Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's a Gay Christmas, Charlie Brown

Before we get to the gay Yuletide, I regret to inform you that my finger has suffered a setback. I had my follow-up appointment with Dr. O'Hayon Friday, and she said that because the tip was still drooping, she'd have to re-splint me using the dreaded Stax splint -- the one that makes my digit look like a Hannibal Lecter puppet.

Let my finger go!

I have to wear this one... wait for it... for four more weeks. (Though Dr. O'Hayon says I can temporarily switch to the Oval 8 splint for New Year's Eve. It's like when they allow prisoners to spend one hour a week in the yard.)

I have resigned myself to the fact that I am simply going to be splinted for the rest of my natural life. My tendon, like my sexual orientation and career path, simply refuses to go straight. I have also learned more in the past two months about finger splints and tendon injuries than a first year medical student specializing in orthopedics. You'll note that all the content-driven ads on this page are now offering treatments for arthritis and other assorted bone maladies.

Anyway, I suppose if this is my most serious medical challenge right now I should consider myself lucky.


As I searched my iPod playlists at the gym the other day, I came across "Scott Joplin: Greatest Hits." Figuring I'd be the first person in history to ever do stairmaster while listening to "Maple Leaf Rag" at 24-Hour Fitness in Hillcrest, I went for it.

He's gonna make you sweat!

It was disappointing -- not because the songs aren't step-worthy; they are. It's just that the arrangements on this particular compilation are terrible. For one thing, they're way too rushed; Joplin himself decreed that rags should never be played fast. But more importantly, this greatest hits collection, performed by some unfortunate soul with the name of Dick Hyman, are piano-only.

When I was a child, my father had three albums he played regularly: One was the original London cast album of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (which is virtually impossible to find nowadays). The second, inexplicably, was an Anne Murray record whose name I have happily forgotten. And the third was a collection of Joplin rags, performed by what sounded like a 10-piece jazz orchestra. On the cover was a cartoon rendering of Joplin and his fellow band-mates wearing bright red suits.

Murray = Murder.

I cannot find this orchestrated Joplin collection anywhere. I wish I could. Other than Carly Simon's "Hotcakes" and Carole King's "Really Rosie," two other Sank family favorites, these Joplin songs were the first tunes I ever "knew," in the sense that one can know instrumental songs in one's head.

Actually, Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" and "The Entertainer" were also the first songs I ever taught myself to play on the piano. When I say, "play" I don't mean the way an actual trained musician plays. What I would do is figure out the melody -- the right hand or G-clef part for you musician types -- and then bang it out using both hands. This was impressive for a four-year-old, and I was thought to be something of a musical prodigy.

Of course when I was still playing at the same level five years later, despite the attempts of numerous piano teachers, it was no longer considered very impressive. That was the year Mike Bultman, a true prodigy, moved to town from Michigan. Mike could play -- really play -- "Maple Leaf Rag," both the left and right hand parts, as if it were the easiest thing in the world. He could also play Billy Joel's "Angry Young Man," a feat which amazes me to this day.

Seriously -- can you do that?!

Once it became painfully clear that I was the musical Lenny to Mike's George, I quit the piano for good and focused on singing. The fact that Mike sang better than me too was something I chose not to notice.


And so this is Christmas -- my first one with Boy Wonder. It's hard to believe almost a year has passed since we met, but it has; we celebrate our one-year anniversary New Year's Eve.

I spent yesterday cooking and listening to Christmas carols while BW and CW played video games in the living room. I had ambitiously chosen a recipe for Boneless Garlic and Rosemary Rubbed Prime Rib with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce. That was until I discovered that boneless prime rib costs $9 a lb., even at the discounted military commissary where we do our shopping. So instead I made Boneless Garlic and Rosemary Rubbed Flank Steak with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce. Do not attempt this; it was dry and rubbery.

But we had a lovely time anyway. BW made two of his mother's signature Jell-o dishes, and CW contributed some sort of sweet potato bread pudding. Also joining us was CW's special friend, Dr. Strangelove, who brought green bean casserole and red wine.

We also had eggnog -- lots of eggnog. Following dinner was a drunken gift exchange, which proved very fruitful, pun intended. Here are the photos, with faces of all military personnel redacted as usual.

