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Showing posts from October, 2010

How to Tell When People on Facebook Want to Have Sex With You

Facebook has changed the way we live.  It's altered communication and made it possible for people to connect in ways never thought possible until now.

It has also broken ground in one particular area:

Letting people know you want to have sex with them.

Of course, directness is still not something people exercise a lot of on Facebook, so it can be difficult to tell when somebody wants to have sex with you.

That's why I've come up with this guide for people who think other people might be trying to sleep with them, but aren't entirely sure.

Example:  "Great seeing you yesterday!  We should hang out soon!"

Code for--Yesterday I saw you and remembered how much I want to have sex with you.  We should hang out soon so I can have sex with you.  That would be awesome.

Example:  "You suck at everything.  Just thought you should know."

Code for--I'm doing that thing kids do on the playground where I pretend not to like you when really we both know I want …

The Kid Who Hated to Trick or Treat

When I was a kid, I hated going trick or treating.

My father could never understand why every Halloween, I would turn into a little old man--begging to stay home and watch television with the lights off instead of having to put on a costume and go door to door for candy.

"Every kid loves to trick or treat," he would say, and like many fathers, he could make a sweeping generalization sound like an emperor's edict.

"But I don't."

I should probably mention that I loved watching televison as a kid, and more than anything, I loved television specials.

Every year around Christmas time, I kept a list of holiday specials I HAD to watch before the big day, otherwise my holiday was ruined.

One year I forgot to watch "Frosty Returns," and it was as if the Grinch had come down the chimney and taken all my gifts.

But back to Halloween--

During the holiday season, it's easy to catch all your favorite specials, but most of the really good Halloween specials …

Should Journalists Have Opinions?

This Saturday, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will be joining forces in Washington DC at the Rally to Restore Sanity, but not everyone will be in attendance.

Today's news reported that NPR has banned any of its employees from attending the rally.  Other news organizations are allowing their employees to attend the rally, but not participate in any of the events, sign petitions, or donate money.

NPR responded by saying that they're instituting the ban to preserve their journalistic neutrality.  Some journalists are countering by saying that it's no longer realistic to expect that journalists not have a bias in the age of blogging and pundits clogging up the airwaves.

Even as I was typing out the title for this piece, I thought to myself--What am I saying?  Of course journalists have opinions, and of course they should be able to.  It's just a question of how good they are at hiding those opinions.

Nowadays, is there even a point?

Everybody knows which way the major new…

He Never Closed His Eyes

"They're coming."

He used to whisper it outside my door.  I'd hear footsteps coming down the hallway, then silence, then a single fingernail sliding down until it hit the doorknob.

The knob would rattle, but not open, and I would hear him say it.

"They're coming."

Then he would take off, and the worst part was, that was when I had open the door and follow after him.

. . . . .

My brother started having night terrors when he was six.  My mother had a history of sleep walking, but she would always just walk out of her bedroom, pause in the hallway, and then go back to bed.  That was not the case with my brother.

He would sit up in bed, eyes wide open, and stare straight ahead as if a murderer were inches away from his face.

My youngest brother would report this back to us, as he was the one who had the misfortune of sharing a room with David.

The first few times, it only got that far.  David would sit up in bed, stare, breathe heavily, look terrified, and …

Respect for the Office

As the fiasco involving Democratic candidate Frank Caprio and his choice phrase "Shove it" continues to make news across the nation, I find another phrase my liberal friends are using a little bit...hypocritical.

I hate to contribute to the in-fighting already going on, but more than once today I've heard Caprio criticized for not having "respect for the office of the President."

That's not exactly the terminology I would use if I were to complain about Caprio's inappropriate remark to President Obama, if only because during the Bush years, I can't think of one of my fellow liberals who didn't call our President at least one or two choice words.

I, for one, used to refer to him as Huckleberry Hound, which isn't exactly showing respect for his office.

Before Caprio's remark, I didn't like him.  He came across as uneducated and blustery, and his remark to President Obama only solidified that.  Still, I wouldn't attack him for disre…

The President Can Shove It

The little state I live in is making big news today due to a rare case of publicized fighting within the Democrat party.

President Obama is stopping in Woonsocket, Rhode Island today, but his agenda does NOT include endorsing Frank Caprio, a local Democrat and candidate for Governor.

Caprio responded by telling the President to "take his endorsement and shove it."

