Missing Johnny

DAN’S NOTE: I wrote this post last week, but mistakingly forgot to post it. It was originally intended to run last Wednesday, January 25 – the one-year anniversary of Johnny Carson’s death.
When I was about 11 years old, my parents bought me a tiny black & white Sylvania TV for my bedroom. I remember feeling more independent than ever before, since I could choose what programming I wanted to watch without my father walking right on over to the living room TV and turning the channel to “Hee Haw” or one of his shows. For the first time, I could lay in bed and watch the shows that I liked. It was around 1980 (my freshman year of high school) that I started laying in bed all hours of the night watching “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”

Johnny died one year ago today. I remember hearing the news – I was painting my living room with my TV blaring in the background. The NBC News made Johnny’s death its top story. I listened and dropped my paint brush. An icon that I had always admired was gone.

I know that it is strange that I have an obsession with Johnny Carson. You see, ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a talk show host. I used to set up a mock Tonight Show set at my house growing up and pretend that I was Johnny. My brother and assorted other friends would make their entrances as my featured guests. I made a TV camera out of a cardboard box, used toilet paper roll, and a yardstick and assigned someone to be my camera man. I selected flashy disco songs from the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack to play as I came through the living room drapes for my monologue.

When I was 22 and a dormhead at a prep school in Vermont, I set up a talk show set in my apartment and actually videotaped the program we invented. I had a live band (fortunately the kids were musical), my own Doc Sevrinson, and we ran through the dorm with a camera to perform “musical in-dorms.” Boy, if only I could find that tape now!

Now I have a blog and perform podcasts.

You see, Johnny may have been a dirty old man, but he was funny while being respectful of his guests. It is a rule that I live by, and it has treated me well. Back when I was 11, I watched Robin Williams imitate gay people for the first time on Johnny’s show, and it took me years to figure out the jokes. I watched Drew Barrymore at 8 years old put her retainer on Johnny’s desk and loved his reaction – shock with a smile. I enjoyed my own late night version of old man dirty jokes without my parents editing my programming choice. In a strange way, Johnny Carson helped me overcome my shyness over the years through my odd imitations of him.

One of the best shows was the next to the last one in May 1992 when Bette Midler serenaded Johnny about his impending retirement. You could see the tears in his eyes as she brought down the studio. Bette won an Emmy for this appearance and it remains a television classic.

In April 1992, a month before he left the airwaves, my college roommate and I met at NBC in Burbank to attend a taping of “The Tonight Show.” As we sat in the audience and the countdown started for the show, I remember experiencing a rare excitement as Doc and the band started playing the theme song. I got goosebumps. I remember cheering and applauding wildly as Johnny came through the curtains. He joked with us during commercial breaks, and the hour taping went by too quickly.

Johnny was pure class. We miss you, Johnny!

Gay versus Breeder Food Quiz



I was searching the depths of my cubboards and freezer tonight to find a snack when I took inventory of my and Teddy’s food stores. You will see three items that I found – can you guess which was purchased by the homo and which by the hetero? The results might surprise you.

The Penis Pasta is the easiest guess but is a trick question – it was given to me as a gift, and features the recipe “Big Balls with Steamy Sauce and Penis Pasta”:

Mix together the meat, tomato puree, egg, parsley and Parmesan cheese. Make up balls as big as you desire. Seal and brown in a little hot oil. Drain the balls.

Easy. I’ll have to make me some big balls.

So who purchased the other two items and why? Please reveal answers in the comment section.

My hometown discovers TURNING FORTY

#1 on Dan’s Site Meter:

Location
Continent: North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : Maine
City : Waterville

Lat/Long: 44.5543, -69.6178 (Map)
Distance: 1,996 miles

It finally happened. In looking at visitor locations on my sitemeter account, the one above popped up today — a visitor from Waterville, Maine (my hometown and where my family lives).

Someone has found my blog!

It’s a tiny town, and I’ve been waiting for someone there to discover my site since I created it. I’m sure I will hear from the person if I in fact know them. Chances are, it is one of the college kids at Colby (a Colby College IP address is listed). So, no big worries.

Above is Main Street. I worked at a florist located under the blue awning in high school and on trips home from college (another sign you have a gay son). The recent HBO mini-series “Empire Falls” is based on and was also filmed in Waterville. The shirt factory mentioned in the story is visible at the very end of Main Street and is barely discernible here.

Yikes!

First skiing of the year

I just got back from the Santa Fe Ski Basin where a number of us hit the slopes for the first time this season. We don’t have much (any) moisture in New Mexico this winter, so we made a number of cruiser runs on man-made snow and had a $10 hamburger lunch. It was fun to be outside in the Southern Rockies all day. It reminded me of one of the greatest things about Santa Fe – the outdoors. It is majestic here.