Our environmentally correct fake tree.
Super-Jew Robin Fox asks: "Why are all the menorah's candles in place when it's only the third night of Chanukah?"
To which I reply: "You want we should be even more dwarfed by that big honkin' tree?! We need every candle we can get!"

Sprinkling nutmeg on the eggnog while the flank steak dries.

Dr. Stranglove and Catwoman, getting snuggly with it.

Thrilled by my gift, Kona coffee, from BW's Mom & Sis.
They also got me a french press set and a beautiful shirt.
Love you, Wonder Family!

Like a kid on Christmas; BW opens a gift.

Opening my gift from CW and Doc S... a Cuisinart coffee maker!
I shall never sleep again...

Two guys, one wreath.
How about lifting that military ban now, President Obama?

We miss you, Mama & Sister Wonder!

And you, too, Pugsley!

Heading to NYC and Jersey Saturday to spend Chanukah and New Year's with family and friends. I'll also be performing at two of my old stomping grounds -- Therapy and Comix -- if anyone's in the mood for some holiday ha-ha's.

Here are the details:

Sunday, 12/28/2008 @ 10:00 PM
348 West 52nd Street
New York, NY
Monday, 12/29/2008 @ 8:00 PM
353 West 14th Street
New York, NY

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Blessed Kwanzaa and a happy, healthy, prosperous 2009.

Homo festive.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jon Stewart Defends Gay Marriage

A number of people have told me about this "Daily Show" clip in which Jon Stewart debates gay marriage with Mike Huckabee. (My thanks to comedian-manatee Brad Loekle for forwarding me the YouTube link.)

There are no new arguments here on either side. But somehow Stewart has a way of making his side -- our side -- sound so utterly reasonable. My thanks to him for his brilliance and fair-mindedness.

Here's the clip:

Homo loving Jon Stewart.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Finger Fest '08

UPDATE: BW just called me from DC, where he is dealing with stuff concerning his condo. He cut his finger open while cleaning the kitchen and is on his way to the hospital. WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH ALL THE INJURED FINGERS IN MY LIFE?

OK, so the finger:

I kept it continuously splinted for five straight weeks. It became incredibly stiff and swollen, and the skin around the top was all irritated. A few times the splint had come off in my sleep, and when I'd wake up in the morning, the finger would still be extended. So I figured, "Enough." And I took off the splint after BW and I got to Phoenix for Thanksgiving.

For a few days, all was well. Then, slowly but surely, the finger began to curl under until it again resembled Gonzo's nose.

The least appealing of the Muppets.
What the fuck was he, anyway?

Back in San Diego, I figured it was time to stop dicking around and see a hand specialist. I wasn't sure such a thing actually existed, but I googled "San Diego" and "hand specialist," and sure enough the first entry that came up was "San Diego Hand Specialists," a group of doctors in Kearny Mesa.

Strangely enough, all their hands are hidden in the company photo.

I made an appointment with the woman second to the left, Dr. Julie O'Hayon (whose name almost sounds like "Oh Hand.") I arrived at her office at 8 a.m. last Thursday. I had imagined the waiting room filled with people sporting all sorts of fucked-up hands -- claws and flippers and such. But I was actually the only one who appeared to have any sort of injury.

There was one middle-aged woman in the waiting room who looked a cast member from "The Real Housewives of Orange County." She was dressed in one of those Juicy Couture tracksuits that cost more than I make in a month at Blue Elephant. Her face was heavily made up. Her hair looked like she had had it done specially for the doctor's appointment. Her ass appeared to be aerobicized to epic proportions. And she was staring at me with a come-hither look splashed across her surgically tightened face.

I am always shocked and embarrassed when I sense a woman is hitting on me. It happens so rarely -- I think most women can pick up the gay vibe immediately -- but when it does, I don't know what to do. I love women, so when I see one smiling at me, my instinct is to smile back. But if her smile becomes a leer, I get all nervous and flustered and start tugging on my skirt.

Whores on Parade.

My discomfort ended after Ms. Orange County was finally called in to see the doctor, her bulbous posterior wiggling behind her. Then it was my turn.

Dr. O'Hayon was very young and very smart and all business.

Dr. O'Hayon: So how did you injure your finger?

