Monday, July 31, 2006

I am So Gone

Alright, kiddies, the big move is upon us. Most of my boxes sit ready to be loaded on the truck tomorrow. Both my NRFB Mego Wonder Woman doll and Our Lady of Guadalupe icon find themselves snugly awaiting their new, though temporary, home in the Greater Boston area.

I will begin my long mult-day journey traversing many of the united states. Fortunately for those on my travel route, I have hired a team of trumpeters to announce my imminent arrival. Consider it my own version of Travels with Charlie. Only, in my case, I have a cat instead of a dog, a moving truck instead of a camper, and a greater level of gravitas than Steinbeck could ever muster.

Before I depart, though, I wanted to jot down some thoughts about television. Since I have been without cable television for some time, I have been forced to depend on other means of entertaining myself while packing. When I wasn’t watching That Girl, on DVD, I relied on the good old fashioned air-wave transmissions. I learned something that I had forgotten: Network televison blows.

As I sat wrapping my collection of Wonder Woman coffee mugs and Salton Hostess 1960s Warming Tray, the same commercials played over and over and over again. Two particular series of commercials really irritated the shit out of me.

First, GayProf has long said that he does not have a horse in the Mac/Microsoft race. To be honest, I just don’t care. Microsoft, well, they are just plain evil. Mac, from what I understand, has minuscule advantages, but their hardware isn’t worth shit.

Mac wants to pretend that they are not a giant U.S. corporation guilty of all the excesses therein. Some people feel so invested in Mac that they will even become angry if you dare to suggest that they are just another consumer option. Thus, I am annoyed by the smug, self-satisfied ad campaign for Mac computers.

You have probably not been able to avoid them unless your doctor or a criminal court ordered you to stay at least 75 feet from all television sets. These ads involve a “PC” and a “Mac” computer personified with actors. The Mac tries so hard to seem “cool,” but just ends up looking like one of my annoying-know-it-all freshmen students. Mac, the corporation, tries to convince the public that buying their computer will permit them to be part of a special group of people. I see this ad and think that Mac computers clearly lack manners.

As I have said many times, though, the Mac mystique is really just capitalist brand-identification. If one finds the Mac computer works better for their particular needs, I think that is just dandy. Owning a Mac as some type of evidence of innate cleverness, though? In the immortal words of Shania, that don’t impress me much.

These ads, if anything, make me unlikely to even think of buying a Mac for many years. The next time that smug little Mac brat appears on my television, friends might need to restrain me from tossing the whole set against a wall. I would not want that Mac guy in my house, much less working as my computer.

What company could come up with an ad more annoyingly self-important than the Mac ads? Hmm – Only a corporation that makes its bottom dollar by destroying the earth. I write, of course, about the Hummer H3 ad campaign.

In the two particular commercials that now endlessly cycle through my head, the ad’s protagonist discovers personal courage and strength by buying a Hummer. One centers on a mother who finds herself and her child bullied on the playground. Just when she looks so sad that you want to take away all her sharp objects, she sees a bus pass with an ad for the H3. Once she signs away her life (and probably sells her child into slavery) to pay for the vehicle, she looks unstoppable as a song plays about her rock and rolling. We are left to assume that she must be driving to slaughter her playground bullies in a blood-red-rage.

Another ad in the same campaign plays upon classic masculine insecurities. This time around, a man waits in the grocery line buying cartons of tofu. Another guy follows him in line buying tons of red meat. Apparently feeling his testicles in danger of crawling into his body and converting to ovaries, he spots a magazine advertising the H3. Within seconds, he races to the dealership and obtains the key to his new found manhood. The ad’s tagline has the audacity to read, “Restore the Balance.” We can say many things about Hummers: They guzzle gas; they cost the same as a small Carribean island; some double as the local county seat; they look suspiciously like a rolling Quaalude pill. What we can’t say, though, is that the Hummer implies balance.

I suppose we should be grateful that the Hummer ads avoided the explicit homophobia of the Dodge/Chrysler ads. Rather, they opted for a more subtle, anti-vegetarian message. Gee, that’s great. One has to wonder when eating healthful foods became “unmanly.”

GayProf understand the score when it comes to advertising. They want to tap into people’s fantasies and vanity to sell products. I get that. Believe me, I also understand how shopping and buying things can make a person feel better. E-bay and do not send me personalized Christmas cards for no reason. Nothing seems wrong to me about enjoying nice things from time to time.

What does bother me, though, are the ways that these advertisers create a vision of identity based on conspicuous consumption. These two ad campaigns depend on crass desires to feel superior to your fellow humans. Contrary to Mac’s unending ad campaign, buying a Mac does not make you a better/smarter/more interesting person. You don’t have “one-up” on PC users (like that would be a hard thing to accomplish anyway). Owning a Hummer, likewise, won’t give you personal courage. Getting behind the wheel will not show your manliness/womanliness or grow you a new set of testicles/ovaries. Instead, driving a Hummer announces your depraved indifference to real social and environmental problems facing the globe.

Being a better/smarter/more interesting person, in my experience, does not start with you opening your wallet. Rather you have to, you know, actually do something smart/productive/interesting.

Or maybe packing all of my own personal crap has just made me cranky. Eh – We can never tell with GayProf.

Regardless, I am glad that we had this talk. I will be deprived on the internet for many days and would hate to go away without discussing these things.

Keep a candle burning for me. I look forward to arriving in the Greater Boston Metropolitan area. Long-time readers know that he past year(+) has not exactly been a pleasure cruise for ol’ GayProf. You wouldn’t believe the time it takes to mend a heart once it breaks.

Now, though, I have faith that the cosmos will bring me a year of new people and intellectual engagement

Friday, July 28, 2006

Going, Going...

Only a few days remain for me in Texas. My friends and I have reached that awkward stage when somebody is moving. A quiet distance develops as one becomes a sort–of-dead-man-walking. Every major trans-regional move that I have made resulted in the same awkward week of lame-duck friendship. Not much is really different, but there is that bitter sweetness of an immanent departure.

In addition to me leaving for the year, there are two other queer folk also departing this university. They made the wise choice to make their departure permanent. Boy, that makes here seem even smaller. The local gay community probably just lost a third of its out contingent.

There are many, many, many hours of packing ahead of me. I have to wonder, just why do I own so many goddamn books? Seriously – There are books that I have not read in over a decade. Others I don’t think that I ever read. Plus, they are really heavy. I don’t own any furniture, small kitchen appliances, or winter clothes to take with me to Boston, but I could open a history co-op.

My solution? I am storing my non-essential books in my Texas office for the year. This has meant traveling back and forth the past few days. I take the books from my office that I actually need for my research and replace them with books from my house that I don’t need. Have I mentioned how goddamn heavy books are? Academics are not known for our astounding feats of physical prowess.