I took my camera to record the day, but my batteries had died and none were taken. So, as a substitute I offer a photo of the last run last season at Outboard in Keystone, Colorado. These are my roommates and I weighed about 30 lbs. more than I do now (I’m looking a bit Homer Simpsonesque here). The last run of the season was the traditional “shirtless wig” run, and being the good gay boys that we are, we performed marvelously. This picture appeared in one of Colorado’s travel guides this year (or so we were told).

I love playing in the snow!

Whiter smiles

Since I constantly obsess with brushing and flossing my own teeth, it is no surprise that I committed my dog to a day of dental examination and cleaning yesterday. Louie absolutely hates the vet office, and he lived up to expectations by playing tug-of-war with me as he tried to make a quick escape. I managed to drag him into the examination room and felt like the worst parent as he looked at me with tremendous fear as I was walking away. He was put under anesthesia and I picked him up at the end of the day.

He was still a bit drunk from morphine when I picked him up. The vet is a bit concerned about gingivitis but otherwise Louie’s breath has never been better. The photo above shows his actual teeth before and after the cleaning. Now, I plan to brush them a couple of times a week.

I’m such a fucking dork sometimes.

I had an interesting evening last night and I don’t even have the foggiest clue how to begin to write about it. Let’s just say it was about helping someone come a bit more out of their closet door.

By the way, my podcast hit #71 on Itunes today…thanks for listening!

Gayken Outed

Over at Gay Empire, JJD reported on the big story hitting the tabloid press this week — that Gayken had some sort of motel room trist with a boy he met on gay.com. The ex-army ranger luvah sold his story to National Enquirer, has some sort of Gayken cum-covered towel (a.k.a. pulling a Monica), and they barebacked it.

He looks so much like a breeder in these photos…Now, how could this boy be gay?

Because he likes cock.

I met Gayken in early 2004 when my ex-boyfriend and I sat in Studio 8H at NBC in New York to see “Saturday Night Live.” I have a friend on the show and she scored me two tickets for their gayest show in recent memory — Megan Mullaly (Karen from “Will and Grace”) as host and Clay Aiken as musical guest. I have to say I was disappointed that Gayken was the musical guest – why couldn’t I be at the show where U2 did an extra song during the closing credits and Bono bumped and grinded with me? But Clay Aiken?

“Saturday Night Live” of course airs live, and when Gay came out on to set up to perform his musical number during the commercial break every girl in the audience was screaming for him. I hadn’t seen all the pre-teen girls in the audience before the show started, so our guess is that they were let into the back of the studio to provide the teeny-bop screaming around which Gay has positioned himself. They didn’t seem to be present when he wasn’t performing.

We were able to attend the cast party after the show, and I met Gay and congratulated him on his performance. As I wrote on JJD’s blog, my gaydar is questionable at best. I’ve placed an order for an upgraded model but they are backordered. But when I approached Gay, he had his arm around one of his male bandmates. I looked into his face and introduced myself and my gaydar was blaring all over mid-town Manhattan. I shook his hand, and my ‘dar was clear to me. But, as a friend once told me “you may always be gay, but until you come out you are not GAY!”

So, poor Gay is outed in the National Enquirer. It sucks for him, and if he publicly came out I might even buy one of his CDs.

Or at least the cum-covered towel (yuk!).

Coming of age in 1984

Writing last night’s post and mentioning Fort Lauderdale reminded me that this is only the second time I will visit Ft. Lauderdale. The first time was in 1984 when my high school friends and I somehow persuaded our parents to let us leave the state of Maine at age 18. That’s me all the way to the right sitting down – I look like I’m 12. Nice Ferarri glasses, BTW!

I wasn’t really a jock, geek, freak or anything in particular. I ran cross-country and track; peformed on stage; held elected office. But I had many sets of friends in high school — I was a bit like Randall Floyd from the movie “Dazed and Confused.” If you havne’t seen it run, don’t walk, to Blockbuster and pick it up. Randall could float from group to group and somehow managed to always have strong relationships with everybody. Looking back, I was somewhat like that.

The “jocks” invited me along. One them was my best friend Pete, with whom I held a strong relationship all through high school That’s him sitting right behind the girl in the front. We told our parents we were all 18 and that “we are adults – we can do this” with looks of disgusts on our puffy faces. My friend Pete’s dad was also our English teacher. I also had my first involvement with a “gay issue.”

I swooned after these boys. They were hot. Something felt different in me when I hung with them. If any of you from this group read this, pleeeeez don’t panic. I didn’t know what it was at the time. Anyhoos, Pete’s dad warned us about the hotel in which we chose to stay: “The Jolly Roger.”

THE DAD: I heard that the Jolly Roger is a gay hotel.

US: (shocked) Reallllll-y????

