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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...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy Holidays from Hot Toddy

Dear Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven Reader:

You make me want to dance!

Love,
Hot Toddy

P.S. See you in 2007!

Old News

I finally got around to seeing Brokeback Mountain this weekend, and I just have to say that they should have changed one line. Instead of "I wish I knew how to quit you," Jake should have said, "I wish I knew how to understand what you're saying." After seeing the movie, I finally understand all the fuss over Heath Ledger, but I got so frustrated watching the film that I started yelling at the television screen. I couldn't make out so many of the lines due to the fact that both lead actors mumbled throughout the entire movie. (The whispered muttering scene in the hotel room was infuriating!)

I know, I know. They are cowboys. They are tough. They are cool. But, come on. It is pretty sad when you have to rewind the last line of a movie five times so you can hear it. There I was with tears in my eyes shouting at Ennis, "What? What did you just say to Jack's shirt?! What did you SAY!?!?"

In the end, I gave up and googled it. ("Jack, I swear")

All in all, I enjoyed the movie. But now I agree with the decision to award the Oscar to Crash. I'm sorry to say it. I mean, I enjoy watching two men in love as much as the next guy (probably a little more than the next guy), but I just thought the performances in Crash were stronger, and the storylines were more complex and compelling. Plus, big bonus, I could understand the dialogue without closed captioning. Please don't revoke my gay card. I still think Dolly should have won an Academy Award for best original song.

I realize I am about a year behind in my Brokeback commentary. Reporting old news is what I do best. Here are some of my other hot topics:

1. That moon landing thing was pretty great, huh?

2. How about that Susan B. Anthony!? What a nut!!!

3. I think that Tiffany may just be the next Madonna.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Parents I'm Proud Of

I have a friend who is about to become a parent. He's a strong, intelligent, beautiful soul, and he just happens to be gay. Several of my gay and lesbian friends are parents, and I think all of them do a great job with their kids.

The utter nonsense that a parent's sexual orientation has a negative impact on a child's development is a lie. In fact, research shows just the opposite.

Recently I found the blog, Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, which exposes some of the deceptive practices by so-called "pro-family" research. The blog's author, A. McEwan, is working on a book that details his findings.

If you are a gay parent, or you are about to be a gay parent, I salute you. Seeing the examples of my friends, gay or straight, who take on the enormous task of raising a child makes me want to be a better person.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thank You, Ms. Karma!


Thanks to this incredibly thoughtful Christmas gift, my whole life is about to change.

1. I will never again have to call The Handsome Prince to ask him if I have to wash ground turkey before I cook it.

2. If The Handsome Prince Hotline can't be reached, I will never again attempt to rescue the chunks of meat I am now washing down the drain, only to pack them into tight hard patties before attempting to continue washing.

3. I won't have to call Juju/Willie/Apollo/The Math Whiz to ask if Tuna Steaks have to be cooked the same day I buy them.

4. From now on, I will know how long it takes to hard-boil an egg. My old method was to just wait until the shell exploded and egg started poking out.

5. I won't try to use thin-sliced deli meat when a recipe calls for a "cutlet" which, to my surprise, does not mean "little slice".

6. When bringing a dish to a party, I will be sure to prepare something edible. Now that I know sweetbreads are the thymus or pancreatic glands of a young animal, I won't try to make sweetbread cinnamon rolls for a formal brunch.

7. The renter's insurance policy I purchased recently in case I hurt (cooked for), maimed (cooked for) or killed (cooked for) someone in my home may not actually ever be used.

8. Chives, shallots and scallions will no longer be interchangeable in my recipes as, once again to my great surprise, they are not the same thing.

9. I won't have to try to figure out the metric system before cooking Canadian Bacon.

10. Cooking may become a joy for me. Or at least not such a daunting and herculean task.

Thanks for the gift, Ms. Karma, which you gave me after I confessed to you that I couldn't hard-boil eggs.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nice Blog Ya Got There

Hey, I just found another blogger in Portland, and I am really into her blog, so I thought I'd let you know about Lelo in Nopo.

It has been a while since I stumbled across a new blog and spent 10-15 minutes poking around. I usually just read a post or two and then surf away, but something about her writing and photos really drew me in.

Lelo invited me to this really cool party on a bus that goes underwater. God I love my weird hometown of Portland.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Keep Portland Weird, Not Stupid

I really like Portland weirdness. The fact that we have a doughnut shop where you can take free Swahili lessons makes me smile.

Once a year, over a thousand Portlanders and visitors flock to the Red Dress Party to raise money for charity.

The first time you see Extremo the Clown driving around in his art car is the Portland version of experiencing your first kiss.

Saturday night hundreds of Santas stormed CC Slaughters demanding Jingle Juice and midget porn. They got everything they wished for.

One or two naughty Santas almost ruined the night. The award for the dumbest Santa in the world goes to the moron who fired off a bottle rocket in the middle of the nightclub. He was promptly removed from the bar, but his legacy of stupidity lives on.

One Santa chick came up to me and said that her friends voted on the person in the bar most likely to buy her a drink. Of course they picked me. I'm like Jesus, only nicer. In this case, though, I told her I was not allowed to buy strangers drinks. She was shocked, but my story was true. I've been reprimanded by the bartenders at CC Slaughters for buying drinks for people I don't know, and I'm not allowed to do it anymore. I think the reason for this rule is two-fold. One, the bar doesn't want to encourage freeloaders. Two, they're watching out for me. I seem to have the word "gullible" printed on my forehead, and they know that I have a weakness for a good sob story. To clarify, I am allowed to buy you a drink if I like you or if you're cute or if you're my friend. Santa chick was not my friend, nor was she particularly cute. She also had bad breath, so if I had purchased a drink for her it would have been something minty. Something like peppermint schnapps or a mojito.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Heroes

Remember the season cliffhanger when Agent Sydney Bristow woke up on the streets of Tokyo and had lost two years of her life and we thought we'd die waiting for the fall season premiere? Last night's episode of Heroes was worse, because there were at least five huge cliffhangers, and we have to wait until January 22 to find out what happens. I shudder to think what the shows writers are going to do to us just before summer reruns!

If you haven't watched the show, I hope you'll find a way to catch up now and get ready for January. You can download it or watch it on iTunes, and the SciFi channel also reruns episodes. Seek it out. You'll be glad you did!

I'm on a heroic journey of my own lately. Last night for dinner I had a vegetable soup that I made myself. I think if I tackle the whole soup/stew genre first, I can work my way up to actually using my oven someday. I also lost a couple more pounds, so that makes a total of 17 pounds lost in the past few months. In January I'm going to go back to weight training in preparation for softball season, but my focus right now is serious cardio. I'm walking an average of 20 miles a week in addition to doing cardio at the gym, so I hope I'll fit into my superhero costume in time for the next new episode of Heroes.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I Heart My Zip Code

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you that AP is back to blogging and answering all your gynecological questions. Go visit her and say hi!

Juju thinks it is funny that I love my zip code. Is that weird? But I do. I love it. My zip code has a nice ring to it. I've never loved a zip code quite so much, but it is a wonderful feeling. Can you imagine going through life hating your zip code? What an uncomfortable and unsettling feeling that would be.

I mailed my rent check last week, and it arrived at the property manager's office in several ripped up shreds. I swear the check was in one piece when I mailed it. This is a postal error, and I am blameless.

I think I should get a free month at my apartment, but they actually want me to write out and mail another check. Does that seem fair?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Andy, Drag Queens, Broken Teeth, Time Zones, and Cooking

The holiday season is a perfect time for making new friends. Last week Andy was here visiting his family, and I adopted him as my new bar buddy. Andy, who lives in New York City, joined me for the Madonna concert viewing at CC's, and I also took him to Drag Queen Family Feud on Sunday night. It was great getting to know him, and I think you should check out The Last Debate so you can get to know him too.

I am trying to claw my way out of a backlog of e-mail. Yesterday I replied to an e-mail that I received in February of 2005. I'm not even kidding. And this was an e-mail from a friend I have known for 20 years. This is a friend who took me to his house for hot chocolate that day in college after I knocked out my front tooth on the sidewalk during a rousing game of Duck, Duck, Goose. This was the friend who did not make fun of the fact that I was the only person actually playing Duck, Duck, Goose while my friends stood in a circle chatting with each other.

I am unworthy of such friends.

Last night I intended on participating in a chat session at Lovetastic.com, but when I signed in, nobody was there. Maybe it is because the chat was scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and I logged on at 8:05 p.m. Pacific Time. Yeah, that might have been the problem.

I may be falling behind in my correspondence, and I may be trying to live my life in a different time zone, but I do have something going for me. I am trying to learn how to cook. Actually, no. That's not the right way to word it.

I am trying to learn how to follow a recipe. That's all. I just want to make a dish from a cookbook, and I want to meet the following criteria:

1. I actually use ingredients from the recipe and don't have to find a way to improvise in the middle of preparations.

2. I cook the food for the amount of time indicated in the recipe and do not end up with a burned or semi-raw dish.

3. The food turns out tasting great. Not just "okay". GREAT.

4. I don't need a drink to calm my nerves as I attempt to prepare the recipe.

I made tuna steaks on Sunday, but I had to make about three phone calls to friends for advice in order to complete the task. Furthermore, I had to go to the grocery store twice because I forgot to get some of the ingredients in the recipe.

