Gay Guy and Straight Guy's Very Own Tales of the City?

Straight Guy,

Are you ready for San Francisco? I am not, and that plane leaves mighty early tomorrow.

Readers, as you may know, or can tell by our limited ability and energy to do much blogging of late, GG and SG have been drowning in work. Besides the usual flow, we are working on and staffing one of our employer's major events of the year. It's a complicated story, but think of it as an huge group of investors and potential investors. Yikes! We are old hands at it, but somehow it feels new each year--and deadlines keep rolling in.

The four-day event, comically called a "weekend," takes us to San Francisco this year. Don't get the idea that this is some junket: there's a little play but mostly it's all work. Plus a few dinners that take advantage of the city's legendary food.

Gay Guy will be tempted to explore some of San Francisco's gay night (and day) life. Even the raunchy kind. (GG has a habit of showing a different side of his tame personality out of town. Think of me as an anthropological tourist. ) Okay, raunchy is an exaggeration. I'm far too tidy and hygiene focused to visit a peep show or strip joint and wonder who has been sitting in the chair doing what.

My recent trips to SF show that it is a far cry and far cleaner since his first trip a long time ago. The Tenderloin is gone. The Castro has quieted down. I'm glad I saw them in action once.

We'll try to get some post up from the road.

 --Gay Guy

P.S.: If any of you don't recognize the allusion in the headline today, you owe it to yourself to check out the Tales of the City series, plus DVDs, by Armistead Maupin. A wonderful, touching and funny view of gay life in San Francisco.

Gay Marriage Support is in the Majority (By a Whisker)

Straight Guy,

I'm excited about the CNN poll released this week showing that the majority of people surveyed --51 percent-- say that "marriages between gay and lesbian couples should be recognized by the law as valid." Read a New York Times story.

Great news.  I could go on for paragraphs about this, but I'm sidetracked by the graphic. Is it just me or does the graphic look phallic to anyone else?

--Gay Guy

Product Watch: The Angry Stick

Gay Guy,

Mrs. Straight Guy recently got me some new deodorant. And no, she wasn't hinting at anything. I think it was just on sale. No big deal. I'm not really brand loyal in the bathroom. Whatever works.

This morning I gave it a second look for some reason. This design is nutty. With those raised corners on the cap, I get the feeling that my deodorant is angry... and maybe a little evil.

Or is it just me?

I'm sure the design is just an attempt to stand out on the crowded shelves. But really, such an odd choice considering the product found underneath the cap actually curves the opposite way.

Who wants to cram something pointy into their arm pits? Is Gillette that desperate to seem edgy and aggressive? It has horns!

--Straight Guy

Things Gay Guy Spends Too Much Time On: HGTV

Straight Guy,

My life has been freaky busy of late. I know work's been rough for you, too; I can hear your jaw clenching all the way from your office. Handy to work down the hall from each other, right? 

It's causing a noticeably bad affect on my blogging. When I get home from work, plus maybe the gym or tonight the theater, I'm too drained for blogging. I'm only good for the restorative power of red wine and HGTV.

I love HGTV and the like. Sell my house, buy my house, landscape my house, decorate my house, you name it, I'll watch it. The website it loaded with good tips, too. 

My home and garden projects are fairly limited; this week they are pot up the containers of flowers for the deck and change two light bulbs, but it involved a couple of manly man trips to the hardware store. I keep the work to a minimum--nothing that involves a circular saw.

But I love to watch other people work. Love to watch them stress over their properties. Love those landscaper/carpenter dudes and their tool belts. That Carter Oosterhouse can steam off my wall paper and I don't event have any.

HGTV matters to Gay Guy beyond its entertainment value. It's where you go to watch gay people doing regular stuff, like compute square footage of floor tile, unclog drains and bicker with each other because buying a house is stressful. HGTV is good about featuring diversity; it's where you'll find a significantly higher number of diverse people featured than much of the rest of TV. 

