Send some love.

Right now, a fellow blogger is undergoing a hellish tonsillectomy, which is a pain in the ass when you're 8, but absolutely awful when you're 30. As I type this, he's under the knife, gassed out of his brain, and probably not feeling any pain...yet. However, I suspect this afternoon he's going to be wishing he was either dead or drugged up so much he'd make Stephen Hawking look like a tweaker running through the Tenderloin.

Here's a picture of Ryan showing us his tonsils:

I'm not sure why the tongue is blue, but it works on him. Maybe he went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, got into some lady's purse and ate her eye shadow.

Hey, it's a possibility.

At any rate, if you can, pop over to his place and send him some love. He's going to be extra rotten for the next few days and will probably need all the warm fuzzies he can get.

At any rate, I'm headed to the San Francisco DMV right now to re-take my driving test...apparently, if you let your license expire (like me) they make you not only retake your written test, you have to take the driving test over again. Hey...I don't have a car and haven't been behind the steering wheel of one in almost a year (except the time I tried to back my mom's car up their driveway a few weeks ago but quickly gave up because of the 6 glasses of wine in my system...damn house kept getting dangerously close to the driver's side mirror). At least I get to use the Gaguar (Chris's gay Jaguar) for the driving portion.

Wish me luck. And tell poor Rotten Ryan to hang in there. These New Orleans women love him:


I just got back from the DMV. I'm now once again a licensed California driver. Turns out I didn't have to take ANY tests...I just forked over $26, reregistered to vote (changed political parties), filled out a form, gave them a thumbprint, and posed for the camera. I saw my picture on the monitor before I left...AWFUL. I have a double chin, dark circles under my eyes, and I look like I'm missing a tooth. Damn those DMV cameras! Also, for some reason, the usual gang of freaks that have to get their licenses the same time you do were conspicuously absent. I counted no less than 10 hotties in there this morning...quite refreshing. Last time I had to stand in line at the DMV a woman with dreadlocks was in line in front of me. She had (and I'm not kidding) a pork chop and a chicken leg in the back pocket of her shorts. Wrapped in plastic, of course. Every few minutes she'd take one of her meat snacks out of her pocket, unwrap them, gnaw on them a bit, then rewrap them and stick them right back in her pocket.

I had to endure this for 2 hours. Every time she did that I couldn't help but stare as if I had just witnessed a car accident or train wreck. Add the woman behind me screaming into her cellphone in Tagalog, and you get a genuine San Francisco DMV experience.

To any San Franciscans who read this thing: MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT THE DMV BEFORE GOING IN THERE. It's worth it. For me, in and out...29 minutes. Not to mention they remodeled the place...it's no longer that green and pink nightmare with the filthy carpeting. The walls and floor are now a calming powder blue, and instead of standing in line, you sit on a plastic chair and wait for an electronic voice to call you to a certain window. It sounds like the woman who gives you "MUNI Security Reminders" on the 38 Geary and 22 Fillmore. Bleh.



Kill your television.

Apparently, someone didn't like their Comcastic programming. I had the "KILL YOUR TELEVISION" bumper sticker on my car 12 years ago, but I never thought I'd see a television impaled on a fire hydrant. It was pretty remarkable to look at, though.

Captured by my cellphone somewhere in the Mission.


Thanks to Mark for being my Ego-Boost of the Day.

But trust me...you don't want to see me sans clothing. Not cute.



Sick to my stomach.

I just found out that a friend of mine, who I thought had died an accidental death, was actually a victim of a murder/suicide.

I'm stunned.

I'm beyond angry; I can't describe how I feel because I don't think a word exists that could possibly begin to express the emotions I have inside me.

I want to cry.

I want to scream.

I feel numb.

I want to run as far away from here as I can, yet I have no idea in which direction to flee.

I want to kill someone who is already dead.

How dare you take my friend with you down your dysfuntional pit of self-destructive despair.

You motherfucker.



A post for my pop.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've seen that picture before. I ran it last October in this post, actually. That would be my 6'5" tall father tearing it up on a dance floor at a wedding last year. No, he's not making a goofy pose for the camera, he was dancing. I'm serious...think Bill Cosby meets Napoleon Dynamite meets the Minister of Silly Walks and you have a pretty clear picture of how he dances.

