Friday, June 28, 2002

Yo.
Outta here.
A coupla t'ings:

Flower Ladies
(Lovely names that you don't hear any more)


Fern
Daisy
Rose
Violet
Pansy
Hazel
Lily
Olive

Words in the English Language Ending in 'C' That Take a 'K' Before Adding a Suffix
(There are supposed to be seven)

Cholic (Cholicky)
Static (Staticky)
Manic (Manicky)
Tic (Ticking)
Picnic (Picnicking)
Panic (Panicky)
Bivouac (Bivouacking)

I'm never sure if I have these right. Years and years ago it was presented to me as a challenge ("Can you name the seven words..."


And This.

M R ducks
M R not
O S A R
C M wangs
L I B
M R ducks

M R snakes
M R not
O S A R
C M E D B E I's
L I B
M R snakes

And I recently started a Pallindrome Collection

Do geese see God?
We panic in a pew.
Ma is a nun as am I (I knew a woman who could make that boast.)
Rats live on no evil star.

The last one has always been my favorite. My last name lends itself to palindromes... k r a m e r /\ r e m a r k. 'Remarkable Elba Kramer' is a common one, but I know there's a better one out there somewhere.
Almost there. Damn productive day at work. Special Guy just called. His car got towed. Wasn't sure of the cross street for the tow pound. (West 38th Street). I'm sort of moved to say, "That's life in the Big City," but I haven't said that since I was in high school. In Holicong, Pennsylvania. I managed to get directions to the 'Starbucks on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill' so I can pick up my friend the Baron of Philadelphia. He'll be staying with me whilst I head off to St. Louis next week.

So tonights a sleepover party at my house. I'm so tickled. And tomorrow I drive to pick up the Baron, and then go up to New Hope to find this erotique boutique on Mechanic Street that has a nice selection of whips I want to check out. Then the Pride March on Sunday. So it should be a nice weekend. I have absolutely got to impose on the Baron to let me have one wee night so that I can hang out with the Special Guy before I'm leavin' on a jet plane. Anyway, buttloads of work to do before I get out of here.
Oh man. Great time with the Special Guy last night. We met at the Original Espresso Bar on Christopher Street (site of the first laying on of eyes). Tongues dueled furiously between sips of iced coffee. Then we headed out to dinner, and were promptly caught in a downpour. Both of us agreed that it was 'kinda nice.' While taking refuge under the awning of the flower guy at Christopher and Bleecker, we necked some more. He bought me a single red rose (a first... no one has ever...). Then, he said, 'You wanna be boyfriends?"

"Oh man," I said, "I totally wanna be boyfriends with you."

The rain let up. We headed to K-Bar. Great dinner. Amazing conversation. He told me about his religious experience at the age of five. I told him about my dad standing me up when I got him tickets to see Jessye Norman for Christmas. He told me about getting picked up in a basilica in Florence. I told him about my karmic footstool theory. (Briefly, all of us have a karmic flaw that trips us up again and again, like the footstool that Rob Petrie would trip over on the Dick Van Dyck show. You can determine the footstools of people you know well, but all of us are ultimately blind to our own footstools. Nice, huh?)

Oh, and I established a ground rule. Special Guy has to like my friend, the Baron of Philadelphia. Baron and I go back 15 years. When I was with my Ex, every time I would get together with one of my friends I'd spend the next 3 days defending the friend against a fervrent attack from my Ex. So who needs that. Eventually I just decided it would be easier not to do the friend thing. After I split with Woe-is-him, Baron was my first phone call. He was thrilled and we quickly renewed our friendship, but Baron exacted from me a promise that I would never again let some man come between us. And that's fine. I'm wiser now. (Huh. Maybe I just caught a glimpse of my karmic footstool out of the corner of my eye...) But a few months ago, Baron was coming to stay with me for a few days. I told him that he'd have to fly solo on Sunday night because I had a date, and you could feel the chill coming through the phone. Hope this doesn't get weird. Nah.

Anyway, tonight, the Special Guy and I are gonna have a sleepover party. Red and yellow black and gray could very well be on the menu. And navy blue of course.

Life is good.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

Heck. I should really be downstairs in Da Dropin' Cenner, but it is empty. It's about to pour, so people seem to be staying away in droves. Which is sort of annoying. If it were busy, time would fly. So I just sort of hang out. Hopefully a little surfing will make the evening pass a bit more quickly.

Usually hanging out is fine. But not tonight. Not with a date with the Special Guy looming.

8pm here at last.
Cool. Made it to work. Today's my late day. I staff the drop in center of my agency until 8pm, so that means I don't come in until noon.

Only eight hours and twenty-two minutes until I meet up with the Special Guy for our date.
Okay, I'll stop that. That will get pretty annoying.

Uh oh. A friend of mine who's visiting from Ohio stayed over last night. He's in the shower now. And I've got to (ahem) use the facilities. I'm soooo attached to my morning routine. Good to see him, but couldn't he just cling to the ceiling and stay out of the way until I'm ready to take on people? I think I'll have to break in on him.
Wahoo. Blogging from home instead of from work. What a thrill. Thanks G!

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

The Special Guy and I have a date tomorrow. Just dinner and conversation. Friday night he's gonna sleep over. Apparently he's a snorer. Which is not a problem. I can sleep through anything. Except when I can't sleep, and then I can stay awake through anything. Thankfully, my bouts of insomnia are exceedingly rare. I appreciate his warning about the snoring though ("I'll bring the ear plugs!" he said.) I returned that frank honesty by letting him know that I don't own an air conditioner. It might be a sleepless night of sweaty tossing and turning on my rubber fitted sheets. Given my last posting I'll see if I can find a link to this to tie it all together. Got it. Cool.
Here's what I'd like to see built on the site of the World Trade Center: A single structure that incorporates houses of worship for Protestants, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Reformed Jews, Orthodox Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs (I love Sikhs), and Muslims. Yeah, it would be pretty big. But it was religious fanatacism and intolerance that brought the world to this point. Regrettably, I don't doubt that all the waves of benevolence that swept the country in the wake of September 11th have now subsided to the point that the planning meeting for such a structure would quickly devolve into a shouting match. What the heck, build a mall. Make sure there's a good food court.

In fact, the repercussions of September 11th--from scoring political points as the November elections draw near in DC, to scamming FEMA for free air-conditioners, to the War on Terrorism seguing into a war without end akin to that described in Brave New World--just get sadder and sadder. People really are rotten to the core. Jean Calvin was kinda right about that.

