Friday, December 30, 2005

Tales of a West Hollywood Drop Out Part 1

It was Josh’s big night. He was being awarded a big scholarship for the third year program at FIDM. FIDM is only a two-year school. Only a few students were selected for the third year program. The cost for the third year was twice as much as the previous two years combined. The year is much more intense and gives more practical industry experience.

Josh’s scholarship was from Federated Department Stores. He had really worked hard for it, and more then that he deserved it for the way he had been treated working at the Macy’s Men’s Store in the Beverly Center. Being able to make out with the hot clientele in the dressing room didn’t make up for being treated like a slave.

Our apartment was a buzz with activity. I could feel the excitement in the air. Just to have an event to wear a suit to was exciting for me. At home in Boston I would have an occasion to wear a suit almost every other month. Living in LA if you showed up to anything in a suit people looked at you strangely. Even when I went to the theater almost everyone was in jeans.

While was tying my tie I could hear Josh arguing with Chris about what Chris was wearing. Josh didn’t think he looked dressed up enough. Sometimes Chris blurred the line between fabulous and outrageous, but not tonight. He wanted everything to be perfect for Josh. He knew not to protest.

As usual Josh was the last to be ready. Chris and I were sitting in the living room having a beer when Josh had his entrance. Josh never simply entered a room. His entrance was an event in it self.

He looked flawless in his Calvin Klein tuxedo. It fit his runway model build as if it was tailor made for him. His modeling career never took of but off, but tonight he looked like he was born for the runway.

The hair was exceptional. Chris’s work was genius. Earlier that afternoon Chris gave Josh the most perfect highlights. Before they stated dating Josh’s hair was always a little orange. He insisted on using some Miss Clairol do-it-your-self product. The results were always tragic and never came close to looking like the box. You can take the girl or of Camarillo but you can’t take the Camarillo out of the girl. All that was behind him, tonight he was a sun kissed blonde that women would kill for.

You could see on Josh’s face he hadn’t slept much the night before. Not worry, though one more trip to bathroom. It wasn’t anything Josh’s Chanel compact couldn’t handle. Cover up was a gay man's best friend.

Finally we were all ready. Chris called us a taxi we were close to being on time. Down walked down to the lobby. One last check in the floor to ceiling mirrors, everything was in place. I couldn’t help but think we looked like the gay Charlie’s Angels. And our mission was to right the fashion wrongs of the world.

Our taxi whisked us away to the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Many times I had drove past the hotel but I had never been in side. Inside the lobby was a flurry of activity. There were air kisses for everyone. I was so excited. It was a long way from Lynn, MA.

We met up with Josh’s mother and her husband. Josh said his hellos then left to find the area he was supposed to watch the show from. The rest of us went into the ballroom to get seats. We found a place right up front. Two minutes later Chris already looked bored.

The show started. I spent most of my time on the edge of my seat. There was one particular dress that stood out from all of the rest. It was a brown cocktail dress with a silk bodice and a velvet balloon skirt. Half way down the runway the model pulled a ribbon from the back of the dress. The skirt fell open to a full-length gown. The crowed gasped then cheered.

After the fashion show portion of the program the awards were handed out. Josh received his scholarship. His mother’s face was beaming with pride. You could tell she was never sure he would ever get to this point, but he had. She didn’t have to worry about him finding direction anymore.

When presentation was over the house lights came back on. We found our way back to the lobby. Chris and I chatted politely with Josh’s mother as we waited for Josh. When he came back she apologized because they needed to leave. It is a long drive back to Ventura and her husband didn’t like driving that far at night.

I was ready to get the hell out of there too. It was time for a drink. Josh looked at us and said,” Ok, the next show starts in about 45 minutes.”

“The next show?” both Chris and I asked together.

“Yeah the next show. I told you there were two presentations, one at 7 and one at 9.”

I don’t know who Josh had told there was going to be two shows but it wasn’t either of us. This was typical of him. When he wanted you to do something for him and he thought there may be a chance you wouldn’t do what he wanted, he would just leave out major details. Details like you need to be here for 5 hours instead of 2 you were expecting.

Josh told us he had to go talk to a few people from Federated who gave him the scholarship. We were to meet him in the same place after the second show.

When Josh was out of ear shot Chris said,” Girl, I ain’t sitting through that again.”

“Ok then.”

“Comon, let’s get a drink”

“Good idea!”

