Wednesday, December 01, 2010

My good luck charm

I always keep a concert ticket in my wallet of the last BEST concert I have ever been to. Even though I go to over 20 concerts a year, the one in my pocket usually stays there for years at a time. I seldom ever take out this ticket and look at it, but just knowing it’s there always helps me to smile whenever I really need it. In order to be the concert ticket in my wallet a certain number of criteria need to be met to even be considered. Most of them are utterly impossible to define and would sound ridiculous if ever attempted to be explained by mere words. But some of them are pretty basic and are ideas that everybody can understand.

I remember when I started this tradition. I was 13 years old and Tyler and I had gone to see the Beastie Boys perform during their Hello Nasty tour! It was BADASS! Loud music, raucous behavior, hearing and vocal loss, all around awesomeness and being able to share this with my best friend made this the best thing ever. I was going through a lot of drama with my personal life (getting ready for life in jail was just one of many issues I was going through) at the moment and this was something that needed to be remembered.

So I put the ticket in my pocket to remind myself that at this moment I was happy and NOTHING could take that away from me. And over the next few years it really did help get me through a lot of bullshit. That Beastie Boys ticket sat in my wallet for 4 years. It became a sort of good luck charm for me and it eventually just became my Dumbo feather, where it would probably be impossible for me to “fly” without it.

This is something that I DON’T talk about. But I have been thinking a lot about lately. I think it was January of 2002. I was spending a lot of time with this guy I’d met at summer camp the previous summer. He was my “secret friend” and it worked out well because he lived in Chicago and I lived in NYC so there really wasn’t much overlap between he and I where our friends or social life in general were concerned. My secret buddy had flown down to LA to be with me for the week. I rented a hotel in LA proper far away from anybody that might have known me and we spent the week where for the first time in my entire life I really felt like I had connected both sexually and emotionally with another person.

It all culminated with a call from my agent and a couple of tickets to a very small Jack Johnson concert. He was on tour opening for Ben Harper and decided to do a couple of small shows on his own. This was his first. I had spent the previous summer around the campfire with my guitar singing Jack songs to my secret friend and we were both really excited to see Jack sing them himself. I think it was during, Posters, that my secret friend let his fingers curl into mine. A couple of tears fell down my cheek because it was right then that I knew the path I was heading down and there was no turning back. I was scared, elated, terrified, and so fucking excited!

After the show I dropped my secret friend at the airport, I put the concert ticket in my wallet, and I never spoke to him again. That’s where this ticket stayed for 8 years as a symbol of what I had to be hopeful for one day when I would be ready for it. For my birthday Tyler got me 4 tickets to Weezer’s memories tour, which of course meant one night playing the Blue album and the second night playing Pinkerton! Those two albums literally defined who I am as a person! I seriously don’t know how else to put it. I know every song from both of those albums by heart, and this was pretty much the most perfect concert experience of my quarter of a century on this planet.

I had my boyfriend, and my two best friends with me. We spent both nights screaming out the lyrics to each of the songs on both nights; laughing, reminiscing, and just experiencing all of this together. This was sooo special to me for so many reasons. The music, the company and more than that just knowing that I have finally made it. When the concerts were over, without hesitation, I took out my wallet yanked out my Jack ticket, still reeking of all that bittersweet nonsense, and replaced it with pure joy. I was so happy, I couldn’t stop smiling for days. Even writing this now I am smiling all over again. I really have accomplished something in my life, and I really am happy with how all of this unfolded. Today is a great day to be me!

Monday, October 25, 2010


I flew up to Chicago this Wednesday night to spend a few days with Tyler. I am not used to having my best buddy so far away from me! These last few days have been awesome to catch up with Tyler, we didn’t even go out and party that much. We mostly just hung out and talked, which is something the two of us seldom do. We are in each other’s lives enough to get the gist of what’s going on so mucking it all up with chick talk would’ve been pointless! But now that communication is vital to our friendship, it’s good to know we can actually do it!

The thing that really shocked me the most is how Tyler THINKS he is struggling with his social life (when I think the real problem is that he’s just crazy homesick). Tyler is and always has been the life of every party. He’s probably the most handsome heterosexual guy I have ever and will ever meet, plus he has the kind of personality that draws you in and makes you want to just gravitate around him. From where I stood, it pretty much seemed like Tyler has Chi-town wired! He knows all the cool places to hang, has a bunch of hipster/bro-ee friends to hang with, and there’s no shortage of barely legal hot girls who want to hook up with him. But for some reason he’s just not feeling Chicago. I think he misses me.

As much of an adventurer Tyler is, he’s definitely a homebody at heart. I think he’s slowly coming to realize that you can take the boy out of LA, but you can’t take LA out of the boy! I tried to explain to him how he’s here to learn, and maybe it’s good that things are feeling a little boring in the social department, but he wasn’t having it! So Tyler is going to just finish off his semester, drop out, and then apply to a graduate program at USC or Pepperdine, which I am all kinds of psyched over!

Having Tyler in Chicago fucking sucks! I have nobody to call at midnight on a Tuesday to go grab tacos and beer, or nobody to call me on my bullshit when I start throwing a temper tantrum for any number of reasons my spoiled ass throws them. I miss staying up all night playing call of duty or madden while smoking joints and listening to terrible reggae then walking to Roscoe’s and eating chicken and waffles until we feel like vomiting! But mostly I just miss having my big brother around for no reason at all. I for one am completely ecstatic that Tyler is coming home, but it will be a cold day in hell before I ever say that out loud, you guys didn’t hear any of this from me!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Money Pit

My Life, As Presented By Mastercard...

Multiple X-Rays & a new specialist for each part of my broken body: $6545
Pills, ointments, injections, braces, and monthly PT costs: $9925
Various corrective surgeries and other medical procedures: $198,000
Having the Doctor tell you your dislocated shoulder can’t be fixed and there’s a “chip” floating around in your ankle that will just hurt like a bitch forever: Priceless
There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s FUCK YOU SHITTY BODY.

These last couple months have been dedicated to my health and general well being. And I am starting to think it was all just a big fat waste of time and money! At first things were looking promising in terms of what I could realistically fix, and what I could learn to live with. Then as time went on things started piling up in the “learn to live with” category, while things that were supposed to get fixed got less and less realistic.

Meanwhile the medical bills started piling up and my agent kept hassling me to take on more jobs. Bing. Bang. BOOM. I have made 3 commercials in a month and a half and I kind of feel like a cheap $2 whore. The only positive thing to come out of this is that I have been able to collaborate a lot with Eddie lately and it’s been a lot of fun working with a friend! Somehow he makes selling my soul for a couple bucks feel not so terrible. Also he is literally the most talented artist and director I have ever met, and being in his presence has me constantly in awe of everything he does. I just always feel like I am constantly witnessing history in the making because he’s just that fucking talented!

I guess another positive thing that has come out of this whole disaster is that spending so much time in the studio has forced me into actually working on some personal media projects that I would have otherwise procrastinated out of existence. It feels good to be creative and it feels even better flexing those creative muscles while I am supposed to be finishing up lame ass corporate ads; cuz I am a badass like that. I have been tossing this idea around in my head for a shortfilm and in my head it’s AMAZING, but I am having the hardest time actually seeing it into fruition! It’s driving me nuts, but like I said, at least I have the time to be driven nuts by it.

But seriously, I still really fucking hate anything and everything about advertising. In just this short time I have already been able to break down the secret code that these agencies use when speaking to me. For instance, when they say things like, “We would like you to storyboard these ideas yourself so you can have full creative freedom to really let loose and make something special!” What they mean is, “we are going to get you to do this shit for free and then ask for a buttload of revisions and changes along the way because we are too cheap for an in-house artist!” Then when they sit you down for 2 hours discussing their “ideas” using keywords like, “dynamic, creative, and different” What they are really trying to tell you is that they have no fucking clue what they want, but it was imperative that they waste your entire afternoon pretending like they did. I could go on forever but I won’t because it will only make me more bitter.

I am currently responsible for 3 national tv spots that can actually be seen on primetime most nights and a couple of print ads that are pretty much everywhere too. There was a time when I would have been really disgusted with myself for being a part of the corporate machine like this, but I gots bills to pay and can’t afford no lame ass principals while being 6 figures in debt! Also, that small twinge of pride I am feeling whenever I see my work on TV and magazines; I am pretty sure is proof that I lost my soul when i wasn’t paying attention... It’s cool though cuz I’m gay and I don’t think I will have much use for a soul in the afterlife anyway ;o)

Monday, October 11, 2010

just a few thoughts...

The news lately has been extremely depressing for me. All these gay teens committing suicide because of how they've been mistreated so badly, it breaks my heart. I will never understand the need to hurt and belittle a person because of their sexuality. I will never understand how what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms deserves such extreme scrutiny from "right thinking Americans" all over this great country. I will never understand how loving somebody can cause so much hate.

