Sunday, October 30, 2005
I don't want to see any man (gay or straight) in espadrilles or capri pants or slip on Kenneth Cole thick strap sandals that look like a women's mule. But for some reason, we've sold the idea to the straight men and they've bit like a fish dying to be taken out of the game. Yes, everyone is swimming downstream and things are getting mighty dull.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm a big believer in the whole, "live and let live" life philosophy but these men don't look comfortable done up this way. They might as well be in drag.
Let's start at the top. No one looks good in the faux hawk. I'm convinced this happened one morning while Brad Pitt was playing in the bathtub with his Mr. Bubbles foam and decided it would make him look edgier if he did it with his hair instead of bubbles. Immediately every man in American covered his hands in gel and in the movement usually accompanied by the words, "here's the church and here's the steeple" pushed their hair together until it was all fucked up looking.
Next it's about skin care, all of the men's lines of skin care have gotten out of hand to the point where even Oil Of Olay is butching things up for the guys. I don't want to hear any man talking about the size of his pores but listening to a straight man talk about it makes it seem even worse. Stick to the Mennen speed stick and stop letting your girlfriend talk you into the latest Ralph Lauren scent when every drug store is dying to sell you a can of Axe and be done with it. Axe will also deodorize your car and can be used instead of pepper spray in case of a Queer Eye for the Straight Guy attack!
Clothes are supposed to make the man but in this case it just makes them look silly. I kind of bought the whole, here's my dress shirt untucked outside my jeans as a way for all of us to hide our bulging bellies but now with the tight shirts and the whole $700 jeans that they're all wearing it's too damn much. Fashion is really just whatever was popular 20 years ago so why not strike out on your own heterosexual guys and wear what you like. Sure we're going to see a lot of football jerseys but that's okay, as I always say, "Do what you know."
Finally the shoes, stop it first of all with the women's ped socks with your tennis shoes. Wear the crew or tube sock and everyone will applaud. The tiny ped sock is really just seconds away from missing a pom pom on the back of it. Also to those who insist on the whole dress shoes without socks, basically whether you're gay or straight the bottom line here is that you're gross. Stop with all of the Steve Madden retro shoes and the Kenneth Cole square toes - go back to what you know, boat shoes, tennis shoes and for dressy occasions the boat shoes again with white socks.
In an increasingly androgenous world, we need to reidentify the players. So I say, forget the flouncy Queer Eye guys - they aren't teaching anyone anything they really need to know, they're just doing their job to continue the sexless, fop stereotype of gay men everywhere. In essence, they're doing what they know.
Now to all you women who love straight men, you women are just as responsible as the gays so suck it up and get over it. You are with a man, not your girlfriend and not the Ken doll you played with as a child that didn't even have a penis!
Now I'm not saying that straight men can't look great or fashionable, I'm just begging gay sales people and the women in men's lives to stop already, selling these very moldable/contrable men in an area they aren't comfortable in, into the looks that are so wrong for them but happen to be in the window at Abercrombie. Frankly no guy should be spending $400 for a pair of jeans that are so ripped up they barely resemble jeans - those are called chaps and usually come in leather but that's for another blog.
Finally it's all about acceptance. I want everyone to wear what they're comfortable wearing and what they feel shows off their own sense of style. (The exception to that is very large women in capri tights and the large sweater over them trying to hide what you've just put in bright purple sausage casing on your legs!) Go to a dare to be different seminar, be you because that's the best thing most of us have going for us; that there's no one else like us! (Thank God, in most cases.)
Don't give in to what the celebrities are wearing, they have stylists that are just as out of touch putting stupid stuff on them too. I'll let you in on a little known seacrest (this was a typo but in re-reading it made me laugh so I let it stay in - consider it a sneak peek at the bloopers reel for the DVD), there's a conspiracy behind these gay stylists - they're seeing how stupid they can make their client look (while getting paid too much money) and then they all buy squares just like you straight guys do with football to see how long it will take the straight guys to start wearing the stupid look they created.
So do it, go to your mirror and look at yourself, straight man. Do you have highlights and low lights? Is your clean hair looking like it has axel grease on it because your "stylist" said that it makes you look hot? Tip to remember, they get paid to tell you that you look hot and most of the time they're doing it to distract you from seeing the way they fucked up your hair cut. Do your eye brows look like the marshmallow moons in Lucky Charms because someone convinced you to "shape" them? Do your clothes reflect you or the mannequin in Express for Men? Fashion is what looks good on you and what you like wearing so go for it - use your own common sense, you'll be surprised how good you can look.
