Friday, February 28, 2003


At long last, I saw Scooby-Doo, The Movie.
it was well worth the $4 I just spent on Movies On Demand.

Witty? Urbane? Talented? Nattily attired Leatherman about town? Yeah, that's me.
Incredible weakness for unbelievably schlocky movies? Yeah, that's me, too.

Ooooooh... That Pork Loin is gonna be nice.

Oh my stars and garters

Well blow me down. For this entire week, Boss Sunshine was essentially the man I used to know. It was a great week. Productive, busy, filled with moments of laughter, challenging and engaging. This was the job I signed up for. This was why I was so excited about coming back to work with Boss Sunshine. I felt validated and respected. It rocked.

Don't kick the football, Charlie Brown.

So it turns out that the St. Patrick's Day Parade meeeting was not to be tonight. Staffetta had found a reference to it on a website. It turns out that in fact the website did in fact list a meeting at the Center on February 28th, but in the year 2002, not 2003.

Instead, I have a nice quiet night at home. I'm making loin of pork stuffed with apricots and vidalia onions, and deglazing the pan with blackberry juice, served up with butternut squash and spinach.

Ah, bliss.

Ah, Friday. Thank the Lord! Hopefully the day will sail by quickly.

Busy this weekend, but in good ways. Tomorrow I have a GMSMA mail party, followed at 3pm by a GMSMA workshop on Heavy Duty Bondage. (Hmmm. I wonder who the presenter is?) Then, I hope to meet up with Does Windows on Saturday night. On Sunday, a very hot man I met a few months ago at the Bike Stop is coming into town for half-a-day. We'll spend time, have some dinner, and if things go well, do a scene. I hope that works out. He has great energy, and I like him a lot.

The mailing tomorrow is primarily for the next edition of GMSMA's publication, Newslink. And, contained therein is an article I wrote on single tail whipping. So, my writing will be showing up in mailboxes across the country next week. Last year, when I appeared on the cover of Newslink, I had a recurring phenomenon where I would meet someone, and I could see them doing a sort of mental Google search, trying to figure out how they knew me. Alas, only my name, and not my image, accompanies the article, and my name is pretty ordinary and easy to forget.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Been having a great email correspondence with the man responsible for Bound and Determined that have given me many fresh insights. Recently, we discussed Tops who take a shamanic approach to domination, as opposed to those who... uh... don't. I think it's the equivalent of the uncanny (from my perspective) ability to have physical intimacy absent emotional intimacy. In the realm of vanilla, that is the road of frustration. There I'd be, planning my life around someone I had met in a bar and known for all of forty-five minutes. But in S/M, a scene in and of itself can be powerful and transformative. I think that mostly it comes down to genetics. Having sex without emotional content is a sex-linked phenotypical expression.

Kick ass day tomorrow. At 8 a.m. I have to be at a Legislative Breakfast. (Like Grape Nuts, no legislation is generated, and the danishes cut in quarters and tepid coffee couldn't be anyone's idea of breakfast.) Then, from 7 p.m to 9 p.m., I'm attending some dreadful meeting about the Inclusive St. Patrick's Day Parade in Queens. (Big News! The Mayor has announced he'll be marching in this one.) I'm not Irish. I'm not from Queens. I'm not the Mayor. I guess bringing along what we used to call a 'free-reading book' in junior high school to either event would be bad form, right?

Boss Sunshine continues to be warm, appreciative, and enjoyable. (Don't kick the football, Charlie Brown!) In a meeting today, I mentioned the advocacy work I had the opportunity to do recently with clients of the Division of AIDS Services. (Now called HASA, but it will always be DAS to me.) I used to do a lot of that back in the day and became very good at it. Need approval from DAS so they'll cover the rent for your $1200/month studio? Not impossible with me on the job! So Boss Sunshine said, "And that's why you did such a good job making the DAS Legislation happen." It was an off the cuff comment, but one that had me charging full speed towards the football. You see, when I worked for Boss Sunshine before, I was, in fact, sort of the architect of this bill. I brought together a wide swath of advocates and service providers, and together we brainstormed on what the elements of the bill should be. Then, I worked with the lawyers on the City Council to turn those ideas into ironclad legislative language. And then, we strategized to get a majority of the Council as sponsors, get it voted out of committee, get the support of the leadership, and make it impossible for Mayor Giuliani (who had tried to eliminate DAS outright a few short years before) not to sign the bill into law. And, at that time, the Council was just starting to flex their muscles with the new powers granted to them by the revised City Charter. Previously, they had pretty much just renamed streets. It was the first piece of Omnibus Legislation that had ever come out of the Council. The resulting guarantee of basic services is a model that's been subsequently emulated in other cities. It is actually one of the accomplishments of which I am proudest.

Now here's the deal. Legislators don't give credit to their aides for things like that. The credit and the kudoes go to the legislator. Maybe I'm putting too much onto this, but to hear Boss Sunshine give me the credit took me by surprise.

Don't kick the football, Charlie Brown!

Adieu, Fred Rogers.

Although Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood was never on my media menu, he was such an icon of honest-to-goodness goodness. Kind, warm, sincere, untroubled, and strong. I knew people like him when I was growing up. Simple country people. They make their way so quietly through the world, although leaving so many blessings in their wake, that it's very easy to forget they exist, especially while living in the heart of Gotham. Here, everybody has to have the last word. But every once in a while, I'd be reminded of Fred Rogers, and the fact that there are sweet, simple people in the world would once again become real to me.

If inded there still are. Perhaps Mr. Rogers was the last. Perhaps we're now all just Consumers, absorbed and assimilated.

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

Today's Afganistan isn't looking too bad. How long will the people of Iraq have to wait?

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Oh, Mercy. What a night.

Tonight was GMSMA's Leather/Fetish Fashion Show Program. The set-up of the room was great. The music was great. It was a good crowd. The vendors were awesome. Alas. The MC showed up just as the program was starting. Ergo, I had no time to brief him on format. I had planned to be the backstage manager. In addition to making sure that everything went smoothely and coaching the models ("take your time out there, go really slow: walk, stop, stand, turn, stand, walk, stop, stand, turn..."), I'd be able to run through the little speeches I planned to make concerning two of the vendors. Once the MC was on stage, I headed back behind the partition to get to work. No sooner had I ducked behind the partition then I heard him ask for me to join him on stage. Uh oh. So I stood next to him whispering in his ear, "Nasty Pig is up next." The models moved like they were in track and field time trials. Everyone had gone, the various schticks we had worked up had gone down, and I looked at my watch and we had forty minutes to kill to make a one-hour program. Beelzebub. If I had been wearing a sword, I would have thrown myself on my sword. We had all the models out on stage for the Grand Finale. Unfortunately, most of them had changed back into street clothes as no one was backstage to tell them there was going to be a Grand Finale. A lengthy (and pretty torturous) Q&A with the audience ensued. Not many people had questions, because, well... the event was largely visual. When presented with eye candy, you're not really thinking in terms of probing deeper. With questions, that is.

There are three programs I'm coordinating this season. Number One was the first program of the season, back in September. There was one presenter, and it was ARt. Even though I had not much in the way of lead time (because I was at Inferno), I was in frequent contact with ARt, and managed to make sure that everything was perfect. I devised a novel arrangement of the room that worked well. There was good attendance, and it went off without a hitch. Tonight was Number Two. I swear, I will redeem myself with Number Three. I have until April 26th to work on it. I have most of a proposed outline constructed. I'm going to comb the known universe for presenters. The big challenge is that it's a panel discussion, on S/M and drug use. Panel discussions tend not to bring out the crowds. I'm hoping that because the subject is controversial, that may not be the case in this instance.

I'm glad it's over. So glad. Tomorrow I'll call around and check in with the vendors, making sure that it was a good experience for them, and thanking them for their participation.

And, as I was coming out of the LGBT (I pronounce that acronym Lug-Butt) Center, I heard my name called. There was Does Windows. Such the sight for sore eyes. He helped me take the gear to my jeep, and I dropped everything off at the Leatherman. Then, we went to dinner at Sazerac. He showed me how to write my name in Arabic, and told me how he had come to do windows. Apparently, he's very good at it, and much sought after. Like that.

Now, I'm going to spend some time Not Thinking, but rather making chit-chat with the men on Leather Navigator. Then I go to bed.

Don't kick the football, Charlie Brown!

Boss Sunshine was in the office today for the first time in about fifteen days. He was delightful, warm, funny, productive, supportive, and endearing. Just like Lucy when she's trying to get Good Ol' Charlie Brown to kick the football. And, of course, Lucy pulls it away at the last second and Charlie Brown goes flying.

I won't do it.

I won't kick the football.

Not again.

(That's what Charlie Brown always tells himself, too, right?)

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

By the way, here's the idea I have for a headline for my new web page, replacing the canned Blogger format you see here. Not sure how it will go. Saved it as a jpg file, rather than as a gif (which you're not supposed to do.


Don't hold your breath waiting for the All New! All Redesigned Singletails... That's a lot of html, and I'm not that good yet.

Therapy tonight. Inter'stin'. I feel waves of Gotta-get-outta-New-York welling up in me again. It's the profound desire of having nothing to do. That, and I'm thinking of how cool it would be to grill steaks out by the pool. Somewhere. Anywhere. In February. And my tan has totally faded. I need some beach in my life. I need getting into a searing hot car that's been sitting in the sun all afternoon. I need to be outside wearing practically nothing.