Yesterday I made carrot soup. It was supposed to be creamy, but I encountered several carrot chunks as I was eating it. I also added way too much salt, so it was sort of like drinking a bowl of Pacific Ocean with floating carrots.

I'm not giving up. I will triumph! Yesterday I found a recipe for Tequila Turkey, and now that I know what a cutlet is, I think I'll try it out.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I'll Miss You Till I Meet You

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving day with Juju and Metro (and his family)...
Delicious bourbon whiskey, great friends, a warm fire, and sensible portions of delectable food.

I did notice that everyone who was there had a significant other with them. I try not to notice when that happens, but I did. Thanksgiving was the one-year anniversary of my being dumped. It still stings a little bit.

I am loving my life and enjoy being alone more than I ever had. Why, Juju even told me that she hear a lot of comments at her party a couple weeks ago that I seemed very happy and looked great. That is so nice to hear.

Every once in a while, I still hear a song that makes me realize I still want someone special in my life. Dar Williams is on my iPod right now, and I'm loving her album My Better Self.

I still crave a companion, but I know that I'll be okay alone. I am still waiting for this person to show up. I have no idea who he is.

But whoever he is, I sure miss him.

I'll Miss You Till I Meet You
Words & Music by Dar Williams

I tried again. I went last night.
Another date was just night right.
And as I drove myself back home,
A little voice said just be alone,
But sometimes I think I see you in a crowd,
It's not picture perfect. You're just meant for me somehow...

And I'll miss you till I meet you,
Oh, I'll miss you till I meet you,
I miss you all the time.

I love the world just as it is.
And I won't lose my faith in it.
But there are days I think of you
Saying, "Hey, that's beautiful,
Yeah, I see it too."
It all goes by so fast, like waving hands
You want to capture things,
find someone who understands...

And I'll miss you till I meet you,
I'll miss you till I meet you,
I miss you all the time.

Can you keep me awake?
I thought you could help,
Just to feel my way,
Find my better self.

I'll miss you, I'll miss you, I miss you all the time.

The morning's gone, all dreamed away,
But that's all right, it's Saturday,
When people think that they might see
The next chapter, their destiny.
And when Monday morning comes around,
I'll get the work done, but I'll listen for the sound.

And I'll miss you till I meet you,
I'll miss you till I meet you,
I miss you all the time.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Podcast Cook-Off

This year for Thanksgiving, I decided to aim high. I decided to actually cook something.

The Todd & Pony Show Thanksgiving Special will feature a dinner party with Pony, Juju and me. Each of us cooked something delightful to share with each other.

As you know, I am not known for my skill in the kitchen, but I chose to create the following world-class cuisine...

Ladies, and Gentlemen, allow me to present Hot Toddy's Ham & Swiss Turkey Rolls:



Is this not a mouth-watering dish?

Notice the golden bread crumbs...

the creamy melted cheese...

the luscious turkey...

Here are the results of my culinary expertise.



I know, I know. Let me explain. The recipe called for turkey cutlets. I wandered the unfamiliar territory of this thing called a "grocery store" looking for the cutlet section. I did not want to ask for help, because I figured my question about cutlets would be mocked and ridiculed by the all-knowing meat counter people. So I had to rely on my own instincts, as well as a mastery of the English language.

I figured that "cutlet" must mean "a small slice", so I bought deli meat.

I realize that this is where I went wrong. I now understand that I should have prepared the recipe using uncooked turkey. Again, it is not my fault that the grocery store did not put out a sign indicating where to find the CUTLET section.

When I got home, I realized that I didn't have a pastry brush to coat the roll-ups with a light mayonnaise, which would aid in adhering bread crumbs to the meat. So I used the back of a fork, since that utensil most resembled a brush. Unfortunately, the toothpicks got in the way of the bread crumb coating process. You can't roll meat when there are sticks impeding your way (get your mind out of the gutter).

When I added the white wine, broth and butter combination (is that a roux?), to the skillet, I pretty much washed off the bread crumbs. Said bread crumbs then proceeded to form a layer of sludge in the bottom of the skillet.

At that point, I opened a bottle of vodka and started drinking. It was 1:00 p.m.

Here is another shot of my tantalizing turkey roll-up next to a photo of the prepared dish as featured in the cookbook.



They say that everyone has something to be thankful for at Thanksgiving time. If you are struggling to think of something for which you are grateful, let me help you out.

Be thankful you did not have to eat my cooking.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Lovetastic Hot Toddy Promotion

Today, I feel like Oprah. You'll find out more about this in a moment.

A couple years ago I found myself in bed with a stranger. It was about 2:00 in the morning, and I was messing around with this person I had met online. Suddenly, his mother started pounding on his bedroom door and told him to get off the phone.

"I'm not on the phone, Mom! I have company," he shouted.

"Oh my god, she's not going to come in here is she?" I asked.

Thankfully, the man's aged mother did not come into the room. As I drove home that night I shook my head and recounted the sordid details of my hook-up. Here was a man who was 10 years older and 50 pounds heavier than his picture on his profile indicated. To make matters worse, he lived with his mother. But the worst thing of all is that I agreed to go to bed with him anyway. After all, I had driven all that way for sex, and at the time I thought bad sex was better than no sex. I felt disgusted with myself. And that was the last time I ever met someone online for a hook-up.

Every once in a while I check out online dating services. I get so frustrated when I fill out profiles that require descriptions of my preferred sexual positions, habits, preferences and fetishes. Then I have to check a box that defines my body type. Did you know there are only 5 body types in the world? Yes, it's true:

Lean
Average
Muscular
A Few Extra Pounds
Husky

That's it. Those are your options. To clarify, you must then define whether you are hairy/smooth, pierced/unpierced and whether or not you have tattoos. Once you have filled in all that information, along with the size of your penis, you can begin choosing someone to hook up with.

I have friends who met their partners that way, so I am not condemning online dating. Far from it. I'm just saying that I have not personally had success with this method of meeting guys. I quit chatting on Gay.com because I practically had to create a macro that would reply, "No, thanks. Not looking to hook up for sex tonight."

Well, I have some lovetastic news. Ryan Norbauer and David Kooy have founded an online dating community for marriage-minded gay men. You can read more about it in this Washington Blade article.

After exchanging a couple e-mails with Ryan Norbauer, I decided to check out Lovetastic, and I was really impressed with what I saw. First of all, there were no check boxes attempting to pigeon-hole my haircut, sexual positions, or body. Each profile also comes with a randomly generated interview, so no two people answer the exact same questions. I loved this feature, and I had a lot of fun coming up with my responses.

Here's the best part, and this is why I feel like Oprah today. Remember when she went nuts and gave out all those cars to her studio audience? "You get a car! You get a car! You get a car!"

Well, I have a gift for my marriage-minded gay male readers out there. Ryan was nice enough to provide a special offer only for listeners of the Todd & Pony Show or readers of Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven. (You don't need the link. You're there.)

Here is the code to enter when you sign up at Lovetastic.com: todd37

"You get a promotional code! You get a promotional code! You get a promotional code!"

That's all there is to it. Enter "todd37" as the promotional code when you sign up, and you will get a free month subscription to the site. Anyone can create a profile, but if you want to take advantage of the other features, you'll need a subscription. After you try out the site, you can decide if you want to keep your account active or not.

That's lovetastic news, isn't it? Make sure to send me a message if you sign up on Lovetastic.com! I look forward to "meeting" you there.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Crazy Friday Night

How long have you been reading Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven? If you have been reading for more than a couple years, you remember that I used to provide lots of crazy entertaining accounts of my shenanigans at the bar on the weekend, and lots of stories about random hook-ups with weirdo boys too.

Well, times have changed. Here it is, Friday night, and my plan tonight is to drink three or four vodka and club sodas and watch Barbara Walters' special at 10 pm. I'm listening to The Satellite Sisters right now, and I lit a bunch of candles. I cranked up the heat on my old-fashioned radiators (love it!) and am snuggled in for the night. It is 9:36 p.m., and I'll either be in bed in a couple hours or, at the very least, snuggled up on my couch (thanks, Pony, for the couch) and watching a movie till I fall asleep.

Maybe someday I will be "wild" again. Maybe not. My life doesn't necessarily make for good blog reading anymore, but you know what? I sure am happy.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What I'm Into

My aunt used to ask me all the time when I was a kid, "So, what are you into?"

At first I didn't understand the question. Honestly, I'd never heard the expression before she asked me what I was "into". This was the 70's, and, at the time, I guess it was sort of a new way of saying, "what are your hobbies?"

Here is what I'm into right now:

Podcasts
Satellite Sisters - I have always been fascinated with siblings who come from large families. Just ask Juju. I was so interested in her large family that I even committed to memory the birth order and full names of her four siblings (including middle names) even before I met them. The reason I love listening to The Satellite Sisters is that they are five very different sisters who live in different cities, and I enjoy hearing their views on everything from politics to movies to television shows. I am not sure why I'm obsessed with large families, but maybe that is one reason I've always loved the Osmonds.

