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Seething Cakes of Hatred

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...

Friday, October 29, 2004

A Scary Halloween Story

The Math Whiz found a hatched spider nest in his sock drawer this morning. That story will definitely spook those of you who are scared of spiders even though you say you're not scared but that you just think spiders have bad attitudes.

By the way, Pony thinks I link to him every single day. Whatever. It's my effing blog.

Anyway. The Math Whiz was a little freaked out. I didn't tell him that I felt partially responsible. I have been saving the lives of spiders left and right. I am like Schindler except that I don't have a list. But I do bend over the bathtub with a toilet paper ladder and help trapped spiders climb out. Then I transport them to safety outside. I release spiders to the front yard, not to The Vortex, because Pony hangs out there and is terrified doesn't like spiders' attitudes.

You know who else likes when I link to him and actually thanks me for it? BoBo.

Where was I? Spiders. I think spiders should be allowed to live. But I prefer that they don't live in the house with me. Not that I am scared of them, but some spiders really are very ugly.

Oh, remember how I used to link to Crunchy every day? I'll bet you thought that was obnoxious. I still like him, by the way. He's very wonderful, and we still talk a lot, and I will always care about Crunchy. I just don't link to him every day anymore. I sort of just link to whomever I'm currently obsessed with, which sometimes makes me worried that I will find some sick bastard who just wants to date me so they can increase their blog hits.

So, spiders. Spiders are really beneficial if you want to keep other bugs away. I like that spiders will do my dirty work for me. What I mean is, I don't like to kill bugs of any kind. But there are some bugs I hate having around me. So the spiders, (which are naturally evil if you consider bad attitudes evil in which case I know several evil people) are like tiny hit men who bump off flying enemies or pests.

See, the thing I like about linking to people is that it allows me to show people I am thinking about them even if I forget to e-mail or call them. I usually never forget to call Pony, though. I just said "usually never" which is ridiculous.

I think I've lost the thread of this conversation. Did you know that The Handsome Prince had to use a typewriter at work yesterday in order to fill out Equity contracts for actors? A typewriter. You would think AEA could simplify this process by putting applications online or something. Maybe one of you developer type people should offer to help them out.

Wasn't that a scary story? See why I should never title my post until it's actually written? Because I never know how it will come out in the end.


Thursday, October 28, 2004

Spud Toppers

Tonight is the first rehearsal for a play I wrote. I'm so excited to hear the actors read the play and am eager to see what sort of new ideas may be generated by this process.

The Cold Comedy Concoction is a night of comedy that opens in December at Stark Raving Theatre in Portland, Oregon. I was really honored to be asked to write a play for this, and I decided to write "Spud Toppers", which is a fast-paced zany romp - -

Just kidding. I hate zany romps.

Spud Toppers was written as an act of revenge on behalf of temporary workers everywhere. Temporary employees, commonly referred to as "Temps" are all too often thrust into office environments and expected to figure out how to perform a job without guidance or support from anyone.

In Corporate America, temps are lowest on the food chain. They are unappreciated and unnamed (many are simply called "the temp" by their co-workers) and assigned the most dreadful and menial of tasks. They are considered little more than trained monkeys. This play is based on my personal experience as a temp and the horrific, yet humorous, memories associated with those trained monkey days.

Two of the characters in the show happen to be gay, but that's not what the play is about. Against my better judgment, I let my sister read the play. I've never talked about my sister here, so I'll need to come up with a good name for her.

I knew she might be uncomfortable with some of the characters and the occasional profane word. But her first question to me was baffling. "Who paid you to write this? A gay comedy club?" No, Cold Kelly, it was written for a theater company in Portland.

"Well, I suppose you could adapt it for other environments," she told me.

She then proceeded to explain how I should rewrite one character, a gay man, as a straight guy. I could then change the other gay guy, Danny, to "Danielle", making that character an attractive woman. Okay, now if she can just explain why that change should occur. "WHY," I shout to the heavens while clenching my fists in rage.

My family baffles me. I wrote a show about life as an office temp. And my sister couldn't get past the fact that two characters were gay. I don't understand why she even suggested that I get rid of the gay characters. I could only tell her, "most people are comfortable seeing gay characters portrayed," but I'm sure she didn't get my point. She lives in a very small world, which is sad. Maybe that's part of the reason I haven't been home to visit in two years. They just don't get me, and, as much as I love my family, I feel like an alien when I'm home. I am liberal gay vegetarian, and you can imagine how uncomfortable it is hanging out at the steakhouse with my conservative Christian family. My dad actually called me a communist the last time I went home.

I turned to Pony for support. He told me, "I can totally hear what your sister is saying. I mean, if a straight person ever saw the play, it wouldn't be funny at all because there are gay characters. It would be like asking an American to sit through a Japanese movie without subtitles or translation. It just wouldn't make any sense to them."

He then asked if straight people hire gay translators so they can watch Will and Grace and still understand the jokes. Obviously, he's being sarcastic. I never worry that Pony won't understand. In fact, the other night we stayed up until 3 a.m. discussing politics. I never discuss politics with anyone, because I know that my views are widely misunderstood. But with him, I felt completely comfortable and even found some of his views rather educational. I actually changed some of my political opinions based on what he shared with me. I'm less of a communist now, I guess.

