Monthly Archives: February 2013

How I Learned to Stop Hating The Grove

Dear Reader,

In cities all over the world, there are shopping districts where urban dwellers flock to meet up with their friends, stare at beautiful things, and perhaps even buy something they want (or, GASP!, need).

Paris has Les Champs-Élysées.

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Tokyo has the Ginza.

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And here in Los Angeles, we have The Grove.

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But what exactly is The Grove? Is it a shopping mall where we find the newest treasure? Is it a community space where you take your children to play? Is it a terrifying dystopia where every childhood fear I had about the future comes true, in vivid color and sound? Where nightly, I am chased down alleyways by blasting Frank Sinatra tunes that harken to that Annette Benning mental breakdown scene in American Beauty? Yes. Yes it is.

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I’ve always had a complicated relationship with The Grove. Some of my first memories of coming to Los Angeles in my teens involved going to the Farmer’s Market with my friend Alexis and getting fruit that we would eat whilst sitting next to her parents’ pool in Hancock Park while listening to the soundtrack to Run Lola Run and thinking about how arty and weird we were. A few years later, when The Grove opened, some of the charm of the Farmer’s Market was lost as the entire area became one giant traffic snarl. A sea of shoppers talking at elevated decibels about who slept with who and where you bought that statusbrand leather clutch.

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While it has its faults, there is something inherently appealing about The Grove. For me, it’s pretty much grown up Disneyland. Which I like, since I always loved Disneyland as a kid. There is something very reassuring about going to a space where there is a collective agreement to believe in an artificial reality so that everyone can have fun and forget that just a few blocks away there’s a shopping district where smutty stores that sell Doc Martens sit next to pot shops (“We’re going to Melrose!”).

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But seriously. What is The Grove? Why do we need it? Why is it so popular?

The obvious reason is that there is nowhere to meander in Los Angeles (aside from our wonderful hiking trails, which aren’t necessarily something you want to visit on a daily basis and/or a first date). Angelenos like The Grove because we can get out of our cars and walk around like people in more densely populated cities do. We can take a stroll to the bookstore, grab dinner, and maybe catch a movie, all in one tiny fake small Main Street USA.

The comedown at The Grove is always the same. After hours of walking around hand in hand with you friends/boyfriend/mom, you return to the massive parking garage, which holds the same number of cars you’d find in many small countries. Getting out of the garage is always a nightmare, winding through the labyrinth of “Exit this way” arrows, past waddling shoppers who somehow all happen to have a double-wide stroller, regardless of whether they have a baby or not. It is natural law that there is always traffic on your way out of the parking garage and that your erratic driving always incites an argument with your boyfriend. Or maybe that’s just me and my anxious “get me out of here right now” parking garage philosophy.

Here, I must admit a deep dark secret about myself. I am a reformed Grove Snob. I’ve always hated The Grove, looked down on it for being fake. We live in Los Angeles, why pretend we live in a corporate version of some small town’s turn of the 20th century main street, a main street where Gays would probably be looked at sideways if they held hands or flaunted their blatantly homoerotic Abercrombie & Fitch bags the way we do at The Grove?

I know what you’re thinking. If I hate The Grove so much why do I go there? If you are a social person in Los Angeles, who likes going to the movies, meeting up with friends, or eating, you will likely be forced to go to The Grove at some point or another. It’s unavoidable. Ultimately I’d rather hang out with people than sit inside fuming about how I don’t like a particular shopping center.

Yes, I’ve spent many a year hating and judging The Grove, belittling it as a bourgeois, suburban, and offensively unrealistic. And yes, it is these things. I probably am too. The Grove is an inherently superficial and money-oriented place. As it should be, it’s a shopping mall. But in addition to being a gross place that attempts to drive consumers to purchase things by surrounding them with a fake, idealized world,  The Grove also represents our very cultural aspirations. We want to walk around. We want to live amongst buildings that look like European-inspired early American constructions. Essentially, we want something completely different from the expansive, spread out world we’ve created in cities like Los Angeles and in the majority of the United States. We’ve realized that as car culture has given us freedom and mobility, it has also trapped us in our cars and prevented us from walking around the way human beings were supposed to.

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The Grove has taught me many lessons. The first one, is maybe you shouldn’t overanalyze every single thing you do every day, fearful that you’re playing into some sort of terrible plot to destroy the earth and make tons of money for huge corporations owned by greedy Republicans (hint: you are).

