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Location: Long Beach, California, United States

Music Geek - Rock & Roll Jeopardy Champ Certified!

Poop Culture

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Friday, October 15, 2004

iPod iRony

And as I spied you in the wall-length mirrors facing the elliptical machines, I couldn’t help but stare in a sneaky fashion, pretending to wipe sweat off my head as I sat on the abdominal crunch bench, watching you on the elliptical, legs pumping in perfect rhythm with the music in my headphones.

A latino boy/man, probably in this mid-twenties, but still teenaged in the face, black hair, piercing deep brown eyes, dark tan skin, wearing a black tanktop and shorts. Perfect. You knew just how to dress for the gym. Black against brown is my total weakness. Good job, my friend.

As I rested between sets of crunches, I watched you covertly, trying my best not to be the type of dirty old man I hate to see in the gym, cruising shamelessly, eating up valuable exercise time. Your torso was broad, defined, nearly hairless in a natural way. Your legs were slightly out of proportion, skinnier, but somehow this made you all the more appealing.

But it was your face, your nearly flawless face, that stopped me cold. Square jaw, thick eyebrows, closely cropped black hair, sideburns framing your outline, fading into a three-day stubble, eyes set ahead, gazing intently at your reflection, driving your workout. Your beauty made it almost too painful to stare at you for too long – it was almost like I needed to look at you through a pinprick in a piece of cardboard, in order to avoid retina burns.

It was then that my iPod shuffle function spoke to me:

And it seemed so real, I can see it,
And it seemed so real, I can feel it,
And it seemed so real, I can taste it,
And it seemed so real, I can feel it,
So whyyyyyyy can’t I touch it?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

My "Manhunt" review:


That's pretty much it. Boring.

Oh yeah, and really missed a big promotional opportunity here, because the only people watching this show are homos and their sisters.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Runnin' With the Devil

Growing up in a strict Southern Baptist household, where we went to church Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening, not to mention “Visitation” on Tuesday nights (where we would dress up, grab our Bibles and go knocking door to door in different neighborhoods to spread the gospel), it’s reasonably redundant to say rock music was forbidden. But when you have a home filled with eight children aged from five to eighteen-years old, some of the devil’s beatbox is inevitably going to slip thru the Christ-enforced cracks.

I was the second youngest of the eight kids, four of them being my step-sisters from my step-father’s first marriage. My step-sisters were a lot more rough and tumble than my real brother and sisters, having grown up in West Virginia, bouncing around semi-unsupervised for years before they moved in with us. They had a dangerous, rebellious air about them that was very appealing to my ten-year old psyche.

It was no surprise when they hit their teens that they started introducing the rock into our happy, Christian home. Looking back, their tastes were fairly benign, but at the time bringing Kiss’s “Love Gun” or Trooper’s “Raise a Little Hell” (it says “HELL!” Gasp!) into our holiest of holy homes was incredibly revolutionary and not appreciated by my parents in the very least.

It usually went this way – a step-sister would bring a verboten 45 or LP into the house, play it a bit, my mother would discover it, tell my step-father, who would then seize and quite literally destroy said 45 or LP, either by smashing it to bits, or by my favorite means of cleansing, burning it in our trash barrel in the backyard. Vive le art.

So imagine the younger kids’ shock with second-oldest kid Donna waltzed into the dining room one evening after a trip to the Midway Mall wearing a Van Halen “flying VH” logo baseball t-shirt.

Van Halen

It was a white, three-quarter sleeve baseball t-shirt with a powder blue collar and sleeves and the VH logo smack dab in the middle.

It was so hot. I was insanely jealous.

Donna had thought this through. Since it only had the VH logo and not “Van Halen” or any other words on it, she figured Mom wouldn’t be hip enough to catch on that it was a rock t-shirt. Maybe she’d think it was some new fashion designer or jeans company, a la Jordache. So Donna brazenly flaunted her new purchase on her teenaged chest, right at our dining room table during supper.

Ah, but good ‘ol Mom was hipper than we thought. She was keeping up on rock music trends courtesy of “Rock is the Tool of Satan” slideshows at our church. She knew exactly what Donna was wearing, and she was not about to let it slide.

“You’re not fooling me!” Mom announced confidently, just as Donna sat down at the table. “I know exactly what’s on that shirt!

"That’s that Van Heflin!

25 years later, that story still comes up every Thanksgiving.


It's pretty tacky how some people use another's death to make it all about themselves, but I'm going to venture into the realm of tackiness to take a moment to reflect on the death of former Padre, Astro and Ranger Ken Caminiti.

Growing up, I was never the biggest baseball fan, but in the Army with a lot of hours to kill and TV being just about the only thing to eat up those hours, I grew to love the game. The first time I visited San Diego on leave from Monterey, I caught a Padres game and instantly fell in lust with Ken Caminiti, or Cammy. He led the charge as the Padres went from being perrenial also-rans to the National League Champions. He was the NL MVP. He also had an appetite for two things; steroids and cocaine.

HOT. (apologies to Joe. My. God.)

In those early days of the internet, I was one of the first people I knew with an AOL account. These were the days when 23 people in the ONE Gay & Lesbian chat room was a big night, and sign-on names were pretty easy to grab. My first AOL screen name? CammyFan.

The first webpage I ever designed? The Cammy Worship Page.

When Cammy made the cover of Baseball Weekly in his sleeveless t-shirt, breaking a bat with his huge arms, I bought four copies, mounted one, had it laminated with no-glow laminate and framed it. It hung on my bedroom wall for years.

When Cammy was selected for the 1997 National League All-Star Team, I got wet. That year the All Star Game was played at Jacob's Field in Cleveland. That Christmas my ex bought me an official NL All-Star jersey with "Caminiti" across the back. I still have it.

I once drove two and a half hours to Pittsburgh to watch Cammy and the Padres play the Pirates, since being an NL team in those days prior to inter-league play, they never made it to Cleveland. I shot two rolls of film, all of Cammy - at the pre-game warmup, batting practice, playing first.

At the time, I had no idea his private life was so troubled. I found out about the cocaine abuse years later, after he left/was pushed out of baseball.

As I grew older, my tastes changed. My AOL screen name changed. My bedroom wall changed. Cammy changed.

But I remember him in only good ways. You were someone special, Cammy. I'm still a CammyFan. Rest in peace.


Fine Folks

"...and by hubris, I mean overweening pride!" - Johnny's Greatest Hits

25 Year Loop
Fucking Woof
David Live
The Night Before
Jobriath Was First
She's in Parties
She's in Parties Pt. 2
Tales From the Dragon Club
Tales From the Dragon Club Pt. 2
Okay, California...You Win
How to Sell Used CDs

Previously on "Johnny Is a Man"...

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