Family bigotry and ignorance aside, I'm looking forward to jumping into this theatrical production. If you're in Portland anytime between Christmas Eve and January 22, 2005, I hope you'll come see the show!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

First Kiss

Today is the anniversary of my first kiss. Well, my first boy kiss.

I was living in Dallas, Texas and spending lots of time at a country/western gay bar called The Round Up. I had only been out of the closet for a couple months. One Tuesday night before Halloween, I ventured down to Cedar Springs by myself. I didn't realize everyone would be in costume, which is a stupid oversight considering Halloween is, like, Gay Christmas. Of course everyone would be celebrating all week. Stupid me.

I passed a table at the bar when Joan Crawford shouted at me to come sit with her and a handsome cowboy dressed in black. Joan Crawford was carrying a wire hanger and had cold creamed smeared on his face. The cowboy was silent and adorable. His body was muscular and tight. His features were angular, and his eyes were blue. His name was Kody.

We chatted for a while, and I found out Kody was Joan Crawford's date. So, when they decided to head out and hit the next bar on their agenda, I bid them both good night. Kody grabbed my hand and pulled me after them. He squeezed my hand tight as the three of us walked to the door.

At the next bar, Kody started telling me how he was tired of dating older guys. He was 19. I sort of accidentally didn't tell him I was actually 29. I have always looked about 8-10 years younger than I am. So, technically, I could have been 19, right?

Anyway, Kody and I went to the bathroom together and left Joan Crawford sitting at the bar with her wire hanger. As we were leaving the bathroom, he pushed me up against the wall. Then Kody removed his black cowboy hat and covered our faces with it as he kissed me. I had never kissed a boy, and it was heaven. I could feel him pushing against me as we kissed. My favorite thing about kissing Kody was that he would pull my tongue into his mouth by sucking. It hurt a little bit, because he was so enthusiastic about it. But it was a good kind of pain.

After the kiss, I confessed to Kody that I was 29. But he still called me the next day. We met by a lake in Dallas and made out by the water. Then we spent another two hours at my place. We took off ours shirts and jeans and made out as we listened to an Enigma CD. But I was too nervous to do anything more.

Kody and I did eventually sleep together. We took it slowly. I think it was a WHOLE WEEK before we slept together, which is an eternity in gay time. We had a very sexual relationship for about a month, and then we broke up. I broke up with him on the patio of The Village Station. Incidentally, that same patio is where I had my first kiss with CT, who I stayed with for 7 years.

Kody really was too young for me and I soon realized he was not ready for anything more than sex. I dated only a couple more guys before I entered into the relationship with CT. The obsession with the cowboy dressed in black dissipated, and I almost forgot about him.

But, damn, that boy could kiss. I know I won't forget that.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Reader Testimonial

This morning I received a wonderful e-mail from a reader of Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven. I won't reveal her identity, for obvious reasons. But I wanted to share this note with you, because it made my day:

Dear Hot Toddy:
I HAD to email to tell you what just happened to me - I
could not post it on Toaster Oven, because it is far too embarrassing.

[Don't worry, reader. I will post it for you. You obviously have too many filters.]

I was reading your blog. Like I do. And I was even reading some of them out loud to my husband, who has not yet been on your site.(Criminal!) I read him 'Dear The Rock', and 'Left-Handed Marriage', two of my favorites. Then I got to 'Snapple Lids'.

To be fair, I made the rather serious error of drinking a beverage as I read. Upon reading the first two lines, and after having taken a huge swig of diet coke, I began to laugh. And then things got serious.

I began to choke. Really choke. The diet coke was fizzing in my mouth, as I had previously been eating beef jerky, and we all know how sodium and carbonated beverages behave when mixed. It's like a science class volcano in your mouth. As I struggled to keep this self-made magma from spewing all over my very expensive keyboard, I got up to rush to the bathroom to spit. Now, here's where things go from bad to worse.

I was running, choking, and LAUGHING so hard that I, quite literally, peed my pants. And I'm not talking about a dribble. I'm talking about full-on pee. I won't go any more into this, but let me just say- if you haven't peed your pants since you were potty-trained, it's a reminder of why you were so anxious to get out of diapers as a child. It is not comfortable.

That in and of itself would have warranted an email. But wait- there's more. I was choking, had just peed my pants, and was still laughing so hard, that I vomited. I am not making this up. I VOMITED. I did not make it to the toilet. Thankfully, I did reach the tiled floor of the bathroom.

My one, leading question is this: What do you have to say for yourself? I blame you.

The truly amazing part of this story is that all of this happened in the span of about ten seconds. As of right now, the pants are in the wash. The bathroom floor has been cleaned. The diet coke has been poured out. All I regret is that my ants haven't been delivered yet. I'm sure with their help, this whole embarrassing event could have somehow been avoided.

I know that this is story is really disgusting, but I hope you enjoyed it.

Magma Mouth

Dear Magma:
I feel horrible for causing choking, urination and vomit. I feel horrible that I posted your shame for all the world to see. I feel horrible that part of me enjoys the fact that you choked, urinated and vomited after reading Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven. I feel horrible that I just lied. It's not part of me that enjoyed this story. I relished your traumatic story with every fiber of my being.

