Thursday, August 29, 2002

Parting is such sweet sorrow. I'm off to play softball in Montreal and whip some men in Michigan. Blogging again in the middle of the month, if not before.
I am so ready to turn my ass into a pin cushion.

What's up with that? Here's the deal. I can not get my weight over 186. I work out really really hard at the gym. I eat enough to feed a plough horse. It's genes. Damn them. I come from a long line of tall and lanky people. (Given the fact that my forbears were coal miners, they must have been bumping their heads fourteen times a day.)

I'm living in the 21st Century. And I'm a 21st Century kind of guy. I can change my eye color. I can get liposuction. I can avoid baldness. I can pierce any part of my body I feel like. I had my myopia and astygmatism corrected through laser surgery. I'm not used to to taking 'no' for an answer. Especially when what I want is something that seems fairly simple and straightforward: sixteen inch biceps and a forty-eight inch chest. I mean, it's not like I'm after (Heaven forfend) washboard abs.

Steroids proliferate. The obvious problem is the aggressiveness and moodswings. But I am such a low-key, even tempered guy that I doubt that would be a big problem with me. Maybe swing me up to normal. Normal for New York City anyway. And then there's the fact that abuse will turn your liver into pate de compagne. But, I rarely drink alcohol, and I could avoid Tylenol (processed by the liver), and drink lots of water. The liver is one of the few organs that can repair itself if you take care of it. So that leaves the issue of testicular diminution. Mine are nice. The size of apricots. I would hate to see them go. I wonder if they come back?

Maybe I should talk to my doctor about this. See if she can give me a compelling reason why not. But here's the thing. I know so many guys that use them--many with a doctor's prescription--that the credibility goalposts are already set pretty far back. I could probably score some without much difficulty. And I have all the sterile syringes that I could want. Gratis. A moral dilemma.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Off to see the Staten Island Yankees play ball. It's PEZ night!
Every affirmation is also a negation (said Georg Hegel). (Love saying 'Georg.') When you say 'yes' to something, it means that there is an infinity of possibilities that you're saying 'no' to at the same time. Love is the most profound affirmation. When we chose to love someone, not only is there a planet full of people that we are effectively deciding not to love, but there is so much that in the end, you're forgoing.

How jarring that realization is. For me, it's all about saying 'yes.' Me and Molly Bloom. If I'm going to affirm a relationship (and that's definitely where things are headed with the Special Guy), I want there to be as little 'no' as possible. Sound thinking? Realistic? Ay, there's the rub.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Finally! What a thrill! I'm blogging from my Jersey City digs. Y'see, I neglected to write down my password and user name, so attempts to sign on from home have been pretty fruitless. Finally, today, I figured out how to get that info from the fine folks at Blogger.

Jiminy. I'm so in love with the Special Guy. Still. The smell of him, the taste of him when we kiss, the feel of his hairy chest, the sound of his laugh. The way he looks at me with such kindness and intensity when I'm telling him about my day. Unfortunately, his sciatica is acting up again, so we won't be getting together tonight. Fortunately, we're good to go tomorrow after my the party for my softball team at Ty's (y'all come!) and possibly the next night, too. Can't wait. Sure nuff, Inferno (Inferno! Inferno!!) will provide many distractions, but that won't stop me from missing him the entire time I'm away.
It's official. Quasi. This morning I called the Senator and said 'yes.' At the staff meeting today I announced to everybody that I was out of here. Now I'm waiting for my board chair to get out of a meeting so that I can give her the news. I decided to make my start date October 21st. That way I can (hopefully) take some time in between jobs. I'll be available to meet with staff at the Senator's office and even do other stuff in the mean time. In fact, I'm pretty much a lame duck. Not like I can start anything. And (I've done such a good job at putting a management team in place that) the agency runs itself.

So, I guess between now and October 21st, there will be lengthy postings to my wee, humble blog.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

My apartment is still a wreck. Well, half a wreck. The bedroom (formerly the livingroom) is tidy and pristine. But the livingroom (formerly the bedroom) is strewn with all manner of things. And tomorrow a.m. I leave for Our Nation's Capital to hook up with the Special Guy for a weekend of fun and frolic.

