Saturday, April 24, 2010

Some Assembly Required

If asked to describe myself, “handy” isn’t a term that I’d list in my Top 100 Attributes. While blessed with enough patience to allow for teaching seven-year-olds to hit a baseball (as a Little League coach – not randomly), I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to reading and following written directions. And while I think I have a good bit of common sense, when it comes to tasks involving spatial relations, you can color me ditzy.

Amazingly, my shortcomings in this area haven’t served as much of an obstruction in my 48 years as I’ve managed to surround myself with mechanically inclined people throughout my life. When I was younger, my Dad was around to figure out how to get into the battery compartment of whatever darned electronic toy I’d received for Christmas. As a young woman, I always had a roommate with whom to barter skills (“You hook up my stereo and, sure, I’ll help you write your resume.”). In my mid-20’s, I married a guy; a really handy guy who worked as an HVAC repairman, and later as a computer network engineer, so all my home repair and IT needs were met (though, uh, other areas were, shall we say, less than fulfilling…but I digress). When I left him in my mid-30’s, it wasn’t long before I went the U-Haul route with a Texas-raised, rough and tumble dyke who never met a tool belt she couldn’t strap on (mind out of the gutter, kids), so any needs in regard to Ikea furniture assembly were satisfied. And for the last nine years, I was involved with the most attractive and elusive of creatures – a woman who could install a screen door or assemble a gas grill without so much as scuffing her Red Door Salon manicure. She was always fun around the holidays. Sure, she loved the jewelry and Ritz Carlton spa packages, but she positively beamed when tearing the gift wrap off a leaf blower or power drill kit. Sexy, huh?

In any event, I now find myself navigating the uncharted territory of life without someone who knows how to read directions. Even my 20-year-old son is away at college, hence my reluctance to purchase anything that requires assembly. Despite this obvious handicap, after weeks of getting a whiff of the smoked chicken and pork aromas wafting from a co-workers’ office everyday at lunch, I marched myself into a Home Depot a few days ago and purchased a Brinkman Gourmet Electric Smoker.

The box sat unopened in the hallway near my front door for a while, but as the sun rose on my Saturday, I decided there was no excuse for further delay in tackling the task at hand. I had ALL DAY to master this thing, an accomplishment that would both bolster my self-confidence and reinforce my “I’m doin’ fine all by my self,” attitude AND allow me to smoke untold quantities of meat, fish, and poultry. How often do opportunities like that come along?

To mentally prepare myself, I watched the YouTube video of five-year-old Joshua Sacco’s reenactment of the “Miracle” speech given by Herb Brooks to inspire the 1980 U.S. Men’s Olympic Hockey Team. Great moments are born from great opportunities and I was sick and tired of hearing about how hard it was to read directions; this was MY time!

Bolstered by these viral video words of encouragement, and after having removed my contact lenses so as to allow for reading of the fine print in which the directions would no doubt be presented, I opened the box. “Not too bad,” I thought. Some dome-looking thing I instantly recognized as the smoker lid was wrapped in plastic and perched on top. While it is said that familiarity breeds contempt, in this instance it bred confidence, enabling me to tentatively lift the dome from the box.

This was a big self-assurance-sinking mistake. Cleverly nestled beneath the shiny, fire-engine red dome were numerous manuals, bags of smoker parts, and a large packet of something that resembled aquarium rocks. I started to put the lid back in the box and walk away, but knew a defining moment was at hand. Besides, the only task I loathe more than putting things together is returning things to the store, so I carried on.

Not one to welcome the unknown, my first task was to inventory the pieces provided, an effort which revealed that I was lacking a handle bracket for the aforementioned shiny dome lid. Apparently Brinkman plans for this type of ineptitude on their part, as the literature they provided included a flyer printed in bold, 36 point font instructing me to call an “800” number to request any missing parts and imploring me NOT to return the item to the retail store from whom the purchase was made. (Of course, upon dialing the number I was informed via recorded voice that Brinkman's "customer service hours are from 8:30am - 5:00pm, Monday through Friday" - a timeframe so clearly misaligned with the smoker purchasing/assembly habits of Americans.)

