Friday, August 28, 2009


Light drizzle, concrete sky,
And a mood to match.
Welcome to Friday.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chipped Tooth...

So, just a minute ago I was moving bags of coin, and in doing so, I somewhow chipped a tooth. My top front teeth hit my bottom front teeth--just sort of grazed at an odd angle--and all of a sudden there was a tiny piece of tooth in my mouth.


I went to the bathroom to see the damage, and it wasen't visible. But I can sure feel it!

Now my tongue is going to be worrying the backside of my front left tooth all day. Wahoo.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I wrote this poem a few weeks ago while Robb was out buying more eggs.



I broke the only egg this morning,
our pancakes seeping from cracked shell
into kitchen rug.

The night before, you'd asked me
why I don't like to cook.
I hate feeling like a failure--
especially before I even begin.



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Top 5 Tuesday...

Today I thought I'd start a new feature and see how that works out for me.  I think Tuesday should be Top 5 Tuesday!  I've had this idea in the works for a while, and really, it started out as one post about a disturbing trend I noticed.

Has anyone else been paying attention?  If you have, you may also have noticed a strange and somewhat disturbing trend taking place in pop culture over the last twenty or thirty years.  It started one day when I was trying to think of anyone else who was even remotely as disturbing as our #1 person this week, and I realized there was not, but there was a litany of other things that fit into the same category!

So, without further blather, I give you...

Top 5 Cross-dressing Aliens:

5)  Sally Solomon

I know, I know.  "But she's a woman!" you're saying.  Oh, no.  If you've ever watched 3rd Rock From the Sun, you'd know that she didn't get to pick her body when she was transported to Earth, and in fact isn't a woman at all.  So, although she may look the part, she's actually a man wearing the whole body of a woman.  That's where much of the show's humor comes from.

4)  E.T.

If you aren't like me and you saw E.T., then you remember this.  This was the image that made you check your closet for aliens before you went to bed...and maybe made you distrust anyone in a wig.  But it is yet another alien in drag.  And can you believe there are no pictures from this scene on the internet?

3)  Condoleeza Rice

Not an alien, you say?  Just look at that photo and tell me I'm wrong.  She looks like she's thinking about eating everyone in the White House right now.  And have you seen that Adam's apple?  Okay, okay, this spot was going to go to Rosie O'Donnell, but I couldn't find an image of her wearing anything even remotely feminine...

4)  A.L.F.

This is another one I could find no actual photos of.  I seem to remember Alf dressing in Kate's clothes on more than one occasion.  You remember, Willie flips over in bed and Alf is rummaging through Kate's drawers, putting on her jewelry to go with his hat or gown.  And yet, no photos of this online.  Someone should remedy this problem.  But yet again, this is an alien in women's clothing.  Am I the only one who thinks this trend is disturbing.

By now you're probably thinking, "But Justin, you left out someone...someone glaringly obvious to anyone who has ever looked at a Marquee on Halloween.  Oh, no I haven't.

1).  Dr. Frank N Furter

Yes, that sweet transvestite from Transexual Transylvania sashays his way into the number one spot with high kicks and unabashed sexiness.  I mean, look at those legs!  Lipstick?  Hair?  And the corset!  It's Tim Curry at his best and most disturbing.  And his most popular.

So there you have it, folks.  Viewtiful_Justin's Top 5 Tuesday picks for the top five cross-dressing aliens.  Were there any I missed?  Anyone you thought should have been higher or lower on the list?

Feel free to discuss!  And, as always, I'm taking submission for Top 5 Tuesday lists you'd like to see in the future.  Nothing is off-limits.  See you next week!


Monday, August 24, 2009

The Gay Rodeo...

I know what you're thinking:  Really?  The GAY rodeo?  Isn't that just a bunch of queens mincing around trying not to get too dirty as they ride semi-sedated cows around in a circle to Lady GaGa tunes?

Just the opposite, my friends.  It was some serious competition!  Danger!  Excitement!  Fried food!  Exclamation points!!!

The presentation of the Anmerican, Illinois, ILGRA, rainbow, and Canadian flags started the ceremony, followed by the ceremony of the riderless horse. 

The first event was calf roping, but the setup wasn't great for taking pictures, so we didn't take many.  Chute dogging, where contestants try to wrestle a biggish calf to the ground and have the nose and all four feet pointing the same way at the end, was really exciting.

And far away!

There was calf roping on horseback:

We were sort of worried it would rain, but we ended up getting pretty badly sunburnt afterall.  Stupid lack of sunscreen...