My brother and I have been spending a lot of time talking about what's going on in this country and how all this anti-gay nonsense affects us and how we view ourselves. It's hard to believe that with all the love we have and see and experience on a daily basis, there are people all around us that just don't. My brother is AMAZING in his ability to cope with all the negativity around him and find a way to come out of it all unscathed. I admire his strength as he deals with our crazy ass family, his teammates at school, and all the pricks out there in the ether that think they have a say in the way we live our lives. He makes me want to be a better and stronger person just so I can keep up with him and still be the big brother he can look up to.

The news has even began to have an effect on my mother who's been making it a point to tell me how much she loves and appreciates me despite how she may have felt in the past. It's nice to hear, but it's actually also really hard to hear because of how little it does for me. I closed myself off to her a long time ago and no matter what I do I just can't find my way back to accepting her into my life. I am pretty sure I am broken in a way that I won't ever be able to fix. But I do my best to fake all those feelings as well as I can for her sake. Even if I can't accept her love, it doesn't mean that I don't love her and I want her to be sad because of me. I am gay and now everybody knows it. I guess the hardest thing to reconcile with myself now, is how underwhelming all this actually is to me.

Not that things are horrible! On the contrary I think I am doing pretty well, all things considered. I have been in a relationship with the man of my dreams for years now. I have friends that I love as much as my own blood. I am finally on the road to discovering the man I will one day become. And I can finally look in the mirror and appreciate what I see, flaws and all.

Coming out is this continuous process that for me, started when I finally admitted to myself that I was gay. I remember it like it was yesterday because it was actually quite a shock for me since I have this amazing ability to lie to myself like nobody's business. I was a senior in high school, my math tutor was a sophomore in college. Looking back on it now, I was totally flirting with him from the moment I first laid eyes on him. I am shocked he held out as long as he did! 2 months after our first tutoring session, I was in his room commenting on his abs when he kissed me. It was the single most exhilarating and terrifying thing I had ever done in my life up to that point. Keeping in mind that I spent my days surfing 15ft waves, riding dirt bikes off ramps into foam pits, and having sex in VERY public places. But this single kiss was all it took to blow all that shit out of the water. Because that kiss redefined who I was and how I saw myself forever.

It's taken me 10 years to get to this point, but I now stand before this world as a PROUD out gay man. I look back on the road I took to get here and how hard I made things for myself, and it's almost laughable. But the most important thing is that I got here, and I am a better man for it! There were a quite few times when I seriously considered suicide. There was actually this special cliff by my house I used to get really drunk and stand at the edge of, crying and screaming out at the ocean thinking about how I could just make it all go away if I were to just take one step forward. But for some reason I never did take that step and I am so happy and thankful that I didn't! My life isn't perfect, and it's nowhere near easy, but I am so grateful for every moment I get to live it.

If you, or somebody you know is struggling with being gay, please know that it does get better! You are not alone and there are people out there who want to help you and make sure you KNOW that tomorrow can and will be better than today. You don't have to go through this alone, if you don't feel like there's somebody in your life you can trust, email me Or call the trevor project @ (866) 488-7386. I used to work for a hotline similar to this EVERY person there cares deeply about what you are going through. You just have to put yourself out there and be brave enough to make that first step.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


Brad decided to come with me on my little excursion across the Atlantic. I was super psyched that he asked to come, especially since things were still a little awkward between us after a month of me being such a prick to him. Brad’s amazing in his capacity to forgive and move on. He understands me in a way that really scares me because I never really thought anybody would be capable of knowing me the way he does and not want out. I knew he was special from the beginning; here we are 3 years later and I am pretty sure that he’s into me too.

Even though I was pretty sure that Brad had forgiven me and moved on from my month of being an asshole; I still felt like it was important to acknowledge his saintly act of forgiveness and really hammer in the fact that I am truly sorry for the way I acted. He told me he understood and that he forgave me. We ended up spending the whole night catching up with each other’s lives. It’s been way too long since the last we we had a conversation like this, and I really missed it! Sometimes I forget that Brad needs me as much as I need him because in my eyes he’s just so freakin brave, strong and confident. But every once in awhile he says something that really makes me pause and realize that he sees me the same way I see him.

Is it possible to fall even more in love with somebody you’ve already been in love with for 3 years? Fuck that! I know it is because last night I totally did. I have no idea what I would do with myself if I didn’t have Brad by my side.

The art show was awesome! It was an even bigger deal than I thought it would be. I even saw my agent there because apparently he represented a few of the people in the show. Seeing my piece here among all these accomplished and talented artists was both humbling and a HUGE ego boost. It really validated the fact that I am on the right path, but at the same time showed me that I still have a very long way to go before I am at their level.

At some point my agent cornered me and started doing that really scary thing where he intimidates and threatens me with compliments and menacing smiles. I am convinced that it’s an art form he’s mastered in a way no other man on the planet has! He’s been trying to get me to do some more commercial work and I have been passively resisting him (read ignoring his emails and phone calls) but I got the sense that if I didn’t accept some of these jobs soon he’s going to stop calling. So it looks like I am meeting with an ad firm at the beginning of next week, YAY ME(that’s sarcasm in case anybody out there in cyberspace missed it)!

Brad and I arrive home Monday morning. We’ve actually been here since last Monday but I didn’t publish my last post pre-Europe until Wed. because I forgot, then I figured I wasn’t going to NOT publish it, but I was too lazy to fix the post so it made more sence. So there you go! It’s 7 am and I am about to begin my one hour stretching routine and then begin packing all my stuff. It’s going to be a fun day traveling to the airport!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Rocky road to recovery

Sorry I have been missing for so long, this month has been THE SUCK! I fully recovered from my shitty lungs at the beginning of the month, but then the real recovery process began. Being stuck in a fucking bed for a month, fucked up my body like you wouldn’t believe! I have bone and joint issues all over the place, then you throw in my sciatica and ligament damage in my knee, and now you should be imagining some of the most painful pain anybody has ever pained.

Every morning in order to keep from shooting myself in the head from all the previously mentioned pain, I used to go through an hour long stretching/yoga routine followed by a VERY hot shower and then copious amounts of bengay as needed. There’s also some super strong ibuprofen to reduce swelling, and the occasional cortisone shot when the pills just weren’t enough. A large portion of all that had to stop when I was bed ridden for one reason or another, so my body just became progressively more stiff and painful until I got to the point where I was on so many painkillers that there are entire days I don’t even remember.

The most frustrating thing about my life right now is how I want to do so much more than my body is willing to let me do. I want to touch my toes, I want to take my skateboard down to the beach, I want to catch a wave, I want to go for a jog with my boyfriend and my dog; but alas I can not do any of those things because I am barely at the point where I can walk to the bathroom without the aid of my walker! I have had all these ailments for a while now, it’s the side effect of living my lifestyle, but it’s always seemed manageable up until the point where it wasn’t. I am 2 months from my 25th birthday and I am pretty sure my skeleton more closely resembles a 76yr old.

Being stuck in one place has really given me the time to think about the fact that I’m not getting any younger, and this body of mine is the only one I am ever going to get; so it’s probably time that I start doing a better job at taking care of it. I have seen specialists for all my different issues, from my back, to my knee, to my ever so slightly dislocated shoulder that has since awkwardly healed over without ever being properly put back into place. I got fresh x-rays (by the way did you know that when you get x-rayed you can still VERY clearly see your penis in the x-rays!? It’s really funny and I ALMOST posted them because I got a serious chuckle out of that but then I realized that this is not that kind of blog and it will NEVER be that kind of blog. So sorry) and had them scrutinized by all the said specialists, and together we came up with several treatments to take care of most of my issues.

While all this was happening life still went on and now I am struggling to play catch up. I am currently making plans to go to Europe for a week because I have a piece that’s part of this HUGE collection and I absolutely have to be there to see it! Things with Brad and I are still a little bit tense and I need to figure out a way to smooth things out with him which means I need to figure out a way to get passed my huge ego and apologize. I have promised my services as a coder to a friend of mine for this massive computer program she’s designing. And I have about a dozen other odd jobs in completely random and unrelated fields that need attention yesterday. The medical bills totalled well into the hundred thousands and I have shitty medical insurance, so I really need to crack the whip and get some work done.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sick days

Usually when I end up in the hospital, it’s my own fault. It is not uncommon for the doctor to tell me I’ve broken, torn, dislocated or ripped something and am in need of stitches/x-rays/casts/MRI’s/etc. I am usually okay with these kind of trips to the hospital because I earned these injuries by being awesome and even though I was in pain, I was in control of how it happened so there was nothing to be frustrated or feel helpless about. That’s in sharp contrast to when I get sick, which always turns into a big production with me because of my shitty ass lungs!