My sisters and I used to be embarassed when he'd dance, or show up somewhere wearing his incredibly LOUD plaid golf pants or a goofy-looking pair of shoes. Thing is, what we didn't realize at the time was he was teaching us a valuable lesson in being an individual and being comfortable with who you are in your own skin. It's a lesson that reverberates through the Fox kids to this day, and a lesson I try to pass on to anyone who will listen.

Yesterday was Father's Day, and I spent a large part of the day thinking about how lucky I am to have that goofy dancing guy in that picture as my dad. More than once, he's proven to me what being a father and a role model is all about. For one, he's extremely fair, and tends to look at things from all angles before forming an opinion about something. He's the kind of guy who can have a martini lunch and a golf outing with the CEO of a major corporation, but then go knock back beers and hang out with the guys who work on the factory floor, making the same kind of personal connections; it's why he's been such a successful buisnessman, someone well-liked among his peers.

He's also the master of the Art of Bullshit. Let me tell you a story.

One winter night, he and 19 year-old me were ambling down Interstate 271 in Cleveland in my mom's rusty old 1982 Chevrolet Celebrity coupe, but one of many Winter Beaters my mom drove through the years (except she drove them year-round). As we neared the Interstate 480 junction, the car started bucking, then suddenly, with a loud sighing noise, the engine quit. It was like it was telling us, "I'm done." Dad tried to restart it, but was unsuccessful.

"Aw, shit," I said. "I think it's out of gas." I had totally forgotten to put gas in it after I had used it earlier in the day.

My dad peered at the gas gauge. "I think you're right."

"I guess this means I'm gonna be pushing this soon, huh?"

He chuckled and looked over at me. "Maybe," he said, knowing I had forgotten to feed the gas tank, but choosing not to press the issue. "But I think we'll be fine." He snapped off the radio as not to drain the battery any more than he needed to.

I slumped down in the seat. "Yeah, right. Whatever." I pulled my gloves onto my hands.

Since we were rolling down a slight grade, we maintained enough momentum to merge onto I-480. It's a good thing we were doing about 70 when the engine died, because not only did we have enough momentum to merge onto another freeway, we also had enough momentum to roll down the first exit past the interchange.

"Dad, that light is about to change," I warned, as we rolled down the exit ramp, again gaining momentum.

"No, it's not," he replied.

"Yes it is!" I exclaimed, as it turned yellow about 5 seconds before we passed beneath it.

"It's green enough," he said as we rolled through the intersection at the end of the ramp.

The nearest gas station was still a quarter mile ahead and over a hill, but my dad was undaunted. As we rolled along silently, the car slowed to maybe ten miles an hour.

"Fuckity-fuck goddamn son of a bitch," I mumbled to myself. My dad understands a good stream of obscenities in times of stress, and didn't make an issue of my language. Had I said that in front of my mom, he would have knocked me unconcious into next week.

"Oh, brrp brrp brrp brrp brrp," my dad taunted through pursed lips. That's the sound he makes when he's mocking you and wants you to shut up.

As we crested the hill, we started picking up momentum again. I looked at the gas station ahead, thinking maybe I'd only have to push the car a short distance. The traffic light that separated us from the gas station suddenly turned yellow.

"Dad, pull over! There isn't enough time to make that light!" I yelled.

"Oh, bullshit, don't give me that crapola," he said, calmly. "We've got plenty of time."

He was right. We rolled through the intersection just as it turned red, which gave us enough time and momentum to pull up to the gas station. Amazingly, at about five miles per hour, we rolled into the gas station, past the cashier, and up to the first set of pumps. The car ground slowly to a halt, with the fuel door aligned perfectly with the pump.

My dad smacked the steering column gearshift lever with his palm into Park.

"Chad," he said, with a grin, "that's what's called 'Knowing Your Vehicle.'"

Since the engine died, my dad had not ONCE touched the brake pedal.

I was in utter disbelief. "Bullshit," I said, laughing, "we just got lucky."

"Oh, brrp brrp brrp," came the reply.

To this day, I've never seen anyone so smug. He kept calm and level-headed throughout the whole thing, even though we had gone over a mile on two busy interstates and through two major intersections - without the aid of a working internal combustion engine.

It was a valuable life lesson. I can't tell you how many times I've been in situations where I was SO screwed, but because I kept calm and focused, I was just fine.

