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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, May 28, 2004

I Hate My Friends

This just arrived in my e-mail:

To: The Executive
From: Balloon Boy
CC: Hot Toddy

Hi BoBo:

It was good to see you at Slaughter's last night - it was a fun night
wasn't it? I appreciate you coming to find me, not like that Snot Toddy
who went off to lick someone's Booty or something. Not that I missed

Have a great weekend, Bobo; I'm thinking we'll go see "The Day After
Tomorrow" on Monday evening - I'll keep you posted.


Never one to take an insult lying down, I sent this response:
To: Balloon Boy
From: Hot Toddy
CC: The Executive

Hi Balloon Boy:

I think you accidentally copied me on this message, you idiot.

While you were on the phone last night asking me to join you at CC Slaughters, BoBo was sitting next to me shaking his head vehemently. He whispered "we are NOT going to meet that freak," and I was rather shocked at his distaste for you.

But I went along with BoBo's wishes, and he betrayed me. I would have gone to CC's, but then I was invited to go to Booty. I later found out that BoBo gave those boys $12 each to invite me just so he could spend time alone with you.

Go see that movie another time this weekend, because Juju and I want you to come over on Monday night for a little pre-karaoke soiree. She is sending out an invite soon.

And be careful who you copy from now on. I swear, sometimes you are as dumb as BoBo. (If you tell him I said that I will deny it).

My Mean Friends
The Handsome Prince, BoBo (The Executive), and Balloon Boy

Amish Booty

Okay, it's official. I have no privacy. Every detail of my life is exposed.

Famous Author Rob Byrnes tells people what I do at work all day.

I mean, what I don't do.

The Executive tells people what I do after work.

Do I even need to blog anymore?

Hey, I heard that.

I'm going to keep blogging just to spite you.

So, regarding last night...YES, I made a pact that after rehearsal we would have ONE drink at Aalto Lounge and go home. Two long island iced teas and three vodka cranberries later, I found myself at a bar called (yuck) Porky's. It was queer night, also known as (again, yuck) BOOTY.

I had never been there, but the invitation to go was extended by the cutest three boys at Aalto. What could I do? So, I went to experience a world outside Thursday Night at CC Slaughters.

At BOOTY, I felt like an Amish person in a strip club. I was easily the most conservative person in the room. I do not put stretchy things into my earlobes to make them more floppy, and I don't have tattoos on my skull or five piercings in my right ear or tongue or lip (or anywhere). And I don't own a single black t-shirt sporting the name of a goth band (which is probably not even an accurate description of the musical genre), nor do I have funky hair.

Okay, my hair is cool. But that's it. It's messy and blonde and longish. However, I know that I am in no way cool to this crowd. They are too cool for me, a gay guy. In fact, they are too cool to label themselves as gay. They are "queer", because somehow that is less of a label than "gay" or "bisexual".

I pretty much stood around and took in the scene. The music was seriously great, and I didn't have to buy drinks (thank you Michael). It was painfully clear as I stood there that these were not "my people", but they were cute kids. And really sweet, in spite of their attempts to look all bad ass.

I was sure I was invisible, because of my Amishness, but right before I left this cute young girl with eight lip piercings stopped me and said, "Hey! You have dimples!! I like dimples!"

I went home feeling pretty cool in spite of my unpunctured/inkfree body.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

I Will Not Be Ignored

Where have you been? Why haven't you been reading my blog? More importantly, why aren't you commenting?

What, you think just because we've never met you can just ignore me for days at a time?

Do you honestly think that I don't hurt when you neglect me?

At least some people know how to make amends. You would do well to learn from her example.

Oh, and sorry I didn't check your blog this week. I've been self-absorbed busy.

P.S. I hate tattletales.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Jann Arden

The first time I saw Jann Arden - well, the ONLY time I saw her - was at Trees in Dallas, Texas. I went with CT, and I will never forget that date with him. His brown eyes looking into mine, his strong arms, his smile. Oh, and Jann was beautiful and funny and sang like an angel.

Jann's song "Insensitive" was the one CT and I were listening to the first time we kissed. We had been comparing notes on our respective relationships, and how we felt that our current boyfriends weren't really giving us their hearts. So we discovered our feelings for each other. The night ended with trembling and kissing and hopes of a possible future for us.

Years later, CT and I split. Jann has been with me through the beginnings and endings of so many relationships. Lately this song has been playing in my car and in my mind a lot:

The Sound Of
by Jann Arden
Commentary (cool! like on a DVD!!) by Hot Toddy

No I will not lay down
I will not live my life like a ghost in this town
I am not lonely swear to God I'm just alone
I'm back on my feet
I can just close my eyes and forget everything
My house is empty every memory blown away

I love the resolution in this first verse. I will not lay down and live my life like a ghost...and sometimes going out to the clubs and seeing CT reminds me that I am living this song. I am not sitting at home avoiding running into him. I am proud to be surrounded by friends and laughing and enjoying myself whether I run into him or not. Hey, Portland is my town too.

