Gay Guy Sinks Into Sports Stereotype? Go Figure.

Straight Guy,

Hit the gym today. Plugged my earphones into the TV monitor on the treadmill gym. I had my music with me, but sometimes TV hits the spot. A few weeks ago, I did the elliptical to an episode of Law and Order, which helped me stay engaged and stay with it longer than usual.

No Law and Order today. Flip, flip. Sex and the City. No, thanks. Celtics game. No. (Much as I like college basketball, the pros don't do it for me.) Skating competition. Hooray!

Yes, I fell into yet another gay stereotype. Figure skating. Dude to the left of me power-walked the Celtics game. I assume that he's straight, got no gay vibe off him.

Gotta admit it, the skaters kept me on the treadmill for at least 20 minutes more than I probably would have hung in there otherwise.

"Hmm . . . why are their asses so round and tight? Oh, right, they spend their entire week in training." That was motivation for another mile, for sure.

Stereotype, yes. But good for my fitness health.

--Gay Guy

P.S.: Thanks for holding down the blog, SG. Much appreciated. I am still slogging through PTSD: Post-Tedious Snow Disgust. I am just done with winter. Well, actually, it's more that work has had a lot of stressful wear and tear of late. Nothing bad, just lots to do. I am flying a wee too close to our persnicikity boss for my own comfort, but it seems to be going well. No news is good news. May this week be better!

--Gay Guy

Sports Watch: Don't Lutz, Don't Tell

Gay Guy,

Did you see the photo of figure skater Ryan Bradley in this morning's Washington Post sports section? After his "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" routine, he's in the lead at this year's national championships.

Haven't seen the routine, only the photos. I don't know if I'm giving him too much credit, but I immediately wondered if this was meant as commentary on the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" debate. And if so, what was he trying to say? And if not, is he just incredibly naive about how this might be received?

Here's his quote: "With all that's happening in the country, I wanted to do a military program; obviously I could have chosen any military piece. I watched an intermediate lady do ["Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy"], and she was so cute. I thought, it would be hilarious if I did this. Then I thought, 'Why not? Who's going to stop me?"

I guess I'm glad that he didn't just say it was something he thought might be fun. But, boy did the reporter drop the ball on this one. "All that's happening in the country"? What exactly does that mean?

I have no idea whether Brady is gay or not. But we've discussed figure skating's gay/straight image problem before [link, link]. (Bradley's performance was dramatically delayed because of a jewelry malfunction by the guy before him, by the way.)

OK. I'll just say it. When a male figure skater modifies a woman's routine and gives a finger-wagging performance in a spandex version of a military uniform as a reflection of "what's happening in the country," I have to assume that he knows he's embodying the worst fears of everyone who opposes the repeal of DADT.

I'm just not sure whether that's ballsy, mean-spirited, or perhaps, both. The only other option is that this guy actually has absolutely no idea what's happening in the country, and I'd like to give him more credit than that.

GG, I know we're both for the repeal of DADT. Can you help me break down the code here? Is this guy really trying to help, too?

--Straight Guy

Product Watch: Straight Guy Eats Luna Bars, Lives to Tell the Tale

Gay Guy,

It was bound to happen. As you know, Mrs. Straight Guy is an athlete. Marathons, triathlons, distance swimming, etc.

I share none of these interests. But I am often looking for a snack, and am known to be less than picky, so eventually I tore into her stash of "Caramel Nut Brownie" bars. That was a few years -- and many Luna Bars -- ago.

Why are Luna Bars for women? I don't really know. It says so on the wrapper. And there are silhouettes of ballet dancers with pony tails. Some of the proceeds go to breast cancer research. It contains folic acid, which is good for women who want to conceive, but also healthy for everyone else in the world, too.

Sorry, Ladies. Not scary enough to keep a hungry dude in check. Give me a Blueberry Bliss and a Lemon Zest, too.

I checked the official website just now: "There is nothing in a LUNA bar that is not good for men. However, LUNA bars are specifically formulated to provide women with the nutrients that are often harder for them to get."

Apparently, there's a persistent urban myth that too many Luna Bars will cause a man to grow breasts. [link] Whatever, suckers.

Did I mention? Caramel. Nut. Brownie. In my kitchen. Case closed.

And if I have a backache (non-exercise-related, of course)... Toss me two Pamprin. We'll see how that goes, too.

--Straight Guy

Product Watch: Fabulous, But Not Fat Free

Gay Guy,

I'm sure the kids in the lunch line do NOT make a big deal about this.

Photo found on BuzzFeed, original source unknown. Apparently it's common in Canada, note that they sell it by the mL.

--Straight Guy

Period Drama. Drama. Period.

Straight Guy,

Been feeling a bit under the weather for a week or so. Not ill, just tired and mopey. At 4 p.m. on Saturday, I found myself still in my pajamas, teeth and hair yet to be brushed, waiting for some heavenly inspiration to cut through the day's domestic disappointments (e.g., New Year's resolution No. 3: I will save money by ironing my shirts for work and not using the dry cleaners . . . now that stack of unironed shirts is getting high).