Plus, I also need to take all of my tenure files with me to Boston so that I can revise them and send them back to Texas while I am away (I have no plans to return to Texas at all in the coming year, if I can help it). Then I still need to transfer all of my porn important files onto my new computer.

It’s times like these that I wished that I had a helper monkey. You know, like one of those cute little rhesus monkeys who can lift things with their tails. The great thing about rhesus monkeys, from what I understand, is that they always come in packs of two in a nifty orange wrapper.

Of course, though, you didn’t point your web-browser in my direction just to read about my moving woes. You came here because I am the most desirable man on the blogosphere. Or, according to my site meter, you were looking for pictures of either a circumcised or uncircumcised (depending on the hour) hung gay penis. Or you were looking for a picture of Cydney Bernard. Sorry about the disappointment(s). Life is suffering, darlings.

In the meantime, we can talk about the man in orange and green tights. I noticed at Crocodile Caucus that WB shelved their Aquaman television show. Poor Aquaman never can get much respect. Truth in advertising: I had Aquaman Underoos at the age of 4. Be aware this might impair my judgement.

Aquaman had his own franchise. Like Batman and Captain America, he also got a man-sex-slave sidekick named Aqualad. As a duo, though, they never really accomplished much.

During the seventies, his most memorable incarnation came on Superfriends. In that show, a giant seahorse seemed to be his only friend. Then, in the ninties, DC decided to give him a mullet. You know that mullets are always cool.

Turn-of-the-century Aquaman did not fare much better. The very, very, very extended cable show X-Play named the Aquaman video game the worst game – ever. Geez -- If people on channel 186 can give you a hard time, you know your celebrity has faded.

Nothing good seems to ever come Aquaman’s way. Somewhere along the way, he lost his hand and got a hook. Even Wonder Woman got tired of his soggy ways.

Aquaman never even got to talk with Charlie about the benefits of Starkist tuna. Of course, if Aquaman had talked with Charlie, perhaps he could have gotten to the bottom of Charlie’s self-loathing. Why did he want to be caught and eaten so badly? Charlie, you have a life to live! Embrace it.

I am sad that WB didn’t give Aquaman a chance. Don’t get me wrong – It looks god-awful and had almost nothing to do with the comic. Given, however, that a) WB produced it and b) It was set in an ocean setting, we could have been guaranteed many, many, many, many hunky men running around without their shirts. In truth, this seems to be all I want out of t.v. these days.

Give the square-headed lug a chance and download his pilot episode from itunes.

In the meantime, I will leave with the following video that Dorian pointed out to me. It pretty much gives you an idea of what I look like as I do my housework. I would also have no problem saying "Si" to ol' Pietro there.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dumb Conservatives

In exactly one week, I will be shoving my meager possessions and cat into the smallest rental truck available and driving 1,899 miles. GayProf should be spending his last week in Texas packing. Why, though, alter my usual method of waiting until the day before the move? So, in lieu of being reasonable, let's chat about some conservative silliness.

Claiming a conservative ideology does not necessarily imply a lack of intelligence. Likewise, the left can claim some pretty darn dim-witted people (that is another entry entirely). Still, it just seems to me that the modern U.S. conservative movement seems to almost take pride in being, well, kinda dumb.

Little Georgie Bush’s recent mishap with open microphones not only suggested his crassness, but again showed his basic lack of knowledge. When he wasn't sexually harassing the German Chancellor, he came to an astounding realization. Discussing the travel times of his fellow world leaders, Georgie seemed totally amazed at the literal size of the globe. He was shocked – SHOCKED – that others, like Russian Federation President Putin, could travel the same amount of time as he but not end up in the U.S. Georgie only represents the most visible component of this phenomena (though Ronald Reagan certainly used to give him a run for his money).

A strong wave of anti-intellectualism exists in the U.S. For all the reverence given to Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and the other eighteenth-century thinky crew, many modern American conservatives seem to disdain critical thinking.

GayProf can’t claim to know everything – yet. The emerging Israel/Lebanon war, for instance, is well beyond my ability and knowledge to discuss at great length. However, I want to know more and like to hear a variety of ideas. I also like to think that I am open to revising and changing my lefty ideas when I find better, smarter ideas.

Even conservatives might have some valid things to offer to these types of discussions. It’s hard to take conservatives seriously, though, when they actively despise learning and intellectual inquiry. Perhaps I have a personal failing, but I just won't seek out conservatives' opinion columns or blogs for this reason. If their ideological position can’t withstand intellecutal interrogation, perhaps they should not cling so tightly to it.

Conservatives have become so fearful that their ideas won’t standup in the face of actual thinking that they are now trying to legislate against critical inquiry. Florida’s legislature recently passed an education bill, signed into law by Governor Jeb Bush, that “American history shall be viewed as factual, not as constructed.” The law further names that history as “knowable, teachable, and testable.” Keep in mind that Jeb was supposed to be the smart one. Scary, isn't it? You can read more about this measure here.

Florida’s legislature responded to all of those pesky historians who have demanded that we interrogate the master narratives of U.S. history. Rather than presuming that U.S. History should only be the singular story of dead, white, straight men, these historians have the audacity to claim that others have influenced the course of human events both locally and globally. Moreover, they have an annoying habit of pointing out that inequality and injustice plagues the history of this nation. They ask their students to understand the past by interpreting events and a variety of view points.

Florida’s state government, however, took a bold stance against all of that. “No longer,” they more or less stated, “shall we suffer the hard work of having to think about things that challenge our assumptions. History shall just be about important names and dates and will never, ever question the rightness of the U.S.”

We on the intellectual left have a much harder case to make. The right calls ours vision of history an attack and a plot to split a common culture. We, on the other hand, question the assumption that a comon culture exists (or ever existed). Our position seems a lot less happy in comparison. Note to self: No job applications for GayProf in Florida this year.

Of course, conservative state legislatures don’t get all the conservative dumbness. The web-based group Protest Warriors claim to be battling us tricky and sanctimonious leftists. This right-wing group argues that leftists’ “self-righteous messages go silent quickly when the truth of history and reality is thrown back in their face.” Here, again, the right wants history to be equivalent to unquestioned “truth.” Yet, they also show that they know little about the actual complexity of the past.

Let’s take one of Protest Warriors’ t-shirts entitled “What has Western Civ Ever Done?” This little ringer-t celebrates “Western Civ” [read: White Civ] by listing its allegedly exclusively developments in world history.

At the top of their list, not surprisingly, appears “monotheism.” Obviously, one has to start out with a certain assumption that monotheism is automatically a good thing to even be persuaded by this t-shirt. That, much to their horror, is open to debate. We can set that aside for the time being.

What I find dumb about the shirt, however, is that they opted to put an image of the Parthenon on it. Greeks built the Parthenon in honor Athena, just one of their many, many, may gods. Using the Parthenon on a shirt celebrating monotheism strikes me as, well, dumb. Great Hera, what other word can I find?

