Musical Homocide?

I think my co-workers are going to kill me.

I didn’t do anything really bad, mind you.

I didn’t take a long lunch or talk on the phone for too long. I didn’t push off a project that I didn’t want to do so they would be overloaded with work. It wasn’t anything like that at all.

It was much worse, apparently.

See, when I come in to work, I hook up my iPod to my cheap $10 speakers and plug it into the wall. Then I select a playlist and let it go for the day. Usually my music selection is office-friendly. In fact, it’s usually always office-friendly. I’m not one to play “gangsta” rap or slash metal or anything along those lines. I’m a pretty mellow guy when it comes to my musical tastes. Jazz, light rock, pop, 70’s, 80’s… you get the idea.

Today, however, I think I crossed a line.

“Is that on repeat?” my co-worker who sits closest to me asked me with a sly grin.

“What, the music?” I responded, playing dumb.

“Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about,” she said. “Is that the only song you have today?”

“It’s not the ONLY song that’s played,” I retorted. “There have been others.”

“Yeah, but it’s been the same artist the whole time hasn’t it?

“Yes, it’s The Carpenters. Why?”

“I’m just asking,” she stated.

I started laughing.

“I was wondering when you’d ask me about it, actually,” I said.

The song being played was “Top of the World.” Just one of literally hundreds of Carpenters songs on my iPod that had been playing random from about 10:00 in the morning to about 3:00 in the afternoon.

Now c’mon, that isn’t so bad, is it?

I've been published!

Yesterday the Chicago Tribune’s baby sister, RedEye, ran the story about Lance Bass coming out of the closet on their website, and asked readers to submit their coming out stories.  The submission form said that stories may be published.

Well, I submitted mine (in very abbreviated form, figuring they would edit it down anyway), and shortly afterward I received an Email saying they wanted to print my story! 

I figured they’d run my story along with a bunch of other stories, but I was given my own little column with a title and everything!  Click here to see how it looked in the paper.  As you can see, I am in mighty fine company with the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, George Takei, Greg Louganis, Sheryl Swopes, and Rosie O’Donnell.

It’s also on RedEye’s website: Click here to go to RedEye’s website to read my story

Whatever happened to…

…Tribe?  Remember how much fun Tribe was a couple years back?  It was on Tribe (and specificially the Gay Bloggers Tribe) where I met and got to know so many fellow bloggers in 2004-2005.  Then Tribe went through a few redesigns and changed ownerships and managements a few times, and suddenly people became disenchanted with it.  It’s still there… I was there just the other day, and all the topics and discussions remain, but nobody really uses it anymore. 

…The Terror Alert System?  Remember how Orange meant “High” and Red meant “Severe”?  And a few other colors meant a few other things, but we never used them anyway?  Now, a few years, and many Department of Homeland Security Chairs later, the Terror Alert System has gone almost the way of the Civil Defense system– out the window with the packs of provisional crackers.  Oh sure, it’s still there… but does anyone even pay attention to it anymore?  Your government dollars at work, folks.

…Compassionate Conservativism?  When King George ran for president in 2000, he promised “Compassionate Conservatism” as a main goal of his presidency.  Instead, he delivered an iron fist to everything from gay marriage to stem cell research, started a meaningless war, and created more rivalry between political parties and the “right” and “left” than ever before.  Compassionate Conservatism could have worked– if it had the right architect at the helm.  Instead, we got Bozo the Clown and his faith-based initiatives.  Thanks, Dubya!

…Dating?  It seems that nobody dates anymore.  And yes, I speak from experience here, but I’m also talking about my friends.  Has dating gone the way of “wooing” and “courting”?  Has our desire for instant gratification become so out of control that nobody cares about taking our time and making things work anymore?  Hell, even the definition of a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” has changed from “someone I care deeply about” to “someone that I look great with and I have great sex with.”  Some relationship!

