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Making pancakes, as I learned at AP's birthday bash at the beach this weekend, is an unbelievably tedious chore. I don't know why I...

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I Should Tell You

Things I Learned in The Vortex Last Night:
1. Pony doesn't like spiders, but understands why Toddy won't kill them.
2. Spiders have, according to Pony, an "attitude problem".
3. In-line cylinders are not shaped like a "V".
4. The Handsome Prince has additional defects besides his tremor.
5. Some people are vain enough to believe I will blog about them regularly.

I feel rebellious today. So, Vain One, I may blog about you today, but I refuse to link to you due to your unabashed arrogance.

There's an awful lot to learn about people, and it takes time. Rushing is never smart. Experiencing these tentative early days of getting to know someone new has been fun and curious and interesting. It reminds me of a song from one of my favorite musicals:

"I should tell you, I'm disaster. I forget how to begin it.
Let's just make this part go faster. I have yet to be in it.
I should tell you, I should tell you.

Here goes. Guess, so, it's starting...who knows?
Who knows.

Who knows where? Who goes there?

Here goes...

Trusting desire - starting to learn.
Walking through fire without a burn.
Clinging, a shoulder, a leap begins.
Stinging and older, asleep on pins.

So here we go...
Lyrics: I Should Tell You, Jonathon Larson

Monday, August 30, 2004

Pillow Talk

One of my favorite things about sleeping with someone, besides the obvious benefits, is talking late into the night. Snuggled under blankets and talking about our days and crazy plans and fun memories...

Last night I had a wonderful talk in bed and told him how much I missed my dog. I talked about my weekend and he listened to me ramble. I told him how much I want someone to love. And I looked over at the vacant pillow and wished somebody were really there listening. I've now resorted to late night talks to an imaginary boyfriend. It may be time for me to think about getting professional help.

I did actually have a real life conversation with Pony this weekend. We lounged around in his stable on Sunday, and I got to see an exposed front end. Of a Mustang. Not a pony - a Mustang. We watched OverHaulin' together, and they fixed up an old Mustang. I keep saying Mustang over and over because I want to prove that I know about cars. This is important to me because yesterday I sounded like such an idiot when I told Pony that my car had a six horsepower engine. The conversation went something like this:

Toddy: It's cool that you know so much about cars. All I know about my car is that it has either a four or six horsepower engine.

Pony: Are you serious?

Toddy: Yeah, I think it's four horsepower but I'm not sure because I lost the manual.

Pony: Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven, there is no way your car is four horsepower. That would be, like, a lawn mower engine.

Toddy: Do you think I have over 100 horsepower?

Pony: Probably.

Toddy: Wow. Well, I must have mixed up horsepower and volts.

Pony: Okay, I won't ask if you're serious, because you obviously don't know anything about cars, but what are you talking about?

Toddy: My car has four or six volts.

Pony: Sorry?

Toddy: It is a 4v or 6v car.

Pony: I think you mean V4 or V6. That refers to cylinders, not volts.

Toddy: (After an embarrassed silence) I'm sorry I make fun of your spelling. I'll stop.

[Note to self: Watch more OverHaulin'. Preferably with Pony.]

Friday, August 27, 2004

Vague Memories of Last Night

Wow. Free Makers Mark at a hotel downtown and lots of beers at karaoke. Here are some things I think I might remember from last night. If you can help me fill in the blanks, let me know.

1. I think I won a trip to Sun Valley for skiing or something.
2. I got a free shot of Makers Mark for dancing with the bartender.
3. I drank three or four glasses of whiskey at The Embassy Suites.
4. I was standing in between stacks of chairs talking on the phone to Bob or Crash or Patch?
5. I think I sang three or four songs at karaoke. I think I sucked.
6. I might have groped somebody at karaoke.
7. I called Jaden to wish her blog happy birthday and sang some sort of pirate song.
8. My car wasn't at my house this morning. I think it is in the parking garage here at the office. I should really go check soon.
9. I think I gave Juju $120 last night for July bills at our old house. I might have flirted with Metro, her boyfriend.
10. I told someone I would hang out with them on Sunday. If it is you, please let me know.
11. The Midget took a bunch of pictures of me and Pony and promised to send them to me for my blog. I think we might have looked hot in these pictures.
12. My friend Lady Starbird shook her booty and sang an awesome rendition of Baby Got Back.
13. I gave backrubs to a couple girls.
14. I ate Taco Bell.
15. I tried to give more tip money to the bartender, and she told me I had already tipped her too much.

I wonder if all of that stuff really happened. It seems like a lot for one night.

And now, I'm off to a Birthday Party.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

No Card Game, No Funny Blog...

Card night was cancelled last night. The Handsome Prince was going to teach us to play Pinochle, but due to some last minute cancellations, we just postponed the party. I thought I would have a funny story or two to tell this morning, but the only thing I can think of is a little story about THP trying to throw the sealed pack of Pinochle cards over his head and catch them on the sidewalk outside the store. It is a visual joke. There is no way I can show you in a blog how ridiculous he looked, but he had me doubled over laughing.

Forgive me, but I'm posting quiz results today. Apparently, my muse is not cooperating and most likely passed out in a pool of her own sick this morning. The Executive told me about the quiz. I also saw it on a friend's blog. I also saw it on some other dude's site.

It's actually pretty interesting. To me. Things about me are interesting. Talking about myself is interesting. It makes you want to date me. You know it does.

Come on, you know you want a piece of this...

eXpressive: 6/10
Practical: 6/10
Physical: 5/10
Giver: 5/10

You are a XPIT--Expressive Practical Intellectual Taker. This makes you a Manager.

You are cool, thoughtful and intelligent. Your approach and your sense of humor are under-the-radar, your charm is undeniable. You keep everything under control. You have distinctive vocal mannerisms. You may not have much interest in approaching strangers, but when you do, you are successful.

[Note: My sister says she has never heard me raise my voice in her whole life. I was once told by a coworker that if I were any more laid back, I'd be in a coma.]

You will probably end up with someone beautiful, fascinating and off-balance. While your partner may steal the limelight, it's you that keeps things running smoothly and provides stability in your relationship. If you are with someone as contemplative and hard-headed as you, you can have a tough time.

Your greatest asset is that you tackle conflict as it rises -- you don't ignore it and let it brew. If you have a partner that *does* let it brew, it will make you crazy! You can find yourself fighting for two -- trying to anticipate your partner's needs and draw their feelings out -- which is exhausting and, well, not your job.

You would never cheat. You would make an excellent spouse. When your spouse's friends met you, they would think, "Crap, why couldn't I get that one?"