It is so tempting, when someone rejects your love or leaves your life, to curl up in a ball and give up. I have been tempted to do that recently. No more dates. No more putting myself out there. I will become invisible. Like a ghost. But making the decision to keep trying is so important and brings strength of character. Or so I tell myself.

Even though the lyrics claim otherwise, you can tell that this person really IS lonely. But she is telling everyone that she is not lonely...just alone, because it is pathetic to be lonely, isn't it? I do this all the time. "I love being single. I love my life..." We all want love so much. We want that person beside us who loves us as we are and makes us feel less lonely. But the truth is we are all so lonely. Okay, I won't project anymore. Maybe "we" are not "all" lonely. But, I am lonely sometimes. Not just alone. I mean lonely.

As I said yesterday, sometimes it seems appealing to just close your eyes and forget everything. Not in an ADD "oops, I left the burner on again" sort of way, but in, like, a cleansing start over sort of way.

Oh the sound of the wind through my bones makes me laugh
at all the bodies I kissed and never knew
Oh the sound of a lover's sympathy falling down to the floor
just barely out of reach from me

After you're rejected, sometimes you go and kiss bodies you don't know. Okay, again, I'm projecting. I don't mean "you". I mean "me". If you are Hot Toddy, sometimes you kiss a lot of bodies. And the sympathy of your ex-lover is no comfort at all. "You'll find someone! Don't worry," does not help at all when coming from the object of your affections. No, in fact, it makes one feel, again, rather pathetic. Oh Jann, baby, sing to me!

No I will not go back
every word that's been hiding inside of my head is running blindly
look behind me nothing's left
I can sit in a room
I can hear myself breathing and be quite amused
life is simple like the wrinkles on my skin

Is it ever simple to be alive? To me it seems complex and my mind will not shut off. Is it really possible to sit in a room alone and hear yourself breathing and be content? Not for me. Not yet. I don't have that zen mindset. I need to be with someone I can share with. I wish I didn't need other people so much, but at this point I do. I haven't learned to be content without connections to others.

Oh the sound of the wind through my heart makes me glad
for all the ones that never knew my name
Oh the sound of a lover's sympathy
I had to go could not stay here
they were always out of reach from me

I am not sure I am glad for all the lovers that never knew my name...that is so sad to me. Sometimes it is so true. I remember one morning last summer when I actually looked in a guy's wallet while he was in my shower so that I would know his name when he came out of the bathroom. Sometimes I laugh at these stories as I tell them. Sometimes, they make me cry.

This has been an introspective week. I'm not funny lately. I'm sorry. Don't leave me.

I had a great idea for a blog entry that seemed hilarious to me this morning. In this highly humorous entry, I would create a crazy scene in which a theatre rehearsal was conducted as if it were a softball game. It was so funny as I woke from my sleep this morning, and I knew it was comedy gold. Then I had a cup of coffee, drove to work, and realized it was the dumbest blog idea ever.
"Attention Deficit Disor..."

Q: How many people with Attention Deficit Disorder does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Wanna ride bikes?!

The first time I realized I suffered from Adult ADD was when I lost the book about ADD I was reading. I later found it hanging on a towel rack in the bathroom. I can't remember if I finished the book or not, because the question of whether or not I had ADD seemed to be answered with that misplaced book.

Several times a week (I can't remember how many...) I put food in the microwave and heat it up for dinner. The next morning Juju takes the food out of the microwave for me and says, "did you enjoy your dinner last night?" Often, while cooking dinner (i.e., boiling mac & cheese from a box) I get distracted by a phone call or an interesting piece of mail or an urgent need to dig through my box of photos and find a picture of my family at our 1978 trip to Disney World.

One morning I took a coffee mug out of the cabinet, poured myself a cup of coffee and put the coffee pot into the cabinet. Fortunately, I found the coffee pot later when I was ready for my second cup of coffee.

If you come over and ask me for a drink, I will make you a cocktail. Then I will walk into the living room with your cocktail. After I put on some music, I will begin drinking your cocktail while you stand there watching me. Maybe it will seem incredibly rude to you, but I just forget what I'm doing. It isn't intentional.

Sometimes this "affliction" can be a gift. People with ADD can "hyperfocus", which is useful if you want me to repeat lines from Will & Grace word for word. See how gifted I am? I can complete an entire blog entry even if my friend is standing at my cubicle waiting to talk to me. I sometimes won't see my friend waiting to talk to me until I've completed and published my entry. If I'm watching an interesting commercial (interesting to me, anyway) I won't hear a word you are saying to me from your seat next to me on the couch. This useful ability means that I can still quote, verbatim, a BRIM (coffee) commercial from the 70s.

"Only half a cup? Don't you like my coffee? Love the rich taste. It's the caffeine I can do without..."

Anything that needs to be tended, watched closely or monitored is definitely a job for someone else. Well, unless it is a relationship. But we'll get to that in a moment.

Keep me away from anything that can burn down a house. Candles are my enemies. The stove is too dangerous for me to go near. I can't count how many burning pots have I found on the stove after letting ALL the water boil out of them.

