Come find yourself...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why I Haven't Posted...

I haven't posted here in a very long time for a number of reasons. The primary reason is a bit embarrassing to write: it pissed me off this blog never got me a cooking TV show.

I know, I know. I should have blogged for the sheer joy of blogging. But I'm afraid to say part of my ego was hoping my witty and intelligent writing would be noticed like so many others and I'd be whisked away into a studio and taped for all prosperity and have my own talk show/variety show/cooking show, but as you can tell...

I had endless meetings with TV executives, psychics, friends, cooks, hookers, colleagues, producers - I work in cable TV so I know how to do this. never happened. Even my friggin' BOSS told me it was a good idea.

It never happened.

So I am left now with this blog. A blog I spent countless hours writing.

My hubby of nearly 13 years told me he was concerned about me. He said I have not been cooking. He has been traveling a great deal and I haven't had him at the house as much to cook for. I told him I haven't been cooking for me because I always wanted to cook for US. He pooh-poohed me. Said I cooked for me. Said he never really needed the cooking. Said the cleaning and the fuss and the muss and the money annoyed him. I then rambled off his top ten meals and he retaliated, said yes, maybe I did like all the cooking you used to do.

So why don't I cook for myself with him traveling so much? Why have I lost the urge to cook? It's true, I'm preparing to put up a new one-man theater show, but it's not up yet. Directors are reading it, I'm not in rehearsal, I finished writing it and I've got evenings free to cook.

What is happening?

I was recently in an independent movie. I was the victim of an alien probing. Yes, I know. How very 'independent movie'. The filmmakers are two very very sweet straight boys in Long Island. I adore them. They are hysterical and committed to their art. They don't get weird with the gay thing and always have very good reefer. Nice boys all the way around.

After we finished a day of shooting, the producer took me to his family's house for dinner. He had asked me weeks before if I wanted to have dinner and I said no. I was content to be depressed in my Queens apartment with my lover traveling so much for work. But the day got away from us and we ended up at his parents house.

I met his mother and father. Both regarded me skeptically. They're from Long Island. Everyone from Long Island was born skeptical. Not the most embracing of cultures, but once you are in, you're in. After his mother and father seemed to like me, they proceed to feed me. Chicken breast in a white wine reduction; homemade pumpkin cheesecake; messy and tasty blueberry pie with a homemade crust; cheese and crackers with fresh pepper and marmalade -- all to the constant whirring and blending of mixers and blenders and an extremely noisy dishwasher.

I loved it. I loved every minute of it. I got lost for a bit in how the family I grew up in was never this accepting and loud. How my producer friend could smoke up in front of his parents and they didn't care. How the food was a community thing.

My lover is partially right. I do cook for me. To enjoy the undefinable rush of assembling ingredients and the process of cooking and mixing and tasting and coming to an end result that is wonderful and never the same. But food and cooking is a thing of family and people. It's a sharing. I miss that. Now that's he's gone so much, I miss the sharing of food.

I said over 8 years ago when I first had the idea for The Food Therapist show, I cook to give back to people and to make them feel good. That is the reason I cook. I don't care if anyone doesn't believe that anymore, but I know it's the truth.

Maybe it's time I started to cook for myself and to share with me. What an odd thing to consider.

In any case, we'll see how much longer I keep this blog alive. I am still heartbroken this never resulted in a cooking show. Something I would have been so fucking GOOD at.

Youtube. Everyone tells me to Youtube. I don't know.

I just don't know.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Me & Dinah Shore...

Look at what I found at The Strand Bookshop downtown today...

Oh, my.

I am so cooking out of this next week.

Dinah Fucking Shore wrote a fucking cookbook. Unreal.

Just WAIT until I tell you what she wrote.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Walk In The Shadow Of Love!

For many years now, I've dabbling in Buddhism and yoga and mediation as a way to cope with my unfettered anxiety. Why I came to Buddhism is beyond me. I'm a nice little white boy from Washington State who grew up on chewy, over-cooked hamburgers and canned green beans.

My mother's version of a side dish was a container of large-curd low-fat cottage cheese with a spoon jammed in the center. Or a can of beets opened and spilled, red juice and all, into a large bowl.

If she was feeling fancy, she's jab at the beets with the end of her fork, muttering how much she loathed cooking and then proceed to be hurt if we didn't eat the mangled mess of red looking flesh.

I've read so many stories in cookbooks how cooks were inspired by their mothers or their childhood to cook.

Martha Anal Stewart waxing poetically how her mother used to beam down at her when she was a little girl in their pretty white, green and anal-retentive kitchen. She says she remembers how the sunlight streamed in through the garden windows, a look of unfettered love in her mother's eyes as sprinkles of flour floated in the air as her mother cooed to her and lovingly showed her how to make homemade bread.

Afterwords, they would hold hands as they cut the freshly baked bread, love pouring out of every orifice. They would eat the bread snuggled together by the living room windows, gazing at the snow falling outside and feel all warm and fuzzy and entitled as they slurped their freshly brewed hot chocolate with tiny marshmallows bobbing on top, like miniature dreams floating atop a perfect cloud of hope.

I had a slightly different experience.

First of all, my mother used to fart when she cooked. Like, all the time. It wasn't the smell of yeast in the air I remember. It was sulfur. We used to walk into the kitchen, hear the tiny sound of my mother farting away and know that the food would be good. For some reason, her farting equated a good meal.

When I was 8 and finishing my 3rd year of intensive psychotherapy, I finally understood when my mother farted a lot when she cooked. The more she farted, the less anxious she felt. The less anxious she felt, the more she could enjoy cooking, resulting in a meal that was not only edible but tasty.

Just like Martha's Mom!

My mother never cooked because she liked to cook. She cooked because, like many, many women before her and many, many women after, she had no choice. Eating out wasn't an option. That option existed only for people who grew up in Connecticut.

And, plus, she was raised to cook at home, so as a wife, she felt it her moral obligation. It was in her blood. And, clearly, in some perverse way, she passed it along to me. It's neither right nor wrong, it just was the way it was and for some women, still is.

My mother was mentally ill and had horrid IBS. That's Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

I'm sorry, but it exists. Let me guess - some of you'd rather not hear about IBS.

You'd rather I talk about the new vodka drink or engage in the debate about weather or not Britney sings at her concerts.

Well, vodka is wonderful but a dull subject and as far as I'm concerned Britney Spears is a hypocrite who is filthy rich and does nothing useful with her money (like Madonna and Simon Cowell). I have a problem with rich people like her.

It's not right she can get her clit pierced with a diamond stud while 4 year old Joanna Muwabi in Africa has intestinal worms and will die in 2 days if her mother can't find her fresh water.

Buddha was right, life is suffering, but I don't think he ever imagined our society would become this indifferent. Do you?

My mother was always very ashamed about her need to constantly poop. Her poop smelled so bad we had to have a fan installed in the WALL of the bathroom as a direct line to the outside to shuffle the stench out.

And to think I wondered as a child why people kept moving out of our neighborhood. Would explain why they changed the flight patterns of the planes over our house.

They say poop smells worse when the pooper is in a state of distress. I myself am a smelly pooper and am a very anxious person. When I am extremely anxious and take a long, protracted crap, the tiles in the bathroom shrink. The medicine cabinet mirror cries. My boyfriend stares at me in awe and says in a hushed voice, "Wow. Now that's something special."

