Tuesday, August 31, 2004

What's in the Bag

My (brief) critique of last night's speeches:

McCain: Weirdly subdued -- looked as uncomfortable shilling for Bush as you know he is. Classily avoided criticizing fellow Vietnam vet Kerry, but lost credibility with his over-the-top defense of the senseless war in Iraq. Michael Moore line was great political theater.

(By the way: Michael Moore is my hero. But seriously, Michael, it's time to lose the "I'm a big fat smelly slob" look. At the very least, shave. You know you're in enemy territory. You don't have to provide ammunition by looking like the creepy middle-aged guy who hangs around the playground after school.)

Giuliani: Brilliant. Perfect. Aside from Bill Clinton, the greatest living politician. Attacked Kerry without seeming mean-spirited. Conjured up the tragedy of 911 without exploiting it. Would be president some day if the Republican party were not dominated by deranged extremists.

Nice party platform, by the way. I'm surprised they left out their support for a pro-cross burning amendment. Does this stuff really represent the agenda of half the people in America?

OK, enough of my soapbox. Now to the important stuff -- the contents of the 2004 Welcoming Committee gift bag:

2-oz bag of Dunkin Donuts "100% Arabica Coffee," obviously a bone tossed to Al-Jazeera.

Disposable 35-mm camera, courtesy of B & H -- the photo store, not the bagel shop.

Children's book entitled, "Miffy Loves New York City," brought to you by Michelin, to be wrapped and given to my nephew Xander for Chanukkah.

Tiny AstraZeneca runner's pedometer, to be wrapped and given to my sister, Anna, for same.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese "Republicans in 2004" edition dinner, complete with pasta bites that are supposed to resemble elephants but actually look like turtles.

Black pleather spiral notebook with "2004 Republican National Convention" on the front, presented by some mysterious entity known as MeadWestvaco.

"Guide to New York City Landmarks," third edition; possible Chanukkah gift for parents or Granny.

60-Minute Verizon prepaid phone card, useless for me as I no longer have a land line. Who wants it?

"Ellis Island: The DVD," brought to you by the History Channel. I'm actually sort of interested in watching this, and then giving it to Uncle Michael for Chanukkah.

Free 1-week membership to New York Sports Club. Been there, done that.

Small bag of red, white and blue M & Ms, for candy dish in my apartment.

Hideous AT & T convention pin with movable Statue of Liberty. (Why does she move when the real one doesn't?)

Nifty, high-tech looking pen, courtesy of the USS Intrepid. Definite Chanukkah gift for nephew Tyler.

ConEdison key chain. (They really went all out, didn't they?)

8 Listerine PocketPaks.

And some tiny booklets and postcards too insubstantial to detail.

The bag itself is a complete and total piece of crap; a black, paper-thin vinyl messenger bag with a braided cotton strap that unravels when you look at it and velcro (!) attachments. Feh!

Finally (I know, Adam, wrap it up), here are the celebrities I've seen so far this week: Wolf Blitzer, Al Franken, Ted Koppel and Jim Angle; a shrimp, a blimp, a gimp and a pimp.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Clowns to the Left of Me, Republicans on the Right

Actually, they're on top of me, which I NEVER thought would be the case. I write now from the Times annex, which is actually inside Madison Square Garden, on the street level. The convention is going on above us -- or it will be when it starts up again two hours from now.

(Note to Mom: Remember Sunday, when I called and told you I was standing inside the convention hall, right next to the stage? Yeah, well I didn't know what the hell I was talking about. I was in some sub-convention area probably reserved for cleaning staff. I told you it seemed small.)

Security grows more intense by the hour. Before one boards the sky-walk thing linking the Farley Building with the Garden, there's now another checkpoint -- guards, x-ray machines, dogs, the whole megillah. The security guard did a thorough search of my bag and confiscated... my apple. No, not a laptop computer -- a piece of fruit. "Why," I asked, like Cindy-Lou Who to the Grinch. "Why are you taking my apple?"

"Because you could bean it like a baseball," she replied.

I most certainly could not! (But I'm sure she could). Still, it's nice to know that in this age of dirty bombs and biochemical warfare the Feds are still concerned about flying fruit.

One more word about security. When I checked into the hotel this morning, I was met by the Westin's version of a bomb-sniffing dog: Daisy, the springer spaniel. She was about as threatening as a stuffed animal, unlike those big butch German Shepherd police dogs.

As I type this, I'm listening to the Christ Tabernacle Church Choir from Glendale, Queeens warm up in the adjoining space. They're performing tonight in prime time, and apparently their entire repertoire consists of military anthems. ("From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli...", etc.) Onward Christian soldiers, indeed.

In tomorrow's blog entry: What's inside the RNC Welcome Committee gift bag?

P.S. LATE UPDATE: I just snagged two Dominos pizzas from the Christians. Praise Jesus!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Convention Duty, Day 2

Today began rather inauspiciously. First of all, I'm a bit groggy, having worked at Barrage last night until 3AM. This morning, before I left the house, I went through all my press credentials to try and figure out which one I needed. They're all clearly marked with days of the week: "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc." But there was no pass that said, "Sunday," so I assumed my big gay pink pass from yesterday was still applicable.

