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Monday, November 17, 2008

A Conversation From the Bar Scene

Jeff: So you're turning 40 soon, right?
Brad: Yep.
Jeff: It shows.
Brad: I'll have you know that, until very recently, I had the body of a 23-year-old.
Jeff: Well, the economic downturn has affected us all.
November 17, 2008 at 11:06 AM | Permalink
Categories: Conversations

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Conversation From the Bar Scene

Jeff: Take a look at him. He's hot. Nice tan too.

Brad: That's not a tan. I believe he's a Native American.

Jeff: Mmmmmm. He could poke-a my hontas any time he liked.

Brad: You don't even listen to yourself talk anymore, do you?

Jeff: I...I do not.
October 8, 2008 at 12:19 AM | Permalink
Categories: Conversations

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How it begins

"I just had one hell of a surprise."

"What happened?"

"I was at the airport, rushing down the concourse to my gate and I ran into my brother."

"You didn't know he was going to be in town?"

"No. I didn't know I had a brother."
June 24, 2008 at 11:56 AM | Permalink
Categories: Conversations

Monday, May 05, 2008

The lesser kudu

My favorite animal at the Zoo is the lesser kudu. You have to admire an animal with a name like that, laboring as he must in the shadow of the greater kudu. It must be like having an older brother who excelled at sports and academics in school, to whom you have always been compared and found lacking. A few months ago, I was visiting the Zoo at lunch with a friend and discovered the area where the lesser kudu is ordinarily found was empty.

I hope he made a break for it. I hope he made his way out into the world, free of expectations, shedding labels, determined only to be the best damn kudu he could be.

(originally posted July 28, 2000)
May 5, 2008 at 6:34 PM | Permalink
Categories: Half-Baked Humor

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Observation

When all you have is a hammer, the maxim tells us, everything begins to look like a nail.

The same thing is essentially true when you buy a new cordless drill.

Or, especially, a label-making machine.
December 23, 2006 at 12:08 PM | Permalink
Categories: The Daily Brad | My So-Called Lifestyle

Monday, December 05, 2005

A Conversation From the Bar Scene

Jeff: I have to take something for the office potluck tomorrow. Do you know how to make an artichoke dip?

Brad: Sure, that's easy. The hard part is getting it to dance with you in the first place.

Jeff: (stares)

Brad: What?

Jeff: Seriously, how do you ever get laid?
December 5, 2005 at 8:43 PM | Permalink
Categories: Conversations | The Daily Brad

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Conversation From the Bar Scene

Mark: Where did Larry go?

Brad: He didn't say he was leaving.

Mark: It's like he just disappeared.

Brad: Maybe on his way back from the restroom he passed near a quantum singularity and is just slightly out of phase with us.

Mark: Like Geordi and Ro Laren?

Brad: Exactly.

Mark: We should sweep the bar with a tachyon field.

Brad: (looks around) Maybe. But it's already been swept with a tacky outfit field, and that hasn't helped at all.
August 2, 2005 at 4:59 PM | Permalink
Categories: Conversations

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Bookmark Now

Sometimes I feel as though I'm killing the American theatre.

I should explain. For a couple of decades now, there have been dire pronouncements that, with the advent of expanding home entertainment options—movies on demand, video games, personal computers, the internet and such—and an increased emphasis on an active lifestyle, with the 80-hour work week and the tendency of we humans in our off-hours to cocoon ourselves in our homes, theatregoing was in a not-so-slow and inexorable decline.

I thought about buying a bumpersticker for my car: "I [heart] my dying industry."

See, it's my job to extol the virtues and unique qualities of the live theatre. More than my job, it's my passion. And although I work for a reasonably healthy regional theatre, supported by a loyal and enthusiastic base of patrons, the audience is changing. Gone are the days when we could depend almost entirely on a subscriber audience—folks who sign up for a whole season of comedy, drama and music. They're being replaced by cherry-pickers who choose one or two productions each season. Actually, they're not being replaced. They're the same folks who used to go to the theatre all year. Replacing them with new theatregoers is hard, and getting harder all the time.

And I'm part of the problem. A few weeks ago, near the end of a long day at work, I knew there were two plays being produced in town I really wanted to see. One included a good friend's stage debut, the other was a seldom-produced work that was getting good notices that I wasn't sure I'd have the opportunity to see again for years.

All I wanted to do that night, though, was go home and fix a little supper then curl up with a warm DVD.

