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Frank Gumola - Journal | Weblog

The Son Chymes In

As evidenced by my previous entry (and several others if you go back through my archives), one might guess YBJ and I have become quite close. One would be right.

I always thought being the gay man of the family clan that my sister and I would remain the closest. For years it felt that way. Funny thing though, we're not. It's the oldest (me) and the youngest (Joshua) who have forged super strong family ties.

One day in the late 90's (my final year in Chicago) I found myself perusing the CD collection of one Evil Clown music shop. Evil Clown never failed me when I needed my remix fix; which was often. On this particular day the sales clerk, noting my most recent purchases, suggested the Sunchyme remix CD by Dario G.

I bought two copies and mailed one to a then 14 year old YBJ, with the following note attached:
    "Hi. Know that wherever I am, whatever time of day it is, whether I'm grooving in a club while sipping gin or walking along the beach and listening to my favorite songs; whenever this song plays I will stop dead in my tracks and think of you. I love you, Frankie."
Mama G called two days after I mailed it and said she made YBJ sit with her and they listened to the entire CD all the while talking about how much YBJ missed his older brother. A few tears were even shed. I was happy to hear YBJ enjoyed the tune.

A few years ago, when YouTube came about, he got to see the video and only then fully understood the message I was trying to convey. We are family. No matter the circumstances, the parents involved, the races of our Fathers; we're brothers, through and through. And if sending a cheesy pop song to a fourteen year old sibling makes me just that much gayer, so be it. The message of love is there, loud and clear.

Some of YBJ's friends are throwing a party for him tonight in honor of his upcoming 24th birthday, just a few days away.

He's calling me when this song makes it into the rotation. And if I know my brother, somewhere between old school Biggie and current Mary J. Blige, it will.

Mines And Enemy Lines

In my family an argument between two siblings almost always fades away just as quickly as the disagreement surfaces.

If Mama Gumola gets involved, said argument turns into a full scale battle lasting much longer than necessary; the woman knows how to hold a grudge.

Battle lines are drawn, and often quietly crossed. Double agent-like behavior is not only almost a necessity; it's become expected between the family members involved. And cue my last phone call:
    YBJ: "She's insane. Our Mother is insane. Her favorite necklace is missing and she thinks I took it to a pawn shop."
    Me: "But you didn't. I know."
    YBJ: "You know?"
    Me: "She did this a few years ago. She doesn't trust the people working on the house, I don't blame her, and so she hides her valuables behind her sweaters in the dresser. She'll find it. She simply misplaced it."
    YBJ: "Dude, I can't take it. She's driv---"
    Me: "Hold on, she's beeping through. *click* Hello?"
    Mama G: "My necklace is missing. That little thief!"
    Me: "That bastard! Who am I bastardizing?"
    Mama G: "He's on the other line, isn't he?! You better tell your brother to come home right---"
    Me:"*click* Dude! Retreat! RETREAT! Come stay with me until this blows over."
    Mama G: "It's still me, dear."
    Me: "*click* Dude, you're fucked."
It's hard being an undercover agent when one has trouble with simple tasks. Like call waiting.

Still A Million Miles Away

I'd almost forgotten about this commercial. The preview for tonight's episode reminded me just how much I still love it, and how much I missed listening to the song.

Oh, OK; I'm also reminded of my obsession love for all things Kevin Rahm.

Ready, Settee, Go

I'm thirty-nine and only now do I own furniture I actually like.

Technically I won't own it until sometime next week when I make the single and final payment for it.

When David and I moved here last year, we "borrowed" the furniture from a friend who moved into the same building. He didn't need it and has been letting us use it since we moved in. I fell in love with the set and only recently began discussing buying the pieces from their rightful owner. I've had difficulty finding a sofa (in my price range - which is quite low) that not only looks good, but feels good. Sunday afternoon naps are important, kids. An hour or two of PS2 games and cozy coffee conversations are enough relaxation to lull me to sleep.

A sofa, loveseat, wingback chair, two square ottomans (used in place of a coffee table) and an area rug. (Rug not shown in the photo below.)

Apologies, details are hard to notice in this photo.

I've moved around so much in my life; I've always purchased "disposable" pieces from thrift stores and family members. Which, of course, have been flawlessly painted and/or slipcovered to perfection.

