Category Archives: gay men rule

An Open Letter to Neil Patrick Harris

Dear Mr. Patrick Harris,

It is no secret that I have been a fan of yours for years, I watched Doggie Howser as a kid and was overjoyed to find you back on television as Barney Stinson in HIMYM. I even blogged about you way back in the day when this website was still in its infancy, you can read about it here and if I must* say it was hilarious. It also should be noted that my husband also loves you which is notable because the list of people he likes is very very short. In the very beginning of our relationship (like the first weekend we moved in together) he left me for a long weekend in NYC where he went to watch you perform in Assassins, not only did he see you perform but he stood out back afterwards and waited for you to get your autograph (which I’m pretty sure he lost later that night in a drunken stupor in the hotel bar of the W).  He came home from that trip raving about how crazy talented you are and how very down to earth you seemed to be, he and was super impressed that when the rest of the cast hurried off after the show  you stayed to talk to everyone gathered at the back door, and when it was finally time to go you apologized for not being able to stay longer, unlocked your bike from a nearby lamppost and rode off.

Needless to say you are a family favorite, the 3 of us currently watch you terrorize the Baudelaire’s in the Netflix adaptation of a Series of Unfortunate events (you make an excellent Count Olaf).

Anyway, Neil I’m not here to talk about your acting career (awesome as it might be) but your recent foray into writing.  My husband and daughter have both read (and enjoyed) the Magical Misfits and I just finished your Choose Your Own Autobiography. Based on these two items I think that you are a fairly talented writer (if you knew me you would understand that that is high praise). I was really looking forward to reading this book knowing that it would most likely be as honest and down to earth as my husband believes you to be (also he bought it and asked me to read it first to see if it was something he would want to read – he does this a lot so that particular request was not entirely about you (I said’yes’ btw)). What I really want to say to you, Neil, is that I enjoyed your autobiography however the whole gimmicky ‘choose your own adventure’ aspect was entirely unnecessary. I know you probably chose to do this to make your book stand out and to insert some ridiculousness in it, but you didn’t need to. It would have stood well on its own, for me the whole choosing aspect really took away from your story. At first I tried to follow along, choosing the path that I thought actually portrayed your journey, but I gave up after I realized that the chronology was all off and I was missing what was happening. I ended  up reading the book straight cover to cover which worked out okay but made some things confusing. For instance I was able to pick out the sections that were thrown in for simple hilarity but I was also wrong a few times, like the chapter on hanging out at Elton John’s house I thought for sure was pure fiction until I realized it wasn’t – also OMG NPH you get to hang out at Elton John’s house! How cool and jealousy-provoking is that tidbit of information?

So, Neil (can I call you Neil?) knowing how much celebrities and writers in general love unsolicited criticism advice I just wanted to say that next time you write an autobiography (and there will be a next time) please don’t feel the need to embellish it in any way, you don’t need to. Oh and also, since you were asking – I’d probably not use the word meta as an adjective.

Hugs,

Becca

This is my favorite picture from your book

*I must

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Vacation part II ( or a lesson in self-restraint)

Its hard to write a post about your vacation – call it part one and the never follow up with anything else. It’s like waiting for additional Star Wars movies that we don’t really need anymore to come out. Actually, wait, its like the complete opposite of that… My grasp of analogies is on par with Alanis’s grasp of irony (and…I’ve lost my train of thought).

The point is that I had a wonderful vacation that now seems like it happened eight years ago but involved a lot more than a museum related nervous breakdown.  In addition to sweating our proverbial balls off in NYC we also took a side trip, weekend getaway, to the Poconos to a little town called Jim Thorpe that was so anti NYC there was literally nothing to do there. We checked into our quaint, turn of the century Inn with a room so small we couldn’t open the door all the way, we stopped for a bloody mary and walked the entire length of the town in the ten minute time span it took us to decide where to eat lunch. It was perfect.

In NYC we had felt compelled to do everything, see everything that we were so tired and exhausted we barely made it to 10:00pm, in Jim Thorpe were awake until 2:00am – sneaking out onto the balcony (closed at 9:00 – like everything else in the town) to drink cocktails in the cool night air and listen to far off fireworks.