[Note: Nope. I wouldn't cheat on my partner. I know what it feels like to be cheated on.]

Of the 3484 people who have taken this quiz, 5.6 % are this type.

20 Questions to a Better Relationship

Yeah, I fly under the radar. Yet, I manage situations and influence the behavior of others without being obvious about it. I definitely try to draw out my partner's feelings and anticipate his needs. And as for this practice being exhausting? Hell, yes, it is. So I will most likely, as the results suggest, end up with someone "beautiful, fascinating AND off-balance".

I didn't immediately agree with all the results. For example, most people might assume I will be the one in a relationship who "steals the limelight". Then I thought about my past behavior, and I realized that this really is a trait I exhibit when I care about someone deeply. When I love someone, I want him to feel adored by me and by my friends. I will put him on a pedestal and brag about him to anyone who will listen. Sure, this is partially motivated by a sick sort of vanity. I am smart enough to know that having a trophy boyfriend isn't what I need, but it would be ridiculous of me to claim I never have those sorts of feelings.

Still, it's not hard for me to step back and share the spotlight or surrender it entirely to someone I love. In blog terms, for example, if I like someone I might link to him. A LOT. Right? Like almost every day? Yep. Okay, so maybe there is something to this little quiz after all.

I'm not exactly sure why I only got 5/10 for a physical rating. I think I have a pretty strong sexual drive. In fact, there may be some who can attest to that personally, and I would appreciate it if you would just refrain from commenting at this time. Thanks.
Performance Anxiety

The Handsome Prince (who will actually read this entry since he saw his name at the beginning) had houseguests last night. His cool sister (he has three - they're all cool) came over and had a dinner party with friends. THP's eleven-year old niece cracks me up. When telemarketers call, she answers the phone and responds to the marketer's pitch with, "I'm 11 years old. Get fucked," and hangs up.

I have a wine rack that is nearly empty, so I've been trying to buy an extra bottle of wine whenever I can so that I can fill it up. But THP derailed that plan last night. It's empty again. His dinner guests went through a lot of wine. I really want to be sarcastic and funny about it, but the truth is that he's welcome to anything I have (except for that one bottle of Port that I'm saving to share with my soulmate, whoever that turns out to be).

I wasn't in the mood to party last night. It's unusual for me to miss a party, but I just wanted to be alone. After work I went to CC Slaughters for a couple drinks. I sat by myself and didn't engage in conversation, or even eye contact, with anyone. Sometimes I notice guys sitting all alone at the bar, and I feel sorry for them. I think maybe they are lonely. But last night I was one of those guys, and I was really hoping nobody I knew would be at the bar. For some reason I wanted to be out in public, but I also wanted to be left alone.

When I got home, I spent most of the night in my room. In spite of the laughter I could hear coming from "The Vortex", I chose solitude. I think it's because I just needed to recharge. When you are a person who likes to entertain, who enjoys making people laugh, who has a reputation for being extremely social, there is a certain pressure (self-imposed) to perform. When I don't feel funny or witty or smart, I avoid social situations because I don't want to let anybody down. I realize that my friends don't expect me to always be "on" - but I have come to expect that from myself. I hate feeling boring, and that's how I felt last night.

Come to think of it, even blogging has a certain social pressure, and I sort of feel that same performance anxiety about writing today. I regret very much that today's post may not be entertaining. Unlike many bloggers, I am not blogging only for myself. I'm blogging to connect - to relate to others - to build community - to entertain. Well, all is not lost. Maybe just admitting my performance anxiety will strike a chord with someone else. Maybe it will be a way for us to connect. Maybe making people laugh isn't the best thing I have to offer.

Instead of standing on the table with a lampshade on my head, I'm going to sit over here in the corner sipping a glass of wine. Oh, scratch that. We're out of wine. Okay, I'll have a vodka tonic, but if you're in the mood for a quiet chat and don't mind if I have nothing funny to say, feel free to come sit with me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Friday Night

Come sit on my lap and let me hold you for a moment. I want you to know I'm very sorry I lied to you. I didn't want to. I was forced into telling you lies about Friday night's date by two very bad men.

The Handsome Prince and Pony both thought it would be funny to write about the date as if it were horrible. Actually, Pony reminded me that it was, in fact, my idea to write a mean blog entry. But after the date, which was fun and fantastic, I changed my mind. I told THP I changed my mind, and he vetoed my decision. "You have to write a funny blog about it. You have to."

Then I called Pony. "I don't want to be mean. The date was too nice. I had too much fun," I whined.

"You have to write a funny blog about it. You have to," said Pony.

So, Toaster Oven readers, that is my confession. I'm sorry. Now that I have apologized, please get off my lap. You're hurting me.

Not enough for you? You say you want me to list all the lies I told you? Geez.

You know what? If that's what it takes to get you to actually click on the little icon at the top right of this blog and vote for me so a blog about GIVING MASSAGES doesn't beat out Toaster Oven, fine.

Lies I Told You:

1. I lied when I made Pony sound rude.
Pony, although arriving early, knocked at the door politely. He didn't climb through my window. I was naked when he got there, but I did run to put on a robe before opening the door, and he was apologetic about being early.

2. I lied when I made Pony sound stupid.
He was actually doing the whole chivalrous door-opening thing. And he played "One More Night" in the CD player after I got in the truck. As I mentioned Friday, that was the theme of my high school prom date that went horribly wrong. Then he handed me a champagne flute. He had written "One More Drink" in cursive on the side. It made me smile and laugh. Then it made me want to cry because it was sweet. But I didn't cry, and that isn't a lie.

3. I lied when I said Pony threw beer and bowled my frames at the bowling alley.
He was fair and honorable. And he didn't get an attitude when I gave him advice about using the arrows on the alley to help guide the ball. We tied the first game, which almost never happens in bowling. He beat me the second game. And, I'm sorry to have to say this, but I wiped the alley with Pony on the third game. He is very competitive, that's true. I'll probably be challenged to a rematch, which would be fine with me.

4. I lied when I said Pony undertipped.
He paid for bowling, for dinner, and for drinks (you can imagine how much that costs my dates). He is generous to a fault.

5. I lied when I said Pony gave me flowers from a graveyard.
He gave me two CDs of music that he had burned just for our date. There was some awesome music on there. He put Strawberry Wine on the CD as a tribute to my drink of choice at high school prom.

At the end of the night he was hinting that if we were to go on a second date I would be required to do the asking. Since he TOLD me we were going out, it would be my turn to take the initiative. Because I have the attention span of a fruit fly, I almost forgot to ask him out. He had to drop one last hint before he left my house, which means we'll be having a second date.

