Monday, June 16, 2008

Photic Sneeze Reflex

So Mrs. McFarland, my Advanced Biology teacher in high school was wrong - there actually IS a reason I sneeze whenever I walk from indoors to outdoors and into direct sunlight. Sneezing as the result of being exposed to a bright light—known as the photic sneeze reflex—is a genetic quirk that is still unexplained by science, even though it has intrigued some of history's greatest minds, and affects anywhere from 1/10 to 1/3 of the population.

It happens to me, especially when the sun is very strong and it is warmer than 80F degrees. Mrs. McFarland said there was no such thing. And perhaps back then, nothing had been proven. And even now, it's all really speculation. All I know is, I'm pretty consistent about doing it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I Saw You

I'm not sure if you saw me because our eyes never connected. But I saw you. And I saw what you were doing. And I am just so disappointed in you.

I can't help it that I feel let down by your behavior. And what pisses me off just as much is that I am choosing this very passive/aggressive way to let you know about it. Even though I rarely shy away from confrontation and have no problem voicing my opinion, I've decided to post my disapproval on this blog which you will probably never read anyway. And if you do read it, you probably won't think it's directed at you - but it is.

Basically, what you do in your relationship is entirely your business, I guess. But when you go around and spout off about how wonderful your partner is and how much you love him and how lucky you are to have found him - and then I see you cheating on him so blatantly, it just angers me. You may argue that you were only kissing someone else. But in my book, kissing - and very deep, passionate kissing like I saw you doing - counts as cheating. Your partner would probably agree with me.

It's been my experience that those people who boast loudly about their monogamy, don't truly practice it. But I thought you might be different. You were sort of a role model - so open and loving, so accepting of his quirks and faults, and so much in love, or so you said.

From here out I will mind my own business and not say anything more about it. But if I saw you, so did other people. And they might not be as quiet about it - this time or the next.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Butch/Femme

I've noticed something about gay couples.

With lesbian couples, there seems to be a high concentration of a butch/femme mix. Many of the lesbian pairings I see are made up of one somewhat feminine woman (layered clothes, cute hairstyle, handbag, talking on the phone) and one rather masculine one (ball cap, wallet in back jeans pocket, no makeup). This isn't true of all lesbian couples, mind you, but these kinds of pairings do seem to be more frequent than with gay men.

I rarely, if ever, see the same kind of contrast with gay male couples; differences in age, perhaps, but not much difference in age and almost never a difference in level of masculinity. Taking The BF and I into exception, gay male couples seem to be almost cookie cutter images of each other. The BF and I are very physically different from each other (he's 4 inches taller, I'm 70 pounds heavier, he's 12 years younger - go me!). I used to know one couple back in DC where one was extremely masculine and the other was just a flamer. But that was back in the 80's just as gay men were making the shift from the 70's bathhouse clones to the health-conscious, gym-crazed bunnies of the 90's.

I can't speak on behalf of women, but there are many gay men who consider their partners to be a reflection of themselves. It's a holdover from the importance of being "straight-acting" - we don't want our partner to "give us away" in public if we can pull off looking straight. I'm actually glad this idea is slowly going out of the window. As men and women begin coming out at earlier ages, and thus become more socially acceptable, the need to fit in with what is considered "the norm" is not so prevalent. And then, hopefully, more men will be willing to allow themselves to really look at another man for who he is and what he stands for, instead of just how he stands.

Anyway, it's just something I noticed.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Water For Elephants

For the last two years or so, I've become a voracious reader - more so now than at any other time in my life. I used to hate to read books, partly because of the time commitment, but also because there are few things that can hold my fascination for any length of time. I tended to read books that were more a collection of essays rather than an actual story with a plot, dénouement, and developed characters.

But as my life seemed to calm down, so did my attention span. So I am now able to commit to reading novels and stories longer than what is considered "bathroom reading". And for the most part, I've found I read more books by male authors than female authors - mostly because I've found that female authors are a bit more descriptive and emotional in their writing. Men tend to deal more with facts (be them fiction or not).

