Friday, April 22, 2011

The Death of the Romantic Gesture

I wrote another piece for Thought Catalog called The Death of the Romantic Gesture. Somehow everything I do for them (er, all two articles) ends up being about love. I guess there are worse subjects. Apologies to my close friends, who have heard me talk about the stories told in this one countless times.

Friday, April 15, 2011

In the City of Shy Hunters

This has got to be one of the most beautiful book titles I've ever come across. It's by Tom Spanbauer. I've already read two of his others - Now is the Hour and The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon. Both are gorgeous and magical stories about the soul waking its ass up.

My little sister suggested this new one to me, but warned me that maybe I shouldn't read it. I thought at first she meant because it's about NYC in the '80s and AIDS. (Although like any Spanbauer book, that barely scratches the surface - it's like saying All About Eve is about the world of theater, which may be the gayest analogy I've ever made.). She later told me it was because there's some incest stuff in there, but I'm pretty sure I can deal.

I'm only about one-third of the way in but I already need to share a couple of passages. (I'm editing them down for clarity's sake since they're out of context.)

The first:
The Jews have their mezuzahs, the Catholics their crucifixes, Native Americans their eagle feathers. It's a totem, something outside you to remind you that you have what it takes. Law of the jungle. You have to have an object so you can treat your struggle as if it were outside.

The second:
Most people construe shyness for standoffishness. But it is not. It is social terror. The Shy Hunter is terrified that others will destroy the truth within his heart. And so the Shy Hunter armors himself. No one surprises a Shy Hunter. Not even death, because the Shy Hunter has covered his ass, and thus armored, he watches and waits and studies meticulously hunting the world for prey. Prey not in the sense of of devouring or murder, but prey in the sense of hunting for the sore truths within another human heart. Prey for truth. The sore truth which is in your heart, so that I may uncover mine.

My totem used to be Clover. Now it's a heavy, silver wolf head I wear around my neck. And as for the Shy Hunter, I've never heard my methods described so succinctly. It's painful to examine. The third quote from this book is maybe the one that hits the hardest, and it's one Spanbauer keeps repeating throughout - Language is my second language.

This is how I've led my entire life. I have no idea how to communicate with the world except on an instinctual level. Every major decision I've ever made, be it for work or a relationship, is based purely on emotion, not rational thought or actual communication. It's pretty much a joke that I make my living by writing. Aside from the magazine stuff, it's my one attempt at trying to express how I really feel, and it always seems like an absolute failure. So thank god for people like Spanbauer who can reach inside me, mold my guts into words, and then offer them up to me as a gift. I think I'm going to have a tiny plaque made that says Language is my second language and wear it on a chain. It will be my new totem.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My first NY Times article!!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Gay John Hughes Ending asked me to submit a love story for Valentine's Day, so I wrote this piece about my first year out of high school. My friend Carl dubbed it the year I accidentally attended "angel dust nambla camp."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thomas Prior

I'm super into photographer Thomas Prior's series on dangerous recreation. I just bought a print of this image, which was taken at Blackrock diving tower in Salthill, Ireland. At low tide you can climb up inside, but during high tide, the water swirls up the staircase. Scary!

I think I like it because it reminds me of that scene in The Rescuers when Penny gets lowered into the black hole via bucket, and then the water comes rushing in, and she has to pry open the pirate's skull with a big sword to get the Devil's Eye diamond and Madame Medusa is all "Hurry Up!" and Snoops just jumps up and down looking like a big fat ginger pedophile.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Poor, Obscure, Plain, and Little

It's my niece's thirteenth birthday party today and I bought her a copy of one of my favorite books, Jane Eyre. This is a selfish present (wanting her to like the same things I like), so I also got her a gift card to Sephora and some Liberty of London journals, to soften the blow.

But hey, check out the timely coincidence! There's a new film version of JE coming out that not only looks as gothic and spooky as the book actually is, it even use a little bit of the score from Suspiria in it!

More trivia (and I've probably posted about this before): The movie I Walked With a Zombie is basically just a retelling of the Jane Eyre story. I tried to find a video of the scene where Betsy walks through the cornfields to the hounfort (look it up), but it's not out there. Despite its totally racist tones, it's one of the spookiest film sequences I've seen. Mainly because of the dead goat.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Two things:
1) I think it's time I admit to myself that 80% of the joy I get from going to museums comes from looking at the people who are looking at art, rather than the art itself.
2) The Met's current show, "Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures" really only deals with one of those three things. And it's not the fun ones. Also - everyone in the 1400s looked like they had fetal alcohol syndrome.