Taverncast - This is one of my favorite World of Warcraft podcasts. These guys (and one gal) have a great sense of humor. They talk about the game, but I never feel like they are geeking out too much. They are my kind of people.

Kidd Kraddick in the Morning - When I lived in Dallas, Texas I listened to this morning show on Kiss FM all the time. Kidd and Kellie have been co-hosts for about 12 years. Their chemistry is the reason I've listened to the show for so many years. I missed my morning fix of Kidd Kraddick so much when I moved to Portland, but now I'm able to listen all the time, thanks to iTunes.

WoWcast - Another favorite World of Warcraft podcast, this one is hosted by the wise Alachia. Her take on the game is more psychological than one might expect. I find her thoughts on the metaverse to be fascinating. Alachia sounds like someone I'd enjoy being friends with, and she has such a unique perspective on the game now played by over 7 million people.

The Magic Geek - It's like a little slice of home. This Kansan crew reminds me of my midwestern roots, and I find out all the latest news about movies, music, games and technologies from them. They are on top of things. Pony listens to The Magic Geek too, and he really enjoys them. They plug our show, and we plug theirs. It's a love-love relationship.

Todd and Pony Show - Every once in a while I will listen to our podcast and feel less than enthusiastic, but those times are rare. Usually it's just because I get sick of hearing my own voice. But I would say 99% of the time, I am very into the show. Our latest podcast is all about Portland, and I am proud of the way the show turned out.

Television
Heroes - It's so good. It's about ordinary people who discover they have superpowers. And the powers they possess are really interesting. Who can resist an indestructible cheerleader or a heroin addict who paints the future? I can't wait until next Monday. It's X-Men meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Third Watch meets Alias meets 24.

Jericho - Really loving this show too. The episode this week made me cry a little bit. Not the way Little House on the Prairie used to make me cry (did you see when Laura and Mary saved the drowning puppies!?), but I did get a bit weepy. It's a very interesting show that depicts life in a small town in Kansas after a nuclear attack.

Big Love - I initially wanted to watch this show because I thought polygamy seemed like a weird lifestyle, and I wanted to gawk. Somehow, I fell in love with this unconventional family, and now I get angry with the outsider characters on the show who think polygamy is weird and who just want to gawk.

Miscellaneous
Crater Lake Hazelnut Espresso Vodka - Ho, boy. Heaven. Seriously. I tried it last night at CC Slaughters, and I am going to have to stock a couple of bottles in my bar from now on.

Girlyman - I went to their concert last weekend, and The Handsome Prince laughed at me because I kept shouting their names. "All right DORIS!! Yeah, TY!! Woo Hoo NATE!!" I simply can't wait for their next album, which is they are working on right now.

For Your Consideration Anticipation - Since the movie isn't out yet, I can't say that I'm into it. But I am into the anticipation, and I can't imagine NOT loving this movie. I'm a devotee of Christopher Guest's work, and the cast is outstanding. I hate going to the movie theater, but I'll have to make an exception for this one.

With all this stuff I'm into, how do I still find the time to play World of Warcraft?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Man Diet

In the past two weeks, I lost 3 more pounds. That means I've lost about 15 pounds since September, and I'm halfway to my goal weight. I have been walking 4 miles a day, which has a lot to do with it, but I have also changed the way I eat. I broke down and joined one of those groups where you talk about how your week went and you applaud whenever someone drops a couple pounds. I'm not really into the meeting mentality, and I squirm in my chair when the weekly gatherings start feeling a bit too cultish, but I have learned quite a bit on how much food I need to eat in order to consistently lose weight. I am finally figuring out what constitutes a proper portion size.

I attended a party this weekend, and some of my friends were joking about the cowboy shirt I wore. Around the shirt's chest area, there is a strip of barbed wire. I made a joke about having barbed wire around my heart, but it was really only half a joke. Like food, I'm learning to cut some things out of my life. Right now I just don't need a romance to throw me off track. 'Cause I'll be the first to admit that all it takes to totally derail my train is a man to distract me.

At the end of the night my friends tried to introduce me to a guy they thought I would like, but I protested and rushed out to my truck. The way I fled from the party, you would have thought there was a fire in the house. Then today at my cult weight loss meeting, the cute guy I always swoon over actually spoke to me. Juju encouraged me to go over and chat with him, but I didn't. "Toddy, he is over there by the cookbooks. Go back in there. Now!!"

She is only trying to help me remove the barbed wire, I know. But I'm not in that place right now.

If a guy really wants to get to know me, he will just have to jump over the barbed wire fence before I can even consider the idea of going out on a date right now. I'm not going to chase after anything or anyone that might distract me. I'm very busy being selfish right now. It has been a long time coming.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Too Much Testosterone

I'm back from Orlando, where I attended a conference, drank margaritas by the pool, walked a mile or two every day, and changed tires on a NASCAR. Truly, I did. I was trained by a pit crew to change tires on a race car.

That was a lot of fun. Made me want to dominate someone in sordid acts of carnal pleasure.

You know, between driving a truck and playing softball and working on a pit crew, I'm just about to overflow with testosterone. Good thing I'm going to see Girlyman tonight. They'll help keep me in touch with my softer side. And I will have a chance to spend some time with The Handsome Prince, who really just gets more and more handsome every time I see him.

Monday, November 06, 2006

December 2009

Okay. Whew. Sigh. I've cleared my head after a vigorous walk, and I'm ready to write.

I just finished a very intense workshop and left feeling overwhelmed with emotion. See, I'm at a Buddhist monastery in Tibet right now (not really, but sounds cool) and I just spent some time meditating (that part is true).

So, basically, our facilitator (I don't know what you are supposed to call them - Dalai Something?) led a group of us through an exercise in quieting our minds, becoming aware of the moment and practicing some self-talk and visualization. In order to quiet my mind, Dalai Meditation Man (Dalai M&M) recommended that I focus on a place where I have felt truly at peace. So, for the first ten minutes when I was supposed to be clearing my mind, I mentally rehashed all my favorite vacations. I spent some time thinking about how CT and I fought constantly when we were in Paris, the most romantic place on earth. Right. Anyway, my "monkey mind" was hopping all over the place, and I think it even threw some poop around, but I finally got it to shut up.

Once I reigned in my monkey, things went better. (That applies to my dating life as well. Think about it.) As I listened to Dalai M&M's questions, I felt a lump growing in my throat. My eyes grew wet and I bit my lip.

"It is December 2009. You are living your life three years from now. What does your life look like? Where do you live, and what is your home like? What work are you doing? Are you with a new company? Are you in a cubicle? Do you work at your home? Who is living with you? Who greets you at the end of a day? A significant other? A pet? Are you alone?

What are your hobbies? What do you wish you had spent more time doing for the past three years?" And with that question, the lights slowly came up and Dalai M&M finished guiding us through our meditation time.

The thing is, I could see it all so clearly. My whole life. My dream life. My house, my partner (he's awesome) and my dog. It was both exhilarating and sobering. I know that I am on the right path to have all that I've ever dreamed of, but I also know that I've been lazy in taking some of the steps necessary to become the person I want to be in December 2009.

I'm also impatient. There are many pieces of my dream life that are "yet to come". I do feel that I've been taking the steps to achieve my dream life, but I have a long way to go. Well, at least I have until December 2009, right?

One very clear goal emerged from this time of meditation. In order to make room for some new things in my life, I have some serious clearing out to do. That means a trip or two to Goodwill. How can new pleasures and treasures enter my life if I'm already bogged down and cluttered with the past? I have clothes that are rapidly becoming too baggy on me. They need to be tossed, since the body fat I'm losing is NOT coming back. I have stacks of magazines I always planned on reading someday. Face it, Toddy, you're not ever going to read the April 2003 issue of Travel & Leisure.

I can do this. I know I can. I'll spend some time planning, and I think as a result of this workshop I'll spend a lot more time meditating and visualizing. Now if I can just get my monkey mind off the tire swing!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Soup and Canasta

Every now and then people ask me about The Handsome Prince. Is he still around? How's he doing? Are we still friends? Yes, great, and of course. There are a couple of things I can count on in this world. Cher will always do another farewell tour, and The Handsome Prince and I will always be friends.

This weekend I really wanted to relax and lay low. Friday night I was in bed with a good book by 9:30 p.m., and I woke up on Saturday at 5:30 in the morning. I did my laundry, went to the grocery store, and even made some turkey chili. That afternoon, The Handsome Prince called and said he was all alone that night. He invited me over to taste his squash soup and play canasta. I told him I'd also bring some turkey chili over. "Great! We'll have a soup buffet!"

We can tell each other anything. We laugh so much when we're together. Our friendship is sustaining and powerful. His squash soup kicks ass. He even lied and said that my turkey chili tasted good. Then we had one of the most competitive canasta games I've ever played. He won, but barely.

I miss living with him and The Math Whiz sometimes, but I really love living alone now. My apartment is a sanctuary, and at the end of every day I always look forward to going home. On Sunday night Auburn Pisces came over to watch Wanda Sykes' stand-up special with me. She really liked my apartment too, and she now understands why I fell in love with the place. Afterwards we went to CC Slaughters and had a great time watching the Sunday night "Carnivale de Bolivia" drag show.