I returned to work the next day and wondered anew how to convince people to come to the theatre in an age when fewer and fewer people can be coaxed from their homes.

bookmarkNow.jpgIt was with considerable interest, then, that I received my pal Kevin Smokler's new (and first) book, Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times, a collection of essays by young authors that looks at the publishing industry and the writer's life in an age where popular literature is facing the same dire predictions as my own professional world: a steep audience decline.

I must also guiltily admit that, having committed to write a bit about it here today, I haven't read it yet.

Oh my. I'm killing American literature too!

OK, that's not entirely true. I have read a good bit of the book, although it'd be unfair to give it anything approaching a review without having completed it. The book came to me at a particularly busy time and while I was in the midst of reading another, quite different book I have been trying to finish for a couple of weeks. But I have known Kevin for a few years now and I have made my way through about a third of his book and I can therefore tell you these things by way of encouragement to run out and purchase it when it goes on sale next week:

1. I hang with a pretty well-read crowd and I can say confidently that I know no one more passionate about new lit and publishing and the potential of new technologies and social networks to encourage them than Kevin Smokler. He clearly edited this book infused with an excitement to share that passion with as many people as possible, and it thoroughly deserves that audience.

2. Even from the modest amount I've read so far, I can see that this book has the potential to enlighten and enthuse writers about their craft and about a publishing landscape that is not as barren as some would have you think. In short, if you're considering a career as a writer, you need this book.

3. If you are not a writer or considering becoming one, you have a lot to glean from Bookmark Now anyway. The essays are thoughtful considerations of reasons for entering and strategies for surviving a changing literary world, and many of those considerations apply to any industry—theatre, say, or even sales or service—being forced to reshape itself in this modern world.

4. For readers—consumers of literature, in the vernacular—Bookmark Now is a feast of voices, many of which will be new to you, from which you can sample and discover new writers to seek out and gorge upon. (Here endeth the strained metaphor.)

Kevin is on one of his whirlwind Virtual Book Tours this week, so have a look at some of the other sites around where he's guest-writing for certain popular webloggers or submitting to grillings by other writers. There's also a distinct possibility he'll be coming to your town or showing up at a bookstore near year sometime soon to pimp his book.

No quixotic quest, this. Kevin simply believes with all his heart that books neither will nor deserve to die, and we could all use a sip of that Kool-Aid.
May 26, 2005 at 9:59 AM | Permalink
Categories: Pop Life

Monday, May 09, 2005

I’d stick it on my rear

I'm not really big on ribbons—yellow, white, camouflage, whatever—but if someone made a magnetic car bumper decoration shaped like a jock strap with the legend "SUPPORT OUR ATHLETES", I'd buy it.
May 9, 2005 at 12:58 PM | Permalink
Categories: My So-Called Lifestyle

Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Conversation From the Bra Scene

Brad and Jeff are shopping at Target.

Jeff: I need some lightbulbs. Let's go that way.

Brad: But the lightbulbs are in the hardware section. It's right over there.

Jeff: I know. I just don't want to walk through the lingerie section.

Brad: Afraid you'll be given to some impulse buying?

Jeff: It's icky. I don't like to think about, you know, girl parts.

Brad: You know, a friend of mine mentioned the other day how he survived adolescence by locking himself in the bathroom at home and, well, pleasuring himself with the women's foundation garment section of the Sears catalog.

Jeff: Sometimes I worry about the crowd you attract. People shouldn't discuss such things in polite company.

Brad: This from a man who last week at happy hour described, in exquisite detail, the "manuevers" his G.I. Joe and Big Jim dolls went on when he was a boy?

Jeff: OK, first of all, they weren't dolls, they were action figures.

Brad: Uh-huh.

Jeff: And second of all...

Brad: Yes?

Jeff: Shut up.

Brad: Ah, don't ask, don't tell. Got it.
March 31, 2005 at 11:00 PM | Permalink
Categories: Conversations

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Trouble Boy

My friend Jeff gave me a book last year for my birthday. He claimed to have read it and said "it made me think of you", but the volume was delivered in one of those cheap Target gift bags surrounded by wads of tissue paper—the sort of wrapping that just screams, "I picked this randomly from the shelf at Left Bank before rushing here to meet you for dinner. Happy birthday, bitch."

troubleboycover.jpg"What, exactly, about this book reminded you of me?" I asked, flipping through the pages. "I'm sure it was the photo of the devastatingly cute author on the rear flap, no?" With the exception of Instant Messages from prospective short-term suitors, Jeff doesn't read much. As Mama Rose said, she reads book jackets and thinks they're books.

