Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Memory trigger

It is funny how some things, places or events trigger certain memories either pleasant or unpleasant. For my case, the men who have broken my heart continue to hunt my memory each time I see/encounter a memory trigger related to them.
Todd - I remember Todd every time I see/hear anything about golf, gambling, downhill skiing and Irish. Todd is Irish American and he likes to play golf. We have gone to holidays together where he has gambled on the blackjack table and won several hundreds. We also went skiing 3 times to Colorado. I still remember Todd every now and then but it is no longer an unpleasant memory.
Ed - Ed was my young bf who came from a small town of Peru in central Illinois. He worked as a bank teller and when we were together, his employment was an issue. Each time I pass by a bank or hear something about Peru/central Illinois, I remember Ed. He also likes to watch a lot of HGTV so I never watch any of those shows anymore. I just want to forget that period in my life.
Brian - Brian and I dated very briefly and he live near Addison and Southport Avenues. Each time I drive by that area, I remember Brian. I feel a tiny bit lamentful about the fact that Brian and I did not become a couple but there is nothing I can do about that.
Mark - Mark is the latest guy I dated very briefly that did not come to fruition. I did like Mark and I had hopes of a good future together. But as it was not meant to be so we did not end up together. Mark is a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs. When we were together, he would be checking the score of the Cubs. Each time I pass by Wrigley Field or see anything Cubs related, I remember Mark and the pangs associated with what could have been. This is really difficult because I live near Wrigley Field and there are tons of memory trigger for Mark. Sigh.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Daniel Brands

This is Daniel Brands. He is a German tennis player. Very low in ranking but very easy on the eye. He lost to Paul-Henri Mathieu in the first round of the ATP BMW open. I will keep my eyes on him for sure!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ianto Feels Pretty

This video puts a smile in my face...

Observations from Milwaukee

I every so often go to Milwaukee for some continuing education required for work. And if I am there, I make it a point to go clubbing. Since I am from Chicago and am used to the Chicago gay night life, I have some observations about Milwaukee gay night life.
1. It seems that there are a lot of smokers. Perhaps it is because Chicago now has smoke free bars/restaurants ordinance.
2. There are a lot of overweight women in the gay bars. I am not sure if these are fag hags with their gay friends or I just went to a "mix" bar.
3. There are a lot of people taking pictures of their "group" in the bar. Perhaps they don't go out much and wanted to take a remembrance shot of their fun times.
4. The boys are cute and cornfed. Not exactly model body but nice enough. In fact I like it that way.
5. There seems to be no "attitude" that is prevalent in NYC or LA club scenes. It is quite refreshing actually.
6. Some guys are wearing gym shoes. That is very small town and quaint.
7. The music is not bad at all. They play some of the sounds I hear in Chicago. Some are a bit older tunes but good danceable tunes.
8. There are a lot of drag queens and crossdressers. Some have huge tiaras and sashes. Funny!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My take on American Idol

This is the first year that I have followed American Idol on a more consistent basis. Last year, I only caught the tail end of the contest and I was hooked by the good looks of Blake Lewis. As I was watching more, I began to like his unique "Beat Box" style. I was sorry he did not win but I do agree that Jordin Sparks was the better singer. But on Blake's defense, an "Idol" needs to be good looking on top of being able to sing well. And Blake was both. To prove my case, where is Ruben, Fantasia and Taylor Hicks now? And look at Kelly Clarkson. She is a cute gal and she can sing well too. Henceforth, her career is booming.
This year, I am again hooked by the cute Davids. Yes I am talking about David Cook and David Archuleta. Besides the two Davids, I also think Michael Johns is cute. I was surprised he was eliminated halfway cause he was good. For last nights performances, I did like the performances of the two Davids. And both of them sang from "Phantom of the Opera" too. David Cook sang "Music of the Night" and David Archuleta sang "Think of me". If I have to pick now, I like David Archuleta to win. I just think his singing is better. And may I mention that I loathe the hair of Jason Castro. It looks smelly... With that hair, he was very appropriate in singing "memory" from "Cats" last night. That hair belongs to a cat! He is a handsome guy too but I suppose he has to have his style even if it is the dirty hippie look. And being Filipino, I was saddened by Ramiele Malubay's early departure. Perhaps if I had voted, I may have made a difference.
For now, my Tuesdays are American Idol night.