Our second day there, having already wondered in to every store of interest we had breakfast and discussed what to do. He wanted to wander the town and take some pictures, I wanted ice cream and to tour the old jail. I might not like museums but I am fascinated by old prisons. Is that weird? Who knows. My BFF was slightly weary of me at this point and did point out several times that if we went to the jail we would be on a guided tour – with a tour guide, like where you would have to pay attention and stay with a group. I assured him that on my particular chart of crazy the X axis of my museum fear and the Y access of my fear of forced social interaction would not cross paths on this specific outing.

We spent several hours walking around trying to capture the beauty of the Poconos on our cameras, we bought large sugar cones full of ice cream and when it finally opened at noon we were one of the first tourists in line at the old jail. The tour itself was guided my a monotone liberal arts intern who had memorized her speech so robotically that the few questions she asked and the one joke she tried to make were completely lost on her audience. I loved it, it was awful and scary and reminded me fondly of my time touring Eastern State Penitentiary. I wandered round touching rusty locks and peering in tiny peep hole windows, wondering what Piper Chapman would have made of all of this, I bought a T-shirt on my way out through the gift store. It wasn’t until we were outside that I looked at my BFF, white as a sheet, breathing heavily, that I realized maybe we both didn’t enjoy it as much as I had thought.

Apparently, though we share a collective brain his reaction to old, damp, mold infested dilapidated prisons is the same sort of reaction I have to Modern Art – he’s just better at not making a public spectacle of himself. I admire his restraint I really really do.

Old Jail

Uncultured swine (Vacation Part I)

Last week I took a vacation – a grown up vacation that did not include visiting grandparents or a single episode of Dora the Explorer. Crazy – I know.

It was necessary though because one half of my brain resides inside someone else’s brain – but that person lives really far away (in California) and every so often we have to get together so for a little while we can feel like a whole person – its like a mental health check.

I would say 96% of the time our thoughts/interests/ideas of superiority are perfectly simpatico but not always – he watches “Mad Men” while I’m all about “Game of Thrones.” (Idiot)

Part of this mental health check involves cocktails (many many cocktails) lots of sarcasm and often times trips to places we have never been before – to broaden our common mind. Last week we boarded an early morning bus and made our way to the Big Apple to buy souvenir t-shirts and search for the cash cab. I was all about taking avant guard photos of outside cafes and sweaty tourists but my BFF had a crazy notion that we should do more than walk around aimlessly searching for the most expensive bloody Mary in Manhattan – he convinced me we should check out the Museum of Modern Art. I took a great deal of time to explain to him that I would be happy to go but that I am not a good museum goer and have about a 40 minute window before I pool into a puddle of four-year-old crankiness. I was clear about this.

So, our second day in the city, after a wholesome croissant filled breakfast we took our fully charged cameras and descended upon MoMA and I was good… for awhile….

You see I like art and I want really hard to be able to appreciate it and when I first enter a museum I am at peace with the quiet and the hoards of slow gawkers standing around. MoMA is six stories tall and the first three floors are all ‘instillation’ art… I don’t get it but I can deal with it – I can deal with it until I end up watching a movie of a street performer tying a towel over the head of a monkey and making it dance until it dies of suffixation. At that point I was ready to leave, but we were still on the first floor and my BFF was going on and on about all the cool stuff that was ahead of us upstairs. I followed along wishing that I had been allowed to bring my back pack in with me so that at least I could have some water… or something.

We walked through two more floors of art that I imagined I could recreate if I was in prison and only had access to homemade ink, cheap muslin, heartache and rage.  By the time we finally ascended to the permanent exhibit I had gone through the twelve complete stages of internal melt down, suddenly I HATED everyone in that museum with the passion of a giant super nova. I couldn’t breathe, I could hardly contain my rage at being stuck in this seemingly endless white tunnel of quiet contemplation (my mind works in mysterious ways). I heard faintly through the pounding inside my own head my BFF remark in awe “look this is the Warhol room and over there is Picasso!” I  shrugged him off with a vague ‘yeah yeah’ as a pushed people out of my way to find the closest exit…. I tried really hard not to start screaming out loud while he stopped to photograph Van Gough and discuss how he never really liked Pollack’s color pallet… Finally, almost in tears I offered him the entire contents of my savings account if we could please exit this art filled purgatory and go get something to drink.