Monday, August 23, 2004

The Truth About Ponies and Toaster Ovens

Okay, I was going to be nice. I was trying to keep my mouth shut with my earlier post today. I planned to brush over the "date" with Pony. But then he opened a can of worms over at his site. I'm not linking you to it. Don't go there. He lies.

First of all, I did not answer the door naked, as he claims. What happened was this: He arrived 20 minutes early, pulled his car onto the lawn and started honking. I heard him honking, but I was still in the shower. I quickly rinsed the shampoo out of my hair and was about to wrap a towel around my waist when I heard a clattering racket in the bathroom. Pony was climbing through the window.

"Are you ready Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven?" he asked.

"I've told you my name is Toddy. Not Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven," I replied. "And please go wait outside on the patio until I'm dressed."

"I like it when you call it The Vortex," he said smiling and not looking at my eyes.

"Please, Pony, go wait outside," I said.

"In The Vortex," he said grinning and reaching for my towel.

"Okay, yes, whatever. In The Vortex," I snapped.

Rather than use the door, he climbed back through the window and trampled my prize-winning roses on his way to the patio. When I got outside he was running his hands through The Handsome Prince's hair. "Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven, when things don't work out with us, do you care if I date The Handsome Prince?" asked Pony.

"Fine," I answered as I lit incense to help me focus my spirit.

Pony watched me intently. "Why are you lighting so many cigarettes, Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven?"

"They're incense," I answered. "And, please, just call me Todd."

"Why do you need five cigarettes," he asked as I closed my eyes and inhaled the sweet aroma.

Frustrated, I slipped on my cowboy boots and said, "Let's just go."

"I can't wait to get those boots off of you, Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven," he replied. Then he grabbed his crotch and winked at THP.

We walked out onto the lawn and got into Pony's truck. He cranked up his stereo and announced that we were going to have a Phil Collins theme to our date. I listened as Whitney Houston began singing "One Moment in Time".

"That's not Phil Collins," I said.

"You are right, Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven. It is only a CD recording of him," answered my brilliant date.

He gave me a paper cup and told me to read the side of the cup. "One Moment in Time" was scrawled on the side. Pony was grinning at me, and I have to admit he looked cute. "Get it? Just like your date!"

He took me to a graveyard first and said the plan was to tip tombstones. I asked him if we could just go bowling or something instead. He was irritated, but agreed to my request. He grabbed some flowers off a grave, handed them to me, and we got back into the truck.

Bowling was not a great idea. I regret ever suggesting it. The first game we played was fine except for the fact that Pony kept sending me off to get beer. While I was gone, he bowled both his frames and my frames. I only got to bowl three frames, but at least we still tied.

Pony bowled the entire second game while I was in the bathroom rinsing beer out of my shirt after Pony threw a full pitcher at me. Apparently his competitive nature doesn't allow for tie games. He has to win. Unfortunately, in spite of bowling left-handed, I trounced him in the third game. My prize was having another pitcher of beer hurled into my face.

Dinner was nice. Pony ordered for me. I really appreciated the veal and lambchops. I'm just thankful the restaurant didn't serve "freshly clubbed baby seal", which was Pony's original request.

I know he tried so hard, and I hate to complain about Pony's behavior. Maybe he was just nervous. I mean, who wouldn't be nervous to have a chance at a date with me? It was pretty obvious that Pony is into me. I mean, besides climbing through my bathroom window, he pretended to be cold at the restaurant. So I removed my outer shirt and sat there in my undershirt for the entire meal. Then he shivered harder and said he still wasn't warm enough, but I wasn't falling for it. I kept my shirt on, ate quickly, and we left the restaurant. He told me he was leaving a 75% tip for the waitress, and I didn't have the heart to tell him that three quarters equal 75 cents, not 75 percent.

We drove up onto the lawn, and the date was at a close. But then the most amazing thing happened. We went in my house and kissed, and it was wonderful. I was amazed. I could have kissed him for hours. It seemed like we might have a connection.

Then he pulled away from me and shouted, "I won!" He started jumping up and down and, in addition to breaking my Swarovski crystal swan on the little shelf by the door, also woke the neighbors as he ran outside to his truck.

Pony drove off in his truck honking his horn and shouting, "I won! I won the bet! EVill bet me I wouldn't kiss Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven, but I won! I won five dollars!"

And that is the real truth about Pony and Toddy's date.

I went to a luau this weekend. It was very fun.

I went to brunch at The Executive's home this weekend. It was very fun too.

I played cribbage and watched DVDs on Sunday. That was so much fun.

I had a date Friday night with Pony.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Riding My Pony

The name of this post is designed to irritate my date for tonight. That strategy may be completely inappropriate, but it's how I operate. I try to make them not like me so that I don't feel so powerless if things go awry.

Actually, I'm kidding. I'm pleased and excited to be going on a real date. Planned and everything. And secrets. I love that there are secrets and surprises in store. I wonder if this date will be anything like that last real date I went on? That was in 1985.

Now, hold on, don't chastise me yet. I realize I have written about a few dates here on this blog. But tonight feels different. I'm not going out with somebody I just met over the Internet. I'm not going out with a guy who gave me his number at a bar. I'm going out with a real live person I've met before and have actually spent time with. Hell, we watched a movie together at his house! And he still wants to take me on a real date? Nothing like that has happened to me in years.

So, I'm going to try to remember my date in 1985 so that I know what to expect. I already know that my ride tops the 1985 ride. He's picking me up in his sexy red truck. Pony thinks his truck looks like a muscleboy bottom. (If we are sticking with the gay vernacular, the car in which I picked up my date back in 1985 was an aging troll...it was a 1978 Monte Carlo).

Based on my date with Melissa Bishop from Blue Springs High School, I assume we will drive to 7-11 and sit in the parking lot. Then we will ask people to buy us a bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill. Pony will probably have big hair teased with lots of hairspray (aerosol, of course) and will talk incessantly about "Lonnie", his ex. He will still be reeling from his breakup with Lonnie.

Tonight's date will have a theme based on a Phil Collins song. I'll receive a champagne flute with the words "One More Night" written in cursive on the side of the flute. We'll sneak into the bathroom and drink strawberry wine together. He won't try to touch me, and I won't try to touch him. We won't sneak kisses or do WORSE THINGS!

By 9:30, we'll both be drunk. We'll pretend to be a lot more drunk than we actually are. We'll take pictures of each other every few minutes. I assume we'll be at a large hotel for this date, so we will have fun pushing all the buttons on the elevator as we get off of it. That way the next passenger will have to stop at every floor. We'll think we're incredibly funny, and we will laugh and laugh.