So, how do I function in my relationships? I manage to incorporate all the worst parts of ADD into my relationships. I drive my friends/boyfriends/roommates/whatevers crazy.

If I like someone, I tend to hyperfocus on him. I can't think of anything else. I can't hear or see anything else going on around me. That's probably obvious to anybody who has read the past few months of Toaster Oven.

I haven't seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind yet, but sometimes I wonder if I would opt to erase memories from my mind if I could. Then I could move on so much more quickly. Would I be happier if I couldn't remember those days of being controlled in a cult? What if I could forget about CT and stop comparing guys I date to him? (If you spend more than $2.00 on me on our date, this will work to your advantage).

I still have receipts from my first dinner in 1995 with CT, and I still have the ticket stubs from the haunted house I went to with "J", with whom I went on a total of four dates. So, how long do you imagine I'll hang onto my empty ketchup bottle?

I warned you about my ADD, so don't say you didn't see this coming...

This started out as an entry about Attention Deficit Disorder and ended up being an entry about how hard it is for me to let go of memories.

And, somehow, that seems appropriate.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Fat Test
The director at our office fitness center recently asked me if I got the results for my fat test.

"Can we NOT call it a fat test, please? I prefer to call it a lean test," I told her.

Well, I know this makes me a huge dork, but I just found out that tomorrow it's time for another body composition test at our fitness center at work, and I'm so excited!! This test occurs every six to eight weeks, and I've made it a point to get these regular check-ups so I can track progress and be made aware of any backsliding.

I will never forget the day I made a decision to change. It was May of 2000, and I was watching my ex-boyfriend try on clothes at Banana Republic. I couldn't fit into anything in the store. Not even an extra-large shirt. So, I sat dejected in a chair and watched him and a parade of other slender guys walking in and out of the dressing room. All I could think about was how jealous I was, and how I had spent my entire life wishing I weren't fat. At the age of 33, I was still fat and never worked out for more than a week or two at a time before giving up completely. I thought getting in shape was an unattainable goal.

That day in Banana Republic, I made a decision that I was going to work out for an entire year. I promised myself that I would NOT step on a scale for a year, and that I would quit expecting short-term results. I think the unrealistic goals I had previously set were part of the reason I consistently failed to get fit. I would work out for two weeks and not see significant results. I would get discouraged, and I would quit working out.

So, I promised myself that I would work out for 12 months and that I would be back at that store buying clothes in a year if all went well. The other promise I made to myself was that I would never work out again if I didn't see results after a year of trying.

In less than three months I went back to Banana Republic and bought a shirt that fit. Everything seemed to be going well, but I was about to find out some sobering news.

A few months after I so proudly bought that shirt, I met a man named Dave. Dave tested my body composition and became my advisor. Over the past 3 years, he has encouraged me so much. He also helps me keep things in perspective by pointing out times I'm being too hard on myself. Once I actually got upset because I lost .2 pounds of muscle mass in six weeks (can you say "neurotic"?), but I've learned to be realistic since that time.

After Dave showed me my body composition results in November of 2000, I wanted to die. I discovered that my body fat percentage was 43%. Almost half of my body was fat, and that was after working out for six months! I was mortified, and I can only imagine how grim the results would have been a few months earlier.

Dave helped me understand that, although I was overweight, my body was in starvation mode. He showed me that because I am a vegetarian, it is easy for me to starve my body of protein if I'm not careful to supplement my diet. And when your body is starving for protein, it aggressively stores fat.

So, I kept working out and began eating protein bars and drinking at least one or two protein shakes a day. The results were astounding to me. My lean body mass (muscle, tissue, bone - the good stuff) increased and my body fat decreased at an incredible rate.

For the past four years I've consistently lost body fat and gained muscle. I had a couple setbacks, of course. The two months after my break-up with CT, I gained about five pounds of fat and actually lost muscle for the first time since I had started the program. But I got back on track, and sometimes I feel so proud that I haven't quit trying.

I hit my plateau several months ago...(note to self: write an Open Letter to My Plateau. I hate that bastard). However, I am learning to jump that hurdle by increasing the intensity of my workouts and making minor adjustments to my eating. (Sorry, I'm not willing to give up Happy Hour at this point, otherwise I'm sure things would be going better).

Last time I was checked, my body fat was below 15%, which means if I want to get to 10%, I still need to lose about 15 pounds of fat. But I know I can do it. I've already proven to myself that I can.

I'm looking forward to finding out my results. Last summer I wore a tank top for the first time ever. It was a pretty great day. My friend (with his stupid little 28 inch waist) did hand stands for me to celebrate.

Oh, and that is probably a vodka drink in my hand, so just ignore that. Hey, I'm not dead! I'm just trying to get in better shape.

So, maybe all this excitement over a fat lean test makes me a dork. But I'd rather be a dork than sitting in that chair at Banana Republic feeling sorry for myself.

I'm sorry I teased you yesterday.

