Friday, October 26, 2007

And I always claimed to be a geek.

Your Score: Pure Nerd

52 % Nerd, 43% Geek, 21% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


Also, you might want to check out some of my other tests if you're interested in any of the following:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Professional Wrestling

Love & Sexuality


Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I aim to misbehave.

Above: Washington State Troopers were named the "best dressed State law enforcement agency" by the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors. I'll consider doing my own personal investigation into this question. I am quite impressed that the puppy gets his own uniform!

I caught this thanks to the magnificently-named Keckler.

Uniforms are especially on my mind because NYboL's gear party last Saturday was uniform-themed and particularly successful, in my humble opinion. MAUL made quite a splash with their entrance in force. It looked like the bar was being raided! At some point I was handcuffed for some infraction. I vowed to commit greater crimes next time. Later, while we were getting some fresh air on the sidewalk, three lovely old tourist ladies asked to have their photo taken with the dashing officers. Fantastic. Thanks to all who attended.

Next month's theme is rubber. Mark your calendars for November 17th.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

R.I.P. Natasha LaBelle

Always big, but never too much a diva to chase the mice.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Everything's up to date.

I'm very homesick today. I don't know why.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I haven't posted much lately because my life has been crazy.

Last week I was busy every evening with something I had to do, and while much of it was fun stuff like the Tori concert, it's still exhausting not having any down time. The weekend was also spent running around taking care of things, and then was topped off with an early Sunday, because I had to be at church to serve at the altar at both the 10:00am and 11:00am services.

I really, really enjoy being an altar server at church, but by Sunday afternoon I could feel myself wearing down. I wasn't feeling well at all by the evening, and I ended up being sick through Tuesday. I'm still getting my strength back today.

Then work has also been busy, topped off with a lost client last night. And when I say "lost" I literally mean lost--he didn't show for an appointment and we couldn't find him. He's an 85 year old man, so it was a big concern. This morning we finally heard from him and learned that he had blacked out on his way to our office, only waking up much later and finding himself inexplicably in Midtown. As bad as that sounds, it could have gone much worse, so it was a relief to hear that he was home and safe. I had to go down to his place this morning to take care of various paperwork to resolve his matter. Apparently he has no family, and his living conditions are so sad that I'm about to cry while writing this. It's squalor, really, right in the middle of the largest city in the most advanced country on this planet. Not because he has no money--he appears to have plenty--he simply has no one who cares about him. Being in his apartment this morning was deeply disturbing to me. I have a lot to think about.

I have never felt so much like a spoiled, selfish American brat. What are these things that matter to me, the silliness that I blog about? Rope light bondage and exotic pipe organs seem so irrelevant when I'm forced to look at the unmet needs of fellow humans. How is it that I can ignore these things so completely for 99% of my life? How long will this feeling last before I go back to ignoring that which violates my sense of what is proper in the world? I can feel my imaginary world full of acceptable right angles--it's just around the corner, ready to reassert itself at any moment. Should I fight it off? Can I fight it off?

Is this a mid-life crisis? I thought I had at least another ten years before I had to worry about one of those. Oy vay.

So that's me, checking in. When this ride slows a bit, hopefully I'll have more stories to share.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tonight, tonight.

Above: the five concept characters from Tori Amos's latest release, American Doll Posse. From left to right we have Santa, Clyde, Isabel, Tori, and Pip. One day I'll figure out why Tori is holding a chicken.

Thank god it's Friday.

Tonight Matti and I are going to see Tori at the Madison Square Garden Theater. We have pretty good seats, if I'm not mistaken. We're in the second balcony, but only a row or two back from the front, which should be good. We were online the instant tickets went on sale, but with all the brokers lately, it's almost impossible to get good seats through the normal routes.

I first saw Tori live on June 13, 2006, during her Dew Drop Inn tour, subsequent to the release of Boys for Pele. She played Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, a dinky little venue where area Catholic high schools also had their graduations. She sat alone with her piano, harpsichord, and organs, and she was fantastic.

Over the years I've seen her a couple more times, last with Scott in Kansas City, during the Scarlet's Walk tour.

Describing what Tori's music has meant to me over the years would be very difficult. I am intimately familiar with her first three albums. In fact, I'd venture to say that they contain the most influential music on my late adolescence and early adult life.

Her influence in my life has waned over the years, as she moved towards electronics and mainstream themes. Still, she produces quality work that I'm very happy to hear interspersed with her more classic material.

And I've never been to the Garden before!

All that remains to be seen is which of the five concept characters from the latest album will open the show tonight. Matti and I are hopeful we'll get Santa. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Honey, I'm taking up scuba diving.

Sometimes I wonder why I can't get more boys interested in going to church with me. All the kinkiest people are at church!

Take, for instance, the minister of Montgomery, Alabama's Thorington Road Baptist Church. Rev. Aldridge was found dead, alone in his home, hogtied, dressed in two wetsuits, a rubber mask, rubber gloves and socks, with many leather and rubber belts and straps holding it all together, and all topped off with a dildo up his butt.

Of course there's no way to be sure, but I suspect that this poor man would still be alive if he had an accepting support structure around him. He managed to have some incredibly elaborate gear sex alone (how does one hogtie oneself?!?!), and it's staggering to think what he might have come up with if he had the chance to explore his kink with another like-minded man or woman. At least with someone else in the room he may not have strangled himself!

Today is National Coming out Day. It will pass quietly for me, as it does every year, because I have very few closets left. I'm lucky to live in NYC, where being different is pedestrian and conformity can be outrageous. However, for those who endure fearful lives in places like Alabama, having visible peers could make all the difference. I salute all the high-profile individuals who are brave enough to come out and live directly in the glare of today's media spotlight.