Criminy. From whence comes this dark muse? Probably fallout from the approach of Pride.
I've long entertained a fantasy to do a remake of The Dirty Dozen, but with a different cast...

James Coco Charles Nelson Riley Rip Taylor Paul Lynn Orson Beane David Nivens Sherman Helmsley Don Notts Jim Nabors Al Lewis (he was Grandpa Munster) Rene Aubergenois Ricky Martin

Tragically, my cast seems to be going to meet their maker one by one. I'm open to suggestions for replacements. I guess my casting philosophies are pretty evident.
I am like totally lovin' my new Crystal Method cd Tweakend. Such good stuff. The cd is loaded onto my iPod, natch, but I've got it at home. I download some stolen music, but my rule is that if I have more than 5 songs by an artist, then I need to buy the cd because I'll probably like the whole experience. Except with Moby. Moby dicked us over. He like visited our agency and came away gushing... "You guys are amazing! I really want to do something to help you guys out!" Blah blah blah. So at that point he was just anuthah dj. Then he got a 9 story high billboard on Houston Street. And it turns out that a guy who used to work for our agency went to high school with him, they were big buddies, emailed all the time, etc. Now we got an eviction notice and had to move, and we had no money. We were faced with closing our agency. So our guy made an appeal to Moby. Finally, he wrote back something like, "I'm leaving for Europe, but when I get back, I'll definitely be in touch." And we're still waiting. Whenever I have a limewire session, I always take whatever Moby might be available and I never ever will put down $$$ for one of his cds. Spin that on your turntable, Mr. Bigshot DJ Guy!
So I was having a lousy commute this morning. I came down into the station at West 4th Street. On the west side of the street there's no turnstiles, just those revolving door/gate things. So I swipe my Metrocard, and it says "Please swipe card again." I swipe again and get the same message. And again. And again. And again. Fearing carpal tunnel from this repetitive motion, I did what you should never do and went to the gate next to this one. I swiped my card and it gave me the message that I had to wait 18 minutes before using my card again. So I go up the stairs and cross the street to the side where there's a token booth clerk. A heated exchange followed, ending up with me buying a token and going through the turnstile. I get down onto the platform and wait forever for an F train while a few vacant V trains (huh, never thought of that: 'V' for vacant) passed. Finally an F train comes in, packed to the rafters. I get in, and I'm vaguely aware of a nun on the train a few seats away from me. I settle in, open my paper, and an announcement comes on saying that because of delays on the line, this F train will be running express after Delancey Street. That was it. I said aloud, "Fuck the MTA!" The nun turned around. It was my college French professor. She was in town through the weekend. We're going to meet up for dinner before she leaves town. At least I wasn't wearing a tee shirt announcing my interest and or participation in some variety of sexual kink. I think that would be mortal, but erupting in vulgarity at the idiocy of the MTA is a venal sin at worst.

Y'know, (does "y'know" work okay for a transitional device?) it calls to mind the whole Amtrak issue. What buisiness does the Federal Government have running a railroad? They do a crappy enough job running local transportation. New York City subways have improved tremendously over the past decade, but still, with MTA and with PATH, you never get the idea that their goal is to get folks from point A to point B quickly and comfortably. PATH runs these Hoboken trains all the time that are at best only 10% occupied. I swear, after the Journal Square and Newark trains come only every 432 minutes after midnight, you still see these regularly running empty Hoboken trains. I have been kinda inclined to cut them some slack in the wake of September 11th since half their system and something like a quarter of their fleet of cars were burried under WTC, but that's just nutty scheduling. Who do the good people of Hoboken (a small municipality, but one now entirely gentrified) line up to felate in order to get this unbelievable perk? I'm sure if Amtrak were to shut down, there would immediately be private entities that would jump in and fill the gap. Already it's possible to get from NYC to Philadelphia by way of New Jersey Transit and SEPTA for about a third of what Amtrak charges.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

I like our new IT lady at work a lot. I started liking her on her first day when she asked me where is good in the 'hood to get lunch. Before I recommended my fav vietnamese place, Pho Bang, I asked if she was a vegetarian. "No way," she said, "But I'm like vegetarians because that means there's more meat for me to eat."

Uh huh.

I am always instantly suspicious of people on food trips of whatever stripe. I think it's a surefire indicator of mental illness at worst and maladaption at best. I have never known a balanced, thoughtful, mature, intelligent person who was a vegetarian. Well, one. (How clever is that? If a buddy of mine who is a vegetarian should read that, I have room to assure him or her that he or she is absolutely the exception I was thinking of.) I know more than a few balanced, thoughtful, mature, intelligent people who were vegetarians but have since relented. I think it's a remnant of the childish view of animals as something other than 'red in tooth and claw.'

A co-worker arranged for me to have lunch with a friend of hers. I saw his picture on a cd he has out and I thought he was something of a hottie. Well, he blew it when he announced (and we're smack dab in the middle of Chinatown mind you) that he was only eating whole foods right now so he wanted a salad. From that point on, nothing he said could alter my opinion of him.

Okay. I'll fess up. I don't eat veal. For one thing, I don't particularly like it. For another, my Dad has these tales of when he was working in the dairy barn at college (I covered this in a previous post) and was there when they would come to take the calves away from their mothers to become veal. It was a bovine Auschwitz that he described. The only other meat I have trouble eating do to sentiment is pork. Pigs are such sweet animals. They bond readily. I would love to raise them if it didn't mean sending them to slaughter. Uh... and if I didn't live in BDJC (Beautiful Downtown Jersey City).
*sigh*

Can't stop thinkin' about the Special Guy.
Huh. I always wondered why so many whip makers are based in Australia. There's tons of them. It must be the growth industry. I bet it's because Australia was a penal colony. Whips were probably used all the time for punishment, and so in the national psyche, whip handling was associated with power, skill, and rank.

It's so much easier to buy a whip in a store than it is on-line. You can take it out to the parking lot, give it a throw, and see if you fall in love. I'm sort of a sucker for lots of plaits (the strands of leather used to weave the whip). But just got email from someone who recommended that 8 plaits (as opposed to 12, 16, or 32) would be better for me. I wonder if they say that because it's less work. Whip makers don't make the money that they should for the time, effort, and skill that goes into making a whip. So I imagine when they get an email from some chucklehead like me they steer them towards an 8 plait that they can bang out in a few hours instead of a 16 plait that will take several days of work.

Gosh, those people at Happy Tails Whips sure are helpful.
Vacation next week. Sooooo much work to do before then, and I feel like a high school senior with spring fever.

