Friday, July 26, 2002

I'm going to meet up with a friend of mine for dinner and a movie tonight. He's picking the movie. I bet it won't be anything on my list, such as Scooby-Doo and Reign of Fire. I've seen my 'critically-acclaimed-movie-with-subtitles' for the year, so I'm entitled to something with explosions and car chases. Just to tide me over until the Vin Diesel movie comes out. I wonder if he's held captive and tortured by the villains at any point? If there were any homos on the script writing team then it's a given.

Years ago, when I was in college, a friend of mine said 'You've got to see this movie!" She said that it was a thing about an alien and it starred Arnold Schwartzenegger, but that there was a lot going on in it. (We were both English majors, so we talked like that. And I had not reconciled myself to my enjoyment of mindless cinema, so I had to have an excuse to see something like that back then.) The movie was Predator. My friend was right, but one thing that I picked up on that she didn't was that it was off the scale when it came to homoerotic content. The alien wants to bag Arnold because he's such a damn fine piece of man meat. A few years later, I read and enjoyed a book of poems written by Paul Monette called '18 Elegies for Rog,' written for his lover who had died of AIDS. In the 'By The Same Author' blurb, it mentioned that Mr. Monette had several screenplays to his credit, including 'Predator.' What's could be the reason for Mr. Diesel's meteoric rise to stardom? Uh.... That would be homos. Here's hoping that XXX is basically softcore porn. (C'mon, that title...) I wonder if Vin is or has been 'romantically' linked to any budding starlet. Maybe he's dating his publicist's sister or something. A google search indicates that he is 'rumored to be dating Playboy model Summer Altice.

Anyway, enough about Vin. (Yeah, right. I see an obsession coming down 5th Avenue.)

Tomorrow will be the final outing of the season for my softball team. It's a double header against the Hellcats from Cowgirls Hall of Fame. Interestingly, they're #1 in our division, and we're #2. So, it will just confirm them in first place if they win (possibly knocking us down to third), but if we win, we get to be the division champs. And I love that. Thank the Lord the first game is at noon. (We get to the park at 11 for practice, we rendevous to head up there at 10, and I get up at 8am.) It's just too much when the first game is at 10 am. It is so wrong to be getting up at 6am on a Saturday morning. Anyway, hail the conquering heroes.

This will probably be my last post for a while. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week I'll be on Fire Island with the Special Guy.
That last posting was sitting un-posted while I went to my meeting. It was as bad as I imagined it would be. I wanna go and get my MBA. If that's what it takes to not have to sit in a room and listen to these knuckleheads 'brainstorming' ideas that are dumb dumb dumb (if someone said 'think outside the box' one more time...).

Oh well. Here on the home front, I'm lovin work. The coalition stuff is actually a very very small percentage of my job. Thank the lord. I actually enjoy that kind of thing, but I've been spoiled. Back in my ACT UP days, I worked with a group of people who were brilliant. I mean, just stunning at planning and executing direct action. It was dizzying to listen to them. Always. And now I hear these people and it's just soooooo lame. Like going from running graduate seminars at Harvard to Hinneydale Junior College. But ya can't say that...
Eeeee. I'm about to head out to a meeting. It's likely that another attendee of the meeting will be my arch enemy , a borderline personality disordered executive director of an agency doing work similar to mine. In my last job, she was the chair of my board, and ergo my boss. It was not pleasant. Thousands of dollars went to my therapist for sessions devoted to this evil, stupid woman.

But y'know, I fall into this same trap all the time, giving her way to much power. She's just a garden variety nutcase, she has no credibility with anyone. There's not even much of a reason to be nice to her. But it's unbelievable the way she can railroad a meeting. Her latest loopy idea is to subpoena Bill Clinton to testify at a City Council hearing we're having. If I spend two hours in a room discussing the merits of that, I'll just toss her right out a window. I swear I will. I think that's why I dread interacting with her so much. I'd hate to spend the rest of my days in prison, and every time I have to be in the same room with her, homicide is a definite possibility.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

My day is almost done. Time to head down to the drop in center. Then coffee. Then the gym. Then home. No conversations with the Special Guy today. Yet. Hate that. Looking forward to next week on Fire Island. Sunday night through Wednesday night, just me and the Special Guy. Thank you Friend and Landlord!
A great article in the New York Sun, an obituary for Zeus, a search and rescue dog who died at the age of 11. Zeus' credentials included September 11th, but also the Oklahoma City bombing. Lots of articles in the Sun concerning dogs. Someone there must have a penchant. Or, perhaps, it's just part of their political viewpoint. I think it's easy to construct an argument that conservatives tend to be dog people (straightforward, hard working, honest, loyal, responsible citizens) and liberals tend to be cat people (coniving, dependent, high maintenance). And there's that whole thing about John Ashcroft hating cats. I bet he likes dogs.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002


Time to head home. Well... to the gym, then get something to eat, and then home. The Special Guy is still having major back pains, so we won't be getting together tonight. Maybe I'll jump on AOL and see if he's IMable before I head out. Miss him. A lot.
Wow. This is why I love the internet so.
Who is Vin Diesel? Where did he come from? Is he a wrestler? Is anyone outside of a cadre of gay men going to see that movie? Did the director convince him to show his naked butt? Has Gus Van Sant worn out his dialing finger trying to get a call through to him about a 'project' Vin might be interested in? If Vin's movie tanks, might he consider, as a desparation move, making a 'cop-buddy' movie, co-starring with Charles Nelson Reilly?
Special Guy hardly ever notices his stomach problems any more since he has lately been rendered incapacitated by a pinched nerve in his back. He's going to acupuncturists and chiropractors, two professions I have not a lot of respect for. I'd be getting a referral for a good sports medicine clinic from my primary care physician so fast it would make her head spin.