I had such a great weekend, and I just wanted to tell you about it.

Friday, October 27, 2006

No More Cockadoodie Hiatus

Okay, I hear you. I'm sorry. I know you're my biggest fan, and I realize you have a sledgehammer, so I'll get to writing.

Hiatus was nice. I liked going about my business for a week and not having to think about a way to "make it interesting". And, yes, quiconque, you were right. I did take some time off, in part, so I could spend more time on the podcast. The Todd & Pony Show has been so much fun.

I really love the collaboration with Pony and Juju. They are great to work with. The Halloween Show is going up today, and I can't wait to listen to it. Funny - I almost never go back and read my previous blog posts, but I usually listen to my own podcast at least twice.

You know what would be cool? It would be cool if I had even a teeny tiny bit of web design skill so that I could update Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven. Like, it would be cool if I could have a link to From Boys to Men, the anthology in which I'm published.

I could ask Pony to update my site, but he's so busy with - oh, right. The podcast. I'm supposed to be talking about the podcast.

Anyway, I'm sorry for being gone for a week and for leaving such an oogie mess.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fun Things

Last night we had so much fun recording our Halloween podcast. It will be up on October 27. Juju and Pony and I laughed till we hurt. Man, I am loving the podcast. I have to admit that I'm spending lots more time podcasting than I am blogging, but I just enjoy it so much. Blogging can be very solitary, whereas podcasting with Pony and Juju has been much more engaging. I enjoy the collaboration so much.

Have you listened to a Todd & Pony Show yet? You can listen without an iPod or MP3 player by just going to the website. Our last show was a drunkcast, and we almost didn't put it up for our listeners. But Juju convinced us that it was fun to listen to, so that should go up tonight or tomorrow.

Oh, and if you have a podcast of your own, please let me know either by leaving a comment or sending an e-mail. I love downloading podcasts to my phone, which has iTunes on it. Then I listen to the podcasts while I'm at work.

Today was pretty fun too - I went to Macy's and bought a pair of jeans with a gift card. They're a size smaller than I was wearing before, but they are still one size bigger than I want to be. Since I'm walking to and from work every day, it shouldn't be too much longer till I can buy yet another pair of new jeans.

I also bought a new pair of boxer briefs. They're sexy. The boy who rang up my purchase wrote his name on my receipt so that I could comment on his customer service if I wanted. But I think he really did it because he wanted to see me in the boxer briefs, don't you?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Blographaphobia

I made that word up. Graphophobia is the fear of writing, so I've decided "Blographaphobia" is the fear of updating one's blog.

I'm preparing for tonight's recording session by researching various phobias. I guess there are several fears I have that could be classified as rather mild phobias. But right now I'm mostly feeling Blographaphobia.

This irrational fear comes from a concern that anything I write will fall into one of the following categories:

1. It will be irrelevant and boring.
2. It will be inflammatory. (The debate about Muslim veils. ARGH!)
3. It will get me fired.
4. It will make someone feel left out.
5. It will cause God to smite me and/or cause an earthquake that will occur right as I am walking home over the Burnside Bridge, and I'll fall into the river and die.

Did you know that Ithyphallophobia is the fear of erect penises? I can't imagine. On the contrary, I am quite the Ithyphallophile.

(Maybe I'll wear water wings and a helmet as I walk home tonight)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Random Acts of Craziness

20% of my keyword search hits today came from people googling "Random Acts of Craziness".

In celebration of that fact, I ran around the office and gathered up all the trash cans from everyone's desks. Then I put the trash cans on the elevator and sent it to the lobby level.

Today I decided that I need to get my hands on a human tooth that I can keep at my desk. Then if I feel like I want to go home from work early, I will just run over to my boss and show him the tooth.

"My tooth fell out! It just fell right out of my mouth! I have to get to a dentist!"

The detached tooth excuse will probably work as long as I don't overuse it. Maybe only once every couple months. And I will definitely have to use a back tooth, unless I want to blacken my front tooth, which I will probably do at Halloween anyway since I am planning on being Princess Diana (if she were still alive and if she were missing a front tooth).

There is a lady that works here who has the last name of "Friend", and I would imagine it puts a lot of pressure on her to be nice to people.

If I ever change my name, I would like to hyphenate it. Hello, my name is Todd Raging-Bitch.

Did everyone come out of the closet yesterday? I hope so, because I did not get one single e-mail asking for advice. If you still would like to come out of the closet and would like my advice, you will need to wait until next year for National Coming Out day. Until then, please remain firmly wedged inside your closet of shame. Or you can check and see if National Coming Out Day falls on another date in some other country. I think it happens sometime in December in Namibia.

I know that sometimes my blog seems like I'm getting all serious, but I assure you these sorts of thoughts are always present in my brain, and it is probably going to get worse as I continue aging. Brace yourself.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

National Coming Out Day



Today is National Coming Out Day. The Human Rights Campaign has published A Resource Guide for Coming Out on their site. Check it out!


A couple years ago, I wrote a post for Jase because he told me he was ready to come out to his friends and family, and he wanted my advice. You can find that post here.


I still find myself coming out to people all the time. I don't know that we ever really complete the process. I can tell you this -- It is a beautiful thing to be authentic. It is wonderful not to hide. There is nothing like taking back your power. Nobody has the power to make me ashamed any longer.

Do you want to come out, but you're afraid? Have you experienced coming out? Do you have a friend or family member who came out to you?

If you would like to share your story with me, please send an e-mail or leave a comment. I will respect your privacy and am also allowing anonymous comments for this post. If you'd like others to hear your story, let me know and I will do my best to share as many stories as I can either on the Todd & Pony Show or here at Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Why Hot Toddy Failed Algebra in High School

I am a smart guy. I graduated magna cum laude, and I have never had a GPA lower than 3.7 in college or high school. I was also on the Dean's List in college every single quarter. (We were not on the semester system.)

However, I don't have a head for numbers. So yesterday I wasn't trying to be funny when I said being 40 was like 3 twenty-year-olds put together. Sad, but true.

In high school I failed Algebra II. Right after my math teacher told me I was failing her class, I was summoned to the principal's office and given an award for academic achievement. Weird, huh? I guess my other grades were so good that I could afford to be a failure at something.

There are lots of things I'm pretty stupid about, in spite of my intelligence. Wanna hear about some more things I know nothing about? Check out the latest Todd and Pony Show. We call it, "The Know Show".

You don't have to have an iPod to listen - you can listen to the podcast from our website. If you would like to leave us a review on iTunes or would like to call the comment line, that information is also posted on the site.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Older

I'm 40 now. That is like three 20-year-olds put together. As I reflect on that fact, it occurs to me that I would like to put three 20-year-olds together and have a four-way with them. The trick is finding three 20-year-olds who want to be with a 40-year-old man.

Pony and I shared our birthday party this year, and we rented an amazing house on the Oregon Coast. But, because of occupancy limits and vehicle limits, we could each only invite 5 people. That was hard. Now I worry that my friends who weren't invited will feel like they didn't make "The Top 5" list. Isn't that stupid of me? We'll see how it goes.

Thinking strategically, I chose 5 people who I knew would cater to my needs.

I chose one friend who can cook (The Handsome Prince), one friend who makes great margaritas (Auburn Pisces), one friend who sleeps with me sometimes (Willie), one friend who makes me laugh (The Math Whiz), and one friend who is my personal sex therapist and counselor (Juju). It was like being on Survivor and having a chance to be team captain in choosing my own tribe.

Juju couldn't make it due to illness. I was really disappointed, but it was beyond anyone's control. She asked me today how we can celebrate my birthday here in town, and I don't know how (or if) I really want to do that. In a way, I'd like to let this whole turning 40 thing blow over. Let's just pretend the birthday never happened.

Before I left for the coast, my mom sent me an e-mail warning, "Please be careful of sharks." God, I love my mom.

I shared laughs with my friends, we drank heartily, played canasta, ate birthday cake, swam in the indoor wave pool, sat around the fire pit, listened to the waves and ate fabulous food.

In all honesty, the highlight of my birthday this year was walking through the door of my apartment on Sunday evening and soaking up the silence. I let out a deep sigh and lit some scented candles. Then I made myself something to eat, put my feet up, engaged in some sexual self-gratification, watched a little television and played World of Warcraft. At the end of the evening, I knew that I can take better care of myself than anyone else can, and I said out loud, "Happy Birthday, Todd".

I crawled into my comfy bed by myself, turned on a fan for "white noise", and I quickly fell asleep very happy to be with the one person who loves me more than anybody.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wash World

I love the smell of fresh bread baking in the factory near my apartment. I love hearing the riverboats tooting their horns on the Willamette in the morning. I love the sound of the train as it passes by late at night. But one part of my new living situation that I do not appreciate is the fact that I must now make regular visits to the laundromat.

I chose Wash World because of its proximity to Wild Oats and Starbucks. I am still searching for an "upscale" laundromat but haven't found one yet. I guess, theoretically, if you are upscale like me you should really have your own washer and dryer. One nice thing about Wash World is that snacks are available, so I don't even need to leave the laundromat if I get hungry.