To make amends, I went to confession and left a comment confessing my own regurgitative exploits.

Friday, October 22, 2004

I Heart Balloon Boy

Last night at the bar, I had a great talk with Balloon Boy, who recently did something very nice for me. I can't tell you what he did for me, unfortunately, because he won't let me. But, I'm really thankful to him.

Balloon Boy is a handsome man, as you can see, and he is completely content being single. Although he has many admirers and could easily have at least one boyfriend, he told me he is happy being by himself until the right man comes along.

Last night, I was way too pensive. I think I'm still stuck on the thoughts I wrote about yesterday. At one point my confusion was so profound that I called my voice mail and left myself this message:

"Be patient, Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven (great now I'm calling myself that too) and just have fun being single or kind of dating or whatever you're doing..."

I hope I get the message.

In order to further figure things out, I asked Balloon Boy for his help. He's the wise soul the Yum Yum Brotherhood counts on for good advice. I asked him questions about how to obtain patience and also quizzed him on the winning lottery numbers. He couldn't really help me with the latter, but he did give me encouragement about waiting for love to arrive.

As I said, I'm not exactly single right now, but I'm not exactly taken. I am seeing someone special, but there is no clear definition for our status. I'm in limbo. Limbo is a new place for me. I thought limbo was a fun state of mind where people drank margaritas and shimmied under bamboo poles while the song "Hot, Hot, HOT" played festively. That's not what this limbo feels like. This limbo feels more like sitting in a hard plastic chair flipping through Highlights for Children while waiting for the dentist to see you.

As he hugged me goodbye at the bar, I told him how much I respected him. "You are going home to sleep alone, and you're happy. I wish I could be like you," I said with tears in my eyes.

He held me tight. "Toddy, you are who you are," was his Yoda-like advice. "You just have to be where you are right now," he said sagely. Then he vanished into thin air.

Okay, he didn't really vanish, but he did leave me with something to think about. I want to be like Balloon Boy when if I grow up.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Boyfriend Material

Last night I went to Happy Three Hours with The Handsome Prince and his boyfriend, The Math Whiz. The three of us also happen to be housemates, and they make me act so gay sometimes. What I mean is - because I got sick of them calling each other "sweetie" all the time, they've decided to start calling me sweetie as well. Then I got sucked into it and found myself calling both of them sweetie. It's disgusting. The three of us sitting there drinking Long Island Iced Teas and calling each other "sweetie".

When the three sweeties got home, two of the sweeties climbed into bed together for a night of watching television and whatever else they do in bed. But Sweetie Hot Toddy took a brief booze snooze before beginning his second round of cocktails. Before I left I said good night to the two sweeties and felt a pang of jealousy as I saw them next to each other in bed. They looked so happy and content.

I went over to Juju and Metro's apartment and was greeted at the door with an impressive drink menu. Ginger Mojitos and Melon Balls and Cosmopolitans were the house specialties. I chose the "Coffee from Allah". So good. I had two of them.

At one point Juju was talking about what a bad day she had recently. When she got home from work that day, Metro gave her a beautiful picture in a frame that says "I Love You" and an encouraging card. I felt another pang of jealousy as I looked at the picture and saw the two of them snuggling out of the corner of my eye.

Also attending the cocktail party were Ubergirl and her wife, Cowgirl. They showed us a video Cowgirl secretly took of her wife to prove that Ubergirl snores. Loudly. Somehow, this struck a chord in me. So romantic that they share every intimate moment of life together. And damn if I didn't feel another pang of jealousy.

I want this someday. I know what I need right now is to experience the world of casual dating. I need to take it slow and not rush into another partnership. My biggest mistake was rushing into things with CT. We started dating before he even officially broke up with his partner. We moved in with each other three months later. It was the day after his ex moved out. Lest you feel the need to reprimand me, I realize now that it was ridiculous. It was also passionate and crazy and felt sort of dangerous. Sometimes I crave the feeling of living dangerously and recklessly.

It is hard for an impatient man like me to just relax and take things slowly. I once told someone I loved him after dating for only a month. I know that was crazy, but it felt real to me.

I've been told I give off a "relationship vibe". I just seem like the type of person people want to partner with. And that urge is inside of me, but I think for now I just need to take things slowly. I need to have wild sex without making it mean we're falling in love. I need to think about the man I like without wondering if we'll be together for more than a few months. I need to give my heart without worrying I won't get a huge return on my investment.

I'm not great at this. It doesn't come naturally to me, but I think I'm learning to just take it easy.

On another note, where is the best place to register for wedding gifts? Just curious.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Caring For Your Pony

As a technical writer, I know how important it is to read manuals before attempting to operate machinery or household appliances. Unfortunately there are not many resources for those of us who are attempting to care for a pony.

Since Pony created a manual for the care and operation of Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven, I decided to reciprocate by putting together a guide for those of us who love ponies and want to see them happy.

Feeding Your Pony
A pony can be very finicky when it comes to food. In my experience, ponies prefer beer, red wine or lemon drops to actual sustenance. Ponies pick at their food and, before cleaning their plates, often throw their forks down in disgust saying, "I can't eat anymore". Fortunately, this means you get to eat the rest of their french fries.

