The Cult of Melinda

The gAyTM is closed! No gay rights, no gay $$$!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Imaginary Girlfriend: Shabana Azmi

In real life, were I ever to be so honored as to encounter Shabana ji, I'd probably die on the spot a happy woman. However, in my imagination, we have lovely, brilliant conversations about film, religion, politics and how truly stunning she is as a woman and as a person. In my dreams, she's not married to one of India's greatest poets and is instead a confirmed lesbian who finds me unbelievably attractive. Yeah, that'll happen.

Anyway, my new imaginary girlfriend is a woman that I have worshipped for years, Shabana Azmi, actress, activist, parliamentarian, and one of the Muslim world's strongest voices against extremism and for peace. The looks don't hurt either.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

They Give Away Free Food Here

I just dropped in on my favorite diner after picking up movies from Blockbuster. There was a "special" going on from 2 to 3:30. Free soup and sandwich. Free drinks.

Notice that's not free with whatever, just free. Apparently, some church had prepaid for lunches. Watching the looks on people's faces as they were informed of the "special" was simply hilarious. I lost it and ended up snickering my fool head off when a woman who'd come in with her son told someone on the phone, "Apparently, they give away free food here." It was priceless.

Unfortunately, I was too committed to my "usual" eggs, hashbrowns and toast to take advantage of the offer. I know that makes me a bad Jew, but I'd been thinking of my usual since I left the house. So, give me a break here.

I Hang My Head In Shame

Yesterday, I got a card in the mail from Comcast, my telephone service provider. Apparently, digital phone is being eliminated, so if I want to stay with Comcast, I have to switch to digital voice. Well, after speaking to the silky-voiced operator for a few minutes, I decided to take the plunge. In my defense, the new package costs about the same as what I now pay for phone service and dial-up internet.

Anyway, as of January 7, I'll have digital voice, dsl and... CABLE! I'm so ashamed. I managed to live without even owning a television for many years. The television I have now is predominantly used to watch movies now that I can get independent and foreign films delivered straight to my mailbox. But cable is just going too far, don't you think?

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Year In Review

So, the point is to post the first sentence of the first post of each month of 2007. Since I love repeating myself:

January: The Alphabet Meme

February: This is why I love Popular Science!

March: I REALLY want to use the bully pulpit to get even with someone who probably deserves it.

April: Has a human being already been cloned?

May: I was tagged by Stacey, so here goes:

June: It really sucks to be me right now.

July: RPP has decided to give me an excuse to take some time off from the intellectual battles over at Science Blogs, so I'm going to take it.

August: If you laugh at this, you might be a nerd!

September: Someone is a bad influence.

October: Ain't I sexy?

November: Leave it to the Japanese to create the oddest self-defense method EVER!

December: I'm home sick from work today.

What have I learned skimming through the past year? Hmmm…

1. My friends get me into too much trouble, even online.
2. I've been through a lot this year, but I'm still kicking. So, kiss my ass, Prinzmetal's and "woman I'm too classy to name publicly"!
3. Considering that a few of these contain words like science, nerd, cloned, "intellectual battles", etc., I'm pretty much a HUGE dork.
4. I don't think I'm quite right, if you know what I mean.

TAGGED: Rob, Stacey, Drew, Dave, Lauren, Angie, RPP and the rest of you.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Warning: Holiday-Induced Mushiness Ahead

Have you ever realized that you have the best friends in the world? No, of course you haven't, because I have them.

It's really amazing to me that I've managed to make and keep so many wonderful friends. I've never been the social butterfly, although I'm pretty good at faking it after a beer or two or six. Usually, I had the one true friend and a bunch of people I'd party with or sleep with but never really connect with. I've also never been really good at allowing people to get close to me. Trust isn't something that comes easy after the life I've had. But somehow, I hit the friendship jackpot.

