Monday, September 30, 2002

Huh. Special Guy gives me marching orders, and of course my thoughts tend to... shopping. Yesterday I spent $94 on CDs (UP by Peter Gabriel, Release by the Pet Shop Boys, The Chemical Brothers, and the Simple Minds). I walked into the store so I could buy a CD holder book thing (price tag: $12.99). And after that I strolled over to the Leatherman on Christopher Street. Luckily, I didn't try anything on that didn't elicit the thought, "Doesn't do a lot for me."

So I guess I am a little rocked by the whole thing.

I went to the Dugout yesterday and had some fun with two very hot men, a hot submissive guy with a boyfriend, and a man named for an archangel who I actually met through Special Guy. So I was pretty charged from that.

Today, Special Guy called me to ask if we could get together for dinner on Wednesday. That... uh... confuses me. I mean, we talked at length about what being boyfriends would look like. I'm not sure I have a clear understanding of what being pals would look like. Are we fuck buddies? Sort of, enhanced fuck buddies in that we have dinner and see movies? Does it mean we just sort of have a 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy about what we do when we're not having dinner or seeing a movie or having sex with each other?
Oh. My. God. It's a good thing that this isn't Mac compatible, or else I'd be $600 in the hole right now.

Long-time readers will know that I dream of a Mac handheld. A recent interview with Apple CEO Steve Jobs puts forward the idea that Mac is not putting any effort into a handheld as they believe that the PDA is going to go away, merging into the cell phone. And, they envision an iMac as sort of the center of a bunch of peripherals, such as the iPod. I love my iPod. I also love my Handspring Visor. If Apple could make all other MP3 players obsolete by coming up with an iPod that stores 10 gigs of memory (I currently have 970 tracks on mine, and I'm about a third of the way towards filling it), then surely the world is ready for a cell phone/PDA combination. (The rumor mill has already christened it the iPhone.)

I'd like to get out of the city next weekend, go somewhere green. Aw heck. Next weekend I'm going to a benefit for a buddy of mine who is Mr. Northeast Leather Sir. He's having a fundraiser for himself so he can go down to the the World Mr. Leather Sir contest (or something) in Fort Lauderdale. And, it's the Blessing of the Beasts at Chruch for the Feast of St. Francis, and I'd like my beast blessed, please.
Maybe I can go to Reading on Friday evening, stay all day Saturday, and head back on Sunday morning. Huh. Or I guess I could go home. But That wouldn't be a lot of fun. Or would it?

I'm 37 years old. Why why why why am I incapable of saying to my parents, "I'm going out to a gay bar now. I'm wearing these leather pants to up my chances of picking up some hot farm boy." Now would that be so hard? Honestly, that's what keeps me from going back to dear old Bucks County more often. I should get over that, right?
Wow. Who knew? I wonder how the leather scene is there... Regardless, I wouldn't mind a trip.
Tee hee hee. (giggle) (snicker snicker)
What's so funny?
Uh... this.
Would you *please* try not to be so immature!
Past President sent me this link to an NPR story on what makes whips crack. I wasn't aware that this was a new discovery, but perhaps NPR had run through interviewing every available Democratic Senator about their concerns regarding taking action to neutralize Saddam Hussein and had to fill some airtime. The article includes links to the Bullwhip Page and to Whip Enthusiasts. I love how the Fort Lauderdale group invites folks to attend church services prior to the cracking session. My kinda kinksters!

Saturday, September 28, 2002

Gosh. Special Guy just broke up with me. He did a pretty good job of it. Basically, the reason he gave was that his health and his state of suspended animation he's in don't really allow him to give what's necessary to be in a relationship right now. And, I mean, who knows? But that certainly sounds plausible.

I don't know how many guys he's broken up with before, but I'm sure I was among the easiest. I entered this relationship with no expectations whatsoever. Difficult as it was at times, I banished successfully thoughts of picking out china patterns and picket fences. Just sort of toook each new development as a gift. Ironically, I had the half formed thought at times that we met in June. Sort of says 'summer romance' all over it, no?

But I have no regrets. None at all. It's been wonderful. Flawless. I was able to fall head over heels in love for the first time in my life. And I loved in a way I was never able to do before, too.

13:4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. 13:5 It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered, or resentful. 13:6 It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. 13:7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
13:8 Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will be set aside; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be set aside. 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, 13:10 but when what is perfect comes, the partial will be set aside. 13:11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. 13:12 For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known. 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I love Special Guy in a way that's not at all self-seeking. I want what's best for him. I want peace and happiness and fulfilment to come his way. And I sought to be a vehicle for that. Once, I brought up the example of Heloise and Abelard. When they were separated, their passion for one another grew. I told Special Guy that I would be Abelard to his Heloise (or vice versa) if that's what life served up for us. And I sort of look at it like that.

I guess I should be heartbroken, or at least a little glum. But I'm not. No regrets. Only good has come to me, and I'm nothing but grateful.

A few things I really appreciate. Not once, by word or actions, did Special Guy ever make me feel bad about myself. I'm unable to say that about any other boyfriend I've had. And, before, during and (now) after, being single was a perfectly acceptable alternative. I had built for myself a complete and fulfilling life for myself as a single man. In fact, I had taken it as a sort of credo that I would maintain that. When Special Guy came along, after no small amount of soul searching, I decided to forgo the single life. Heck, what are the chances that I'd run into someone who was incredibly hot, sexually adventurous, possessed a keen intellect and extensive learning, and also had a relationship with Christ? Oh, and who liked me a lot. I wasn't gonna let that go by.

I did probe to make sure Special Guy wasn't just doing this because he thought it might be what I wanted to hear, or because he was afraid I was planning on doing something similar. Neither of these seemed to be true. I think it's just the way he laid it out.

Anyway. Church tomorrow. Time for bed.
Here we go:
How cool is it that Sammy Sosa is an Episcopalian?
This was in the newsletter of the church in Jersey City that I was going to last year. My Ex and I attended the church of St. Luke in the Fields in the West Village. When I left him, I decided not to go to St. Luke's for a while, as I thought that I'd be running into him there. He hasn't been through the doors since we split. But, in the interim, I started going to Grace Church Van Voorst, here in Jersey City. Great preaching by the interim rector, Janet Craft. Alas, the congregation were a bunch of loopy leftists. They had basically rewritten most of the liturgy. Without irony, we sang Kum-Ba-Ya one Sunday. When a woman (who cleverly roped me into taking over this gay and lesbian support group) described the Book of Common Prayer as being 'boring' and 'dreary' I took it as a sign from God that I was in the wrong church. I stood it for as long as I could, then came back to St. Lukes. But, I still get their newsletter. Anyway, I thought this was cute...

Top Ten Reasons to be an Episcopalian
From the comedian Robin Williams, who is an Episcopalian, on a recent HBO special.

10. No snake handling.
9. You can believe in dinosaurs.
8. Male and female God created them; male and female we ordain them.
7. You don't have to check your brains at the door.
6. Pew aerobics.
5. Church year is color coded.
4. Free wine on Sunday.
3. All of the pageantry — none of the guilt.
2. You don't have to know how to swim to get baptized.
And the number one reason to be an Episcopalian:
1. No matter what you believe, there's bound to be at least one other Episcopalian who agrees with you.