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The second thing I’ve learned is that hating The Grove is obnoxious and it bums people out. I learned this while visiting it with my friend Peter. He was all “I like The Grove.” And I was all “Like, actually, like, or like, ironically like, like as a joke?” And he was all “Like. Like, actually like.” (side note: we actually talk like this. Sorry). In the end I decided it was more important not to be a judgemental freak about The Grove and just get over my deep-seated hatred of it. I know a lot of intelligent, thoughtful people who like The Grove so it must be fine, right? Or have they been brainwashed by Mario Lopez and the cast of Extra? That show films from there on a daily basis, I’ve seen Mario there, his skin is so perfect it looks like flawless caramel.

As you get older you start to realize your adolescent cynicism needs some policing. This is not to say you shouldn’t think critically of the world around you. It is to say that you should pick your battles, and perhaps bagging on a Disneyfied shopping mall that everyone else thinks is fun isn’t such a good use of your time.

If you did a CAT Scan of my brain, it would look something like this:

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I’m assuming that you’ve all seen Ghost World, from which this still, and most of my internal dialogue, derives. If you haven’t seen it you’re not truly a human being. Stop reading this. Find it on iTunes or whatever, watch it, and then come back and finish reading this long, drawn out post. Anyway, the two girls in Ghost World represent the two sides of my brain. There’s the Thora Birch side, which is cool, weird, and witty but totally a bitch. And then there is the Scarlett Johansson side. Which is nice and sincere but way less funny/interesting than Thora. Life is about finding the balance between Thora and Scarlett. It’s about being just witty enough to be interesting but not so biting that you hurt people’s feelings. So don’t bite people who like The Grove. They’ve just let Scarlett take too much control over their brains. In other news, how much do you miss that cute little Scarlett Johansson? Before she got all uber pretty and, like, vampy and over-the-top sex kitten-y? I kind of do.

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Ultimately, my journey towards accepting The Grove has taught me to stop being so uppity about things that aren’t necessarily a big deal. Yes, it would probably be better if we all farmed our own organic food and lived in communes where we all raised our children together (that is my dream life, btw). But that’s probably not going to happen. Probably we will continue to live in cities where we go to places like The Grove and buy stuff. And the best thing we can do as people is to try out best not to destroy the planet while we are doing this.

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So go to The Grove, enjoy it. But maybe make a snarky comment or two about it just to remind yourself that you are alive. Just so you know you haven’t lost your Thora Birch Ghost World edge.

Love,
Orlando

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I Want To Crawl Inside This Music Video

Dear St. Vincent,

I’m in love with your music video for “Cheerleader” directed by Hiro Murai. According to Yatzer, the video was inspired by the art of Ron Mueck, an artist who makes enormous sculptures of humans in awkward positions. Annie Clark (AKA St. Vincent) looks beautiful. Like a giant porcelain doll. The whole thing is amazing. Enjoy!

Love,
Orlando

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Deliver Me To Hedi Land

Dear Hedi Slimane,

You are my favorite photographer. Everyone knows that. You have a wonderful fashion diary I look at all the time. It brings me great joy. But lately every time I look at one of your photographs they make me want to be an active participant in the awesome world you document because everyone looks so cool and aloof and glamorous. Below is a list of things your photos make me want to do:

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1. Sit on the ground and contemplate my feelings.

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2. Play a guitar on a diving board whist wearing skinny jeans.

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3. Stand with a group and watch a non-existent ghost band perform.

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4. Laugh with my awkwardcool friends whilst drinking a beer.

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5. Be a mid-century abandoned building in Palm Springs, baking in the sun.

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6. Cuddle on the sofa with my friends.

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7. Give a concert while thinking about how misunderstood I am.

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8. Be a cluster of balloons, beautiful yet forgotten.

There are plenty more images to stare at on Hedi’s Diary. Look at it every day. If it’s the last thing you do.

Love,
Orlando

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Where’s My Wallet?

