Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

I hadn't really participated in Halloween in years. I remember that I went to a haunted house in SoHo last year with Katherine and Claudia, but we weren't dressed up. I think the last time I had dressed up was when I was a freshman in college. I thought that this year was going to be like all the rest, but Antonio's friends were all dressing up so we had to also. We were running around yesterday afternoon to find the perfect soldier costumes. It was surprisingly easy! We found tight, camo pants at an army supply store. The store was crazy! You would think that it was Niemen Marcus by the way the European tourists were tying things on. And a lot of the staff were trying to advise us on what we needed. I'm thinking, "Um. We're not really going to war. We're going to a gay club! I think whatever you have will be fine." I got shirts and boots in Harlem and spent way too much! Lesson learned - it's a bad idea to max out a credit card for a pair of boots you'll wear once.

Anyway, our costumes looked amazing so it was all worth it! Juan was dressed as an old school football player and Suzanna was Charlie Chaplin. There was a little confusion about her costume. A lot of people thought she was Hitler. Yeah, she was basically Pam from the Office when she dressed as Chaplin / Hitler. But Suzanna had the cane and walk down perfectly, so I think most people figured it out. Joey and Hannah were pirates and Hannah really went all out. We didn't want to take away from the costume so we didn't wear jackets, just pants and tank tops

We had a really good time! We hung out at a bar in the East Village, then went to a Ukrainian diner because we were all starving and then we finished the night at Splash! Here's a hint - dancing and grinding in army pants and combat boots is exhausting. Next year I'm going bootie shorts and shoes, that's it! It was funny because it was so hot inside and yet freezing outside.

The best part of the night was all the comments we got. We could overhear people talking about how cute we were and how they loved our costumes. I had really wanted to do the soldier thing to bring a little political awareness to the night. I may not go trick-or-treating anymore (way too many calories), but last night was definitely a Halloween treat!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Wisteria Lane

On this season of Desperate Housewives, Mike and Susan have had to move out of their beautiful house on Wisteria lane because they couldn't afford it. Now, they are living in a small apartment nearby while they save up enough money to move back. Originally, I didn't like that storyline. Now, that storyline is my life.

It's clear that Spencer and I can't live together. My plan was to find a cute, little studio on the Upper East Side and live alone. That plan pretty much feel through when I saw the type of apartment I could afford - a tiny, little crack house on 125th Street. Michele suggested that I move back in with her and Kasey while I looked for a place, paid off my massive credit card bills, and saved some money. To say that I didn't like the idea would be an understatement.

The thought of leaving New York, the gym, Antonio, my life was just too much. I instantly dismissed the idea. But then I thought about it again and I began to realize that it's the smartest option. I'm still going to be working in the city and going to the gym after work. I'll still be able to see Antonio on weekends and spend the nights there with him. The only thing that is going to change is where I sleep at night. With about $6600 in credit card debt, it'd be impossible (or nearly impossible) for me to dig my way out while putting almost my entire paycheck towards other bills. I'd be living paycheck to paycheck forever.

So the plan is as follows. Spencer is going to have his new roommate take over the lease, pay me $2000 and I'm going to move back to New Jersey for 3-4 months. It's a temporary set-back. I kinda feel like I failed because I can't do it on my own. But then I also think that sometimes the real failure would be to let pride and foolishness ruin (or at least dampen) a bright future. It's not ideal, but this is going to be breather, little vacation in the country and a fresh start.

By spring, I will be in much better shape and ready to come back home to Manhattan, my Wisteria Lane.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Bigger Move

I distinctly remember thinking that my current apartment would be where I would stay for the next 2-3 years. I made it about 3 months. It's not quite exactly how it looks like it's going to turn out. The argument with Spencer turned into a vicious, derogatory, one-sided screaming match. While I still believe that I'm right, he is angry that I'm angry with me. I thought that things would get better over time, but tonight was another belittling rant.

I come home from the gym to loud rap and Halo blaring through the living room. I turned my music on loud enough that I can't hear his noise. When I go out to get dinner the screaming begins. He called me a bitch and a faggot and made numerous comments about how me being gay is the reason we don't get along. He kept saying how he thought he was living with a dude. Just because I didn't live in a frat house, get high everyday and sleep with any girl who was drunk enough doesn't mean that I'm not a man. I'm surprised how easily I'm able to let those comments roll off my back. I'm mad, don't get me wrong. But I didn't make me cry or hurt my feelings. Maybe I'm tougher than I thought I was. Maybe learning that is the blessing in disguise. It's funny that through all my time in the South and I'd never experience homophobia and bigotry like I did in my own home (I use that term loosely) with a roommate from Pennsylvania. It's also ironic that he says me being mad about him not doing the dishes, cleaning and having girls in sleep in my bed reveals my true nature. Doesn't having him be my friend for a year and then lashing out with homophobic and demeaning names reveal his true personality?