We sat at the hotel bar. It gave us view of the whole lobby. The bartender came right over. Chris ordered us two Buds. Chris was a cheap date in Gucci shoes. Something I loved and hated him for at the same time. He cold be so unpretentious with some things, but not with others. His mother usually paid his gold card. He had very little concept of how much things really cost.

The forty-five minutes went by while we sat and made fun of the other people at the bar. We tried to guess who was there to meet a high-priced call girl. Chris and I made up back-stories for half the people in the bar. In the end we decided there were only two who were really there to pay for sex. I always felt bad for straight men. Never could I imagine having to pay for it.

A twinge of Catholic made me suggest we go back in, Chris suggested another beer. He didn’t think Josh would notice us not being there. I still felt guilty, but only for a second.

People coming out of the ballroom told us the second show was over. In the time we sat at the bar we had managed to put away 4 beers each. We were feeling good.

We met Josh in the lobby. He didn’t say a word about us not being there. Chris started kiss him. That was a dead give away. Chris was never affectionate in public. Josh new we spent the last to hour getting drunk. He tired not to show his disappointment that we were having fun with out him.

Josh was hungry so he suggested Numbers for dinner. God, I hated that place, but they loved it. If I protested I would have been out voted so I just let concentrated on how good I was feeling. We got a taxi and were on our way.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Half-Nekkid Thursday


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Year in Review

I started to write a post about how crappy the past year has been and how ineffective I have been in moving my life forward. Then I decided that isn't the person I want to be so I made a list of things that I brought me happiness in the past year. You know turn that frown upside down, but less hokie. The list is in no particular order.

Fran making it to her 79th year. Fran is my maternal grandmother. She isn't one of those push over old ladies. When relaying a story about a waitress who told her the whisky she ordered may be a bit to much for her she told me. "Scotty, I don't mind telling you this woman had few miles on her. I just looked at her and said don't worry I've been doing this for quite a while, I am sure I can handle it."

Another night we were having dinner for my mother's birthday. We were talking about my father writing homilies for Mass she turned to him to say, "What ever you do Paul, remember to keep it short!" Only she can get away with that, she's the best.

My friend Cathy. Cathy and I have known each other for nearly 30 years. Our families used to camp together. We would see each other every summer. I know her entire family and she knows until Up untill a few years before I moved to mutualad mutaual friends. We hadn't seen each other in at least 10 years. Then we ran into each other at my weekend job. Cathy has been through quite a bit in the past year. I wish I could handle life's unexpected curveballs with the optimism and grace that she has. I very happy to have her back in my life.

Matisyahu. If you don't know of him and you are a reggae fan you owe it yourself to pick up "Live At Stubbs". It's amazing. It's been a while since I have liked a new artist as much as I like him. He is a Hasidic Jew, his songs are about Judiea, spirituality, and social injustice. When I first heard about him I thought the Hasidic this was just shtick, but he's the real deal. He blends both worlds well in a way that makes what he sings about universal. It's will worth your $9.99.

Attending Nicole's wedding. My friend Nicole got married this year then moved to the UK a month later. The wedding was at her mother's house in Las Vegas. I was very happy to be there to lend a hand at a time that was very hectic for her. She made a beautiful bride. It was also great meet some of her mother and sister. They are people I had only known in stories. They were far more interesting in life. Her wedding was the best time I'd had in a long time. Her husband is a very lucky man.

Finkelbutt. Even though she never returns my calls and decided that she is no longer a lesbian, I am happy to have reconnect with her this year. We were very good friends, long story short we lost touch for about 10 years. Then we were both living on the North Shore. Much to my surprise she had been looking for me for about six months. As luck would have it our reconnection was because of my second job.

Working. I am very happy to be working. I was laid-off for about three months this year. Three months isn't a terribly long time, but at that time I had been laid-off twice in the past ten months. My job isn't particularly challenging or interesting, nor does it pay very well. However there is something to be said for a regular paycheck.

A lesbian co-worker. This is the first place I have worked full-time since I have been back in MA where I work with another gay person. I had suspected her to be a lesbian, but since we have no reason for contact at our office I never spoke to her. Then she brought her partner to our Holiday Party. Now, I make it a point to chat her up every time I see her. She is very sweet and personable. I need to make a date with her for some Korean food.

These have been the highlights of 2005 in the life of me. I am going to try to forget the lowlights.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

It's Over.

Today was the last day of Christmas for my family. My sister is the consummate hostess she loves to have guests. Tonight she made pastitsio. Which made her husband happy. I like Greek food but that's not a favorite.