"No," he said, unfurling his napkin and stealing one of my eggrolls. "It's very New York, very downtown, very—"

And here the conversation ceased for about five minutes while Jeff flirted with the waiter and twice made a point of mentioning my birthday. When the terrified boy finally fled the table to fetch our soup and wontons, Jeff said, "I get your complimentary dessert. You're dieting."

"The book?" I prodded.

"What? Oh, yes. I don't know. I enjoyed the hell out of it and I thought you might too. All those stories you've told me about clubbing in Manhattan back in your youth. Your far, far, far away youth."

That much was true. I'd only last week recounted to Jeff and The Giant Queen the story of how I, an unassuming lad from Missouri, had become the toast of New York—for a weekend at least—and how I'd impressed the pants off some L.A. fellow (literally!) by talking us into the tony VIP room at a new club in the meatpacking district some 15 years before.

Tom Dolby"Anyway, enjoy it," Jeff continued. "It's kind of like a gay Bright Lights, Big City."

My suspicions that Jeff was bluffing continued. It said that much in the blurb on the book jacket.

I politely thanked him for the book and we finished dinner. (Jeff got my flan and the waiter's digits. I ate his stale fortune cookie. "Very soon and in good company," it said. Even adding "in bed" to that sentence fragment didn't make it seem very portentous.

I have to say I'm dubious of any book, movie, play or interpretive dance described to me as a "gay [blank]". You have to feel a bit sorry for Jay McInerney that his seminal (if a tad insufferable) novel of 80s NYC culture has become a bit of reductive shorthand.

On the other hand, I feel a little sorry for Tom Dolby, the aforementioned cute guy author of The Trouble Boy, the book Jeff bagged for my birthday. I mean, you've got to wonder how many "Blinded Me With Science" jokes he has to suffer through at parties.

I did read the book (although Jeff never asked about it again and seemed confused when I brought it up in conversation) and I did enjoy it, although I suspect that if Jeff did read it and was moved to think of me, he had the hapless Jamie in mind more than the lead character Toby. On the other hand, I might have been Loft Boy. I have been known to use the "massage" bit before.

For The Trouble Boy, I offer the highest praise I can summon these days for a novel in the gay lit demiworld: I didn't forget the plot five minutes after I turned the final page. That may seem faint lauding but trust me, that puts Tom Dolby's debut novel ten notches above 99.9 percent of the genre on the shelf.

My friends know I've been writing a novel for the past, oh, 18 years or so. Every once in a while I take it out and decide it's nowhere near ready for prime time. After reading what passes for gay popular literature these days, I've nearly decided to abandon my quest to write well and simply turn in a novel that sucks. That seems to be what's selling.

The Trouble Boy, on the other hand, does not suck. It's an admirably smart first novel, a ripping read and a warmly optimistic story about finding your way in the world and, more importantly, finding your place in the city that never sleeps, never drinks less than premium and never—well, seldom—gives you a second chance. I look forward to Dolby's second effort.

(I'm pleased to be a participant in Tom Dolby's Virtual Book Tour for The Trouble Boy, now available in softcover, but still featuring a fetching photo of the author. Get one today.)
February 15, 2005 at 12:04 PM | Permalink
Categories: Pop Life

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Please stand by…

OK, we're all aware that this site is terminally misnamed. "Daily" has become a bit of laughable nomenclature hereabout, and I'm sorry. I've recently upgraded the software behind the site and, in the process, also apparently broken something on this side, so it'll be a while before things are back to normal.

And by normal, I don't mean continued silence punctuated by the odd monthly update. I mean real, honest-to-dog updates more frequently. Daily? We'll see.

I'll also get the archives sorted and see if we can't spiff things up a bit design-wise. Stay tuned.
December 28, 2004 at 1:11 AM | Permalink
Categories: Daily News

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I’m not Pollyanna, but…

Thanks to Steve Bogart (nowthis.com) for the image.The recent election didn't turn out altogether as I'd hoped it would and so I'm left pondering, as I heard Roy Blount put it today, how exactly I fit in this new, post-11/2 world. I'm dismayed and a little angry at the prospect of another four years of a George W. Bush presidency but, except for Clinton, no candidate I've supported ever won, so the feeling is familiar if not entirely comfortable.