And I'm pretty tickled to learn that Robin Williams is an Episcopalian. An acquaintance of mine who is Jewish once told me how his parents had a sort of ongoing parlor game called, "Who's a Jew?" wherein they would surprise each other with the revelation that some famous person was, in fact, a Jew. 'Lorne Green,' for example, would elicit a 'No! Really?' There really isn't an equivalent among Episcopalians. Although I remeber my father telling me that basically all U.S. Presidents except for Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan were Episcopalians. But celebrities? Huh. I bet that Reese Witherspoon is an Episcopalian. And Cybil Shepherd. Humphrey Bogart probably was. Tom Hanks I could see in the pews. I bet Sherman Helmsley is an Episcopalian. I wonder if there's a website devoted to celebrity Episcopalians? Have to google that.

Friday, September 27, 2002

Now I get it. At Inferno, there was occasional talk of 'we all ought to pick out a some sleeply little burg somewhere, move in, and take over.' And a few years ago, Noted Author made the case for a leather retirement community. I think that these plans are underway. What other explanation could there be for a town with a population of 1.6 million having seven leather bars?

Hey! Google!! NOTICE ME!!!

This is my favorite url that comes up when you google my name. Tragically, one url that doesn't come up when you google my name is The other day I sent the nice folks at Google an email (that was totally transparent, I'm sure) saying, "Gosh, when I searched on Drew Kramer I was hoping to find his blog, which is at" So far, it looks like Google hasn't opened my email. One day.

And what in the name of all that is holy is The Shadow, you ask? This (possibly now defunct) East Village Anarchist publication. I 'met' one of the editors on a (definitely now defunct) gay computer bulletin board thingy and he asked me to pen an article for them. And I did. And he loved it. It was long. Way long. Like taking up most of the issue. And I did one or two more after that. Of all the things I've had published, I'm proudest of them.

"Of all the things I've had published..." Huh. Listen to me. "Of the five things I've written that have been read by people besides high school teachers and college professors..." would be more like it.
Oh. My. God. It's the man of my dreams. Area code 415. Natch.
Would I be capable of sharing an apartment? I guess I could. But not with just anybody. It looks like that's the only way I'd be able to move back into Manhattan. Dang. To move in with my Ex, I left a 2 bedroom rent-stabilized apartment on Third Street between First and Second Avenues for which I was paying $720-a-month. My former roommate was able to convince our landlords to transfer the lease into his name, something that they never, ever do. What I wouldn't do to have that place back again. Imagine this: windows that faced north, east, south, and west.

But, there were no closets or storage of any kind. That makes me feel soooooo much better to remember that.
Special Guy started on a course of protease inhibitors. As a result, I'm a sort of protease inhibitor widow. Initially (we're hoping it's 'initially') there's much stomach upset, gas, and poop of a wide array of varieties. And, he's incredibly fatigued. I have to admit that I was getting a wee bit cheesed off. Thinking, when I'm sick--unless I'm really, really sick--no one has any idea because I tough it out. So I sort of shared this with Number Two here at work. He very pointedly said, "I'll gripe and whine all I want to. Having this and knowing that it's not going away is a raw deal, and don't let anyone tell you it's not." Message received! So I'm gonna stop being resentful and self-centered. It's not like Special Guy is asking me to be his nursemaid (which, actually, I'm really good at; an old roommate of mine whom I nursed through the flu with chicken soup and hot foot soaks and massages describes me as 'a spa waiting to happen'). No, all he is asking me to do is to listen patiently while he gripes and whines and maybe... if it wouldn't kill me... to be a little empathetic.
This is amusing.

Oh. Note to the folks planning my Farewell Party... I mean, Farewell Extravaganza. On the cake that Vin Diesel pops out of, please make that mocha buttercream frosting. I know you were probably thinking I'd want chocolate icing, but you're wrong. Pictures of Vin smeared with chocolate frosting would be gracing scat sites for ever. Not the way I'd like my Farewell Extravaganza to be memorialized. Capisce?

Thursday, September 26, 2002

This morning I met the staff at my new job. I wore the almost-Prada black suit and the dark gray shirt. No tie. I came into the city early to get the gang doughnuts from Doughnut Plant. An obvious bid to get them to like me. I got off the subway and had a half an hour to kill, and it was starting to rain. So I ducked into Starbucks and got a decaf latte. And then I sat and did the crossword puzzle for twenty minutes. Time to go! Into the building, juggling my umbrella, my latte, and my box of doughnuts. When I got on the elevator, I put the latte on the box of doughnuts, using the box as a sort of tray. And spilled the latte all over me. So much for making a striking first impression. My confidence--which a minute ago had been at record levels--was just crushed. I was all flummoxed.

The meeting went well. They're all really sweet and young. Most of them are just out of college. They all want raises. Bad news. This, of course, is a problem. Members of the State Legislature get a fixed amount of money to run their offices. It's all about how you divvy it up. Since there's been some absences, it might be possible to juggle the budget a little bit. We'll see. I mean, they're all probably making less than their age, living in studio apartments with six roommates. I know exactly what that's like.

And I start there on October 21st. I may ask El Senadador if I can take that week off and start the next week (and my second day on the job we'll all go out for my birthday!). Why why why did I let my Board chair guilt me out of my oritinal plans to leave on the Thursday before Columbus Day weekend? Oh well.

Sadly, it seems that all the good issues in the office are taken. What the hell does that mean? Staff are assigned various areas of the District, and are responsible for keeping happy constituents that call from that area. And, they also get issues. Here's a run-down of the issues...

Uniformed Services
Civil Liberties and XXX establishments
Access for People with Disabilities
Health Care/Mental Health
Public Housing
Domestic Partnership
Poverty/Public Assistance/Homelessness
Juvenile Justice/Youth

When I worked for El Senadador before, my issues included HIV/AIDS, Access for the Disabled, Public Housing, Public Assistance, Loft Tenants, and the Environment. I fought to have all of those.

Here's what I'd like to have this time around.

Economic Development and Markets
Arts/Public Art/Theaters/Libraries
Transportation and PATH
Landmarks and Parks
Uniformed Services

Those are the issues where I think I could do some good work but still be on the same page with El Senadador politically. Here I am, working for one of the most liberal elected officials in the City (and, therefore, the world). And I'm so... uh... not liberal.

The Governor's race heating up could mean it's a whole new landscape. I mean, as a minority member of the State Senate, El Senadador is still totally kneecapped as far as getting anything done legislatively, but if there was a Democrat in the Governor's Mansion, that could raise his stature considerably.

This is why this new job is so exciting to me. Who knows what tomorrow brings? With the current job, the only real excitment comes when something really bad happens. Other than that, it's just paperasserie. But no. Battles, drama, crises. But, for the most part, the issues are abstract. Turf wars. Win or lose, nothing really changes. But it will be fun. And it looks like the people I'll be working with will be fun, and smart, and energetic. So it's all good.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

It's 12:45 am. I really should be in bed, but I'm totally juiced. GMSMA's program tonight, the first of the year, was devoted to single tail whips. The presenter was the guy who taught me how to throw all those many months ago, and who put into my hand a baby bullwhip made by none other than Joe Wheeler. So I spent the night in that dreamy place I go to when ever I'm around men and whips. Cracking must release positively charged ions into the air. The presenter, whom we'll call ARtist, concluded the program by demonstrating his technique on the back of the guy who lead the workshop with him last January. Time was short, so they started in without any warm up. Just a few strokes to give the audience an idea of what it looked like. Collectively, we all stepped out of time. Forty-five minutes passed.

