Monday, October 31, 2005

Here you go

Here You Go
Quote of the Week

Lucy wins again!

We had really good sex, but the only reason it was really good was because it would be the only time we had it.

If I had a dollar-
This is Important--thanks Heather


When I entered college in 1969, women were bursting out of their 50's chrysalis, shedding girdles, padded bras and conventions. The Jazz Age spirit flared in the Age of Aquarius. Women were once again imitating men and acting all independent: smoking, drinking, wanting to earn money and thinking they had the right to be sexual, this time protected by the pill. I didn't fit in with the brazen new world of hard-charging feminists. I was more of a fun-loving (if chaste) type who would decades later come to life in Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie Bradshaw. I hated the grubby, unisex jeans and no-makeup look and drugs that zoned you out, and I couldn't understand the appeal of dances that didn't involve touching your partner. In the universe of Eros, I longed for style and wit. I loved the Art Deco glamour of 30's movies. I wanted to dance the Continental like Fred and Ginger in white hotel suites; drink martinis like Myrna Loy and William Powell; live the life of a screwball heroine like Katharine Hepburn, wearing a gold lamé gown cut on the bias, cavorting with Cary Grant, strolling along Fifth Avenue with my pet leopard.

My mom would just shake her head and tell me that my idea of the 30's was wildly romanticized. "We were poor," she'd say. "We didn't dance around in white hotel suites." I took the idealism and passion of the 60's for granted, simply assuming we were sailing toward perfect equality with men, a utopian world at home and at work. I didn't listen to her when she cautioned me about the chimera of equality.

On my 31st birthday, she sent me a bankbook with a modest nest egg she had saved for me. "I always felt that the girls in a family should get a little more than the boys even though all are equally loved," she wrote in a letter. "They need a little cushion to fall back on. Women can stand on the Empire State Building and scream to the heavens that they are equal to men and liberated, but until they have the same anatomy, it's a lie. It's more of a man's world today than ever. Men can eat their cake in unlimited bakeries."

I thought she was just being Old World, like my favorite jade, Dorothy Parker, when she wrote:

By the time you swear you're his,
Shivering and sighing,
And he vows his passion is
Infinite, undying -
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.

I thought the struggle for egalitarianism was a cinch, so I could leave it to my earnest sisters in black turtlenecks and Birkenstocks. I figured there was plenty of time for me to get serious later, that America would always be full of passionate and full-throated debate about the big stuff - social issues, sexual equality, civil rights. Little did I realize that the feminist revolution would have the unexpected consequence of intensifying the confusion between the sexes, leaving women in a tangle of dependence and independence as they entered the 21st century.

Maybe we should have known that the story of women's progress would be more of a zigzag than a superhighway, that the triumph of feminism would last a nanosecond while the backlash lasted 40 years.

Despite the best efforts of philosophers, politicians, historians, novelists, screenwriters, linguists, therapists, anthropologists and facilitators, men and women are still in a muddle in the boardroom, the bedroom and the Situation Room.


My mom gave me three essential books on the subject of men. The first, when I was 13, was "On Becoming a Woman." The second, when I was 21, was "365 Ways to Cook Hamburger." The third, when I was 25, was "How to Catch and Hold a Man," by Yvonne Antelle. ("Keep thinking of yourself as a soft, mysterious cat.. . .Men are fascinated by bright, shiny objects, by lots of curls, lots of hair on the head . . . by bows, ribbons, ruffles and bright colors.. . .Sarcasm is dangerous. Avoid it altogether.")

Because I received "How to Catch and Hold a Man" at a time when we were entering the Age of Equality, I put it aside as an anachronism. After all, sometime in the 1960's flirting went out of fashion, as did ironing boards, makeup and the idea that men needed to be "trapped" or "landed." The way to approach men, we reasoned, was forthrightly and without games, artifice or frills. Unfortunately, history has shown this to be a misguided notion.

I knew it even before the 1995 publication of "The Rules," a dating bible that encouraged women to return to prefeminist mind games by playing hard to get. ("Don't stay on the phone for more than 10 minutes.. . .Even if you are the head of your own company. . .when you're with a man you like, be quiet and mysterious, act ladylike, cross your legs and smile.. . .Wear black sheer pantyhose and hike up your skirt to entice the opposite sex!")

I knew this before fashion magazines became crowded with crinolines, bows, ruffles, leopard-skin scarves, 50's party dresses and other sartorial equivalents of flirting and with articles like "The Return of Hard to Get." ("I think it behooves us to stop offering each other these pearls of feminism, to stop saying, 'So, why don't you call him?"' a writer lectured in Mademoiselle. "Some men must have the thrill of the chase.")

I knew things were changing because a succession of my single girlfriends had called, sounding sheepish, to ask if they could borrow my out-of-print copy of "How to Catch and Hold a Man."

Decades after the feminist movement promised equality with men, it was becoming increasingly apparent that many women would have to brush up on the venerable tricks of the trade: an absurdly charming little laugh, a pert toss of the head, an air of saucy triumph, dewy eyes and a full knowledge of music, drawing, elegant note writing and geography. It would once more be considered captivating to lie on a chaise longue, pass a lacy handkerchief across the eyelids and complain of a case of springtime giddiness.

Today, women have gone back to hunting their quarry - in person and in cyberspace - with elaborate schemes designed to allow the deluded creatures to think they are the hunters. "Men like hunting, and we shouldn't deprive them of their chance to do their hunting and mating rituals," my 26-year-old friend Julie Bosman, a New York Times reporter, says. "As my mom says, Men don't like to be chased." Or as the Marvelettes sang, "The hunter gets captured by the game."