We had dinner with my Aunt her husband, two cousins, and another uncle. It was nice to see them. I haven't seem most of them for over a year. My aunt camps across the street from my parents. Since I don't go up there I do see them.

I have to say that I am very happy that Christmas is over. My family puts so much pressure on everyone to have a good time that tension doesn't subside time everyone has had a few drinks.

On Sunday I was sitting in her kitchen eating some cereal. I cleared my throat. She was so hyped she started you yell.

"Yeah what do you want?"

"aha, I wanted to clear my throat."

It makes me long for the days when I lived in CA and it wouldn't have bothered because I knew I would be on a plane the next day.

Next year I think I will just sleep in.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Half-Nekkid Thursday


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Tom O'Brien Does It Again

Just when I thought things with Hyundai couldn’t more bizarre they do.

This evening while I am home nursing a fever I get a call from Tom O’Brien Hyundai. It’s a woman who I assume is an admin. She tells me my car is ready to be picked up.

Come again honey?

I asked her if the car was fixed. She said it was. She went on to say the dealership was closing a little early so, if I was coming today I should come now.

Ok this my be a hallucination from the fever. I pinched myself. Pain. It’s not a hallucination.

Where do I start? I told her I was just there on Thursday to drop of more paper work. Ted told me I wouldn’t know if the car was even covered under the warranty till next week at the earliest.

She puts me on hold.

A man comes on to the line. He has a very gruff voice and the type of diction that would have made him perfect as an extra on the Soprano’s.

He tells me the car is fixed. All that was wrong with the car was the gear fluid wasn’t full. That was what caused it to slip out of gear.

I tell him they have had the car since 12/1. I wanted to know if it was just gear fluid, why have they had the car for almost a month. Like me he was a little confused. He doesn’t know why they have had the car so long. I tell him I have been dealing with Ted. He tells me he is Ted’s boss. Ok a break through.

I start to explain what happened. He cuts me off to say he knows nothing about it, just that the car is fixed. He wants to know if I am coming to pick car up.

Again I ask him if the car is fixed. He said he didn’t speak to the tech, but according to the paperwork it is.

You can imagine how angry I was at this point. I go back to my explanation of the events.

He said He didn’t want to get into a pissing contest with me. If I wasn’t going to pick up the car I could call back tomorrow to speak to Ted.

Before I hang up I ask for his name. It’s Vinny. Yes, yes it is.

I will be sure to let you know what comes from tomorrows conversation.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Help Me Hank!


I am having a problem with a Tom O’Brien Hyundai of Danvers and Hyundai corporate honoring my 10 year 100,000 mile warranty. Actually that isn’t accurate. I don’t know if they will honor the warranty or not.

This problem is a bit complex so I will try to be as clear as I can be. In July I had the clutch replaced on my 2002 Hyundai Elantra. The repairs were done by a garage that isn’t affiliated with Hyundai. With my understanding the way the warranty works this shouldn’t be a problem.

On 12/29/05 while I was driving the car home from work the car wouldn’t stay in fourth gear. When I put the car into fourth gear, the gear shifter would just pop out while I was driving.

Thinking it may be a problem with the clutch I brought it back to the garage that replaced the clutch, which was B&B Auto Clinic of Georgetown, MA. After a test drive, Mark the owner told me it wasn’t the clutch it was the transmission that was the problem.

Mark put the car on a lift and showed me the car had been leaking transmission fluid. I left the car with him. He had the car towed to a transmission shop he works with to have it repaired.

Later that day he called to tell me he had opened the transmission. When he did transmission fluid came out. He told me the fluid was leaking due to a broken seal.

Later the same day when I got to work I remembered I had the 100,000 10-year-warranty. The car has 81,000 miles on it.

Immediately I called Tom O’Brien Hyundai. They told me they couldn’t tell me if the car was covered or not with out seeing the car.

I had the car towed from the transmission shop to the dealership the next day, which was 12/1. The dealership still has the car now.

I have been dealing with Ted at the dealership he is the director of the service department. He asked me to bring all of the records of repairs and service I have had done to the car. I brought him the paperwork the next day. During this conversation, I explained to him how Mark opened the transmission and the fluid had come out and it had been full when Mark opened it.

Ted asked me if any shards of metal came out with the fluid. I told him I didn’t know, Mark didn’t say. I asked him what it would mean if the metal had come out. He said he didn’t know that he was just “throwing it out there”. His statement heightened my anxiety.

After the dealership having my car for 14 days Ted called me to tell me they were very busy and a rep from Hyundai was coming to see the car. The Hyundai rep was the person who is making the decision if the car is covered under the warranty or not.

