Hamilton: My First Obsession of 2016

Prediction: Hamilton will win the 2016 Tony for Best Musical in June.


The Broadway musical Hamilton was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda who previously won a Tony in 2008 with The Heights. After reading the popular biography of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow Miranda decided to turn it into a musical. A book about an 18th Century founding father doesn’t exactly scream Broadway musical. If you can make that leap of imagination it’ll take a pole vault in order to ad  hip hop into the mix. Whenever I try to describe it to people I always start out with something akin to “I know the idea is going to sound strange and you’d never think hip hop and the Revolutionary war would go well together but…” In the age of racial scrutiny and #Oscarsowhite Hamilton’s unique mix of American history and modern beats are a welcomed and needed breathe of fresh air. Hamilton is a truly unique concept and oddly a musical about the 18th Century feels like one of the most modern things I’ve heard in a long time.

Theater Hamilton

Nothing impresses me more than original and creative ideas even though they are very hard to come by. When my boyfriend Russ told me about a new hip hop musical that told the life story of Alexander Hamilton I was excited because it was an idea I had really never heard before. The history geek in me also got excited for the possibility of learning something new while being entertained. Furthermore Russ, who is not a fan of hip hop music, loved it which prived that this music must be special. Last week I finally got a chance to listen to the soundtrack from beginning to end and I instantly fell in love. I can talk at length about the creativity of the concept but at the end of the day it all comes down to the quality of the music. If the music and story were awful then none of this would matter. As I’m writing this I’m listening to the soundtrack again for about the 4th time and it’s honestly wonderful. The first time I listened to it I was working late at the office. Luckily most of my coworkers had gone home because tears were streaming down my face as I listened to the song It’s Quiet Uptown. There are a number of great songs but Wait For It is clearly the stand out. If show tunes got radio play it would be the first single. As 2016 goes on you are only going to hear more about Hamilton so I highly recommend giving it a listen.

If you’re in the New York area and want to see Hamilton in person then you better have your credit card handy because it’s not going to be cheap. The show is an enormous hit and tickets very hard to come by. The cast was even featured in Vogue magazine. This past Christmas I tried to get Russ and I tickets while we were in Connecticut and the cheapest I found were over $400 a ticket. At the time I hadn’t heard much of the music yet so I (correctly) decided to save my money. If given the opportunity now I don’t know if I’d have as much self control.





Photos courtesy of Vogue and Google.







Artsy Fartsy


Fine art. It’s a term that’s as difficult to define as pornography. When you talk to most people their definition of fine art is limited to marble statues and paintings of dead white people. I’ve always loved learning about art because it’s a topic I don’t know enough about even though it was my favorite class in college. Recently I went to the Dallas Art Museum to see an exhibit of Jackson Pollock. A few week later I saw a documentary about Peggy Guggenheim who, come to find out, was the person who discovered Jackson Pollock. Once I found that out I was intrigued so I searched for the movie Pollock to find out some more about their backstory.  The whole coincidental experience was enough to reignite my interest in art. After the Peggy Guggenheim documentary I was struck by the idea that Pollock was alive in relatively modern times. All the great artists from Van Gogh to Picasso were all dead before I was born and therefore I associate great works of art with dead people. However it got me thinking that there must be great artists alive right now that I’m missing out on. But who are they?

I’ll admit I don’t know much about living contemporary artists. My knowledge really begins and ends with Banksy. While Banksy is my favorite living artist I figured it wasn’t that strong of a title since I couldn’t name another living artist. I did some research and learned a few things about the current leaders of the art world. The app Artsy was my entry point and provided a good place to browse. To help spread the information here is a list of famous artists. It should be noted that this list is a good start but by no means a complete list.


Yayoi Kusama

Jeff Koons

Cady Noland

Gerhard Richter

Takashi Murakami

Jenny Saville

Ai Weiwei

Kara Walker



Fun Fact:

Jeff Koons holds the records for the most expensive piece of art ever sold. His Balloon Dog
(Orange) pictured above sold for $58,400,000.00.



I’m not a fan of Jackson Pollock’s work but I still respect it.

I Might Skip (Not Boycott) This Year’s Oscars


I love award shows. Some would even call me an award show geek. As any award show geek knows the Academy Awards, aka the Oscars, are the Super Bowl of award shows. Having been a super fan for decades, Oscar trivia takes up endless amounts of valuable real estate in my brain. For example, former Nine Inch Nails rocker Trent Reznor is also an Oscar winner. Obviously I’ve never missed a telecast along with all the red carpet coverage. For many years I’ve even woken up at the crack of dawn just to watch the nominations be announced. Basically I love the Oscars.