These days the key to staying cool in the courtship rituals is B. & I., girls say - Busy and Important. "As much as you're waiting for that little envelope to appear on your screen," says Carrie Foster, a 29-year-old publicist in Washington, "you happen to have a lot of stuff to do anyway." If a guy rejects you or turns out to be the essence of evil, you can ratchet up from B. & I. to C.B.B., Can't Be Bothered. In the T.M.I. - Too Much Information - digital age, there can be infinite technological foreplay.

Helen Fisher, a Rutgers anthropologist, concurs with Julie: "What our grandmothers told us about playing hard to get is true. The whole point of the game is to impress and capture. It's not about honesty. Many men and women, when they're playing the courtship game, deceive so they can win. Novelty, excitement and danger drive up dopamine in the brain. And both sexes brag."

Women might dye their hair, apply makeup and spend hours finding a hip-slimming dress, she said, while men may drive a nice car or wear a fancy suit that makes them seem richer than they are. In this retro world, a woman must play hard to get but stay soft as a kitten. And avoid sarcasm. Altogether.


In those faraway, long-ago days of feminism, there was talk about equal pay for equal work. Now there's talk about "girl money."

A friend of mine in her 30's says it is a term she hears bandied about the New York dating scene. She also notes a shift in the type of gifts given at wedding showers around town, a reversion to 50's-style offerings: soup ladles and those frilly little aprons from Anthropologie and vintage stores are being unwrapped along with see-through nighties and push-up bras.

"What I find most disturbing about the 1950's-ification and retrogression of women's lives is that it has seeped into the corporate and social culture, where it can do real damage," she complains. "Otherwise intelligent men, who know women still earn less than men as a rule, say things like: 'I'll get the check. You only have girl money."'

Throughout the long, dark ages of undisputed patriarchy, women connived to trade beauty and sex for affluence and status. In the first flush of feminism, women offered to pay half the check with "woman money" as a way to show that these crass calculations - that a woman's worth in society was determined by her looks, that she was an ornament up for sale to the highest bidder - no longer applied.

Now dating etiquette has reverted. Young women no longer care about using the check to assert their equality. They care about using it to assess their sexuality. Going Dutch is an archaic feminist relic. Young women talk about it with disbelief and disdain. "It's a scuzzy 70's thing, like platform shoes on men," one told me.

"Feminists in the 70's went overboard," Anne Schroeder, a 26-year-old magazine editor in Washington, agrees. "Paying is like opening a car door. It's nice. I appreciate it. But he doesn't have to."

Unless he wants another date.

Women in their 20's think old-school feminists looked for equality in all the wrong places, that instead of fighting battles about whether women should pay for dinner or wear padded bras they should have focused only on big economic issues.

After Googling and Bikramming to get ready for a first dinner date, a modern girl will end the evening with the Offering, an insincere bid to help pay the check. "They make like they are heading into their bag after a meal, but it is a dodge," Marc Santora, a 30-year-old Metro reporter for The Times, says. "They know you will stop them before a credit card can be drawn. If you don't, they hold it against you."

One of my girlfriends, a TV producer in New York, told me much the same thing: "If you offer, and they accept, then it's over."

Jurassic feminists shudder at the retro implication of a quid profiterole. But it doesn't matter if the woman is making as much money as the man, or more, she expects him to pay, both to prove her desirability and as a way of signaling romance - something that's more confusing in a dating culture rife with casual hookups and group activities. (Once beyond the initial testing phase and settled in a relationship, of course, she can pony up more.)

"There are plenty of ways for me to find out if he's going to see me as an equal without disturbing the dating ritual," one young woman says. "Disturbing the dating ritual leads to chaos. Everybody knows that."

When I asked a young man at my gym how he and his lawyer girlfriend were going to divide the costs on a California vacation, he looked askance. "She never offers," he replied. "And I like paying for her." It is, as one guy said, "one of the few remaining ways we can demonstrate our manhood."

Power Dynamics

At a party for the Broadway opening of "Sweet Smell of Success," a top New York producer gave me a lecture on the price of female success that was anything but sweet. He confessed that he had wanted to ask me out on a date when he was between marriages but nixed the idea because my job as a Times columnist made me too intimidating. Men, he explained, prefer women who seem malleable and awed. He predicted that I would never find a mate because if there's one thing men fear, it's a woman who uses her critical faculties. Will she be critical of absolutely everything, even his manhood?

He had hit on a primal fear of single successful women: that the aroma of male power is an aphrodisiac for women, but the perfume of female power is a turnoff for men. It took women a few decades to realize that everything they were doing to advance themselves in the boardroom could be sabotaging their chances in the bedroom, that evolution was lagging behind equality.

A few years ago at a White House correspondents' dinner, I met a very beautiful and successful actress. Within minutes, she blurted out: "I can't believe I'm 46 and not married. Men only want to marry their personal assistants or P.R. women."

I'd been noticing a trend along these lines, as famous and powerful men took up with young women whose job it was was to care for them and nurture them in some way: their secretaries, assistants, nannies, caterers, flight attendants, researchers and fact-checkers.

John Schwartz of The New York Times made the trend official in 2004 when he reported: "Men would rather marry their secretaries than their bosses, and evolution may be to blame." A study by psychology researchers at the University of Michigan, using college undergraduates, suggested that men going for long-term relationships would rather marry women in subordinate jobs than women who are supervisors. Men think that women with important jobs are more likely to cheat on them. There it is, right in the DNA: women get penalized by insecure men for being too independent.