Dear Diary,

I lost my wallet last weekend, which was totally annoying and devastating. Not really, but it did get me thinking about wallets. Because as much as I miss my California drivers license and the five different business/personal credit cards, I also miss my Salvatore Ferragamo wallet, a gift I got from a friend a few years ago. They don’t make the particular credit card sleeve I had anymore, so it’s time to move on. Wallets, like watches, eyewear, phones and other items you use every day are the one place I feel comfortable splurging. I believe that if you use something all the time you should invest in something you love, because you have to look at it multiple times a day and the potential for joy is multiplied if you have something that truly excites you. Thus, don’t be offended that many of these picks are fancy. It’s just because this is one item I think it’s necessary to spend a little extra time and/or money investing in. Here are options I’m considering to replace my beloved Ferragamo wallet:

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Smythson, $210

Nothing too exciting here but classic, which I love.

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Santiago Gonzales, $220

I love this color of blue. But the crocodile skin… Too much or just enough?

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Salvatore Ferragamo, $250

This one is kinda sassy. But is it too sassy?

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Lanvin, $195

Simple, basic, no-nonsense.

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Bettanin & Venturi, $125

Love this color. And the washed out look.

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Salvatore Ferragamo, $180

Another classic wallet that wont distract him from your beautiful eyes.

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Smythson, $185

A basic option. Simple is best.

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Gucci, $165

The Gucci logo seems a little ostentatious, but that gold/navy combo sure is delightful.

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Smythson, $220

Hey brown leather.

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Wincer and Platt, $150

I love this red wallet. It’s like the wallet from the future.

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Tods, $125

Is red too feminine for a guy? Or is it a hot color to carry around? I’m undecided.

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Valextra, $380

Same goes for yellow? Too ladylike? Or just perfect?

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Herschel Supply Co, $19

Finally, a more affordable, yet still awesome option.

Most of these options were chosen for their simplicity and thinness (I believe this is the same criteria used in choosing contestants on ‘The Bachelor’). No one wants to carry around a huge honkin wallet. It makes you look like you’re walking around with a vintage Gameboy or a small box of cereal in your pocket. And then everyone will laugh at you. And then you will die alone, clutching your oversized wallet, sweating profusely. Don’t let that be you.

Love,
Orlando

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Glamourtimez: The Vanity Fair & Baxter of California Party

Dear Baxter of California,

I attended the Vanity Fair/Baxter of California Oscar party last night and had a great time acting like the weirdo from American Beauty who goes around taking video of everything. Do you ever go to a party where you don’t know anyone, thinking to yourself that it’s a great way to meet new people? And then you get there and you’re the only one alone and it makes you realize you should have brought someone? So then you just awkwardly wander around taking pictures whilst eating (delicious) mini-hamburgers? Yeah, that’s pretty much what I did.

I’ve been a fan of Baxter since I started going to their Barber shop a few years ago. I’ve always loved the aesthetic and design of the place, but I recently came across their genius style bible for men, 50 Style Thoughts. Basically it’s a list of style rules every guy should live by. Read it, learn it, live it.

Baxter of California’s flagship barber shop is on La Cienega and feels magically old-school and modern at the same time. Like the barber shop I currently frequent, Baxter feels old-timey without feeling hate-crimey. You know what I mean? Sometimes barber shops are super cute and old school but the barber starts talking and you get the feeling there’s some weird white supremacy/homophobia thing going on there so you avoid them and go to the fancy salon instead, even though fancy salons don’t specialize in mens’ cuts like barber shops do. Baxter has that old school vibe while seeming modern, hip, and Gay-friendly, so no one feels excluded (except people with long hair, they don’t cut longer hairstyles there).

The party was a smashing success, super crowded at all times despite the rain. Which if you’ve ever lived in Los Angeles you know is a miracle. Because rain is technically considered a natural disaster here, causing schools to shut and people to cower inside, tears streaming down their quivering cheeks.

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No barber shop is complete without that spiral barber shop sign thing.

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Baxter also has a line of candles, which feature masculine scents like “cedar wood” and “California citrus.”

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No great party is complete without a gift bag.

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Baxter Finley Barber and Shop is a great place to pick up all the company’s products, many of which I live for. The following are part of my daily regimen:

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Daily Moisturizing Conditioner, $15

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Daily Protein Shampoo, $14

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Daily Face Wash, $15

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Atlantic Beach Soap, $8

Because the whole line is designed specifically for men, Baxter allows you to have fun with bath products without feeling like you raided your sisters makeup bag to find her Oil of Olay (not that there’s anything wrong with that, Olay is a classic).