I met with the potential new boss today. We had a fun and free-wheeling conversation. (A definite downside: I'd have to wear nice clothes. Suits even. No more Carharrt shorts and tee shirts.) I have no idea. I wish this could have come down when my job was pissing me off. But nooooo... Everything is hunky dorey. And we're poised to launch our initiative targeting gay men who use crystal. Don't know that anyone would be picking up the ball on that were I to step out.

Mulling mulling mulling. I wish I could do both. I wonder if I could get a bartending job one night a week to make up for the lost income? Probably not. That would be sort of scandalous.

Huh. Another downside. I guess I would have to take my blog underground. Probably just obscuring my name somehow. Although I couldn't do that with archived stuff. Or, I could just not talk about work. Or politics. And, in a job like that, where your work becomes your life, that's a tall order. Maybe I'll just write about books I'm reading.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Still mulling that job offer, by the way. It's looking like I might be doing a Rhoda ("New York, this is your last chance!")
I wish I had a scanner. (I had access to one but left it with my Ex, who probably still has no clue how it works.)

Anyway, in this Japanese knick-knack catalog (don't ask) I found an illustration I love. The product in question are chocolate cookies shaped like teddybears clutching big hearts to their chests. Circular indentations for eyes with eyebrow indentations on the very top of their heads gives them a 'How about that!" sort of expression. In the photo, they're sort of stacked in and around a (cool looking) coffee mug.

The catalog is chock full of snippets of English such as 'Coffee makes me glad!" Y'know, the Japanese use of English words (even nonsensical English words) to cash in on American Cultural Imperialism.

So anyway, the part I love. One of the chocolate cookie bears has been given a little cartoon bubble over his head. He's saying (what else), "eat me." It's taped to my monitor. I look at it and giggle.

eat me.
Dang it all. The link I posted for the still of the punishment scene from Starship Troopers takes you into Yahoo Hell. Sorry bout that. I tried copying and pasting the pic, but that apparently is a no-go with Blogger. I watched the Punishment Scene (Casper von Dien strung up and given ten lashes with a snake whip) several times in slow motion last night and this morning. Technically it's brilliant. Only once is it obvious (at 1/7 time) that in one frame there's not a slash and in the next frame there's a slash). Also, the cuts left by a whip are much shorter. (Oh, I just know that. That's all.) And I know so many people who would love to own that suspension frame.

Funny thing. I have never been able to stay awake through (Starship Troopers Director) Paul Verhoeven's film The Fourth Man. Overt depictions of homoeroticism are less interesting than sublimated homoeroticism. Or maybe it's just that Starship Troopers has explosions and chase scenes and The Fourth Man has furtive glances in the well house. Or whatever.

And I also watched A League of Their Own. Loved it. I was sobbing at the end. Anything baseball always leaves me sobbing at the end. But what's up with Geena Davis? It's like she doesn't speak English and is reading her lines phonetically from a teleprompter. She just sort of stands there looking statuesque. Regardless. That was the first of many viewings. "Coffee!"

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Whoa. I just got a job offer. For $7k less than I'm making now.

Isn't life funny?

Need to discuss this with someone. And gosh, I have my therapist tonight.
Geez. I'm just a bloggin' fool today.
Oh, by the way...

So wuddewhy look like? Go here (the website for Folsom Street East) and I'm four over and four down. The guy in the middle with the bushy mustache.

Here's a chart. The X's represent pics to click on.

X X X Me X

So now you know.