When I was an infant I got a really bad case of pneumonia and I almost died. After spending over a month in the hospital I was finally cleared to go home, but the pneumonia had done permanent damage to my lungs and it’s effected me a lot the first 10 years of my life then it just went away. That’s when I started playing sports and going crazy with every single outdoor activity my parents would let me take part in. The year I turned 10 was big for me. It was the first time I went surfing, the first time I strapped on a pair of hockey skates, the first time I climbed a mountain, the first time I rode my bike to the beach without using my inhaler once. For 7 years I was on top of the world and never once did I get a single ashtma attack or come down with pneumonia.

Then it all started again. It never got as bad as it did when I was a kid, but it’s never been like it was for that short time when I totally forgot that I actually had a defective body. This last case of pneumonia and subsequent asthma attacks were a total flashback to the early days in the life of RGB. There was a moment when I was surrounded by a whole team of doctors as they were trying to stabilize my oxygen levels and failing miserably where I actually thought I was going to die. I felt (and still do) so betrayed by my own body that I became completely and irrationally disgusted with myself.

So much of my self esteem is tied into my physical ability that I don’t even know who I am (or what I will do) if I can’t be the man that I was. I feel so weak and feeble that I actually disgust myself thinking too much about it. I can’t even go a day without my inhaler or 2 days without having to pull out my fucking nebulizer. This is so fucking depressing to me that I have literally broken down in tears during my treatments on multiple occasions. I can’t stand having people around me right now because this isn’t me! I am not supposed to be this weak and pathetic! I am a trained deadly fighter, a pro athlete, and an ivy league graduate, but I can’t even walk myself to the fucking living room without 12 people tripping over themselves to make sure I don’t over exert myself and die of hypoxia in the hallway. This is embarrassing.

Bradley is still pretty pissed at me, but you wouldn’t know it because he drives over 100 miles on an almost daily basis to be with me anyway. I am acting like such a prick to him but I just can’t seem to stop myself. I hate letting him see me like this. Last night I stayed up all night with Tyler talking about this very issue I am having with Bradley, and we both came to the same conclusion. I am fucked in the head and I really need stop acting like a rotten spoiled 5 year old brat. I really need to get my shit together and be a man. I will just add that to my things to do list right behind "buy new lungs on black market".

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hospitals suck

I just got out of the hospital after a little over 4 weeks of being stuck in one. Well I guess that’s not entirely true. I was in the hospital for a week and a half, then when they thought I was safe to go home BAM right back in for another week or so, back home for like 7 hours, and then another week in the hospital. I fucking hate my body because every chance it gets, it just stops working on me! It pisses me off to no end how many people out there take their functioning vital organs for granted and spend their days sitting on their asses watching bad tv and eating shit all day.

I am sick and tired of of this craptastic body of mine that keeps screwing me over every chance it gets! I’d like to go 6 months without seeing the inside of a hospital, but for some reason for me, it’s more likely that I will grow wings and fly. Just in case nobody could tell I’M FUCKING ANGRY! I am sick to death of all these people coddling me like I am some kind of helpless invalid, my whole body hurts all the time, and did i mention ALL THE FUCKING PEOPLE CONSTANTLY FAWNING OVER ME ALL THE FUCKING TIME!?

Brad is pissed at me right now, I feel crazy guilty because Tyler dropped his summer classes to come home and help take care of me, and I feel like a total prick because when my dad came to visit me I got so upset that it took the doctors almost an hour to stabilize my oxygen levels. I just wish that when I got sick like this I could be locked in solitary confinement and be refused any visitors what so ever! I don’t really even know what I am trying to say here. I am just upset and frustrated and it’s all just building and BUILDING with absolutely no hope for release.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Europe in a nutshell...

I can now boast that I have had sex in EVERY COUNTRY IN WESTERN EUROPE (including the lame ones that people always forget about like Estonia and Malta)! I totally got to be a rockstar for a week when my friend's band needed somebody to sub for rhythm guitar at the beginning of their comeback tour. I came to terms with the fact that I am NEVER going to be a real rockstar because I HATE being in front of crowds like that! Brad and I got in a HUGE fight because I am kind of an asshole. We made up, then we made up some more, then we made up some more. I Got a taste of the French healthcare system when I dislocated my shoulder skating in Paris (of course it had to be Paris the fucking BUTTHOLE of Europe! I've mentioned that I really hate France didn't I?) and it really drove home how terrible healthcare in America is.

In Europe this friend of mine asked for my help with something he was trying to achieve. He presented it to me in a way where he was basically doing me the favor and this would be a really big deal for me if I accepted his offer. He wasn't lying, but I turned him down anyway because it wasn't something I was interested in doing ESPECIALLY when I was supposed to be spending time with my boyfriend I had just spent 6 months away from. Long story short, I was called an ungrateful little shit and accused of being afraid of success because of my need to be a big fish in a small pond. He pointed out how it was what I did with my athletic career, with my engineering career, and now I am doing the same thing as an artist. He basically went on to call me a loser with all this unlimited potential that has flushed it all down the toilet because I don't have the balls to nut up.

It really stung to hear these things, but not because they were true. It just is so frustrating to have a friend, who is supposed to know and understand me, accuse me of being scared. What the fuck do I have to be scared of!? I am not scared, I just know that society's idea of success is the least appealing thing on the planet to me. My friend was offering me an advertising/design job and I FUCKING HATE that shit! It's so fake and demoralizing and trashy. An artist doesn't sit around fantasizing about creating the perfect Toyota Prius ad or some lame generic beer commercial. I don't care how much money somebody is offering me, I DON'T FUCKING DO ADVERTS!

I still can't fully wrap my head around how or why I am so upset, but it definitely put this ugly dark cloud over my mood that I still haven't been able to shake. Of course there is always that small voice in the back of my head telling me that I really am scared of what's going to happen if I actually "try" at something. What if my best isn't good enough and I fail!? I have lived my whole life surrounded by people telling me how amazing I am and how I could be successful at anything I do if I try and then I fail, what the fuck does that say about me!? Or worse yet, what the fuck am I going to do if I succeed!? Is that going to be it for me? Am I going to turn into a douche in a 5 series and a pair of aviator glasses? But then I remember, that's all bullshit and I shouldn't let superficial pricks like that get in my head and try and get me to doubt myself.

So in the immortal words of one Mr. Cheech Marin, "Fuck it!"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Reunited! and it feels so good...

I had all sorts of weird fears and insecurities before I flew out to Europe to see Bradley for the first time in 5 WHOLE MONTHS! Mostly all about how Brad was going to come to his senses and realize he could do so much better than me. I know it's stupid, but ever day I wonder how a guy like him could love a loser like myself. When I saw him at the airport all it took was one look to know nothing had changed and I was still his. God I can be such a chick sometimes!

Things have been really crazy since I arrived in Europe. Of course the first couple days Brad and I almost died of starvation and dehydration due to our reluctance to leave our hotel room. Then Brad had to get back to campus for finals and I had to get to the city because I had to get ready for my first art show outside of America. Brad the wonder kid totally aced all his finals, unfortunately my show didn't go over nearly as well as Bradley's finals, let's just leave it at that... Since then Brad and I have been gallivanting across Europe drinking and seeing the sights and hanging out with friends from school (both his and mine now since we've both gone to school in Europe).

Right now we are freezing our asses off in EspaƱa with all this cold and rainy weather. But it doesn't even matter because I have my boyfriend and a warm bed and that's all I need. I am so happy I can't even put it into words.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Got lost. again.

I can find my way to a beach 300 miles north of where I live, that I have been to once when I was 7 NO PROBLEM, but for some reason I can NEVER find my way back to the freeway once I have driven into LA proper! It's like every time I enter the city my internal compass thinks I am in the Bermuda Triangle and I lose all sense of direction and my ability to even read a map. Today was no different when I drove to West LA to meet with this guy that wanted to put on an art show for me and a couple of my friends. I found the place no problem, and I had a pleasant enough meeting with the guy. He seemed to know his shit and was very excited to be working with me, which totally stroked my ego in all the right ways... but I am always a little reticent to do shows like these because I secretly loathe anybody who is actually interested in my artwork because of how I like to think of myself as an anti-establishment/anti-capitalist/non-conformist kind of artist and the idea of some Joe Blow appreciating what I have to offer makes me feel like I have failed as an artist and a human being to properly convey what I am positive these people are not able to comprehend.

Anyway, after the meet and greet, I hopped in my car thinking I was driving back to the freeway (though I was completely guessing because my GPS had decided to stop working for some strange reason) and I ended up way off course somewhere deep in the heart of WeHo! As always I got really frustrated, pulled over the first chance I got, and just sat in my car as I tried to calm myself enough to not want to put my fist through the windshield for getting lost in LA AGAIN! I then grabbed my phone and proceeded to text every person I knew that lived in the area so they could come pick my up, take me to dinner, and then buy me alcohol until I was in a better mood. Long story short, I found a victim to take care of me while I regained my composure. We ate at this awesome Thai place on Santa Monica and then we hopped in his car and got some beers in Silverlake where we met up with a couple acquaintances and spent the night drinking and laughing. I think the moral of this story is that LA is stupid. Or maybe that I need a private driver, I am not sure... either way, I am extremely high maintenance and I am pretty lucky I don't have to be my own friend because I just wouldn't have time for a person like me in my life!

