It is Monday night and I’m sitting here at the Caribou coffeeshop watching people come and go. I got my hair cut today and it feels much much better. I got a #1 on the sides which is a bit buzz-cutty but not so much on the top.
Here’s a way to illustrate how Ron and I are different.
I was raked over the coals for not having any new T-shirts. Part of the problem is I simply don’t see shirts in Chicago that I like. So I went online and ordered a slew of shirts from various emporiums. I wanted shirts that were novel and witty maybe even wicked and dirty. When I told Ron I’d ordered shirts the first thing he asked is what type of cotton they were printed on. The correct answer of course is pima cotton since it drapes best over our supposedly beefy physiques. I really didn’t pay much attention to the type of fabric the shirts were in. For Ron, the fit and the fabric were primary concerns – the sensate elements. For me, the the graphic on the shirt was the primary concern – the intuitive/overall statement. I found some great shirts and they should start arriving in a few days. Here’s the shirts I got:
Glarkware: Chairman Meow, My Boyfriend Can Totally Beat Up Your Boyfriend, Sorry.
Happy Tree Friends: Be Afraid (though I wish they had Cuddles With a Fork for men)
Amorphia Apparel: Insurgent Chicken, Radioactive Care Bear (I might have to also get Commie Bear)
Panic Software Company: Spinner and Dragon.
I just got a second box of books in from Amazon. It’s cheaper for me to buy books in bulk from Amazon than my publisher.
There is quite a bit of drama at the Caribou tonight.
Another thing I notice between Ron and I is our sense of luxury. He would never buy used books or secondhand clothing – he thinks it’s a bit gross to wear clothing that other people have worn before. I think it’s just being practical. Plus, he’d complain that the clothes wouldn’t be in fashion – which is kinda the whole point of the whole ‘secondhand’ alternative style. At the same time, the only reason Gap or other stores sell clothing that is distressed or has frayed ends is a direct analog to that style that started back in the grunge era. Or when I was talking about getting a computer desk my dad suggested I just get some file cabinets and a put a board over them for a tabletop. My upbringing was less on the luxury of comfort than the luxury of education. We didn’t go to Disney world but we played Mozart and Prokofiev. Ron’s upbringing with his grandmother in the Phillippines was much more upper class, she was a major property owner in the region and a matriarch in the community. Neither perspective is right or wrong – they are just different and I sometimes have to make a mental check before I get all ranty and realize that it is a point-of-view shift.
Another interesting POV of Ron’s is on learning English. He has absolutely no empathy for immigrants that come here and don’t know English. He think it’s irresponsibe for folks to move here and not know the lingua franca. I get all bleeding heart and ‘let’s help people’ and Ron will have none of it. I think that is a marked difference between first-generation immigrants and later generations.
Is Mexico really exporting their poverty to us? Since NAFTA failed and all the jobs that moved south have now moved to Asia so there’s nothing for nobody nowhere. I think that we’re going to see parallel nationalist tracks – here in the US with higher visibility of ‘those brown people are taking over’ and synced up with Europe’s fear of a Muslim planet. And in the back of my head I just think China is gonna say, ‘Yes. Thank you. Fuck you. We’re taking over. Yes. Thank you. Mandarin classes on Tuesday.’ Maybe I’m too big picture-y. I think I see the effects of economic trends ricochet in front of me every day. Businesses in Lakeview keep closing. And they keep replacing them with banks and manicure places.
Let’s say we lose all manufacturing. All of it. What is left? Can you power the entire American economy on service and the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector? What would that look like? Are we all just going to buy our intangible products and services from eachother and then wait on eachother at the restaurants? I think about this stuff sometimes and I don’t feel like I know enough to make fully educate opinions.
Tom Hanks has a waddle. All of the weight he’s lost and gained over the years has caused him to have a nice Diane Cannon waddle flapping in the wind as he’s rushing around solving the mysteries of the grail.
I was very tempted as the lights went down as The DaVinci Code started to scream, YOU MEAN JESUS AND MARY MAGDALENE WERE DOIN’ IT? but I knew Ron would kill me.
