merry christmas etc.

Christmas was great. Most of my friends are out of town or busy, so I've been able to finally get a few things checked off my to-do list. Also, there's nothing like Christmas with a baby around. On Christmas morning, we almost forgot that we had gotten presents for each other, since we were all focused on watching her open and play with everything.

As adorable as she is, though, I'm pretty sure I don't want kids. It depresses my mom when I say that, so I don't say it anymore. It kinda depresses me a little too, since I had always thought I'd have them. But I just don't foresee myself in that role anymore. I would want to have a husband first, and that's looking less and less likely. But also, it's so much work! I dunno. I guess we'll see what happens.

I've told you before about the annual Christmas party we go to that is hosted by Jews. So strange. Anyway, this year it was a LOT more fun than usual, because I found out my cousin FINALLY came out. We've thought he was gay since he had an obsession with Britney Spears when he was about 4, and his parents even thought so. But as recently as last year, he had a "girlfriend". Anyway, he's a senior in high school now, and for whatever reason decided it was time. I'm so happy for him. I didn't get a chance to talk to him about it, though, so I have that to look forward to. Easter, I guess.

Santa was good to me. My favorites... I got a telescope, but not to look at the stars. My new place has a kick-ass view of the city, so I'm going to be pointing it down, to check out the sites. I should make one of those things like at national parks, where they label a photo to show you where to point your telescope... I got a book called Garner's Modern American Usage, because I'm kinda a language dork. I don't always use proper grammar, but I like to know what it is. My friend B would totally jizz over this book. Hopefully he won't, though. I got a Snuggie!! I guess I'll have to give my friend his back. I love it! I got clothes from a stylish friend, which is great, because I can't pick out clothes for myself. And I guess the "big" gift is my parents are taking all of us on a cruise to Alaska this summer. That should be cool. I'm not much of a hiker (although I love to walk in nature...there's a big distinction, but I'll discuss it some other time). But I think it'll be great. If I run into Sarah Palin, I'll be sure to kick her in the teeth.

The gifts that were most fun to give were everything for my niece, obviously, since she's so freaking adorable. And I got a friend a Blackberry, which sounds boring, but was REALLY appreciated, so that made it fun.

Hmmm, what else is new? I had a Chrismukkah party at my place, which was great. This party was much more relaxing than the last one, basically because it wasn't my first. So I knew people would show up, I knew it'd be fun, I knew I didn't have to wait on people. It was a really fun and eclectic group. But those bitches didn't eat a thing, after I slaved away cooking. So for my next party, I'm either not inviting so may gays/actors/models, or I'm just having a fruit plate. Maybe my next one will be an Oscar party...

If you got any gift cards for Christmas and live in California, check this out. Very interesting! Did you know that (with some exceptions) they can't expire? Sometimes paternalistic laws are great.

So, I was supposed to meet up with my friend who voted Yes on Prop 8 yesterday, but I didn't. We made tentative plans a while ago, but then neither of us called the other. I'm not sure why we're bothering, other than habit. I don't think he really wants to be friends with a faggot, and I don't really want to be friends with a bigot. People keep telling me about the power of forgiveness, and how I should cherish old friends, etc. Blah blah blah. Why? What has he done for me in the past 5 years, other than vote against my rights? If I don't feel like I actually WANT to see him, why should I? It's just going to be an awkward conversation about gay rights, and we're not going to change each other's minds, and then what? We'll talk about the weather? About his bigot wife who turned him into a fundie? Meh. He was my best friend for about 5 years, and we had an amazing time together. I definitely value that. But people grow apart. There's nothing wrong with that.

Remember how I told you I had a model sleeping on my shoulder on my plane ride home from Italy this summer? Well, I found some pictures of him online yesterday. That's him at the top of the page. Damn, shoulda taken more advantage of that when I had the chance...

perfect weekend

It started early, too.

Wednesday night I caught up with a good friend over drinks and nachos at Fiesta. He is making major life changes, so it was great to get the skinny! On the way home, and for an hour thereafter, I had a serious and long-needed conversation with a close friend. We cleared an elephant out of the room, and I feel liberated. Life couldn't be much better in that regard.

Thursday night I hung out with new and old friends over some drinks. I'm not sure whether I didn't eat enough during the day or what, but I went to bed by 10pm after two manhattans and was so dizzy I lost it all to the porcelain god. Blah. Hate that. Maybe I'm becoming a lightweight. A friend of mine was a little bitchy to me, but I don't think he meant any harm. Just some growing pains in his own life, I think.

Friday during the day I arranged a date for Sunday night, but then realized I'd double booked myself and had to cancel. Damn! That night was dinner and dancing (well, ok, I didn't dance) with an old friend and a bunch of his friends. I didn't get too silly because I wasn't drinking (smart decision). Highlight of the night (as far as challenges for the future) was the hot guy in the Ferrari pulling up at Eleven. I want him (or just his car would be ok too).

Saturday I had a personal training session and then did some errands at home. Then it was off to my sister's house for dinner. My niece is so damn adorable! When she wants me to read her a book, she picks it out, hands it to me, and then backs her little diaper-clad butt up to my leg and plops down. It was so cute I almost melted. After that the whole family went to a comedy club and saw a HILARIOUS show. Potty mouth deluxe, but it worked.

Sunday morning was brunch on the patio with a close friend and his adorable pooch (got hot coffee spilled on my lap, but we got a delicious free bread pudding out of it). A really attractive homeless guy kept harassing us about the way the gods treated the dinosaurs. Then it was off for a spa day. Saw [_______] in the locker room, and he smiled at me! If I wasn't a decorous gentleman through and through, there was a hot young guy with a big old wang who definitely would have joined me in the steam room. Alas. After that I sat on my balcony and did some computer errands as the sun went down (in short sleeves...yes, it's still summer-ish in LA). Then cooked dinner at my place with a friend, then to an old friend's birthday party.

I freaking LOVE my life.

awesome comment

So this is mad libs now?

"For example, a couple months ago, [____] admitted to me that [____] had [____], right after they [____], which is a pretty damn far cry from the Jesus-freak he portrays himself to be."

Here's a try:

For example, a couple months ago, Alan Thicke admitted to me that Kirk Cameron had OD'ed on cocaine, right after they sacrificed someone to Satan, which is a pretty damn far cry from the Jesus-freak he portrays himself to be.

Close or not close?

Pretty close, actually! HAHAHHAA! I got a huge kick out of that. Thanks for playing. Anybody else?
I have more stories to blog about now than ever before, including the early days when everything in the gay world was new and exciting and confusing. I've got stories of drugs, sex and rock & roll (and I'm not just using a famous phrase, I mean that). There are pornstars and sugar-daddies. Threesomes and bribery. Complicated relationships. Infidelity and HIV. Celebrities of all stripes. Travel, jealousy and family issues. Dating drama, money woes, and health concerns. Fabulous parties and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Funny predicaments and substance abuse. New hobbies and new vices. Friends and happiness and a whole lot of gratitude. And, of course, LOVE. And loss.

If I do say so myself, my life is really interesting right now. And it has all the elements that would make a good blog. Plenty of moral dilemmas about which y'all could opine (and slam me and my friends, as you do). Plenty of learning experiences for the young'uns. Plenty of craziness through which others could live vicariously. Plenty of variety and room for growth. I regret that I'm not writing it down so I can remember it when I'm old and boring.

But every time I feel like sitting down to write something, which is often, I think about all the people who are reading it. And it's not that I'm becoming a more private person, or that the stakes are higher (for me). It's just that I don't feel like I'm in control of my story any longer. I always made calculated risks in what I wrote, because almost no story is JUST about me. There was always a slim chance that I'd offend somebody in real life. But lately, every time I make that calculation, it isn't worth the risk.

Part of it is that a small but increasing number of the cast of characters whose lives intertwine with mine DO have a lot to lose. I can't tell some of my best stories because they're also their stories, and I'm not about to be that guy who tips off TMZ. For example, a couple months ago, [____] admitted to me that [____] had [____], right after they [____], which is a pretty damn far cry from the Jesus-freak he portrays himself to be. And it's a really fucking hot story, too. And just last weekend, I had this FANTASTIC story about [_____] and [____], wearing [____] and [____], naturally, since it was Halloween, getting walked in on by [_____], of all people, while we were busy [_____] in a [_____], just after I [_____]. And just a few hours before that, [_____] came within inches of [_____], not to mention [_____], because he was [_____]. It was all very exciting and sexy and extremely funny, and my first thought was to come home and blog about it. But it's not really that funny with all the details bleeped out, is it? No, it's not. At all. Even I'm annoyed when I use [____], which is becoming increasingly common. It's not that I couldn't disguise things enough that you couldn't guess. But if it ever did get out, I wouldn't want to have to explain to my friends why I told the whole world [____], even in a disguised form.

But that's only a small fraction of the stories that don't make it here. I guess, for the most part, it's that I don't want to have to explain myself in real life. I'm not ashamed of anything I would write about, because I'm not ashamed of anything I've been doing. But back in the beginning, I knew I'd never have to answer for it. It's one thing for tens of thousands of strangers to get a laugh about some masturbation mishap, or whatever I used to write about. It's another thing to have somebody bring it up at dinner. And even the knowing glance is more than I want to deal with.