When the song "One More Night" comes on, Pony and I will dance together very romantically. Then, when Phil starts singing the chorus, Pony will break away from me and say, "I have to find Lonnie!" He will drag me across the floor, and when he sees Lonnie they will embrace. I will go look for the bottle of Boone's Farm, and I'll ditch Pony for the rest of the night so I can hang out with my friends and tell them what a bitch my date turned out to be.

Then I will start drinking rum and will no longer be pretending to be drunk. I will end up getting home at ten in the morning with my pants inside out and chocolate cake smeared all over them. And I will only have one of my shoes. I will be told by my friends that I threw my other shoe out the car window because it had chocolate cake on it.

If Pony can duplicate my senior prom experience, he will truly win the award for worst date ever. Otherwise, I'm afraid Melissa will retain her title.

Pony asked me to wear my shirt with martini glasses embroidered on it. I'm happy to comply. I figure he wants it to match his color scheme. Plus it will probably go better with the wrist corsage he's buying me.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Boring Blog Entry

This is what happens when I have a LOT I want to say on my blog but can't because I have to worry about who might be reading this. It's getting to be a problem, actually. The price of fame is high.

In lieu of candor and wit, today's post is a list of objects you will find on my desk at work. These are items in addition to the usual office supplies.

1. Swedish-English dictionary
I actually studied Swedish for three years just for the fun of it. I'm a weirdo. But I can tell you a little story about Pippi Longstocking in Swedish! Just ask...

2. Oscillating fan
Because I get hot.

3. Program from 10 Naked Men
That show ended June 26, and I still have the playbill on my desk for no reason.

4. Wooden Turtle
My boss brought it back from Mexico and gave it to me. I didn't ask for a wooden turtle. Then again, I didn't ask to be born, but you can't always get what you want. You get what you need. Apparently, I needed a wooden turtle.

5. Neck massager
I never use it. A friend gave it to me after she painted my name in purple letters on the side. The massager is made of wood and is painted to look like a ladybug or something.

6. Purple Chinese takeout container filled with pens
I like the shape and interesting design of Chinese take-out containers.

7. Plastic Buddha with cellphone and espresso
It squeaks when you squeeze it.

8. Plastic pitcher with water
I drink eight glasses a day! More if I went to CC Slaughters the night before.

9. Postcards to send to some NYC bloggers
I keep forgetting to ask for their addresses.

10. Putty
Because I get hot.

11. Swedish Maypole
Not life-sized. It is a tiny maypole I bought from IKEA because, as I said, I'm a weirdo.

12. Wedding Invitation
My friends Russ and Carolyn are getting married at Lake Arrowhead in California this November. It will be nice to attend a wedding where I haven't actually slept with...never mind.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

You Had to Be There

Last night was wonderful. I beat The Handsome Prince at cribbage (well, one out of three) and then watched a couple hours of television with THP and his boyfriend (The Math Whiz). We hung out in my bedroom watching Big Brother and The Amazing Race. I gave them my bed so they could cuddle because I am the kindest best friend in the world.

At one point, a commercial came on for Wendy's new kids menu. The commercial, if you haven't seen it, features little tikes trying to make up their minds about what side order they want with their burger. At one point a little kid says, "I'll have mandarin oranges..." and the voice over announces proudly that kids now have a choice between french fries or mandarin oranges with their burger.

THP and I started laughing hysterically. We couldn't stop. There is no way to translate this "had to be there" moment - but it was truly blissful to laugh until my stomach hurt at a stupid television commercial.

THP and I (both actors) started improvising our own commercial script.

THP: Sweetie, do you want chocolate milk? Or plain white NON-FAT milk?

TODDY: Mommy, I don't want a Chocolate Frosty Milkshake. I'll have Wheatgrass juice!

Commercials are so much more fun when shared with friends.

The last time I laughed so hard at a commercial was in the early 1990s. I was living in Washington DC with a roommate, Charis. She and I were always poor and could never pay all our bills every month. Once I bought groceries using my gasoline charge card. We would go country dancing a couple times a week and spend no more than eight dollars for a night's entertainment. But we laughed a lot and didn't need much money to have fun.

One night at the apartment, we were watching a commercial for a very affordable Nordic Track. The voice over announcer stressed the bargain price of this machine. He raved about the low price, and he bragged about the easy payments. Finally, he announced the price. 10 monthly payments of $99. Charis burst into laughter. Then I burst into laughter. Then we started laughing about the fact that we were laughing. We were so broke that $99 seemed like a ludicrous amount of money. We laughed for a good 20 minutes. We kept choking and laughing and saying, "Wow! That is SO affordable..."

And, again, "you had to be there".

While I love those "had to be there" moments, they are such a disappointment. When you try to recount a location joke, it's always a letdown to you and your listeners.

This morning THP and I sat in The Vortex drinking coffee. "I have nothing to blog about today," I told him. "Could you please do something funny? Fall out of your chair or something," I ordered him.

"French fries or mandarin oranges," he replied.

"Okay, but I know it's one of those 'had to be there' jokes," I said.

Then I told him the Nordic Track story, and he didn't crack a smile. "You had to be there," I said.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


When I was in the cult (God, I love starting sentences with that phrase) I learned a lot about the difference between saying you are sorry and true repentance. Repentance requires a change in behavior, not just an apology.

Yesterday I admitted that I let a bee die. And ate pork. I think I ate a piece of chicken the other night too, but I can't be sure because, as I've said, my only memory of the dinner is that we might have talked about boats.

Last night I had a dream that clearly showed me the path to redemption. You know how sometimes a dream will seem deeply profound and then seem ludicrous the next morning? This was not one of those dreams. This was a deeply profound dream that guided me to my new purpose for living. And it seems no less reasonable this morning as I rub sleep from my eyes and eat my veggie sausage patty.

I am going to train cats to mix martinis.

In my dream, my friend recently found out that her cat could mix the perfect martini. The cat was so superior to martini-mixing humans that people in London were flying the cat over to mix martinis for them. It occurred to me this morning that I have finally discovered a way to make a real difference in the world and contribute to one of my favorite causes, kindness to animals.

I plan on contacting animal shelters throughout the country so that I can set up workshops on bartending for homeless cats and dogs. Who wouldn't adopt a poor little cat that knows how to make a Lemon Drop? A dog specializing in blended beverages would be adopted immediately. People in high society would be thrilled at the idea of mai tais served by shih tzus. No pet would go unwanted.

If we would all open our minds to the power of dreams, our world would be powerfully altered. I encourage you to start following your dreams. Literally.

I just hope I have time to organize the other idea that came to me in my dream. For only $500 you can go on a camping trip with Lucy and Ricky and Fred and Ethel. Proceeds benefit The Humane Society.