Your pony will enjoy a homecooked meal from time to time. If, however, you once experienced a bad relationship and were completely unappreciated in spite of the fact that you used to cook every single damn meal for your ex - I mean, pony - for seven years and have vowed to never again cook for a man, it helps to find someone else willing to cook for your pony. If you can't get a housemate to cook for the pony, it only takes about half an hour to bake a chicken breast in the oven and that doesn't really count as cooking for a man - er, pony -if you make him help you.

A word of warning is in order: Never try to feed mushrooms to your pony. He will throw a fit.

In spite of his distaste for many foods, you may find it surprising that a pony can consume an entire bag of potato chips in one sitting. Don't try to stop him.

Taming Your Pony

Many people ask me, "Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven, what is the hardest part about having your own pony?" After I joyfully tell them about the hardest part of my pony, I usually realize that's not what they meant. So I will promptly change the subject and begin telling them about the most difficult part of having a pony. Taming him.

Ponies must be approached with caution. They spook easily. If you are too quick to nuzzle your pony, he'll become startled and attempt to flee. This is not a personal affront. Ponies just take some time to get over the hump. You should practice patience and perseverance with your pony. He will be worth it.

Sometimes your pony may act a bit temperamental. If his stable is too cold or his horseshoes aren't fitting properly or if a server crashed at work and people are calling him to fix it, he may act a bit grouchy. Your job is to smile at your pony and tell him you understand. Then, if he continues to act out, you should make fun of him until you get him to laugh. If you are lucky, your pony may even reward you for cheering him up by nuzzling you a bit and rubbing up against you or even letting you ride him.

[Note: Riding your pony is not something to rush into. It may help to practice riding something smaller at first. Fortunately I have ridden some very small things in my life and have had plenty of practice.]

Keep in mind that your pony, although a stud, is not intended for breeding purposes.

Cleaning Your Pony's Stable
Your pony, if he's like mine, is perfectly capable of keeping himself clean. He will be very hygienic and will often smell like freshly laundered clothes even if he's been out at the bars all night. This is a miracle that can't be explained. Just enjoy it, and be sure to inhale deeply when you hug him.

Your pony's stable is a different matter. Sometimes it might get a bit cluttered with dishes or cocktail weinies may be left on the stove, but this is because your pony is busy, busy, busy and just has too many projects going at once. Given his hectic schedule, you should never complain about his stable. Just be grateful he takes time for you at all. It may help your pony's mental health to convince him to leave the stable for awhile and come visit you. He will usually comply if you ask nicely. Ponies are sweet that way.

I hope these tips were helpful to you. I have to admit that I don't have a lot of experience with ponies, but I am learning a lot every day and am proud to share my advice with you.

You and your pony will be very happy as long as you make sure your pony always knows you appreciate him. Enjoy the ride!

Yes on Measure 31

Since political posts seem to be in vogue, I'm going to chime in on a ballot measure Oregonians will vote on this November.

Actually, never mind. What a boring topic.

Let's talk about condiments. I was sitting at my desk eating a veggie burger patty when I opened my desk drawer and discovered there were no salt packets. For some reason, I have salt packets in the leather jacket I'm wearing today. So, thankfully, I did not need to get up and go to the breakroom for more salt.

I also have a bottle of ketchup at my desk and several mustard packets, so everything I need to enjoy this veggie burger patty is right at my fingertips. I'm going to lunch with Pony in an hour, but I was too hungry to wait.

So, please vote Yes on Measure 31.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Mirror Image

Have you ever stood in front of a mirror and studied your face? I have. And I'm not talking about staring into a mirror and wishing you could make love to yourself. It's not vanity to simply observe and make mental notes on what you see.

When I look in the mirror I notice that my eyes are almost almond-shaped. I think if my skin, eyes and hair were darker, I would look almost Asian. I often wish my eyebrows were darker. Men with dark eyebrows look stronger. More powerful.

My nose is not too big or too small. It seems okay. My lips are really full. Sometimes I like that, but sometimes they seem too big. But usually people like kissing them, so that's a plus.

I have a dimple that only comes out when I have a very specific expression on my face. Sometimes if I laugh or smile, the dimple doesn't show itself. It's a shy dimple. I can make it appear on purpose, though, and sometimes I use the dimple to flirt.

I wish my face were more angular. My mother's family is Norwegian, and I inherited a roundish face. I have hints of wrinkles around my eyes, but mostly have a wrinkle-free face.

I don't need to wear my glasses all the time. But I usually wear them because I'm afraid I'll lose them if I take them off.

My smile is friendly, and I have decent teeth. Not perfect teeth, though. When I was in college I fell and shattered a tooth (playing Duck, Duck, Goose - ridiculous), and if you look closely you can tell which tooth was broken. One of my teeth was impacted by that accident and is bit darker than the other teeth in my mouth. Maybe someday I'll get that fixed, but it isn't important enough for me to spend the money on it right now.

People say I have a "sweet" face. Sometimes when I look into my eyes I see a sadness, but it's only because I know myself so well. You probably wouldn't notice it if you met me.