Partially through the intervention of my beloved first college roommate Becca, aka the UN's representative to Bienville Hall, I ended up with this great group of nerdy, wild and truly genuine people in my life. Oh sure, some of us bicker over politics and economics and can get a pretty good steam coming out of our ears, but then we end with "Yeah, I love you anyway, you fat capitalist pig." and all is well with the world.

The sci-fi geeks taught me how to play, how to sneak down the stairs of the math building so that we could all get to "base" together, how to do suicide runs in laser tag because winning isn't as much fun as kicking ass on enemy territory, how to pull a Washington monument-sized stick out of my ass, how to get felt up by a future housewife without looking utterly shocked (eventually), how to sing in French about rednecks and breeders, how to translate references to ancient Roman battle tactics into a conversation about women... You know, the usual things friends teach you.

The artists, musicians, drag queens, pagans, weird Arab boys, corrupted former Mormons, adopted little brothers, hot cultists, etc. helped me express my creative side and my "manhood". They were willing to drum with me, to sing with me, to drink with me, to wake up hung over with me, to take me on man walks, to help me stay strong when the seductress was trying to get answers out of me the sexy way, to get me access to the "good" cameras and the editing suite, to pimp me to a super-hot bartender for free drinks, to drag me to death metal concerts and jam sessions at a Hare Krishna temple, to tell everyone that I was G-d's gift to the world, to let me have drunken conversations with their boobs or follow their asses home from the bar at 5 a.m., to warm my lap on cold winter nights in New Orleans, to buy me weapons so that I could impress a woman who really wasn't worth it, to help me pick out the best wine to bring to a first date with a gourmet chef... You know, the usual things friends do.

The lesbians gave me my own personal ass-kicking Cajun chef and a talented artist who taught me to be proud of who I am and to not feel guilty for knowing that I really can kick ass and that I really am absolutely brilliant, monstrously talented, unbelievably adorable and immensely humble. They've fed me and comforted me and raged with me. They've sparred with me both mentally and physically and left me, I think, a better person. And even though they let T. steal my bra tag, I'll never forget all that they've done for me.

New York gave me my imaginary husband, the sexiest thing on earth with a Y chromosome. Overwhelmed by culture shock and post-traumatic stress disorder, I wouldn't have made it through NYU without him. The hubby taught me to be fabulous, escorted me to gay bars where the queens could feed my ego with raves about how hot I am (You haven't lived until you've been a lesbian being hit on by gay men.), showed me the night life at wild and now-legendary parties called things like Motherfucker, trudged over to Coney Island with me for a "date" with Insectivora, skipped out on a freelance assignment to hang with me on a hard and lonely night, and developed with me a special silent language that allowed us to quietly confirm that "Yes, the professor's boots are definitely making us hot." without said professor ever knowing about the puddles of drool created in her name. One of these days, sweetie, we're going to Massachussetts. haha

So whatever happens with my health or my life or my career, I have this one aspect of my life where there will never be regrets except maybe not saying this enough:

You guys are the happy childhood I never had. For the first time ever, I think I can love without waiting to be betrayed or hurt. You taught me how to be myself without worrying about public expectations or my private shame. For that, I am truly grateful. Now, send me more baked goods.

Feelin' Good...

I've been feeling unusually energetic lately. I'm on new supplements, 1000 mg of cinnamon a day and this one that helps the intestines function properly. My stomache doesn't hurt as much. The bloat seems to be diminishing. I haven't had a major spasm since that last one I blogged about. And I keep getting the urge to go jogging or find an empty field and knock out some really advanced kata or hyung as they're properly called. I feel pretty much like I did when I was healthy, I think. I really don't remember what it felt like to be healthy. I'm hoping that it's the supplements and it'll last a while. I'll need the energy for my trip home. There are two really cute little boys who simply must learn Klingon.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Holiday Fun with the Jewbians

First, let me wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, belated Hanukkah Tovah and Happy Tuesday. I think that covers everybody.

So, I have been to the Promised Land and it was filled with attractive, intelligent, interesting and hilariously funny Jewish lesbians (aka Jewbians). I've grown particularly fond of H., who was an ultra-Orthodox Jewess until age 21, V. aka my nerd-twin and another hockey-playing and very attractive Jewbian nerd who works in Aerospace whom I'll call R. because I've forgotten her name.