When I arrived at the Farley Building, however, a cop informed me I had the wrong pass. Apparently, the one labeled "Monday" is really for Sunday as well. Of course -- how could I be so stupid?

I called Alix on my cell phone and explained my predicament. She told me she'd be down as soon as she could with a correct pass for me.

In the meantime, the line to get in was growing. Wheareas yesterday we all just sailed right through with our pink passes, today there was an army of security. Uniformed and plain-clothes cops, metal detectors, x-ray machines and bomb-sniffing dogs. I learned from some people in line that New York City Police dogs have the same official status as NYPD officers. Like they have the power to arrest you. I also found out it's not OK to pet them.

By the time Alix found me, the line was enormous. When I finally got up to the metal detectors, a cop told us we had to wait -- they had just blown a fuse.

Finally, they let me through. (I was a little disappointed none of the dogs sniffed my backpack, but the cops did send it through the x-ray machine.)

Up in the Times area now, and there's nothing going on. Just a small handful of people nibbling sandwiches and watching a live feed of the protests outside. Yes, this is real journalism.

I made out OK last night at Barrage, but I had to work for every penny. My most annoying table (and that was quite a distinction last night) ordered their first round of drinks from me, and the total was $30. One of the guys paid for everyone, gave me $44, and said "Keep it." Very nice tip, but not unprecedented, right?

So when I came back with their second round, again I said, "$30, please." And the guy who paid me the last time goes,

"Why was it $40 last time and $30 this time?"

And I'm like, "No... it was $30 last time, too." And then seeing his eyes get very wide, I added, "You just gave me a very nice tip."

So then he says, in this very bitchy tone, "Um, listen -- no joke -- I'm hard of hearing. I'm not joking. Really, this isn't a joke..." (as if I'm doubled over in laughter), "... but I swear -- you said $40."

So then his friends start going, "No, he said $30."

But this guy's adamant. "No -- you said $40."

Do you understand how insane this is? If I were going to overcharge them for the first round, wouldn't I also overcharge them for the second round, so as not to get caught??

So I said, "Look. Why don't you just not tip me this round, and we'll call it even?"

And Helen Keller says, snatching all his change from my hands, "And how 'bout you give us the next round for free?"

So I smiled. I said nothing for a moment. I took a deep breath. And then I said, "Listen -- I'm sorry you misunderstood me." (I'm signing at this point as well.) "But I really did say $30." And I bowed and walked away.

Small consolation: When I went over there to check on them later, Big Spender was in the bathroom. One of his friends leaned over to me said, "Don't worry about what my friend said to you. He's an asshole."

"Yes," I smiled, "yes, he is."

Friday, August 27, 2004

Convention Duty, Day 1 (Update!)

I just bought a plum from the "competitively priced" restaurant. It cost me a dollar. Plus tax.

In the spirt of full disclosure, I must tell you it was a very juicy plum.

Convention Duty, Day 1

Greetings from the Farley Post Office on 8th Avenue (so named for James A. Farley, U.S. politician who engineered electoral triumphs for Franklin D. Roosevelt -- not for Chris Farley, the late bloated comic genius).

The convention doesn't start until Sunday night, but we've already moved in a skeleton crew, myself included, to get the temporary office set up. I reported to work on 43rd this morning and was introduced to Alix, who's in charge of Post Office operations during the Convention. Alix immediately reminded me of Carolyn, Donald Trump's cool, blonde poker-faced henchwoman on "The Apprentice." She eyed me skeptically as we boarded the elevator. "You sure you're ready for this?", she asked.

"Um, yeah... unless I'm expected to actually speak at the convention, I think I'm ready for this."

We walked the nine blocks to the Post Office. You can't imagine the amount of security, both human and structural, surrounding the entire area. We had to keep flashing our Convention passes which, by the way, are bright, bright hot pink. They resemble the event pass I had at the last "Disney World Gay Days" Circuit Party. Methinks some queer convention insider is having a bit of a chuckle over this.

We finally arrived at the Post Office. Whoah. All postal employees and equpment have been shipped out. Picture like a giant job fair, but with each booth enclosed by black curtains. Inside each enclosure lives a different media outlet -- every newspaper, magazine and TV station you've ever heard of.

The Times area is on the second floor, and it's quite large. There are rows and rows of chairs, desktop computers, and phones. (Think NASA without the projection screens). Curiously, the chairs are luxurious -- soft, black, pleather two-armed swivels that are far nicer than our dumpy little work chairs back at The Times. I assume these are rented.

Eager young "concierges" in matching blue polo shirts circle about. They're supposed to be assisting us, but so far all I've seen them do is ask for New York Times pins. Apparently, pin collecting among the concierges and security guards is tantamount to trading beads at Mardi Gras. Thought I've yet to see anybody flash some skin for a pin.