As we speak I am packing for my flight to Europe and I am crazy excited I didn't have to deal with any of those stupid cancellations because of the volcano. Figuring out my whole travel perdicament was a big enough headache without having to tack on a volcano cloud from Iceland. Apparently I am only allowed to stay in the country so many days ever 6 months and I was extremely confused if the 6 months were from the first day I arrived in said country or if they were kind of like set from Jan - Jun then Jul - Dec. I was also confused about what would happen if my visit started at the end of one six month period and then carried over into the next, would my time automatically start over or would I not get to restart my allotted time until I left the country and then came back again!? So I planned this trip to be exactly 6 months from the time I last left this country so I wouldn't have to worry about any of the nuances of travel at all. All that matters is I AM GOING TO GET TO SEE BRADLEY!!! Holy fucking shit I miss him soooo much! It's been 4 LONG and terrible months, but now the wait is over and I am very ready to be with my guy again. We talk almost everyday yet for some reason I miss the sound of his voice most of all. I know it doesn't make sense, but it's how I feel.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

3 days!

I was sitting in a gay coffee shop in Long Beach with a friend on Sunday when I noticed this dude sitting with his back to me reading my blog on his computer. It was weird. I know that people read my blog but its always so detached from my reality that it doesn't seem real, but actually seeing somebody read my blog is just strange. I wanted to walk up to him and say something, but I didn't because that would have just been, for lack of a better word, STRANGE! What really sucked was that my coffee buddy didn't know that I write a blog either so I couldn't share this really weird moment with him either, so I just had to sit there and be really uncomfortable for like 30 minutes.

Coachella is 3 days away! This is going to be the second year in a row where I am not responsible for anything or anybody but myself and I am so excited it's not even funny. I am really looking forward to Saturday because there are a whole bunch of bands that I am seriously looking forward to and there are a couple of bands that I just want to see because of the novelty of watching them perform. Some examples of the novelty acts would be bands like Die Antwoord (I honestly had no idea they were actually serious about music until I saw their name on the coachella line-up!), and Faith no more (You gotta give them props for being the original limp bizkit [did I spell that right?]).

Some acts that I am GENUINELY excited to see on Saturday are The RX Bandits (Progress is one of my top 5 alums on the planet! I could listen to it over and over and NEVER get sick of it, because it's just that good!), DEVO (I really don't think anymore needs to be said about this), Corrinne Bailey Rae (I am a big fat homo! Of course I want to see her perform!) and John Waters (I have no fucking clue what he's doing at Coachella but there's nothing on God's green earth that could stop me from figuring this one out!)

I am sooooooooo excited about this it's hard to put into words! I just don't get how after so many years this never gets old for me. I just really love music and I love the way this festival changes and grows every year. Pretty soon I know I am going to hate it though, because I feel that way about all things that get over hyped and commercialized. But for now, I am going to have a whole lot of fun and enjoy ever second of it.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Email response

I guess I just wanted to preface this with saying I hate writing posts like this! I hate how sad and pitiful my life seems and how weak and vulnerable things like this make me seem. I have had a hard life full of abuse, neglect, and family that never quite understood me, but when it's all said and done I honestly feel like in my 24 years I've had a pretty awesome life. I have amazing people who love me, I've never had to struggle with putting food on my table, or figuring out where I was going to sleep for the night, because somebody has always been there to take care of me. As independent as I like to think I am, I know there's no way I could live the life I do without having many people around to support me and care for me every step of the way. What I have written below sounds a lot worse than it actually felt living through it. When you read what I have written feel free to feel however you want about it, just don't feel bad for me. I am the lucky one.

When people ask me about my ethnicity I automatically respond by saying I am Asian. The thing is I am only HALF, but ethnically, I don't really think about myself as anything BUT Asian! In yesterday's post I was accused of being ashamed of my non-Asian half and the emailer wanted to know more about why I never really claim my other half. I had to think about this because I never consciously tried to play down my other half, but for some reason I ALWAYS do.

Thinking about this I came to the conclusion that I have never really felt like I was accepted into my white/hispanic family the way I was with my Asian family. Growing up around the whipanics, from the time I was old enough to understand them, my cousins and uncles always used to call me "chinese fortune cookie" or "Benihanna" or they would stop on the Asian channels and ask me what the actors on the tv were saying. They always made it clear that I wasn't really one of them, so when I think about that half of the family, I never really think of myself as part of them. I have never been the type to show anybody how much they've hurt me, so this heckling I grew up with I learned to laugh about even when I wanted to cry. Sometimes I wonder if telling my family how much it hurt when they teased me would have been enough to make them stop. I wonder how I would see myself differently if they could have accepted me as one of their own.

I never really thought about this heckling from my family as being something detrimental to how I felt about my heritage, but in a way it really has tainted the way I have been able to absorb different traits and customs and how I see myself as a multi-ethnic minority. As recently as last week when having lunch with my Great Grandfather, who immigrated from Spain in the 20's, told me (in a very casual manner), "I love you but you should not exist. Mixing the races is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. Especially the Asians and the blacks because you people don't have the word of God to teach you!" Then he laughed it off and we went back to eating lunch. Granted he has no idea I am a homosexual because then he would have a whole new reason to pray me into oblivion. I am sorry if some of you out there feel that this unacceptable and you see my perception of myself as disrespectful to my Hispanic half, but I really don't care. I am who I am and that's all I am ever going to be. Being Hispanic is part of who I am, but I am always going to feel like an outsider when dealing with that part of my culture.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

killing time

I am currently in the studio rendering my film. It keeps failing every time it gets to a certain point and it's driving me crazy because it takes about 30 mins just to get to this point! So I have decided to kill time by writing about how excited I am about Coachella.

As anybody who's been reading this blog knows, I go EVERY year. This year is no exception. One of the acts I am crazy excited to see is Calle 13. They are freakin amazing! I remember the first time I ever heard them. I was in Puerto Rico hanging out with a couple friends when their song Querido FBI came on over the radio. It was bad ass. I was instantly hooked by their eloquence, passion (bravery/stupidity depending on which side of the argument you may fall on), and ability to package all of this with some pretty awesome beats. Some people may consider them a little extreme with their lyrics and political views, but nobody can deny their amazing talent for making amazing music!

Growing up I was never really accepted by my Hispanic family. My eyes slanted a little too much, my hair was a little too dark, my skin was a little too dark. I was just a little too different. The cool thing about Calle 13 is that even though they have a very strong independent Puerto Rico message with some of their songs; they also have believe that as Latin Americans we are all so different and varied but there is something that unites us all. It's nice to be able to listen to an album and feel that thing that connects me to this entire world out there. This is my favorite song, it's a pretty powerful message about the struggle of so many Latin Americans all over this continent. On Friday at Coachella I am going to be standing there front row when they take the stage to perform it.

Now back to my rendering... It failed again just in case anybody was curious...

Thursday, April 08, 2010

kinda sorta stressed

I am working on this action sports film at the moment. We spent the last week shooting in the foothills and now we are in the studio editing the footage. It's coming together great and I was pretty excited to get the opportunity to work with the people that I did. This whole experience has been fun, exciting, and extremely challenging! From setting up cameras for the perfect shots to figuring out different and innovative ways to film some of the tricks, I have pretty much been in creative heaven since last Saturday. Even working in the studio has been a lot of fun because this is the first time I have ever edited for this sport in particular. I got to watch a lot of other films in the same genre and really get in the mindset to do this footage justice. I also have met a lot of cool and interesting people that do this sort of stuff all the time and they have all been super duper helpful and really cool to hang with.

But I guess I would be lying if I didn't say that I have been struggling with myself this whole time in a big way. But I am too ashamed to even blog about it because I would just sound like a spineless loser and there would be an anonymous commenter reaffirming exactly that and I would be in an even worse mood than I am now about it. I just need somebody to tell me where I might have left my balls so I can go pick them up and maybe be a man again... If not, this is fine too. I can just finish off this week and pretend it never happened. For some reason having one small issue tarnishing an almost perfect week long experience makes me feel even shittier. It's moments like these where all I want to do is tackle Bradley and make the kind of rough passionate love only 2 men can then rest my head on his chest and fall asleep to the cadence of his breath and the beating of his heart. 12 more days...

