I Had Strep and then Got Touched Inappropriately by a Large Bear, Kind Of

On the Sunday before the Sunday before Christmas (are you with me?), after a long day of football-watching and beer-drinking, I passed out at ten at night. Then I woke up at one in the morning and couldn’t fall back asleep. So naturally I stayed up and watched DVR-ed episodes of Super Soul Sunday all through the night until skipping my way to the gym with an inexplicable amount of energy at about five. Then I went to work, drank a gallon-ish of coffee, crashed sometime shortly after lunch, and proceeded to watch my health violently deteriorate at a staggering pace over the following two days until I was eventually forced to go to the doctor where I tested positive for strep.

The weird thing is that it wasn’t the sore throat that bothered me so much. It was more so the severe headache that lasted for forty-eight hours and was accompanied by this weird hot and cold sensation that I’ve since been told is what normal people refer to as a “fever.” I apparently hadn’t had one in so many years that I didn’t even realize what the oft-overused term actually referenced, and yes, I realize that this makes me sound about as smart as Jessica Simpson circa the “Chicken or Fish?” Incident of 2003. Totally oblivious, I aggressively blamed my office environment – alternating between the phrases, “Why is it always so fucking freezing in here?!” and, “UM, WHICH ONE OF YOU JOKESTERS TURNED THE HEAT UP TO EIGHTY?” – until a doctor told me that my temperature was 102 degrees. Then everything clicked, and I was like, “Oh. So that’s what that is.”

Though I initially wanted to address my illness with some healing affirmations and health-positive mantras, the doctor was super anti-that. So I listened to her, and as it turns out, drugs are the fucking best. I got some prescription pain meds along with a cycle of penicillin, and by Christmas Eve I was healthy and drunk and joking with my soon-to-be-married brother and his fiancée about how my Best Man speech is likely going to be eighty-percent about me and twenty-percent about them. Or maybe ninety-ten if I end up having an extra shot of whiskey beforehand and decide to be a total self-absorbed dick. Or maybe seventy-twenty-ten (the ten being Mariah Carey) if it goes over three minutes.

And so that’s what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks. Other highlights of my little holiday sabbatical include:

1. Tailgating and watching the last Pats game of the season in the pouring rain, but feeling too happy and tipsy and grateful for life to really give a shit about something as trivial as being soaked and freezing.

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Of course we won.

2. Ringing in the New Year up in the Catskill Mountains with some of my best friends, a pool table, and one quality cigar that may or may not have made me throw up later (as per usual when I smoke cigars atop mountains).

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And 3. Getting molested by a bear. (An actual bear. Or, rather, a bear-replica. But either way, a bear, the animal. Not to be confused with a large hairy gay man who is likely into sexual accessories of the leather variety – which, for those of you not privy to gay-lingo, is actually a thing.)

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Confession: I liked it.

In related news, I’m not making any grandiose resolutions this year, so yay! You’re spared a list. But I will say that the one word I intend to live by in 2014 is this: Simplicity. As in, not making shit unnecessarily complicated for no reason. Can you imagine a whole year of that? I’m pretty excited about it.

So here’s to a healthy, happy, grateful, healing, hilarious, adventurous, just-uncomfortable-enough-for-growth, strep-free, successful, SIMPLE year ahead! I love y’all.

 

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My Team Lost — but I’m OK and Thank You, Mariah Carey

Remember how at the beginning of this year’s football season I wrote that whole post about how I went to the Pats home opener after having spent most of my summer wasting time with that guy who called me fat and a variety of other noncommittal a-holes? And then we lost?

Well, yeah. That pretty much happened again last week. Except this time, instead of losing a game at the beginning of the regular season, we lost in the AFC Championship — and I just… I can’t deal.

For those of you who aren’t into football — this means that our season is over, we aren’t going to the Super Bowl, and yes, I’m using terms like our and we — and yes, I’m being a baby about it.

Here’s a picture of me pretending to grill a mere five hours before my dreams were crushed:

Gronk

Sigh. I vaguely remember what it’s like to smile like that.

Okay, I’m going to stop being lugubrious now and start writing about how Mariah Carey makes life worth living.

Yes, I’m talking about Idol. If you follow me on Twitter, then you already know how I feel about this — I think it is the greatest thing to happen to the world ever. Or it’s at least in the top three.