"The hypothesis," Dr. Stephanie Brown, the lead author of the study, theorized, "is that there are evolutionary pressures on males to take steps to minimize the risk of raising offspring that are not their own." Women, by contrast, did not show a marked difference between their attraction to men who might work above them and their attraction to men who might work below them.

So was the feminist movement some sort of cruel hoax? Do women get less desirable as they get more successful?

After I first wrote on this subject, a Times reader named Ray Lewis e-mailed me. While we had assumed that making ourselves more professionally accomplished would make us more fascinating, it turned out, as Lewis put it, that smart women were "draining at times."

Or as Bill Maher more crudely but usefully summed it up to Craig Ferguson on the "Late Late Show" on CBS: "Women get in relationships because they want somebody to talk to. Men want women to shut up."

Women moving up still strive to marry up. Men moving up still tend to marry down. The two sexes' going in opposite directions has led to an epidemic of professional women missing out on husbands and kids.

Sylvia Ann Hewlett, an economist and the author of "Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children," a book published in 2002, conducted a survey and found that 55 percent of 35-year-old career women were childless. And among corporate executives who earn $100,000 or more, she said, 49 percent of the women did not have children, compared with only 19 percent of the men.

Hewlett quantified, yet again, that men have an unfair advantage. "Nowadays," she said, "the rule of thumb seems to be that the more successful the woman, the less likely it is she will find a husband or bear a child. For men, the reverse is true."

A 2005 report by researchers at four British universities indicated that a high I.Q. hampers a woman's chance to marry, while it is a plus for men. The prospect for marriage increased by 35 percent for guys for each 16-point increase in I.Q.; for women, there is a 40 percent drop for each 16-point rise.

On a "60 Minutes" report on the Hewlett book, Lesley Stahl talked to two young women who went to Harvard Business School. They agreed that while they were the perfect age to start families, they didn't find it easy to meet the right mates.

Men, apparently, learn early to protect their eggshell egos from high-achieving women. The girls said they hid the fact that they went to Harvard from guys they met because it was the kiss of death. "The H-bomb," they dubbed it. "As soon as you say Harvard Business School . . . that's the end of the conversation," Ani Vartanian said. "As soon as the guys say, 'Oh, I go to Harvard Business School,' all the girls start falling into them."

Hewlett thinks that the 2005 American workplace is more macho than ever. "It's actually much more difficult now than 10 years ago to have a career and raise a family," she told me. "The trend lines continue that highly educated women in many countries are increasingly dealing with this creeping nonchoice and end up on this path of delaying finding a mate and delaying childbearing. Whether you're looking at Italy, Russia or the U.S., all of that is true." Many women continue to fear that the more they accomplish, the more they may have to sacrifice. They worry that men still veer away from "challenging" women because of a male atavistic desire to be the superior force in a relationship.

"With men and women, it's always all about control issues, isn't it?" says a guy I know, talking about his bitter divorce.

Or, as Craig Bierko, a musical comedy star and actor who played one of Carrie's boyfriends on "Sex and the City," told me, "Deep down, beneath the bluster and machismo, men are simply afraid to say that what they're truly looking for in a woman is an intelligent, confident and dependable partner in life whom they can devote themselves to unconditionally until she's 40."

Ms. Versus Mrs.

"Ms." was supposed to neutralize the stature of women, so they weren't publicly defined by their marital status. When The Times finally agreed to switch to Ms. in its news pages in 1986, after much hectoring by feminists, Gloria Steinem sent flowers to the executive editor, Abe Rosenthal. But nowadays most young brides want to take their husbands' names and brag on the moniker Mrs., a brand that proclaims you belong to him. T-shirts with "MRS." emblazoned in sequins or sparkly beads are popular wedding-shower gifts.

A Harvard economics professor, Claudia Goldin, did a study last year that found that 44 percent of women in the Harvard class of 1980 who married within 10 years of graduation kept their birth names, while in the class of '90 it was down to 32 percent. In 1990, 23 percent of college-educated women kept their own names after marriage, while a decade later the number had fallen to 17 percent.

Time magazine reported that an informal poll in the spring of 2005 by the Knot, a wedding Web site, showed similar results: 81 percent of respondents took their spouse's last name, an increase from 71 percent in 2000. The number of women with hyphenated surnames fell from 21 percent to 8 percent.

"It's a return to romance, a desire to make marriage work," Goldin told one interviewer, adding that young women might feel that by keeping their own names they were aligning themselves with tedious old-fashioned feminists, and this might be a turnoff to them.

The professor, who married in 1979 and kept her name, undertook the study after her niece, a lawyer, changed hers. "She felt that her generation of women didn't have to do the same things mine did, because of what we had already achieved," Goldin told Time.

Many women now do not think of domestic life as a "comfortable concentration camp," as Betty Friedan wrote in "The Feminine Mystique," where they are losing their identities and turning into "anonymous biological robots in a docile mass." Now they want to be Mrs. Anonymous Biological Robot in a Docile Mass. They dream of being rescued - to flirt, to shop, to stay home and be taken care of. They shop for "Stepford Fashions" - matching shoes and ladylike bags and the 50's-style satin, lace and chiffon party dresses featured in InStyle layouts - and spend their days at the gym trying for Wisteria Lane waistlines.

The Times recently ran a front-page article about young women attending Ivy League colleges, women who are being groomed to take their places in the professional and political elite, who are planning to reject careers in favor of playing traditional roles, staying home and raising children.