Ananuthathing. I realized that of all my Exes, Special Guy is hands down the favorite. There never has been, and I dare say there never will be, anyone like him. He and I connected on so many levels. Y'know, if something awful were to happen to me--another terrorist attack, the unexpected suicide of someone I love, getting tested for HIV and finding out I've seroconverted--some hit me right in the gut thing... I'd call Special Guy. And that would be a huge help.

Something else. I don't know if I've mentioned this previously in my blog. It might be a surprise. In 1999, my sister Kathy died. My Ex and I were in New Mexico on vacation at the time. We had one more full day to go when the phone call came. We flew home immediately. At her funeral, in St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, I took advantage of the rubric in the Book of Common Prayer in the service for the Burial of the Dead that said that "At this point, a member of the family may speak." I stood in the pulpit of the church where I had grown up and talked about my sister. (I'll conclude this post by printing the text of what I said.) I think I was pretty effective.

A few days later, I was sitting with The Ex having dinner back in Brooklyn. I told him that I realized, in part because of speaking at my sister's funeral, that I wanted to pursue a goal I had always had: I wanted to become a priest. I started down that road, and was sort of on my way to the seminary when I left him. When I spoke to the priest at my sponsoring parish after the split, he said that he had to seriously had to rethink my application. It seems that in his mind, I and my Ex were all of a piece, and this was so unexpected. I took my cue that all bets were off.

I was bitter for a while. I have always wanted to be a priest. And, I think I would make a good priest. I'm temperamentally, intellectually, and characterologically suited for it.

So why do I bring this up now? (As if that is a question I ever ask myself while blogging...) It's like this. That book I'm writing? Y'know what it is? It's a series of sermons. That's what it is. Good sermons, in fact. Not preachy, not "This is the 'right' way to do things and you've been doing it wrong" or worse still holding myself up as a model of sanctity to be emulated. Rather, I pose questions which I hope that the reader will come away seeking to answer, and in searching out those answers, will come to see the world in a new way.

And so, in a way, I am becoming a priest. Just not in the church that I expected.

You don't have to address me as "Father." But "Sir" would be nice.

Anyway, here's what I said at my sister's funeral...

On behalf of my family, I would like to thank all of you for coming tonight to this church where all of the Kramer children were baptized, so that together we can celebrate Kathy’s life, grieve the loss of her presence among us, and pray together that she will share in the glory of Christ’s resurrection.

Kathy and I were very close. I think it is a testament to the person that she was that I am far from alone in that. Kathy had a heart the size of Iowa. She loved many people. I remember her telling me once that she wished she was better at holding grudges when someone took advantage of her, but she just didn’t seem to have a span of attention for that.

I miss her terribly. It seems unreal to me that she’s not there to call or to visit, that I will never again hear her voice and her laughter. In fact, it is her words that I miss most keenly. Particularly her turns of phrase.

“When they taste this, they’ll scream, they’ll cry, they’ll live other lives.”

“I took that gray and turned it purple.”

“They didn’t know what to do, so they did it all.”

“I can’t dance and it’s too wet to plough.”

“Stay off the roads, I’m gonna be driving dangerously.”

“Boom. Done.”

And of course her stories. I loved always to listen to her stories. I doubt that there’s not a person sitting here tonight that I haven’t heard Kathy tell me about. When I was little, these stories were like Greek myths to me. Describing people in outrageous situations who do brave things, crazy things, stupid things, and raise sordid circumstances to the level of beauty through the power of laughter. Through these stories, I learned most of what I know about what it means to be a human being.

Something you may or may not know about Kathy was she was unbearably shy. The first time she met you, she was terrified of you, sure that you wouldn’t like her. I’m an exception to that. The first time she met me she said, “Mother, there’s something wrong. He looks just like Mr. Magoo.”

Among Kathy’s strategies for overcoming her shyness and for getting people to see her worth and her beauty was to feed them. Kathy understood better than anyone I’ve ever known the sacred power of food. When my partner (The Ex) and I had been seeing each other for only a few months, (The Ex) invited me to come along to a party with friends of his from work. I would be meeting them all for the first time. People coming to the party were asked to bring along something to eat, salad, bread and cheese, something like that. I called my sister for ideas. I made a tri-colored seafood mousse served on a bed of seafood pasta salad with tomato, spinach, and white fettuccine. They screamed, they cried, they lived other lives.

It is my prayer that the element of Kathy that lives on in me, and in all of us, is that generosity, the readiness to love and be kind and to give.

Thank you again for coming tonight. There’s going to be a reception following the service at B. Maxwell’s right up on Court Street and I hope you will all join us.

Peace be with you

Yesterday, Boss Sunshine and I talked on the phone for the first time since before he went on vacation. We had a pleasant, friendly, and productive exchange. Immediately after getting off the phone, I was filled with thoughts of "Maybe it'll be alright! Maybe he's changed! Maybe he had some sort of moment of Aufklarung and the bad days and ways are in the past!"

I then flashed on Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown to kick.


Holy Cow!

I have a whopping $6,441.61 in tax deductible expenses from 2002. And that's not even counting the interest I paid on my mortgage ($2,334.36). And, with the exception of cab fare to and from my therapist, I have the receipts and donation acknowledgement letters and canceled checks to prove it. And, this is just my talley. Today at 5 o'clock, I sit down with my accountant (and current Chairman of GMSMA). Hopefully, he'll have one of those checklists of things you wouldn't dream are tax deductible, but are.

I was sort of alarmed to learn that clothing purchased exclusively for work--my SoHo shopping spree prior to coming to work for Boss Sunshine--is not, in fact tax deductible. Only if it's a uniform required by company policy do you get to write it off. Dang.

Some things that ought to be Tax Deductible... Dog food and vet bills, gym memberships (they can be, but only if your doctor tells you to lose weight), public transportation costs, insurance premiums, home improvement expenses, internet connectivity, and anything horticultural.

I would argue that there's a legitimate public interest served by promoting the activities that results in all of these expenses being incurred. That being the case, any purchase made at a store or restaurant in lower Manhattan in the eight months following September 11, 2001 should be tax deductible as well.

Of course, in terms of reparations for past injustice, how about making all those expenses associated with Leather and S/M tax exempt, too. We do so much to make this world a better place...

Yesterday after work, I went to the atelier of David Samuel Menkes to interview David in preparation for the upcoming (as in tomorrow!) GMSMA Program on Leather/Fetish fashion. The plan was for Does Windows to meet me there, as he's interested in acquiring some leather fetish fashion items, and I thought that observing David Menkes working with Does Windows could be instructive. Alas, the interview went well, but Does Windows didn't get out of work until seven.

So, we met up after the interview and at my suggestion, we went down to the Leatherman on Christopher Street. The staff there soon had Does Windows outfitted in harness, vest, chaps, arm band, and officer's hat. He looked really really really good. While trying on the harness, Does Windows indicated a scar on his shoulder. He was worried that the harness would draw attention to it. I said I hadn't noticed it, so I didn't think it would. He looked at me and said, "I got shot."

While he was trying stuff on, I mulled the relationship that's emerging with Does Windows and me. He's sort of becoming my "Ward and Protege." Kind of like Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. Does Windows doesn't think of himself as a bottom. I know just where his head is at. He doesn't feel he has experience as a Top, and so when he plays, he ends up being the bottom, which lends itself to scene play. And, there's so much he really doesn't know. And introducing him seems to be something I'm enjoying a lot.

After he made his purchases at the Leatherman (he opted not to get the chaps, deciding instead to have David Menkes make him something), we went for sushi. Dinner was great. We talked some more. He told me about the circumstances wherein he was shot. It was before he came to the U.S. He and his brother were driving along a highway, and snipers simply opened fire as they approached. There were more than a hundred bullets taken out of Does Windows' car. Three bullets hit him in the shoulder, and one in the foot. He nearly died. The violence was completely random. He has no idea who it was that shot him or what those motives may have been.

He's interested in getting his nipples pierced, and he asked me if it hurt. "Yes, it hurts," I said. "It hurts a lot. But not for long. After I had mine pierced, I went to see Yo Mama Tambien with Special Guy. And, the first one was easier than the second one, because the second time around I knew what I was in form." I thought for a moment, and said, "It's probably not as bad an experience as getting shot and nearly dying from the bullet wounds. If you made it through that, you can probably make it through getting pierced." He asked me to go with him when he has it done. Gladly.

I'm likin' Does Windows.

Those nutty priests!

With all do respect, Father, I hope your sermons are not as obvious as your ploy to get some of the handsomer and well-formed young men of the parish rolling around on the floor in go-go boy attire. Celibacy may very well lend itself to sublimatin of the libido towards deepening of spirituality, but sexual repression doesn't do much beyond clouding the critical faculties. C'mon, you don't think anyone would catch on?

Monday, February 24, 2003

It's a blogger meme! So here goes my list...