His calm level-headedness is precisely why I feel like I can tell him almost anything. I say "almost" because there are some things you just don't discuss with your parents, and some things they just don't discuss with you. Those are Private Things. However, let me tell you about the time I had to share my Deepest, Darkest, Scariest Secret with my father.

The day I told him I was gay.

That day in July of 1994 was warm and sunny, with low humidity, with a light, refreshing breeze blowing off of Lake Erie. I had driven up to Cleveland in my new Volvo (the one from the previous entry) from Florida to visit, as I sometimes did. It was only a 16-hour drive, and there's nothing I love more than a good roadtrip. Since I wanted to tell my parents I was gay seperately, I waited until my dad went out to Alesci's (an Italian food store) to get some groceries before I dropped The Bomb on my mom.

She didn't take it very well initially. To her credit, she wasn't so upset I was gay, but rather, she was bothered by the fact I had told my sisters and friends before I told her. Don't get me wrong, the whole gay thing was quite a shock to her because I'm so incredibly manly, butch, and masculine with absolutely no gay tendencies whatsoever. However, that's a completely different blog entry...let's fast-forward to the part where my dad walked in the back door, bags of groceries in his arms, whistling a little tune, just being...his goofy, good-natured self.

He walked into the living room.

"Tell him!" my mom demanded.

"Mom, I'll tell him-" I started.

"No, tell him now!" she shouted.

I cringed, and realized I had to tell my father I was a homosexual.

I rose from the sofa, and looked at my dad. "Dad," I started stammering, "there's something I have to tell you."

He looked absolutely confused. "What? You can tell me anything." He put the groceries on the dining room table, which was significant because my dad would NEVER put the groceries on the dining room table. He can't sit down unless ALL the groceries are put away and the bags in which they were carried home stored properly in the old milk chute in the pantry. Yes, he's that anal-retentive at times.

"Let's go outside," I said. With leaden feet, I trudged through the living room, dining room, and kitchen, through the back hallway, out the back door, and across the small back yard. I followed a stepping stone path to a bluestone patio I had built myself out of discarded chunks of old sidewalk as a surprise for my parents a few years earlier. It was to compliment a brick patio that my dad and I installed the autumn I turned 14. We walked up to a glider bench my dad and I had assembled ourselves shortly after I had built and landscaped the patio.

To this day, it's the longest walk I've ever taken in my entire life. I felt like I was walking to my execution...an utter eternity.

We sat down on the bench and faced each other. My dad put his hand on my knee, squeezed it gently, and asked gently, "What do you have to tell me?"

"Do you know that girl I've been dating, Karen?" I had told them I was dating someone, which was technically true.

"Yes, you've talked about her a few times. What about her?" His forehead wrinkled a bit, and he looked concerned. I think he thought I was about to tell him he was a grandfather.

I was trembling. I had no idea what was about to happen, but I hoped for the best.

This was it. One of the scariest moments in a gay man's life. Telling his father.

"W-well..." I stuttered, with a lump quickly rising in my throat and tears starting to form in my eyes, "her name isn't Karen." I was going to finish with, "Her real name is Philip," but I simply couldn't utter another syllable. I was trembling too much, and my voice was completely failing me.

My dad looked really confused for a second and stared at the ground. Suddenly...the fogginess lifted. He closed his eyes, and nodded gently.

"Chad," he said, "you're my son, and I love you. No matter what. I want you to know that." He reached over and hugged me tightly.

I started bawling.

"Dad, y-you...I c-can't..." I spluttered.

"Shhh," he replied, hugging me tighter. "Calm down, collect yourself, and let's go talk to your ma, okay?" He sat back, looked at the big, blubbering, emotional gay mess sitting on the bench next to him, and smiled. "I love you, don't you ever forget it," he finally said after a few seconds.

I knew right then and there I'd be able to tell him anything, and no matter what, he'd always be in my corner and have my back. Not that I didn't think that before, but when your dad reacts like that when you tell him you're gay, it's like the Cadillac Escalade you've been carrying on your shoulders since you were 12 years old is suddenly flung into a distant junkyard (where most Escalades belong, but again...that's a totally different blog post). It made me cry even harder.

"Come on," my dad said, motioning towards the house. "I think we need to be together as a family right now and talk about this, okay?" We stood up, and faced the house.

A final sob wracked my body, and a huge blob of snot suddenly flew from my nose and hit my arm, which snapped me out of my messy emotional state. I wiped it on my pants and said, "Okay." I mustered a grin.

