Like It or Not

Dallas has a large and diverse group of homosexuals. Many of the guys I have befriended are huge music buffs. More specifically they are into live indie bands. (Think Coachella and ACL) Its a very “I listen to bands you’ve never heard of” type situation. I often sit in awe as they kibitz about the latest show they saw. At one recent party I overheard a friend exclaim jubilantly, “OMG, did you hear that the original line up of Television is performing?!” Apparently I missed the Television press release because the small group that was gathered agreed in unison as I look befuddled. Always respecting new talent, I felt I had a duty to educate myself on the new/now/next in music. 

At this point, I should explain my musical taste and background. First and foremost I like a good beat and I generally don’t listen to lyrics. I enjoy the lyrical quality of the words, but the actual meaning is well… meaningless. I like music with attitude and sass. Give me an upbeat pop/dance song any day. Better yet, make it an angry anthem about strength and independence sung by a pop diva! Gasp! (See ‘Its Not Right, But It’s Ok’- Whitney Houston and ‘Stronger’- Britney Spears) Even when I listen to Adele’s beautiful voice, I can tell she’s a fun girl that you don’t wanna fuck with and I love that about her. Obviously I have a strong cliche’ preference toward female singers but that doesn’t mean I totally ignore male rock. I like the Foo Fighters and one of my early teen concerts was Pearl Jam. Hip hop and old school rap where early influences along with 90’s R&B. (“Boyz II Men, ABC, BBD, the east coast family“) Country is the genre I have the least history with but I’ve always enjoyed the Dixie Chicks and my boyfriend is taking me to Miranda Lambert in September. There’s no single genre of music I totally hate. Actually I distrust any so-called music lover who claims to “love any type of music… except ______.”

Back to my indie hipster friends. I decided a good start to my music-ation would be the Austin City Limits (ACL) Festival. I went to the website and read through the list of performers. Lucky they had each name linked to a Youtube clip of that band’s most popular song. I spent several days going through and listening to song after song. After I had listened to about 60 or 70 bands I came to two a definitive conclusion. First, every performer is usually a group of skinny white guys with greasy hair. Second and more importantly, it all sounds the same to me. None of the music was bad but all of it was completely beige. I’m sure its different during a live show and I wouldn’t resist the concert but none of the musicians left a lasting impression. I just didn’t get it.

I thought about the whole experience and what it all meant. Was it simply a difference in taste of music or a symptom of a larger issue? I hate the idea of ludditism and I don’t think of myself as one of those people who only listens to music made before 2000. Then I had an Oprah style Ah-Ha moment. Fashion is my indie music! Let me explain. I realized that how those guys felt about indie rock was the same way I feel about the fashion industry. For example, I think of labels like Proenza Schouler, The Row, Rodarte and Prabal Gurung as famous and well known. However if you ask the average American they’ll look at you cross eyed. When I say I love music like Rihanna and Mariah Carey I get the same look of disgust from indie rockers as I give people when they tell me they love Louis Vuitton and Burberry. It suddenly all made sense. We’re the same shape cut from different cloth. (FYI my cloth is Alexander McQueen)

I’m glad I broadened my musical horizons. Now I know that if I had to pick I liked Ms Mr, Haim, and Mona best. As for ACL, I’m putting it to rest and if you need me I’ll be watching runway videos on Style.com.

Dedication: This post is dedicated to Brad. Your passion for live music from bands no one has ever heard of is unparalleled. However we found common ground when quoting Reality Bites dialogue at the Round Up.

P.S. This Saturday, Russ and I are going to see Mike Ryan in concert. He’s an upcoming country singer who you’ve probably never heard of.