As ever, I'm attempting to retain the sense of humor that has seen me through nearly 36 years so far. In that spirit last week, I was often quoting my favorite political rhyme:

The election is over, so
let peace come to pass.
I'll hug your elephant
If you'll kiss my ass.


So. Moving on, I have a few requests.

Could we please all stop referring to "red states" and "blue states"? That us versus them mentality is deceptively reductive and the fact is, most of the states are, in fact, as purple as the prose the pundits have reeled out post-election in vain attempts to describe what the hell is going on. Red versus blue is just the latest rhetorical trick to keep us from thinking of our fellow citizens as people, to wring nuance out of the political process and force us to view every issue in stark relief.

"We're more alike than different" is a chestnut that's easy to trot out in times like these, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. Americans are a lot of different colors, but none of them is bright red or blue or purple. The more time we spend reducing the political spectrum, the less we have to devote to finding common cause or, at least, detente. Red and blue thinking frees us to stop listening to each other altogether and that's one freedom we could stand to give up.

I'm a white guy with a lavender lifestyle in a blue city in a red state and it's put me in a brown study.

A lot of people, some of them close friends, have made noises about moving: to other states, to Canada, to the grand duchy of Luxembourg. I'm staying put. It's not that Canadian men aren't attractive — I'm looking at you, Jean-Paul — or that the thought of starting over in a new place is frightening. It's that I was raised to believe that you don't run away from a fight, especially a fight you can win.

There's another election just around the corner and Missouri is going to need all the help it can get.

If you must move, at least go somewhere where you can do some good. My friends are all talking about heading to New York or San Francisco or Portland or Chicago. I'm more inclined to think we should be sticking around and convincing more folks to move here. And to Oklahoma. And Utah. And Montana. And Texas.

Unless you're only interested in your own comfort (and why do otherwise sane individuals vote for tax breaks and increased military spending anyway?), why move to a place where the hard work has already been done? Have fun dishing with the boys in Chelsea or planning a day trip to Napa. We'll miss you, sure, but meanwhile, the Show-Me State is down two good voters and we'll have to work ten-fold as hard to fill your shoes here.

So consider this an invitation: St. Louis (the aforementioned blue city) is a pretty decent place to live, all things considered. Gay folks can't get married here, okay, sure, but we've got a darned nice anti-discrimination ordinance in the city and you can't beat the cost of living. Nice looking folks here, too, and a lot of them are whip-smart. We're still working through a lot of our issues and, candidly, we're still one of the most segregated cities in America. But we're getting better and we could use your help.

Anyway, I won't be packing my grip and heading for the Castro. Where things are the worst, there is the greatest possibility for change. And I get off on change.

Finally, let's stop pitching around the words "evil" and "stupid" all willy-nilly, shall we? There are very, very few truly evil people in the world, and a lot of those aren't even Democrats or Republicans. Just because someone belongs to a different group than you doesn't automatically make them evil, and most of the folks who voted for George W. Bush aren't stupid.

Heck, even George W. Bush isn't stupid, really. Misguided, yes, I'd say so. Not particularly thoughtful or considerate or deliberate? I'd say that too. And there are some issues and pronounciations that he isn't well-informed about. But he's not stupid or evil. He's just the wrong guy to lead the country right now.

If we keep thinking of everyone who doesn't agree with us as stupid, we give ourselves a pass to dismiss them as unworthy of even attempting to engage in debate. We write them off and continue preaching to a smaller and smaller choir. They're not stupid. They just haven't learned yet and, if we think we know better, we have an obligation to respectfully teach.

The next two years, four years, decade or so, won't be easy or even particularly pretty, but we'll get through them. We'll get through them together, I hope, and we'll do it by seeing each other not as colors or campaign planks but as people.
November 7, 2004 at 9:32 PM | Permalink
Categories: Bawdy Politic

Monday, September 27, 2004

A Brady for all seasons

To every season, there is a Brady.

chrisKnight.jpgThirty years ago, as a wee proto-fag cooling his heels in rural Missouri, I wanted to grow up and marry Greg Brady. I mean, come on. He was Johnny Fucking Bravo! Tell me—the unfortunate perm aside—that wasn't a hot slab of groovy teen.