By this time I was really frustrated and called Hyundai customer service to complain about the length of time the dealership was taking. They told me the dealership was following proper procedure.

On 12/15 Ted called to tell me the car wasn’t going to be covered under the warranty. The reason was when he opened the transmission there wasn’t the correct amount of fluid in it. He said B&B didn’t fill the transmission properly that is what caused the transmission to break. Also the receipt I had for the transmission repair reflected the wrong about of fluid was used. I was upset and forgot about my previous conversations with both Ted and Mark about the amount of fluid.

I asked Ted to document every thing he told me so I would have something in writing when I went back to B&B because they were at fault for the car breaking down. Ted was really evasive about doing this for me. After some coaxing he agreed.

Thinking that I have going to have to pay to have the transmission fixed myself I ask Ted how much it would cost and how long it would take to fix it. He wouldn’t give me an estimate on either. As he has done in every other conversation I have had with him, he started to talk in circles. He told me how busy there were and how he would need to take the transmission apart.

Next I called Mark to tell him what I was told by the dealership. Mark reminded me of our previous conversation. He also went on to say more fluid probably leaked out while they were moving the car due to the seal being gone. The seal being gone is what caused the fluid to come out in the first place. He also he said more fluid probably came out just from my car sitting at the dealership for 2 weeks. Mark agreed to document all of this.I called Ted back to remind him of our previous conversation. He wasn’t in so I had to leave him a message.

Tired of waiting I called Hyundai customer service again. I spoke to Bruce. Bruce was completely unwilling to even listen to my problem let alone help me.

He told me it was my mistake for taking the car to non-Hyundai garage for repairs. Point blank and plainly he asks why I had brought my car to be repaired by another garage that wasn’t Hyundai. I asked him if there was anything in the warranty that said it was void if I used an outside garage. He didn’t answer me. I went on to explain what happened what’s happened and he told me he didn’t care.

He says I have a problem with Mark at B&B and not Hyundai. I asked Bruce what happens if there is a dispute. He tells me there is no dispute. I asked Bruce if there was an escalation procedure, he tells me there is nothing to escalate. We end our conversation.

A few minutes Bruce called me back to tell me he had spoken with a supervisor who told him if the dealership says it’s not covered, then it’s not covered. He went on to tell me I have no recourse and the problem with the previous garage. Bruce abruptly ends the call while I am mid sentence.

After getting nowhere with him I call Ted back again. Ted told me that my car is going to have to wait at least another week because the Hyundai rep is now on vacation. The rep won’t be back till 12/27.

I don’t feel like I am getting anywhere with Hyundai or with Tom O’Brien. Also I feel like they have totally taken advantage of my ignorance about cars. I am not sure what to do next. I called the MA attorney general’s office, they told me I could file a complaint but there are no rules regarding timeliness.

Can you help? I am not sure what to do next.


Scott E D

Nothing Like the Smell of Hate in the Morning

I feel like I have wandered into the twilight zone. In two days I have had to deal with someone else’s full on unadulterated bigotry. I tend to pull out the best in people.

Today while making a call for work, I connected with a person who need to have an anti-Semitic rant. He was upset because, he felt he had been treated unfairly by my client. He rented space for a boat show. During the show he wasn’t allowed to use the towers he wanted to use. Another company was allowed to use similar towers. People working for the other company were Jewish, therefore my client favors Jews. He wasn’t going to be able to do business with my client because he isn’t Jewish. He wished me a Happy Hanukah then hung up on me.

What the fuck! That’s what I was going to say!

I guess I will just have to keep his number to call him back in the spring and wish him a Happy Passover.

Monday, December 19, 2005

My Work Place

Deb: "Are you going to see Brokeback Mountain? You know, that gay cowboy movie ."

R: "No, I'll probably rent it."

Deb: "I'm not going to see it. I can't take watching that it just makes me sick. I mean it's unnatural. And I tell my brother that all the time." (Her brother is gay.)

R: No response.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Half-Nekkid Thursday

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A New England Christmas

My friend D IMed me the other day, he was looking for something to do on Christmas. He wanted to me to come to NYC. I really wish I could. But with the car still in the shop and still now word on the warranty, I am afraid to spend any money.

I invited D to Boston for Christmas. Which should be interesting if he comes. D and I know each other from when we both lived in LA. We have been friends for around five years. I know all of D’s relatives. He has never met any of mine.