Monday, August 16, 2004

No Wire Hangers!

A lot of people think the best line in Mommie Dearest is the wire hanger rant. Actually, the best line in the movie is, "Don't fuck with me fellas. This ain't my first time at the rodeo."

Just so you know.

I went over to The Politician's house last night and had a great time with him and his boyfriend, The Dancer. The Executive was also present. BoBo made conversation, thankfully, because I soon realized I had consumed too much alcohol (accidentally) and couldn't really hold an intelligent conversation. I think we talked about boats. That's about all I remember. I think I ate pork too. Hidden in the potstickers were brown chunks of meat. Well, they were hidden until I bit into the golden morsels of greasy goodness.

I fear I am losing my compassion for animals. I also let a bee die this weekend. It wouldn't leave The Handsome Prince and I alone as we played cribbage in The Vortex, so I didn't save him when he landed in my Cape Cod. I moved the glass out into the middle of the yard so that I couldn't hear his screams as he drowned in the cocktail. I feel guilty.

I finally beat THP at cribbage. It made me so happy that I swept the porch and cleaned off the patio table.

This is the dullest blog entry ever. Maybe I will try again later. This is what happens to my writing when I employ filters.

Something huge and horribly blogworthy happened this weekend, and I can't blog about it because some of the people involved in the story read the Toaster Oven. I want to blog about it so badly that my fingers itch. But I would have to reveal horrible dark secrets, and I just can't. I am evil enough to let a bee drown, but not evil enough to expose others' private lives. Not yet.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Forcing His Hand

There are so many newsworthy topics to deal with today. You've heard the news. The Governor of NJ resigned. Julia Child died. John Kerry and Dumbass are both in Oregon today. So which news story shall I address? Oh, I know...

I was asked out on a date. Actually, I was told that I am going on a date. Not that I mind. Being told, "you are going out with me," is better than being told, "if you died in your apartment nobody would find you for a few days because you are alone and single". (I was actually told that a couple weeks ago. By a Yum Yum Brother, no less).

Last week, I was hanging out at Pony's house. He was burning CDs for me and showing me his dance moves. As he started doing shoulder rolls for me, I looked over at him and realized I felt a vaguely familiar twitch in my heart. Wait a second. I think I might like him. I think I might like him "in that way".

Trying not to think about it, I finished my beer and left. The next day I e-mailed him and told him he was cute when he danced.

"Cute? Not hot?" he asked.

"No," I replied. "It was hot when you drove your red truck fast, it was sexy when you put on your glasses, and it was cute when you danced." Fearing that I was guilty of showing too many cards in my hand, I informed him I was not soliciting comments on my own behavior and that he should refrain from commenting.

"You are not getting off that easily," Pony wrote. "It was cute when you put your head on my shoulder. It was sexy when you sang harmony to the music, and it was hot when you drove fast to keep up with me in spite of the cop next to you on the road."

It's just flirtation. It doesn't mean anything. I don't cook for anybody.

Those are three statements I've made lately, and they are turning out to be false.

It is hard to refrain from blogging about significant happenings in my life. This should come as no surprise to readers of the Toaster Oven. But I want do do things right this time. I don't want to give "too much information". I don't want to make a bigger deal out of things than I should. I don't want to show my cards.

THP is teaching me to play cribbage. Almost every night we sit outside on our patio (The Vortex) and play. I show him my cards, and he helps me play my hand for maximum points. I noticed last time we played that I am getting better, and I don't have to show my cards as often. I've found that there is a certain excitement in waiting for the right moment to reveal my hand.

To kiss a boy and wait three days to talk about it is a new thing for me. Juju will probably wonder why I didn't call her and tell her about this one! But I've been trying to learn how to hold my cards close and keep things to myself. I've done pretty well thus far.

Tuesday night at CC Slaughters, I slipped Pony a note under the table. We were trying to get rid of a certain local bedhopper who was hitting on us, so I wrote, "Pony, I think I like you 'that way', so we need to get rid of Whorehey NOW." And we did. And the next thing you know, I was told, "You are going on a date with me".

I've only known Pony a couple months. He's not usually so decisive. He's not usually so forward. He's not one to show his cards too soon. And, yet, this time he surprised me. And it touched my heart. And I said yes.

I was happy to learn that watching Pirates of The Caribbean with him last night as he coughed and sniffled was not our date. I still have that to look forward to. You'll forgive me if hold my cards close for a while afterwards, won't you?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

The Easiest Thing in the World

Most mornings, The Handsome Prince rides downtown with me to go to work. He is a bigshot staff member at Portland's leading professional theater company that has never cast me in anything. Whatever.

Anyway, yesterday morning THP told me he was going to make us homemade pizza for dinner. One thing I love about him is that the simplest exchange becomes blogworthy. It makes my life so much easier...

THP: Hot Toddy, I am going to make us pizza for dinner.

HT: Yay! I don't have to cook. I am so tired of boiling water for mac and cheese.

THP: I have to go to the store after work and buy yeast.

HT: Yeast? For what?

THP: For the crust.

HT: (Nearly crashing into a phone pole as he swerves in shock) Crust!!? You can make crust?!

THP: Todd, making crust is the easiest thing in the world.

HT: No it isn't. Masturbating is the easiest thing in the world.

THP: Depends on how drunk you are.

HT: And how good the porn is.

THP: And how long it has been since the last time you did it.

HT: True.

THP: Anyway.... you only need four ingredients - -

HT: For masturbation? Let's see... a hand, some lube, an erection and...what's the fourth? Oh, porn!

THP: No, I am talking about making crust.

HT: So am I, sort of.

Anybody wanna come over for pizza?

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Inner Monologue: Treadmill

I had a great time last night with another blogger, but I'm not writing about it until he does. No way am I showing my cards first.

Anyway, you may have noticed I haven't talked about my workouts lately. That's because they ceased to exist for over a month. But I've been inspired to get back to the gym, and it's going well. Except for one thing. I won't shut up.

Running on the treadmill seems to wake up the chatterbox in my head. I thought exercise was supposed to quiet one's mind, but when I step on that treadmill, you you should hear the babbling prattle that runs faster than my body does.

You wanna hear? Okay, imagine I am facing three television screens and wearing headphones. On the right-hand screen Oprah is interviewing Wynonna (again!) and the news is on television number two. The television screen to the far left is airing ESPN.