Anxiety makes poop smell like poop. Let's just agree no matter how bad the economy gets, one should never, ever accept a janitorial position at a Anxiety Disorders Convention. One may never recover. One will lose one's hair. One will descend into madness. If you need money that bad, come see me. I'll loan you a few bucks until you can find something better. I wish such a job on no one. Well, maybe George Bush. He deserves it.

My mother was very ashamed. I think she should have had more pride. She should have shoved it in people’s face. Figuratively, mind you.

She should have said, "Yes, the bathroom smells like a Roman battleground littered with thousands of dead and rotting bodies – jealous? I have a natural skill and you do not. Fuck you, you insecure gnat."

My mother's humor is what saved her from being committed to the local funny farm and what saved me and my two sisters from joining her.

So we joked.

If we heard my mother fart five times it meant we were in for a rare treat.

The main meal, which was anything from Stuffed Peppers to Hamburgers to Hot Dogs to Tuna Casserole to Baked Squash, would be tasty. No weird ingredients, no misplaced mousetraps or tampons, nothing surprising. Just good old comfort food.

Four farts meant the main dish would be good, but you had to be careful for the sides.

Four Fart Sides could be odd. Like Metamucil in the green beans or blueberries in the potatoes. When four farts were heard, you prodded those lumpy mashed potatoes very carefully.

Three farts were tricky.

Three farts meant anything that appeared to be one thing could, in all likelihood, be something else. So despite the fact it looked like carrots it could, in fact, be turnips died with orange die and then put into the toaster for no apparent reason.

Three farts usually meant this was when my mother's mediation was shifting from one to the next - we called these meals the Three Fart Bi-Polar Transitional Meals.

Two farts, well - only two farts meant it was best to have car keys in hand as it was a sure bet one of us was going to have to jump in the car and drive to KFC.

You didn't want to be in the dining room on two fart nights. Two farts meant a load of tension was building inside of her and what was inside of the meatloaf was best left unprobed by human hands.

Most often my father would check the shed to see if anything was missing from his tool box, or on the rare occasion, if the bird feed was still in the bird feeder.

One fart, well, one fart was Armageddon.

One fart meant she had tried to make the meal and had failed miserably and most often would stop cooking and start taking any one of her multitude of pills. My mother was fun on one fart. On one fart nights she'd eat anything on the planet as long as she didn't have to do anything but drink her wine, take her pills and watch TV.

One farts nights were our version of Sunday Night Disney TV.

No farts? Luckily, we never had a No Fart Dinner Night. Such a night would have resulted in our own little production of Long Day's Journey Into Night, a production I'm glad I missed thank you very much. My mother was always one moment away from hysterical Katherine Hepburn land and it was best to keep pulling her away from the ledge. Trust me.

Otherwise I can't have said what would have happened to our three legged dog with a leaky bladder, Sparkle.

That Shepard's Pie on No Fart Night could have tasted like mighty 'pooch-like.'


Last night, I made a tremendous meal if I do say so myself.

I made:

Vegetable and Chicken Rogan Josh
Dum Aloo (Whole Potatoes in Spicy Yogurt Gravy)
Aloo Paratha (potato stuffed bread)
Spicy Mango Chutney

Spicy Basmati Rice

The key to planning an Indian meal is just that - planning.

We are going to start the Rogan Josh first, then make the Dum Aloo. They both cook in a Dutch oven for 45-60 minutes so as they simmer you can make the rice and get the rest ready.

I know, work, but it's WORTH IT.

I have no idea why Indian cuisine is so appealing to me. I was raised a big meat eater. But with Indian food, it's sorta amazing to me how you really, truly don't miss meat. And this is the funky part - I simply don't want meat in the meal.

It must be the spices and the colors of the food.

Homosexuals like things that are pretty and sparkle.

First thing is first - I don't trust Americans with Indian food. If you're not Indian or from the UK, it's best we don't discuss Indian recipes.

Two of my heroes: Jamie Oliver and Julie Sahni.

Julie who?

Here I am licking her cookbook. Don't have it? If you like Indian food, get off your butt and buy it. Amazing stuff. She teaches cooking in Brooklyn Heights. I may even take a class from her.

Indian food for many Americans is still a new cuisine. We don't trust it. Which is a shame. The basis for the compassionate and humanistic nature of vegetarian Indian food is pretty cool. Narcissistic and egocentric fucks could take a lesson from Indian food. The stuff tastes amazing and you don't have to harm anyone or anything to make it. I know, a foreign concept to selfish Americans (New Yorkers especially).

My hubby loves Indian food but didn't trust me making it home. He a very wary person in general, but the idea of me making Indian food didn't excite him...until he tasted it.

And let me tell you...this shit is good.

Homemade Indian food holds over very well. Since most of the recipes have half (or none) of the meat of most American cuisine, the taste becomes deeper and more flavorful over time.

Sure, some chili's and braises are better the 3rd and 4th day, but do you really want me to tell you want a diet of constant animal protein really does to you lower intestines?

Let's cook!

Jamie Oliver and Indian Food - is there anything better? Not only is Jamie passionate and aware, but he's got a big heart, takes action in life and makes KILLER Indian food.

Of course, he's from the UK and my secret lover. Don't tell my hubby...

I love Jamie. Why? He makes cooking fun. Martha makes me tense, Rachael Ray is falling apart before our eyes, Mario is fat and mean but getting thinner...but Jamie Oliver? Just a good bloke who can throw food together from his gut, not from a measuring cup.

What you need for Jamie's "Rogan Josh":
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1 inch dice
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into 1 inch dice
  • 2 large yellow onions, or white onions
  • 1-2 large red hot Italian pepper or jalapeno pepper, 2 if you like it hot
  • Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and cut into tiny dice
  • Olive oil
  • A spoon of butter
  • 4 Turkish bay leaves
  • Salt/pepper
  • 2 glugs of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of no-salt, diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of no-salt chicken broth, plus up to 1/2 can of water for thinner sauce
  • 1/2 cup mild Patak's curry paste, any style works with Biryani paste a lovely choice (see previous post about Patak's ready-made Indian PASTE...not sauce, but PASTE)
  • 2 handfuls of red Turkish lentils, or 'dal' as its called...these are not french lentils or green lentils, but red Turkish or Middle-Eastern lentils
  • 1 cup natural Middle-eastern yogurt
The cooking of this is fun but read this part carefully - it takes a full hour to cook with prep being a bit involved - a good 20 minutes of chopping and prepping for dinner, so plan carefully. But OH MY GOD. It's worth it.

I've taken liberties with Jamie's original recipe. I've added/deleted and modified based on making this countless times.

I still love you, Jamie boo. Sit on my face, er, LAP please.

Let's start the the chicken dish first, then we'll proceed to the potatoes.

Let's prep:
  1. Cut up your chicken and put aside in a bowl.
  2. Cut up cauliflower and put aside in a separate bowl.
  3. Cut up onion, chile's, ginger and put into bowl. Add bay leaves. Put aside.
  4. Get your balsamic vinegar nearby.
  5. Open up the can of tomatoes and chicken broth. Put aside.
  6. Get your Patak's and put aside.
  7. Have your open container of red lentils nearby.
NOW you're ready.

