Monthly Archives: July 2005

July 31, 2005

How is it that I am 200 pages into Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and have found three errors (one grammatical, two spelling) but no actual plot events?

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 21 Comments

July 30, 2005

I survived the baseball game.

I spent the first hour and a half watching the game out of the corner of my eye while I devoured a hot dog, a huge bag of Cracker Jacks, a cup of frozen lemonade, and an ice cream cone.

I spent the next hour and a half knitting a scarf.

In between, I held an infant in my lap.

The whole afternoon was such a bizarre mix of the familiar and the terrifyingly foreign that I didn’t really know what to do with myself afterwards, so I just went home and took a nap.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 10 Comments

July 28, 2005

I do not understand how such a thing could possibly have come to pass, but I am leaving my apartment in 45 minutes to be a spectator at a live baseball game. The New York Yankees are playing at Yankee Stadium. My brother says they are probably playing the Minnesota Twins. I have never seen a live baseball game before and I am very frightened. What if I get hit in the head with a ball and develop amnesia? What if I get food poisoning from a hot dog?

What if I have to watch people playing baseball?

If there are never any posts on this blog again, you can blame the New York Yankees for my untimely demise.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 16 Comments

July 27, 2005

Everyone must go out and buy the latest issue of The Advocate. On page 87 there is a short essay by the man who has never been seen in the same room with me and on page 18 there is a cute photograph of him along with a short bio.

I’ve heard he’s extraordinarily self-involved and somewhat prudish, but inexplicably I feel some measure of good will towards him.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 5 Comments

July 26, 2005

So finally, after years of putting it off, I have to read Alfred C. Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.

Let me tell you, this is, as they say, some good shit.

“In the total male population, single and married, between adolescence and old age . . . it is not more than 0.3 per cent of the [number of orgasms] which is derived from relations with animals of other species.”

Now I’m just trying to figure out if, given my ex-boyfriend, I make up part of this group.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 7 Comments

July 25, 2005

It is I, Faustus. I have returned.

I was away for two weeks at what I can best describe as an artists’ colony; the work my collaborator and I did there went very well.

Then I flew to North Carolina for a week-long top-secret mission.

I knew I was in North Carolina when, for dinner the first night, I was served chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes, and fruit salad with maraschino cherries and little marshmallows in it.

Let me assure you that I don’t need to be reminded of the reasons I left the South.

But if I did, this sure would have helped.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 16 Comments

July 24, 2005

I am endlessly sorry to Faustus and his readers for being so derelict in my duties. Just about all my waking hours for the last few days have been spent in the midst of fellow typography nerds at Typecon, where we all get to let our freak flags fly and rant about the differences between the 7 different versions of Garamond (including Sabon, the pseudo-Garamond) without getting crazy looks. Sadly, I had to pass up a few cool type-drawing workshops because work duties overlapped with the conference more than I was expecting. I also had to miss a walking tour of some classic NYC signage, which was especialyl disappointing since the Times pointed out that one of the stops was my old high school, where apparently, “The ‘R’ is too small in the bowl, and too long in the leg.”

As tired as I am (since all the sleeping hours were spent trying to fend off the summer combo of cold/allergy attack), I have to hustle back there this morning looking as cute as possible, since my colleague Ina Saltz is giving a talk about typographic tattoos that will include some pictures of my work. If Erik Spiekermann finds me to yell about the why I altered the position of the dots in my Meta Bold umlaut, I want to at least look presentable.

Aw, who am I kidding? I want to look cute for all the cute type geeks who’ll come up and admire my arms afterward.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 3 Comments

July 20, 2005

Damn Faustus for cursing his guest hosts with a daily obligation! Having a theme, though, does make it easier to follow his draconian orders. In fact, I should consider subjecting myself to similar rules on either of my other blogs — I could be much more prolific that way. Anyway…

See the eight-year-old
Knitting mittens on the bus.
Does his mother know?

I don’t really like kids that much, but there are a lot of things I like about kids. Enough, at least, that I find them entertaining in small doses. One of the things that I always love is seeing kids who haven’t had gender roles bludgeoned into them yet. Future-gay, future-straight, or future-whatever, there’s a time when a lot of kids just gleefully go about their business doing what they like before they realize they’re not supposed to act that way. I have a soft spot, of course, for little boys who haven’t been called sissies yet for the way they run around with arms flailing, or the way they like to play with dolls, or the way they like to dance, or the way they like to kiss mommy and daddy just because they love them so much.