I wrote a poem for the Special Guy. Lord knows there's enough crappy poetry on the internet, but I'll post mine. I haven't written a poem for years. Surprised that one should come to me now. I'm actually sort of pleased with the effort. I don't know if 'bouquet of bubbles' works really well or fails spectacularly, though. Anyway. Forthwith...

In the Jordan

Not much of a river;
Water slouching over rocks.
At first I took him for a stranger, not kin, standing smiling on the bank.

I have my routine down now. I wade
Up to him, relieve him
Of his tunic. We face each other
Naked. He is smooth while I'm hairy.
Like a kid goat. Both of us are tall. We
Kiss. Like a lover I put my arm around
His waist, lead him out into the current.
I have my routine down now. When we're
Chest high I stand between him and
The sun. He squints. I can see him.
He sees only my silhouette.

I move my hands to his shoulders, broad
And firm, not those of some wizened rebbe or wiry young
Zealot. He relaxes almost
Imperceptibly, and I strike, throwing him off
Balance. Under he goes. Strangely he doesn't
Squirm, no convulsions, no bouquet of bubbles
Rises. I keep him under and say a
Psalm. A good long while.

I loosen my hold. He surfaces, gasping and glassy-eyed. I pull him close, feel the heft of him in my arms. God speaks.

God has spoken to me often.
"Go out to the wilderness, John."
"Eat the locusts if you're hungry."
"Put on those skins if you're cold."
"Show them they're drowning in their hypocrisy."

But God calls him 'my son.' God says
He is pleased.

He and I, we laugh as if we're drunk.
We're drunk with God. We kiss.
Laughing. The sunlight is God. The
River is God. He is God. I am God. God is pleased.
All is made new.

Would John the Baptist have recited a psalm? I can't think why not. I use exclusivist language with the Deity, but I wasn't able to come up with a construction that wasn't clunky. Alas.
I love this blog. Her internal voice and my internal voice seem to be the same internal voice.

Monday, July 22, 2002

A beauty of an essay by Andrew Sullivan on AIDS in 2002. Astonishingly, only 15,000 people died from the disease last year. And the whole new class of drugs unveiled in Barcelona have exceeded their discoverers' expectations. But here's a kooky thing: HIV seroconversion rates among younger gay men in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are at the highest they've ever been. As Sullivan points out, this is in part due perhaps to a relaxed attitude towards becoming infected with HIV. However, I think that the prevalence of crystal meth in the gay community also is playing a part. Perhaps my experience is skewed by my work (the hammer sees nail heads everywhere), but tina is everywhere. It's unbelievable. And the preferred means of drug delivery--among network television producers, photographers, personal trainers, commodities brokers, chefs, and the like--is slamming. Mainlining. Intravenous injection. No lie. There I am on a date talking somebody through safer injection, just like at work. It's so bananas.

Anyway, it's great to read commentary on AIDS that's free of cant.
Here's a conundrum. Once again I've run out of checks. wrote off the last one and whaddyaknow, there ain't no more. And, I got email today from my architect saying he's already to start work, but needs a $1000 retainer. "Ummm... can I give you that in twenties and fifties?" For the next two weeks anyway. Here's the issue. How can I avoid telling my architect what's up without revealing myself to be the dolt that I am? I mean, what other possible reason could I have for not being able to pay him for two weeks? I guess I'll have to fess up.

(Typical. Just when I'm thinking I'm something special getting to say, "my architect," I'm busted.)
Great weekend, attending the board retreat with GMSMA. The drive up was pretty awful, five hours to go 104 miles. My spedometer didn't go above 35 mph until after I crossed the Tappanzee Bridge. But the setting was splendid, on top of a mountain with a lake down the hill. It was all midsummer lush. Such a grat group of men I'm serving on the board with. At a few points over the course of the weekend there were sharp disagreements, but underlying these I sensed a mutual respect and admiration. For the most part, arguments and ideas put forward were thoughtful and principled.

Well, there was a bit of Republican bashing that went on, but I let it pass.