Likewise, this same shirt claims intellectual developments that “westerners” actually borrowed from other groups of folk. Chemistry? Well, one might consider looking at ancient Persia first, after the rise of Islam. Early-modern Europeans certainly did.

How about literacy? Well, some South-Asian Hindu texts are at least eight thousand years old. Of course, China also has one of the longest, continuously used written languages in the entire world. I suppose 6,000 years of successive state organization will do that for you. China also provided the world with paper and printing (hey, they needed to use that paper for something). Literacy kind of needs paper and printing to work well.

Some time later, of course, Islamic tradition put a religious imperative on the ability to read the Qur’an. As a result, Arabic-speaking countries have most often had higher rates of literacy than elsewhere in the world for the past twelve centuries. So, claims of “western” literacy seem to be in their infancy.

One has to wonder if Protest Warriors would see these types of statements as “the truth of history and reality” being thrown back in their own self-righteous faces. I, however, am not interested in pointing out their lack of knowledge. That’s like shooting fish in a barrel, or something.

Rather, I am disturbed that they have a willful ignorance to the complexity of the world and its past. They don’t want engagement, but rather want to dictate what people should and should not know. They want history to be about them feeling good about their own identity and assumptions. They wish to silence dicussion over anything in the past that doesn't jive with their rosy view of the U.S.

Like Georgie Bush, these folk would be astounded by the size of the world. Moreover, they show themselves intellectually unprepared to grapple with its complexity.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

GayProf Starts from Zero

Greetings from Boston. I spent the past couple of desperate days trying to find a place to live. During that time, the stress added some silvery strands to my hair and I might have questioned if the cosmos still loved me. Panic began to creep into my thoughts after the first few days of seeing the bad, the worse, and the ugly in apartments. At times, I also wondered about my wisdom for going through all of this hassle for a single year appointment. Today, however, I am satisfied that the goddess still thinks kindly of me and remain excited about Boston.

Consider me triumphant in my quest to obtain an apartment. While not absolutely perfect (but what is?), my new loft-style apartment should more than satisfy my needs for the next year. Cut out of an old Victorian-era house, it’s a good size attic apartment. My new digs has a functioning bathroom, one of those stove-deals (I should really learn to use that at some point), and a couple of window AC units. With no fee and utilities included, I consider myself darn grateful. Thank you, cosmos! My faith is restored – though I warn you it will likely wavier again when I am in the middle of moving all of my crap across the U.S.

I learned some important things in my search for a greater-Boston-area apartment:

    Advertisements that say “steps” to the T can actually mean up to 3/4 mile. While I grant that 3/4 mile does require one to perform the action of stepping, I am not sure I would consider that distance to fall under the term “steps.”

    Taking an entire week to search for an apartment really would not have been time lost.

    People in Boston can be exceptionally nice. Yeah, I know, the gruff, abrupt folk run around the city as well. All through the past few days, though, many, many people really went out of their way to offer help.

    Landlords have a wide-range of interpretations about the meaning of the following words: studio, charming, one bedroom, efficiency, and clean.

    The really, really, really cool apartments rent within the first hour of being posted on Craigslist. I hate, btw, the person who ended up with the nifty one-bedroom across the street from Davis Square. Whoever you are, consider yourself on my Nixon-type list.

    No amount of money saved makes a 6:15am flight seem like a good idea.

    A 6:15am flight feels like an even worse idea if a tropical storm from the previous night cancels said flight.

    When one does not know about this same flight’s cancellation until after arriving at the airport, one can think of an astounding number curse words even after getting only four hours of sleep. Guess what happened to me this morning?

    Paying a fee for an agent might not have been a horrible idea given I had little idea of what I was doing.

    Boston has a substantially higher ratio of male beauty than Texas, but less than New Mexico.

Speaking of starting over, Lorraine and DaNator both asked about the ring/river deal in the previous entry's comments. I try not to allow subjects surrounding liar ex (who told many lies) to dominate the blog unless relevant to some other discussion. Believe me, I have enough gravitas to fill the blog without drawing on my extreme stupidity for wasting eight years with somebody so mediocre. Besides, liar ex (who told many lies) crosses my mind less and less each day.

Since they asked, though, I did carry out my decision to pitch my wedding band into the Rio Grande a few weeks ago. Because of an unusual amount of rain in Albuquerque, the river had a good amount of water. The ring made a satisfying “sploosh” sound as it hit the river. I am confident that its role in sustaining life in New Mexico will easily erase the negative energy vested in the ring.

Of course, the act of tossing the ring brought up a mix of feelings. As I have mentioned, some good memories still exist. Not every moment of those eight years, obviously, involved heartache – only the last year -- and maybe the first year -- well, that third year wasn't so great -- Hmm, that marriage sucked.

As I stood ready to toss the ring, though, I also thought about how much fun it must have been to be mean to me. The decisions that liar ex (who told many lies) made while ending the relationship showed a sleazy, selfish, cowardly inner character. I also thought about my own absurdity of taking this middling individual’s claims of having “evolved” beyond me seriously (Yes, he really said that).

I thought about one of our last conversations where his depraved indifference to my feelings became painfully clear. Liar ex (who told many lies) told me that I really didn’t have anything to complain about because it wasn’t like he was physically beating me (Yes, he really said that). Even now, I am dumbfounded by his ability to rationalize his actions in this way.

Liar ex (who told many lies) might have found another man as dumb as me to love him, but he sealed himself into always being my liar ex (who told many lies). Always. I can only hope that I will never become such a negative memory for somebody else.

I recognize that I failed to protect myself or demand to be treated in a way that I deserved. Instead, I set the bar extremely low by only asking that liar ex (who told many lies) provide a basic sense of stability and security. In the end, he could not even deliver that.

Now I am just glad that I only had to live with him for eight years. He has to live with himself for the rest of his life. I consider myself lucky in comparison. I would probably recommend avoiding being in physical proximity to him when all that bad karma he accrued decides to return to him. The karmic balance, it seems to me, has a special disdain for those who toss away positive energy, such as love, to pursue their own selfish agendas.

Tossing the ring reminded me also of my own gratefulness about starting my life over basically at zero in Boston. I am moving to a new city, have a new place to live, and an exciting fellowship opportunity for the year. I plan to fully enjoy my new-found freedom.

After that, who knows? I still have my job in Texas for the year after, but will also be keeping an eye on the job advertisements that will start appearing in late August. This year, though, should answer many of GayProf’s questions about his own life’s new directions. Does he want to live in a urban area like Boston? Or a quiet college community like Eastern Texas? What new fashion trends will he adopt?What types of new goals does he have for his research? Will he ever find those old glory short-shorts?