If you keep a diary, you'll understand. You wouldn't particularly care if some random guy in Indonesia who you'll never meet reads it. But you wouldn't want your friends reading it, even if it were totally vanilla. If you thought they might, you wouldn't write very much. You want to control the release of information to those you love, not because you want to hide it, but because that's how relationships are supposed to work. I want to WATCH my friends laughing about [_____] when I tell the story in person, rather than have them laugh in front of their computer when I'm not there. I want to explain to somebody how they hurt my feelings, rather than have them read about it as if it were a news story. Blogging used to feel like I was writing a private journal. Now it feels like I'm writing an email to my friends. And there are certain things you just don't say in an email to friends.

Anyway, if you're a new blogger starting out, my advice is this: NEVER reveal your identity. It'll be the death of your blog. If I could hit the reset button and erase the memory of my blog from everybody in Los Angeles, Boston and New York, I'd do it, and then I'd write a lot more (wait, is there a way to do that? Can I block the IP addresses of whole cities?) I guess I could start over with a new blog, and try to build new readership. But that's more work than I'm willing to put in.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not quitting. Every now and then I think of things I want to write about, and I'll continue to do so. I guess I just felt like lamenting. It's not what it used to be, and that makes me sad.

Ok, I'm gonna go drink some Baileys and read Vanity Fair. Even though Robert Pattinson is on the cover, which I just don't get. He's not even that good looking, and he sounds retarded when he talks. To each her own, I guess.

ne jugez pas trop vite

I learned (well, re-learned) a good life lesson this week.  A friend of mine is having a lot of money troubles...he can't find a job, but has fixed expenses that he just can't get rid of.  I have no idea how big his reserves are, but I know he's dipping into them and it's stressing him out.  He was living high on the hog for a while during his last (very well paying) job, and is finding it difficult to cut back.  Particularly being friends with me, because I think money is meant to be spent on great bonding activities with friends (dinner, shows etc).  Because he's always with me at those events, he gets sucked into my bad spending habits.  So I'm a bad influence. 

But we made a pact a couple weeks ago to try to keep each other in check.  I have a mortgage now, so I need to be more careful.  We were talking earlier this week, and he asked me for advice on how to minimize an unexpected unavoidable expense that sprang up that morning and couldn't wait (emergency plane flight).  We worked it out the best we could, and re-affirmed our pact to try to minimize expenses so that this doesn't add extra stress.

He mentioned that it was bad timing because he had another big expense he just HAD to pay.  I asked him what, and how much it cost, and he described a [_______] a friend of his was selling.  I had heard him talking about it before when he first saw it at this guy's house, and how much he loved it, and wished he could have it.  But he had told the guy he'd have to wait until he could afford it.  Apparently the guy decided he had to unload it RIGHT NOW, and so my friend was going to pay the $600 because the opportunity was just too good to pass up.

I thought this was completely absurd, and I said "um, really?"  In fact, my first reaction was to be annoyed.  During the last couple months, to help him out a little, I have volunteered to pay for a few things (not big things, just treating him to dinner more than I normally would, etc).  And I almost said "Well shit, if you can afford to waste $600 on [________], you must not be as poor as I thought you were.  I guess I don't need to be treating you so often!"  Or something similarly snarky and judgmental.

But then I realized he's a big boy.  Our pact is useful for helping each other make smart small choices, like eating out at CPK rather than Pace when we want pizza.  He doesn't need me to remind him that it's stupid to waste money on something like that when times are tough.  I can just stop spending money on him, without announcing why I'm doing it.  Me being a bitch about it isn't going to do any good at all. So I just chuckled a little, and kept my mouth shut.

When I got home from work last night, he was at my place, with the [________].  It was a GIFT!  He had told me about it because he was trying to feel out whether I'd love it (since he obviously couldn't return it).  Of course he knew he couldn't afford it right now!  If it had been for him, he would have passed on it.  The reason he couldn't wait is because he thought it was the perfect thing for ME, and didn't think he'd ever find something like it again if he let this opportunity pass.  He wanted to show me he loves me, even (especially) when times are tough.  It was a sacrifice, but that's the point.  When he gave it to me, he said "I love you so much.  I just can't get over you." 

By judging him too quickly, I almost ruined an incredibly beautiful gesture.  If I had made the snarky comment, he probably would have given it to me anyway.  But every time I saw it, I would have been reminded of my judgmental bitchiness.  It would have been a symbol of a bad time in our relationship, instead of one of the best times.

ne jugez pas trop vite

land baron

Ok, so do you wanna know what has REALLY been keeping me busy?  I have been BUYING A CONDO!!  I didn't want to say anything until it actually happened, because I didn't want back-seat drivers.  But now it's over!  It has sucked up unbelievable amounts of time. I went through all sorts of stages of hell before I got my keys:

First I analyzed whether I could afford it:  The answer is: sorta, if I stretch.  My Dad kept insisting "it's a buyer's market, real estate is the best way to build wealth, you'll be so happy you got in early" blah blah.  Eh, I don't know about that.  I read all sorts of reports that it's actually maybe NOT good to buy real estate if your sole consideration is long-term wealth accumulation.  But whatever, I was tired of throwing away money to an evil landlord, and there are plenty of intangible considerations.

Then I had to decide whether I wanted to commit to a mortgage (and therefore commit to a high-paying, perhaps un-fulfilling, job): Not really, but I have confidence the market will have bounced back by the time I'm ready (able) to get a new job, and by then I can sell (or rent).

Then I negotiated with my Dad over whether he wanted to go in half, so that I'm not locked into a miserable career: Nope.

So with all that certainty about the money situation (sarcasm), I then had to find a place I love.  That was actually the hardest part.  At first I wanted a multi-unit place, so that I could collect rent.  But there was nothing for less than $1 million.  Then for a while I thought it'd be nice to have a single-family home so that I have a yard and can do whatever I want.  But then I realized I'd have to take care of a lot of stuff, and that the only homes I could afford were shitty little things either in the Valley or not-cool parts of Culver City. 

So then I needed to find a condo. is the coolest website ever (after this one, of course), and was very helpful.  I really needed an agent too, but kept putting it off.  Then I went to see a place in Hollywood, and the agent showing it was extremely nice, and HONEST.  Homeliest looking thing you ever saw, with food constantly stuck in the corner of his mouth, a toupee that looks like a rug, no sense of direction, and no ability to park his car without hitting something.  But in addition to being nice, and honest, I really appreciated that he was open-minded.  I took my parents with me that day, but also happened to take a gay friend who was dressed particularly flamboyant.  And the agent just assumed right off the bat that we were a couple, and was cool with it.  "I'm not sure what you and [_____] are looking for, but let me tell you about...."  I liked that. 

We toured a bunch of places, as I slowly narrowed down what I was looking for.  And when I was busy at work, I sent my mom out to look at places for me (she has good taste).  At first I thought square footage was my primary concern.  But then I realized location was more important.  But, of course, good locations cost a lot, so then I was looking at fixer-uppers.  But then I realized that I HAD to have my own private outdoor space, so I started looking only at places with roof decks or patios.  And then I decided I wanted a unit that didn't look out on another building, because I was tired of always having to choose between open blinds and nudity.  And then I decided I would REALLY like to have a view. 

I also wanted a place that prioritized "public" space over private (i.e., I'd rather have a big living room to entertain in than a big second bedroom that nobody will ever see).  And I didn't want a place that was too fixed up.  A fancy kitchen is nice, but I don't want to pay a premium and then be stuck with somebody else's choice of granite.  I'd rather fix it up myself later, if I want. 

Of course, I could never find something that had ALL those things.  Either it had a great location, but looked out at the back of a billboard.  Or an awesome patio, but tiny square footage.  Or a great entertaining space, but my neighbors could watch me shower.  And, of course, I was looking for that certain je ne sais quoi. 

I actually put down an official offer on one place (thank God I got tired of the bidding war...I wouldn't be happy in that place), and came close to offering on another.

And then one day I was looking at redfin and saw a place that had JUST come on the market.  From the description, it seemed way too good to be true.  I arranged to view it the next day, and took my Dad.  My first instinct upon walking in was that I loved it, but then I started agonizing over all the things that weren't quite perfect.  I took my Mom, and she loved it too, but also saw a lot of little negatives.  Then I took my best friend, and immediately upon walking through the door, he said "You have to buy it."  He had been with me to see most of the other places, so he knew what I wanted.  And he knows how I over-analyze everything.  His absolute unwavering confidence that this was the right place was what I needed to push me over the edge.  His attitude was basically "oh stop being such a worry-wart.  You obviously love this place.  It has everything you want.  Just do it!" And he was right, I did want it!  I wanted it bad!  I knew it was THE perfect place for me, and I probably wasn't going to find another place with that perfect combination. 

So I got an inspection done, to make sure it wasn't falling apart.  And then I agonized over how much to offer.  I knew the asking price was an amazing bargain, but I wanted to see what I could get, so I offered less.  But then they came back and said there were two other offers, and that I should make my "last, best" offer.  So I just jumped right up to the asking price.  I didn't want to mess around with a bidding war.  I know they could have been screwing with me, but whatever. 

So we were going through all the paperwork, and I finally found hard evidence of what I'd known since I did my inspection: the square footage was much smaller than what they'd listed.  And there was a problem with the structure of the balcony.  And the air conditioner was on its last legs.  The seller had been dragging its feet with me for so long that the other bidders were long gone, and I knew I was the only guy in the game.  So I dropped back to my original offer, AND insisted they pay to fix the balcony. 

They said "no way, there's no way we'd accept that."  But I called their bluff and said "Fine, try to sell it to somebody else.  But now you have to disclose the true square footage and the structural issue, or you're committing fraud."  I knew I had them by the balls.  And they accepted!  I remember I was at Trader Joe's picking up food for a picnic dinner at the Hollywood Forever cemetery for one of their movie nights when my agent called me.  I was so excited, and my friends were very sweet to celebrate with me! 