Further discussion of Inferno, too. I don't know what to think. Everyone who has been there gets a sort of glazed and faraway look in their eyes when the subject comes up. Something more than the sum of the parts is going on here. I wonder what percentage of Inferno attendees went to summer camp? I see similarities. Sexual frisson and all. So much of S/M involves adult re-interpretation of games that children play. For example, my friend Carl's backyard pool was surrounded by flagstones. Lying out in the sun all day, the slate would get blazing hot. So it became a 'thing' to 'punish' transgressions--and there were always transgressions--by making someone kneel or sit their but down on the flagstones. And I remember us nailing each other in the ass with chestnuts (this drew blood!). I couldn't begin to list the ordeals we put each other through before someone said "Uncle." (Now how might that idea of 'playing with a safeword' developed?) And bondage, of course.

Hmmm. Is S/M an adult version of children's games, or are the games of childhood an example of children playing an adult's game? Or, perhaps play is play is play, whatever the age. Just with different emphasis put on the role of sexual gratification.

But anyway, could Inferno be so resonant with so many men because it allows them to recall a simpler, happier time? Is it perhaps a Greenworld experience? Or a bunch of guys that trade on their mastery of some arcane skills to get laid? Two months from now I'll be in a position to decide.

I returned to the city (as in Jersey City) yesterday at about 6pm. My dog seems to have been well taken care of, although he was just walked rather than boarded. It must have been lonely and confusing for him. He was glad to see me.

And I was glad to see the Special Guy. He's in the throes of stomach trouble and a pinched nerve in his back with pain radiating down his leg. No Beerblast at the Dugout for him, but we met up for dinner (some easy-on-the-stomach risotto). I hope I managed to distract him from his health problems. Damn I love that man. Just makes me week in the knees.

The piercings are doing well ("Thanks for asking!"). I perservere with the salt water soaks, bactine, and antibacterial soap washes. The shoulder strap on the seat belt in my jeep is annoying, cutting right under the site.

Friday, July 19, 2002

I'm off for the weekend. Possibly there will be some dial up possibilities, but given my rustic setting, it's unlikely I'll have the time or inclination to add. See y'all on Monday.
Zowie. Camille Paglia has said it far better than I ever could, delivering a nice smack down to that ass Richard Goldstein. A sort of interesting idea is that if Goldstein is forever going at Sullivan with ad hominem attacks, then he should be ready to take the same. Like this one: Could his obsession be perhaps motivated by the fact that Andrew Sullivan is widely read on both sides of the Atlantic, appears not infrequently on television, and is widely considered to be a thoughtful and serious commentator, while Richard Goldstein will probably be carried out of the offices of the Village Voice in a box, and that the bulk of the (ever dwindling) readership of the Voice are folks who want to know what bands are playing where? In the marketplace of ideas, nobody seems to be buying what you're selling Mr. Goldstein. Bitter? Maybe just a little?
This is the stupidest thing I can imagine coming out of Congress by far. Because I work in the field of harm reduction, I've been getting a few 'Sign this Petition against a bill in congress that would outlaw raves!' emails. I thought the authors must be over reacting. What chance would such a loopy bill have in Congress? It turns out, quite a good one. The sponsor is none other than the Senator from Delaware, Joe Biden (D., natch). And he really does want to outlaw raves because he considers them to be venues that foment drug use. It's an expansion on the crack house law. (Gosh, and that bill was soooo effective in stopping people from using crack...)

On the one hand, I don't think it's a bad thing--within the bounds of the civil liberties set forth in the Constitution--to give police as many weapons in their arsenal to maintain law and order as possible. But, government--and the Federal government in particular--just has to realize that there are a lot of things that they just can't do anything about and if they try, they'll just make matters much, much worse. As Glenn Reynolds put it so well, "The thuggish idiocy, corruption, and pathetic lack of contact with reality that have marked the War on Drugs are the biggest arguments that our government isn't up to handling the War on Terrorism." Amen.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

I think there's some more bleeding going on. Special Guy called. We're meeting up tonight at the Original Espresso Bar at 8:15. If anyone wants to see to big guys with mustaches sucking face, get there no later than 8:05 so you can be all settled with your iced latte at the magic moment. It looks like it could pour at any moment. Just like when Special Guy asked me if I wanted to be boyfriends with him.

Note: I am a person who has spent most of my 37 years being completely cut off from my feelings. I get through life by thinking, not feeling. My Enneagram is Point 5. I do wry asides and telling commentary. I recognize irony. I like Abstract Expressionism. My Myers-Briggs is INTP. Think, Joan Didion, or George Will, or David Souter. This experience, this melting into a puddle of pink, sticky goo whenever I think of the Special Guy... it's all brand new to me and completely unexpected.

Ride the Pony

IT Guy, who used to work with us, burned me a cd that has been providing the soundtrack for my commuting. Overall wonderful, but IT Guy has a lot to learn about music management. Y'don't have an entire album as one file! The beauty is in the sort feature. I mean, listening to Steely Dan is fine, but an entire Dylan album is more than anyone can take. I mean, love Bob, but in smaller doses. I think I need to listen to Blondie's Back to the Bleach before Dylan and maybe the Corrs afterwards to tolerate that big dose.


Got cool email from a reader and fellow PLWP (Person Living With Piercing).