I saw several men at Inferno who are recognized as being among the best in the world at whipping. In retrospect, they made me feel sort of inadequate. It was like watching a thunderstorm seeing them work. Relentless and driving as a force of nature. Nothing for the bottom to do but relent. Let the blows fall where they may. My approach, budding though it may be, is different. For me, it's all about connection. It's dancing. I match my moves and adjust constantly to my partner. I'm reacting to him reacting to me reacting to him in infinite regression. I'm leading the scene and the both of us only in the sense that I can see him but he can't see me. But that's a slender thread. Because I'm lost to the the music. Like splitting firewood, like batting a softball, like shooting a pistol at a target, your ego gets in the way. If you think about what you're doing, you think about you doing it, and you fail. Think no-thought. Find your center (your Chi). Focus on the point where you want the whip to kiss, the ax to fall, the ball to sail, the bullet to hit home. You don't exist, only that point does. Your body knows how to do the rest. Or learns over time. With practice.

And of course, absence of ego is critical to love. To the great Giving Up. Anyway, ARtist wielded the whip more sensually than anyone I've seen. And it's all about sensuality for me. Even though he was at the first session of Inferno, I had never seen ARtist do a scene before. All this to say that tonight was terrifically affirming for me. As in, "Yes! I'm doing it right!" As with writing, as with painting, you master technique, and then you develop your voice. You let what's been within you, dormant, all this time come out through this new medium.

After the meeting, I recruited some guys to help me carry my dis-assembled St. Andrew's Cross back to my jeep. Once loaded, Past President agreed to come sit with me while I (finally) got some food in my stomach. We talked the way we always do, like two people who have had eleven cups of coffee each talk. "Yes, and..." Exactly, like..." "And what's more..." "But you see..." Glorious. Past President seems to live life telescopicly (sp.?) Going at it full bore, with white hot intensity, drinking deeply and greedily. It reminds me of a snippet of a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson that I recall. Something like: "...crossing a field at night, frost glistening in the moonlight, I become a transparent eyeball." Ralph Waldo must have been chowing down on moldy rye bread.

Anyway, now I really really have to get to bed. Buona notte.
Uh... the three entries below are my One Hundred Things about me. Do me a favor. If you want to read through them, scroll down and read them in order. Okay? Is that asking too much?

Seventy-Six to One Hundred

76. I grew up in Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania. Well... actually outside of Point Pleasant. Suburban Point Pleasant. I was graduated from Central Bucks-East High School (barely) in 1983. I attended Alvernia College in Reading, Pennsylvania, and was graduated with a B.A. in English in 1987.
77. My first job that I needed a college degree to get was working as a paralegal for the law firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhodes in Philadelphia. It was really wrong.
78. I'm the youngest of three children. My brother is fifteen years my senior and my sister, now deceased, was thirteen years my senior. I was a total surprise.
78. I have a 401(k). I have no idea what it's down to.
79. I have a fly-paper mind. Odd little things get stuck there forever. For example, in the early '70s, there was a Saturday morning children's show (I was a child at the time) that featured Jim Nabors and Ruth Buzzi as robots who take two young earthlings into outer space. Basically, every week they'd land on a different planet and contend with whatever. At one point, they used a special weapon against whatever villain was threatening them: the Ronald Raygun.
80. You can see the Fort Lauderdale Eagle from the balcony of my condo.
81. I can ride a horse. I like to go fast.
82. After my father dies, I'm going to buy a motorcycle. This plan may sound callous, but I know for a fact that if I bought one prior to his demise, that purchase would cause his demise.
83. I sometimes talk in my sleep. However, I do not snore as far as I know.
84. I am an extraordinarily sound sleeper. I've fallen asleep at rollerrinks, nightclubs, leather bars (the Altar), all the time on the bus. Once when I was in college, I slept through an explosion that had my apartment mates convinced that Reading, Pennsylvania was under attack.
85. I was fairly sexually active as a teenager. Never with other teenagers, who didn't interest me much. Usually I was lying about my age to seduce older men into statutory rape. I was generally the seducer. All of these experiences were wonderful, I have no bad recollections. Some of these experiences were kinky sex. In a few instances, I was the Top, but in general, I was the bottom. (Imagine, if you will, a sixteen year old calling a thirty-five year old guy 'boy.' Doesn't work, does it?)
86. I love being drunk. Not falling down drunk. Not bed-spins drunk. But that warm, gushy feeling of a bottle of wine with dinner? Love that. Tragically, living in New Jersey and recreating in New York City means that I'm driving. I never drink when I have to drive home. O'Doul's Alcohol Free Beer is utter swill.
87. The first gay bar in New York City into which I ventured was Badlands, at the end of Christopher Street. I was 17 years old. All the guys hanging around the bar had looks on their faces like they were beholding the Second Coming when they turned around and saw me.
88. When I'm approached by an apparently one-legged panhandler in a wheelchair I'm always looking for the false bottom. When panhandlers on the subway are affecting spastic walks or limps or whatever I always look at their shoes. If the limps were real, their shoes would be worn in odd ways. Mostly they're not. Whenever anyone asks for my help that I don't know, I'm immediately suspicious. I live in dread of someone getting over on me. That said, it's fairly routine with me that when I'm in a deli or the supermarket and the person ahead of me is counting out change to buy food or diapers or beer or whatever I'll cover them. Similarly, I only give to charities that don't ask for me to give.
89. When I need to do some little thing like buy stamps, it will take me on the average two weeks to remember to take care of that.
90. I am heavily invested (perhaps overly so) in people thinking that I'm a nice guy. The fact of the matter is, I am a nice guy. Largely. (Albert Camus' novel The Fall is running through my mind here.)
91. I am currently serving a one year term as Treasurer of Gay Male S/M Activists, GMSMA. Wish me luck on that.
92. I really really really really miss my sister.
93. I have two incurable illnesses. Luckily, neither of them is fatal, or really cause me any problems of significance whatsoever. One is vasculitis. My immune system attacks my capilaries. The only place on my body where my immune system can do any damage is in my lower legs and feet, as the blood moves more slowly there. Consequently, I've got these brown-purple blotches on my ankles and calves. They don't hurt. The only real problem this has caused me is when tricks get panicky, thinking that with (what they assume to be) kaposi's sarcoma so severe, I'm not likely to last the night. The other thing is hypothyroidism. I have to take a wee thyroid shaped pill every day.
94. I am suspicious of people with allergies. When I was about eleven, I started having allergic reactions to chocolate. I like chocolate, and a life without chocolate was not a life worth living. So I would eat chocolate, get very sick, recover, and eat more chocolate. Eventually, I overcame my allergy. Unless it's something like bee stings, I always thing, 'You can, too! So quit whining."
95. I'm really glad that I'm gay. I've only benefitted from that. There have been no drawbacks whatsoever.
96. I like splitting firewood. It's meditative and has a Zen quality. It works your back and shoulder muscles. And I'm really good at it.
97. I have never, ever been lonely. Perhaps this is a result of growing up without sibilings in the house. Perhaps it's just because I'm such good company. I eat alone in restaurants without hesitation. I love traveling alone.
98. Last thing before I leave the house, I turn to my dog and say, "Now I want you to be a good dog today. That means no barking, no up on the sofa, and no pee pee in the house." I do it because he gets this look on his face of stunned disbelief. I know he doesn't understand a word I'm saying (for example, the only time he doesn't get up on the sofa is when it's loaded down with laundry or something.)
99. I'm a total creature of routine. Ritual might be a better word. It's not talismanic (I don't think that if I don't do it 'right' that bad things are gonna happen to me). It's just that I don't like to have to think about things like, 'Where shall I have lunch?' But it does pose a problem. For example, before I go to the gym, I have to go to Factory Cafe and have a latte. 'Wanna meet up before you go to the gym, Drew?' Uh, sorry, I can't.
100. If I could have any life I wanted--living at any time, in any place, and being anyone I would want--I'd pick this life. I have a great life.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Fifty-One to Seventy-Five

Jam on.