Note: Purists say you must use peanut oil or ghee (Indian butter) or vegetable oil for these meals...personally, I taste no difference when I use Olive Oil, so I use Olive Oil since it's much better for you there.
  1. Heat up a few glugs of oil in a pan with a spoon full of UNSALTED butter over medium heat. Add the bowl of onions, chile's, ginger and bay leaves - add a splash of Kosher salt. Cook until onions slightly brown. Watch so it doesn't burn.
  2. Add cauliflower. Mix well and get all the yummy veggies on there.
  3. Add the chicken. Mix, mix, mix. Liberally add fresh pepper and a dash of Kosher salt.
  4. Add a couple big old lugs of balsamic vinegar and turn up the heat to medium high. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and the broth. Really mix that up well now.
  6. Toss in your tasty Patak's. Mix the hell out of it so everything is evenly coated. Very important.
  7. Gently toss in your lentils and stir well.
  8. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook for one hour, checking often to make sure it's not drying out.
Now, Jamie Oliver, bless his little tasty bum, says to add 3 1/2 cups of water at this point. My advice? Don't do it. I'm not sure what his thinking is here, but it makes it so watery. Add what I indicated above and keep checking every 15 minutes and add a bit of water if you must, but only add 1/4 cup at a time. A little water goes a long way.

Keep checking the chicken and when it's cooked through and the cauliflower is tender, you are good go to!

Dear LORD it's good!



Sorry. Couldn't resist.

And no, I'm not going to be a drag queen. My hubby seems to think so, but he's limited in seeing my future.

Let's agree to let that go, shall we?

Let's cook!

What'll you need:
  • 2 pounds small red-bliss potatoes, don't go with Yukon Gold as they will fall apart in cooking
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1 thumb side piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 4 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper, 1 teaspoon if you like it mild
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, cut in half and purred in a blender
  • 1 cup thick, Greek or Middle-Eastern plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, optional
All of the spices you can get nowadays at a nicer grocery store. Whole Paycheck, er, Whole FOODS is great but too bloody expensive.

Try a local Indian spice store if you have it. If you don't, one of the best places to go for these kinds of spices is Kalustyan's Indian Spice Shop in Manhattan.

Yes, they are in Manhattan but do excellent mail order.

Buy from them and you have great spices for a long, long time.

Take a gander:

Let's prep:
  1. Wash red potatoes. Prick all over many times with a pairing knife. This is to aid in the cooking and to allow the sauce to penetrate the flesh (I love writing that - flesh). Put in a large bowl with cold water as you prep the rest.
  2. Chop onions. Put in a side bowl.
  3. Chop ginger. Put aside.
  4. In a small bowl, mix your cumin, coriander, tumeric, red pepper and garam masala. (Note: I've erred way to many times on putting in too much cumin. Use cumin sparingly and with only a level measure. It can overwhelm a dish.)
  5. Quarter your 2 large, ripe tomatoes. Puree in a blender until just liquefied. Put aside.
  6. Measure out yogurt. Put aside.
Now...this is an easy and fun recipe. Here is what you do:
  • Heat up the oil in a large Dutch oven that is large enough to accomodate the potatoes in one layer. Very important.
  • As oil heats over medium heat, drain potatoes and dry with paper towel. Put dry potoes in one layer in Dutch oven. Cook, moving around for 10 minutes until they are spotted and brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on papertowel lined plate. Nice!
  • Add onions, lower heat to medium low and cook, slowly until brown, about 10 min. Chill with the onions. Don't go crazy. They can burn. Watch them.
  • Now add ginger, cook a minute. Careful it doesn't burn.
  • Add spices. Ah...that smells LOVELY. Cook a minute. Must always toast spices, lovelies.
  • Toss in the tomatoes, mix.
  • Toss in the yogurt, mix.
  • Add a healthy dash of salt.
  • Put in the potatoes in an even layer, cover, cook for 30 minutes or so until tender.
Keep checking to make sure it's not dried out.

When the potatoes are tender, add the tiny bit of cream. I wrote this as optional. But don't be a butthead. 1/4 heavy cream spread over 6 meals won't kill you.

Love you!

If the sauce is too watery before you put in the cream, then remove the lid and reduce it down a bit. But be careful the potatoes don't cook to the point of mush.

Now for the rice, you can just go to an Indian restaurant and get pre-made Basmati rice. I mean, I get it. You did the goddamn chicken and the potatoes and you've got the bread...but to me, Indian food without good rice is a crime. Just a crime.

So here is the easy way to make it:


What you'll need:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 3-inch piece of cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 cardamon pods
  • 1 cup REAL basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
All of the recipe books say you must, must, MUST rinse your rice. Poppycock. I've been making it one way for years and it's taste and fluffy and doesn't stick together.

Not much prep to do here except make sure you slice your onion early and thin.

And make sure the pan you make this in has a tight fitting lid.

This is what you do:
  1. Heat up the oil in the pan over medium heat.
  2. Toss in the cinnamon, cloves, cardamon pods in and cook until the pop. (I used to think 'cloves' mean 'garlic cloves' and could never figure out why they didn't pop...took me awhile to realize cloves meant CLOVES, tiny dark spices you can get at any store.)
  3. Add onion; cook 2 min or so. Careful as it can burn.
  4. Throw in rice; cook 1 min.
  5. Throw in water, bring to boil, over and SIMMER for NO MORE THAN 17 MIN.
  6. Check at 12 minute mark to make sure rice is not burning.
  7. After max of 17 min, move off burn and let it sit for 15 min. Very important.
  8. Take lid off, fluff with fork, remove spices and throw out.
Now, this is fine as is. But if you want to add some SPICE, do this:

Chop up one or two red or green fresh pepper, two garlic cloves and a tiny bit of peeled ginger. Measure out one tablespoon of no-salt tomato paste.

Heat up 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a skillet, add the spices and the tomato paste, cook for a few minutes, throw in the plain rice and cook for a few minutes and voila! Spicy rice!

This is one of those dishes that is lovely the next day or the day after. It tastes amazing heated up.

I bought some lovely store bought Aloo Paratha for the meal and it was fantastic. All you have to do is heat it up in a large non-stick pan for 5 min. each side.

Add the Hot Mango Chutney on the side and you have a brilliant meal!

Enjoy this my darlings!

And next week - what happens when a gay man is contacted by old, straight and married High School male friends on Facebook and the gay man reminds them they used to have increadibly hot acrobatic sex under the bleachers and in the bathroom and in the locker room and the straight men deny it until the gay man has pictures to prove it! Oh, it's a hoot!

And food is involved!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Cupcake

It would be easier to roll up the entire sky into
a small cloth than it would be to obtain true happiness without knowing the Self.


I was standing in line at Starbucks and saw the above cupcake in the case. I had seen it many times before (and it had seen me). It was beautiful. Deep chocolate covered in this dreamy pink frosting dotted with tiny silver pearls of spun silver confection.


For as long as I could remember I wanted to take one home with me and just look at it. But I didn't. I heard voices in my head.

"A cupcake? In the morning? Sure, but hope you have elastic in that waistband."

"Please. I'll have a scooped out bagel with fat-free cream cheese and a triple skim latte."

"Wait. You want to buy it and just look at it? What? I don't get it."