But the excitement quickly turned to frustration.  It actually took more than two months after that to finally get through all the paperwork, get the loan, do the final inspections etc etc.  The delay actually worked out for me, since I unintentionally locked my interest rate at the bottom of a trough.  But the delay was annoying nonetheless.  I was really good about my due diligence (I even snuck into an HOA meeting to see whether they were crazy (kinda, but not in a bad way)).  I did everything on time.  But the escrow company was HORRID (they actually fired the person working on my deal in the middle of it, and forgot to tell anybody about it, and forgot to assign somebody else to do it).  And there's still a battle going on between the HOA and the seller about $25k of unpaid HOA dues (but it doesn't directly involve me, so I'm ignoring it). 

I also had a battle with my landlord as I was moving out.  To make a long story short, he got ants in his pants about getting the place fixed up for the next tenant, and in hurrying a little too much he basically trespassed and evicted me without cause.  I got a lawyer involved and scared the shit out of him, and ended up getting what I wanted (a fat chunk of cash).  Trust me, I was a model tenant, and I was as nice as possible and tried to work it out without a lawyer.  But he's a true asshole.  Everybody in the building agrees he got what he deserved. 

Anyway, it all worked out. I had a brief moment of anxiety when the wire transfer went through (life savings: GONE.  I'm back to zero, and feel poor.  Proooobably shouldn't have gone to Italy!)  But I know I got a good deal.  I ended up getting it for more than $300,000 less than they were asking 1.5 years ago.  That was obviously a bubble, but even so, that's a giant discount. 

And after all that, I finally got the keys!  Actually, it was somewhat anti-climactic.  All I got was my agent telling me the code to the lock-box that was stuck to the railing outside the building.  But I already knew the code.  So the only thing that really changed was that I didn't have to put the keys back in the box anymore. 

This has already gotten way too long, so I'll tell you about move-in day (there's a hot boy in that story) and life in the new place next time.
It has been another fun couple of weeks.  I have been incredibly busy, so I haven't really had time to write. 

Some of you asked for an update on what I decided to do about the date with the video guy.  I basically just responded "sure" and haven't followed up because I have been busy.  If he asks again, I'll probably go, and probably mention it (just to see his reaction if nothing else.  Nothing to lose, right?  And it might be entertaining.  And if he DOES have a collection, maybe he'll show me!)  If he doesn't ask again, I probably won't say anything.  He seems like a nice enough guy.  I'm sure he didn't know I "caught" him.  From the look on his face, he just thought he didn't set it up right.  So it's not like there's some brewing tension between us.  He was fun to fool around with, so if he just wants that, I'll do that again (but at my place, where there are no cameras!) 

So I found out my health insurance covers what they euphemistically refer to as "mental wellness services", so I'm going to get a therapist.  Why not, right?  At least he/she won't insult me.  And it can't hurt.  Although the one that was recommended to me was "out of network" so I have to pay a $500 deductible and then the insurance only covers 30%.  Screw that!  I need to find one who is "in-network", where they'll cover 90%.  I guess I have what NPR tells me is a "cadillac health plan."  Score!  So I hope the therapist is useful.  I'm afraid I won't be totally honest or open, but hopefully he/she will know how to pry it out of me.  As you know, there are all sorts of issues I'd like to address.  At least it feels good to be proactive; even if it "doesn't work", at least I'm doing SOMETHING for myself.

I had a fun and unexpected encounter this weekend.  I was hanging out at a friend's parents' house.  I was the only newcomer, everybody else were old childhood friends of his.  We stayed up really late drinking and talking on the porch, so when 5:30am rolled around and we were ready to sleep, it was too late for everybody to drive home.  So we were forced to pair off and share the available guest rooms, and lucky for me, I got paired off with the one I thought was hottest.  I had been flirting all night, and while he gave me some cute looks back, I wasn't sure if he was interested.  We started talking when we got into bed, and since it was a double bed we inevitably touched under the covers.  It became clear pretty quickly that the touching wasn't bothering either of us, and we didn't move away.  We got to talking about our "things" (what we like to do with guys), which we both knew was the conversation that would end up with us hooking up.  I usually like to let the other guy make the move, but it was like 6am by this time and I was freakin' tired, so I decided to just kiss him.  We had a really good time (apparently our "things" coincide) and ended up spooning all night.  It was a little awkward when my friend's dad came knocking the next morning to wake everybody up (as it turns out, we hooked up in grandma's bed! hahaha!) but it was all good.   

I also saw two movies in the past couple weeks, which is a record for me.  I think the last time I was in a theater was April, so I had really been missing it.  First I saw Inglorious Basterds with a couple friends at a cool old theater in Los Feliz called The Vista.  I usually find Quentin Tarantino (the person, not the director) annoying, because he clearly thinks he's too cool for school.  But, since he is, I forgive him.  I thought this movie was brilliant.  Brad Pitt was kinda meh, but I loved that they used mostly relatively unknown actors, who were mostly really good.  Especially the young woman who owns the theater.  The movie is so gory and violent, but it works perfectly.  They build a lot of tension, in a good way, and the last scene is so shocking and so fun! 

I also saw the remake of Fame with a couple friends at The Grove.  It isn't going to win any Oscars, but I thought it did what it meant to do really well.  It's just a fun, easy-going end of summer movie.  They tried to pack in way too many story lines and too many characters, so there's not really a deep plot or anything.  But that's not really the point.  It's just meant to be eye candy.  I liked it because the dancing was brilliant, and big musical scenes always get me in movies.  The cafeteria dance thing was really cool (I must learn to do a flip of some kind before I die), and I loved the big graduation scene.  Also, who doesn't like a cast full of pretty young people?  There were two especially hot guys, the singer Marco and the ballet dancer Kevin.  The singer is a little generic, but the ballet dancer is a real cutie. What beautiful blue eyes!  I'm typing this on my iPhone so I can't insert pictures, but you should go check them out here and here.  Yum!  Hopefully we'll get some shirtless scenes in their next movies!  I'm so tired of Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and Zac Efron, so it's good to have something else to look at.

Anyway, I would recommend both movies.  Ok, off to do something productive!
I'm taking a survey.  I think I know the answer, but I'm curious to get feedback anyway.

So there's this guy.  He's pretty hot.  He has a good job.  He seems sweet.  I've hooked up with him a couple times over the last few years.  It's always been on my turf, except once, when I went to his.  He thought he heard somebody coming in, so he went to check that the front door was locked.  While I was waiting, I noticed his blackberry lodged up sideways on a shelf, facing backwards.  I picked it up and looked at it, and it was recording us.  I stopped the recording, erased the video, and put it back exactly where it was.  We finished up (considerably rougher than before, understandably...bastard) and I left.  I never mentioned it, and neither did he.

I haven't seen him since, but today he asked me on a date.  Like, a real date, not a hookup.  So, should I ignore him because he's a skeezeball?  Would it be a bad idea to ever trust him?  Or should I give him another chance?  On one hand, it's kinda hot and flattering, and while douchey, perhaps it's something he'd only do to a random F-buddy, not a real friend/boyfriend.  On the other hand, he may have been planning to blackmail me, which isn't cool.  And even if he wasn't, it doesn't say great things about his character.  I suppose there's a middle ground...I could go on the date and see if he has a good personality otherwise, and then consider how to address the lapse in integrity at some later date.  Lord knows I'm not entitled to cast the first stone. 



Get it while the gettin's good! Somehow dsquared managed to sneak hot model peen onto YouTube! Those censors are asleep at the switch!


I've had really bad karma lately, and it has cost me a fortune.

Flat tire: $400
New battery: $300
Lost bluetooth earpiece: $100
Lost glasses (which I never even wore before losing them): $265
Car body repairs after accident: $500 deductible
Lost key to mailbox: $15
California wildfires dumped wet ash on my newly washed car: $18
Plumbing problem: $100 and counting
Dental emergency: $1000
Parking ticket: $50
Ipod stolen: $330 (cost to replace)
Fight with douchey landlord: $500

There's more but it's depressing to keep listing. But this all seemed to turn around right around when two events happened: Mark found a boyfriend (maybe I'll explain more about why that has any effect at some later time) and I started going back to church.

WTF? Church? I know, right? I didn't expect that one. I went to dinner with a friend, who brought along an old friend of his, who brought along an old friend of hers, and THAT girl invited my friend and I to church. I liked the way she described it, and I thought it couldn't hurt. She ended up bailing on us at the last minute (studio called while we were waiting for the service to start, and wanted her for a shoot RIGHT THEN...that's so LA to bail on church because the studio called). But we went, and we LOVED IT.

I decided I have to follow at least two rules if this has any chance of working:

1. I have to do it on my own terms. The last time I got wrapped up in religion was because I was doing it to be social. I wanted to please my friends. So this time, I'm going to resist the pressure to conform to anything in particular. If I don't feel like standing up, I'm not going to. If I don't feel like clapping, I'm not going to. If I don't feel like singing, I'm not going to. Hell, if I don't feel like GOING, I'm not going to.

2. I'm not going to get wrapped up in the theology. I think orthodoxy is lame. I like to have my viewpoints challenged, but I'm not going to be made into an automaton (again). If the message resonates for me, then I'll use it. If it doesn't, then I'm just going to ignore it. If they try to tell me to believe something I don't want to, I'll ignore them. If they say things that contradict each other (which they have, quite often), I'm going to be entertained by it, not bothered. They have only mentioned Jesus once so far, and that was as a human. Works for me.