And we'd have felt better if we'd had one of these:

I think we were some of the only people there without cowboy hats.  Next year we'll dress differently...tight Wranglers and western shirts with a hot stetson and cowboy boots.  Mmhmm.  We'd fit right in.

The Chicago Spirit Brigade was there, too.

Come on!  It WAS a gay rodeo, after all.

Our favorite event was goat dressing, where to people run down the field and catch a goat.  One of them lifts ist rear legs and the other tried to put a pair of briefs on the goat.  They have to stay on the goat until the team makes it back across the starting line.  Very fun!

The goats didn't agree, I think...

But the horses...they got a few words in.

They were pretty rowdy, actually.  One lady almost got trampled, and I swear a guy got his balls stomped...but he got up.  I guess it was just a close call.

About halfway through, we went and saw the Windy City Cowboys perform.  And boy did they!

They looked great in their boots and hats and matching shirts.

And they could move!  Granted, they danced to These Boots Are Made For Walkin' (the Jessica Simpson version...ugh), but they were HOT.

This photo is having issues loading, but we'll see if it shows up...

If not, oh well...just a hot shot of them pointing their fingers like guns.

The last event of the day was what they called the "wild drag race".

Guys dressed accordingly (this is "The Church Lady") had to ride a young bull across a line on the field, which sounds easy but was very, very difficult.

We got to see a lot of big wigs in the dirt.  So funny!

After all was said and done, people retired to the dancing tent, where they were playing two steppers. 

We watched some drama unfold, watched some cowboys get all sweaty on the dance floor, and wished we could dance.  Even Happy Jack (bottom photo, back) got a spin around the floor by a really hot cowpoke.

It was a really great day, and despite being a little nervous abuot going, I'm glad we went.  It was so much fun!  If you're interested, is the place to be.


Saturday, August 22, 2009


It's really hard for me to get back in to blogging when I've had the content of my blog decided for the last three weeks. Thanks to everyone who stuck it out with me. I see most of you deserted. Or maybe you just didn't have anything to say.

Was it too much?

I've been writing poetry lately. I've also been a little depressed for no reason, but that tends to happen to me around the 20th of the month. It's my time...and yes, guys have cycles.

Uninspired, unmotivated.

Mostly unhappy with my job, honestly. I almost got fired last Saturday...stupid story that doesn't bear repeating. But I've decided just to fall in line, be a robot, and invest as little as I can into my job until I find something else. They want me to be a robot? They'll get what they want.

And after I agree with them to avoid conflict I get a fortune cookie that says, "Avoid agreeing with someone only to avoid conflict." No lie.

Even the cookie thinks I'm wrong. Fuck. My. Life.

I wrote this poem when I gave up:

Five Star Language

It hurts to change--
that fundamental switch somewhere inside,
below your heart, perhaps,
or buried in grey matter,
the giving up of a fight you vowed to win,
the letting go of clenched fists
that lead to an unfurling of petals from bulb
shoot from seed
cliche from lips...
the only way we'll ever grow.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 13 - Homeward Bound...

I woke up with a sore throat and shook my fist at L.A.

Our plane left at four, so we wanted to be at the airport by two.  That meant half a day to kill before we left.  We decided to see the things we wouldn't be able to see at home:  Mission Beach and In-n-Out.

It was a gorgeous day at the beach, busy for what I would have expected on a Tuesday, and warm.  Our luggage was in the car, and our feet were in the sand.

We wandered down past the area where we'd turned around a few nights prior.  There's a point where the beach goes from nice and peaceful to a little bit ghetto at night.  Bit in the day, there were people all over.

If you look closely at this photo, you can see a little toddler peeking out of that hole that hot dad is digging.

We people watched, tried to stay dry, and took photos.

Since it was still kind of early, there were shells people hadn't scooped up yet.

We wandered for a few hours just enjoying the last time we'd be able to wade in the Pacific for a long time.  And when we were sufficiently hungry, it was off for food.

Yum.  I miss it so much.

After that, we waited around in the rental car office for a ride to the airport, sharing the tiny space with this guy who had horrible B.O.  It was great.  Finally, we were off, though. 

I started feeling like crap about this time...weak and dizzy with a headache.

Security was a breeze, so we ended up having almost two hours to kill.  And what is there to do at an airport?  How about...people watch!

