Typing this on an iPad

...is pretty much the only positive thing I can say about this post.

This weekend was exhausting. Some time after your second year of "adult life,", the day-after sensations of an evening conquered kind of fade and are replaced with tiredness and a hovering emotion of regret that you can never tie back to any particular event. It's one of those, "I could have stayed in and had a glass of wine and red a book" regrets. Pointless.

Anyways, life in general is great. I ended my time at the University of Texas on a higher note than expected, and my future in regards to my career and overall life excitement (one of the few intangible measures of happiness that can be somewhat quantified) seems confirmed. On the other hand, I have no tangible relationship, at least romantically, and grappling with my expectations of people continues to be a battle fought externally more often than not. As in, I don't need to dwell on my disappointments. I change what disappoints me or vent to close friends about whatever iniquity I'm faced with.

That's where this blog comes in. I usually don't even publish what I write--by the time I'm finished authoring a post, I've untangled whatever mess of feelings I have come to write about in the first place and no longer give a shit about sharing it.

Today, though, is different, because I don't even know what's wrong. I have externalized all of the hang-ups I could source, but right now I feel betrayed, abandoned and disrespected. It involves someone specific but is not necessarily their fault my emotions are pulverized. Pummeled is an appropriate verb to describe the process it took for me to arrive at this cold and disconnected place, because it happened so slowly and I felt every blow. I knew where the game was headed before the hammer was even raised.

And now I am lost in my own post, once again. I've nothing to say, and likely no real counsel can be given aside from "Awwww feel better!" If I can just hold others to their own standards rather than my own, perhaps I can find a little peace with human kind.

I hope you enjoyed getting lost in a directionless post for 45 seconds.



A few days ago I was at a bar and ordered a Jack and coke. It was weak. I told the bartender I'd like a bit of whiskey in my whiskey, and he responded with a swift, "Go f*** yourself." He was then corrected by a fellow bartender with, "Help him out or he'll f******* Yelp about it."

I left the bar. The bartender told fellow patrons--a few of which came up to me after my leaving--"If he comes back in here I'll kick his f***** ass."

And that's, "faggot," to clarify. Not "fucking."

I don't have a problem with being called names. I have dealt with that kind of crap my entire life. I am also a man before I am a gay person; I grew up with a little brother and I am used to fighting back, for better or for worse. I've killed animals. I like beer. I love classic rock and have an amazing father who loves me more than anything. This isn't to say I don't freak out over Lady Gaga or that I didn't download Britney's new album three weeks ago or haven't been playing it on repeat for that entire span of time. I wear tight white pants and I love my girlfriends and I don't apologize for it.

What I have a problem with is the assumption that a gay person wouldn't fight back. That a self-conscious "bro" would call me a faggot and expect me sink into the earth like the wilting flower that I am. Gay people are, in large part, not taken very seriously. As you know, we all love to party and dress in drag and only drink vodka cranberry and wear feather boas and work as strippers once our day shifts at Abercrombie have ended.

These assumptions, while based in a reality I am more entertained than ashamed by, lead to people calling us faggots in bars and expecting no consequences.

This particular bar, The Yellow Jacket Social Club, did feel the consequences, however brief. Customer complaints, a much-lowered Yelp score, a few angry facebook comments on their page (including mine). But these complaints were met with even more callous ignorance. "Some gay person got mad and got all his friends to write on Yelp. Typical story," read one review following mine and others. "Embrace who you are. One angry customer doesn't change anything," said another.

If only they understood the underlying attitudes that fueled these bartenders' remarks; centuries of religious confusion and populist, utopian ideologies have ingrained upon them the mark of false superiority, borne of the illusion that there is only one path to greatness. And that path, dear readers, is paved in pearly white stones stained by cheap beer and littered with empty bottles of Levitra and tattered NRA pamphlets.

Hopefully none of the commenters who responded to my review in the cruelest of all tones--condescension--were black, Asian, Native American, hispanic, Jewish, red-headed or female. (Or, as Gaga would say, "Black, white, beige, chola descent, lebanese, and Orient.") That would be an indirect affront to the problems that affect the non-majority members of the United States on a daily basis, a shoot-yourself-in-the-foot situation.

I am a leader in the number one advertising school in the nation, and I'm a decent artist with a helluva decent resume. I've got powerful friends and good taste. I can also outrun you both long and short-distance, and if I try, I can definitely snatch away your girlfriend.