Cool. The DVDs I ordered from just arrived. I sort of went to town. Yeah well. Here's the roster:

Sex and the City, Season One
A League of Their Own (all the inside jokes tossed around on my softball team came from this movie. I've never seen it, unless you count having every line recited by 14 gay softball players. Dirt in the skirt!)
Pitch Black (Uh, Vin Diesel appears in some really interesting bondage I hear.)
The Wild One (I've only read the MAD Magazine parody...
The Leather Boys (a really interesting film I've read about but never seen, made in England in 1962, very controversial in its time)
Starship Troopers (I bought the entire DVD of this dopey movie so I can watch this scene where Casper Van Dien gets whipped. What's up with that? Well, maybe I can sell it used on ebay. Nah, I do not have my act together enough to sell anything on ebay.)

Now all I need is to actually be in my apartment for a length of time sufficient to watch any one of these. Not very likely!

"I call my dog Eleanor because she's not much to look at and I can't keep her home."
You go, Eleanor!
I'm thinking about leaving New York. In part, it's an extension of my job malaise thing. Five years is a long time. In fact, I think if you're an Executive Director beyond five years, people don't think about 'loyalty' and 'stability,' they think about 'desperately clinging' and 'going nowhere.' So it's definitely time for a change in that department. And, I wouldn't mind getting out of the non-profit gig altogether. I doubt that my skills would be considered transferable in the for-profit arena, but who knows. So yeah, I'd like a new job.

And leaving New York? In part it's pragmatic. I work, I go to the gym, I hang out in coffee bars, I hang out in leather bars, I go to the movies. I could do that anywhere, and I wouldn't have to be spending upwards of $1500-a-month to keep a roof over my head and for public transportation to get to and from work. And then there's September 11th. I heard on NPR this morning a story about the report that McKinsey & Company did on how police and fire department operations could be improved, a sort of 'lessons learned' analysis. So FDNY radios are switching to UHF bands like police radios, and also getting boosters in sky-scrapers, like the police have, and FDNY commanders will be airborn in police helicopters, and a coordinated central command operation. At no point in the story did they say, "So next time..." but they might as well have. Now, I don't delude myself into thinking that I or my various haunts would be on any terrorists hit list. The possible exception would be the subway system, but even there, I rarely go north of the West 4th Street station. So I'm not imagining myself being maimed or killed. No, I just don't want to go through that again.

Y'know how people slow down for traffic accidents? I speed up. I don't look. I don't want to look. I don't want to have some horrible image burned into my psyche. We had no cable television where we were living in Brooklyn, so I saw just about no video footage of the planes hitting the buildings, and the people diving from windows, and the towers coming down. But beyond that... I mean, there's lots of talk about how New Yorkers pulled together, and how kind and empathetic we all were towards each other in the wake of the tragedy, and that's all true... but there was also the drama. For a week or more following the attack, you would see people walking around wearing surgical masks. At one point, I was sitting in a restaurant and a guy came in and sat next to me wearing a military issue looking gas mask. (He took it off to eat.) Granted, when the wind was blowing your way, you could smell the acrid smoke from the still smouldering debris (all that jet fuel). But c'mon. I concluded at the time that the gas mask/surgical mask phenomenon was a good thing, because it was nothing more than drama queens self-identifying, so you knew who to stay away from.

Once was enough.

Now LAX and the Golden Gate Bridge have been mentioned as targets, and these sound likely to me. But somehow I doubt that there are detailed plans of Fort Lauderdale thumb-tacked to the wall of some (government subsidized) apartment in Berlin that's home to an Al Quaeda cell. Los Angeles I could deal with though. It's such a non-interactive city in general. I imagine people would stay home and watch tv throughout. It definitely won't be Texas though. Not when stuff like this percolates up with alarming frequency.

So what about the argument that we've made it impossible for a similar terrorist strike on our shores to be pulled off again? I don't buy that. I think the Presidents military interventions have most likely crippled the Al Quaeda network, but terrorist organizations are usually pretty decentralized, operating in cells, and who knows what some little group has in the works. I remember--and funny this hasn't been mentioned lately--the discovery of what was essentially a bomb factory in an apartment in Brooklyn several years ago. (About 10 blocks from where I was living at the time.) The fledgling Department of Homeland Security is a colossal waste of resources. I hope that it either goes away or is significantly scaled back after November elections. The problem is hardly likely to be solved by more government. And in the unlikely event that there was another attempt to turn a jetliner into a missile, I don't doubt that would be thwarted not by the Keystone Kops airport security measures but by airline passengers following the lead of the brave group that brought the plane down in Pennsylvania. It was passenger intervention that foiled the shoe-bomber guy.