So we did.  Those two guys down the way were making eyes at us at one point.  They were cute.  And a cop kept coming to talk to that woman seated next to them.  Apparently there was some problem he was trying to resolve.  I couldn't really hear, and it was hard to pay attention to words when all I could focus on was how tall, dark, and handsome the cop was.  Wow. 

Before long, we boarded, and we were on our way home.

I said a little prayer as we left the ground, and settled into my seat.  By now I was feeling like absolute garbage.  I was so sick, my skin hurt.  No lie.  But I soldiered on taking photos as we left my new favorite place on the globe.

We swept out over the ocean and headed back toward land.

I took one last look at the bay:

Our original little bayside hotel is right there by the docks...

When we flew over Coronado, the scrubby little hills on one side of the beach finally made sense to me.

Enlarge this'll see CORONADO on the beach.

I loved this shot of the bay bridge:

So pretty!  And then it was cornfields and clouds as I tried not to die on the way home.

We passed this in the desert:

It looks like several tracks designed to test cars...but there were no major roads leading to it at all, just a tiny little building.  I wonder what it was...

I was fading out, and Robb was scoring us extras by flirting with our gay flight attendant...but I managed to get a photo of one last sunset:

Goodbye, San Diego.

Hello, Chicago.

I stumbled along to our bags, ready to just curl up and die.  We rode back to Robb's dad's house to get our car, which wouldn't start.

After that was all cleared up, I slept on the ride home, wishing I could float.  I'm sure I had a fever, and I cursed L.A. the whole way home.

We got to bed finally around 2 AM, and I had to work at 7 the next morning.  Isn't my boss lovely?

Yeah...but I made it.  And I am finally getting over my cough.  After what...three weeks?  A month?

Remind me next time we go to California to stay away from L.A.

Overall, it was a great time.  Thanks for coming with me, everyone! 


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 12 - Escape from L.A....

I tried to post this yesterday and as I was typing I found myself back on my home page with no post for some I'm going to try again.  Forgive me if this one sounds a bit like I am sick of telling this story.  I didn't even want to relive this day once, let alone twice...

I'll say it again:  If you ever get the chance to go to Los Angeles, DON'T GO!!!!!  It was the single most underwhelming, filthy, disappointing, ugly, cheap city I've ever been.  Seriously.  Skip it.

The day started out easily enough.  Traffic into L.A. was surprisingly light.  Even the morning radio show hosts we finally stumbled upon were surprised. 

There was a little bit of fog once we got from El Cajon (where our hotel was) in towards the bay.

And, really, it was a pretty drive spent smiling at each other and loving that we were going to get to see our Marbles Kitty in one more day.  Bittersweet, really.  But finally we made it to L.A.

The air was yellow.  No joke.  There was trash everywhere.  The graffiti was uninspired, ugly, and contained none of the pride and artistic flair of Chicago graffiti, and I'm being completely serious.  It looked painted out of a hurried sense of duty and not out of any personal pride.  I chalked all of this up to it being the outskirts or town...but once we got further in, it was no different.

This building lightened my spirits, though.  How funny!

We decided to hit Grauman's Chinese Theatre first, so we could see the glitzy, glamorous Hollywood side of the city.  Oh, how misguided we were.

The first thing we saw once we parked the car and ventured off of Orange Street was this:

Can you guess whose star this is?  There were people openly weeping over Michael Jackson's star, and his offerings were overshadowing the nearby stars, covering up the likes of Queen Latifah. 

Look at this one, for comaprison.

Poor Farrah.  All alone witout a single flower...

But once we got past that crowd and past the shady people who were trying to sell the mourners bus tours ("See The King of Pop's Famous Haunts!"  So classy.) Grauman's Chinese Theatre was actually pretty cool.

This is where they have the  handprints of celebrities in cement.  It sort of made them seem less untouchable and more like regular people who just had really great jobs.

...or robots.

The Governator has surprisingly small hands:

I was shocked they weren't giant man paws.

We waded trough a sea of Asian teens who were, for some reason, crowding around the Harry Potter slab.

I was unaware of this particular cultural obsession...but seriously, without any exaggeration, we were the only non-Asians trying to take a picture of the thing.  And they didn't seem interested in anything else there.

After that, we decided to hit the Walk of Fame, where they have the stars with celebrities' names on them.  We saw everyone from:


(one of my favorite authors)


Seriously.  Godzilla had a star.  I took a ton of photos.  So if there's a star you'd particularly like to see, let me know and I'll email it to you.  I've got about 300 of them.