There are a number of amenities available to us media types, the most exciting being Barneys, which is offering free haircuts, "mini-facials," and manicures right inside the building. I don't need either a haircut or a facial at the moment -- I'm still recovering from yesterday's -- but perhaps I'll pop in for a manuicure before the week is up. There is also an in-house restaurant, which claims to offer food at "competitive prices." (That's sort of a meaningless phrase in New York City.)

Drama! A concierge just came in to collect all the little information sheets we were given when we entered the facility; apparently, there's a major typo. It says, "The Farley Post office is responsbile for any damage to the premises," rather than "The Farley Post Office is NOT responsible for any damage to premises." So now they have to fix it and re-distribute the sheets throughout the building. This bodes well for how the rest of the week will go.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Face Off

I was fortunate enough to have my very first facial today. My friend Michael Pennock is studying to be an esthetician at the Christine Valmy School on 5th Avenue. (What is an esthetician? I'm so glad you asked. Here's a wonderful site that explains it: http://www.thehighschoolgraduate.com/editorial/DC/esthetics.htm)

Anyway, Michael has to perform a certain number of facials before he earns his license, so he invites friends of his to come in for free and be his guinea pigs. (You didn't think I would actually PAY for a facial at this impoverished phase of my news-clerking, drink-slinging, no-money-for-comedy-making stage of my life, did you?)

The facial experience, for those of you less fortunate, is very surreal. First of all, I had to change into a hospital gown (not the assless kind, but it did include an elastic shower-cap). Then I was laid out on a white table alongside dozens of other facial victims; it looked a bit like we were all getting dialysis.

The room was very dark, and there was soft, new-age music playing as Michael rubbed countless cold treatments into my face. Occasionally, he'd cover my eyes with patches and shine very bright lights over my face. At one point, he turned on a little steamer machine after wresting it away from the small Asian woman next to us:

"Excuse me, but this is my steamer, which I prepared for my client."

"No! No! My steamer!"

"No, I'm sorry, this is my steamer," etc. Michael is the only man in the shop, and one of the only non-Asians, so I assume he's learned how to stand his ground.

With that, he steamed my face off. Very relaxing, and it cleared my sinuses.

"Ok," Michael announced, "now it's time to begin extractions."


Sure enough, he turned on that bright light again and began systematically squeezing segments of my face with his giant, gloved hands. I handled the pain pretty well until he moved to my nose. AUGHHHH! It felt like somebody was giving me a manual nose-job -- without anesthetics. (Perhaps that's why it's called "esthetics.")

"Ah, quiet down," said Michael, "you should see how much crap I'm squeezing out of your nose." Yes, but why??

After the extraction process was mericfully over, Michael rubbed a "cooling, soothing masque" on my face, arms and hands and let me marinate for 10 minutes. Then he removed the gook, gave me a quick back massage and presto! I was a new man!

I headed to the gym and proceeded to work out, thus clogging all my pores with sweat again. Then it was home for a quick nap and back to the National Desk, from where I presently report. Tomorrow I begin Convention duty.

I hope the Republicans notice my flawless skin.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

More on the Firehouse Ho

Hey, folks, no time to blog today. But for those of you interested in the firehouse sex scandal I mentioned yesterday, here's the latest from the Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/225628p-193778c.html

It's fairly juicy stuff.

Love, Adam

P.S. Just found out I'll be staying at the Westin Hotel during the convention, which is exactly 4 blocks from my apartment. Yesterday at lunchtime I saw former presidential candidate and pseudo-Christian Gary Bauer walking into the hotel. Maybe I'll take a dump outside his door.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Low Talkers and Firehouse Ho's

It's my second day training on the National desk here at The Times. I hate training in a new department; it's always like going back to school. Each section of the paper operates as its own semi-independent fiefdom with its own little language and customs. So it's just tedious learning all the esoterica, like where they store the computer paper.

Yesterday I trainined on the evening shift with a clerk named Shane. Nice guy and highly competent, but speaks in a voice so low and soft it approaches the point of passive aggression. "Excuse me? Pardon me? What?" as I'm placing my ears as close to his mouth as possible in an effort to catch whatever it is he's trying to explain to me. Finally, I just tuned out and spent the evening playing online while he did all the work. I'm sure now he thinks I'm a lazy shit, but that's the way it goes; I don't do well with the terminally quiet.

Anyone in the NYC area following this firehouse sex scandal? I am, of course, riveted. This 34-year-old married woman has apparently had sex with hundreds of firefighters and police officers since 911 -- while they're on the job!. (Talk about saluting our heroes!) She has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She has also been diagnosed as a horny slut! Now some of the firefighters are in danger of losing their hoses, and the woman is hospitalized -- in the Horny Slut Wing at Bellvue, no doubt. Here's the latest: http://www.ny1.com/ny/TopStories/SubTopic/index.html?topicintid=1&subtopicintid=1&contentintid=42736

In other news, Letterman opened last night with a great joke about the McGreevey scandal: "Hey, I've been wondering about this all week: Is it too soon to hit on Mrs. McGreevey?" I've lost interest in this tiresome story, especially with the endless "Will Corzine run or won't he?" speculation. But Michael Musto has a great essay on the whole saga in the current Village Voice (with one of the most brilliant headlines ever: "Alien vs Predator"). Here's the link: http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0433/musto.php

Not too much else to report. I feel like it's been forever since I've performed, and I really have to get back in the saddle. Bookers, please -- don't be shy about calling me.

