Sure I read "Twilight," but I don't have to defend my masculinity to you people. I bench press, gamble, start stuff on fire and thoroughly enjoy the carnal pleasures of many of my offering women friends.

But believe me, if I caught one of my badass friends reading chick vampire lit, I would make fun of them to no end. So I expected all the ridicule I've received and will receive. Bring it on.

Excuses are like assholes. Everybody has them and they all stink. But I don't have an excuse for reading Stephenie Meyer's novel, just a few explanations. 

First, a few years ago I said I'd never read a Harry Potter. Everybody read them, and since I think most of the human population is completely moronic, I thought I was right. Then my mom gave me the first three HP books for Christmas. I still didn't open them until I ran out of stuff to read. When I finally did crack them open, I found I really enjoyed them. They were fun, quick reads with fantastic writing, great plots and characters I really felt for. 

So I've been hearing the exact same things about "Twilight." A bunch of dumbasses in the world are reading the books, watching the movies and following the gossip on some website. Potter thoroughly impressed me, so maybe this emo vampire novel might be good too. 

My girlfriends started lending me copies but I kept returning them. Short-Haired Girl gave me a copy. Then the Brooklyn Library, DoubleCougar and finally The Brit forced her copy onto me. Lo and behold, I was left with nothing else to read but 500 pages of "forbidden romance." So I flipped through "Twilight" while I crapped, before I went to sleep or while I worked.

I wasn't taken to a magical place. I didn't feel any affection for the characters and didn't care when they were about to get eaten by monsters. Not even the love story interested me. That to me is not a successful book. 

I've read two other "modern" vampire novels this year – "Moon Called" and "13 Bullets." All three vampire books I've read featured female leads, little love stories and major differences from the usual vampire lore. "Moon Called" was only one I kind of liked. 

"Bloodsucking Fiends" is probably my choice for a great vamp tale. "True Blood" is a good show, but "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" is a fucking amazing show. "Blade" is cool. "Vampires" was shitty. "Lost Boys" is fun. "Underworld" is unbelievably boring. I've seen floats in Manhattan's PRIDE parade less gay than "Interview with a Vampire."

Yes, I read "Twilight." But I didn't like it. It was just a book and the reasons were circumstantial. I'm not renouncing my manhood. 

I also thought the original Bram Stoker's "Dracula" sucked, so what the hell do I know?