And to my homosexual friends, come on fellas we've had a long run with this whole thing, had some laughs and made some great money, so let's give the straight guys a break, huh? I know, I know, I like making them look a little foolish too but these aren't the same guys (all the time) that were pushing us into lockers or saying we seduced them because they were too fucked up to know that we were a guy they were having sex with over and over again. Sure it's fun for Tommy Hilfiger to see the butchest of butch men paying obscene prices for clothes made by a screaming queen but we've had our laugh and our revenge by making them wear pink, green and purple all in the same shirt - we need to evolve. We need to come up with new ways to take ourselves beyond their level without bringing them down. Think of them as our fathers, sure we want them to look their best but we don't really want to see them layered in tight tees with phrases like, "Bill's Grease and Lube - Lube it us to grease you up right!" Let's accept one another and stop the insanity. The de-heterosexualization of the heterosexual man - "Just say No!" and don't get me started!
Monday, October 24, 2005
I began to notice that everywhere I parked, I was the only one "nose in" if you will. What is it? Why do these people need to have their cars parked this way? Are they expecting to have to make a fast getaway? Could it be like cell phones and microwaves we now don't even have the patience for the time it would take to back out? Or are these people paranoid that someone might try to get to the dead body in their trunk?
I get it if you have a Bentley or a Silver Shadow Rolls Royce - I mean those grills are fabulous and if I owned one I'd want to show it off as much as possible. But come on, is the grill on the Volkswagen Passat as stunning or regal? I think not.
And then there are the people who are doing all this backing in. They are subcreatures from another land. So I'm at the bank, walking toward my "nose in" car and there he is, an Asian man in his 70's behind the wheel of his 1994 Ford Taurus with the peeling paint job and he's pulling his piece of shit parallel to all the other cars, reversing, swinging wide, looking in the mirror, now over his right shoulder and he's backing into his space without noticing anyone or anything around him. He's in the "zone". Now he came as close to being in the lines as a two year old when they're coloring. He's taken two spaces, he's so close to my car that I need lubricant and a crowbar to get in and yet there he sits with this shit-eating grin on his face and sense of acomplishment. What the fuck? As I see the front license plate hanging at a jaunty angle I can't help but wonder what he could have hit it on? If all he's doing is backing in everywhere, how could the front license plate have ever sustained such damage? And still the larger question is WHY the backing in? I look to his wife who is exiting the car, is she going to rob the bank? Is this some elderly crime syndicate from Asia knocking off banks in Las Vegas? Of course not, it's just another two-space taking mother fucker who thinks he's cool for backing into the parking space.
And as my grandmother used to say about gays, "They're everywhere!" I see beat up cars, the cars with just a lovely gray primer on them but the spinning hub caps, all cars of shapes and sizes but none worthy to be backed in. And the people are so diverse, teenagers, older people, mid-life crisis men with their hair club for men on and the music blaring some 80's tune as they back in their red Saturn Ion. WHY are the doing this? We'll never know, it's like some cosmic secret never to be known, it won't even be represented on the Trivial Pursuit driving edition if they make one. So I can only assume that there is no reason for this behavior.
And so I'm asking nicely, for the sake of everyone - please, you're not Batman or an expectant father waiting for his wife to say, "honey it's time" or even emergency personnel having to get to that fire, you're just an asshole who feels backing in shows you've got mad parking skills. AND YOU'RE WRONG because look around and you'll see you're not even between the lines of one space! So, back that Chevy Nova's ass out bitch and don't get me started.
At first it was the occasional Sally Jesse Raphael when she would years later reunite a mother with the child that she had to give up because she was only 12 when she got pregnant by a boyfriend who beat her and held her hostage for 8 months of the pregnancy that I would lose it. No matter how fantastic or mundane the story, when the 35 year old "child" came from backstage, arms outstretched, tears in her eyes, my eyes were moist too. Never mind that these were two complete strangers that probably wouldn't get along or develop any sort of relationship, there I was with a disintegrating Puffs plus filled with tears and snot slipping through my hands as I reached for another one. Michael would walk in the room and just look at me and say, "What? Reunion show again? Haven't you had enough?" The reunion shows were killer enough but then it happened during the breaks in the shows...