  1. $1000 Wedding, by Evan Dando, from Return of the Grievous Angel
  2. Among the Americans by 10,000 Maniacs, from The Wishing Chair
  3. That's What's Happening by Moby
  4. Runaway by Linkin Park
  5. Never Grow Old by the Cranberries
  6. Frontier by Dead Can Dance
  7. Emily's Reel by Yo Yo Ma, Mark O'Connor, and others, from Appalachian Journey
  8. Bye Bye Baby by Social Distortion, from Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell
  9. The Depths of All Pleasure by Butt Boy from Feel the Music
  10. Naked in the Rain by the Red Hot Chili Peppers from Blood Sugar Sex Magic
  11. You by REM from Monster

      There. My duty done.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

A good day. Went to the GMSMA Novices SIG. Low-key this week, but I enjoyed it. Then I had a light meal with Past President at Cafe Sha Sha. (Note: my softball team beat their softball team.) And then, I went to the Spiegel to see Does Windows play in a pool tournament. Alas, DW got nervous in the tournament and was eliminated in the first round. But, he was first up after the tournament, and for several games beat all comers, including the winner of the tournament. 'At's my boy! While I was hanging off of my pool playin' guy, a friend of mine, the very hot partner of the very hot Mr. Eagle 2003, came over and said, "What a hottie! Where'd you meet him?" *sigh* In an interesting turn of events, DW blew a shot, and ended up losing to none other than the parnter of Mr. Eagle 2003. And, DW has only been shooting pool for the past five months.

So many budding skills and aptitudes has DW!

(Fifteen and a half inches.)

Which is sort of interesting. An issue raised in the Sex and Spirit piece by Joseph Bean that Past President passed on to me states the case that being a parent is a vital part of the human life cycle. When you become a parent--responsible for the life and welfare of another human being--it makes you become an adult pretty fast, as that's sort of a prerequisite. Alas, many gay men, deprived of the experience of being a parent, remain perpetual adolescents. So Bean says that it's a very good thing if we find a way to fulfil the role of parent. And by some great coincidence, into my life comes Does Windows, who has a variety of kinky interests and a few experiences, but is essentially at the start of his journey. (Last night at dinner he interupted something I was saying to ask, "What do you mean by S/M?") So in addition to enjoying his company, I'm going to do my best to guide him into this life, let him explore, and be of any help as far as offering him new experiences as I can.

It's sort of fascinating. I mean, where do I begin? History, I suppose. And the handkerchief code. And Top, bottom, and switch. And safe, sane and consensual. I could give him a reading list (the Leatherman's Handbook, Leatherfolk, LeatherSex Q&A, Joe Bean's Flogging), but I sort of want this to be passed on by oral tradition.

Oh. Here's an interesting footnote... Does Windows is Moslem.
Make love, not war!

Here's a glimpse into the events of last night. I transformed Does Windows into art!
(Ineptly edited by me and Photoshop, alas, but you get the idea.)

Truly. Hedda Lettuce has one of the best websites I've ever seen. Brilliant and beautiful.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Wow. Fifteen and a half inches. A record for both of us.

I'm happy to report that Does Windows is encased in Vet Wrap and is sleeping soundly. Only his dick is visible. The Schubert string quartets are playing. Dinner was great. I knew I was on a good track tonight when he told me about how once at home he experimented with wrapping himself up in Ace bandages and silver duct tape. Dang. I forgot to plug his but before I wrapped him up. No matter.

He's a great guy.

Apropos of the blog below, this is Joseph Bean is. And drop his name in Google and a bunch of other stuff will come up.

What a great day!

Past President sent me a series of pieces that Joseph Bean wrote on the subject of Sex and Spirit. They made for wonderful reading, so thoughtful and provacative. Here's a small sample:

What shock will mature you? What con you give the world that will ease it’s labor burden as children might have? And, how can you advance God’s victory over Time as generations of offspring might have done?
Third, until you have “big” answers to work with, see that you do something with yourself and with your life that honestly aims at substantially contributing to the great work of the human race, that is, doing what is commonly and incorrectly called giving something back. Even very humble contributions are always needed. Throughout World War I, for example, one of the vital homeland activities was knitting bandages. A small task for each, a great accomplishment for all.

And, I read them while I was listening to the broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera's staging of Hector Berlioz's Les Troyans. Overall, a great way to spend the afternoon. And, I managed to get some house cleaning done.

Then, I got a phone call from the boy from last Sunday night. We'll call him Does Windows. DW is up for another get together tonight. So, I'm all suited up: leather pants that lace up the side, Wesco's, half-zip bike shirt. I plan to ask him at dinner about where his interests and experience lie outside of fisting. Hopefully, he'll report that he hasn't got a lot of experience, but he has a lot of interests. Last week, when I brought him home, I put him in bondage while I got the den ready to do a fisting scene. He calmed down and seemed to enjoy it. So tonight, I think I'll start off by mummifying him in Vet Wrap for a while, puting on a recording I have of Schubert's string quartets, and just let him enjoy powerlessness and immobility. And then I'll go for the gold again, giving him a nice punch fuck.

Oh, and also, I'm glad we're having dinner together. I look forward also to asking him where he's from, what his interests are, and get to know him soon.

And tonight, tonight I'll sleep with my arms wrapped around him, listening to the rain against the windowpane.


So when I opened up my email this morning, there was a messsage from Special Guy, sending me the post below. I know I know I know, one of those goofy things that make the rounds of In Boxes. But because it was him, I opened it up and read it and liked it. I responded, telling him a little bit about what's going on with me, and wishing him all the best there in Palm Springs.

Also in my In Box was email from someone I know through work. It was some nasty political in-fighting. Which might sound shocking, but in the circles I move in, it isn't at all. But anyway, it was sent to a bunch of people, and the first name listed in the list of recipients was unmistakeably Sarge's.

Huh. Special Guy... Sarge... Coming so soon after righting a tender reply to Special Guy, having Sarge flood my consciousness was sort of potent. So now I have Sarge's email address. (I'll have to introduce the guy that sent me the nasty email to the idea of blind carbon copying.) And, I guess that I definitely know somebody who knows Sarge, and who might be able to pass on my junior high school "I know somebody who likes you" message to Sarge.

Nah. Eventually, I'll run into Sarge again when I'm out. I'll say something up front like, "Y'know, I wouldn't mind hooking up with you some time," and we'll see where it goes.

Sarge could be a deeply flawed human being (I've seen nothing to indicate that, and I've heard nothing to indicate that would be the case, but people can surprise you like that). And, it's not like there haven't been a few other men who wandered into my life and captured my imagination.

All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.

Special Guy sent me this. I like it

26 Things the movies taught you...

1) Large, loft-style apartments in New York City are well within the price range of most people-whether they are employed or not.

2) At least one of a pair of identical twins is born evil.

3) Should you decide to defuse a bomb, don't worry which wire to cut. You will always choose the right one.

4) Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communications
system of any invading alien society.

5) It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving
martial arts: your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by
dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their

6) When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your bedroom will
still be clearly visible, just slightly bluish.

7) If you are blonde and pretty, it is possible to become a world expert on
nuclear fission at the age of 22.

8) Honest and hardworking policemen are traditionally gunned down three days
before their retirement.

9) Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their archenemies using complicated machinery involving fuses, pulley systems, deadly gasses, lasers and man-eating sharks, which will allow their captives at least 20 minutes to escape.

10) All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets that reach the armpit level
on a woman, but only to waist level on the man lying beside her.

11) All grocery shopping bags contain at least one stick of French bread.

12) It's easy for anyone to land a plane, providing there is someone in the
control tower to talk you down.

13) Once applied, lipstick will never rub off-even while scuba diving.

14) You're very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the
mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home

15) Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German or Russian officer, it
will not be necessary to speak the language. A German or Russian accent will do.

16) The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.

17) A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.

18) If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it
before long.

19) If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises in their most revealing underwear.

20) Word processors never display a cursor on screen but will always say:
"Enter Password Now."

21) Even when driving down a perfectly straight road, it is necessary to
turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments.

22) All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off.

23) A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.

24) If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you meet will know all the steps.

25) Police departments give their officers personality tests to make sure
they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite.

26) When they are alone, all foreign military officers prefer to speak to
each other in English.

Friday, February 21, 2003

Big dinner party this weekend! I'm hosting Andrew Crispo, Vin Diesel, and Jacques Barzun. After dinner, we're playing Trivial Pursuit. Should be good!

I once read that the kidnapping of Seagram's heir apparent Sam Bronfman in 1975 pulled back the curtain somewhat on the leather community in New York City. I've never been able to find much in the way of information about that. Alas, it was not cause for much discussion in my fifth grade class.

Tonight I'm meeting Past President to discuss the Great Man Theory of History at Chocolate Bar on Hudson Street. Or, at least, the Great Man Theory of GMSMA. Past Prez pointed to Alexander the Great as an example of a great man that altered the course of history. Napoleon is the usual example, and presents more of a challenge in arguing against the Great Man theory. Alexander is more easily dismissed. The Mediterranean Sea provided the people who lived around it with easy contact with one another as it was so readily navigable. Because of the climate, however, there really wasn't a way for any sizeable population to support itself from agriculture. Thus, there were always expansionist wars and battles. Warfare leads to arms races (however primitive), and arms races have the result of improving science and technology. Thus, if Alexander hadn't united the various factions and peoples of the Aegean and the Hellenic penninsula, someone else would have. And, sooner or later, someone would hit upon a technological innovation that would allow hm and his nation to jump ahead of his rivals. At that point, the world would be your oyster. At least, until some rivals or subjugated people dreamed up some new technological innovation. I can never remember if Bellerophon was the name of Alexander's lover or his horse.