Initially, I saw this as yet another opportunity to give up. It’s not my fault I can’t put this thing together – all the damned parts aren’t even in it! But I persevered.

Almost an hour later, having shed my sweatshirt in favor of a t-shirt after breaking into a sweat while trying to secure the smoker door, fingertips rough from handling nuts and screws that only a three-year-old’s fingers are small enough to manipulate, and hands dirtied by something called “lava rocks”, the contraption was assembled. I was victorious! I had faced my fear of written directions and I had won!

The hard part behind me, I flipped through the manual from the “Assembly Instructions” to the much-anticipated “Cooking Instructions,” anxious to put my new smoker to work on a previously purchased pork tenderloin and whole chicken. I’d be the envy of the Business Operations group at the office next week as the tang of mesquite would drift from my office into the hallway. Mmm...

Imagine my disappointment as a perusal of the Owners’ Manual revealed that there was yet a further task which must be carried out before the smoker is ready for the introduction of food, that being a “curing” period in which the smoker, inside surfaces coated with oil or a cooking spray and sans water pan, is run for three hours. Ever impatient, I toyed with the idea of skipping this step, but decided that a pork tenderloin flavored by both mesquite AND enamel paint wasn’t the delicacy to which I was looking forward.

As I type this, my mighty little smoker is “curing” on the deck, my Tundra fire extinguisher at the ready. I’m not quite ready to declare unequivocal victory – that won’t come until I’ve successfully smoked my first batch o’ proteins – but I am feeling a little more self-assured. Maybe, just maybe, Ikea won’t be such a scary place anymore.

Candy Parker

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kate Gosselin: She'll Soon Be Dancing With Herself

Kate “White Women Can’t Dance” Gosselin who gained notoriety on the TLC series “Jon and Kate Plus 8,” and who most recently has been plastered all over the tabloids as the result of the disintegration of her holy union, stooped to the lowest of the lows last night after her performance (I use the term loosely) on “Dancing With the Stars.” After yet another horrendous performance, the perennial scoreboard bottom dweller shared with viewers that her “kids really want me on the show.” Apparently, the gaggle of mini Gosselins “count the days until Monday” so they can watch Mom dance (again, I’m using the term in the most liberal of applications).

Really, Kate? You’ve not exploited your children enough already? You need to use them to tug at the heartstrings of viewers to keep yourself on a cheesy dance competition show? Perhaps if you loosened up a bit, not only might your marriage still be intact, but maybe you wouldn’t appear to be doing “the robot” in every tango, waltz, and rumba and you’d garner judges’ scores sufficient to keep you in the competition without having to invoke the image of gloomy toddlers.

I really hope viewers were turned off by the manipulative tact employed by Gosselin and that tonight will be the night we’re all put out of our misery. While I’d never be one to assert that caustic Kate should be at home with her kids rather than tangoing with Tony (Dovolani, her unfortunate dance partner/instructor with whom she feuds every week) – after all, women have every right to work outside of the home – exploiting her kids in an effort to influence votes is patently pathetic.

Candy Parker

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Own Private Hell - The Post Office on April 15th

I'm at the post office. Yes, on “tax day”. No, I didn’t procrastinate; someone else did and I am entirely too kind.

There are 14 people in front of me and only one postal employee manning the desk. The woman behind me is jittery and laughing at something that none of the rest of us seem to be privy to. She is alone and she keeps touching my butt.

The lady directly in front of me is swaying back and forth, her long faux hair swinging unpredictably. I'm trying to get away from the Butt Toucher, but any attempts to escape bring me closer to a face full of fake, constantly shifting hair.

The line isn't moving. I'm miserable. Some lady just walked in with flowers to present to the sole postal employee and now the line has come to a complete halt. I think I’m in fact, I'm quite sure of it.

J. Allison

Down To One...Again

‘Tis sad, but true kids. I heard the news on the radio this morning and confirmed the rumors via a quick Google search once I got to the office. Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels are, indeed, splits-ville after a nine-year run.

