Friday, April 29, 2011

Sufferin' Monkeytails!


Should I do a monkey tail? What do you think? Pick one of these options:

1. Absolutely
2. No. You're already a fool.
3. Maybe. Only if you color it to make it striped

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's Infiltrating!

This is clearly a direct result of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal.

OMG! Is this what Tony Perkins and Maggie Gallagher were warning us about!?


I'm not going to cite a bunch of research in this post trying to prove whether or not global warming is a scientific fact, or if it is, the real extent to which human activity contributes to it. I'm going to assume if you're reading this, the link between global warming and the wasteful and thoughtless way we live is self-evident now.

Currently, I'm living the most green lifestyle I've probably lived. After reading a good deal of literature on the subject of environmentalism, and then a few years later coming back to Louisville, and eventually moving out of my parents' house to where I can live on my own terms, I have to say I'm proud of the changes I've made in my lifestyle. Living with my roommate Lizz helps. She gives me much needed reminders and inspiration. Now that it's Spring, I feel the pressure to be further motivated to live more sustainably. By comparison, I really don't think the way I live is the most eco-friendly it could be by a long shot. I sometimes wonder how much buying organic and natural food, recycling the materials I can, or using natural laundry detergent really contributes. It's a question I struggle with sometimes. When I stop by the grocery in the spur of the moment on my way home, because running out of food snuck up on me, and then look around my car and realize all my own bags are at home, I just go in anyway, thinking that using plastic just this one time isn't such a big deal since I almost never do. Is it a big deal? I don't know. And then I end up hoarding them in the cabinet above my refrigerator, so I won't throw them away. When I open it, they come busting out. I think every plastic bag I've brought home since I moved in is up there. As I type, a decent size box sits next to me that my new laptop came in, overflowing with plastic wrap, bubble packaging foam, and more pointless weirdly shaped cardboard that melded to the object it encased. What am I going to do with it? Recycle it? Put the larger box in the basement for a future storing container? Eventually. But, for now, it sits here on my bedroom floor and has for the past three days. By and large, humans don't know what to do with their waste, and this packaging solidifies for me even more how much inadvertent excess material a single human accumulates. In the end, I just have to tell myself I do what I can, I suppose.

In analyzing the way I live with the new season, I've been thinking of ways I can improve. The rebirth of the trees, grass, and flowers should be an environmental awakening, shouldn't it? Sadly, when that single red tulip sprouted in my front yard, my motivation didn't with it. I've worked hard to change the way I eat, especially after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma a few years ago. I've been reading In Defense of Food on and off this past month to get more informed. I buy organic and natural food when I can. I get confused about what types of food are best to buy organically and which kind wouldn't be absolutely necessary. I've also reduced my weekly meat consumption to only two times, sometimes three, which doesn't help with my goal to get down to one. I feel like this is a good balance. I failed at every vegetarian phase I went through -- one in high school, a shorter one in college, and then I couldn't eat meat for about two months after watching Food, Inc.. Eating meat is natural to me though, which is why limiting it is the best option. Not just because of the health reasons associated with those sick growth hormones and antibiotics -- don't even get me started on how chickens lay in their own feces -- but because the U.S. meat consumption rate depletes the world's resources. But, when I go over to my parents' house, clearly these rules don't apply, and I can eat as many Doritos and Totinos frozen pizzas I want. And then immediately regret it. But, seeing the type of food I was raised on compared to the type of food I choose for myself, I'm reminded of the long way I've come and shouldn't stress over it too much. Lizz and I are also thinking about joining a CSA, and maybe that way I could eat meat that's been killed and processed more ethically and naturally. By investing share in a farm, I would know where my fruits and vegetables are coming from in support of somewhere local, which may be more important to me than anything. It would be quite a commitment though.