In 1988, watching A Very Brady Christmas, I realized my folly. My heavens, little Bobby is all growed up. Mike Lookinland, will you be mine? Yum.

Last night, ten minutes into the otherwise insipid Still Brady After All These Years 35th anniversary special on TV Land—will someone nuke Jenny McCarthy for the betterment of mankind, please?—I nearly creamed my jeans. Chris Knight! OH. MY. So cool, so smart, so handsome, so unabashedly geeky, so clearly over the Brady business.

Johnny Bravo? What the hell was I thinking?! All along, what I really wanted was Peter.
September 27, 2004 at 2:44 PM | Permalink
Categories: Mad About the Boys

Saturday, September 25, 2004

A Conversation From the Bar Scene

Brad: So I take it you're not from around here?

Compact, Cute Boy: No, I'm just here for a week, visiting a friend [points across the room]. I have to head home on Sunday and get back to work.

Brad: Oh? What do you do?

C,CB: I'm a cheerleader for the [professional sports team].

Brad: Wow. That would explain...[makes vague gesture implying "that fabulous body of yours"]

C,CB: Heh, yeah, I guess. And I was a gymast in college.

Brad: You must be very...flexible.

C,CB: I am quite bendy.

Brad: Like Gumby.

C,CB: Yeah. What about you?

Brad: Me? Nah. I'm more...Pokey.
September 25, 2004 at 5:30 PM | Permalink
Categories: Conversations

Monday, September 06, 2004

A Conversation From the Bar Scene

Brad: So how was your day?

Andy: Brilliant. The weather was great and I shot two under par.

Brad: What?

Andy: Two under par. In golf, that's good.

Brad: I know that. I guess I just misunderstood you when you said you were planning on getting in 18 holes today.
September 6, 2004 at 1:22 PM | Permalink
Categories: Conversations

Friday, August 06, 2004

Grocery Flirtations

A Conversation From the Bar Grocery Scene:

Entirely Too-Cute Customer Service Counter Boy: Will there be anything else?

Brad: Maybe. Would you like to go out for a drink sometime?

ETCCSCB: You ask me out every time you come in here.

Brad: It's that apron and that shy smile thing you've got going on. Very hot.

Overhead Announcement: We have a sticky clean-up in aisle seven. Sticky clean-up in aisle seven.

ETCCSCB: Huh, I never heard that one before.

Brad: Heard what?

ETCCSCB (points to speaker): "Sticky clean-up".

Brad: Here's my number. Call me if you'd like to hear it again.
August 6, 2004 at 12:24 PM | Permalink
Categories: Conversations

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A Conversation From the Bar Scene

Mark: What, exactly, is Queen Latifah the queen of?

Brad: Latifahland.

Mark: Is that where they make those bath sponges?

Brad: No, that's Loofahland.

Mark: Ah.

Brad: Hand-crafted by Oofah Loofahs.

Mark: Of course.
August 4, 2004 at 12:59 AM | Permalink
Categories: Conversations

Monday, July 26, 2004

Marzipan in my pie plate

You hear your friends talk about such things, but you never in a million years imagine that someday you'll find yourself in a BDR. But love makes us do crazy things sometimes.

I have to face it. I have to deal with it. I have to say it, name it and move past it.

I am in a Buffy Discordant Relationship. More than one of them, in fact. So, let the healing begin.

What makes a BDR? It's when one member of a couple (or one or more of a group of friends) has seen more episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer than the other. It's dating someone who had the foresight to watch all seven seasons of the supernaturally addictive Sarah Michelle Gellar drama when it was actually first aired and then being utterly unable to discuss the show with them for fear important plot points will be revealed. It means stepping gingerly around "spoilers" innocently dropped into conversation. It means, occasionally, running from a room at an otherwise sedate party with your hands clamped over your ears, screeching "la la la la! I can't hear you! La la la la!"

I am in a BDR and I have run, clamped and screeched.

I've been involved in a regimen of therapy for several months now, purchasing the DVD sets as they become available and devouring entire seasons of the show in a single weekend. In fact, over the course of a few weeks, I blew through seasons one through three and then had to sit in a dark room, quivering and avoid contact with Slayer devotees for almost 10 days until the fourth season hit stores.

And once that season was viewed -- in a particularly intense two-day Buffy-binge during which I neither went to work or, in fact, showered -- things went a little wobbly.