Dropping the eaves: “What straight guy wakes up and the first thing he wants to do is get to Boystown?” The guy in question is a tall 25-year old, burly Southern guy that evidently has girlfriend problems which might be broader-based women problems as a global variable. He is living with an older guy who had to rent a big Victorian place in Andersonville and has 2 other college guys living with him. There’s a third guy with them at the cafe. The 25-year old keeps leaving the cafe to have long cellphone conversations. Next to me at another table is the Mayor of Boystown – I can’t remember his name – but this guy is always on Broadway, often, smoking a cigar and gawking at beefy black guys. His traveling companion was a 96-year old man that every time they made a joke about his age he’d bark, ‘WHAT?!’ which might have been a part of the joke or might have been sincere. Burly 25-year old was out on a cellphone and was doing that belly-rub, shirt-exposing thing that the Mayor informed me only straight guys do in public. I said that maybe he likes the emotional connection and ‘talky-ness’ of gay men that is free of having a woman present or, as I always say, ‘Everybody’s persuadable.’ They joked that he’s so vain that if he was fellating you the first thing he’d say is ‘Do I look okay from down here?’
I don’t think people use the word fellating nearly enough. Typing it out makes me think of fileting which is entirely different. Just like you can’t say you are cunnilingusing – that’s way too clumsy. The best euphemism for performing oral sex on a woman I’ve ever heard is “snackin’.”
I thought I caught a hint in conversation that the guy might be recovering alcoholic which would point to why he likes being in Boystown. If there’s any place in Chicago to be stone cold sober and have a ton of friends (and morning, noon and night AA meetings) it’s here.
The Mayor of Boystown is retiring next month from a large marketing company here in the city. I joked that he is actually going to spend more time in the neighborhood? He asked if I was still dating ‘that guy.’ Ha. I said ‘Short beefy asian guy? Yeah.’
I think I have a crush on Liev Schrieber. You’ll know him as Cotton from the Scream movies. I got sucked into the sidewalk sale a the video store. It was five movies for twenty bucks – and when you do the math and say to yourself ‘I”ll probably pay to watch these movies twice in my lifetime which is more than $4 per movie’ it makes logical sense. I got copies of The Manchurian Candidate (the remake), The Ring 2 (it was between that and The Grudge), Reefer Madness (starring Christian Campbell from Ron’s favorite movie, Trick), Cronicas (an Ecuadoran film with John Leguizamo that looked really good)… I can’t remember what the fifth movie was – oh yeah – The Stepford Wives (remake).
Anyway my crush on Liev Schrieber I think has to do with his performance in The Manchurian Candidate as well as knowing that he does lots of stage work and directing. It’s kinda like how I admired William H. Macy much more once I learned he was the same guy that wrote A Practical Handbook for Actors with Mamet and he had directed the LA premiere of Oleanna. Schrieber just had his directorial debut in that film with Elijah Wood where he collects stuff and somehow it connects to the Holocaust yadda yadda.
Meryl Streep is really good in The Manchurian Candidate remake. I just like watching her act. Like I like watching Ian McKellen act.
Ian McKellen is on my dinner party list with Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. Can you imagine the stories? I wonder if they were his fag hags back at the Royal Shakespeare Company? I wonder if they ragged on Alec Guinness for staying in the closet? I wonder if they fought over guys or if they all had the hots of Patrick Stewart or thought he was too bourgeois. I had caught Dench and Smith on Charlie Rose and hadn’t realized what great friends they were but I just think it would be delightful to go shopping with them or take them out for a Sunday drive. I would have loved to see those two do the 2 sisters from Lear. Goneril and Regan. I bet they would have torn it up. I’m guessing they played those parts at some time in their careers – just not sure if they ever did it together. I always got Dench and Irene Worth confused – they both have those ice-carved cheekbones. I remember when I saw Worth as Goneril in Peter Brook’s Lear movie and at the end she goes crazy and is rocking back and forth in madness and moaning and then commits suicide by ramming her head into a FUCKING ROCK. I was a bit traumatized.
Ah well, it’s 6:41 am. Time to get this party started. Today is the end of the first month of the year (if I count the annual as my date of birth).