Oh, and Jason Borbet -- what's with your psycho Blog today? (http://www.borbay.com/DAILYjtb/djtb.html) It has a definite Norman Bates quality to it. I have one word for you: Zoloft. Hey, it worked for me!

Chow mein.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Testing... Testing... Is this On?

So I had my first voice over audition today.

I've been training with a voice over coach by the name of Peter Rofe, who is well regarded in the business. He and his engineer ultimately recorded a demo of my voice (which will soon be available on my Website). It was Peter who got me the audition today, which was for a woman named Doreen Frumkin.

Peter warned me she was a rather no-nonsense, deadpan type, and not to be intimidated. So I get there and I'm one of three guys sitting in folding chairs. And the door opens, and this woman (Doreen, I presume) comes out and plops a packet of scripts down on a music stand next to a sign-up sheet and then walks back into the little room.

So I sign in and grab a script. It's for the the U.S. Tennis Association. It's a one-minute spot, and the text is as follows:

Andy meet Sarah.

Sarah meet Venus.

Venus meet Charlie.

You all have something in common.

You can't get enough of it.

Serena meet John.

John meet James.

James meet Erica.

Join the USTA. The United States Tennis Association. And get more of it with this special itroductory offer for first time members.

Get leagues.

Get tournaments.

Get a subsucription to Tennis magazine.

Get an official US Open hat.

Andre meet Emma.

Emma meet Lindsay.

Lindsay meet the next Lindsay.

Get into it. Join the USTA. 1 800 791 USTA.

OK, try reading that whole thing out loud from beginning to end and tell me you don't sound like a mental patient. So I'm sitting there trying to get "into character" and figure out the subtext like Peter has taught me to do. What is this spot REALLY saying, etc. So it occurs to me there's some sort of sexual undercurrent to it. You're setting all these people up with each other. Why? Because they "can't get enough of it." It's naughty, no?

As I'm practicing reading this to myself with my best naughty voice, Doreen pops her head out of the little room and says, "Adam." And she says it so quickly I'm not even sure she's actually said it. Like maybe I thought she said, "Adam," but really she just said, "Ahem." So I do nothing for five seconds. And then she repeats it. "Adam. Please come in now." So I'm like, "Oh, um, OK, sure..." like the flustered dork that I am.

So she leads me into a little audio booth and tells me to put on the headphones. And her only direction is, "Let's try this in a normal, conversational voice, ok? Start by slating your name."

Well first of all, normal and conversational do not equal naughty, so there goes my interpretation. And secondly, Peter has trained me when I slate to say the following: "Adam Sank. USTA Take One," etc. So I do that, and Doreen interrupts me. "OK, let's try that again, and this time JUST SLATE YOUR NAME."


"Adam Sank. (Pause.) Andy meet Sarah... Sarah meet Venus...."

"OK," she interrupts me. "Let's start over again but with more energy this time. Please slate your name again."

"ADAM SANK! (Pause.) ANDY MEET SARAH!... SARAH MEET VENUS!..." and so forth.So I finish the read and she goes, "Thank you." Just like that. "Thank you," and she was done with me. It was like Anne Robinson: "You are the weakest link. Goodbye."

So that was that. I'm sure I didn't get it.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Funeral for a Friend

Today I attended the funeral of Jaye Zimet, a warm and wonderful person who left us way too soon.

I grew up with her life partner, Stephanie Schwartz, and had recently become reacquainted with both of them. They were frequent audience members at my gigs, and hearing Jaye's unmistakable, boisterous laugh always gave me an extra boost of confidence onstage.

The Brooklyn funeral, a mix of a traditional Jewish service and New Age Lesbiana, was as unique and remarkable as Jaye herself. Never before had I heard eulogies about pot-smoking and vibrators followed by the Mourner's Kaddish. Learning more about her and her many talents today -- as an artist, author, art collector, chef, musician, wordsmith and world-class wit -- only made me regret all the more that I hadn't gotten to know her better over the years.

A true original, she will be missed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Acquanette, We Hardly Knew Ye!

So here I am, back at the Obituary Desk. No exciting deaths to report except for Acquanetta, a B-movie queen famous for starring in some 1940s Tarzan movie. I've never heard of her, but what a terrific drag name!

Next week I'll be training on the National Desk, and then the following week they're sending me to midtown to help with our GOP Convention coverage. The Times is actually renting me a hotel room, which I'll share with my friend and fellow staffer, Seth. PAR-TAY! With any luck, we'll seduce some closeted Republican delegates and then out them on the convention floor. (Never say I didn't do my part for Kerry!)

Speaking of being outed, a New Jersey college professor has come forward to say he, too, was Golan Cipel's lover. If true, this would tend to cast doubt on Cipel's claim that he doesn't like sausage. It would also mean Cipel was two-timing McGreevey! The chutzpah!