God damn those last couple lines were the cheesiest things I have ever written! Also I am done bitching!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


An unfortunate byproduct of being an ivy league alumn is having a whole bunch of entitled republican asshats as semi (almost but not really!)friends. I had dinner with one of these "friends" of mine recently and at some point we started talking about the ass raping happening with the Texas school board and their insane attempts to rewrite history with an extreme right conservative viewpoint. From editing out Jefferson because of his support of a separation of church and state, to completely ignoring or marginalizing the roles minorities and women played in history, their disgusting narrow minded audacity has no limits! They are even putting in apologists for the McCarthy hearings! They might as well just set fire to all the history books and start teaching history from old episodes of "Leave it to Beaver".

We agreed that Texas is fucking crazy and we need to get those people building a fence around our borders to go ahead and build it around Texas too. But my ivy league republican asshat of a semi (almost but not really!)friend, wouldn't really be who he is if he didn't say something that would piss me off and make me want to punch him in his perfectly exfoliated and moisturized face! One of the crazy Texas revisionist's clauses had to do with the Black Panthers. I am not a fan of who they were or what they represented, but I sympathize with them and I realize they were just the product of the oppressive society they came from. If I were put in similar circumstances I would very likely join an organization like that and raise hell any way I could. Somehow this got my ivy league republican asshat of a semi (almost but not really!)friend, all riled up and he went off on a tangent about minorities and their need to show their pride for their races (black history month, Asian history month, BET, etc.), and how he has a white man would never get to do something like that without being seen as a racist.

I really fucking hate it when white people try spewing that nonsense about not being able to show their "white pride". It's total bullshit and I am not even going to pretend to tolerate it! If somebody wanted to be show their "white pride" in front of me, I wouldn't think they were racist as much as I would think they were comple and total entitled ASSHOLES! To me, when I say “I’m proud to be Asian” what I am affirming is that I love my ethnicity despite society’s inability to perceive me as a part of it. So in these terms, if a person were to declare "I’m proud to be white” what they would be thinking is that they enjoy the advantages of being white over the disadvantages of being a minority.

I don't actually think there is anything wrong with being proud of your whiteness, but to say that outloud to me, or any minority, is pretty much like kicking me in the nuts. Yeah, I get it! It must be fantastic turning on the television and seeing people who look like you, to open a magazine and see people considered beautiful who, again, look like you, or to be able to walk into an interview in your natural state without having to worry about being perceived as too ethnic; I would totally be proud of that too. But YOU DON’T HAVE TO RUB IT IN. Millionaires don't walk around celebrating their millionaire pride because they know it's not okay to rub their good fortune in everybody else's face! They understand that what they were lucky enough to have makes them intrinsically different from those around them, and while they appreciate what they have, there is no need to walk around shoving it down everybody's throats.

I hate having this discussion with a white person because no matter what I say, they will NEVER understand! As somebody who has worked in the entertainment industry for years, I know this is more than just a chip on my shoulder. It's real, and for some reason white people just can't see it. Me just trying to explain the advantages a white person has over everybody else is a perfect example of these advantages because they have the advantage of not seeing the struggles the rest of us go through, while we get to experience first hand exactly what I am saying!

Needless to say, our discussion ended with neither side feeling like the other had heard them. At one point I just wanted to punch him in the throat because he wouldn't stop "yeah but"ing me! So when the urge finally got too strong to ignore, I thanked him for his company and let him know I was late for an imaginary appointment I had just made up and left immediately. It wasn't until I got to my car that I realized the reason why we'd had lunch was never discussed and if I was going to want his assistance I would have to meet with him again! I am not sure if spending any more time in the same general area as this guy is worth it... I guess time will tell.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


As you all know, I am a CS engineer. Which means I grudgingly yearn for all things new and innovative in the tech world. See, I am what most people would call, a walking contradiction. Because while one part of me goes apeshit for tech (the part that ALWAYS WINS OUT!), another part of me wants nothing more than to become a staunch Luddite smiting anybody with a cellphone or iPod! But I have to say after viewing this vid of the interface in action, my inner Luddite killed itself after seeing the light.

I know that this is just a concept being kicked around by the Microsoft gods; still I seriously just creamed my pants thinking about all the practical applications I could use this device for in my daily life! The iPad, like 99% of apple's products, is overhyped and fucking stupid! Don't even get me started because this entry will be 40 paragraphs long by the time I'm done with my tangent! Let's just say I have no respect for the over-privileged hipsters in the coffee shops with their macbook pros. You assholes just spent over $2000 on a device you use to check your email, watch porn, and occasionally write a word document. It's too much machine for most anybody that buys one and honestly, you look fucking ridiculous using it!

Whoa, I totally let that get away from me. MY POINT! This device needs to be made into a reality ASAP. With some kind of specialized tegra chip and an OLED display the battery life on something like this could be totally doable. I seriously haven't seen a user interface that got me this excited (and wasn't in some awful futuristic sci-fi movie) in YEARS!

Dear Microsoft gods,

If you make this concept a reality, I promise to upgrade all my computers to Windows 7, and openly heckle any and all apple users (more so than I do already). Also, if I ever have kids, I will give them up to you (what the fuck is a gay man with the attention span of a cocker spaniel doing with kids anyway?)

Thank you for listening Microsoft gods.

As always, your faithful costumer,


Thursday, March 25, 2010

I made a scene...

I have a lot of anger in me. I spend a large chunk of my daily life forcing a smile that I plaster across my face to throw people off. For the most part 99% of the people around me have no idea how angry I ALWAYS am. When I was a boy dealing with family violence, this man once told me if I smiled when I was sad I would always feel a little better. He also told me people would like me more if I was happy, even if I was faking it. Smiling never made me feel better, but it did get me more friends. So I began to care a lot about what people thought of me. It's why I work so hard at maintaining this generic effervescence I have spent a lifetime perfecting.

The problem is it doesn't work on everybody. The longer a person knows me and the closer they get to me, the easier it is for them to see right through me. It's the reason why I keep most people an arm's length away. I don't like it when people actually get passed all of my strategically placed emotional barriers. It's like they have caught me with my pants down. Except I am actually quite comfortable with my pants down so maybe that's a bad analogy... The thing is I prefer people to assume my entire life is, and always will be, sunshine and daisies. It's a sick compulsion that I am doing my best to rid myself of, but find myself failing miserably at every corner.

Monday I was having lunch with my new buddy Ted. We were laughing and joking around @ fatburger when in walks my ex-stepdad. I was in his face before I even had the chance to process what was going on. When it comes to this man, I just can't seem to control myself. When I was a child I saw him as this unstoppable force of nature capable of destruction beyond my comprehension. Nobody in the history of my life has ever been able to make me feel as small and insignificant as this man has. When I see him now, I see him for what he really is. Not some superhuman juggernaut, but a weak cowardly man scared of his own shadow. It makes me sick that I was actually afraid of him and I let him rob me of my masculinity when clearly he never had any of his own!

I wasn't planning on beating the crap out of him, we were in a restaurant after all; but I did feel the need to put a little fear in him. Then a couple dozen teenagers walked into the restaurant in the asshole's wake. Turns out my favorite wife beating, child abusing, meth addict is now a youth minister for a major local church. With this week being spring break, he's taken this opportunity to run a day camp so all these teens can get their daily dose of Jesus. Even I was able to see that a confrontation in this scenario would be in very poor taste, so I changed tactics. From the time the asshole walked in, to the time I realized that beating the shit out of him was a bad idea, I'd say about 20 seconds had gone by. Up until this point, unless you'd seen the mood I was in right before he walked in, it didn't seem out of place or abnormal in the slightest. So I still totally had a chance to walk away without making a scene. Unfortunately once I've been riled up, I don't really know how to wind myself down. I needed to get some kind of resolution or it was very likely I would have exploded.

This is when I remembered the teens the asshole was in charge of all crowded together in one large group. I walked right up to them and I said, "Excuse me guys, can I have your attention real quick? My name's RGB and I just wanted to let all of you know a little something about the asshole (I used his actual name with the teens, I didn't want to come off like an overly bitter ass so I even used his honorific "pastor" but for my purposes here, he's just "the asshole"). He abuses women and children with extreme physical violence and he's a meth addict." I lifted up my arm and pointed to my scar and I told them how he'd burned the skin off my arm with a frying pan after I tried to stop him from punching my pregnant mother in the face, which he ended up doing anyway. I told the teens that if I were them I wouldn't want to be learning anything Christian from a person like this and I would call my parents and ask them to pick me up immediately.