Next week I'll be in St. Louis, MO. Looking forward to that. I like the town a lot. I spent the summer between my junior and senior year of college living in a monastery there of English Benedictine monks, and teaching in the high school the monks ran. Teaching was miserable. I was totally unprepared for that. Church History, the Old Testament, and the Gospel of Matthew. My other work that summer was painting lines on tennis courts. Using traffic paint, a foul substance, in the blazing hot sun. The macadam on the tennis courts was so hot that I had to keep moving around because no matter what shoes or boots I wore, the scorching heat would penetrate the soles and my feet would start to burn. I preferred that work to teaching by a long shot. But being in the monastery was wonderful. The silence, the community, the good cooking, the solitude, chanting the offices. That part was pretty sublime. I had this experience of the dissipation of the separation between my conscious and subconscious mind. Everything flowed. I was considering signing up as a novice. I still think that I'll probably spend my twilight years in a monastery. Where better?

So I hope to pay a visit to St. Louis Priory next week (which I believe is now St. Louis Abbey). Too, I'm looking forward to riding motorcycles in the Ozarks, seeing what is considered to be one of the best Fourth of July fireworkes displays in the country, and getting cements at Ted Drewes'. (Wahoo! I found a link for that!) I'll be spending time with a friend of mine from college (Fertile One) and her husband. Fertile One is leaving behind a teaching career to become a massage therapist. That takes courage. And, I'll be staying with a guy who I had corresponded with for years on AOL. He contacted me a while ago and told me that he was coming to NYC for a conference, and I offered to put him up for a weekend. We totally hit it off. His is the motorcycle I'll be riding.

I find myself wanting to own a motorcycle. Of course, I'd have to wait until my dad shuffles off this mortal coil. He would greet that news with alarm and horror and would never sleep again with the worry. What a great way to get anywhere though.

Well, to work.
Oh man.

So yesterday I sent email to the Special Guy. To wit:

"Like I said, you're rocking my world.

"Maybe I'd better explain some what I mean by that. When I split with my ex, I couldn't figure out whether I had done all the (mostly) right things for a relationship with the (mostly) wrong person; or whether I was doing (mostly) wrong things for a relationship with the (mostly) right person. So I decided on sort of permanent bachelor status, being happy and fulfilled as a single man. Sort of a secular monastacism.

"And all of that was going fine.

"Then I met you. So damn sexy. Good heart. Smart. Feel like I've known you forever. Really really sexy. Such a hot man. I wanna jump on and never get off."

I was biting my fingernails up to my elbows last night. How's he gonna take that? Too much, too soon, too fast?

So this morning when I got into work, I had email waiting from the Special Guy. Short and to the point: "Jump, Baby, Jump."

Life is good.

Monday, June 24, 2002

Cool news. There's a Whip Enthusiasts group in formation in NYC. They plan to meet the first and third sundays of each month in Central Park and Prospect Park. They take pains to make it understood that 'this is an all ages, family friendly group. All are welcome, but keep in mind this is a whip event, not an S/M event.' Which seems to me to be somewhat overly cautious. Sort of like having censorhip sanitizing media for adults to a level acceptable for an eleven year old, just in case an eleven year old might be watching. I'm 37, and I want to watch and read things appropriate for a thirty seven year old. It's up to the parents of that eleven year old to make sure he or she is watching nothing objectionable, not the guv'ment. I hope they're more relaxed in person. Apparently the whole happy crew was at Folsom Street East yesterday.
Wow. What a weekend. Leather Pride Night was fun, although the pace of the work is breakneck speed. I did not make my softball game on Saturday. I hope we won. And Folsom Street East yesterday was so great. I was at the GMSMA booth for the better part of the day. It felt like everything in between the time when I was selling ACT UP tee shirts and selling Folsom Street East tee shirts was just a sort of dream. The volunteers I had working with me were excellent. The day was beautiful. The boys were hot. Sweet delight.

But here's the highlight of my weekend. Him. The Special Guy. He called me up (when was it? Friday?) and asked me if I wanted to go with him to a sex party in Weehawken. What could I say? Such an exotic locale... I've never been to Weehawken. Now, I'd never been to a sex party. I had no idea what to expect. I guess I expected a sort of porn movie come to life. Of course, it was a bunch of guys at a backyard barbeque with some slings in the basement that were never quite outside of anyone's consciousness. I knew a few of the other men there. Of course.

Digression: it's amazing how New York works. There are these fairly robust networks: visual artists, gay politicos, activists, leather. Even though they overlap to some degree, they exist independent of one another. But here's the thing... Once you're in one, it's like a small town. Everyone knows everyone else. "So I was talking to this guy I know, Peter..." "Yeah, I know Peter, he used to bartend at..." That kind of thing.

Anyway. I spent time hanging out with The Special Guy, in the backyard, and down in the basement. Both were great. He flows. He's like water. He's great to spend time with. Here's a weird thing. I have vasculitis. It's this obscure condition where the capilaries in my shins and feet break and I get these brown bruises. Looks awful. It turns out that Special Guy has the same thing. Now that is just bizarre.

So, The Special Guy has kind of rocked my world. I think I was kind of hoping that when we had sex it would go nowhere. No connection. No energy. We had a blast. Best time I've had in years. About 9 years, to the best of my recollection. I left the party before he did because I had to get to Leather Pride Night. He called me this a.m. to check in. He said that he didn't have a good time after I left. "I didn't want that. I want intimacy."

Wow. So where do I go from here? Fall deeply madly passionately? Remain true to my commitment to being a perpetual bachelor? My secular monasticism? Can I do this? What happened with my last relationship? Did I (mostly) do all the right things with the (mostly) wrong person? Or did I do all the (mostly) wrong things with the (mostly) right person? At one point, after I left, I asked him that question. I think my intent at the time was to get him to take responsibility for some of the things about him that I cited among my reasons for leaving. I don't recall that he did that. Natch. But, that really is the question, isn't it? I don't know that my therapist will be a lot of help in answering that. She likes me and doesn't like my Ex. Still, objectivity is her business.

Should I talk to The Special Guy about all of this? I think I ought to. I sense that he's feeling the same way about me as I am about him. He has a right to all the information necessary to make a good decision aobut whether or not to proceed. Lord knows he's been forthcoming with me.

I've never met anyone like him. Never. Is it possible? Freud held that falling in love was a variety of insanity. You can't be insane your whole life. So what happens when clarity returns? Will I find myself once again in a situation (a relationship) that makes me feel claustrophobic?

One thing's for sure, listening to Lucinda Williams' new cd is no help at all.