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I don’t quite understand the point of using these brushes to put shaving cream on your face (do you have incompetent fingers?) but they sure are adorable.

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I love these portraits hanging in the shop.

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Their pen, reading “I stole this cheap pen from Baxter Finley Barber & Shop,” is not bad either.

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Every night, my boyfriend and I go back and forth about animal heads, taxidermy, and zebra rugs. He’s always been fascinated by nature and animals and loves the idea of hanging a corpse head on the wall. I grew up in the middle of Yosemite National Park and used to be a vegan. My childhood best friend is now a wildlife biologist in Yosemite who spends her days saving bears and other wildlife, so my desired to have a bearskin rug is pretty low. I understand this taxidermy trend but I’m torn. So I’m resigned to letting my boyfriend get his animal head, but I will probably apologize to it on a daily basis.

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My favorite Baxter product, described on this “realistic” fake newspaper, is their Clay Pomade. It’s the only product that doesn’t immediately turn into oil the second I put it on my head. Instead, it stays matte and holds my 90s anime hair in place. Thus, I keep it on me at all times.

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Clay Pomade, $18

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I don’t understand how this cactus survives, it’s nowhere near a window. It’s kind of infuriating because my cactus is sitting directly in a window and it still screams “I’m thirsty!” at me every morning as I’m trying to run out the door to work.

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Despite the fact that it caused me to act like a loner photographer weirdo (which I guess is no different than how I normally act), the Baxter/Vanity Fair party was a great time. It re-energized my enthusiasm for their delightful products while transporting me to a simpler time when barber shops threw star-studded Oscar parties sponsored by glamorous fashion magazines. That happened, right?

Love,
Orlando

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The Do’s And Don’ts Of The Gay Gym

Dear Gym Lovers,

Did you know there is such thing as a “Gay Gym”? I did. A Gay Gym is like a regular gym except everyone is more attractive, there is a disproportionately male clientele, and there is 57% more body dysmorphia than at your traditional Straight Gym. Gay Gyms are normally located in homosexual neighborhoods in major cities. Two great examples include David Barton Gym in Chelsea in New York and Equinox on Sunset in Los Angeles. These gyms aren’t officially Gay, but the majority of the members are (some just don’t know it yet because I haven’t told them). Thus, they become a special world where Gays frolic and laugh whilst working on their CrazyGay bodies and avoiding eye contact.

Everyone has their pet peeves about what happens at the gym. Things that bother them, things that charm them, things that thrill and delight them. Below are a list of my Dos and Donts for the modern Gay Gym.

1. Do act modestly and keep yourself covered in the locker room.

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A while ago, I was working out at a Straight-Themed gym in Santa Monica and I noticed something. All the straight guys were running around naked in the locker room, without a care in the world. In straight gyms, dudes can get away with waddling around naked in the locker room because no one cares. It’s totally different in Gay Gyms. In Gay Gyms everyone keeps himself covered, shamefully changing from towel to undies as fast as possible to avoid any unwanted ogling.

2. Don’t run around like a streaker, naked in the locker room. It wont end well.

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The only people who walk around naked like it’s perfectly normal are super old dudes and really slutty ones. So unless you’re a super old dude, it’s best to be modest in the locker room. Otherwise, the weird Peeper standing next to you is going to think you’re hitting on him. And then you’ll have to explain to him why you’re not interested. And after you’ve explained it to him I will come over to you and say “Sir, you’re not wearing any pants!”

3. Do act with utmost dignity in the steam room.

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In the steam room, most normal topics of conversation are off-limits. No talking about sex, parties, or money. Acceptable topics of conversation are limited to what you want to eat for dinner and what you ate for dinner yesterday. If necessary, you may also talk about what you ate for lunch, but even that could lead you down an inappropriate path. Anything that can be viewed as even remotely sexual could make you sound like a perv. And then everyone will get uncomfortable and leave the steam room. And then they’ll report you. And then you’ll be kicked out of the gym. And then you wont be able to work out. And then your life expectancy will drop. And then you’ll die.

4. Do not blow your nose into your towel in the steam room.

I know, the steam room releases some congestion that otherwise would not be released. But when you release your snot into your towel whilst sitting right next to me, it makes me want to release my barf all over your face. Just act like a normal person and wait to blow your nose until you’re in the shower. And do so in shame and isolation, thinking about how disgusting you are the whole time. That is the American way.