I decided to ignore all of those voices and bought it.

Oh, what a glorious trip we had back to my office.

I perched it on the edge of my coffee tray. As soon as I got into my office, I promptly put it on the window ledge in the sunshine and took the photo above.

It looks like a perfect rose shining in the new Spring air. I don't know about you, but gosh, this sure made me happy today!

Of course, as Fate would dictate, I didn't know why I bought it today but I knew, beyond my need for a lovely food infusion, there must be a reason.

And sure enough, it arose.

I ended up giving it to a co-worker, a perfectly wonderful woman who asked me today where I was originally from. I said Seattle. She said that made sense. I asked why. She said because I'm not like most New Yorkers. She said everyone thinks of me as balanced and centered.

Me? Balanced and centered?

I can't take it. A lovely cupcake, a lovely interaction AND someone telling me I am coming across in a way I've been consciously seeking for years.

Well...damn Sam.

This all makes sense. As I've hinted, big, big changes are around the corner in my life. This only affirms the changes are indeed happening. I'm so grateful I could do a jig at my desk right now.

Let's take another look at that cupcake, shall we?

Not sure if it's visible or not, but one side of the top is smudged. The woman who sold it to me, a tall, lanky and extremely sensitive and feeling musician, said she felt bad she smudged the top of the cupcake.

I told her it was perfect. It's exactly like life - both beautiful and flawed, all at the same time.

Enjoy your spring day everyone.

Buy a pretty cupcake. Pet a dog. Pay a genuine compliment from the heart to someone.

Be thankful for all you have. And stop frowning. You really have no reason to frown.



Thursday, April 8, 2010

Boogie Into Your Life

I was going to get deep and write some truly profound insights into the human condition, when this song came on and and dammit - I couldn't stop dancing.

Give it up, people!

Through friends of friends I'm setting up a meeting with the GM of Comix, a comedy club in Manhattan. Thank God he's nicer than most corporate entertainment people. Jesus some of them are vile. This guy is super sweet. Gay. With a baby with his black lover. Can't get much better than that.

I'm going to convince him to allow me to do an open mike soon. For the hell of it. My hubby told me I should do stand-up in NYC at least once. I agree. I can always say I did it once in NYC.

He told me that it's hard to fill the club with gays who want to hear a gay comic. That shocked me. I was trying to think about what to do for the routine.

I'm not of the bitter George Carlin style. He was insightful and funny, but bitter and pissed. Like a cranky but very smart old guy. Pissed off hippy.

I like Richard Pryor a lot. He was very funny and was talking about race stuff long before a lot of comics ever did.

Lenny Bruce was tragic and profane.

Lots of great comics had endless rage in them. Anger, rage, disappointment, frustration....I'm not gonna put that out there. I get it, I can be very funny in my rage and my frustration having lived for years in the most chaotic city I can imagine, but I don't think that's the way to go.

Maybe I should talk about bowels. That's a good subject!

I have this very juvenile tendency in that I’m fascinated with the lower regions of a person, meaning, their bowels. I know, disgusting, but it’s a part of life, right? That’s not the worst part.

I’m disgusted when other people bring it up but then I laugh like a little school boy when I bring it up. It’s disturbing.

My mother had irritable bowel syndrome. I think that’s where it came from, along with most of my neurotic obsessions. Her shit smelled so bad we had to have a fan installed in the WALL of the bathroom as a direct line to the outside to shuffle the stench out.

She was very ashamed of this and I think she should have had more pride. She should have shoved it in people’s face. Figuratively, mind you.

She should have said:

"Yes, the bathroom smells like a Roman battleground littered with thousands of dead and rotting bodies – jealous? I have a natural skill and you do not. Fuck you, you insecure gnat."

Something like that.

My very successful one-man show was all angst and humor and it was hard and painful but necessary. I am now in the process of letting go of so much shit. So much shit. Useless shit.

I need to latch onto my humor. I am a very insightful man with a solid sense of humor.

I think I need to use that.

Speaking of humor, what I would have given to be one of the writers on this very fine film:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ego Shit

It's been almost two months since I last posted. Much has happened in that time.

The most important thing has been a shift within me. Yes, there have been projects I have been involved in (a one-man show, the cooking show, more written work) but the real work has taken place within me.

My way of living is changing. How I relate to myself and how I relate to my creative work is changing. How I relate to others is changing.

It's unfortunate I cannot be as open as I would like to be on this blog. I cannot divulge all that is happening. Others will use it against me in ways which are negative and hurtful. I can't go there anymore with those people. I am sick of those people. They make me itch with anxiety.

So for now...suffice to say change is taking place. It's all very good but very difficult.

It's very interesting -- I wrote and performed in a one-man show off-off-off-Broadway 2 weeks ago. It was called "Me & Julie Andrews". It was the story about what I cannot write about on this blog. The process of writing and performing in the show was very difficult but very necessary.

Everyone has within them their true, wonderful selves which are covered with layers of shit. Shit about how they need to act. Shit about how tough they need to be. Shit about how rich or famous they need to be. Ego shit.

Ego shit drives so many people. They base their entire lives on trying to achieve their ego's needs. I am not pleased with this, but I can see now how that is not the right way to go. Sigh. To go that way is to live a life for all the wrong reasons. What a pain in the ass to realize that.

There is a thing in Buddhism called 'Right Action'. We all know what the Right Action is to take (the one from our hearts) but most of us never do that, but instead, what the ego wants. I think...I'm not sure yet as I'm in the midst of this, but I think...I think that's the absolute wrong path in life.

Fuck. What a difficult yet liberating awareness.

I know the kind of people who will never, ever understand what I'm talking about. They would look at me as if I were a lunatic or flighty. But I know I'm not. Because I've walked in their shoes. I know how it is they view living life. Their view is a fallacy.


Change is coming. And it's time. Change in a way I never dreamed. I'm mired in the muck of accepting the truth but I see glimmers of what lies ahead and I see it's good. Very good.


I've said before the only reason I wanted to do a cooking show was because I like cooking as a way to create and as a way to give to people. Pure creating and pure giving. Right now, I don't give two shits about branding or media or advertising or demographics or ratings or research or mind and emotional games inherent in seeing a cooking show on the air.

I gave two shits and it put me right where I needed to be. At square one.

The food in my cooking show was only a metaphor and a tool for waking people up the reality of their lives and their relationship with themselves. I got lost in trying to give unnamed executives in television what they wanted.

I am entirely unsure what the next step will be. I know I have to have a plan, I know I have to strive towards a goal, a way to create a body of work...but right now with this big change it's all about listening for signs, seeing what is around me and being the best friend to myself I possibly can be.

To today...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wonderful New York

It's not that people in New York City are assholes.

It's simply that they have forgotten how to be polite.

