Thursday, 25 February 2010

Panel FTW

I was not optimistic about speaking on this panel up by the UN today - mostly because yesterday, I wore grown-up clothes to attend this colloquium at Columbia Law and managed to spill an entire bowl of pasta and tomato sauce down the front of myself about twenty minutes before I had to leave the office to go to Morningside Heights. (It really throws you when you catch someone looking at your shoes and realize that they're covered in bright red spots and that you look like a young Bret Easton Ellis character.) I feel like spilling food on yourself should disqualify a person from any kind of public speaking for at least 24 hours.

And then this morning, I woke up and it was snowing outside, which is terrible news because my only shoes have absolutely zero traction and I have to walk carefully and in an almost bowlegged fashion to get anywhere without totally wiping out. When I'm walking in the snow in dress shoes, I keep my hands out of my pockets to flail more efficiently and don't even buy coffee, because there is a very good probability that it the majority of it will end up giving third degree burns to myself or those around me.

But today, I made it all the way to the UN without anything going wrong, and spoke on the panel without any slapstick disasters along the way. Tremendous! And we're celebrating in the apartment by drinking wine product, because we've almost exhausted all of the leftover wine from our holiday party. Where blizzards don't get me, wine product typically does.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

We Put the OK in Book Club

On the off chance that anyone saw Jeopardy tonight, Graham Norris is my new celebrity boyfriend. I knew I had seen him somewhere, and then they did that part where they try to make smart people's lives sound interesting and I realized that he was the guy who played Rayna's stalker on an episode of Dollhouse and has featured as the boyish psychotic in a bunch of horror films (including, but not limited to, Rest Stop 2: Don't Look Back). It takes a lot to vault to celebrity boyfriend status, but he wagered $13 in Final Jeopardy and that pretty much sealed it. I felt like it really rattled Alex Trebek.

I was going to write about Murakami's After the Quake and how the first outing of Wendy's book club was a rocking success, but the fact that my night consisted of watching Jeopardy and going to a book club has suddenly made me extremely self-conscious.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


I haven't really been following the Olympics at all, except that we watched curling last week because it is so fun to watch Swedish women shout encouragement to each other in Swedish as they freak out and scrub the ice. (If I weren't so technologically inept, I would make a dance remix out of it immediately.) And now Brady and I are thinking of ways that the ski cross could be improved to be even more exciting. The suggestions thus far are landmines and combining it with actual motocross. My vote is for all of the weapons in MarioKart to be added to the race, but I am totally open to suggestions. And this is why I do not follow sports.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Flying Kittens

David asked me how much it cost to fly a kitten through quarantine from the UK back to the US. I was like, "I don't know, look it up." And this is what I got in return.

This is why we can't be put in charge of a living thing.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Life and Other Zero-Sum Games

I got a call from Lee when I was finishing dinner and writing up notes from today, saying that he was stuck at work and asking if I could go over to his place and walk Tabitha so she didn't wet the floor or get a urinary tract infection or explode in a burst of white fur and bile. I said yes, figuring that I could bring my work with me and go to Amy's Bread afterwards to grab some coffee and work on editing this chapter. With that thought in mind, I spent the whole walk over romanticizing advocacy work, and thinking about how lucky I am to have a job where I'm usually back in my apartment in time to shout abuse at Jeopardy contestants and plod through the work for my dissertation.

I began to rethink this about forty-five minutes later, when I realized that I had a dollar in my wallet and a dozen loose coins at the bottom of my messenger bag, and had to dig through the dish of coins by Lee's bedside to exchange nickels and dimes for quarters so that I could get a small coffee without having to pay for the whole thing with a fistful of nickels.

Upon reflection, I think we both made the right choice in a lot of ways.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

This One's For Teddy Roosevelt

President's Day was a much-needed day to catch up on everything I have to and would like to do in my spare time - I woke up, did laundry and cleaned the apartment, read some theory, met Emma for lunch at Lupa (which was pretty good, and where I restrained myself from insisting that they put on Shakira's "She-Wolf") and coffee by NYU, went to a meeting, got a haircut, picked up groceries to make kick-ass salads all week, quickly threw together dinner, called my grandparents, and went to Latitude with Brady, where I've somehow been absent for like two months now.

After all of this, when our favorite bartender was like, "so, how was your day?" the best I could come up with was "I got a haircut!" And then he laughed at me. But that really was one of the most important parts, because for the next week, every time I catch myself in a mirror I will jump in terror because I forget that that person is me and not an extra from a Riefenstahl film hiding in my bathroom. I think we rebounded when we told him that we had done 43 shots before coming to the bar in honor of our nation's presidents and didn't fall down until Gerald Ford.