As a Rhode Islander, here's how I feel about the situation:

Caprio, as you can probably tell, is perhaps one of the worst orators I have ever seen run for political office in my state.  He's running against Lincoln Chafee, who has far more experience and eloquence.  Chafee was ousted during the last election when the idea was to purge all Republicansm, and now he's running as an Independent.

Chafee supported Obama in the last election, and now people are accusing the President of supporting his friends over his party.

Here's a radical idea:  Maybe he's exercising his right as an American …

Can You Have a Reading Palate?

I've been working at a library for the past nine years.  Recently, I was promoted and I am now in charge of purchasing books for the fiction collection.

Up until now, our fiction collection hasn't been very diverse.  The majority of our patrons read mainstream literature like Nora Roberts and Jodi Picoult, but not much else.

When I started in my new position, the first thing I wanted to do was try to expand the literary horizons of the people coming into the library.

Now I'm not so sure it's possible.

Many of the older readers have expressed that they like the authors they already know--even though writers like James Patterson don't even write any of their books as much as they outline them and have someone else take over after that.

Nobody seems all that eager to start taking on new and more challenging work by more contemporary authors.

As one woman said, "I don't like to think when I read."

I didn't even try to digest that statement.

Speaking o…

Is Christianity to Blame for Bullying?

In the past few weeks, as news of gay teenagers committing suicide has taken over the media, one particular group has been feeling singled out:  Christians.

I'll admit that I've been vocal that I believe part of the problem with bullying is that there is a bias built into Christianity regarding homosexuality.  I will say, however, that as a gay man, I don't blame Christianity for bullying.

The fact is that Christianity, like many religions, have beliefs based in compassion.  Unfortunately, many people within their religion commit discriminatory actions that they attribute to their beliefs, when really they're completely unsupported.

The religious groups you see on the news shouting that "fags will burn in Hell" are fringe groups.  They're extremists.  They don't speak for the larger religion.

I'm not seeking to let anybody off the hook here, but when I saw that some people were saying that "Christians have blood on their hands," I felt I…

GQ Takes Some Heat for a Steamy Glee Shoot

GQ magazine is taking some heat for putting some of the cast members from Glee on their cover in, shall we say, risque clothing?

Actresses Lea Michele and Dianna Agron pose on the cover with fellow castmate Cory Monteith, but its Michele and Agron who are causing the stir with their sultry expressions and skimpy clothing.

The heat is coming from the Parents Television Council. They're concerned that a show about teenagers shouldn't take those same teenage characters and plaster them on a magazine in sexy outfits.

Fox has responded with a pretty good argument in my book:

They're not teenagers in real life, duh.

Now, to be fair, I can see what the PTC is upset about. This is a show with teenagers in it, and as such, it is a little disturbing to see these actors pumping up the sex appeal. And GQ is definitely using the naughty schoolgirl approach to help the magazines fly off the shelves.

That being said, they're actors. Should they be forced to lock away their sexual…

Next Fall...Fell Short

I ordered the manuscript copy of "Next Fall" from Dramatists, which is the more expensive option if you want to read the script right away--which I did.

From what I'd heard and the response it received, it seemed like the sort of play I'd love to produce one day, and since I haven't heard about anybody else in Rhode Island interested in doing it, I figured I could wait for the rights to be available and then go ahead with it.

Then I read the script.

And I was...disappointed.

For one thing, I didn't find the play to be all that original, nor did I find its approach to its subject to be original. A self-hating gay man and the partner trying to change him has been done many, many times. Plus, it's been done better.

The play itself I found to be incredibly repetitive. The writing was smart, at times, but overall I just found that the whole thing could have been a one-act and been just as effective.

What bothered me most about the play, however, was the mes…

Remember NC-17?

Blue Valentine, a new film starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, is stirring up a lot of attention by being the first notable film in awhile to receive and accept an NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Review Board.

To be honest, I was shocked when I heard about the film's rating, mainly because I wasn't aware there still was an NC-17 rating.

After all, if you watch cable television--even on channels like AMC and FX--there isn't a lot you're not exposed to anymore.

When googling the movie to find out what brought on the dreaded rating formerly known as "X," it's interesting to learn that the scene in question is one where a married couple (Gosling and Williams) check into a hotel for the night to try and revitalize their marriage only to have a sexual encounter that starts out being more of an assault until Williams' character gives in to her husband's advances at which point the scene simply becomes, as more than one reviewer put it, &quo…

Matthew Shepard: Twelve Years Later

Today marks the anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death, five days after he was beaten and left to die tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming.