We're at a stalemate at this point. He wants me to move out and I'd like him to move out. It would be much easier for me to find someone to sublet his room, but I know him and know it's never going to happen. I figure that it'll be easier for me to find my own studio, which is what I really want anyway. Figuring out the financial and logistical details is going to be hell.

I'm currently looking at places in the 100s. I didn't want to go back to East Harlem, but a crack house would be an improvement at this point. I'm seeing a 1BR on 125 and 5th Ave tomorrow. The rent is the same as what I pay right now and it has laundry in the building. I'll pay more because I won't be splitting the bills, but I'll be able to save money here and there. I just want to be on my own - to be free. We'll see what happens next.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What's Eating You?

I've been seeing commercials for E's new documentary series, What's Eating You? for weeks and the anticipation had been building. I somewhat believe that I have an eating disorder. Now, I don't starve myself and I don't intentionally vomit. My problem is the exact opposite. I eat constantly and obsess about losing weight. Gaining weight the goal and anything else is a disaster. I weigh myself each week at work and was frantic this morning when I learned that I've lost (LOST) 5 pounds since the end of September. I go into crisis mode and start eating bag after bag of Doritos, which probably isn't the healthiest way of going about it. Then, I feel guilty! It's a vicious cycle.

I think that I have, at the very least, an unhealthy fear of losing weight and getting fat. I watched the show and totally fit in the girls' tiny shoes. They never felt like they were good enough. They used their weight / disorder to express the emotions they couldn't vocalize with words. They constantly feel too fat and I constantly feel too skinny! Thought it's an issue, I don't think my way of thinking is very serious because I'm always trying to get bigger and better. That's probably a very dysfunctional thought pattern (note to self: flag this entry for future therapist to tackle).

I think that I have the sense to at least realize that my way of thinking is not normal and that I can tell the difference between health and sickness. My fear is for the people that don't. I've never made it a secret that I worry about my sister. If I (a 23-year-old adult) am overly concerned with my body, what can does my 12-year-old sister stand? It doesn't help that the media explodes with images of digitally-altered, stick-thin girls. The expectations may be unrealistic, especially since they come from a Photoshop technician, but does Renee know that? Do I?

I was on iTunes the other day and saw a workout album for kids. This is so part of the problem. We've waged a war on childhood obesity, but how far does the pendulum swing? Of course it's not healthy to eat junk food and play videos games all day, but it's equally unhealthy to be crying on the bathroom floor because you ate a cookie.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I rarely look back on things with regret. I'm one of those people who believes that every person and every event teaches you something that helps you grow. I've always known that I have a temper. I usually don't let people see it. I usually suppress anything I'm angry about until it goes away - a very healthy approach. Not. But, the events of the past few days have really been a mirror for me. I look back and see my actions of the past and really feel terrible.

A brief background. Spencer and I had a huge fight after some strangers slept in my bed. They were his guests and his responsibility. It felt bad, but didn't really think it was a big day. The situation exploded on Sunday morning. I was prepared to not talk until the situation blew over and I calmed down. He launched into a tirade of curses and physical threats. I was shocked and, to be honest, a little afraid. It's weird to see someone completely lose control. We're at a stalemate at the moment.

Anyway. Seeing him scream and get in my face was a real eye-opener. It wasn't until I told Swann or Katherine that I was scared of him that it really sunk in and took me back to my college years. There are few things that I regret with Brian. It was what it was and it's done and I don't regret it. But, I do see how horribly cruel and aggressive I was to him. I remember trying to think of the most hurtful things possible and then being happy when he was speechless and almost in tears. I don't know if I thought that being so painfully honest and harsh would change anything. I think partially it was just an outlet for so much anger, hurt, and frustration. Either way, I see now that it was so unnecessary and damaging.

