Tuesday, October 25, 2011

UPDATED: halloween + the age of innocence.

If you are related to me, knew me as a small child, or might be a prospective employer (outside of the carnival circuit), you might want to not read this. Seriously. You've been warned.

Remember when Halloween was all about putting on a cute, G-rated costume of your favorite Disney character, Saturday morning cartoon, or superhero and walking door to door with a pillowcase to get free stuff?

Yeah... I don't either.

The great Tina Fey wrote it best: "In Girl World, Halloween is the one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything else about it."

In my life, and if the last 3 or 4 years have taught me anything, this also applies to Gay World.

Nowadays, if you are a young, beautiful adjacent, and have an affinity for heavy drinking and attention, the super hero capes and princess dresses have been traded in for costumes that consist of as little material as possible that only slightly allude to what the actual costume really is. Seriously, I'm 99% certain firemen, football players, and other uniformed archetypes of masculinity Village People wear shirts when they're on the job.

I may be wrong... Can someone please start a fire and see if a shirtless man in nothing but yellow hot shorts and a $1.99 plastic fireman's hat shows up, and get back to me?!

Anyway, I never really dressed up as a child, and if and when I did, it was pretty half-assed. I mean, in elementary school, I wore my older brother's Letterman jacket and went as a 'high-schooler.' I was pretty lame. Enter my 20s, my own disposable income, and again, my constant need for attention, and I have all but mastered the art of Halloween in Gay World.

Two years ago, I had two parties, and like any good celebrity, I refused to show up in the same thing twice. For the annual Cedar Springs Block Party, I decided to go all out for it. I love sodium, constantly over-salt my food, and have the high cholesterol to prove it. So, naturally, I went as my idol: The Morton Salt Girl.

For the second party, I decided to go old school. Remember when your parents were lazy and made you go as 'cute' bag of leaves or candy or whatever they had on hand?!

This is pretty much nothing like that.

Last year, I decided to butch it up and also adopt a group costume (a practice also very popular among gays), and decided to go military. This was a vintage flight suit I bought that someone actually in the military probably wore... If he or she only knew...

As you can see, I'm pretty good at this. And this year will be no exception. Honestly, I think I spent more on this year's costume than I have on actual clothes in the last 6 months. But, I'll be in New Orleans and I hear it is quite the hot mess. So the bar has been raised. After Halloween, I'll post an update with what will be greatest costume EVER. 

I hope this serves as inspiration for anyone still working on your costume OR a warning to any straight, conservative people to NEVER go to a gay Halloween event.

Now, go forth and ruin your future political careers as I have!

UPDATE: So, I just got back today from New Orleans where my nine of my friends and I went as The Black Swan and back up dancers. Some say 'corps de ballet' but I say back up dancers. My friends got to show off their sexy bodies, crash diets, and man cleavage, and I got to be the center of attention. Everyone wins! Except for us...

Halloween NOLA has a costume contest we entered. We had the look down, a large enough group, and choreography. If there is one thing that gay men love, it is other gay men. If there is another, it is choreography!

We got 2nd place. So yes, in addition to my wig in a box, I got to carry a trophy through airport security on the return flight. Anyway here are some pics:

The transformation begins.

I'm 99% certain I'm going to start wearing foundation.
My skin looks amazing.
The final group. That feeling you are feeling is called 'jealousy.'

If and when I get a video of our much talked about performance, I will upload it. Note: when I say 'talked about' I mean 'whispered about in reverent hushed tones.'

I still haven't found a video. Sad face. But I was just tagged in this little gem of a perfect picture of my less than perfect fuete.

Also, the true highlight of the entire weekend was another chance to do some 'wigging'. Haven't heard of it? It's all here, losers.

She's talking. I'm taking over the Internet.

Friday, October 21, 2011

this post is imaginary.

This is pretty much a non-post. But, hey, I blogged about reality TV and you still came back. The joke's on you, chump! But seriously, this isn't real at all. It's imaginary and you probably should just come back next week when I have a some hilarious story about drinking, being hungover, yelling at people at the grocery, or when I bake something...

Well, if that little disclaimer or YouTube video didn't drive you away, you're a lot more bored than most days you read this blog. 

Anyway, on to the imaginary non-post post.

I'm a borderline terrible person. I'm a huge fan of Kelly Clarkson. Like obsessed, but in a healthy way. I do NOT consider myself a fan of American Idol, and with the exception of a handful of really excellent past contestants, I think this show is absolute monkey vomit.

Kelly Clarkson's much anticipated 5th studio album, Stronger, is coming out Monday, October 24th. But, this is the Internet folks... Like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and pretty much anyone else whose crazy loyal fans love them so much they risk federal prison, her album leaked...

My new dream: Be photo-shopped THIS well!

Like the child who digs under his parents' bed and that creepy crawl space next to the laundry room in search of Christmas presents in November, I sought out and found the album. For shame, John. However, in my defense, I'm totally going to act surprised when I legally download the album I've had pre-ordered for weeks on iTunes because

1) I believe in supporting underrated artists whom I love, and
2) the Eric Hutchinson penned track Why Don't You Try is a amazing and "iTunes only."