When the Special Guy and I meet up in DC on Friday, I'll explore how flexible he might be about making a move somewhere.

Monday, August 19, 2002

Met with my architects on Friday afternoon. Sooooo cool. Picture, if you will, a two bedroom condo with a balcony and a western view on the second floor. Walls are painted white. Powder-blue carpet in the large bedroom and the (absurdly) small bedroom. Cheap looking tile in the living room.

Enter the contractors.

All the bedroom walls are taken out, leaving a large room with three big windows. The floors are stripped down to concrete, sanded and glazed. A steel beam with a gentle serpentine curve is suspended from the ceiling. A t-shaped partition divides the bedroom end of the loft-like space from the rest of it. The wall over the bed is covered in corrugated aluminium. Transluscent sliding panels replace the doors going to the walk-in closet and the bathroom. The interior walls are painted a vibrant orange. The exterior wall (with the windows) is painted a pale yellow-green. Then ensued a discussion of what the t-shaped partition thingy would be painted. There's room on either side of it, and it doesn't go all the way to the ceiling. So I want it to be something of a sculptural object, rather than... y'know... a wall. I said, "I know! I want to paint it the same color and hue as the steel beam!" My architect, Johannes, said, "Since thin sheets of cold rolled steel are very inexpensive, why don't we just clad it in steel?"

At this point, I broke a sweat. A big steel monolith. Johannes said that the disadvantage of steel as a material you come in contact with is that it is very cold. In the winter, you would find it particularly annoying. But of course, in Fort Lauderdale, it's never winter. So I think a steel platform will be coming off the back of this thing to serve as a desk. Oh, and I'm going to wrap christmas lights around either end of the steel beam, illuminating the 'living room' and the 'bedroom.'
Love this guy.

Who's Ernie? Who's Bert?

It's pretty much an established fact that the folks at the Children's Television Workshop created Sesame Street's Ernie and Bert to socialize proto-homo viewers into the dynamics of gay male relationships. As a result, in every gay relationship there's an Ernie and a Bert. The Ernie is the larking, never serious, fun-lovin', spontaneous one. The Bert is the pragmatic, unimaginative, light-bill-is-paid-on-time, grounded one. There is no room for variation! With my Ex, we started out both vying to be the Bert. He won, and I was pretty unhappy being the Ernie. With the Special Guy, I think at the outset we were both vying to be the Ernie. I'm feeling myself slipping into the Bert role. And I'm liking it. I think I'll make a good Bert.

"Okay, Bert. I'm not going to eat crackers in bed... I'm going to eat crackers in YOUR bed!"
Yo. Here's a web page by a french guy devoted to Vin Diesel in bondage. Somehow I knew I wasn't alone in this...

Friday, August 16, 2002

Ever been to Moscow? Go to Moscow. My job sent me there several times over the past few years. My agency was partnered with a Moscow charitable organization so we could provide them with technical assistance to do HIV prevention work with drug users. The project was a mixed bag, but it turned out well in the end. I truly came to love the Russian people though. The like food and drinking and dancing and sunshine and snow. In fact, they have such a deep and wonderful appreciation of these simple, good things. Despite the fact that history down to the present has dealt them one losing hand after another.