I'm debating going up to the Guggenheim to see the Matthew Barney show tomorrow. I really really really want to see the show, but on the downside, it will be packed beyond capacity on the first Saturday that it's open. Eh. I don't know that I mind crowds all that much.

Why didn't I think of that???!! Here's a way cool trend in francophobia. Sign me up for liberty dressing, liberty doors, liberty twists, and ample amounts of liberty kissing!

The Second Avenue Subway tour was no great shakes. I arrived late, so they were out of hardhats even. The completed section up in East Harlem/Lenox Hill is basically a standard subway tunnel, but without tracks or dirt. The only amusing part of the venture was getting an up-close and personal look at a certain kooky congresswoman. At one point she proposed that the project be financed by selling the air rights above the tunnel, apparently forgetting that 'above the tunnel' already has a use and purpose: it's called Second Avenue and probably wouldn't be ideal for either residential or commercial development since it's a major thoroughfare. And then, after a little presentation on the plans, we were free to sort of walk the length of the tunnel going south. That unmistakable voice sang out, "Now does this go all the way downtown? How far am I going to be walking?" As though our intrepid band would be emerging shortly from a manhole and find ourselves at the South Street Seaport. Is Doris Day still alive? Doris Day should play her in the movie.


I was about to type 'And so it goes" by way of signing off for now. "And so it goes" was, of course, the signature sign-off of Linda Ellerbe, when she used to anchor of some late night news show during the Eighties. She was amazing. So wry and ascerbic, and her reportage was brilliant. At any minute, you were sure she was going to look at the camera and deliver a deadpan "Un. Fuckin. Believable. Huh?" I'm pretty much in awe of Linda Ellerbe. Signing off my blog and using the words of Il Miglior Fabbro (bet you can't catch that allusion!) seems sacriligious.

And the beat goes on.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Great news. The guy I met at the Spiegel last Sunday night called me last night. I had bunches of work to do, and I didn't have a chance to return his call then, but I did today. (Being a responsible Top, I would have called to do a check in on Monday night and once again on Wednesday, but alas, he was already down the stairs and out the door before I realized that I had given him my number (thanks for those cards, Lolita!) but I hadn't gotten his number.

Anyway, he had a great time, and he wants to go another round. I had a great time, and I want to go another round, too. We tentatively made plans for Saturday night. There are a few things he's juggling, but he said he'd give me a call tomorrow night or Saturday morning and let me know if he can make it. I can't wait.

What has become of boy wonderful? Perhaps I should pester him with an email or a phone call. I left it in his hands, saying that given the fact that things were so insane with him (fires, floods, the ongoing Columbo episode that is his family), I'd wait to hear from him as to when we could get together again, although I hoped that would be soon. Perhaps things have not calmed down for him. Perhaps he's turning his attention to someone else. Perhaps I'll hear from him soon. (Okay, I'll come clean. When we met at the LURE last Saturday night, he asked me for the url for this website. Perhaps he's reading this.)

Well, we'll see.


I just blew out the candles. A good night of writing. It's been about two weeks since I last sat down, and I was a little nervous getting started. But some great stuff came. I'm really putting a lot of myself into this book. So much so that I wonder if when it's done, will I have anything more to say? Will that be it for me? Will I have totally shown my hand? (Beyond what I do--way too much in the opinion of some of my friends and acquaintances--here in my blog.) In many cases, it's the synthesis of things that I've been thinking about and mulling over all my life. I was writing earlier about a line of thought that I started following one balmy afternoon in May when I got out of my college Ethics class.

I hope that when the book is done, and if it gets published, people who read it will see S/M and practitioners of S/M in a new way. This is a deeply spiritual path, or can be. (If you go in for that sort of thing .) All the elements of religious ritual can be found in one good S/M scene, entire and complete.

When I'm "done," it's going to be very difficult indeed to entrust it to an editor. That will involve putting myself out there, and opening myself up, in a way I've never done before. If anyone reading it were to come back with some critique like, "shallow, facile, self-evident, sophomoric" or what have you, I will be devastated. By implication, it will mean that I--and not just my book--am shallow, facile, and sophomoric. If it's someone I like and respect, that would kill me.

I hope I don't have a crisis of courage at the end that will lead this book to exist only on successive iterations of my hard drive. I also hope I find a publisher if I do find the testicular fortitude to let the world at large in on my private meditations.

And finally, I hope I get to go on a book tour. I really want to go on a book tour.

Way cool development

Tomorrow, I'm going to take a tour of the so-far-completed sections of the Second Avenue Subway. In the letter inviting our office, it says to wear boots (a given; the only time I'm not is when I'm wearing my down bootie slippers) and that hardhats will be provided. (I could bring my own.) I'll bring my camera along. Nothing like a little urban archaeology to close out the week.

My iPod is back in working order. A few weeks ago, I stopped into a pizza parlor, and so I could talk to the guy behind the counter, I hit the pause button. Got my pizza and paid for it, but when I hit the play button, nothing happened. I mean nothing. Nothing came up on the screen. Done. I figured it was a dead battery. Alas, when I plugged it in to charge at home, the screen was still blank. Yesterday I took it to TechServe, where I bought it. The ticket woman said, "Ooooh. We don't service iPods, you have to deal directly with Apple." I must have looked crushed because she said, "Did you do a hard reset?" I have no idea what that might be, and she showed me, and whaddyaknow, a 'Battery is Low' message came up on the screen. Plugged it in to charge last night, and I'm good to go this morning. I had to stop my reading of my web design book when the 10,000 Maniacs' Stockton Gala Days came on. Right after this, as my PATH train pulled into 33rd Street, I was listening to Marcello's Oboe Concerto in D Minor. It's one of my favorite pieces. I came to love it when I was in college, listening to it the first time while snow fall outside the window of my dorm. It figured prominently in the soundtrack of 'The House of Mirth.' So all of a sudden, there I am, a tragic heroine, fated to die in a garret of consumption.


I love music.

"That summer fields grew high
With foxgloves, lovelace, and ivy.
Wild apple blossoms everywhere.
Emerald green like none I have seen
Out of those dreams that escape me...
There was no girl boy as warm as you.

"How I've learned to please,
To doubt myself in need.
You'll never... you'll never know."

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

I am breathing such a sigh of relief. Spring training has started for Major League Baseball. Ty's is soon to be starting their Wednesday evening Support the Ballbreakers parties for my softball team. I'll be out on the field before you know it. *sigh* Softball, single tail whips, my dog, the book coming along nicely, Inferno only six months away... what else could I want?

Oh. Right. For my boss to be run down by a sanitation truck. But as we know, you can't have it all.

Yo. Interested in learning how to throw a single tail whip? If you live in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area or can get there, you'll soon have your chance. GMSMA is soon to be hosting a weekend workshop on Single Tail Whips. This is the very workshop that propelled me into this wonderful world, and quickly became something between a serious hobby and a reason for being with me. The workshop is incredible. All facets of the scene will be discussed, and Joel and Andrew, the presenters, are amazing men. The workshop will be held on March 29th and 30th, a Saturday and Sunday, from 2pm to 6pm each day, at the LGBT Center at 208 West 13th Street in Manhattan.

I decided to sign up for another go around. Why? Because I bought an eight foot bullwhip down at MAL, and I'd like to become proficient in the use thereof, and I can't think of a better way. So, in addition to learning how to throw (crack is addictive!), you'll get to meet me, if'n you haven't done that already. Go to GMSMA's website to find out how to register. A description is listed on the page for Educational Events Winter/Spring 2003.

Better do it fast. I can only imagine it will fill up quickly.

*sigh* GMSMA's Treasurer's report is now up to date and balanced. (Give or take a few hundred dollars.) Past President once described to me a scene at DELTA he took part in a few years ago. A Top had one of those dog training collars, modified so that it went around the ball sack and was secured there by a padlock. So, the bottom put it on, and had to continue to wear it until he could convince someone else to take over for him. And all the while the Top was occasionally zapping him. ("Yeah, it's great. I hardly know it's there. It doesnt--EEEEEAAAAAAAAIIIEEEE!!!!--uh... it doesn't get in the way at all. Wanna try it") Somehow I think that I'm similarly stuck with being Treasurer until I can find someone willing to take over. Although, unless I'm elected to a two year term, I think I have to step down from the board after next year.

Yo! Quit whining. It's not that difficult now that you have the hang of it. It's a good way to serve, and it all but automatically exempts you when the call goes out for other volunteer opportunities.

Perhaps today will be the day that my Academy Video shows up in the mail. I'm eager with anticipation. Part of the allure of The Academy, is that if you so desire (and can cough up the money), you to can go down to Alpharetta, Georgia and stay at 'their facility,' and be subjected to abduction, incarceration, beating, verbal abuse, and all the rest of it. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of opportunity to abduct, incarcerate, beat, and abuse yourself, as that is taken care of by Academy guys, who, we are assured by the website, are all Real Cops and Real Military.

