How to Plan a Birthday Gift

Two months prior, you start making mental notes of things your boyfriend likes. You start paying attention to small comments made here and there of things that amuses him. You scour the internet for concerts and shows.

You purchase tickets for a concert of a band he might enjoy a week prior his birthday. He knows one song from the band, but you’re sure he’ll enjoy the concert anyway. You click “Buy” without regard to the price. You want the best seats.

All men are boys – so you shop for a toy. You make sure it’s something he likes. He’s mentioned it months ago – this is a good buy. You ask his brother and sister for their opinion.

You buy novelty shirts. Something funny, smart and geeky. Buy it in blue because blue looks good on him.

You make reservations in a steakhouse. Fuck diets, it’s his birthday. You go through the menu and see if there’s anything he’d like. You call the restaurant and mention you’re having dinner for your boyfriend’s birthday before going to a Broadway musical.

You buy tickets for a show. You haven’t seen a musical in a long time. He’s going to love it.

You put all the gifts in a corner in your room so he’ll see the surprise you prepared for him when he comes over and stay for the night.

It’s going to be perfect.

*****

The real gift is you are willing to cancel everything because your boyfriend’s sister decided to throw a family-only party that you’re not invited to.

The real gift is calling the restaurant to cancel your reservation.

The real gift is calling your best friend to accompany you to a Broadway musical because you don’t want to waste the rather expensive tickets you got, and you don’t want to go alone.

The real gift is not losing your shit because in a relationship, one has to be the strong one that the other can hold on to.

Metric Setlist – Radio City Music Hall, September 23, 2012

I’m just as fucked up as they say
I can’t fake the daytime
Found an entrance to escape into the dark
Got false lights for the sun
It’s an artificial nocturne
It’s an outsider’s escape for a broken heart

***

***

And when the days that followed past

In another mansion built to last
From our window we could see
Only possibilities down the road and back

But then the storm returned for more
In a comedown of revolving doors
We auctioned off our memories
In the absence of a breeze
Scatter what remains
Scatter what remains

***
I’ll shut up and carry on, the scream becomes a yawn
I’ll shut up and carry on, the scream becomes a yawn

***

***

***

We’re all the time confined to fit the mold
But I won’t ever let them make a loser of my soul

***
Call me out
My regret
Only makes me
Stronger yet

***
I’ll wait
Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?

***

***
Tits out, pants down
Overnight to London
Touch down, look around
Everyone’s the same
World wide, air tight
No one’s got a face left to blame
And all we get is

***
Wanna make a trade
Cougar for a snake, wanna fall in love
Wanna make a deal
Angel versus eel, owl versus dove

***
ENCORE
***

***
I fought the war but the war won.
***
The Wanderlust and Pale Blue Eyes
With Lou Reed of The Velvet Underground
Sometimes I feel so happy,
Sometimes I feel so sad.
Sometimes I feel so happy,
But mostly you just make me mad.
Baby, you just make me mad.
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.
***

***

***
From setlist.fm.

Aimee Mann is a Labrador

I remember liking the Buffy the Vampire Slayer soundtrack because of two songs: Blue and Pavlov’s Bell. Pavlov’s Bell, I thought, was the first Aimee Mann song I knew. Turns out, some years earlier, she also had a few songs for the Magnolia soundtrack, of which Save Me was a favorite. But still, that’s not the first Mann song I liked. The first Mann song I really like was from ’85, when she was still with Til Tuesday – and the song was Voices Carry.
I was really young when I first heard the song, and funny enough, I remember the video. I was fascinated with the rat tail – and it’s funny how that was a plot device in the music video.
Aimee Mann has a new album out, with Labrador as a single. The music video is pretty hilarious. She did a shot-by-shot video of Voices Carry, rat tail and all!
Labrador, like many Mann songs, is musically haunting, lyrically sad, always poignant. Its about devotion and staying around even during the lowest of the low. It’s gonna be played in a loop, and my iPod will get tired of playing the song.

Chronicles of an Alone Non-Single Guy – Part Two

Tuesday night, I checked out the movie The Right to Love: An American Family. It’s basically about a gay couple and their two kids, and what they went through during the big hoo-haa of Proposition 8. It was a good documentary of a family doing “normal” stuff. I think it was the point, families with gay parents don’t really ask for anything special – just be treated the same as everyone else. The Prop 8 issue on the movie kinda dated it, which makes the movie feel “old”. I worry it dampened its relevance, because it is still a timely issue. Unless marriage is made equal on the federal level, I think the movie would remain important.
After the movie, I joined a bunch of HRC volunteers for drinks. I should consider doing volunteer work. But I think of myself too much to do volunteer work. That;s why I just give money. As Karen Walker would say as she writes a check, “Guilt begone!”
Thursday night was great! I enjoy comedy, I love the East Village, and I enjoy dive bars – so when I heard about a comedy show in a dive bar in the East Village, I knew I had to show up.

I heard about it through Dave. I’ve been listening to his podcast with Ben Harvey. They have a radio show now at Sirius, but I don’t have Sirius so I download the iTunes feed.
I’ve never seen him do stand-up so I went. A pleasant surprise was Craig Baldo! We’ve met once before, we have a common friend who happens to be a former professor from Colorado.
I probably had too much that Thursday night – by the time I got home, I felt feverish. By the morning, I could hardly breathe because my throat felt closing up. My tonsils were inflamed, and it hurt so bad. I did something I haven’t done in a long time – called sick and took the day off. I stayed in bed and watched America’s Top Model reruns. I also Googled tonsillectomy. Videos are available in Youtube. I saw images of removed tonsils, they look like gonads. It was disgusting and fascinating.
I was up as early as six this morning. Just probably excited – Andy is coming home today 🙂 I’ll pick him up later from Jersey. In the mean time, since I still can’t eat, decided to cook soup.