5. Do be friendly and courteous to your fellow gym members.

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Go ahead! Wave to your friend Adam! High five his husband Steve! It’s fun to be social at the gym.

6. Don’t accidentally lock eyes with the town Peeper.

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Are you ever staring off into space, wondering if Lark Voorhies and Tiffany Amber Thiessen ever hang out anymore, when all the sudden you realize that as you are gazing off into space you are staring at a scary man who is staring right back at you, salivating and biting his lip? This is to be avoided at all costs. As a gay man at the gym, you should never make eye contact with anyone. The best way to avoid eye contact is to awkwardly dart your gaze around the room, never settling on one area  as to avoid dreaded eye contact with an unwanted Peeper. Sure, this will make you look like a crazy person. But would you rather be a crazy person or be obligated to talk to the Peeper?

7. Do feel free to shave your face in the gym’s sink area.

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Shaving your face is a normal and healthy part of living in a society that forces you to undergo strange and bizarre beauty regimens in order to conform to conventional conceptions of beauty and hygiene. Go ahead, it’s fun!

8. Don’t shave your back, chest, or nether-region in the gym’s sink area.

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Like watching Twilight: New Moon, shaving your chest and/or back is something you should do at home. In private. While crying. In shame. No one wants to watch you shave your chest in the gym mirror. There’s something awkward and too personal about it that makes me feel funny inside. Like the same funny as when I see parents feeding their newborn babies hamburgers from McDonald’s. Also, I just learned that most men don’t like their guys to have shaved chests anyway. I read it in an amazing academic survey done by intellectual powerhouse ManHunt, so it must be true.

9. Do say hello to your  friend when you see her next to the elliptical.

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Hay gurl. How are you? Luv ur top!

10. Don’t get into a conversation about how your father never loved you with the person sitting next to you on the abs machine.

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Are you ever, like, working out totally normally, thinking about how sweaty your face is when your friend comes over and starts talking to you about his breakup. And then he starts crying. And then you start crying. And then everyone starts crying and it’s like Oh-My-God? Well this is why you should never talk about deep things at the gym. The gym is an inherently superficial space. Conversation should be confined to cute guys, the mall, Anjelica Houston, and neon tank tops.

11. Do blow dry your hair until it is fluffy and perfectly coiffed like this guy:

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or this guy:

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Fine. Using the hairdryer at the gym can help you get the perfect hair you’ve always wanted. Maybe. Actually, your hair will probably never look as cool as this guy’s. He has the best hair on Earth. I want to die and come back as his hair, just so that my life means something, so I have a positive impact on the world.

12. Do not use the blow dryer to dry your entire body, that is what towels are for.

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I used to get incensed when I’d see guys blow drying themselves at the gym. “USE A TOWEL!” I’d scream at them in my head. There is something inherently sketchy and creepy about using a blow dryer as a towel. Firstly, its a waste of energy and bad for the environment. Second, there’s something kind of sexual and creepy about blowing air all over your body whilst rubbing yourself and looking in a mirror, pursing your lips. That being said, in recent years I have become sweatier and sweatier, and I have been known to blow dry myself to cool off from time to time. If you see me doing this, don’t say anything. Judge me quietly, and then tell your friends about how weird and gross I am.

13. Do wear appropriate workout attire that makes you and everyone else around you comfortable, happy, and thinking of physical wellness.

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Normal workout attired includes tank tops, workout shorts, and tennis shoes.

14. Do not wear clothing that is inappropriately distracting, such as blue jeans, turtleneck sweaters, or nipple-exposing tank tops.

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Any nipple-exposing tank top is a no-no. For some reason, in our culture we are not used to looking at nipples. Seeing them at the gym can be jarring and disorienting, leaving one incapable of working out. Other clothing items to avoid are jeans, high heels, and anything by Armani Exchange (side note: how did Giorgio ever let his name be used on such grossness?).

15. Do use your phone to make sure your dinner date knows what time you’re meeting.

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Using your phone for totally necessary reasons is perfectly acceptable at the gym.

16. Don’t use your phone to have an hour-long conversation at full volume about how fun your weekend was and how much you liked that crazy party on Saturday.