Causing A Commotion: An Open Letter to Russia

Dear Russia,
The Library is open!
You recently passed a set of laws that basically make it illegal to be gay. Even showing public support for the gay community is crime punishable by prison time.  Seriously? Where do I even begin?! Before I’m about to read someone, I try to give them at least one compliment. It softens the blow. However in your case I couldn’t think of a single nice thing to say. Tolstoy’s classic Anna Karenina came to mind but then I remembered the most recent film version was so completely British that they didn’t even try and hide their accents. Is your country so bad that actors don’t even want to pretend to be Russian? No really, what do you have going for you? Yes you’re an enormous land mass but let’s be honest… most of your square footage is frozen wasteland. I doubt there was a long line of empires ready to fight for that. Its like getting  10 free acres of land in North Dakota. There’s a reason its free. What else… ? Oh yeah you’re really cold and really poor. I mean that whole communism thing worked out great for you. Let’s recap: Freezing weather and widespread poverty paired with legal discrimination and hate! I’d have more fun searching for mosques in Alabama.  
Why are you so against gay people? Are you worried their happiness is going to bring down your ‘great’ nation? (There’s heavy air quotes and side eye around the word great) Are you just trying to grab headlines? You haven’t been relevant since the cold war and this stinks of a cry for attention. You’re like a once popular actress who’s now reduced to film school art projects. You’re the Sean Young of countries. For the last couple decades you’ve been quiet. Honestly I just assumed you drank too much vodka and passed out in the snow. (I assume the same thing about Sean Young) Little did I know you were locked away planning to unleash hate and discrimination on your citizens. 
So you’ve decided to play the crazy hate card. You’ve been out of the game for a long time and the world is a much different place now. We’ve got the middle east and North Korea who have taken crazy to a new level. They love hatred and tyranny and even they’re laughing at your pathetic attempt at evil. Many Americans are calling for a boycott of the Olympic Games set to take place there in 2014. I don’t know if we should go as far as boycotting, but I would love it if the cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race led the athletes as they walked into the stadium at the opening ceremonies. Don’t fuck it up!
Sincerely, 
The Gay Gasp

Material Girl: $1000

Do you consider $1000 a lot of money? I do and it would dramatically change my life. When I moved to Dallas I started from scratch in many ways but especially with regards to furniture. I bought a mattress and a sofa on day one and they remain the only two major furniture pieces I have. The living room, dinning room, and bedroom all need a little help. I looked around and I’d be able to get all the basics items I need (and genuinely like) for $1000.  Here’s a real life look at what I’d buy:

I can’t have more then one person over at a time because they would have no where to sit. (my sofa is a 2 seater) This chevron stripped armless chair would provide a much needed third seat if I entertained.

A dining table is at the top of my list of items to buy. I like eating at a table rather then on my lap on the couch. Plus it would do double duty as a desk I could type on. I thought about just buying a desk but I thought it would look strange in the dining area.

 If I buy a table I need chairs. 4 chairs to be specific. These chairs would also help with the lack of general seating. 

My bedroom needs the most work. Even though I have a large walk in closet, I still need a chest of drawers for things like socks, sweaters and underwear. I’m obsessed with this blue bureau from Ikea!

The beautiful blue bureau will also be important because I’ll need a place to put the TV. The absolute thing I miss the most is having a TV that I can watch in bed before I go to sleep.

$119.99 + $129.00 + $64.99 + $64.99 + $299.00 + $228.00 = $905.97 + 8% sales tax = $978.45

Furniture and products via Walmart, Target, and Ikea.

Next Time: Lets see what a $10,000 budget buys!

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Bedtime Stories: #20 Explained

My post about bear pool parties was a much bigger success than I ever would’ve expected. One of the most common questions and responses is around #20. Having someone shit in your garage really isn’t that common but I had to include it as an inside joke to the Connecticut bears. The story behind it is legendary. The following post was originally posted last year but I decided to repost it to let everyone in on the joke.

Enjoy! #ALIDSITG

Picture it, Mystic 2011. It was the 4th of July and a party was in full bloom: As it was tradition,everyone descended on Casa de GPS for the annual summer bash. Food and alcohol were flowing as everyone swam naked in the pool. As night fell everyone remarked at what a drama-free soiree it had been. Little did they know the night was just getting started.

