the awesome/terrifying freedom

out here, somewhere, figuring it all out.


thanks to advice from my friend david, i ran the simple 'disk utility' program on my busted ipod and a couple clicks later, voila. my data.

yes, mr. fish, the porn too.

how utterly irritating that tekserve would have gladly charged me $100 per mouse click on a piece of standard os x software to 'fix' it themselves. and how doubly irritating that apple does not offer this advice on their service website.

next: buying a super big, stable hard drive.
(check out the creepy camoflage fish in that pic)

my fortune cookie today says:
you are a perfectionist. don't spoil it.

now what the hell does that mean? don't spoil my perfectionism by lowering my standards? or don't spoil the thing i'm being a perfectionist about by obsessing about tiny details?

there are days that grind at you. there are things you want to write in your blog but you can't because you know that people read it and word spreads and soon the person written about will either stumble upon it themselves or be sent a link to it via email once a friend decipers the clues and figures out who you're talking about. there are moments that you sit in your cubicle wondering if things are still as you thought they were yesterday. yesterday, that day you decided to concede for a little extra cash, and health insurance. has the thing you chose to do for stability so that you could pursue the thing you really want to do become the thing that you do? have you become every sad office worker cliche? will i be here forever?

somedays something as simple as twizzlers getting stuck in the vending machine is enough to unravel a person's last shred of sanity.

had a request for the bryant park pics in full resolution.. here's one. and the other.

meanwhile, in the rest of the country..

thanks to dolan, who alerted me to this amazing series of articles in the washington post, profiling a gay high school kid in oklahoma. sad, touching, and eye opening.

if you haven't already, sign up for the free washington post membership to read.

here is part 2.


trauma trauma trauma

i was happily cleaning house, ipod plugged into the stereo, singing along loudly, when suddenly the music stopped. after some strange blips, blinking lights, and intermittent access, all traces of functionality were replaced by the 'apple logo of death.' when the apple logo of death appears and doesn't go away, apple has only one thing to say: kiss your data goodbye and send in for a replacement. sorry, thanks.

shock. denial. i had oh so foolishly used my ipod as file storage. no, mr. fish, not just for porn, thank you, but also for my entire graphic design history. yeah, that's how stupid i was. but see, i've built up a trusting relationship with apple over the years. they're a friend. they're glossy and friendly and reliable. not like the coarse, built-to-fail pc's. but on further reading of the ipod literature i discover that the ipod is basically built to fail — that freezes are commonplace. that you should expect your drive to be periodically wiped. that you should happily send it back to apple when it happens and they will give you a different, refurbished ipod as a replacement.

it's so disappointing to discover that your friends are unreliable, and upon discovering this they say indignantly 'but you knew this about me, didn't you?'

i may be able to get the data back, though not cheaply. tekserve quotes $350 to recover the data. for that i could get new ipod. so i'm faced with a choice: do i just let all those memories go, fade into the digital distance, and spend my money on a nice, reliable, real hard drive on which to back up? or do i pay the price of my folly?

sunday night. ended up in bryant park, which was stunning. i love that spot so much. made me forget for a moment.

amazin' grace

watched the finale of the amazing race last night, having never watched a complete episode this season, and i have to say my favorite part was every time the models would talk about jesus helping them up the hill, or jesus wanting them to win the money, or jesus making the car go faster, the editors would cut to a shot of sunlight streaming through the clouds. i don't know if they intended for the audience to have full out belly laughs each time, but that was certainly the effect it had on me.


alan cumming has a cologne called 'cumming: the fragrance.'

i won't deign to type out any speculations as to what it might smell like.

but i'll give you a hint: semen.

i mean, come on, there are limits. what's next? 'poop: the moisturizer'?

the new yorker

the new yorker is always on the nose.

saw 'sky captain' this weekend, which was fun. obsessive attention to visual detail, but i felt gwenyth didn't quite get the style. so many of her lines that should have been knowing nods to the cheesiness of 1930's serials came out as total groaners. ah well. angelina kicked ass.

was a misty night, giving the real new york a bit of that 'sky captain' look.

john mayer you little shithead fuck

oh yeah and.

sunday i was driving to my dear friend laura's house. it's a beautiful drive, the most beautiful drive in colorado, and i was screaming my head off singing to the radio and john mayer comes on.

