As a kid, I remember jamming out to Kool and the Gang and laughing at my mother for not knowing who they were. I’d make fun of her whenever she’d break out her record player and put old Beatles records on. Little did I know that Karma would soon have her dirty way with me.
If you’re in your twenties and you think that you’re still young, then try going to a Fall Out Boy concert. One look at the people who were waiting in line to get in and I suddenly felt like I needed hip replacement. I was quite possibly the oldest fan there, but I held my head up proudly and stuck through the harrowing experience. I’ve put together a list of things to remember for anyone my age who decides to attend a similar event:
· Keep your strength up.
It’s important to fulfill your nutritional requirements during any all-day event, whether it’s a sci-fi convention, a gay hotel orgy, or a Fall Out Boy concert (which, eerily enough, all seem to draw the same type of crowd). Power bars are the food of choice for Trekkies, but the gel packets that marathon runners use for races are also convenient. The last thing you want is to contend with a hypoglycemic-like collapse in the middle of a mosh pit.
· Don’t make eye contact with the other fans and definitely do not engage them in conversation.
It may be tempting to rag on the horrifying fashions worn by the tweens who attend such concerts, but it’s best to keep your eyes down. If you stare at them for more than a second, you’d be frozen. You’d stand there, staring at them, wondering how they ever thought that wearing flannel indoors was hip. You’d look at their makeup and wonder how all of that eyeliner managed to stick to their skin without clumping off. Before you know it, an hour will have passed.
And don’t even think about making conversation with them. Not only will they give you their life story, but they’ll make references to things that you will know nothing about. By the end of the conversation, they will have added you as a friend on facebook and sent you their results to the “Which Pirates of the Caribbean character are you?” quiz.
· Don’t wear trendy white shoes.
I’ve never understood the draw of wearing nice shoes out at the bars because everyone else is too concerned about their own shoes and they’re probably too drunk to care about anyone anyway. I really don’t see why people would wear nice shoes at a concert that didn’t have a conductor in it. I made the mistake of wearing my new white Tsubos to this concert and now they’re my new gray Tsubos because I got stepped on so much.
· Be prepared to bend over at a moment’s notice.
I’m not being nasty. There’s actually a very good scientific explanation to this tip. Everyone knows that tall objects topple over, while an object of the same mass but different height will not budge as easily. When the crowd starts to push when they see something they like, you can bet that you’ll be on the floor faster than Annelle looking for her contact lens at the Christmas fair. If you bend your knees and lean forward, you’ll shift your center of gravity and you won’t fall over. You might even get some jollies from the occasional crotch that rubs up in your goodies. Ok, I was being nasty.
· You do weigh more than a fourteen year old white girl.
Pete Wentz made a cameo during Hey Monday’s set and I felt a bony arm come across my chest. There was a skinny white girl attached to that bony arm and she almost pushed me over. I then realized that I was bigger than her, so I grabbed her wrist, flung it away from me, and pushed her away. I also called her a “betch” and flipped my imaginary long blond hair out of my face.
· Bring nose plugs.
Forget the ear plugs. They may protect your ears from the loud music, but they do absolutely nothing to block out the piercing screams of misguided fan girls who think that Pete Wentz is playing his guitar to them and no one else.
Nose plugs, on the other hand, mean the difference between enjoying the environment and holding back the power bar or gel pack you should have eaten in the beginning like I suggested.
· You can still have a good time even if you’d never heard of the opening bands.
There’s nothing worse than realizing that you’re an old geezer at age 29. I’d never heard of Hey Monday, Metro Station, All Time Low, or Cobra Starship, yet everyone around me knew every word to every song. The best thing you can do in this situation if you’re an old gay man like me is to squint your eyes and pretend that the band members are attractive. This was easy for these bands because all the guys were fucking hot. Then all you have to do is smile and nod your head like you’re saying “yes” to them asking if you want to give them a hand job in the bathroom. If you’re a prude, you can just jump up and down to get a better look at the bulges in their tight black jeans. Either way, you’ll look like you’re into the music even though you don’t know what the fuck is going on.
It’s three hours into the concert. Your feet hurt. You’re tired. You’re hungry. Your nose is burning from the putrid stench of unwashed teenage armpit. It’s easy to just call it quits and go home. What do you do? During moments of despair, people often look to Jesus as their source of comfort. I found my own personal saviors in the hot daddies who took their daughters to the concert to protect them from devious young men.