Now you might expect me to get snarky here or try to find the humor in the situation, but even I – the person who jeered Etheridge and then-partner Julie Cypher mercilessly for their selection of David Crosby as sperm donor in an early issue of GAY e-magazine – cannot find, or at least bring myself to look for, the levity in this event. The news has actually rendered me a bit melancholy.

It’s not that I live and die according to the happenings in celebrity lives. I’m not all that emotionally wrapped up in their doings, nor do I have some distorted expectation in regard to their ability to carry off a relationship with any greater degree of success than the rest of us. Rather, it’s the parallels with my own life and semi-recent relationship demise that have struck a chord today.

While not as extensive as the historical correlations drawn between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, there are a few comparable circumstances between the Etheridge/Michaels relationship and my own most recent union:

  • Etheridge and I are the same age. It’s a minor coincidence, but a similarity nonetheless. And when you think of yourself as a decent, kind, semi-intelligent, and all-around fun person to be around, it does give one pause as you approach the half-century mark and find yourself un-partnered. While it’s almost instinctive to point the finger at the other party when a relationship initially crumbles, there are two sides to every break-up and if you’re the least bit emotionally mature, you eventually have to pause and ask yourself, “What the heck am I doin’ wrong here?”
  • Etheridge and my ex are both cancer survivors. Thankfully, both prevailed in the battle, but I can’t help but think about the bond that is formed when you go through that type of challenge with someone – or the crevasse that’s created when the afflicted partner shuts you out of the process. I know how my story played out and can’t help but wonder whether Etheridge’s struggle intensified their connection or deteriorated it.
  • Etheridge and Michaels were together nine years, the same duration as my relationship with the woman I thought was the love of my life. Our nine years had stops and starts, movings in and movings out, and more than their share of dysfunction, but even so it was nine years. And when you spend that long with someone, an entire decade of memories are created. Some loom larger than others – historical events, vacations, holidays, birthdays, and kids’ graduations, for instance. Others are more insignificant reminders – Nordstrom’s department store and picking Maryland crabs will forever be linked in my memory with my ex. And, of course, for someone whose entire life has a soundtrack, there’s nary a song from the last decade that doesn’t in some way remind me of her. I know how I deal with the memories and my heart goes out to Etheridge and Michaels just a wee bit as they enter the stage where reminiscing becomes bittersweet.
So, no, you won’t find me scolding or mocking Etheridge and Michaels here today. It’s just plain sad, to be honest. The only upside I see in this (and I beg Melissa’s forgiveness for my selfishness here) is that “Skin”, the creation resulting from her break-up with Cypher, is my favorite of her CD’s. Perhaps something good will come of all of this after all.

Candy Parker

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On Second Thought, Bunny Slippers Aren't That Bad

I already blame Demi Moore's semi-retarded husband, Ashton Kutcher, for the time-monopolizing annoyance that is Twitter, so imagine the levels to which my blood pressure ascended when I peeped this Tweet.

I'm a waitress and I have better looking feet than these! But the difference between Demi Moore and me is that I have manners and won't stick my bunion-laden hooves in the face of unsuspecting Tweeters everywhere.

The only way this picture could be more disgusting is if there was a green cloud and fruit flies circling around her toes. It's called a foot file, Grandma. Embrace it.

Amber Foster

Britney Spears: Bigger & Uncut

I love me some Britney Spears. She’s my type of woman - a hot mess; the hotter the mess, the hotter the woman. My favorite Britney incarnation is bald, umbrella car-bashing Britney. I would take that Britney to Massachusetts and marry her cheap extension-wearing behind. When I was 16, I used to watch the video for “Hit me (Baby one More Time)” with the sound turned off. In retrospect, I probably should have suspected that I was a lesbian a lot sooner than I did.

In her latest PR move, Britney’s team has released non-photoshopped images from her Candie’s Campaign alongside the photo-shopped images to prove that Britney wants to send some kind of feminist message. They have also provided helpful annotations so we can see what’s been photoshopped out. Please note that in the first set of photos, there is no arrow pointing out the removal of her camel toe and no mention as to what those scary bruises are from. I’m going to pretend they are from a recent dancing injury, despite the fact that Britney probably hasn’t danced since she released “Gimme More.”