Drew Barrymore in Wes Craven's "Scream"

The great thing about modern cell phones is that you don’t have to scream into them in order for the person on the other end of the line to hear you. You can speak at a normal tone about your private matters, venereal diseases, and hatred of your mother. And no one else has to hear. Everyone wins!

17. Do maintain your face with as many surgeries as you wish.

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I don’t judge people who get plastic surgery. It’s your body, do what you want with it. Just kidding. I totally judge everyone who gets plastic surgery. Sure, many of them look fine. But lately I’ve been getting annoyed at the amount of duckfaces I see at the gym. A nip here? A tuck there? Who cares! But when everyone starts looking like cats and farmyard animals because their faces are pulled and pumped so much, I start to feel like I’ve been transported to an alien planet. Plastic surgery looks especially terrifying on older men, whose eye jobs can sometimes make them look like a cat head sewn onto a man’s body. Speaking of eye job, look at Lil’ Kim. She used to be a beautiful black woman. And now she’s an Asian grandma. Not that there’s anything wrong with being an Asian grandma. But now Lil’ Kim looks old and scary, when she could have continued to look 25 for the next 50 years. She is black, after all, and black people age better than everyone else. Chew on that, whitey!

18. Do not come to the gym immediately after said surgeries, no one wants to see that.

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The other day I was on the treadmill and a lady with a nosejob bandage got on to the one next to me. I know it’s irrational, but for some reason I spent the whole workout worrying that her bandage was going to explode off and blood was going to squirt everywhere, all over my face. And then her old nose would grow back immediately. And she would run out of the gym crying. And it would be all my fault because I let her work out next to me. And it would haunt me for the rest of my life. Don’t let your plastic surgery haunt me for the rest of my life. Stay at home.

19. Do use the mirror to monitor your workout form.

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Sometimes, the mirror is necessary to figure out if you’re doing the exercise right. For people who lack any physical coordination whatsoever (me), a mirror is a helpful tool to make sure you’re not doing jumping jacks when you think you’re doing push ups (if I had a dollar for every time I did that!).

20. Don’t use the mirror to monitor you awesome abs.

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If an ab flexes under a shirt and no one is there to see it, does it actually exist?

Yes.

I know you are worried that your abs might have packed up in left in the six minutes since you last looked at them, but trust me, they’re still there. There is no need to constantly lift up your shirt to make sure they still exist. If you get worried that your abs are gone, come over and ask me and I’ll reassure you, they’re still there. I know this because I have ab muscles, but I’ve never seen them because they are covered with my belly. But every once in a while, I feel them moving, so I know they’re in there. Take solace in that. Your abs will always be there for you. There is no need to constantly stare at them. They can survive without your constant love and affection.

If you must ogle your abs, just wait until you get home, then you can spend all night looking at them in the mirror. It will be totally fun. Maybe you can invite someone over to look at your abs and compliment them. And then you can have sex. With your abs. Alone. In the mirror. By yourself.

So that is what I have noticed in my travels to the Gay Gym. What about you?

Love,
Orlando

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What I Wish To Want To Buy

vintage-dishes

Hi There,

Curious what sorts of ugly and/or disgusting stuff I’ve been looking at while shopping? Check out my shopping post on Emily’s Blog.

The End,
Orlando

PS: Read Shopping Post Here.

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Instagramtimez

Dear You,

You should follow me on Instagram. It will be totally fun for the whole family. Here is what I have been looking at:

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This delightful Japanese panel, which now hangs in the bathroom.

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This amazing vase I saw on a home tour.

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This smarmy couples-themed cover article in LA Weekly.

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These überglamourous espresso cups from Rose Bowl Flea Market. Now if only I had an espresso machine…

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This gorgeous artichoke at Clementine Floral Works at Sunset Junction.

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This lovely bakery in kindagloomy Salt Lake City.

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The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, where I attended a conference for hipster mommy bloggers. I have no idea what that says about me.

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A leaning Seussian tree.

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A detail of the screen my boyfriend found on Craigslist, which, coincidentally, is also where he met me. Just kidding. Not really.

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The fountain at the Grand America Hotel.

Please, continue following me on Instagram. I promise to only look at pretty things. Like your face.