I think you should go look in the mirror now too. Let me know what you see.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Nun Challenge

Today I was on a bus downtown headed to Nordstrom Rack, where I planned on buying some bath salts. I was sitting happily in my seat on the bus munching on the bag of Walla Walla Onion Rings I had purchased at Burgerville, when a Nun said to me, "I'll bet you can't think of anything to blog about today." The Nun, whose name I later learned was Sister Mary Trixie, was kind of strange. She seemed a bit upset and off-putting. She also held a stuffed penguin and was brushing its fur.

"Fuck you, Nun," I said sweetly. And I came over to Pony's stable and immediately blogged my story. Now we are having a party and drinking vodka and I'm quite happy (and drunk) and thinking of that Nun and am hoping she got mugged or something. She was catty. If there is one thing I hate, it's a catty nun.

This is my version of a drunk blog. A lot of people think drunk blogging involves spelling errors and sloppy writing. In my opinion, a good drunk blog is simply a blog that makes no sense. So here you go.

I have to go drink more vodka now. Bye.

Friday, October 15, 2004

I Need to Get My Act Together

The theme for this week is "Things Hot Toddy Needs".

We've covered money and cooking lessons. Today I will explain something else I need.

I need to get my act together.

A few months ago, I declared Amazon.com wish lists to be a symbol of greed and vanity. Some Toaster Oven readers disagreed. They claimed that wish lists are interesting to read, provide insight into a blogger's interests, and simplify gift-giving. So, I decided to add a wish list to my blog.

I made using my wish list as difficult as possible. First I linked readers to the wrong wish list. If you clicked on my link more than two weeks ago, you probably did not see my personalized wish list. Or you may have even been directed to your own wish list.

Crash gently informed me of my idiocy. So I fixed the link. But do you know what I forgot to do? I never updated my shipping address.

I hope the resident of my old house is enjoying any of the gifts he/she received. If you did send me a birthday gift from my wish list (and I know of one person who was kind enough to do this), and I didn't thank you for it, I apologize. The truth is, I probably never received it. Please contact Amazon and tell them, "I sent a gift to a moron who never updated his wish list shipping address. Can I get a refund, please?"

Michael, I think this explains why I never received the CD you tried to send me a couple months ago.

I went in and updated the address today. But I doubt anyone will want to hassle with the wish list in the future. I wouldn't blame you.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I Need Cooking Lessons.

Brace yourself. Thanks to Ms. Karma, I am now the proud owner of my very own toaster oven!

It's true. In spite of the name of this blog, I didn't actually own a toaster oven before today. I'll bet you thought I collected toaster ovens or something. No, I've just always thought "toaster oven" was a funny appliance, and don't ask me why. It's just the way my mind works. Sorry if you thought the blog name was more meaningful.


Ms. Karma bought me a toaster oven for my birthday. She also gave me some links to some recipes. I started out by looking at recipes for food you can prepare in a toaster oven. But then I got distracted and started reading a recipe for Portabella Vegetarian Gravy, which should definitely not be prepared in a toaster oven.

As I looked over the apocalyptic recipe from hell, I realized why I don't cook. It is a major hassle. Yes it is. Don't argue with me. La la la, I'm not listening.

Listen - there are so many problems with this recipe I don't even know where to begin.

#3 (I told you I don't know where to begin) - There are no portabella mushrooms in this recipe for Portabella Vegetarian Gravy. It's a trick. The mushrooms are part of a vegetable stock, which must be prepared in advance. In the middle of the recipe, the poor unsuspecting cook is told to add the vegetable stock.

See, that's what frustrates me. Originally, the poor unsuspecting handsome and extremely horny tall blonde cook, or whatever, will be under the impression that the recipe takes nearly two hours, which is a ridiculous amount of time when you can make that powdered gravy stuff in, like, twenty minutes as long as you have an adult to supervise.

But this gravy takes almost two hours to make. Or so our sexy, baby-faced, cute, boy-next-door cook thinks until he realizes he was supposed to have already spent an hour and a half making vegetable stock, which is essential to the gravy. Please tell me who has time to prepare gravy that takes longer than three hours to prepare?!

No, it's not even a matter of time. I mean, in all honesty, I've got three hours to spare. But would I rather spend it sucking down cocktails in The Vortex or making portabella gravy? Do you realize how many episodes of Judge Judy I could watch in the time it takes to make gravy?

#7 (still confused) - If I were preparing this gravy (which would only happen under one condition, which you'll find out soon) I would not realize I was supposed to have made the stock in advance. I would immediately feel the need to go suck down the aforementioned cocktails in The Vortex for a good twenty minutes to decide if the man I was trying to impress by cooking such a dish was actually worth it.

#2 - After deciding that my potential for getting laid is worth everything I ever put myself through, I would huff back into the kitchen to start work on the recipe once again. Next, my patience would be immediately destroyed due to the instructions telling me to "cook roux, stirring, until pale golden".

Excuse me, master chefs of Epicurious.com, but can we back up a second? Pale golden means nothing to me. Is that the color of a stick of butter? Or should it look more like a healthy person's urine stream? Am I going for Paris Hilton's hair color or Olivia Newton John's dress for the dance-off in Grease?