Quite a night I had last night. I got home, feeling pretty crabby because the Special Guy postponed our get together until tonight, and set about doing the salt water soak. I ended up getting my bedsheets wet in the process, but then noticed that my right one had apparently been bleeding all day long. Out of both ends. The salt water in the cup was a sort of maroon-gray color. (I won't be painting my kitchen that any time soon.) Thus began soaking, swabbing with bactine, and washing with Dial anti-bacterial soap until every thing was cleaned up.

I think that whole thing is pretty cool. It has some cultish aspects. Akin to the way that two iPod owners talk and compare notes when they f'find' each other, but with the big difference being that people over-hearing the iPod discussion are perhaps vaguely envious, but people overhearing two pierced people discussing the basis for their pronpinquity would be horrified. And, perhaps, somewhat tittilated. But, the arcane aspects are definitely a draw.

So I'm wondering if I should have a spare shirt at work. What if Righty starts to bleed again, and a staff meeting is interrupted by a co-worker saying, "Uh, Drew... you seem to be bleeding from your chest..." It's sort of weird that after four days, Righty started to bleed, too. Yesterday I was wearing a heavy cotton Carrhart shirt, and I had my pack of Camels in my left pocket. The pressure on Lefty provided a vaguely pleasant sensation throughout the day, but I worried about irritating it. All the while Righty was gushing away.

Great editorial in the New York Sun today that basically draws the same conclusions that I did on insider trading (thus vindicating Martha). They point out that no one is really harmed. If there is a sell-off based on insider information, the value of the stock will go down, reflecting more closely it's real value. Prohibitions on insider trading sort of ensure that the stock price is artificially inflated. A nice point.

There's also a loopy editorial by the City Council Member who represents the district that includes the site of the World Trade Center. If Councilmember Gerson has his way, the site will essentially be a vast memorial bounded by a housing project. Luckily, I've heard the six proposals called 'bland' several times now. Whatever happens, I hope it's interesting.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Eeee. This weekend, I'm going Upstate for a GMSMA board retreat. Cool. But the anxiety-feuled homos that run the retreat center won't let me bring my dog, Prosper. So, I need to rely on Pet People, a local sort of dog walking-bording-pet taxi collective in Jersey City. So I called two days ago. They called me back and said it would be fine to walk my dog the three days I'm gone. Uh... no. I need my dog borded, not walked. So they're checking on the availability of either Siggy or Vanessa and Hernando to bord Prosper. Siggy I love. Siggy is a sullen young woman who doesn't seem to like people all that much, but that's fine, because she loves Prosper and Prosper loves her. I felt great about leaving him with Siggy. He was thrilled to stay with her. And then Siggy moved. So on a trip to Florida, I got Vanessa and Hernando. I made arrangements for them to pick up Prosper the morning I left. The night before, I get a phone call. Hernando has class, so they won't be able to pick up Prosper until after 5pm. A problem, as my plane left at 2pm. Much rigamarolle involving me dropping off my keys so V and H could come and collect Prosper. When I got back, they were three hours late in dropping off my dog, three hours I spent sitting in my Jeep outside my apartment since I didn't have keys to get in. And they forgot to return Prosper's dish and leash. (How is that possible?) I hate Vanessa and Hernando. So, I'm praying for Siggy. Of course, there's the possibility that I'll get a phone call tomorrow telling me that no one is available to take my dog. In which case I'll have to leave him with an unbalanced Russian woman who lives on a boat. I don't trust her a bit. We shall see.

And okay, I'll spill. I'm crabby. The Special Guy has been somewhat distant (or perhaps it's my love-crazed paranoia). It "won't work out" for us to get together tomorrow as planned, so we'll be getting together on Thursday. And he somehow forgot I'm going to be out of town on Saturday. Oh man oh man oh man. Y'know, I need the Special Guy. I've never 'needed' anyone before. I decided to let this happen. I hope I don't regret it. Nah. I won't regret it. Love is wonderful.

I hope my Free Martha tank top arrives in time for the retreat. It will look so good with my chaps.
I'm sooo disappointed by the proposals for building on site of the World Trade Center. Beyond the fact that Beyer Blinder Belle (aka Blah Blah Blah) is not known for their daring... come on! Memorial Plaza, Memorial Park, Memorial Square, Memorial Triangle, Memorial Garden and Memorial Promenade. Spam and eggs, eggs and spam, spam and ham, spam and eggs and spam. What about the Memorial Elipse? The Memorial Rhombus? The Memorial Hollow? The Memorial Meadow. It's sort of answering the question by not answering the question to focus on the shape (the shape!) that the memorial portion of the site will take. What about the buildings? What will they look like? Residential? Commercial? Office space? A re-interpretation of the Towers? Hasn't everything been done that can be done with the International Style? And what form will the memorial take? Any ideas being tossed around? I mean, geez! The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation can basically do whatever they damn well please down there. Whatever they do, they're going to piss off some constituency (like the 50% of Post readers that think that the Towers should be rebuilt exactly as they were). And, whatever they do will essentially be henceforth the signature for New York City. Be bold, I say. The (never to be built) plans that Richard Meier (who's a New Yorker for gosh sakes!) has for Midtown West from Madison Square Garden to the Javitz Center are breath-taking. So many exciting possibilities. I hope that it's meant to be a ploy, a distraction. Get us all fighting about the merits of the Memorial Triangle as opposed to those of the Memorial Promenade and meanwhile spring something stunning on the world.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

And I just went here to get my Free Martha tank top. Perfect for the gym.
This is nice on Winona.