Love,
Orlando

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Whut Glamour: Art by Andrew Salgado

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Dear Andrew Salgado,

A few months ago, I was waddling around a holiday party hosted by Ken Dolls when I stumbled upon one of your brilliant paintings (“It’s Not About Love”) in their living room. I spent the rest of the party scheming how I would fit the painting under my winter coat so I could take it home. Sadly, I left without it. But I was happy to discover your work because I find it completely inspiring. When I see something done in a new way, such as a figure rendered in a way never before seen, it reminds me that there are discoveries yet to make and perhaps life isn’t as boring and prescribed as I thought. Not that I think that (Okay sometimes I do, but not often. Okay maybe often). Below are a selection of some of my favorite pieces from your body of work.

All images courtesy of Andrew Salgado.

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Beams the Mannerist

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The Opposite of Intention

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Pink Study 1

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It Ain’t Divine

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Hold

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The Silence Consumes Every Move

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The Tide

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King Is Dead / Long Live The King (Diptych)

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Boy With A Bloody Nose

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The Conversation

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A Shapeless Doubt

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It’s Not About Love

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Playtime

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The Bewildered Pursuit

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I Wish I had Known About This Hammer Heart

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The Deafening

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One Man’s Joy Is Another Man’s Sadness

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I Can’t Quite Remember But I Never Forget

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A Dream Of The Sea

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An Altered Peace

Thank you for making all these beautiful pieces. Someday, when I am a rich Gay man cackling in a giant house in the Hollywood Hills, I will buy one of your paintings and hang it above my fireplace, remembering fondly the first time I saw your work and how thoroughly it rocked my world.

Love,
Orlando

PS: See more gorgeous images at andrewsalgado.com. And then maybe buy something. For me.

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15 Vintage Gay Couples You Need to See

Dear Gays,

With Valentines Day upon us, many of us have couple-hatred on the mind. However, there is one type of couple it’s impossible to hate. Vintage Gay couples. Not only is their style totally unique and exciting, the fact that they were forced to love each other in secret makes these photographs all the more titillating. Sure, there’s no proof that any of these guys are actually couples, but what is the point of looking back on history if you can’t mold it to fit your modern-day agenda? Thus, for the purpose of this post I will be assuming all these guys are Gay, and that they had great relationships and loved each other until they died, happy as clams.

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Take these happy sailors for example. True love.

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True love on the American Frontier. Haute.

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And these guys. Doing a total WeHo Party Photo Booth pose. Sidekiss!

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I don’t know what is happening here but I think I like it. Or it makes me uncomfortable. Or I like it.

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Vintage hotties. Hay boys.

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I love these guys. On vacation. Together. Wearing matching swimsuits. Someday I will manipulate my boyfriend into doing this. Until then, my life will be incomplete.

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Yes, the do look alike which is slightly creepy, but still a cute photo.

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There is something inherently Gay about the sailor costume. I have no idea why. But gays have loved it since the beginning of time. Maybe it’s the cute hat and the fitted pants, I have no idea.

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This is your classic Daddy with the Pool Boy combo. Yes, it’s terrifying. But also kind of sweet.

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“They went to war for our country, but the true battle was for each other’s hearts.” That will be the tagline for the movie version I plan on making of this photo.

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I bet they sent this out with their Christmas card. So adorable!

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Gay and black at the turn-of-the-century. That must have been easy-breezy!

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This couple looks like they had a cold, complicated relationship. But at least they had great clothes.

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It’s funny how these styles have totally been recycled. I could totally see someone wearing these fashions today, with the same haircut.

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More sailors, of course!

I don’t know what it is about these images that is reassuring. Maybe it’s that they are a reminder that Gays actually existed before the 80s, when I was born (But in all honesty, did anything really “exist” before I was born? Did anything really exist before you were born? Probably not). Maybe it’s that clothing was at one time more dignified and well-tailored than it is today. Either way I like to fantasize about living one of these antique love affairs. Even though in reality it would have meant the townfolk would have chased you with pitchforks while yelling insults at you through their toothless mouths (Coincidentally, that pretty much sums of my high school experience).

The moral of the story here is to look for love where you find it. Sure, lots of these dudes are probably just buds who had no idea that their bro-pics would someday end up on a Homosexual website. But wouldn’t you rather think of them as lovers, who lived a classic fairytale romance whilst wearing super cool vintage fashions? I would.

Love,
Orlando

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