You see, I had enough information to discourse thoughtfully on the pros and cons of Angel and Riley (advantage Riley, in my book; give me whitebread, blond and ab-endowed over tortured, broody and brunette any day). I could discuss with some authority the dramatic merits of the Master story arc as opposed to the Initiative season. I had just enough information to be dangerous to the innocent longtime fans with whom I was involved.

I discovered this in the most frightening manner possible: talking about the show with a friend in a moving vehicle. We were, I thought, on pretty safe ground, the relative lethality of demons against vamps, maybe. And then he said it -- I've thankfully blanked on the actual words. "Things get really interesting in season five, especially after [blank] [blanks]."

"[Blank] [blanks]?!" I squealed. "How could [blank] [blank]?! What do you mean [blank] [blanks]?! [Blank] can't [blank]!" I wailed. I whimpered.

He nearly drove off the road.

It was a wakeup call for me. I apologized, gathered the CDs off the floor and stacked them back on the dash and vowed to redouble my efforts to avoid matters Sunnydale-related in all future social settings. This weekend, after being stalled by long-neglected work and other obligations, I am pleased to say I finished off season five in one hellgod-and-monster marathon.

I now know why [blank] [blanked], and that particular episode is sure to become one of my favorites. It made me cry, as did the one where [blank] discovered that [blank] was the [blank]. I knew it was coming -- those damnable Internet message boards and their siren songs! -- but I still clutched my pillow tight when [blank] [blanked] off the [blank] and [blanked] to save [blank] and, not incidentally, the [blank]. Again.

And tonight, Derrick and I watched the first episode of season six together, after he first consented to simply cuddle quietly and let me digest and enjoy what he's already seen three times in reruns. My friend Jeffrey will be pleased to learn that I now understand his oblique "marzipan" reference.

And all of my friends -- who for years begged me to take up watching the show and who patiently waited until I discovered it on my own -- will be delighted when October rolls around and the seventh and final season of the show makes its way to DVD. I'll watch it all right away, I promise. And then we can catch up on nearly eight years of deferred conversations. We can stop walking on eggshells and vampire dust and chat openly about all the Scoobies. I'll dazzle you with my Mayor trivia and my Quark-as-principal impersonation.

And we will be BDR no more.

The suspense is killing me. I hope it lasts.
July 26, 2004 at 9:33 PM | Permalink
Categories: Pop Life

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Hunted

In my professional circle, there are relatively few people who do what I do and, I admit with little modesty, fewer still who do it as well as I. So it wasn't really surprising when, a few years ago, I received a phone call out of the blue from the man I've come to think of as My Pal The Headhunter.

We had a nice chat that first time. He lavished me with praise, embroidering my résumé more creatively than I would ever have dared, and I mostly sat on the other end of the phone and occasionally grunted non-commitally. At the end of it, he asked me if I'd be interested in coming to New York and meeting with a couple of people who might be very enthusiastic about hiring me.

Interested I really wasn't, but I was intrigued, and so I went. I had a lovely couple of days in the city, met some extremely solicitous people and, although there was no offer forthcoming at the end of the process, more or less completely enjoyed the courtship.

"It's just as well, though," I told MPTH when I'd returned to St. Louis. "I really have no burning desire to move to New York anyway."

MPTH said some stroking things back to me, asked if he could stay in touch and then vanished from my life for nearly two years. The next time he called, it was for a position in Minneapolis.

"No thanks," I said.

Two months later, Denver. A bit after that, Los Angeles. Then Chicago. Then Atlanta.

I demurely declined to pursue them all.

I was just beginning to worry about MPTH — it'd been nearly four months since his last "let-me-run-this-past-you" check-in call — when my cell phone rang Tuesday afternoon on the way back from lunch. We had this conversation:

MPTH: You're still not interested in moving to New York? It's a great gig.

Brad: Oh? Tell me.

MPTH: So you are interested? What's changed?

Brad: Since we last danced? My base has gone up 20 thousand.

MPTH: Not a problem.

Brad: I need another week of vacation.

MPTH: Easy. There's a travel allowance too.

Brad: Full medical and dental.

MPTH: Got it.

Brad: And I'd need a generous relo package. I couldn't possibly live anywhere but Manhattan.

MPTH: Doable, I think. Anything else?

Brad: Just one thing.

MPTH: Yeah?

Brad: Last night, I had this rather...involved dream about John Tartaglia and Craig Bierko.

