Saturday, July 19, 2008
On the move...
In the morrow, I'm heading for Cleveland... :)

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Yes, yes, I know that the city's economy really isn't doing too well and that it's been labeled the poorest major city in the US... but I can't help feeling excited about visiting the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, the Terminal Tower, the Key Tower, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Old Stone Church, Euclid Avenue, University Circle, the Playhouse Square Center, the Cleveland Browns Stadium, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and the Steamship Mather Museum... I don't have the energy to provide links for all of that, so if you're that curious (and one would have to be quite jobless, really, to plumb those heights), hit Wikipedia. It's great to make that long a list, it's another matter altogether whether I'll be able to make all of them though, but then I'll probably die trying - and kill Irish Coffee and my Clevelander friend while doing it! :)

Shucks... 1.30 am now, and I have to be up and outta my place by 8.30 am. How does a grad student survive in the harsh world 'out there' anyway?!

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In other news, I hit the camping trail with Irish Coffee last weekend. No bears to scare away, and the 'skeeters were pretty godawful, but then camp fire nights and tent-sex are quite the thrill, I discover. Of course, being the sole Indian/Asian in the camping heartland of the American Midwest, I constituted quite the spectacle for your everyday-"normal" White folks, so I'm guessing they would have been quite shocked/stupefied/mortified/horrified/terrified by the "Cowboys 'n' Indians" game going on in our tent!

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*grin*

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Saturday, July 12, 2008
Bollywood masala and Irish tom-foolery
A week or so ago, there was this end-of-term party at a professor's place, and I asked Irish Coffee to come along. This was going to be the big one, I decided: let's be clear and honest about who I am - a brilliant young gay scholar-in-the-making, and there's no denying it. According to my long-suffering boyfriend, of course, there was no need for any such grand gesture - as far as he was concerned, my "gayness can be seen from space", and everyone I come into contact with knows it. :) After all, my close friends and the profs I most interact with know I'm a flaming fag and all that jazz, but somehow, I guess I wanted to make it... official in some way.

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Blame it on Pride Month!

So there we were, on a brilliant summer evening, over wine and amazing Indian food (yep, the prof is your quintessential NRI), me and the boyfriend talking with the prof and his wife, a bunch of other faculty members and grad students and their spouses, about all sorts of things under the sun. As is usually the case in such shindigs, after the booze and the great food, the host takes us down to his entertainment center, and shows off his collection of Hindi movies and Bollywood songs for his overwhelmingly White guests. So we all sit down, watch Ash dance around her hubby and dad-in-law to kajra re, Preity shake her booty asking where the party is, and Rani doing her balle-balles on a Sunday.

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When the host announced that several Bollywood movies frequently depicted not just two women dancing steamily with each other, but also two men, Irish Coffee who was sitting in the front row let out a very audible Yay!

Of course, the room erupted into laughter. I guess I got my little "official announcement" after all. :)

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Just some belated Pride on I-Day... :)
So last Friday, on the 4th of July, Irish Coffee and I headed down to the waterfront in his city, to join in the celebrations of America's Independence Day.

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Back home in Calcutta, the Indian I-day wasn't really a cause for fireworks, as it is here, but we'd still get into the patriotic mood, dig out the national flag and fly it from our terrace, catch bits and pieces of the parade (did they have a parade for I-day, or am I confusing it with Republic Day?), and maybe head out for a special dinner later at night... A nice, relaxed day when the whole family would be at home, we'd just chill, take it easy, and feel... content, I guess. Isn't that the meaning of independence? - feeling free enough to be content? Anyhow, fireworks were reserved for Diwali - not for I-day.

Not so here in the US of A, evidently. Here, they're crazy for their fireworks to loudly (and dazzlingly, I might add) proclaim their independence? So, come July 4, Irish Coffee, his sister and I headed down to the riverfront, to stroll through the celebrations, listen to the bands, eat some of the fabulous food, and yes, watch the fireworks. Not too bad a display, given that this isn't a very large city here, not like SF or NYC - hell, they don't even organize a Pride here! (damn)

Anyhow, the fireworks were fun - lasted for a good 30 minutes, loads of oohs and aahs, honks from all the people in the cars parked around, kids clapping, and I'd be lying if I didn't say I felt like a kid myself! :) Brilliant to see the sky all decked up like that, so yes, Happy Independence Day, America. Now go and elect a President next year who'll legalize gay marriage (or at least, won't change the constitution to ban it altogether!), or is that too much to ask?!

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*grin*

The next day, after his sister went back home, Irish Coffee and I headed back to the waterfront festival with the dog. It felt fabulous to walk through the grass, watch the water lap next to us, drink sparkling wine (yes, I mixed!), listen to music, smell (and eat) the amazing food, and swap sweet nothings. Walked under the bridges, made out a bit, laughed and ran around with the dog, and god, I felt like a silly gay boy from a silly gay novel! *grin*

The best part? Between the smoked ribs and the choco-caramel ice cream, when a boatload of Evangelicals unloaded from across the river, Irish Coffee and I showed them the finger and kissed. Cue to swoon. :)

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Just a li'l Pride in the Midwest, y'all!

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008
"Divine Decadence..."
So I rented possibly the camp-est and most fabulous movie in ages (forgive me, Carrie Bradshaw), popped open two bottles of sauvignon blanc, and settled in to watch Liza Minelli in Cabaret (1972)...

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What good is sitting alone in your room?
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret.



For the unlucky few who haven't seen it, I'd advise you to rush out and rent! Welcome to 1931 Berlin, when a beautiful world of glitter and glamor is about to erupt into Nazi ugliness. But till that time, there's the ever-eccentric cabaret diva Sally Bowles at the Kit Kat Club, her British bisexual lover Brian, playboy Baron Max, and star-crossed lovers Fritz and Natalia...

I started out thinking how fabulously similar to Holly Golightly Sally Bowle's character was, albeit smuttier, given that Holly played the Manhattan society girl and Sally the Berlin bar dancer... But there's a special flavour to Sally's risque "divine decadence...!", her penchant for fur and money, and her irrepressible ways with men, that Breakfast at Tiffany's simply did not have. Seriously... this gives Gloria Gaynor a run for her money - the song every gay man needs to listen to after a break-up, mein herr! :)



O, and as expected, my ever-so-straight boyfriend Irish Coffee detested the movie. :) (Though he did appreciate my "divine decadence" in the sheets after the movie was done, owing to both Liza's fag-ulousness and copious amounts of sauvignon blanc. *grin*)

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