It started around midnight when computers went missing. Apparently someone who was a “friend of a friend” took it upon themselves to try and steal 2 Apple laptops. He did this by dropping a backpack containing the lifted electronics out a second story window. (The merchandise was later found in the bushes) If you can believe it, the attempted robbery was not even the most memorable part of the evening. Because Mystic is out of the way and everyone drinks beyond their limits and therefore it is tradition for everyone to sleep over. The next morning more trainwreck tails reveled themselves. Apparently during the night one overly intoxicated guest got up to take a piss while he was sleeping outside in a tent. In his drunken stooper he must have gotten lost because he ended up pissing on his fellow tent-mate. Luckily said tent-mate was into watersports so it wasn’t a total loss. Again, not the most memorable part of the evening though…

The details of what happened next are still in question. Here is what we know: At some point during the night, as everyone slept, another guest got up to use the bathroom. This time instead of using a toilet this guest decided to take a shit in the garage. Yes, you read that correctly. He shit in the garage. To be more specific his explosive shit got on the hood of the car, sink, and secondary fridge. That is what we know. What we can’t figure out is how and why? The location of the explosion is literally 5 feet away from a bathroom. Even with the benefit of the doubt, lets say the bathroom was taken or unusable for some reason. The garage is also 5 steps away from an outside door. If such an emergency occurred, why not at least go outside in the bushes? What bad decision lead him to think the garage floor was his best option?

It has never been confirmed who the shitter was but everyone has their suspicions. Someone supposedly confessed but I’m not sure I believe it. We may never know the true story. So the next time you get to drunk at a party and have your own trainwreck moment hold your head high and tell yourself “At least I didn’t shit in the garage!”

This post is dedicated to all the Connecticut and New England Bears. Specifically Punk and Gates. You’ve had a profound impact on my life and I am truly thankful that I’m still your friend. 

Swim: 20 Signs You’re at a Bear Pool Party

 Buzzfeed.com recently had an hilarious article 20 Signs You’re at a Gay Pool Party. It was funny but aimed more at the gyms rat and twink crowd. What about the bears? Bear pool parties are similar but with a few key differences.

1. You’ve never seen the official invite, everyone ‘just knows’

2.The food will consist of hot dogs, hamburgers, mac&cheese, sides dishes, chips, and cookies.

3. Alcohol will consist of: Beer, vodka, coke/diet coke, cranberry juice, and flavored vodka no one knows what to do with.

4. Its a great place to find pot

5. There’s a designated spot along the house/fence where you should piss

6. At some point there will be minor argument over who’s iPhone should be the DJ

7. A cute bathing suit isn’t important because its going to come off anyway.

8. Someones having sex upstairs

9. Someones getting jerked off underwater

10. There’s never enough noodles

11.You’ve been introduced to the host couple but you’re not sure which is which because they’re always introduced as ‘Todd and Rick.’

12. There will be a Twerk-Off. Someone will win, some one will cry.

13. That guy you hate will be there and you’ll have to fake a smile all day

14. Someone will want you to take an action shot of him jumping into the pool.  Afterward he’ll realize his phone was in his pocket and is now ruined.

15. There’s never enough ice or sunscreen

16. 5 other bears will be wearing the same Old Navy bathing suit as you. You know the navy blue one with a white stripe down the side…

17. You’ll leave shoes, sunglasses, underwear or some other accessory behind.

18. Two words: Jello shots

19. The street will be to narrow and the parking will suck.

20. Watch out because someone might shit in the garage.

P.S. I LOVE Buzzfeed! Check them out in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t yet.

Thank you to Andy, Gates, and Steve for the photos. If you ever need head at a pool party, let me know 🙂
 Gasp!

Where’s The Party? A Hater’s Guide to Staying Home from Ptown

For the next week we’ll all be subject to a deluge of posts and pictures from everyone at Bear Week. In those moments when you feel like the only girl not invited to the party, here’s what to say when you pretend you’re glad not to be in Ptown.

1. The Dick Dock gets raided by the police. No joke. The police stand outside and nab freshly facialed frolickers.

2. There’s seriously not enough air conditioning. Seriously. Ptown is a very old town and while most places have an AC unit, its not nearly strong enough to chill the entire room… Not to mention a bar packed with hot hairy men.

3. Day one you’re like: “OMG Tea Dance is packed! Woohoo This rocks!”
    Day five you’re like: “Jesus Christ get out of my way. Why is it so fucking packed!?!”