THE DAD: Yes, if you swim in the pool you might get AIDS.

I look back on this exchange with renewed shock. We didn’t know much about HIV and AIDS back then, and this was the prevailing belief in backwoods Maine in 1984. I didn’t know what to do. I was so scared. I thought about pulling out…”

THE DAD: I’m just kidding….

What a fucking bad joke!!!

So we boarded “People’s Express” for the flight south. The drinking age in Florida at the time was 19, so we had all gone up to Colby College in our town and rounded up fake ids. They worked! The first afternoon there, we proceeded to get absolutely drunk. Someone had the brilliant idea for everyone to get naked, get in the bathtub, and one by one drink a beer bong. At the time, it was probably the sexiest thing I ever witnessed. Everyone ran around naked for a while soaked with sticky beer.

Then we hit the bars.

We found “Penrod’s on the beach” which offered 2 cocktails, a hot dog, a t-shirt, and sun screen samples for $10. Perfect on our tiny travel budgets. The boys got laid, but I didn’t. I remember sharing a bed with Pete and feeling SOOO confused and guilty.

We met up with other friends from our high school and all hung out. We destroyed one of our rooms one night as we hosted a toga party and had a fire extinguisher fight. I sat in my first bar ever and muttered my first drink order: “Can I have an Alabama Slammer, pleeeze.” You have to picture me rocking back and forth with my hands cupped between my legs.

We had a great time. I remember getting off the plane back in Maine and our parents all met us. I had lost 10 pounds (and down to 145 or something tiny) as had everyone else. We were tan. And as we all went to the Pancacke House to share breakfast, we looked at each other. It was the first time any of us had embarked on a trip with his buddies and no parents. It was the beginning of my LOVE of travel. And I felt low. I hadn’t gotten laid and didn’t really understand why.

The week changed all our lives. As “Let’s Hear it for the Boy” and “Little Red Corvette” blasted on our stereo all week, we were becoming men. Our hormones were nuts, and it’s a trip I will think about when I’m back in Lauderdale.

I know this post is a bit “Wonder Year”-ish, bear with me. Besides, Fred Savage is now playing a gay character on TV.

What I most learned is that I was ready to leave my hometown and never turn back. And I did.

Gaytanic

The intinerary for my upcoming gay cruise came last week, and I have been getting up to speed on my preparation for the “Love Boat” meets bathhouse adventure.

Prior to unloading my steamer trunk and walking the gang bang plank, Rey and I are meeting up for 4 days in funny and sunny Ft. Lauderdale. The two of us are staying at a “gay” hotel and hitting the “gay” beach and “gay” bars. Gay, gay, gay. He wants to come with me on the cruise but cannot swing it with work right now. So, we will catch a tan – well, he will. He’s dark and I’m sure will be black by the end of the four days. On the other hand, my Scotish and pinkish skin will sport its infamous patchwork sunburn depending on where and how I fall asleep at the beach. But, us two ‘hos on the road are sure to have a great time and some tall tales to tell.

The cruise packet is aclimating me for what to expect. For example, one of the first rules in the packet:

Condoms: Please do not flush condoms down any toilets on the ship. The plumbing system is very complicated and comdoms will plug up the pipes and cause an inconvenience to your cabin and others nearby.

and

Door Decorations: Many guests choose to decorate their stateroom doors to make it their home for the week, or make their cabin easier to find…TASTE – please remember that RSVP guests and the ship’s crew come from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds, please do not use offensive images or nudity in the decorations.

These sound just like the rules they issued me during my stint at San Quentin Prison! (just kidding).

At 5pm on February 26, The Westerdam sets sail for Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. Entertainment that first night includes a cabaret, a comedian, and a piano sing along followed by two DJs in the Queen’s Lounge (I’m not kidding) and in the Northern Promenade Deck Northern Lights Nightclub until 3am.

There are even lectures — “We are Family: how does being gay fit in the global world picture?” takes place on the Promenade Deck on Monday. Monday’s highlight will by the Men Without Ties Underwear Party.

If you don’t get laid by Tuesday, there is a “Singles Party” that afternoon to meet the others on board who need some sex. Apparently, the featured singer on the cruise is an evening with Taylor Dayne. Here’s the itinerary:

Cruise Itinerary
February 26 Sunday Leaves Ft. Lauderdale
February 27 Monday Half Moon Cay
February 28 Tuesday Key West
March 1 Wednesday Key West
March 2 Thursday Progresso, Mexico
March 3 Friday At Sea
March 4 Saturday Return Ft. Lauderdale

I feel like I have signed up for a course in total gay immersion. But it will definitely be a change for me. Cruising at sea, that is.

The next several months are going to be insane. I need to be ready for the ride. I am so ready for a week to relax. 29 days away…yeh!