He grinned back and put his arm around my shoulders. I will say that is probably the only time I've ever wiped snot on my pants and my dad hasn't said a word about it. When I was a kid, he would have said, "Oh, come ON, use a Kleenex!"

As we walked through the backyard to the house, the air seemed a little sweeter. The birds chirping were even more cheerful than usual. The sun was brighter and warmer. The flowers were more fragrant and colorful than they were a few minutes earlier. The sky was bluer, and the little white clouds overhead were fluffier. There was clarity in my head, and joy in my heart.

Deep down, I knew life was going to be better.

That day, my father taught me what being a dad was all about. He taught me never to be afraid to be anything but myself. He showed me what unconditional love was all about, and that no matter what, I could tell him anything and he'd never judge me.

How lucky am I?

It's a day late, but happy Father's Day, Pop.




It's here.

The signs are everywhere.

Don't dare venture outside.

You don't know who you're gonna run into.

I took an evil test. It surprised even me. I guess I'm way more evil than I realized.

You Are 78% Evil

You are very evil. And you're too evil to care.
Those who love you probably also fear you. A lot.

Then I went back and answered the questions truthfully.

You Are 82% Evil

You're the most evil person you know.
The devil is even a little scared of you!

Oh, man. Well, I did go through an especially evil period in my late teens, and again when I was 24. Some naughty people crossed me in a bad way and I got my revenge on them a hundredfold. We're talking severe personal property damage and dishonorable discharges from the military. I am not sorry, as they deserved everything they got, and they never messed with me again. I can't help it. I come from the Serial Family. Don't ever cross one of the Foxes. 'Cause we'll git ya, and good.

I since have renounced most of my evil ways.


At any rate, be very afraid.

In honor of today, I have prepared this very special podcast. I had to dig out the old vinyl for this one...I owned every single one of these records (not CD's, not cassettes, RECORDS). I'd buy them in bulk at a record store at the now-closed and dead Euclid Square Mall in Euclid, Ohio (the manager loved me and would order anything I wanted directly from WaxTrax! or Nettwerk), when I worked at the shoe store there during my Al Bundy years. Then I'd haul 'em back to Cleveland Heights on the #32 RTA bus, where I'd go tearing over to my turntable and just enjoy the endorphin rushes they would give me.

Then I'd haul them to WUJC, where I'd assault the Cleveland metropolitan area with industrial madness every Tuesday morning at 10:30 AM, at 88.7 MHz. God, that was fun. If I still had a show on an FM station, it'd probably sound like this:

STMF #9: The 6/6/06 Cast.

Here's the playlist...I outdid myself this time:

Thrill Kill Kult - The Devil Does Drugs (1989)
Meat Beat Manifesto - Dog Star Man (1989)
Front 242 - Headhunter (1988)
Skinny Puppy - Tin Omen (1989)
PTP - Rubber Glove Seduction (1989)
A Split Second - Rigor Mortis (1990)
Ministry - Thieves (1990)
Thrill Kill Kult - A Daisy Chain 4 Satan (1990)
Clock DVA - Hide (1989)
KMFDM - Godlike (1991)
Revolting Cocks - Beers, Steers, & Queers (1990)
Laibach - Sympathy for the Devil (Who Killed the Kennedys) (1990)
Front Line Assembly - Mindphaser (1991)
Gruesome Twosome - Hallucination Generation (1989)
King Missile - Jesus Was Way Cool (1990)

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights were usually spent at the quite-swanky Aqualon (certain nights were called "The Lift" because of the old freight elevator that took you to the club on the top floor...the rest of the building was abandoned), the Nine Of Clubs (aka The Night Of Drugs...I never partook, curiously) which became the Alter House, and Metropolis, which was in an old foundry building down on the Cuyahoga river. Cleveland was a really cool place back then, and it was a great time for industrial music. It was pretty evil-sounding stuff, but I loved it, and kept in great shape by dancing to it for hours and hours and hours with my friend Christina. We'd drive down in her battered Plymouth Horizon, listening to KMFDM or Nitzer Ebb on the way.

At any rate, I suspect about 90% of you who download this podcast are going to absolutely hate it. I mean, really hate it. Which is fine...Christina's mom called me at the radio station once to tell me she adored me, she liked listening to me on the air, but I played the most god-awful music she had ever heard in her entire life.

