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Thursday, April 29, 2004

Work Research

Because so many of you (ie., nobody) asked me to post another IM exchange I shared at work with my friend Ribeye, here is our chat from yesterday. Enjoy the many links to horribel speling!

Ribeye/... I need better work friends
Ribeye/... all of mine are so into "working" lately

Hot Toddy... I'm trying to work right now.

Ribeye/... yeah, that's what they usually tell me. must happen to you a lot too

Hot Toddy... It does. It is hard to be a go-getter.

Ribeye/... tell me about it

Hot Toddy... I am researching national healthcare practices and best standards right now
Hot Toddy... And by national healthcare practices and best standards, I mean blogging.

Ribeye/... what are your findings?

Hot Toddy... I feel that we need more penguins involved in healthcare. This is just a theory at this point. I have more research to do of course.

Ribeye/... you could revolutionize the industry and win a pulitzer prize at the same time

Hot Toddy... That would be awesome. Especially if I also got free cheese quesadillas at Taco Bell for life. Isn't that part of the prize package for a Pulitzer?

Ribeye/... i think so

Hot Toddy... Wait - isn't Pulitzer a kind of organ?

Ribeye/... i thought pulitzer made pianos

Hot Toddy... No - wait - Pulitzer is a gun, I think.

Ribeye/... yeah, so maybe you just win a gun with a lifetime supply of bullets

Hot Toddy... If you do a search on google for "so much awesome" and "asshole" you will find my blog. That makes me proud.

Ribeye/... "... Me love to stick tung up guy asshole. ... definitly be slipknot, Slipknots the greatest
band and there awesome. ... out with soulfly because max just kicks so much ass ... " that's one of the results I found

Hot Toddy... It is a fascinating study. And all for national healtcare blah blah blah

Ribeye/... healtcare is impotant

Hot Toddy... healtcare IS important. I can't find anything on healtcare though. I have searched a million times for healtcare and nothing ever comes up. Weird, huh!

Ribeye/... whoa, i found quite a bit
Ribeye/... cigna apparently offers healtcare

Hot Toddy... Yeah i just checked too - kinda scary
Hot Toddy... This company recruits healtcare professionals:

Ribeye/... see? you really weren't working that hard in your search
Ribeye/... your pulitzer may be at stake

Hot Toddy... I think I will search for other bad spellings now.

Ribeye/... you can still try for the Nobel Peach Prize in Penguin research
Ribeye/... Which apparently Adolfo Perez Esquivel won in 1980

Hot Toddy... What! you googled that - oh my god

Ribeye/... that's one great Peach

Hot Toddy... That is SO wrong

Ribeye/... My favorite is "Peace Women who've won the Nobel Peach Prize."

Hot Toddy... Seymour Hersh won the Purlitzer Prize.

Ribeye/... hahaha
Ribeye/... well
Ribeye/... Phallus Jerkins was presenting that evidence

Hot Toddy... Some people win a Purple Hart if they are brave in battle. Great site name - marinestuff.com

Ribeye/... Purple Hart - it's a big stuffed purple deer

Hot Toddy... Help. I can't stop! If you want an apartment in Mississippi that has teleevision, here you go!

Hot Toddy... Here is who I want to help me find a dentist

Hot Toddy... Dude this is so blogworthy

Ribeye/... hahah
Ribeye/... you're so homesexual

Ribeye/... William Tan is a homesexual.
Ribeye/... he's really into houses

Hot Toddy... I am only into guys when I am at home
Hot Toddy... I seriously can't stop now. Latest search: "I am not ignorent"

Ribeye/... results?

Hot Toddy... Too many to list

So, I have a new addiction... seeking out bad spelling on the Internet. If you find something funny, let me know!

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Kind Souls

Today I am going to take a break from talking about myself. Sit down and stop woo-hooing. Nobody makes you come here and read the Toaster Oven, do they?

Okay, anyway, today I have been touched deeply by the kindness of several people, and I want the focus to be on THEM instead of on ME. (God, this is killing me, but I figure what goes around comes around...)

First of all, thank you Bobo, because you did something so nice for me today. You wanted to make sure I had fun in Cleveland, and thanks to your kindness, my trip just became a bit less stressful. I hope I can do the same for you someday.

Thank you, Rob Byrnes. I know you are not having the best day, but I loved receiving your book and am about halfway through it. I'm loving it, but I want to save the rest of it for my plane trip. So, I'll be thinking of you while I fly across the country. I'm glad we're friends, and that we're so much alike we've decided that "I am You and You are Me".

Thank you AuburnPisces and Sarah - my co-workers who help me every single day in so many ways I can't begin to list them. You make the workday much brighter. (Why the fuck am I not writing Hallmark cards for a living? Oh, right. Cause I say things like "why the fuck".)

One of the kindest souls I have ever encountered recently painted a tiki mask for a sick friend and sent it to her. Although he's never met her, this is just the kind of thing he does.

Okay, so I got through an entire post without talking about myself, and I'm going to see this show tonight.

Oops. I tried.
A to Z Emergencies

In approximately one week I will put on my sexiest underwear - no, wait, let's go commando...

In approximately one week I will put on my new jeans and board a plane headed for Cleveland. I feel really horrible about leaving my co-workers behind for a few days without my expertise. I am the guy everyone comes to in an emergency. I handle crisis after crisis every day. I stay calm during disasters, and I am the Floor Monitor for safety.

Okay, I'm not. Nobody in this office counts on me for anything except an occasional laugh. I provide no real service to this company. But lets pretend I am invaluable just for this one post.

I am sometimes amazed at the utter chaos in my office. So many people in my company seem to be completely unable to function or use common sense. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with a co-worker trying to explain to her how to minimize a window on her computer. She never did figure it out.

People will shout over cubicle walls to ask me a phone number, which I will then look up on the Internet. I always wonder why they can't think of that themselves.

I'm compiling emergency instructions to assist my co-workers in case problems "arise" while I'm working out with Patrick in Cleveland:

An A to Z List of Instructions for Handling Emergencies That Could Happen While Hot Toddy is Away

Apes Take Over the Office: No takeovers are permitted without advance notice. Send them away.

Bush Pilot Needs Love: Contact The Executive in case of horny bush pilots.

Committee Shows Up and Doesn't Have a Conference Room Reserved: Send them here.

Death: Todd can perform a funeral service (in addition to several other services) over the phone. If Todd does not answer his phone, store the dead body in the computer lab until he returns.

Employee is Sick and Needs Ambulance: Check phone book. Some numbers that you might normally ask Todd to provide can also be found there. If not, call information and get the number for 911.

Fire: Todd normally contacts him to put out fires. Since he will be dealing with other fires during this time, contact the fire department.

God, Acts of: Only Todd can deal with this situation. You're screwed.

Hazardous Materials Surface Somewhere in the building: Contact Addaboy for creative disposal of hazardous materials.

Itchy Eyes or Nose: Scratch nose or rub eyes. Warning - Do NOT scratch eyes!

Jewish Rabbi Asks to Meet with Todd: Please offer Jewish Rabbi a seat and ask him/her to wait.

King or Dictator Asks to Meet with Todd: Please offer King/Dictator a seat, a cup of coffee or tea, and ask him to wait. If King or Dictator is a hottie, give him Todd's cell.

Lease for Office Building Expires and Everyone is Evicted: Send everyone here.

Martian Invasion: A functional laser gun can be found in Todd's lower left desk drawer next to the lube.

Nicaraguan Guerillas Open Fire: Send Nicaraguan Guerillas here.

Obstacle Course Needs to Be Set Up Quickly: This emergency, although infrequent, does arise from time to time. Obstacle Course supplies are available from H/R.

Pornography is Found in the Building: Place in Todd's lower left desk drawer next to the lube. He will deal with it when he returns.

Queen or Empress Needs to Talk to Todd: All the Yum Yums know that Todd will be unavailable and can wait until he returns to talk to him.

Rats: Todd has spoken with Humane Society and arranged for immediate pickup. Call Humane Society directly.