51. My favorite color is orange. Until about a year ago, I didn't have a favorite color.
52. I flag as follows. On the left: black, yellow, gray, navy blue. On the right, on rare occasions: gray. I could include red on the left, but II usually don't.
53. I am lousy at picking up guys. Just pathetic. I have no problem at all meeting them, introducing myself, doing chit chat. But for some reason, I can never manage to say, "Let's get out of here and go somewhere so I can work on your back."
54. I'm a big fan of Sex in the City.
55. Here's the iPod playlist I listen to while working out: Smells like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, Elevation by U2, Poprocks and Coke by Green Day, The Queen of the Night Aria, 3 am Eternal by KLF, Layla by Eric Clapton, I'm a Believer by Smashmouth, Disseminated by Soul Coughing, Electricity by Moby, Music by Madonna, Wonderful by the Stone Temple Pilots, Macho Man by the Village People, Justified and Ancient by KLF and Tammy Wynette, Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam, When I Come Around by Green Day, Wild Sweet and Cool by the Crystal method, Bittersweet Symphony by Moby, Naked in the Rain by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mission Impossible Theme by Moby, 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins, Super Bon Bon by Soul Coughing, Linger by the Cranberries, Dreams by the Cranberries, Gotcha Groove on by Limp Bizkit, YMCA by the Village People, Come Original by 311, Freedom 90 by George Michael, Roller Coaster by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beautiful Day by U2, Dance of the Whip by Buttboy, Whipping by Pearl Jam, Rollin' (Urban Assault Vehicle) by Limp Bizkit, Beat a Drum by REM, the Fourth Movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Because the Night by the 10,000 Maniacs, Don't Stop Till You Get Enough by Michael Jackson, Carmina Buran by Karl Orff, Play That Funky Music White Boy by George Clinton, Eyes Without a Face by Billy Idol.
56. As I approach the altar to take communion at church on Sunday, I say the Prayer of Humble Access from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. It goes like this: "We do not presume to come to this Thy table Oh Merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs that fall from under this Thy table. But Thou art the same Lord whose property it is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore Gracious Lord that we may eat the flesh of Thy dear Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ, and drink his blood, that we may ever more dwell in Him, and He in Us. Amen."
57. I used to go to a gym run by Nicole Bass, the world's most powerful woman, and her husband Bob. They were great. It was heartwarming to watch them train together. And they'd yell out encouragement to you, like, "C'mon there Stud. Let's see another set. You didn't come here to sit there and look at yourself in the mirror."
58. I favor gray athletic socks.
59. I totally don't dig foot fetishists.
60. I paid a lot of money for a digital camera that I don't know how to use.
61. My people are from the coal regions of Pennsylvania, Pottsville and Wilkes Barre. Consequently, my ancestry is uncertain. From the Urals to the Bay of Biscay, lots of different bloodlines converged to make me. Notably, Russian, Polish, German, Dutch, French, Welsh, and English. Oh, and it's believed that I'm 1/16th Native American. My sister would say, "Iroquois," but it's my understanding that since the Iroquois were a Nation (composed of many tribes) rather than a tribe, that's like saying, "I'm European."
62. My dog is a mutt, too.
63. My second mother was a Scot. He full name was Robina McKye Cunningham Kramer. She went by 'Ruby.'
64. When I was 11 years old, I was running with my dog Moko through fields behind our house. It was winter and their was a full moon. The frost on the wheat was shimmering in the moonlight. I had a sort of waking hallucination that I became a wolf, and I was runnning next to my dog, keeping up effortlessly. My hearing and sense of smell were keen. I was on all fours.
65. There are only a few people--maybe five--on the planet that I totally can't stand. They probably have no idea that this is the case.
66. I think that being a vegetarian past the age of 26 is a sign of mental instability.
67. I drive a 2002 Jeep Liberty LE. I pay a ridiculous amount of money on my monthly lease--I'm embarrassed to say how much--because my Ex is an idiot.
68. When I was 22, I decided that I would never again ask my father for financial assistance. I only did that once, when I bought a house with my Ex.
69. My middle name is Devoe. Devoe was my great uncle. Everyone called him 'Uncle Bo' except me. My mother named me Drew because she liked Andrew but thought that anyone calling her child 'Andy' would be unacceptable. My last name spelled backwards is 'remark.'
70. I had lasik vision correction surgery several years ago.
71. I'd like to move back into Manhattan. This would mean I'd have to have a roommate. My share of the rent would have to be less than $1000. I smoke and I have a dog. My prospects are slim.
72. Although I didn't realize it at the time, my parents struggled financially all the time I was growing up.
73. Peter Gomes, the Baptist Minister at Harvard, has been quoted as saying something I find profound and wonderful: "It is a lie to say that homosexuality and Jesus Christ are irreconcilable, for they are reconciled in me." I say this to myself from time to time.
74. I wear size 10 and a half boots.
75. I find whip cracking to be incredibly soothing.

There's a phenom sweeping through blogdom: One Hundred Things About Me. Although I usually don't like to be so obvious in my narcisism, here goes...