4. If you’re sitting home that means you saved $1500-$2000. Cheers!

5. IT’S A BITCH TO GET TO. You can fly into Boston and take the ferry or drive up the Cape from another location. Either way its a long journey that gets real old real quick. I feel even worse saying this having seen some of the ‘travel stories from hell’ posted to Facebook. 

6. In Provincetown you’ll run into everyone you’re trying to avoid and miss anyone you’re hoping to see. To be far, that’s the standard rule for all bear events though.

7. Like a lot of New England, Ptown is quaint and charming. When translated, those are pretty words that mean small and shitty. All that New England charm will get you a lot of small well worn buildings that weren’t made for the amount of fur and testosterone that is about to invade.

8. Did I mention its Satin level hot in the bars? It deserves a second mention. I vividly remember condensation dripping down the mirrors at the Crown and Anchor.

9. You’re not going to have sex during the day. Everywhere you look there are hotties and it makes for some great eye candy. However it can also cause a major case of “maybe there’s something better around the corner.” We’ve all experienced the phenomena and Ptown is 100 times worse. Don’t even bother looking for sex during day light because everyone is still sober enough to have standards. They think you’re cute but they don’t want to give it up in case there’s someone better. You can’t get too made either because you’re doing to the same thing to that guy on Growlr.

10. You’re not going to have sex with someone who’s sober. Unless you’re giving your boyfriend his morning wake up load, pretty much all the hook ups you have are going to be with drunk people. As I said, making a hook up happen is hard enough and you’re best shot is either right after Tea Dance or midnight to 2:00 am when all the guys are feeling drunk and horny. Sobriety brings standards but once they’re drunk their standards are at a much more realistic level. All the California and Texas super hotties have found each other and paired off the way super hotties always do. It becomes a “best of whats around” situation. If you’re still awake with a functional penis you’re at the top of the list.

To all the bears visiting Provincetown this week, I really do hope you have a wonderful time. Enjoy the planters punch and make choices you’ll regret in the morning.

I Love New York (Part 2)

New York City!

Russell and I arrived at Grand Central in sun drenched New York City around 1pm on Friday July 5th. Taking the train was both practical and a great way to see the world’s most famous train station.  If you’re taking a first timer to the city, Grand Central is a perfect introduction. It was earlier then I had planned and therefore had some extra time for sight seeing.

I grew up in Connecticut and have made many trips into New York throughout my life. Despite that I’ve never done or seen many of the famous landmarks the city is known for. With this in mind I did some research ahead of time on what to see and do. I found a great website that had a suggested itinerary for seeing New York in one day. Before we saw the sights we had to check into our hotel. Our hotel, the W Hotel on Lexington Ave was just a short walk from the GC station. Staying at a W Hotel had been on my bucket list and the hotel didn’t disappoint. The luxury was in the details. The room was small but modern design, Bliss bath products, and a mini bar selection that included condoms and lube made up for the tiny space. Plus the staff was incredibly nice and helpful. After a shower we headed toward Time Square via Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The whole time we were in Rockefeller Center a small part of me wanted to see Liz Lemon scamper by.

One of the top recommendations I found was for the top of Rockefeller Center and it’s 360 degree view of the city. Before this trip I never knew 30 Rock had such an amazing view. The Top of the Rock is a little pricey but offers amazing views making it a MUST SEE if you’ve never gone. I’d recommend it over going to the top of the Empire State Building because this way you can have a picture of the famous landmark rather then a picture from it. Plus you can see all of Central Park and how enormous is really it. It was an amazing site.We went during the day but I’m sure it even more amazing at night.

After getting a sky high view it was time to get ready for our big Broadway show. The big splurge of our trip was orchestra seats at The Book of Mormon. As I said in my previous post, my boyfriend is a big fan of showtunes and had already memorized all of the song long before ever seeing it. I on the other hand had very limited exposure and didn’t know what to expect other then some religious shenanigans. Our seats were great and the show was so good that I even downloaded a couple of the songs from iTunes afterward. The South Park creators’ unique style was evident but but taken to such a higher level. I was impressed. Thumbs Up! Plus, I’m typing this three days later and I still have the music stuck in my head.

