A finicky guy's exploits in finding gustatory (and other) satisfaction in his kitchen, his neighborhood, and beyond.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In which Michael indulges his vanity via a rapidly growing blogging convention

When I first encountered the acronym GPOY, I assumed it was a new gender/sex identity option I hadn't heard of before.  (There are a bewildering variety of ways to "identify": LGBT, FTM, MSBD, and myriads of other options the very thought of which would have tied your great-great-grandmother's bloomers in knots.  Unless you had a really cool great-great-grandma.)

Actually, as I came to discover, GPOY stands for the relatively innocuous "Gratuitous Pic of You," which it has become common for bloggers to post on Wednesdays.  (I think GPOM would make more sense, but who can dictate the direction that linguistic winds will blow?)

Because I always tend to overdo things, I am going to post 2 GPOYs on this humpday.  I am posing in the outfit I put together to wear to the opera last night.  I was going for — well, I was going for an ensemble of clean, not outdated clothes that fit reasonably well — but what I happily ended up with was a sort of modern twist on a geeky, preppy look.  Like a comparative lit TA you might fantasize about kissing.  (I am being optimistic here.)  What do you think — kissable or just plain geeky?

Not so visible in these shots are the dark indigo skinny Levi's and the black Mephisto dress shoes that Peter picked up off the street procured for me recently.  TGFP (Thank goodness for Peter), who also lent me the blazer, the button-down-collar shirt, and the vintage silk bow tie.  Oh, and he tied the tie for me as well.  (I was wearing my own underwear.)

TGFPM (Thank goodness for Peter's Mom) as well, as Sonia had given me her ticket for Rossini's Le Comte Ory, being performed at the Met for the first time ever this week.  She was unable to attend, so I went in her stead and sat next to her opera buddy, Sonja.  (Perhaps I should have re-identified as transgendered and gone as Sonya, to preserve the congruence.)

This opera, beautifully performed, contained a truck-load of gender identity mayhem, what with knights disguised as nuns and a trouser-role page — a male role played by a woman, who had to pretend in one scene to be female — it was all very Victor/Victoria, especially during the bedroom scene in which the 3 leads found themselves together in what amounted to a huge pink velvet craftmatic adjustable, which allowed the singers to be cranked into relative uprightness to sing their big threesome, er, trio:

Juan Diego Flórez, Joyce DiDonato, Diana Damrau
I was cranked into irritation during this scene when Sonja's cellphone began playing a jaunty LOUD pop tune....which continued for a good 30 seconds while she (rather unconcernedly, I thought) poked her purse containing the offending phone slightly deeper into her lap, as though that would prevent the assembled 3000 audience members from hearing it.  I have to think that even the singers must have heard the ringing, but my brain went into some kind of altered state as soon as I realized that the noise was drawing all eyes toward my seat.  I am a glutton for attention, but not that kind of attention.

Speaking of seats, and I'm going to, even though it amounts to looking a gift horse in the mouth, our seats were terrible.  So far away from the stage that I felt at times as though I were watching an opera on Youtube.  (Son-j/i-a were unable to obtain their usual good seats for this sold-out performance.)  But it did make me appreciate my own regular seat even more, and to look forward eagerly to next season, when I'll be movin' on down to an even better location on the 2nd tier.

And speaking of sexy TA's, my major crush in college was on a 27yo (older man!) chemistry grad student named Jeffrey Michael Chance, whom I followed around like a puppy.  I'd admired his rockabilly style — clunky boots, leather jacket, Stray Cats hair, torn flannel shirt open to expose a rather nice chest — from across the organic chemistry lab for months before we finally met at a campus party.  As our friendship progressed, we worked out together several times a week, hung out in his lab, went out dancing, took drugs he'd manufactured himself (I don't think this was part of his doctoral research), and listened to bluegrass music.  Although he seemed to enjoy my company, Jeffrey never really responded to the probably very unsubtle sexual vibes I was casting his way.  We continued to stay in touch through letters (remember them?) after I was stationed in Germany until his death from AIDS in 1988 or so.  He was the first person I knew who died of that disease, and I still miss him now.  My teaching skeleton is named Jeffrey in his honor, which is perhaps a little gruesome, but I think Jeff would've understood.  I've never told anybody before this how my skeleton got its name.


  1. I'm shocked that no one has commented already! I would have done so earlier, but I had to do actual WORK at work this morning. (it makes me a little queasy to even say it!).

    And in today's episode of 'birdommmy shares TMI', you totally look like an English lit TA, but not one I'd think of kissing - having had one too many sad experiences with boys that thought they were 'bi-curious' until presented with the reality of lady parts. But if you were into girls, I would have totally crushed on you at university!
    It's amazing how much AIDS seems to have changed, in public perception, treatment, and even severity of disease between the '80s and now. I have a friend who is HIV positive and has been for years. She never would have known if the Health Unit hadn't of called her - her viral load is so low that it barely registers. She's far healthier than I am! (I take immunosuppresants). She's found a great guy, and everyone's been very cool about everything once they had the facts - even the grandma! I think she said something to the effect of "At least you don't have syphilis - that makes you CRAZY"!

  2. What a sweet tribute to your friend. I'm sure that Jeffrey is smiling down on ya. I love hearing your stories, even when they're NOT food-related.

    And I'd totally mack on you, if Peter wouldn't beat me up, that is, and well, you liked girls. Those pix make you extreeeemely smoochable!

  3. You look delightful! You wear a bow tie very well, not something that can be said for everyone. My husband for instance. 8-)

    You reminded me of the first person I knew who passed from AIDS, it was before AIDS hit the radar of the straight community. I didn't even know what he was sick with until after he died, so sad. Thank goodness those days of ignorance are over. Thinking of you Chuck.

  4. Well, if you weren't gay and I weren't married, you'd be very kissable; I always did go for the geeky guys ;) As is, you'd have to settle for a wink and a flirt NSI (No Serious Intentions).