Adam: Well, it's a weird story. I was on the beach, and I was taking off my sock, and...

D.O.: I see. When did this happen?

Adam: Um, it was... let's see... I think it was Oct. 1...

D.O.: X-Rays?

Adam: Pardon me?


Adam: Uh, no. [Where would they be? Under my shirt?] I never got X-Rays. My dad's a doctor, and he said..."

D.O.: We need to get you X-Rayed. Down the hall and to your left. Come see me when you're done.

And with that she was gone in a flash, off to visit another hand casualty.

I made my way down to the X-Ray room and was met there by a large, butch woman.

"Here," she said, handing me a lead smock. "Use this to cover your next generation."

I was utterly baffled. She had said it so fast that I hadn't caught it.

"I'm sorry. Cover my what?"

"Your next generation," she said.

This time I heard it clearly but still couldn't comprehend the instructions. Then it finally dawned on me. I wanted to say, "Honey, I have about as much chance of a next generation as you do," but then decided she must use this expression with all her X-Rayees.

Back in Dr. O'Hayon's examining room, I awaited her return and stared at my X-Ray. There were several different angles of my hand shown, and I had a hard time seeing anything out of the ordinary. It all looked like normal hand bones to me.

Talk to the hand.

"OK," said Dr. O'Hayon after quickly glancing at the X-Ray. "There's no bone fragment. It's just a tendon."

"Oh," I said. "That's good, right?"

"No," she said. "Bones are spongy and sticky. [They ARE?! GROSS!] When you splint them, they stick together easily. But when it's just a tendon, you have to wait until there's enough scar tissue to keep the finger extended."

So what now?

"Here," she said, handing me a tiny plastic device. It looked like one of those rings that children get from gumball machines, and it was what white people describe as "flesh-colored."

She continued: "This is called an Oval 8. It's the latest in finger splints. In fact, they just introduced it at this year's hand convention."

I instantly pictured the goings-on at a hand convention. I imagined all sorts of bad puns: "Let's give our next speaker a big hand...," "This doctor really has her finger on the pulse...," "Don't forget to leave your waitress tips...!" etc. I wondered if they served finger food and hired hand puppeteers as entertainers. I am not well.

Dr. O'Hayon slipped the Oval 8 on my finger. "You're a perfect size 9!," she exclaimed.

First time I've ever heard that.

Finger, please!

The size 9 Oval 8 was incredibly light and comfortable and unobtrusive. I actually started gushing over it. "This is the best splint ever!," I said.

"Isn't it great?," the doctor agreed.

"Totally. It's fabulous! But I'm wondering if it comes in any fashion colors?"

Dr. O'Hayon's mouth became a perfectly straight line. Only in comic strips had I seen a mouth do that. Our appointment was over.

I go back to Dr. O'Hayon's next Friday so she can fit me with a new Oval 8. Apparently, she'll need to keep resizing the splint it as my finger becomes less swollen. And I'm supposed to do these little bendy finger exercises whenever I have free time. Ultimately, I'm going to have to stay splinted for another six weeks.

But at least my next generation is intact.

Homo perfect size 9.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Home Into Which Plane Crashed Not Mine

Thanks to those of you who have expressed concern over today's San Diego Plane Crash. But I, Boy Wonder and Cat Woman are all OK, as the crash happened in University City and not in North Park, where we reside.

And no, neither BW nor CW were flying the plane.

Homo safe.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Playing Catch-Up

A major update on my injured finger coming shortly. But first, some odds and ends I've been wanting to mention for some time:

Prop 8: Heartbreaking that it passed. But some really cool things have happened as a result:

* Wanda Sykes came out. Not a big shock among those of us in the gay comedian community, but still courageous. I am a huge proponent of every gay person in the country's coming out, famous or not. As Harvey Milk said, the more "they" see that we are everywhere and pose no threat to their life, liberty or pursuit of happiness, the harder it is for them to vote against our basic civil rights. Hear what I'm saying, Jodi Foster, Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta, Will Smith, Anderson Cooper, Shepard Smith, John Leguizamo, Wentworth Miller and half of the Republicans in Congress? Come out already. And that goes for all you non-famous people out there. Come out. It's enough. America can handle it. Just ask Neil Patrick Harris.

A fish called Wanda.