1. Whenever I'm on a bridge crossing the Delaware River, I get teary eyed. I grew up on that river, and... well...
2. I've never been to San Francisco, and it's getting to be a 'thing.' I'll probably see how long I can go without going to San Francisco.
3. I'm good for nought in the morning until I have a cup of Yorkshire Gold tea with evaporated milk.
4. I know the details of how to inject yourself with heroin in such a way as to avoid abcesses and cause minimal damage to your veins and avoid an overdose, although I have never used heroin.
5. I'm an Episcopalian. For most of my life, I've wanted to be a priest. I came close, but blew it a year ago when the crime of ending my seven year relationship with my rage-a-holic Ex soured my rep with the priest who was sponsoring me.
6. If I had money enough and time, I'd forever be learning languages. I do alright with french, and I'd like to learn russian, italian, vietnamese, and latin.
7. When my mind is able to wander (in the shower, driving, on the subway) I usually invent speeches. Such as acceptance speeches (International Mr. Leather, MacArthur Genius Grant, greetings deliverd to President Vaclav Havel upon arriving in Prague to take up my post as U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic). I love public speaking.
8. I rarely watch tv, although I pay through the nose for HBO. I am a slavish devotee of public radio, however.
9. My first musical infatuation was with Billy Joel when I was in the 8th grade.
10. I have a tatoo depicting the head of a wolf over a banner that reads 'Stand Alone.' In the artist's book, it said, 'Lone Wolf,' and I thought that was a little cliche. The most recent book I had read when I got the tatoo about ten years ago was Freedom and Dignity by Erich Fromm, and a phrase in the book I found particularly resonant was 'Stand Alone and Live.'
11. I have a gap between my front teeth.
12. I smoke unfiltered Camels.
13. Although I'm fairly regular in my gym-going, I never do abs or aerobics. Only rarely do I do legs. My legs and my butt are pretty well developed without working them, I'll take a beer gut over washboard abs any day, and the minute there's any problem with my blood pressure or heartrate or whatever I'll start sitting on that damn Life Cycle.
14. When anyone asks me what my favorite movie is, I say, "The Third Man." I like the movie a lot, but the 'true' answer is likely to be the last movie I happened to see. A little intellectual snobism went into me settling into The Third Man as the answer to that question.
15. As a recent college graduate, I applied for the MFA-Creative Writing program at Temple University. I sent them a portfolio of my poetry. I was rejected. I've rarely written poetry since, and I now have a morbid fear of evaluation.
16. In the late 1980s early 1990s, I was very active with ACT UP. I have been arrested at demonstrations at City Hall in Philadelphia, the Varick Street offices of the Immigration and Naturalisation Services, City Hall in New York, Gracie Mansion, Hoffman LaRoche Pharmaceuticals in New Jersey, and probably one or two other places I'm forgetting. My name appeared in the New York Times when I stood up during a speech (then) Vice President Dan Quayle was giving at a New York Conservative Party fundraiser and shouted "What about AIDS, Dan? You can't dodge AIDS!"
17. No matter how many choices of ice cream I'm presented with, I usually ask for coffee ice cream.
18. The foods I don't like are eggplant, okra, and coconut.
19. While I was living in Philadelphia, I recognized the photo of a recently arrested serial killer of gay men that appeared in the paper as a trade-y guy I had picked up cruising in Judy Garland Park and brought home. Our night together was pleasant, and (comparatively) uneventful.
20. When I had the phone conversation in which I told my father that I was gay, we ended up debating whether or not Leonard Bernstein was also gay. My Dad and I are both really good at avoiding uncomfortable issues by discussing current events.
21. I was graduated from college with a 2.78 GPA. Every semester, there would be one course that I would get a D in. There's an F on my transcript for Italian II. I remember doing well in the class and enjoying it. I got A's in Irish Literature, Modern American Fiction, Metaphysics, Ethics, the Mystery of God, Modern American Poety, and a few other classes.
22. If you want me to be putty in your hands, just gently stroke the nape of my neck or my back.
23. I'm basically incapable of holding a grudge. Before too long, I want to call up whoever done me wrong and re-connect.
24. My mother died when I was three-and-a-half. I have almost no memory of her. My father re-married. My second mother died on the eve of my 12th birthday. My father re-married a second time. That was twenty five years ago.
25. I (secretly) look down on people who smoke pot into adulthood.
26. If I could start over again career-wise, I'd like to be either an architect, a cop, or a theoretical scientist such as an evolutionary biologist.
27. When Mark Messier played for the New York Rangers, there were three times when people on the street asked if I were he. This totally thrilled me.
28. Life has not presented me with any experiences that would contradict the Existentialist ideas I subscribed to in college.
29. My Myers-Briggs is INTP. Or at least it was when I was tested 17 years ago.
30. I own six single tail whips, four floggers, and one braided cat. All four floggers and the cat have been used on a back, but only two of the whips have.
31. I have to sit and think which is 'left' and which is 'right,' and usually need a mnemonic device of some kind to figure it out. Frequently, I'll make a mistake with this, telling someone to turn left when I mean right.
32. I love to dance, and I nurse the idea that I'm a really good dancer. And I live in terror that someone will disabuse me of this idea.
33. My belly button is an innie.
34. My dick is the standard six inches. It might be bigger than that, but I like to tell guys I'm six inches so they can say, "No way are you six inches. You're bigger than that!" My balls are the size of apricots.
35. From time to time, I fantasize about being pimped out.
36. I'm afraid of snakes, but not much else.
37. I liked The Bionic Woman more than I liked the Six Million Dollar Man.
38. I tend to collect stones and shells.
39. I've been swimming at the Jersey Shore in November and April. The water was really cold.
40. Look up 'Passive-Aggressive' in DSM IV and there's my picture. Although I'm a lot better with that than I have been.
41. I don't wear sweaters.
42. My New Year's resolution this year will probably be something like 'get really good at rope bondage.'
43. I was with Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap. Never in my life have I used cologne, anti-perspirant, or deoderant.
44. I don't like brie.
45. Kate Jackson was my favorite Angel.
46. I didn't discover masturbation until after I had had sex for the first time. (Uh... first three times.) I was reading an article in Philadelphia Magazine about teens at the beach in Wildwood, New Jersey. They had a picture accompanying the article of several jocky looking guys standing around a beer keg smoking cigarets. Without even touching myself I shot so hard I hit the ceiling. I was fifteen at the time. I quickly made up for lost time.
47. In being the Executive Director of a community based non-profit organization with a staff of twenty-four that realized $1.8m in revenue in the last fiscal year, I channel Kermit the Frog as he appeared on the Muppet Show.
48. There's not a lot I wouldn't do to have seventeen inch arms and a forty-eight inch chest. Unfortunately, one of the things I wouldn't do is see my nuts shrink down to the size of raisins.
49. I was totally devoted to Scooby-Doo. Hell, I still am. But not after they fucked it up with Scrappy-Doo.
50. I resent the fact that I never played ball with my father.

Okay. That's enough for now. This is pretty exhausting. I would go back and add clever links to some of those, but uh... I'm not gonna. Maybe later or tomorrow I'll see how I do with 51-100.

God, the West Village, and an Ode to Bears

Church was great yesterday. The scripture was the parable of the laborors in the field (the guys who start at 8am make the same as the guys who start at 5pm even though they're all done work at 6pm). The Old Testament passage was Noah and the bush. The sermon was okay, but with so much on which to meditate, I did better on my own. Thinking about the love of God. Poured out on all of us. "I am persuaded to believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God," said Saint Paul. A lot of people hate Paul for one reason or another. I find it hard to hate someone who says things like that.

After church, I had one of those great days in the West Village that I love. I had eggs at Espresso Bar. Bought anti-bacterial soap and Q-tips at the drug store (still cleaning Lake Michigan out of my piercings). Bought tea. Went to the gym. Had pizza. Hit the Dug Out for Beer Blast.

Can I just say, I love Bears. There are no bad ones, I swear. Lovers of life, with all of it's pleasure and pain. Revelers in the sensuous. Such joy. Such love.

For the un-initiaited, the Dug Out is a bar down at the end of Christopher Street. On Sunday afternoons and early evenings, they have a beer blast. It's packed. With Bears. I mean packed. Working your way from the door to the bar (a distance of about 15 feet) can take twenty minutes, and involves intimate bodily contact with probably fifty big, sweaty, shirtless men. In any other bar, I'd be headed for the door. But the Dug Out is different. It's good feelings all around. You see a hot guy. You give him a 'Woof,' work his nips, make out for a while. Taste and see the goodness. And because of the energy in the room, every guy is a hot guy.

I've only experienced this vibe with Bears. I've never been to a Bear event, but I'd sure like to go. I imagine a sort of wonderful bacchanalia. It's my understanding that Renaissance Faire's are popular with Bears. This makes perfect sense to me. I've never been to a Renaissance Faire where I didn't have to be carried out after all of that supping and quaffing.

On the whole, Bears seem to be total romantics, too. A few times in my life, I've watched two grown men fall head over heals in love with each other. All those men have been Bears.

Alas for me though: I like Bears, but Bears like other Bears. No, I'm built like an Armani model. And that just won't do at all. And I'm not all that hairy, either. Having a really bushy moustache counts for a lot, but I don't know that I'll ever be able to attain true Bear-hood.