Commercials...there were a glut of holiday commercials one year that were designed to rip your heart out. It was the Folgers college student that really started the whole thing and a million years later they're still playing it and I'm still crying. Never mind that Folger's take on Billy coming home was something so foreign to me (I had tried college three times but never stayed longer than it took to get my ID because of the great discounts you get with a student ID!) - that waspy family with their home in Cape Cod as Billy comes home from some Ivy League school without a zit or the freshman 15 pounds that everyone but white, white, white Billy puts on. No, Billy was working out all semester, eating right, studying, saving himself for the right girl whom someday he'd marry and they'd make love for the first time on their honeymoon and she would be disappointed and he'd end up gay but that's okay because he never knew she came from a long line of alcoholics and soon would have made it with everyone from the Fuller Brush man to the guard who helped Billy Jr. cross the street on the way to school while being high on some rubbing alcohol she strained through a piece of white Wonder bread. But for now, Billy with the perfectly touseled hair was just wanting to make a fresh cup of coffee for his family. Breaks your heart, doesn't it? And Folgers wasn't the only one in the game, Hallmark had a couple that could make you put your therapist on speed dial.
So I shunned them all. Much like a song that I could name on the radio in two notes like on Name That Tune, when I would hear the commercial start, I left the room or changed the channel. What amazing power it was to be able to stop emotion like a car - by simply applying a little pressure on the remote.
And so I thought that I was cured. Sure I would occasionally get sucked into a 60 Minutes featuring children with fatal diseases and be a mess but on the whole I was okay. And then it happened - I was watching reality television, completely safe because who cares about these morons who want to share their entire life with us because sharing their life is more exciting than their life. Then came Ty Pennington!!! There it was - Extreme Home Makeover, what threat could there be in a show like that, right?
Wrong - that son of a bitch! First it starts with some family who has had everything go wrong but their dog being killed by a random act of violence. I mean, these people have diseases, missing parents, arms and legs that don't work - you name it, they've got it wrong with them. So you meet the family (that is close to death, had a death in the family, smells like death or just love one another to death) through a video at the start of the show. Now all the carpenters and designers are already a mess in their RV watching the video. They're crying their Max Factor off and checking to make sure that their key light is hitting them right all at the same time. They're crying so of course, I'm crying. Then you actually meet the family and as they come out of their hovel (soon to be a mansion that they won't even be able to afford the upkeep on the asinine foutain with the fish in it that the designers call a "water feature" in the backyard next to the cabana and Olympic sized pool) the family is crying, designers and carpenters crying and I'm crying again. There's more crying on the damn show than there is on a Spanish Novella on Telemundo! (At least on a Novella, I don't know what they're saying so it makes me a little less likely to cry.) The family goes on vacation while the designers preen for the camera and give you several angles to watch them cry in good light and every room of the house during the hour long show. I don't know how anything gets measured straight for all the crying. There's so much God damned crying that you need a gallon of water to replenish yourself from the dehydration!! So, I was in - it's on Tivo and I'm watching it every week and Michael is shaking his head at me every week.
And then they do it - they make the show two hours instead of one hour. That was it! I had to draw the line - two hours of women crying, men crying, babies crying, animals crying and me crying - it's enough already. It had finally gotten to the point of being cheap sentiment - they film, edit and re-edit the show with one purpose in mind, a weekly cryapalooza!!
I don't care that Jimmy's going to finally be able to work out in his new endless pool after his debilitating injury from serving in the war while feeding people at a homeless shelter in Iraq and giving mouth to mouth to several stray dogs. I appreciate people wanting to help people, what I do not appreciate is Ty Fucking Pennington in his fucked up (even though a stylist spent 14 hours making sure it looked messy but not a mess) hair and his band of merry mashuggahs that have to prick themselves with a pin to cry at this point, exploiting the situation. Oh they help the people but only if the people who can barely stand are standing on the right side of them so Ty can look his best on camera. I've become almost numb to human suffering at the hands of the cast, director and editors of this show and so they've been removed from my Sunday night line up on my Tivo.