* Keith Olbermann cried for us. Though I find Olbermann to be something of a blowhard -- he tries way too hard to be Edward R. Murrow -- his impassioned, heartfelt, bordering-on-creepy "Special Comment" following Prop 8's passage was well appreciated by those of us of the homo persuasion -- and anyone else with a sense of decency.

Olber the Top.

* My friend Corey Johnson organized a protest at a Mormon temple in Manhattan, and something like 10,000 people showed up! Way to go, Corey!

Corey, pictured here at right, with his life partner, Hoppy.

* A bevy of A-List celebrities, including the aforementioned Neil Patrick Harris, turned out for a Prop 8 musical video short, created by Marc Shaiman. I haven't actually watched it yet, but every person I know has emailed me the clip. So I'm posting it here, and may my in-box henceforth unclog:

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die
Fruity Friends

Moving on... the play. So yeah, it was postponed. There were issues; one of the cast members suffered a family tragedy and had to drop out. Then our director had to drop out. So faced with the prospect of having to replace two major players less than two months before opening night, the theater's artistic director felt it would be better if we instead moved the show to June (Gay Pride Month). The good news is, we're now going to be a main-stage production, appearing Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday matinees. The play runs June 4 through July 5. This gives me many more months to get in shape for my nude scene. Preparations include a no-carb diet, heavy weightlifting and a penis implant. Stay tuned.

Not what I look like right now.

As more people discover Sanktastic, I find it added to a growing number of people's blog rolls. This pleases me greatly, and I thank all of you who have done so. But I must say I was rather surprised to find myself linked to a site called NetRightNation, a compendium of far-right blogs. It boggles the mind to imagine a universe in which my blog could be considered right-wing. But I'm not one to complain about free publicity. So, thank you, NetRightNation! And build that wall, free those markets, Obama is a Muslim terrorist, and so forth.

I continue to be amazed by the massive appeal of Facebook. I find Facebook a major waste of time -- I much prefer MySpace. I will admit there's something cool about getting messages and friend requests from people to whom I haven't spoken since elementary school. But the problem is, everyone who contacts me demands a full update on everything I've done for the last 25 years. My usual response is: Read the blog. I don't mean to be a bitch, but the likelihood is, you and I will never speak again after this one online exchange, so why must I take 15 minutes out of my day to update you on my life history?

From now on, I plan to simply cut and paste the following boilerplate:

1983-1986 Went to Newark Academy. Got my ass kicked regularly.

1896-1989 Switched to Summit High School, where I was a world-class drama fag who dated girls while secretly seducing straight boys during drunken sleepovers.

18989-1993 Attended the University of Michigan. Majored in psychology, joined a fraternity and came out of the closet.

1993-1995 Moved to Atlanta, where I worked as an executive trainee for Macy's, quitting after six months to wait tables at Ruby Tuesday and write features for "Southern Voice" newspaper.

1995 Moved to NYC, where I worked 12-hour days for Miramax Films as the assistant to a woman who never spoke above a whisper.

1996 Went to Columbia J-School and got a master's degree. Also crabs. Twice.

1996-2002 Worked for Fox News Channel. Took massive amounts of drugs in order to tolerate same.

2003 Worked for WABC-TV. Was so hated that the nightly sportscaster once physically threatened me with violence.

2004-2008 Began doing stand-up. Worked as an administrator for The New York Times. Moved to San Diego to live with my military boyfriend and earn $10 an hour as a part-time customer sales agent for Blue Elephant.

I hope that satisfies.

I will say I love the photo aspect of Facebook, particularly when childhood friends post ancient pictures, many of which I've never seen before. Recently, a former classmate named Paige Lawless posted the following:

That's me, far left, hanging around with a bunch of girls, as usual. For some reason I am wearing a toga and garland. I'm told this was some kind of Fifth Grade Olympics thing, but I have absolutely no memory of it.

And here's me between Molly Calvert, left, and Sally Perlstein, right.
Honestly, the boys stayed away from me at all times.

OK, that's it for now. I know I promised a finger update, and I still have to post the Arizona pics. But I'm all blogged out. More soon, I promise.

Homo nostalgic.

P.S. Special thanks to BW for my early Chanukah gift -- a brand new iPod that I sorely needed. You're the best.