The night began at Tony Cheng's, a lovely Chinese restaurant in DC's Chinatown. We had a group of 25, so we were assigned to the big party hall upstairs, which we had all to ourselves. It was gorgeous, but it really felt like we were at some formal event. I kept saying we should just go with it and do the Hora. (We began the meet and greet downstairs before moving upstairs, where after a few moments H. walked into the room. Drool! And sat next to me at the table. Yeah, that wasn't distracting at all.)

The food was great. The three Tsingtao's I had were probably a bit much since I haven't had a drink in a queen's age, but I wasn't the only one drinking so I guess it was okay. I got the usual response when asked what I do for a living, which is for people to look really confused. When I describe what that means, the eyes generally glaze over. Then, there's always the issue with my name. Inevitably, someone will call me Melissa and I'll have to offer Mel as a compromise.

Anyway, we ended up telling loads of horrible kid jokes, exchanging tales of where we fit or break lesbian sterotypes and reminiscing about everyone's bat mitzvah parties and our emergence into lesbianhood. There was a brief convo on TV shows that completely lost me, but otherwise it was a great dinner conversation. The occasional bumping of H.'s legs against mine, again, didn't help. (For the record, it was a rather tight fit, so I doubt it was intentional.)

We moved on to drinks and dessert at S.'s house, where groups formed and splintered and formed again and conversation jumped all over the place. That's where I met V. and R. and the nerd fun began. Monty Python was, of course, the glue that binds the nerds as always. I love being able to tell the story of how this guy Eric and I walked down the Champs Elysees laughing down our noses French-like at each other and started screaming "Bring out your dead!" in Florence when the tour guide started talking about the plague. We're such horrible people.

Anyway, it was a grand old time and lasted until nearly midnight when the people who had taken the metro had to take the mad dash to the nearest station before the trains stopped running. V. and I will be in touch. H. will probably be in my dreams. Damn the not dating thing! (No, I haven't changed my mind.) And I'm sure I'll be getting to as many of these events as I can. (It really was a lot more fun than I can make it sound at the moment. The three Tsingtao's are dancing on my head.)

So, join us next time: Same Jewbian time, same Jewbian channel.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Picture Meme

From Stacey. You have to do a google image search for the answers, then pick an image from the first page. Or something like that.

1. Age I'll be on my next birthday:

From some accupuncture site. I have no idea how that's related to 32.

2. Place I'd like to travel:

Sunny New Zealand. The Kiwi accent is just sooooo sexy. It's also a beautiful country, but did I mention that the Kiwi accent is really sex?

3. Favorite Place:

Cuz I know what it means to miss New Orleans.

4. Favorite Food:

Gotta love the general cuz he kicks the colonel's ass!

5. Favorite Animal:

Man's best friend is a robot!

6. Favorite Color:

hmmmmm... What was my favorite color again?

7. Town I was born in:

Ya gotta love a place called The Thirsty Hippo. Anyway, I was born in good old Hattiesburg, MS.

8. Name of past pet:

Yes, robo-Cerberus actually comes up when you google Fluffy. Bizarre. Probably no less bizarre than the fact that the real Fluffy was a fish.

9. Name of past love:

I've already been in love with one Judy, but I think I'm ready for Judy #2.

10. My first name:

I've always wanted to scream my own name in bed.

11. Bad habit I have:

Ce n'est pas un bébé fumant une cigarette.
(Oui. Je fume. Y a-t-il un problème avec cela?)

12. My first job:

Rocky & Carlo's: famous for baked macaroni and food poisoning, but not while I was cooking there of course.

13. Grandmother's name:

Never screw with a woman named Bernice.

14. College major:

I'm skipping undergrad and going for "Yes, Virginia, journalists are evil."

So That's What They Meant...