In the second set of photos, the touch-up artists removed Britney’s miniscule amount of cellulite and made her butt smaller.

I like both photos of Britney before she was retouched. Hot mess or not, Britney is still a beautiful woman with a great body. My affinity for women with some meat on their bones is a really outmoded view, as I believe it first came into fashion when cavemen roamed the earth in search of sustenance and meaty women were successful women. Still, I would much rather see her real body rather than a computer generated image with absolutely no character. (Although I can live with the bruises airbrushed; those freak me out. What the heck was she doing?!). But my opinion doesn’t matter. I’m just a woman, age 25-35, who has enough disposable income to buy both trashy celeb rags and Candies products.

Natasia Langfelder

And They Call It Puppy Love...

Wow! So, Mike Huckabee has figured me out. I thought I had kept my darkest secrets hidden so well. But apparently he is all-knowing as he figured out that my secret desire is to marry my pet!

There! I said it out loud! I have loved her for over two years now. She is sweet and shiny and loving and kisses me whenever I am sad. She comforts me and cuddles me anytime I need her. She never asks questions and always agrees with me. She is perfect! Why should I not be allowed to marry my sweet little min/pin. Her brown eyes are so very soulful.

That’s right - Huckabee figured out that all of my efforts in support of gay marriage were, in fact, a thinly veiled attempt to get one step closer to being able to have my relationship with my adorable pup sanctioned by the church and legally recognized by both State and Federal governments.

What an idiot! Comparing gay marriage to incest, polygamy, and bestiality as Huckabee did in a speech given to journalism students at the College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ, last week is just ignorant. Gay marriage hurts no one. These other acts do. Gay marriage is about love, respect, and honor. Incest, bestiality, and even polygamy are about power and dominance, not love.

Mr. Huckabee, I invite you to do your research. Read. Get to know some gay and lesbian couples and their families. Figure out who they are and what they are about and search your heart for understanding and some love of your own. Stop being so judgmental and learn to live and let live. I will keep you in my prayers - Yep, believe it or not, many gays and lesbians do attend church and pray! And if I do ever decide to marry my dog, you will be the first on my guest list. We’ll be registered at PETCO.

Lorraine (The Happy Lesbian Housewife) Howell

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, David Cassidy

Despite my best intentions of getting to bed at a decent time tonight, it’s now approaching midnight and I find myself caught up in a multi-colored bus trip down memory lane. No, I’m not aboard The Who’s “Magic Bus” - my childhood was far too restrictive for that type of drug-fueled journey. Rather, I’ve been transported back in time almost 40 years and am bouncing along on the bus with the “Careful: Nervous Mother Driving” sign tacked to the back – the Partridge Family’s favorite mode of transportation.

That’s right – it’s David Cassidy’s 60th birthday (DOB: April 12, 1950) so I wandered over to YouTube and tapped his name into the search field. Dozens of videos popped up! Early solo stuff, Partridge Family stuff, and even stuff from the more mature Mr. Cassidy. I can’t make myself shut down my computer, as each video sparks another memory.

Hey! That song was on the very first LP I ever purchased! Got it at the JC Penney’s in Welch, WV where my Grandma worked.

Wow – that’s the song from the episode where the family dog got sprayed by a skunk and the Partridges had to perform in an operating room at the children’s hospital so as not to offend the patients they were there to entertain. (BTW – the dog’s name was Simone and she disappeared after the first season; retain that, people, it’s a great stumper question for the more casual PF fan.)

And, gee. That’s one of the songs my sister and our friends used to lip sync to in our little backyard concert series. (Stop laughing. We were good. Really.)

As an almost 50 year old lesbian, I’m often met with quizzical expressions when I try to explain my affinity for David Cassidy and his early 1970’s television family. Many women my age admit to having had crushes on Susan Dey, but apparently few went for the feathery-haired, pooka shell and hip hugger adorned crooner with the killer smile the way I did. And the subject comes up more often than you might expect, as I have an original Partridge Family lunchbox on the bookshelf in my living room and one of my favorite lucky tokens when playing Texas Hold ‘Em is a little replica Partridge Family bus that I came across a few years back. (I love you, Ebay – xoxoxo.) As you’d imagine, questions arise.