Satan Arrives to Claim Souls for His Service: Direct Satan to my supervisor's office. She will service him.

Tarantulas: Do NOT kill. Please shoo them outdoors in a gentle and respectful manner.

Urgent Telephone Calls: Many phones are equipped with voice mail. Pen and paper can be used to jot down essential facts as well (who/what/when/where/why/how)

Vanished Pens, Pencils or Other Office Supplies: Most likely lost or dropped. Office supplies rarely vanish. In a pinch, borrow a like item from someone else until Todd returns to help you find yours.

Witches: Please tell any witches on the premises that we already have a subcontractor providing our sorcery needs at this time. Further information on witches can be found here.

Xerox Machine Broken: Turn Xerox off. Turn Xerox on. If this doesn't remedy the situation, leave documents on Todd's desk and he will copy them by hand when he returns.

Y2K: Already happened. No big deal.

Zambian Refugees Begging for Food: Vending machines available in the breakroom.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Candid Camera

Today someone found a picture of me online. I was actually on the phone with him looking at websites, when suddenly I saw this horrible picture of myself in a photo gallery we were both browsing. It was a candid photo I did not even know was being snapped. I sat there silently praying he wouldn't see the picture, but he found it. "There you are," he said. "Ugh," I thought. Yes, there I am looking like a scary monster.

When my photographer took my headshot photos, we went through about three or four rolls of film. Some of the developed photos were just awful. The photographer told me the first roll and a half would be unflattering and awkward until I got used to working with the camera, and she was right. The photo I use on this blog was one of the last photos she took that day. Although I didn't select that photo for my headshots, I really like it. I wish I looked that way all the time, but I don't.

Wanting people to see you looking your best is normal. Letting someone see you when you aren't at your best can be so hard. Especially when you want to impress them.

Juju laughs at me when I come out of my room in the morning. Because my hair is a bit longer right now, it looks crazy when I get out of bed. Imagine a cross between a muppet and Kramer. Or a really beat up paintbrush with the bristles all twisted and protruding. Yet, I feel completely comfortable with Juju and don't mind if she sees me like that. And I have seen her in a hospital bed with tubes inserted in her body and looking weak and pale. But I'm glad we can see each other looking, shall we say, not so hot.

One of my blogger friends wrote me recently and said, "Isn't it funny how we spend so much time looking for just the right pictures that present us in the best light possible, when in fact the lighting is rarely ever that perfect, our skin is never that clear, and our abs are never that flat..."

Yes, it is funny. And a little sad too. I really want to get over this feeling that I need to apologize for my appearance. It is easy for me to tell other people not to be insecure about how they look, but I struggle with the same feelings they do. I need to start taking my own advice.

When you grow up overweight, it is so hard to let go of your fat self. Even when you lose the weight, you have to work so hard at not walking around like you are still fat. I have to constantly remind myself not to slouch, although working out and strengthening my torso has helped me tremendously. It is easier to stand tall and proud when your muscles don't feel flabby. Actually, it is impossible for me to stand anything but tall since I am 6'6". But because of years of wanting to be invisible, I still have to work at keeping my shoulders back and my head up.

I hope that I keep learning how to be proud of my body. This summer will certainly help. I am appearing in a show that scares the hell out of me. And I don't really want people to see me naked, but if I don't get over this I will never let go of the past.

Today is a new day. I let go of my insecurities as of this moment, and I will no longer be ashamed. My body is not perfect, and I am not perfect. But I can't hide it anymore. I am proud! I am confident! I am Hot Toddy!

But I'm still not telling you where to find that candid photo of me.

Monday, April 26, 2004


Jaden says my Crunch is sweet and innocent (relatively) and sickening and funny. Well put, Jaden. It is about to get a whole lot more sickening.

By the way, I am not the only one crunching. Little Man Scott has a crunch too. Again, I have to credit Erin for coining the term "crunch". People are sending me e-mails saying they are starting to use that word, and I feel I owe it to her to be honest.

I did, however, invent the Internet if you want to send me a word of thanks.

If you thought my crunch was bad/cute/sickening before, it is about to get a whole lot worse. See, Crunchy and I recently gave birth to twin boys. Our two new bloggers joined the world last week. I will actually meet Shamus in person in a little over 10 days.

Please drop by and say hello to my blogchild Bobo, also known on this blog as The Executive (Mr. Big). Reasons you should read Bobo's blog are as follows:

1. He says a lot of great things about me. He talks about me a lot. Oh, I suppose he could talk about me a bit more. Today, for instance, he didn't even mention me. But there's always tomorrow.

People, writing in your blog that I am hot is a surefire way to gain my endorsement of your blog and/or get me into bed.

2. He is a handsome, interesting, intelligent single gay man. If I find him a husband he is going to buy me a loft apartment in NYC.

3. The man can cook. I guess, come to think of it, that is probably no reason to read a blog. I mean, who cares if the guy can cook, right? The question is, can he write? Well, yes he can. Go see for yourself. (But I mention the cooking thing because I am hoping to get that loft in NYC).

I remember one evening when Bobo cooked homemade macaroni and cheese for me. It was fucking awesome, and I was so happy (and so tired of eating mac & cheese from a box) that I gave a little moan of pleasure. It's a special little sound I make when I stretch or when Crunchy says certain things to me on the phone.

And if that isn't the cutest damn thing in the world, I don't know what is.

When I wrote about last Monday's rough patch, I had no idea what kind of week my roomie Juju was about to face. In retrospect, my post was totally inappropriate. Sort of like Helen Keller jokes. (You heard how she burned her ear, right?)

Juju went to the emergency room twice last week. She was hospitalized for two days and still managed to rehearse and open a play this week. She passed three kidney stones. Two of them were passed while she was performing onstage in Artist Repertory Theatre's Lobby Hero. Speaking of heroes, juju is one of mine.

Juju and I met when I was cast in the Exotic Actors Guild. The group was together for two years, and we performed late night sketch comedy at Stark Raving Theatre. Our first show was called, "Hey! Don't Grab Me There..." and the next summer we performed in "Chicken Soup for the Hole". When I met Juju I was still living with CT. She did NOT care for CT at all. In fact, one night we all went out to a bar together. I told Juju that CT spent $200 on bathroom rugs earlier that day. He had a lot of money, but we always kept our finances separate. So sometimes (always) he had a little (lot) more money than I did.

A few moments later, I asked the bartender how much a Bud Lite cost, and didn't have enough cash to get one. (I know - it is pathetic, but I spend money on crazy things like plane tickets to Cleveland rather than practical things like bathroom rugs), so I ordered a water.

"Hold on," Juju said, turning her glare on CT. "You just bought a two-hundred dollar bathroom rug and you can't buy your boyfriend a beer?"

He turned red and bought me a beer. I'm sure he went home and made a note to himself to spend three dollars less on my birthday present that year to make up for the beer.

It is fitting that I moved into a house with Juju after CT and I split up. She has taught me so much, and that is one reason I love her.

In honor of all that Juju does for me every single day and the personal hell she has lived this week, here is why I love my roomie:

When she was single, she would call and ask me to go cruise boys with her at an outdoor cafe. We would play a game where we would guess if a guy was straight or gay. Then we would wait and see which of us he would look at as he walked by.

She taught me that it's okay to say, "damn, I look goooood...." or "I'm so hot. I would do me."

She doesn't get mad when I accidentally put our home phone in my coat pocket and leave the house with it. She doesn't get mad when I heat up breakfast in the microwave and forget about it until she finds it the next day. She doesn't get mad when I bring home a friend at 3 a.m. and make popcorn in the microwave and burn it and set off the fire alarm. Okay, well she gets a little mad.

She makes her own greeting cards, is a fabulous actress, is totally hot, has a cute boyfriend and generally has it going on.

She will have morning coffee on the porch with me in her silk kimono while I wear my flannel polka dot pajama bottoms. As we will chat over coffee we greet people walking down the sidewalk with a "Hi neighbor!" Sometimes they smile and nod, but they always quicken their pace.