The dryers at Wash World are incredibly hot.



However, none of the people at Wash World are incredibly hot. That is why I bring magazines with me - so I have something to look at. It is very important to commandeer a laundry cart right away. It makes clothes sorting/folding so much easier. This is my laundromat survival kit.




Fortunately, I did not have any problems with "jambing" when I used the change machine. I believe "jamb" is short for jambalaya in this context.



Thank you for coming to Wash World. Hurry back!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ready For My Close-Up

I just found out what happened in Pompeii in 79 AD. Yeah, I don't read the newspapers much.

Last week a vendor took us to lunch and we talked about Pompeii and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. What else would you talk about at a business lunch? Anyway, that's when I found out that plaster casts of the victims were part of the Pompeii tourist experience. After Pompeii's ruins were discovered, void spaces in the ash were found. These spaces, once filled with human remains, were then filled with plaster duplicates of the victims.

Perhaps that is why last night I had a dream that a volcano exploded in Portland. The Portland volcano was inside a shopping mall, where I had been hanging out with either Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen. (I didn't know which one and it seemed rude to ask, but it wasn't the anarchic one.) After Mary-Kate or Ashley left to go to The Gap (wouldn't go with her - hate The Gap), the volcano started to explode inside the mall and people fled screaming in terror. Not me.

In my dream, I wandered around the mall trying to figure out where I wanted to be and what pose I wanted to take in case I was forever preserved in ash. I finally decided that I wanted to be next to this little fountain and wanted to be drinking a cup of coffee, so I sat there drinking coffee as I waited to die.

An attention whore, even at deaths door.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Hot Wash

It has definitely been too long since I had any action. I went to get my haircut today and found myself becoming aroused while getting my hair washed. I went to a new hair stylist or hair designer or hair cutter (whatever they wanna be called these days), and he is simply beautiful. As he moved around me and soaped up my hair, I fought to keep from opening my mouth wide.

The other day someone wrote me an e-mail with just a hint of sexual innuendo, and I couldn't stand up at my desk for about 5 minutes. And now, as I remember that e-mail, I find myself feeling completely turned on again.

The first thing I want to do when I wake up in the morning is have sex. But there is nobody there to have sex with. It's frustrating. But don't worry, I've figured out a system.

Anyway, for the past year I have felt certain that I will never go back to one-night stands or casual hook-ups. At the same time I feel like I can't wait too much longer. Lately all it takes is for someone to touch my neck or breath in my ear, and I'm ready to jump them. I guess I should just be happy to have someone touching my neck or breathing in my ear (just don't put your tongue in there - and you know who you are!), but I think I'd like to at least make it to first base with someone. Right now I feel like I'm not even in the ballpark. I'm off buying cotton candy at the concession stand or something.

So, there you have it. Just because I haven't talked about it lately doesn't mean I don't want it. The truth is I want it bad. (Not badly - bad, as in dirty)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Back from the Mountain

Well, after two long plane trips, two ten-hour road trips, and two gondola rides, I'm back home. See, I was at a dear friend's wedding in Minnesota. She was married on a mountain summit overlooking Lake Superior, and the event was beautiful.

But what was really wonderful about the weekend was the chance to be with my college friends again. To laugh continuously for four days in a row is a beautiful experience.

My friends from college are some of the most creative and quick-witted people I know. We spent at least 25 minutes analyzing this sign and its accompanying wall mural portraying the Wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald (outside a liquor store in Grand Marais, Minnesota).



Toddy: How did all 29 men lose Captain McSorley? You'd think someone could find him.

Curfew: Especially since he was 729 feet long.

I could write out a detailed transcript of the lengthy discourse we shared, but it would be impossible to convey the humor. Truly, you had to be there.

Inane conversations like that one are the norm for us. There is something not quite right about the way our brains operate, and the condition seems to become even more pronounced when we're reunited.

We went to a small college in Kentucky located in Wilmore, a town of about 5000 people. There was nothing to do there, so we created our own fun. "Wear Your Hair a Different Way to Dinner Night", for example. Buttercup stuck wire hangers in her braids a la Pippi Longstocking, and then she dangled bunches of green grapes on both braids. We formed a volleyball team, The Mad Sheep, for the sole purpose of making a mockery of intramural sports. (Our cheer before every game was, "Sheep! Sheep! Sheep! No Wool! BAAA!)

I printed my team number (my social security number) on the back of my jersey. Curfew's number was her telephone number. John's number was .08, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration in Kentucky. Blue's number was 3.14159...

The Mad Sheep ended up taking second place in the volleyball tournament.

We'd have spontaneous picnics in the cemetery. We gave each other topics on which to speak extemporaneously about for 5 minutes, and the rest of the group would pretend to be vehemently passionate about the subject. As the designated orator stood on a concrete pedestal proclaiming the greatness of paper clips, the rest of us would wildly cheer and applaud in agreement.

Wonder Twin and I would lay out in the sun right after lunch every day. Since we only had 10 minutes, we would spread out on our backs fully dressed on the sidewalk in front of the Psychology building from 12:50 to 1:00. People stepped over us on the way to class and shook their heads.

Now, almost 20 years later, we live all over the country and only gather together once every 5 or 10 years. We gather for weddings or special events whenever possible. There is always someone who can't make it, so the truth is we'll probably never all be together again. But even two Mad Sheep in the same room makes for hilarity. And such love. These friends love me so much, and I them.

On the plane back to Portland, I listened to my iPod and heard the song "Kind Friend" by Indigo Girls. "Hey, kind friend, I don't know when I'll see you again." The lyrics hit me hard in a way they've never done before. "Kind friend, help me forget where I've been. Kind friend, help me remember who I am."

I turned my face to the window and tried to look out at the clouds, but all I could see was a blur of tears against the bright sky.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hot Toddy is Very Literary




God, it's hard to keep a secret. But I've managed to keep this one.

I've just been informed that From Boys to Men has been published. Why should that matter to me? Only because I'm one of the contributors to this anthology. My mother would be so proud of me for being published if it weren't for the fact that I wrote about masturbation and gay wrestling.

Oh, well. Maybe my next book will be more along the lines of Chicken Soup for the Hole. I mean Soul.

Click the link above to buy an actual copy of an actual book that I'm actually published in.

Hmm. Suddenly I feel guilty for ending a sentence in a preposition - as if I should know better now that I'm a published author. That's something I'm very proud of.

Er, something of which I'm very proud.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Booty Call

This morning at about 3 a.m. I was awakened by screaming and pounding outside my kitchen window. As I stumbled across my dark apartment to investigate, I heard my next door neighbor shouting out his window to whoever was causing the ruckus. He used some fucking profane language, which I won't repeat on this blog 'cause I'm not down with that shit.

When I got to my window, I opened it wide and looked down at the parking lot below. A young man was in the process of beating up a No Parking sign. He punched the sign over and over with his bare fist and then stopped suddenly when he saw me.

"I see you up there in your window, bitch. You wanna come down here and do something about it?" he asked.

Of course I thought about going down there. I mean, he was clearly hitting on me. But I wasn't sure if this guy was the type of person I'd enjoy hooking up with. On the one hand, he seemed very masculine. The way he punched the sign over and over with his bare hand was pretty seductive. On the other hand, calling me a bitch is not as affirming as, say, telling me I am very flexible.

I was pretty tired from moving, so I decided to just scare away my potential late night booty call by pretending to call the police. I didn't feel like walking all the way across my apartment in the dark just to retrieve my cell phone, so I picked up the nearest object, an outlet adapter like this one, and pretended to dial it. As soon as I held the outlet adapter up to my ear, the foolish boy cussed me out some more and took off.

I never even got a chance to give him my number.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Pack Rat

I hate moving. I hate it a lot. I hate moving more than I hate answering my office phone only to hear that annoying shrill fax sound that indicates some moron is trying to send a fax to my phone.

But I am almost done.

Thanks to The Handsome Prince, Toddtender, Juju, Metro and Pony, my cozy one-bedroom apartment is full of my stuff. And by full, I mean overloaded. The floor of my apartment is sagging.

Why do I have a framed Donny & Marie album (New Season), and where am I going to put my poster of Laverne & Shirley with The Fonz?

Do I need an entire shelf of Japanese snack foods and other unidentifiable products? I mean, sure the packaging is super cool, but maybe I should put something else on that pantry shelf. Like, food that I'll actually eat, maybe.

I'll have to install some shelving to display the fun gifts my friends have given me over the years. I have the little reminder to always "Be Relevant", which Guru Stu sent me. Metro's mother gave me a Ken Doll of "The Handsome Prince". She repackaged him as "Hot Toddy's Handsome Prince" and covered up Barbie's face with a picture of me. It's so creative and makes me feel loved. But will any man want to spend the night with me if he sees that I have a Ken Doll? Not to mention my "Little House on the Prairie" video collection. Which I just mentioned.

Metro, not to be outdone by his mother, gave me a Payne (Final Fantasy X-2) action figure. My friend Lizzie gave me a Jesus action figure. I can't just keep this stuff in a box under my bed! But where will I put it all?