It would take far more words than I will allot myself in a blog entry to explain why my fondness for David Cassidy remains intact after almost 40 years. All I can say is that I discovered him when I was 10 years old, clicking around the dial on the brand new black and white television that my younger sister and I had saved to purchase, and from that very first “I Think I Love You” I was hooked. Part of me wanted to marry him; part of me wanted to be him; and part of me just longed to be a Partridge, a member of a supportive family with a really cool Mom and fun brothers and sisters, because at age 10, my reality was a distant cry from such normalcy.

Today, I still crush on the guy a little bit – c’mon, that hair, that smile! - but mostly I still crush on the music, as corny and cliché’ as much of it is. The music was an escape for me back in the early 70’s as I’d go to my room, close the door, put an LP on the turntable, weight the needle down with a penny or two to avoid the inevitable “skipping”, and the darkness outside my door disappeared as I traveled down an imaginary highway in a color-blocked bus.

The shadows cast these days now take different forms – the weight and responsibility of every day life, a heart break every now and then – but the tried and true elixir of my childhood remains the cure. There’s simply nothing better than “Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque” blaring from the radio of a multi-colored bus to transport me to my “C’mon, get happy” place again.

Candy Parker

Monday, April 12, 2010

Other Lesbians Don't Talk To Me

It’s beginning to be a real problem. Let me clarify, it’s not that I can’t talk to other LBQs once the conversation gets started or that they don’t like me once they get to know me. It’s that I always have to start the conversation because no one will ever start one with me. It’s getting really tiring, ladies. I have to say. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when I went to a networking event at a lesbian bar and spent the night running from dyke to dyke introducing myself. I guess it was a good work out, but I would love to stay in one place and have women come up to me. Or at least do half the work instead of just lying there. Okay, maybe that last one doesn’t apply to the networking event. Still, this is becoming a problem.

I’ve tried explaining it to my straight friends; whose eyes glaze over until I’m done explaining the problem. “Natasia, you’re engaged, why do you need other lesbians to talk to you?” They ask. “It’s not about hitting on them! It’s about having a conversation with a new lesbian. You know like, what for to make new friends and learn new perspectives on life and shiz.” Then I think we started talking about how men suck. Note to men: Lesbians aren’t man haters, the straight women you have dicked around are. Basically, sleep with one eye open. Take this as a friendly warning.

I’ve also tried to talk to my gay friends about it. Who responded, “We talk to you, of course other lesbians talk to you.” “Actually no, you guys are kind of it.” Then we started talking about how women suck. Note to Leslie P. at Berkeley: Sleep with one eye open…

Finally, I broached the problem with my girlfriend. “It’s because they think you’re straight, honey.” “But I’m not, I’m one of the gayest gays that ever gayed.” I whined. Then we talked about how much I sucked and whether or not I needed to sleep on the couch that night.

Maybe it is the lesbian community. Once we have our circle of friends, we close ourselves off to others. We socialize, date, break up, make up all within our group. Or maybe it’s because I’m just a catty femme-bot like Tammy Lynn Michaels-Etheridge said on her blog? I’ll probably never know. But GAY readers, if you see me in a bar, say ‘Hi’!

Natasia Langfelder

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Showtime - Trading "Real" for "Ratings"

Showtime has announced the cast of their new series “The Real L Word”. *yawn*

Maybe it’s just me, but I thought with the adjective “real” in the title, we might see a little diversity in the cast - diversity in skin tone, diversity in economic status, and perhaps even a little diversity in the types of lesbian women represented. But the cast photo and accompanying descriptions of the women make the original “The L Word” look like a session at the United Nations.

I know I should take comfort in the fact that Ilene Chaiken is involved in the project; after all, she’s a lesbian, too, right? But as with “The L Word” series, I can’t help but feel like this reality spin-off is again catering to some male lesbian fantasy where every woman is a size 4 femme-bot.