I know how hurtful and scary it was when Spencer was spewing insults and anger at me and I regret that I did the same to Brian. Now, don't get me wrong. He needed a good proverbial kick in the pants, but he never should have felt afraid of me. I remember him telling me once that he was scared of me when I got mad. I thought it was silly, but I can see now that it was probably true. I am truly sorry for making him feel that way. Now, it's in the past and I'm not going to reach out and apologize. I hope he knows that I was young, immature and upset.

Even though the current situation with Spencer really sucks, I'm almost grateful it happened because I learned something. I realized that my anger can really hurt others. Rather than spouting the most hateful things to be win an argument, it's best to think about what you say and make sure the rage doesn't take over. If you win by insulting, belittling and scaring those closest to you, it’s only a pyrrhic victory.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Meals Without Meat

As I was walking out of Petco on Sunday evening, I saw a large group of people holding signs and showing a DVD. Now you need to understand that demonstrations in Union Square are par for the course. I didn't pay them much attention until I saw the video. They showed a cow being held on a conveyor belt by its feet while a slaughterhouse worker slits its throat. OMG! I was shocked! I also saw workers slam "runt" pigs on concrete floors to kill them, crowd tens of thousands of chickens into cramped cages where they can't even open their wings, and auction off cattle with lesions and tumors to be made into food for humans. I had always heard of PETA and kinda thought they seemed a little crazy. But, I had never really thought about the deplorable conditions of factory farms.

I fully believe that it's alright to slaughter animals to feed people. Some don’t, but I do. I like hamburgers, bacon, and turkey on Thanksgiving. But, the video and demonstrators really got me thinking. It's hard to look at a burger and not see the face of that cow hanging upside down with its blood draining while still conscious. Even if I wanted to still eat it, the images make me lose my appetite.

They handed me two pamphlets - one on vegetarianism and one on veganism. I highly doubt that I could ever be vegan. I think it's a little obsessive to give up all animal byproducts, even though I saw cruelty in regards to hens and dairy cows. Hey! You can't win them all, right? But I think that I may be able to give up meat. The literature also said that people who eat a vegetarian diet have lower cholesterol and risk for certain kinds of cancers. I guess it makes sense. They put so many antibiotics and growth hormones into animals. Why wouldn't they then pass them on to us when we eat them?

I requested a free, starter kit and asked my friend Hannah to give me more information. I will definitively need to make sure that I can get more than enough protein in other forms. My muscles need protein in order to keep growing and getting bigger. I feel sorry for the chickens, but I won't be giving up my physical goals for them. Sorry!

I haven't decided exactly when this new diet will start, but I'm sure I'll do it gradually. Maybe I'll start with just one or two days without meat and see how it works. Trying new things is the only way to grow and learn, so I'm willing to give it a shot.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

City Gays Go Apple Picking

The best part of being a relationship is getting to do all those cute, couple activities with the changing seasons. Now that summer is officially over and the leaves are starting to change colors we decided to go apple picking. We both styled it up with jeans and gray / blue sweaters. Just because we had to go to the country (aka New Jersey), didn't mean we had to look the part. We had such a great time and the scenery was so picturesque.

After we collected what seemed like 50 pounds of apples and made some pit stops to pick up baking supplies, we headed back into the city to make our uber fresh apple pie. We thought it was going to take forever because we thought we had to peel and cut twelve apples. We did six and the pot was so we stopped. We mixed the apples with sugar and spices and cooked them for a few minutes to get that delicious sauce. Then we put it all into the crust.

While we baked the pie, we watched The A-List and ate sushi! It was soooo good! An hour later, the pie was done!!

I was pleasantly surprised! The pie was moist and sweet. The crust was crispy, but not hard. It had a bit too much lemon and orange zest, but it didn't detract from the taste of the apples. I had never baked anything from scratch before, so this was a complete success. It's hard to imagine that just a few hours ago, the apples were on a tree in New Jersey and now they are in a pie in my apartment on the Upper East Side. Antonio and I make such a great team and we're so good together. Today was another day that was utter per-fec-tion as our favorite Rachel Zoe impersonator would say.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Friend of Dorothy

I always look back on people that remain in my life for a long time and try to recall what my impression was when I first met them. The hard about trying to remember is that I never really know who's going to be in my life for the long haul.

Davy is one person that I think is going to be around for a while and someone that I think is going to teach me a lot. He's one of the adoption reps for KittyKind where I volunteer on Sunday evenings. He's about 50, but he's as feisty as anyone I know. I could tell that he and I instantly had one thing in common so I think a friendship was inevitable. Now when I go to KittyKind, it's really more like hanging out with friends and volunteering.

