss you Bill) and am not a big fan of the Indianapolis Colts, I am already aboard da' Bears bandwagon this weekend. If I needed another reason to root for da' Bears in Super Bowl XLI, here it is...
Roberto Garza, the 27 year old, 6-2, 305-pound Guard from the Chicago Bears! WOOF! It comes as no surprise to any regular reader of this blog that I have an affinity for Latinos, especially Mexican and Central American men... but this Mexican-American stud takes my breath away. He makes me weak in the knees.
I mean seriously, if he isn't enough reason to watch the game and root for da' Bears, nothing is. Ay papi!