MPTH: I see. Heh, OK. I'm gonna have to call you back.

Brad: I look forward to it.


I'm still waiting for his call. But that's show biz, kids.
July 22, 2004 at 8:59 PM | Permalink
Categories: Work It

Saturday, July 17, 2004

I’m so sorry about this one…

I've been in the unfortunate situation of apologizing to my friends and family a lot recently. You see, I haven't been around much and have declined almost every invitation to dine, drink or dance. I think people were beginning to suspect I'd developed a drug addiction or some terrible disfiguring disease, so reclusive have I been.

Actually, I've been writing a musical.

It's the heart-wrenching and -warming story of an aged Broadway star who, facing diminishing prospects of being cast in new shows and realizing that her seemingly perennial star vehicle has run out of gas, begins singing Jerry Herman songs on New York street corners and busking for nickels and dimes from passing tourists.

I call it Carol Channing or Change.
July 17, 2004 at 12:22 PM | Permalink
Categories: Half-Baked Humor

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

A Conversation From the Brunch Scene

A Conversation From the Bar Brunch Scene:

Jeff: Wow, guys, we should totally go here for vacation!

He passes Brad a newspaper and points to an ad.

Brad: Read it again.

Jeff: What? Oh. That's a C.

Brad: I think if there were something called the Gayman Islands, you'd have heard about it by now.

The Giant Queen nearly chokes on his mimosa. Exeunt.
July 7, 2004 at 10:41 PM | Permalink
Categories: Conversations

Friday, June 25, 2004

I Put My Hand In

A helpful tip for the musical comedy fan who happens to find himself in the "adult" section of his local video rental establishment: Do not get excited if you see a cassette titled I Put My Hand In. It is not — I repeat, not — a sequel to Hello, Dolly.
June 25, 2004 at 9:20 AM | Permalink
Categories: My So-Called Lifestyle

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Pride Floats You Won’t See

This weekend — the last of June — is, of course, the traditional observance of Gay Pride in the United States, which means Saturday and Sunday in cities across this great nation, millions of homosexuals will line the streets to witness the annual "Pride Parade" in their hometown.

(This used to be called a "Pride March" in the days before twinks took over the organizing committees and focused more on which obliquely famous, one-hit-wonder disco diva would headline the main stage and less on any political or social aim. Now it's a "parade" or, as my friend Norman once quipped, "the funeral procession for the death of taste".)

Surprisingly, though, amid the fearsome bare-chested lesbians, drag queens female illusionists, tweaked-out shirtless club kids simulating anal sex, and leathermen who seem to be perennial darlings of evening news photographers, there are still some parade floats and marching units you won't see.

  • Folsom Street Tribute to the Men of Abu Gharib

  • Twelve-Step Two-Steppers Recovery & Square Dance Club

  • Gay Men Against Their Mothers Finding Out Gay Marriage Is Actually Legal Someplace

  • Disney's Drag Extravaganza: Welcome to the Mulan Rouge

  • The Gay Men Over 40 "Proud to Be Your Pity Fuck" Flag Brigade

  • Don't Panic Presents "25 Years of Rainbow-Colored Crap"

  • Association of Gay Men's Choruses Who Refuse to Perform Judy Garland Medleys

  • Log Cabin Lesbians For Bush

  • The New Closet: Guys Who Secretly Can't Stand Margaret Cho

  • ACT-UP Alumni "Bring Back the Righteously Earnest Buzzcut" Campaign

  • Black and White Men In Support of Martha: The Down Low Meets the Down Duvet

  • Queer Equestrian League Salute to Barebacking


Of course, that last one would follow the inevitable "Dykes on Bikes" contingent. I like to think it would be called "Fags on Nags".
June 24, 2004 at 4:35 PM | Permalink
Categories: My So-Called Lifestyle

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Franco, American-style

We might as well face it. We're in for an unparalleled display of faulty short-term memory, as the nation's newscasters and pundits fall over themselves to give slobbering blowjobs to a corpse.

For the next week, at least, CNN and every network news program is going to sound like an inferior rerun of a Saturday Night Live skit from the mid-70s.

"This breaking news just in: Former President of the United States Ronald Reagan is still dead."

If I were the producers of the satiric news program The Daily Show, I'd get Chevy Chase and Garrett Morris booked as soon as possible.
June 6, 2004 at 4:19 AM | Permalink
Categories: Bawdy Politic

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