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A Guy's Moleskine Notebook

Thoughts and reflections on works of fiction and literature. Pondering of life through pictures and words. Babbling about gay rights. Travelogues and anecdotes.

  • [1] Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain
  • [2] Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha
  • [3] Yu Hua: To Live
  • [4] Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty
  • [5] Colm Toibin: The Master
  • [6] Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
  • [7] William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • [8] Charles Higham: The Civilization of Angkor
  • [9] Graham Greene: A Burnt-Out Case
  • [10] Dai Sijie: Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
  • [11] Alan Hollinghurst: The Swimming-Pool Library
  • [12] Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
  • [13] Colm Toibin: The Blackwater Lightship
  • [14] Alan Hollinghurst: The Folding Star
  • [15] Ross King: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
  • [16] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov
  • [17] Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections
  • [18] Colm Toibin: The Story of the Night
  • [19] John Banville: Shroud
  • [20] Leo Tolstoy: Resurrection
  • [21] Peter Hessler: River Town, Two Years on the Yangtze
  • [22] Ian McEwan: The Atonement
  • [24] Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera
  • [25] Ignacio Padilla: Shadow without a Name
  • [26] Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
  • [27] Richard Russo: Straight Man
  • [28] Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground
  • [29] Alan Hollinghurst: The Spell
  • [30] Hermann Broch: The Death of Virgil
  • [31] James Baldwin: Giovanni's Room
  • [32] Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • [33] Xingjian Gao: One Man's Bible
  • [34] C. Jay Cox: Latter Days
  • [35] Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • [36] William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
  • [37] Daniel A. Helminiak: What The Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
  • [38] James Baldwin: Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
  • [39] Kenji Yoshino: Covering - The Hidden Assault of Civil Rights
  • [40] Italo Calvino: If, On a Winter's Night A Traveler
  • [41] Arthur Phillips: The Egyptologist
  • [42] George Orwell: 1984
  • [43] Michael Warner: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and Ethics of Queer Life
  • [44] Andrew Sullivan: Virtually Normal
  • [45] Henry James: The Wings of the Dove
  • [46] Jose Saramago: Blindness
  • [47] Umberto Eco: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
  • [48] Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code
  • [49] Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
  • [50] Ken Follett: The Pillars of Earth
  • [51] Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace
  • [52] Michael Thomas Ford: Alec Baldwin Doesn't Like Me
  • [53] Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone
  • [54] Jonathan Lethem: The Fortress of Solitude
  • [55] Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
  • [56] Zadie Smith: White Teeth
  • [57] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Double
  • [58] Jose Saramago: The Double
  • [59] Andrew Holleran: Dancer from the Dance
  • [60] Heinrich von Kleist: The Marquise of O & Other Stories
  • [61] Andrew Holleran: In September, the Light Changes
  • [62] Tom Perrotta: Little Children
  • July 13, 2006


    First Date With "J": What A Bliss

    I had a date last night for the first time since my relationship debacle back in March. Not that I have deliberately evaded dating, I have given myself some time to adjust, and to reflect what might have gone amiss in that relationship. Honestly I haven't been looking--zero effort--holding on to the somewhat consoling belief that everything has it's time and I'm in no position to force it. In a recent post I shared about how I have been approaching relationship too seriously, focusing only on finding Mr. Right, and thus depriving myself of all the fun and joy friendship might have bestowed. friend Matty had nailed it--as soon as I stop searching and thinking so hard on it is when I seem to meet someone.

    So I've been e-mailing "J" back and forth over the past few days and we decided to meet for dinner on a Wednesday (I don't usually go out during the week) night. He told me how he usually has qualm about having dinner on a first date for fear of meeting a total slop with no table manner. lol It's a bit scary to ponder at how much "J" and I have in common: the same academic background, the low-key, laid-back lifestyle, reading interest, places we have traveled, enjoying a quiet evening and things I can't blog about on here. lol His physical attributes--the facial hair and the slightly stocky build--afford this air of masculinity that I've come to appreciate in a man. Plus he has a brain and maturity.

    We strolled around the Castro and peeked into various restaurants. We decided to go for Thai (I know, I'd never be sated with Thai food) at Thai Chef on 18th next to Badlands. We started off with Larb Gai (chicken salad), then Green Curry with Chicken--that was very tasty and creamy, and a so-so Fried Calamari with Tamarind Sauce. With riveting eyes I looked at him, we talked about our life and travel. I was so enraptured by him--the way he carried himself, the gentile manner, the tincture of humor--I realized that between he and I there was not that barrier of decorum I had always been conscious of between myself and other men, especially not on the first date.

    After dinner we held hands and walked up to Cafe Flore and chatted a bit more over coffee. For a weeknight, the grand central station was mellow--sans DJ, sans loud music, sans flamy boys. We couldn't help sidling closer to each other and on the way back to the car, he bear-hugged me. I hope I can break the post-first date curse this time with "J"--can't wait to see him again.


    Blogger Greg said...

    Hooray! It sounds like a wonderful time. Don't worry too much about the "first date" curse; I think at some point, we've all experienced it and are thriving. You'll do fine.

    7/13/2006 10:28 AM  
    Blogger matty said...

    Yay!!!!! When's the next date!?!!? When's the next date!!!!

    I am so excited for you!

    Jump in and enjoy!!!

    And, look for me at SI on saturday sometime before 2pm... I'll look for you at P's!!

    7/13/2006 8:25 PM  
    Blogger Jef said...

    Good for you, Matt!

    I found that if you focus on just being friends first, it relieves a lot of the pressure, and things just fall in place naturally.

    7/14/2006 6:52 AM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    Thanks Greg, Matty and Jef. I'm focusing on getting to know him and cultivating a friendship. I'm going to see him tonight...and thank God I don't have to meet my students today, I know I'll be distracted. Can't wait! lol

    Greg-did you get my e-mail? Matty, I'll stop by SI and say hey! Jef, I thought you're working at the bookstore, but you mentioned about changing career? For me, I prefer the small neighborhood bookstore over the big chains, I like to browse around shelves, pick up books and start reading them--I have established a bond with every single book that I have taken home with me.

    7/14/2006 7:31 AM  
    Blogger Derek said...

    glad your getting back out there! Best of luck!

    7/14/2006 3:45 PM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    Thanks so much Derek!

    7/19/2006 4:42 PM  

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