Real Unfair, say I. What about Real Chiefs-of-Staff? No go? Definitely out of the question? My job resembles the action in an Academy video as much as the lives of the Real Cops (out on patrol, attending community council meetings, writing summonses, making court appearances) and Real Military guys (making food, hospital orderly duty, filling out supplies requisitions, filing duty reports, getting drunk on jello shots at parties in the barracks) that I know.

I think it ought to be Real Cops, Real Military, and Real Chiefs-of-Staff. "Chief-of-Staff is a suitabley authoritarian job title, no? I think I'd be a welcome addition to the Academy line-up...

Chief-of-Staff: You're late.
Lobbyist for Traffic Calming Advocacy Organization: "Hey, sorry about that, finding parking was a nightmare. I..."
Chief-of-Staff: I didn't ask a question. I made a declarative statement. If I'm not asking you a question, boy, I don't want to hear a syllable out of your ass-licking mouth. Is that understood?"
Lobbyist: Uh... I guess I...
Lobbyist: Yes... Yes, Sir.
Chief-of-Staff: That's better. Give me the briefing memo I asked you to prepare.
Lobbyist: Well, rather than a briefing memo, I thought a PowerPoint presentation might be more effective, and so I...
Chief-of-Staff: Am I hearing you correctly? Yesterday I told you to be in my office at eleven hundred, and to bring with you a briefing memo with bullet points. Did I or did I not say that?
Lobbyist: You did but I thought...
Chief-of-Staff: AT WHAT POINT DID I TELL YOU TO THINK??!!! Listen up, you sniveling sack of pigshit. I need a briefing memo that I can xerox and distribute to the leadership. If you thought for one moment that I'd be hauling your pathetic carcass through the legislative office building so you can trot out your lame-assed PowerPoint presentation, you are seriously deranged.
Lobbyist: I'm sorry, Sir.
Chief-of-Staff: Not yet you're not, but when I get done with you you will be. Some lobbyist. You're no lobbyist, are you, you're a disgrace. You don't have the brains that the Good Lord gave a marigold. Do ya? Let me hear you say it. Let me hear you say you're a disgrace of a lobbyist and you don't have the brains that the Good Lord gave a marigold. LET ME HEAR THAT, YOU TOILET-DRINKING LUMMOX!!!
Lobbyist: I... I... I'm a disgrace of a lobbyist...
Chief-of-Staff: And what else?
Lobbyist: And I don't have the brains that the Good Lord gave a marigold. Hey! What the hell...
Chief-of-Staff: Those are handcuffs, pig. Hope they're not too tight because you'll be wearing them a while. See that office supplies storage cabinet over there? After I gag that pussy mouth of yours that's where you're gonna take some time--a lot of time--to think about how you screwed this up.
Lobbyist: But I... MMFFRRMMmmm...
Chief-of-Staff: Get your ass into that office supplies storage cabinet. NOW!

"Attention PATH Train riders. Passengers are reminded that eating, drinking, and smoking are prohibited on our trains, on our platforms, and in our stations. Thank you for your cooperation. Passengers are also advised that due to adverse weather conditions three days ago, PATH trains are running on a modified schedule. Increased ridership due to poor road conditions notwithstanding, PATH trains are running when we damn well feel like it, and not a minute before. Thank you for riding PATH!"

I found this post on Andrew Sullivan's web site. I want to be just like Bindy! Well, not just like, but I certainly find her aspiration to wring every possible drop of joy out of life to be laudable.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

...oh. The duct tape came off fine, leaving my extravagant moustaches intact and unharmed.

Scenes from a Madcap, Kinky Life

I was perusing the Academy website, and notice that they did a lot of duct tape gags without the benefit of Saran Wrap. This got me to wondering if Saran Wrap was really necessary. The problem would be hair, right. So, I decided to test it. I took out my PVC tape, and gave myself a gag. I notice it really is effective as a gag. Try as I may, I can't make much in the way of sound. But, I thought, I'd better leave it on a while. So I go into the kitchen to get dinner (Tonight: Beef Stroganoff!) ready. I'm chopping up Cremini mushrooms when I notice framed in a lit window two of my neighbors, who are pointing at me and talking to each other. I wave. But then I tried to smile, and I realized that I'm wearing a duct tape gag. If they call 911 I'll have some explaining to do.

Interesting session with my therapist. I heard an interview with the author Jane Smiley (I read and enjoyed her novel 'A Thousand Acres' but nothing else). The interviewer--I think it was Leonard Lopate--said something to her like, "So you put your life into your novels." She said in reply, "Yes, but my novels also show up in my life. After I wrote (I forget the title) I left my second husband. And that's not uncommon. After Dickens wrote David Copperfield, and gave Agnes to David, he became deeply disappointed in his own marriage. Relationships are the stuff of novels, and writing a novel necessarily involves putting a lot of imagination into relationships, and imagining how a relationship can be."

Wow. I've been thinking about that ever since. By and large, the relationships I've had have been largely happenstance, making the most out of what was presented to me in the form of a willing admirer. To a large extent, that changed when I left my Ex. I spent a lot of imaginative effort conceiving of a full and complete life as a single man. How would my life be? To what would I devote myself? What would I do for companionship? What would my values be?

This has paid off in spades. I'm content and satisfied being single. But I'm wondering, what would happen if I thought hard about what a relationship could be that would be rewarding, satisfying, fulfilling, and nourishing? This is trickier. When I thought through bachelorhood, it was tabula rasa. No one thinks about being single. You won't fiind in any magazine an article on "Ten Ways to Make Single Work For You!" Our culture values relationships and that is the mode that's held up as the idea. If you're not attached, you must be looking. Or unwanted. Since I've been single, I've come across more than a few men from whom I got the impression that if I said, "Wanna be boyfriends?" then I'd find myself husbanded up in short order. With the exception of Special Guy, I held back, or backed off. Why? Because Special Guy was my partner in intellect, spirit, and we were hot as hell for each other. Alas, he was stuck like Br'er Rabbit to the Tarbaby in his life, really in a rut. And I think I knew from the git go that therefore our relationship--although it would be good while it lasted--wouldn't last.

But, imagining a relationship is hard just because it's so difficult to clear the decks. "Communication is the key! Accept him as he is! Be partners in decision making! Share household tasks!" I could go on and on. There are entire sections in bookstores devoted to relationships and 'how to' books.

What if relationship were the abberation, rather than the norm? Sort of like in '1984.' Or 'Brave New World.' If I were living in such a society, what would compel me to break with the values of the society around me and get me to risk my life and freedom to be in a relationship?

Much food for thought there. Unquenchable passion and mutual desire, a sharp and wide-ranging intellect, ambition, a firm sense of self-worth, a spirit of adventure, a heartfelt hunger for life, emotional depth... And, must it necessarily be a partnership of equals? That's a relatively new idea, and one that I haven't seen work well. I don't want companionship. I don't want someone to go to the movies with. I will not settle for something less than everything I want. There is no need to. I'm happy just the way I am. Might I spend my whole life waiting? Yeah, I just might. But I've been down the road of Good Enough, and it's lined with a picket fence that pretty quickly is transformed into iron bars topped with barbed wire the farther along you go.

So that's my paradigm. I will live as if to be in a relationship is a crime punishable by death. And I'll hold out for a man for whom I'm willing to risk my life.

See, this is what happens when you become an English major...

I wonder if design is a cumulative and progressive process. That is to say, does design get 'better' over the years? For instance, what if Palladio were to tour the studio of Christopher Wren? And if Wren were to tour the studio of Frank Lloyd Wright? And if Wright were to tour the studio of Frank Gehry? Would they be appauled or amazed? It doesn't quite work in reverse. Fashion design is the best example of this. Even when some past decade is revived, when you look at actual fashion from that time, it's sort of goofy looking as compared to the contemporary re-interpretation. I don't think that this means that design is asymptotically approaching Beauty, Truth, or any othe Platonic Ideal. Rather, it simply means that those cultural memes become more and more refined as they evolve.

Here’s a thing that never fails to amuse me. In New York City, when it snows, people use umbrellas. I don’t understand why. Are they wearing something with heavy dyes that will run if the some minute amount of moisture hits it? Is the hair dressing they’ve opted for water soluble? Nah. I think it’s a weird, citified aversion to anything perceived as being Nature (pronounced NAY-cha around these parts. I remember once visiting people out in Canarsie and we went to a park looking out over Jamaica Bay. A group of children were there with their grandmoms. Kids: “Grammy, can we go play there?” (indicating a sort of beach). Grandmom: “Oh yeah, that’s some NAY-cha. Go play in the NAY-cha, but don’t get dirty.”

Things like that make me pretty pleased that I had the foresight at such an early age (that would be, fetal) to grow up in NAY-cha. My dad bought four and a half wooded acres in Plumstead Township and built a house thereupon in 1949. Some of my favorite things to do growing up were walking up streams, swimming in waterholes, catching frogs, running through winter wheat fields, river swimming, bike rides, discovering ancient abandoned farm houses in the middle of the woods, and the like. As I got older, of course, I was yearning for some action, and started to pine for a life 'in town.' Overall, it was great up until about age 15.