All of these questions and many more will be answered in the ongoing saga of The Center of Gravitas. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What Has GayProf Done with His Life?

In the midst of Summer School ending, traveling to New Mexico, and planning for my move to Boston, I also celebrated my birthday a couple of weeks ago. Don’t fret if the day passed you by without notice this year. In about ten years, you will easily remember it because, of course, it will be a national holiday.

For those keeping score, GayProf now has 32 years under his belt. I feel neither particularly old nor young. Age generally doesn’t matter to me. Unless, of course, I happen to chat with an eighteen-year-old student, then I feel as ancient as Susan B. Anthony.

That aside, I like to get a sense of comparison between my life and others. Where were other people at age 32?

    If I really were Susan B. Anthony, at the age of 32, I would be organizing the first woman’s state temperance society in the U.S. along with Elizabeth Caddy Stanton.

    If I were Jacqueline Kennedy, I would only have one more year in the White House.

    If I were Jesus, I would be dead in another year.

    If I were Pierre Trudeau, I would be involved with Quebec’s Asbestos Strike.

    If I were Mary Richards, I would have moved to Minneapolis two years ago.

    If I were Emiliano Zapata, this would be the year that I issue the Plan de Ayala, my call for revolution under the banner "Tierra y Libertad."

    If I were Pancho Villa, I would have another four years before I became instrumental in thwarting Huerta’s dictatorial ambitions.

    If I were Harvey Milk, it would be another 15 years before I became the first openly gay elected official in a major U.S. city.

    If I were GayProf, I would be planning on moving to Boston for the year to take advantage of a great fellowship. Oh, wait, I am GayProf.

    If I were César Chávez, I would need another eight years before I founded the precursor to the UFW with Dolores Huerta.

    If I were Dolores Huerta, I would found the precursor to the UFW with César Chávez this year.

    If I were Kate Jackson, I would have left Charlie’s Angels two years ago. It would be another three years before I starred in Scarecrow and Mrs. King.

    If I were Farrah Fawcett, I would have left Charlie’s Angels two years ago.

    If I were Jaclyn Smith, I would be the last of the “original” Charlie’s Angels still on the show.

    If I were James Dean, I would have been dead for eight years.

    If I were Oscar Wilde, I would be in the middle of my United States tour.

    If I were either of my parents, I would already have three children. The youngest would be four years old.

    If I were Cher, I would be divorcing Gregg Allman this year. It would be four more years before I resurrected my acting career with Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.

    If I were Billie Holiday, I would be going to jail on drug charges.

    If I were Walt Whitman, I would be busy writing the first edition of Leaves of Grass.

    If I were Reies López Tijerina, it would be another four years before I founded La Alianza Federal de Mercedes. (You don’t even know who this is, do you?)

    If I were Langston Hughes, I would publish The Ways of White Folks this year.

    If I were That Girl’s Ann Marie, a decade would have passed since I first met Donald Hollinger.

    If I were Scarlett O’Hara, I would have just realized that I actually loved Rhett Butler, not drippy Ashley Wilkes.

    If I were Eva Perón, I would only have one more year of life.

    If I were Malcolm X, I would have joined the Nation of Islam five years ago. The FBI would have opened a file on me four years ago.

    If I were Franklin D. Roosevelt, I would be in the middle of my stint as Secretary of the Navy. Mmmm -- Sailors.

    If I were Wonder Woman, I would age another 2,459 years before joining Patriarch’s world to fight crime.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

GayProf Fears for New Mexico

Certain news stories can ruin my good mood. Most times I take the news in stride. Boston’s collapsing “Big Dig,” for instance, has been brought to my attention many, many, many times. Usually this is accompanied by some type of joke about me being crushed to death upon moving to the city. Hilarious.

Let’s be candid, though. It could rain concrete on me everyday in Boston and it would still be better than living in Texas.

Of course, there are other, more obscure, news stories that have some relevance to me. Allegedly medical doctors have concluded that Latinos from Northern New Mexico are more predisposed to a wide range of neurological problems (including muscular dystrophy and spontaneous cerebral hemorrhage (my father’s sister, btw, died of a spontaneous cerebral hemorrhage in her early thirties)). A couple of centuries of being fairly isolated might have resulted in my New-Mexico kin-folk being just a tiny bit inbred. Great news for GayProf!

This won’t concern me, though. I figure my mother’s Irish-American background should offset all of that. Being of mixed ancestry has to pay off here, right? Right? Medical doctors?

Of course, we have already discussed news of an Albuquerque raid on a local gay gym in the previous post. Currently, the ACLU and a local gay rights group are considering suing Albuquerque police for civil rights violations.

Another story from New Mexico, however, also invoked my full gravitas. Shortly before I arrived in Albuquerque, the city celebrated U.S. Independence Day. New Mexico has a long history of navigating its internal racial dynamics by claiming a unique tri-cultural heritage (Latino, Native American, and Euro American).

We can debate the problems of this claim some other time. Yes, GayProf understands that this vision reenforces racial categories in certain ways. I also believe that the “tri-cultural” model intentionally ignores a greater racial diversity in New Mexico (that includes Asians, African Americans, and so forth). Moreover, the Latino-plank of that tri-cultural model is often skewed to favor a romanticized (and fictional) Iberian connection. Nor does this idealistic tri-cultural model address the serious economic disadvantages symptomatic of the state’s racial divisions.

All that aside, though, the state came to the tri-cultural model after generations of racial conflict. It’s an attempt, though imperfect, to acknowledge the contributions of each of these groups and guarantee their role in the state. Unlike the rest of the United States (except Hawaii and Puerto Rico, which have similar visions and programs), New Mexico mandates institutionalized multiculturalism. This often manifests in state and local-sponsored cultural programming. On July 4, for instance, Albuquerque sponsored a celebration with three stages with performances representing the three ethnic groups (Yes, it really is often that formulaic and obvious).

Imagine my outrage when I opened the Albuquerque Journal to find a series of letters to the editor complaining about this city-sponsored event. According to these letter writers, listening to Linda Ronstadt perform music in Spanish had infringed on their Independence Day Celebrations. Seemingly all Euro-American, these letter-writers claimed that Spanish was incompatible with the United States. One such letter stated, “It is no more proper to celebrate the United States Independence Day in New Mexico with a tribute to Mexico in Spanish than to celebrate it in Minnesota with a tribute to Norway in Norwegian.” Much in the same tone, another wrote, “We came there to celebrate the American [sic] Independence Day, not Cinco de Mayo.” Likewise, a third letter complained, "Linda Ronstadt...did not sing one song in the English Language. Was I celebrating Cinco de Mayo or the Fourth of July?"

Alright, now the Right Wing is intruding on what’s mine. I grow tired of the right’s basic hatred of any group different from themselves. Why, though, do these folk need to live in New Mexico? Poor New Mexico is surrounded by states that would welcome this type of hate. Heck, Texas alone would canonize these individuals for their xenophobia.