Here's a Bear site.
Here's another one.
Here's a Bear event.
Some local Bears.
Oh cool! Here's a book on Bears I'll be reading soon.
Bear resources. Great site.

Go Bears!

And Cubs! Oh my God, are more desireable men imaginable? Big, life-lovin', romantic... and submissive!
Love this little bon mot:

"A conservative is no longer a liberal who's been mugged; now a conservative is a liberal who hasn't been mugged in a while, and realizes he has a conservative to thank."

--James Lileks

Saturday, September 21, 2002

What do you get when you cross a a gorgeous onion with a good looking donkey?

An ass so beautiful it brings tears to your eyes.

This little joke came to mind tonight at the Eagle, where I met this stunning Brazilian boy. He was very proud of his ass, and well he should be. Like the hood of a Studdebaker. I have church tomorrow, but I got his number. Hope to be plowing that carnival of gluteal pulchritude before to long.

But I did bring home a trophy. A softball trophy. It's about 8 inches high, a statuette of a batter who just got a hit. It has my name on it. I'm pretty thrilled. It'll be right there on my desk when I start my new job.

And, met up with the Special Guy and we went to see a movie, Secretary. Superb. Wonderful. Surely the best representation of S/M I've seen in the media.

Friday, September 20, 2002

So Geez. The weekend is wide open. Except for a Softball Banquet and Awards Ceremony at the Eagle tomorrow night. What an odd thing a weekend is. It's Friday night, and it seems to be stretching out in front of me like a newly discovered continent. At some point on Sunday afternoon, I'll feel the icy hand of back-to-work-tomorrow get a firm grip on my spine.

Huh. There's an autumnal coolness in the air. And I'm starting to feel like I always do this time of year: meditative and wistful. On October 29th, I'll have attained my 38th year. I always get this way around my birthday. "At my back I always hear/Time's winged chariots drawing near."

I want a second chance at 33. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Well, I'll tell you. When I was in college, we were discussing Joyce's Ulysses in my Modern Novel class. Stephen Daedalus is 33 at the time of the action. Beth DeMeo, the prof, pointed out that 33 is a significant age in literature. Stephen is 33. Christ died at the age of 33. Hamlet was 33. In medieval thought, everyone would be 33 years old in heaven, regardless of their age at death. At 33, the fires of youth--the sense of assurance and optimism and wonder--are still burning. But, at 33 your own mortality--the fact that you will die and be forgotten, shuffling off this mortal coil--enters your consciousness in a big way. To the extent that I understand Heidegger (which is minimal), this is what starts Dasein on his way to Authenticity, the confrontation with nothingness. So 33 is like the tip of the mountain. Literally, the prime of life.

Now, don't get me wrong. Good things happened when I was thirty-three. Five years ago tonight, I was most likely sitting at my desk, typing away, just like I am now. But my desk was in a room over a liquor store on Cypress Avenue in the South Bronx. I was the coordinator of a network of needle exchange programs operating across New York State. I didn't know at that point that I really only had two and a half more months at that job. I was starting to embark on a major lobbying campaign up in Albany. I was really, really happy about the fact that once the Legislature was back in session I'd be spending a lot of time in Albany. Because Albany wasn't home.

My Ex and I were looking at houses, hoping for one to buy. We were living in Boerum Hill, a nice brownstone neighborhood in Brooklyn. We hadn't yet seen the house we were going to buy, located in Lefferts Manor, another neighborhood in Brooklyn. We were buying a house, it seems to me, the way heterosexual couples (wrongly) have children: to save the relationship. Again and again we would do something (move in together, move to Brooklyn together, buy a house together) to shackle ourselves more tightly to oneanother.

Five years ago, I was probably late at the office. Not because I had bunches of work to do, but because home was a place I tried to avoid. The binding wasn't working too well. My fantasy life was fairly rich. My fantasies were played out on America On Line. (I know. How pathetic is that?) I'd connect with some guy. Usually some guy with a mention of S/M in his profile. I'd work up to the point where he'd say 'Okay, let's meet,' and then I would present some excuse why I couldn't. Some of them were legit, most weren't. I just cringe thinking of my Walter Mitty self back then. Whining and moaning my way through therapy sessions every Thursday night.

During my 33rd year, we found a house, put in an offer, went into contract, I switched jobs and came here to my current job, we got approved for a mortgage, we closed on the house and moved in, we were featured in the Habitats column of the Real Estate section in the Sunday New York Times. At home, it was bicker, bicker, bicker. Mostly me getting yelled at for one thing or another. There were a lot of fights that first year on Lincoln Road. And, I came back from a meeting in December, 1997 where I was offered the job here and greeted at the door by my Ex. He told me that my sister was in the hospital. The doctors weren't giving her a lot of hope. She survived, miraculously, and would live for 19 more months. I visited her when I could, and each visit was an occasion for an blow-out with my Ex.

So that was my 33rd year. The year I had been 'looking forward to' since my Junior year at college. Truly I feel that I missed it. That it went by me. Why? Because I wasn't myself. I wasn't myself at all.

Now, I feel much more myself. I do what I want. I am who I am. I stand or fall on my own decisions. I take responsibility. I'm a person. People know me and like me. I'm meeting new people and forging new friendships. I'm learning new things. I'm dating a great guy. I'm in love for the first time in my life.

I think I'll go home and read the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. In response to an email I sent out to professional colleagues announcing my departure from my current job, I got an email back quoting a portion of it...

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, ³Do I dare?² and, ³Do I dare?²
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair‹
[They will say: ³How his hair is growing thin!²]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin‹
[They will say: ³But how his arms and legs are thin!²]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

I remember the part of the poem (and I'm bad at memorizing poetry, I always get it wrong) that goes:

Do I dare eat a peach?
Or wear white flannel trousers and walk upon the beach?
For I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
And I wonder, will they sing for me?
(something something something)
(something about frolicking with the mermaids in their sea chambers)
Till human voices wake us and we drown.

Let me find a link to the poem. See how close I came. Here it is. Huh. I didn't do too bad. Just left out a couple images. And Prufrock doubts the mermaids will sing to him, not wonders if they will.
Oh. My. God.
I thought I'd seen it all and done most of it. And then I run across this.
Take it from me--a man who gets sexually excited when his whip work on the back of a bound human target draws blood--this is weird and scary.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

"Let's play 'Word Association!'"
"Vin Diesel."
"Chained at my feet, soaked in my piss."

Yeah. Still.

Wonder when the dvd of XXX comes out.
So, when Baron von Philadelphia was watching my apartment, he went through 3 boxes of dog biscuits in 2 weeks. The routine: after we get back from the night walk, Prosper (that's my dog) gets a dog biscuit. Prosper is fine with this. At no other point in the day does he cast upward his wistful brown eyes. But now, every time I so much as look in the direction of the kitchen, guess what's on boy-boy's canine mind? So I'm weening him back to the prior, abstemious routine.

Last night, Special Guy slept over. (Great as usual. "Yeah! Right down my throat!" being the operative bon mot.) Before we went to bed, I heard the unmistakable *clunk* of a biscuit hitting the linoleum floor in the kitchen, followed by chewing. And then I heard it twice this morning.