(Toddy steps onto the treadmill and sets the speed to 5.0. He raises the incline to 4 and begins running)

"I should try raising the incline to five, but then my side will hurt within three minutes. In fact, I should probably start at three, but I want to challenge myself. Like Oprah does. She used to be so fat, but, man, look at her now. She wore that green dress before, I think, when she was interviewing someone else. Oh, right. Sharon Stone. No, Oprah probably would never wear something on the show more than once. She is so rich. I wonder if she...


there is that hot lawyer, Mike. He is pretty old, but damn he has a good body. Oh, good, he is working chest and biceps today. I need to put my glasses on so I can see him better. Balding, but hot. I'd better pretend to check my distance on the machine. If he saw me put on my glasses he will think I am checking him out. Then he will become more arrogant than he already is...

Oh, god, I have only been running for 53 seconds? Shit. This is going to be a long run, but at least Mike is working out over there next to that other guy. That other guy seems gay. I think he sometimes sneaks glances at me the way I am sneaking glances at Lawyer Mike. But I am not interested in that guy even if he is gay. What does his shirt say? Oh, the AIDS walk. But that doesn't mean he is gay. Don't presume to know a person's sexuality just because they support the fight against AIDS, Todd, you stupid moron. Just because...

Okay, now he is doing dumbbell curls and his biceps are bulging. He is doing them wrong. He's swinging his arms too much. Show off. If you can't lift properly, you should use lighter weights. Idiot. Hot muscular idiot. Yum. I need to lower the incline to 3. This is hard.

Anderson Cooper used to be the host of The Mole and now he does news. That is so weird. He is Gloria Vanderbilts son. I can't believe I still remember that Kathryn was The Mole. How do I remember stuff like that, but I forget to blow out candles when I go to bed?

God. I've been running three minutes. That means I have to run at least 22 more minutes, but I should really run 27 more minutes. I know I will run 22 minutes. There's no way I will still be into this in 27 minutes. Then I will eat a protein bar and go home and...WAIT...do I have any whiskey at home? I should drink vodka tonight. That seems more healthy, since I've been running. I could mix it with juice for nutrition.

I wonder if Lawyer Mike and I slept together if he would want to hide it from everyone at work. Probably. Then it would be like that Alannis Morrisette song about washing hands clean. She hasn't made a song in a while.

Yes she has. She was in that Cole Porter movie. I don't want to see that. I should see it, though, because people are going to blog about it constantly the way they all blogged about Janet Jackson at the Superbowl. What should I blog about tomorrow? I wonder what Patrick will blog about tomorrow?

It's 4:15. I wonder if anyone in NYC is drunk dialing me right now? I should drunk dial someone soon. If I drank whiskey instead of vodka tonight, maybe I would be in the mood to drunk dial. But probably not if I drink vodka. I should call Andy and see if he wants to get a drink after work. I haven't called BoBo for a few days, I should see if he wants to get a drink after work. Oh, I told The Handsome Prince I would be home after work. Maybe we'll play cribbage in The Vortex. That's so cute that he calls our backyard patio The Vortex. I remember when CT and I went to that place in Oregon called The Vortex. I wonder if CT is dating anybody yet. Bastard. Fucker. Asshole. (Toddy raises treadmill speed to 5.8 and runs angrily).

This song rocks. Why do I like Toxic so much? I'm so happy I got that dance mix of Holiday and Milkshake that Billy sent me. He is really cute. Why did I think he would be rude and cocky? He's not. I wonder if he is working out right now.

Oprah is kind of stuck up sometimes. She used to seem more humble. What kind of protein bar do I have in my backpack? I hope it's the kind that tastes like Butterfinger. I love that one. I forgot if THP is making dinner. Oh, he is making pizza. I should totally not eat pizza and drink vodka tonight. Right after running? That is so stupid. Maybe light beer.

15 minutes to go. I can't believe how much Lawyer Mike stands around and talks when he is supposed to be working out. How is his body that hot when he stands around and also lifts with improper form? But his body is so hot. Yeah, he would totally keep our affair a secret. Asshole. (Toddy turns up treadmill speed to 6.0 and runs angrily).

This woman walking next to me smells awful. Why do people put on perfume before they work out? She's an idiot. Aw, but she is trying so hard to lose weight. I should be more compassionate. Maybe I will smile at her and give her a thumbs up when I leave. No way would I ever give someone a thumbs up. That is so stupid. I'll bet Lawyer Mike gives people a thumbs up sometimes. He's hot. Maybe I will just smile at the smelly lady as I leave. But what if she thinks I'm flirting? She might think I'm straight and then she'll get a crush on me like that one lady who rides the stationary bicycle here at the gym who told me she had a crush on me. That was embarrasing. It would be weird if Lawyer Mike told me he had a crush one me while we were in the locker room. Or in the shower. Yeah, if we were in the shower and he came over and said, "I've always had a crush on you, can I wash your back for you?" - That would be so hot.

I wonder what Andy will blog about tomorrow? I wonder if Oprah knows what a blog is? I'll bet she has researchers who have to explain stuff like that to her because she is always out buying shoes and getting manicures. I loved when Missy Elliot said, "get your hair did" in that one song.

Taco Bell is so good when you're drunk. Pizza sounds good. Five more minutes. I should just start cooling down now."

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Come to Jesus Meeting

I know some of you are worried about the political climate in this country, and I'm here to help. I try to steer clear of political topics at Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven, but I think it's time for an intervention from yours truly. So, don't worry, I'm going to have a little talk with George W. this Friday when he comes to Portland and get this whole upcoming election ironed out. I have never mentioned on Toaster Oven that George and I are old friends. My omission is intentional - partly because I am not a name-dropper - but mostly because I am embarrassed to have such a ridiculous friend.

We actually met at Chili's Bar and Grill in McKinney, Texas, where I worked as a server in '95. I was GW's server, and he said I was the best waiter he and Laura ever had. He tipped me two whole dollars. After they finished their margaritas and fajitas (he pronounced them "fujitsus"), I asked George and Laura if they wanted to come over and go swimming in my parents' pool after I got off work. Laura said, "Yes, as long as we are not skinny dipping," so they came over and we hung out. I taught GW how to doggie paddle without his water wings, and we've been friends ever since. GW and I e-mail every now and then, but I have been so busy working (and by working, I mean hanging out at CC Slaughters drinking Maker's Mark) that I haven't had time to follow up with him on some of my concerns.

So, this Friday GW and I are meeting at Krispy Kreme for hot doughnuts and coffee, and I imagine our talk will go something like this:

Yes, GW, I do remember when we swam in my parents' pool. Yep, that really WAS funny when you dunked Laura too long and she got mad and started choking. Anyway, I want to talk to you about something. It's kind of serious. Wait. You have doughnut on your chin. Here, let me get it for you so you don't spill your coffee like last time. Oops. Well, that's okay, accidents happen. We'll get you another coffee.