Lots of people ask me to post pictures. Until last Friday, I didn't know how, and I was too ashamed to admit it. But thanks to Patrick, I learned how to post pictures on Toaster Oven. So, as some have requested, I actually will be able to post a picture of my softball players soon.

And now, without further ado, here is a photo for you.

No, wait. Let's have further ado. Further ado rocks.

What is more fun than a pile of laundry? What makes me smile more than drunk dialing? What brings back more great memories than an invitation to a threeway? What is sexier than two softball players in bed with me?

Why, this, of course:

Me and My Crunch:

This was taken at a bar called "Twist" on my last day in Cleveland. If I look like I have tears in my eyes, it is just because my allergies were really acting up all weekend. Not tears. Allergies.

What do you think I am? A crybaby?

Monday, May 24, 2004

Decisions, Decisions

After a weekend of parties (Handsome Prince's birthday and The Politican's birthday) and a karaoke adventure that lasted until 3 a.m. last night, I am faced with a dilemma.

What do I blog about?

Do you want to hear about the two hunky softball players who crawled into bed with me at The Politican's birthday?

Do you want the transcript of Country Boy's drunk dial?

Do you want details about the Ken Doll (He and his girlfriend invited me to join them for a threesome last summer) who came back into my life last night?

Or would you rather hear about the laundry pile I attacked on Saturday afternoon?

It's up to you.

Friday, May 21, 2004

My Favorite Movie Quote Ever

You know how sometimes a guy will quote a line from a movie and you immediately fall in love with him because you thought nobody loved that quote but you?

Oh, wait. You're not me.

You know how sometimes a guy will quote a line from a movie and you think he is really cool because you thought nobody loved that quote but you?

Ribeye said this to me the other night at the Aalto Lounge.

Nobody could deliver this rant the way Madeline Kahn did. She was brilliant.

"Yes, I did it. I killed Yvette. I hated her SO much! It, it, the, it, flame, flames, flames . . . on the side of my face. Breathing, breath, heaving breaths, heaving . . ."

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Another (Resentful) Open Letter

Dear Everybody Who Is Going To This:

You make me sick.

Thank you for reminding me that I am an outcast. Like the pioneers of yore, my journey to discover myself has cast me to the far-flung corner of the globe. Like the pioneers of yore, I also use words like far-flung, and sometimes I talk about corn pone and fiddlin' as well.

When I started blogging last year, I fell in with the wrong crowd. I found myself reading and mingling with Famous Authors who chug champagne from the bottle and hit people with hammers, country boys, slutty people, and mysterious hunks. I began to exchange e-mails with friends in Dallas and other weird places.

Why, oh why didn't I make friends in my own backyard? I have had to work tooth and nail to build my Portland Blog Kingdom brick by brick by brick by brick just so I would have someone to talk about blogging with!

Aside from the very sad lonely feeling I am experiencing from knowing I won't be chasing cute NYC bloggers around the bar, I am also concerned about my reputation. The truth is, I got engaged to more than one of these guys and kept the whole affair very secret by chatting about it on the Internet.

Now all of my fiances appear to be gathering in the same room at the same time without me there to defend my honor. This is my worst nightmare come true.

It is painfully obvious to me that the entire evening's conversation, nay, the entire event is merely an excuse to gather and compare notes about yours truly.

by Hot Toddy

Famous Author Rob Byrnes: (Drunkenly) Hey, best friend Michael Vernon, do you think Toddy would date me if I didn't have Bradykins?

Michael Vernon: (Southernly) No, close friend but not exactly best friend Famous Author Rob Byrnes, I think he would be dating me. We would roll down the windows and blast country music and drink watermelon wine together, but not while driving of course.

MAK: (Bovinely) It is a Moo point. He would want to date me.

Mark: (Sweetly) Please stop making cow jokes. You are always promoting your blog even when we should be talking about hot toddy.

Addaboy: (Oozing hot sexuality and making everybody in the bar wish they were his boy toy) I'll bet he's drunk dialed me more than any of you. He wants me to dry hump him.

Then a fight breaks out and everybody dies, which is how I end most of my sketches due to an inability to cleverly conclude a script.

So, everybody who is going to this, I beg you...I implore you to please try to have fun without me. Don't focus entirely on me unless you just can't help yourselves.

I am going to need anti-depressants just to read all of your blogs on Monday. Sorry I can't join you all, but I'll be out here in Oregon fiddlin' and eating corn pone with Heinz Ketchup and thinking of you!
Words of Wisdom

What a nice surprise. The man I spent seven years of my life with is now pursuing a career in modeling. This is the same man who struggled to develop self-confidence and felt embarrassed to take off his shirt in front of me?

If he gets work, I want a cut of his profits. I invested so many hours counseling him, telling him he was beautiful, putting him on a pedestal and showering him with affection, I feel I am entitled.

Or, he could at least give me back our dog.