The thing that will one day bring me back to Moscow--beyond the great seats for $6 at the Bolshoi Ballet, the Tretyakov Gallery, Red Square at midnight with falling snow, and the Mayakovski House Museum--is the Sandunovskii Banya (Banya + Baths). The Sandunovskii are the oldest baths in Moscow. Tchaikovsky went to the Sandunovskii. The entrance is this baroque spanish-turkish fantasmagoria. You pay the money (something like $12) and go up to the lounge. The lounge is this enormous room with a vaulted ceiling and high backed oaken benches. (If you want, you can spring for a curtained booth, but then you wouldn't get to see all the other men.) There are attendants who speak no English, so it's necessary to know the word for 'towel.' They give you as many as you need--enourmous turkish towels, but more like small bedsheets than bath towels. You strip and wrap this around yourself and head for the wet area. Big room. Sort of roman-bathish in design. Doric columns and such. You shower down to clean yourself off, then head for the sauna. The sauna. Blazing hot. Eyebrows singe. Your first time in the sauna, you can maybe last 45 seconds. Then, you head through the big shower room to the 'cold pool' opposite. The cold pool (again sort of classically inspired look to it) is water kept at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So it's cold. I prefer to dive in. Absolutely invigorating. Then back to the sauna, which you're now able to tolerate for a somewhat longer time. This gives you more time to notice your fellow sauna-takers. I swear, every time I was there, the Russian Army Wrestling Team was there. All these big, bearish Russian men... flagellating themselves and one another with birch branches. I mean, really going at it. The birch is a natural astringent, so it's good for the skin. And whipping yourself in the blazing heat gets the endorphins pumping. The birch leaves and sap turn the cold pool this amazing blue-green. So it's sauna to cold pool to sauna to cold pool. Eventually, you get to the point where you feel you could sit in the sauna or the cold pool forever. You've whipped your body into submission. You're relaxed. The feeling is incredible. You're floating. So blissful. All is well with the world.

Then you shower off, and head back to the lounge. You sit there and the kind attendants bring you food and drink. Salmon and blini. Chilled vodka, whatever. My preference was a bottle of mineralnay voda (mineral water) and chaya (tea). The tea is served with slices of lemon and honey. And so I would just sit there naked, smoking, totally blissed out, with all the other naked, smoking, toally blissed out enormous Russian men.

"Anything go on there?" is the question inevitably posed by my homo friends when I recount the pleasures of the Sandunovskii. Nothing genital, as far as I could tell. But that would be soooo totally beside the point. I mean, there you are, naked with these huge guys, your endorphins bathing your brain, in these beautiful surroundings. And this is somehow incomplete if somebody isn't caressing your tumescent dick? Puh-leeze.

The Muslim belief that martyrs go to paradise and are waited upon by fifty virgins was held up for ridicule in the US media in the wake of September 11th. Sort of viewed as being unsophisticated or something. I would much rather spend all of eternity in the Sandunovskii Banya than wave my palm branch before the throne of the lamb who was slain.
Vin grew up in Westbeth Artist Housing in the West Village. His mother is an astrologer and his father teaches acting. He was a bouncer at Tunnel (I think it was the Tunnel).

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Feeling sort of wistful about my job today. Love my job. Love the people I work with. But I've been here for five years. I'm 37 years old, and I just can't figure out what to aspire to. Should I try to be the Executive Director of a larger and more prestigious non-profit organization? That doesn't resonate. Most of my peers go into consulting. I'm actually familiar with how consulting works (of a sort) due to a job I had a decade ago with Ernst & Young. I'm leery of working on a consultant basis though. Most everyone I know who does that works all the time, and much harder than I do. You never know if more work is coming your way, so you never say 'no.'

I talked to my architect today to set up a meeting so we can go over their ideas for my place in Fort Lauderdale. We were on the phone for a good 45 minutes talking about art and architecture and sculpture. If I had to do it all over again, I would have been an architect. Next time I see my Dad I'll whack him one for discouraging me from that. Now it's too late. When I was managing the relocation of our agency down here, I just loved that. Fianlizing the design, seeing it all go up, working with the contractors. I've looked into going back to school for Construction Management, but it just seems so unlikely that someone would hire a person with my background. I haven't built anything beyond a chicken coop. Which is still standing I'll have you know. But, I like the independence, the concern with design, consensus-building leadership skills... and the fact that it has such the butch cache... (I guess 'butch' and 'cache' really shouldn't be used together, huh?)