What is going on here? Do my nearest and dearest believe that I'm some sort of Dr. Mengele? Slowly starving my dog? Is it a bid for my approval, as in, "I'll be nice to his dog, and then he'll like me more"? Folks, rub his tummy. Scratch that spot on his butt. Lay off the Milk Bones.
Dig. I just had lunch with Rabelais and Montaigne.

The book I'm reading is great. From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to the Present, written by Jacques Barzun (Harper Collins, 2000). It's just magnificent. Perfect balance of breadth and telling details. Luckily, Barzun wrote a lot of books. I've only read The Culture We Deserve to date. Hate that when you read everything an author has written.

Wondering who I have in mind? Isaiah Berlin, Agatha Christie, Iris Murdoch (fiction), Larry Kramer, William Barrett, Wallace Stevens, Joe Orton, Jack Kerouac. Except for Kerouac, I just swallowed them. Like candy. Couldn't get enough. Jack took doing. Some of his stuff is sooooo tedious. "That's not writing, that's typing." There are probably a few others I'm not thinking of. And a few authors who have only published one book, and whaddyaknow, I read it. I think Stephen McCauley, who wrote the last book I read (True Enough) only has two others to his credit. And I read The Object of My Affection.

Oh. And Michael Cunningham. He wrote The Hours, which is one of the most brilliant books I've read. And I know him. He's such a total hottie. He was the friend of friends of mine, and we'd run across each other not infrequently in the early '90s. He always had a boyfriend. But there was always (always!) that certain electricity in the air whenever we ran into each other. Okay. I'll spill. I wanted him bad. He's tall and rangy and hairy. I bet he makes a lot of noise in bed. I bet his cum tastes like apricot preserves. I bet he loves to take it deep and slow.


Reading broadens one's perspective so.

I been thinkin'

I'm like way into this blog thing. Some of the people I know read my blog, and comment on it, or let me know they read it by asking "How is Special Guy?" When they do, I'm always sort of taken aback. It's like catching someone reading your journal. And yet, after the 'taken aback' fades, I'm sort of titillated. (Chances are I misspelled that word.) A friend of mine once sort of proclaimed Yoda-like: "Never tell people your dreams. It gives them insights into you that you yourself don't share." So maybe it's the power imbalance that I find exciting. Cagey as I am, I wonder if readers have a take on me, some glimmer of the answer to my karmic riddle.

But I continue to write. Regardless. Or because of.

And heeeeere's a wee bit of irony. Last October 1st was Liberation Day for me. I left my ex. Doing so, I packed only all of my stuff that I could fit in the car. One of the things that I left 'for later' was my desk, and the contents thereof. My ex found and read my journal. I was pretty stunned. "I wouldn't have done that to you!" (His response was that I left it there on purpose, because consciously or subconsciously I wanted him to read it." Months later, he packed up all the stuff I'd left behind (which wasn't a lot) and movers brought it to me at my new home in Jersey City. Sorting through it, I found that he had mistakenly included a box from the basement that held all of his old journals. All of them. From before he knew me, right up through the time when we were first living together. (I don't know for how long he continued to maintain a journal, so I don't know how far forward they go.) Anyway, after the day when I opened the box, wondered 'Hmm... what's this?", and opened one up and figured out what it was, I have not read a single word. During our short-lived attempt at counseling, I told him that in fact I had his journals and I hadn't read them. He was sort of flabbergasted. Well, he interrupted raging at me to be flabbergasted for a moment, then went back to raging at me. So he knows. But he hasn't asked for them back. And I'd be happy to mail them or even drop them off. But I still haven't read them.

And a second helping of irony. When I was a senior in high school, my step mother (my dad was widowed twice and remarried twice, she's still with us) found and read my journal. It was not pretty. At that time, things were verrrrry bad between me and my stepmother (better now), and I spilled a lot of ink slamming her. And there I was defending myself. Since that time, I continued to journal (done that my whole life), but I would do so in code. To the point that if I look at journals from my early twenties, I have no blessed idea what the hell I'm talking about. What does 'visit the museum' refer to? Who the hell is 'Heathcliffe' and what did he say to me when he was drunk? It's maddening. Over time, I overcame that. I allowed myself to be honest and forthright in my journal. And my ex read it.

And with all that experience under my belt, here I am typing away and clicking the 'Post & Publish" button for broadcast over the World Wide Web. How bout dat.
Yo. I'm not the only blogging leatherman in the world. John and Sparky got it goin' on.

But it looks like I'm the only blogging single tail top leatherman.

Patient Non-Compliance

About two years ago, I tried to get into a study at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital of a drug in Phase I trials, a smoking cessation aid. Part of the intake was bloodwork. My bloodwork came back and I was told that I was ineligible for the trial, and that I should contact my doctor. I did. It turns out that my bloodwork indicated that I was hypo-thyroidal. This means that my thyroid gland, which regulates metabolism, had slowed way down on the gladular secretions.

At this point I did a web search on hypothyroidism. Here are the symptoms:

Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
Coarse, dry hair
Dry, rough pale skin
Hair loss
Cold intolerance (can't tolerate the cold like those around you)
Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
Memory loss
Abnormal menstrual cycles
Decreased libido

Uh... No. No. No. No. No. Yeah, but it predates my diagnosis by a decade. No. No. No. No. No. No. Not applicable. Definitely not.

At the time, I asked my doctor if it couldn't be the case that I was hyperthyroidal. That I was putting out too much of the stuff. Clearly not. She started me on hormone replacement therapy, and over the past two years, my dose has steadily increased.

Blah blah blah blah. What is this? Senior citizens grousing over Mah-Jong? Here's the thing. When I went away, I forgot to take my meds with me. So I had a two week thyroid medication vacation. Bad patient! So I come back from vacation (I felt fine, I wasn't depressed or irratible, and my libido was definitely in good working order) and I went for the gym for the first time in two weeks. I jumped on the scale, fearing the worst: that my weight had dropped into the 170s during two weeks of not working out. I weighed 188. The most I've ever weighed in my life. Two pounds away from 190, my goal weight for the past decade of lifting weights. I look great. Special Guy was like, "Damn! You're huge!" (I am not huge.)

So I've kind of been skipping doses of my medication. I once jokingly suggested to my doctor that I hold off on treatment until I put on some pounds. She laughed. Here's another fun fact: my thyroid medication, Levoxyl, is an abused pharmaceutical: it's taken by women who want to lose weight. Because it speeds up your metabolism. I read in some body-building magazine (no more unreliable source, I know) that what you try to do if you want to gain is slow down your metabolism. Sort of ironic that among my last blogs before I went on vacation was all about me mulling doing steroids.

Huh. I just noticed that the skin on my arm is dry and flakey.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Awnry and Irish (who rocks) responded to these questions, so I will to.

1. The Enormous Pickle
2. Sitting in the waiting room at GMHC's David Geffen Center waiting for the results of my HIV antibody test. Fear turned out to be unfounded.
3. Constant change ups or the mind tends to wander.
4. Uhh... Undisclosed location West of Chicago, East of Cleveland, North of St. Louis.
5. Whatever it is, I'm doing it on a volunteer basis, so it makes me feel great. And (most importantly) I don't need the money...
6. Tragically, I didn't get that gene. I do my best.
7. A hybrid bullwhip-signal whip made by Joe Wheeler. Bar none.
8. 15 oral. 22 anal. And I fisted a guy when I was 17. Really.
9. Speed dial. Even though I have an uncanny capacity to memorize numbers.
10. L'Essence de Moi. My handsoap doesn't even have a scent.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

I heard this guy respond to a polite question with 'Hel-lo?'
I love that. An Alicia Silverstein in Clueless moment.

