Thursday, February 26, 2009

Good morning

Here is your morning cartoon:

"I said to my girlfriend the other day, my, monsters are interesting people....."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gay Bars in NashTrash

So I sat down, I ate dinner, I had one glass of wine (two beer queer here), and instead of finishing my apartment, I've decided to write the following post:

I only feel comfortable hitting on a guy in a gay bar. This is the south. Any gay vibe (and I have the worst gaydar there ever was) I get from a gay in a non-gay setting, say a Barnes and Noble, he could be closeted with a wife and 2.4 kids. I say hello, and he runs away screaming. Or you get someone who's so threatened by a simple hello, how are ya, that they punch your lights out.

So no, I don't hit on anyone outside of a gay context. But here's the rub: I don't like any of the guys that I've seen/met in our gay bars.

Our major gay bar is Tribe, a Manhattan style place. I actually like Tribe. There's a bartender there who gives me good drinks, usually at a discounted price, and I can sit on a couch, if it's not too crowded. Alcohol + couch = happy Chris. But here's what I've noticed people watching (and all I do is people watch when I'm at bars):

All the guys come in in cliques or pairs, usually with the same styled hair and jeans. They get their drink, they bop along to Rhianna, and they stare at others in the bar, but nobody talks to anyone outside of their clique. They all just.....stare, as if marking their prey. Then they all go next door to the dance club called Play, and that's apparently where all the hookups/phone numbers are exchanged...on the loud dance floor or in the bathroom stall.

And that.....really isn't for me. But there really isn't another place for single gay men to go in Nashville. I joined a gay runner's group...they're all in their 50's. I figured the gay reading group would be the same, plus sucky gay coming out fiction. (Honestly, does any gay fiction get passed coming out in high school/college and explore other aspects of life and story and plot?)

It feels like every gay guy who came out got a hand book describing what I like to call "The Homo Telepathic Broadband System." It seems that at these bars, there's communication going on, but just like Morse Code, I don't know how to read it. I certainly don't know how to use it to my advantage. So inevitably, I feel like a dunce because everyone seems to be in on the gag, but me. So I drink my drink, I bob my head to some song I can't stand, and then I leave.

So where does someone like me, someone who isn't comfortable yelling his mini life story over insanely loud music, someone who doesn't use the dance floor to seduce and arouse, someone who doesn't like sleazy bathroom stall hand jobs with strangers....

......where does someone like that meet somebody in this town?

Happy Hump Day!!!!!


In lieu of a well written post, because I'm in the midst of a cleaning fit for a cocktail party I'm throwing this Friday, I present you Miss Bette Davis talking about working in the movies. Her advice about loving the "sweat of it" applies not just to those of us pursuing an artistic career, but to anyone going after a dream, whether it be career or relationship oriented.

There will never be another like her.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Progressive South part 2

Now that I've calm down a little bit (and I finished my accounting homework), I can explain at least the Tennessee adoption ban.

The law is proposed by Senator Paul Stanley in January of 2009. The new law would make it illegal for any unmarried couple to adopt children. (I erroneously said earlier that single people were excluded.) So in addition to the regular, rigorous investigation that the state adoption agencies perform on candidates, now they have to determine if the "roommate" is sexually active with the adopter.

This is what I like to call a "Backdoor Law." They proposed gay adoption bans and the laws failed to pass in Tennessee. Now there's no mention of homosexuals in the new law (though it would still ban them, as gay marriage is not only illegal but a constitutional amendment - which passed with 82% of the majority vote btw), so it cannot be ruled as prejudicial.

Quite clever, these bigots. Most southern people would read the law and think, "Well I don't believe children should happen outside of marriage. I agree with that." They'll vote yes without thinking of the actual consequences of this law. These bigots know that. The average person thinks only about 5 minutes ahead. The Big Picture is rarely seen. Supporters of this law aren't necessarily bad people or mean people...just short sighted people.

And once again, anti-gay legislature is hiding behind children. "We're saving the children!" Really? Denying them homes so they can spend most of their life in foster care is in the best interest of the children? These people actually believe that foster care is better than being raised by an unmarried straight couple or a committed gay couple.