Friday, June 21, 2002

Well, already for the weekend. And what a weekend it will be. Lots and lots going on, and all of it fun.

Oh! Big news. Yesterday I picked up my new ensemble from David Samuel Menkes Custom Leatherware. It's hot. Way hot. Looks beautiful. And, I don't know that it will ever be a problem running into someone else wearing the same thing. It's a flight suit/garage mechanics uniform done in black leather with orange leather trim. It's kind of '70s vintage Marvel Superhero, just like I was hoping for. Last night I was at the Leather Pride Kick Off party at the Eagle. I was wearing the nylon cargo pants I had worn to work that day, (I ditched my shirt.) It was really tempting to duck into the bathroom and put on my new duds. But no. That debut will come tomorrow at Leather Pride Night. Till then.
In the MAD Magazine parody of Airport ('Airplot,' I believe), Helen Reddy as the guitar playing nun is depicted as singing 'Oh, we're all gonna die and go to hell some day, the devil's gonna come and take us all away.' This was the image that came zinging through my cerebral cortext when I heard that an asteroid the size of a football stadium came within 175,000 miles of the earth on June 14th. Zowie.

My take on the (probably inevitable) terrorist strike on NYC: it's random; there's nothing you can do to protect yourself from something random; thinking about it will just make you nuts. Sort of the same thing with asteroids. The dreadful thing about a 'dirty bomb' would not be loss of life, which would be minimal beyond the immediate vicinity of the explosion. Rather it would be the fact that The Big Apple would be irradiated and would have to be abandoned. Yeah, this is way selfish, but I've got a condo in Florida, and there's not much in the way of material possessions that I couldn't bare to part with. Somehow I don't think that Fort Lauderdale would be very high on the list of targets.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Oh man. A friend of mine from GMSMA emailed me the attack on 'homocons' that Richard Goldstein did in the Nation. The Left has never, ever been anything more than a small and vocal minority among gay men and lesbians. I'd warrant that until the AIDS crisis politicized homosexuality, we were as likely to be Republicans as we were Democrats. And that's how most folks on that end of the political spectrum identify themselves, as Democrats, not Leftists. Centrists, in other words. Sullivan and Vincent and the rest of them are no more the pawns and dupes of the 'Far Right' than Goldstein is of whatever remnants there are of international communism. That's ludicrous. Reading the article really has me frazzled, and I'm not quite thinking (or writing) clearly as a result. A coupl'a' things though...

With the exception of a few candidates here and there, gay men and lesbians have not been embraced by the Democrats any more than they have been by the Republicans. (I remember when then presidential candidate Michael Dukakis was asked about what he would do to address the AIDS crisis if elected he sneeringly replied that his positions didn't differ much from George Bush's. That would have been great, given that President Bush (#41, not #43) signed the Ryan White CARE Act into law and his administration orchestrated drastic reductions in the length of time it took for promising new treatments to win FDA approval), but based on his record as Governor of the Bay State, he was planning on ignoring the issue altogether.)

Gay men and lesbians are something like two or three times more likely to be regular church attendees than are heterosexuals. We are a God-fearing people.

The majority of successful efforts to beat back anti-gay initiatives have put forward classic libertarian arguments: get government out of our bedrooms. Ain't nobody's business if I do.

The Great Left Alliance of gays and Blacks and feminists and PLO supporters and socialists has never and will never materialize. There is no such thing as movement politics. People are motivated by their own political self interest, but to be successful politically, you've got to rope in a few other voting blocs. Goldsteins brief mention of the alliance between the Black Panthers and the Gay Liberation Front is laughable. As far as I'm aware, GLF did a bunch of fundraisers, but the Black Panther Party was rife with homophobia and even accepting the money spurned a great deal of debate. I believe there were a few (or one) exceptions in the leadership, but if there was ever a GLF demonstration or pride march that was attended by any formal representatives of the Black Panther Party, I'm not aware of it.

How come it's okay for gay men who don't identify themselves as conservative to question whether we pay way too much attention to youth, beauty, and body fat percentages, but when a more conservative voice asks whether our priorities might be out of whack, he's labeled 'sex negative.' Poor Bruce Bawer was forced to spill so much ink defending himself against the charge that he 'hated drag queens.' C'mon. You wanna have sex? Go have sex. Have lots of sex. What's stopping you? Who's standing there in your bedroom telling you not to? You want to have nasty sex? That's fine, too. But be an adult about it. Act responsibly. Do your best to not infringe on folks who might not want to be witnesses to your coupling. What is this yutziness about being 'more promiscuous than thou' and from whence comes the assumption that gay men have somehow cornered the market in this area?

During the time we were together, my ex and I traveled through Georgia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ireland, Quebec, Oregon, and California. We bought a house together. I attended functions at the school where he taught, and he showed up at a few of my job related things. How much guff did we get? How many jaundiced eyes were cast in our direction? That would be zero. Zip. None. I am not oppressed. I'm just not. Growing up gay is no more or less difficult than growing up with a speech impediment, or braces, or a weight problem, or athletic ineptitude, or freckles, or parents who were recent immigrants, or an accent, or buck teeth, or big ears, or whatever. Everyone has a crappy time as a kid. Are there wackos out there who unfortunately have the ability to make decisions about who does or doesn't get the job or apartment or mortgage? Yeah.

Sheesh.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

"Horien said he was able to preach to the sadists as they arrived for the IML event."

What a wild site. Run by the Concerned Women for America, it's sort of a seething, pursed-lip, tut-tutting (and frankly titilating) account of International Mr. Leather in Chicago. They make much about an unfortunate attendee who apparently overdosed on GHB in his room. Now what if homosexuals were to report on snake handling fatalities? The cost of hosting such a website would be prohibitive.

I know, I know. How good does it make me feel sharing the Republican Party with a bunch of yahoos bent on spiritualizing their neuroses? Not very good. But heck, reading the Village Voice just leaves me sputtering with outrage. And, I've never met a fundamentalist Christian that I couldn't have a conversation with. There's a huge difference between the politics people have been lead to expect from those in their lives who claim moral leadership and how they treat the guy sitting next to them on the airplane who's jetting off to Chicago to attend IML.