Maybe I can get rid of a couple boxes of props from shows I've helped produce. My sketch comedy group, The Exotic Actors Guild, required lots of strange props (laser guns, wigs, an American flag, and a "Kiss My Ass" lunchbox), and I haven't been able to part with any of them. Who knows when I might want to wear my "Swiss-Land" tank top again?

I have a box of games for the iMac that CT and I bought. (I pointed at it, and he paid for it - so "we" bought it.) Even the local software store that buys used computer games won't purchase them since most gamers prefer PC games.

The good news is that if I actually decide to throw anything away, there is a dumpster three stories below my window. I already practiced throwing a full garbage bag out my kitchen window, and it turns out my aim is pretty good. It landed smack dab in the middle of the dumpster. True, the people living in the two apartments below mine may have been a bit startled as a bag of trash flew past their kitchen windows, but that is the price they have to pay for getting to live in a building with Hot Toddy.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Kassia and Sodom Show with Aldo Norn

The new podcast is up, and it's a crazy one.

Todd and Pony Show

And in other random news, there is a Bocce Ball tournament taking place at the building where I work. Portland is so weird.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Wriggly Fish



I don't know if you could call him "The one that got away..."

Willie was more like "The one impossible to get a grip on..."

But he was so much fun to be with. He moved at the beginning of this year, and last week I got to see him for the first time in months.

I had just returned from the softball tournament the night before, and I had about 20 minutes to spare before I left for a business trip to Seattle. He called me on my cell and asked if I could meet him somewhere - anywhere - just to say hello.

I was in such a hurry, and I told him all about my crazy schedule for the morning. Had to drop off my rent check and take a couple things to my new apartment and go pick up Juju. He asked again if we could meet. Even for a couple minutes.

There's something about him that draws me to him and makes me want to be in his presence. Willie was very popular with my friends during the time we were - doing whatever it was we were doing. They all liked him a lot and said he was so much fun. But sometimes he frustrated me so much, and there have been more than a few times that I've pissed him off so much he couldn't talk to me.

We even argued a little bit on the phone before I went to pick him up last week. He asked me if I liked this one guy, and I said I was waiting to see what would happen rather than forcing anything. Then he said he felt like punching me in the face when I said "stuff like that", but he couldn't figure out quite why. Then I got frustrated because he wanted me to meet him at the light rail station even though I told him how busy I was and why couldn't he just come to my apartment instead of making me even more late....

Then we just stopped fighting, and I told him I'd meet him halfway. And that's what we did.

I saw him a couple blocks up the street. I pulled up in my truck and he hopped in. We hugged and held hands for a couple minutes. I loved feeling his warm body again, and he made me laugh right away with some goofy comment. I don't even remember what it was. Sometimes he talks so fast I feel like my head is swimming.

I took him to see my new apartment, which took about five minutes. Then we went to get a quick cup of coffee, and he took pictures of me as I paid for our drinks. (I told the barista that Willie was my publicist.)

He makes me laugh. He frustrates the hell out of me. He drives me nuts. He acts crazy. I like him. He's unpredictable and fun. He's sweet and beautiful. He has great shoulders and sexy tattoos.

As he told me before we said goodbye last week, "We do so much better this way..."

Living far apart has been good for us. I feel like I appreciate him more, and I think he feels the same way. I have never known a more complicated person than Willie, and I guess I like him just the way he is.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Joint Health

I took my Joint Health supplement before the games last weekend.



But I'm still sore.


We won lots of games. That made us happy. We also won the award for best team spirit. It is easy to have spirit when you're cute.



That's Shiny, Me and the Toddtender.
I have tons of stories to tell. I will get to them soon!



Can you see my sports injury in the picture above?

I had the time of my life, and it's all thanks to the man who talked me into joining the team...



Thank you Toddtender! (He also brought me coffee and egg sandwiches in bed. Best roommate ever!)

That's what I'm talking about!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Butterflies

I'm a bit nervous about this weekend. I'm going to be driving up to Vancouver, BC with the Toddtender for a softball tournament. We're also going to be sharing a hotel room.

The reason I am nervous is because Toddtender and I have never spent more than a few hours together. Spending an entire weekend with him might be a problem.



You know how sometimes people get tongue-tied if they are in the presence of someone really hot? There is this uncomfortable feeling that you can't be yourself. You don't know what to say. Sometimes your palms get sweaty and your mouth feels dry. Sometimes you have butterflies in your stomach.



Well, if this happens, it will make for a long, quiet, uncomfortable drive to Canada. It will be unbearable sharing a hotel room with such awkwardness and nervousness in the air.



I just hope the Toddtender can relax and be himself, even though he will be in the presence of someone as hot as I am.

Hopefully, he'll realize I'm just a normal guy who happens to be pretty.

Monday, August 28, 2006

43 Things

The other day I found a $50 gift card for Foot Locker in the pocket of a shirt I haven't worn for a few months. Now I can go buy some new shoes!

Who knows what else will turn up as I begin packing for my upcoming move? All I know is it feels great to have that mystery solved. Several times over the past few months I've gone on the rampage searching for that damn gift card!

What have you been wanting to accomplish? Do you have any goals - large or small - that you want to see to fruition?

Lately I've been adding my goals to this site called 43 Things.

Remember when I lost my Attention Deficit Disorder sticker? I set a goal for myself on 43 things to "Find Things I've Lost". Then I found my gift card.

Last week, I found my ADD sticker. It was inside my weekly planner between the pages for the week of September 25-October 1. (At least it was in a 2006 planner...)

Check that one off the list!

For some reason I was happier about finding the $3 sticker than I was about finding the $50 gift card. Which is why I've also added the goal to "Improve my financial intelligence"!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Todd & Pony Show #10


The latest episode of the Todd & Pony Show promises to get you off. We invited the gorgeous and sparkling Juju into our studio to talk about - what else - sex!

We had such a great time with her. Don't be surprised if she makes a repeat appearance or two on the show.

As usual, I got us so far off track that we actually had to stop recording and take a break to regroup. Thanks to Pony's amazing editing, you can't even tell it happened. I wish I had an editor for my everyday conversations. Life would be so much easier.

Let us know what you think of the podcast. You can comment here or at the Todd & Pony show webpage. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My Notes from Today's Staff Meeting

E-mail managers regarding learning programs.


Kill me now.

Longest story ever.

Which rope do I pull to make the piano fall on my head?

Writing, writing, writing [Note: I wrote that so it would look like I was taking notes on whatever was being said at the time]

I wonder if xxx cuts his own hair.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Overheard in Portland

I've always been envious of New Yorkers. Especially when I read the crazy quotes in Overheard in New York. Oh, to live in a city where random insanity is par for the course.

I just discovered that we have our own version of the site here in Portland (known by some as "PDX", which is our airport code for Portland International.

I promptly sent in my favorite overheard moment of all time. (It's true - I heard it with my own ears.)

The apartment search has come to an end. I am in love with my new place. It's a block away from a very cool hotel, a great bar, and it has a newly remodeled IKEA kitchen! It's a few blocks away from the river and esplanade, and it is also exactly one mile from CC Slaughters.

Pictures will be posted soon.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Out of Step

I've been falling behind lately. When I was in marching band in high school, sometimes I would get out of step with everyone else, so I'd have to take six or seven tiny little steps in order to get back on the right foot. That's what it feels like to be Hot Toddy lately.

It's like when you are late to your Time Management workshop.

Or when you can't make it to your AA meeting because you're too hung over.

Sitting in a Weight Watcher's meeting, and your chair breaks.

I can't seem to get it together!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Deluxe Apartment in the Sky

I'm movin', but I'm not sure I'm movin' on up.

Living with Auburn Pisces has been healing and strengthening. When I moved into her home, I believed Thor would eventually be back. If he didn't move back to Portland, he said, he would at least be coming back to take me away to California. We all know how that story ended.

But I was really grateful I moved into AP's home anyway. She helped me through the darkest days, and we have enjoyed the ease of planning cocktail hour by just shouting at each other from our separate floors.

Still, I feel it is time to move on. For one thing, I really want to live closer to downtown. Maybe even take a place right in the heart of the city. That means I'll have a lot less space if I try to keep my rent about the same as it is now.

Checking out a studio and a one-bedroom today at Empire Apartments got me thinking. (Why, oh why must I analyze everything so heavily...) Looking for a place to live is causing me to evaluate my whole life. It's stressing me out.

Should I be looking in a different part of town? I mean, is there a certain lifestyle more appropriate for a man about to turn 40? Shouldn't I be looking for something more suburban? Or should I be buying a house?

I've always wanted to live in the city. I like city noise. The Empire reminded me of a place I would have loved in my twenties. I could light incense and candles and stay up all night listening to jazz as traffic noise drifted through my open window. I would drink glasses of wine and read books about Matisse or Andy Warhol.

I don't know anymore. Maybe I want a bigger place. The kind of place where a mattress on the floor would feel inappropriate. Maybe I need a place that requires a matching bedroom suite. And where will I park Sven, my big white truck, if I move downtown? I'm not ready to part with him; He's beautiful.

The Empire seemed dark. I don't need or want a dark home! The only light in that place is Drew, the extremely hot building manager with big arms and a gleaming smile.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Inner Monologue: I Love Me. I Love Me Not.