Sadly, the messages come from all sides that it’s not so good for boys to be too girly, and the older kids get the more likely they are to toe the line. Better gender theorists than I can probably be more erudite about this. After all, I’m just another gay boy who had a harder time learning to be butch than most boys, but who still managed to develop a deep fear of being too much of a sissy. But patterns seem to emerge, and no matter how often we felt Free to be You and Me, we notice those kids who keep doing their thing longer than the other kids and we’re sure we know their story.

Now, I don’t think there was a direct correlation between my faggotry and my insistence that I pretend to be Jamie Summers as a kid, but I think that maybe I didn’t realize the other kids wouldn’t think that was cool for some of the same reasons I couldn’t quite figure out why I felt a little set off from the other boys with whom I played tag and whiffle ball and whatnot. The signs often all add up, even if they don’t add up too directly.

My friends and I would often eat at this diner down the street from where we worked, and we became very friendly with one of the waitresses who handled the lunch rush. (As a side benefit, we often got free cake.) She was single with an 8-year-old son who was her pride and joy. One day, she was so excited to show us his pictures from dancing school. There he was, captured forever in that moment when he was totally excited about working the jazz hands in his purple sequined tights, top hat, and fringed sleeves. The four of us — two gays, a dyke, and gay-friendliest single woman on Earth — shot glances at one another. We knew, and it probably wouldn’t be long before the kid figured it out, but it was at once so sweet and so sad that his mother would probably be the last to know. Well, maybe not the last to know but possibly the last to acknowledge it. God bless him, I hope he’s still tapping as fast as his light loafers will let him.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

July 19, 2005

Yikes, this has to be a quick one so I can sneak in under the wire before midnight. Faustus ordered us to post at least once a day while he was gone, and that last one doesn’t really count. So on to the haiku:

Sitting at the bar,
My soul filled with deep longing
And deeper terror.

I am that goody two shoes that Adam Ant sang about. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. On top of that I don’t do any drugs, I’m prone to crippling shyness, and caffeine makes me jittery after a while. (OK, I’m not that much of a goody two shoes because left to my own devices I’m prone to being slutty, but you get the point.) Therefore, the idea that bars are the easiest way for a gay man to meet another man has never really worked for me. Catch me in the right mood and I can be awfully sociable, but even with a group of friends hanging out in a bar is tough. I just don’t have the social skills for it. I can’t rely on alcohol to loosen me up (besides, I suspect I’d be either very maudlin or very angry if I ever got drunk), and drinking Cokes all night makes me hyper and fidgety. And since I’m pretty shy, I don’t really have much natural grace when it comes to chatting up strangers. Even worse, I’m too naturally polite to repel the unwanted advances of guys who creep me out. Bar hopping? It’s a death sentence for me.

Yeah, yeah, yeah — I know. Bars aren’t the only way to meet other people. Duh. But they seem like the thing to do sometimes when you’re bored, lonely, and tired of sitting in front of the TV all night again. In effect, they seem like the thing to do at the exact moment when my self-esteem is least prepared to deal with a meat market. It’s a vicious catch-22, and I’ve caught myself in it many times over the years.

Sometimes, though, I would just convince myself that I was making a big deal out of nothing and give it another go. Hope, or at least delusion, springs eternal. It’s been quite a relief to be out of that game for so long now.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 11 Comments

July 19, 2005

While I have your attention, it behooves me to urge all of you to come check out the fun at a little event here in New York tonight:

WYSIWYG Talent Show

The WYSIWYG Talent Show presents

(Summer Camp Stories)

Tuesday, July 19, at 7:30 p.m. at P.S. 122
150 1st Ave. at East 9th St.

Tickets are $7 — call the P.S. 122 box office at 212-477-5288 or
click here to purchase advance tickets


Susie Felber (

Claudia Cogan (

Jim Barrett (

Sarah Weinman (

Jonny Goldstein (

Jess Hulett (

This is our last show of the summer, since we go on hiatus until September, so if you’ve been tempted to come to one of the shows (and of course you have because you know Faustus would never participate in anything that wasn’t of the highest quality available) come on by tonight! It’s too bad Faustus is out of town this week, because I’m sure tonight’s theme would fill him with terror about his own trip to summer camp later this summer.

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