'i just can't wait til my ten year reunion
i'm gonna bust down the double doors
and when i stand on these tables before you
you will know what all this time was for.'

and i just kind of stopped singing and got real quiet for a minute. what the hell does that mean? he's gonna show up at his reunion only to say 'fuck y'all, i'm famous now'? only to say 'the way i chose to spend the last ten years is more valid than than the way all the rest of y'alls did'?

hearing those lyrics the day after the reunion really made me think. my first thought was 'fuck you john mayer. just because you have noteriety and name recognition are all the rest of us supposed to be honored that you decided to show up to your reunion?' then i thought about it some more. who doesn't want to walk into their reunion a huge fuckin mega star? i certainly wanted that, but as life ground onward and it became clear that i was not going to be a mega star, merely one of many many people in my class who would spend our lives pursing a goal, maybe not the goal we'd initially planned on pursuing, but the journey toward it has led us to be content in their lives. how sappy is that? have i become complacent? no. i still want to be a mega star. but that's for me. not so i can dance on tables in front of jocks i used to hate. or want to date.

and anyway, should his career follow its present course, mr. mayer will have the esteemed honor of standing on tables at his reunion as a briefly celebrated has-been.

closing the book

chronicling almost exactly four years to the date, during the flight back from denver, i finished the last page in my journal. another cathartic moment. time to start a new book, and hopefully fill it with twice the accomplishment and half the anguish of the last one.

took some pictures of my mom.

and this is a painting a family friend did many years ago, inspired by my mom's garden.

took pictures of the clouds from the plane. glad they didn't think i was a terrorist.

in other news, i'm obsessed by the new k.d. lang cd, 'hymns of the 49th parallel.' absolutely brilliant collection of some of the best songs ever written, masterfully arranged and sung.

endless saturday

beautiful day. had breakfast with sunny and her husband ben at a nice little joint near the now-abandoned crossroads mall. crossroads was once the epicenter of boulder, home of orange julius, kb toys, and fashion bar.

a few years ago crossroads was eclipsed by the opening of the mega mall/mini city called 'flatiron crossing' just outside of town. crossroads sat for years, an empty shell as one store after another closed down. they began demolition on saturday.

as i sat on the patio having breakfast with sunny and ben i noticed how the flatirons were reflected in the windows of the restaurant - something that used to fade into the background. i guess the new york equivalent would be to get misty eyed at seeing the flatiron building reflected in a street cafe window.

that afternoon i went through boxes in the garage - my dad had put a bunch of my stuff away to make room for his magic equipment (yes, my dad is a magician). one box had nearly every attempted short film i'd ever made with my friends, ranging from sixth grade to seniors in high school. about fifteen full video tapes of rearranged living rooms, makeshift costumes, attempts at recreating the opening scenes of indiana jones and the temple of doom, blowing up model cars, running through swamps, flying rockets hit by asteroids, evil empresses obsessed with controlling the universe; it was a gold mine. i called david and told him to get over to my place immediately so that we could be tortured by facing our 11-16 year old selves.

it was such pain to watch. god i was a nelly kid. i was the gayest kid who ever walked the earth. anyone who was surprised when i came out was either a, well, was anyone surprised? and to me this lends credence to the 'sissy boy syndrome.' clearly my gayness was something instilled in me at birth, visible in the form of limp wrists and a tendency towards overwrought emotions. and musical theatre. later on some of that behavior disappeared - i think i conditioned it out of myself. hmm. maybe this is what the christian right really means when they say homosexuality is a choice. they acknowledge (not openly of course) that it is instilled at birth, but are so full of self hatred that they implore us to choose to force ourselves to be straight. so that we can go to heaven. genetic or not, it's icky, so stop it please, thanks.

that night's reunion event took place at a restaurant on the pearl street mall - boulder's version of the east village. i arrived with sunny and david, and again: dread. oh god there's the homecoming king again. bastard. oh god there's bangs with baby again. i've already seen all these people. i saw them last night. i know what they're all doing now. i don't need to see them again. what the hell are we going to talk about?

three cheers for liquor. three more cheers for giant $3.50 gin and tonics.

and the night is a blast, helped by drinks and furthered by the arrival of many more long lost friends, people i googled a million times and couldn't find anything on. what was most interesting was reconnection with people who i'd grown up with, but lost touch with while in high school.

here's me with deanna and michelle. we were in elementary school together and were friends up through 6th grade. michelle remembered absolutely everything that happened in elementary school, the full names of everyone who was in our class, and knew what had happened to most of them. what was so fascinating was to see how people's outer selves had aged, changed, shifted, but the core of their personalities remained the same, that intangible essence unaltered.

the paparazzi are relentless in their quest to get you at your worst. you do one nike commercial and they just don't leave you alone.

steve is one of my best friends. one of the first people i came out to, and my party buddy in college. katie stood next to me in our carnival cruise line choir called 'excalibur,' which if there was a award for most artifical smiles achieved through emotional rape, excalibur would win it. katie told me that her boyfriend at the time used to get jealous of the way we acted together while we sang. ha ha. jason, in the purple shirt, was charlie to my willy wonka our first year of high school.