"There's always a contest with an ex. It's called, "Who Will Die Miserable." - Samantha Jones, Sex and the City

I refuse to lose this contest. I am going to become a model too. Here is some advice juju gave me:

Honey...we all make choices in this life based on what is most important to
us...you could be a model...but if that's what you wanted to pursue it would take cutting other things out (drinking, salt, going out all the time...etc) is that what you want? If it is you need to make some changes...if not then start looking at all of the
things you have instead of what you wish you had.

You have AMAZING friends who love you! You has this tremendous gift with
words! Use it! (I don't think it is your goal to be famous...but if it is,
I can see it happening, but again, you need to put the work in) You have
had such a colorful history and so many exotic experiences...you life has
been so full! Please don't forget that, just because your stupid ex has his
picture on a website...he has nothing...he is a pile of dust...a pile of tears...Todd you have so much more heart!

Okay, okay. I need to grow up. I want him to be happy. The last thing I said to him when I walked out of our house was, "Grow and be happy." And it looks like he is trying to do just that. I never really wanted him to be miserable, but I wish I could have been around to bask in his newfound confidence. And it would be fun to say, "my boyfriend is a model!"

Who am I kidding? I'm not going to be a model. I appreciate juju's words, but...

Dude, I am SO not giving up salt.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Happy Birthday

Someone very important to me is celebrating his birthday today. And his favorite thing about my blog is clicking on links. So this one's for you, Handsome Prince.

Yes, we are mean to each other.

I make fun of his tremor. He makes fun of my driving. But we're still going to open The Bunghole Bar and Grill together.

Our relationship is fun and curious and weird and unpredictable. We are Patsy and Edina.

He is Samantha, I'm Charlotte.

We're Mary and Rhoda.

Or Jack and Karen.

Or something less gay, if only I could think of anything that's not gay.

Today is The Handsome Prince's birthday! Look at the e-mail he sent me:

Hey sweet thing.
Have I told you how funny and sweet you are in the show? I totally think you are going to find a husband during this run. Who couldn't fall in love with you?

Well, I can think of a few people...but that's beside the point.

I love you, Handsome Prince.
Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Open Letter to Venus

Dear Venus, Goddess of Love,

I fucking hate you, you bitch.

You are ruining my life, and I never asked you to be my fucking ruling planet. Don't those of us unfortunate enough to be born under the sign of Libra have enough problems without being ruled by love? We can't make decisions about where to eat dinner. But in decisions regarding spending tons of money we always say yes. We're fickle and can't deal with conflict and have an overwhelming need to be liked.

Venus, Goddess of Love, I just wish sometimes that I could be like those materialistic Taureans or those abrasive Aries who always think they are right. Instead of obsessing over boys, I could be obsessing over Pottery Barn catalogs or arguing with Pottery Barn sales clerks. Instead I walk around Pottery Barn penniless (since Librans repel money) and stare at the hot male customers wondering what kind of furniture we will buy when we fall in love and move into our loft.

You make me crazy, Venus, Goddess of Love. I am tired of falling head over heels for anybody who buys me a drink, drunk dials me or makes me tater tots. I am sick of checking the "Chance Meeting" section of the personals to see if somebody saw me at a coffee shop and wants to go out with me. If I ever hear a country love song that doesn't make me cry, I'll be amazed. You are ruining my life you dumb goddess.

Oh, and what is the deal with making me susceptible to flattery, you whore? Don't you know that gay men will say anything to get laid? It's bad enough you make us poor Librans feel like we are nothing without a relationship, but then you go and curse us with the inability to discern flattery from truth?

Hey, you big cow, I just checked my horoscope. What is this about my feelings being more intense with the new moon (starting Wednesday). Great, thanks. That is exactly what I need. MORE INTENSE feelings. Cause I surely am not intense enough. Just ask anybody I've proposed to after dating for a week.

I'm not sure what other tortures you have in store for me, Venus, Goddess of Love. But whatever you do, I'm sure it will be sadistic. I'll bet you're going to make me fall for a Leo. That would be just like you.

So my birthstone is a blue sapphire, huh? I wish I had one. I'd throw it at your pretty little forehead. If you weren't immortal, I would kill you.

Love (damn it - love again!)
My Best Friend

Oh, how I love The Handsome Prince. Here are some of the wonderful things he's said to me in the past few days:

At lunch yesterday...
"Did you bring those stupid pictures of your trip to Cleveland AGAIN?"

When I called him Saturday night...
"Why do you always call me?"

After I missed the turn to his street...
"You missed the street, you crack whore."

I guess I deserve this treatment. Sunday afternoon he said that there is nothing he can do to get rid of his hand tremors. I told him, "You could kill yourself."

Friendship is a treasure.