The important thing to remember is that you have every right to be there, just like everyone else. Cher said to “follow your bliss,” and you should never feel ashamed of it, even if your bliss is the bliss of every emotionally-unstable teenager in the Chicagoland area.
I still get nervous when I show up to yoga class and some other person is teaching it. My chakras just withhold all of my prana and my bandhas refuse to function.
I was especially leery about attending the Valparaiso Barrister’s Ball with my boyfriend this past weekend. I didn’t know what to expect this year because last year was so vivid and memorable that I never imagined that it could be duplicated. But my fears were put to rest. Things hardly changed from last year and it allowed me to have a truly spectacular evening.
I’m always afraid of dressing like everyone else, and it’s easy to get lost in a sea of similarity whenever you attend a black tie event. Don’t you hate when you show up to a party and someone has on the same outfit? This year was different because I was one of four men who actually wore a black bow tie. Whew!
I was nearly trampled by eager bar-goers last year when they constantly got up to freshen their drinks. This year I chose a seat at my table where I wouldn’t be surrounded by people at other tables. I sat near the wall, which is similar to how I always use a locker at the end of the row whenever I go to the gym because I never get trapped by unsavory people when I do that. It’s a good thing I did that because the same thing happened. This was compounded by the fact that open bar lasted for a limited time. Fortunately, I watched people scramble from the comfort of my wall chair.
Last year, a girl almost threw up on me because she clearly had too much to drink. This year I was able to avoid a similar situation because I heard her girlfriends shushing her and repeatedly saying her name in an attempt to calm her down. As soon as I saw this year’s drunk girl, I immediately dropped what I was doing, threw my hands up in the air, and backed away slowly.
No matter what anyone says, mixing food has the same effect as mixing alcohol. This year I had the opportunity to avoid that fate because the menu was exactly the same. I just said ‘no’ to the lethal baked ziti/mashed potato combination and I never had to ingest an antacid.
The Cha Cha Slide, a favorite at EVERY black tie event, was prominently featured this year. Last year I got stuck doing a similar instructional dance and I looked silly because I was not coordinated enough to follow the commands. It wouldn’t have been bad if I actually HAD done the Cha Cha Slide with everyone else. When you have someone telling you to clap your hands and to stomp your left foot, there is absolutely no way to mess up like there is when you try to do the foxtrot or the regular cha cha at other black tie events.
And of course, there’s nothing like seeing an old friend you haven’t seen in MONTHS. You wonder what other parties they’d been to or how things in their life have been flowing. This year I had the immense pleasure of being reunited with my old friend, the chocolate fountain.
Anyone who knows about Oprah knows that she hates surprises, and it’s safe to say that if Oprah had attended the Barrister’s Ball in 2008 and 2009, she would not be disappointed. I don’t care what people think. I definitely enjoyed attending this year’s Barrister’s Ball because it was so familiar and comfortable. Kudos!
Knowing that “Jerry” wouldn’t be receptive to the usual bits of sage advice that people offer against questions like that (and because I like to hear the sound of my own voice), I decided to tell him a delightfully creepy story about non-Filipinos who love Filipinos…
A long time ago, when I was a young and naïve lad with supple skin and a 29 inch waist, I marched in an independent winterguard. For those of you who don’t know, winterguard is that thing where girls, gay boys, and gay boys who swear that they’re straight but end up getting caught having sex with other boys in utility closets at the University of Dayton Arena, spin flags in routines set to music.
To defray the costly expense of lodging during away trips, most out-of-town guard members stayed with in-town guard members and their families. It was a great way to meet new people, save money, and in my case… become slightly traumatized.
I stayed with a seemingly nice Christian family of white folks one year. “The Johnsons” were particularly interested in just about everything I had to say, which sat very nicely with me for obvious reasons. During the car ride, they asked me where I was from, what I did, how long I’d been marching in winterguard, if I was Filipino, if I speak Filipino, if I’d ever been to the Philippines, and if I like Filipino food. I wondered what the deal was with all the Pinoy-related questions until I set foot in their home.
The place was more ethnic than the whole of Iloilo. No matter where I turned, I saw something Filipino. There was a Weapons of Moroland plaque on the wall, a capiz shell lamp in the corner, a statue of the infant of Prague (Santo Niño) on an altar, a Last Supper tapestry beside the dinner table, and even a vinyl carpet runner beneath my feet. The family had collected these items during the many years of missionary work they did in the Philippines.