Howard Stern is having a field day with the scandal, by the way, to hilarious effect. This morning he kept cutting away for what he said was a live news conference from the Governor's Mansion. Then he'd play audio from gay porn. Howard also played a song parody supposedly sung by Mrs. McGreevey, to the tune of "My Boyfriend's Back:"

"I should have known there was nothing between us... (gay now, gay now, McGreevey's gay)

Everytime we made love he went looking for my penis... (gay now, gay now, McGreevey's gay)."

Childish, yes, but it amuses me so.

Happy Belated 1st Birthday to my nephew, Xander.Kisses, Adam

Monday, August 16, 2004

She's My Daughter! She's My Sister!

Temperature this morning: 98.6! Praise the Lord -- my recovery may finally be underway. I could actually go back to work tomorrow, and believe it or not, NOTHING would make me happier.

Have spent the last week catching up on movies I always meant to see but never did. Yesterday I watched Chinatown. Great performance by Nicholson, and the scene where Faye Dunaway finally reveals her relationship to her sister/daughter is fabulous. But I have to say I was disappointed overall, just as I am by almost all "classic" 70s movies: Carnal Knowledge, Midnight Cowboy, Shampoo -- with the exception of The Godfathers 1 and 2, not enough happens in movies from this era. It's all about mood, and that's just boring for me.

Speaking of boring, I also watched Sense and Sensiblity. I know, I know, what was I expecting, but it was nominated for seven Oscars, and I've been known to enjoy a good chick flick. Oy VEY was this slow. "Who shall marry Elinor? Who shall marry Marianne?" Who cares? I knew Hugh Grant was going to wind up with one of them.

More highly recommeded: Charle's Busch's Die Mommy Die! Hilarious campfest. Also, The Devil's Playground, a documentary about Amish teenagers on "rumspringa," which is the time during which these kids leave their horse-and-buggies and go totally apeshit! Forget about what you've seen on UPN's Amish in the City, these Playground kids are CRAZY. They smoke, drink, have sex, hold giant raves with other rumspringers -- some of them even smoke crack! And it's all in the name of finding God. Now that's my kind of religion, baby.

Many developments over the weekend in McGreevey-Gayte. Golan Cipel gave an interview to an Israeli newspaper in which he says he is straight. Sure y'are, Blanche. He also claims the Governor repeatedly touched him inappropriately. (Well, I would HOPE so, for $110K a year!) And now even Democratic lawmakers in Jersey are asking for Big Jim to sashay his gay ass out of the governor's mansion immediately, rather than waiting for November 15.

The date is important, because if he leaves before September 3, it will force a special election. NJ Senator John Corzine is expected to run if that happens, which would be sort of cool since he's from my hometown. Oh, and he once had a gay affair with me. But that's just between us.

Ta ta.

P.S. Thanks for the get well comments.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Sex, Lies and Israeli Tourism

Fever, Day 6.

Yes, folks, for the sixth day in a row, my temperature is over 100. I know how bizarre that is, and there's really no explanation for it except that my body does not seem to want to get better.

Incidentally, my sister Anna tells me I should not talk about being sick on the Blog. "You know, when people hear about a gay person being sick, they immediately think AIDS," she explains. Lest any others of you share this enlightened view, let me reassure you: It's not AIDS or anything HIV-related (thank God).

I have watched so much television over the last week I can no longer differentiate between programs. "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica" becomes "Sister Act" becomes "Last Comic Standing" becomes "Saved by the Bell" and so on.

The only thing keeping me from losing my mind entirely is McGreevey-Gayte. "Guv and His Love!", screams The Daily News. "I'm Out!", trumpets The Post. "Por un Hombre!", trills El Diario. It's starting to look very bad, indeed for Governor Jim. Not only was he diddling this Golan guy, but he appointed him director of Homeland Security for New Jersey... which would have been fine had the guy's last job not been that of Israeli tour guide -- making his homeland security credentials only slightly better than those of Tom Ridge.

And now this little whore is claiming he was "forced into a sexual relationship" with the Governor. Um, excuse me? This is a guy who was in the Israeli Navy. How exactly did beanpole McGreevey force him into bed? (Then again, it is hard to imagine anyone sleeping with McGreevey consensually...)

Well, it's back to the sofa with me. Special thanks to Amy, George and Seth for visiting me and bringing me little treats all week, and for Dan and Anna for calling to check in regularly. God willing, this will be the last day of it.

Oh, and you can now access this Blog directly by going to my Website, www.adamsank.com and clicking on either "In The News" or "What People are Saying About."

Thursday, August 12, 2004

New Jersey and You: Gay Together!

All right, this fever has obviously left me delusional. I just turned on the TV and saw the Governor of New Jersey announce that he is a "gay American" and that he's resigning. And there's his smiling blonde wife at his side! Just like on those commercials where they're standing hand-in-hand on the Jersey Shore, welcoming visitors to the Garden State. Maybe now he'll get a job with the Provincetown Board of Tourism: "Come to P-Town, girl! It's WAY more fabulous than fucking Jersey!"