These letter writers’ total lack of respect or knowledge of New Mexico’s history particularly annoys me. As they deploy this “Nativist”-tinged rhetoric, they conveniently ignore that New Mexico did not enter the United States willingly. Rather, U.S. imperialism brought it into the union and kept it powerless as a territory for almost seventy years. Demands to celebrate July 4th implicitly require New-Mexico Latinos celebrating their own ancestors’ subjugation to outside invaders.

Mexico’s corrupt regional military leaders abandoned New Mexico to land-hungry Euro-Americans in 1846. Mythology promotes a vision of the U.S. Army triumphantly entering Santa Fe with claims of bringing a “better life” to the inhabitants. New Mexicans, though, seemed unconvinced.

U.S. military sources reported that many people in Santa Fe wept at seeing the U.S. flag rise over the capital. It turns out, they had a reason to fear the new government. “The great principle of freedom,” Donaciano Vigil wrote in 1852, “has been so quenched out that it is enjoyed only nominally.” Despite explicit guarantees in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, New Mexico’s Latinos lost 90 percent of their lands to Euro Americans by 1880.

Even with these conditions, New Mexico’s Latino population did build a sense of place within the nation thrust upon them. Creating a unique place for New Mexico as a “tri-cultural” state became part of the way that they reconciled themselves to the invasion. They demanded recognition of their role in the state. It is this recognition which those letter writers apparently detest.

Currently New Mexico faces an onslaught of wealthy Euro Americans who descend on the state like locusts. They gobble up land and precious water in their quest for mansions and golf courses. Though they claim to “just love the uniqueness of New Mexico,” they do everything in their power to reshape it to meet their own expectations. The desert landscape doesn’t work for a good golf game, so why not just trash the local environment? The local people speak more than English? That can be changed as well. “But,” they say, “New Mexico is NEAT! You can buy turquoise here.”

Locals bitterly point to Santa Fe as the key example of the ongoing costs of U.S. imperialism. Latinos whose families had owned property in the capital city for generations could no longer afford the taxes by the end of last century. As multi-million dollar houses appeared, the local Latino community disappeared. In 1990, for the first time since Santa Fe’s 1610 founding, Latinos became out numbered by a surging migrant Anglo population. From 1970 to 1990, Santa Fe’s Latino population did not climb above 26,500; however, the Anglo population escalated exponentially, jumping from under 14,000 to 27,000. As Santa Fe became a playground for the rich, many of them brought their racist demands with them, including English-only.

While out shopping, I chatted briefly with a Latina sales clerk. For whatever reason, the conversation drifted to the new gated housing communities [sic] springing up between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. “That’s how it is with New Mexico,” she commented, “The rich outsiders buy up everything. Now you have to pay to walk on land that used to be free.”

Her resignation to this situation haunted me. It occurs to me that those on the political right are really the ones who “hate America.” They loathe acknowledging that the United States has a multi-racial, multi-lingual population. This diversity is neither good, nor bad. That’s just the reality.

Yet, the right will not rest until they ensure their narrow vision's dominance in political discourse. We can’t just passively accept that they have the authority to name the meaning of the nation state. All of us who are committed to social justice, regardless of our own racial category, needs to fight this narrowness both in and outside of New Mexico.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Rub a Dub Dub

My time in New Mexico provided a much needed break to my schedule. I returned to Texas totally prepared to finish up all of my last minute details before heading to Boston.

What shall we discuss, though, in the meantime? “Oh, GayProf,” I hear you saying, “It doesn’t matter what your write. We are just so glad that you have returned to us! It is as prophesied in the holy texts.”

Now you are saying, “Don’t you ever get tired of that joke, GayProf?” Shut up, voices in my head.

“Hey, GayProf, Let’s talk about bathhouses.”


As Mike Prov 1 mentioned in the pervious post’s comments, Albuquerque police raided a local gay bathhouse gym. Though in New Mexico, I didn’t happen to be at that gym during the raid...Or was I?

According to news coverage, more than a dozen police entered the gym wearing bullet-proof vests. Once inside, they found many men in the “play area” engaged in sexual activities.

According to my many videos, the police should have then joined in on those activities. Under this totally realistic scenario, the police would end the evening by thanking the bathhouse patrons for showing them how to be proud gay men through intense man-on-man action. Clearly these police officers did not know the logical order of events.

Instead, they harassed and handcuffed the patrons, forcing them to lay on the floor. Tell me that you want to lay naked on a bathhouse floor. Yuck! Let’s be honest. Cum is like confetti – it’s only fun and exciting at the very instant that it’s tossed. After the party, it’s just an annoying mess. -- What? The Center of Gravitas is not a blog for children.

Allegedly, the gym served liquor at Friday and Saturday evening parties, a violation of state liquor laws. Now, I may not be the smartest man in the world – just in the United States -- but it seems to me that a gym serving flat beer would not really require this type of police mobilization. I kid you not -- I have been to video stores that had happy hours. They dished out beer from a keg as you browsed for your Friday-night flick (No, I am talking about adult video stores – those served a tasteful Chianti). In this instance, of course, the key bit of the story was that the gym served flat beer to dehydrated naked gay men.

GayProf does not partake of the bathhouse scene – trust me, it's just not me. Why, though, in 2006 are we still having an issue with their existence? If some consenting adults want to gather, get naked (except for totally sexy shower-sandals (?!)), and enjoy each other’s, um, company, why do people care? Poverty, unequal access to education, pollution, and disease strike me as much more important issues to think about than a sticky-group of groping men.

Even within the queer community, we hear claims that bathhouses “make us look bad” or “are indecent.” To those queers who suggest such things, I say, “Kiss my ass. Why do you want all queers to ‘fit in’ so badly?” If you imagine yourself as being more sedate than a bathhouse, great! Rules that dictate your sexual behavior, though, are all self-imposed. Let others explore what works for them.

Don’t get me wrong. I think bathhouse owners have clear responsibilities to give out an ample supply of free condoms. One should get a towel, a key, and a dozen rubbers upon entering the door and plunking down your money. Condoms should be in every corner of the joint. Hey, if you want to turn a profit on customers’ lust, you need to pay to keep them safe. That’s the price of doing business. Of course, I also think that the bathhouses should provide free Lamisil as well.

Likewise, bathhouse patrons sure-as-hell better play safe. GayProf needs his queer brothers and sisters alive and well to foment revolution. Getting yourself killed through some thoughtless hook-up ain’t going to help me.