Yes, I think you've stained your shirt. What do you mean "just like Bill Clinton's stained dress?" No, I don't get it. No, you're thinking of Monica Lewinsky's dress. No, George, it was Monica's dress. No, it was. I get the joke, but you're saying it wrong.

Yes, you are.

Yes, you are.

Never mind.

Anyway, I need to tell you something very serious. I've heard some people talking about you behind your back. No, it's not "the faggots". No, I'm serious we, um, I mean, they like you very much. No, really. You should see how they rave about you on the blogs I read.


They're like online journals.

Journals. Journals are like diaries. Never mind.

Anyway, George, some people were saying some horrible things about you. I think they want to fight you. Well, if you must know it was Saddam Hussein and John Kerry. Yeah, they told me that they think you are afraid to drop out of the upcoming election. I'm serious. They said you are chicken and that you hide behind your position as President and you are scared to face them.

Yes, actually, I did hear them say they dared you to resign. Yes, actually, it was a double dog dare. Yes, you should show them you're not afraid just like you showed the terrists. I agree. You're right, I think you should resign and leave the White House and show those bastards you're no chicken. That's that spirit! Let Kerry see how hard it is to lead the country, that will show him.

Yes, these really are good doughnuts. No, don't worry, GW, it will be fine. Yes, I'm sure you will still get your doughnuts free. Okay, so, I'm glad we had this talk. Oh, I think you should announce it right away. No we can't go swimming in my parents' pool this afternoon. Because they live in Texas, GW, and we're in Oregon. Oregon.

No, not Oregone. Oregon.



Never mind.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Bar Stool Conversations

I met a couple interesting people this weekend. One was interesting in a good way. Ted came to Portland for a writer's conference and met me for drinks after the show Friday night. I hope he was entertained by the hordes of actors and the two Yum Yum brothers he met. You'd be proud of me. My behavior was above reproach! Except for one brief lapse in judgment when I nuzzled my mouth into my friend Stef's bosom as she was leaving the bar, which is hardly even a minor infraction of etiquette (for me).

The other interesting person I met was interesting in an asshole sort of way. This guy starts chatting with me at the bar after the show Saturday night and tells me that he moved to Portland because he hated Seattle. I asked him why he hated The Emerald City, and he said, "Because there are too many of those people. What are they called? Not Indians. The other people."

At this point I am trying to remind myself that I am in a progressive city in the Pacific Northwest in the year 2004 (thanks, Tuna Girl, for reminding me what year it is) and not standing in a field in Macon, GA in 1923 wearing a white hood as my buddies and I burn crosses in other people's yards.

"The other people? You mean the other people who don't look like you besides Indians? Are you talking about Middle Eastern people?"

"Yes. Them. They think they are always right. I couldn't stand it. I had to move."

Our conversation was cut short because Bigot Boy had to go play pool. I was so sorry to see him leave. He was obviously one of those people, um, what do you call them? Not Nazis. The other people....what are they called?

Oh, right. Racists.

Good riddance, Bigot Boy, and I hope your finger got smashed by the cue ball.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Can You Imagine How Much Coffee I'll Need Today?

An exciting audio post in which I am molested, mauled, kissed, fondled and cuddled:

this is an audio post - click to play

Happy Friday!
You Don't Know Me, Fucko

My drunk friend, Nancy, was attending a party at my house, and was offered a ride home from another party guest. "You shouldn't be driving," he told her.

"You don't know me, Fucko!" she slurred. No, we didn't let Nancy drive home, but her quote became a favorite of mine and Juju's.

So, today I am thinking about all the people who think they know me. It is strange that I talk about so many details of my life to so many people I've never met. But I can't help myself. I am an attention whore and am not ashamed. I'm more ashamed of owning a Rosie O'Donnell talking doll than I am of being an attention whore.

Recently, I was called an attention whore on the Gay Bloggers tribe on Tribe.net by a person who seems to have taken a disliking to me. However, I took it as a compliment. It took one or two more attempted insults from this other member before I realized that he was trying to get a rise out of me. Calling me a wallflower would probably be more insulting to me than saying I will do anything for attention. Sure, I'm an attention whore. I'm an actor, and I'm a blogger.

The Executive, a friend who knows me very well and likes me anyway, replied to my Tribe antagonist, who I've dubbed George Statetheobvious, with the following:

"Toddy, an attention whore? You have no idea..."

See, my friends know me. They love me for who I am. And they know I am an attention whore and make no apologies about it. My ex, prior to breaking up with me on my birthday, said that he was uncomfortable with the way I "held court" at parties. He said it made him feel invisible (I'm sure it was all my fault that he felt invisible as he sat in the corner criticizing people under his breath).

I'm sorry if you don't like it, but it comes naturally to me - this strange desire to entertain. This is not a new thing. I have been an attention whore for as long as I can remember. You should see the home movies of me and my sister as kids. Actually, my sister only made cameo appearances, because in nearly every movie my parents ever filmed, there appears the inevitable shot of me literally pushing my sister out of the frame. If she was doing something cute on camera, I would run in front of her and start singing or tap-dancing or clowning.

In an attempt to give me an outlet and allow my sister some on-camera time, my dad built a stage for me in the basement of our house. I was encouraged to write skits and perform them for my family at holiday gatherings. My talent shows were frequent, and I was a hell of an entertainer. I wrote songs, played my trumpet and read my poetry to my cousins, aunts and uncles. As a youth, my fans adored me. However, unlike Melissa Etheridge, my coming out destroyed my career. Apparently, you can't be a poetry-reading trumpet player who performs marionette shows to the soundtrack from Xanadu if you're gay. (Funny, one would assume such a performer HAS to be gay) I have been forced to seek out a new audience. And, for the most part, I've been well-received. Until George Statetheobvious.

To be honest, George Statetheobvious is the first "critic" I've encountered on the Internet. With any luck, he won't be the last, because it is as close as I've come to feeling stalked.

I'm lucky to have met more friends than foes through this blog. A mystery was solved today. One reader of my blog wrote me an e-mail to say that he frequently reads me from his office. He works for an "evil coffee empire", a fact I've noticed from reviewing my site statistics. I'm so happy to finally know the identity of this mysterious reader, who I always pictured sipping a big cup of coffee from a Seattle mug as he reads Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven. We may meet up for a drink someday when he visits Portland, and I look forward to it.

There are a few other people out there reading regularly, and I feel very curious about who they are. Someone who works for an "evil online book empire" reads this site quite often. Someone who works for an "evil dental empire" in California reads me too. I also see hits from a mortgage company in CA and from some crazy stalker in Cleveland (kidding - I know who you are, Cleveland).