So when they said I shouldn't be out in the cold for long, they really meant it. I missed my bus this morning and had to wait for the next one, which was 15 minutes late. Just a half hour in cold but not too cold temps and my arteries were spasming away. My chest REALLY hated me by the time I got to work. It's always fun when you get the chest pain radiating down your arm and into your jaw.

Now, they're expecting a snowstorm this weekend, so I guess I'm confined to the house.

On the fun side, I have plans for a traditional Jewish Christmas Eve. I'm going out for Chinese food with the Jewbians. I think it'll be good.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

FLASHBACK: The Worst Melinda Moment Ever!

I'm still in a reminiscing mood, so you'll have to indulge me again.

Bienville Hall Dorms, University of New Orleans Winter 2000 (I think)

The woman of my lustful dreams back then I'll just call E.M. for discretion's sake. I'd gone home for the holidays, but E.M. had agreed to let me crash in her room for a few days to get some business done on campus.

E.M. was sitting cross-legged on her bed. I was on a plastic dorm chair next to the bed. We were chatting about who knows what random topic when E.M. started spouting a love poem. I sat thinking about which of my favorite poets it could be since it was so familiar. Then, I realized that it was mine, a poem I'd written to a lover years before and publicly recited only once, months before that moment when E.M. would sit reciting it to me out of the blue. I don't know if I can describe what it's like to have an unbelievably sexy woman reciting your poetry back to you after having heard it only once months before. It was amazing, but somehow I let the moment pass.

It got later and I headed for the shower, emerging still a bit wet and clad in my favorite "formal" pajamas, a white pair of jogging pants with a silly white T-shirt with a tie painted on it. I made some stupid joke about my being naked in her room and waited while E.M. started getting the second bed ready for me.

Now, in my defense, before I get to the horrible part, I'd like to point out that I'm extremely polite when it comes to being invited into another person's space. I believe firmly that you don't judge another person's hospitality or the home you've been invited into out of friendship and generosity. So, I was on my best "ask for nothing you are not offered" behavior when E.M. started pointing out the limitations of her room.

It went sort of like this, with E.M. turned away from me making the bed while I stood waiting.

E.M.: "I don't have a fitted sheet, but we'll wrap this one around and tie it so it should stay still."

Me: "That's fine. It's no problem at all."

E.M. "And I don't have an extra pillow but I have this really soft comforter that can work as a pillow. I hope you don't mind."

Me: "No, it looks really soft. It'll be fine."

E.M.: (In an almost whisper) "Or you could always sleep in my bed."

Me: "That's okay. I'll be fine over here." (DOH!)

E.M.: "Well, if you get lonely..."

I can't tell you how long I laid awake mentally kicking myself. Every few minutes, I'd look over at E.M. lying on her side with a big empty space behind her in the bed, obviously meant for me. I told myself over and over that I should go over there and crawl in, tell her I was lonely. I never got up the nerve and I can't tell you how sorry I still am for that.

E.M., you know who you are. For all the stupidity and youthful indescretion, for the fear and nervousness, for the times I stopped when I should have kept going, for all the things I should have said but didn't, I'm sorry. I miss you.

For those of you interested, this is the poem as best I can remember it:

Two lovers embrace on a warm spring night.
Soft lips meet soft lips in a kiss of pure delight.
Emerald eyes lock with a blue grey pair.
Ebon hair entangles with ebon hair.
Cool ivory brushes against warm olive skin.
Two lovers partake in a most delicious sin.
Two hearts pound at an erratic pace.
Low moans and sighs fill the once silent space.
Two loins burn with uncontrollable desire.
Two souls are licked by the flames of passion's fire.
Rivers of sweat pour from feminine forms
And rise like steam in the night's dark warmth.
Two hot bodies melt and merge into one.
As lovers explore with fingers and tongues,
Soft lips meet soft lips in a kiss of pure delight.
Two lovers embrace on a warm spring night.

Okay, I was 20 when I wrote it. Give me a break.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Flashback: Making Out With Xena

I'm in a reminiscing mood tonight, so indulge me.


