Monthly Archives: February 2005

February 26, 2005

For Valentine’s Day, I baked E.S. an apple pie. He said it was the best apple pie he’d ever had, including all the apple pies I’d baked him before. He said it was perfect. I was quite pleased with this praise, as he is never so effusive unless he really means it.

Two days ago, as we were bringing the now empty pie plate back to my apartment, we had the following conversation:

FAUSTUS: I need to find some smaller pie plates. The pie crust recipe I use doesn’t generate enough dough to fill these comfortably.
E.S.: Yeah, you’re right. The crust on that pie was a little bit thin.
FAUSTUS: I thought you said it was the best apple pie you’d ever had.
E.S.: It was.
FAUSTUS: So when you said it was perfect you were lying.
E.S.: No, I wasn’t! It was perfect!
FAUSTUS: Except for the tissue-thin crust, which you hated.
E.S.: Look, there’s going to be a flaw in any pie.
FAUSTUS: Oh, so I’m incapable of making an apple pie that’s even edible.
E.S.: It was perfect. But I think of perfection in human terms.
FAUSTUS: Why on earth would you do such a ridiculous thing?
E.S.: Are you going to be like this forever?

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 20 Comments

February 25, 2005

It’s time here at the Search for Love in Manhattan for another installment of Words I’ve Had Trouble Remembering This Week. (Go here for the most recent installment.)

1. apotheosis
2. compatible
3. bacchanalian

Luckily, “algorithm,” a popular entry in previous installments, has come to me quite easily. So perhaps not all hope is lost.

Just most of it.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

February 22, 2005

Back when I was doing this job, I developed friendships with a number of my coworkers, including Y.T. Y.T. was a cheerful woman from some place in the midwest whose open face and sprightly demeanor allowed her to make viciously cruel jokes about our bosses to their faces without their realizing it. Almost all of our bosses deserved to have viciously cruel jokes about them to their faces, and she spared the ones who didn’t, so that was all right.

One day, as we were talking about our respective childhoods, she said that her house had been filled with flowers while she had been growing up.

“But I thought you said you grew up dirt poor,” I said, confused. “How could you afford to buy flowers all the time?”

“Oh, we didn’t,” she replied. “My mother would take me to local cemeteries where funerals were happening, and we’d hide behind nearby gravestones until they were over. When the mourners had all gone, we’d come out from behind the gravestones and steal the flowers and take them home.” She paused. “Not all of them. Just the ones we thought were pretty.”

I thought it was cool when my mother let me skip school and took me to see The Empire Strikes Back, but this woman was in another league entirely.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

February 21, 2005

This man is, God help him, opening a store in which he will sell products that don’t destroy the earth.

Do me a favor and help him out by taking his very short survey, would you?

Unless of course you want the earth to be destroyed, in which case he’d probably rather you didn’t take the survey, as it would skew the results.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 4 Comments

February 18, 2005

One of the part-time jobs I most enjoy is co-teaching a musical theater writing class at NYU. Every semester, we take another group of undergrads through the basic principles of constructing musicals and watch them blossom and grow. Every semester there are wonderful surprises as they bring in songs that delight and amaze with their freshness of voice and maturity of perspective.

We also occasionally give them listening or viewing assignments so that they can pillage techniques used by the masters of the form. This semester we told them, as we often do, to watch The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Jacques Demy’s 1964 French movie musical featuring one of the greatest love songs of all time, “Je Ne Pourrai Jamais Vivre Sans Toi” (known in English as “I Will Wait For You”), and, even more importantly, starring your favorite gay icon and mine, Catherine Deneuve, in the role that first shot her to stardom. Since then, she has appeared in over 100 movies, apparently growing more beautiful by the hour, and even inspired a lesbian magazine (which has since, alas, had to change its name).

So last night in class, as we were discussing the movie and what it had to offer us as writers, one of our homosexual students, making the point that each character seemed to have his or her own music, said, “like, there was the blonde girl’s ‘I’m sad’ song.”