Since Shepard's death, he's become something of an icon. He's become a martyr, a poster child, a rallying cry, the subject of numerous movies and books, and a significant milestone in the gay rights movement.

Yet today, I look at that old black and white photo of Matthew Shepard--the one that's used most often and appears on his Wikipedia page, and my first thought is--

Wow, he was five years younger when he died than I am now.

He was a kid.

Today, he'd be thirty-four years old if he were alive. But what about the rest of us who are still here? Where are we?

It seems sadly appropriate to look back on Shepard's death during a month when multiple gay men have taken their own lives because of discrimination and bullying.

It would make any practical person to argue that nothing's changed.

I'd like…

Music Manipulation

There's a fantastic article on CNN today about people who are sick of hearing Train's "Hey Soul Sister" used for commercials and advertisements.

Seeing that article was a relief to me, because I was starting to think I was just being grumpy. When I saw the movie trailer for "Life as We Know It," the new Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel movie, and heard the opening notes of that overplayed, light rock dynamo start to play, I instantly decided not to see the movie.

I get very uptight about music being used to manipulate people. I realize it's not exactly a new trend, but lately, advertisers aren't even being all that creative when it comes to which music they choose to sell their product.

Sometimes there's absolutely no connection between the song and what they're advertising.

The movie trailer for "Shopaholic" featured Rhianna's "Disturbia," selectively cutting out bits of lyrics and just using the music to the choru…

The Nobel Prize for Literature: My Suggestions

It's been seventeen years since Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature, making her the last American to receive the prestigious honor.

The first American to win the award was Sinclair Lewis in 1930, and since then there have been eleven winners from the United States (only two of them women, Morrison and Pearl S. Buck).

Eleven honorees out of the one hundred and seven laureates that have been christened since 1901 isn't such a bad number, but today's naming of Peru's Mario Vargas Llosa as the latest addition to the acclaimed group of writers got me thinking--

Are there any Americans that should be considered for the prize?

Jonathan Franzen has been in the news a lot lately for his massive and lauded novel Freedom. With this book and his last, The Corrections, he has been catapaulted into the top tier of American literature. Still, you wouldn't think to toss around the name of someone so young when mentioning such an esteemed prize, but one of the interest…

My Offline Friend

I have a friend who isn't online.

"I'm not online!" she proudly declares, quite often.

She gets patted on the back for it by just about everyone. After all, who doesn't want to celebrate a person who has resisted technology?

Still, I've been getting the feeling that there are ulterior motives for why she has decided to forgo joining the rest of civilization.

I think it's because it allows her to behave badly.

Allow me to explain.

Every time my friend forgets a birthday, she blames the fact that she's not online.

"Oh, it was your birthday? I'm sorry. I'm not on Facebook or anything."

Inevitably, the person she's slighted says, "Ohhh, okay. No big deal then."

The instant forgiveness comes because Facebook is the way most of know about anything anymore, including birthdays.

What people seem to forget is that it was expected that you remember the birthdays of your friends and family BEFORE Facebook existed.

"I neve…

The Social Network: Is This My Generation?

There are many jaw-dropping moments in The Social Network, the story of Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook. For me, however, the lightbulb moment came early on in the movie during a scene that most probably wouldn't call pivotal.

Zuckerberg, after having just launched Facebook (known early on as The Facebook) on the Harvard campus, goes up to his ex-girlfriend at a restaurant expecting some recognition for the buzzworthy creation he has just brought into the world.

Instead, he gets a verbal lashing from the girl because of things he posted about her online. She informs him that not every thought that stumbles through his head is worth being put on the Internet, and that whatever is put there isn't "written in pencil, but in ink."

There are times when the screenplay for The Social Network, expertly written by Aaron Sorkin and brilliantly brought to life by director David Fincher, comes across as a slap in the face to people of my generation--or perhaps, a …

The Rutgers Suicide: An Isolated Incident

I felt compelled to write this, because I saw a Facebook group advocating charging the students that turned on a webcam broadcasting another student having sex with another man. The incident resulted in the closeted student committing suicide, and while nobody would argue that this is a sad situation, I think we need to take a step back and have a little perspective here.

For one thing, I don't think this situation should be grouped into the other reports of teen suicides coming out lately. Those teens were in high school, they were out of the closet, and they were bullied for being gay. This student was in college. He was an adult. If he was still living a double life at this point, then he must have been aware that he was playing with fire. It's a sad situation that involves sexuality, but that doesn't automatically tie it into the other cases we've heard about recently.

The Rutgers incident is one where people made poor choices, and it resulted in the death of…