In New Orleans, Labor Day Weekend is the gayest of gay old times, Southern Decadence aka "Gay Mardi Gras." This is not a time for the faint of heart or the sober.

Approaching Southern Decadence 1998, my good friend Monica became a bit concerned about my drinking and wrung from me a promise no gay person should make on the eve of the party of the year, that I wouldn't drink. I think we see where this is going. Now, usually, I'm HUGE on keeping my word and have what can only be called an overdeveloped sense of honor. But sometimes, life throws you a curve.

Theresa was a living Goddess and the bartender at my old hangout, The Checkmate. Imagine the Italian version of Lucy Lawless, identical but with a deeper tan and brown eyes. Everybody had a crush on Theresa, myself included. I think my jaw bounced off the floor a gazillion times more or less when I first saw her. It didn't help that she dressed in outfits that hugged every curve and revealed every inch of her long, long, long, long legs. Lots of friends kept telling me that she was into me, but there was no way I was believing that despite the fact that she'd slipped me her number the first night we met.

Micah is the queen of all drag queens and is too damned pretty for anyone's own good. Despite my long-standing rule that tall, thin, leggy blondes who don't sleep with me are just bitches, Micah and I were really good friends and woke up hungover together more times than I care to count. There just aren't words to do Micah justice, but wild, crazy and dramatic are a start.


So Monica had made me promise not to drink but Micah was bringing me to MRB's for Decadence in the most alcohol-soaked city on earth. Saturday morning, I took a stool at the bar while Micah flitted around putting in appearances with the growing crowd of scantily clad gay boys. Micah would disappear quite a bit that day. I would discover later that she'd spent at least part of the day flat on her back on the pool table, the filthy whore. (Trust me. With Micah and I, "filthy whore" was a term of endearment.)

Being true to my word, I ordered a Diet Coke and regaled the bartender with my commitment to Decadence sobriety. Moments later, the bartender stands in front of me pouring a few shots of some sort of clear liqueur. I didn't think anything about it. It wouldn't be unusual for a bartender in a gay men's bar to make the lesbian wait while he hooked up the shirtless hottie on the other side of the bar. I probably would have been better off if that was the case. Instead, he handed me a shot and toasted to "breaking my promise." "Okay," I thought. "One shot and I'm on to Diet Coke." Shortly thereafter, the bartender brought me what he insisted was a new "yellow coke" but tasted a lot like beer. I didn't buy a single drink after that but I ended up really damned drunk. Sorry, Monica.

By the end of the night, I was truly wasted in a way only someone with Native American genes can get, my desire for alcohol whetted quite nicely by the appearance of the Hebrew Goddess aka the great unrequited love of my life (long story) showing up to get change for the bar where she worked. Anyway, Micah, our friend Glenn and I stumbled over to the bus stop, drunk and happy and gay. (Never drink and drive!) Anyway, there at the bus stop was the cutest African-American lesbian named Roz. (Sorry, MacKenzie. You're much cuter but you don't precisely fit the definition of lesbian.)

Roz, also a few sheets to the wind, informs us that she's lost her in she misplaced her. As Roz is describing her gorgeous, tall, very Swedish wife, I realize that I've met Roz before. Years earlier, while I was drunkenly celebrating Gay Pride on the balcony of one of New Orleans' hottest gay nightclubs and trying to get some girl named Hope to stop saying my nickname 50 bilion times in every sentence, I met Roz and her future wife, Caroline. This just happened to be the night they met. Roz was hard to forget. Caroline was impossible to forget.

While we're all trying to figure out how you lose a 6' tall Swedish woman and I'm reminiscing with Roz, Micah decides to invite her to the Checkmate for some post-Decadence drinking. Since she was going that way anyway, Roz actually agreed, completely giving up on the search for her wife. She had to be really damned drunk.