#19 - Imagine I am standing there trying to add the vegetable stock in the manner indicated by the recipe..."a fast stream", which, again, begs the question, "fast like Paris Hilton or fast like a stream of urine?". So I'm standing there whisking, whisking, whisking - which I could totally do forever thanks to my wrist exercises - but it all seems so futile, yet I really like him and he's just...just...well, he's enormous and so hot and sexy, and so I finish the gravy anyway and just (forgive me) take my lumps. And I am sweating and frustrated and have only three and a half cups of gravy to show for all my efforts.

But then comes the clincher. This is the worst part of all.

I still have to make something to put the gravy on.

And before you even comment...yeah, I thought of that too, but do you think he'd enjoy having gravy there? It's kind of kinky.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

I Need Money

I only need $4,183 to pay off my car.
I only need $17,047 to pay off my student loan.
I only need $40 to have a great time with Pony at "Country Night" tomorrow.

Too bad I can't fulfill even one of these dreams.

I've never been good with money.

That's not entirely accurate. I'm actually very good with money. Watch me in action:

"Here you go, sir! Here's my money for the bar tab!!"

"Here, lady. Please accept this cash for breakfast since I didn't take time to eat before I left home this morning."

"Have some money, credit card company. I don't need it."

"Hey, book club, can you take this forty bucks off my hands?"

Here is one good example of why I don't ever have extra cash:

I owe the Multnomah County Library $6.75 for late fines. I don't want to go to the library and get embarrassed when I check out a book. And I'd rather not part with almost seven dollars. Therefore, I purchase books from the book club.

Libras are romantic and cute and friendly. They also repel money. Why do you think we always ask a Virgo to buy us drinks?

Watching from the Swingset

I just received an e-mail from a good friend asking if I'm doing okay. He says I've been a little quiet lately. Yesterday Auburn Pisces called to tell me she says my energy feels distant. My mother is a Pisces, so I am used to this type of scary perceptive energy-sensing behavior. Mom always knew instantly if I was feeling sad or lonely. Then again, I am pretty easy to read. The problem with having no filters is that everybody can tell when you are "out of sorts". Even if I try to hide how I'm feeling, it leaks out in my writing and in my behavior. My face tells the true story of what's going on inside. The truth is, I just received a concerned phone call from a friend in Cleveland. Apparently my energy travels even to Pisces' who live thousands of miles away.

Most of my closest friends are very open with their feelings as well. I am drawn to people who are open books (no wonder I've become friends with so many bloggers). This morning during our coffee break, Auburn Pisces told Ms. Karma and me a story that caused her to burst into tears. Her daughter, Auburn Aries, is a seven-year-old little girl struggling with her weight. She doesn't have a lot of good friends in school and often spends recess sitting alone on the swingset. Auburn Pisces, being a loving parent, wants to take away her baby's pain and is worried that she might be failing her daughter somehow.

I want to help Auburn Pisces and her daughter. But I know from my own experience that all of us have to make our own way in the world. When I was struggling with the loneliest year of my life, my parents didn't even know. I was too ashamed to tell them. Parents want to protect their children from loneliness, weight struggles, sadness and the maelstrom of hardships kids face.

I believe little Auburn Aries will find her way. From the stories I've heard, she sounds like a little actress in the making. The girl is hilarious and spunky. She has flaming red hair, which is going to get her more dates than she knows what to do with once she's at that age. She's just not "at that age". She's at the age when kids are jerks and anybody who's different is marked for target practice or ignored completely.

I'm going to see if I can help Auburn Pisces find a children's theater in the area or something to give her daughter the confidence and contentment she needs. I know theater helped me to grow in so many ways. Perhaps little Auburn Aries will discover, the way I did, that making other people laugh is one way to build your character and find joy.

Sometimes, though, it is okay to sit on the swingset and just watch. That's what I'm doing right now. I'm doing a lot of thinking and reflecting, and I'm not in the mood to join the other kids on the playground. I think I'll just sit here with Auburn Aries and swing for a little bit.

Don't worry about us. We'll be just fine.

Monday, October 11, 2004

The Party's Over

The dust has settled, and I am ready to humbly retreat into my former insignificance. My birthday is over.

Yesterday I spent the entire day watching HBO On Demand, so I finally got to see the series finale of Sex and the City. I was, frankly, worn out emotionally from my birthday party and needed a day to be quiet. Most of the party was fun and crazy. Pony wore a sexy cowboy hat that I hope to see lots more of, and The Executive provided an awesome bar. I had a great time with my friends, and received many bottles of whiskey, some flowers, a book by David Sedaris and some other fun gifts.

After midnight, I found myself in a deep conversation with four or five of my guests and, although I don't want to go into too many details, I can't say I enjoyed the talk. I know my friends want the very best for me, but sometimes I need to go against their advice and make my own choices. If I regret the decisions later, they are always free to say, "I told you so". And they will, but that's okay. The Midget stayed until five in the morning, and I was really grateful because she is such a good listener.

I've learned from experience that the world doesn't stop for you just because it's your birthday. You still have to deal with real issues, and sometimes you cry on your birthday even if they aren't tears of joy.