When I described to a (heterosexual, married, Catholic) friend of mine just what this event was that I was going to, she started laughing and said, "Drew, you're going to a beauty pageant." I had to admit that she was right. That's basically what it all boils down to. The Concerned Women for America probably would love to see it in a more purient light, but at the core, it's a beauty pageant.
I've got to face facts. There's no way I'm going to be able to make a softball game at 10am (which means we meet up at 8:30am) this Saturday. Ain't gonna happen. And it's only one game. Not a double header. I'll stop into Ty's tonight and give them the bad news.
Cruising the Occasional Straight Guy

Is this evil? I like cruising men on the street. Sometimes, these men are (presumably) straight. Not leering, mind you, just clocking them and making eye contact, smile. Sometimes they're oblivious. It doesn't occur to them that the big bald built guy with the moustache is a homo and so they remain blissfully unaware of the fact that I'm trying to imagine what they'd look like wearing handcuffs and a ball gag. But then there are guys who get it. Who look at me lookin' at them and know just what's up. In general, the response is to look away. I don't think I've ever (ever!) encountered hostility. Three times in my life (that I'm aware of) I've been cruised by women. Twice on the subway, and once in Starbucks. (I swear.) All three times I did my best to convey with non-verbal signals that I was flattered and appreciated their attention, but it wasn't going to go anywhere. (I did this on two of the three occasions by smiling warmly and pointing to the wedding band I wore when I was with my ex.) Flattered, is, I think, the preferred and adult response.

I wonder though. What's it like for a straight guy to be cruised by another guy?

Oh, just to clarify. I don't have a 'thing' for straight guys the way some in my tribe do. What draws me to any man is an extraordinary look. Something that indicates a willingness to depart from the norm, but not in a stupid way. (E.g., a guy wearing Armani who has a mohawk gets my attention; an anarchist-punk rock guy with a mohawk probably won't, especially if he seems to have been born long after Sid Vicious started pushing up daisies.)
A guy in the house where I stay in the Pines is always going on and on about Australia. I will never go to Australia. There are over 250 varieties of snake in Australia. About 130 of those deliver lethal bites. And there's a spider that's lethal, too. The spider only is found in Sydney. So much for the "well, I'll just stay in the city and not venture into the bush" strategy. Uh uh. No Australia for me.
Years ago, a friend and I came up with the name to end all names for korean-run delis: Sunshine Happy Green Fresh Farm Family Good. Combinations of those six words provide all the names for all the korean-run delis in New York City. Inevitably, they'll all be compiled in one spot.
Ho hum. Wednesday. Went to a fiscal management training this morning. Tonight I have the annual Board dinner for GMSMA. Last night I saw the guy I met on Sunday for dinner. He really is breathtaking. I think it was George Bernard Shaw who said that falling in love is over-estimating the differences between the beloved and everyone else. That tempers my ardor somewhat. And heck, less than a year ago I committed myself to perpetual bachelor-hood, taking it as my goal to create a rich, rewarding, fulfilling life for myself as a single man. I am really really really bad at relationships. I've come to the conclusion that I'm just not put together that way. It's not just the sex, it's the constriction I feel at having to share my space, my life, and my time with someone else. "I vahnt to be alone."

Interestingly, today is my most recent ex's birthday. I'd send him a shout-out, but I don't doubt it would send him into renewed paroxysms (sp?) of anger, narcissism, and black depression. (Granted, those are the only three stations his psychic radio picks up, but contact with me would exacerbate that.) But, it will serve as a gentle reminder that I'm setting myself on a path that leads to a place I don't want to go.

Hmm. Maybe I'll enumerate what I like about this guy. Let's call him Jaspar (clearly not his name; it's probably been a few decades since the last Jaspar shuffled off this mortal coil).

He's beautiful. He's a big guy. Maybe an inch or two taller than me. Clear level gaze. Stache. Brush cut. And the way the skin bunches up where his skull meets the nape of his neck. He's a hairy guy. And (as I discovered last night) he has an ass that feels like it was cast in bronze. He's sexually adventurous. Up for anything. He was ordained as a Catholic priest. (He could say Mass just for us. Well, actually he can't. He can only say it privately. Just like a Goliard of yore.) He's a really smart guy. He seems to have a full life. I definitely want to be spending a lot of time with him. I want to hang. Oh, and he has no problem with smoking.

Y'know, here's another thing. He's apparently nuts about me. Being desired is the surest fuel for desire.

Time to check email and such. More later.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

What a disturbing confluence. Just read in the New York Post about Congress investigating Martha Stewart (Uh... follow that link. It's not what you might think) about possible insider trading in her sale of ImClone stock. Now, I think Martha's great. I fully support her mission; namely, making all of those people who plant a chain link fence in their front yard know that that's not okay. I'd hate to learn that she's taking unfair advantage. (Although I've never quite understood the just why the rules that apply to every other aspect of life--drawing on expertise of trusted friends when delving into an area you don't know much about--are suspended in the realm of the stock market.) But here's the kicker. It turns out that the member of the House who is leading up the investigation is Jim Greenwood (R-Pa). As it happens, I worked on his campaign in his first bid for public office in 1980, a run for the State Senate in Pennsylvania. He always struck me as such a good guy. As a matter of fact, the basis of my support was largely his honest and unpopular take on the cause celebre of the day, the building of a pumping station on the Delaware River that would (among other things) provide water to the cooling towers of the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant. Abby Hoffman died a few miles from where I was born working to stop this great crime. Jim Greenwood's position was that the impact would be minimal. He was right. But, politicians of every stripe were making much hay about the issue to get votes. Very cynical. Very callow. So it's kind of depressing that he's going after Martha. I am hard pressed to believe that it has nothing to do with the high profile of this particular alleged insider trader. In other words, a grab for headlines. Not a particularly bright move. For one thing, Martha is beloved. And for another, it reads as being a publicity whore.

Oh. And also in today's issue of the NY Post is a photo of Mike Piazza with his shirt off that now graces the bulletin board over my desk. He may be heterosexual, but he's still a sizzlin' piece of manflesh. It's not on their website. Y'gotta buy the paper.

Monday, June 17, 2002

Just a thought.
Why I love Starbucks: Before the advent thereof (and at this point, from any Starbucks you can see another in most neighborhoods in Manhattan), there were no public spaces in New York City where you could sit and read a book. Or at least damn few. "Oh, but what about Caffe Rafaela and Cafe des Artistes?" My experience in those places is that after you drank your cappuccino they wanted you out of there pronto.