malia played my wife in 'the skin of our teeth' our senior year. she was awesome, looked fantastic, we had so much fun. will definitely have to go out next time i'm back in town.

catherine and jen were in choir and theatre with me. we also made a short film in which they were tortured and killed by an inbred hillbilly. jen now works in accounting and catherine is a chemist.

danced a lot that night. i realized at one point that i'd never even been dancing with most of these friends. god, i was so repressed in high school. where would we go anyway? i was too busy at rehearsal or editing the school paper to ever go to one of the wild parties i'd hear so much about. blah, it just wasn't part of my high school life. sure made up for that in college though. it felt like i was finally getting to have the fun i never had with these friends.

somehow, the decorations committee had aquired 1994 trophies from various schools and events around colorado, and placed a trophy at the center of each of the tables. we were told afterward that we could take them home if we wanted, and what a brilliant idea that turned out to be.

sunny, ben, david and i went to another bar after.

sunny brought her trophy, which proved to be an amazing conversation starter, especially among drunk people. probably 15 people walked right up to her to ask what she won it for.

sunny: best dressed.

sunny: kickin' ass.

sunny: speech therapy.

ben and david became obsessed with foosball. while they were playing i got a message on my phone fron jen.

jen: where are you guys? we went to this bar, i don't even know what bar. what bar is this?? and i brought one of the trophys, holy shit this trophy is magic! call us and meet up with us!!

so we met up with jen and katie and their trophies.

i strutted around pearl street with a trophy like an asshole, doing my best ali g, yelling at people.

me: dude. we won! we fuckin' won! respek the trophy, bitch.

next stop, denny's. so many late nights spent at denny's in high school after a show, or after a long night on newspaper staff. god what a geek! what better place to go? especially when the bars here close so early. and boy did breakfast sound good. moons over my hammy or some such greasy shit. anything. we brought our trophies in with us and demanded a huge cheer from the entire restaurant upon entering. they, being post-party as well, were happy to oblige.

denny's: woo!

me: that's right bitches.

katie ordered the uber-fiesta nachos. by the time they arrived the fiesta had faded and the sight of them was repulsive.

i ordered something deep fried and covered in country gravy with a side of three pancakes. massive.

the trophies were displayed at the table. occasionally someone would come over to us and ask what we won. a group of rowdy college kids came in and loudly challenged our championship status.

kids: we were robbed! you guys suck! we shoulda had those!

me: yeah? you wanna rumble?

we talked and laughed and talked well into the morning. on full stomachs, our buzzes dimmed. time to go. the college kids were outside as we filed out of the restaurant.

kid: wait a second, why does that say 1994? i know what you guys do, you guys broke in somewhere and ganked the trophy case, and you got/

me: wait. what did you say?

kid:/all dressed up in ties and shit and you raided the trophy/

me: no wait. what did you say?

kid: you totally just stole those/

me: what was that word you used!?

kid: you take them and then you go to denny's/

me: no, 'ganked?' did you just say 'ganked?'

and so i've learned a new piece of jargon from the kids. by the time i got home, sunlight was peeking up on the horizon. the moon was a sliver so bright it illuminated the entire orb.

who's fat, who's gay, who's hot

there’s a thing that happens when you drive into boulder from the airport. you see the mountains from afar, they seem almost impossibly distant, and as you approach they dip behind hillsides in preparation for a dramatic reentry. whoever built highway 36 knew that they were creating an emotional catharsis for those who would come to boulder, making us descend into the stripmall wasteland of louisville before scaling that last hill. for as you climb, the mountains steadliy rise up out of the road in front of you, stately, imposing, dwarfing the feeble city of boulder sprawled out beneath it.

full resolution here

it’s the first time i’d seen it while the city was green in four years, and i had an unexpectedly emotional response. i wanted more than anything to have a boyfriend in the passenger seat, or someone to show this to, anyone, someone who’d never seen it before. i maybe finally appreciated the beauty i was lucky enough to have grown up around, but became immune to over the years.

friday afternoon i was a guest speaker for the diversity class at my old high school. it's so weird to look at high school kids. they seem older now than they used to. savvier. maybe it's just the high school kids in boulder, but i was amazed by how many of these kids seem so put together and comfortable in their skins. i certainly wasn't at that age.

as i walked through the hall i saw signs posted all over a bulletin board advertising a 'gay-straight alliance' meeting on monday. it was such an anachronism, something so welcoming pinned up in the hallway of a place i had once quite brilliantly repressed myself.