Free Winona Free Winona

I hate the fact that two prominent public figures I like and admire immensely are looking at jail time! What about root causes of their respective anti-social behavior? What about the liklihood of vast conspiracies claiming Martha and Winona as hapless victims (the LA DA's office trying to get attention; the Democrats in DC trying to perpetuate the Sturm und Drang around corporate malfeasance...) If there can be a grassroots movement on behalf of the obviously guilty murderer of a police officer, Mumia Abu Jamal, surely Martha and Winona merit something similar. Where can I get my buttons?

Monday, July 15, 2002

Well, time to go home and soak my tits in salt water.

Will the real Drew Kramer...

Huh. Just did a Google search on my name. Something I did from time to time. For a while, there were three of us. Me, a guy who played college baseball in Louisiana, and a guy in Arizona. (I called Information in his town, got the number, dialed, and had the eerie experience of a voice not mine saying, "Hi, this is Drew Kramer. I'm not here right now..." in his answering machine. Now it seems there are dozens of us. Including one at Rutgers School of Law. That's a little too close for comfort.
Now I feel better. A Google search on 'piercing' and 'care' turned up a bunch of sites (like this, and this, and this) that all basically said the same thing, and it's just what I'm doing. I feel a wee bit de-sensitized to this undertaking, too. I haven't said anything to anyone at work about the weekend's activities, but I feel the need to talk about it. I sent email to a former employee now in motorcycle mechanic school in Arizona to get it out of my system. Somewhat.
Wow. Whilst doing my monthly perusal of Dan Savage's sex advice column, Savage Love, I followed a link and hit upon this gem. It's wonderful. Let's hear it for antsy 37 year old homos! (Like me and Dan.)

Interesting to note that by this time next year, we could possibly establish democratic states in Afganistan, Iran, and Iraq. And from what I heard on the radio this morning, it might not be too long before they're ready for a change in Egypt. It would be nice if that went down before the appeals ran out for the homosexual men convicted of sexual sin or whatever. How could the Saudi's not feel nervous? How long is the State Department going to turn a blind eye to their smiling, back-slappy version of sponsorship of terrorism if Iran, Iraq, and Afganistan are having free elections and drafting constitutions?
If you smash the headlights of a car with an alarm sounding at 3am because a motorcycle went by, is that illegal? I mean, it couldn't possibly be illegal. If you can not do time for killing a burglar in protection of your flat screen HDTV or whatever, it couldn't possibly be illegal to take revenge for the theft of a fitful night's sleep.
Back from lunch at my vietnamese restaurant. Good to have Tai Gau and Tra Da Chahn as fuel for the rest of my day.

Love in the Pines

Yahoo. My Friend and Landlord with the share in the Pines just gave the greenlight for me and the Special Guy to spend a few days in his share. I am totally looking forward to that. And the saltwater will be so good for my nips.

"You are pierced."

Such the eventful weekend.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early (6 frickin' 45 am) for a double header softball game. We won handily both of the teams that we played, Cafe Sha Sha and uh... I forget. And I played really well. We're talking 4 base hits, one score, and one rbi. I struck out once. And, just as Game Two was getting started, I looked over towards ouir dugout from my position in center field and there was the Special Guy. He showed up to watch me play softball. And apparently brought me a great deal of luck. I've never played so well. Thus began the Odessey of Self Discovery portion of the weekend. After the game we headed back to Ty's for beer and pizza. Special Guy and I cut out after pizza. We went to the leatherman to get Special Guy a vest, and then we went over to Venus Body Art on 4th Street between Aves A and B and I got my nips pierced. Everything that brought me to lying down on that table is sort of a blur. I decided I wanted to do it, and just didn't think about it after that. The folks at Venus were great. Two ten gauge posts are now lodged in my nipples.