Another thought. I thought that Vindigo.com (loaded onto my Handspring Visor was the hottest thing ever. Then they did some kind of an upgrade. now I can't get it to work for me at all. Is it about money, Vindigo? I'll gladly pay. What better way to locate Starbucks in an unfamiliar neighborhood when it's starting to rain?
Since I've lived in NYC, I've rooted for the Yankees. Joe Girardi had the best ass on player in either league. Paul O'Neill (not our Treasury Secretary and pal of Bono) was such a gentleman. Dave Wells that madman who was such a big kid when he pitched his perfect game. Dave Wells. Then he got traded to Toronto and Roger Clemens donned the pinstripes. I never liked Clemens. How much respect can you have for a pitcher that purposefully beans batters? It's like a cop who plants evidence. The first year, I was pretty ambivalent. I didn't follow any team too much. Then came the subway series. I had no idea who most of the players were on the Mets, but damn, what heart! I couldn't help but be hoping they'd pull it out. The Little Engine That Could.
So Saturday while I'm at my parents, they have the Mets-Yankees game on. What chutzpah from that Estes guy, giving the Rocket some of what he dishes out. But then, Estes, the pitcher, hits a home run. How often does that happen? And just in case the Yankees didn't get the point, the Mets beat them again last night. Huh. The New York Sun (love that paper!) has a great recap.
What a weekend. Friday I went to GMHC to get the results of my HIV test. They came back negative. It was in and out pretty quickly. Being a pre-/post-test counselor must be such a rotten job. One I could never do, that's for sure. Michelle, my counselor, asked me how I felt upon receiving my results. "Relieved. Elated," I replied, and I was on my way.

Hot date on Friday night. We had dinner at Cowgirls Hall of Fame then headed back to my Jersey City pad. (What the hell is it about Cowgirls? Noisy. Crowded. Inane waiter. And the food was on par with my highschool cafeteria. I mean, the place is a f'ckin' Sizzler Steak House.) Anyway, had a great time, and here's a bonus for playing: he agreed to go see Spider-Man with me. No luck yet on finding someone to see Scooby-Doo.

Saturday, softball was rained out so I went to visit my parents. I stopped on the way and bought some perrenials. They look great. Unfortunately, the annuals I planted in the front bed don't seem to have grown any since I planted them a month ago, and the shasta daisies look like they've gone out of bloom. Alas for that.

Saturday night I hit the Lure . I met a totally hot guy, but he was pretty vanila. Strangely, there was hardly anyone there I knew. Except Eric. What's the deal with him anyway? Met him in February in DC. We really seemed to hit it off, but back in the city, nada. Whatever.

Sunday was a great day. Sunday was a stupendous day. I had a GMSMA meeting to plan the Board retreat on Saturday afternoon. Good meeting. I'm looking forward to getting to work. Then, I met up with a guy I had chatted with on AOL for coffee. I'm always pessimistic about AOL meets. This was a total exception. Dang. He was hot, experienced, and talking to him for two hours just flew right by. He's been thinking along the same lines as I have in terms of leather and spirituality. He has a website planned. Very cool. I sincerely hope I get the chance to do a scene with him sometime soon.

And then the gym (worked back), and then hit the Dugout for Sunday afternoon beer blast. *sigh* A little background. A few weeks ago, I stopped in at Original Espresso Bar on Christopher Street to pick up a muffin and latte on my way into work. There was this drop dead gorgeous guy in there wearing a F*I*S*T tee shirt. I liked everything about his look. This great way the skin at the back of his head bunches up. Clear-eyed gaze. Big guy. So I was lookin' at him and he was lookin' at me, and then I had to get to work, and that was that. Until last night. I was coming out of the bathroom at the Dugout, and he walked up to me, introduced himself as the guy from the coffee place, and there we were suckin' face. A very hot man. And then we started talking. And talking. We went to dinner together. Then we went for coffee after dinner. Don't want to give away any biographical information, but oh man, the points of convergence between us were uncanny. We were talking like we'd known each other for years in no time. Can't wait to get nasty with him. Looks to be a total pig. Love that. So he's all I've been thinking about since. All that stuff about being a permanent bachelor just went flying right out the window. (When will I learn? When?) So I'm sort of stunned today.

Life is good. Life is very good. Thank you God for my life.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Yesterday was a staff picnic at the agency where I work. Really beautiful day for it weather-wise (hazy, hot and humid... my favorite!). I was sort of dreading it. Enforced jollity in the workplace is pretty degrading when you think about it. But, I think I was recalling my experiences working at Ernst & Young. However, I like all of these people! So it wasn't at all a drag to spend a day with them.

Some context is necessary for this next bit. I live in Jersey City. I work in Manhattan. I get to and from work by way of the PATH train, usually catching it at the Christopher Street station, as it's convenient to my gym and coffee places I frequent, etc. Big doings in the West Village lately. Much consternation on the part of a group called RID ('Residents In Distress') about what they allege is the precipitious decline in quality of life in the Village. Guess who is most frequently indicated as the perpetrators of this decline? People from New Jersey. Who get off the PATH train and hang out on Christopher Street. Why, that would be me, wouldn't it? Actually it wouldn't. I'm white. It's probably not the white people from New Jersey who get off the PATH train and hang out on Christopher Street, it's the black people from New Jersey who get off the PATH train and hang out on Christopher Street. I'm sure they'd say that this isn't the case. Horsesh*t. Seven years ago I lived on 11th Street between 5th and 6th. The streets between 5th and 6th are called the 'Golden Blocks.' They're among the most beautiful in the city. I used to dread walking the dog on the 11pm walk on Friday and Saturday nights. Greenwich Village is the playground for the greater metropolitan area. Beer cans, drunks, vomit, cars blaring music, it was insane. It's my distinct impression that things are much, much better now than they were then. So, these people in RID have none of my sympathies.

So one more piece of information. The PATH train was built in a bygone era. The Christopher Street Station has one narrow stairway that accommondates thousands of people who use it daily. You can't get in or out of there during rush hour. I've only been riding these trains since October, but it's my understanding that things have gotten much, much worse since September 11th buried an entire line of the system. So PATH--not the most responsive quasi-governmental entity around--is putting in additional entrances and exits.

Well, the folks in the West Village are up in arms about these plans. Landmark buildings. Old growth trees. Christopher Street will be narrowed. Blah blah blah. As my saintly white-haired grandmother used to say, "If that's your trouble, you ain't got trouble." So there's apparently a demonstration, organized in part by some of the same politicos I used to work for.

So I have this devilish idea. Requiring more time than I have, but still. Printing up bunches of posters on behalf of PATH Riders For Fairness Coming Together (PRFFCT). I'll see if there are any upcoming meetings that I can encourage folks to turn out for, and urge PATH Riders to boycott any business on Christopher Street that has a 'NO PATH Expansion' sign in the window. If there were world enough and time... Maybe I'll print up a few hundred posters and carry them around in my backpack. What the heck.