At any rate, I had fun making this one...it reminds me of a very special time in my life, when I came into my own, came out of the closet to myself, and found a big group of people who accepted me for who I was, which was a refreshing change from high school.

If there's anyone in Cleveland who remembers the clubs I was talking about before, drop me a line and say hi.



Karmic justice.

Now WHY did seeing this bring such joy to my heart?

It must be a San Francisco thing.

Taken at the corner of Broadway and Larkin streets.



Oh HELL yeah...

Turn up your speakers. No, really...turn 'em up LOUD.

Okay, this is dedicated to SIX!!!

...and there's a certain person in Coventry Village, Cleveland Heights, Ohio...who needs to be standing up right now and shaking that boo-tay.

It's on Lee...it's on Lee...!!! Monticello walkers...all Monticello walkers!*

*This will only make sense to about 3 people in the entire universe. And the song, "It's On Lee" (which was drunkenly composed in the car on the way home from Brennan's Colony up in the Heights, was recorded by my sister Hilly and yours truly in the upstairs bathroom of my parents' house about 14 years ago on an 1980's Emerson cassette recorder.


Apparently, there's a remix of the song:

And of course, they spoofed it on Family Guy (the episode where Stewie is in a plastic ball for some reason):

The Children's Television Workshop in the 1970's was absolutely genius.



I guess I should update this occasionally, huh?

First and foremost, the weather here has been AMAZING. Here are some pretty pictures I took of San FranPretty.

Pretty, pretty, pretty.

A lot has been going on, actually. However, I have to talk about 2 weekends ago when I was hanging out with the ever-beautiful and incredibly intense Atari and Raybee. I had such a good time...and I can't wait to go back.

Raybee lives in an old garment factory in Weehawken, New Jersey, right across the Hudson river from Manhattan. In fact, his loft lines up with 34th Street in Manhattan, and he has an incredible view of the Empire State Building. No, I didn't take any photos. I was kind of taking a break from all of that, actually.

Next time, I promise.

Anyway, he has a crawlspace converted into a bedroom and the ceiling is like, 5 feet high. He doesn't have any normal "rooms" per se in his house, except maybe his bathroom...it's like a big clubhouse filled with crazy art and toys and fun stuff and good food and tea and snacks. I loved it...when I hang out with Raybee it's like I'm 11 or 12 and he's the same age. I sometimes forget what it's like to be a kid, and as soon as Raybee picked me up from the airport in his bright metallic green Tonka Truck-like Jeep Wrangler with an inflatable Mystery Machine on the dashboard, I knew we'd be fast friends. I had a chance to hang out with him and just chill, and we had a fantastic time singing karaoke in a Hoboken gay bar the night before I left. I had a blast...he gave me a shot while I was in the middle of singing a song, and right before I took a breath to start the next verse of the song I was singing (Forever in Blue Jeans by Neil Diamond) I chugged it and continued right on. I made a few friends...Tony the Personal Trainer from Hoboken (you'll hear him when I called the drunk dial line for the next APNH podcast) and Casper the 6'4" Tall Pierced-Tongue-Having Lead-Singer-Of-A-Band Emo Boy (who went back with us to Raybee's Clubhouse when we shut down the bar). The bartender, an adorable, friendly Sicilian twentysomething with a bubble booty, New York accent, and a dazzling smile bought me another shot when I sat down, and also gave me his phone number; he seemed sincere, so I called him and left a message the next day.

Oh hell yeah!

Now, I also got to hang out with Atari as well...we walked all through Manhattan, and he showed me the apartment building where he grew up. We did some serious bonding, and I realized that he and I probably would have been great friends when we were kids. We were getting hungry after a while, and even though I had some "street meat" (a delicious hot dog from a cart) we decided to hang out with his mom and stepdad on the Upper West Side. So we hopped on the subway, went to their fabulous apartment, and had dinner together in a great Greek diner around the corner from their pad. I love that neighborhood, and his folks are wonderful people. His stepdad is actually an author and fellow blogger and is a really cool guy. He gave me a copy of one of his books, and even signed it for me. I started reading it on the plane...it's already sucked me in. It's a murder mystery/supernatural sort of novel, set in rural North Dakota. I love it.