To conclude, I am a white dude. I am as WASP-y as they come. I am, however, attracted to men.

So next time you call me faggot, take it seriously. Bitch.


A strange place to be

I am in love
but with no one

I am unsure what this means. I have somehow amalgamated each three-line text, look in the street and flutter of the heart into a being that, right now, does not exist. Sometimes he's tall with a reddish beard (keep the beard, dye the hair), but most often he's only two days unshaven and is dating one of my platonic girlfriends. Sometimes he's dressed like a slob. Last night he spoke French and tutored chemistry students in a post-ironic coffee shop.

Should I be grateful that I wake up in love or heartbroken that I fall asleep alone?


A night in 2008

Sitting at a table, legs pulled up to my chest; my jacket is black and oversized, a bit of red-and-black plaid peeping through the thick unzipped planes of dark wool. I'm listening, but not really. Good people, a lot of laughter. Good haircuts all around. We're passing around Pearl and Pabst Blue Ribbon and Miller High Life--horrible beers, but this is before I was picky about what beer I drank. Cigarettes and a few discarded cans crowd a small terra cotta pot in the center of the wrought iron table; faint smoke rises, but we're all talking and smoking and the hot breath and the cold air and the cigarette smoke are all just a jumbled mess, but it's not messy--it's destined. Artful even. I'm sitting in a cold green leather wing chair, the best chair on the porch. The roof is gone, so we can see stars through spindly tree branches and when I look up everything disappears. I don't hear the bits of conversation I was already ignoring and I don't think of whether or not I'm being looked at and I don't really feel anything physical, just an overwhelming sadness--sadness that this moment doesn't last forever, that a night like this only exists in most peoples' memories, yet everyone has it. Everyone, including my parents and theirs, has experienced this night, and that makes it even more sad. There's solidarity between me and the versions of me that lived in the eighties, and the sixties, and even before, but still I hate that it doesn't belong to me only. But that also makes it special. I look back down and color returns. Faint light. Someone's putting on a record, which I assume I'll most likely detest, and I wonder why we cannot just continue to sit here in quiet and stare at each other and why we aren't all in awe of how perfect this night is. I stare at a boy who's just moved in from Mexico, and his mattress is propped up against the wall in the yard. Can't really see it. Too dark. But he has just enough light on him from the cigarette-beer can candle to show off his long straight nose and thick eyebrows. Cute. Into me, maybe. A new acquaintance, one of the girls who has a neat haircut, leans over and whispers, "You two would have the most beautiful babies." I want to snicker something back but my heart jolts, and while I say nothing I feel suddenly ashamed and ugly and young. I've never learned to take complements. And this girl doesn't even know me, so her statements are weightless, despite their basis is strictly physical appearance. I suddenly hear the leaves under my feet and shuffle back and forth, crunching and sliding on the sandy porch. Perhaps it wasn't sandy, but in winter it seems everything is covered in a thin, imperceptible layer of cold dirt, and I feel this cold dirt as I slide back and forth. I can see that my Moment is fading and I look up at the sky again in hopes that I will feel alone again but I don't.

This is one of my favorite memories of my life, and it happened in Austin in late 2008. I had met a new group of friends, and with those friends completely found identity. I was no longer Dustin Is-He-Gay or Dustin Is-He-Smart: I was smart, friendly, gay Dustin. And that was nice. I'm often nostalgic about this one night in particular. You just can't recreate some things.


Shakira's Body: Altered for American version of "Loca?"

Shakira's new single, "Loca," is one of her best efforts in recent memory, as is the album it's selected from, but I am disturbed by a difference I noticed in the American and Spanish-language versions of the single's music video.

The Spanish version:

And the English version:

Is it just me or did Shakira lose a few pounds between video shoots? Oh, wait, that's impossible; it's the SAME SHOOT. So, what, we American's can't handle a beautiful woman? She has to be photoshopped ANOREXIC to be objectified? NOT FAIR.


Projections in the sand

This is the kind of art that makes me jealous.
"Go all out in romance and let the chips fall where they may."
"Exceptional people deserve special concessions." (e.g. I don't know, me?)

This is the kind of art that makes me jealous.

Simple, meaningful, and aesthetically interesting.

I'm unsure of their origin, but I'm thinking Singapore. (via my friend Evan's Facebook.)