"My mother always told me you can't be the best career woman and the best mother at the same time," the brainy, accomplished Cynthia Liu told Louise Story, explaining why she hoped to be a stay-at-home mom a few years after she goes to law school. "You always have to choose one over the other."

Kate White, the editor of Cosmopolitan, told me that she sees a distinct shift in what her readers want these days. "Women now don't want to be in the grind," she said. "The baby boomers made the grind seem unappealing."

Cynthia Russett, a professor of American history at Yale, told Story that women today are simply more "realistic," having seen the dashed utopia of those who assumed it wouldn't be so hard to combine full-time work and child rearing.

To the extent that young women are rejecting the old idea of copying men and reshaping the world around their desires, it's exhilarating progress. But to the extent that a pampered class of females is walking away from the problem and just planning to marry rich enough to cosset themselves in a narrow world of dependence on men, it's an irritating setback. If the new ethos is "a woman needs a career like a fish needs a bicycle," it won't be healthy.


In all those Tracy-Hepburn movies more than a half-century ago, it was the snap and crackle of a romance between equals that was so exciting. You still see it onscreen occasionally - the incendiary chemistry of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie playing married assassins aiming for mutually assured orgasms and destruction in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." Interestingly, that movie was described as retro because of its salty battle of wits between two peppery lovers. Moviemakers these days are more interested in exploring what Steve Martin, in his novel "Shopgirl," calls the "calm cushion" of romances between unequals.

In James Brooks's movie "Spanglish," Adam Sandler, playing a sensitive Los Angeles chef, falls for his hot Mexican maid, just as in "Maid in Manhattan," Ralph Fiennes, playing a sensitive New York pol, falls for the hot Latino maid at his hotel, played by Jennifer Lopez. Sandler's maid, who cleans up for him without being able to speak English, is presented as the ideal woman, in looks and character. His wife, played by Téa Leoni, is repellent: a jangly, yakking, overachieving, overexercised, unfaithful, shallow she-monster who has just lost her job with a commercial design firm and fears she has lost her identity.

In 2003, we had "Girl With a Pearl Earring," in which Colin Firth's Vermeer erotically paints Scarlett Johansson's Dutch maid, and Richard Curtis's "Love Actually," about the attraction of unequals. The witty and sophisticated British prime minister, played by Hugh Grant, falls for the chubby girl who wheels the tea and scones into his office. A businessman married to the substantial Emma Thompson, the sister of the prime minister, falls for his sultry secretary. A novelist played by Colin Firth falls for his maid, who speaks only Portuguese.

Art is imitating life, turning women who seek equality into selfish narcissists and objects of rejection rather than of affection.

It's funny. I come from a family of Irish domestics - statuesque, 6-foot-tall women who cooked, kept house and acted as nannies for some of America's first families. I was always so proud of achieving more - succeeding in a high-powered career that would have been closed to my great-aunts. How odd, then, to find out now that being a maid would have enhanced my chances with men.

An upstairs maid, of course.

Women's Magazines

Cosmo is still the best-selling magazine on college campuses, as it was when I was in college, and the best-selling monthly magazine on the newsstand. The June 2005 issue, with Jessica Simpson on the cover, her cleavage spilling out of an orange croqueted halter dress, could have been June 1970. The headlines are familiar: "How to turn him on in 10 words or less," "Do You Make Men M-E-L-T? Take our quiz," "Bridal Special," Cosmo's stud search and "Cosmo's Most Famous Sex Tips; the Legendary Tricks That Have Brought Countless Guys to Their Knees." (Sex Trick 4: "Place a glazed doughnut around your man's member, then gently nibble the pastry and lick the icing . . . as well as his manhood." Another favorite Cosmo trick is to yell out during sex which of your girlfriends thinks your man is hot.)

At any newsstand, you'll see the original Cosmo girl's man-crazy, sex-obsessed image endlessly, tiresomely replicated, even for the teen set. On the cover of Elle Girl: "267 Ways to Look Hot."

"There has been lots of copying - look at Glamour," Helen Gurley Brown, Cosmo's founding editor told me and sighed. "I used to have all the sex to myself."

Before it curdled into a collection of stereotypes, feminism had fleetingly held out a promise that there would be some precincts of womanly life that were not all about men. But it never quite materialized.

It took only a few decades to create a brazen new world where the highest ideal is to acknowledge your inner slut. I am woman; see me strip. Instead of peaceful havens of girl things and boy things, we have a society where women of all ages are striving to become self-actualized sex kittens. Hollywood actresses now work out by taking pole-dancing classes.

Female sexuality has been a confusing corkscrew path, not a serene progressive arc. We had decades of Victorian prudery, when women were not supposed to like sex. Then we had the pill and zipless encounters, when women were supposed to have the same animalistic drive as men. Then it was discovered - shock, horror! - that men and women are not alike in their desires. But zipless morphed into hookups, and the more one-night stands the girls on "Sex and the City" had, the grumpier they got.

Oddly enough, Felix Dennis, who created the top-selling Maxim, said he stole his "us against the world" lad-magazine attitude from women's magazines like Cosmo. Just as women didn't mind losing Cosmo's prestigious fiction as the magazine got raunchier, plenty of guys were happy to lose the literary pretensions of venerable men's magazines and embrace simple-minded gender stereotypes, like the Maxim manifesto instructing women, "If we see you in the morning and night, why call us at work?"