In fact, here is a list of the top three best things to happen to the world ever:

  1. Sliced bread
  2. Mariah Carey
  3. Mariah Carey as a judge on American Idol

Seriously, y’all. It’s amazing. The fact that the we can all now see Mariah’s hilarity and brilliance and amazing facial expressions in a natural setting (sitting at a table beside Nicki Minaj, even!) for a full two hours every week is, frankly, a modern miracle.

If I ever had a doubt that Mariah and I were soul mates, it disappeared when Nicki called her a bitch and she was just like (to everyone and no one), “If she called me something that begins with a ‘B’ and ends with an ‘itch,’ I rebuke it.”

MARIAH SAYS “REBUKE.”

And that’s just a small example of why she’s perfect.

Literally everything she does is entertaining. And the best part about it is that you can tell that she’s just like, there, and on some level she realizes how ridiculous the Nicki feud is (and how ridiculous life is, really) and so she’s just calm and smart and occasionally British.

So, yeah. With that in mind, click HERE to see my official response to the Pats loss last week (and really, as already admitted elsewhere, my official response to everything ever).

And like Mariah said to the guy who didn’t make it to Hollywood who I’m pretty sure she was only half-listening to anyways (because I know I would have been) — there’s always next year.

 

 

I Broke My Own Rule and Brought My Self-Esteem Issues to a Football Game

Here is a (truncated, punctuated, and spell-corrected version of a) text message conversation that took place between my brother’s girlfriend and me at the Patriots game on Sunday:

  • Nic: Your boyfriend is such a gentleman.
  • Brother’s Girlfriend: Are you sure you’re referring to the right person?
  • Nic: Some girl in the row behind us is touching his head and he keeps angrily telling her to stop. Pretty romantic, I think. Meanwhile I keep secretly wishing she would touch my head.
  • Nic: Just for the validation of someone finding me desirable.
  • Nic: But NOOO, she touches my uncle’s head before she touches mine! I’m fat and ugly.
  • BGF: Haha, who is this girl touching everyone?!
  • BGF: Everyone but you.*
  • Nic: IDK! She just touched my dad’s head.
  • BGF: So even if she touches your head now, at this point it would just be an afterthought.
  • Nic: I’m the fattest person ever.
  • BGF: No way dude!
  • BGF: Clearly she’s drunk and thinks she already touched your head.
  • Nic: You’re right, maybe that’s it! Or maybe she’s afraid to touch my head because she secretly likes me the most.
  • Nic: Or maybe I’m delusional.
  • BGF: No. She’s in love with you and doesn’t want to ruin her chances by treating you like all the others.
  • Nic: I feel a little better now.

And then I got distracted because there was a football game happening in front of me. And then Gronkowski broke his arm and I internally cried like a baby over my team losing the best tight end in the league for essentially the rest of the season. And then I cried even more over the fact that I was rejected by a drunk, head-touching woman. And then the drunk, head-touching woman FINALLY touched my head, and I was dismayed to learn (yet again) that a slight expression of validation didn’t solve all of my problems.

                                        This is kind of the best place ever.

And I’ve now written yet another blog post that highlights my extreme need for therapy. I’m thinking that for my first session, I should just print out every post I’ve ever written, hand them to the therapist in a neat stack and say, “Please read these and fix me.”

P.S. I am fully aware that my whole being gay thing should have eliminated any interest or concern with the drunk, head-touching woman whatsoever — but this post clearly proves that low self-esteem knows no gender.

P.P.S. I’m currently writing this blog from the Metro North train, and I just made the BIGGEST SCENE EVER because I thought I saw a cockroach creeping around near my foot. I screamed, and people turned around to find me with my legs entirely in the air. All the while, I was wondering what kind of a weird breed of cockroach this was because it appeared to be silver and kind of shiny. I started imagining that if I were lucky enough to be able to get to work alive and Google “silver cockroach,” I’d discover some kind of crazy, poisonous, bacteria-spreading death insect that everyone but me knew about. Then I looked closer and realized it was just a nickel that had somehow rolled in my direction, so I exhaled – though my relief was severely tainted by the fact that I’m now hallucinating on trains. Check, please.

 

Food, Football, and Love

Every time I write an angsty rant about why men suck, I always question the decision later. Like, if only I had watched He’s Just Not That Into You for the thirty-seventh time while inhaling frozen chicken wings and a case of light beer before opening my laptop, last week’s post could have probably been avoided entirely.

But then again, it was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from women far and wide — so at least my anger was able to cultivate some kind of sisterhood united against noncommittal a-holes. That’s always good.