(For the record, I just had to upload this whole post to a new editor because it kept trying to underline my text for no reason and there was no way I could shut it off.  Once I'm done with this post, I'm going to drink a bottle of wine.  Cripes!)

Oh, let me tell you why L.A. was super underwhelming.  You know how you expect The Walk of Fame to be glitzy?  Glamorous?  Hip?  Trendy?  You picture cute shops and high class bars and stuff along the way, right?  No.  We thought so too, and we were so wrong.  Past Grauman's, it was like souvenir shop, seedy bar, porn shop, lingerie store, souvenir shop, porn store, seedy bar, seedier bar, porn store, dancewear shop, souvenir store, souvenir store, Mc Donald's, porn store, empty storefront, etc.  Oh, and outside of every souvenir shop and some porn stores were people selling bus tours, pushing them on you and not taking no for an answer.  That, or bums.  And this was a MONDAY!

There were times when I thought I was about to get mugged.  It was seriously scary.  What the hell happened to make this area so absolutely shitty?  Ugh.  After about an hour in town we both had headaches (and I don't GET headaches).  We decided to leave the area to try to visit some of the studios.

That area was actually a bit nicer.  We went to Warner Bros.

No famous people to be found.  The studio tour was $45 a person, which isn't that bad of a price, but it was our last day of vacation and we were quite poor, still.  We most definitely didn't have $90 to blow.  I mean, we ate at McDonald's in downtown Hollywood, for god's sake! 

So we left from Warner and went to see if we could find Disney.  We sort of stumbled into it.

There was no one to stop us at the guard hut, so we just follwed the visitor parking signs and got out of the car.  We didn't know quite what to do, so we headed for the most impressive building there to ask for a tour:

Yes, those are the 7 dwarves holding up roof.  It was really impressive, actually.  Check it out.

So we went in, and there was a security guard named Jeff on duty.  We asked him about tours.  He said we could go in any building on the lot except this one, since it was the executive building.  A well dressed man I didn't recognize got out of the elevator and said hello to us...he sort of looked like he expected us to ask for an autograph or something.  And after smiling awkwardly for a second, he walked off.  No idea who he was. 

So, we were still incredulous about being allowed to just stroll around.  I asked, "So, we can just wander around?" 
"Wow...Warner Bros wanted $45 for a guided tour.  This is great." 
And he stops...looks at us, and goes, "Who aer you here with?"
We just looked at him blankly.  " one?"
I told him we just drove in and parked...that no one asked us to stop at the hut.  He looked REALLY confused, like his brain just did a 1080 or something...
"Oh, then you guys can't actually be here at all."
Robb asked if we could take a few photos of the courtyard and then leave.  He said as long as we promised to ge back in the car and go.  So we did.  I told him he could put my arm behind my back and lead me to my car if it would make him feel better.  He said he didn't really care what we did, that we could probably wander around because he wouldn't run to catch us in this heat.


We just took some pictures and got back in the car like nice, honest tourists, sadly.  And then we looked at eachother and went, "DANG IT!!!  We could have just wandered around Disney!"  Yup...we're too honest.

So we drove around looking for the Hollywood sign, going past Capitol Records:

Very famous.

We fially found the sign (it's harder to find than you'd think):

It was also dirty and underwhelming.  Smaller than I thought it would be. 

We had to print out our boarding passes for the next day, so we were pressed to find a library by 4.  I entered a search for libraries into our ever-so-trusty VZ Navigator and it led us through crack town and bumville to a library that was covered in police tape with a big red sign in the broken windows that said "LIBRARY CLOSED!!!"


So we looked for another one and ended up here:

and here...

Korea Town (which is HUGE!!!).  We finally just went right downtown into the awful horrible traffic and found a FedEx Kinkos.  Blah.  We both felt sick, so we left the city into horrendous traffic and ugliness.  But we were grateful to be finally leaving L.A.  I needed a shower.

To make up for the horrifyingly disappointing day, we stopped off on a scenic overlook near Camp Pendleton to watch the sunset.  Despite the sore throat and headache, it was romantic.

It was the last sunset we'd see in California for a long, long time.  So we spent an hour or so just sitting, watching the rabbits and each other.

That would be the ocean, a tank track, and me. 

The sun sank lower and lower (while we listened to the Camp Pendleton boys shooting in the distance)...

And finally the day was over...

and we went home to shower and wash the L.A. off of ourselves.  Little did we know that it would stick with both of us far longer than either of us wanted.