Monday, May 17, 2004


My weekend consisted of the following:

1. Developed pictures of my visit with Crunchy
2. Looked at pictures of Crunchy (average: 8 times daily)
3. Drank Vodka
4. Slept
5. Rehearsed for a show I'm doing this summer
6. Showed pictures of Crunchy to friends
7. Drank Beer
8. Fell asleep trying to watch tv
9. Thought about Crunchy everytime I used the ketchup he sent home with me
10. Did something I shouldn't have

This week SHOULD consist of the following:
1. Pull myself out of my Cleveland reveries and focus on where I am and who I am
2. Write sketches for "Thrust" (summer late night show)
3. Begin work on a play I've been commissioned to write a play for a local theatre
4. Get back on a steady workout schedule
5. Mow the lawn
6. Clean house (or at least make my bed ONCE this week)
7. Memorize lines and review blocking
8. Don't do anything I shouldn't
9. Write a letter to Venus, Goddess of Love and put it on the blog
10. Try to eat at least one piece of fruit this week (yuck - fruit)

If I can get some of this stuff done, I will feel like I've earned the right to play around and attend two parties next weekend. If not, I will still play and party, but I will be doing it so that I forget about all the things I did not do this week.

And the one thing I did last weekend that I shouldn't have.

Friday, May 14, 2004


This morning I sat in a conference room with a bunch of weird ugly people I work with. The lady next to me stretches a lot and gives us astounding views of her large belly when her rose print polyester shirt lifts up. She also draws big arched eyebrows on her forehead with some sort of rust-colored eyebrow pencil even though her hair is a dirty blonde. And by dirty blonde I mean dirty. And blonde.

Another woman in our conference room was wearing her Sasson sweatshirt for the second day in a row. She has spikey gray Pat Benatar hair. She does not know it is 2004 yet. I am waiting for her to show up with leg warmers and an off-the-shoulder Flashdance shirt.

Also in attendance was Ed. Ed has short hair and an earring. He also has a single braid that goes halfway down his back, but he obviously leaves the braid in for several days and his hair becomes a matted mess. Ed also talks in an extremely loud nasal voice, so now at work I have to listen to music through what I've dubbed my "Edphones".

During the meeting about audit points and information technology security, I contributed by sitting quietly and thinking about television. That is what I bring to the table at my company.

I began thinking about Piper, Phoebe and Paige. They are "The Charmed Ones". Prue used to be a Charmed One, but she is dead just like the career of the actress who played her.

If I were a Charmed One, I would most certainly use my powers for personal gain.

It occurred to me in the meeting that I would very much like to have the magic power of making people's heads explode. Piper can also explode things, but my explosions would be bigger and louder with more blood involved. Paige can "orb" in and out of places. Phoebe can dress like a slut.

If I were a Charmed One, I would be able to supplement the vanquishing capabilities of the sisters nicely. I would even change my name to something that starts with a "P" for consistency.

As the fourth Charmed One, Preston, I would also have an ability to make people fall in love with me. If there were a particularly hot demon or warlock, I would cast a lust spell on him, and he would be too obsessed with me to act on his evil impulses. Unless I wanted him to act on some evil impulses with me naked in bed. Which I would totally want.

The power of three will set you free, but the power of four will get you laid more.

Another power I would have would be casting a forgetfulness spell. First I would cast the spell on the good people at Sallie Mae so they would forget how much I owe them for my student loan.

Preston (Me): Here is a check for $4.35, Sallie Mae.

Sallie Mae: Oh, do you owe us $4.35?

Preston: Actually, I owe you $5.00, but I am going to send you the rest of it next month.

Sallie Mae: Okay! I hope we don't forget to send your statement!

Preston: Don't worry, I am very honest. I will remember to send it to you.

My final "active power" would be the ability to intimidate people by glaring at them. Oh, wait. I forgot. I already have that power.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Mind Chess

I think that if I could change one thing about myself, it would be to erase the part of my psyche that causes me to analyze my interpersonal relationships until I am worn out.

For as long as I can remember, I have been on a mental treadmill on which I run constantly, never reaching a destination. It seems I have an insatiable need to know what each and every person on the planet really thinks of me. Do you care about me? Do you love me as much as I love you? Do you think I'm too tall? Too emotional? Too needy? Too manipulative? Too intense?

Sometimes, I actually order coffee at a cafe and wonder what the cashier thinks of me.

I can't figure out when this started. And it is not just the mental exhaustion of this compulsive analysis that tires me. It is not enough that I spend so much energy figuring out how I'm being perceived. No, I also work hard to plan and plot my actions to further my goals of receiving affection and adoration.

Sometimes I hate my ability (or perceived ability) to manipulate people. My ex, CT, used to say that I was manipulative in a very tricky way. I go in through the back door, get people to give me the responses I desire, and they never even realize it. I still look like a nice guy, even though I'm trying to control people. I would be the best cult leader ever.

That is why I treasure the people I call my very best friends. They are far too smart for such nonsense. They don't coddle me. They call me on my shit. They tease me about my idiosyncrasies. They look at my face and say, "I know exactly what you are thinking right now. Stop doubting yourself. Stop shaking your head. Stop analyzing everything. Isn't it exhausting to put everything under a microscope? Don't you get tired of making excuses for other people and creating stories of their motives when you, frankly, have no way of knowing what they are really thinking?"

Yes. I'm really tired.