Monday, June 10, 2002

Jiminy Crickets. Just got the proposal from my architects. The hourly rates seem pretty standard, but the Per Diem for traveling is pretty daunting. They're looking at $2400 for the initial trip (to do the study of the place) and then I imagine they'll be one or more trips during construction to sign off on the work before I pay the contractors. Criminy. Do I have this kind of money? I need to spend some more time with my Excel workbooks. I definitely have to put the brakes on spending in other areas. I mean, I'll need some money to furnish the joint. I'm thinking of it as my Le Courbusier Dungeon .
For my place in Fort Lauderdale, I'm thinking of a large (large!) format Montgomery Clift photo. Maybe done in xerography. Like 8 feet by 10 feet. Poor doomed beautiful Monty. I'm pretty much immune to a lot of the 'dead movie actress cults' that afflict so many gay men, but I kinda have a thing for Montgomery Clift. I was thinking of buying some large format artwork for the FTL place, but I can't afford it, and it would be cooler to make something myself.
Uh... Sorry. Posting was 'temporarily unavailable' and I got nervous, so I re-posted my final Friday entry this morning. It's not deja vu, just my incompetence.

Speaking of my incompetence, a life-affirming thing playing softball on Saturday. We had two games against the same team. In the first game, I was EP, and had three times at bat. I struck out all three times. I was really bad. We had a lunch break in between the games. The manager announced that in the second game, I would be playing right field. Another guy who hadn't been able to make the first game showed up. He's better than I am. So I said to Joel, our manager, "Y'know, if you want to take me out for the second game, that would be fine with me." Joel said, "Why?" "Welllll... Because I can't get a hit to save my life today. I'm too new at this. If there's batting practice before we play, then I'm more relaxed at the plate. Stepping right up and facing a pitcher I'm way too nervous."
Everybody (Everybody!) on the team was shaking their heads, saying "No no no no."
"It's not about that. We're here to have fun. Look at being behind the plate as batting practice."
So I did. I stayed in. I hit the ball twice. The first time I flied out (but I hit the damn thing!) and the second time I got on base.
I love softball.

Immediately after the game, I changed clothes and headed out the L.I.E. to Sayville to catch the ferry for Fire Island. So nice. I could really get used to that. Don't get me wrong, I could never afford even a quarter share in all liklihood, and if it wasn't for the generousity (and insane job demands) of my friend and landlord Don I wouldn't be there at all. So, enjoy it while you can. And I do enjoy it. Saturday was on the cool side. I slept well, and I let myself sleep till 10am to give my pulled muscles from softball time to recuperate. Sunday was gorgeous. Made myself a nice brunch, took Prosper my dog for a walk on the beach, then sat reading by the pool. Andrew the house man suggested a dip. It was wonderful. The water was shockingly cold. I was overheated from the sun.
I took the 5:50 ferry back to the mainland, and drove back towards NYC. Usually, returning to NYC just fills me with dread. The noise, the traffic, the people. Especially when I'm coming back from someplace where those elements are absent. But as I came over the final hill on 495 before the approach to the Midtown Tunnel, there was the sun, bright orange, setting behind the skyline, which was set off in a beautiful azure. Here and there the sun was reflected (on the Citicorp building, the Seagrams Building) in fiery brilliant orange. Just breathtaking.

The Holland Tunnel was jam packed and took an hour to negotiate. I dropped off Prosper and my gear at home, then headed back into the city to meet up with my friend Steve for dinner. I parked my car, and I was heading to the Factory Cafe on Christopher to wait for Steve, when this total bohunk comes up and stands next to me while I was waiting at the light to cross Hudson. Some casual conversation ("So, what's up, Buddy?) indicated his strong desire to bed me. Now, I was already in a good mood, just glowing. But that wee bit of positive reinforcement just put me right over the edge. I was euphoric.
"If I had the opportunity to sit in some anteroom in paradise before I was born into this world, and got to pick the life I would live, I would pick this one. Bar none.' Without qualification.

But then again, I have a Board of Directors meeting tonight. So we'll see how I'm doing afterwards.
Hi ho. Winding down my work day. Thus begins the weekend. Monday will be a very busy day, getting ready for the BoD meeting that evening. I wonder if I should haul my amazon.com delivery home with me tonight? It included Darker Than You Think, by Jack Williamson (a book recommended to me years ago as 'the most frightening thing you'll ever read,' and gosh, I've read some pretty frightening opinion pieces over the years whle trapped waiting for a bus and nothing but the Village Voice to keep me company), and my Learn Vietnamese textbook and tapes. Why vietnamese? Why indeed. A block away from my job is this vietnamese restaurant, Pho Bang. For the most part, their menu consisted of variations on the theme of 'bowl of broth, rice vermicelli, some cut of beef or other, served with bean sprouts, lemon, and basil on the side.' Beef possibilities included 'omosa,' which I found out--too my horror--was tripe, and 'navel,' which I found out--to my horror--was the cow's bellybutton, looking just like a human belly button. But, if I stuck to brisket, it was delish. And they were so nice! I really enjoyed going there. Every day. Day in, day out. And then I noticed something. Every so often I would get the runs. Diarrhea. When you have a 50 minute commute, mostly involving sitting on subway trains, this can be problematic. Application of Ockham's Razor told me that the problem rested with my vietnamese restaurant. Now I'm not one to let something like that stand in the way of a good meal. What's a little E. Coli now and then? That which does not kill me makes my digestive system stronger. And I'll probably be back. But I'm nosing around for another place where I can go get lunch without thinking about it. But anyway, I liked the people so much, and I've always wanted to visit Southeast Asia, that I decided to get some books and tapes, and lunch would afford me an opportunity to practice. Pronunciation is apparently tricky with vietnamese, so even though I'm still planning on pursuing the study, without the daily dose of the language and being corrected on my pronunciation, I probably won't be speaking anything that would get me around Ho Chi Mihn City. Maybe I'll find a night school course. That did the trick with Russian. Blah blah blah. The work week is done. I'm outta here. Doubtful I'll be posting any time over the weekend. Monday I'll report in on Fire Island. Maybe this trip I'll go to the Ice Palace or whatever the hell the place is and go dancing.