2016 is different though. For the first time I’m not making it a priority to watch the Oscars and I might even skip them all together. Like last year this year’s show is once again being criticized for a lack of diversity in the nominees. While that criticism is very justified it has nothing to do with my lack of desire to watch the show. This year there is no single movie or single person that I am really rooting for. I’m not skipping the Oscars in order to make some grand statement I’m skipping the Oscars because I think they’re going to be boring and predictable. Basically I just don’t care.

Basic logic reasons that there’s a natural ebb and flow and every year won’t be a great one for movies. However there has always been one or two bright spots that have pulled me in and gotten my excitement going. For example 2014 wasn’t the most exciting year for movies however I loved the Imitation Game and the Grand Budapest Hotel so I was excited to see if they won or lost. 2011 was another lack luster year but I was so excited to see Meryl Streep win for The Iron Lady that I again I had to tune in. This year however I can’t seem to find much excitement for any of the nominees. I mean does anyone really want to see the Revenant? The only movie I really enjoyed was The Martian and while I do love Matt Damon I don’t think he or the movie will win and honestly I’m not heartbroken about that. My prediction for Oscar night: Chris Rock will make a bunch of diversity jokes, Leo will finally get his Oscar and the telecast will get some of it’s lowest ratings ever. Yawn.

I should mention that before the nominations were announced I was hopeful that there would be a couple nods for movies I was rooting for. I really wanted Tangerine to get some love. While I wasn’t expecting a Best Picture nomination, I was hoping it would get an acting or writing nod. The movie shot completely on an iPhone is the story of two Trans sex workers in LA and it’s one of the funnest and most unique movies I’ve seen in a while. When Tangerine lost out on nomination day my excited lost my excitement too. Regardless of awards I still highly recommend that everyone watch Tangerine on Netflix. As for the Oscars, whether I watch or not will probably come down to what else is available. Best case scenario is I can DVR them so I can watch and fast forward the next day.


7 Dirty Secrets


The gay community spent decades fighting for equality which meant we had to put our best face forward. Each of us were our own community representatives whenever we were the lone gay amongst a sea of straight people. At some point we’ve all given a mini speech about how deep down we’re all the same and we all just want love and acceptance blah blah blah. In order to get equal rites as a community we had to present the best of ourselves as if we were all on one big job interview.

However it’s totally different when it’s just us guys. These not so politically correct dirty secrets are part of the secret handshake of being gay. Keep in mind we’d deny everything if a Republican politician found out. While not every dirty secret applies to every guy, every guy can identify with at least one secret.


1. Sex with a married man is hot. Very hot.

It’s a dirty little secret that most of us won’t admit to our straight gal pals. The fantasy is so strong that we never consider or care about the possible heartbreak of the woman at home. For example if I saw a hot married guy out with his wife and then he started hitting on me at the urinal I wouldn’t think twice before wrapping my lips around his lollipop even though his wife was just outside.


married man

2. Cum is delicious.

Spitters really are quitters. The best part of giving a wonderful blow job is a throat filled with tasty cum.




3. Bareback porn is better than safe sex porn.

I don’t remember the last time I got off watching safe sex porn. In fact I can’t even remember the last time I saw safe sex porn in my Tumblr news-feed. We can all spout all the safe sex talk we want but when it comes to other people’s bodies on a computer screen we want them bareback and cum hungry.



4. All gay men of a certain age have had a prison sex fantasy involving Christopher Meloni.

Oz was basically well acted soft core porn brought to you by HBO.


5. We’ll have sex anywhere if the guy is hot enough.

The biggest factor in making a decision about public sex is how hot the guys is. In most cases it’s very easy to control yourself and say no because the guy is a troll. However if you were propositioned by strong man Eddie Hall you might quickly change your tune.



6. Daddy + son porn is a thing.

This is purely a porn fantasy and not one ever wanted in real life.



7. Steroids work.

Love em or hate em, that shit works.


Growlr vs Scruff

When you ask a guy his opinion about Growlr and Scruff his response is often heavily biased based on his own looks and preferences rather than the app itself. It’s no surprise that users who are lean and muscular (and like the same) think Scruff is superior because that’s where they get more attention and have more success. Just like if the guy prefers a belly then he’ll probably find Growlr to be the better app. I realized I was a good person to provide an unbiased review of the actual apps since I have used both and even paid for the ‘Pro’ versions of each. While I find the guys on Growlr more attractive I get more attention from guys on Scruff. Remember this review has nothing to do with the types of guys on the apps and will only talk about the apps themselves.