In any case, I’d like to bring some positivity back up in here by presenting you with a photograph of a mural-sized rendering of the tattoo I’m strongly considering getting inked between my shoulder blades:

                                           This piece of wood just gets me.

Or, if we want to be a bit more specific — a combination of:

  • two hot dogs,
  • a cheeseburger,
  • three grilled shrimp skewers,
  • approximately fourteen steak tips,
  • eight pieces of marinated pork,
  • a quarter of a rack of ribs,
  • probably a bag of chips,
  • too many Coors Lights to tally up, and
  • another cheeseburger

is love.

Because that’s what I ate on Sunday throughout the course of tailgating and attending the Patriots home opener, and it was definitely love in its purest form. And/or its most obese form — which is fine, because I’m totally over those body image issues, Lou. Because really, unlike a gay bar, Gillette Stadium is something of a judgment-free zone.

I don’t know what it says about the world that I’ve come to associate gay men with rejection and ostracization while I associate NFL games with love and acceptance, but the irony is not lost on me.

                                     I’ll take “fat” over “douche bag” any day.

As far as the game itself, we couldn’t have sucked more. But I’m getting over it.

And yeah, as far as the men I’ve dated this summer, they couldn’t have sucked more. But I’m getting over that, too. Because — when it comes to both dating and football — it’s early.

And there’s always next week.

 

Tragedy Strikes During My Fantasy Football Draft

So, with the exception of last week’s glorified Instagram posting, it just occurred to me that it has been two full weeks since my last real post. Gasp!

Where has the time gone?

Actually, I can answer that question:

  • One weekend at a casino filled with a drunken Zac Brown Band concert and modest gambling
  • Four gay bar debaucheries (just like the olden days of Keychanges)
  • My fantasy football draft, which turned into a major debacle when I lost my Internet connection
  • Lots of feelings-eating (as per usual)
  • Mad Men and several more Don Draper fantasies
  • Work (lest I forget)

And suddenly it’s fall.

If you don’t know me in real life, you may be shocked to discover that the same emotionally needy gay man who once assaulted a wine bottle out of husband-less frustration happens to be a fantasy football enthusiast (with a title under his belt, no less) and a country music fan, but both facts are indeed true.

Being a gay fantasy football team owner is kind of like being Peggy Olsen in Mad Men. That is to say (for those ignorant to my new television obsession) it is akin to being a female working professional in the male-dominated corporate world of 1960’s advertising — you must overcome prejudice, never let them see you cry, and deal with the fact that everyone is going to expect you to eventually get pregnant and start neglecting your duties. (Really, I should be so lucky to have that last problem.)

To give you some insight as to how I retain my identity while participating in heteronormative activities such as fantasy football, here is a fun little screen shot:

                                  And there goes my credibility.

Please note the Mariah Carey-inspired team name and Victoria’s Secret-approved helmet logo color scheme.

I had been preparing for this season’s draft for quite a few days leading up to the event, so you can imagine my utter rage when my WiFi decided to cut out during the seventh round. Thankfully, I had chosen most of my starters at that point, but when I finally got back in, I found that auto-pick had stocked my bench up with a number of unsavory back-ups.

Not. Okay.

Naturally, I proceeded to write a strongly worded e-mail to my building about how the free WiFi they offer is total crap and I demand a recount! (Kind of nonsensical, but I was pissed.)

The e-mail was actually pretty eloquent, but then I arrived at the final paragraph and couldn’t resist sharing with them that they had negatively impacted my fantasy season.

I now realize that this may have negated the validity of my entire argument and made me come off as some kind of disgruntled frat boy who really needs to gain some life perspective. I might as well have also thrown in that their WiFi is so bad that it interferes with my porn-viewing habits and often renders the Domino’s Pizza Tracker inaccurate.

Needless to say, I’ve yet to receive a response.

Anyways.

I really want to elaborate on the five other bullet points above, but now I also really want to order Domino’s, so I’m torn.

Where would I even begin? The gay bar sagas involve Lou, whom I’ve reluctantly become friends with. The casino weekend involves car troubles and beer, which is always fun to write about. The feelings-eating is pretty much a feature of every other post of mine, so I guess I can skip that…

Ooh! I just got a brilliant idea.

If there’s one story that you’re particularly intrigued by, tell me in the comments. If there is enough feedback, perhaps I’ll just make my next post dedicated to whichever topic has generated the most interest. Or just don’t comment at all and I’ll construe all of the non-response as evidence that my life is as uninteresting as I secretly fear.

(Excuse me while I order a pizza.)

 

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