Friday, January 28, 2005

Mister Rogers recap

For those of you that missed it because of whatever the hell it is you're doing at eleven o'clock am-- I thought I'd recap today's episode of Mister Rogers.

Today's episode was called "Noisy and Quiet." After Mister Rogers came home and changed his jacket, shoes, etc-- he said that he had some noisemakers in his bag. He took the noisemakers out of the bag and demonstrated them all one by one. Then he posed the question, "Can you imagine what a quietmaker would look like?" He gave some time to think about that.

Then he pulled a tape recorder out of the bag and said that he thought it would be fun to record the noisemakers (I thought this would be a waste of time, but whatever). Then he said he had a tape of different sounds and he played it. He thought the last sound on the tape was a knock on the door-- but it REALLY WAS a knock on his door. It was Chuck Aber. He acted like we should know who Chuck Aber was.

I guess Chuck Aber heard that Mister Rogers had some noisemakers at his house (word travels fast in Mister Rogers Neighborhood). Chuck said he was going to be in a parade and needed to borrow a noisemaker (from the looks of Chuck, I think I know what kind of parade he was going to be in).

After Chuck left, Mister Rogers played some parade music on his piano and I kind of zoned out. Then he said that it was time to go to the Neighborhood of Make Believe (I always hated this part of the show, made me nervous, talking cats, etc.)

In the Neighborhood of Make Believe they were planning a parade where everyone either dressed up as different animals or space aliens (even the trolley was dressed up as an alien trolley). The space aliens part freaked out X the Owl and Henrietta Pussycat so they were hiding in Lady Elaine's Museum-Go-Round in the "S room." "S for Scared and Safe," Lady Elaine remarked. Lady Aberlin told X and Henrietta that although people were dressing up in animal and space alien costumes, it didn't really mean that they really were animals and space aliens. This explanation seemed to calm everyone down a little.

Back to Mister Rogers house. Mister Rogers said he had a book of smiles, it was basically pictures of people from his neighborhood smiling. He went on about how when you see people smile it can make you want to smile. He thought it would be a good idea if we practiced smiling for a little bit, which was actually pretty cool.

Then there was a knock at the door and it was Marilyn Barnett (Mister Rogers again assumed that we knew who this was). Marilyn asked Mister Rogers if he had some time to exercise. They went out on the porch and started doing jumping jacks and tried to balance on one foot. Mister Rogers said it would be easier if they held on to each other while they tried to balance (which is cheating, but it's his show).

After Marilyn left, Mister Rogers fed the fish and before he wrapped things up he said that, "There are all kinds of ways to remember people, by their sounds, by the way they look and by the way you feel about them."

It was a pretty good episode except for the extended parade music segment. The highlight was the smile practicing. I'll try to keep you posted.

Monday, January 24, 2005

To Assistant

Re: Hair
Let's plan this out and stick to it. Let's pick a style and maintain it- not let it grow out into an unruly mullet. We don't need another reason for people to question my already questionable sanity.

Re: Shirts
Let's get rid of all ill fitting clothes. Let's not save bad oversized t-shirts, thinking that they would be good to wear to bed. These t-shirts end up in day-to-day public wardrobe.

What is the best style for my body type? What's appropriate to wear if you have a gut and one man breast? Do a search for a celebrity with my body type and I will wear what this celebrity wears. If that celebrity is determined to be Rodney Dangerfield, don't tell me.

Re: Jeans
I'm hearing that tight jeans are coming back in. Is this true? Can I jump on board with this trend? If so, what do I wear on top? Stripy shirts? Should we buy a bunch of stripy shirts? What's next after stripy shirts? Let's find out, please.

Re: Shoes
Why can't I wear shoes with no laces? Why does they disturb roommate? I'm willing to comprimise, can we find something that will go with absolutely everything, always and forever. Let's find those shoes and buy a lifetime supply. As you know, I loathe shoe shopping. I end up buying high top basketball sneakers and then not returning them.

Re: Cigarettes
Should I switch to Parliments? Camel Lights seem to be a hangover from the nineties. What is the coolest cigarette to smoke? Switch me over to whatever cigarette that is. Other cigarette brands used to make me sick. Now is a good time to swith as I am not able to taste the difference anymore.

Re: Underwear
Boxer Briefs? What is the most attractive male undergarment to wear? What looks best on me (see body type)? This is important because I am planning to have lots of candelit, playful teasing, George Michael in the background, bubblebath taking, Lifetime Original Movie sex.