Here's the rub: this law actually hurts those older children in foster care. The older a child gets, the fewer the chances he/she has to be adopted. People want brand new babies. If they can't have their own, they use fertility drugs and surgeries until they fail. Then they might adopt, but if they do, they want a brand new baby. An 8 year old and an 11 year old don't have a chance in hell.

So on top of exploiting children, lowering their chances of finding homes, and limiting the rights of one targeted minority group, these Christian policy makers are hypocrites. How many unwanted kids have they adopted today?

It's Big Brother government using Jesus Christ as a battle axe.

Their ultimate goal, by the way, is to make homosexuality illegal. They want to force all gays and lesbians into a straight, Christian lifestyle (i.e. a straight, miserable marriage that will contribute to the high divorce rate). For people arguing that homosexuality is a sinful choice, they seem to forget that Christianity is a faithful choice, one where the individual must decide for him/herself. I was raised Christian and I'm fairly certain there isn't a verse in the Gospels where Jesus beat some poor pagan into the ground with a stick until he finally relented and followed.

But that's the difference between the Jesus that's in the Bible and the Jesus that's cohabiting the $80 million mega-churches that liter the south like mansions in Beverly Hills. These churches have their own gyms, their own schools, some even have their own Starbucks. It's a world within a world, one that's exclusive. Imagine Jesus' horror at the thought of Christians building palaces to themselves in order to keep the rest of the world outside.

I'm not sure why they're trying to "Christianize" America. I've read online a belief that if they make America (and only America) a Christian country, that Jesus will come back and the Rapture can begin. Not soon enough, I think. I really wish I did believe in the Rapture: that way, these Christian Warriors can be beamed up to heaven (or whatever planet they're from) and leave the rest of us alone.

Now, there is something that we can do and that's publicly oppose this law and all like it. Anyone who lives in Tennessee and even people who don't live in Tennessee, you can email Senator Paul Stanley and the state legislature. How? Simple. Follow these links:

Email Senator Paul Stanley

Call Your TN Representative

Suggestions for Sound Arguments To Make Regarding This Law

Donate To The Tennessee Equality Project

Monday, February 23, 2009

by way of introduction

To say that I had goals when I graduated from college would not be entirely accurate. I wouldn't even say I had a plan, really. No goals, no plans, just a vague sort of leaning. I wasn't going to grad school right away and I'd just been on the receiving end of the failure of a three-year relationship; Madison seemed like as good a place as any for my reentry into the world. The fact that my ex was going to be living there too only factored a tiny percentage into my decision. Like, 10% max. Okay, maybe 25%. Okay, maybe more, we all learn from our mistakes, let's move on, DON'T JUDGE ME!!

Two months after packing up my movie posters and extra-long sheets, I was stacking slabs of plywood onto cement bricks, creating a set of hobo bookshelves in the corner of my studio apartment in the heart of downtown Madison. My "apartment" had a murphy bed and forgotten porn that the previous resident had abandoned in one of the many cabinets surrounding it. I started my new job as a tele-recruiter the next day and The Terror hadn't set in yet. I was still riding the jet streams from graduation, that delightful linear sensation of "first I'll do this, then I'll do this." I had it in my mind that I'd live in Madison for awhile and then apply to the PhD program for psychology at UW.

At least a year passed before I realized that I didn't really want to get a PhD in psychology, and although I had no idea what I was looking for in life, I certainly wouldn't find it in Madison, Wisconsin. Don't get me wrong; Madison is great. For five months out of the year, Madison is fantastic. But after another six months in the Midwest, I rented a U-Haul and got the hell out of dodge. It was around this time--sleeping on my mom's couch in Kentucky and getting up early to drive to my temp job at the University of Louisville--that The Terror really sank its claws in. It was as if all my life I'd been walking down a path in the forest. Sometimes the path was rocky, uphill; sometimes it was glorious, paved, and in the sunlight. All these 18 years of school, knowing exactly what was in front of me--more path. All these 18 years and suddenly I found myself in the middle of the fucking forest, in the space between paths, where the grass had grown up high to my knees. Surrounded by nothing but freedom.

Sweet, delicious, crippling freedom.

