Monthly Archives: December 2006

December 31, 2006

I assume most people have seen this already, but just in case here is the clip about the couple who accidentally gave their 12-year-old daughter a Zune for Christmas that had been loaded with gay porn.

At least now I know what to ask E.S. to give me for my birthday.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

December 25, 2006

Okay, I totally think that religion is the opium of the people and Jesus is a bunch of baloney and there is no God and blah blah blah, but still this strikes me as pretty low (click on the image to read the article):

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Posted on by Joel Derfner | 13 Comments

December 24, 2006

Am I the only one who thinks It’s a Wonderful Life is a heartbreaking tragedy of the highest order? George Bailey spends his whole life dreaming of getting the hell out of Bedford Falls but sacrificing himself again and again and again for the sake of his friends and his family, even as he watches his dreams slip further and more irrevocably away every day. And at the end, in return for having given up everything he’s ever wanted, he gets a hatful of change!

I somehow managed to avoid seeing this movie until I was in grad school, when a professor assigned it for a class on story structure. By the end I was sobbing with despair in my apartment and, quite literally, throwing things at the television. The class on It’s a Wonderful Life came a few days later; after ten minutes I couldn’t take it anymore and left the room. I have been very careful ever since not to be anywhere near a television on which it’s being broadcast.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 8 Comments

December 13, 2006

Apparently soy makes you gay.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 23 Comments

December 8, 2006

Plus, now I know that when I finally get around to retitling my blog I will call it The Tramp of Doom.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 6 Comments

December 7, 2006

When I was a child, one of my most treasured possessions was a 3-LP set of the soundtrack to the Rankin-Bass 1977 animated movie The Hobbit. (If you are too young ever to have seen an LP, please refrain from leaving a comment to that effect or I will kill myself.) I also had LP sets of Star Wars and I think something about the ancient Mayans, but it is The Hobbit that has remained in my heart in the countless very few years that have passed since my youth.


A few months after the last movie in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy left theaters, I rented the DVD of The Hobbit and sat down to watch. I enjoyed the movie a great deal, but somehow I felt that I hadn’t quite captured the heart of the long afternoons I spent in front of the record player, reading the 16-page illustrated booklet that accompanied the LPs, ignoring the world around me as I thrilled to what Bilbo and Gandalf and Smaug were up to in Middle Earth.


So I did what I always do when the sea of doubt in which I seem to be permanently adrift threatens to overwhelm me: I went shopping. Specifically, I bought the soundtrack to The Hobbit, for a song, on eBay.

I giggled for an entire day when my purchase arrived, but since I do not own a record player there was really nothing I could do with it but put it on a shelf and sigh wistfully in remembrance of better days, days in which my skin did not know how to wrinkle, days in which I didn’t know the meaning of the word “carbohydrate.”

But a few weeks ago I had a brilliant, brilliant idea: I sent the LPs to a friend of mine who works in the media services department of an institute of higher learning; she transferred them to CD and sent them back.

Which allowed me to listen once more to The Hobbit,this time on my iPod while I worked out at the gym.

My side crunches were accompanied by the mad gibbering of Gollum; I did my pullups in time to elvish singing; my lat pulldowns acquired a thitherto unwonted gravity when John Huston as Gandalf was declaiming in my ear:

The mountain smoked beneath the moon;
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled their hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.


And then, in the middle of my chest presses, Glenn Yarbrough started singing the song he wrote for the movie, and I remembered every word and every note as if I had written it myself:

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead;
Today and tomorrow are yet to be said.
The chances, the changes are all yours to make.
The mold of your life is in your hands to break.


For the next half hour, through incline dumbbells and unstable pushups and seated rows, I remembered what it had felt like to believe those words. And something in me remembers still, however dimly, and I will clutch that memory as tightly as I can for as long as I can before it evaporates.

I am weeping as I write this.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 20 Comments

December 3, 2006

Back when I was an enthusiastic member of–oh, those halcyon days!–I received emails from any number of very attractive men who volunteered to have their way with me. Human frailty being what it is, many of these offers never gave way to physical encounters. More than enough of them did, however, that I spent very little energy dwelling on missed connections.

There were a few cases, however, in which the photograph that accompanied the initial offer depicted a fellow of such breathtaking beauty that even now a small part of me regrets what might have been, even if the time for which it might have been is less than a half hour. The most striking of these photographs, boat.jpg, displayed a young man, apparently Latino, standing in some sort of festive gathering area, his hands grasping the lattice of the low ceiling above him, a wide enough gap on his left side between the hem of his shirt and the waist of his pants to reveal a small but tantalizing expanse of smooth, muscled skin. The viewer had but a moment to consider this feature, however, before being practically blinded by the stunning face above it. He was smiling a smile of utter sweetness that yet managed to convey a sense of depravity the depths of which one usually doesn’t even dream of encountering. I am not so naive as to pine for this gentleman as the One That Got Away, but I have spent an occasional moment or three since then wishing that he and I might have enjoyed the pleasure of each other’s company for an afternoon, or at least for a lunch break.

Remember this, please, as I change topics slightly to reveal that last week, my computer informed me that its memory banks were almost full and that I ought to divest myself of unnecessary files so as to avoid risking the integrity of the rest of my data. A cursory exploration revealed that the largest files were all video clips of the sort that I find extremely useful from time to time, especially when E.S. is on call at the hospital. Unwilling to delete these, I went in search of other potential jetsam.

And in my quest, I came across the photo I have described above, which I hadn’t seen for years. I sat back in my chair as the file opened and prepared to spend a few moments luxuriating in reminiscence of the best of a time long gone. The man whose memory had given me so many pleasant moments appeared on my screen.

And he was totally homely.

He had mediocre teeth, and the photographer had caught his face at a good angle but two seconds of further examination revealed a visage no better than average, and possibly worse.

I cannot communicate the sense of betrayal that flooded my body and my spirit. Boat.jpg had betrayed me by not living up to my memory of him; my memory had betrayed me by playing me false–or, worse, my aesthetic sense had betrayed me by judging him attractive in the first place–or, worse yet, my critical faculties had betrayed me by changing their standards as I stumbled towards the grave. I had betrayed myself by indulging in a fantasy based on a falsehood, or by making false a fantasy based in truth. I was also quite sure that E.S. had betrayed me too, though I couldn’t figure out exactly how.

So I consigned boat.jpg, along with a great many other files, to my computer’s trash can, which I emptied shortly thereafter.

But now I am worried that, when I did so, I also emptied my dreams, and that all I have to look forward to is a life full of memories that will haunt me mercilessly until they crash in disappointment. At some point in the not-too-distant future my computer may tell me that I have to repeat the exercise, and I can only imagine what carefully-tended illusions I will shatter then.

Luckily, at least for now Fuckfest 4: Adam, Alexander, Colby, Foster, & Wade.mpg is exactly as I recall it to be.

Posted on by Joel Derfner | 15 Comments