She loves me when I make grown-up choices like not sleeping with a married man. She loves me when I sleep with a married man. She loves me, she loves me, she loves me.

And I love her.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

A Heart Full of Words

New Mexico

We sat in a rented jeep and watched the orange and purple sunset before we went inside the restaurant for dinner. We were holding hands when he said, "I've never met anyone like you before."

He asked me what my favorite day of the week was, and I told him that I loved Saturday, but not the whole day. Specifically, I love Saturday mornings.

"Saturday mornings remind me of coffee and jazz and an ocean breeze," I told him. "One Saturday morning a few years ago, I sipped cinnamon coffee at a cafe in Santa Cruz. I sat on a deck and looked out at the water and felt a breeze while jazz played softly in the background, and that is what Saturday mornings feel like. I know that sounds silly."

He didn't think it was silly. He looked at me with warm loving brown eyes.

He said, "I love you, Todd. I could marry you."

(When you tell people silly things, they're supposed to laugh at you, not say they love you.)

We spent amazing days and nights together in Taos and Santa Fe. We had so much awesome sex - - I want to call it making love, but then you will laugh at me. Or maybe you will say you love me.

We...whatever'ed...in so many positions and in so many places. In the hot tub under the stars, in the bed, in the bathtub, in front of a fireplace...over and over again.

We watched movies in bed and ate Ben & Jerry's. We took long hikes and got lost in the woods for four scary hours until a man rescued us.

He said, "That was an angel."

We went to a spa, and I moved his body gently through the water as he floated in the hot springs. He said I put him in a trance when I moved him across the surface of the steaming hot water.

He said, "You make me tremble."

He said, "I know your soul."

We exchanged rings in a private ceremony attended only by us and the moon and millions of snowflakes.

He said, "I devote myself to you," and he did for a few years. I thought it would be longer.

On my birthday, seven years after devoting himself to me, he said, "I don't love you anymore."

Words are just letters in a string that are supposed to mean something, but do they mean anything?


I want to believe in words. I want to believe.

Believing is so scary. Words disappear after they are spoken, yet I store them in my heart for years and years.

Feelings can change, but my feelings seem to take so much longer to change.

And if I can't rely on words or feelings, I just don't know what I am supposed to hold onto sometimes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Really Gay Shallow Post

I like to irritate Famous Author Rob Byrnes. And I know how to do it.

Here goes my trainwreck.

God, these past two days have been exhausting. I wrote about motives and racism, and frankly I fear for the survival of my inner Anna Nicole Smith's superficiality.

So, for something completely different today. I am going to talk about ME and all the shallow thoughts flitting through my pretty little head.

Cause I never ever do that.

Important Topic #1 - My Hair
My hair is growing. Isn't that weird?

A few weeks ago my work buddy AuburnPisces asked me why I don't cut my hair so that it looks like my Hot Toddy photo. So I checked in with the Yum Yum Brotherhood to get their advice.

Marco said, "No. Don't cut it. You have a whole Ashton Kutcher thing going on." Dude, that was the most awesome thing you could have said. Even though you have had some really bad haircuts.

So, taking the advice of the gay man over the lesbian (sorry Auburn), I have been letting my hair grow and grow. Today I think I just passed from "surfer boy" into "rock star".

I look messy and crazy and wild. In two separate conversations today, I was in the middle of a sentence (most likely talking about myself) when the person I was talking to interrupted me and said, "Your hair looks awesome," or "I'm liking the hair".

Normally if someone interrupts me, I will chastise them. But if they interrupt me to talk about me, that's cool.

Don't you love when your hair is working for you? I do. And I love Ocean Waves by John Frieda.

Important Topic #2 - My Body
Just when I thought my day couldn't get any better, I went and had a body composition test done, and I lost another 1.69% body fat in the last 6 weeks. Five and a half yucky pounds of fat are gone. Banished.

I can "safely" lose another 15 pounds. (How much can I unsafely lose, I wonder??)

I'm not obsessed with the gym or working out. Ask anybody who knows me. But I remember the day three and a half years ago when I found out my body fat was 42.18%. So, although I can't be a hunk of the day, I am happy to be at 15% for now.

Important Topic #3 - Buy Me Stuff
One last thought...
If I created and posted an Amazon wishlist like Male Librarian Centerfold, would people really buy me stuff and send it to me? Or would I have to be a centerfold?

I am not saying MLC is shallow, because I check out his blog from time to time (gallery photos) and he isn't shallow. He is smart and a librarian. And a centerfold.

I will post a wishlist if you buy me stuff. But I would totally never do that for any of you.

In an effort to sabotage any possible future happiness (cause that's what I do), I told Crunchy that I am a narcissist. He doesn't believe me.

Maybe after he reads this post he will.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Unlock Your Doors

This entry was inspired by one of my favorite people in blogworld, the beautiful Dr. P.

Racism disgusts me. I am a white guy, and sometimes the actions of other white guys makes me wish I weren't quite so white. Then again, some white guys are pretty cool and are just as disgusted by racism as I am. (I am officially incapable of blogging without linking to Crunchy. I've got it bad.)

Locking Doors in 1976
When I was a kid driving through Kansas City with my family, my father would tell us to lock our car doors in certain neighborhoods. I would obediently lock my door and look out the window to see if I could figure out what dangers my father was protecting me from. It didn't take long for me to learn that you always lock your car door in African-American neighborhoods.

Locking Doors in 1992
My parents freaked out when I dated a girl who had a white mother and a black father. This was after college, but before I had come out of the closet. They never seemed to really want to know much about Jackie. Once they saw her picture, they quit asking me about her. I'm sure they prayed we would break up. They must have forgot to add, "and don't let our little boy be gay..."

Locking Doors in 2000
One day my ex was watching television and used the N word in reference to an African-American guy. I had been with him for 5 years at that point, and I had never heard him say anything like that. I was stunned.

"What did you just say?!?!"

He repeated the word. My stomach churned, and I felt my throat constricting.

I told him to never say it again in front of me. He said he would say it whenever he felt like it. I told him that he would NOT say it in front of me again. We argued, and I remember sitting there thinking, "I can't be with you anymore. There is no way I can love you the same way after this moment. You are a racist. A disgusting racist..."

This world is full of beautiful people from different cultures. I am thankful that I was spared a narrow-minded life.

I've laughed with Japanese friends as we walked to class at La Sorbonne in Paris. I learned to love the kindness and beauty and gentleness of my Asian friends. (I believe I've mentioned once or twice that I find Asian men irresistible)

I had tea with a Kenyan man in Kericho, and he took me to his home to meet his family. The graciousness and generosity of this man and his family was overwhelming. They were poor and gave freely of all they had. Come to think of it, they probably didn't lock their doors either.

In Washington DC, I lived in Prince George's County for a while. I'm not sure if the demographics are the same now, but when I lived there PG County had the largest African-American population of any US suburban community. It was my first experience being a minority. I lived with four African-American men, and we developed a great bond. They laughed when I would come home from work and say in my most Caucasian voice: "What up, Fresh?" They also loved milking my guilt trip after we watched the mini-series "Queen", which dealt with racism. They were like brothers to me, and they welcomed me into their hearts with no locked doors.

In 2000, I did Midsummer Night's Dream in Portland, and met Nikki. She is a beautiful African-American woman who captured my heart. I asked her if I could please touch her gorgeous dreadlocks, and she smiled and said, "Thank you for asking before you reached out and touched them. Yes, you can..." Nikki used to read me her amazing poetry in her car while we sipped Crown Royal. We soaked in the hot tub together after performances. She become one of my best friends.

Months later I heard the N word come out of my partner's mouth, and I felt like a traitor to Nikki. I remembered my friends in Africa, my black brothers in Washington DC...and every friend I have ever had who wasn't white like me. How could I join myself with a partner who had such an ugly side?