At my core, I am lazy, which is a root of the problem. I know of ways I can change this, but the issue is a matter of wanting to change. I've contemplated getting a new bike. I haven't had one in awhile when my old bike broke. I hate that I do things like drive to Kroger when it's only about a ten to fifteen minute walk or to my sister's house when she pretty much lives down the street from me. But then, I feel like these compromises need to be made with living more green. For instance, Kroger doesn't have the best options in terms of sustainable and natural food to buy, and Whole Foods does, but Kroger is so much closer. So, do I walk to Kroger and buy non-organic strawberries -- or organic strawberries that aren't really organic, but are in name only, because every company has jumped on the organic bandwagon to capitalize on the green market -- or do I drive to Whole Foods which sells more genuinely natural food? Rainbow Blossom is about midway, though would be a pretty substantial walk, and it's also more expensive, and I don't do the bulk of my grocery shopping there but only for special items. I suppose if I had a bike I could take that to Whole Foods, but this would require planning to where it would almost become an event. I couldn't go there quickly, taking twenty to thirty minutes at the most and back home to watch more Arrested Development on Netflix. And, that's another problem I have, directly linked to laziness, which is convenience. Or maybe it's complacency, or perhaps a mix of both. I can be pretty stuck in my ways. I'm someone who relies on routine for comfort, to the extent that my routines become ritual for me. And breaking out of rituals is difficult. Conversely, I wonder if I implement certain green ways because they're easier. For instance, Lizz and I thought about a no-mow lawn, which would be wonderful, because I hate mowing grass. Lizz's brother basically did all of it last year, and if it wasn't him, our neighbor with the riding mower swooped in. God, I wonder what our neighbors think of us sometimes. But, going no-mow would mean essentially reseeding the entire yard, which would be much more work. So, we decided against it and plan on purchasing a manual push reel mower instead. We also implement an "if it's yellow, let it mellow" bathroom policy, with a sign above the toilet for guests. Yes, it's environmentally more friendly, but it also saves on our water bill. I think being more environmental has it's benefits, but for the changes needed that don't on a short term scale, that require a serious modification of the way I live my life, I have more problems adapting. And, these changes will yield much more benefits in long-term, but not without work and a little sacrifice of old ways.

I'm hoping my lifestyle will change more gradually, and these problems related to character and personality I have will get better. As long as I keep in mind the reason I'm doing it. For the sake of the earth, our home, and for the sake of that red tulip, which I think was demolished from the storm the other day. Nature takes it's course. We're along for the ride, while also being a part of it.


Conversation on the phone today with my devoutly Catholic mom.

Mom: Did you get my e-mail?
Me: Yeah, I did.
(the email was reminding me about mass today and tomorrow and an inquiry if I would like to go with her. She even lured me with buying me dinner afterward, because she's tricky like that).
Mom: Are you coming to Holy Thursday with me tonight? It starts at 6.
Me (hesitantly): I don't think so.
Mom: Well, what else are you doing?
Me: I'm going over to Alex's tonight to watch Thursday night comedies.
Mom: Doesn't that start until later? You know this is the most important time of the year. Beth is going with me, and she has plans afterward.
Me: I'm sorry...
Mom: Don't you care about your soul...

For those of you reading this who aren't familiar with Catholicism, this week is the most important and solemn Triduum comprised of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. Sorry Mom, the only Easter related event I attended today was an office egg hunt at work -- an event that further convinces me even more that where I work is pretty much the world of The Office -- and egg hunts have much more overt paganism associated with them than anything else, to me anyway. It's conversations like these that gather this huge ball of shame and regret right in my chest, manifesting in that ever ubiquitous guilt trouncing my psyche and existence, and then spills over to every aspect in my life, whether it be getting ice from an ice maker, pouring a little extra Bourbon in my glass at Alex's tonight, or getting pissed at that pick-up truck that cut me off today. And that's why Christianity -- specifically Catholicism -- is a blast.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Holladay Platter

I've been unfaithful to this blog. *gasp!* Don't worry. Wake to Sleep and I have agreed to enter into an open relationship. It's what's healthy and for the best.

My sister Beth wanted to start a food blog, and over a few beers at Sergio's, I jumped on board too. And, it's called... The Holladay Platter! Ha! Check it out!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Late Night Internets

I now have the internet in my house, which means I can search old live Judy Garland performances on youtube when I come home after a night of drinking with friends : )

Perfect end to a night.

I will still never get a TV! or sign back on to facebook!