Dinner was especially uncomfortable due to the fact that not only was Mrs. Johnson’s chicken adobo better-tasting than my mother’s, but they all stared at me and waited for me to speak. When I did say something, they acted as if I’d told the greatest story ever. It was a little unsettling. I seriously thought that they were going to ask me to put the lotion on the skin so they could make a Filipino skin suit. The high point of the evening was when the oldest Johnson child turned to me and remarked that Caucasian/Filipino children are especially beautiful, then did the creepy repetitive double eyebrow raise.
I survived the weekend without being robbed of my skin or contributing to the impregnation of the oldest Johnson child to fulfill their dreams of cross-cultural hybridization. I hoped that Jerry would understand that sometimes it's not always a good thing when people are into Filipinos, but he really didn't see any value in my story. He just wondered out loud whether or not he should go to Sidetrack. Now I secretly wish that the next white man he dates corrects his Tagolog.
As I grew up, I was treated to shows such as Star Trek, which had a multi-ethnic crew and even featured television's first interracial kiss. She-Ra and Xena proved that women were not meek and timid creatures, but forces of nature who kicked major ass to serve just causes. Margaret Cho, an Asian comic, has also admitted to never having played the violin. These are examples that contributed to defying stereotypes, but I saw a movie recently that I believe to be avant-garde and equally as important.
It is a gay adult film titled, "Revenge of the Rice." Before you roll your eyes, please be open-minded. Sure, it's basically a gay porno. I'll concede that. Some people argue that porn is degrading and it objectifies people, but I think that's a bunch of crap. First of all, everyone has sex. Second, porn actors really do us a public service because lots of creepy people idolize and stalk them so they don't idolize and stalk ME... and you.
"Revenge of the Rice" breaks many barriers because it features Asian boys as tops. Not only do the Asian boys give the non-Asian boys a good rogering, but they do it with their large penises.
If you're a gay Asian male living in Chicago, then you know how hard it is to get a date. People assume that just because you're Asian, you are a quiet and obedient bottom with a small cock. I know that I'm not the only one out there who doesn't fit into this hateful mold, so I think it's important to encourage positive examples like Miami Studios' "Revenge of the Rice."
The editing could use a little work, the chemistry between the actors is non-existent, and the scenery is a bit scant. There's even weird product placement in the bathroom scene (a twelve pack of Charmin toilet paper sitting in the corner). Quite frankly, it can't hold a candle to a Michael Lucas or a Kristen Bjorn film in terms of artistic quality. But you have to start somewhere.
Films like "Revenge of the Rice" push the envelope when it comes to stereotypes, and must be applauded and cultivated if our society is to achieve an evolved sensibility. So do the world a favor and rent some porno!
I was at Roscoe's last week with the boyfriend and a group of his law school cohorts when a stray hand gesture made by the boyfriend connected with the glass of an unsuspecting queen who was passing by. The glass flew back onto the queen's face and he drew back as if he was a foreign diplomat who just got hit by a stray bullet.
The queen gasped and put his hands on his face telling everyone that he was fine and I would have been concerned had, it not been for the fact that I recognized these movements from an episode of La Mujer de Judas, where Altagracia gets shot. It happened suddenly, it was super dramatic, and the whole thing took about twenty minutes when it only should have taken a few seconds. That sad little queen milked that moment harder than a farmer trying to win first prize at the Pennsylvania State Fair milking contest.
My boyfriend bought the queen another drink and that should have been the end of it. He didn't have to, but he also made sure that the queen was okay even though I objected loudly, pointing out that it was merely an accident and that there was no blood. The queen faded into the crowd, being overly-consoled by his coterie of queerbait.
I spent some time reflecting on why I was so upset at the situation. At first I assumed it was because the focus was taken away from me, but I also think that I'd seen myth become reality and I wasn't ready to handle that.
I know I'll get some angry e-mails, calling me a heartless bastard for not being concerned about the possibility of the queen having internal injuries from a cocktail glass to the cheek. But let's take a step back and realize that gay bars are battlefields and casualties are inevitable. I can't tell you how many pairs of shoes I've lost to underage drinkers vomiting on them. I've been pushed, shoved, groped, ogled, and motorboated. I've been elbowed in the nose while dancing on the dancefloor and I still kept dancing, despite the fact that blood was gushing down my face.
Cocktail glass to the cheek... psha!
Some people just have to be the center of attention and turn something so trivial into a major production! Gays are dramatic, gays are shady......at least your bf can sleep at night knowing that in that situation he was wrong and tried to make the necessary amends.