It took another year for everything to crumble after my partner used that word. There were lots of other reasons we didn't stay together. But I know I could never have forgotten that moment of realization that my partner was despicable to me for his racist comments.

I always say that cruelty to animals and racism are two acts I can't forgive. I try to be understanding, especially since I was raised in a racist environment and spent almost seven years loving a man who thought that way. If we don't try to help educate people in a gentle loving way, I don't know how we can change their minds and help them open up to the beauty of people who look, speak, and think differently.

How does racism crumble away? Can it be destroyed?

Can going on a date with someone who comes from a different ethnic background than you do help open a mind?

Maybe just asking someone if you can feel their hair is enough to open a dialogue and start a friendship.

Living with someone who doesn't share a similar background could open eyes to new experiences.

Traveling the world with an open mind can free a spirit.

Or maybe it starts with a simple decision to leave your door unlocked when you drive through certain neighborhoods.

As a Libra with a Leo Moon and Gemini Ascendant (the soothing background music of Enya's Shepherd Moon begins playing softly...) I find myself often questioning my motives. Why do I do the things I do? And DAMN that Libra sense of fairness. Because not only do I question why I am doing things - I also have to worry about whether or not that makes everybody else on the planet happy.

I don't blog "for me". I blog for you. I am aware of your presence as my friends and my audience. That is why you will never see an "I am so tired today...not much to say" entry on this blog.

I didn't quit smoking for me. I quit smoking because someone I care about survived cancer and it felt like a slap in the face to him for me to keep smoking. I quit because, in my opinion, smoking makes me less attractive. I didn't quit because it makes me feel so good. Au contraire. Not smoking makes me want to punch people in the face.

I am not a vegetarian "for me". I don't eat this way for my health. I am a vegetarian because I love animals too much and feel too guilty to eat them. It's all about the animals.

I don't work out "for me" - okay, maybe that is one thing I do just for me. Sort of.

Lifting weights and running makes me feel confident and sexy and strong. The truth is, though, if I don't work out, I don't have sex. Not necessarily because I am "less desirable" but definitely because I am less confident. Which, in turn, makes me less desirable. Okay, maybe there are people who would find me desirable if I didn't work out. Maybe you are someone who is attracted to people who aren't confident, won't make eye contact and who wear baggy clothes and don't take care of themselves. If you are someone like that you would find me really HOT when I don't work out. You should totally cruise Ben & Jerry's. You'd be in heaven.

I think maybe I gained this incredible sense of "others" very early in life. My mom showed me a report card I brought home from Montessori school. I was four or five years old, and the report card said:

"Todd does not complete his assignments in class. He spends a great deal assisting the other students with their assignments. Perhaps if he applies himself to his own work rather than helping the other students, his performance will improve."

I sometimes tell this story to help people understand who I am. Unfortunately, I think I may be misleading people with this childhood anecdote. I have no memory of helping the other kids, but I know myself well enough to be honest about my motives. I didn't help those kids with their homework because I was a four year-old humanitarian.

I am positive I helped the other kids so they would like me. I really want to be liked. If I try too hard sometimes, I hope you'll cut me some slack. That is part of who I am.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Rough Patch

I hope I didn't worry you. I am sorry for not updating sooner. This weekend has been traumatic.

I spent this morning at the hospital. See, yesterday I was washing some dishes and cut my finger. It was such a thin little cut that I couldn't even find it, but I definitely felt it.

Then I saw the blood. I applied a band-aid and thought everything would be okay.

But this morning I had to go to the hospital. See, my roommate Juju has been there since Saturday night because she has some kind of problem. I don't know. Some kind of kidney stone or infection or gall bladder thing or malaria. Whatever. I couldn't really concentrate when she called me on the phone. You know, because of my finger cut. I did hear her say something about having surgery. At first I was scared she meant that I should have surgery on my finger cut. But I was sooooo relieved when I realized that SHE was having surgery.

Whew. Close One!!!

So this morning my finger was bothering me, and Juju was not there to comfort me. "Great," I thought to myself as I clutched my finger, "now I have to drive all the way to the hospital so she can see my finger and participate in my pain." I thought briefly about trying to call a friend who wasn't clear across town in a hospital, but sometimes your burden is so heavy that only your roommate can make you feel better. I wish she could have found a closer hospital, because the one she is staying in is about 10 miles from our house. Ugh.

So I went all the way to the hospital and had to deal with a million doctors and nurses to find Juju's room. Well, actually it was just that one receptionist, and she gave me a color-coded map and really excellent directions that led me directly to her room, but it felt endless because of my finger cut. If you have ever cut your finger, you know how that can be! Imagine a paper cut only two times worse. Or, like, one and a half times worse!!

When I burst into Juju's room, she was in bed looking frail and weak. She has all kinds of tubes in her body, and her room is depressing. I hated the color, and really didn't want to be in there at all. But that seems shallow, so I didn't complain to Juju about it. I mean, I had this finger cut and really needed to stay focused on the crisis at hand.

"Juju, I am sorry to bother you," I said to her as she pushed a button to raise her bed a little. "I just wanted to show you my finger. I cut it yesterday."

"Awwww, sugar...." she said in her comforting tone, although it was more feeble than usual because she is on some heavy painkillers (LUCKY her! I didn't have any such comfort for my finger!!!)

"Can you speak up?" I asked her.

"AWWWW SUGAR...." she repeated. Slowly and painfully, she reached for her water bottle, which I would have handed her if I had two good hands, but obviously under the circumstances I was in no position to assist her.

"I know! Can you believe this? Thankfully there isn't much pain."

Moaning as she stretched toward her water bottle, Juju gasped out, "So it doesn't hurt?"

"No, it isn't really hurting me, but I tell you it sucks wearing this band-aid on my fingertip. It is uncomfortable and gets in the way," I told her truthfully while exhibiting great inner strength and courage.

Juju tried her best to sympathize, but she was a little distracted. Maybe the color of the hospital room was bothering her too. I should have asked about that, but I had an urge for a cup of coffee and had to run. It is sad, but I feel that Juju wasn't really there for me the way I like for her to be.

I am learning to be compassionate and just accept that some people are narcissists and can't put themselves in my shoes.

If you want to send me an e-mail to let me know you care, please do it soon. I am hanging by a thread. I hope Juju gets out of the hospital soon so I don't have to go through this alone for much longer.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Your Request Is Being Processed...

My heart pounded in my chest as I stared at the computer monitor.

"I can't believe I am doing this," I said out loud to no one in particular.

I have never done anything like this. But it is really a cool adventure. I feel proud of myself when I leap into the dark.

And remember my theme for 2004? I'm living life exactly as I predicted this year.

Juju reminded me that "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."

Patrick told me to look at it from a business standpoint of "Risk vs. Reward"

Jeff said, "You're gonna do just fine. Now go get that ticket."

Addaboy said he was going to dry hump me against a wall, but that is another story for another day.

The day I gave him my phone number, Crunchy wrote in his blog:

Bragging Rights
I got his number! I got his number! I got his number! I got his number! I got his number! I got his number! I got his number! I got his number! I got his number! I got his number! I got his number!
Boo yah!!

Dude, getting my phone number means you are special.

Getting me to buy a ticket to fly across the country to see you, well, that makes you "wonderful, wonderful, most wonderful wonderful, and yet again wonderful..."

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Being Nice to Myself

I gotta be nice to myself today. I planning on buying a plane ticket to Cleveland so I can meet Crunchy, and I'm really nervous.

I freak out at the idea of a date, as you may remember. Can you imagine how I feel about buying a plane ticket to go meet Crunchy for the first time ever?

My inner critic is an asshole. Seriously, he is loud and mean and puts me down and makes me feel ugly and stupid. I hate him so much. Yesterday I heard myself saying out loud, "I am so pathetic. SO pathetic..."

When I was in therapy, I learned a lot about the horrible way I treated myself. During one particularly emotional session, I experienced a profound moment of sadness when I imagined sitting across from myself and apologizing for my cruel behavior. I saw a younger me cowering in a chair wearing a dirty white t-shirt and covered in filth, looking much like an abused or neglected child might look.