Scruff:Color Scheme– I really like Scruff’s dark gray and black color scheme which feels polished and up to date.

  • ‘Online Now’ view- Scruff has a button that changes your nearby view to include only guys who have logged on or been active recently. Anyone who hasn’t been active within an hour or so will disappear. Very helpful for real time communication.
  • Being able to view profiles while offline-You can scroll through profiles and use a lot of the basic functions of  Scruff without needing to be online. This allows for stealth Scruffing which is great if you’re at work in a large office building.
  • Amount of private pics- Scruff allows users to upload a lot of private pictures and videos. Many more options available to show off your goods.
  • Ease of re-locking pictures- There is a screen that shows you everyone who can see your unlocked pictures. From that same screen you can also pick and choose who to re-lock without having to go to their individual profile. It’s a big time saver if you don’t want to do a blanket relock for everyone.


  • Events– Growlr’s event page is jam packed with events big and small all over the country. It’s a great centralized place to look and see if something bear-centric  is going on in a given city.
  • Profile layout- Growlr has the best profile lay out of any app I’ve used. All the information is well organized and put together in a logical sequence.
  • Anonymous viewing- If you pay for Growlr Pro you have the option of anonymously viewing profiles. You can stalk anyone you want and you won’t show up in their viewer list.
  • Travel indicator- The travel indicator is an orange square around the profile picture of anyone who has moved more than 50 miles. Although Scruff has a similar feature, the one on Growlr stands out and is much more noticeable. Useful if you like hotel hookups.
  • Woofs included in messages- I really love that Woof’s are included in the messages and not located on a separate screen. If you Woof at someone if automatically starts a conversation. Great combination of features.



  • Pop Ups- When you first open Scruff you are inundated with a lot of pop up adds. It’s really annoying because sometimes they are 4 or 5 deep.
  • Profile Layout- Scruff’s profiles are cluttered with too many sub sections. The titles of these sections doesn’t help matters. They are clunky and too specific. Instead of just listing the user’s home town there is the title Where I am from. It’s overkill. I really wish there was just a blank general section to type in. In addition I also don’t like that additional pictures are located on a separate screen.
  • Accidentally unlocking pictures- The button to unlock pictures is located in a very bad location on the right side of the screen. I’ve accidentally unlocked many times while trying to scroll through a profile.
  • Having to go through his profile to get to messages- The default setting for Scruff messages is that it brings you through the person’s profile in order to view the messages. While there is a work around the default setting is still annoying.


  • Color Scheme- The color scheme of Growlr is giving us 2001 Bear411 realness. Unfortunately Bear411 was ugly and outdate even in 2001. We get it. The bear flag is brown… Listen to queen Elsa and let it go.
  • Log In/Log Off- You can log off Growlr but strangely there is no way to porposely log on. When you reopen the app it’s just assumed that you are logging back on. Whenever I log off I always wonder if I’m really getting logged out because there really isn’t anyway to tell.
  • Technical Issues- A lot of people have always complained that Growlr eats messages. It’s an ongoing issue that doesn’t seem to ever be resolves.

Fun But Useless 


Match Stack- This Tindr inspired feature is a lot of fun. However after a couple uses it becomes clear that it really is a useless feature. It’s not like the Match Stack will suddenly find a secret underground group of super hotties that are only 2 miles away from you. If you do match with and unknown stud, most likely he’ll be 1500 miles away. Fun but useless.


The Galleries- Growlr offers many different galleries that allow you to view the best of the best around the world. Finding these husky hunks doesn’t mean that they’ll be near by or that they’ll find you attractive. Fun but useless.

Overall Impression


At first glance Scruff feels modern and polished with it’s dark color scheme. However the lack of a main menu screen along with poor profile layouts gives the entire app a bitter aftertaste. The apps biggest opportunity for improvement is its event section. It tends to only feature circuit party type events that Scruff is sponsoring and therefore is very under used by most. More local events would make it easier for the average user to get involved.


One of the first complaints you’ll hear everyone say about Growlr is about the color scheme. The brown and beige layout feels juvenile and outdated. However I offer a warning to the Growlr makers: Don’t make any drastic changes to the color pallet or guys will lose their shit. People say they want change until they actually get said change. A slight modification will do much better than a total color overhaul.


While doing “research” for this article I discovered numerous other gay dating/hookup apps beyond Growlr, Scruff and Grindr. If you’re curious give them a try.