Then I walked back to my table and sat down with Ted, who was quite understandably, speechless. I had just made a relatively large scene in a very small space, so EVERYBODY there was aware of my zany shenanigans. You could hear the proverbial pin hitting the ground it was so quiet. I wasn't embarrassed at all though. I was actually quite pleased with myself in a deeply perverse and semi-disturbing way. Right around that point was when the defecation hit the oscillation. A lot of things happened all at once. A few of the kids actually pulled out their cell phones to call their parents because of what I said. Some of them were looking to the asshole to give him a chance to explain himself. And then there were the other youth leaders that were there. They walked over to me and started harassing me because they felt what I did was highly inappropriate and uncalled for. I knew what I'd done wasn't exactly appropriate, but I felt like under the circumstances I'd actually shown a whole lot of restraint. So when they accused me of being innapropriate, I just countered with, "so is beating a pregnant woman and having an addiction to methamphetamines. But that didn't seem to stop him.". Saying things like that really throws pious douche bags off balance, so I took their silence as my cue to leave.

I was riding a wave of euphoria all the way to the parking lot. That's when I realized that Ted was my ride! When we got in the car I tried pretending that what had just happened hadn't actually happened. It didn't work. So I changed tactics and tried to brush it off with a couple of jokes that were in extremely bad taste. Also didn't work. So I then tried to play it off like it wasn't really that big of a deal. FAIL! So I did what I do, and I got angry. I told him to fuck off, and when we got to a red light I got out of the car and just ran off in the other direction. And that was the end of that. Because I totally know how to be mature and handle my business like a grown up.

I don't really know what to do next. Obviously I am embarrassed over the way I acted, but only because it was in front of a friend not because what I did was douchey and wrong. I am not really sure what the protocol is here for this kind of situation, if only I had remembered to ask Ted to put his ear muffs on before I began my tirade then all of this comfortableness could have been avoided. You know what they say about hindsight...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Don't make this a big deal!

I was going for ironically terrible (to the point where it was actually cool), but something went awry and it ended up just being terrible. Which in a way is kind of ironic... or maybe just really fucking unfortunate! God dammit Alanis Morissette has ruined the definition of irony for an entire generation!

Monday, March 08, 2010

B-day Partying!

I just had a really crazy weekend that ended Sunday afternoon, but for some reason I am still recovering from it even though it is now Monday night! Jane flew in Wednesday night from D.C. to surprise Tyler, who was flying in the next day for his birthday extravaganza! 6 months ago Jane sold her soul to the devil and joined a lobbying firm. Basically she's the really hot chick that corporate fat cats use to entice the politicians to take their meetings. It's all quite crude and slimy yet lascivious as the same time. But that's also probably why she makes more in a month than I do in a year; well that and her Oxford undergrad/ Cornell grad degrees (overachievers like her totally make me sick!)!

Anywho, Tyler turned 28 a little over a week ago, and the dude really needed to let loose because his advancing geriatric years are really coming up fast! The villa was rented, the bar was stocked, and the clubs had velvet ropes placed around our VIP tables all over the strip. None of us are very big gamblers, but that's never stopped us from having fun in Vegas. We danced, we drank, we went into the champagne room for "private shows", we smoked some J, we took naps, and then we did it all again, and again, and again. In between all that Tyler got laid, a lot, and then a few more times. Jane and I flirted with hot guys all weekend, but there's only one slut between the 3 of us and we both called, "not it", way back in high school, so Tyler had to carry that burden all on his own.

By Saturday night we were DONE! We are just getting too old to go 72 hours without sleep anymore. We checked out of the hotel and decided to head over to Johnny's house where I had a cake waiting for Tyler, which I had made myself! (Yeah... I'm conflicted... I am both ashamed and proud of my cake... Too much "Ace of Cakes" does things to your head... Starts to make you think fondant cakes really aren't all that difficult... Then all of a sudden it's midnight, you're feeling extremely tired and a little defeated and BAM! You have a cake that looks like it was made by a 9 yr old using paper mache and lumpy paste... Originally I was going to post a pic of the cake for everybody to see, then I sent the pic to a few friends including Matt @ DTB to see what they thought and Matt in particular was so patronizingly sweet about it that I knew it was even worse looking than I originally thought! So nobody else gets to see the monstrosity!) Johnny was really good at pretending to be impressed with my unfortunate baking debacle, but in the end it was alright because it tasted way better than it looked and we devoured the evidence quickly!

The next 24 hours were spent lounging around the house catching up with each other and our crazy lives. With all of us being in different time zones, it's been hard to set some time aside and just talk about nothing. This really allowed us to reconnect and just be our stupid selves without worrying about wasting time or any of the other normal nonsense life always seems to throw into the mix. It was definitely my favorite part of the weekend, and I wish there was a way we could manage to do this like once a month because it was seriously one of the best days I have had in months. I really fucking love my friends!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Me and Johnny

A couple months ago somebody wrote me an email and asked me a whole bunch of questions. One of those questions was about how Johnny and I had become friends because ever since my “ass kicking Johnny” post people have always been a little curious to learn how we became buds. Now that I am spending the next 3 weeks here in Las Vegas with him, and I can't seem to fall asleep, I think I can spare the time to tell that story.

Johnny and I have known each other since we were 7, but we didn't become friends until well after I turned 13. Johnny is actually one of the very few friends that I have that is my age. We never really had much interaction with each other in school because we were in separate grades, but we did see a lot of each other in martial arts classes. So beside his name, and the fact that he was a very good fighter, I never really took the time to learn anything else about him. That all changed the summer of 1998.

The year preceding 98 I was getting into a lot of trouble. I was a very angry kid acting out against my parents by staying out all night, defacing public property, and drinking on a regular basis. By the time that summer came along I had been arrested 6 times for a plethora of reasons all of which I was extremely guilty of, but due to my stellar scholastic achievements as well as my Varsity extracurriculars, not to mention my very rich dad, I kept getting passes.

Finally all parties involved had had enough and they decided that I needed a reality check. So the juvenile court judge sentenced me to 6 months of incarceration at a juvenile detention facility that was to be reduced to 2 months with one year of probation so I could conveniently be incarcerated in the summer months where it wouldn't effect my schooling or my sports schedule. Looking back it's almost comical the way they basically bent backwards to accommodate me and make sure there were no real inconveniences to me or my life. From sealing my records so it wouldn't effect my varsity status, to letting me out in time for my academic decathlon summer training session the week before school started.

I noticed Johnny the very first day in “juvenile detention”. I walked right up to him and started a conversation, I don't even remember what it was about, but from that moment on we were best friends. That summer bonded us in such a deep and uniquely personal way that I will never be able to fully express with words of how grateful I am for the experience. In general, I look back at juvenile detention with fondness and view it as a very positive time. We went to group therapy sessions together where we learned each other's life stories and we discovered that we both came from a very similar fucked up family life. We cried, grew, and learned together, and by the end we weren't even close to the people we came into this situation being.

The one thing about my summer incarceration that I remember even more than Johnny was how Tyler and Mrs. Tyler visited me more than my own parents. I remember before I left to serve my time, Tyler was practically in tears because he was so scared something bad was going to happen to me. My entire life he was the guy that had my back in any and every difficult or socially awkward situation I had ever been in, but now he couldn't help me. He swore to me he'd be there every visiting day no matter what, and he was. After he found out that I'd found somebody that I have known for years there with me and we were now good friends, our visits even took on a fun and lighthearted mood that had been lacking the first few weeks.

Johnny finished serving his time a week before I did, and that last week without him was the first time during my entire incarceration where I actually felt like I was being punished. To this day, that was probably one of the longest weeks in my life. After I got out, Johnny and I got together a few times and we had problems clicking like we had before. We were in different grades, at different schools, and we lived in different cities, so we really had to struggle at first to maintain our friendship.

I can't really remember the point where it stopped being awkward and everything just fell into place, but eventually it did happen. And I know that I am luckier than any other man on the planet because of our friendship. More than Tyler, or even Bradley, Johnny and I can relate to each other like nobody else can, and it has nothing to do with being incarcerated together. Johnny knows what it's like to come from a home with an abusive parent, he knows what it feels like to be the oldest sibling doing everything he could to protect the ones he loves. He knows what it feels like to break under all that pressure and just want to die for not being able to be strong enough. I love him as much as I love Tyler, and I love them both as much as I love my 2 blood related brothers.

Matt, I just had an epiphany that I am now sharing with you as well as all my readers. I am not going to lie, your last post made me really sad for more reasons than I really even understood after first reading it. Whether you are talking about friendships or relationships, you can't expect to ever be everything to any one single person. Like parfaits, onions, and ogres, we all have layers. The goal in life isn't to find a person that can't live without you, but to find people that YOU could never live without! If Brad, Tyler, or Johnny ever asked me to choose just one of them over the rest, I'd probably die because I can't imagine my life without all of them in it. I have never been jealous or worried about them replacing me with somebody else because at the end of the day just knowing that I would be there for them when they needed me has always been enough. When I was in jail Tyler wasn't jealous for a second that I had made a friend that in essence had replaced him, he was happy I wasn't alone, and to me that's what friendship is. That's why your opening statement really bothers me so much! Anybody who tries to marginalize you as a person isn't really your friend, but at the same time investing in a friendship only to see what you can get out of it isn't a real friendship either. I don't know if I am anybody's favorite person, and I don't know if I am the one guy any of my friends would choose if forced to make that decision (because these are not questions I have ever really asked myself); but what I do know is I need them, and that's enough for me.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Seller's remorse

This weekend I was part of a collaborative art show where a lot of artists put a few of their pieces up to be sold with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. I have known about this show for months and I have been slowly but surely working on what I would be submitting to the foundation for just as long. I had 3 completed and ready to go, which was exactly what I promised, but at the last minute the organizer asked me if I would be comfortable with submitting a 4th one if I received a larger percentage of the profit for my work. I told him that I didn't really care about the money and I already had something in mind for my 4th piece.