Because he is a good friend he didn’t argue (although he did stop to use the bathroom) and we proceeded out the closest exit and made our way to the nearest french bistro where I spent $30 for two glasses of Chardonnay and bad service.

It was the best $30 I ever spent.

About the time I started ripping my own hair out...
About the time I started ripping my own hair out…

 

Let the games begin

I dislike most people. I’m not talking evil people like Gaddafi or Palin although I wouldn’t want to share a Turkish bath with either of them. No, I’m talking about most normal everyday people, they seem to disappoint me quickly and thoroughly – they chew too loud, they misuse the word tedious. It’s rarely anything substantial, I tend to make quick, snap decisions and hardly ever change my mind. For instance:  I was recently befriended by a neighbor until one morning we went out for coffee and she put 8 packets of sugar in hers…UGH.

Because of this…personlity flaw, I have few close friends. It’s a small but elite club.

Fourteen years ago I started a new job and met a man named Jeff and it was a like I had found my long-lost twin – you know if my twin was a gay man who was born ten years before I was. We immediately became friends, we would commiserate about annoying customers over early morning bagels. We were together the day that the police came and carted away our only other coworker, arrested for embezzlement. This arrest got me out of the mailroom and into  a desk right next to my new friend.

Four years after I moved into that desk, I was sitting on Jeff’s patio drinking a vodka cranberry, explaining to him that I had decided to leave San Diego and move back east. He was the first one I told and I remember leaving his house that night saying “I want to stay in touch, years from now when I have a family ‘Uncle Jeff’ can come and visit and tell them stories about a place where it only rains three times a year.” I said this in jest because at the time could not fathom the idea that one day I would be mature enough to have a ‘family’.

In the past ten years there have been only a handful of days when we haven’t ‘spoken’ on one medium or another. Tomorrow, for the first time since I became a Mom, Uncle Jeff is flying in to discover what life is like living with a toddler. It’s going to take a lot of vodka and therapy but I have faith that we are all going to live through it.

I admire his courage.  I am also very glad that he is a quiet chewer.

Because cucumbers are icky

Since I am on vacation and far from civilization I have decided to invite some guest bloggers to fill in in the funny that normally resides here.

Today’s post is actually an excerpt from an email I received yesterday from my very good friend Jeff, he didn’t know at the time that this particular email would make it onto the internets, but I really feel like this will enrich all your lives significantly.

All you need to know is that Jeff lives in California and Ralph’s and Vons are the names of competing grocery stores – enjoy…

My annoyance started when I went to Ralph’s to do my grocery shopping after work. Grocery shopping at 5:00pm on a Friday is always a joy. But anyway, I really prefer Vons over Ralph’s because Ralph’s is always a friggin’ madhouse and their prices are higher. Plus, I never really know if I’m getting a deal at Ralph’s. Most of their “club savings” shit is like “2 for $6.00” …well, do I get one for $3.00?? I just don’t know. Anyway, I digress. I went to Ralph’s because I was in Vons this morning buying much needed bagels in bulk and looked to see if they had any PepsiOne – since I knew I’d be doing “big shopping” after work. (You know how I love my PepsiOne!) Sadly, they did not and thus the trip to Ralph’s.

So Ralph’s didn’t have any PepsiOne either and that was the seed – the germination point of my annoyance. Because now I have to buy stupid PepsiMax, which isn’t the same thing – even though the packaging is almost identical. I really think PepsiOne is gone from our grocer’s shelves. I’ve been expecting it. They never updated the logo to that retarded new Pepsi logo that all the other flavors got. I’m rambling again. Sorry, but this is all very emotional to me. Like losing a dearly loved family member or realizing that TiVo didn’t record “Operation Repo”.

So there I am not having my treasured PepsiOne AND having to shop at fucking Ralph’s! Is it any wonder I was ready to kill the 1st shopper who got in my way? I think not.

Okay, so I bring my overpriced groceries home and put them away – only to discover that my ice maker has decided it no longer needs to, you know, make ice. Its done this sort of thing before – like a rebellious teenager. Generally, I just pull the big tray out, touch & move all the touch able and movable parts and it kicks back into gear. But in the meantime, its like Africa hot and I “need” my cocktail(s)! It IS Friday after all.