And this is totally unrelated, but my grandparents celebrated Valentine's Day by driving into town for a cheeseburger and a sundae from the Dollar Menu at McDonald's. My grandparents are actually the best people alive.

Monday, 15 February 2010


David and I both had semi-grandiose plans for Valentine's Day (bake a cookie cake from scratch! go to the Newseum and then for a romantic dinner!) that were then dashed by the fact that my bus was cancelled and we ended up with approximately 36 hours together in DC. We did buy all of the ingredients for cookie cake, but ended up not having time to bake it on Saturday. And then today, we ended up hanging out at the Newseum for two and a half hours and having approximately thirty minutes to get salads before putting me on a bus.

It was like New Year's, though - everything about the weekend illustrated that the best laid plans can't hold a candle to the quirky, spur of the moment things that turn romantic by virtue of doing them together. (I initially wrote "can't hold a cankle," which is also true.) We did reading for school together over vegan cinnamon buns at Sticky Fingers, grocery shopped and made tofu and grilled vegetables over quinoa with sweet potato fries, went to a Valentine's Day/Mardi Gras/Chinese New Year party with a bunch of David's friends out in Tenleytown, had french toast and hot chocolate in bed, and then went halvsies on two salads before I scooted back to New York for the week.

And I don't know if this was because I forgot how garbage can salads used to be a staple of my diet or whether the salad at Chop't was just that good, but I totally stopped at Whole Foods on the way home and bought tofu, blue cheese, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, and eggs in preparation for some DIY salad-making this week. (It cannot turn out weirder than my chili, which tastes excellent but is a sickly shade of purple. Like, slightly lighter than Grimace.) Whatever, it will be healthier than the phase where I discovered bagels.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Snow Day!

I got to work from home after 4pm today because of the "blizzard," and remembered what I miss most about being a student. (Like the Canadian who sits next to me, I'm using the term "blizzard" very sarcastically. It is basically drizzling here, but fluffier.) The last couple of weeks have been among the most high-intensity weeks of my life, and having this whole evening to myself reminds me of the days when my to-do list featured items like "wake up" and "soup o'clock." Luckily, the panel that I was organizing on Monday fell just between the Snowpocalypse in DC and the "blizzard" (read: hysteria over mild rain) in New York, so everyone was able to make it to the panel and it went off without a hitch. This is the first hitchless thing that has happened to me in the 2010 calendar year.

Regrettably, this may be the last time I ever have free time, as we apparently still have bedbugs in the building and our superintendent has decided to approach the situation by killing everyone and letting God sort us out. While we were at work, he appears to have a) repaired some cracks in the baseboards and b) liberally coated every flat surface in the apartment with poison. While I enjoy having a night in with nothing better to do than grill some fish and watch the ABC Wednesday lineup, I'm slightly concerned that it is not good to be doing these activities in a cloud of insecticide, especially when I may or may not have health insurance. As a gay man, this is probably the first time that overexposure to DDT has been at the top of my list of most threatening public health crises from the 1980s.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Working 5 to 9. Frown!

Blurg, today was a twelve hour work day. I decided to do activism and not i-banking to avoid these kinds of hours. (Also, because I am very bad at math, and because I cannot be in a long sleeved shirt and tie for more than eight hours without unbuttoning it down to the cleavage and rolling up the sleeves as though I am involved in some kind of bourgeois form of manual labor. Starting a bootleg winery on the roof of my building, perhaps.)

It helped that I ducked out of the office for an hour to grab coffee with a colleague in Park Slope, and fantasized about how someday I will live in Park Slope and probably start a bootleg winery on the roof of my building. I ate a giant cookie and had two cups of coffee, which meant that a) I got a second wind when I returned to work from 5 to 9, and b) I was so jazzed on caffeine and simple carbohydrates that I kind of felt like I might throw up.

As if that weren't enough, I got home and found out that when our superintendent came up and said that he was going to put cocaine around our apartment to keep out any bugs, he actually said he was going to put caulking around our apartment. That was moderately disappointing.

Racism Lives on 56th and 9th

"We've dated for over a year and I've managed to hide that I only make sweeping generalizations about Austrians."

"And then I smiled at them, shyly, like a Japanese figure skater."

"Eh. Mo'Nique him with a frying pan."