The next day, I went to some bar in Chelsea...I can't remember what it was called. Atari was having brunch with his family, and said he'd meet me at the bar. So, while I was waiting, I phoned my ex boyfriend Nate (he lives in the gayborhood), and asked what he was doing. He sounded irritated, and it was so loud in the bar I couldn't really hear what he was saying over the din. I picked out "never call" and "once meant a lot to me" and "pointless" before I said I couldn't hear him and I'd just talk to him some other time.

Frowning, I snapped my phone shut; I was now crabby and annoyed, and I actually felt a little lump in my throat. Goddammit, this is not how I wanted to spend my glorious Sunday afternoon in New York, and definitely not the way I wanted things to be between Nate and me.

Because I had gotten up from the bar to try to find a quieter spot a few feet away, my seat was occupied by someone else when I stepped back over to the barstool. He looked at me like, "Whadda ya gonna do about it, huh?" Not wanting to get kicked out for breaking a barstool over someone's head and starting an all-out donnybrook (tempting as it was), I restrained myself and simply found another spot at the bar a few stools down [tee-hee-hee...I said "stools"] and sent Nate a text message. Just as I hit send, I felt the guy sitting next to me staring at me, and I looked up.

It was Nate.

He was all Chelsea'd out with a tight shirt that showed off his rippled, muscled physique and a pair of tight jeans that showed off his Hebrew National in the front and his kosher badonkadonk in the back. I smiled at him, noting how much bigger his arms were from the last time I saw them, and admiring the vein that ran along the top of each of his plump biceps. The boy has been taking good care of himself.

"Hey babe," I said.

"Hey darlin," he replied, with a trace of his Buffalo, New York accent on the vowels.

"You look good." He did. Like, really good. Damn him for breaking up with me, I thought.

"You do too," he lied. He's a terrible liar. He gets this twitch in his face when he lies, and his face twitched so hard I swear I thought he had Parkinson's disease or had bitten his tongue while washing out his mouth with vinegar.

"No I don't," I sighed. I looked kind of dumpy and crunchy as I slouched there in my black Nor-Cal hoodie and baggy jeans, with no styling product in my hair whatsoever (I was feeling lazy and didn't feel like making myself pretty), compared to the carefully coiffed Chelsea boys in tight clothing that surrounded us. Not to mention I've put on about 20 pounds since the last time I saw him. Yuck.

Okay, fine. 35 pounds. Yes, I'm painfully aware of it. I look in the mirror daily. Now I've acknowledged it, you can all stop talking about it behind my back.


He looked upset. I asked him why, and he told me. It was a good conversation...there was some closure that never happened when he broke up with me to move to New York (long story...it was for the best). He said I've been neglecting him. I said he hurt me. He said I've been elusive and non-communicative. I said he was right. I've been a hermit, a total shut-in hermit. When you're feeling pudgy and chunky you just don't want to see or talk to people, and apparently, this tends to piss my friends off.

I let him just talk for a while, listening carefully to what he was saying. I responded in kind, knowing he was right. We had a good talk, and I realized as we did I still love him dearly, even if I'm no longer in love with him. We've been through WAY too much to just drift apart...Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family in Cleveland, his cousin's bris with HIS family from Buffalo at his sister's place in Chicago, being bumped off a flight at O'Hare on New Years' Eve and going to a party at the Crowbar in Chicago instead of spending it in San Francisco, a roadtrip across the United States from Cleveland to San Francisco in my rusty Chevrolet Lumina, my dad's 60th birthday party in Cleveland Heights where he met my extended family...we packed a lot into the short time we dated.

"Nate," I finally said, "I love you, I always have, and I always will until the day I die."

He looked like he was going to cry, but he did that cute thing he always does with his lower lip when he's smiling and starting to sob at the same time. Then I hugged him, and felt a bunch of emotions wash over me. I realized I miss him dearly as a friend, and how much we used to make each other laugh until we were gasping for breath. I thought about how he played Dance Dance Revolution at Battlefield Mall in Springfield, Missouri when my Lumina broke down and stranded us there for three days, and the crowds we attracted (apparently they had never seen a Jewish San Francisco circuit boy from Buffalo tear it up on that game before). I thought about our "Tard-Out Sessions" where we would just act completely retarded and loud in public. I thought of him buying cheap sunglasses in Chinatown because "they're a great value...Value Glasses!" or buying a huge sandwich at the Castro Safeway deli for us to share because it was "clearly a better value" than two smaller sandwiches. I thought about the parties and clubs we went to, and how much fun we had holding each other on the dance floor, shirtless, aware of only each other. I thought about how brutally honest he is, and how I never had any doubt in my mind he loved me the entire time we were dating.