Seriously, is this the most bizarre political news story EVER? Apparently, McGreevey was schtooping some unidentified male -- a hot, nubile young intern, for my money -- and was facing a potential lawsuit over it. (Sexual harrassment, anyone?)

It's actually a drag, no pun intended. He's a decent guy and a good governor. And he actually did a lot for gay rights, unlike some other notorious closet-cases (J. Edgar Hoover, Roy Cohn, Condoleezza Rice, etc). For the full story, check out: http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/elections/article.adp?id=20040812160309990006

In other shocking news, as I sit here burning up the thermometer and hacking up phlegm, I see that I have fallen from #1 to #2 on the Hottest Comics list. So sorry if I haven't been as entertaining the last few days, bitches. Maybe it's because I'M DYING!!!

I have now missed three days of work, and chances are I'll be out for a fourth as well. Add to that medical and drug bills, and this little bug has taken a hell of a financial chunk out of my ass.

Had a surreal moment in the taxi that took me to my doctor's office today. First of all, the driver was a native English speaker. His medallion thingy listed his name as "Vinnie Pescatelli." I would have been less surprised had Judd Hirsch picked me up. When we got there, the fare read "$5.70." So I handed him a $10 bill and asked for three back. He then handed back five singles.

I was paralyzed with confusion. I'm no math whiz to begin with, so you can imagine what I'm like with my brain cooking at 101 degrees. "Um, you gave me back five," I finally said.

"Yeah," he said, "change, ya know?"

More confused paralysis. Why is he giving me back more than I asked for? More than he even owes me? Why is he the first Italian New York City cab driver since Robert DeNiro?

"Here," I said, forcing two dollars at him before my brain exploded, "take care, Vinnie."

That's about the most exciting thing to happen to me all week. With that, this gay American is signing off.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Hot-Blooded, Check it and See...

...I got a fever of 103. Literally. No joke. I left work Monday feeling really crappy, and by the time I woke up Tuesday morning, my temp was hovering right around the 103 mark. (As my doctor put it later that day, "Adam, when you get sick, you don't fuck around. You REALLY get sick!")

But wait -- more good news: After I took the antibiotic this morning, I puked! Yay! So now there's no chance I'll feel better anytime soon!

Obviously this means I have to cancel my guest spot tonight at New York Comedy Club. Hooray!

On the brighter side, I have the chills and my whole body aches.

Well, I hope I've brought sunshine to you all with today's entry. I'll try to write something more substantial later if I'm feeling any better.

(Contagious) Kisses,Adam

Thank you for the nice comment on my profile page, Steve. I needed it.

Saturday, August 7, 2004

Fickle Finger of Fame

"I think this is a disgusting, lowlife excuse for a human being, and I'd love to beat the crap out of him, to tell you the truth."

OK, gang, quiz time. Who said this today, and about whom? (No skipping ahead!)

A) Dick Cheney, about V.P. Nominee John Edwards

B) Teresa Heinz Kerry, about holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel

C) Nick Lachey, about 60 Minutes star and oldest living human, Mike Wallace

D) Geraldo Rivera, about Benjamin Vanderford, who faked his own beheading

If you guessed D, you get a cookie! If you guessed B, you are sick -- sick I tell you!

The 24-hour news channels are having a field day with this story, the details of which are available (sans Geraldo's insightful commentary) athttp://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=5902476

Fox News showed a home video of Vanderford, shirtless in his San Francisco home, explaining why he did it. To me the most shocking thing about the video is his abundance of shoulder hair. Hey, how about instead of your head, you chop off some of that fur, Sasquatch! Don't you ever watch "Queer Eye?"

I didn't intend to watch Fox News today. I was actually watching "The Manchurian Candidate" -- the original -- which I rented on the recommendation of my 87-year-old Granny. (She also said the new one sucks.) I watched for about a 1/2 hour before starting to doze off. Not wanting to miss the rest, I hit the pause button for what I thought would be a short cat-nap. When I awoke an hour later, Geraldo Rivera was threatening violence, and I was momentarily panicked, thinking it was part of the film.

Last night, I went with my friend Dan to Rose's Turn, the Greenwich Village piano bar, where I often do a short set (a couple songs, a couple jokes) on Friday nights. If you've never been there, the staff is unbelievably talented -- like Broadway caliber -- and they're a helluva lot of fun, too. Michael Isaacs, the adorable piano player, is especially supportive of me and always plugs my upcoming gigs for the crowd.

Dan had never seen me perform before. He's a former food critic who now manages restaurants, but his beating heart is still that of a critic. After we left, I asked him what he thought of my performance. "Well, you're not a good singer," he said diplomatically. "You're not a bad singer, but you're not a good singer. But your jokes were good, and I heard someone in the crowd mention how cute you looked." Score! Maybe next time I'll strip. (It wouldn't be the first time...)