I abused myself every day for a long time, and then something changed that day in therapy. And through tears I told myself, "I am so sorry for the way I've talked to you your whole life. When you've needed a friend, I've berated you. I've punished you and burdened you with negativity and self-hatred. I promise you from this moment on I'll take care of you. I will be your best friend, not your worst enemy."

After years of dressing like a slob and overeating and avoiding the gym at all costs, I have transformed myself. My inside has always been kind. I'd say I have a big heart and am loving and, well, a good guy. But my physical appearance didn't reflect that inner goodness. It reflected the self-hatred. I am not where I want to be, but there has been a lot of progress in the last three years.

The day I stopped being my own worst enemy was the day I became "Hot Toddy". I know that, on the surface, referring to myself as Hot Toddy seems incredibly arrogant. But it is actually a name I gave myself as a reminder that I am not pathetic. I'm not a loser. Damn it, I am hot.

God I sound like Stuart Smalley.

Those who know me will say that I am a humble guy. In fact, I wish I could be a little more cocky. I find that sexy in others.
But I still struggle with sending myself on guilt trips daily. I second-guess myself constantly. One thing I don't do much anymore, is put myself down.

And when I find myself saying out loud, "I am so pathetic," I know it is time to stop thinking that way. And start encouraging myself. Or drawing strength from friends.

So, today I am going to be completely self-indulgent and tell you some really nice things people have told me this week:

My friend Scott from college said I am great and creative and compelling and beautiful.

AuburnPisces said I have a really sexy phone voice, even when we are on conference calls at work. She said she would do me even though she is a lesbian. (All right!!)

Jaden said the Toaster Oven is her sanctuary.

The Executive said I had powerful arms and a dreamy smile.

Chrisafer said I was "infuckingwonderful"

Chris in PA complimented my writing and said he wants an invitation to the launch party and a signed first edition of my book (no, I've never written one)

And when I asked Crunchy what he would choose if he had a choice between going to prison for the rest of his life or moving to Portland, Oregon, he said:

"That depends...if you are in jail, I want to join you.
Otherwise, I'd like to sit on the beach of Oregon and watch a sunset while I lay my head on your shoulder."

I feel better. I think I might be ready to buy that ticket now. I really gotta meet this man. It is a roller coaster I've just got to ride, and I'm not taking the "chicken exit". I'll get on and throw my hands in the air and scream and laugh. When the ride is over, it's over. I don't know when that will be, but at least I can say I took the ride.


Tuesday, April 13, 2004

I Heart "The Gays"

This is what happens when hot toddy drinks too much at lunch and then comes back to the office and blogs. Please forgive the possibly atrocious writing you are about to experience. I wouldn't say I'm "drunk blogging", but I also wouldn't say I'm "sober blogging".

The Handsome Prince and I were driving around this weekend, and he said to me, "I love being gay."

"Me too," I answered.

Being gay rocks my world. I love it. And today's entry is all about how much fun I am having being gay and being a blogger. Let me just state that I adore my straight readers too. And hopefully I will do an entry just for you someday. But today is Gay Day at Toaster Oven. (Right now my roomie juju is thinking, "when is it NOT gay day, Todd?")

My friend Scott over at Sardonic Bomb e-mailed me yesterday. We were discussing my Crunch, and he decided he wants one of his own. Scott is in love with the perfect partner and is only looking for a flirtation, but if you want to apply, I suggest you visit him pronto.

Speaking of crushes, I was practicing this week to see if I could actually blog without focusing on Patrick. I mean, he dominates my thoughts all day long, so I thought I should take a break from him now and then. But it is definitely not a case of "out of sight, out of mind."

In the past several weeks, I've enjoyed getting to know him so much, and it won't be too long before I hope to meet him in person. He is an amazing and beautiful soul, and this new friendship doesn't feel like a crunch anymore. It feels more like being hit by a train, only in a good way. As he would say, "WOO HOO!"

More and more gay men are meeting outside of the bar scene these days. As for meeting online, I realize there are differing opinions, but, I think it's awesome. Only a few months ago I told my roomie juju that I wished I could meet men who wanted to get to know my mind first and the rest later. I know that's "old-fashioned" and not very exciting to read about. Sorry.

I am so attracted to intellect and wit. I want to meet someone who feels the same way. I am not a cute little 21 year old club hottie. (Do I wish I were? Hell, yes. But I didn't come out until I was 29!)

I'm a grown up in search of another grown up. (However, I need a grown up who can act like a kid, because he'll have to keep up with me.)

One reason I have loved blogging during the past few months is that I am having actual conversations with men and getting to know them better than I ever do at a bar or in some stupid online chat room. I always wanted to have gay friends and I never had the pleasure until fairly recently in life, starting with the Yum Yum Brotherhood. I didn't anticipate developing friendships with so many gay men when I started blogging, but I have. And I love it, I tell you. I love it.

My friend Famous Author Rob Byrnes is a handsome talented man, and I would probably be too intimidated to approach him in real life. But we have a fun friendship going, and he sent me a copy of one of his books. That would have never happened without Toaster Oven.

I've been e-mailing people who I've actually seen on television. One of my new friends was on television, and I didn't see him, but I wish I would have.

Lots of people write to say hi, and they are not even bloggers. Cool people like Chris in PA or Eddie in Oklahoma. I've never met Eddie, but he wrote to tell me he and his partner were visiting Portland (and didn't tell me!!!) and saw someone at Silverado they thought was me. Well, it wasn't me. It made me laugh when Eddie told me he was mouthing to someone at the bar, "Are you pizeek? Are you pizeek?" The stranger turned away irritated. Eddie, maybe he thought you were saying something about his physique.

I guess I never realized there are people who visit and don't leave a comment. Then every now and then I will get a random e-mail from somebody who reads Toaster Oven and just wants to say hello. That blows me away! I can't believe how many people find this crazy cheap little amateur blog.

I love sharing e-mails with so many new friends. And these aren't "shallow" conversations. They are meaningful. Mark reassured me when I told him I was nervous about getting tested for HIV, because it has been awhile. I've asked for relationship advice from Jeff, although I have never met him. In fact, I think I am already getting to know Jeff well enough to predict he is laughing at the idea of my asking him for relationship advice.

Blogging has surpassed anything I imagined. Even as I started to write this, so many people came to mind, and I couldn't mention all the great friends who come to read my silly stories. I'll have to do this type of entry more often so that it isn't so overwhelming to mention everyone.

Today my friend AuburnPisces (who you'll notice from her frequent comments is campaigning for Patrick and I to meet ASAP) told me that Toaster Oven is her new bible. I love hearing things like that. I can hear AuburnPisces laughing over the cubicle wall at work as she reads my entries. That always brings a smile to my face.

It makes me happy to know that some of you read Toaster Oven and smile and laugh. I wish I could hear ALL OF YOU who are laughing. That would be heaven.

Was that too "Sally Field-ish"?

I'll try to be more cynical tomorrow, but it's hard to be cynical when a sexy man tells you, "Mio Belissimo. Tu fate mio giorno bello..."
Baby Bashing

Ribeye pointed out something in a company communication today that cracked me up, causing me to yell out to the entire floor of my office: "OH MY GOD THE THEME FOR THE MARCH OF DIMES FUNDRAISER THIS YEAR IS HIT A HOME RUN WITH BABIES!!!!!"

Good lord, who comes up with these themes? It is true. The e-mail we all received at work is encouraging us to participate in the March of Dimes this year. We were all instructed to bring baseball bats as props for "Hit a Home Run with Babies". Why stop there? I think Ribeye and I may show up with a couple baby dolls that we can knock out of the park too.

I get so disgusted with the silliness of the whole corporate "team spirit" morale-boosting bullshit.

When they solicited proposals for the company picnic, (Grand Prize for Winning Idea $25 Grocery Store Certificate) I came up with this theme idea:
XXX Company Picnic: No Bonus This Year, but Plenty of Hot Dogs!!