But the cake The Politician made for me was the second best thing I've ever put in my mouth, and I had more of it for breakfast yesterday.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Rest of This Week

I have to tell you that I have no idea what I will be popping in the Toaster Oven for the rest of the week. See, my birthday is Friday, and I am celebrating all week. I know I am spending my actual birthday in Seattle and may audio blog. If you think you might like to meet me in Seattle for happy hour, even if you live in New York City, St. Louis or Cleveland, please e-mail me. I will come heavily armed and with several friends so do not attempt to plan an abduction, though, because you will not succeed unless I decide I want you to.

So, I might audio blog Friday. And maybe Saturday I will audio blog too, or I might not. This week I am doing whatever I want or whatever Pony tells me to do.

I might just do lists of silly things such as this one:

Two Things I Thought of Today:
(by Hot Toddy)
(like I have to put my name there - it's my blog - who do you think wrote this list?)

1. I hate routine and will complain about it loudly. This morning I got really frustrated and shouted from the kitchen, "I HATE ROUTINE!!!", so The Handsome Prince came to see what I was yelling about. "Why do you hate routine, Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven," he asked. I explained to him (after trying to get him to stop calling me Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven) that the catalyst for my outburst was that I had to pour coffee into my commuter mug - which I do every morning. Every single damn morning. For some reason this predictable and mundane action made me snap this morning, so I yelled.

2. I don't know why, but after I take my vitamins , I always burp about 20 minutes afterwards. It is sort of irritating.

Do you see what you're in for this week? Random, ridiculous thoughts. Not at all the orderly relevant insight you've come to expect from HTTO.

This, for example, is something random and ridiculous that I played with today. It made me laugh.

Oh, what else. Let's see. Vomitola is a tapestry of nonsense sometimes. Especially today. Go see for yourself.

I was about to link you to another person who I feel is very entertaining and random, but then I decided he might be a better writer than I am and use less run-on sentences than I do and that you would maybe decide to read him instead of the Toaster Oven, so I thought better of putting his link on here. But I'll give you a hint. His name is Jerry. He is funny, and undpredictable. His blog title ends in a question mark.

Oh, for Pete's sake. Here you go. Just don't like him better than you like me.

If you are thinking of buying me any of the following items for my birthday, I appreciate the thought but I do NOT need these things:

1. Hunts Ketchup -
Auburn Pisces bought me a bottle of "the other ketchup" because of the shape. Kind of looks like a woman's hourglass figure. While I enjoy the ketchup she gave me and do use it at work, please remember that, for me, Heinz=good, Hunts=mediocre

2. Lube
I already have an extra-large pump bottle that I am using as fast as I can

3. The Holy Bible
I already read it once. Probably won't need to re-read it. I got the gist.

4. Television set.
We have three in the house already. Or is it four?

Those are four things you shouldn't buy me for my b'naibrithday. I mean birthday.

Good luck reading my blog this week. I feel for you. I really do.

Long-Term Temporary Insanity

Thank you for all the advice you gave me yesterday. I shared it with my friend, and he's doing much better. I realized that my friend is actually a paranoid schizophrenic, so I had him committed to a mental institution until he can learn not to freak out about trivial matters. Maybe, if he behaves himself and takes his medication, he'll be rewarded with a pony by his bed. It truly is a delight to have a pony by your bed. It's also fun to have a pony actually in your bed.

Thanks Michael and Rob, for the link. It's the least you can do since you haven't called me for at least four days and - - um... never mind.

I had a chance to celebrate Pony's birthday with him last night. It's the first I've seen of him since his extensive dental surgery this past weekend. (I hope you didn't think yesterday's post was about him?!?) We had a great time, and I'm happy to report he is doing fine. I mean, he's really fine. He is so fine.

I entertained myself this past weekend by attending a flawlessly executed surprise party organized by The Executive. We also went to a fundraiser together, where he worked the room and searched for a wealthy husband. I was a bit out of my element. I felt like Diane Sawyer accompanying her husband, Mike Nichols, to the Oscars. Diane is famous in her own right, but the Academy Awards is her husband's turf. So, I was Diane (although my ensemble was more fashion-forward than hers) and The Executive was Mike. He, along with other "Mr. Bigs" (Bigses?) in town donated lots of money to Basic Rights Oregon. People were writing checks for thousands of dollars and announcing their pledges into the microphone.

"I'm campaigning for City Council, and I'm giving $5000," said one man.

"On behalf of my gay friends who just married, I am giving $7500," said another attendee.

I wanted so badly to take a microphone and say, "I just gave twenty bucks on behalf of my friend, The Executive. Actually, the twenty bucks was his. He slipped it to me under the table. But I wrote my name on the envelope all by myself. Thank you."

And, yes, the event was inspiring and moving. I cried each time someone sang a moving song or presented an award to someone fighting for equal rights for gays and lesbians.

I'm sure people at the table with me thought I was crazy. Paranoid schizophrenic even.