The Progressive South


The states of Tennessee and Kentucky are proposing laws that ban single, unmarried, or gay people from adopting.  In the case of Kentucky (I'm not sure about Tennessee), if the law passes, any parent who is single, unmarried, or gay will have their adopted child taken away from them by the state.  Because, you know, the well being of child is being threatened by singledom or gaydom, and it wouldn't traumatize the child at all to have the state take them away from their home and throw them back in foster care for an indeterminate period of time.

Fuckin' South.

If I didn't have homework to do, I'd write more about it.  But I will (don't you worry).  And I'll also provide ways that you can help defeat this archaic, harmful laws.

Another Freakin' Monday

Because it's early and I haven't had my coffee (and therefore, can barely form coherent thoughts), I shall give you a video that will hopefully take the edge of yet another freakin' Monday morning:

At the end, I was rooting for that damn hand puppet. There hasn't been an Oscar nominated film in years that's gotten the same reaction from me.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Night in NashTrash.....

As we begin round 23 of the South's menopausal season (we don't have winter, fall, or spring, per say), the temperatures plummet from the 70's of Monday to the 30's of today. The day started off sunny but now, it's cloudy and rainy and cold. Needless to say, my cheap ass is staying in.

Going out in Nashville is not expensive, especially compared to L.A. (hello $20 parking, $15 cover, and $10 drink), but it can still burn a whole in your pocket because you realize, hey, this is pretty cheap. So far. By the end of the night, you can spend $100 easy. (Unless you're like the frat boys and head to the strip clubs at the end of the evening. You might as well chuck your wallet into the Cumberland River.)

I'm doing pretty well, better than most (Nashville is, for the most part, recession proof - thank you, healthcare billing industry), but I know I have to make cut backs. I can't make the trips into town, I can't spend money on food and drink. When one beer costs $4 and a six pack costs $6, well, you can see that the six pack is a better deal.

But I'm newly single (for those of you who don't know me...which is pretty much a lot of you), and I've been single now for six months. And I'm wondering, if I don't go out much, how am I going to meet somebody? Even if it turns out to be platonic or just a fling, interaction with another gay guy is healthy and I don't have that many gay friends here in Nashville.

There's a disease in Nashtrash among the gay men and it's called "Husband-noma." If you're not going to marry them (or provide a cheap good time), they are not interested. It's the same phenomena with single women in the south. I find that people want to be married and settled down way before 30. It's like a race and the age of 30 is the finish line. We're all guilty of it down here.

I myself rushed into a relationship and made it move too fast because I thought, "I found someone! Now I'm safe." The relationship was horrible for me, because we were incompatible. Instead of being built up, my self esteem went in the toilet, I lost all self confidence, I became much more self conscious, and not because he was abusive in any way (and was a great guy in his own right), but because we weren't working and we knew it. Instead of admitting it, I tried even harder and he went the route of apathy.

Now I'm trying to learn to be okay with the silence in my apartment. I'm finally sleeping in the center of the bed and that's never happened since college. I'm mostly fine, but there are times when I miss not my ex so much as I miss being in a relationship.

So as I sit in my apartment, alone on a Saturday night, a glass of cheap red wine in one hand, a Big Lots $3 DVD of the The Good German in the other, (I'm incredibly cheap and hey! Cate Blanchett! George Clooney! Steven Soderbergh! For $3, that's a steal, ladies and gents), I wonder if I'll have to turn to the internet to meet someone. My experience with meeting men through something as banal as myspace proved disastrous. (What can work in email does not work in person.) And as a singer who does not perform musical theatre, I hang out with mostly straight guys. Fun guys. Sweet guys. Great guys. But straight guys. They'll give me a hand when I'm down, but they won't give me a handjob before going down on me.

What about the bars, you ask? Well, now that's a different post, because the gay bars down here (of which there are...4), resemble...well...why spoil the surprise? Until next post!

College eats... post college? F my life.

So, I figure this will be a good first entry. Mainly because if by the time I make my next post, and the situation isn't any better, I'll probably just off myself. Weee!

I'm SO broke (cue you: "Promo Homo, how broke ARE you?").