So far, so good. We've been 4 times now, and each time has been amazing. The first time I cried through a good portion of it, because I really needed to hear/feel some of the things they conveyed. The second time wasn't particularly memorable, except that my friend and I had a fun time eating greasy hotdogs afterward. The third time was epic because there was an outstanding 150 person choir that just blew the roof off the place. EVERYBODY was dancing. The fourth time was great because there was a guest pastor (a black married lesbian! My first gay preacher!) and it seemed like she was speaking directly to me. In short, the messages I needed to hear were: 1) I don't need to be in control of everything all the time, 2) I should try to live in the universe, not in the world (i.e., don't let all this bullshit get me down. Stuff happens, but there's still a "me" there that doesn't get bogged down by it, and I need to live as that person), and 3) why NOT me? (i.e., why shouldn't I be happy? Why shouldn't I expect a fulfilled life?)

So far, I love the place. It is the most diverse group you can imagine, in every way (and that's wonderful in LA). I'm a little annoyed that the round-trip duration is about 4 hours. It really eats away at my Sunday. Next week we're going to try an earlier service. For the most part the message is just a bunch of transcendentalist hippie bullshit. But I like that! That's what I need right now, not some militant Christian George W. Bush dogma.

So, here's to new experiments!

colin farrell

I saw Colin Farrell at the mall today. I think he is so hot, and he was wearing the coolest boots I've ever seen. Naturally, I could only think of his sex tape. Google it if you want, I'm sure you can find it.

Anyway, not much else to say. As I've said before, and will undoubtedly have to say again, I'm so sorry I can't respond to all your emails. Someday I hope to. But I'm so busy I feel like I'm drowning. I just don't know how to get out of this mess. I guess I'll just keep plugging away, and hope my list of stuff to do starts getting shorter instead of longer.

remarkably unremarkable

So one of my best friends works in my neighborhood, and he had to work really late last night. So he came over to my place to crash. He little-spooned up next to me in bed, and one thing led to another....

And what is remarkable about this is that it is so unremarkable (not the fooling around...that was fun). But the fact that we did it is unremarkable. There was nothing awkward about it when we were done. We just talked about other stuff and laughed a lot and rolled over and went to sleep. Nothing awkward about it this morning. Nothing awkward about it this evening when he came back to pick up his stuff. No expectations. No regrets.

I like this. I think physicality can be a nice bonding experience between friends. It can get complicated, of course. And it certainly doesn't work for every friendship. But I'm thankful to have a friendship where it works. (And no, I'm not talking about Mark. Although, speaking of him, he got a new phone and has apparently taken to sending racy pictures of himself to people. He showed me a couple at dinner tonight. God.)

In other news, I have a house guest right now, and I have learned a few things about myself:

-I don't like it when people sleep on my couch overnight, and use my decorative pillows to sleep on. I set up an aero-bed with sheets because I don't want your sweat and hair grease on my couch!

-I don't like to be woken up at 5am on a school night.

-I don't like it when people use my bath towel. Ew. (Unless you're hot and I get to watch you using it.)

-I don't like to know when other people are pooping.

The End.

in the meantime

I'm getting ready for my trip, which you'll undoubtedly hear all about shortly. I intend to blog a lot. But in the meantime, I had an amazing customer service experience, and wanted to share.

So, I have this Norelco shaver thing. I was using it, and the top busted open and cut my skin all up. Looked like I'd been scratched by a cat. Bad, right?

So I called Norelco, and said "WTF, it broke, I want a new one." He took my name and address, and said "Ok, you'll have a new one in 1 to 2 weeks." And I said, "Wait, you're replacing the whole thing, not just the part that broke?" Yup. And so I said "So, you're not going to verify that I actually have one of these things? You're going to just send me one in the mail on the honor system?" And he said "Yes, we trust people."

WHAT?! That's amazing! I guess it's bad that it broke open and cut me, but everything breaks eventually. We live in a culture of disposable everything. But usually when something breaks, we just have to buy a new one. I can't believe how easy that was!

In other news, I went to a movie with the guy I want to marry who is hard to usual, he was hard to read. He held my hand through most of the movie, fingers intertwined. But when it came time to drop me off, he just gave me the normal hug and peck on the lips that we always do. Bah! I guess I'll just have to keep trying.

In still other news, I have a crush on a blond for the first time in a long time. I used to have such a thing for blonds, remember? But it's been a couple years. The drought has ended.

More soon!

lemonade and actors

I was just driving through the flats of Beverly Hills, and saw two little boys on a corner waving signs. Kinda unusual for the neighborhood, so I took a look... LEMONADE!! They pointed me left, and cheered when I turned. I pulled up in front of a big white mansion, waited my turn behind a Range Rover and a Bentley convertible, and bought some lemonade. I'm not so good at guessing ages, but I'd say the two at the table were probably 4 and 6. They had ENORMOUS smiles on their faces, and were so excited to have so many customers. I looked past the gates of the house and saw mom and dad sitting there watching. I asked what they were earning money for, and the older one said they want to buy Legos. Hahaha!

In addition to it being ridiculously adorable, I LOVE the fact that the parents made them earn money to buy the toys they want. Also, I love the fact that people were stopping to buy it. Even I, who love LA, would assume that the people driving through that neighborhood would be assholes. But they did a lot of business! I gave them $5 and told them to keep the change, just to see them smile bigger. Too cute!

Also, have you heard about the gay Emmy winning director who told people at Outfest (the GLBT film festival in LA) that actors should stay in the closet? People seem to be all up in arms about it, but I'm not sure why. Ideally, yes, all actors could come out and it wouldn't harm their careers. But as far as I know, he wasn't asked what he WANTS the world to be like. He was asked for advice about an industry he works in, and that was his honest answer. It would have been intellectually dishonest to lie. And if he's correct, it would have been damaging to the careers of whatever actors took his advice to come out.

Yes, I know, somebody has to go first. Nobody will come out until everybody else is out. But nobody will come out until middle America will accept a gay actor. But middle America won't accept a gay actor until they see more of them. Catch-22. It's the same problem in professional sports.

You all know I'm a huge proponent of coming out, so don't get me wrong. I think it's healthier to live an honest life, and that ultimately what you lose by coming out will be compensated for. However, I also believe there is a time and a place. Many of you have told me stories about your situations and my advice has been NOT to come out, at least not yet.

It's easy for bloggers and gay rights leaders to say this guy shouldn't have said that, and that actors should feel free to come out, and that it won't harm them. But those people are speaking in the abstract, they're speaking against evidence to the contrary, and they're sending those actors up as sacrificial lambs for "the cause." Essentially asking them to take one for the team. That's all well and good, and part of me thinks that too. The blogger, anti-Prop 8 activist part of me.

But then I think of my friends. REAL people struggling with this question. For them it's not abstract; their careers hang in the balance. They have been living their lives completely out, but have now started to have real success in film and music. At their age, the target demographic is teenage girls, and what they're selling is an image. So they have to decide whether to be out in the media too.

To be clear, it's not like they're contemplating going fully back into the closet. I would NEVER advise a friend to do that, career be damned. And I don't think that's what the director was suggesting. My friends have boyfriends, and will freely tell anybody who asks that they're gay. The cast and crew of their projects all know. Their friends all know. They go out to gay bars. The issue is whether to correct the Cosmo/GQ/Maxim/Vanity Fair/Rolling Stone reporter who asks what you're looking for in a girl. The issue is whether to introduce your boyfriend to reporters on the red carpet and hold his hand, or introduce him as your friend/publicist/stylist and let him stand back while you're interviewed.

When I talk about it with these friends (and with their boyfriends who are asked to stand back on the red carpet...and I have personally been that guy who was asked to stand back during interviews), I agree with the director. If they can live their lives fully and freely, but also remain a heartthrob for teenage girls in middle America, I don't see why not. I wish more people would take one for the team like Adam Lambert. But in my role as friend and adviser, my loyalty lies with my friends, not with "the team." I don't LIKE what the director said, but I think he's correct. We all need to work to change that. But I'm not willing to advise my friends to sacrifice themselves, so I need to find another way.

working for it

Here's a semi-related follow up question:

I understand that a relationship takes work. It's not always going to be about "happiness". Love is deeper, takes commitment, compromise etc. In other words, sometimes you're going to be miserable, but you have to trust that you made the right long-term decision that this person was worth it, and struggle through.

But to what extent is that true in the beginning of a relationship? Obviously you shouldn't commit to a relationship with somebody who makes you miserable, even sometimes. But on the other hand, you can't expect to be in love with the person right off the bat either. In the beginning, it's much more shallow, so I think it's legitimate to ask how "happy" you are to be around this person.

Here's the scenario: I went on a date last night with a guy I really like. Have liked him for years. And I think, in the long term, we'd be quite compatible. He's somebody I could potentially see being worth it to struggle through some hard times with.

However, in the short term, I have already ceased to feel that giddy happiness to be around him all the time. In some cases, I'd even rather hang out with one friend or another than with him. And that concerns me. If somebody is the right one for a relationship, shouldn't I still be in that ecstatic crush stage? I definitely was, with him, when I met him years ago. And then I was, again, when we re-united about 2 years ago. I still liked him and wanted to pursue him even after it wore off. I still like him and want to pursue him now. But sometimes I find myself thinking "Meh, I'm going to pretend I had a prior commitment so I can hang out with X friend instead."