  • Surge
  • VGL
  • Hornet
  • Hanky Gay Chat
  • Gay.com
  • Krave
  • Jack’d
  • Guy Spy
  • Daddyhunt
  • Digsso
  • Get Male
  • Pride
  • Manhunt
  • PlanetRomeo
  • G Chat Italia
  • Bigger City
  • BoxBor
  • Hardline
  • Gay Connections
  • Boy Ahoy
  • Grrr
  • Flirtive
  • Maleforce
  • 1Man
  • Buddy
  • Gayvox
  • Meet Market
  • Mr. X
  • Gaydar
  • Aloha
  • Recon
  • Wapo
  • Twinkle
  • Men of Men
  • Atraf
  • Coolio
  • Cruzr
  • Groupfun
  • Dandy
  • U4 Bear
  • Chasabl
  • Grommr
  • Hookd
  • Blued
  • DowneLink

I’ll Never Have Enough Money


Earlier this week I received the following email:

  • From: Bank of America
  • To: The Gay Gasp
  • Subject: Activity Alert: Your balance has dropped below your requested alert limit


As I opened this email, an email that I am familiar with, it was another reminder that I would be broke until pay day on Friday. With January’s arrival and talks of resolutions in the air I always look at my finances as the biggest area in need of improvement. Paying off my credit card(s) has been on my To-Do list ever since I’ve graduated college. This January is a little different in that I had the realization that I will probably never have enough money. To put it real terms, I realized that my credit card balance will always be higher than the balances of my checking and savings accounts. Right now my savings account is resting at an impressive $25 and my checking account is even less. The bar is set low. I’ve paid everything off before but I can’t seem to maintain those good habits and inevitably my balance grows like weeds in an unattended garden. It’s not a reality I enjoy living in but one that I can’t seem to get away from. Poor is not the appropriate word for my situation as I am better off than a lot of people. First world poor is a better description. Clearly I’m being a good homosexual and a good American by living above my means and trying to keep up with everyone around me who makes more money. I like to think of it as supporting the economy. This is neither a complaint nor an attempt to pass blame on anyone but myself. Time and time again I have consciously made the decision to choose fun over saving.

Unfortunately I didn’t follow in my father’s super saver footsteps. If I told him I went to see a therapist for severe depression and paid for it on a credit card he’d much more concerned about the money rather than the emotional reasons for the visits. He taught me good financial habits but they really never stuck. It’s not that I don’t know the good habits; it’s that I usually choose not to follow them. The two basic principles of saving money are to either cut down on expenses or make more money. While I have plenty of experience with trying to cut down I am well aware that my income has basically plateaued. Unless the Power Ball jackpot is in my future there is no major change in income in my future.

My professional philosophy is to find a job I enjoy and not be too focused on the paycheck. I’ll always choose a lower paying job that I enjoy over a high paying job I hate. It’s the old adage: I work to live not live to work. For example, I will stay with my current employer as long as they’ll have me simply because they give so many vacations days. (I currently have 23 with an option to buy 5 more) Again I’m not trying to make excuses. The problem isn’t a lack of ability or opportunity but rather a lack of drive and desire on my part. I am at the bottom of the totem pole at work and even though there have been plenty of opportunities to be promoted. I just know I would hate the job I would be promoted to and would quickly want to quit. I’ll stick with the job because I generally like it and I can honestly say I don’t mind coming to work everyday. You’re probably starting to see why I don’t expect any big pay increases in my future. There are plenty of jobs that pay better but most of them are totally unappealing to me. I’ve often thought about going back to school and getting my masters but then what? I would have paid thousands in tuition only to graduate and still lack the desire for the jobs that my new degree has made available to me.

The lesson here is to focus on the balance. I need to change my way of thinking rather than make an unattainable resolution to totally pay off all my bills in one year. My efforts will be redirected toward cutting down on all the unneeded stress associated with my finances. Living credit card free is clearly a losing battle so I should stop wasting my time trying to achieve that goal. In those moments when I’m no-joke-broke and waiting for the next pay check I need to remember that the money I am lacking was already spent in wonderful places like Seattle, Maui, and New Orleans. If I had to do it over again I would still go on every trip and I wouldn’t trade those memories for an extra hundred in my savings account. So this January I resolve to focus on maintaining a healthy balance. I will continue to have fun and travel all the while keeping my finances under control.