So I get back in my car and head to the Vons for ice. I walk in and head directly to the ice thingy – I know it like the back of my hand since in the last three weeks I’ve been camping, to a beach BBQ and then camping again. The ice thingy is empty. COMPLETELY EMPTY! You’d expect that sort of thing last weekend with the big holiday, but on Friday, July 8th? That’s random and annoying. But just before I gave up and left, I kinda remembered that there was some other ice. Fancy ice they keep in another location – “designer” ice maybe – over in the ice cream isle. So yeah, there was like lemon infused ice, “tropical” ice (??) and whatever I bought – I think its dessert ice. Or maybe after dinner ice. Might be “date nite ice” I don’t know. But it was ice and I bought it! …well almost.

Me and my bag of Gucci ice head on up to the checkout and I swear to you Becca, it looked like the queues to get into Disneyland on opening day. Hordes of shoppers with their kids and their carts and their unnecessary purchases. It was mayhem. I picked my line and approach just a woman and her small mulatto child also approach. She goes first without the customary “no YOU go ahead! No YOU go!” dialog. She just went. At this point I should mention that she has about 74lbs of shitty jewelry on and is dragging a dog behind her on a leash. I wanted to ask her if she was blind, since you don’t bring dogs into the grocery store unless they are to “aid the visually disabled” …and it would also explain her ADHD barbie toting mulatto child, her poor wardrobe choice and the pink tips in her hair. But somehow civility got the better of me and I said nothing. Don’t you HATE when that happens?

This next part of they story – I swear – I’m not making this up. She’s not in line to buy anything. No, she’s here to return a half eaten box of, like, “Nature Valley Granola Bars” and (my hand to Jesus) a half chopped up cucumber! Are you fucking kidding me?!? Sparks start-a-flyin’ when the UPC code on the half eaten granola bars doesn’t even exist in the Vons database. So after much wrangling, she got 84 cents for her mangled, half chopped cucumber. I, on the other hand, lost 23 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

It just kills me that we both arrived at the same line at the same time – me with my solitary bag of gucci ice and her with her nasty cucumber and her schemes of embezzlement. Wouldn’t any normal-ish human with an ounce of compassion waive the guy with the ice to go ahead of you?

I think I hate all people. And I’m embarrassed by what we, as a collective species, have become. Plus my roommate just locked me out of my own house.

P.S. I was going to clean up the language a little bit but I’m much to lazy, besides I’m on vacation, remember?

strangers have the best…sushi

I have one of those faces that invite strangers (quite often really crazy ones) to talk and share things with me. I repeatedly  find myself in conversations that I shouldn’t be in while riding the subway. I’m always the one on the plane that ends up next to the chatty business man from Kansas city. I know way more information about random strangers than anyone should have to know.

When I lived downtown this started to become a serious problem, and in order to combat it I decided to become crazier than my public. I would frequently walk around Rittenhouse square having random conversations, some times quite heated ones with no one in particular. I found that, not only did people stop sharing stuff but they also stopped asking me for change – it was a win win. At one point I bought a pair of cheap ear buds ( I was much too poor to get the accompanying iPod) and I would walk around town pretending to listen to music but really just singing whatever popped into my head.

But, it’s been five years since we bought our house and moved to a neighborhood. I try hard to curb my crazy here and I have stopped talking out loud to myself – well for the most part. The point is I’m out of practice because this past Friday my  husband and I had a rare opportunity to go out on date night, it doesn’t happen often so we decided to head downtown and make a night out of it. In an effort to spice things we decided to go somewhere new and different, you know instead of for wings at Moriartie’s.

We ended up at a great new sushi place, well I assume it was new, it wasn’t there five years ago. Sitting at the sushi bar trying to decipher the menu the guy next to me leans over and says, “you look confused is this your first time?”Shoot I thought, here we go again… and thus ensued a conversation with John and his partner Mark who insisted we skip the soup, have a salad and get exactly what they had for dinner. Five years ago I would have done something to deter their unwanted suggestions – you know like meowing like a cat or yelling “honey badger don’t give a shit!” but I didn’t. I listened to how much they loved this restaurant and let them place our entire dinner order for us.

After the best freaking sushi we’ve had in a long long time – Jason looks over at me and says, “I’m so glad you still got it.”

Duh.