So, have I reached the "compromise" stage too early? Am I asking myself to WORK for a relationship earlier than I should? Shouldn't it still be natural and easy at this point? Or is it legitimate to have friends that make me "happier" on a shallow, short term basis, and still work for a relationship with somebody else? Or maybe is it that I'm kidding myself, and despite having patiently pursued him for 3 years, I don't really like him that much?


high fidelity

I have been thinking a lot about monogamy, or lack thereof. It seems a strange thing for me to think about, since I don't have a boyfriend (dammit). But for some reason, the topic keeps coming up in my life. I find myself being asked for advice, or for action. But as much as I've thought and talked about it lately, I can't come to any conclusion, either in a general sense or with respect to what I would want in my own relationship.

Here are a few things that seem to be true. I'm generalizing, obviously, so don't have a coronary:

1. Guys are very visual. They see something beautiful, and they have to have it. They do stupid things to get it.

2. Guys are able to fool around without getting (as) emotionally meepy about it. It's kinda like masturbating, but using somebody else's body instead of a fleshlight. Guys don't seem to particularly care whether the guy loves them when it's over, and they don't necessarily expect a relationship to come out of it.

3. Notwithstanding #2, guys do get jealous and get their feelings hurt. Even though sex and emotion don't always go together, they often do. Particularly when you're well into the relationship.

4. Guys are hard-wired to want to sow their wild oats (or whatever metaphor you like). At least from what I've been told, the propagation of the species used to depend on guys impregnating whatever females they could get. Society may have domesticated us a bit, but our animal instincts don't seem to have changed. And whatever gene makes us horny seems to be connected to the one that makes us male, not the one that makes us straight.

5. Guys have trouble articulating their feelings/desires. So there is rarely a productive "defining the relationship" talk that sets out rules both can agree on.

6. Guys will agree to just about anything in order to be allowed to stick it where they want to (see #1). So even if the couple discusses "the rules", and they very clearly agree to have an open relationship, it's likely that one is more into it than the other, and is just saying what he has to say to get the relationship going. Once the other one strays, feelings are hurt.

7. "The rules" that western society runs on were designed by and for straight people, and are heavily influenced by religion.

8. People are hypocrites. They want the rules to apply only to the other person.

9. Totally open communication is hard, because there are some things we'd rather not know. Particularly when it comes to our lovers being interested in others. And the lies and half-truths tend to snowball, until it's too late.

Here are some things I know to be true about me (I'm not generalizing anymore):

A. I get bored easily. When I do get a boyfriend, it probably won't be long before I want to sleep with somebody else.

B. I'm very insecure, particularly about my looks, so if my boyfriend even expresses interest in sleeping with somebody else, I'll immediately jump to the conclusion that he's falling in love with the other guy, and out of love with me.

C. Threesomes are hot. I'm all for it. But see #2.

D. I like it when other guys find my lover desirable.

E. I am way too good at talking myself into things, but not good enough. I could definitely see me convincing myself I want an open arrangement, being devastated when my boy uses the opportunity, and then being unable to convince myself I'm not hurt by it. But I'd want to try to pretend, wouldn't tell him I feel bad, and it would happen again.

F. I (thus far) have only dated people who I consider to be hotter than me. So if we have an open relationship, he'd probably get more play than me, and I'd be jealous.

So here are various scenarios that have cropped up in my life recently to make me think about this:

I. Max and Eric started dating, but things weren't settled for a long time, because Eric was still in the closet. Max was dating somebody else for the first year and a half of this relationship, but Eric didn't know it. Then they became monogamous for a long time. Then Eric moved to another city. They did the long-distance thing, and were faithful, but Eric met somebody else. When Max and Eric finally broke up, Eric went immediately to the guy that he'd met, leading Max to think they'd been cheating. He was hurt.

II. Jason and Dirk had an agreement that its ok to sleep with other people, as long as the other one is invited to join. Dirk is much hotter than Jason. Dirk started making out with a colleague of Jason's at a party, took him to a room, and started fooling around. Jason searched the house, found them together, and joined in. Everybody was happy.

III. Adam and Steve had an agreement to be open. Steve didn't really want it, but agreed to it in order to keep Adam. Adam and Steve had threesomes, which seemed fine. Adam is a bit slutty, and slept with other randoms. Steve didn't like it, but knew he'd lose Adam if he said anything. Then Adam slept with one of Steve's friends. This was technically not against the rules they'd discussed, but was way outside Steve's comfort zone. Miscommunication = hurt feelings = breakup.

IV. Tom and Albert met at a sex club. They have been together for 15 years, and are married. Their relationship has always been open. They both sleep with (and even date!) other guys. As time passed, Albert became more domestic/traditional, and Tom became more slutty. This makes Albert jealous, but he is reluctant to say anything because he's afraid to seem uncool or weak, and because it's hard to change the rules after 15 years. They generally have excellent communication skills, so they talk most of it through, and it's working for now. They're considering a third person in the relationship (not just for sex).

V. Joe and Mark had recently moved in together, and Mark was admittedly "possessive." One of Mark's friends off-handedly complimented Joe, and Joe tattled. Mark flipped out, openly accusing the friend of trying to steal Joe from him. The friendship ended.

VI. Henry and Chris had been together about 4 years. They'd just bought a house together, and seemed the very picture of domestic bliss. They had an agreement to be monogamous. Henry went to P-town with some buddies, and he sucked one of them off. He confessed to Chris, who was crushed. In order to save the relationship, Henry agreed to give Chris full access to all his email and Facebook etc, and never speak to that friend again. Trust is broken.

VII. Jordan knows he's a slut, and doesn't want to be. He has cheated on his boyfriends in the past, and it hasn't ended well. He's smitten with a new guy, and wants to become monogamous to please this guy. Yet within the first few weeks of their dating, Jordan got jerked off by a masseuse, sucked off one of his friends, and fucked a random guy at a club (yes, AT the club). He feels guilty. Somebody will probably end up being hurt.

There are more, but I'm tired of typing. And yes, I have become aware of all of these within the last 6 months. Drama, right? Ugh. And no, I'm not necessarily involved in any of them. It doesn't matter, so don't bother speculating.

From all of these experiences, and from the things I know about life and about me, here's what I think right now: I don't think we should impose on ourselves any kind of norm, like there is in the straight world. Those rules have been imposed on us by our hetero-normative Christian society. If it works for some couples, wonderful. If it doesn't work for others, they shouldn't feel they're wrong for trying out different arrangements. Monogamy shouldn't be the default. The couple should talk about it and do what's right for them. And then they should KEEP talking about it, all the time, because their feelings will change. They should be willing to re-evaluate not only the rules about monogamy, but the relationship itself. There's no reason to fool yourself and stay in a relationship that no longer makes you happy. Life is too short.

My totally unsubstantiated guess is that if all gay guys were truly honest about what they want, most would like to try an open relationship (or at least they'd like to sleep around themselves, if not also let their partner do it). And most relationships would fall apart as a result. So maybe gay guys aren't cut out for "til death do us part," unless they truly have found the one they're meant to be with forever, and either have eyes only for each other, or can withstand the competition and avoid the jealousy. When you've got two people in a relationship who are visually oriented and hard-wired to sow their wild oats, it's hard.

In my case, an open relationship would be ideal. But it could only work if the communication was COMPLETELY open and honest, and if I could somehow believe that the sex my guy was having was ONLY of the "just for fun, no emotion involved" variety. I would have to know that he loves only me, and will love only me forever. Of course, that's impossible. The more he sleeps with others, the more likely he is to find somebody else he loves more. And the less likely he is to want to tell me about it, because he'd know I'd be hurt. The lies will snowball. I will get hurt. And that, of course, is why we insist on sexual monogamy: to protect emotional fidelity.

I do believe what I said earlier, that life is too short to be with somebody you no longer love. Emotional fidelity is stupid if you could be happier without it. But, of course, I'm a hypocrite. I believe it in theory, but not if it means the guy I love will leave me for somebody else. I want an open relationship, but I want a lifelong partner more. Maybe I shouldn't. Maybe I've bought into the hetero-normative ideal. And maybe it's unfair and possessive and unnatural, but I think I would probably rather draw a line in the sand about sex with others, so that the emotions couldn't develop with others. The emotions could develop anyway, of course, but it's an effective prophylactic.

So what does that mean when it's all boiled down? In an effort to preserve a relationship one or both of us may not want forever if we knew better, I'd rather we both deny ourselves the opportunity to find somebody we love more? Or, more honestly, in order to prevent my lover from finding somebody he loves more than me, I'm willing to forego the opportunity to find somebody I love more? That doesn't sound very good.

I don't know. This is already too long and I'm hurting my head.


the best kind of news

Well, the news is good! I don't have HIV. Of course, these tests aren't perfect so I won't know for sure until I get a clean bill of health at 3 months and 6 months. But my doctor insists I need not worry. There is very little chance I have HIV. I am so relieved, but will remain scared for 6 months.

First of all, I want to thank the MANY of you who took the time to try to comfort me. I wish I hadn't been so busy these last few weeks, or I would have tried to respond to each of you personally. I'm sorry I haven't posted about my thoughts in the meantime, but I just needed to try to distract myself and proceed as if life were normal. Thank you for your patience. It means A LOT to know that there are people out there who care about me. It was (and continues to be) a rough period.

I have to say, it was really disheartening that some people were intentionally cruel, and others were insensitive. Having been blogging for 3 years, I have attracted my share of trolls, so my skin is pretty thick. But if there are people who would be mean to me in this situation, I imagine they are mean to others in this situation. It's just sad. Telling me I don't have a right to post about other (frivolous) things until I gave you an update...Telling me the doctors are lying about my life expectancy chances to make me feel better...Telling me that there is a 100% chance I will eventually get AIDS...that's just mean. Even if you're correct, sometimes its best to just keep your mouth shut. Just because you don't know who I am doesn't mean I don't have feelings. For those of you that acted in bad taste, I hope that if you ever run across someone else in this situation, you will think about how you would want others to treat you.