(pic of David Archuleta above from americanidol.com)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hate Crime

Any form of hate crime whether based on race, religion or sexual orientation is dispecable. I saw a movie on DVD called "Hate Crime" last night. The story is about this gay couple Robbie (Seth Peterson from Buffy) and Trey (Brian Smith) and their homophobic neighbor Chris (Chad Donella) who is the son of a homophobic Pastor Boyd (Bruce Davison). Trey was beaten to death one night while walking their dog in the park. Chris and Robbie were both suspected of doing it. Robbie and his family/friends all suspected Chris because he is very homophobic and has a history of hate crime. Just when you thought you got everything figured out, the story took a turn and revealed who killed Trey. One thing I really liked about this story is how revenge and justice was exacted. The acting and production quality were not bad at all considering that this was not a big hollywood production. I also like the main theme of intolerance and hypocrisy that we see in our society. It reminds us of the reality of hate based on sexual orientation, religion or race in some part of the world.

(pic from amazon.com)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Goodbye Papa Gary

My friend Gary (Papa Gary as we call him) passed away several months ago. He moved to Palm Spring with his husband/partner Robert (Papa Robert) a year or two ago. They have been inviting me to visit them but I have not just gotten around to do it. Papa Gary was found dead on the floor by Robert one day after returning from work. It must have been a heart attack or stroke, I still do not know for sure. My only consolation is he did not suffer long. I will miss Papa Gary. I will miss his generosity and friendship. He was very fond of anything ancient Egypt related. You should see his Egyptology collections. And everytime I see or hear anything about Egyptology, I remember Papa Gary.
I have not said my proper goodbye to my friend so I am doing it now. Goodbye ole friend...

Franny, my confidant.

When you are sad and down, it's good to have a friend to talk too. I am specially grateful I have Franny. Franny and I have been friends since we worked together at Grant Hospital (now Lincoln Park Hospital). We don't see each other that often anymore but we kept in touch via phone. She is my confidant when it comes to my love affair. She is always interested about my love life and she is always eager to meet the "men" in my life. That says a lot about her mindset that my happiness is important to her as well. That is indeed different from some of my other friends who does not seem to be interested in meeting the guys I am dating. And some of my other friends are just too busy with their own life that I don't even get to see them as much anymore, let alone talk to them about my lovelife.
Everytime I talk to Franny about my heart aches and problems, she always manage to say things that make me feel better. We all need a Franny in our lives specially if your love life is as tumultuous as mine. Thank you Franny!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Medicaid

For those who do not work in a Health Care, let me tell you about Medicaid. Medicaid is an insurance the government give to those who can not afford their own or who are not Medicare eligible. In theory, this program is good because we take care of our poorer Americans. The poor can get health care instead of just dying off. But I have several qualms about this program. First, some people I see on Medicaid are not poor at all. They have fancy cell phones and things. And some even claim to own businesses. So how did they qualify for Medicaid? Are they cheating the government? If so, the qualifications for Medicaid should be stricter or revised so that only the real poor deserving folks get them. Second, how come in some instances Medicaid patients get better services than the Private Insurance or Medicare patients? That seems unfair for those who work to pay for their own health insurance. In fact, it is the working folks, who pay taxes, that actually pays for Medicaid. Thirdly, I really really hate demanding Medicaid patients. Let me be fair by saying that a lot are very nice and grateful for the services they received but a few are just plain ungrateful and demanding. Don't they realize that they are not paying for the services they are receiving and it is actually the health care provider providing the care who is partly paying for it? And lastly, Medicaid reimburse the health care provider so little. Let us face the truth that health care is a business and if a business is to stay healthy, there should be some income. If Medicaid pays so little, where can the health care provider get its income?
Despite of those unsavory things I hate about Medicaid, I still think it is a good program. The world is already a "survival of the featest" world, let us not make it even harder for the needy.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Being Second Place sucks!