The following inner monologue occurred this morning at approximately 7 a.m. as I had my morning coffee...

(Stretching) Mmmmmmm. What a great sleep. I feel so good. Probably because I didn't drink at all yesterday. If I could try not to drink any alcohol for four weeks I could probably burn so much body fat. But I think I am doing pretty good. Maybe I could just try not to drink for four days instead of four weeks.

It feels nice to stand here outside drinking coffee wearing only boxer shorts. I feel sexy. Probably those dreams I had about blow jobs. I wonder if either of those guys would really be into getting a blow job from me even though they are both straight? I should just e-mail them today and ask if either of them want a blow job. Yeah, right. As if. Like I would ever do that. I'll have to wait and get drunk with them sometime and then I'll ask them.

These boxer shorts feel loose. I wonder if I've lost more fat. That would be awesome. I like how smooth my skin feels. I like the way my triceps feel. I wonder if I look good from the back. Like, if I had a boyfriend and we just got done having sex, I wonder if he would come out of the shower right now and see me standing here and comment on how my boxer shorts are sort of sliding down in the back and -

God I am vain. I am so vain. I suck.

I mean a healthy self-esteem is one thing, but standing around drinking coffee in your boxer shorts and thinking how sexy you feel is something else entirely. I wonder how my friends even stand me. I must make them sick. They probably roll their eyes at how vain I am.

I'm disgusting. I hate myself. This coffee is good.

Wait a minute. Two seconds ago I was feeling hot and sexy and now I'm suddenly hating myself. How do I do that? Who loves himself one minute and hates himself the next? Probably just me and Courtney Love.

Oh, and Mariah Carey. She probably does that.

This coffee is good. I wish I didn't have to go to work today. After work, we need to record the podcast. What should we talk about? Maybe we should talk about self-esteem today.

I like the way my chest feels.

God, I'm vain. It's really disgusting. This coffee is so good.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Why Do I Do It?

I used to do it for attention or because I was bored. I really wanted to meet someone special, too. I thought maybe some guy would fall in love with me. I hoped it wouldn't be a long distance thing, but I was just so lonely, I would have settled for just about anything that came along. Oh, and I did, believe me.

Sometimes I wouldn't talk to anybody at work all day, and I felt like I didn't really have that many friends to e-mail. When my relationship with CT ended, I realized he was pretty much my whole world. I hadn't cultivated any other friendships, and certainly I did not have even one gay male friend.

So I started doing it. Blogging.

First I copied other bloggers I enjoyed. I tried to be really witty like Joel Derfner. And I tried to be scathing and hilarious like Margaret Cho.

It was fun getting e-mails from people I'd never met. Oh my god, you can't believe how flirtatious some of these e-mails got. At one time I felt like I was having a long distance relationship with about three or four different guys. Then one of them sort of inched to the front of the line, won my heart, and we began speaking (and doing other stuff) on the phone. I went to visit him, and we had quite a time together.

I started examining everything about myself. My dating habits. My neediness. My romantic nature. My anxiety. My fears. My joys. Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven (do you need me to link it or can you find it okay?) became a sounding board. I stopped trying to entertain and started trying to be real.

Some bloggers (bitches) said I "jumped the shark". They started making fun of me (I see all and know all) and formed secret little clubs of Toddy Haters that weren't really all that secret. It's not their fault. I gave them all the ammunition they needed. Instead of talking about the cool new technology gadget I bought or about the musclegod stud I went to bed with, I just shared what was on my heart.

Sharing my heart wasn't a problem. Nobody minded, until I shared thoughts about other people that didn't necessarily match the image of themselves that they worked hard to reflect in blogger world. I learned what it was to be told, in so many words, to shut up. I rocked the boat, which is something I've always avoided. I didn't rock it on purpose. Honestly, I was just so damn uncomfortable sitting in the back of the boat trying not to make waves. I wanted to move up front where I could see better - where I could, maybe, figure some things out.

So many people were mad at me for rocking the boat. Maybe people have always talked about me behind my back, but at least I never knew about it. The sting comes when you find out that they are talking about you. That's what you should avoid, if you want my advice. If people are talking negatively about you behind your back, you are probably better off remaining blissfully ignorant about it. But for some reason truth always seems to bubble up to the surface in my life, whether I want it to or not.

The funny thing was that all kinds of stories were invented to explain my "crazy behavior" of being too honest. Some friends in Portland reported to others across the country that I was an alcoholic and on this incredibly self-destructive path. Others speculated that the people who left encouraging and lovely comments on my blog were people I had to pay to be my friends. (That's the only reason he has this ridiculous following - he pays people to be in his entourage!)

Eh. It was stupid and stifling, and I went ahead and just let the boat tip over. We all swam for our lives. A bunch of them huddled together and clung to the wreckage, but I decided to let the current carry me away. Being talked about and getting lots of attention wasn't all it had cracked up to be, and I decided I couldn't trust anyone if I couldn't look directly into their eyes while I talked to them.

That pretty much ruled out any friendships based solely on e-mail correspondence or drunk dials or blog comments. And I retreated into - um - well, reality, I guess. My real friends were the people I could touch and hold and feel. My real friends were people who would talk to me if they felt I was drinking too much instead of talking about me to others. My real friends asked me why I took certain actions, and they listened to my explanations without judgment.

Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven (just Google it if you're still having problems...) started getting pretty "boring, boring, everything is boring". I don't know - maybe some of my posts were still okay to others, but I knew I was writing trivial mundane words. Who cares what I write. I certainly don't.

Why didn't I quit? Maybe I would have. Maybe I was just a week or two away from quitting. Then Thor came crashing on the scene and my total disorientation required something safe to hold onto. My writing has always been my safety net. I can control it, and I can command my words to express what feels impossible to describe. Never in my life have I felt happier than when he held me and told me about all that we would share together. I never felt safer or sexier. I never felt more reckless or rough. I never felt more kinky or gluttonous.

I guess it is only fitting that, when it ended, I never felt more afraid or ugly. I never felt more timid or broken. I never felt more undesirable or dead. Still, Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven (it's right here, idiot) was mine. I would write and somehow wish that my words would heal me. If one of my readers happened to offer a piece of advice that could possibly help me to postpone finishing myself off, well, that would be convenient as well. And it happened. My heroes, my readers, rushed to my aid. (And I didn't have to pay anybody, you bitches). I couldn't dismiss what I was being told. Too many people wrote to tell me that it wasn't hopeless. Too many people assured me the pain would go away. (Wait - does that mean that it is actually possible I could have true friends I'd never met in person? COOL!) Too many people told me to keep fighting, and I had no choice but to listen.

Since April, I have lost 10% bodyfat. I don't even need to go back and look at the posts from April. I remember it well. That was when the world started coming back into focus. That's when I opened the door of my house right after it completed the cyclone spin cycle, and I saw the Technicolor world. April was when my hope came back.

Why do I do it? Why do I share this stuff with strangers? Why do I write about what is going on even when I know that it is read by my college friends, former boyfriends, and other bloggers? Why do I scribble my URL (I'm not going to tell you again - just look in the Address field above - you are getting on my last nerve) on a napkin and hand it to anybody at the bar who expresses an interest?! Am I just looking for attention? Am I still hoping to meet somebody by attempting to portray myself as this amazing catch?

When I was a young teenager, I used to write my own porn. See, I had a crush on my French Teacher, and I fantasized about having sex with him. So I'd write stories about our imaginary encounters. After I wrote the stories, I would use them to get worked up. My words created visual images in my mind that would help me to climax. After I got off, I would rip the stories into a million little pieces and flush down the toilet so nobody would discover my secrets.

That's why I do it. That's why I blog.

Huh?

Yeah, that probably doesn't make much sense. It's not a very good explanation. Needs elaboration. Please develop this idea further.

Nah. I don't feel like it. You either get it or you don't, and either way is okay with me. I guess I'm writing this for myself after all. Who knew?

Thank you to my friends at The Magic Geek for inspiring this post with your latest podcast!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Metro the Hater Jesus


Metro in Tokyo

My friend (and Juju's fiance) Metro is upsetting Bill O'Reilly.

A few months ago, Metro was hired by Everclear to appear in a music video for the song Hater Jesus.

Since he's in the news lately, I'll take this opportunity to capitalize on my friendship with Metro. Let me give you the inside scoop on this Hater Jesus character.

Metro is Evil
Truth be told, Metro really is a very evil person. When he and I auditioned for our sketch comedy group, Metro was sure I wouldn't get cast. We met for the first time in the hallway outside the audition space, and he later told me that he felt sorry for me that I wouldn't be cast in the show. "He's such a nice guy. Too bad I got the part and not him," Metro thought to himself.

Well, we both ended up getting cast. So there.

Metro is Off the Market
A few years later, I orchestrated a romantic evening for Juju and Metro in an effort to bring them together. I'm not saying I had everything to do with their upcoming marriage. But I am proud that I did play a small part in fanning the flame.

Juju asked me to be one of her attendants when they get married next year. So, I will have my first experience as a bridesman! I've been a Best Man a couple times, and have been a groomsman several times, so it will be very interesting to stand on the other side.