Last night I was talking to a friend of mine and I spilled my bartender fantasy. I should talk to a bartender. I think I'd make a good one. I wonder if bartenders regret that they're bartenders? Especially if I was living in a place like Fort Lauderdale, where my condo payments come to a whopping $420-a-month, could I get by with only working three or four days a week?

"Hi, Dad. How are things? Good, good. What's up with me? Well, not much. Oh yeah. I quit my job and I'm tending bar now."

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

When I filled out my application for Inferno XXXI, I was invited to describe my 'fantasy,' and assured that the Powers That Be would see about making my fantasy reality over the course of my time there. Subsequently, I was in email contact with one of those Powers That Be, and it turns out that he sits on the committee that is charged with realizing those fantasies. He described it as a mixed bag. Sooooo many fantasies involve getting abducted at dinner and tied to a tree out in the woods or whatever. Ho hum. But he said that every year there are a few that are just wonderful, and that really get the creative juices flowing.

And that's why I left that blank. I knew that would be the case. And if word ever reached me that my fantasy was deemed to be pedestrian, I'd have a frontal lobotomy and put a stop to all imaginative thinking altoghether. And, the better part of my fantasies, if enacted, would leave someone maimed. That's why they're fantasies. My fantasies that fall short of that I've already managed to realize.

Or have I? Any fantasy, O Powers That Be? Any fantasy at all?

How about...

Butterscotch sundaes for everybody!
A twelve month tan
A date with Vin
One of those jet propulsion back pack things a la Buck Rogers
A Svengali-like editor
A Svengali-like personal trainer
A Mac hand-held that combines MP3 player, cell phone, internet connectivity, email, contacts, and all those great Palm OS features
A certain idea of my next job and a way to obtain it
A Wolfe stove
Batting practice with Tino Martinez
Fluency in Russian

I doubt that even the Powers That Be are up for taking these on.

Oh. And a New York Times obituary. I once heard that to have an obituary in the Times (a write up, not the little paid notices), you had to have your name mentioned in that paper three times. I've made that. Most recently, I was quoted in an article about drug overdoses. My Ex and I were written up in the Habitats column in the Sunday Real Estate Section after we bought our house in Brooklyn. And, (my favorite) my name was mentioned in 1992 when I and three compadres from ACT UP interrupted a speech that then (but not for long) Vice President Dan Quayle was making at a fundraiser for the New York Conservative Party. I don't know if the three-times rule is true. I might do well to get a few more mentions for insurance. Well, not like I'll ever know.

Monday, August 12, 2002

Saw XXX. Vin appears handcuffed, has his hands bound behind his back, is suspended from the rafters by chains around his wrists while his compadres are bound and gagged, and is shackled and drenched in piss... Oops! That was from my own fertile imagination later that night. Anyway, loved the movie.

My softball team, Ty's Ballbreakers, took the division championship in two games on Saturday. Next to falling in love with the Special Guy, softball was truly the highlight of my summer.

Great time with the Special Guy yesterday. And last night. He met me at church. We went up to the Cloisters. We had an amazing conversation about faith and belief. (Well, the lowpoint was when he said that my religion was founded on the balls of a king.) Then we hit Beer Blast at the Dug Out. Always a good time. The Dug Out just does not disappoint. It's so friendly and chummy, but with a wonderful sexual energy. Sort of a bear-y bachanalia. Then dinner at the Belgian place on Hudson. Then home to Jersey City. Very, very hot time.

Something I was thinking about while we were at the Dug Out. I've always found couples to be really, really hot. Two hot guys, obviously hot for one another. I suppose it's hot because it mingles sexual desire with a desire for the connection between the two of them. Wanting not to be alone. That's sort of what sex is about anyway. So not only are you desiring connection, but you have connectedness modeled for you. When Special Guy and I were at the Dug Out, I sort of felt that we were a couple in that public way. It's sort of a type. I know a cop and a firefighter who fit the bill. The current Mr. Lure and his guy are another example. Two guys from Connecticut that I see frequently at the Lure would be in the mix, too. Although, lamentably, they die their beards jet black. Which looks goofy.