I'm SO broke that I just raided my pantry. I found some very expired Ramen noodles (2006 was a good year for noodles, right?), Jell-o, and some leftover peanut butter (which may or may not be for the dog). These components will make up my meals for the day.

Oh, and I signed up for unemployment today.

Oh, oh! And I've been looking into selling my eggs. I don't plan on breeding anyway, so they may as well go to some couple that wants to have kids... all while making me $20,000 richer. I'd much rather just work, so this will probably just be a pipe dream. My mother almost had a coronary when I told her. BONUS POINTS.

I love being young and living in Los Angeles. It's the best!

Single And The City

Nashville is having its annual Singles In The City event next Tuesday (Feb. 24th). Nashville Lifestyles are featuring the hottest single people in all of Nashville and they are going to be in one room at the Bound'ry. (Omg! Really? This is too much to handle!) All that hotness in one room, which you can be a part of...for only $45, of course.

All the single "celebrities," (I'm not kidding, that's how the ad copy reads...mingle with these "single celebrities") are featured in Nashville Lifestyles magazine, complete with professional photographs, mini-biographies, and cheesy questions ala People magazine. (Cheesy Question #1: What was the worst date you've ever been on?) The cover boy answered with a story about how he took a girl to a baseball game and she didn't know anything about baseball. So she kept asking questions and he couldn't enjoy the game. At the end, he says, "Maybe I should've asked her if she even wanted to go to the game."

Dude, I think I know why, despite your photo-shopped good looks, you are still single.

Now because I should be listed in this magazine...I am, after all, quite sexy and very single...I've decided to pretend I'm in this cheese fest and answer their own dorky questions:

OCCUPATION: Graduate Student, Singer/Songwriter, Blogger, Free Lance Blackmailer

HOMETOWN: Nobody knows where I've come from and nobody will ever know. Muhahaha.

WHAT THREE WORDS DESCRIBE YOU THE BEST: Resourceful, determined, bastard.


THE MOST ROMANTIC BOOK: Hannibal by Thomas Harris

THE MOST ROMANTIC SONG: Push by Matchbox Twenty (a little S&M anybody?)


A blind date. That was rescheduled because he had a bad day and needed to go to the tanning bed. I got blown off for a tanning bed. Apparently, peeps, I can't get ya hot or brown enough. We rescheduled, at the request of the friend who set us up (my immediate response was, fuck him), but instead of going for coffee, he stated that it was too cold out (Boston in March) and said we should just stay in his apartment. He brewed his own coffee (which was crappy) and then proceeded to treat me like an audition.

"So tell me something funny."


"I want to see if you can make me laugh."

"......Okay. So there's this guy who was supposed to go out with me and instead, went to a tanning bed...."

"Not funny. Tell me something interesting."

He then proceeded to quote lines from sitcoms. It took me about two minutes but then I realized, that was a Seinfeld joke. That was from Designing Women. I don't know what was sadder...the fact that he was quoting lines from syndicated reruns or the fact that I recognized lines from syndicated reruns. When he made a Golden Girls joke, I finally looked at him and said, "I know where that's from." And then told him the episode. He ran into his bedroom for a few moments, came out, and asked me to leave.

Ever since then, I've not been a fan of blind dates. Or coffee dates, for that matter.

Mission Statement this thing on?

Okay! Now, ladies and gentlemen, we begin a grand experiment. We are several mid-20, 30 somethings living in present day America in different parts of the country...the south, the midwest, the west coast...trying to figure out our lives personally and professionally. It's going to be a messy experiment, mainly because we are messy people. (We're also sometimes a profane people, so parents, keep the kiddies away!)

We represent different upbringings, different belief systems, different sexualities, and different income levels (although we're all pretty poor). Some of us are students, getting our graduate degrees or Ph D's, some are teachers, some are just working nine to five.

The blog is titled "Bi-Coastal And Questioning" not only for its sexual innuendo (of which there might be plenty of listed here) but also because we all live on different sides of the country and we're all questioning...our lives, our place, and our journey.

We hope to establish a "time capsule," if you will, of life during those turbulent years after the fun of college and before the fun of career fulfillment and retirement.

We also hope to entertain and to not bore you shitless. So, without further ado......let's get started!