However, I just finished reading a book titled Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen. I originally bought the book for my trip to LA, but I got so engrossed in the characters and development that I was afraid I would finish the book before my trip even started. Told in flashbacks by a nursing home-ridden 90-something year old, it recounts his life following the death of his parents, finding himself virtually homeless, and running off to join a circus as the veterinarian. Every character he meets is so well-defined, and each experience so well-explained, it was like watching a movie in my head. I can easily see this made into a film, and I'd bet money on the fact that it will be. I'm aware that almost every book published is bought by a studio "just in case", but I'm sure this one will be developed.

I originally bought the book because I think elephants are so fascinating. And the story doesn't diminish my interest in them. Some parts of the book reminded me of Mitch Albom's The 5 People You Meet In Heaven, which I also enjoyed. I'm not normally a reader of fiction, preferring biographies and memoirs to anything else, but both of these books were good reads.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Basically, I can't stand her. And I wonder why and how she continues to get cast in anything. She seems to play the same "I buck the system/I don't care about anything/I don't shave my armpits" kind of character. She's the mouthy sidekick, the flippant server, the sassy secretary. This might have worked for Eve Arden back in the 40's, but it doesn't work for Maggie. I've never cared about nor felt empathy for any character she's played. What's worse, she seems to go largely unbilled on films so she shows up in movies that I would otherwise not watch if I knew she was in them. And she always seems to have a boob popping out.

I'm sure she's a nice person and all, but her body of work kinda sucks. I pretty much feel the same way about her brother - I just don't see what the big deal is. Sure, they're attractive in a "nose too long for your face" kind of way, but those doe eyes only get you so far. Just the thought of you taking it up the butt doesn't attract me to you - or you either, Jake.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Charleston, SC

This past weekend, The BF and I traveled to Charlston for the wedding of one of his high school friends. By now I've met most of his college friends. But this was a step even further back in time to meet a group of people with whom he shared his latter childhood, friends he's had over 10 years. What amazes me is how devoted The BF is to his friendships. He does an amazing job at maintaining his friendships. There's no one from my high school days with whom I keep in touch - now or when I was 30, for that matter.

High school was not a bad experience for me, but I only had a small handful of close friendships. I knew every kid in school, but I didn't belong to a group or clique. So my high school friendships dissipated with high school itself. For a short while, I kept in touch with Dave, Leslie, and Chris. But then life happened - my real life. And somehow high school didn't seem to be a real part of my life anymore. Nor did the people I knew then.

So going into this situation was daunting - I was the first boyfriend The BF would introduce to these people. Of the 7 other couples with whom we shared a beach house for three days, we were the only gay couple. And it was easy to see why The BF has kept these people in his life. All were welcoming an accommodating. They were as interested in me as I was in them, and what I thought would be a painful experience turned out to be friendly and informative.

But back to Charleston - the place was hot!!! Just like during out trip to LA a few weeks ago, we arrived in Charleston at the start of an unprecedented heat wave. The wedding was Friday night and we arrived the day before. Those two days were spent on rehearsals, dinners (we strongly recommend Joseph's Restaurant on Meeting Street) , pool parties and the actual wedding. But on Saturday, as we all said goodbye to each other, The BF and I joined another of his high school/college friends and his partner, and the four of us meandered around Charleston in the 98 degree heat, killing time until our 6:00pm flight back home.

For our flight home, we scored the best seats I've ever had on a plane - two seater exit row with no row of seats in front of us. Somehow, we didn't mind sitting on the plane for 50 minutes between push off and take off. It was nice to finally have The BF all to myself again after sharing him with all these lovely strangers. We've been living together for 6 weeks now, taking two trips, and spending alot of time together. In some ways, it seems like we've been doing this for years, and in other ways, it seems like we've only been living together for a week. If this keeps up, life will be a cake walk.