It hurt a lot. If he hadn't done the right one first, I probably would have called it quits at that point. But I couldn't be permanently flagging bottom with my nipple. The second time it hurt more. I was pretty noisy "HOOAAAAAH-EEEE!!!" was the noise I made if I recall correctly. Twice. I didn't hold back. After ramming that needle through my flesh, the piercing guy would announce, "You are pierced." Appropriately ceremonial I thought. Special Guy was great. Held my ankle while it was being done. Then it started to get weird. I mean, I was fine. I was totally okay. The pain after the piercing itself was negligible. But after both the posts were in, I'm looking in the mirror, and all of a sudden a trickle of blood descends from my right nipple down my rib cage. A trickle? It was a big trickle. Call it a stream. Very Dracula movie. So then I felt dizzy. I had to sit down again. I started to feel faint. They gave me the run down of what I'll need to do to take care of it. Doesn't sound too complicated. I went out and sat on the sofa, trying to banish from my mind the sight of my own blood. Replace it with the thought of how hot it's going to be to walk around at the Lure with no shirt on and both tits pierced. Didn't have much luck at that. There were two women sitting across from me and the Special Guy. One of the women was getting her belly button pierced. My howls of pain didn't do a lot to steady the piercee's nerves. So both of them disappeared into The Room. I was listening for something blood curdling, all I heard was a little "eep..." and then the piercing guy said, "You are pierced." I comfort myself with the thought that women have a higher threshold of pain than we do. And, they have to deal with their own blood every 28 days or so. (I am soooo glad I'm a man. I'm soooo thrilled about that. Not only do I get a penis, but I don't have to gave a period or endure pregnancy, saddleblocks, and birthing. thank you, God.)

Then Special Guy and I went to the movies. We saw 'Y Tu Mama Tambien,' a Mexican film with subtitles about two boys, Tenoch and Julio, who take an older woman, Luisa, on a sort of Kerouackian jaunt to a deserted beach called 'Heaven's Gate.' It was really wonderful. Then we stopped at the drug store to pick up bactine and Q-tips, got dinner stuff at Jefferson Market, and headed across the river. I made dinner, Indian Summer Fish Stew.

Here's the recipe:

Preheat oven to 500.

Dice one large yam. Toss with walnut oil, salt and pepper. Deposit it in a large, flat skillet with a lid. Then, dice one spanish onion and one red pepper. Add to the skillet. Cut up kale frisee to make about two cups. Add to the pan. When all the vegetables are soft, transfer to the top of the stove. Add fish stock and fat free sour cream. Scrape all the stuff off the bottom into the liquid. Add 2 bay leaves and a liberal dose of marjoram. Slice up about a pound of Talapia filet. Add the fish. Don't stir it around too much as once the fish is cooked, it will break up and you don't want that. Give it a few shakes of Tabasco sauce. Serve immediately.

I also added 2 cups of frozen corn that my mother and I put up last summer. Hearty, healthy, and delicious. Special Guy was pretty bowled over.

Then we had sex. Y'know, I hate condoms. I really, really do. I find them all but intolerable at this point. We tried Inspiral condoms and even the female condom, and both of them are... well... condoms. And they bite.

The next morning, more athletic sex, and then I drove the Special Guy back into Manhattan. I went to St. Luke's for the first time since October 1st. It was fine, and event that loomed much larger in my mind than in the minds of my fellow parishoners. Roger Ferlo preached a good sermon. Then brunch, then back to Jersey City, then I went to the Gay and Lesbian Community Center for this Erotic Art auction thing. I was volunteering. My volunteer job was to be 'Artist Relief,' I would watch an artists booth while he went to the can or headed out to Starbucks or whatever. Since most of the artist there had assistants on hand to do that, I basically wandered around for three hours. Some of the art I liked, but most of it I found pretty mediocre. But here's the thing. The first time an artist said to me, "I would really like to have you model for me. Please give me a call sometime," I was pretty flattered. By the fourteenth time, I decided that for most of these artists, being an erotic artsit is sort of a scam to meet guys.

Wound down the day with Sunday Beer Blast at the Dugout. Very cool weekend.

Friday, July 12, 2002

Who's responsible for this?

Special guy called. He doubts that he'll be able to get up for softball tomorrow morning. We have a 10am game (the first of a double header), and so that means we need to meet at 8am. And that means that we need to get out of bed around 6:30 am. That is insane. What's with these 10am games? Next week I'll miss whatever games we're playing because I'll be at the GMSMA Board retreat. I bet that means that our first game next Saturday will be at noon.

Special Guy and I will be meeting up for dinner, then we'll do the sleepover thing tomorrow night.
Dang. I sent out email yesterday to a bunch of folks, and didn't want to be spreadin' addresses so far and wide, so I BCC'd evverybody. This apparently has gotten our mail server flagged as spammers. Our IT guy is working to resolve the problem, but meanwhile, half of my mail keeps getting bounced back, rejected as spam. It's not, I swear. I swear it's not.

Here's a sort of scary thing. Those black blotches you see all over all the sidewalks in New York City? That's gum. That was in somebody's mouth. Actually many somebodies and many mouths.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Huh. I paid the $35 for Pro and nuffin happened.

"I don't want to work! I just wanna write on de blog all day!"

Sent the url for this to several farflung friends. Heard from one. Time to make an appearance down in our Drop In Center.