Heavenly inspiration did arrive. Via PBS.

You and everyone else knows how much I love those damn period dramas on PBS. "Upstairs, Downstairs" as a tot, "Brideshead Revisited" as a young man, I am all in with those fab locations and big hats. I've been looking forward the new series "Downton Abbey," but missed episode one. Late in my mopey Saturday afternoon, I discovered that episode one was available on the PBS site.

Suddenly my day was brighter, my time and energy organized for me: Gotta get a recipe going, get to the grocery store, and get dinner in and out of the oven so I can put the laptop on my lap and get watching. My afternoon had a purpose.

Downton Abbey did not disappoint.

Let me say it now: I knew that Thomas the footman was trouble from the second I put my eyes on him.

--Gay Guy

Gift to Gay Guy... Law and Order: UK


Many years ago, I gave GG an old TV from my basement for his new apartment. He had gone for years without one and in fact had lived in the last building in the city with no cable connection. He pointed the rabbit-ear-antenna toward the local PBS affiliate and seemed happy for quite a while.

More recently, I helped him go flatscreen, purchase a wi-fi laptop, and advised him on a cable hookup option. Almost immediately, he was sucked into a new reality full of Law & Order reruns, and we often lost track of him for days.

So, yes. You can blame me for the corruption of GG on this issue (and this issue, only -- other complaints, take a number). I'm sure his fancypants book club despises me, but something had to be done. How else could this blog have come to be?

We once had a lunch-long debate over which L&O casting change hurt the most. Yes, I know the loss of Jerry Orbach was painful for everyone. But, in terms of eye candy, was it the departure of Angie Harmon or Benjamin Bratt?

So, since he's a fan of British drama and addicted to the L&O franchise, I'd be irresponsible if I didn't point him toward Law & Order: UK which now airs on BBC America.

I had no idea it existed until an hour ago. But maybe he has found it already. Have any of you? Is it any good?

--Straight Guy

Let's Get Physical. The Pre-K Version

Straight Guy,

So, I'm trudging home in the cold and ice last evening, and I cross paths with a couple pushing a stroller with a young child in tow. I'd guess she was 3, maybe 4, tops.

Just as we pass, she starts to sing: "Let's Get Physical, Physical," the refrain of the song of the same title. For a second, I thought I had heard her wrong, but, no, it was was followed by, "I wanna get physical, physical," in perfect rhythm and pitch.

Had she been watching the Glee version from the episode where
Olivia Newton-John guest stars in a video with with Jane Lynch? Or the 1981 original? Who knows?

I'm still chuckling.

Watch the ONJ's video. Oh, the early 1980s, look so cruel. Both the Glee version and the 1981 version have a lot of flesh, at least for a 3 or 4-year-old. Or am I being a prude?

--Gay Guy

Things Straight Guy Hates Immediately: Voice Prints

Gay Guy,

I enjoy talking to you. You're smart and you say funny things.

Please don't be insulted when I tell you that you have never said anything smart or funny enough for me to want to immortalize those words. For eternity. On canvas. In my living room.

If it helps, I don't think I've said anything that makes the cut either.

Readers, the folks at VoicePrints (slogan: Your Voice Is Your Art) have come up with a business model where you forward an audio file of your voice and they create a waveform representation of those words. Perfect to display in your home or office, or, if you suffer from a more extreme self-importance disorder, to give as a gift.

It's possible to get ripped off at rates ranging from $59 to $459. But you do get to pick the colors.

Here's the kicker: These sound wave images are not captioned, so you'll have to explain this exercise in ego gratification to every single visitor who makes the mistake of asking. Please let them know how important it is that your words be preserved for future generations.

Reception on the web has generally been positive, along the lines of "novel idea," and "strong sentimental value." Hometone went so far as to say the final product "gives your home a unique classy touch." InStash says "These paintings give your words the credit they deserve." Barf.

Am I the only one who sees how tacky and self-absorbed this is?

I don't care if it's your valedictorian speech, marriage proposal, your baby's first words, or your dying mother's last... don't fall for this.

I'm not completely unsentimental. Please save and cherish your memories. Save that sound file, and back it up. It's priceless. But it's not art.

Possible exception: Quotes from Young Frankenstein.

--Straight Guy

Gay Guy Embraces La Dolce Vita Head On

Straight Guy,

Right before Christmas, I finally overcame my financial fears and bought a plane ticket to Rome for a trip this spring. I have friends living in Rome for a short-term assignment, so now's the time. The ticket felt a bit steep, but you only live once.

Planning the trip came just in time for Santa's elves to do some Christmas shopping. My nieces gave me an Italian phrase book.

I flipped through the book just to see where my eye landed. And here's the first phrase I saw: "Fa male urinare," which is Italian for "It hurts to urinate." Wow, who knew that Gonorrhea and Chlamydia were Italian tourist destinations?

I hope not to use that phrase. A second flip through the Italian phrase book yielded better results: "La colazione e inclusa?"

"Is breakfast included?" Words to live by.

--Gay Guy

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