The Handsome Prince said to me the other day, "I don't know what world you are living in Todd, but it is not the real one." He was referring to the night I was doubting my ability to attract men. Several of us were having a discussion at the bar. Completely unaware of the irony of the situation, I detailed my bad luck with guys to these men. Three of them were people I had slept with and one of them has a crush on me.

If it were not for my closest friends, I would go crazy.

Today I actually asked someone to please leave a comment on my blog so I would know what they thought of a post I had written. WHAT?? I wish I could be more like Jeff or Jodi. I am impressed by bloggers who don't need comments from readers. They seem to have enough self-assurance that the opinions of others don't have an impact on what they write.

I'm sure I will continue to grow and will someday be liberated from this game of mind chess. From now on I will stop caring what others think of me. I will quit trying to make people like me. I will quit trying to control everyone.

Also, please leave me a comment and let me know if you're okay with what I've expressed here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Two Dumb E-mails

Somebody entertain me today. Please. Send me an e-mail telling me you love me or something funny that happened to you last weekend. Or tell me a story. Anything.

I have received only two "noteworthy" e-mails today:

E-mail #1

I just received an e-mail inviting me to a local theatre production. The show is half-price for people of color. I am trying to decide what color to paint my body. I dare them to make me pay full price if I show up with purple skin.

E-mail #2

From: An Idiot in Information Technology
To: Everyone in the company who will now know he is an idiot

"We are experiencing problems with the Time Sheet Approval functionality.

I apologize for any incontinence this may cause, and I greatly appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this issue."

Thankfully, this problem did not cause me any incontinence. Everything seems to be functioning normally at this point.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The Last Page

No, I'm not married. A few people have left me messages eager for details of my meeting with Crunchy. Sorry to keep you in suspense, as I realize this blog is the most exciting reading a person could ever hope to experience. (Remove tongue from cheek now.)

A storm delayed my return to Portland, and I spent last night on a cot at Chicago O'Hare. I suppose that is a fair exchange for four days of intense happiness.

How can I sum it all up? Crunchy and I had a memorable and wonderful time together. It was too short, and reflecting on the memories brings tears to my eyes. I'm feeling selfish at the moment. Because I treasure "Crunch Time" so much, I really want to keep it all to myself right now. Since I've shared so much in this blog, it doesn't seem fair to suddenly clam up now, does it? Since I've met him in person, he's not just a blogger I have a crush on anymore. And that's why it is time for a bit more privacy, I guess.

As The Handsome Prince tells me, "Filter, Todd. Filter."

So here is what I can tell you:
The extended weekend was fantastic! One of the things I enjoyed was talking with Patrick late into the night about our pasts and about our futures. I left Cleveland with a new perspective. A hope in my heart has reappeared. For a long time I thought that each person only got one chance at love, and I believed CT was my chance. Thanks, in part, to Patrick, I know I have been wrong, because I see the way he inspired me to take a chance in flying to meet him. It is possible that I can really open up to another man and trust him. Some of my friends thought I was crazy to try this experiment. Others worried that I was going with so little money and so much trust in someone I'd never met in person.

One question Patrick has asked me since the day I first contemplated buying a ticket to Ohio has been, "Is the reward worth the risk?"

He asked me that again yesterday before I got on the plane, and my answer was a resounding YES.

Two and a half years ago, I began a new journal. My first entry was written the day CT and I broke up. That journal is filled with pages and pages of loneliness, doubt, pain, tales of single life, sexcapades, fears, and questions. Yesterday, in the Cleveland airport, I wrote the final page of that journal detailing my trip and all that I learned. The last page of my journal is an expression of the hope I have in my heart.

In summary:
When you visit a guy and he sends you home with hope in your heart and an industrial-sized bottle of Heinz Ketchup, I call that an awesome date.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Bon Voyage

The first blog entry I ever wrote expressed my hope that nobody would read this blog.

I'm glad it hasn't turned out that way. I'm enjoying new blogger friends and inspiring a few of my friends to start their own blogs. I am having a blast writing about all aspects of my life. Some of my topics are silly or mundane. Some are significant or profound, to me at least.

Tomorrow, I will have the experience of actually meeting another blogger in person. Connecting with Patrick has been a really incredible experience, but something about who he is requires that I meet him, so I'm following my heart.

When I first broke up with CT, I posted a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt on my bedroom mirror. The quote was, "You must do the thing you think you cannot do," and I knew I was living that quote every day for those first few lonely months.

It is great to find a quote that inspires you, but it is even better to feel as if you are really acting on those inspiring words. I feel grateful to be going on a great adventure (even if it is Ohio), and I wanted to share some of these quotes with you:

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." - Gandhi

"We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us." - Marcel Proust

"The best roads of all are the ones that aren't certain." - Bruce Cockburn

"Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark." - Agnes De Mille

"He that would have the fruit must climb the tree." - Thomas Fuller

There's a fruit in Cleveland waiting for me, so I must go. While I'm gone, please go worship and enjoy some of the bloggers I've listed in my list of links. I will try to update from Ohio, if I get a chance.

Who knows?