I love him for these things. I really do.

I smiled at him, and he smiled back. My heart sang. Right then and there, I knew we'd always be friends, and we have something incredibly special with each other. Just as suddenly as he appeared, he left, leaving me in my own thoughts, nibbling on miniature pretzels with a red plastic cup of cheap beer in front of me. I glanced over at the guy who took my seat earlier, who was eyeing Nate as he walked out, then me, then Nate, then me, then down in his beer. Yeah, that's right, I thought. Drink your goddamn cheap-ass beer, you fucking cockslap.

Snarky Snarkowski!

My phone rang, it was Atari. I told him to meet me at the bar, and after hanging up I went downstairs to play bingo with a tweaker and a drag queen. I won 3 games! A $20 bar tab (which I used to buy drinks for a few cute boys with cute New York accents), a $60 gift certificate for a hair salon in Manhattan, and a $50 gift certificate for a sex toy store, also in Manhattan. Oh hell's yeah. I was on FIAH.

Eventually, Atari joined me for a few games, then disappeared to get something to eat, saying he'd call me when he was done. I never heard from him the rest of the night; I later discovered the battery in my phone died.

Then...I kind of forget what happened after that. Well, I remember bits and pieces, and the near-migraine headache that suddenly manifested itself as I was in Times Square, and how it just as quickly disappeared on the subway 15 minutes later. I somehow made it back to New Jersey by 3 am, but not before arguing with a cabdriver over the fare back to Weehawken.

Anyway, do you remember me mentioning that hottie patottie Sicilian bartender boy from Hoboken? Like I said, I called him the next day when I was at the airport and left a message saying hi, not particularly thinking he'd call back. When I sat down on the plane and pulled out my phone to "place it into the 'off position'" (such a stupid thing for flight attendants to say...they should just say it needs to be "turned off"). My phone suddenly rang, and it was him. He apologized for not answering...he had been at the gym and was hoping he'd catch me before I took off. We had a nice chat, and he said he wanted to keep in touch with me because he'd be in San Francisco in August visiting friends and would like to hang out and spend some time with me.

The cockpit door was closed and the flight attendants were coming my way, so we bade each other farewell; I hung up, placed my phone into the off position, and smiled to myself, realizing that regardless of my 35 extra pounds...no matter what...my mojo is still safely intact.

And that was one to grow on.



3 interesting people.

Yes, I'm back. I don't really want to be back, but I guess if I have to be back somewhere, San Francisco isn't a bad place to be. I could be living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - which, incidentally, I hear is an absolutely lovely place - and as much as I like saying "Saskatoon, Saskatchewan" obsessively to myself over and over and over (apparently, I'm not the only person with this problem) I'm glad I hang my hat in San Francisco.

At any rate, I cannot say enough good things about Atari and Raybee. They're absolutely amazing people, and I'm honored to count them among my friends. I'll go into details later...I have a half-finished post in my drafts, but I promised myself I'd finish this post I started last week. So first things first...

One of the best things about living in San Francisco is you meet the most interesting people. I'd like to introduce three friends of mine...I think they deserve a little attention and kudos.

For starters, my friend Matthew Cannon. Matt is a musician and a painter and overall just a quirky, beautiful person. I've had the honor of spending time with him, and we just play off each other creatively and boost each other's spirits every time we hang out. Matthew is an extremely talented percussionist and is involved in a cabaret called Cotton Candy; if you want to hear samples of his work or see samples of his paintings, check out his website, mlcmusic.com.

This is probably my favorite picture of Matt:

From his site:

Cotton Candy will be exploding all over the scene in May as well. In a recent CNN.com article, Marcus Selby (a very popular and successful San Francisco jazz musician) gave his top 10 venues to hear good music in the City. On the list were Amnesia and The Red Poppy Art House. I am happy to report that we have performances at both locations this month and I highly recommend attending either of them. Both venues have their charms and are very intimate indeed. Lastly, but certainly not least, is Martuni’s-a lovely martini/piano bar in San Francisco. Kielbasia will be opening for us, and we always enjoy playing with her. Come by for a Manhattan and get your Cotton Candy fix in an elegant and sophisticated setting.