Jessica Simpson and Eva Longoria move seamlessly from showing their curves on the covers of Cosmo and Glamour to Maxim, which dubbed Simpson "America's favorite ball and chain!" In the summer of 2005, both British GQ and FHM featured Pamela Anderson busting out of their covers. ("I think of my breasts as props," she told FHM.)

A lot of women now want to be Maxim babes as much as men want Maxim babes. So women have moved from fighting objectification to seeking it. "I have been surprised," Maxim's editor, Ed Needham, confessed to me, "to find that a lot of women would want to be somehow validated as a Maxim girl type, that they'd like to be thought of as hot and would like their boyfriends to take pictures of them or make comments about them that mirror the Maxim representation of a woman, the Pamela Anderson sort of brand. That, to me, is kind of extraordinary."

The luscious babes on the cover of Maxim were supposed to be men's fantasy guilty pleasures, after all, not their real life-affirming girlfriends.


While I never related to the unstyled look of the early feminists and I tangled with boyfriends who did not want me to wear makeup and heels, I always assumed that one positive result of the feminist movement would be a more flexible and capacious notion of female beauty, a release from the tyranny of the girdled, primped ideal of the 50's.

I was wrong. Forty years after the dawn of feminism, the ideal of feminine beauty is more rigid and unnatural than ever.

When Gloria Steinem wrote that "all women are Bunnies," she did not mean it as a compliment; it was a feminist call to arms. Decades later, it's just an aesthetic fact, as more and more women embrace Botox and implants and stretch and protrude to extreme proportions to satisfy male desires. Now that technology is biology, all women can look like inflatable dolls. It's clear that American narcissism has trumped American feminism.

It was naïve and misguided for the early feminists to tendentiously demonize Barbie and Cosmo girl, to disdain such female proclivities as shopping, applying makeup and hunting for sexy shoes and cute boyfriends and to prognosticate a world where men and women dressed alike and worked alike in navy suits and were equal in every way.

But it is equally naïve and misguided for young women now to fritter away all their time shopping for boudoirish clothes and text-messaging about guys while they disdainfully ignore gender politics and the seismic shifts on the Supreme Court that will affect women's rights for a generation.

What I didn't like at the start of the feminist movement was that young women were dressing alike, looking alike and thinking alike. They were supposed to be liberated, but it just seemed like stifling conformity.

What I don't like now is that the young women rejecting the feminist movement are dressing alike, looking alike and thinking alike. The plumage is more colorful, the shapes are more curvy, the look is more plastic, the message is diametrically opposite - before it was don't be a sex object; now it's be a sex object - but the conformity is just as stifling.

And the Future . . .

Having boomeranged once, will women do it again in a couple of decades? If we flash forward to 2030, will we see all those young women who thought trying to Have It All was a pointless slog, now middle-aged and stranded in suburbia, popping Ativan, struggling with rebellious teenagers, deserted by husbands for younger babes, unable to get back into a work force they never tried to be part of?

It's easy to picture a surreally familiar scene when women realize they bought into a raw deal and old trap. With no power or money or independence, they'll be mere domestic robots, lasering their legs and waxing their floors - or vice versa - and desperately seeking a new Betty Friedan.

Maureen Dowd is a columnist for The New York Times. This essay is adapted from "Are Men Necessary: When Sexes Collide," to be published next month by G.P. Putnam's Sons

Saturday, October 29, 2005

But I'm Bad At Numbers


You are a Merchant, the
ambitious business tycoons of fantasy.
Merchants are very intelligent and cunning.
They are adept with numbers and in dealing with
people. Their hunches about their businesses
are usually right. They have a knack for
knowing what people or thinking. They are very
perceptive, and very ambitious. Driven and
hardworking they will not stop until they've
achieved what they want.

Animal: Tiger
Gem: Ruby


Who would you be if you were a character in an epic fantasy? (beautiful pictures)
brought to you by Quizilla

It takes a lot to scare me and yet somehow last night--Exorcist Three managed to scare the crap out of me. I'm not sure how that happened exactly but I ended up staying up half the night and watching my "Tales of the Cities". Somewhere in the midst of it I ended up taking comfort that I have a Mona in my life and that I might--if I play my cards right--be my own Mouse.

Of course the only thing scarier to me than horror films is watching films about San Francisco and seeing how they calm me and make me smile. Because I know what that means and if I think about it too long--it scares either to be there or to not be there.

Wow--not where I thought this would all go.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Truth Is

I’ve been hiding. I know it, most people around me know it and somehow I have to get around it. Part of it is my upset at being unemployed, having no money coming in, and freaking out stuff going on career-wise right now. That I found out that I can’t collect unemployment so I need a job ASAP and that I don’t know what I can do to make a job show up. (And this stirs up resentment about certain things from this past summer.)

On top of all of this I have a huge case of writer’s block and it is not helping matters to have certain people in my life asking all about it and making feel like I am even more a failure than with the job stuff. It’s scary that every time I have put pen to paper or flipped on my computer that nothing is coming out and it is scaring the shite out of me.

So instead I have spent my time avoiding things; reading Jane Austen books, watching Veronica Mars and making mix cds for no real reason. And worrying about everyone else around me because it is easier than worrying about myself-I think.

But it isn’t solving anything at all. Really.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Happiness is in Perspective.

So last night Kelly and I headed down to Ty and Stacey’s house to clean up the last remaining ties of what was Kelly and Ty’s relationship three after TOD. It was an odd feeling going with her-the realization that everything that happens now with Ty will be because of real friendship and not left over obligation to keep the peace or keep up appearances.