But for the vast majority of you, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are good people.

I realize I have a bit of a soapbox here, and I just have to use it because this is so important. Most of us weren't around for the big AIDS epidemic in the 80's, so we don't realize how serious it is. So, a few thoughts.

Yes, I was told about Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). Thank you for the suggestion. As somebody said, it's best if started 1 to 2 hours after exposure, and I didn't find out about my friend's status until about 2 weeks after the sex that would have exposed me. While it's good for people to know PEP is out there in an emergency, I don't want you thinking it's some "morning after pill" that will solve all your problems. It is NOT a substitute for safe sex. It's just a hail mary pass after you've fucked up.

Some people said things about the disease in an effort to try to make me feel better, and I appreciate it. But I wouldn't want somebody reading this and thinking they're getting a sufficient education about HIV. It may be true that HIV is fragile and in some circumstances hard to transmit. It may be true that there is a low likelihood of transmission if people have low viral loads (and if you want to date a guy with HIV, I highly recommend you look into it, because you CAN have a safe sexual relationship with an HIV positive guy. There is NO reason not to date a guy just because he's HIV positive...don't discriminate!)

But having said all that, you MUST proceed as if every new sexual partner has HIV. It is the ONLY safe thing to do. Do not assume he is negative. Assume he is positive! Even if you ask him and he says no, HE MAY NOT KNOW HIS OWN STATUS! My friend didn't. And some will lie (wouldn't you want to?)

This is sobering (or should be): Even if somebody says he just got tested yesterday and shows you his paperwork and a photo ID to prove it's real, he could still have HIV! The tests have a window period. The guy could have been infected the day before his test, and still get a negative result. But he CAN infect you! And if he was just infected, he probably has a very high viral load, and the chances are greater. Even if the guy is a total boy scout and would never lie (and is, in fact, NOT lying) you still need to be careful!

The ONLY time you should ever have unprotected sex is if you are totally monogamous, you get tested, you both remain monogamous (and protected) for 6 months, and get tested again. If you are both still negative, then it's probably ok to relax a little. HOWEVER, if there is a chance of cheating, then the whole cycle has to start over. And since gay guys seem prone to cheat (something I'm going to talk about soon), it's really not safe to have unprotected sex even with your long term partner. It's just not worth it!

If somebody is willing to have unsafe sex with you, then he has been willing to do it with other guys too. ASSUME THAT HE HAS HIV!!!

It is (apparently, though I'm not a doctor) true that different sexual practices have varying degrees of likelihood of HIV transmission. Being a top is slightly better than being a bottom. Pulling out before you cum is better than cumming inside (obviously). Receiving a blow job is better than giving one. Giving a blowjob is better than anal sex. Spitting is better than swallowing etc. But DO NOT assume that just because you're an exclusive top who always pulls out and never gives head means you can't get it. You CAN! If you have, for example, an 80% chance of not getting it, you still have a 20% chance of getting it! That's too high!

You should be aware of all sorts of things that increase your chances of getting it. There are many more to be aware of, which I recommend you study, but keep these in mind:

-If you brush your teeth, floss, visit the dentist or eat sharp things like chips right before giving a blowjob, you are much more likely to have small open wounds in your mouth through which the virus can travel. Saliva and stomach fluids may be inhospitable environments for HIV, but if you have a direct path into your bleeding gums, it's not good.

-If you use the wrong size condom or use the wrong kind of lube, the chances of it breaking are much greater, and the chances of transmission are higher.

-Lamb-skin condoms (why do they even make that shit anymore??) may keep you from getting pregnant, but they will NOT stop HIV.

-The sluttier the boy you're sleeping with, the greater likelihood he has come into contact with HIV recently and doesn't know it.

-If you or your partner trim your pubic and/or ass hair (and please, you should), you may have a razor mishap and have bleeding wounds right in the neighborhood that matters most. You probably can't see your own asshole, so just assume you nicked yourself. And since you probably trim right before a hot date, it's probably still bleeding by the time you get in bed. I don't know about for y'all, but sometimes condoms don't reach all the way to the base of the dick, so there is some exposed (potentially bleeding) dick skin coming into contact with exposed (potentially bleeding) ass skin. Not good.

You should, of course, also make yourselves aware of all the other STDs out there, which you can still get even if you do everything you should to avoid HIV.

I'm being overly cautious now, and yes, I AM trying to scare you. It would be ideal if we all came to a happy medium and actually knew all the dangers, but also knew what was safe. Then we wouldn't unnecessarily discriminate against our HIV+ brothers as if they're lepers. Let me repeat what I said before. You CAN have a safe lifelong sexual relationship with a guy who has HIV. There is nothing to be afraid of if you take the right steps. But since I think our community has swung too far to the unsafe side, it's best to just assume everybody you sleep with has it until you know otherwise. It's good to be a little scared. If you live in a big city and sleep around a bit, chances are you already HAVE slept with somebody who has HIV. So just be safe, and you won't have anything to regret.

I'm glad so many of you wrote to say that my story caused you to get tested. Please do! All of you! It's usually free, it's very quick, it's anonymous, and you'll get peace of mind. It's not fair to sleep with other people and not know your own status. Go get tested!

Please go to this website to learn more about HIV. We could ALL stand to learn something new.

Thank you again for showing you care. It was very special.

wow, life.

My life has become a whirlwind of awesomeness lately. (And for those of you who are concerned, more on my health later. Not ready.) Just to warn you, this is going to be one of those posts that is more diary entry than entertainment. So if you are one of those people who hates it when I name-drop without actually using the name, or when I use other devices to protect the innocent, stop reading now. I'm writing it so that when I'm 80 I can remember how great life was.

So, gosh, I don't even know where to begin. I finally decided to go to Italy, and because I was able to use air miles, the whole ticket was like $250. Score! I've had a good deal of success planning the itinerary and making reservations, even though it's high season and I'm doing this last minute. I got a little worked up for a while there, and my travel buddy had to e-backhand me and tell me to get a grip. So now I'm just relaxing and going with the flow. After all, even if we end up having to sleep at the train station, it will be an ITALIAN train station. We got some good advice from his spiritual mentor, and that guy has awesome taste (Josh and Josh would agree), so it's going to be a FREAKING AWESOME trip. I also worked it so that I can visit friends in New York on my way home, so I'm really excited about that. Yay!

In the middle of the week I had a rough patch. A friend had told me earlier in the night that he was tired and wanted to relax. I know for a fact that was bullshit. He really just wanted me to leave him alone so he could order a "massage" on Craigslist and get a handjob. So anyway, I texted him to offer him something (basically to offer a favor on top of a, not a handjob) and his response was "stop bugging me." Taken at face value, not a big deal. I was bugging him, and he wanted me to stop. But there was NO reason for him to be so mean! He could have just not responded. Or said "can we talk about this tomorrow? goodnight." Or something! I just thought it was unnecessarily harsh, especially since the subject of the text was me doing something nice for him! It was especially ironic, because just a few hours before, he'd said I was his best friend in LA (and he doesn't say things like that unless he means it). But I guess it was because he had said it that I was able to resist snapping back at him. We are, indeed, close enough friends that he can say things like that and I know he still loves me. So I had kinda a poopy 24 hours, since I don't like it when people are mean to me. But then he called me and it was as if nothing happened, so all was well. In fact, I overheard him tell somebody later that it's a sign of our close friendship that he can just tell it how it is with me and doesn't have to pussyfoot around. True. And he said he loved me later in the weekend, so its ok. So I guess it was a good thing. Anyway, if slight rudeness is the worst that happened to me all week, I'm doing damn good.

Thursday night was unexpectedly fun. I was working late, and at about 10 a friend called and said he was hungry and wanted to pick me up for dinner. I said I'd get a drink with him, so we went to Hamburger Mary's (for the last time). We had an awesome conversation. He opened up to me about his relationship with his Dad, and I almost cried. I love this guy so much, so it was incredibly hard to hear him saying such sad things. They were doing tranny karaoke, so we got saw some interesting characters. And some old guy came sidling up to our table at one point and started saying he loved my profile and my friends jeans, and made not-too-subtle insinuations that he was dreaming of a threesome. Yikes!

We left there around 11:15, and instead of driving me home my friend drove me to a party in the hills at the home of a certain notable Hollywood bigwig. It was a very small party, so I got a chance to talk to just about everybody there. I was talking to one guy who I thought I recognized, and then realized I knew his name/face because somebody had been telling me about a threesome he'd had with this guy and his boyfriend (who was also there). An observer could probably see the lightbulb go on above my head when I figured it out, "BING!" I also found myself talking to this funny guy with a great vocabulary. We had met before, briefly, but finally had a good conversation, and I think he could be a good friend. I also talked to this cute guy who it turns out is dating my (I thought straight, until right then) friend. I also talked to the host for quite a while, who was surprisingly humble, gracious, smart, and sexy. Who knew? I really liked him. Anyway, I stayed there until 3am and was completely wrecked the next day. But it was worth it.

The next morning I woke up, got ready for work, and then almost had a heart attack when I opened my living room door to find a boy sleeping on my couch! He'd come in sometime between 3 and 7am. I guess he knew where the keys were, and his alternative was to ride home with a drunk driver, so he chose to break into my place instead. Good choice.