Case(s) in point --

Yesterday the following took place during a normal day in the city:
  • I held the door open for an elderly woman at a bakery so she could enter before me. A young man rushed passed both of us and said 'thank you', despite the fact he clearly saw I was holding the door for the older woman.
  • Two children were standing at the top of a subway platform in Queens - one was 2 and one was 3 - and both were crying and shaking terribly. Throngs of people passed and no one said anything to the kids or asked if they were okay. I stopped, asked where their Mommy or Daddy were. The older boy pointed to his elderly Mother at the base of the stairs. She was struggling to lift her stroller. Throngs of people passed her and didn't stop. I ran downstairs, helped her with the stroller and made sure she was set and on her way.
  • At my job, someone forgot to confirm an appointment because their daughter broke their leg. A person who shall go unnamed at my office demanded I force them to come to the meeting despite what happened to their daughter. I told this unnamed executive I didn't want to be a jerk to this person whose daughter broke their leg. The executive replied, "You're losing your edge. I thought you were a New Yorker."
  • Three times I entered stores and all three times no one held the door open after them, but instead, rushed ahead, never once looking behind them.
And as I was about to publish this, this just happened to me:

I was standing on the E train, staring at a fantastic painting on the train wall. It was of silhouette figures in NYC inside of buildings. You had to look closely to figure out where they were, but if you did look, it was fascinating, because you could see a gym, a school, a restaurant, a massage was a visual detective game. How fun! I was engrossed in the painting when I heard someone gasp behind me.

I turned around and this young girl had fainted!

Now, in other cities, I think the way most people would react to someone fainting ten feet away from them is to help them. Not in NYC. Everyone actually moved AWAY from the woman, except for one large older gal. She helped the girl up and asked her if she was okay. Clearly, the woman who fainted wasn't. She was a little thing, maybe 21, and her face was as white as the driven snow.

The woman gave her a piece of candy (I guess thinking she fainted because she was a diabetic). It was a lovely gesture, but please, you don't FAINT on a subway in NYC because you forgot to eat your Reese's before you left the house. The older woman then walked away from the girl and said she'd be fine.

Clearly, the young girl wasn't going to be fine. She was white as a ghost, her eyes kept lowering and she was nodding forward. We were coming to my stop in the city. Now, what went through my head was this: my boss is going to be annoyed if I'm not at my desk when he wants me to be at my desk. I should go to the office and let the girl do her own thing. But here is the rub: I knew that wasn't the right thing to do. I knew this was Life saying, Okay - what you gonna do, Son? You gonna step clear of her like everyone else is? Or you gonna step up?

I looked down at this little thing and knew what I had to do. I bent down and told her on the next stop I was going to get off with her and take her to the doctor. She mumbled something to me in Russian. I said I wasn't taking no for an answer. I looked behind me and asked if anyone would help me get her off the train and to a doctor.

Everyone said they had to go to work.

No one helped.

Matter of fact, they looked away. The women around me stared at me with wide, open and compassionate eyes but were unwilling to help.

I helped her off the train, rubbing her back the entire time. Poor thing. I got her to sit down and told her to sit still until I got back. She mumbled "Okay. Thank you..." and off I toddled and met an MTA employee, Dan Waldroff.

Dan came over and got her medical attention. I gave her my number and left. Before we parted I asked her name. "Tatiana" she replied, a smile on her face. Tears welled in her eyes. "Thank you very much. I must get my family members now," she said. I patted her on the back and left.

I'm no nun.

I don't write this to illustrated how loving and caring I am.

I write this to illustrated how people who live in New York City are conditioned to be tough, abrasive and self-absorbed.

If you were to stop any of the people in any of these situations and explain to them how they were being unaware, you would get one of two reactions:

A) Confusion - they would have no idea there were other people there besides themselves, or...

B) Defensiveness - they would say they were being nice enough but they have a job to keep and things to do and have to leave. NOW.

This is the great flaw of daily life in New York. It is a tough town and people lose their center and become tough to survive. It's very ego-driven at the cost of basic kindness.

To do the right thing means to be in touch with your mores, aka, what sociologists would define as the conventions that embody the fundamental values of a group.

Everyone on that train knew the socially correct thing to do was to help the girl. The values we embody support kindness and helping others. But for some reason we don't always act on those.

I feel we all have an obligation to ourselves but to others as well. That is the reason I write this blog. The cooking show idea is now non-existent, so this forum is simply my way of supporting and advocating the display of social mores, albeit with cooking or with art.

It's like RuPaul always -- "I like to be sassy, not bitchy." Couldn't agree more.

Sassy is fun. Bitchy is tired and annoying!

Can I get an amen?


Which is why yesterday I had to make a warm, comforting meal at home. It was so good, I had to blog about it.

Try this and you will be amazed. It's a long one - about 3 hours from start to finish - but the prep and cooking time are only about 45 minutes.

May I present...

Mikey's Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Pork Chile Verde!

Sometimes I make a meal that is so good Andy and I just stare at each other in amazement. This was one of those meals.

Come with me darlings as we COOK UP A STORM!

Prep time: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Cooking time: 2 - 3 hours (very little supervision required; it cooks in the oven in a covered pot)

Serving size: 6

  • 3 pounds pork shoulder*, cut into golf ball size chunks
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 large white onions, diced fine
  • 2 red peppers, diced fine
  • 2 fresh poblano peppers, diced fine
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, diced fine
  • 3 serrano peppers, diced fine
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1 pound roasted tomatillos, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup packaged Verde salsa
  • 2 cups no-salt chicken broth
  • 2 pounds Russian golden fingerling potatoes
  • Toasted flour tortillas
  • Sour cream
  • Freshly chopped tomatoes
For the pork - it's very important what kind of cut you get. I go to an amazing butcher in Manhattan -- "L. Simchick" -- they are at 988 First Avenue in NYC (tel: 212-888-2299). Always try to get either the 'shoulder' cut of pork or a 'Boston Butt' cut.

They are both a bit more fatty and break down beautifully in a long roast. They taste like butter when they are cooked for long periods of time. The loin, a much more popular cut, is easier to find but very dry. It's worth the hunt to do this right and get the shoulder cut, or Boston Butt. Trust me.


  • Preheat your oven to a nice, even 300 degrees. Make sure the oven rack is in the center of the oven. You want slow, even cooking. You are kinda making your own Crockpot in the oven.
  • Put your tomatillos in the oven to roast while you prep everything. Line a jelly roll baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove the paper outside from your tomatillos (which are simply green tomatoes - the ones I buy are already shucked from their paper skins) and cut them lengthwise. Spray the aluminum foil with Pam Organic Olive Oil and then lay the tomatillos, cut side down, on the foil. Give a healthy spray over the tops and salt and pepper. Place in the oven and let roast as you prep the stew. Keep an eye on them. You want them to have a nice brown exterior. A lot of their moisture will leak out as they roast.
  • Have your bottle of liquid olive oil nearby. You may need it for the pork.
  • Cut up your pork, trimming off any excess fatback and saving a 2-inch piece to the side. Make sure your pieces are healthy looking 'golf-ball' size. Put aside in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, pour in your flow with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix it up.
  • Cut up your onions and all three varieties of peppers. Put aside in a large, separate bowl. I do not seed my peppers and I don't think you need to for this recipe. I find it to be a pleasant shade of 'hot'.
  • Measure out your cumin, oregano and coriander in a small bowl and set aside. Slice up your garlic and put it in the same little bowl with the spices.
  • If you have enough measuring cups, I recommend measuring out your canned Salsa Verde and your Chicken Broth. It's easier to enjoy cooking if you have them nearby.
  • There is no need to prep the potatoes in advance. You simply can wash them and have them nearby. Most Fingerling Potatoes cook very rapidly and don't need to be diced. I dice the large ones for easier and more enjoyable eating...entirely up to you.
  • Now - salt and pepper the pork pieces you cut and then roll in the flour. Shake off any excess but make sure all sides of the pieces are coated.
You work that Pork Verde!