There was this one piece that I was extremely proud of, and it was this collage I made with found objects from the backseat of my car after Bradley and I took a long weekend vacation up north. The finished result looked really cool and super modern; definitely something that would be featured prominently in some NY hipter's loft right where the television should be. But more than that it was extremely personal and everything about that collage dripped with sentimentality in a way that kind of made it really difficult to look at, especially with Brad gone. So I packed it up and decided to sell this little piece of my soul for a little peace of mind.

I got as far as hanging it on the wall before I started to have regrets. At first I tried to ignore them, and as the regrets intensified I decided to go for a walk to try and calm my nerves. I was about 3 blocks away from Eddie's production company so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to drop by and say hello. By the time I got there I was practically hysterical! So I ran right into the building and straight up to his office, where luckily he was in the middle of some super intense project and I proceeded to incoherently babel on and on about this huge mistake I just made.

10 minutes later I was finally calm enough to actually explain what my drama was and began brainstorming ways to get myself out of this dilemma. Obviously the most logical thing to do was go to the organizer and just explain to him that I'd made a mistake and didn't want to sell that piece anymore, but I didn't really want to let somebody outside my circle of friends know how crazy I actually am. At first I tried rationalizing that my artwork was definitely not that great, and in this market the likelihood of me selling ANYTHING was slim to none. Then I thought that what if this was the day when all of a sudden people magically appreciated what I was trying to do here and everything sold in 10 seconds!? In the end my narcissism won out, so I decided that Eddie would walk into the gallery with me the second it opened and buy the piece back for me! That way the charity gets some money, I get my collage back, and nobody figures out that I am some insane freak with serious issues.

In the end it all worked out for the best. Eddie bought my collage like we planned, and I ended up making 2 legit sales that night! I didn't actually get to take my collage home with me because it needs to stay up for the entire run of the show. So I think I am going to be a little bit on edge until it's back home with me. Luckily for me I am taking off to Vegas for my visit with Johnny first thing in the morning and I won't be back until the day the collage is supposed to be delivered, so hopefully I will find enough things to do in the devil's playground to occupy my time! ;) My god am I crazy or what!? If I had to look somebody in the face while telling this story, it would never be told. It's just sooo embarrassing. I was sooo lucky Eddie was there to bail me out of my bad situation like that.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Just one more day...

A couple nights ago all the cousins my age decided to go for a walk down this road out passed the rice fields and fish farms. The sun was just starting to set and the colors in the sky were ablaze with crazy purples and yellows at the horizon.

I haven't really had a lot of time to observe all the natural beauty that the Philippines has to offer because I have been to busy soaking in the humanity of it all, but watching this sunset was breathtaking. We sat on rocks around the water and we just talked about life and all the craziness that happens here and in the US. It was a fun evening bonding with my cousins and I really enjoyed it. Around 8 Enrique suggested we go out to the city and hit the clubs. Jordan HATES clubbing but I don't mind it so much, so I decided to go for it!

We got busted on the way out of the small village that night. We were pulling out of the gas station, and Enrique was still putting on his seat belt. We were flagged to pull over by a Policeman on the side of the road. Preparing for a true 3rd world experience I stashed my camera under the spare tire. I tried to look away so they didn't see I was white back there, but it didn't matter with the limo tint on all sides. Enrique and his girlfriend stood around and smoked with the officers while they were writing up the ticket, and then his girlfriend flashed her mom's business card, who works within the Philippine's equivalent of the Whitehouse. This improved our relationship with the cops, and reduced our ultimate payoff quantity. They ended up slipping him 200 pesos, or something like 4 dollars American, and we were free to go. I couldn't stop laughing at that. A couple hours later we were dancing to truly terrible pop and some very unique rap music. It was an all around fun evening out and I am really happy I was able to do something like that with my cousins whom I will very likely not see again for many years to come.

Yesterday I was starting to feel malnourished, and my threshold for exotic cuisine just got lower and lower. I'd eat some rice at each meal, but as hungry as I was, the sight, smell, or idea of more "main course" would ruin my appetite. I'd chew the garlic rice mechanically, just chewing and swallowing enough to be socially acceptable. So imagine my surprise when at the mall I saw that they had KFC... Unfortunately the chicken was disgusting, but edible. There was also a biscuit sized/shaped thing wrapped in biscuit paper but it was just too heavy to be a delicious biscuit. It was rice. In all of my travels all over the world I have noticed that if there is a KFC, they NEVER have biscuits unless that KFC happens to be in America! What the hell is up with that!?

Today the family had a medium come over to channel the spirits of family members past. My lola didn't want anything to do with it, so she stayed up in the bedroom while everyone was downstairs for the circus. It was crap, of course, but with so many suggestible Catholics around and pained sentiments of loss, the emotional effect of the spectacle was strong. The medium spoke in funny voices, imitated their great grandfather, but couldn't come up with the voice of my grandmother's brother. The medium just cried and cried, and said that in the night between 11 and 1 he would appear and do X number of creepy ghost things, like stroke their hair and so on.

Tonight the neighborhood was dark from a rolling brownout. So we lit a bunch of candles and heated some food. The big treat for me was that one of my aunts had made completely normal spaghetti with meat sauce! A few bites into it I looked closely, and there were tiny mosquitoes stuck all over the noodles! I realized that since they were just flying around at random instead of collecting near light fixtures it was only logical that they would end up in my spaghetti. I thought abstractly about how that would be off-putting to someone back in California, but I wasn't put off in the least. It was delicious. So sooooo delicious!

I am soo completely ready to go home and could not be happy that tomorrow is the day when my dreams will come true! I am sorry that I didn't like being here more I know that I am a terrible Filipino, but I am only 1/4 Filipino so I mean I should at least get points for speaking the language even though I am not so much a fan of the island itself... I am very glad that I came though because family is important to my grandmother and this gave her a chance to see all the people she'd left behind all those years ago. They were all just so open and giving! Even though nobody had much to give, they kept on sharing anyway, and it was a very humbling experience to be around people like this and be able to call them my family. Through all my complaining and misery I definitely got a sense of love and family through these strangers that I seldom experience with people I am related to and have known my entire life. BUT like I said, I am SOOOOOO ready to go home! I think I am getting a rash from all the bug spray I have been applying and I really need my tempur-pedic mattress and to never again have to share a bed with my cousin Jordan (he snores SO FUCKING LOUD!). Less that 24 hours to go!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Shopping for groceries

To clarify, less than a week has passed since my arrival to the PI, but for me, it's felt like it's been about a month. By some combination of the heat, waking up at the crack of dawn, and the ordeal of trying to get through each meal, the days seemed to stretch FOREVER. I have been reverted to elementary school time, where everything is new and engrossing, and you say things like "I'm 6 and a quarter years old." It's very satisfying compared to daily working life, where a month can go by and you almost don't notice it. Back to the daily grind though, Jordan and I get woken up every morning morning at sunrise to a chorus of roosters and two-stroke engines so loud and comical that you're imagining it too conservatively right now. I'm going to keep the written descriptions short to save time, as they're useless without intense gesticulations and sound effects anyway. So everything that I have done since I have arrived has been done with very little sleep, a slight tinge of crankiness and severe hunger.

I guess the custom in these funeral procedures is to feed the whole countryside for a few days with these massive feasts that never seem to end. So on the first morning, after eating a hearty breakfast of some kind of fish with a nice warm glass of caribou milk, freshly squeezed... unpasteurized (just take a moment to let that sink in)...


The first order of business was to pick up some fresh meat product, so Jordan and I joined a few aunts and a housekeeper on a trip to the "dirty market" (their phrasing). Jordan and I aren't completely culturally ignorant, we both speak Tagolog (though we both do have very heavy and easily heard american accents), and we've both clocked many hours of watching TFC with our grandmother so we felt prepared for this endeavor. The drive to the market, as with most experiences here on the island, defies description... you're breathing a combination of diesel, two stroke oil, general poultry smell, and the occasional trash fire blowing across roads choked with scooters, buggies, jeeps, bicycles, market stalls, and people just walking around. Lanes are created and dissolved dynamically, and intersections are a four-way game of chicken. The shock wore off by the second or third mile, but never the sense of impending doom.