All of this ties into another comment from Anon, who questioned New Mexico’s ranking first (along with New York) for GLBTQ issues and reproductive freedom in the U.S. Three advocacy groups, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Ipas and the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective, reviewed existing laws, pending legislation, and political campaigns. New Mexico ranked highly because of its long history of anti-discrimination laws covering gays and transgender people. The Land of Enchantment declares equality based on sexual orientation a basic human right. New Mexico is just one of a handful of states with neither a law nor constitutional amendment explicitly restricting marriage to heterosexual couples. One of only a few to do so, New Mexico also explicitly requires unisex restrooms in all public buildings.

Anon, though, rightly pointed out that New Mexico’s courts recently sent a group of vicious and depraved gay bashers home with a slap on the wrist. Remember that New Mexico and New York competed with the other United States. That’s not really tough competition to achieve a moral high ground on GLBTQ issues. Did we really think that Texas, South Dakota, Ohio, Mississippi, or Indiana can compete with New Mexico’s “live and let live” mentality? If, by the way, you have only ever lived in New Mexico, the rest of the U.S. really is different.

New Mexico decriminalized private adult consensual homosexual acts in 1975; but, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways of harassing the community. Legal protections mean little if we don’t demand that they are enforced. One of the greatest dangers facing the queer community is complacency, particularly from those in the middle class.

Perhaps the local gym owner did violate state liquor laws. If so, he was dumb as dirt. The state always gets its cut of money on liquor. The government learned from prohibition. Drunks spend money and the state wants a slice. Always.

What should concern us, though, is the way that such raids can be (and have historically been) used to keep the queer community immobilized and panic stricken. Call me ParanoidProf, but it’s not that far a jump to go from saying that a group of gay men can’t have sex in a private club to saying a couple of gay men can’t have sex in a private house.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Lights of Albuquerque

Summer sure has passed quickly! In the middle of summer school, it didn’t seem that way. Yet, now it’s over and my final grades have been submitted. Thank the goddess!

Soon GayProf must turn his full attention to finding a place to live in Boston. I must confess feeling a wee bit of stress about that. One, I still have half-a-house hanging around my neck that needs to sell. Buying that house with liar ex (who told many lies)? Worst.Idea.Ever.

The other part of the stress involves figuring out how to navigate the Boston housing market. From my remote location, I have already deduced that Boston apartment agents operate in two modes: complete apathy or extreme over-enthusiasm. So far most of the things that I wanted rented within hours. One less than zealous agent gave me the stunning advice, “You know, Boston isn’t Texas.” Um, gee, thanks. It’s been some time since somebody made feel totally incompetent.

Grad school in the Midwest and working in Texas has made me soft. Soft, I say! Time to resurrect my harsh urban-life skills. Wait, did GayProf ever have harsh urban-life skills? Hmmm – I might need to develop those from scratch.

Time to turn to popular culture for reference. How would That Girl's Ann Marie handle this apartment hunt? Oh, right, she would just whine and have Donald solve her problems for her. Damn you, sexist pop-culture reference! Damn you!

All these agents always want to work out details on the phone. Who uses the phone anymore? What’s wrong with e-mail? Wasn’t it invented so that I didn’t have to, you know, actually talk to people? Come on, help a misanthrope out.

Whatever the case, I am sure the cosmos will act in my favor and I will land a decent place when I visit Boston later this month. I will think about that tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.

In the meantime, my invisible jet has been fully gassed-up and I am leaving for New Mexico today. For the next few nights, I will enjoy all that the northern part of the Land of Enchantment can offer.

Here are some things that I am looking forward to in New Mexico:

    Being asked “Red or Green?”


    Home-made enchiladas.

    Access to decent coffee that is not from a corporate conglomerate nightmare or a creepy-Christian vendor.

    Astounding natural beauty.

    Not so-astounding city scapes.

    Old Hippies.

    Allowing the dry desert air to clean out all of the Texas mold that collected in my lungs.

    Sopapillas, with honey.

    Margaritas, on the rocks, no salt.

    Being in a state with mandatory bilingual access for all government services.

    Being in a state that tied with New York as leading the country in LGBT laws. Have I mentioned that before?

    Residing in a state with a longer history (both indigenous and colonial) than almost anywhere else in the U.S.

    Tossing my wedding band into the Rio Grande, as previously mentioned.

    Watching the local news filter any national/global story based on its immediate relevance to New Mexico – clearly the epicenter of the universe.

    Having time to work on my current research project. I vaguely remember research. Allegedly, I am paid to do research – allegedly.

While I am away, I expect that you all will analyze the previous post’s photos as often and as closely as others have inspected the Zapruder film. See you soon.

Monday, July 03, 2006

GayProf Really is That Self-Indulgent

As promised, I have worked to fulfill each request from the previous post. In some cases, I combined requests into a single photo. I am not cheating. I am being efficient.

Besides, some of you got a little greedy by asking for more than one photo. It’s okay – It shows how much you love GayProf. This also meant, though, this post became looooooooong. I am tough. I can take it.

I tried to get everything that people asked to see. In some cases, though, I had already packed the requested items for my move to Boston. In those instances, I substituted something of equal or greater value. Most pictures can be "clicked" to make them a little bigger.


So, let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Paul asked to see my favorite pair of shoes. Those would be these:

The Kenneth Cole boots that changed my life! They are great for either going to work or going out at night. Plus, all they require is a wipe down with some liquid polish. They are fairly comfortable, but I probably wouldn’t want to wear them everyday.


TornWordo wished to see both the front and back of the fridge door. For the front:

    1) A Sticker of a rainbow kitten given to me by a friend from her super-special childhood sticker album;
    2) The magnet holding the sticker says, “Give us This Day, Our Daily Chile;”
    3) A magnet with San Pasqual sent by my mother post-divorce. She feared for my eating habits (see the open fridge door below) and hoped that the rotund saint would intervene.
    4) James Dean;
    5) Magnet with Jacqueline Kennedy having lunch with Queen Elizabeth II. While in Chicago last year, I purchased it at the Field Museum’s Jacqueline Kennedy exhibit.

Now the sad part:

    1) Butter (everything tastes better with butter);
    2) Batteries (I heard they keep longer if you toss them in the fridge);
    3) Two different containers of mayonnaise (I have an unhealthy obsession with white, creamy concoctions);
    4) Ranch dressing (see previous)
    5) Two different types of Dijon mustard. I tried to cut corners by buying the generic brand, but found it unsatisfying.
    6) A container of oil that already was in there when I moved in (Scared yet?);
    7) TaB;
    8) a case of yogurt (Strawberry and Blueberry);
    9) Pillsbury’s Oh-My-God-You-are-Too-Lazy-to-Even-Cut-Some-Dough-You-Lazy-Slug Chocolate Chip Cookies (with Walnuts).

Please don’t tell people how I live.