Metro is My Mentor
It is Metro's fault that I ever found out about World of Warcraft. He's helped me through some of the dungeons and assisted me in getting some great weapons and armor, which is accomplished by killing various beasts and monsters in the game.

Metro Speaks Japanese
Metro was the organizer for the trip to Tokyo in January, and he was an awesome tour guide.

I Slept With Metro
I only bragged about it once before, but now that he's making the news, I feel it is important to reaffirm my status as "Star Spooner".


Toddy and Metro Gaming in Tokyo

Monday, August 07, 2006

Housesitting for Pony (A Short Play)

Scene One

Todd is asleep. It is 12:30 a.m.

Noel, a timid gray cat, jumps up on the bed and stares at Todd for a moment.

Noel: Hi.

Todd does not respond

Noel: Hi. (Beat) I said hi.

Todd: (waking) Wha? Huh? Oh. Hi.

Noel: Hellooooo!

Todd: Hi.

Noel: Hi.

Todd: Hi.

Noel: Pet me, or else I will keep saying "hi".

Todd: Okay, okay. How's that?

Noel: Prrrrrrr.

Noel jumps down from the bed.

Scene Two

Todd is asleep. It is 1:30 a.m.

Noel jumps up on the bed and stares at Todd for a moment.

Noel: Hi.

Todd does not respond

Noel. Hi. (beat) I said hi.

Todd: (waking) Wha? Huh? Oh. Hi.

Noel: Hellooooo!

Todd: Hi.

Noel: Hi.

Todd: Hi.

Noel: Pet me, or else I will keep saying hi.

Todd: Ugh. C'mon, Noel. I'm so tired!

Noel: HI. HELLO!! HOWDY!!!!

Todd: Fine! There. I'm petting you!!

Noel: Prrrrrrr.

Noel jumps down from the bed.

Scene Three

Todd is in bed drinking whiskey. It is 2:30 a.m.

Noel jumps up on the bed and stares at Todd for a moment.

Todd: What. What do you want.

Noel: Hi.

Todd: Hi, Noel. Hi.

Noel: Hi.

Todd: Hi.

Noel: Hi.

Todd: Hi.

Noel: Pet me, or else I will keep saying hi.

Todd: This is the last time for tonight, Noel. I have to get up for work in a few hours.

Todd pets Noel.

Noel: Prrrrrrr.

Noel jumps down from the bed.

Scene Four

Todd is asleep clutching a pillow over his head. It is 4:30 a.m. Several prescription bottles of sleeping pills are open on the nightstand next to Todd.

Noel jumps up on the bed.

Noel: Hi.

Todd: Hmmmm.

Noel: Hello. Howdy. Hi, hi, hi, hi, hi.

Todd: Go away. I am too tired to pet you anymore.

Noel: I came in an hour ago, and you ignored me.

Todd: I was passed out. I took sleeping pills.

Noel: They seem to be wearing off.

Todd: Apparently.

Noel: Good. Now you can pet me.

Todd: Noel...

Noel: Hi. (Beat) Hi. (Beat) Hello!

Todd: I hate my life.

Todd pets Noel.

Noel: Prrrr.

Noel is about to jump off the bed and stops. She turns to Todd.

Noel: See you in an hour.

Noel jumps off bed. Todd cries into his pillow.

THE END

Friday, August 04, 2006

Easily Distracted....

Damn it. I found the perfect sticker for my truck while I was in Chicago. It perfectly summarized my problem with Attention Deficit Disorder. The sticker reads, "Easily Distracted by Shiny Objects".

I lost it. I can't find the sticker anywhere. When I got back from my trip, I took the sticker out of my suitcase to show Auburn Pisces, and I don't know where I put it.

I lost my ADD sticker.

I first discovered I had ADD when I read a book about the disorder. Then I lost the book when CT and I were staying in a hotel one weekend. On the day we were checking out of the hotel, I found the Attention Deficit Disorder book hanging on the towel rack in the bathroom.

I can't believe Pony gave me keys to his house. Especially since the last time he gave me his housekey, I lost it in New York City.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Real World

I had a dream the other night that I was a cast member on MTV's Real World, and then a special twist was revealed. I was singled out from the other cast members and taken to a top secret location where it was revealed that I was to appear simultaneously on another popular reality show, Survivor. I was the first Real World cast member to be chosen for Survivor at the same time, so MTV decided to make that part of my story line.

The dream went on for what seemed like hours. I really had to fight to compete against the other Survivors because, as it turns out, I had joined the cast after two Survivors had already been voted out. All the other competitors had already established alliances, and I was just the "new guy from MTV's Real World".

I lasted through the first couple of tribal councils, and I started working on the other Survivors to get them to trust me and let me join their alliances. I think I had a good chance of winning, but then Pony's cat, Noel, woke me up.

Yes, I am once again sleeping in Pony's bed. Not with Pony, though. I'm just housesitting for him while he's on vacation!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

For Single People Only!

Okay, I've changed my mind about the whole gay marriage thing. I have decided that I no longer believe in it. Not at all. I think it ruins everything.

See, the thing is, gay marriage is making my friends boring. They are all coupled up and talking about their gardens and talking about their pets as if they were children. Some of them are even talking about adopting children because, I assume, pet food is too expensive.

I used to spend my Friday nights running around town with The Handsome Prince. We would have entire conversations with our eyes locked on the television screens playing porn. After a while, we'd realize that we hadn't looked at each other for about 20 minutes or so. From the dryness of our eyes, we also realized we hadn't blinked. We would laugh our heads off, and we'd have adventures, which I'd write about here on Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven.

Now I call him up and hear, "No, I can't go out tonight because my boyfriend and I were out until after 8:30 last night, and the night before that my boyfriend and I missed Cooking with Paula Dean on The Food Network. Tonight I have tons of gardening to do and my boyfriend is going to help me, and then my boyfriend and I are going to make dinner. After my boyfriend and I eat it, we're going to turn in for the night because we have had way too many 10:30 bedtimes lately! It's all the gardening, I think. We want to garden, garden, garden all the time because it is summer and the sun doesn't go down till late, and we like gardening! We love gardening, my boyfriend and I!!"

"Okay, have fun," I say and try calling another friend. This one actually joins me at the bar, but I soon realize that I am providing a much needed escape from his husband. He complains, "My husband doesn't agree with me about this, and my husband also thinks something about something. Can you believe my husband feels that way? Why would my husband think something about something!? That is so unreasonable. It seems like the only time my husband and I get along is when we are gardening or shopping for patio furniture or painting the den. Did you see the color my husband and I painted the den? Did you see our new patio furniture? Did you see the flowers we planted last Sunday afternoon?!? We will have to invite you over to see all the flowers and furniture and look at the paint on the walls!!"

"Yay," I say.

One night, I swear to god, my friends planned a camping trip for couples as I sat right there at the table with them. I was the only single person at the table. "Oh, Toddy, of course we want you to come too!"

"Thanks," I say.

A few months ago, I was invited to a party with a drink menu that included "couple-themed and romance" drinks. I asked if the menu could be broadened to include an unloved loser single person drink too. Something like, oh, I don't know, a Maker's Mark straight up? The drink of heartache and loneliness! Cheers!!

A couple weeks ago I asked one half of a couple if he and I could go see a movie together. It was a very specific movie that I wanted to see with that very specific friend. (His boyfriend too, of course. I love them both!) I received a voice mail Sunday morning in which he informed me that he and his boyfriend were leaving to go see "that movie you wanted to see with us". He let me know I could meet them at the theater in 45 minutes if I wanted to join them. Clearly, the boyfriend trumps the friend when it comes to movie dates. I mean, it isn't like he would have gone to see the movie alone. Nobody calls and says, "I know you want to see this movie together. Well, I am going right this second. I can't wait a moment longer. So meet me at the theater if you still want to see it together." But, since he has a built-in movie date right there in bed with him, he doesn't have to wait around to see if I can actually meet him or not.

I think this post was supposed to be funny. Oops.

Oh, and another thing...

The friends who, a few months ago, told me that I need to enjoy being single are now partnered. They lean their heads together and whisper at the bar as I stare into space and enjoy being single. They can't go out with me because they need to spend some quality time together, so I just stay home and spend quality time with myself and "enjoy being single". I do not always want to go out as a trio. Sometimes, old friend, I still want it to be just you and me. I don't understand why it can't work that way.

It is not that I don't want these friends to be partnered, but I miss feeling like I belonged with them - that I had something in common with them. They have turned into Stepford Married People who no longer seem to get me. They once understood how much I wanted to find exactly what they all found, so it surprises me when they can't see how much it is killing me for them to talk about "marrieds only camping trips" or "couple-themed drinks". It's a big country club that I'm just not classy enough to join. Now I don't even think I want to join. Not if I have to turn into a relationship robot.

So, I am just going to schedule a huge singles blowout and only invite my single friends. I must have a single friend around here somewhere. Let me think....

Anyway, we will show them! We'll talk about our huge beds and our weed-filled yards (for those of us fortunate enough to own a home). We'll have single-themed drinks like the Eternal Masturbator or the Ride Alone on the Rollercoaster! We'll eat individual sized microwave pizzas and just be "happy to be single".