Matthew and I are doing a sort of art trade; I am giving him a set of my photos (his choice of whatever he wants, or I will produce something original for him), printed, mounted, framed, and signed, AND a photo session of him that will probably be completely off-the-wall and wonderful. He, on the other hand, said he'd paint a portrait of someone quite influential and important in my family...someone who has had an incredibly lasting impact on who I am today. I'll reveal who that is at some point, but until then it's going to be a closely-guarded secret (that means I'm not telling you who it is, Mom). The portrait is destined to become a Fox family hierloom for generations to come. Not to mention it'll be worth tens or perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars someday (and I am dead serious when I say that...I have that much confidence in Matt and his artistic aspirations).

I can't wait. :-)

Next, I want to introduce you to Darwin Bell.

I've had the pleasure of knowing Darwin for a few years now, and whenever I think of his name, I think of the great time I have whenever I run into him or when we hang out. He's one of the few people who "gets me" if you know what I mean...I have a tendency to say things that really confuse most people but Darwin has evolved to the point to where he understands exactly what I'm talking about. He currently has a show called Sign Language, which is one of the most brilliant concepts I've seen...ever. He takes Polaroid pictures of words, scavenger hunt-style...of street signs, billboards, stores, graffiti, anywhere there is text in the urban setting...and creates phrases and sentences from them.

As you can see, he goes to great lengths for his art:

They're quite insightful, and they say a lot about how Darwin sees the world around him.

From his website:

"Sign Language was born on a whim," says Darwin Bell, the man behind the Polaroid camera, "while I was trying to come up with an original gift for my friend's birthday."

And so he began taking pictures of words from the urban environment surrounding him. With those words, he created phrases that were either twists on well-worn clichés ("Beauty is in the eye of the media") or personal statements, both humorous and serious in nature ("Natural selection is a bitch"). The end result has been a unique, fresh perspective on a familiar idea that is one-of-a-kind and impossible to duplicate.

Here is a portrait I took of Darwin last summer at the Eagle Tavern here in San Francisco at one of the weekly Beer Busts:

I must say I am in posession of a single Darwin Bell original Polaroid that he left here after an impromptu after-hours birthday party I threw for a mutual friend. It's prominently displayed in my living room next to another Polaroid shot...of me with John Waters at a book signing at Amoeba Records up in the Haight. Darwin, if you want it back, I'll totally bring it to you. Just let me know. :-) At any rate, I am confident that like Matt, Darwin is also going to excel and take Sign Language to a whole new level. He's that intelligent and clever.

Finally, I want you all to meet Andrew Bundy.

That sexy, beverage-sipping guy would be Andrew. Not only is he intelligent, engaging, and a master mathematician, he also has an incredibly soulful and sexy singing voice. From his myspace page:

[Andrew] Bundy has been writing and performing his own music since 1997 and is currently working on his first full-length album. Since the release of his homemade demo EP, "Speak Easy," in December of 2002, Bundy has played open mics and concerts throughout the Bay Area. Citing the likes of fellow singer-songwriters Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos and Stevie Wonder as his key musical influences, Bundy's music contains elements of jazz, folk, soul, R&B and funk and spans lyrical topics ranging from internet dating to gay society. Vocally, Bundy is as influenced by the great jazz crooners Chet Baker and Bobby Darin as he is by the soulful sounds of Nina Simone and the folk stylings of Nick Drake.

Here's a picture I took of Andrew at a party last year...he's the one on the left wearing the bedazzled cowboy hat. If you click on it, you can see the larger version and also if you look carefully, you can see Andrew's pierced left eyebrow...a bit of bling I find absolutely sexy and irresistable:

Sexy! Hot! Talented! Acquaint yourself with him! You'll be hearing a lot more of him in the future! You can download a few of his tracks from his myspace page...I've listened to him more than once on dreary MUNI rides, with his crooning filling my ears and warming my heart.

So while I miss New York, New Jersey, and the amazing people I've met and grown to adore who all live there, I'm quite glad to call San Francisco my home...where I get to meet, befriend, and hang out with some of the most interesting, quirky, sexy, talented, and amazing people in the world.



You know, Fletcher...

...when you try to bite my feet while I'm walking across the room don't act all surprised when I step on your head.

© 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 by Chad Fox. All rights reserved.