Vuboq’s request required some inventorying of my closet. After much consideration, I concluded that this must be the oldest piece of clothing in my possession:

I obtained it for free during freshman-orientation in college (some fifteen years ago). During that same weekend, I also learned our school cheer: "Everybody's a Lobo -- Woof, Woof, Woof!" Hard to imagine why my university had such low school spirit, isn't it?

MEK asked to see my favorite vintage gay porn from my "research." How could I choose just one? So here is my “archive.”

One day, I really do intend to write about the ways that ideas about race, gender, and sexuality play out in same-sex sex porn. So, it’s not all just about GayProf being a horn-dog. It’s mostly about that, but not all about it.

Elizabeth and Bigg, like many of my readers, seemed a bit too interested in GayProf's bathroom and bathroom habits. I am not sure what this says about the folk who visit the Center of Gravitas or its author, but I noticed a clear trend.

    The Tour:
    1) Shave cream
    2) face bar, chalk full of salicylic acid (in its own little dish)
    3) Sink and counter constructed of a material I had never seen before in my life. It’s kind of like a rubbery plastic. Or maybe it's a plastic rubber? Either way, this stuff is ugly and does not occur in nature. It also seems perfect for trapping stains for all eternity.
    4) Ivory soap, guaranteed to strip your hands of every drop of moisture
    5) razor (which, btw, outlasted my marriage as I owned it before I even met my liar ex (who told many lies));
    6) dark burgundy floor tiles. This is a decorating triumph! You want a floor that can absorb all light and make you feel truly claustrophobic, especially in a small space without any windows.


Elizabeth also wanted to know about the most useless kitchen gadget I own. That would be this:

At one time, I knew the purpose of this object. Now, though, it just seems to take up a huge amount of space. Plus, if you turn the nobs on the top, those round thingys get really hot! That's just dangerous and crazy to have in your house!


Goblinbox wanted a look-see in my junk drawer:

    5)Window sticker asking firemen to save my cat should terriorists set GayProf's apartment ablaze. I must imagine that this sticker is most effective if placed on your kitchen counter.


Brett and Chris both asked to see my work space. GayProf's office at the university:

    The Highlights:
    1) Ungraded student papers
    2) books on the history of African Americans in film (which has nothing to do with my current research or my current teaching plans)
    3) A riveting memo outlining the history building’s HVAC upgrades;
    4) wooden letter opener that a student gave me as a gift
    5) TaB
    6) Dib from Invader Zim toy
    7) Sticky note reminding me to send a file to a colleague of mine by May 1 (Yeah, that totally didn’t happen)
    8) State-owned computer displaying the comments for the previous post
    9) 1950's clock that shows the current time around the world. It reminds me of all the other places I would rather be than Texas.
    10) A plant that manages to live through my abuse
    11) My tenure files
    12) V.I.N.Cent. toy (GayProf will go on a date with any man who can name the film in which this robot appeared and the actor who voiced this robot without using Google)
    13) Historic map of New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment, don’t you know?


Brett also asked to see the view while seated on my toilet. If I have any Freudian analysts reading my blog, please contact Brett. He might wish to discuss his childhood experiences with toilet training. Regardless, his wish is my command:

Though one of the first things that I see every morning (I eat my fiber religiously), the back of the bathroom door is not particularly interesting. If I were not going to Boston, maybe I would hang a picture or something. Eh.


Palochi inquired about the my dresser's top drawer. Like many readers, he seemingly hoped to find porn, lube, condoms, or something. He should have just asked to see the porn, lube, condoms, or something. GayProf has nothing to hide and lacks most forms of shame. Here, though, are the mundane contents of my top drawer:

    Numbers 1 & 3) White undershirts;
    2) power cord for a DVD player;
    4) assorted keys to various friends’ apartments and houses. One of the bonus things about teaching summer school has been that I have been available to feed/water/rob all of my friends who left their cats/plants/homes for the summer.
    5) Cedar balls to keep away the bugs
    6) A few business cards from men that I have, um, met over the past few months.


Extra-greedy Da Nator asked for three pictures of something that made me sad, angry, and happy. Plus, she wanted commentary.

For sad and angry, I had to really think. Normally I don’t keep objects around that make me unhappy. Then I realized, I still had this:

My wedding band makes me both sad and angry (Remember: Combining picture requests is not cheating. I am being efficient).

The ring makes me sad because, of course, not all of those eight years proved totally horrific. Some positive memories live on and I miss those times. I am also disappointed that my naïve and romantic vision of the relationship proved totally wrong. When I say “wrong,” I mean off by a long, long, mile.

The ring makes me angry because my liar ex told me many lies. Who could not be angry at a selfish individual who willingly lied to somebody who loved and trusted him?

I also have anger because I betrayed myself over and over again. I stayed in an eight-year relationship with somebody uninteresting, unremarkable, and unkind. He had all of the "un's." Few other individuals could be so defined by the lack.

Gone are the years I wasted on him. In some misguided effort to achieve security, I foolishly played the martyr. This makes me angry at myself. When did I hope to reap the reward for all that martyrdom? At our fiftieth anniversary? In heaven? When? Ugh – it’s a disappointing element in GayProf’s history. That’s a harsh-life lesson for you all.

Having been reminded that I still have this ring, I plan to pitch it into the Rio Grande on my up-coming trip to New Mexico. I figure the river that sustained generations of my family will easily eliminate the negative energy vested in this ring and help restore my own balance.


Now that we moved beyond that unpleasantness, let us see something that makes GayProf happy:

I love flowers. In this case, my apartment currently has a bouquet of Dutch Iris and Lilies. *Note the Nambé bowl in the background. Nambé is a product of New Mexico, don't you know?


Larry asked for my favorite Wonder Woman comic and Chad wanted my prized comic. It goes without saying that my prized comic would be, of course, a copy of Wonder Woman.

Still, the oldest Wonder Woman comic I have is from the late 1950s. To be honest, the Amazon Princess didn’t do well during that period. She spent an awfully large amount of time crying over Steve Trevor.

So, upon thinking about it, I decided my current favorite Wonder Woman comic in my possession would be this one:

From the late seventies, this particular issue blended both camp and comic adventure. Not only did it focus on my favorite Wonder Woman tool, the golden tiara, it also had fun with the readers. Diana has a nosy neighbor, for instance, named Mrs. Kravitz. Likewise, it had the best thought-bubble ever to appear in a Wonder Woman comic:

On a similar note, Bill asked for my favorite non-Wonder Woman comic. My blog might imply a greater knowledge of comics than I actually posses. Still, I have long had a love/hate relationship with Captain America. He is so over-the-top, it’s hard to take him seriously. Yet, he also symbolizes many of the worst elements of the United States: imperialism, notions of racial superiority, sexism, militaristic faith..He also first appeared around the same time as the greatest hero of all time (1942ish).