***
Cutting through the darkest night are my two headlights
Try to keep it clear, but I’m losing it here
To the twilight
There’s a dead end to my left
There’s a burning bush to my right
You aren’t in sight

Chronicles of an Alone Non-Single Guy – Part One

Growing up an only child, you basically grow accustomed to being alone. This did not bode well when I first started going to school and my first reaction as I was surrounded by tens of kids my age was “Who are these kids?” and “Please don’t talk to me, I’m reading the newspaper and I’m really interested on how this upcoming local election is going to make changes in my neighborhood.” At 21, I first met my 7 year old brother who’s first line to me was “I love rocks” and I had to learn how to share almost everything. I was impaired. So naturally, when I found someone I want to be with, I cling on like a barnacle.
My boyfriend and I do not live together. I made it a point that we see each other almost everyday. I don’t know if this is a “rule” but Andy has always tried his best to comply. This is why when I found out that he’s going to Japan, I almost flipped out. We were with his friends having drinks, and in public – so I did my best to compose myself.
Andy and his best bud took off for Japan Thursday. They had a morning flight from Newark, so I skipped the send-off. Before his flight took off, he gave a quick call to say bye and then that’s when it started – the dread of knowing I won’t see him for the next ten days.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve been apart many times – the only main difference really is I’m the one who takes off. I just don’t know how to prepare myself as the one “left behind”. The only comparable trip I can think of is when I went home to the Philippines, and I was gone for ten days as well. And even when I’m gone, I try to find ways to shoot a BBM or a Facebook chat – which is extremely hard when you’re in a third world country and the only WiFi I get is from the mall.
I actually weighed myself – we’ve been in this health kick and been going to the gym five to six times a week and I’ve lost a few pounds already. Have not yet decided if it was because of the spin classes, or the depression that suppresses my appetite.
I’ve been trying to preoccupy myself. Fortunately, same day Andy left, was a company dinner. Nothing helps to forget like good food and alcohol.

G-Star

I love how the restaurant put the company logo in their menus for us that night.


The following night was fairly the same – good food and drinks. I had dinner at a raw food place, Rawlicious, down in SoHo near my job. I actually saw a college friend of mine. We were together during a trip in DC (fully documented here). Ever since, Natasha has been living in Las Vegas, and if you need a make-up artist, you should really get in touch with her because she’s fucking amazing.

I had a fake pasta bolognese dish – the “pasta” was zucchini and God knows what’s in the bolognese sauce. It was pretty good though, I’d go back.


I brought Natasha along to see my two friends slash coworkers Lindsay and Nikki. We go to this Russian bar Pravda, which I think has been decided as our watering hole whenever Nikki is in town. So it was me and three fine ladies – it was a typical girls’ night out, I guess. Talked shit about work, and about boyfriends/husbands/fiances over vodka martinis.
Lindsay, Natasha and I eventually head out to the East Village for more drinks while Nikki was picked up by our friend Rachel and they head uptown.

This is me and Nikki, holding fingers, and cheating on our boyfriends.


I spent my Saturday with my best bud Ryan. She wanted to go to a Monet exhibit that we thought was in Governors Island – we spent a day there not finding the damn exhibit because it was in the New York Botanical Gardens up in the Bronx. I honestly had a good time, and for a while, I forgot about Andy. Ryan and I tend to be stupid silly when we’re together, throw in a camera in the mix and the silliness is exponentially increased.

There’s a hidden game here in this picture – it’s called find the two yellow dots.


I honestly was not aware Ryan was taking my picture. This is me ignoring the world because I just got a BBM from my boyfriend.


Sunday was particularly quiet. I went to the gym because I promised Andy I’d go even when he’s not around. It was weird though, because when he’s next to me in a spin class, we can laugh and talk about the characters in the gym. But now, spinning by myself – if I see something funny, I look stupid and creepy smiling by myself.
Had a quick brunch, and even went to church. I haven’t talked to God in a while.

I got gutsy and tried to get in touch with Andy’s brother and sister. I was going to shop for Andy’s birthday gift and I wanted their opinion. I had his brother’s number from an old resume, and his sister’s e-mail from a Netflix account. I never heard back from neither. Not sure anyway if I got the right contacts. But still, a part of me was hoping to hear back. They’re the two people that are closest that I could be with Andy. And it’s not like I can just show up in their place in Astoria. It’s just disheartening. It’s one of those I have yet to process, though I’m sure they too are still digesting the fact that I’ve been dating their brother for almost five years now. Insert *sigh* here.

My Brother, the Gullible

Been bugging my brother about his graduation. I have a trip to Hawaii for my aunt’s wedding, and I want to make just one trip out of it so I don’t go flying from NYC to Hawaii, back to NYC then to Colorado.
I asked again this morning and he told me he doesn’t know, but there’s a meeting with the parents tonight and they’re gonna make the date announcement for the rest of the school year.
One quick search in his school’s website and I was able to figure it out. I told my brother about it and I said I’m willing to make a bet. Also told him I’m psychic.

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