Re: Ipod
It has come to my attention that I need to have an Ipod if I am to ride the CTA. As funds are low, can we construct a fake Ipod? We could fashion it out of a polished block of wood or even a bar of soap. We can paint my earphones with white-out and then hide my horribly outdated cd player in my messenger bag (find what the coolest messenger bag is).

Re: Music
As much as I wish they would, friend(s) don't seem to be impressed with my music collection (Janet Jackson, Bette Midler, Madonna, Pet Shop Boys, etc). As in the Ipod example, let's create fake cd cases of music that is appropriate and just cutting edge enough to impress friends and one night stands. Inside we can store Bette Midler's "Songs for The New Depression" and Celine Dion's "All the Way" etc.

Friend has told me that in New York City gay bars do not play the standard gay fare that is played in Chicago. Instead of Whitney Houston, something called The Stooges is played. Must find out what The Stooges are and begin to slip knowledge into regular conversation. Also, must start complaining loudly at Spin and Roscoes that the music is tired and would never be played in NYC. Say things like, "I'm just not really into the bar scene" and give dirty looks to people in sweaters.

Let's get to work.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I feel like a piece of scotch tape that has all the adhesive rubbed off it's back.

Monday, January 17, 2005

vhs memories

-The first movie I saw on a video tape (as fas as i know) was Return of the Jedi. We were visiting one of my dad's good friends from work. They lived in a dome home, which they built. I remember my dad and his friend talking about what they thought the future would be for this new crazy invention.

-Foggy memories of the movies people had at that time: Jane Fonda's Workout, 9 to 5, Grease and Grease 2.

-My dad taking me and my sister to rent at Family Video in San Jose. My dad encouraged me to "get something you haven't seen." I usually rented something with Dolly Parton. Always a safe bet, still is.

-I remember the boxcover to Ants - a horror movie with Suzanne Somers, the box had a picture of breasts covered in ants. Lots of sexual confusion in the video store.

-Wondering what was behind that shower curtain that men quickly walked in and out of, but kind of knowing.

-I wanted to rent the making of We Are The World, my dad compared the prices of renting it vs. buying it. He bought it for me.

-My parents talking about how they passed up the chance to own a video store, thinking it was a fad, too risky.

Years later, Dollar Video became a hangout in Crystal Lake, where I went to high school. By that time you could rent five movies for five dollars for five days. You would walk out of there feeling like you got such a steal! There were tons of older cute boys that worked there.

I would dress up to go there. I would try to push the limits, wear makeup and crazy clothes and just walk around the store. I don't know what I was trying to do. Seduce them? Freak them out? Have them notice me?

Then Blockbuster Video kind of took over, it was never the same after that.

Friday, January 14, 2005

getting mentally ill on the dance floor

I made this mix awhile back after hearing Carrie Fisher talk about bipolar disorder. It's a mix between an interview with Carrie Fisher on "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" on NPR and Madonna's Nobody Knows Me.

Even though I'm STILL in denial about my diagnosis she gave a precise description about the--well we'll call them "moodswings" that I have. So I did what any gay boy does in tribute to a lady-- I remixed her!

The original Madonna remix is intact I just added Carrie Fisher.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

when people stop being polite

I will have to get a job. I will have to sit in that chair and talk about my skills during an interview. That will have to happen.

I have a tendency to confuse job interviews with psychotherapy. Instead of impressing the interviewer with my smooth communication skills, I tend to take on a confessional tone. Lots of sighs and defensive posturing. I forget that I'm trying to get a job and act as if we've both come to peel back the layers of Jeremy.

My therapist decided that we should do a mock interview once. I didn't like that my therapist was now turning into a fake prospective employer. I don't think I did very well. She didn't tell me if I got the fake job.

I worry that some day, when my family loses patience with me and my friends are married with kids and have either relegated me to the gay friend they invite over for Thanksgiving or worse, that I will have to go to a group home.

When I was in group therapy for anxiety, many of the patients talked about how they were going back to their group home. The idea was exciting to me. I imagined it like "The Real World" for people surviving mental illness. The decor would be whimsical but very high quality. The common area would have two or three overstuffed, funky colored sofas. Maybe a pool table or a pinball machine for those late sleepless nights.