Ribeye likes a combination of the Blood Drive Theme and the Company Picnic Theme:
XXX Company Picnic: Together We Can Save a Life

We agreed it will be hard to top the 1998 theme
Jamaican Me Crazy

We tried to rope our friend Reno into our brainstorming. But instead, he responded with this hilarious (highly sarcastic) e-mail:


Don't drag me into this irreverent bashing of our time honored Company XXX traditions. Maybe for you guys the "company picnic" is just one big joke, but for the rest of us it is a time to come together as coworkers, as a company, and dare I say it...okay I will...as a family. A time to look back on the trials and tribulations of another year, learn from the challenges we've faced and rejoice in our accomplishments, all while stuffing our faces with almost rancid meat and watching our co-workers interact with their dysfunctional and unattractive families.

Thank God I am not alone in this ludicrous world. Thank God I have coworkers like Ribeye and Reno and AuburnPisces who can see through all the ridiculous crap we put up with.

I will leave you with an e-mail I sent to all my friends after "Hawaiian Shirt Day" was announced a few months back. You see, before I discovered blogging, I subjected my friends to e-mails since I had no outlet for my warped humor:

RE: Exciting News From Todd!

I just received the most fantastic e-mail at work!!!! I will try to catch my breath and stay calm enough to type!!!!!!
You will not believe this, but this Friday is Hawaiian Shirt Day for all Security and Business Continuity Planning employees!!!!!!!!!!!

On Friday I will get up and put on a Hawaiian Shirt!!!!! And go to work!!!!!!!!

Oh my gosh!!!! My office is so fun and crazy!!!!! I am so lucky to work in this office!!!!!!!!! Hawaiian shirts are so fun and silly and comfortable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You better believe I am certainly excited about this Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just had to share!!!!!!

Aloha!!!!! (Get it???? That is Hawaiian!!!!!!!)

Dear Auntie S

Well, "Profanity Monday" at The Toaster Oven is over, and I thought I would share with you the letter I wrote Auntie S after she tried to convince me to stop being gay. I know it is tempting to respond to narrow-mindedness with hatred and anger, but she is family. She is my mom's sister. She has always been good to me, and I just couldn't be cruel to her. All I can do is try to show her my heart, and it is up to her if she wants to accept me or not.

Oh, and I added a few links in there in order to make this qualify as an actual "blog entry" - but Auntie S didn't get the links, obviously.

Dear Aunt S:

Thank you for not being silent. I get so sick of being silent. Mom "chooses not to speak about the subject" (her own words), and I sometimes feel like I can't talk to anybody in my family about being gay.

When I ended my seven year relationship with M it hurt so badly, and I was going through so much pain when I was up there for Grandma's funeral. I was so glad Cousin K. talked to me about my relationship with M ending. She held my hand and let me know how much she loves me. I wish I could have those kinds of talks with everyone in my family.

Whenever this comes up, I feel inside like I have to take a deep breath and say to myself, "here we go again..." because there is so much to explain. I want to work on my family connections but sometimes I wish I could just have the conversation ONCE and be done with it. I don't know if you have ever felt like that. Maybe when you got divorced you felt some of that? I never really talked to you about it and still don't really know any details on what that time of your life was like.

I have always felt so incredibly bonded with you - having you in my life is sort of like having a second mom. Maybe because you two are so much alike.

There is a lot to clarify about my life. Too much of what you hear about in the news or see on television implies that there really is a "gay lifestyle" - but I don't believe in that - at least for myself. I am sorry it disappoints everyone so much that I turned out the way I did. I tried for so many years to be someone else - but when I left the cult back in 1995, I also knew that I had to be honest with God and myself about who I really am. I don't expect anybody in my family to change the way they feel about homosexuals, although it would be nice if more of an effort could be made to understand me. Silence really kills relationships, I know that. The truth will set you free.

I just finished an e-mail debate with my sister that lasted about two weeks and ended with us both throwing our hands up and saying "forget it." That made me sad, because she was the first person in my family to ask me if I was gay, and I hoped she would really be able to try to understand.

Sometimes I am sad because I can't be one of the kids in the family who is getting married, like Cousin A., and making everybody proud. On Sunday I was at the grocery store and saw a little boy and his dad and wished that I could have that kind of life. I wished for that from the time I first knew I was different (around 12 or 13) and sometimes feel frustrated that I was born the way I am. I know that many Christians don't believe it is a choice. I don't know one single gay person who says they made that choice. Why would we want a life that is so hard and requires so much defending to the rest of society? Why would I choose to have such a rough road when it comes to dating or having the same rights as other Americans? It is so hard and so lonely.

I am not saying you should feels sorry for me or anything. I have amazing friends and am really blessed by their love. I am so lucky to be able to talk openly to my roommate. Her mom asks about me all the time and always wants to know if I am dating anybody special. She knows more about my love life than anybody in my own family. I have another friend whose family has practically adopted me as their own son, and they completely accept that I am gay. That is not the most important part of who I am, it is just a part of who I am.

There is tons more to say, but I have to go for now and have a conference call. I am glad you care and I know you love me. I love you too!

Monday, April 12, 2004

My Easter Prayer

Recently, I received a letter from my aunt that said:

"I have been thinking and praying about and for you for a long time. I know we all have been sitting back just letting the topic of your gay lifestyle 'go by the wayside'. No one wants to touch on the subject and we ALL know there are difference of opinions! This is why I have hesitated in writing and yet I decided I would write because WE CARE and WE LOVE YOU too much NOT to say anything to you!!

I also do not have to explain our feelings and our belief. We know you know what that is. I know you were brought up in a loving family with Christian background and beliefs, so we know where you have been. As Uncle B said - we all need to search our hearts and we, too, want to see you in heaven some day!!!

I guess I could go further with this subject but all I really want you to know is that we are praying for you. We love you LOTS. We pray that you will let Jesus back into your life and be what HE wants you to be!!!!! I am hoping you will pray about it too. We want to see ALL OUR FAMILY in heaven some day ~~~~~~ I hope you do too!"

Well, I'm not sure how long I would be able to stand heaven with my entire family there for ALL ETERNITY because two or three days at Christmas sometimes seems too long for me to endure, but I decided she may have a point and that I should pray about it.

So, yesterday I was getting ready to pray about it. I had just run five miles so I could lose more fat so I could be more desirable to men I want to sleep with. But I was getting ready to pray about it after I had a fruit smoothie (with no dairy and lots of protein). But the fruit smoothie place moved. According to the sign on the window BIBO MOVED 500 FEET FROM WHERE YOU ARE.

I am not good with measurements unless it relates to that thing I was supposed to be praying about. So I looked everywhere that seemed 500 feet away, but there was no BIBO juice. There were two good looking guys at Torrefazione and one nice looking man at Starbucks. I made a mental note to pray about the wrong feelings I had towards them after I got my smoothie.

Finally, I happened upon BIBO juice after 20 minutes of searching. Thank god, because my prayer list was growing so rapidly it was getting to the point that I would need a pen and paper to keep track. BIBO juice was closed!

FUCK! (That is for you since you chastise me when I edit swear words on my blog)

Then I headed for the mall across the street because I knew there was a juice place in there. As I approached the mall, I saw the empty parking lot and realized it was Easter Sunday. There would be no fruit smoothie for Todd. No new tank top from Meier & Frank (which sounds SO Jewish I can't imagine why the hell they would be closed on Easter).

My Aunt would be happy to know I began praying at that very moment.

"GOD, damn it. I hate this stupid holiday. I'm sorry, Jesus, I know it is your holiday, and thank you for rising from the dead, but all I want is a fruit smoothie. Jesus Christ!"