Friday night I met three friends for a drink at the home of one of them in the hills, and then we went to a fabulous restaurant in Beverly Hills and sat at a table next to Larry King and a blonde who was way too young to be his. We drank three bottles of some of the most delicious red wine on Earth (the label of one of which will undoubtedly be a future guest star on this blog). We had expected to go out after that, but we had such an incredible time at dinner that we stayed until midnight. We were all too tired, full and drunk to even move after that, so we all just went to bed. My friend was the sober sister, and since I'd picked him up at his place, he just dropped me off at mine and took my car home with him.

Saturday morning I just got some stuff done around the house because I was car-less, drove a friend to a class and back once I got the car, had Thai for lunch with him, got a tan, and then drove to my parents' house for some travel goodies (like suitcases, money belts, airplane pillows etc). I then drove to my travel-buddy's house to take him half of the loot and loan him my car for a date he had later that night. I know, I know, I'm WAY too nice. I shouldn't loan people my car for any reason. And he scraped the chrome rims on the curb backing up. *sigh* I told him it's a really good thing I love him, because he knew I wasn't happy.

I drove home in his POS, and walked down to the Pride festivities to see if I could persuade "The Guy I'm Going to Marry" to hang out with me. TGIGTM doesn't know he loves me yet, but he's warming up. I've had a crush on him for over three years, which he knows. He tolerated me for some of that time, and then decided he actually likes me about 2 years ago. We fucked a couple times, which was fun, but not meaningful. Anyway, he was dating some lame-ass until pretty recently. But I was patient and persistent. I went to hang out with him at Fiesta the weekend before last, and the next day he IM'd to say he'd had an epiphany and I'm a really good person and he wants to hang out with me more. Strangely, he'd been on a blind date with somebody else when I'd seen him out. Funny time to have an epiphany! I'm not getting my hopes up, but it seems he is coming around. Persistence pays off! We've been texting frequently, making plans, flirting. It's been nice. So anyway, I tried to get him to hang out with me Saturday night, but he couldn't. So I hung out with another friend and a friend of his. We ended up at another friend's house in the hills, and had one of the most memorable nights of my life. It was just the four of us in his living room, but we had SO MUCH FUN listening to music, talking, drinking and what-not. It was SO much better than being packed in some sweaty gay club for Pride. This was the civilized way to celebrate relationships with quality gay men. I will never forget it. I feel like I really bonded intensely with them that night.

Sunday morning I cleaned house a little, risked black lung disease by chopping a giant hole in the roof of a closet with power-tools (a long story I'll tell some other time) and then walked to the parade route for Pride. I ran into some friends on the route and watched it with them. It was fun, as expected. Nothing really shocks me anymore. And nothing particularly moved me either. I expected more poignancy because of Prop 8, but I didn't see too much different from years past. I enjoyed seeing Gavin Newsom and his wife. Hot! Both of them!

After that I went over to the festival on San Vicente. I'd never been before because I was always too cheap to pay the $20 entrance fee, but TGIGTM was in there and wanted to see me, so I paid. It was interesting! I got some good tips on green remodeling, picked up some free condoms, and ate some yummy Hawaiian BBQ and soft-serve ice cream. Mmmm, fattening carnival food. I hung out with TGIGTM for quite a while, which was great. We kept hugging goodbye, and then talking a little more, and then hugging goodbye again. And each time, the kiss on the cheek would get a little closer to the mouth. The final time, it was kinda a half-lips kinda kiss. Yes! Hot. He's so cute!

So then a friend came and picked me up. He may or may not have had a threesome the night before with a certain someone who must not be named, but I guess it's none of my business. I didn't ask for more details than he offered (which was plenty). We drove to the appointed shuttle stop and headed up to Roland Emmerich's house for the big pride pool party. That was definitely (i) the nicest house I've ever been to in LA that was not a museum, and (ii) the most hot young "A-gay" boys in one place I'd ever seen. You couldn't throw a dildo without hitting a model.

I spent most of my time mingling with old and new friends. I'm not sure how it happened, but I ended up standing alone for about an hour chatting with a certain super-talented auteur (I've always wanted a reason to use that word in its proper context) whose work I've raved about in the past. I didn't know who he was when I started talking to him, but that made it even more fun. We really hit it off, and spent a bunch of time talking to a good friend of his too, who I also liked. I ran into a guy I'd met at a Cinco de Mayo party and had a little crush on. We had a somewhat awkward, but kinda hot, prolonged hug that was kinda like "ummm, are we about to kiss?" We didn't, but it was fun tension. I spent some time talking to some of the characters I'd met Thursday night, and really seemed to cement a budding friendship with one of them. I'm not sure why people sometimes pour their hearts out to me, but they do. I got a really sweet and meaningful hug from an old friend. I don't know why it touched me so much, but it just seemed special. I was sitting by the pool under a cabana, and hadn't seen him in a couple hours. When he found me his face lit up, he said he'd been looking for me, and he put his arm around my shoulder and pulled my head into his side and kinda ruffled my hair. I dunno, it was just a sweet gesture.

Anyway, Candis Cayne performed and looked beautiful as always. I think I made a video of it but I'll have to download it. I had a good view from directly across the pool.

I had a bit of an awkward moment toward the end of the night when a great friend of mine showed up hoping to see me, and I said hi and walked around with him, and then promptly left with somebody else. It wasn't meant to be a snub, but it seemed to come off that way. I feel bad, but what can you do? I left pretty early to wind down before the beginning of the work week.

So that was it! I'm super busy this week, and didn't really have time to write, but I just had to get this all out before I forgot it more than I already have.

Italy advice

First, I would like to thank all of you for your responses to my post last week. I am not ready to process all of that yet, but I will in good time. But it means a lot that you care that much.

Anyway, I am 99% sure I'm going to Italy, and I don't have a lot of time to plan, so I need your wisdom. The dates are set, so I just have to buy a ticket and suck it up. Prize goes to Micifus Phil for pointing out the new Bing travel site. It has worked great so far. I will continue to check out the ones you all suggested. Thanks!

I am sprinkling in some pictures of a gorgeous example of humanity I spotted the last time I was in Venice a couple summers ago. Thank God for telephoto lenses, and Italian boys. Yum!

Here's the scenario: I have been to Italy at least 5 times, and I've seen most of the major touristy bits, some multiple times. Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Pisa, Sorrento/Capri, Sicily, Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast (oh, Ravello!) and some cute little towns like San Gimignano. So, I don't particularly care where we go, except that I've not been to the Cinque Terre.

My travel companion, on the other hand, has not been outside the US, ever. So the real fun of the trip for me will be showing him the magic of Italy, giving him a taste for world travel, and basically showing him a good time. He doesn't have a lot of money, and I don't want to spend a lot. The reality is that I will probably subsidize some stuff that I really want to do that he can't afford, but that makes it all the more important to save money on things like trains and lodging.

It's not settled yet, but we may only have 5 days to travel together, but 7 at the most. So I need to put together a kick-ass 5 day itinerary, that could be easily extended to 7. It looks like we'll probably be flying roundtrip through Milan. (I know, eww. We won't spend much time there.)

I have never traveled with him, but my guess is that he's not going to be one of those travelers who just HAS to see XYZ because everybody says you have to see it. I suspect he will be content to skip the 3pm tour of the Uffizi if we're enjoying a good conversation over wine in the plaza. He's the type that remembers the sounds of a city more than the museums. He feels things rather than talks about them. So I'm thinking it's probably more important to find romantic vistas and a feast for the senses, rather than tick off a list of must-see sites.

That being said, here are some thoughts off the top of my head to offer to him as options:

- Cinque Terre (pretty much a definite, because I want to go there.)

- Rome (primarily the forum and the Vatican (I don't particularly care about the Vatican, but he was raised Catholic, so he might.) I've been to Rome a couple times, but he probably should see it.)

- Florence (I honestly think it's kinda overrated, but I'm not sure we can miss it for his first trip. I need a new belt, anyway. The one I bought there last time is worn out.)

- I would like to go to a smaller, older town like Lucca or Sienna. If there's an "undiscovered" one, less touristy, that'd be good. Thoughts?

- It would be cool to stay in some quintessential Tuscan villa for a night and do wine tasting. He loves wine. Anybody know of a good place?

I would love to show him Pompeii and Ravello, two of my favorite parts of Italy, but I just don't think we have time to make it that far south. We need to concentrate with Rome as our southernmost destination, I'm afraid.

Ok, now, about getting around. My inclination is trains, because it's cheap-ish. But it's so limited by schedules, and we may see less just because we have to spend so much time at train stations. Is the cost of a rental car going to rape me? Does it make more sense to do a car since we'd have to buy two train tickets everywhere? What's the best/cheapest car rental in Italy? If I do trains, what's the best website for timetables and booking?

Where should we stay? I'm planning this too late, and it's peak travel season, so I'm guessing all the good hostels are full. On the other hand, maybe Americans are so poor/scared of the recession that they won't come. We don't mind sharing a bed, so cheap dive motels might be ok. Is there a network of bed and breakfasts I should know about? Or is couchsurfing the best bet?

Anyway, ANY advice anybody has would be greatly appreciated. Best restaurants, best day trips, best hotels, whatever. I'm all ears.

Oh, and did you notice the colors of the smaller bracelet on his left wrist? :D

Thanks in advance for your help!

come on, really?!

Somebody hit my car.

As if I needed that right now.

And I'm pretty sure he did it on purpose. I could be wrong, of course, but talking to him afterward, I got the distinct impression that he thought that a hard-working pickup driving salt-of-the-earth kinda man should not have to share the road with a young guy in a [_____], and a little bump was just what I needed.

