May 25

Sweet Pop Candy Goodness

You can’t see me right now, but if you could, you’d see this big ass grin as I dance a jig of happiness in the living room. Yes, my man Taylor Hicks won American Idol.

My faith in the general public’s musical… tastes… has been at least partially restored. He was the oldest contestant, had performing experience, and is a genuinely smart and nice guy. He’s also fabulously entertaining.

The world of corporate schlock pop music has been overrun with vapid bouncing blonde bimbos. Pop songs are being written by the same two or three writers, produced by the same handful of music moguls, and fed to us in tasty, sweet, but utterly unsatisfying three minute dosages.

The public is ready for a throwback to soulful and smart performances. Taylor is the man to do it. Wonderful that he might be the guy who gets a new generation of music fans to listen to artists like the Doobie Brothers, Elton John, Ray Charles, Joe Cocker and the like.

And while I’m on the American Idol train of thought, I’d like to officially start a movement to allow the AI producers to put on the next Grammy’s award show. The pacing was fantastic, the musical numbers were stunning, and unlike a couple of finales in AI’s history, I wasn’t bored for a moment.

They collected together on the same stage

  • Al Jarreau
  • Meatloaf (I don’t think his monitor was working, because he sounded awful)
  • Toni Braxton
  • Mary J Blige
  • Live (which came first, Chris Daughtry or Ed? Ed. Definitely Ed.)
  • Dionne Warwick (older than dirt, sounds exactly the same)
  • Burt Bacharach (I didn’t realize he wrote What’s New Pussycat?)
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Clay Aiken (What in bloody hell was up with his hair?)
  • and Prince!

Don’t worry Katherine McPhee, your career will be long and rewarding, too… but Taylor wins. Taylor WINS!

::needs a cigarette::

May 24

Idol Finale

I don’t know why, but I have become so emotionally committed to this season of American Idol that I can’t hardly stand it.

I won’t be the least bit upset if Katharine wins, but I would dance a crazy jig of happiness to see Taylor win. He’s the oldest contestant in the competition history, and is an amazing performer. He’s unique, picks great songs, and is a complete throwback to some of the greatest singers in pop music.

Kat is beautiful, has a great voice, but nothing really stands out as different from the crowd… that’s not an insult. I’ll buy her album, either way BUT

I hope everyone voted. For Taylor.

May 21

Truth or Dare

It’s one of those games that everyone has played, but no one really knows where it started. I guess there is an equivalent in other countries… though I can’t say for sure. Just in case, let me define the game for you:

    Truth or Dare

  • a game for two or more players in which each person takes a turn challenging the others to either answer any question the challenger asks TRUTHFULLY or perform a task of the challenger’s choosing as a ‘punishment’ for not answering the question.
  • Ages 9 – 17

Of course, there is another purpose for this game:

  • a game for two or more players in which it quickly becomes a game of “do something to me that you want me to do to you.”

Such was the case on my 13th birthday.

Randy Stokes was the coolest guy I knew. We met in the fifth grade when I apparently, having a bad day, walked up to him in the lunch line and punched him squarely in the stomach. I guess I was jealous of just how cool he was. We were virtually inseperable after that.

Before that fateful night, we had played a game of TOD during a backyard campout a couple years earlier. It involved tasks like naked jumping jacks, handstands, and somersaults. I recall one particular Dare that he made me perform… standing on the top of our tool shed with a trouble light in my hand like a 10 year old Statue of Liberty singing “God Bless America.”

Yeah, Randy was cool like that.

Nothing happened that night, well, a couple of mosquitos got fresh with me, but that was it.

I’m transported back to my first night as a teenager, lying in my gigantic waterbed completely naked and scared to death everytime I hear Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up,” Ton Loc’s “Wild Thing,” or the song that I consider my offical virginity loss song, “Hold on to the Nights” by Richard Marx.

I know, you want gory details, but believe me, the fumbling, scared, excited groping of a 13 and 14 year old who have NO idea what they are doing really can’t adequately be described in a manner as funny and horrifying and… liberating as it was.