Visit Towleroad for lots of cool videos and coverage.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

12 Steps to Godliness

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

Blade Runner: The Final Cut

Above: Movie poster for Blade Runner, circa 1982.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut
Clearview Ziegfeld Theater
54th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues
Monday, October 15th, 8:30pm

Click this link to buy tickets.

Be sure to change the date to the 15th before you purchase.

This is an open invitation to join me in viewing this sci-fi classic. This version is a complete remastering and final cut by Ridley Scott. It is only playing in NYC and LA through October 18, so this will be your only chance to see it on the big screen.

I'm meeting my crew in the plaza in front of the theater at 8:00pm. We'll have plenty of time to hobnob, get snacks, and find good seats. I suggest buying tickets in advance, as this limited screening may be very popular.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

From Hell's heart, I stab at thee.

Above: screen shot from a Family Guy episode which featured a Wrath of Khan scene.

Last Friday afternoon I was browsing the movie listings when I noticed that Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan was screening at midnight. What??? Hello??? Wrath of Khan???

I'd seen listings for Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight, as well as a couple of other cult classics. But who ever heard of Wrath of Khan being included in that category of weird movies people will come out to see late at night? After contemplating this weirdness for about sixty seconds, I decided I could not miss it.

I sent out a call for victims, but it was last minute so not many could go. Matticakes and I headed down together after partaking of some herbal recreation. We fueled up with candy, popcorn, and soda at the theater.

From the credits it was clear that this was going to be a fun ride. All the actor names came up in classic 1980s style before any of the action began. The theater cheered for their favorites and you wouldn't believe how many loved George Takei!

It had been quite some time since I last saw this film. I completely forgot how campy it is! The audience laughed, quoted lines, and generally had a fun time. It wasn't quite the production that Rocky Horror would be, but it was still quite a party.

All in all, it was another great "only in NYC" evening.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Delicately Presbyterian.

Above: beauty shots of the new Casavant pipe organ at Brick Church.

Last night I heard Stephen Tharp play a lovely recital on the above instrument. This was my second experience with the instrument and my fourth Tharp recital. Overall, I think the Casavant is an incredibly interesting instrument that never quite becomes great, and Tharp is an fantastic recitalist and virtuoso.

First of all, Tharp is amazing. As this is the fourth recital of his I've heard in NYC over the past three years, I think I have a fair sampling of what he can do. He was actually the first organist I heard in recital in NYC, and that was on my first trip to St. Mary's, so I owe some of my recent elevated infatuation with both pipe organs and St. Mary's to him. His playing is spectacular. As another attendee aptly stated, he is capable of great flash for the grandiose pieces, as well as quiet beauty for the more serene moods. At times I could hardly believe how fast his fingers were moving. The Dupré was especially impressive--he laid into the 2nd Symphony at a breathtaking pace and he never let up through all three movements. The first movement was especially fun for me, as I have a recording of it I rather enjoy, and hearing it live for the first time played so very well was really special. Tharp had an entirely different take on the piece, one which I liked a lot better than the recording. I was on the edge of my seat.

The Casavant is a peculiar instrument. It's very, very good, make no mistake about that. It is unique in that it was built as a virtual copy of a Cavaillé-Coll French Symphonic instrument of the 19th Century. Modern materials were used, of course, but a vast number of too-technical-for-me details were created in the historic fashion, so the instrument probably comes close as any American pipe organ to accurately reproducing the sound for which the great French Symphonic composers wrote their music. This no-compromise approach to organ building is unique in the U.S., as by far most instruments are built here to adequately handle all of the major periods of pipe organ repertoire, rather than focusing on any one. The "plays everything" sound is, simply put, the origin of the American Classic school of organ building.

I appreciate the great effort and care that was devoted to creating this instrument, and I readily hail it as a success in reaching its goal. However, it's not really my favorite sound for pipe organs.

I think its strengths are its dynamic range and variety of colors in its solo stops. The organ can play so beautifully at nearly-inaudible volumes that I found myself sitting forward in my seat, straining to hear the teasing, subtle, precious sounds. From that low level it grows smoothly and steadily up to fortissimo, without a hint of any abrupt rank additions. Also, at times the solo stops sang out with incredibly interesting and colorful sounds. Unlike the Dobson at the Kimmel Center, I really felt the variety of options available in a 118 rank instrument, and every new rank presented a new idea.

The weaknesses for me came with the full organ sound. The organ seems weighted toward the high end of its range, without much gravitas in the bass. I know it has a full compliment of 32' and 16' stops, and I could certainly hear them played, but they never shook my insides. I want to feel the pew vibrating with the power of the final big chord. Perhaps the problem arises because the two sections of the organ reside on either side of the choir/altar area, and speak across that narrow space to each other, rather than directly out into the sanctuary. The result is a subtle difference which may not even be measurable in terms of volume, yet significantly affects the sound. Imagine a person singing a song just around a corner from where you are listening. You'll probably hear them without any trouble, but at least half of the sound will be the result of reflections, rather than hearing it directly, and the difference will stand out. The result is a somewhat muddy sound which kept me from hearing much of the quick keyboard work Mr. Tharp was doing, along with the lack of bass presence.

All in all, while it's easy to find issues with this pipe organ, it is still a gorgeous, complex, and unique instrument which I thoroughly enjoy hearing. Stephen Tharp brought out the best in it, without a doubt.

It was truly a lovely way to spend an evening, and well worth the trek to the stodgy Upper East Side. Why do I love scaring all the delicate Presbyterian ladies into clutching their pearls? I suppose I could wear my work drag and avoid all that, but it's really not me, so they just have to put up with my skinny black jeans and gold-skulled Vans. Oy, I'm a bad person.