Monthly Archives: May 2005

May 17, 2005

Not too long ago I started keeping a blog over at a web site called Plenty, the online arm of a magazine about how to live an environmentally friendly life without becoming a total freak.

Those of you who know me will doubtless be incredulous that I am keeping a blog about the environment. You won’t be the only ones. I myself am pretty incredulous, as I hate the environment. However, the way I feel about the environment is not too different from how Winston Churchill felt about democracy; that is, that it was the worst form of government except for every other form of government. Not that the environment is the worst form of government except for every other form of government. Oh, you know what I mean.

In any case, Being Green is intended to chronicle my attempts to live at least a mildly sustainable life without ever eating tofu or hugging a tree. Take a gander, and see what you think.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 7 Comments

May 16, 2005

Friday night, on the subway home from E.S.’s apartment, I was subjected once again to the homeless guy who tells Michael Jackson jokes. These are never, ever funny. He asks questions like, “Why does Michael Jackson always arrive late?” and, even though no one evinces any interest in the answer, follows quickly with “Because he likes to come in a little behind.” Then he jingles the coins in his cup three times and goes on to another joke, about what Michael Jackson and a Catholic priest have in common, or what Michael Jackson ordered from the Chinese restaurant.

But the thing is, Friday night there were three people sitting together on the subway car eating it up. They laughed harder with each joke he told. I hated them and wanted terrorists to have planted a bomb on the car just so that they would be fatally pierced by the shrapnel.

And then they left the car without giving the guy any money.

I was so offended by the behavior of everyone involved that I got off the subway immediately and inhaled two slices of pizza, thereby ruining my diet.

Which just made me hate them all even more.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 7 Comments

May 14, 2005

Everyone must go immediately to or Planet Out and look at the divine Gay Haiku slideshow.

The photographs made me laugh out loud at the haiku, which is quite a feat, given that I wrote the damn things.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 9 Comments

May 13, 2005

I’m trying to figure out why it is that I haven’t found a single contestant on Top Model truly compelling since Yoanna from season two, which was the first season of the show I watched.

And why it is that I haven’t found a single contestant on American Idol truly compelling since Fantasia Barrino and Jennifer Hudson from season three, which was the first season of the show I watched.

The parallel is frightening. Am I destined never to be excited by a reality TV show after my first time watching it?

Of course, it could be worse; I could feel the same way about sex.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 13 Comments

May 12, 2005

Of course the even more appalling oversight was my omitting to say that the gorgeous web site was designed by this genius. The astonishing thing is that he managed to do it without an appendix.

My brother and I had a tiff last night as we were discussing the proposal I’m writing for a second book and ways I could parlay it into other writing jobs. Then he went to dinner with his girlfriend, and I thought obsessively about our argument for three hours. They came back, and we had the following conversation:

FAUSTUS: I’m sorry I was a jerk. I realized that I’m scared I won’t be able to write this book, and I react to anything that even remotely threatens to take away any of my material with fear and anger.

FAUSTUS’S BROTHER: That’s okay. I’m sorry I was a jerk. I realized I’m upset that my move into academia has isolated me from the world of periodicals. When you seemed to dismiss my one remaining strong connection out of hand, I really overreacted.

FAUSTUS: That’s okay. I accept your apology.

FAUSTUS’S BROTHER: I accept your apology.


FAUSTUS’S BROTHER’S GIRLFRIEND: This is a conversation between two brothers who have had a lot of therapy.

FAUSTUS: You’re just saying that because you’re not tortured enough.

FAUSTUS’S BROTHER’S GIRLFRIEND: You subjected me to that excruciating exchange and you can still say that?


Posted on by Joel Derfner | 20 Comments

May 11, 2005

First, a belated but very heartfelt thanks to him for some wonderful advice about book publicity. Again, I can offer you the idea of free sex but it’s a notion whose potential energy my boyfriend prevents from being released. But know that the thought is there.

Second, thank you to everybody who commented about how cute the picture is on the web site of the man who has never been seen in a room with me at the same time. Due to an appalling oversight on my part, I failed to note that the photos were taken by the astonishingly and effervescently brilliant Chia Messina, whose services I recommend without reservation to anybody in need of a head shot.

Third, now that I’m a published author, why haven’t all my problems gone away?

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 6 Comments

May 10, 2005

Everyone must go out immediately and buy my book, Gay Haiku, which is available as of today.

If you don’t want to pick it up from your local Barnes & Noble–or, better yet, your local independent bookstore–you can order it online from Powell’s City of Books, Barnes & Noble, or (If you do choose to get it online, I’d be eternally grateful if you used these links to do so. If anybody clicks on them and then buys anything, I get a kickback.)

After yesterday’s dramatic announcement of Faustus’s coming out, I find that I can’t quite bring myself to do it.

But I will say that this man and I have never been seen in the same room together.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 34 Comments

May 9, 2005

Get ready, folks.

Because tomorrow, my book is on shelves.

And tomorrow, Faustus, M.D. is coming out.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 12 Comments

May 9, 2005

Gay HaikuAvailable Now!

Click here to read reviews of Gay Haiku.

This book happened because of a bad breakup.

I suspect most books happen because of a bad breakup; one could make a case, I suppose, against The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but secretly I think Gibbon had heartbreak on the brain when he started writing.

It was winter of 2002. My ex had moved out, taking with him the hideous couch (thank God) but leaving the dog (thank God) and a four-hundred-dollar bill for phone calls to his new boyfriend in Canada (because he couldn’t have the decency to wait until he’d left to start seeing somebody else, oh, no), and I was alone—well, I had the dog—in our vast three-bedroom apartment in the middle of nowhere in Washington Heights. Having learned just how spectacularly disastrous relationships could be from my old boyfriend, I set out instantly to find a new one.


Posted on by Joel Derfner | Leave a comment

May 7, 2005

I’m sure by now everybody has seen PostSecret, the “ongoing community art project where people mail-in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard,” but on the off chance that you haven’t, go there immediately.

This is my latest favorite:

What must it be like to be freed of all the bonds that have held you your whole life?

What must it be like to have all the ties that have supported you severed?

What must it be like to owe this to a terrorist attack on the country?

What could motivate you not to tell anyone you were still alive?

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 16 Comments