Sunday, April 11, 2004

New Beginnings (would be a lovely title for this entry if it were not horribly redundant)

Last night was so much fun. Boy Hunk and his Dutch Girl were hanging out with me and I was sipping my Maker's Mark double straight up. I was talking about random things. You know... Cleveland. Stand up comics. Irish guys. Bowlers. Volleyball. Phone Sex. (Of course we don't...what kind of slut do you think I am? I've never been with a man before - tee hee)

Boy Hunk and Dutch Girl said that I looked so good and so happy. And the truth is, I am really happy right now. And the truth is, I look good. I would do me.

It seemed like it might be a quiet night at CC Slaughters. The four of us (them, me, and my ego) sat quietly talking. Suddenly, I looked up and the bar was packed. It was like, I went into the bathroom and everything was in black and white, but when I came back out the world was in color and there were witch's feet sticking out from under the cigarette machine.

It was great seeing Yum Yums and so many friends. The Couple was there (Marco and Muscle Daddy) and Balloon Boy was there with one of his harem boys and Erin was there and....SHIT.

My ex was there. Why is he suddenly hanging out at all the same places as I do? Mardi Gras was my first time seeing him out at the bars, and I sort of lost it - cried like a baby after he left.

So there he was again talking to some guy, who he later told me was actually sort of bugging him. Though I was seething with jealousy because the ex just got back from a month in Australia paid for by the sale of "our house" - from which I got not one penny (one moment please....begin MUZAK here - probably "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves)

Okay, thanks for your patience. Just had to do some Yoga in my cubicle. That didn't help calm me down but firing off a few rounds into the air with my pistol did. Human Resources should be here any moment.

As I was saying, although I have been cheated and cheated on by this man, I was very kind to him.
Of course I was. Hot Toddy is always kind. Until he blogs about you later.

I walked up to CheaterThief (hey - that's a good name - I never really though "M" was appropriate) and hugged him. "I am glad you made it home safely," I said, "even if it means I don't get the inheritance."

I am still in CT's will. I'm his beneficiary. He has no siblings or parents. It all goes to me.

If he's ever murdered, I'm the prime suspect. I'm also the least likely person to ever murder him, cuz, yeah, I call him CheaterThief - but I still do love him in a "Your Behavior Disgusts Me But I'm Not Having You Killed" kind of way.

I have, however, received more than one offer from a friend to "rough him up" a little. Then again, I don't really want my friends dating my ex.

So, I had a great time dancing with the Yum Yums and with the Boy Hunk and Dutch Girl. I may have allowed CT to believe that Boy Hunk and I were dating. Is that so wrong? As it turns out, I didn't need to try to make CT jealous.

As I danced with my friends and thought about people who care about me (lots of you reading right now), I realized I didn't need to make him jealous, because my life rocks. I actually started to feel sorry for CT.

I watched him out of the corner of my eye as he danced with a couple guys, but I know him well enough to know when he is having fun and when he is faking it. Seven years together taught me how to spot the subtleties of his moods.

He wasn't having fun last night. I still worry that he is lonely. I hope not. But I can't be the one to ease his loneliness anymore.

I left the bar last night thinking of only one thing:
My life is really, really good right now, and I have never been more at peace about breaking up with CT than I am right at this moment. After a year and a half, I am at peace and looking forward to the future.

When I said I left the bar thinking of only one thing, I lied. There was one other thing on my mind.

And you know who you are. Hell, everybody does.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Another Late Night Musing

Here is the second in the series I began yesterday. The third piece may never see the light of day, because it deals primarily with the subject of "bungholes". Bungholes are mentioned a LOT. And I just don't know if I'll ever publish that kind of smut here.

As you'll see below, my intellect was taking a crushing beating from my libido at the time of this writing. I tried to hold it together, but all pretense went out the window as I took a leap from the issue of gay marriage to contemplating the hotness of one of the guys at the bar.

Late Night Musing #2

Hot Toddy:
I wish I weren't a Martian. I don't feel I fit in. My mother is from Mars.
My father is an earthling.

Handsome Prince:
My mother is a Venutian. That makes
me and my sister Venutlings. Yes we are
ostracized and people beat us up

Balloon Boy:
It's incredible how far we've come since then, when civil unions
used to be a risky dream and now, when we'll settle for
no less than full marriage rights.

We all deserve the right to register at Crate & Barrel.
God, X is hot when he dances. Maybe I will marry him.
But he is immature and kind of stupid.
He has a nice body though

Handsome Prince:
his earlobes hang down to his shoulders.
That kind of sucks, if you know what I mean.

Thursday, April 08, 2004


I know this is a really lame blog entry.

I didn't really have anything prepared for today, because I expected it to be a day of overwhelming comments and e-mails. Today's blog was catered by Quiznos and balloons were donated by Balloons on Broadway.

I hired a lute player and brought in Cathy the Chimp to do some Irish clog dancing. I was ready to throw a party, but, like, three people showed up. (Three of my favorite people by the way).

I realize now that by publicly acknowledging the identity of my crunch, I have lost a great deal of my mystery. My enigma. My je ne sais quoi.

I had hoped that my Cleveland Crunch and I would be like the next Ben & J-Lo.

Thanks to the overwhelming response (3 comments) I am starting to worry that we are more like David & Liza, only with actual chemistry.

Here is today's replacement blog.

Literary Symposium

The following pieces were composed during a 3 a.m. Literary Symposium in Vancouver, BC this past weekend.

Contributing authors include Balloon Boy, The Handsome Prince, and yours truly. The Executive was awakened several times due to our giggling, but did not participate in the creation of these pieces.

Please keep in mind that I had just come in from a late night conversation with Crunchy and was feeling amorous. So, if I seemed to have a one track mind, well, I did.

We three drunken authors each wrote a portion of the work and then folded down the paper, hiding all but the last sentence.

Text in bold indicates what words each author could actually see on the page before adding to the story.

I was asked not to reveal which authors wrote which portions, per the code of The Yum Yum Brotherhood.

However, I'm going to reveal exactly who wrote what.

What are they gonna do - kick me out of the Yum Yums?

Late Night Musing #1

Balloon Boy:
The dawn of a new day
When you see a really hot guy that you'd like to get to know
but your mind goes totally blank
like you've had a lobotomy - as if it's been scrubbed with a wire brush
that's what happens when I'm confronted with a blank
piece of paper....

Hot Toddy:
CUTS my hand with a papercut. Sweet pain. Sexy yet damaging. I love the pain and I love the
sex I can have with paper.

The Handsome Prince:
Not a pen though. Sex with a pen would pierce. Whereas sex with paper would be smooth and comforting.
Like a laxative.

Balloon Boy:
But once the initial shock of seeing him naked wears off, it becomes oddly appealing and you can't
get your mind off certain things.

Hot Toddy:
Find Peace. Find Buddha. Find God. Life is spiritual after all.
I want to get laid. I want to f*** him and hear him moan. Can you meet your soulmate over the phone?

The game ended because The Handsome Prince declared that I was too horny and was ruining it for everyone. In retrospect, I would have to say his assessment was quite accurate.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004


Wow. I feel sorry for this guy.

Sounds like he has it almost as bad as I do.

An Offer of Friendship

When I am not busy falling in love with people 3000 miles away from me, I like to pass the time making friends with people right here in my own hometown! Ribeye works with me, and we constantly run into each other at parties or at the club. He is hilarious. Recently, we started chatting over our work instant messaging system. This was our conversation on April First.

There is a lesson to be learned here. Do not offer friendship until you think about the ramifications.

Hot Toddy... Ribeye - we don't know each other that well, but let me know if you ever need to talk or anything - cause I think you are really cool. I'm sure you have tons of friends who are helping you out, but if you ever need another one, I'm here.

Ribeye Smythe/... I really appreciate it. Actually, most of my friends have been scarce lately...I'm not really sure why

Hot Toddy... Maybe they don't like funny smart people? Do you think you will go tonight? We can meet for a drink early if you want to.

Ribeye Smythe/... well, I'm not entirely sure if I'm going

Hot Toddy... Okay

Ribeye Smythe/... I don't suppose you have a vehicle here do you? My truck needs a jump. I discovered I left the lights on last night. Boo

Hot Toddy... My car is at Harrison Square. I don't have jumper cables though.