His truck was barely scratched. Judging by the $1600 bill the last time I got a few scratches removed, the dents in mine are going to cost me a fortune. Maybe his (or my) insurance will pay for it, but it has already been a colossal hassle. I'm annoyed.

In other, much better, news, a friend called to invite me to go to Italy with him in the near future. I can't afford it right now, but I really want to go. I have a couple trips within North America that I've been wanting to do (NY and Montreal top the list) but I feel like those can be done more spur-of-the-moment when a great fare pops up, because the friends I want to see will always be there no matter when I go. I would only do Europe if a friend asked me. I haven't taken a day off work since I started over 1.5 years ago, so I should probably do it.

Also, this friend would be AMAZING to travel with. He is one of those people who soaks up experiences and really appreciates life. He'd savor the food. He'd want to run up a hill and spread out his arms and sing. He'd want to explore the little alleys and visit the local shops where the owner only speaks Italian. He's never been outside the US, so it would be wonderful to see Italy through his fresh eyes.

Does anybody know of a way to get discount airfare from Los Angeles to Italy (Rome, I guess, but Milan, Venice, Florence or even Genoa would do, if it's cheaper)? My credit card has this absurd policy that I can't pay the difference between the miles I can use and the full cost of the ticket. So I can't use my miles. isn't finding me any great fares. What to do, what to do.


The last survivor of the Titanic died today.

For some reason, this is significant to me. I have always been fascinated by the Titanic. When I was little, somebody bought me a kid's book about it. (I know, right? How odd to make a kid's book about a bunch of people drowning to death.) Ever since then, I've been fascinated.

I read a ton more about it, and of course watched the Leonardo DiCaprio movie when it came out. I visited traveling exhibitions of memorabilia in the UK. I went to see the exhibit at the Widener Library at Harvard (which was built as a memorial by the mother of a recent Harvard grad who died on the boat).

As a result of all this childhood fascination with it, I've always been scared of cruise ships. As you know, I've been on a couple cruises, so I overcame the fear. But I still have a HUGE phobia of being in the water next to a big boat. I don't even like being on a small boat in Long Beach harbor because of how close you can get to the Queen Mary. I hated when my cruises would use tenders to get us to shore, because you'd have to step out of the bottom of the boat right next to the water line.

I don't know if they still have this, but when I was little you used to be able to go down to the very bottom of the Queen Mary, where they'd cut a hole out of the bottom of the ship so you could see down into the water and look at the propellers. AGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It still gives me the creeps just thinking about it. I was plastered so tight against the wall of that little room. I had NO interest in going anywhere near that water. I don't even like the idea of sunken ships. If anybody ever tried to make me go scuba diving to a sunken ship, I'd probably faint.

Anyway, needless to say, the Titanic still has a profound effect on my psyche. In other words, it fucked me up. But I do like the history, and I think having a survivor still alive in the world gave us all an interesting direct connection to that history. Maybe now it's time for me to put that phobia to bed.

the worst kind of news

He was so cute. Shorter than me, like I like. Happy smile. Beautiful dark, expressive eyes. Perfect skin. A few drinks in, I wasn't too shy to flirt, and it worked. He asked for my number, and then asked me to walk him to where his friends were picking him up. While we waited, we talked, and we kissed.

The next morning I texted him and asked for a date. He said yes, then no. I cajoled him back to yes, and picked him up at 7. The food was fine, but watching his eyes was a joy. What a beauty! We kissed more, walked hand in hand, and he spent the night. When we woke up the next morning, we brushed our teeth, and spent a couple more hours in bed. Much the same thing happened the next weekend.

When talking the following weekend, he mentioned non-chalantly that he had a doctor's appointment the next day that had him nervous. He'd had a routine HIV test, among other things, and he thought it strange that they were requiring him to come back in rather than give the results over the phone. I comforted him, since I'd never heard of HIV results being given over the phone, either way. After all, I reasoned, if it's bad news every time you have to come in, then they might as well just tell you over the phone, because saying you have to come in is the same thing as saying you're positive, but also torturing you with the wait. So it must be some other reason.

I was somewhat comforted by my own words, but not really. I couldn't think of anything else. I replayed in my mind, over and over, our sexual encounters. Did his cum touch anywhere that it could get in? Had my gums bled when I brushed my teeth that morning before doing it again? Had I eaten anything coarse that might have cut my mouth? I couldn't focus on work. I texted him, asking him to call me as soon as he was done with the doctor, because I couldn't think of anything else.

At 2:15pm, I got a text: "I knew there was a problem. They never call me into the office if everything is fine. I tested positive..."

and immediately thereafter

"I'm sorry you need to go get tested...I don't know how to deal with this."

I instantly got hot and flushed, and panicked a little bit. I didn't know what to do. I called my doctor and set up an appointment immediately. I left work and called a friend on the road. He was, ironically, at an AIDS conference in Chicago at the time. He assured me that what we'd done was relatively low risk. Regardless, I was terrified; while in the waiting room, I lost the very nice lunch I'd had.

My friend told me what to ask for, and my doctor gave me, a "viral load" test, which costs a lot more but has a shorter window period and is more accurate than the typical mouth swab thing. But it takes a lot longer to get results. The doctor and I talked quite a bit. He said that while HIV is no walk in the park, it's not a death sentence these days, and life expectancies are very long. As far as managing the disease goes, it's more along the lines of diabetes; it's annoying to have to constantly take pills and worry about your health, but it doesn't otherwise interfere with your life.

By the time I left the doctor's office, it had only been about an hour and a half since I'd found out, so I hadn't really had time to process it. I called my friend again, and for the first time since I was probably 12, I cried. I mean, I've cried since then, but only superficial crying, like in a movie. This was the first time I'd cried about something going on in my life. And certainly the first time I'd cried in front of another person. I was scared, and above all, lonely. I just needed a hug, but the guy who may have infected me wasn't talking to me, and I couldn't tell my family because they'd just worry unnecessarily. I felt completely alone, and I was. My friend insisted he was flying out to be with me, which was sweet, but I knew that would just stress me out even more because I'd have to think about it the whole time he was here.

I did talk to the guy after leaving the doctor's office. Strangely, I wasn't mad at him. My first reaction was to try to comfort him. But I don't really know him, and when something life-changing like that happens, I imagine you don't want to have to deal with the random guy you may have just infected, even if he's trying to be nice. He asked me to give him time to deal with it, so communication stopped.

I decided not to go back to work, and decided to go to the gym. My thought process was: dating is pretty much over for me if I have HIV. It's hard enough to find a guy with only 10% of the male population to choose from. When you have to drop that bombshell into conversation before sleeping together, things get a bit more complicated. So I felt like if I dedicated myself to the gym, I would not only be healthier to combat the disease, but I'd be more attractive.

But I got lazy, and was too worked up. Instead, I did research. I wanted to know EXACTLY how risky I'd been. What were my chances of getting it? What were my chances of staving off AIDS? What kind of drugs might I have to take? What kind of communities were there for guys with HIV? I read a report I'd written about this topic in school, which reassured me some. I read probably a dozen websites top to bottom. I looked up stats with the CDC. I called hotlines.

As it turns out, there's an HIV testing site and resource center within walking distance of my place. Of course, right? It is West Hollywood. I went down there and asked them a ton of questions, mostly to have personal confirmation of what I'd read online. They too assured me that what I'd done was pretty low risk. I got one of the 20 minute mouth swab tests. I knew I was still well within the window period, and it couldn't possibly come back positive even if I had it. But it made me feel better to get the results and hear them say the words "negative." I made a hefty donation to cover the wasted test, and because I was overwhelmed with appreciation that they are there for people who need them.

I looked up movies to try to distract myself, but there was nothing I wanted to see. I sat and did a lot of thinking about life, and life with HIV. My great uncle died of AIDS in the 80's, but I don't know that I ever met him, and if I did I was too young to understand. I had only known one other guy with HIV, in Boston, and had a giant crush on him. I recalled how much I'd wanted to kiss him, but also the conflict I'd felt over whether I'd really want to be in a relationship with him. I knew that is how people may react to me.

I thought about what my friend must be going through, knowing for certain that he really does have it. I thought about what his parents must be feeling, and how crushed my family might be when they find out. I went through a bit of "how could this possibly happen to me?" I am always so careful. I always use a condom. I almost always ask the guy (though it was now crystal clear that even if they tell the truth, they may not know themselves). I wondered whether the guy felt bad for possibly infecting me, and whatever other guys he'd been with, or whether he was only focused on himself at that moment. I wondered whether, if I were in his shoes, if I would feel guilty. Part of me feels like I shouldn't be making such a big deal out of it. After all, there shouldn't be any stigma to it. By reacting like this, am I betraying HIV-phobia? Maybe. On the other hand, how could I not react this way? It's one thing to be totally cool with somebody who has it, and another thing entirely to have it yourself. I took a sleeping pill and got some peace.

When I woke up and realized what had happened the day before, I promptly vomited. Every time I think about it I gag. Thankfully I'm not hungry, so there's nothing in my stomach to lose. I'm sure I'll lose weight. I suspect, like with everything else, the shock will probably wear off, and I'll get hungry eventually. Obviously I can't think of anything else. I don't know how I'll get through daily life waiting for the test results.

I suppose I'm not totally alone. This blog is more-or-less anonymous, but not totally. I know a number of my real-life friends read this. And I know there are a number of people, especially from Boston, who read this blog who know me in real life, but who I don't know are reading it. If you are one of those people who know me in real life, I need you to write to me now, whenever you read this, even if it's a year after I post it. Email or Facebook. I won't be mad that you've been reading it, even if you promised you wouldn't read it. It's important to me. Please.