Friday, June 07, 2002

Hi ho. Winding down my work day. Thus begins the weekend. Monday will be a very busy day, getting ready for the BoD meeting that evening. I wonder if I should haul my amazon.com delivery home with me tonight? It included Darker Than You Think, by Jack Williamson (a book recommended to me years ago as 'the most frightening thing you'll ever read,' and gosh, I've read some pretty frightening opinion pieces over the years whle trapped waiting for a bus and nothing but the Village Voice to keep me company), and my Learn Vietnamese textbook and tapes. Why vietnamese? Why indeed. A block away from my job is this vietnamese restaurant, Pho Bang. For the most part, their menu consisted of variations on the theme of 'bowl of broth, rice vermicelli, some cut of beef or other, served with bean sprouts, lemon, and basil on the side.' Beef possibilities included 'omosa,' which I found out--too my horror--was tripe, and 'navel,' which I found out--to my horror--was the cow's bellybutton, looking just like a human belly button. But, if I stuck to brisket, it was delish. And they were so nice! I really enjoyed going there. Every day. Day in, day out. And then I noticed something. Every so often I would get the runs. Diarrhea. When you have a 50 minute commute, mostly involving sitting on subway trains, this can be problematic. Application of Ockham's Razor told me that the problem rested with my vietnamese restaurant. Now I'm not one to let something like that stand in the way of a good meal. What's a little E. Coli now and then? That which does not kill me makes my digestive system stronger. And I'll probably be back. But I'm nosing around for another place where I can go get lunch without thinking about it. But anyway, I liked the people so much, and I've always wanted to visit Southeast Asia, that I decided to get some books and tapes, and lunch would afford me an opportunity to practice. Pronunciation is apparently tricky with vietnamese, so even though I'm still planning on pursuing the study, without the daily dose of the language and being corrected on my pronunciation, I probably won't be speaking anything that would get me around Ho Chi Mihn City. Maybe I'll find a night school course. That did the trick with Russian.

Blah blah blah. The work week is done. I'm outta here. Doubtful I'll be posting any time over the weekend. Monday I'll report in on Fire Island. Maybe this trip I'll go to the Ice Palace or whatever the hell the place is and go dancing.
Hwullalraht. Just got the news from my friend and landlord that his share on Fire Island is available this weekend. I'll head out tomorrow after my softball game. I never thought of myself as being That Kind of Gay Man. As a matter of fact, I thought of myself as being a very different kind of gay man. Maybe just because my early years in NYC were spent living on the Lower East Side. I was growing sideburns, wearing Doc Marten's, hangin' at the Bar, shakin' my cool thang at Pyramid. Not getting all my body hair waxed off and doing opera at the Met. (Now I have seen a few good shows at City Opera over the years...)
It was high school all over again. They were the In-crowd. They had the looks, the cars, the grades, the college acceptances that I didn't. I was fairly certain that there was no place for me at their cafeteria table. So, rather than compete, I made my own rules. Or rather, banded together with similarly situated boys and girls and we made our own rules. Which probably had it's limitations (I think what really set us apart was social skills). But it was a lot of fun. Same as a twenty-something gay man in NYC. I remember someone selling T-shirts that said "Nobody knows it was me that put that bomb in Uncle Charlie's." That's loaded with obscure references, but it pretty much sums up the ethos of the times.
But then my friend and landlord Don offered me his share over Memorial Day Weekend. I was sort of feeling crabby about not going to International Mr. Leather in Chicago, so I decided to take him up on it.
I had a blast. It was such a good time. Sitting around with smart, charming people, great food, the beauty of the place, and getting an expert blowjob from a man with a flawless body in the Meatrack. What's not to like? Softball is eating up my weekends for the next two months, but I wonder if a quarter-share or something would be negotiable for August and September.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

I'll close with a quote: "My first lesson was this: 'S/M is the search for excellence in ourselves and in others.' And the second lesson was this: 'Be responsible.' All the other lessons followed these two commands and were shaped by them." (My brow is deeply furroughed as I strain to remember junior high school punctuation rules for a quote that contains another quote.) "One among many: The seduction and training of a leatherman," by Thom Magister; appearing in Leatherfolk, Mark Thompson, Ed., Allyson Books, 2001.
So I'm struck by a strange notion. Maybe I'll go to graduate school and get a degree in construction management (or a variation on that theme). I shepherded the agency I work for through relocation, includeing a $400k gut renovation of 5000 square feet of derelict building (the place now looks great). Working with architects and contractors was a great experience. I like architectural design. I was once pretty awed by this guy who told me that he had built over 200 buildings. Could I escape from the world of work while I went to grad school, or would I have to go part time?

Being a Construction Manager sounds sort of like my plumber ideal. I've always wanted a job like a plumber. Everybody needs a plumber at some point. Most plumbers work for themselves. They are able to charge a pretty good fee for what they do. It's secure, independent, and (relatively) mobile. I'd really like to be an architect, but that seems to be such a crowded field, and I'm a little old to embark on that course.

I'm 37 years old and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I blame my Dad! He had an odd idiosyncracy. When, as a lad, I would amble up to him and report, "When I grow up, I want to be a veterinarian (or architect, or lawyer, or teacher, or commercial artist, or whatever)," his response was the same. Discouraging in the utmost. "No no no. They're a dime a dozen. You'll never make a living that way. You don't want to do that." This from a man who is essentially a frustrated poultry farmer. Poultry farming was always his ambition in life. He went to college (National Farm School then, now Delaware Valley Agricultural College in Doylestown, Pennsylvania) as a Poultry Management Major. Unfortunately, factory farming was already replacing family farming. He ended up as a Food Inspector for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Not at all a bad living.

Love my Dad. Overall, he did a great job (twice widowed, twice remarried, brought up the three of us pretty well), but that's one thing he could have done better.

Over and out for today.
So it begins. By way of introduction, I'm a 37 year old gay man, living in Jersey City and working in Lower Manhattan. I grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I recently purchased a condo in Fort Lauderdale. Part real estate investment, part weekend getaway. My project (as Jean Paul Sartre used that term) is to build for myself a full and happy life as a single, childless man. Sort of a secular monk.

And what's the thing about 'single tails?' Well, everybody needs a hobby. Mine happens to be throwing whips. Primarily I work with snake whips, which are distinct from bullwhips in that a bullwhip has a wooden handle at the end, and a snake whip has a shot-loaded butt on it. I work with a 5' kangaroo snake whip with a 2' fall, a 4' kangaroo snake whip with a 2' fall, and a 5' kangaroo signal whip. What's to like? Absolutely the feeling of wielding that power (the crack from throwing a whip occurs because the power of the throw is concentrated in the tip, which breaks the sound barrier). Also because there is a zen quality to throwing. Like splitting wood. Like target practice. If you think about it, you screw it up. You rely on your body's knowledge, find your center, and throw. Here's an informative link on the subject:

So. More to come.