I tried not to watch Kelly’s face as Ty showed off Stacey and their new house and new computer and two car garage and puppy dog a and a million other things that couldn’t really be theirs and just wonder at whether Ty had somehow ended up happier than Kelly was. Much more than any of us thought he could be. I don’t think either of us could believe how awkward it was as Stacey—the girl who never liked Kelly or me—followed us through the house as Ty showed off the bed they share with this look about her—that she won.

And did she win? Maybe—she has the man and the house and the dog and a million little toys but I also know enough about Ty to know that he is not happy. Maybe he is content and he was always simple but he isn’t 1/3 happy as he was with Kelly. I know that still to this day and while he has let go—he still knows what he had a chance at and what he lost. It’s hard to feel that way towards someone I adore and lord knows he deserves happiness but I don’t think this is the way to get it.

The funny thing is as we left their driveway as Ty and Stacey waved us off with the dog chasing behind us—stuffing ourselves with chocolate and fighting the urge to run—we both knew how impressive that Stacey and Ty’s life is; on paper anyway. An as we drove back up to Studio City through the traffic, I felt something drifting away as Kelly asked why she couldn’t have the good Ty and all the stuff he and Stacey had and what did she have that they didn’t? I thought about it a moment.

“A real chance at happiness?”

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Charity Asked
Current mood: contemplative

THE QUESTION. If you're single then you know it. The one that well meaning relatives ask at holidays, new co-workers broach it over drinks, a friend of a friend might ask.... (if you know this then say it with me...)

So, are you seeing someone?

I never know quite how to answer this question... (Outside of the sarcastic... "Oh shit, no, thanks for reminding me.... I was going to and then I got busy...) For some people this is a rough question. Throws them into a pit of self-doubt, double guessing, wondering...why aren't I? But for me, to be honest, it doesn't ring any bells... Set off any alarms.

The thing is... I know that I'm not in the place to be in a relationship. And I don't know how to explain that to others... That feeling of I'm not ready... I don't want it right now. That I'm not lonely, that I'm not afraid that time is running out. That I'm not missing anything. That I'm happy enough to work on who I am. That being alone is better than being in a relationship and wondering.... How did I get here... I don't know if this is normal... Not many people talk about this stuff, about how maybe being with someone else isn't the right choice. But I think sometimes it is. It is okay to work on being your own best date. That sometimes being in a relationship only hides one from the things they need to do to better ones self.... I'd rather wait then play act in a relationship that I'm not ready for....

"So if you not ready for love you should stay single?"

"Why not? If nobody ever got married or had children unless they were really in love, don't you think it would clean up a lot of the mess around here?"



"But then so many people would be alone."

"Is that such a terrible thing? I remember the first time I was lying in bed alone and feeling sorry for myself and I said, Wake up, Iris. Wake up. How many times have you been in bed with someone who was making you feel bad? Unconfident, unloved, or constantly having to hustle to deserve to be loved. Or being cheated on. And I thought, this is definitely better than any of those real-life situations. I was just trying to con myself into a remembering romantic situations that, in fact, hardly ever existed. No. If I can't go first class I don't want to go at all. And it's me, if I'm being honest, who knows what first class is."

"No accommodations. Is that it?"

"Oh, I can accommodate a lot. I can handle a missing limb. Or someone who's not brilliant. Or not a great money-maker. Those things are not problems. I might very well fall in love with someone in any of those categories. What I don't want to do is fall in love with someone I don't really know. Someone I've given a personality to, and later I find out they're someone completely different. And I'm fucked, in more ways than one. Life goes on, Glen. Life goes on. I don't want to waste any time giving really heavy emotion to someone who doesn't get it. Doesn't appreciate it. Doesn't even know what I'm feeling. Does that make sense?"

"My Worst Date." by David Leddick.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Actor Studio Questions.
Current mood: surprised

The Actor Studio Questions.

1) what is your favorite word? Tis, though I'm not sure why. Most likely too much Shakespeare.

2) what is your least favorite word? Mani/pedi/metrosexual. Why do we let "Sixteen" magazine create this terrible slag? I'm not crushing, in a sit. or having a mani/pedi... Use the full word!!!

3)What turns you on spiritually, emotionally, creatively? That perfect moment when the sky is blue, the breeze in my hair and the sun on my face. It cause to realize that there is always something right with the word.

4) what turns you off? Blind need. I guess because I run into this alot with relationships and some friendships. It's kind of like--will anyone do or do you want me here?

5)Favorite curse word? Bloody... It is easy to use, fun and can be used in public and around kids. All purpose.

6) Sound or noise you love? I love wind chimes, or the sound of leaves blowing aorund the ground.
7) Sound you hate? Cell phones. I guess this is a hang-up from working retail and people just answering them when you are trying to help them. They stop talking to you and you go help someone else and the phoner is pissed because you didn't wait for them to finish. Fuck you! Tis rude to answer the phone when talking with some one.
8) What profession beside yours would you love to attempt? High school guidance counsler.

9) What profession would you hate? I would hate to be the guy who cleans the backroom at LeSex Shop!

10) If Heaven exists, what would you like God to say when you are at the Pearly Gates? "Sorry about all the confusion. Come on in!"

Saturday, October 22, 2005

If Case You Wonder About These Things

So Friday night was savaged by the combination of several random things. One was Bryant from work just doing his best to make me laugh and basically put the bug in my ear to do as little as possible. I didn't take a lunch and had come in early so I got out of there as early as possible. This helped a lot.