Saturday we met up with a bunch of friends and hit the streets ready to tackle the city. Mother Nature wasn’t going to  make it an easy day either. The temp got up to a steamy 95 degrees and sweet started early. At one point I may have likened our walk to a Bataan Death March… but lets just say it was HOT. Our first stop was Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. (Think Amy Adams dancing in Enchanted) We ended up walking through about a quarter of the park and I had sweat stains a quarter of the way into that quarter. It was worth it when we got a fresh dose of some New York crazy via an old man in a white thing doing Jesus poses. Here’s a good tip: If you ever need a stranger to take a group picture don’t ask the trust worth married couple instead ask their tween daughter . She’ll quickly know how to use your phone and take plenty of shot to get a good one.

After the park we hoped on the subway toward the Staten Island Ferry. The boat ride is free and offers a picturesque views of the city skyline, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Ellis Island. Also, did I mention its FREE!?! If you ever decide to go, don’t be intimidated by the hundreds of people packed into the lobby of the ferry station. I walked in and thought it was going to be hours until it was our turn on the boat. Don’t worry. The building will be full of people but you’ll all fit on the boat with room to spare. Our boat ride was relaxing and provided many photo opportunities. I even had an genuine gay gasp moment when I recognized the orange railing from the famous Staten Island episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte is drunk on her way back home. You can’t get better views and I still can imagine why its free. Another MUST SEE. Tip: If you go during cooler weather bundle up because there is a strong breeze.

We ended the evening in Times Square to see all the neon and lights at night when they come alive. The last must see is so great that I hesitate to talk about it  because I don’t want it to become over run by the general public. (As if I have that many readers lol) What I’ll say is that we went to a lounge/bar with the most amazing view of Times Square. The table we sat at was reserved for New Years Eve with a $30,000 price tag. The bar was luxurious and the drink were tasty and expensive but the price is worth it for the view. The women at the table next to us said it perfectly “I love it up her because its quiet and you get the amazing view without having to be among all the dirty crazy people.” Contact me privately for the location of this secret gem.

New York Observations:

-A funny thing kept happening whenever we got into a taxi. I’d say a landmark such as Bethesda Fountain in Central Park or the Eugene O’Neil Theater on Broadway and each time the cabdriver would have no idea what we were talking about and want a street address. Strange.

-New York: A City of Sixes. I’ve long noticed, and this trip further cemented my opinion that there is a lack of hot men in New York City. NYC is the capitol of the world and you’d expect  it to be crawling with super hotties. Not true. I’m not saying they’re ugly… they’re just running short on bears. If you share the same taste in men as I do the city if full of 6’s. Mostly lean gays with a light spray tan and gym membership. You’ll sadly be disappointed with the lack of big beefy chubs and cubs.

-We we’re joined on our NYC adventure by four wonderful friends who brought extra life and laughs to our day. Thank you guys for a great weekend.

-Photos courtesy of Me, Josh, Justin, Russell, Bo and Sean. 

I Love New York (Part 1)

For the long 4th of July weekend, I took a major step and brought my wonderful boyfriend Russell home to meet my parents for the first time. The trip was originally going to be centered around a friend’s annual July 4th pool party but unfortunately schedules didn’t align and we had to miss it. With more time on our hands I knew we couldn’t leave the Northeast without visiting New York City. Russell had never been to the Big Apple and is a big Broadway fan to boot. Its a perfect trip.

A special note: I’ve got a lot to say about this vacation, so I’m going to break it up into parts one and two. Part one mainly focusing on Connecticut and family while part two will just be Manhattan and New York.

I’ve never brought a boyfriend home before. I guess its one of those milestone moments that moves you along in life. From the beginning I knew the visit would go well. Before you ever meet him, my boyfriend is good on paper. The term ‘good on paper’ comes from Sex and the City and refers to a guy that, if you listed all his attributes on paper, would look very appealing. It can also be thought of as all the questions a mom would ask. “Does he have a good job? Where does he live? What kind of car does he drive? Is he close with his family?” (You get the idea) A guy might be kind and wonderful but he’s a tough sell to dad if he can’t keep a job and live in his parents basement. Russ is great on paper and when you meet him in person his charm and manners can sway even the harshest critics. He proved me right in every way. Everyone laughed and felt relaxed without the awkward getting to know you shy phase. My parents approval isn’t needed but there’s still something amazing when your new man wins over your mom. It makes you feel like you’ve done something right as their child.