I learned a very important lesson following that night; sex changes things. Randy and I started drifting apart, he started avoiding me at school. We would only get together on weekends when no other friends were around. We messed around a few more times, not always under the guise of the ‘game.’ Though “Wanna play Truth or Dare” became our code for “hey, how about a blowjob?”

I moved away to Kansas City the following year, and Randy got into some trouble with the law and drugs. A pretty commonplace problem in the small town of Joplin, MO. I helped bail him out and the last time I talked to him, he was married to a great girl named Lisa, and had a son. He was living in Witchita.

I do believe that homosexuality is genetic… something we have no choice over… and I also truly believe that everyone falls somewhere toward the middle of the Kinsey Scale. Randy’s not gay. I am. Randy didn’t make me gay anymore than I made him straight. It’s just the way things go.

But Randy, if you’re out there somewhere reading this post… email me. I dare you.

May 18

When I Knew…

“When did you know you were gay?”

I get asked this question fairly often… always by some slightly-too-interested straight guy. My standard answer when I want the conversation to be over is usually, “The day my best friend played a special game of Truth or Dare with me on my 13th birthday.” It’s a pretty effective way of ending the conversation without giving them too much information, but enough to make them think and blush.

Truthfully, it was long before that fateful Truth or Dare game.

I always felt like an outsider, different from the ‘normals’ around me. I remember being about 5 years old and injuring my foot, Mom and Dad decided I should have it X-Rayed. I got quite upset by their explanation of how an X-Ray machine would “take a picture of my insides.” I was afraid that the doctor would take one look at the picture and know that I was an alien from another planet.

That’s right, an ALIEN from another PLANET. I was stunned to discover that there was nothing unusual about my X-Ray. I was certain that I would have three hearts, or my brain would be in my stomach.

I can only guess that this was the earliest manifestation of my homosexuality. That and a love of Karen Carpenter.

May 16

Depressed much?

I feel as though my body is out to get me today. I’m right on the verge of a migraine, my stomach is still quite upset about last night’s Taco Bell, and the only thing I feel like doing is sitting on the couch and playing World of Warcraft.

I called Ruben, he’s fine at the cafe, it’s slow there, surprise, surprise. I’m going to let him handle things by himself today.

It’s a beautiful day, and I can’t enjoy it because I feel like hammered shit. At least I’m not working.

May 08

Followup

I received a call a bit ago that Jerry has come through his surgery just fine. As did his donor, Matt. The kidney was ‘beautiful’ and it pinked right up and began working immediately. He’ll be moved from recovery into his own room in a couple of hours.

May 08

Immuno-depressed.

My good friend, Jerry, who is the bass player in my band, is undergoing a kidney transplant as I write this. He has been writing about his experiences the past couple of weeks leading up to the surgery, explaining the circumstances, and his thoughts as today approached. I can’t wait until he’s out of recovery and able to continue writing about the process, and how his life is changing.

Everyone send good thoughts his way.

May 02

Sad…

Any one who knows me, knows that I’ve been talking a lot about Kiki’s blog, that has become my daily fix for (usually) humorous stories and observations about life in San Francisco. Recently, she has been relaying what is quite obviously a painful trip down the path of her divorce and subsequent move to San Francisco from the east coast all while her mother was unsuccessfully fighting cancer. The stories have been gut-wrenching at times, but most certainly heartfelt and honest.

Kiki’s father, a frequent contributor to her site, passed away this morning following his own battle with cancer.

I can’t help but wonder at the ironic beauty of K’s sharing with us her journey of emotional growth and empowerment, and making peace with her family during an awful time in their life, coupled with the loss of her father with whom she had recently resolved some past hurts.

I know my friends and readers wish her their sympathies on her loss.

May 01

The photos are here!

So thanks again to Dan, I got my photo album up and running… and it looks pretty darn nifty even if I do say so myself. More pictures are coming soon.

Enjoy!