Friday, August 09, 2002

It's Still Vin Diesel Day


Vin was an English Major...

It's Vin Diesel Day At Last!!!

This is a website that just sums up for me everything wonderful about the www. The graphics could use some work, but I spent a thoroughly enjoyable hour rummaging around in here.

I found it from a link from this website. It's a site by and for men doing sex work. Although it's work related, I have to admit there's more than a professional interest for me here. Long, long have I harbored a fantasy of being a hustler. This fantasy foundered on the shoals of reality when it was explained to me by a friend who had supported himself that way for a number of years that your clients tend to be guys that you wouldn't want to have sex with. Alas.

Ananuthathing: This morning on my way to work, I passed a septuagenarian wearing (from the ground up) spectator shoes, silk knee socks, bermuda shorts, a tweed blazer, and a bowtie. "Yeah," you're thinking, "so what?" The thing that made it great was he had the best stone-cold 'What da fuck you lookin' at?' expression on his face. Ya gotta wonder about someone who wakes up in the morning and decides to invite that invitation to fisticuffs into his day.

Oh. It's Vin Diesel day. A pan of the movie in The Sun, but don't think that will slow me down. At one point they comment that Vin can't act. Like, that's an issue cuz why? It also mentions that he's drafted into spy work by being kidnapped. Uh huh.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

This morning on Brian Lehrer's show on WNYC, Hilary Clinton (who I like, ever since she invited me to march with her in the Pride Parade a few years back) was discussing her advocacy for on-going health monitoring for volunteers who worked at Ground Zero. Who could be against that? Well, me. And the first caller after Senator Clinton had departed the airwaves. Choking on rage, he said something like, "How come every time I hear Hillary Clinton talk it involves spending money and raising taxes?"

I think that's an excellent point. Essentially, what Clinton is saying is this: people who worked at Ground Zero are experiencing onset of asthma and mental health issues. She wants on-going (and presumably lifetime) 'health monitoring' and medical care for these folks. The price tag is something like $20 million, and that money would go to Mount Sinai Medical Center to do that work. Now, not that it's a bad thing for the volunteers to have what essentially amounts to a lush, government financed health plan. I have nothing but respect and admiration for the folks that worked down there, several of whom I know well. But that's the thing. Of those I know well, all of them have health insurance. (One is an employee at my agency. I know for a fact she has full medical, including a prescription plan, and dental insurance. And since people came from across the country and around the world to volunteer at Ground Zero, is it really likely that they're going to schlep to New York to get health care at Mount Sinai?

But for arguments sake, let's assume that some of the folks who volunteered were uninsured. The average in New York State is something like 30%. I have no idea how many people we're talking about here, but let's assume that all told there were 10,000 people who volunteered in some capacity at one time or another at Ground Zero. For the seventy percent of them that have health insurance, the 'health monitoring' would be duplicative. So that leaves 3,000 who would otherwise be unable to pay for health monitoring. Hmmmm...$20million seems a lot to pay for health monitoring for 3,000 people. And, New York City has a system of public hospitals where no one is turned away for inability to pay. And if Gouverneur is pretty good. I'd go there. And, given the fact that the majority of volunteers were firefighters, police officers, and steel workers, I think that 3,000 is probably a gross overstatement. More likely, this money would go to build a new wing for Mount Sinai. Again, that's fine, but I don't think the Federal Government should be picking up the tab for that at a time when most government coffers are facing deficits and we're about to embark on what will doubtless be a costly war with Saddam Hussein.