Our families couldn’t be more different. His family is full of all kinds California craziness. His parents are divorced. There are four different religions represented in his immediate family alone. Dan has been three of those religions, sometimes he’s Jewish sometimes not.

My parents have been married for 36 years. No one has lived out side of New England, but me. My father is a Catholic Deacon. I have one Aunt who converted. She is Methodist now. My grandmother refers to her as her Protestant daughter. These are not the type of people who do well with people who are just like them.

D has never really been around people like my family before. We dated for a few months when we first met. He says that there were to many rules while we were dating.

The rules he was referring to were things like:

Please don’t ignore me when we go out with your friends, then blame for not trying to “get into” conversation.

Please don’t blurt out the intimate details of our sex lives over dinner with your friends. Contrary to what you might think straight couples aren’t interested in what we are doing.

If we are in a bar please don’t get so drunk you forget that I am standing next to you and spend the next hour talking to your ex-boyfriend.

These strict rules were too much for him to handle. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say when my Grandmother tells him to ‘shut the fuck up’ for stepping out of line. It will at least fun to watch.

Did I mention he has a very small penis? Since we aren’t dating any more I thought it would be OK for me to say.

Note To Self

The next time someone that I have been hooking up with says wouldn't it be nice the if we spent the night together so we can wake up in each others arms?

My first question will be, do you snore?

I am a very light sleeper. Just the people in the apartment above me, walking across the floor is enough to wake me up. Having some one laying next to that sounds like a buzz saw isn't something that makes for a good night.

So, here I am sitting at my computer at 12:30 am waiting for my sleeping pills to kick in. I hope to God that I will get at least enough sleep to function at work tomorrow.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Catching Up With Mom

Mom: Oh, what kind of rental car did you get?

Me: A Chevy Aveo

Mom: Is that one of those Puerto Rican jobs?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Half-Nekkid Thursday


An Actual Conversation

Me: That KA is so nice, everybody loves her.

D: Yeah, I think it's because her father is a minister.

Me: So is mine and I don't feel the need to be nice to anyone.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

2 Things

For work I am calling companies that work on amplifying DNA. I couldn't help laughing when I was leaving a message for Dr. Dong.

My boss was talking to a co-worker who's performance he was pleased with. He shouted across the office, "A. ride it while it's hot!"

Well, Mr. Bossman I couldn't agree with you more!

Will the Nightmare End?

I really didn’t start this blog to have a place to complain, but that is what I am doing today.

My car is still in the shop which means I have been without it for 8 days. The problem is the transmission. The dealership has had it for 7 of the 8 days and still can’t tell me if it’s covered under the warranty. Worse then that no one can tell me when they can give me an answer.

My advise is don’t buy a Hyundai. This is the second dealer I have dealt and both service departments are terrible. They are nice and pleasant but timeliness is not a concept they are familiar with. The surprising part is dealers are on different coasts my guess is a universal training program is to blame.

I had to get a rental car, because my friend who lives 2 miles from me and works 4 miles from my said she could drive me then kept flaking. It was really nice of her to give me a ride one day. After that she kept making excuses, like it’s going to snow and that she had to stay late. None of these factors changed the fact we live so close. Instead of asking me to wait for her or to conform to he schedule, which I would have, the deal was just off. Now I am paying for a rental car, spending more money I don’t have.

My computer is in the shop as well. I dropped it off the off the day after Thanksgiving. When I dropped it off they told me would be 7 to 10 business days for the work to be completed.

After the 7 days I called to get status and was told it would be 10 business days before my computer was even looked at. Ok, there is a huge difference between that and 7-10 business days. On top of the tech giving me the wrong information (that if I had I would have gone somewhere else) the woman I spoke to was extremely rude. Some how she thought it was my fault that one her co-workers gave me the wrong information.

I told them what was wrong with the computer, but of course they couldn’t give me an estimate of how much it would cost. Can you hear my bank account being drained?

All this on top of the usually holiday stress. I would like to go home take a nap and wake up on New Years Day.

Jr. Extra Sauce

I love Greek boys who make roast beef sandwiches.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Not Nekkid Today

I will not be participating in Half Nekkid Thursday. My laptop is in the shop. I don't have any pictures anywhere else so, it will have to wait till I get it back. I am not wearing any underwear today. I am not sure if that counts or not.

Not only did my laptop break down, but so did my car. The transmission may need to be replaced. UGH!!!! I am hoping it's still under warranty.

Every time I seem to get some money in the bank I am slapped with a major expense. Last time was a $900 clutch. If things keep going this way I may be selling my ass on the corner.