He's so funny, but I also think he's got a lot to teach me. I really think it'd be good to have a mentor (in the least formal sense of the word). He's a huge fan of Judy Garland, who famously played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She is someone who I'm slowly becoming to appreciate and love. He's lent me books, DVDs, and CDs to better acquaint myself with her and other Broadway legends. The more I learn about Judy, the more I realize that the stories of Britney and Lindsay are far from original.

I think there is so much gay history that I don't know. I have so much to learn. I think it's going to be great to have an older friend who's lived and can really give me advice.

Monday, October 4, 2010

All Natural

I hate to admit when I'm wrong. I'm rarely wrong, so I rarely have to it. But, this may be one time that I have to just come clean. I recently started taking Jack3d - a pre-workout supplement designed to increase energy and strength during exercising. Spencer and I decided to switch our supplements as our NoXplode seemed to be losing its kick. At the very least, my body had gotten used to the supplement so I wasn't getting the same effect.

At first, I loved the Jack3d! I remember working without my iPod and thinking, "I feeling amazing." I remember thinking this using my Lora accent. I felt like I could lift much more weight that I had before - and I did. But then I took it on Friday and I remember having the worst...stomach pain. We'll leave it at that. Try hanging out with your boyfriend when you feel like you're dying. On Saturday, I took the day off from the gym and I remember feeling fine. I went back to gym yesterday, took Jack3d before, and remember feeling so sick later that afternoon. I learned a very important lesson - no one uses the bathroom at Barnes and Noble unless they don't feel well.

I talked with Jimmy yesterday after we had both finished working out. He's a great guy! He wants to give me some new workouts so that I don't plateau and we're doing a group session next Saturday morning. He had mentioned that he isn't taking any supplements right now - no protein powder, no energy powder. That got me thinking. Maybe it'll be good to take about two weeks and just go natural. I haven't been taking protein (more so because I don't have the money) for the past two weeks. I think I'm going to take another two weeks off from protein and completely stop the Jack3d and see how my workouts go.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Social networking is a part of daily life for almost everyone. Grindr is an interesting new social networking tool. It's takes simple instant messaging and combines with GPS to create the ultimate hook-up tool. The program is designed for gay men to post pictures of themselves and see pictures of other uses near them. Imagine - seeing pictures of all guys just a few blocks away that want casual sex. It's both a marvel and despicable use of technology.

Now, I don't need nor do I want Grindr! I am so in love with Antonio and would never use my iPhone to find sex partners. But I thought I'd just see what all the fuss was about. From the minute I created my profile and upload my "after" picture, people were hitting me up. Mostly I'd get simple hellos or compliments about my body. After a few graphic messages, I realized that I didn't feel comfortable having this kind of app on my phone. It's so skeezy!

But, I got thinking about how addicting it was and flattering the compliments felt. Guys would tell me how they thought I was. I actually did have a brief conversation with one person. It was nothing but a very generic conversation. When he asked if I wanted to come over for sex, I told him that I had a boyfriend and wasn't interested. You know what his response was? He said, "Well, if you ever want to get fucked, just let me know." Um. Gross. But it also made me feel good. Why do random comments from perfect strangers make me feel good about myself?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Working On My Fitness (Revisited)

In August 2009 I made the decision to get back to the gym. I wanted to be serious and committed, which were two things I wasn't in college. College was a mess when it came to fitness. I didn't really know what I was doing and my routines may have actually worked against the goals I had / have.

But from September 2009 to June 2010, I had an amazing trainer. Jimmy taught me what I needed to know, pushed me further than I thought I could go and made me nauseous on a regular basis (in a hurts-so-good kind of way). I'll be indebted to him for the life-changing experience he gave me.

After Spencer and I moved to 85th street I knew I would be able to afford training with Jimmy. So for the past three months I've been working out solo. I actually really enjoy it. I can put my iPod on and just have a great time. I like having my own schedules, routines, and playlists. But it's always good to still see Jimmy from time to time.

He asked me to take before and after pictures. The before picture was actually the after shot from the end of our first three months of training together. I finally took the after picture for him so he can add it to his portfolio. I was shocked at how good it turned out.

Let's see what I can accomplish in the next twelve months. My goal is to gain 12 pounds for a goal weight of 180.