At risk of being exorcized from the Lesbian Nation, I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan of “The L Word”, much preferring the storylines and performances in “Queer As Folk”. I watched the first couple of episodes of Season 1 and just couldn’t get past the bad writing and, in some cases, worse acting. As the show moved into later seasons, I read about storylines involving vampires and just rolled my eyes, thankful I wasn’t wasting valuable DVR real estate on such drivel (and a wee bit sad that Leisha Hailey, who’d I seen perform live in the Murmurs in her pre-Alice days, was caught up in that mess). I’d occasionally tune in when I heard something new was in the works, like when Daniela Sea’s character, Moira, was introduced. Finally we were getting a butch character on the show – but wait. The butch chick wanted to be a man, hence our introduction to Max.

Well, hell, of course! All women who are more comfortable in Doc Martens and non-designer jeans secretly want to be men, right? To add insult to injury, Sea’s character was also presented as economically and culturally challenged. As my ex sometimes watched the show, I happened to see the episode where Moira/Max fumbled around like a fish out of water at a restaurant where multiple forks were included in the place setting. After that, I once again swore off the series. I may be the one in the relationship who opens doors and kills the bugs, but I know which fork to use, can select a decent wine, and typically don’t break into a cold sweat when the menu reveals entrée pricing in the $35-$50 range. (Ironically, my one claim to fame – an article in “Curve” - was published in the February 2007 issue for which Sea graced the cover, so we are forever linked in print.)

I think the last time my TV found its way to “The L Word” was back when Carmen was still spinning everyone’s turntables. While the writing and acting were still often horrific, I’d indulge in some Carmen-gawking while muting the volume to avoid any chance of reflexively slinging the remote at the screen in response to the inane banter. When Shane left her at the altar, however, any iota of interest I had in the show was erased. Who does that? Seriously – is anyone reading this going to say they’d leave that Hispanic hottie holding the bag on your wedding day?

But I digress.

The fact is neither “The L Word” nor the “reality” knock-off “The Real L Word” get anywhere near “real” when it comes to representing the full spectrum of lesbian culture. Perhaps that’d be too much for any show to take on, though with the inclusion of the word “real” in the show’s title, I feel the producers owe us a little less male fantasy and a little more lesbian legitimacy.

Showtime, might I suggest some alternate titles for your new series? Perhaps “The Play for the Ratings L Word,” “The Lipstick Lesbian L Word,” or even “The Tiny Slice of Real L Word” might go a ways toward truth in labeling – and you know how we lesbians love our labels.

Candy Parker

Saturday, April 10, 2010

From Ice Cream to Aniston: My Addictions

Reading J. Allison’s blog entry yesterday about her attempt to quit smoking utilizing electronic cigarettes made me think of my own addictions. As a child I developed a chocolate ice cream addiction. I could eat buckets of the stuff. There was no electronic ice cream to help me overcome the grip it had over my soul. I ceased being a chocolate ice cream addict the night I binged like nobody’s business and later woke up, five years old, puking all over the lilac carpet in the hall. I didn’t give up chocolate ice cream forever or completely, but it was never, you know, quite the same, after I saw it laying there in piles at my feet. I know, yuck, TMI, move on, Cindy.

My next addiction was, like J.’s, cigarettes. I began smoking cigarettes in 1976 at age 14 and paid 45 cents a pack. I quit in 2002 at age 40 when cigarettes in Massachusetts were at $4.50 a pack. I hear now they are up to $6 or $7 and cost nearly what marijuana does, which I don’t smoke (long and traumatic story for another time.) I did the math a few years back, based on the average number of cigarettes I’d smoked over the course of my 26 year career as an addict. The results were startling. In my lifetime, I have smoked 287,450 cigarettes and spent between $50,000 and $60,000 to buy them. No shit. No lie. Truly, this is no exaggeration. I’ve done the math. I’m good at math.

I finally quit smoking using prescription drugs, a miracle beyond miracles and I hope all the smokers out there find their miracle.