Monday, October 04, 2004

A Hypothetical Question

Imagine, hypothetically speaking, that you are dating me. I'll give you a moment to bask in that glorious thought. Imagine the affection I shower on you. Imagine that I love to make you laugh and that I bring you food when you are feeling sick and that I frequently let you know in a thousand little ways that I really dig you. Imagine that I like to hold your hand and that I offer you sex on a regular basis. Imagine that I keep your secrets and hold you when you cry and cuddle with you lots. And let's say that you make me really happy, and I haven't felt so happy in a long time and that I'm having so much fun hanging out with you and that I want to spend time with you every day or as often as possible. If I can't see you, imagine that I just want to talk to you because even your deep warm sexy voice comforts me.

Now imagine that you go on some sort of weekend getaway to someplace warm and sunny and crowded with hot gay men. Somewhere like Key West, or something. It doesn't matter. This is a hypothetical situation. Imagine that this trip was planned months ago - before you and I were seeing each other. So, when you got to Key West and were there for three days and didn't call me or respond to a couple sweet text messages/voice mails I sent you, I would, hypothetically, start feeling insignificant.

But I, of course, would be patient with you and still think warm happy thoughts about you. Even if you decided to extend your trip another day, I would think warm happy thoughts about you as I went to Beer Bust at, oh I don't know, Silverado and felt the rock-hard pecs of a sexy Latino guy, hypothetically wearing a muscle shirt, who would give me his phone number and invite me to his birthday party next week. I would think warm happy thoughts about you as I got hypothetically groped by a smiling handsome hypothetical African-American gentleman at the bar. I would still miss you and wish you were home. And I would still pick you up from the airport and give you a kiss and a birthday present. I wouldn't be able to forget feeling insignificant to you while you were away, but I would assume that's baggage from a hypothetical previous relationship in which I wasn't valued and, hey, that's my baggage not yours, so I would forgive you for what I perceived as "blowing me off" for a weekend. And I would still totally want to sleep with you because, hypothetically, you're hot.

So here is my question to you, readers of Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven:

Given this hypothetical situation, which is complete fiction and bears no resemblance to persons living or dead, should I blog about how I'm feeling? Or just keep my big mouth shut so I don't just make more trouble for myself like Madonna did when she pissed off her former boyfriend Warren Beatty in the movie "Truth or Dare" when he facetiously mocked her for being such an attention whore by asking her, "Why say anything if it's not on camera"?

What would you do? Just asking. I want to help a friend who is going through a similar situation.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Link Lovin'

Some of you have noticed that I reduced the number of blog links featured on this page. In true Libra fashion, I will attempt to keep the peace by explaining my actions, which will hopefully have the effect of making me even more lovable or at least make you not hate me quite so much if your blog is not listed. If this explanation doesn't calm and soothe you, please send me hateful e-mails. As an attention whore, I will admit that any attention, even hateful insults, is better than nothing.

I have over 70 blogs in my blogroll and try to keep up with as many of them as possible. I love commenting on other people's blogs, and that's usually how I let my friends know that I stopped by.

There are so many interesting blogs out there, and I find new sites every day. I still want to point readers of Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven in the right direction if they want something to read. The people I decided to feature under my links to the right are not the only blogs I read. Not by a long shot. But these are the people I read every single day without fail. These are people who have become a part of my daily life through phone calls and e-mails. They're friends who send me goodies. They're people I think of throughout the day. They're more than just blogs I read. They are people I worship.

I'm sure the list will grow over time as I get to know other bloggers better. In the meantime, I will continue reading many blogs. If another blogger leaves me a comment, I usually go check out what they had to say in their blog that day. Or I might send them an e-mail to thank them for dropping by Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven.

I'd like to start featuring other blogs more because, all too often, very interesting blogs get lost in enormous blogrolls. People rarely take the time to actually click through all the links in a blogroll. Although I still maintain my blogroll and use it daily, it's just far too big now to be placed on this page.

So, here are a few people I think you should go visit, and I promise to tell you about others on a regular basis:

Little Man Scott was one of the first blogs I started reading. I'll admit that, initially, I was interested in him because he was an actor, worked out, and, I found it stimulating to read about his workouts, because that's kinda hot.

Then I got to know more about Scott's personality and found that he was a sensitive soul with a good heart. And recently we had a chance to meet in person when he visited Portland. It was great to have an intelligent heart-to-heart with him at CC Slaughters, of all places. So, if you'd like to read his account of his visit to The Vortex and other places of interest in Portland, check him out. I mean his blog. Check out his blog.

Another person I read on a regular basis is Pua. Visiting The High Priestess is like going to a friend's house for a barbecue. When Pua writes, it's almost like you're sitting at her kitchen table having a cup of coffee and chatting. Getting to know about her family and her personal triumphs is a special and memorable experience. She's the kind of friend everyone wants. Go see her. She doesn't require you to call first. She may answer the door in her bathrobe, but that won't stop her from being a gracious host.

Before you pop out of the oven, let me tell you about Jay. Although his site is called Jay Is... - I prefer to call it Jay Is...trying to get me fired. I warn you, the games he features on his site are so addictive they should come with a warning label from the Surgeon General.

See, isn't that nicer than a bunch of links on the side of the page? Well, even if you don't agree, I feel better actually telling you something about the people I have come to appreciate through the wonderful all-consuming world of blogging.