Ribeye Smythe/... hmm, my friend Todd does. My other friend Todd

Hot Toddy... Great. I offer you friendship and you immediately start taking advantage of me. When I said I was here for you, I meant that I am here for you in a way that does not inconvenience me or make me get up from my chair.

Ribeye Smythe/... well, if it makes you feel better, you're my second to last choice

Hot Toddy... What time and where?
Hot Toddy... And how much will you pay?

Ribeye Smythe/... well I'm really at your mercy

Hot Toddy... Let me know when you find out if Todd has jumper cables - but then if he does, why isn't he jumping your car?

Ribeye Smythe/... he's worried about his battery

Hot Toddy... Just drive your car to Harrison Square and I'll give you a jump.
Hot Toddy... Just kidding. Where is your car?

Ribeye Smythe/... it's over in Chinatown

Hot Toddy... (Great now I'm driving to freakin' China for this guy) No Problem!!

Ribeye Smythe/... no, it's not in china
Ribeye Smythe/... it's in san franscisco
Ribeye Smythe/... I hope that's not a big deal or anything

Hot Toddy... Is it parked on a big hill? I don't like those big hills.

Ribeye Smythe/... it's actually in the bay

Hot Toddy... I am also scared of Chinese people.
Hot Toddy... And water.
Hot Toddy... And cars.

Ribeye Smythe/... we just have to drudge the bottom and pull it up, and then give it a jump

Hot Toddy... I don't have jumper cables but I do have a "car drudger" in the trunk.

Ribeye Smythe/... and it's actually not really even my car, it's just one I heard about

Ribeye Smythe/... it might not even be there

Hot Toddy... I will just give you my car if you want. Will that be easier for you?

Ribeye Smythe/... hmm
Ribeye Smythe/... what kind is it?
Ribeye Smythe/... I'm very picky

Hot Toddy... The kind that is not sitting at the bottom of a bay and has a working battery.

Ribeye Smythe/... works for me
Ribeye Smythe/... does it have a full tank of gas?
Ribeye Smythe/... I hate paying for gas

Hot Toddy... Almost. And I will continue paying the insurance of course, because you are going through a rough patch in your personal life.

Ribeye Smythe/... That's sweet, mom!

Hot Toddy... I can drive you around too if you need me to. I will change my work hours to suit yours.

Ribeye Smythe/... I could use some new clothes too
Ribeye Smythe/... and some shoes

Hot Toddy... I picked up dry cleaning yesterday. There are a couple shirts and some pants in the back seat. I am sure they will fit you.

Ribeye Smythe/... you think of everything!

Hot Toddy... Except considering the ramifications of telling someone you want to be their friend, of course.
Hot Toddy... But I am learning fast.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Canadia Update Part Two

Number of miles traveled
625 round trip
Number of Yum Yum Brothers who made the trip
Number of tarot and numerology readings Marco gave us
Number of times we laughed at the phrase "rimming sugar"
Number of times I called The Crunch on my way to Vancouver
Number of times he called me on my way to Vancouver
Number of times F. complained about the way I described him in my blog.
Number of new names I suggested before F. agreed that I will now refer to him in my blog as MuscleDaddy
Number of times The Handsome Prince and I insulted one another
Number of times my insult was funnier than his
Number of men who hit on me in Vancouver
Number of times this happened in the club's bathroom
Number of men I slept with on the trip
Number of times I had sex on the trip
Number of times I thought about having sex
Number of times The Crunch called me on Friday night
Number of times I called him on Friday night
Minutes it took me on Saturday to figure out that the reason I couldn't lift as much during my workout was that I was trying to lift weight in kilograms instead of pounds
35 minutes
Number of souvenirs I purchased for friends
Number of seconds it should take you to figure out who the souvenir is for
Number of times The Dancer accidentally said "Canadia"
Number of times we teased him about it
Number of times Marco introduced me to a cute boy from London
Amount of time the cute boy from London spoke to me after I said, "You're from London? Well, aren't you fancy."
20 seconds
Number of times The Crunch called on Saturday
Number of times I called him on Saturday
Number of biceps I felt in Vancouver
Number of times I was feeling my own bicep
Number of times The Crunch called on Sunday
Number of times I called him on Sunday
Number of times I was irritated by a Yum Yum Brother
Number of arguments we got into

Stay tuned for Part Three in which details of three graphic and disturbing mealtime tantrums are revealed.
Which Yum Yum experienced Tuna Meltdown?
Who was Tiffed at our server Tiffini?
Who just won't tolerate a limp pickle?
More to come...
Canadia Update Part One

"Canadia" was wonderful. The End.

Unfortunately, there is a needle stuck in the record player of my mind, and I can't seem to make it stop skipping.

I talked with juju last night, and she asked about my trip. I updated her on every single phone call and e-mail I exchanged with The Crunch.

"This is very telling," she said. "You just spent three days with your best friends in a place you have never visited, and all you can talk about is your phone calls with The Crunch."

Question: When does a crunch become an obsession?
Answer: Right now.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Monday Afternoon

A few of you received some drunk dials this weekend. I intended to make more calls like the one Erin received on Sunday morning but didn't get around to it.

She was kind enough to transcribe my drunken message on her blog.

A full report of some of my more respectable moments is coming soon.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Canada, Here I Come

I live five hours from Vancouver, BC - but I have never visited that city. Tomorrow morning the Yum Yum Brotherhood is headed up there for a weekend of partying and laughter.

This morning I sent the following e-mail to the Yum Yums:

Hey guys - I went to CC Slaughters last night (Country Night) and spent all my money. I will not be able to afford this trip now. I'm sorry, but I hope you guys have fun. I asked you guys several times to take my money up front after I got my tax refund, but you didn't listen. Now it's gone.

F. wrote back:

Todd, this just doesn't make sense. You'll need about $300 for the trip. Do you mean to tell us that you blew it all in one night? And this trip meant so little to you that you could not plan ahead?

We are hurt and worried. Hurt that you are dropping out at the last minute from a trip that we have all been planning for months; worried that you are living so on the edge and yet spending what little you have on booze.

It was an April Fool's joke. I am awful at April Fool's jokes, because I feel guilty after I trick somebody. Poor Yum Yums... I'm sorry. That was mean. Of course I would never be so thoughtless, and I'm kind of surprised (horrified?) they would believe I actually spent $300 at the bar last night. Especially on Country Night. Please. Those cowboys buy me drinks and want to two-step with me till dawn. Country Night don't cost me one red cent.

I can't wait to hang out with my great friends, The Yum Yum Brotherhood:

The Handsome Prince: My best friend and the one who introduced me to all of them. His twin is Samantha on Sex and the City.

Balloon Boy: He owns a retail gift store downtown and is one of the kindest men I know. He also has a harem of boys that follow him around Portland. His Sex and the City counterpart - Miranda.

The Executive: This man owns Portland. Practically. He's got a big heart and the best stocked bar I've ever seen, and he's single, gentlemen. He's like Mr. Big on Sex and the City.

The Couple: Yum Yum Marco and Yum Yum F. are a couple and have been together for, I think, 17 years. They got married in Canada last summer. Marco's novel is being published this September.

The Politician: First openly gay elected public official in Oregon. I love him even though he's a Republican. He is the one who came up with the name "The Yum Yum Brotherhood", and I got to know his sweet romantic side last summer when he fell in love with...

The Dancer: Hot, young and barely legal. He is the one who set the trip to Vancouver up so that he could go out dancing all night in a big city. This guy is smart and sexy.

Then there is me. The comic. The one who everybody thinks will spend $300 at the bar in one night.

And if it isn't already obvious, my Sex and the City counterpart is Charlotte. The eternal romantic who swoons when somebody sends him an e-mail containing words like this:

Well as I slept last night, I held onto a pillow just wishing it was you. Something about just holding
you close, talking, getting to know each other makes me feel so warm inside.

Somebody better sell that plasma and get his ass to Portland.