More to come.
So Special Guy and I are going to get our tits pierced in the near future. Hmmm. I wonder what DV8's hours are on Friday nights? Anyway, I'm sort of thinking I'd like a second tatoo. I just don't know what to get. I see some really cool tribal designs that I like, but the tatoo I have (on my right deltoid) is the head of a wolf over a banner reading 'Stand Alone.' (The artist's design read 'Lone Wolf,' but I thought that was a bit twee. I had just read Erich Fromm's Freedom and Dignity, and 'Stand alone and live,' was a particularly resonant phrase from that book.) Anyway, it's sort of old skool, which I wanted. And the artist who did it, Sonny Tufts by name, had spent his career inking sailors in Honolulu. So I think a tribal tatoo would... uh... clash. So I'm thinking of mebbe going with a heart, over my heart, with a legend reading 'Amo et odi. Excrcucior.' (Latin for "I love you and I hate you. And it hurts.) Or maybe just 'Excrucior.' No drops of blood though. Anyway, I definitely think having an old skool tatoo as a starter precludes going celtic or tribal or what have you. Hmmm. But what about if I were to go with something not abstract, but nu skool? Don't quite know what I mean. I used to know a dyke who had a magnificent tatoo. It looked like a narrow arm band with some abstract design, but when you looked closer, it was dancing women. I mean, it was just so amazing. Maybe a pack of wolves running? Maybe a pack of wolves seen from above in the snow across my back. Huh. I wonder if I could find an artist who could do something like that. Sounds like serious bucks though, no?
Yo. Great sleepover last night with the Special Guy. He picked me up at work, I gave him a tour, we crossed the Hudson, did some grocery shopping, then headed to my swingin' pad. In lieu of seeing a movie on the VCR (that I figured out how to use just for the occasion), we had a discussion of comparative moral theology (Roman church vs. the Anglican Tradition). And then we had hot steamy passionate sex on my neoprene sheets.

This a.m., he drove me to work, stopping on the way to get muffin and a decaf at the Original Espresso Bar. He got stopped by a nice police officer making that right turn you're not supposed to make coming out of the Holland Tunnel, but there wasn't a ticket issued.

Why decaf, you may well ask? (Right. Like that's a remote concern.) Anyway, I have my tea at home, so I'm pretty well caffeinated by the time I get in. But, I want something with my muffin. Why not get tea, as that's my preferred drink? For the simple reason that people who work in latte-profering establishments usually have no clue how to make a cup of tea. "Here's your luke warm water with the tea bag on the side." That so does not cut it. Here's a website that answers all your questions. I knew there would be one. Actually Google turned up dozens. We tea drinkers are so particular and so vocal about it.

We talked about spending a few weekdays on Fire Island. I put in a request with Friend and Landlord to see if we could use his share. Here's hoping.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

*sigh* A kind of productive day. I wrote the text for a brochure we want to produce for gay men who use crystal meth. It is sometimes odd being a gay man and spending my professional life doing HIV prevention work with injection drug users. Suddenly (and I do mean suddenly), just about every guy I hook up with is using Tina. It's wild. And not snorting, but smoking or slamming. When worlds collide.
When I was in St. Louis, I had an interesting conversation with my host about the impact of September 11th on the gay community. My responses (as a gay man living in New York on that fateful day) were varied and probably incoherent, but I'll do my best to represent them. In essence, whatever the goals of the nascent movement for civil rights (alright, for liberation) for gays and lesbians in 1969, it seems to me that they were achieved when, in a matter of days after the Towers fell, New York Governor George Pataki declared that same sex domestic partners would be entitled to all State benefits going to surviving family members of those lost in the attack. Too, being in New York, I felt like a New Yorker. There was an incredible sense of common cause and shared experience, that for a time eradicated all divisions. I hadn't previously thought of myself as a New Yorker, but as a guy from Pennsylvania living in New York. (Ironically, less than a month after the attack I was no longer technically a New Yorker but a New Jerseyan. New Jerseyer? New Jerseyite?) Ich bin ein New Yorker, Bub. And beyond that, I feel myself to be an American--truly and indelibly an American--in a way I didn't feel before. Being gay is besides the point. It's like being left-handed. In fact, I would say that a homo couldn't do better than to live in the U. S. of A. Yeah, they have more comprehensive laws in several European nations and marriage is state-sanctioned in a few countries, but they also have more comprehensive laws in about everything in most European nations, and given parliamentarianism, less pure democratic forms of government. We have more freedom and a greater degree of self-determination. And, it's no big deal if we're homos. That rocks.

Speaking of things that rock, last night I went out with my Latinist Lesbian Pal. She's on my Board, and after a program committee meeting asked if we could do drinks. I said sure, if food could be included in that. So we went to Leshko's on Avenue A. She is splitting with her adulterous domestic partner, and is on the hunt for butch women (who are not 'kids') to have sex with. This is not easy as a lesbian. All those jokes about moving vans on the first date have a basis in fact from my observations. But, there is a (from what I hear) vibrant sex club for women in NYC (albeit operating one night a month), so maybe there's hope for LLP.

Anyway (here's the part that rocks), afterwards, it was too late to hit the gym, so I headed to the Factory Cafe. I had just polished off the crossword puzzle in the New York Sun and who walks in the door but the Special Guy. Passionate embrace. I was so glad to see him I could have wept. Yeah. I'm in love. I love the Special Guy. Head over heels I love the Special Guy. And y'know, I can honestly say that I've never had this experience before. Ever. So he has a scheduling conflict for tomorrow night, and we'll do our sleepover on Wednesday. This will probably be better as I don't have to be at work until noon on Thursday. I love you Special Guy.