The following is a completely biased, but still honest review of Stronger.

Let Me Down, I Forgive You, What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger), and Einstein in their demo form all leaked earlier this summer and for the most part sound exactly the same in fully engineered album form. Einstein (that leaked as Dumb + Dumb = U) is, well, kind of dumb. 

However, the first three fully encompass the classic pop-rocker Kelly sound that are best compared to her earlier work of Since U Been Gone and My Life Would Suck Without You. They aren't groundbreaking in any enormous way and don't show much artistic development. But they are all extremely radio friendly, like "if I hear that Adele song that is on every station one more time I'm going to drive my car off an overpass" kind of radio friendly. 

Like these three tracks, Stronger has other pop-rock gems whose remixed choruses will have you jumping on a dance floor surrounded by glitter-covered twinks and more glow sticks than Time Square on New Year's Eve include: Dark Side, You Love Me, Don't Be A Girl About It, and You Can't Win.

You Can't Win is the Kelly Clarkson version of Lady Gaga's Born This Way. It's supposed to be empowering for the underdog, embrace who you are no matter what people think song. But it is lyrically weak and seems to be trying too hard. The melody, chorus, and vocals are all amazing, the lyrics are just dumb and too straightforward.

Don't Be A Girl About It is marginally as stupid lyrically, and even more so conceptually. However, the hook on the chorus has a whistle like quality that is pure pop music meth. But, I firmly believe ANY song with a whistle is catchy. Case in point: Britney Spears's I Wanna Go, this summer's #1 Moves Like Jagger, and of course the theme song from The Andy Griffin Show.

Now, onto the reason I love Kelly Clarkson more than anyone else currently on the pop scene: the ballads. Oh sweet, melted butter the ballads!!! As much as I love the glow stick, glitter dance remixes of her empowering break up songs, I've always been a Kelly ballad fan.

Found on the Deluxe edition of Stronger, is one of my favorite songs on the entire EP, The Sun Will Rise. It is a girl on girl duet featuring former American Idol judge, Kara Dioguardi. Before (and after) AI, Kara has written hits for Kelly (Walk Away, I Do Not Hook Up) and tons of other artists (Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, and P!nk). She also has some recordings of her own that I have never heard of... Anyway, this girl can sing, and almost keeps up with Kelly on this amazing track.

The War Is Over and Breaking Your Own Heart (the last track on the standard edition) are also amazing.

Finally as of this morning's commute to work Standing In Front Of You is my favorite ballad on the album. It features NONE of the traditional Kelly giant, chesty Chewbacca notes. It is extremely slow. The chorus has this fascinating whisper-like, eerily syncopated quality that really delivers. It's almost haunting. I've never heard Kelly use such a delicate vocal on any record before.

Overall, this is probably one of Kelly's best works to date. It isn't personal and raw like her commercially unsuccessful but amazing album My December, but it seems much more Kelly than her previous All I Ever Wanted. Unlike that album that seemed completely label driven, she actually sounds like she believes what she's singing in her vocal delivery.

If you are still reading at this point, you are either a huge Kelly Clarkson fan too, or *EXTREMELY* bored and just wasted 5 minutes of your day on something you care nothing about... Take a look at your life dammit! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

in a (disjointed) pickle.

This could possibly be the most disjointed, ADD post I've ever written. It probably could have been multiple posts or scrapped altogether, but it's Monday... I debated on blogging about TV (again) or the Taylor Swift concert I went to a few weeks ago. Just be grateful I did not.

Pickled things and I have a complicated, delicious relationship. Whether it is the mildly perverted, over-sized dills you get at movie theaters or me coming home drunk and eating an entire jar of green olives in my underwear alone in my room, I can't get enough.

So, the other day I was overwhelmed with the uncontrollable urge to pickle something... particularly okra. I made a facebook post inquiring if any of my friends had good recipes and/or experience with pickling, because I had no experience and online recipes freak me out.

You never know who submitted these recipes, and most of the comments/reviews are super lame food trolls. I mean people might say 'This was the best thing ever. I am blind now it was so delicious.'  But, the reviewer's hyperbolic enthusiasm does not a believer out of me make. 

Also, all of the recipes I was reading made it sound really complicated. I'm not sure this is actual math but: glass jars + boiling hot water + my aforementioned uncontrollable urge + excitement to leave my simple 9-5 life and build a pickling emporium = an almost certain disaster full of vinegar tears, severe burns, and zero bathtubs full of pickled okra. 

After about 348 text messages to my foodie friends and a few online recipes later, I built up the courage to trust a woman who has never not provided me with disgustingly delicious food. That being said, I'm pretty sure you could put melted butter on Biohazard waste, and I would eat it...

That's right, y'all. I used Paula Deen's recipe for pickled okra.

I made this! You can make your own at the best website ever:

Once I recovered from the shock of the exclusion of butter and my heart started beating again, I was ready to conquer this, my vinegary Everest.

In response to my post, my work-wife was nice enough to give me some canning jars she had on hand in the promises that I return one full of pickled okra goodness. So, I was set... ish. 