But I sure don't remember anyone responding to snow this way ("Disaster! Catastrophe! Worst Storm to Hit New York in Decades!"). It snows during the winter. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. It means that the driveway had to be shoveled, and that going anywhere in the car was problematic. But I found it interesting to note that the End-of-the-World coverage in the local dailies tended to be accompanied by pictures of happy New Yorkers frolicking in the snow. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that snow is good. Okay, if you're mobility impaired or a wheelchair user, than it's not good. But otherwise, it's good.

Really interesting account of running afoul of the National Guardmen patrolling our subways over at Revolutionfreedom.

It makes me feel better to know that security checks are underway, but not by a lot.

Monday, February 17, 2003


Wow. There's snow, and then there's Snow. It's still coming down. Lots of it. I'm going to get bundled up like Charlie Brown and head to the park with my dog. Dogs love snow. I was planning on going into NYC today and checking in on my various vendors of leather and fetish apparel to see if everybody was on board with the upcoming GMSMA program, and to see if I can perhaps sway some of the fence sitters. That is looking increasingly unlikely. I'll have to make time for this during the week, although that can be problematic. There's virtually no privacy at work. Not that I mind chatting on the phone about "well if chaps would be prlblematic, maybe one of your straightjackets would work" in front of co-workers, but there seems to be a 'no personal phone call ethic' in operation. And, I think a visit is worth a thousand phone calls. So I guess I'll just take a long lunch and go galavanting around town.

It's cold in my apartment. Like, too cold. Not sure what the deal is there.

*sigh* I'm reminded of the Blizzard of '78.

I was fourteen years old. I was pretty miserable. My stepmother was a harridan. I had no friends at school. My salvation was my sister, Kathy. Kathy was thirteen years my senior. At that point, she was a knockout. Men were falling all over themselves for her. Yet, she would make a date with me every Friday night. We would go bowling or roller skating or to the movies. My sister's life centered around the town of New Hope, Pennsylvania. New Hope had been an artist's colony of sorts during the Fifties and Sixties, and then became a hippie haven during the Seventies. My sister did commercial art, worked as a bouncer in a biker bar called Fran's Pub (she was the only one who wouldn't be challenged by the Pagans and their hangers-on that frequented the place, cook in restaurants, and work in clothing stores that sold gauzy androgenous cotton clothing. She had a string of boyfriends. I remember Marsias, who was a sculptor. (Interesting story: Marsias was asked by the Pleasure Chest in Philadelphia to do some 'realistic' dildoes in vulcanized rubber. It was work, and he did it. Then, they asked him to do one in the shape of a forearm and a clenched fist. He would usually sculpt the penises he made, because making a mold from the real thing was problematic. But, for the forearm and fist, he decided to make a mold from life. His own fist and forearm were larger than they wanted. So he used my sister's. Every time I'm in a shop selling sex toys and I see that fist and forearm dildo, I wonder if it's my sister. I mean, Marsias sold them the mold, he wouldn't manufacture them. And it kind of looks like my sister's fist and forearm... There's gotta be a world record involved there, right?) Then there was Chaz, who was a Viet Nam vet with a fixation on George Thorogood and the Destroyers, who would play at Fran's Pub, where my sister was the bouncer. Chaz was still wrestling with his demons from 'Nam. He would wake up screaming. Once, Kathy and Chaz and I were walking up Main Street in New Hope when a car backfired. Chaz yelled "Hit the deck!" and pulled me and Kathy down to the sidewalk, covering us with his body. And there was Bob. Bob the Psychopath. (I think I picked up my sister's tastes in men by osmosis.) Bob was (allegedly) an Ex-Marine and (allegedly) was still sometimes called upon to do Special Forces work. He slept with a loaded gun under his pillow. He had a dog named Brownie. Bob was always trying to teach me wrestling moves. I didn't like Bob much, because I thought he was a psychopath. Kathy found out that he had, in fact, never been a marine, and with that everything else he told her about himself fell apart and she left him. Then there was Richie. I liked Richie a lot. He had hair down to his ass, was built like a brick shithouse, and is part of the reason that I smoke unfiltered Camels. (He did.) Richie had a dog named Meter (always running). Meter once got out and was picked up by the dog catcher and taken to the pound. Richie and his friends dressed up like cat burglars (black jeans, black turtleneck sweaters, black watch caps, crepe soled shoes) and broke into the pound to spring Meter.

Anyway, one Friday night in 1978, my sister took me bowling. When we came out of the bowling alley, it had started to snow. Hard. She headed towards my parents' house to take me home, but the roads were just too bad. So we went to her place. She was living in this house in Lambertville, New Jersey, right across the river from New Hope. It was a communal living situation, with a couple who were dancers, my sister, some artists, and a few other folks drifting through. We woke up the next morning, looked out the front window, and all the cars on the street were visible only by their antennas. There would be no taking me back to my parents' house that day, either. I spent the next three days living with my sister. We played a lot of Yahtzee. The whole house would gather for these Yahtzee marathons. My sister had taken me to an art class with her friend Susan who taught me a way of sketching with charcoal. You fill the page with an even gray of the charcoal, and then sketch by either darkening with a charcoal pencil or erasing to create various light and dark values. So when we weren't playing Yahtzee, we were sketching still lifes. And then we would head out into town. New Hope is something of a tourist trap, moreso nowadays, but then, too. But with the snow, there were no tourists. It was just locals. The streets were shut down. And everyone was out, building snowmen, having snowball fights, digging out cars, and stopping into restaurants where coffee and hot chocolate and the like were free since it was just us. We would wander around, build a snow fort, have hot chocolate, meet up with friends of my sister, walk down and look at the ice floes on the river.

That's what I think of when I think of the Seventies. Men and women in suede fringed coats having snowball fights and hot chocolate and playing Yahtzee and smoking pot. Everybody is your buddy. Making the rent is the big issue, but not much of one. These men and women were so much larger than life, in their cowl neck sweaters and hip huggers and moccasins and beads. To me it seemed that everybody was happy all the time. And the streets were always filled with snow, and we could always stop off at The Apple, a cafe on Bridge Street, and get some hot chocolate, and when Kathy told a funny story about how she had cut off the end of her finger and had it sewn back on, I would do a charcoal sketch of two steaming mugs of hot chocolate.

Life always offers it's little compensations.

God is Good

Quite the day, yesterday. After the disappointment of Saturday night, I started in early making sure that I had something in place in the way of a hookup for Sunday night. So, while I had my tea in the morning, I logged onto Leather Navigator. Sure enough, there was a Top in Hell's Kitchen who was up for some fun. He was the guy that left me waiting at Cleo's when unbeknownst to me he had to cancel a date because of an office Christmas party back in December. So soon after yesterday's blog, there I was saying 'yes, Sir' and 'no, Sir' and getting tied up and ploughed. And it went alright. No urge to get the hell out of there. I gave him some pointers on flogging, showing him the Golden Triangle on the back, and headed down to Sazerac for dinnner.

After a truly wonderful breast of duck at Saz, I hit Ty's, then stopped by Factory Cafe for a latte. I pondered heading home and calling it a day, as I have a lot of work to do today, but decided instead to go up to the Eagle. At this point, the Blizzard of Ought Three was raging. But, my trusty jeep got me there.

At the Eagle, I started to get annnoyed. The porn on the video screens was just laughable. A body builder is awoken in bed by his two cocker spaniels. He does some muscle flexes for the benefit of his dog, and then goes and takes a shower wearing his jock strap, where he flexes some more. He shaves, fails to remember to brush his teeth, and then heads off ot spend time with some other body builders, flexing. I mean, is there a person on the planet that thinks that's hot?

I was sort of sitting there drinking my beer and planning a blog that consisted of Spiegel (my nickname for the joint, it means 'children's game' in German). For example: Upcoming Events at the Eagle:

Wednesday: Merino Wool Turtleneck Sweater Night
Thursday: Never a cover for guys wearing black framed nerd glasses!
Friday: Fetish Night! (If your fetish happens to be men wearing tee shirts with amusing sayings on them such as "I can't even think straight," this is the place to be!)

So I'm sitting there feeling disgusted and haughty and trying to relax by watching a pool game. One of the pool players comes over and says hello and introduces himself, a really handsome man. He chats me up, and I'm thinking, "he'll never want to come back to Jersey City, it's way too late to do any kind of a scene that would involve making a vanila first timer feel okay about getting tied up or whatever, Mr. Vanila would probably flip out if he came home with me and saw my St. Andrew's cross, etc." That kind of thing. And then, he says, "So, are you into fisting?" I said I was, and then told him that I also liked whipping, flogging, and piss. "I like all of that," he replies. I told him I lived in Jersey City, and he said, "Are you ready to go now?" I told him to give me a few minutes. I finished out my beer, and planned in my head a scene at home. Music, lighting, setting the stage... When I had a clear idea of something that might work, I said, alright, let's go. He followed me in his truck back to Jersey City.

When we got in the door, I put wrist restraints on him and secured him spread-eagle to the bed. Then, I went into the den and started to get ready. I laid out a drop cloth in front of the St Andrew's cross, got out the J-Lube, hung two six foot lengths of chain from the top of the cross, lit candles, and put on John Tavener's the Sheltering Veil. I went and got him from the bedroom, brought him into the den, and secured him so that he was on his back at the foot of the cross, with his hand secured at either side. Then, I used the lengths of chain to hold up his feet. It wasn't as good as a sling would have been, but it wasn't too bad. Once he was in place, I sat watching him watching me while I clipped and filed my nails. I took my time about everything.