Someone once actually commented on a loveseat I once owned:
    "This looks exactly like something Ralph Lauren would manufacture."
I never told him I paid fifty dollars for the loveseat and another fifty for the custom slipcover. Employee discount and discontinued fabric, natch.

I can't afford it, of course. There have been a few vet/dental emergencies here in our happy home recently and the "I'm moving and either need the furniture or money for it" phone call couldn't have come at a worse time.

Thanks to an understanding employer and payroll deductions, it's mine. Until we decide it's time to move and don't want to rent a U-haul.

If and when that happens, YBJ has dibs.

His Left Hook

I got the phone call at about 3:15 this afternoon:
    He: "I'm being detained by the police."
    Me: "WHAT?! What happened?"
    He: "I assaulted someone."
    Me: "Again, what happened?"
    He: "I was walking home from the grocery store and some guy called me a 'faggot'. I asked him if he had a problem and he took a swing at me. He missed, I didn't. He hit his head on the pavement and needs stitches. Several people witnessed the whole thing and the incident is being recorded as self defense. Dinner will be late."
    Me: "Well, as long as the pasta sauce survived. Oh, and that you're OK."
I don't usually worry about him, but sometimes...you know?

Hello, Gorgeous

We all have those days. You know the kind I'm talking about. You step out the door to begin a day of dealing with the scum of the earth; yet you feel pretty and mighty fine.

Nothing is going to bring you down today.

There's a noticeable spring in your step, an extra bounce to your ounce. Everything seems to be going your way; the public transit is running on time, your coffee stays neatly in the cup instead of spilling onto your lap (or making a mad dash down your chin), you remembered your sunglasses were neatly packed into your jacket pocket just as the sun decides to shine down on your smiling face.

And as you head into the doorway of your destination, you hear a manly voice from behind:
    "Hello, gorgeous. Come to Papa."
And you turn around to see a homeless man, unaware of your presence, stuffing his face with a very large burrito.

I'm still smiling.

Cool, Creepy, Copy Cat

I've been experimenting with some Photoshop filters and techniques again.

My latest obsession (and I mean obsession; do you know how hard it is to emulate this look with photos from a Razr? Sweet Mother, it's not easy!) has been trying to copy the look of photographer Dave Hill. A simple High Pass filter can only deliver so much; a few other added tweaks can (sometimes) bring desired results.

This is the result of my first try, using a photo of my gorgeous (I AM NOT BIASED, she's just that damn beautiful) niece, Chloe.

Before

After

I tried experimenting with the puppy we all know and love as Vincenzo; the results (ALL MY OWN FAULT) made him look like a rabid wolf. I've got a bit more experimenting to do before I post those photographic masterpieces.

Holy Cow

If I had an extra $100 (or more) this would be what I would be doing this Saturday night:
    "...The evening will include a recreation of the famous Studio 54 nightclub, Warhol wigs, an installation of Andy Warhol's famous sculpture entitled Silver Clouds, video footage of Warhol and his social milieu and Polaroid cameras capturing highlights of the evening. Guests will be invited to dress in 60's or 70's attire as they become immersed in an environment that simulates the burgeoning consumerism and volatility of Warhol's era. The evening will include a feast of gourmet food stations, savory desserts, open bar, music, dancing, a live auction and a silent auction featuring Warholesque works of the students of the Cleveland Public Schools in which proceeds will benefit Cleveland youth. VIP passes will be available for purchase to the special "Factory" exhibition that recreates Warhol's studio and to gain access to a VIP martini bar..."
The Warhol event, here in Cleveland. One of the items up for auction:

Cow, 1971, Screenprint on wallpaper, 45 1/2" x 29 3/4"

Quick, give me a blank check.

Food, Glorious Food

My boss phoned this evening, happily offering this bit of information:After a few minutes of mindless chatting about the show, while surfing about the show, I suddenly realized Giada De Laurentiis was billed as one of the celebrity guest chefs. And then I got a bit happy:
    "I will die if I don't meet her. OK, I won't die, but get me in there."
So now I'm waiting for my confirmation email.

So what if I have to volunteer to drink pour wine for six hours? I get in, and hopefully get to share a glass with Giada.