My only experience with jars like these is drinking sweet tea
out of them until my bladder needs its own zip code.

Although I was still terrified at the idea of handling a giant vat of boiling water, the ingredients were simple, and even though canning talks a lot about 'sanitization' I didn't sweat it. I mean, if these things last one week, it will be a miracle of Biblical proportions so  I wasn't extremely anal about making sure they were crazy sanitized.

Here they are boiling in their water bath that seals them. Is it just me or does it look like I'm growing little aliens or velociraptor fetuses. (Or is it "feti"?? No, that sounds like bad cheese or a foot disorder). Anyway, that picture is weird.

OK here, my friends, are the finished products!

That white thing is garlic, not an undeveloped raptor fetus. 
I *totally* would have taken more pictures of the actual process, but in my defense, I was trying to find the best way to avoid third degree burns.

Turns out, these are AMAZING. It was ridiculously simple and I sustained little to no burns on my arms. This was one of my proudest moments ever. This rarely ever happens to me when it comes to trying new things.

You know? You want to do something, you have a task in front of you with multiple steps and a clear goal, and for once, the final outcome is almost exactly as you pictured it!

This doesn't even happen to me when it comes to the most simple things. For instance, Saturday evening, I was planning on having a little 'me' time before my usual weekend craziness. So, I decided a glass of wine, a little snack, and some DVR would be just the ticket.

Turns out, when you drink wine out of a box and said box is almost empty, aggressively tilting it and forcibly removing the bag from the box can sometimes lead to knocking the almost full glass you were trying to fill off the counter...

My 'me' time quickly turned into fighting back tears while mopping up wine off the floor and debating to suck the remaining wine directly out of the spout.

Speaking of really, really sad things. As Saturday night came to an end, I found myself limping home. Two of my middle toes on my left foot were throbbing, but I don't remember stubbing my toes or getting stepped on.

The next day, there were no cuts, bruises or visible swelling and they still hurt. Does anyone know what might be wrong with me? It's not unbearable pain and I still maintain full range of motion in my toes. I'm too terrified lazy to actually go to a doctor and going to WebMD and typing in 'toe pain' will most likely generate a diagnosis of some terrible combination of  gout, parvo, and possible feline AIDS.

Side note / PS - Who the hell came up with the phrase 'in a pickle' anyway? I mean, if I could literally be IN a pickle, I would simply eat my way out, very slowly. That saying should change. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

this is why people don't want 'us' to get married

I haven't blogged in a while, and unfortunately for you, this one is about TV again.

Remember when I was mentally raped a few weeks ago when I was at a birthday party that ended up being a filming of LOGO's new reality show, The A-List: Dallas. No? Well, consider yourself lucky.

Anyway, the very first episode aired last night... For shame gays. For. Shame.

I was a bottle and a half of wine into my night, so at this point you probably could have made me watch Dora The Explorer and for the first time, I wouldn't have violently refused to 'flap my arms like a bird' or 'jump in the air' when that bossy little Mexican barks her orders.

This buzz mixed with my dramatically low expectations probably had all the makings of some excellent guilty pleasure television. However, I found myself physically offended by their depiction of Dallas and gay men. I felt exactly like the Orcs after The Lord Of The Rings came out...

So, much of the cast is easily forgettable, not very attractive, and bloated stereotypes of materialistic, bitchy homos. I've spent about as much time researching the minutiae of this show as I have spent pursuing my career in women's basketball, so I may not be 100% correct in saying that not all of these fags are even from Dallas... thankfully.

Also, the girl... That girl. I'm sure she is lovely as sure as I hope that her hair is a bad wig. I've been in enough douchey straight bars to know what a hot, trendy, Dallas girl looks like, and NONE of them would be caught dead with that huge, over the top curly hair. It is is exactly how I imagine all the little girls on Toddlers & Tiaras to look like when they grow up... with serious Daddy issues and very little personality.

To anyone who might think the Southern charm star is a dreamboat, I hate to be the iceberg to your Titanic, but I've seen him in person and the camera lies. I mean, watching I caught myself getting moderately Bambi-eyed, but then my memory kicked in and reminded me of his face-to-face appearance. Thanks, brain. You rock!

The ONLY character I can probably find myself in the same room with without the aid of mind-altering prescription drugs is the same character I'm pretty sure tweeted me last night during my drunken Twitter rant on how bad this show was.

James, heavy drinking, tears, and a drag queen bestie? Yes, schma'am.

Finally, I'm sure these people are all adequate human beings, but the camera changes you. Sometimes it makes you look more attractive than you actually are. Other times it makes you look like the epitome of a bad gay stereotype that makes most middle-Americans not want dudes to marry other dudes.

But that's Reality TV for you, I guess. I find anytime someone even mentions ANY of the Real Housewives of Any City, I want to repeal the 19th amendment. I just hope the public basic cable actions of the few doesn't alter the already close-minded view of the many.

In other words: not all gay men act like this. I mean if they did, what options would I be left with? I couldn't turn straight... So... I'd probably just become a lesbian... or find a really tall bridge.