Talking about money is a tricky thing because no one every wants to talk real numbers. Often money is talked about in vague generalities so we are left to make our own assumptions about the actual reality. Everyone from a minimum wage cashier to a 6 figure doctor complains about not having enough money so it’s hard to tell who really needs it and who doesn’t. With this in mind I want to provide some of the specifics about the realities of my financial situation to provide you with a clear and honest picture.

  • I make just under $22/hr
  • Other than rent, food and travel are my biggest expenses
  • I have a 401k set up but I do not take the maximum deduction
  • I have always paid my bills on time
  • I often need a credit card to pay for daily expenses when my account balance dries up close to pay day.
  • I don’t know my exact credit score but I assume it’s pretty decent considering my bank recently took it upon themselves to raise my credit limit.






Eat Healthier Not Healthiest


January’s arrival means many people will put health and fitness on their resolution list. It’s an admirable goal but one that’s hard to attain especially when we set the goal so high. “No more fast food, no more sweets, and from now on salads only.” While we all would like to make the best choices all the time it’s very unrealistic. Inevitably we all regress back to our former unhealthy behavior by the time February comes along. With that in mind I wanted to provide some eating tips that are better although not the best. The goal here is to bring some healthier options and choices into your normal routine which will make it easier to stick with in the long run. This is not a diet, this is a change to your eating habits forever.

  1. Say yes to fast food but no to french fries: The drive thru isn’t inherently evil as long as you make informed decisions. Simply skip the fries. French fries have all the fat and calories without having any nutritional value. There are absolutely zero benefits to those perfect potatoes. Remember if you’re going to eat fried foods at least choose something with some protein or vitamins.
  2. Switch to diet soda: The amount of sugar in a standard bottle of soda is mind blowing. Switching to diet will make a big difference especially if you’re a big soda drinker. This also goes for energy drinks like Red Bull and sports drinks like Gatorade. You might be turned off by the taste but there are a lot of great new options like Coke’s Zero (Coke Zero, Sprite Zero etc) line of drinks.
  3. Replace lettuce with spinach: Lettuce doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value and varieties like Iceberg are really just crunch water. While lettuce isn’t bad for you in any way it’s an opportunity to substitute it out to get more bang for your buck. Spinach can perform the same duties as lettuce all the while being packed with a lot of vitamins and nutrients.
  4. Use delicious salad dressing regardless of calorie count: This might sound counter productive because tasty thick and creamy dressings are full of fat and calories. However your first goal is to start making salads a daily tradition. It’s true that a simple salad with oil and vinegar dressing is the best choice but it’s also one of the most disgusting one.  Take it one step at a time. If you douse those greens in wonderful ranch they’ll be a lot easier to eat and you’ll be more likely to stick with the habit. Once salads have been fully integrated into your routine then you can try to switch over to a lighter dressing.
  5. Don’t get discouraged if you have a weak moment: Everyone who tries to eat healthy will have a weak moment. Whether it be a sleeve of Chips Ahoy or large pepperoni pizza, we’ve all given in to temptation. Just remember that it happens to everyone and the only thing that matters is that you get back on the horse the next day.
  6. Dark chocolate covered almonds are a great snack: Dark chocolate and almonds are both heart healthy so if you’re in need of a little treat this combo has some positive points. Like I said above if you’re going to be bad at least choose something with a few good benefits.
  7. Learn the difference between feeling full and feeling satisfied: I often finish a meal feeling satisfied that I am no longer hungry. That does not mean I feel full however. Feeling full is actually the feeling that you’ve eaten too much. Channel your inner Goldilocks and search for the amount of food that’s just right without going overboard.
  8. Eat at the same restaurants just order different things: Just because you start eating healthy doesn’t mean you need to become a completely different person. You also don’t need to force your friends to go to that new totally vegan macrobiotic place you heard about. Most chain restaurants have options that are on the healthier side as long as you look for them. For example the Cheesecake Factory’s Skinnylicious menu offers a large selection of lower calories items. If there isn’t a dedicated low calorie menu try to pick dishes that have more protein and nutrients and less carbs and sugar.




photo via nutritionstyle.net


Truth Bombs for 2016

1. You’re the reason why you’re still single.



2. Mean Girls is overrated.



3. You probably need to see a therapist.



4. We’re not as unique as we think we are.



5. Truvada will only makes you a slut if you already wanted to be one.



6. You deserve better than a triad relationship.



7. When you publicly correct someone’s grammar or spelling it’s only to make yourself feel more self-righteous.



8. Sorry chasers, don’t be mad at all the bears because they are as unattracted to skinny guys as you are.



If I’ve offended you or simply hit too close to home then I’ve done my job. #sorrynotsorry