On to the details. We arrived in Connecticut late Wednesday night and checked into a hotel near my parents house. Although it can feel rushed having a flight right after work, I like getting into town the night before so I can rest and be ready to go the next morning. Thursday morning we woke up rested and headed to my parents house to have a cookout with the family. (Pugs included) It was a great visit. We took family photos, ate a good meal and enjoyed each other company. It also marked probably my last afternoon ever in the house I grew up in because my parents are set to move to their new house/condo at the end of the month. My dad proudly took us threw their new place still under construction. He even took us up to a scenic overlook so we could have a pretty picture to bring back.

As I expected the afternoon wrapped up around 6 pm. Our next stop was a comfortable evening at Jeff and Ollie’s. They were nice enough to invite us over for some fireworks and hotdogs. Although it was a small group we still had a lot to laugh about. Overall it was a short but great trip. Hopefully next time we’ll have more time so we can see more friends and family.

P.S. Its interesting seeing your home town through someone else’s eyes. Russell couldn’t get over how green and lush everything was. Having grown up there, I guess I took for granted all leafy trees and green grass.

Dress You Up

The amount of clothes I don’t wear amazes me.  Last year I did a major clean out and brought about 5 garbage bags full of clothes to Goodwill. Since then my closet has been at a much more manageable level. This past weekend I had a spurt of energy and decided to re-organize and clean my closet because it was getting messy. When I was finished I had a more unwearable clothes than wearable. The unwearables fall into three main categories:

House clothes I have a stack of t-shirts that are now obsolete since moving to Texas. Before I moved I lived with my sister and her three pugs for three years. If you’re unfamiliar with pugs, they shed A LOT. So much so that I ended up with two different wardrobes. One for around that house that would quickly get covered in dog hair and a second meant only for outside the house. Once dressed for going out, it was imperative that I didn’t sit down or even touch the furniture for fear of contamination. Many of my old house clothes are old or worn out or just plain ugly. Now that I’m living dog free, I just don’t have any use for these shirts especially since I barely wear shorts. Conclusion: They’re next to go to charity
Hazy Shade of Winter I grew up in New England and have a wonderful fall and winter wardrobe. I now live in Dallas where its below 50 degrees for maybe 10% of the year. Hoodies and jackets are two of my favorite pieces of clothing however I had to institute a buying embargo because its never cold enough to wear what I have. Add to that flannel shirts, sweaters, and basically anything long sleeve and I’m ready for temps that never come.  One annoying part about these clothes is that I can’t completely get rid of them because it does get cold for about a month here and if I go home to visit Connecticut for Christmas I can’t show up in a tank top and capris. For the record, I have a total of 16 sweaters/jackets/hoodies taking up space in my closet. Conclusion: Begrudgingly save them for that one cold weekend.

Size Matters Having recently changed sizes, I now have a huge pile of clothes that simply don’t fit. These clothes make up the majority of what I don’t wear anymore. For example: shorts. I had built up a quality selection of shorts over the years. Whether they were loose and casual or tight and form fitting. I had them all. Now I can’t fit into a single pair. I found myself surprisingly annoyed that I had to start my shorts selection over from scratch. The new fancy work pants I bought for my new office job? Can’t wear those either. Then there are the jeans… I have both fat jeans and skinny jeans in a variety of washes and wears and now I can’t fit into any of them. Tops aren’t as bad of a story because my upper body didn’t change as drastically as my waist did. Granted I have a lot of t-shirts that don’t fit but that’s more of an aesthetic preference rather than a true size issue. Conclusion: Hang on to most of it for another year or two in case my weight swings back to where it was.

 All the folded clothes are my unwearables. The hanging shirts are what I actively wear.