Tonight is my weekly cocktail shift at Barrage bar. It's a nice place to work but I am REALLY sick of having to be there every Saturday night. On the other hand, working in such an environment is not bad for my self-esteem, since I am regularly hit on by many of the drunk queens there.

Occasionally somebody takes it too far -- literally. A few weeks back, for instance, I was wearing thin cotton warm-up pants. When I bent over to pick up a glass, some freak stuck his finger up my crack. I don't mean he just touched my ass -- I mean I felt actual fingernail on the inside. Can you imagine somebody doing this to a female waitress at a straight bar? She would slap the shit out of the guy, and rightly so.

Unfortunately, when I turned around, tray in hand, there were four guys sitting there at the table, each pointing a finger (one of which was no doubt fragrant) at one another. All I could think to say was, "One of you owes me a really big tip," which, in retrospect, was probably the worst thing I could have said.

Ah, such sweet memories these will be when I am rich and famous.

Hey, come see me at New York Comedy Club Wednesday night, 9PM. 241 E. 24th Street. Reservations: 212.696.5233

And how 'bout somebody leave me a comment on the Blog page, for Christ's sake?


Friday, August 6, 2004

L.L. Cool J. and the White Goopy Sauce

Back in Manhattan and back at my desk at The Times after a rather pleasant day. I actually woke up BEFORE Xander started crying, due to the fact that I had passed out at 10PM after gorging on pizza with Anna and Guy. For the first time ever, I also ate some of those Dominos cinnamon logs that come with the white goopy dipping sauce. They are undeniably delicious, but I awoke feeling like the school slut the morning after prom night. (Or so I've heard.)

Played with Xander while Anna made me a latte. Xander is really quite irresistible. I hate people who talk about how cute their infant relatives are, but seriously, he's beyond adorable -- an extremely happy and outgoing little tyke who demands constant attention. Unfortunately, he also has something of an infant eating disorder in that he eats no solid food yet and will only drink formula. "He knows how to chew," explains Anna, "he just doesn't know how to swallow anything hard."

Wait for it.

Oh, never mind -- it's too perverse, even for me.

Grabbed one of Guy's low-carb energy bars (penance for the pizza) and moseyed on down to the building's gym. Did 20 minutes of stairmaster while watching The Today Show. (Serious Howard Stern withdrawal, but there was no radio reception to be had in the gym.)

Watched as L.L. Cool J. performed three songs outside Rockefeller Center, predictably whipping off his shirt within minutes. Damn! He is still in the best shape of any performer. Feeling puny and weak, I increased resistance on the stairmaster. I'm gonna knock you out, L.L. (Just kidding, hee hee... please don't hurt me.)

Holding L.L.'s rippling chest in my mind's eye (where I'm certain he never intended it to be), I proceeded to a hard chest workout and then went poolside again, where the sun was shining brightly. Score! Another 1/2 hour of tanning. Anna brought me to the station just in time for the 10:56 express back to Grand Central.

I was in my own home by noon, eating tuna salad and watching Fox News Channel's fair and balanced coverage of the day's headlines. Here's what I learned: John Kerry is a coward who didn't truly earn his war medals. George W. Bush is a great fisherman. Today's pathetic job reports do not, in fact, reflect poorly on the economy. Bruce Springsteen and Sharon Stone are pinko Hollywood elite-types whom we should all shun for their recent anti-Bush comments. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Etc.

What a relief, then, at 2pm, to walk through the doors of The New York Times, that old bastion of truth, justice and the American way. Even if all I do here is answer phones and make copies.


Thursday, August 5, 2004

Connecticut: The Nothing State

I report tonight from Stamford, CT, where my sister Anna lives with her husband, Guy, and their 11-month-old son, Xander. Stamford is a lovely community better known by its nickname, "Not Greenwich."

Anna and her family live in one of those massive apartment complexes that are almost resminiscent of actual living spaces. I noted in the elevator today's Calendar of Events:

11:00AM Children's Scavenger Hunt

1:15PM Pasta Party

8:30PM Adult Pool Volleyball

Anna informed me that while she's never attended Adult Pool Volleyball, she did make an appearance once at the Pasta Party (and found it thoroughly disappointing).

Upon my arrival, I found the apartment to be in a similar state to Anna's adolescent bedroom. That is to say, it was a disaster: Toys and baby clothes were strewn everywhere. There were dark brown stains of unknown origin on the carpet. The ground crunched beneath our footsteps. Anna apologized for the mess, explaining that the cleaning lady only comes once every two weeks. (I'm telling you, life in the suburbs is rough.)

Anna left for an electrolosis appointment, dropping Xander at the babysitter's on the way. Miraculously, the sun suddenly came out, and given the beautiful cool weather, I stripped down to my shorts and made a bee-line for the pool, Entertainment Weekly in hand.

About an hour and a half later and several shades darker, I returned to the apartment. Anna was still at the electrologist; apparently she was very, very hairy. I flipped through the channels and found nothing of interest.