I came to a realization that in the affairs of the heart, being second place is as good as being last. My ex-bf Ed and I broke up because he wanted to pursue more with this one friend of his. So he likes this guy better than me. It was for the best in my estimation because that relationship was destined to fail for many other reasons. Then I met this Catholic guy Brian. We went out several times but not exclusively. We were both into each other and had good times. It all ended till he met this other guy whom he likes better than me. So he ended things with me to pursue a more serious relationship with this other guy. Being second place again sucked but I got over it. The third blow came when I met this guy Mark. He just ended these dating thing with a guy before me because the guy was being too jealous. So Mark and I went out several times and we had a good time as well. I thought that this could be my lucky break but that all ended when he told me that he can only be friends with me. The reason being is he and this jealous guy he dated before me met and patched things up. They wanted to give it another try. For the third time, I was second place again. The third time really sucks and a major downer. He wanted to continue hanging out with me as friends but I refused it. It is best for me to just count my losses and move on. I guess it is my self preservation instinct. I can't be around him and not be with him. Just too much to handle.
I endeavor to rally again. Have a little more optimism with matters of the heart just like Charlotte in "sex and the city". sigh...
(pic from wordseye.com)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Welcome Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict XVI is coming to America for the first time. We at Stagenotes would like to give the Holy Father our welcome! He arrives to the USA today and will stay till the 21st. He will be in the east coast the entire time he is here. For a listings of his itinerary and appearances, click HERE.

(pic from allposters.com)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chimp vs. Navy Seal

The things people will do for entertainment. The things I will do when I am bored? That includes posting this video. haha

Friday, April 11, 2008

Bad English

When I was in China last year, I noticed some funny public signs. This is specially true in the smaller towns. Not so much in Beijing and Shanghai. I have several examples of bad english that I took. There is this website I encountered with other funny bad english signs all over Asia.

This was taken in Xian inside a park with hot springs. There is one misspelled word and some strange sentence construction. What I find funny is the fact that this hot spring is good for breeding. Breeding of animals? Or human? Do they have sex here and conceived most of the time?

This sign was posted inside a boat that sailed down the Li River. Nothing too funny about this except the spelling of environmental.

This sign was posted on the entrance of Fubo park in Guillin. Just read the whole thing and you will see loads of bad and funny english.

America's Favorite book

I saw a survey in AOL.COM that had the Bible ranked as America's top favorite book. This is all good and dandy. But I wonder how many just said that because it is proper and have not read the book itself or have only read portions of the book? How can one truly say a book is their favorite if they have not read it in its entirety? Hypocrisy I say!
Just FYI, also in the top 10 list are LOTR series, Harry Potter series, Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons and To Kill a Mocking Bird. These books I believe were truly read and liked by many.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

double minority

Ever since I was born, I have always been a minority in the community I lived in. Being born of Chinese heritage in the Philippines, I was a minority there. But integration to the Filipino community was not very hard for me since I was second generation Chinese in my family. And since the Chinese Filipino have through the years gained some form of respectability and wealth in the Philippines, it was not that bad being a minority.
Now that I decided to immigrate here in America, I find myself being a minority again. In fact, I am what I consider a double minority. Not only am I Asian/Filipino Chinese here, I am also gay. Living in a big urban town like Chicago, the people are more tolerant to the different ethnic and sexual orientations out there. But still prejudice and discrimination are present in a subtle way sometimes. One example would be with employment. I think being gay and Asian can sometimes be a disadvantage in finding work or blending well with your coworkers.
So I thought what if I move to China? Would that end my being a minority? I am Chinese so I will fit with the other Chinese very well. But since I am Chinese born and raised outside of China, I will still stand out and be a minority. Not only that, let us not forget I am gay too. So before I know it, the communist party will probably bury me alive.
I guess, I will have to live with being a minority till the day I die. *sigh*

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Join them or avoid them?