  • Heat up a large Dutch oven. Make sure you have a tight fitting lid you can use later in the process.
  • Put in 1/2 of the 2 inch piece of fat back from the pork and render it (meaning, melt it until it's liquid). Add enough pork pieces to fill the bottom of the pan but DO NOT CROWD THEM. If you do, they will NOT brown. Better to go slow on the process. This is key to tasty pork.
  • Brown the pork on all sides, small batches at a time. Use a bit of your olive oil if it's too dry or if it's too smoky. There is no science to this part. You just gotta get a hankering for it.
  • Transfer the batches of browned pork to a large bowl.
  • Once the pork is done, if there is no fat in the Dutch oven, pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, heat it up for 2 minutes, then add your onions and peppers, with a dash of salt and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  • By now you should take your tomatillos out of the oven and let them cook a bit on the stove. When they are cool, you want to cut them up a bit, if they are not too hot too the touch. They will be very moist and mushy. Try to save the juice that comes out of them. I like to take them off of the aluminum foil and cut them on a cutting board with a little side 'alley' that catches the juice, or else you have warm tomato juice all OVER the place.
  • After the onions and peppers are nice and tender, add in your garlic and spices and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the roasted and diced tomatillos. Mix all of that up now. You want the veggies coated with those yummy spices.
  • Throw in the browned pork, your bay leaves, the salsa and the chicken broth and gently stir until it's all nice and covered. You want to make sure the meat/veggie mixture is covered by at least 1 inch of the chicken broth/packaged salsa Verde liquid.
  • Put on the lid and pop in the oven for AT LEAST 60 minutes. 90 minutes is best. Mix every 30 minutes or so.
Andy always forgets and burns himself, silly man!

  • After 60-90 minutes, throw in your potatoes, mix it up and then put it back in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • You are now at the 2 hour mark. Take it out of the oven (USE OVEN MITTS) and put it on the stove top over medium heat and let it cook for 30 minutes with the top off. You want it at a healthy simmer.
  • When the mixture has reduced down and is thick, give it a taste for salt and pepper.
Serve with either toasted pita chips or tortilla's. Add some sour cream and/or fresh red tomatoes on the side and you are set.

Enjoy this amazing meal my little darlings!!!!


Mikey Bryan
Your Sex, Food, Love Therapist...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fantastic CHOPPED SALAD, how we're all Wonder Woman and a deep truth revealed...

For those who love it, cooking is at once child's play and adult joy.

Craig Claiborne

I had an epiphany the other night.

It was while I was cooking a rather elaborate Mexican feast for myself and my husband. The TV was off. No music, no Internet, no nothing. Peace and quiet. I live in a very quiet part of Queens and in a very quiet building, which suits myself and my husband. We like a quiet home.

It was me in the kitchen. Andy was still teaching and I had the night to myself. I could feel a rather vile head cold coming on, but I refused to let it drag me under. I wanted to cook.

Since late November of last year I've had very little interest in this blog or this project. I felt I had been through the ringer.

4 years, countless producers, investors, TV executives and endless reams of writing had produced not one viable bite on this project DESPITE the fact everyone told me it was a good idea DESPITE the fact I was told COUNTLESS TIMES I'm meant to be on TV DESPITE the fact I know tons of people IN cable TV who could have made it happened IF they were a bit nicer or kinder or giving.

It never happened. I got sick in late November. I hardly got out of bed in December. My husband wanted me to take anti-depressants. I said, Fuck that - give me a Broadway show and I'll be fine.

Add onto that the endless discussions I've had with people about the cooking show and non-stop litany of people telling me why cooking at home is a foolish idea.

Here are the top ten reasons people tell me they don't cook at home:

"It's messy. Like you."

"Too expensive. I'd rather save my money for things that matter, like a new round of Botox or a hot hooker."

"So time consuming. Wouldn't you rather be shopping for clothes? Or watching TV? Or anything else besides cooking? Shopping and planning and reading the recipes...please. What kind of a gay man are you anyway?"

"I can't be bothered. All of that chopping and mixing? And carrying groceries? No thank YOU."

"Who has the friggin' time? I sure as hell don't. You try to balance a career, husband and two needy teenagers. I'm a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Put a knife in my hand and violent things are bound to happen."

"Food? Please. I eat pills. I don't eat food."

"I eat to live, not live to eat. There is a difference. Which is why I only eat bagged lettuce and pre-cooked chicken with low-fat dressing and NO CARBS. Ever. Ruin this waistline? Get a grip."

"Lean Cuisine. Mix two of those up, zap them and dinner is on the table in 8 minutes and only 500 calories. Throw it mess, no fuss and you're done."

"It takes patience and skill to learn to cook, neither of which I am interested in."

"I'm too busy. No one cooks at home anymore. Only bored housewives in South Dakota have the time. There is a reason God created take-out. Hello?!"

I have no interest anymore in trying to convince people who don't like to cook why cooking at home is such a fun, enjoyable and loving thing to do.

I'm done.

Let them have the same thing every day, let them eat take-out every night, let them be either too skinny or too fat - I am no longer carrying the flag to increase awareness for those who find endless reasons not to cook.

It feels good to write that!

I realized there was a problem in December when I became resentful of people approaching me and suddenly, without any provocation, talking to me about food.

It happens all the time.

I'll be in the supermarket and women will come up to me and ask me to help them pick produce or how to cook a meal...soon we'll get to talking and I'll have a whole bevvy or cooking broads chatting up food and recipes. It's a gas!

I became angry in December because I was hurt at being dismissed so often about The Food Therapist cooking show. I felt bad it never became a reality so I divorced myself from cooking. I found myself listening and actually agreeing with the people who said those classic I Hate Cooking lines above.



So a new, much more realistic day is dawning with my cooking. I am a good cook. I gravitate to food, I know how to cook and I am meant to eat. It is a strong part of who I am.

THUS...this blog and all of my food-related stuff will be directed only to those who love to cook. While I respect all of those who uttered and continue to utter those lines above, suffice to say on food and cooking we will never bond unless they come to their sense because I, for one, LIVE for my senses.

For the REST of you lovely home cooks out there...


Chopped Salads

I've resisted making chopped salads at home for years. I am not a salad fan. My husband loves salads because they are so healthy, but for me, they never, ever taste very GOOD or are very interesting.

I'm not sure if this is big in other parts of the country, but in New York City people are really, really, REALLY into chopped salads. I never understood the thing with chopped salads.

Well! I've certainly changed my mind.

For years now I've made salad by tearing up lettuce, chopping some chicken breast, serving with a healthy dressing and a bit of bread on the side and each time I come away - YUCK.

I watched a recent chef make a chopped salad and realized that he did exactly as the name implies - chopped all of the ingredients to DEATH and then mixed them all together. Now, to be fair, he did have a giant commercial chopping device that looked like this:

You don't need this at home. What this does in a commercial setting is chop the hell out of anything laid in front of it. And I realized that is what lies at the heart of why chopped salads are so good. There is a seamless mix of textures and tastes here that make these very tasty salads.