Fisting him was sublime. He just opened right up. Truly wonderful. He felt bad because he hadn't cleaned out, but I said it was no big deal, I wasn't freaked out by shit. (A legacy of having dated Special Guy, who would welcome shit. I'm not there, but I don't mind it.) It was beautiful, his wonderful body, the clank of the chains, the candlelight, the music... Once I was in there, I was able to straighten him out, and work my way deeper and deeper, going for the gold. When I couldn't go much further, he suggested I'd be able to if I let him go clean himself out. So I did. He scurried off to the bathroom and returned shortly thereafter.

When he came back, with his skin all damp and warm from the shower, I just melted. And then, he walked over, secured himself to the Cross, and so I flogged him.

And then I fisted him some more.

And then we shot our loads.

And then we slept together, curled around one another.

Oh sweet mystery of life at last I've found you.

So, he just left.

Must get to work.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

I went to the LURE last night. Saw bunches of folks I knew. It's weird how the place clears out. I got totallly caught up in watching porn. Usually, I'm no big fan of porn. A blow job is a blow job is a blow job, even if the giver and or receiver is all done up in cow hide. Ho humm. But last night, they were showing stuff from The Academy was pretty amazing. Specifically, it was Academy III, and involved a demented millionaire who abducted men in uniform and mounted them in display cases. Not everyone's cup of tea, I realize. But it sure was mine. My imagination recalled the trooper I had seen in MP Uniforms earlier in the day. Plucked from his hummdrum life, taken off the wheel of birth - boyhood - job - marriage - children - middle age - retirement - old age - death. Abducted, caged, and (twirling of mustache here) added to my collection. Buwah-hah-hah-hah-haaaah.

When I got home, I ordered the video. This will be the first porn I've ever actually purchased.

And, I came home alone. In other words, I struck out. My own fault. During prime time, I was oogling the video screen. There was one guy that gave me a *Schwing!*, but he asked if I liked to service boots, and I said I liked to have my boots serviced. It turned out that he was exclusively Top, and last night, so was I. We passed each other a few times over the course of the night, shooting each other pained looks each time. Mebbe I should have just said what-the-hell and gone down last night. But that road has lead me to disappointment too many times before. Me bottoming takes a lot of negotiation, getting to know the person, becoming trusting, and, ultimately, coming to feel that I want to submit to this man whom I respect and who will surprise me with where he can take me. In the alternative, I think it can be a sort of conspiracy of equals, two guys having fun. But way too many times, I'm sort of rolling my eyes, watching the clock, and wondering what the quickest route might be to getting him off so I can go get dressed and get the hell out of there.

Huh. A really interesting thought just occurred to me. When I Top, it's always satisfying, and always rewarding. But that's a relatively new development. I can remember when I was less experienced when I would tie up some hot boy, he'd be loving it, but I would be looking at my shoddy rope work and thinking, "How come I can truss up stuffed pork loin perfectly but this looks like a fifth grade art project?" I had no confidence, I was afraid to hurt the guy (!?!), and I felt as though I had been air-dropped on stage with a group of Chinese acrobats and was trying to jump in and perform, having not a clue as to what I was doing. At any moment, I could have been unmasked as an imposture. Now, giving a flogging for instance, I can just relax, lose myself in the scene, delight in the trip I'm taking the bottom on, and when the energy exchange happens--flowing between me and the bottom--I can just rest assured that he's having as good a time as I am. So what I'm saying is, maybe I have to learn how to bottom. To wit, come to an understanding of what my limits are (including making the difficult determination of what I want but am afraid to ask for and where I just will not go), learning how to trust my gut in negotiation, and then just get to the place where I take the Leap of Faith and just jump on that moving train and see where I end up. I wonder if it's true that even an incompetent Top can pull off a great scene with the cooperation of the bottom? If I can find the right head space, and stay in my body, breathe, relax, and make spin dross (floss?) into gold.

Over the course of the GMSMA's Novices Special Interest Group, I've been tied up; mummified; pinched with clothes pins and various other implements; subjected to having hot candle wax dripped on me; set on fire; electrocuted; burned on my cock, balls, and nipples with Icy Hot, Tiger Balm, and the like; among other things. And, as my stoner buddies would say, "It's all good."

After all, it's all about saying "Yes." Joy lies behind the door marked Yes.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

A Fun Thing To Do!

The next time you're walking down the street, start counting the people who walk by you going the opposite direction. Pick a number between one and ten. Say 'four' will be your number. Focus on every fourth person that walks by you. Imagine planting yourself directly in front of person number four. They say "'scuze me" and try to side step but you cut them off. They look at you with a look of 'Yo, what's up?' and that's when you look them dead in the eye and say, "Hello there, Sex Kitten! Purrr-r-r-r-r-rrr" in your best Eartha Kitt voice.

Just imagine how Mr. Businessguy or Jewish Grandmother or nine year old boy out with his mom or Staten Island Secretary or Mr. Neil of Mr. Neil's Beauty Emporium of Manhasset in the City for the day or homeless guy or Thug on the Down Low or Goth Teenage Boy or Ms. Seven Months Pregnant is going to react.

When I get to playing the Sex Kitten game, it's not unlikely that you'll find me walking down the avenue in fits of giggles.

MP Uniforms and Supplies in Allentown, Pennsylvania

I finally made it, and they were open, and what a blast. When I got there, this very hunky State Trooper was in (with his three young sons) buying boots. No lie. The proprietor was an older woman who looked to be someone's mom who helped out by minding the store on Saturdays. After State Trooper and the boys left, I was pretty much on my own for a while. She asked where I was working, and I said, "I'm not in law enforcement." She smiled and said, "You just like the toys." Oh yeah.

So the place is amazing. Badges, holsters, boots, handcuffs, hats, nightsticks, and uniforms for police, fire, and EMS workers. And (this was an unexpected surprise), bags! They had bags'a'plenty. The prices are just rock bottom.

So what did I buy?

  • A tactictal one-piece uniform (not by Propper, as it happens) that is now being laundered, and will soon bear my patches from GMSMA and the the Chicago Hellfire Club;
  • A 'duty belt,' made of nylon and adjustable with velcro, big and heavy duty, and closes with a very, very satisfying 'click';
  • A new 'attach-your-key-ring-to-your-belt' thingy;
  • A really amazing reversible (jet black and flourescent orange) raincoat, big and lightweight, like traffic cops wear when directing traffic
  • A 'duty bag', lightweight, voluminous, with lots of compartments (*sigh*) that will make for the best toy bag imaginable;
  • A cellphone holster with a heavy duty belt clip;
  • An over-the-shoulder bag that I'll be able to use for work and tooling around in the city that does not look like a purse.

I will absolutely be back there. The first trip, I was sort of undone by a feeling of vertigo at this storehouse of possibilities. Also, I bought things like the raincoat and the cellphone holster because I had never seen anything quite so well made at such a great price, so I felt I had to get it; treasure hunt shopping in a way. Next time, I'll be able to take my time and be more considered, thinking through the perverted possibilities. And, if I were so inclined to put together a full-scale police uniform, that would be the place to do it. Interestingly, I was just commenting to a friend of mine that if Code Orange persists much longer in NYC, I'm going to develop a major uniform fetish, what with all specimins of masculine polchritude wearing uniforms of police, state troopers, and national guardsmen that are about.

Worse things could happen.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Now, we're supposed to be very concerned about that 'Global Warming' thing, right?

Just a question.

It's you and me, Buddy

Happy Valentine's Day. I worked (Boss Sunshine was not in evidence). I went to therapy and talked about my crush on Sarge. Now I'm home with pot roast in the oven.

I'm thining of Exes...

J Wooten M Kinda my first love. Or the first man I slept with more than twice anyway. (There was a wonderful guy named Frankie that I washed dishes with when I was in high school, but I didn't find out that he had the hots for me the way I did for him until he had moved to San Francisco, become a dancer, and died.) Anyway, JWM was psychotic. No. Really. Delusional, obsessive compulsive. He worked as a security guard in a nuclear power plant in Delaware, but had gone to the Famous Models School of Being a Famous Model (or something). The first time we went to bed (the night we met), he told me that he had tested HIV positive, but had 'cured' himself with iodized salt because iodine kills infections. I got really dizzy in the kitchen (where I was fixing us some tea), and nearly fainted. Because I knew that he was going to fuck me raw in the very near future and I didn't have the capacity or wherewithal (I was 21) to negotiate condom useage with him. We saw each other for about three months.

How come? Simple. He was gorgeous (alabaster skin, dimpled chin, jet black hair with ringlet curls at the nape of his neck) and the sex was absolutely amazing. We would stock up on snack foods that we didn't have to cook (trail mix and the like) and spend entire weekends in bed. He had this amazing trick that he could do with his anal sphincter. If not the best lay I've ever had, definitely in the top ten. I dumped him when he embarassed me when I took him to the wedding of someone I knew in college by acting like a crazy goofball. But he was.