Gay Accessories

I've decided I pretty much am the Disappointing Gay Best Friend (aka Tyler Coates). I even spent last night, Friday, ordering in pad thai and watching Netflix. Although, I didn't have an overly enthusiastic straight best female friend egging me on to go to Connections (Louisville's gay club) with her and pigeonholing me into a narrow cookie cutter caricature for her own amusement to fill some type of void in her life. Lizz (my roommate) was here, although she had a low key evening with some rented videos herself. Luckily, she doesn't fit that bill. These videos have been making their way around the blogrolls. I'm a little late to jump on it here, as usual. There has also been a Salon article. Even though in an Advocate interview, Mikala Bierma, the "hag" of the video claims the intention was in no way a response to the Sassy Gay Friend series, I can't help but see it as a contrast, along with many other commenters. I don't really have any new insights or fresh material to expound on. These videos resonate with me as a gay man. I can't count how many times I've been in social situations where women demand I fit this role, or think that I somehow will. The encounters range from subtle hints and comments to outright belligerence. Example:

Flashback to my senior year of college in good ole' small town Murray, Kentucky. It was Halloween. As usual, I had grand ideas for a costume but then got lazy, and none of them ever materialized into a killer Oh-My-God-I-Love-Your-Costume stunner. I think that year I thought about being a Smurf instead of a Michael Holladay in a green flannel shirt and jeans. My friend Jessie and I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and drank at a friend's house. No big plans. However, we came back to her place, since her roommates were throwing a party. A good friend of mine was there, and some of her friends were visiting (I'm leaving out names here, just in case, in the off chance anyone involved in this event may actually stumble upon this blog, they won't be embarrassed. I like to pretend my readership extends beyond my work friends and sister. Thanks, guys. Oh, and you better be reading this too, Alex!). Her friends were a couple from her home town. She introduced me to them. When the female half of the couple deduced I was gay, she flipped out. She bombarded me with hugs and kept saying, "I love this guy!" Throughout the night, she would come to my side, clutch her arm around mine, turn, and announce to anyone in earshot, "Look at us! We're just like Will and Grace! You're just like... what's his name? Jack!? Or is it Will? I love this guy!" In a conversation with her boyfriend, he spoke of nothing else but how cool he was with gay people. Gee, thanks. I gathered that he was doing this to comfort himself, because I could detect a level of threat he felt about his girlfriend hugging and kissing all over another man. These people were from Chicago, not a small town in Kentucky or Indiana. My good friend graciously apologized to me, and of course I take no offense from her, told her so, and I said that I understood. I'm not sure that I do, though. Maybe a part of me does.

I said I didn't have much more to contribute to the conversation of the sassy and fierce gay stereotype and "fag hags," but I do have some thoughts. I think it's interesting how these videos portray a distinct stereotype, not in the gay man, but in the "fag hag." Some hardcore feminists tend to criticize the misogyny of gay men, but this unintentionally explores underlying homophobic attitudes women can have toward gay men when they think they're being accepting. I don't blame them, because they are inculcated with limited ideas of gay men from the media. See Will and Grace and the exhausted triteness it's built around. That's not to say that female supporters of gay rights should go unappreciated. The gay rights movement owes a great deal to women. Straight female advocates help bring gay men into the mainstream. However, I question the consequences this has had, and they're demonstrated in these two video series. In his Salon article from a few years ago on the subject, Thomas Rogers notes how gay visibility in the 90's and early 2000 in the media directly links to a strong female presence: "It was no coincidence that the first wave of gay male TV characters shared most of their screen time with straight women -- it made us palatable to mainstream America." He then quotes Justine Pimlott, director of the documentary "Fag Hags: Women Who Love Gay Men," in which she explains, "'It was celebrating the feminine side of gay men, not about going into the bar scene,' says Pimlott. 'It disarmed their potential threat.'" I've always felt we must move beyond this safe celibate image in the mainstream. I also like how he addresses the marked difference between genuine friendships gay men have with women and the expectations of women who know nothing about gay culture, women who claim they're just dying to go to Connections for the first time with you and then cringe two hours later when two men are kissing on MTV. There was my good friend at that party, and then there was her friend who embarrassed me, and mostly herself. We are not Lady Gaga's pretty pink poodle accessories, or any woman's for that matter.