BUT...and this is a big but (which could result you getting a big 'butt') you still need to watch what you put into these salads. It's very easy to hide fat and calories in this dish. So watch your intake.

I made one the other night and this is what I did.

I got 4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. If you have an aversion to bone-in, skin-on, get over it. Roasting these breasts results in extremely tender chicken that chops beautifully and tastes great in a salad.

Heat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a jelly-roll pain with heavy duty aluminum foil. Wash and pat dry your breasts. Ha...'it rubs the lotion on it's skin or it gets the hose again!'. Sorry...I digressed.

Rub a tiny bit of olive oil on the breasts and salt and pepper them.

I think now is a great time for a little Martha giggle:

Back to the food...

Bake the breasts until the juices run clear and the skin is lightly browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Take out of oven, let cool. Carefully shred the meat from the skin and bones (checking thoroughly for bones or skin).

You can make this up to 2-3 days in advance of assembling the salad.

Cut the chicken into tiny dice, set aside.

For the lettuce, I like Romaine for a chopped salad, but Boston lettuce is a nice change of pace (a rather meaty lettuce) or Iceberg (which I find reliable but a tad dull).

Chop the the lettuce very fine and put in a large bowl. Lightly salt and pepper.

Put in the chopped chicken and toss.

I like the chop very fine and add the following:
  • Bunch of fresh radishes
  • 2 bunches of scallion, washed thoroughly; chop green and white portions
  • 2 large carrots, skins removed, cut length wise and into small matchsticks
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large yellow pepper
  • 1 large hothouse cucumber (seedless), sliced lengthwise and dice small
I also like to add parboiled asparagus or broccoli or hard boiled egg to this...the possibilities are endless!

For cheese, I like to add maximum flavor with minimum calories. For me, I like to add either Authentic Stilton Crumbly Blue Cheese or Aged Parmesan Reggiano cheese. Both require very little but impart a very strong flavor. 1/4 cup of Blue Cheese or 4 tablespoons of the Parmesan Reggiano.

For dressings, I forgo the usual bottled dressings. They are filled with sodium and making your own at home is ridiculously simple. All you need do is mix 1/4 cup olive oil with a teaspoon or two of lemon juice and perhaps a teaspoon of creamy or grainy Dijon mustard and 2 cloves minced garlic. You can also add fresh herbs, such as basil or thyme or sage. Mix up and put on a bowl on the side so guests can pour over at their leisure.

I always serve this with a French baguette. To not do so would be a crime. Stop by any local boulangerie or, if you must, get one at the supermarket.

The trick is to enjoy making the salad and make sure it tastes good to you. As those who cook now, the joy you can have in the kitchen is endless...not matter what the food haters or the world say. Celebrate the Wonder Woman in all of you!

Bon appetit!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm Mad As Hell! I'm Not Taking It Anymore!

I've been hearing a word tossed around a lot lately.


According to the often insulting but vaguely interesting website Urban Dictionary, this is the definition of the word Gaystream: "...popular culture marketed to queers. Vaguely liberal and often conciliatory to white hetero standards."

There are two words in this sentence which should bother you, gay and straight: "Vaguely" and "Conciliatory." Why?

Because on it's own, conciliatory means, of course, to make concessions. However, when it comes to publishing literature, or making movies or developing TV shows that are created with this dogma in place, what will be done is the work will be 'vaguely' liberal and muddled and perhaps a bit open minded, but in the end, 'conciliatory' to heterosexual standards (read: conservative heterosexual standards of those living in states like Texas and South Dakota) because publishers and executives and those in power want to have their queer cake and eat it to, they want money, gads and gads of money, and in the end, we all know this will result in very sour cake indeed.

We have taken a giant step back in the progression of a society as a whole. Gone is the celebration of individuality, gay or straight, and in it's place is a homogenized sensibility lacking any viewpoint and passive aggressively intent on squashing anything which causes us to feel any sense of unease or challenges us.

We are tired, we are broke, we want to do nothing but sit in our chair and watch TV and be left alone. We want to make our salaries and make our car payments and mortgage payments, and go out to dinner on Friday night and be left alone.

Now is the time where the rally cry of Howard Beale of Network needs to be heard. "I'm not going to leave you alone," he feverishly said into America's television sets in 1976. "I want you to get mad!" he bellowed. "I want you to say, I'm a human being, goddammit! My life has value!"

We need to get mad. We need to feel something more than this complacent ambivalence everyone is so fucking proud of. As a gay man, I feel a certain fury knowing movies, TV and popular 'gay' fiction will not challenge mass culture with showing new ideas and open sexuality, but will, instead, give me the same old package but in a new ribbon.

But the part which is the most offensive is they will tell us this is a NEW way of thinking and this is PROGRESSIVE and we are now seeing other people for who they really are...when we are not seeing them at all.

Queer culture, alternative culture, any culture truly outside of a white heterosexual nuclear conservative family unit will never be fully revealed in mass media and this is 2010. It feels like it's 1955 and it's 2010 and the most disturbing part of this is people think this is what they want and it is the exact opposite of what they need.

Of course, Bush is to blame for having set this agenda in place and hammering it home. Of course, the Conservative agenda is strong and in place. It is taking over parts of the black community and the Spanish communities. God plays a huge role in certain parts of society and God does not like man to bed with man or woman or bed with women and He CERTAINLY does not like transgender to bed with anyone.

I am worried and disturbed more people are not worried and disturbed that we have regressed to a time of invisibility for the true individual. I blame gays for sitting back and not taking any action and they should be ashamed.

I loathe gay men who tell me they are looking for 'straight acting' men to have sex with. Why on EARTH would they want to have sex with a 'straight acting' man? That is a man who is perpetuating the worst parts of being straight! And what IS a 'straight acting' man? Why don't you want to be with a gay man? Leave the straight men to their wives or girlfriends. Why do you chase after what you can't have?

I know countless straight men who would find that term absurd, yet gay men use it constantly to denote their desire to be with the dark man, the real man, the all powerful 'masculine' man who will deliver them from their own disgust with their own homosexuality.

The reason gays are still unaccepted in this society and the reason we will never be accepted in this society and the reason people of all shapes and colors and sizes will say God does not love us or God had decided we are not due the same legal rights as heterosexuals is because gay men (and, to a lesser degree, gay women) don't feel they deserve these basic human rights and feel they have the right to fight for them.

Gay men hate the fact they are gay.

They hate their sexuality and queer spirit.

Being gay is not all I am or all anyone who is gay is, but it's a very large part, just as being straight it.

Until this ends, the hate for us will never, ever end. And as a result, racism will continue to silently grow as it does and no one will ever realize we are all one giant 'thing' and not these separate pockets of futile lives. It will never change.

Of course, most of this thinking is by people over the age of 40. This sort of talk about internal homophobia and sexuality and racism confuses the hell out of younger people. They don't get what it's all about. They may not agree everyone has the same rights as everyone (it's the old God thing, they were raised to think God love selectively) but they wouldn't consider taking action to stop others from living the lives they want to live...not so the case with the Old Guard.

Now go eat a donut with someone who doesn't have the same color skin as you or doesn't sleep with the same gender as you.