I like this student a great deal, but the blonde girl’s ‘I’m sad’ song?

I’m going to kill myself.

O brave new world, that has such people in’t!

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 15 Comments

February 16, 2005

When my ex N.T. and I moved in together, we bought several appliances with which to furnish our new home, including but not limited to a portable dishwasher. This seemed the height of luxury to us, as we lived in a huge but ramshackle apartment in the middle of nowhere in Washington Heights. For those of you who have never operated a portable dishwasher before, this is how it works: there’s a hose running out of the dishwasher that you attach to the faucet of the sink in your kitchen/bathroom; you turn on the faucet at the same time as the dishwasher, which somehow possesses the native intelligence to tell the faucet when to shut off. N.T. also bought a hideous dish-drying rack, which I kept hiding in progressively more obscure cabinets and which he kept finding and returning to a place of honor on the kitchen counter. I figured that if we had a dishwasher, however second-class, a drying rack was redundant.

When N.T. moved out, he left the dishwasher but took the drying rack with him; honestly, it was almost worth losing the one to get rid of the other. One evening I went to do the dishes unredundantly–it may have been after this dinner–and realized that I didn’t have any dishwashing powder. “Well,” I thought, “I can either go out to the grocery store and get more, which would take time and energy and money, or I can improvise.” So I filled the dishwasher with hand soap, turned it on, and went to watch TV.

When I returned to the kitchen an hour later, imagine my surprise when I found the floor covered in what seemed like three feet of foam but was actually two feet of foam and a foot of water. “Well,” I thought, “I can either clean this up or just leave it where it is and deal with it in the morning.” So I went to bed.

When I woke up the next morning and went into the kitchen, the floor was both completely dry and cleaner than it had been since the day I’d moved in two years earlier.

What I learned from this experience is that if I ignore my problems, they will go away.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 11 Comments

February 14, 2005

The group fitness manager at one of the gyms where I teach forwarded an email several weeks ago asking for volunteers to tape a workout video for a study being done at a local school of social work. Since I will do anything to avoid the work I’m actually supposed to be doing, I emailed back and said I was interested; the next week, I went in so the people running the study could meet me and I could find out what the study was about.

It turned out that the video was going to be part of a wellness and safer-sex program aimed at HIV+ people recovering from cocaine and heroin addiction.

You can imagine that, once I found this out, I would have clawed the eyes out of anybody who tried to stop me from doing it.

So I put together a routine and some music and went to rehearse it with the people who’d be following me in the video (all of whom worked in the school office). After I ran through it once to show it to them, the head of the program complimented the routine and said she thought the study participants would enjoy it. “I’m not sure, though,” she said, “if the best music to use for an exercise program for recovering drug addicts is ‘Love Potion #9.'”


So I reworked the music and made some adjustments to the routine; we’re filming on Friday.

I’m going to be the Denise Austin of the drug-addict world!

I should note that the moves I sketched out are saved on my computer as a Word file called “smack routine.doc.”

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 9 Comments

February 12, 2005

Okay, let me start by saying that I have always kind of had a little bit of a thing for Mormon guys. It’s not on the scale of my thing for Australians or for Chris Meloni, but there’s something about those fresh-faced, clean-cut boys that I respond to.

That said, I’m not sure quite what to think of

On the one hand, it’s not really any different from something like I have no objection to members of a religious minority who want to date within their religion.

On the other hand, I don’t know, there’s just something . . . creepy about it. Maybe it’s just that the slogan “Chase and Be Chaste” makes me think these people are out of their fucking minds.

Of course, I see a lot of guys on the site for whom I’d gladly be a “friendly witness” if they did “something super-ninja cool,” like, say, ask if they could fuck me.

But I’m really not sure how likely that is to happen.

Since they’re probably all bottoms anyway.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 9 Comments

February 11, 2005

Crap. Yesterday was my bloggiversary and I forgot.

Clearly I have been doing this for too long.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

February 10, 2005

Okay, I figured it out. I’m writing a song about orgies.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 10 Comments