So, I own many Captain America from the sixties composed by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. They made the Captain a bit more angsty (which is so unusual for a Kirby/Lee hero):

Plus, Cap seems to really, really, really, really miss Bucky. Perhaps he should not have let him die after all:


Finding the “queerest” object in my house for Wiccachicky prompted some thinking. I thought about cheating being efficient and tossing this in with one of the comics. Perhaps, though, that would have been a bit too efficient. In the end, I decided on this poster:

It’s a replica of Depression-era government sponsored play on the horrors of syphilis and how to obtain treatment. The naked male figure battles a snake, representing syphilis. Its ambiguous sexual content and male erotic figure just appealed to me.

Joe decided to look through my nightstand drawer (in a virtual sort of way):

He found:

    1) Two mid-century tie clips – One gold (shaped like a scepter), one silver. GayProf hates, hates, hates having his tie fly about all over the place.
    2)Box of shirt stays.
    3)Instructional manual for a watch that I don’t wear anymore
    4)Chicago Metra ticket (I am sure expired and of no value)
    5)Five Euro bill. GayProf likes to imagine that he will leave for Europe at any moment and, therefore, keeps some pocket change handy.
    6)Watch that I no longer wear.

ROG asked to see my feet. Look close and you can see they got caught in this photo just below the drawer. Okay, this time I am cheating. Who, though, wants to see my hairy Hobbitt feet? Nobody. Trust me.


My favorite toy, the 1978 NRFB Mego Wonder Woman doll, already appeared in the previous post. I hate to disappoint Perspective of Pete, though. My second favorite toy would be this:

My father has tremendous gifts in the industrial arts. In particular, he practiced woodworking as a hobby. He made and/or refinished multiple pieces of furniture. At about age 9 (I think), he made this wood catapult for me. I launched many a Star Wars action figure to their doom with it.


DykeWife and Earl both requested my car’s glove box:

1) Stack of expired Proof-of-Insurance forms
2)Emergency blanket. Living in Texas, one must assume a major snow storm will trap them in their car at some point -- or something.
3)Tuner that allows me to play music from my ipod on the car radio.
4)Owner’s manual


Earl further asked for a picture of my sleeping attire. When in bed, I sleep naked. Here is a picture of me, sans clothes, sleeping:

Oh, I also sleep in the dark.


“Hey, GayProf,” Kalvin stated, “Show us something that you are embarrassed to own.”


In my defense, I have never used it to remove pubic hair or chest hair. I don’t like the hairless look at all. Still, I have this small, but annoying, patch of hair on my upper back. That hair has to go.

Don't judge me.


MaggieMay inquired about which outfit I wear to feel like a “supha-stah.” Being an actual super-star, of course, I always feel special.

Oddly enough, though, one of my gym outfits pleases me at the moment:

A gym-friend reported that somebody expressed concern that “the fags were taking over” after seeing me wear another pro-gay shirt. Being a contrarian individual, I had this shirt made just to wear to the gym. Many wicked hetero teens made adolescent queer boys feel unwelcome in gyms for years. I find it fair to now make those adult hetero men feel a wee bit tense, if possible. UnderArmour produced the matching black shorts, fyi.


Returning to GayProf’s bathroom, Brian wanted the inside of the medicine cabinet. I don’t keep many meds in there:

What I do keep:

    1) Hair goop
    2) Three different types of face goop, none of which has been used in over four months.
    4)Dental floss – Flossing is the key – THE KEY – to good dental hygiene
    5)Comb for goatee
    6) Scissors
    7) Tweezers
    8)Toothbrush (not pictured)
    9)Deodorant (not pictured)
    10)Lip goop
    11) Face goop that I do actually use (Clinique Post Shave Healer, fyi)


Mike Prov1 will probably not be surprised to see my favorite coffee mug:

Interestingly, I purchased this mug in Boston a few years ago. Now, it will return to its POS. By the way, though the blog implies it, I promise my entire apartment does not exist exclusively as a shrine to Wonder Woman. It’s more of a minor temple.


Marlan wanted my favorite underwear or jock. I don’t own a jock. Do they actually serve a purpose beyond fetish?

Choosing favorite underwear doesn’t occur to me much anymore. As I age, I tend to look for comfort more than anything. Kinda boring, but here are some Nordstrom’s undies that I like:

Well, these are my favorite until I can find adult versions of this:

Moving on:


Lorriane, that cheeky girl, wanted to see where I toss my spare change:

It’s an upside-down lid for a tub of blank CD’s.

She also asked about the kitchen gadget that I could not live without. Well, I would have to say my 1960s Salton warming tray.

It’s huge! It screams, "I am a modern 1960s piece of kitchen history." Just look at that special daisy heating spot for coffee!

Total times I have used this object in the ten+ years since I bought it? One. Some might suggest, therefore, that it has no value. "Not so fast," say I.

At any moment, I could host a hot brunch buffett. Can you claim the same?

I could have many friends over and keep my mini-quiches warm and ready to eat. Well, if I knew how to cook.

Still, one can’t be the hostess with mostess without a Salton warming tray. You just can't!


Clean & Sober asked to see both my favorite Halloween costume and a childhood photo. Totally not cheating, I am combining those two things.

My Zorro outfit was my actual favorite childhood costume. Being the youngest child, though, my parents had grown somewhat bored with photographing our lives. Therefore, no visual record exists of that costume.

Instead, I do have a picture of me in my costume as a “hermit.” Tell me that wasn’t a childhood cry for help:

Dan asked for my home bookshelves. Unfortunately, I already packed those for my move to Boston. As a replacement, I offer one of my office bookshelves:

The List:

    1)Emiliano Zapata
    2)New Mexico Flag
    3)Undergraduate course catalog from 2003
    4) Books on Latino history
    5) Books on Queer history
    6)Overdue library books (shhh!)


Ancrene Wiseass asked about my oldest music recording. I still own the vinyl, but it currently resides in storage at my parents’ house. Therefore, here is a substitute picture of the CD:

Styx’s Paradise Theater won the prize of being my first album that I ever bought. I am not sure if I liked the cover more than the music. On one side of the LP, they had the theater during its grand days. On the other side, they had it in decay. I examined each inch of the pictures over and over. Even as a wee lad, I loved the notion of historical change over time.


The rest of you asked for some form type of picture of GayProf. Wiccachicky also asked about a picture of a scar. Interestingly, I do have a tiny scar in a pornographic zone, but that is a story for another time.

Being basically a mama’s boy (and proud of it!), I didn’t really injury myself that often. If you look closely at my forehead, though, you will see a small dent. What caused this flaw?

I was playing with my sister’s hairdryer. For reasons that only make sense to an eight-year old, I put the metal nozzle on my forehead. That sizzling noise indicated that I had branded myself. Yes, it's true. I have a tragic hairstyling-related scar.

For the rest of you, a current picture of GayProf on the couch where he spends most of his time in the apartment.

Thanks for playing.