And here's the thing that's so galling to me. It's just so scurvy, all of these folks dusting off whatever wish list they might have and lining up at the September 11th trough. I'm hard pressed to think of anything more cynical and depraved by way of response to such a tragedy.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Yikes. Special Guy has a slipped disk. He's worried about not being able to get to the gym for 9 months. That doesn't sound right to me. I think he should go for physical therapy. It's like having a personal trainer, only you're not stressing what's ailing you.
Surprise sleepover with the Special Guy last night. He was totally not in the Plan. The Plan was inspired in part by a book by Molly Peacock called Paradise Piece by Piece. Basically the book is a meditation on finding happiness and fulfilment as a heterosexual woman who never had children. I resolved that as a gay man, I would find my own paradise, piece by piece, being single, without a relationship. Flying solo.

I got into my last relationship (seven and a half years, basically the bulk of my thirties) largely due to logistical concerns: it's easier to manage a house or apartment with two people dividing the labor as opposed to one; with two incomes, there are more options available to you; you don't have to scare up someone to see a movie with. To be honest, a large part of what drove this decision was despair. Not deep, dark despair. More like the realization that you're probably not going to win the $35 million Lotto, so you'd better not resign from your job. More, "Oh, well." Essentially, it was, "Oh well, it's unlikely that I'd meet a man that combines all of the qualities I'm looking for." And then I did. On June 16th, 2002.

The more time we spend together, the more deeply I desire him. I feel like we've invented love. That no one has ever felt this way before. Now I know what all those Shakespearean heroes and heroines in the romance plays are always going on about.

Two days until the Vin Diesel movie opens. I'll be there.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Yo. My softball team, Ty's Ballbreakers, are #1 in our division (Upper Rainbow). We have--idunno--like 4 games in a row next Saturday to see if we can be #1 in the Rainbow League, thus gaining for ourselves the $700 grand prize, the enormous trophy, and the love of softball fans everywhere. The Yankees get a tickertape parade down Wall Street when they win. I wonder if we'll get a parade down Christopher Street?

Read all about it here. Oops. Or not. They haven't updated the web site with the playoff standings. So it still reads like we're #2 behind the Hellcats. We beat them on Saturday. That's how we won the playoffs.

Friday, August 02, 2002

Quel long day here! Had to go to NY Surrogates Court to protect my agency's client records from subpoena. It went well. The client ended up giving consent, so our confidentiality obligations weren't compromised. This whole thing was all about my be-a-lawyer fantasy. I was hoping I'd be able to mix it up, but no, we have to file papers.

Went home and changed out of the suit (I was heretofore resplendent in seersucker). Feels much, much better. Alas, Special Guy is in pain due to his back, so won't be up for a trip into the city tonight and a sleepover. So, I'm off to Piedro Blanco (aka Whitestone) to spend some time with him. Love that man soooooo much.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Paradise. Well... Paradise with sand flies.

Back at work today after spending the past three days on Fire Island with the Special Guy. It was wonderful. We went to the beach. I cooked some mighty fine dinners. We bought each other sarongs and wore them everywhere. Except when we weren't wearing anything. Which was not infrequent. The salt water was great for my piercings, and for his aching back. My dog Prosper behaved himself for the most part. And, t here were no major disasters while I was away. Things seem to have gone okay at work. I had at least a hundred emails in my box, and we have a virus, so my 'puter is sort of acting funny. But we're still here.

So the Special Guy and I did church (the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the holy eucharist) while we were out there. The Roman church version. It was amazing. "Truly the presence of our God is in this place..."

And I hardly thought about Vin Diesel at all the entire time I was away!

When my softball team played on Saturday, we won the first game and lost the second. The second was largely the result from a truly devastating (for us) first inning. They scored something like 14 runs. The only guys on our team who didn't make errors (really, really bad errors) were the people that the ball didn't come to. It was horrible. And we never bounced back, either in terms of the score or psychologically. Repeating to ourselves "Okay, let's hold'em" as we took the field for the second inning was just pretty hard to take seriously.

But, for reasons I don't quite understand (since we came in 2nd in the division as a result of losing the 2nd game), we're in the playoffs this Saturday.

Y'know, I didn't think it was possible, but after 3 days with the Special Guy, I'm even more in love with him than I was before.