I do currently have a coffee addiction but it pales in comparison to either chocolate ice cream or cigarettes or honestly, to Frito Lay products. I can eat Fritos Corn Chips or Cheetos without ever coming up for air. I will lick the inside of the bag when I’ve devoured one. And still want more. The junk is better than sex. And yes, it’s embarrassing, especially when you have that fake orange cheese smeared all over your mouth. And you’re in your late forties.

We come to the final and never ending addiction: women. Talk about never being sated. I love women more than chocolate ice cream. I need women more than nicotine. I desire them more than my morning coffee. (I cannot make a comparison to Frito Lay products because it’s truly a toss up.) I can’t find a way to stop loving women or thinking about them or wanting them and I can only hope, someday, if I’m very lucky, I will either find the woman of my dreams or someone will invent an electronic woman to help me get off the stuff.

I could be addicted to her, couldn’t you? Who’d want to get off that stuff?

Cindy Zelman

Friday, April 9, 2010

Step One: Coming Out...

I have to come out. It’s time, really. I mean it’s not like everyone can’t already tell by looking at my photo anyway, right? So I’ll just say it and rid myself of the burden that comes with holding a secret for so long…here goes:

I’m…I’m a smoker.

Yes, that’s right. I've been smoking since I was 17 years old. I guess back then it seemed like a brilliant idea – all the cool kids were doin’ it and all that. I started even though I knew nothing good comes of smoking. Ever. Seriously, when is the last time someone told you all the wonderful, positive ways that smoking has impacted their life? The countless dollars up in smoke, the wintery nights spend huddled outside a bar in the freezing cold just to get a fix, the destructive health implications. All bad stuff with no up side.

So recently I decided to quit. It would be easier said than done, I knew, so I didn’t attempt the dare-devil cold turkey method. Instead, I jumped on the electronic cigarette bandwagon about three weeks ago, and, hell, it’s been fantastic!

The great part about electronic cigarettes is that I can smoke WHEREVER I want to, still getting both my nicotine and physical addictions taken care of, while avoiding all the other nasty crap that traditional cigarette smokers like to pretend isn’t in their cigarettes.

You want to give me a hard time and tell me I’ve really not “quit”? I dare you to! You give me a hard time and I’ll give you a schoolin' on the benefits of electronic cigarettes.

That’s not to say there aren’t challenges with these ash-less gadgets. It’s definitely taking some time to get used to the heavier feel of the cigarette. And there’s also the super-human effort involved to get a decent fix. Sometimes I feel like I’m sucking on the thing so hard I might pass out with the next pull. I guess somehow I'm hoping that If I draw in deeply enough, the next drag will contain all of the junk in conventional smokes that serves to calm my nerves and keeps me from not losing it on every person who walks into the room.

To the average passerby, I probably look like a crazed lunatic sucking away on these butt-less technological wonders, but lemme tell ya, quttin' is a bitch, and anything that helps me be less of one is worth its weight in smokeless vapor!

J. Allison

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Nike - Just (Don't) Do It...

While Accenture, Gillette, and Gatorade, among others, saw fit to sever ties with golf icon Tiger Woods after his numerous “transgressions” were revealed late last year, Nike laced up their athletic shoes and decided to stick with the club-wielding playboy. Yesterday, on the eve of the revered Masters golf tournament, Nike unveiled their latest Tiger-themed ad, which features a somber and puffy-faced Woods staring silently into the camera as a voice-over from his late father, Earl, speaks:

“Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was; I want to find out what your feelings are; and did you learn anything?”

Presumably, the elder Woods originally proffered those words in reaction to a poor tee shot or missed putt by the young Tiger, but Nike now applies them in the context of Tiger’s marital infidelity in this 30-second, black and white come-back commercial.

Now, I wasn’t one to get all stirred up about Tiger cheating on his wife. Is anyone REALLY surprised anymore when a sports star, actor, or major politician is revealed as a womanizer? Puhlease! These guys face temptation that most of us can only imagine (and fantasize about)! It stands to reason that they’ll take a tumble off the pedestal every now and again. The only thing that baffles me about these guys is why they decide to get married in the first place?! If the world is your oyster, you don’t settle down at Red Lobster for the rest of your life, even if you do really, really love the cheese biscuits.