i spoke to the class about being an asian actor in new york city. made no mention of being gay, which thinking back i really should have. after class a chinese kid came up to me and said that he never thought acting might be a possibility for him, but that hearing me speak made him want to give it a shot. it was a very cool moment.

friday night consisted of several phone calls with old friends to ensure that none of us would arrive early, alone, in the awkward position of having to talk to people we never really liked. or maybe we all knew that it would just be absolutely too strange to experience alone.

first feeling: dread. there were probably 150 people there. nearly all of them piper perabo’s and josh charles’ – vaguely familiar faces, faces that you know you know and know you should know and brush off by telling yourself that they must have been in a movie with ben affleck five years ago. faces you might see on the street, make brief eye contact, and then two hours later say 'ohh..! that was such and such girl from geometry class. i hated her.'

oh god, there’s that other girl that we hated. with the same haircut with the bangs. and a baby.

there’s the homecoming king, who i had a huge crush on. still hot. and married. fucker.

there’s that guy who was popular and hot and now he’s looking really old and drinking too much and hitting on every girl who walks by. sad.

once in the mix of it, the crowd quickly separated into its various groups – the jocks, the theatre fags, the band fags, the choir fags. so many fag varieties! (few actual homos though, unfortunately) how could we help but separate back into our old groups? these people were our refuge ten years ago, why shouldn’t they be now? and the joy of seeing someone who was your best friend for maybe two months, or who was your co-conspirator in french class, or who you were in a play with and had a great time with but didn’t fully connect with - it was exciting to see them again, to see how good they look or don't look and to say over and over again 'what are you up to?' and to say again and again what you're up to. i must have asked and answered the question ninety times.

oh and alcohol. precious gin and tonic, you never left my hand.

at a certain point, the party had been played out. once a girl was on the floor for drinking too much, or low blood sugar or whatever, my friend sunny and i looked at each other and knew it was time to go.

to not see an entire group of people for ten years and then to throw them back together causes two things to happen – you feel in the same breath that nothing has changed, and that everything has altered.

while the party had been played out, none of us felt quite done with the evening. we were loud, raucous, time had not passed. we were right back where we had left off. where to go with a carful of drunk and rowdy high school friends in the middle of the night? taco bell.

we pulled into the parking lot, where a car of children, my god, they were children, pulled in, also clearly post-party. i was excited.

me: maybe they have some pot! hey! do you have any pot!?

the kids just kind of stared from in their car.

me: ten years, bitches! ten years and you’ll be over here yelling at kids in a parking lot!

steve: you kids are gonna be old before you know it!

jumin: yeaahh!

sunny: woo!

steve: woo!

david: woo!

one of the kids rolled down the window.

little pause.

kid: mr pilger?

and we were dumbstruck. stunned silence, frozen in mid-woo. steve is their middle school teacher. steve is mr. pilger.

steve: um. hey brian. uh. how you guys doing.

kid: ...good..


me: oh my god we are old. we are so old.

after the shock wore off we had a great laugh about it. saturday night's events and pictures to come..

in the airport

about to get on the plane and head home for a few days for my high school reunion. jesus fuck it's been ten years. if i'm the only hot, single, gay person there i'll be very disappointed.

stories and pictures to come..

lie in the grass, look through the leaves

optimism please

okay, we knew it was going to happen. we should not be surprised. we knew the republicans would have the upper hand by having their convention after ours. we knew they would have ample time to devise perfect ways to answer every issue brought up at the dems convention.

the attitude here in nyc is destroying me. i've had three friends now say 'bush is gonna win in a landslide.' oh they knew what they were doing by invading the city, by blocking off the streets, by delaying trains, busses, traffic, by making their presence felt in every corner of the grid.

i was walking to the subway last night and realized that the republicans are everywhere. all the women look like senator's wives, they all have this same weirdly cropped haircut with their primary color blazers and whatnots and their convention passes around their necks and the men are straight out of the 1950's with their gray hair parted to the side and their tailored suits and their goddamn positive hand shaking dog petting baby kissing attitudes. i walked by a nice republican couple trying to get a cab. they seemed so chipper. i wanted to just go up to them, all smiles, get their names, shake their hands and very politely tell them 'i'm sure you're having a very nice time in your protected square of the city, but you should know that 4/5ths of us despise your presence here myself included so would you please kindly get your goddamned privledged white asses out our city thank you very much.'

but i'm not that confrontational. my only form of protest was by taking pictures of the queensborough bridge with the imagined objective of finding the best place to put the bombs. though the pics still came out a little artsy.

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  • 5: the man of genius

  • 4: blunders & absurdities

  • 3: conservative after dinner

  • 2: what lies below

  • 1: where there is no path

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