Soon enough, we're all crowded around a booth in the Checkmate, which gives all new meaning to "neighborhood bar," and surrounded by University of New Orleans students out for a Saturday Night. Somehow, we'd picked up super-gay drama queen Kent along the way. Theresa calls out from the bar, asking us if we're ready for that shot we ordered that we never actually ordered. (Yours truly would later find out that Theresa had promised the crew free drinks any time they brought me in. Yep, I'd been pimped.)

While pouring our Purple Nipples, Theresa spilled one in my lap. In my best drunken impersonation of Kent, I slur, "Damn! You got me all wet in public. My thighs are all moist." Yeah, it was bad. Or good. Who knows? All I know is Theresa kissed me on the cheek before heading back behind the bar. Woo flurking hoo!

Later, Theresa came around to chat, leaning against the small wall behind our booth, directly across from me. I couldn't help myself. I had to know. "Theresa, when you look at yourself in the mirror, are you as amazed by your own gorgeousness as the rest of us or are you just used to it by now?" Not the best line, sure, but I ended up with a tongue in my mouth that wasn't mine. So there!

I'm in heaven when I hear a guy behind me whining, "This isn't happening. This is just not happening." The first of many Theresa fans learns the power of Melinda. (Evil laugh here.) Suddenly, Micah pipes up with "It's all good, pussycat. It's all good." After the kiss, Theresa just walks off. In complete shock, I look at Micah and proclaim, "Micah, that woman put her tongue in my mouth! Really." Micah, realizing I'm completely blitzed, says in the tone you'd use to speak to child who's told you that cows make milk as if it's a revelation, "I know, sweetie. I saw. We were all still sitting here."

Many more Theresa fans would learn the power of Melinda over the years as Theresa and I took every possible opportunity to flirt, make out, and feel each other up in pretty much every inch of the Checkmate. It never went beyond that, but for a brief time, I had my own living Xena doll.

Decadence 1998: Melinda became a G-d!

NOTE: That is also the night I picked up the "G-d's gift to the world" moniker and met the first members of what would become known as the "Cult of Melinda," an ever-growing, ever-shifting group of gorgeous coeds who knew just who was their lesbian and wasn't afraid to tell everyone within earshot. But that's another story.

If Life Were Like Let's Make a Deal

I always say I'm going to put these things on my blog, then I forget or I convince myself that these musing really aren't things you share with the public. Well, frell that!

I've decided life would be better if it were a game show, but like the ones from the seventies not the modern ones where they're more than happy to send you home with bupkiss. You know what I'm talking about. The consolation prize. Remember? If a contestant didn't do very well, they still went home with some cheap parting gift.

Well, I think those of us who don't get the big prize should get a nice parting gift. Seriously. I think the second they diagnose you with some horrible disease, a scantily clad woman should come out with a box in her hand and a cheesy voice-over should intone "Tell her what she's going home with today, Bob." Then, "Bob" would say, "Well, Melinda. You won't be getting the chance to grow old this lifetime, but no one leaves here empty-handed. So, let's see what the lovely Linda has for you!" Then, of course, Linda would reveal a nice set of dinnerware or dinner for two at the local family restaurant.

Damnit! I want my frelling lifetime supply of Rice-a-Roni!

Best Hanukkah Ever!

I'm home sick from work today. I woke up with really bad stomach pains. I thought, "Okay. Gas." So, I jumped in the shower, figuring it'd pass. I was about half-way dressed when I realized that the pains weren't going away and that it wasn't gas. My stomach REALLY doesn't like me today.

Why, then, you might ask, do I say this is the best Hanukkah ever? Well, a very lovely friend has sent me 8 very lovely Hanukkah cards, all "autographed" by a very lovely little nerdlet named Ace. The lovely Stacey also sent me a framed picture of Mr. Adorable himself AND Rugelach waaaaaaaaaay too good to be made by a goy. I think Stacey is hiding secret Jewish roots.

Of course, the rugelach came with a warning: "Rugelach have been known to cause immediate addictons in Jews, gays, biracial people and chubby suburban housewives. Proceed with Caution!" I think I'll risk it.