This NPR reports tells how HGTV has intentionally made a point to feature a diverse population. Listen to the file.

Thanks, HGTV.

-Gay Guy

Things Straight Guy Hates Immediately: $100 Nail "Klhippers"

Gay Guy,

This is Klhip. Looks nice. Costs close to 100 bucks. Never buy me one of these.

Don't be taken in by the sleek, steely, aesthetic. Most especially, don't be swayed by claims of improved ergonomics and effortless cutting. Let's face it... If you're working up a sweat sawing off your funky toenails, you need to see a podiatrist -- and to stop wearing open-toed sandals, stat.

Otherwise, humanity solved the ergonomics of nail clipping many decades ago, and the solution costs a dollar or two.

You might start to think by the accumulated list of things I hate immediately that I am against luxury or indulgence of any kind. That is so not true. But save it for travel, art, food, sports, hobbies (video games count here), or, if you must, fashion. Don't blow your disposable income on items available at Rite-Aid... except for prescribed mood-altering medication, of course.

I know a couple of guys who, with a good plan and 100 bucks, might be able to get laid this weekend. Or, they could stay home and cut their toenails with Klhips.

--Straight Guy

Note that I am not linking to Klhip, but rather to Amazon, where you can get a pack of 72 (!!) name-brand clippers for $28... rated 4 stars and, at that price, practically disposable. Link.

Hall of Badassery: Cold Water Surfing

I've been to Duluth. This is not in the brochure.

If Red Bull ever offers me a sponsorship, remind me to think twice.

Check out the icicles on his face. Was no one worried about frostbite? Or, more importantly, permashrinkage?

--Straight Guy

Older entries into the Hall of Badassery can be found here.

Web Watch: 3eanuts... Less is more

Gay Guy,

You know I'm a comics guy, and Peanuts is still the gold standard. (Wikipedia check: 18,000 strips for 300 million readers in 21 languages.) Critics find him repetitive and a sellout, but it's not that simple.

Schulz was a man of melancholy who famously quipped that he woke up everyday "to a funeral-like atmosphere." It's a long sad story that leads many (including me) to the conclusion that his depression was a cornerstone of his success. There was plenty of gentle humor in the Peanuts strip, but the recurring themes were always loneliness, doubt, and rejection. Charlie Brown never wins because "Happiness is not funny."

Anyway, there's a new 3eanuts Tumblr with simple premise:

"Charles Schulz's Peanuts comics often conceal the existential despair of their world with a closing joke at the characters' expense. With the last panel omitted, despair pervades all."

I'm hooked. It's a little trick that reveals a lot. Here's a couple more...

--Straight Guy

Clip, Save . . . Risk the Wrath of the Line?

Straight Guy,

I just committed what you consider to be a grocery store felony. No, not asking, again, if they are called Greek olives because that is just a name, like English peas, or whether they are actually from Greece, but finishing up paying by using a wad of coupons. 

You hate coupons. At least I no longer risk your personal code orange of using coupons plus writing a check. (Don't get behind my mother in a grocery line, is all I can say. You have been warned.)
I love coupons. I pretty religiously clip and file them, though sometimes they stack up and I have to check to make sure they aren't already expired before I clip them. Over time, I've developed a fairly straightforward filing system: four broad categories, with dividers by month of expiration. I know, I know, this is making your flesh crawl, isn't it?

I saved 22 percent --$24.89 today--so it seems worth it to me, but I grant you that's only because I find it a game. I an early episode or pilot of Extreme Couponing on TLC. (SG, I don't know if you should click. This might be too extreme for you.) The folks on this show have rigor. . .  and storage space. I am fascinated and repelled at the same time.

SG and readers: Who's a coupon saver and who can't be bothered? Is this a gay guy/straight guy divide? For the couples out there, is one of you tasked, officially or unofficially, with the grocery shopping and how does that fall gender-wise? I'm interested. Single people have no options.

--Gay Guy 

Gay Guy / Straight Guy Archive