I live in a area here in Chicago that is around the famous Wrigleyfield, home to the Chicago Cubs. Being born and raised outside of the USA, I have very little interest with baseball in general. I have been to a handful of Cubs game in the 13 years I have lived in the area. I must say I had a good time then. Probably because I was with good company and alcohol was involved. hahaha. Now that I have not been to a Cubs game for years, I just find it vexing every time there is a game. Traffic and congestion are horrible when there is a game. My commute to/from work, gym, store or to my friends is substantially prolonged. This is a vexation I know I have to put up with if I want to continue living in this area. If only I know somebody who I can go with, then I would not mind having the games since I will be part of the entertained folks. Or if that is too much to hope for, I will just stay in whenever there is a Cubs game. It is either I join them, or I avoid them.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Charlie and his brother 20 years later.

Watch the "Charlie bit my finger" first, then this.

Charlie bit my finger!

Buhlud.

This is a hilarious video I found long time ago. All I can say is poor boy. He is so worried and yet we adults just laugh at him. But we can't help it sometimes. Enjoy!

Serena prevailed.

Ah at last, Serena prevailed in the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne! She does love playing here and she enjoys a good home court advantage. She has won this 5x now along with Steffie Graft. Her first big hurdle here was against Justine Henin. Then she overcame a one set down against Svetlana Kuznetsova and now a good comeback against Jelena Jankovic after a somewhat poor second set performance. Good job Serena. Hope you do well in the French Open.

On a sadder note. Andy Roddick lost to Nikolay Davydenko in the semifinals. Such a disappointment after a hard fought victory against Roger Federer. sigh.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

ZEN SARCASM

I am not sure who authored this zen sarcasm but I first saw it in a bathroom of my watering hole here in Chicago. Nothing better to do when I'm urinating than to read this zen sarcasm in front of me. It is funny yet very true. I enjoyed it a lot and hope you do too.

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.

3. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

5. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

7. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

9. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

12. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

13. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

17. Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

19. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

20. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

22. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

Bravo Andy! Go Serena!

For those of you who actually read my blog, you might think this is becoming a tennis blog. It looks that way but I assure you it's not. Tennis just interest me so I want to talk about it. Tonight is another night to be happy about it. Earlier today, Serena defeated Kuznetsova to reach the finals of the Sony Ericsson Open against Jelena Jankovic. Almost there Serena! And just tonight, Andy Roddick defeated Roger Federer in the Sony Ericsson Open and ended the streak of 11 consecutive losses against Roger. Bravo Andy! You deserve it. His next hurdle is Nikolay Davydenko in the semifinals. Oh, such cardiac moment...
(photo from yahoo sport page)

Tengo miedo!

Now I am just being a big mean person to Svetlana Kuznetsova. But I can 't help myself. I have to post these pictures of her I saw at the Yahoo sport page. Talk about weird ugly expressions during a tennis match. The first two pictures are scary almost and the last one is too comical.

Mikhail Youzhny Hits Himself


OMG! That must have hurt. On one hand I want to say stupid guy, on the other hand I want to say poor Mikhail. Guess I am biased since he is one of my fave tennis player.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My hood.

Ta Pinky, Tom and I were driving once along my street on the way to our annual Easter brunch and I was just admiring the houses in my neighborhood. So for lack of better things to post here, I decided to give tribute to a piece of mid-westerner city neighborhood americana. The pictures were taken last summer.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Good day for Serena


It's a good day for Serena Williams today. She defeated Justin Henin in the Sony Ericsson Open quarterfinals at Key Biscayne, Florida. She is the defending champion and has been relatively successful in this venue. For one thing, it is in her neck of the hood. She trains in that area so that may explain her success. Other players have commented that the humidity is affecting their play. Not Serena so far!
It is difficult to be rooting for Serena these days when her record has been inconsistent lately. Justine has defeated Serena in the last 3 times they met (French open, Wimbledon, US open). The last time Serena defeated Justine was here at the finals last year. Is Serena on her way to another title here? I hope so...
(pic from yahoo sport page)