It's fascinating to know that someone I've never met knows what drink I order at the bar (and which bar) on Thursday nights. Thanks to those of you who send me really nice e-mails about enjoying my writing. Thanks to friends I've never met who call me from Bloomingdales to say hello. Thanks for the drunk dials, for burning CDs for me, for coming over to hang out at my house, and for telling me you like my writing.

Your kindness helps to counteract the evil plots of George Statetheobviouses everywhere. Oh, and one more thing...

Hey, George! You don't know me, Fucko.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Hot and Sour Soup Explosion

I went to lunch yesterday with The Handsome Prince after a vague phone call in which we both attempted to force the decision-making on each other:

Toddy: Let's go eat lunch together.
THP: Okay
Toddy: You decide where.
THP: No, you.
Toddy: No, you decide.
THP: No, you decide and surprise me.

So, we went to my favorite new restaurant, Chopsticks, which specializes in Southeast Asian cuisine and Southeast Asian waiters. YUM on both accounts.

I had an important meeting at work yesterday, so I looked professional and mega-corporate in my dry cleaned dress shirt. Typically, I dress in jeans and casual shirts. You already know where this is going.

THP put a spoonful of hot and sour soup up to his mouth and COUGHED. An eruption of soup with chunks of pepper and chicken blasted onto my face, shirt and pants. "What the - - " I said as I ran to the bathroom to clean up.

Once I showered in the sink, I came back to the table. My first thought was, "Why did you do that, Handsome Prince?"

Actually, my first thought was, "Wow. That was a hot and sour soup explosion. That would be a good name for a band."

Actually, my first thought was, "Now I have something to blog about tomorrow."

Actually, my thoughts aren't totally linear like that, so there is no telling which thought was first. All of those thoughts sort of voiced themselves at once, like when those pesky reporters shout out their questions at once during press conferences.

THP apologized profusely through fits of laughter. Such sincerity. Then he said, "I'm just glad it was YOU I was eating with."

"Right. 'Cause it would be disastrous to spew soup on someone who really mattered," I answered.

"No, I just mean - - I mean - - it's YOU, Todd. I can do things like that with you," he laughed. I guess friendship means never having to put your soup spoon down before you cough. Or something.

This morning as we were getting ready to leave for work, I told The Handsome Prince that I was thinking of blogging about The Hot and Sour Soup Explosion.

"I don't think it will make a very good blog entry, though," I confessed.

"No, but it is a good metaphor for our relationship," offered THP.

Truer words were never spoken.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Welcome to Fantasy Island

Just down the street from my house, there is an old gas station. It's one of those tiny little two-pump stations with a tiny awning hanging over the concrete pumping station. The pumps no longer stand waiting to service motorists, and if you are expecting someone to come out of the station and clean your windows, you'll have a long wait.

The old gas station has been turned into a "Food Mart". Colored flags stream in rows from the roof and are pegged into the crusty ground at 90 degree angles. Bright posters advertising international calling cards clutter the windows. Fried potatoes and greasy chicken legs are displayed under a heat lamp next to the cash register. I keep thinking they should turn the old gas station into a Dean & Deluca store.

Lately I have been seriously questioning life in general. I've been asking myself a lot of questions about where I am headed. If I were to assemble a list of the "Frequently Asked Questions" I ponder, the list would begin with, "What the Fuck Are You Doing in Portland, Oregon?"

Don't get me wrong. I love Portland. It is the first place I've ever lived that wasn't chosen for me. I grew up in Missouri, went to college in Kentucky, and I took my first professional job in Washington, DC. But I chose the city of Portland, Oregon and moved here sight unseen and with no job lined up. Portland called to me, and I answered.

I always thought I would end up in New York City, or maybe The Second City. Growing up in suburban Kansas City, I always dreamed of traveling to amazing metropolitan centers of culture and finance. It wasn't until I entered college that I truly got a chance to explore. Who knew that my little college town of Wilmore, Kentucky would open up doors to the world. I studied at La Sorbonne in Paris for a summer term and pretended to be French as I sipped my cafe in the Latin Quarter before classes. I went with a college filmmaking crew to Kenya and experienced safaris and tea plantations and the brightest moon I have ever seen in my life. Shortly after college, I experienced the wonders of Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and Copenhagen as I toured with a brass band.

As a result of all I saw and experienced, I decided that I was supposed to be an incredibly cultured resident of the world, and I sought to extinguish any trace of my Midwestern ideals. I banned country music from my collection. I stopped eating chipped beef on toast (SOS, as we called it at home) and started drinking wine and eating hummus. New Year's Eve was reserved for fabulous parties instead of standing on the back porch banging pots and pans with a wooden spoon at midnight.

Yet, somehow, I ended up living with a boy who grew up on a cattle ranch, and I drink Pabst Blue Ribbon and listen to country music on my back porch at night as the crickets chirp beneath the clusters of pine trees in our backyard. Where is my loft? Why am I sipping whiskey out of a juice glass instead of cradling a cosmopolitan at a gallery opening in SoHo? How come I can only experience the joys of happy hour at a Midtown bar when Michael Vernon is feeling charitable and calls me so I can listen in on the fun?

If I lived in New York, maybe I would blog about how much I miss the green, green grass of home in my rainy little Oregon town. I would reminisce about Mount Hood and Mount Saint Helen's standing proudly and overlooking our two rivers. I'd wish for a weekend at The Executive's beach house on the dramatic rocky Oregon coast. I would yearn for day trips to Seattle or a lazy afternoon mingling with the granola-munching patchouli hippies of Hawthorne Boulevard. Maybe I would even miss that old gas station, but chances are I'd be too busy arranging the catering for the housewarming party in my loft to give those crickets a second thought.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Wish You Were Here...

In spite of the fact that I was up until almost 4 a.m. Saturday morning, I still set my alarm and woke up to participate in the "Moment in the Life" photo project for the Gay Bloggers tribe on Tribe.net.

I didn't actually have the energy to get out of bed, so I used my digital camera, a gift from The Executive, to snap a quick photo. Then I turned over and went back to sleep until 1 p.m.

When I woke up later, I went to BoBo's house for brunch. If you come to my house for brunch you will get scrambled eggs, toast and veggie sausage. When you go visit The Executive for brunch, you are treated to gin-laden "breakfast shakes" and egg souffle on his spacious deck overlooking the West Hills of Portland. The soothing pond and fountain he's built helps set the mood for a long relaxing afternoon. I don't think we moved for four hours except to download our pictures to Tribe and view some of the other submissions.

Here is my submission, which I call, "Wish You Were Here":

So, that's me with my legs in the air at 9:17 a.m. on Saturday. What were YOU doing at that early hour?