What helped even more was the night's activities. I ended up going out with Joy to pick up some last minute things for her Halloween costume. We talked on our way to mall about all the recent events in her life-yes Grant came up-and I just wanted to check in and see if she was okay. Joy definitely is still herself-which is a good thing.

We also picked up Lola and the ever fabulous Erykah for our shopping adventures. The four of us slummed around the mall and then I dragged the girls to Urban Outfitters because I had some clothes from on line that I wanted to return. I think I made the cashier's night when I answered "they're ugly" as to why I was returning certain things. On-line shopping is filled with risks and ugliness is one of them. (We also learned a new word-kakaphobic which is a fear of ugly. This word is now the latest in my expanding vocab.)

We topped the night off with a few rounds at the BR with Duncan, Dom, Cheryl and Shannon. Debates about art and costumes and film were had in plenty. It was good times and took my mind off things. Which is a good thing eh?

Friday, October 21, 2005

When It Works Something Gets Broken.

Lately I have been fine. Too fine--what with Edie home for a bit and just being around (and in agreement about Mrs. Garrett and what a pain in the ass she is), work being busy and somewhat more interesting and my odd flirtations with a new guy... Everything has been cool. I was even offered a new job and turned it down because I wasn't finished on the current show...

Of course I should have known better. Within 24 hours of giving the job to another friend-hooking them up-I was told that my job was done today and this is after me asking multiple times for an end date and even telling them about my other offer.

Needless to say I was pissed. So today I have spent my day e-mailing friends, applying for jobs and spending out nasty form letters looking for work.

Of course there should be an up side to this; that Edie and I can hang out more which is cool but Mrs G is around too and it is so awkward and messy. That and with all that is up with Edie--it is hard for me to know what to do and how to behave at points.

And then there is the boy-who I think is cool and fun and a lot like me which is scary-who I will not try and meet because I will feel that I can't spend the money on the date and so then will taper myself off the situation thus making sure that he goes away. Which I want to happen because I feel like an unemployed guy is not worth dating so..

The only thing that will make this all more fun with Edie and Sam would be if I got a night job thus meaning I would never around.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My Friends

Sometimes I wonder about the people I hang out with and if they are normal or what.

I have a friend who had a dress 'custom made' to look like a cross between Moulin Rouge/Miss Kitty/Pretty in Pink. She calls it hideous and loves it--so much so that she wore it to an award show.

I have a friend who's ass is so hardcore it broke a paddle at a bar--the first time that any ass has broken the "paddle".

I have two friends that laughed when they read my blog posting about wanting a boyfriend. And then made funny of me about it-in a sweet way.

I have a friend who falls in love with every date she has. Really and truly.

I have another friend is in the process of embracing her inner slut and thought I could help because my inner slut lives on the outside.

I have a friend who managed to give up coffee, drinking and cigarettes in the same year--and is just as offensive as always.

I have a friend who can sleep anywhere there is a floor--and probably has.

And finally there is me. I think I have a little something in common with each of them. So if they're normal then I'm normal-right?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Quote of the Week

From Rose McGowen RE being escorted out of a party by security:

"If you're going to be escorted out of a party, it might as well be in a Dolce & Gabanna dress."

God I love her thought process.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I want someone--or embarrassment 101.

Yesterday I almost threw down my backpack to start jumping up and down screaming "I wan, I want."

I spend most of my day watching other people's lives and logging them. I try to leave myself some chill time when at home but I end up spending it alone as well. And I'm tired. I thought everything was too hard but then I realized; I can't take the way my life is.

I need someone. And I hate myself for it. Someone to day dream about all day long. Though I wish I didn't. I really hate it and I really wish I didn't.

Someone who will like me for me. Someone to laugh with. Someone who gets all the jokes. Someone to dance with. Someone who likes to snuggle-but not too much.

So if someone knows someone then someone is interested...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Comment Déprime

J'ai eu deux chansons a enfoncé ma tête tout le jour aujourd'hui. Les ordures "pourquoi ne font pas vous m'aimez" et activé avec la couverture de l'enfant de destin "d'émotions".

La chose angoissante est tous les deux des chansons sont une énorme fenêtre dans comment je me sens et cela me rend triste. cela et le manque de choses intéressantes dans ma vie.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Blogging in French Makes Me Interesting?

Quelquefois je veux juste être un accomplissement de garçon l'attention qu'il mérite.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Wow-Just Wow.

You're ready to stop trying to convince the world that you're unique, unusual, and decisive. You may even be ready to choose a partner in crime who's just as entertaining and fiery as you are. Finally. The thing is that the disappointment you'll feel about counting on someone who made you believe you'd be spending a lot more time together will be fierce. Oh, well. You're a lion. You'll get over it, and a happy ending is right around the corner, anyway.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I Love This Horoscope--Sums It Up Right

For some reason, individuals of a certain type seem to be gravitating toward you. You've just about had it with listening to sad stories, pleas for redemption and promises to do better next time. It's not just you, either. It's just your turn, and we all get one. Practice saying no and walking away. It might be tough to master at first, but you'll get the hang of it. Even celebrities are entitled to decide who they want to be a fan, and who they don't.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Happy National Coming Out Day

Notice it's coming out day--not outing people day... You know who you are...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Weekend Weirdness and Winsome


It was all about Justin Catalino. Really, that was all I wanted to do, go and see my friend in his last-for now-Los Angeles performance. It was a little sad but I don't know how much of that is the reason for the event or just my normal reaction to Justin's music. It makes me melancholy.