…The Democratic Party?  Back in the day of Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party was a force to be reckoned with.  There was true solidarity and a collective voice.  One cum-stain later, and everything was a shambles.  There was more in-fighting and finger-pointing than a trailer park on a weekday evening.  November is coming up fast… have we figured things out enough to win back some seats in the House and Senate?  Or are we doomed to live out the rest of these four final “W” years in a state of disarray and panic?  Let’s get to work, people…

…S&H Green Stamps?  The other day, I was reading a magazine that one of my managers at work gave me called “Reminisce”.  It was filled with pictures and memories from the 1900s to the 1970s.  One section had pictures of S&H Green Stamps and merchandise that you could buy using them.  I immediately remembered my mom collecting these booklets when I was a kid, then browsing the catalog for nifty things to buy.  Well believe it or not, S&H Green Stamps are still around, but they are now called S&H Greenpoints.  I’m not sure how it all works now, but it’s nice to know that an old institution like this still exists.

…My “Year of the Dog” Prediction?  Back in February, I wrote about this year being a “Year of the Dog” in terms of the Chinese calendar, and that the last time we were in a “Year of the Dog” I went through a great deal of change.  Well the year isn’t even half over yet and my dad has died.  I don’t see how much worse things can get… so let’s hope the rest of the year brings only good changes to me and my family. 

…Lance Bass of ‘N-Sync?  Well according to this article, he’s finally come out as gay (as if we didn’t know) and dating that Reichen guy from The Amazing Race.  Some guys just have to have it all. 

PadCast #16: True Colors

PadCast #16_ True Colors

Wow.  What a crazy week.

Between the going out almost every single night to the oppressive heat to the countless hot gay men (and girls) from countries far and wide invading this city, there’s no doubt that Chicago was the gayest place on Earth.

But now it’s over.  And life, somehow, has to return back to normal.

I’m glad that I got a chance to at least go to the opening and closing ceremonies.  If I hadn’t gone, I would have felt like I missed something, for sure… but now that I’ve been there and experienced it firsthand, I know I would have hated myself in the end.

Today’s PadCast sums up my feelings on the Gay Games– from the ridiculously long opening ceremonies, to the perfectly timed and performed closing ceremonies; and of course highlighting the appearance of the delightful Cyndi Lauper, dressed only as Cyndi could be dressed– in Pride Statue of Liberty drag.  Gotta love her.

So after listening, please comment and let me know your thoughts on the games.  Were you there?  What did you see?  What did you hate?  What did you love?  And would you ever go if you had the chance?

And while you’re at it, check these out and do some browsing ’round:

Music:  (Opening) Cyndi Lauper: True ColorsThe Body Acoustic (iTunes)

Music: (Closing) Cyndi Lauper: True ColorsThe Essential: Cyndi Lauper (iTunes)

Makin' Friends For The World To See

Over the past two years, I’ve met and gotten to know some really interesting people.

Most of these people I have only had contact with through their blogs, Emails, or even phone calls.  Since we’re so spread throughout the country, it’s hard to actually meet people face to face. 

Fortunately, however, I have had the opportunity to meet many of them recently.  I’ve already written about meeting Patrick, Karen, MarkAaron, and David, among others, in New York City.  And I’ve met others like Fausto and Marc, Andy, Patrick, Noah and Scott, Spencer, Alan, and Todd because we all live in the same city.  And of course I’ve known Jake, Brandon and Scott for years now.

This week, however, I’ve had the chance to finally meet Hot Toddy.  And folks, I have to say this right here and now; he’s become a very dear friend.

Todd and I are alike in more ways than I ever had imagined.  We have had a lot of similar experiences and frustrations in life.  As we talked and really got to know each other, I began to realize that he is a kindred spirit in many ways. 

We’ve spent a lot of time together this week– starting on Sunday, first catching the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus in Millennium Park, then Margaret Cho at the Chicago Theatre.  On Monday we sang showtunes at Sidetrack, and last night I joined him and his friends for dinner at the Grand Luxe Cafe and drinks afterward at Big Chicks.

This weekend I’m giving him the grande tour of Andersonville, and hopefully I’ll see him at the closing ceremony for the Gay Games, before he leaves on Sunday.

Throughout this week, it’s become very clear that Todd is not just a fellow blogger… he’s a very dear friend.

Thanks, Toddy.  You’re a really wonderful guy.  I have enjoyed getting to know you.  I hope to visit you and the rest of the gang in Portland very soon!

Check out the pics from Hot Toddy’s visit in my gallery!