That said, I find the Nike ad revolting. Tiger’s willingness to allow the voice of his beloved deceased father to be used for such a purpose is, to put it bluntly, disgusting to me. I find THIS to be an even greater indictment of his character than him having bedded dozens of women while married with children. Talk about the ultimate sell-out!

I suppose the one saving grace in the ad is that Nike had the good sense not to close with their tag line – Just Do It. I guess even they realize that Tiger’s already “Done It” enough.

Candy Parker

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dance as if EVERYONE is Watching...Please

Folks, let's talk about dancing for minute here. If you're out dancing at the club on a Saturday night, might I offer the following suggestions…

First, if your best dance move involves simply gyrating wildly with your hands clenched above your head, you should probably just sit down.

Second, if your idea of dancing is to maniacally hop up and down to Lady Gaga as if on some imaginary pogo stick, you might take your game up a notch or two by considering a visit to the bar. Seriously – shots are on me.

Finally, please try to avoid giving the appearance that you are channeling a Whirling Dervish. The tie-dyed sleeveless shirt with your flannel wrapped around your waist isn’t helping either. Please...just…just stop. Your dance-floor inspired tornado impersonation has the rest of us on the verge of becoming Hurling Dervishes.

Forget what they say about “Dance as if no one is watching.” I am and I’m taking notes.

Please consider this a public service announcement - I'm not trying to be rude; I’m just trying to improve our image. Seriously ladies, friends don't let friends dance horribly.

J. Allison

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Erykah Exposed - More than Dallas Can Handle

In the news today: A serious crime was committed in Dallas, the worst criminal act since the shooting of JFK. The sexy, sultry, and soulful singer, Erykah Badu, was fined $500 for walking through the streets of Dallas and stripping nude for her new video “Window Seat.” Toward the end of the video and near the site of the JFK shooting, Erykah is “pretend” shot and falls to the ground. It’s apparent that the Dallas Police didn’t watch the video to understand her message about violence and victimizing those who are different. All they could “see” was her nudity as equivalent to a flasher looking to molest a child in a park. A quote from Sergeant Warren Mitchell states, “She disrobed in a public place without regard to individuals and small children who were close by."

Geez, what might happen if small children saw a beautiful woman naked for a few moments? Of course, they would be traumatized for life, in need of psychotherapy, Thorazine and electroshock treatment to get the heinous image out of their impressionable heads. And what about those adult “individuals” who were “exposed” to the beautiful art of this woman’s body? They will never be the same. Yes, it was obscene and disgusting and no doubt emotionally scarring that Badu FORCED their heads to turn and FORCED them to gaze at THAT level of sexiness walking the streets of Dallas. Dallas never gets that sexy; no wonder people were traumatized!

Badu was making a video and one with a message. She wasn’t flashing children in the park and she wasn’t mocking JFK. Watch the video until the VERY end and you shall see.

I think each person who saw her naked should pay HER $500 bucks for the privilege of seeing such beauty in the raw. I’ve got $500 bucks squirreled away for when Ms. Badu decides to shoot a naked video in Boston. Erykah, if you come to Boston, you can stay at my house, okay? You can walk up and down my street naked all day long as far as I’m concerned, and at night, no pajamas necessary.

To see read the full story and see Erykah’s video in which all the “good parts” of her body have been blurred out, (but still, it’s worth watching) click here.

Cindy Zelman

More GAY News

GAY was making the rounds this week on the lesbian internet radio/podcast circuit.  Just a couple of days after her appearance on, Editor-in-Chief Candy Parker was bantering with Denise & Donna, the dynamic duo who host The Lesbian Lounge show on

GAY appreciates the support received from these wonderful women and many more as we spread the word about our brand-spankin'-new humor/comedy e-magazine.  Wer're looking forward to featuring interviews with Denise & Donna and several other internet radio/podcast hosts in the June 1st issue of GAY e-magazine.

The Lesbian Lounge shows are available at iTunes - just search for in the podcast library and subscribe today!