Except Playboy Channel. Did everyone else know Playboy Channel was hard-core? They show actual penetration! Unfortunately, the penetrators and penetratees featured today were so unappealing I quickly switched to C-Span, where John Kerry was repeating his convention speech, word-for-word, in front of the Unity Convention. Unity Convention sounds like a Christian Cult, but it's actually a gathering of minority journalists. My favorite question from the panel came from the head of the Native American Journalists Association, who asked when, under the Kerry administration, would Indian Reservations receive funds from the Office of Homeland Security. Kerry looked at her very solemnly and said, "When donkeys fly out of my ass, Pocahantas."

Bored beyond comprehension, I decided to clean the apartment. Look, what I can tell you, it's genetic; messy environments stress me out. Anna and Xander returned just as I had put away the last baby toy and was beginning my fruitless search for a vacuum cleaner. (Anna later informed me they keep it in storage. Of course.)

The three of us headed down toward the water. "What water is that?", I asked.

"I think it's some part of Long Island Sound," replied Anna.

First we came upon a little harbor-front outdoor bar called Paradise, which was populated by middle-aged, grey-haired yuppies in navy blazers (well, the women, anyway). But we soon discovered that there was a private party underway (complete with crudite!), and half of the 10-square-foot platform was actually roped off. The horror -- getting stopped at the velvet rope... in Stamford.

Undaunted, we went to The Crab Shell, a slightly larger harbor-front outdoor bar. This one had two platinum-blonde-spiked lesbians at one table, so I felt immediately more at ease. After drinks and a mighty tasty bowl of Clam Chowder, we headed back to the apartment to wait for Guy to come home for work.

Now comes the big question: Do we order in, or venture out into that crazy Stamford nightlife? I myself hope to make it to Adult Pool Volleyball.

Note to Jason Borbet: Your latest post is a definite improvement; let's try for some actual penetration next time.


Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Casual Sportswear

So apparently I have to submit a title for each and every Blog posting. (I had thought "Up and Adam" would be the title of the Blog, itself, but Comedy Soapbox actually supplies the generic title, "The Comedy Soapbox Blog for Adam Sank." Rather tepid for a comedy website, no? Not that I am biting the hand that hosts me...)

Humid Hell, Day 5. The weather is so unbearable today in this stinking, steamy, soon-to-be-attacked city that I reported to work at The Times wearing the following ensemble: white short-sleeved polo shirt, navy blue J-Crew shorts, white tennis socks and black Adidas sneakers. I look like a gay volleyball player, and a color-blind one at that. Fortunately, nobody here ever notices me, let alone my outfits. And say what you want about the Old Gray Lady -- she's got the best damn air conditioning system this side of Miami. Phew!

Went on a blind date last night on the rooftop of the Gramercy Park Hotel, the tragically hip Ian Schrager establishment on Lexington at 21st. (For those of you suburbanites not in-the-know, Ian Schrager was one of the two geniuses-turned-jailbirds who created Studio 54. Schrager was the straight one who lived, not the gay one who died. His hotels are famous nationwide for attracting celebrity-types, model-types and most of all, wannabe-types. For a truly obnoxious online experience, check out http://www.ianschragerhotels.com/, and leave the volume on your computer turned up).

ANYhoo, the night was truly a "Sex in the City" experience -- a veritable "who's that?" (if not "who's who") of the aforementioned types. Overdressed and overserved women stumbled to and fro, posing for photos with their similarly attired girlfriends. Curiously, there were very few men there. The ones in attandance were decidedly unspectacular looking, but perhaps they made it up for it in the size of their... wallets.

My date turned out to be a very sweet guy, and discretion forbids that I go into any further detail. (Except among those of you I will call later today with a suitably lurid report.)

Yesterday on my premier posting, I mentioned Jason Borbay's Blog, the Daily JTB (http://www.borbay.com/). Just as I hoped, today his Blog mentions my mentioning him on my Blog, which resulted in my Blog getting 96 overnight hits! So desperate am I for attention that I will again mention the Daily JTB in today's posting. And may I add how much I love gawker.com, wonkette.com, google.com, The New York Post, The Daily News, Variety, and People magazine.


Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Up and Adam

Ridiculously cheesy name for the Blog, no? Best I could muster on this unbearably humid August Tuesday.

I feel so hip to have my own Blog. I don't think I even knew what Blogs were a year ago, but lately I have become addicted to gawker.com and wonkette.com, which I highly recommed to anyone who's into media, politics and gossip. I also check out borbay.com's "Daily JTB" regularly; that's the Blog for fellow Soapbox comic Jason Borbet. I don't usually understand what the hell he's talking about (Seinfeld voice: "Who ARE these people?"), but it's sort of titillating for me to get a glimpse into the life of a 20-something straight boy. (So far as I can tell, it involves lots of alcohol, not so much sex. Would be a lot more titillating were these reversed.)

ANYhoo, as you can see from my Website, I am taking a much-needed (but hopefully brief) break from doing standup. Just plain exhausted from working six days a week plus performing at night. My NY Times schedule has slowed down a bit, so I should be able to recharge my batteries in no time. Bookers take note.

That's it for now. If you have found any of this the least bit interesting, please do tune in again. If not, to hell with you.