I would be remiss not sharing that many of my good friends -- some of my best friends -- are women. This isn't because I can help them pick out curtains or go scarf shopping with them or help them with their make up, none of which any woman would want me to do, believe me. It's not much different from the reasons I'm friends with straight men. I don't consider anyone my "hag." I consider them friends who are people I share a connection with, and I know they regard me the same way.

Monday, April 4, 2011


"have a fantabulis day (is that a word?)" - my not-so-cool-with-the-gay-especially-when-it's-her-son mom in an email to me today. She's also in the market for a red couch.

I couldn't help but share. It's cute and funny and...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Burrito Baby Chomp!

I’ve become a connoisseur of babies. And, by babies, I mean Qdoba burritos. Their weight and dimensional girth are comparable, sending me into a burrito coma bite by bite. Since I never intend on having kids, these burritos are my babies. My gaybies. And ones that I eat. I’ll take -- and have had -- a diversity of types. I don’t discriminate: the steak, the pork, the chicken, the veggies, the meatless, black beans, pinto beans, always cheese and sour cream, with guacamole, without, the pico, verde, roja, and even habanero on the rare occasion I want to make my lips tingle and burn. They all must have the queso though. Lately, I’ve been getting them on Thursdays, enough that I’ve deemed the day of the week in my head Qdoba Thursday for the last month.

This week, I was at my parents’ house and picked one up on the way back to mine, so for convenience sake went to a location closer to their place. My parents live in the East end of Louisville. For all you non-Louisvillians potentially reading this, I’ll summarize. It’s the area of Louisville where many families settle down to raise their kids. The neighborhoods comprise varying socio-economic pockets, but they range from mid to upper middle class (my parents fitting much more the former than the latter), but they all have one thing in common: they are the suburbia of the city, replete with chain restaurants and stores with no local flavor of the city whatsoever. So, of course, this particular Qdoba was swarming with East End Bitches (E.E.Bs), a name I used for a particular personality type back when I waited tables in the East end. They are generally on the higher end of the socio-economic scale, or if they aren’t, they pretend to be, and they are snooty and uppity as all get out. The telltale sign of an EEB would be something like payment with a Macy’s Visa card or coming in at 11:00 am on a Summer weekday with their three bratty kids and order two margaritas, suck them down, and all the while the oldest boy would be running around popping balloons, the toddler smearing mashed french fries onto the table, and the newborn screaming in my ear while taking their order. I can’t take the credit. A friend of mine used to work at a Target in the area, and this was a term coined by some of the staff there.

One of them was in front of me in the Qdoba line with her three little girls, all sporting matching pink, as if the three little ones are the narcissistic carbon copies of the fuchsia puffy vest donning bigger adult . Upon entering, she wanted to let her six year old daughter push the door open, to prove what is beyond me, encouraging her to push harder, as I’m standing right behind them waiting (come on, Woman! Just lightly push the goddamn door open already and make her think she did it. Your designer baby is holding up me getting my designer baby). There was another EEB in front of them with three boys. I should also mention something else about the kids of EEBs. They’re picky eaters, so I had to wait awhile as the individual meals of these six kids were tailored to. “No, she wants the kids' meal burrito wrapped in an adult size tortilla. Can you redo it?” I was relieved when it was my turn to give my hassle-free order. But then, as I’m going to pay, EEB number 2 comes up to the cashier with her son’s burrito and needs it re-wrapped, so halt everything! Your dumbass son ripped his burrito open, so you expect the entire line to stop, and make me wait even more for my delicious baby? This is what kills me about this overwhelming need people have to feel self-entitled, which could be a whole separate post. The torn burrito crisis was finally put to rest, so I unclench my fingers around my Qdoba and debit cards ready to pay and eyeing the paper bag stroller keeping my child safe. But wait! EEB 1 needs another copy of her receipt. She then has to quibble over an extra charge for a side of queso even though the woman who got it for her told her it would be extra. “My bill should be $12.10. That’s what it was originally! Not $12.57,” she said. “I just saw you pull up in front of me in a Lexus, and you’re arguing over 47 cents?” is what I would have said, but did so only in my head.

I eventually got it! At last!

the babe. I named her Hadley Renee.

As I took a bite, there was no doubt in my mind I would most likely do the exact same thing to a real gayby. Chomp!

This is why I can never have kids.