And let me just say tear ducts will be a little drier this season...I detest cheap sentiment and Ty and his gang are as cheap as they come - Don't Get Me Started!!
Thursday, October 20, 2005
So day one is basically the, "this is how out of shape and crappy you look, aren't you glad you came to me to help you reclaim a portion of your self esteem." It began with the testing. So I'm sitting there with my nose plugged and blowing in a tube hooked to an electronic device that is going to tell me how many calories a day my body would burn if I spent my entire life on the couch watching old black and white movie musicals. As nothing can be simple for me the machine malfunctions and after ten minutes it has no reading so I must start again. Let me just say that now I know how dogs feel when you close their mouths and they can't breathe. I've never been claustrophobic but this thing had me going to that dark place. So finally the trainer gives me the number and so I ask, "Well, is that a good number?" The response you never want to hear, "There are no bad or good numbers it's just an indicator for us." Fuck that - the only indicator I want is when I read the manual on my Mini Cooper and they try to be fancy by calling the turn signals "indicator lights". But okay, I'm out of my element so I play along. Next up it's the Special K pinch an inch body fat test. Well, of course I have the same amount of fat as a large block of cheese. Next up, the scale - it's like walking down the stairs of self esteem until you reach the Prosac level!
So the testing is done and it's time for the work out to "see what I can do." Well, I know (even if Phillip the trainer doesn't) that I can't do anything. But here we go from machines to free weights to a mat on the floor to build my "core" which is the current word that replaces, "your fat disgusting stomach". The terms and exercises are floating over my head like Mike TeeVee in the original movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. But remember, I'm a strict rule follower so I follow Phillip to the ends of the gym in search of a body that I would want to photoshop my head on.
The next couple of days to say I was sore is an understatement. And yes, in a weird way it does feel good but in a "wow, I didn't know I had something that could be considered muscle there" kind of way.
And so it began - me at the gym every day listening to classic disco on my MP3 player as I fast walked the treadmill then onto a few machines to get myself ready for my next visit with Phillip. Phillip had now been added to the list of parents, mate, brother, relatives, friends, cats, employer, employees, anyone I encounter on the street and anyone I ever knew that I could not disappoint.
Let me just say that Phillip was like an Amway salesman, first he tried to sell me supplements. When I asked what was in them and why I needed them he had no clue. Then it was the classic real estate sell - "The price is going up on training sessions in two days and there are a few people we're letting know about this and I wanted to make sure you knew. So if you sign up today you can get 6 training sessions for the price of five" (which means you only have to give your first male born and you get to keep your left testicle). "Or you can call me before tomorrow and I'll lock in the price for you." Then he gives me his business card. What the fuck are these people doing with business cards when all it lists is the gym's main number? I don't understand why they need these but they seem very important in the grand scheme of things and if Phillip is happy about it, I'm happy about it.
I won't bore you with all the details of the next four training sessions but let me just say Phillip tried his damnedest to make a muscle out of me. He thought I was hysterical when on one machine I couldn't do any more and I said, "Phillip, how can you do this to a pregnant woman?" Or after spending time on the chest press machine at an obscene weight and him making me do push ups - I could only do three before I felt as though my arms were going to buckle and I would destroy my dental work so I simply laid on the bad carpet wimpering loudly. Yes, Phillip and I laughed and pumped our way through the gym. But all good things must come to an end.
And here's the deal, after changing my diet and my exercise routine I lost a whopping five pounds. How fucking depressing is that? But I will continue on in hopes of finding a way back into my Kenneth Cole pants that are sneering at me from their hanger in the closet. I will find a way to try to look at what's going on below my neck and work toward being able to look at it without throwing up a little bit in my mouth each time. And once I lose another ten or so pounds I vow, as God as my witness I will never be blobby again!
I think I've learned the basics enough to be successful in my pursuit of a better, healthier me but only time will tell and who has time for that? The one thing I have promised myself is no more blogs on this issue as it's boring me and I can't imagine it's doing anything for any of you. And you are now officially on the list of people I don't want to disappoint.
But think of me, listening to Got To Be Real as I watch Phillip train other fatties, skinnies and generally out of shape people from my hamster wheel - the treadmill. Does he really care about me anymore? Does a prostitute care about you after you pay? Trainers at the gym and prostitutes are the same thing - don't get me started!