The aunts were adamant about me keeping my camera out of view... I guess the general consensus of someone stabbing me to take it was about 50%. It was overcast that morning anyway, so none of the point-and-shoot pics were any good.

Like the picture above, which is just for reference-- it doesn't tell you ANYTHING about the place. You don't get the pungent smell, the water dripping on you from the awnings, black mud all over your sandaled feet and legs, or the weird things they were selling on either side.

YUM! Fertile mothers!

The butcher was in a warehouse off to the side, within a thousand square feet of butcher's stalls packed together. Sausage, entrails, and livers were hung on hooks above the working tables, and the hooks that weren't in use were caked with blood. There was an inch of water and whatever else on the floor, adding much to an atmosphere of which the picture betrays little.

The flash was fairly bold at that point because Jordan and I were already pretty much the center of attention by that point. Everything from our crazy american clothes to Jordan's super angloid features got more attention than that time I went streaking down Water St. in NYC. The people at the market were mostly old and weathered, and they stared at us with completely inscrutable looks. We were pretty far out from Manila, and I doubt a place even as cosmopolitan as the “dirty market” gets many westerners so I guess I could at least understand where they were coming from.

Butchers casually swatted these with their cutting knives.

Saying I am a bit culture shocked would be a huge understatement. In America we've become extremely good at creating this disassociation between that slice of bacon we fry up and the actual pig it comes from. In places like here it's really in your face and impossible to play those abstract mind games that make it possible to enjoy those slices of bacon. Everything is only one degree away from it's source and it's all way too overwhelming to try and absorb and be okay with all at once. I know that I am sounding like a whiny bitch, but I am doing this here so that nobody has to hear me complain in real life, which oddly enough is just cathartic enough to do the trick! I have gotten pretty chummy with Enrique these last few days so we are going to go out and have some young people's fun tonight, so hopefully things will get better.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A funeral across the ocean

I am currently in the Philippines. I am here escorting my grandmother and my younger cousin Jordan to her oldest brother's funeral, a man whom I've never met. I am not really big on coming back to the motherland, and usually I do my best to avoid conversations even remotely related to visiting the P.I. but my grandmother asked me to come and there's no way in hell I could ever say no to her, SO HERE I AM...

I don't even know where to start with this whole experience! Sigh... Let's go from the plane. The flight was very long, but otherwise uneventful. We were made to sit through three bafflingly stupid movies, who's names escape me at the moment. One was about platonic teenage vampire/werewolf love in the northwest, or so it appeared without sound. Another was exploiting civil-rights struggles to a sentimental effect with more Dakota Fanning. And the other was about a roller derby and Juno.

We landed in Manila crazy late at night and we were met by my cousin Enrique (it was the first time I was meeting him) and he helped us gather our luggage and pack it into his crazy looking diesel minivan. The last time I was here I hadn't really hit puberty just to give you guys a reference point... I tried to get pictures of Manila as we were driving out but it was too dark and dusty so nothing really came out very clear. Manila was... I don't even have the time or words to describe it right.

My dead great uncle's house is WAY THE FUCK out in the countryside, so we had a 2 hour drive to contemplate the universe and such, as we all sat in awkward silence. At first we tried to make small talk, but it's really hard to not be awkward when a man that you've never met is dead and everybody but you is grieving about it. So I pulled out my ipod and I covertly slipt an earbud into my ear while I blasted some tuneage.

When we got to the house, Jordan and I were to be sharing a mat at the top of the stairs. It is extremely hot and humid here, so we each took "showers" before sleeping. The bathroom is completely tiled with a a central drain, and to shower you ladle water over yourself out of a 5 gallon bucket. It would have been off-putting, if it weren't so hot. It's actually very conservative, and since showering 3 times a day in the heat I've grown fond of it.

Mosquitoes above our mat

We have to leave now and meet the aunties in the mall. To be continued...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Making plans

I am not going to spend an entire post talking about how I came out to my friend so I will make this short. I think I made the decision to tell Ted I like cock when he started referring to Brad using "they" and "person" whenever the subject was brought up and I realized that it just sounded ridiculous! I also felt like Bradley deserved a lot more than to be referred to as some androgynous nobody and that was just unacceptable to me. Why the fuck was I trying to dance around this like it was a huge deal when clearly it's not!? The more I heard the "they's and person's" the more I realized how stupid I was being so I just let him know that my "person" was a dude named Brad and that was that.

We hired somebody at the end of last week who will be trained to take over my position with the company. I really like him and I really enjoy transitioning out of this hell hole because I now will only spend about 20 hours a week in the office! Right now it's all about figuring out what I am going to do once I am free of the corporate strings that are tying me down. My first adventure is going to be a 3 week trip to Vegas to spend some quality time with Johnny. He's been living there full time since his MMA career started taking off, and we haven't been able to do anything substantial together in a really long time. I am pretty excited to get in the ring with him and show him some of the Muay Thai bad-assness I have picked up, so in the meantime I have been training (and will continue to train) extra hard until my trip to Vegas in about a month.

I was actually talking to Johnny earlier today and he told me that I should move to Vegas with him until I start my summer plans. But honestly, could you give up a view like this to live in a desert? I live in perfection and I don't think I will ever give that up for anywhere else in the world.

By the time I do get back from my Vegas trip with Johnny it will already be the end of March and it will already be time for me to think about summer camp again. I know I said that last year was going to be my last year, but I think I have one more summer in me, and I honestly don't have anything better to do, so why the fuck not? Right? I am planning a mid-April trip to Brad and I am trying to decide if this is a good idea or not. I don't want to come off like I am being clingy or anything, even though all I want to do is cling. Brad and I have never been about playing games or anything, but I would be lying if I didn't say that things are a little different the second time around in our relationship... I have already made up my mind to go, I just haven't decided how I am going to play it once I get there. Lucky for me I still have a few months to agonize over the finer details of that trip!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I made a friend.

A couple weeks ago I decided I only needed to work a half day because I wanted to pick up a couple of parts for my vintage motor vehicle. I went down to San Pedro to this place that carries specialized parts that I needed, and on my way I passed by this martial arts gym with THE HOTTEST GUY I HAVE EVER SEEN hitting the heavy bag with some pretty impressive moves. Seriously, I almost crashed my car drooling over this guy! It was FREEZING outside, but in this gym it must have been hot because he was only wearing shorts and the sweat was just glistening all over his perfectly sculpted body. I immediately pulled my car over, cutting through 2 lanes of traffic in the process, just so I could walk into the gym and perve over this guy while taking my time.

Up close he was even hotter! I think I have said it a million times, I have no respect for "gym bodies", I like it when a man's body is a reflection of what he's passionate about; running, surfing, martial arts, cycling, etc. Gym bodies are all about vanity and that really just rubs me the wrong way! ANYWAY, back to this guy, and his muscles, and his glistening sweaty body, GOD DAMN I WANTED TO JUST LICK HIM HEAD TO TOE! After about 5 minutes of staring he stopped, smiled at me, and asked me if there was anything he could help me with. Of course asking him to keep doing what he was doing while I masturbated was out of the question, so I casually explained to him that I have always been fascinated with Muay Thay and I was really impressed with his form (which wasn't exactly a lie). An hour later (with his shirt off the entire time) I learned that his name was Ted, and he had the full history of my martial arts background and invited me to a couple of the classes at his gym.

As work has been winding down I have been spending more and more time at the gym to fill those lonely hours, so Ted and I have become fast friends. We've gone surfing, done some downhill mountain biking in OC, and we even had this awesome night of bar trivia over the weekend. It's not sexual or anything, because even though he's hot, he's not Bradley; besides I am pretty sure he's all about the kitty if his girlfriend of 10 years is any indication. What I am trying to work my way up to in this post is that I have finally come to the point that every gay man happens to find himself at when he's getting acquainted with new people, and that's the when and how to come out problem. On the few occasions we have found ourselves on the topic of significant others I have always found a way to strategically remain genderless and vague yet still express how I am in a deeply committed relationship with somebody that I love very much.

At this point I kind of feel like I am the one with the problem here. It's like even though I am okay with being gay, I am not okay with people looking at me differently because of this fact. Ted's a cool guy and I am probably doing him a huge disservice by not being honest and giving him the chance to be okay with it, but I feel like I have been burned too many times to really want to put myself out there like that. But in the end I think it's just all an excuse because I am really not all that comfortable with my sexuality yet. I sometimes wonder if this feeling of dread and despair ever goes away or if this is just a huge insecurity I am going to live with the rest of my life because I am weak. I shouldn't feel like telling somebody that I am gay is the equivalent to walking the plank, but the fact that I do makes me feel deeply ashamed. Am I being too hard on myself, or is this normal? I am kind of going crazy over this because each time when confronted with these situations I always have to deal with this crazy anxiety! I NEED TO KNOW! Does this ever go away?