Thursday, June 29, 2006

More Coffee

4:15 PM. The workday stretches long ahead of me. Unproductive and lazy at my core, I see even less than usual being accomplished today. I'm particularly lacking in energy. In three hours I'll race home to scramble to get myself together for what may - or may not - be a date.

I've made the wrong assumtion both ways. Excepting one Junior and one Senior prom in high school (together with their friends, after much huddled negotiation in front of their lockers with my friends, the girls all but asked ME), I didn't go on anything referred to as a "date" until I was well into my thirties; so I'm close to autistic dating wise. I can never tell if these appointments are the one or the other, and don't know how to clarify the point beforehand.

Regardless of what this evening has in store, at my current pace, I'm just not gonna make it. I think more coffee will help.
Oh sustaining brown elixer...Hmmm. Yes. More coffee.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Always a Bride's Maid...

Well, that's the last of 'em.

My final close straight single friend was married yesterday, before a crowd of one hundred and fifty mostly Irish, mostly drunk guests - some still maintaining a buzz from the rehearsal dinner the night before. There's just something about a stereotype being fulfilled right before your very eyes. I witnessed the bacchanal with the same kind of excited glee I experienced discovering that the majority of men who've contacted me on Bear 411 - turned out in sleeveless flannel plaids, Timberland boots and Carhart jackets - are in fact florists, landscape architects, interior designers, and photo stylists. Mebbe its something about me. The groom's fractional contingent of German derived family members seemed to behave themselves, really not getting their groove on 'till DJ D'Oro dropped the metaphorical needle onto The Electric Slide.

My crowd was segregated at table #14, with similarly disrespectable contingents of homosexuals, current and former food service workers, art industry laborers, perpetual grad students, and tattooed ladies at #13 and #15. Save for one guest - a bonnie lass with dark copper hair piled into a monumental up sweep, wearing a fitted brocade sleeveless shell with a rhinestone encrusted boat neck stand up collar (with matching shoe buckles! ) which Tricia Nixon would have resorted to scratching, kicking and hair pulling to own - we deviants had the best outfits.

The ceremony coincided EXACTLY with the Muscle Bear Cruise in New York Harbor, for which I grew this god damned scratchy beard. Huddling close to the entry arches with the cigarette smokers shielding themselves from the persistent drizzle, I called a friend to say that I could not accompany him to the surely fabulous party for 400 surely fabulous gay homosexuals in a surely fabulous Chelsea penthouse apartment because I was exhausted from two booze drenched days of trying to keep up with the Irish. From the gang plank my disembarking buddy took the time to make sure I understood what a Great Time I'd missed. But all in all I had a pretty good time at the wedding.

Maybe next year.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


It seems my whole life is being gentrified right out from under me. I have ruminated about this before. Millennium, the homo home room, was rent increased into oblivion. The coffee never was any good. Silk City Diner and its adjacent band /DJ venue has been sold to a resstauranteur who will sweep away the Formica countertops and P. A. system and replace it with - I don't know what exactly, but I'm sure you won't be able to get out of the place for less than thirty bucks. Their coffee wasn't any good either, but they DID have real maple syrup, corn cakes, and homemade chocolate bread pudding.

The payoff for living in a dirty provincial city with an inferiority complex and totally dysfunctional public transportation system, was that it was cheap and convenient, and easy to get around. Now traffic is backed up everywhere around luxury condominium construction sites and all the parking is taken up by the people who live in the first wave of recent development or have driven in from elsewhere to buy expensive clothes in the mall and chain stores which now line Chestnut and Walnut streets. They choose from any number of former diners and coffee shops transformed into cafes for their lunch break, while I now have to travel a mile from my studio to find a not yet closed down hardware store.

Philadelphia had always been kinda crummy - the scruffiness and lack of pretentions was its charm. It used to feel like a particular place, with a specific if slightly hostile attitude. More and more it's becoming just like anywhere and everywhere; sparkling with a veneer of plenty and the well scrubbed and dramatically lit banality of controlled environments and manufactured experiences.

I miss my city.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Anytime I'm feeling a little down, I remind myself that out there in the cruel and indifferent world, is a diaspora of naugas, each appliqued with sly and brave perpetual smiles and unflinchingly (and unblinkingly) optimistic eyes -

completely unaffected by the tribulations of mortal man.


The Uniroyal Corporation (now Uniroyal Engineered Products LLC, of Sarasota FL) created the breed at their Stoughton Wisconsin facility in the 1960's as a marketing gimmick; a tongue in cheek explanation of the origin of their "cruelty free" simulated leather fabrics.
They were crafted from end of run scraps with colors randomly selected by workers. Certain combinations are extremely rare. Japanese (of course) collectors will now pay HUNDREDS of dollars for a pristine nauga. A recent set of a big and a baby nauga, both in the rare pebbled white with matching eyes and mouths, recently brought over $650.00 on eBay. Oh, for the naugas I've passed up at yard sales and flea markets over the years: "Five DOLLARS!? Ugh, too much." *Sigh*

But just LOOK at the little fellers. Don't you feel better already?

Monday, June 05, 2006


"Nobody likes a martyr, Ed"

I winced when I heard it, the particular pain felt by a target squarely hit with perfect accuracy. As much as I hate one of my own often repeated lines being used against me, it really summed things up. So true - so True.

Damn it.

Cloaking ones self in a wet blanket soggy with self pity, is not a good look - on anyone. Nothing drives men away more effectively than it's damp musty odor of despair.


I needed a new outfit.

No matter how well he's turned out, the attitude a man wears is the first thing people notice; tossed rakishly over eagerly expectant shoulders or drooping heavy and sullen on a back bent to bear the weighty disappointments sure to come. It creates a clearer and more lasting impression than watch or belt or shoes. Before my next outing, I rummaged through the perspectives, expectations and preconceptions in and on and immediately surrounding my wardrobe. I really need to get more organized. From the jumble I extracted a pair of Big Boy Pants - creased with the folds of long storage - shook them out and pulled them on.

The pants fit - a little unfamiliar, a little stiff, but they fit. I told myself that they would loosen up and relax as, well, as I loosened up and relaxed. So attired, I headed back out, girded in a brave (if some what thinly woven) optimism. Latching the door behind me (leaving the previous night's sour mantle behind to be addressed at some later point by psychotherapy and/or dry cleaning ) I noticed right away that I walked differently, taking longer surer strides down the hall way and out into a night of endless possibilities.
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