But it was lovely to go with Ruby and sit with Kirby and just enjoy music and being out at a hip "L.A." Venue--even with the strange fakeness that certain people pull off so flawlessly. That always scares me. (That and I got a hug from he who can't be named because I don't out stars but hehehehehehehehehehehe)

What was even more fun was just hanging with the D Street gang afterwards--heading to the Pit for drinks with Heath, Grayson and Boris. I don't really roll with this gang outside of as few holiday and an occasional event so that was pleasant. (Odd to watch my friend tell of Stanford off though--funny.)

What was odder was having Valeska and Kelly pick me up at 2 am for a late brunch at the Camirillo Castle. But it was good to catch up on the latest in the Vedder saga. (JUST DO IT ALREADY!) That and to tell Lola what I have been up to. (I hugged him.)


So I spent the whole day shopping with Ruby--helping her find the perfect shirt for the new headshots. Never has shopping been so difficult. Really now. Just awful.

Then there was the party for Alfie birthday/Thomas return to Los Angeles. (Brief though. Brief) It was kind of an odd party because I freely admit that I don't know Alfie very well since he broke up with my ex roommie years back. And to see him in the aftermath of his broken engagement was just odd.

And maybe it is just me but I found all the anti-fiancee jokes kind of rude and a bit out of control. I guess I just feel that if I was in his place-being the one who broke it off and knowing it was the right thing to do but it still must hurt-I wouldn't be pleased with friends talking about her (and me) the way some people were.

That and I thought the changing the locks during the party since she is back in town and might sneak back in front of 20 party goers was just tacky and not funny. Just me I guess.


Just went to the movies. Saw "Wallace and Gromit" with Naomi. And loved it. Really loved it. Go see it. Really go see it.

That and I stayed in to watch 'Grey's Anatomy'. I'm kind of obsession with this show. Really now. That and the fact that one of the actors lives underneath a friend of mine. The cute actor. (At least my type of cute.)

That's all. I wish I was more interesting but I'm not. Well--maybe a bit more than I think.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I Have Needs--Thanks Heddy!

This was a bulletin that was going around...

Heres what you do:

Go to and type "(your name) needs" then pick the 5 funniest ones that come up.

Example: My name is Rory, so I put in the search engine: "Rory needs" ...

1) Rory needs to get out more. Or at least a cuddle from a trusted friend. (Yes please! Pretty please!)

2) Rory needs some sponsorship help to get down to Australia. (Well--I wouldn't turn do a sponsor--unless the AA kind. Yuck.)

3) Unpopular Rory needs reality check. (Ouch!)

4) Rory needs an advocate in the US Senate. He shouldn't have to go through this. (Really? What am I going through?)

5) Rory needs to find someone new! .. (True that!).

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

How Long Till the Self Respect Ends?

It’s been six days—he hasn’t call. I’m trying really hard to get over it. It’s too hard to be the one doing all the work. I can’t do this—relive last year. So I’m done. Really.

Why do certain men suck?!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

So Life Is Fine.

Things of late have been rather sedate and boring. The new job has started—it’s not bad and kind of campy and doesn’t make me want to throw things or vomit so… I guess that is good. I like the people I work with and well—the way the show is being run it is going tons last longer than any of us think so… More money—yeah!

Outside of that—I have been rather low key. Hung out with Kirby—talked about writing which made me quite happy to see her get back into the liking of things creative. I’ve doing slightly normal things like paying bills and buying socks and hiding out watching “Queer As Folk” and wondering how much I am not fabulous—as of late.

The thing is that I feel I am avoiding certain people because I can’t handle them. The need, the chaos, the weight of who they are and what they want of me is just too much. It’s like I want everything but can take nothing. I’m just waiting for certain things to settle themselves and then maybe I’ll be fine.

At least I hope so.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Three Legged Bitch With His Bitches.

So last night we went to drinks—Valeska, Edie, Alyssa, Lizzie, Kelly and the new boy—Wes. It was fun, just all of us hanging at Match and soaking in gin and tonics, strange stunt men working Edie for job leads and the humor of Lizzie ‘drunk’ panic. (My favorite exchange of the night was asking Lizzie if she and Alyssa had made out in the bathroom and Lizzie not seeing Alyssa in there and wondering “Oh God, did I go in the wrong bathroom?” and My response “Well if you didn’t see an urinal then she did.” Even better was the realization that Alyssa was at the edge of the bar talking to a much older man about the East Coast-making our talk useless.)

I fully came to realize that Wes is the perfect guy for Kelly—he was funny and got it and was freaked out by the force of us all being stupid and cliquish and just seemed to enjoy the night and himself. (That and the boy can hold his liquor. Way too go.) The only moment that gave me pause was the realization that the last time I had being drinking with this group was my ill-fated birthday. If Ruby had joined us I think I would have been too spooked to stay. But all in all it was a gas.

My favorite part was the end of the evening and how we all ended up at Le Sex Shoppe down the street from Kelly and Lizzie’s. there is not like being half in the bag and watching your drunker, louder friends squealing at the dildos, trannie films and other sexual oddities as a man with a strange resemblance to Bob from ‘Twin Peaks’ watches. God lord it was fun—though awkward when at the end of the night we all realized that we were leaving poor Lizzie with Wes and Kelly and “scary last night of trip” sex.

But I did find a new name for my autobiography. “Three Legged Bitch” (Trannie porn is brilliant.)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Quote of the Week

Overhead at work

"Hey-don't I know your sister--Cinderella?"

I almost pee my pants cause that bitch so deserved it.