I've been giggling about it ever since. Imagining him just sort of prattling on like a cheerleader.

"Like, that is sooo ten minutes ago."
"Don't be that guy!"
Here's an interesting thing. This website is basically photos of a demonstration in San Francisco during a visit paid by our Vice President, Dick Cheney. If you scroll down (and down and down and down) there's a picture of counter demonstrators (i.e., pro-Cheney). Beyond the fact that it's sort of news to me that Dick Cheney invokes such strong positive feelings that people would spend a day marching in a circle to express their love, I'm sort of charmed by one of the signs that reads, 'Cheney ROCKS.' I love that. From now on, whenever Dick Cheney's name comes up in conversation--whether I'm a part of that conversation or not--my lighter will be out of my pocket and lit over my head and I will be heard to exclaim, "Cheney rocks!"

Oh, and if I had the germ of an idea that it might be fun to live in San Francisco at some point in my life (and that is verrrrry unlikely), it's gone now.
September 11th, six days later.

Right. Last Wednesday. I was driving through Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. I didn't think about it in advance, but that was a great way to spend the day. We passed flags at half mast. Folks behind the counter at Starbucks or Wendy's or whatever were wearing 'United We Stand' pins. I didn't have the news on. I was listening to REM and Staind and Crystal Method. I didn't think about it at all. I didn't think 'Gosh, it's 1pm. Last year at this time I was dialing my parents number over and over and over and over again to let them know I was safe in Brooklyn.' If I were in NYC last Wednesday, I don't know what I would have done.

Here's what's wrong for me. There was no news. My means of navigating life in general is to gather information and put it all together in a sort of constantly shifting mosaic of my understanding of the world. That's how I got through September 11th and it's aftermath last year. (Did you know that the World Trade Center, built on unstable landfill, sits in a sort of giant subterranean bathtub? A big concern was that the wall of the bathtub would be breached. Water from the Hudson River would flow in and fill up the bathtub. The other thing that penetrates the bathtub are the PATH trains. So the water would have flowed into the PATH tunnels, under the river to New Jersey, then back through the tunnels into Manhattan, where the PATH connects to the New York City subway system. The subways would flood, crippling the city, and there would be nothing that anyone could do to prevent it from happening due to the intricacy of the tunnel network. Did you know that? I did.) And there was no new information last Wednesday. And absent information, I'd just be sort of left with feeling. And we couldn't have that.
This site is just totally brilliant. Astonishing. Amazing.
Happy At Least You're Not A Snowboarder Day!
She says 'yo,' too.

One for the cosmos

Huh. Problems with the blogger server. When I try to look at my blog (and I guess when anyone else tries to look at my blog) I get a 'Template Not Found" error message. Dang. And I passed out the url to my site at Inferno to a bunch of potential new readers.

Monday, September 16, 2002


Okay okay okay. So I've been back from Inferno XXX! since Thursday and I haven't written. Been busy, y'know. Baron von Philadelphia was watching my apartment and my dog while I was away, so I had to spend some time with him. Specifically, we went down to Soho, where I did my best to reinvigorate our flagging economy by buying lots of chic clothes for my new job. And after two weeks of missing the Special Guy, I spent Thursday night with him. So wonderful to just hang out with him.

Oh. And my softball team did really well in the tournement we played in in Montreal. We got a bronze medal. As in, each of us got a bronze medal. As in, I now have a bronze medalion on a red ribbon earned from playing softball. As in, I haven't taken it off since I picked it up on Saturday night. Sheeee it. And it was a blast. In the games that counted that we played on Sunday (before I had to hit the road), I outran the ball and slid into home (after doing that thing that small animals do on the freeway before being flattened by an 18-wheeler, sort of scurrying back and forth between third and home plate). And, I hit the ball better than I have ever in my life. "Line drive right up the middle." All about creative visualization.

Past President (of GMSMA) was my traveling companion. Past President was the ideal traveling companion. He's an excellent navigator, and he doesn't drive. So there was no criticism (that he gave voice to anyway). And he was endlessly tolerant. No complaints about my musical selections. I was unable to pass a highway rest stop that offered Starbucks coffee... Not a problem.

After a drive that flew by, Past President and I arrived at The Site. Now, it seems to be A Thing that Inferno is not discussed outside of Inferno. And that's pretty cool. Perpetuating the mystique that surrounds the place. So, gotta be vague. I met some wonderful guys, including a Radical Faerie from a sanctuary in Tennessee, a guy who Does Mean Well from San Diego, and Siddharta Sadist from Denver. And, I got to know several guys I knew from New York and my friend the Gloved One from St. Louis so much better.

Scenes? There were scenes. Amazing scenes. Like watching Opera. And I did alright, too, on a more humble scale. I had the profound and moving experience of delivering floggings to two wonderful men, one of whom, Does Mean Well, returned the favor. I (briefly) single tailed a guy, fulfilling his fantasy. Literally. Gloved One electrocuted me. (There's probably a better way to put that.) Does Mean Well also gave me a massage, something that was absolutely a first for me. Siddharta Sa followed up with another massage that had an altogether hypnotic quality. I did a shaving scene with a guy I adore from NYC.

Beyond the scenes, there were a few other notable experiences. There was a Noted Author among us. A few, actually. But one Noted Author in particular provided me with quite an experience. I was there for set up, so I arrived at The Site a few days before the deluge of Infernals. After the big arrival, I noticed this guy noticing me. Intently. A lot. Which was cool. Until I learned who he was. After that, i went into celebrity mode. You'd think that living in New York for the past decade, where I'm climbing over them, I'd become hardened. But no, I eat at a restaurant owned by Al Lewis (aka Granpa Munster) and I'm just awed into silence. So one morning I'm headed out to get into some practice with my newly acquired whip. I come around the corner, trimming the lower brances of a willow tree with some well targeted cracks, and there's Noted Author, sitting alone, watching me as usual. For once in my life, I came up with something clever to say in the moment as opposwed to the next morning in the shower. "I wish I was as good at whipping backs as I am at whipping shrubery," sez I.

He laughed. A conversation ensued. (!) At one point he lowered the boom. "I've been observing you. I have to say that you bring a great spirit and energy to this gathering."


So what's it all mean? Here's something I didn't expect. There was so much love there. It was everywhere. And here's what I took away from the experience: I will live my life for love. Nothing else. it's not about power or money (it never really was with me) or recognition (it always kinda was with me). It's all about love. Giving love. Bringing love into the world. Love is the priority.

And something I never, ever have done before: I let go. I surrendered. When having sex (in all it's wonderful variations), my concern is always on the pleasure of my partner. Getting a massage from Does Mean Well, getting a massage from Siddharta Sadist, getting flogged by Does Mean Well. I just let go. I submitted. It was sublime.

I feel much more me when I'm in charge, orchestrating, administering, giving, doing, bringing about. But I can be yin as well as yang.

And I can be mean. Does Mean Well and I co-topped in a scene. He did mean well. Getting all growley and nasty. But I was my loving sensuous self. Does Mean Well was sort of giving me signals (the bottom was blindfolded, natch) along the lines of 'No no no no no!'

So on the final night, I was invited to jump into an interrogation scene. And I made it happen. I found Mean. And Mean was great. Mean felt wonderful. I can be mean as I need to be.

Love. Mean. Inferno.