Another Missed Audition

    "Don't miss this rip-roaring elimination contest that puts 10 wannabe Personal Assistants through their paces, as they fight it out to be Pete Burns right hand man or woman.

    They need all the skills of a celebrity PA, the organisation, calmness, media savvy, discretion and communication skills.

    But they also have to able to deal with Pete Burns the person. Caustic putdowns, whimsical demands, outrageous blagging and an ability to be unshocked by absolutely everything Pete's crazy world throws at them, whether that's emergency botox, a tantrum over the loss of his make-up bag or a crazed fan jumping over the fence at 6am."
Commercial for Pete's PA

I've really got to find a way to watch this program. I wish someone would do something like this here in Cleveland. What? Seriously? Oh.

The Frankie Sessions: Explained

I realized not too long ago that I neglected to explain the title of my original and first "Frankie Sessions" post. As you may recall, I (with some wonderful input from Jhames) interviewed Gavin Bellour.

Jhames totally deserves credit for the title "The Frankie Sessions".

The Sessions will continue; I've sent out emails to a few other "celebs", guaranteeing my stalker status. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a certain someone will reply soon. Seriously, girl. If not, I'm going to set a record for the most annoying fan, EVER.

As a follow-up to that original post, I wanted to let you know that Gavin is working on a new movie and can also be seen in commercials for the following companies: Heineken, Volkswagon, and Tide. And if you listen carefully, you can hear him in some upcoming Frito's commercials.

Don't forget to visit the official Million/Billion website and MySpace page to see when the band will be performing near you.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got yet another email to compose. Right after I get some laundry done.

And yes, I know which of the two machines is the washer.

For Danielle

Image courtesy of Splash News Online

Back in my art fag days, while living in Pittsburgh, I spent a great deal of my free time at the Beehive on the South Side of the city. One particularly lazy afternoon, after one too many cups of whatever was the strongest java available that day, I headed to the restroom. Perusing the graffiti-clad walls, I spied this little gem which has never left the back of my mind:
    "Why do all gay men want to be black women?"
Stereotypes be damned; Danielle is the black woman I have always not so secretly hoped to one day become. At the very least, I hoped for bits of her charm, grace, style and wit to migrate my way.

Danielle and I worked together during my stint at Ruby Tuesday. Truth be told, I fell in love with her the minute we met. One thing we had in common: our undying love for all things "Sex and the City". Danielle was, and still is, my Carrie.

I raise my glass to you, DeeDee. And here's hoping I can make it back home later this month so that you, me and Lady Miss T can paint the town every shade of red.

Bust out your best pair of Blahniks, tell T to dust off her Birkin bag, and I'll bring vintage Versace out of storage for a long, extremely overdue romp in our own little city.

I promise.

Comme des Grog Shop

(click for full size)

I just got the invite today. I'm hoping the date is a typo and that Rodnik is playing this month. It's not like I can fly to Paris for the show, anyway. Still, Comme des Garçons + Paris + music = one nice fantasy.

On the reality tip, I snagged two comp tickets from The Brigade Boys to see The Griefs next Friday night at the Grog Shop. Much closer to home; my attending this show is more a reality than the aforementioned event.

Now if I can just get "The Boys" to sponsor an outfit for the event, I might be able to start giving Rachel a run for her money.

I've already got the alleged weight loss issues under control.

What Not To Wear

King James at Jacob's Field on 10.04.07

Queen Latifah (also a Yankees fan) throwing
the first pitch at tonight's game, here in Cleveland.

See? Never doubt the fashion sense of a Queen. Ever.

Oh, and Lebron? If you need a stylist, or you know, someone with common sense skills to share; I'm available.

Just Don't Do It

Just a small warning to you everyday consumers out there. Do not, under any circumstances, ever utter the following phrase:
    "The customer is always right!"
Because you too, will wear whatever liquid is within reach.

Also; never, ever in the history of retail has anything ever been free because an ass like you couldn't be bothered to find the price tag.

Have a nice day, please come again!

How To Not Deal With It

Apparently the best way for me to get my mind off of the fact that life happens is to redesign. I downloaded Derek's Victorian pattern, studied a few other inspirational (mostly Wordpress) layouts, and here you have it. Not quite finished, but I like it.

For now.

Watched The Show, Got The T-Shirt

via Cafe Press