It's time we all evolved.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The New Homosexual

Nothing shortens a journey so pleasantly
as an account of misfortunes
at which the hearer is permitted to laugh.
Quentin Crisp

In the summer of 1990, I went to The Angelica movie theater in downtown Manhattan and saw a movie about the personality/author/all around fabulous queer Quentin Crisp. It was called Resident Alien.

The Angelica is a horrid little theater, with tiny spaces crammed full of mostly pretentious Manhattan moviegoers who have nothing but black clothes and snobbery in their closets. Most of the films which play their are alternative and rarely shown outside of the four biggest cities in the country. While I always will applaud alternative independent movie theaters, I don't applaud the fact most of the movies there are depressing, dull and lack any enthusiasm for life.

It was a hot summer and I hated life in NYC. I was working for a banking firm in midtown Manhattan. Most of the men I worked for were married and all were cheating on their wives. They would have me call their mistresses and arrange for car services and plane tickets for their inclandestine meetings.

It was all very sordid and vile.

During the day they fired people left and right and 'invested' the funds from the firings into other companies to make their portfolio of rich clients even richer. All of them wore designer suits, complained if their coffee was cold and never, ever considered for one second how fortunate they were to be making the kind of money they did. The entitled rarely realize the price they are paying to be entitled.

The surprise will come to them on their death bed when they will see, in stark relief, the error of their ways. But by then it will be too late, won't it?

I went to Resident Alien because it was about the life and times of Quentin Crisp. Quentin, for those too young to remember (or those too self involved to care) was a startling breath of fresh, gay air in a city filled with gym-obsessed men who wore dark leather and prowled the late night streets of Manhattan looking for their next dark man to take their minds away from how meaningless their lives were.

Of course, like drugs, it never worked.

The high of instant sex with a 'real man' faded as fast as it had begun and they were left, the next day, with the truth of their lives - a truth Quentin spent his life discussing.

I adored what Quentin was about. I was one of those gay men in his 20's in Manhattan who read all the time, smoked cigarettes constantly and was always on the outside of gay New York looking in. I wasn't obsessed with the gym, I didn't have any interest in cocaine or K or heroine and I wasn't obsessed with finding a masculine man to fulfill my sexual and emotional fantasies. I was effeminate, openly gay and seeing shows with drag queens on most weekends. Despite the ravages of AIDS gay men were, at the time, obsessed with their bodily image. They needed to feel and look 'healthy' to stave off the fact they were aging and dying.

It's even worse today.

Gay men are divided into two camps: the Bears and the Others.

The Bears are the men who are not interested in going to the gym to look like the Perfect Man and are, instead, either rebellious to the point of being fat or ridiculously muscular. The Bears believe in the cliche idea of the masculine male. They are the ones who write on their Internet sex profiles "masculine seeking masculine" or the favorite "no fat, no fems". They intensely dislike and openly loathe sissy men.

Bears only accept feminine men if they are in full dress and on a stage lyp-syncing to a song by the newest one-name dance queen wonder. If you were to ask a gay man who identities as a Bear why he only wants to be with other similar masculine men who dress in leather, show off their various hairy body parts and refuse to wear cologne or deodorant, he will tell you (in a defensive tone) "I dunno. It's just what I want. I'm a man so I'm attracted to other men. Real men".

Or, he may even say, "I'm attracted to men, not faggots".

The Others are the main majority. They are the most visible portion of gay society. They are the twinks, the muscle jocks, the preppies and the other various subcategories I'm not interesting in naming or dissecting. They are obsessed with bodily image. They are shoppers, integrators but not innovators or thinkers.

They are dissatisfied with how fractured gay men are with one another but will never do anything to challenge or change this issue. They are akin to the senseless, floating majority of heterosexual America...they want cultural junk food and don't want to press the envelope.

The Others and The Bears openly dislike gay stereotypes. They dislike gay sexuality which is not expressed in hyper masculine terms. They support effeminate gay men only if they are part of a parody or on a stage in a costume. They don't understand and are disgusted by transgender people. You either have a dick or you don't. There is no in between.

The fluid sexuality of the mass of gay culture and it's effect on creating a more open and receptive gay man which began in the 60's, exploded in the 70's and shrank back in terror in the 80's when the Plague descended has become a tiny blip of a fading star against the black canvas of all gay culture.

Quentin, weather he intended too or not, set out to bring this fading star out of obscurity and bring it to light. It was his insight into the act of being a fully open and aware and receptive GAY MAN with a GAY STYLE and FLUIDITY which attracted me in the late 80's like a gay, fluttering moth to a mother shining ship and why I went to see Resident Alien when it opened in 1990.

Mr. Crisp was to be at the screening. I desperately wanted to meet him. I had bought a flimsy poster of the movie the day before and was hoping he'd humor me and sign it. I carried it with me to the film and afterwards, approached him at a tiny table set out next to the screening.

Mr. Crisp wore a striking blue velvet blazer with a bright red scarf about his neck. He had on blush and a thin line of pink lipstick. Blue eyeshadow graced his eyelids and his hands were covered in various rings of deep green and purple. His infamous grey hair was swept up into a giant cone on his head and was streaked on one side with purple dye.

I was in love.

He smiled at me as I came up to him. I had worn my favorite crushed red jacket and tight black pants. I had my green sneakers on and had applied a thin line of mascara to my eyes. I handed him the movie poster. He took it and looked it over.

This is what it was:

"I look hideous", he said to me as he raised a black marker in his hand. I smiled at him and touched his hand as I said, "Not to me you don't."

He shook his head but didn't move his hand away from mine. "I'm constantly amazed by people, I truly am."

With his free hand he signed the poster To a clearly divine and inspired man, Quentin Crisp.

He rolled up the poster and handed it to me. I thanked him and held his eyes as I left. He stared at me as I walked away and in his eyes I saw such life and beauty it took my breath away. I will never forget that moment.

My friend Kim Jackson has asked me to write a show which I am to perform at The Duplex on Christopher Street in the West Village section of Manhattan. I'm not sure what Kim will get out of this since it will be so gay in content. I think she's doing this because she loves me and is desperately hoping this will shine some light on my withered creative life. I am a tad concerned for our friendship in the collaboration, so I must be frank with her on my concerns.

The Duplex is a hop, skip and a jump from the infamous Stonewall Tavern where many believe the gay movement in America truly began. It's not where it began, but it is where the gay movement became visible to people who lived in South Dakota and Florida.

I have agreed to do the show. I am going to draw on the inspiration of Quentin Crisp. Of Harvey Fierstein and his early plays. I am going to press my hand to my heart and my ear to the ground and listen to the words of Larry Kramer. I am going to ask for those gay men of the past to inspire me to write a show about the truth of my life as a gay man who has spent over half of his life living on the fringes of gay life and has watched his brethren fall apart and fractured.

The gay heart of our day is gone. It needs to be revived and I, for one, am going to create a show with this in mind.

As a small boy, I dreamed of living in New York City and creating theater that would be about being a gay man in the dirtiest and most amazing city on the planet. I have to live out that dream.

The cooking show was an excuse to perform and I see that now. I love to cook, don't get me wrong, but the thing I'm truly meant to do is perform. And since for now TV does not want me and the writing world doesn't know I exist, I shall perform in the theater. Lords knows this will a labor of love. But I know not what else to do, so here we go.

Maybe this time the Gods will shine down on me.