I would be the gay one. The manic depressive, schizoaffective, borderline personality girls would love me. We would compare our prescriptions, paint our toenails and talk about our crush on the hot guy with anger issues.

We'd make art and smoke cigarettes and solve each others problems.

Something tells me this isn't what group homes are like.

Monday, January 10, 2005


This urgent note was posted by the bathrooms at Filter- a coffeehouse in Wicker Park:




Such desperation about a pair of expensive jeans in a coffeehouse in an area of Chicago that supposedly holds a counter culture-anti-corporation-down with the man-thrift store shopping-doing whatever it takes to get by-way of thinking.

I imagine that before the author wrote the note, he/she spoke to coworkers quietly in between customers, discussing possible suspects. The suspect was probably narrowed down very quickly. Rather than confronting the suspected jeans thief, the victim probably acted normally to the suspect and chose instead to post a very passive aggressive note by the bathrooms. The purpose of the note was not to get the jeans back, they were gone. He/she understood this and had already purchased another, better pair.

4/24/00 Favorite Things

-the fact that I fainted in 6th grade signing "Do You Hear What I Hear?" because I was wearing two sweaters
-my nephew saying that I was bothering him because I wasn't playing Star Wars right (I was sitting in a chair smoking pretending to be Darth Maul)
-the upcoming tribute song for Columbine High School by Kathie Lee Gifford and Dolly Parton (never happened!!)
-french roast coffee
-the picture of Madonna looking depressed from her Sex book
-A Corona with lime and a fresh pack of Camel Lights
-Las Vega$

Sunday, January 09, 2005

i love you, you pay my rent

written 11/27/04

Worrying about rent money. It's that time of the month. I keep having a good time, relaxed, having fun. Then the thought of money comes and puts its dirty dirty hand over my eyes. I recognize the smell of that hand.

A waitress at the Golden Nugget on Clark stands at the register cutting up her credit cards while a Chicago cop watches.

"What are you doing," getting up from his seat at the turquoise stool at the counter, "Aren't those your charge cards?"

Charge cards. I need me some charge cards.

"Gotta stop spending money somehow," she says.

He whispers something to her, gives her a couple cigarettes out of his pack-- and a twenty dollar bill?

I'm not the only one worrying about money. I don't have a police officer feeding me cigarettes and money, though.

Wouldn't be bad. To protect and to serve.

Saturday, January 08, 2005


When I was living in Lakemoor, Illinois with my friend Heather I had a volkswagen bug. I was working at McDonalds in Crystal Lake and I had to drive thirty minutes to get to work. There was a huge hole in the floorboard of the car which made the car freezing in the winter.

I was always running out of gas because I would wait until the last second to fill up the tank. Or I would spend my gas money on cigarettes or food or who knows what. I called my parents, like, every other day from gas stations telling them my car was on the side of the road. My dad would come and rescue with his little red gas tank.

Driving between McDonalds and my apartment in the dead of winter on a dangerously low tank of gas with a hole in my floorboard I listened to Alanis Morisette's Jagged Little Pill over and over. I loved it so much.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005



My mom bought me a navy blue robe for Christmas. It could be very dangerous for me.

I indicated to her that I wanted one with long sleeves. (I really wanted one like Laverne and Shirley used to wear, I think they were chenille with daisies. I realize she wasn't going to buy her son a women's robe.)

I love the one she bought me, but it is kind of turning into a depression costume. I walk around the house like I am in the last years of my life, in my winter cap and dark blue robe, looking out the window at people on the street. "I remember those times, the laughter, the love, that's all over now." I need to limit how much I wear it.


When I worked at McDonald's the condition of my uniform could predict the way my shift would go. If I had a clean shirt and pants and remembered to bring my nametag and my belt I would be a much more productive manager.


I remember "tight rolling" my pants in junior high. Rolling the pants perfectly, tight and crisp, was absolutely essential to your popularity. Those who could not master this art were to consider themselves targets for ridicule and torment.

And it's with these charming anecdotes that I remind you:

We all have to learn to dress correctly and pay a little bit more attention to appearances. Let me tell you, I have read a lot of brochures at temporary agencies and if there is one thing I've learned-- Appearance is critical to success in the corporate world. A trimmed, steamed, plucked, groomed, concealed, buffed, laundered, expensive smelling you is the only way to make it. Take a little time and look at the people around you. What do the successful people wear? Take some notes and then go out and purchase something like them. You'll never get anywhere looking like that.