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Tuna Meltdown

I've come to the conclusion that I am missing out on something. I've witnessed so many meltdowns lately, and I'm not sure I have ever had one. Weeks ago, I promised to tell you about "The Tuna Meltdown" one of my Yum Yum brothers had in Vancouver. I have failed you, gentle reader, but I will make it up to you now with, not one, but TWO meltdown stories.

Meltdown #1
On the second night of our trip to Canadia, the Yum Yum Brotherhood convened for sushi and cocktails and cocktails and cocktails. Marco asked several questions about the Red Tuna.

He ordered the Red Tuna.

They brought him the Red Tuna.

Immediately, Marco's panties started wadding up. "What is THIS?" he asked our baffled elegant Japanese server.

"That is tuna, sir," she answered.

"It looks different than HIS tuna," Marco said as he pointed at his partner's plate.

"His tuna is a different tuna. But you ordered RED tuna," she politely answered.

Apparently the red tuna wasn't as white as the other tuna. It was more, well, red.

Back and forth it went. Fifteen minutes of discussing tuna. I continued eating until Marco erupted, "I am trying to figure out why my tuna looks different and NOBODY AT THIS TABLE WILL HELP ME!!!"

I didn't know how to help him and told him so. I'm a vegetarian. I know only slightly more about tuna than Jessica Simpson does.

He continued ranting even after the waitress offered to bring him different tuna. We all ate and tried to change the subject. He kept talking about his Red tuna.

I am a very calm patient person by nature, but enough was enough.

"Marco," I said. "I love you, but if you don't shut up about the tuna I am going to kick your ass."

Problem solved. He laughed and made a valiant effort to recover from his tuna meltdown. I felt really strong and cool. Like a cross between Judge Judy and The Rock.

Meltdown #2
Last night at rehearsal for our late night show "Thrust", there was more drama than an episode of "The Real World". Our director, Sybil, informed us that we needed to have less sketch comedy and more real-life scenarios in our show. Her intent is to portray sexual situations in a way that is relevant, but not zany. We listened and agreed. Most of us did.

The Ex-Con went into a tirade about the change of direction. The new material wasn't going to be funny or interesting. It would be boring. Nobody would want to come see the show.

I suggested that maybe we should write some new material, taking Sybil's new direction, and see if it works or not. Then we could critique the work once it has been written.

"I'm allowed to fucking say whatever I want," he screamed at me. "Sybil asked if everyone was happy, and I'm not fucking happy!"

Wow, I can't wait until the Ex-Con and I play lovers in the show we're doing later this summer. It will be so reminiscent of my happy days with my ex, CT.

Since I didn't know what to say in reply to the Ex-Con's fury, I didn't say anything. I felt embarrassed for him, but I know he has a right to express his opinion in whatever way he chooses.

Sybil didn't feel the same way, apparently. She started yelling back at him. I was waiting for someone to flip over the coffee table and storm out. We took a break so everyone could calm down, and I sat there aghast.

I don't understand meltdowns. Don't people realize how silly they look when they are losing their temper over food? Or theatre productions?

On the other hand, having a meltdown could be kind of fun. You get to rant and scream like you are on Melrose Place, except your "audience" doesn't get a commercial break. We can't change the channel.

But we CAN go to Cleveland and get away from it all for a few days.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Bunghole Bar & Grill

The Handsome Prince and I were laughing until our faces hurt as we continued suggesting names for bars in Portland. Don't you think these would be good bar names?


Gay Fatty's Tavern


Golden Showers
(For the beer of course. Ewww - what did you think I meant?)

Fat Linda Ronstadt's Bar & Grill
This was my personal favorite. Apollo was saying Linda gained a lot of weight after she quit doing cocaine, so I thought it would make a perfect bar name. I would totally hang out at this bar.

The Handsome Prince and I are just waiting to see what kind of bar Apollo and The Executive open. It will be, in their words, "a designer bar" with mirrors everywhere and black velvet drapes and gilded frames and linen tablecloths.

Once their designer bar opens, The Handsome Prince and I are going to open the Bunghole Bar & Grill across the street. We will stand on the sidewalk in our greasy aprons and wave at the pretentious boys across the street. All the white trash gays will flock to our bar. (Our Milkshakes will be better than yours).

Our goal is to drive down the property values in the neighborhood and cackle with glee as we drive our friends' out of business. We'll have Keno at our bar and serve greasy food. We'll be famous for our version of onion rings, "Sphincter Rings"....

Bunghole Bar & Grill. The possibilities are endless. Oh, and if you think of any good pretentious names for our competitors across the street, send me an e-mail or a comment.
Fat Linda Ronstadt's Bar & Grill

The following exchange occurred at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night at Scandals:

Apollo: I am going to open a fabulous bar in Portland. I'm thinking of calling it "The Velvet Lie".

The Handsome Prince: Maybe just "Velvet"instead?

The Executive: Let's call it "BYFP". It means "Beautiful Young Fabulous People".

Me: How about "Pretentious Faggots Bar & Grill?"