Monday, July 08, 2002

Yo. Great weekend. Lively and interesting all around.

Last Wednesday, I flew out to St. Louis to meet up with a friend of mine. Trip out was really odd. I flew Northwest Airlines. At LaGuardia, we all get on the plane, and it is announced that twelve of us have to get off the plane because it was overloaded. So it became a waiting game, until twelve souls broke down and decided that they really didn't need to be wherever they were going that urgently. Northwest gave a $300 voucher for opting to stay behind. After that experience, a free trip on Northwest sure didn't get me to thinking. We were on the tarmac for about an hour and forty five minutes. Airlines are awful. Except jetBlue. I'm considering adopting a policy of not going anywhere jetBlue doesn't fly.

Coming home brought more drama. I changed planes in Detroit with a 1.5 hour layover. Time to kill. What to do. I headed for the exit and had a cigaret. This put me at the wrong side of the security screening. No big deal. I have to take off my boots every time I go through, but I'm used to that. Never had a problem until now, that is. As I'm approaching the metal detector thingy, I empty my pockets of anything metal into whatever bag I'm carrying. That way, I'm only wearing fabric and the problematic boots when I get to the nice folks with the wands. This time, in addition to taking off my boots, they asked if they could search my bag. Sure, go right ahead. Well, my butch chain wallet gave the security woman pause. She felt it could be used as a weapon. I mean, so could my belt. I could garrot someone with my shoelaces. Or my tee shirt if it came to it. So they told me I had to check my wallet. This meant that my bag had to be checked, because I wasn't about to just check my wallet. Y'know, I don't mind the enhanced vigilance in this the post 9/11 era, but could we please not have stupid people doing security? Is that too much to ask? Stupid people and power are such a bad combination. Always. Now, I've gone through security with my chain wallet nine times before this. Oh well.

Anyway, between the airline experiences, I had a blast. I spent a lot of time on the back of my friend's motorcycle. We went up the Mississippi on the Illinois side to Grafton, stopped and got fried fish and a few beers. Then visited a whipsman buddy of his in a wee little town in rural Ilinois. We saw fireworks. And we stopped by the City Museum . The place is amazing. The draw was that they had a smelter. How cool is that? "Hey, whadderwe gonna do for the fourth of july?" "I got an idea, let's get one of those smelter things."

The smelter was run by this total bohunkus from Devil's Night Iron Works. (Nothing came up for them when I googled.) He's a MFA scupture grad who's got this smelter and does this great iron work. Really cool stuff. And it's very performance art-y to watch them all working, hooting and hollering as they pour molten iron into sand molds. And we did get to Ted Drewes' for cements. And I spent time with my college friend, the Fertile One. (She and her husband are 'trying' now.) It's all good.

So then, Special Guy picked me up at the airport. We went to his parents' house in Queens so I could get something to eat. (In addition to all the aggravation, Northwest calls it quits after pretzel sticks.) We talked. I ate stew. We had watermelon in the back yard. And then I got in the car to head home, and the Special Guy leaned in, gave me a kiss, and said, "I love you, Sweetie."

"I love you, too" I croaked.

So begins a new chapter in my life. Gosh.

Tomorrow we're meeting up to have dinner and then have another sleepover so we can do some horizontal dancing. Same thing on Friday, followed by him coming to watch me play softball badly.

Life is good. Life is very good.

Monday, July 01, 2002

Damn. The weekend was fine. Friday night Special Guy stayed over. We had dinner, then saw Spider-Man (loved it, but hey, it's a movie), then back to my place. We basically cuddled (an objectionable term, but it pretty much fits), then drifted off to sleep in each others arms. The next morning I gave up the pink for him. Not something I do much of lately, but it was great. Really enjoy being physical with this guy.

Saturday I went to Chestnut Hill, PA, to pick up my buddy the Baron of Philadelphia. We stopped at the Erotic Boutique in New Hope, where I bought a very supple and responsive snake whip. I want to buy a 6' or 7' bullwhip, but couldn't pass this up. We had dinner at Dilly's Corner in Centrebridge, then back to NYC/JC. We hung out, hit the Dugout, then got a good 5 hours sleep before going to the Pride March line-up. I checked in with the gang at GMSMA, and probably would have had a great time marching with them, but I marched with my agency. We were a small but spirited band making our way down 5th Avenue. After the March, I headed to the Dugout for a beer, and ran into the Special Guy. Which was great. We met up with the Baron, and then the three of us went to Gay Pride Evensong at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields. It really is a great way to wind down the day. It was wonderful worshiping next to the Special Guy. Then the reception. Special Guy had been in the seminary with one of the priests at St. Luke's. Felt so comfortable being there with him. We stopped and got our picture ttaken in a photo booth. Something to cherish. He was meetiing up wiht a friend, so Robert and I had dinner, and then went to Factory Cafe to have a latte and watch the crowd swarm by.