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