MMcM My mullato love. We met when I spotted him coming out of a dirty bookstore. When someone would ask us, "Where did you guys meet?" we would giggle and say a restaurant. He wanted to fuck me. A lot. He also had bunches of issues that didn't seem to be resolved. Very sweet and wonderful guy though. Right after we met, I emerged on a Monday morning to walk to work and found a trail of Post-it notes with hearts and runes and such all along my way. MMcM was an artist (he don't look back). He made several plaster casts of portions of my naked body, sort of abstractions of my torso and such. Very beautiful. Tragically and stupidly, I left them behind in Philadelphia when I moved to New York. I left him because we were sexually incompatible. He basically just wanted to fuck me all the time. I mean, all the time. And he had a large dick. I could only take so much of that.

Terry Johnson Deceased. Again, an artist. I met him at the Bike Stop (the leather bar in Philadelphia). Picture a basement crammed with men in flannel, denim, and leather, and right smack in the middle is a guy wearing canary yellow pants and an acquamarine tank top that revealed a pierced nipple, with a shock of blond hair worn in what was known then (late '80s) as a Tin-tin after the Belgian comic book character. Loved this guy. Gave me all the space I needed. Was soooo good about letting me be a boy in my mid-twenties. We got crabs. From scratching, I got these sores on my dick. It was my first venereal disease. I was pretty weirded out. I went to my doctor (picked at random from the HMO directory), who examined my penis. He asked me, "You're a homosexual, aren't you, Son?" When I confirmed this he followed with, "I think what you have is AIDS." Uh huh. Luckily, I went to the VD clinic and the hip young internist who was on duty explained to me what crabs were and gave me a prescription for Quell. Alas, there was only enough for one of us. So Terry had to go and get his own script. Terry called me from work and asked if we could meet. He had tested positive for HIV, and based on a number of factors, came away from the same hip internist with an AIDS diagnosis. Terry got money doing 'corporate Christmas decorations' (which we would refer to as Korporate Kristmas) and the occasional faux painting job. He had no health insurance. I told him I'd take care of him, doing whatever it took. Terry didn't want to do that to me, so he left in the dark of night and went to live with his brother in the Southwest. Years later, I heard that the end had come pretty quickly for him.

JSA We met at Mars, the night of ACT UP's Stop the Church action. I had come up from Philadelphia to attend with my friend Baron von Philadelphia, and that night, the Baron and I had gone to Mars. JSA was staring at me intently and I went over and introduced myself. We were necking in short order. I introduced the Baron to him, and the Baron later told me he was sure he was a serial killer. (I slept with a tried and convicted serial killer mid-career, he was sweet and tender with me, but that's for another time.) I didn't go back to Philadelphia that night with the Baron and callled in sick to work. Thus ensued months of me going up to New York, and a few times JSA came down to Philadelphia. Here's where things went awry. Once, while visiting, JSA (who had a lot of leisure time as he wasn't working) opened a letter I got. It was a response to a response to a personal add I had answered (involving S/M) months earlier, before I met him. He called me at work and said he was going back to New York. I ran all the way home crying. I pleaded for his forgiveness and begged him to stay. (Only much much much later would it occur to me that I had done nothing wrong; he had.) But I moved to NYC anyway. He was moody and petulant and insanely jealous. My attempt at monogamy (overall successful, but I paid such a price) was lamentable. It took me almost a year to leave him. (We lived together, he would do things like come and ring my doorbell--when I found a new apartment--at 3 am when I had to be at work the next morning. Finally I was able to separate.

JC Oy. I still see this guy all the time. He's aging backwards, as in lost a lot of weight and is now dying his hair. I met him at the Spike. He looked like a garage mechanic, and I was delighted to learn that in fact he had a Ph.D. in English. (We discussed James Joyce over breakfast the next morning.) Sex was odd. He once had me give him a blow job after he had sprayed himself with jock itch powder. Not recommended. Truly. I couldn't begin to count the number of my friends who said, "What in God's name do you see in him?" He was a total wacko. He had his flaws. When Ernst & Young, then my employer, sent me to live in a hotel in Newark, New Jersey while a case to which I was assigned went to trial (for six very, very, very long weeks), I took that opportunity and didn't return his phone calls.

Then ensued a passel of unsuccessful dating experience. There was Bruce, the stunning bartender from Wisconsin who revealed a propensity for pugilism that was more than a little disturbing; Robin, an architect who was drop dead gorgeous who dropped me without warning; the handsome Israeli who I met at the LURE a few weeks ago, and in a repeat of a decade ago we seem to have stopped calling each other for no reason at all that I can think of; Don, who was a drunk; and one or two others.

And then I met

The Ex My first impression was, 'he seems like a stable, not crazy, and relatively handsome man." We dated. I moved into his apartment. We moved to Brooklyn together. We bought a house in Brooklyn. We broke up. During those seven years, not a week went by that I didn't get yelled at. Sometimes for good reason, most times for things like being obstinate and refusing to change the tie I was wearing upon being ordered to do so. I tried and tried and tried and tried to become the person he wanted me to be. I tried so hard, squelching parts of myself as best I could. Imagine a man who buys a house because he likes the sun room. It's a big old rambling place. One day he's in the bedroom of the house, and notices that the layout is all wrong. So he leaves the room and locks the door. In another room, he notices that the floor is marred. He closes that room and locks the door. And so it goes, until he's in the sunroom. When the vision of spending the rest of my life like that--an empty house full of rooms sealed off, rooms that I've since found hold treasure--became clear in my mind. I left. Note-on-the-pincushion-don't-look-for-me-style. Truly one of my more cowardly acts, but it was absolutely what I had to do to get out of there.

Special Guy I miss Special Guy. I sent him email wishing him Happy Birthday. He's in Palm Springs. I wish nothing but the best of everything for him forever.

Y'know, I wish nothing but the best of everything for all my Exes. Health, happiness, prosperity, friends and lovers. For each and every one of them, there are golden moments I cherish and will cherish forever.

I wonder if they still miss my cooking?

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Last night, I was thinking. In a way, I feel as though I've made peace with Boss Sunshine. He's a psycho, and I can't change that. But I can protect myself by not letting him get to me, and not getting roped in. Tonight, there's a town hall meeting at the LGBT Center that I've worked for weeks to plan and realize. At some point today--or possibly at several points today--he's going to yell at me. That's kind of inevitable. But, at the end of the day, I'll be headed home on the PATH train, hopefully avoiding suicide bombers and the stinky guy I sat next to this morning.

I can do anything if I set my mind to it. There is nothing that I can't tolerate.

The trick will be not allowing him to get to me. Yesterday, in the middle of a tirade, he suddenly said, "That briefing memo you wrote for me was excellent." And then continued with the tirade. I interpret that as throwing me out some bait to keep me on the line. Uh uh. I know that was an excellent memo. I wrote it. I know the issue inside and out. I don't need him to tell me that.

Here's the problem with this approach. I might get complacent. I could sit here being abused forever. Remember, I was in a relationship with a rage-a-holic dry drunk for seven and a half years, getting yelled at on the average once a week. Sometimes more, rarely less. Really early on, when we had only known each other for a few weeks, he blew up at me for something or other, and I locked myself in the bathroom. I thought about walking out the door then and there. But I thought, "No, he's a good guy. He wants to be in a relationship with me. As far as his temper goes, I'll just have to realize that that's the way he is and suck it up." Seven and a half years. Basically all of my thirties. After I split, I was shocked and surprised to learn that there were, in fact, hot men in the world who were interested in dating me and who didn't yell at me. Incredible, I know.

It's true that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting that 'this time' the result will be different, but another definition of insanity is deciding that situations brought about by your own choices and the vagaries of fortune are somehow "your lot in life" and it's not possible for it to ever be otherwise.

Roses are red
And daffodils yellow;
Be my boy
And I'll be your fellow.

Roses are red
Petunias are pink;
I'm not as heartless
As you might think.

Roses are red,
Their foliage is green;
Collaring you
Would be awfully keen.

Roses are red,
And lilies are white;
Come a bit closer,
This time I won't bite.

Roses are red,
Their scent is delightful;
I'm a'wantin' to whip you
Somethin' frightful.

Carnations are red,
But roses are redder;
I'm a dater,
But not a wedder.

"les primates capitulards toujours enquete de fromage'

That would be the translation into french of Groundskeeper Willie (from the Simpsons) indictment of the french, as rendereded by Le Monde. Groundskeeper Willie' basically said, "cheese eating surrender-monkies" and basically called it correct.

I'm boycotting Brie! (This is actually not a difficult thing. I never liked Brie. My sister would always say, "You have to like Brie, you're a homo!" Her rationale was that Brie tastes just like cum. Or, rather, cum tastes just like Brie. As I came of age sexually after the advent of AIDS--in fact, smack dab in the middle of the terror of the mid-Eighties, swallowing was never something I eroticized. So I can't say I really acclimated myself to that taste either. So I'm going to boycott Brie.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Question for you, Almost Bruiser: What's worse? Reading about yourself in my blog, or not reading about yourself in my blog?


Ay. The current shape of the terrorist threat is suicide bombers with explosive briefcases in the subways. I'd better give my parents a call. I can only imagine that if word of this has reached them (and how would that not be possible?) they'd be getting more than a little freaked out by now. Or perhaps they don't see New York as being particularly targeted. I remember after September 11th, I read or saw footage of the Nebraska State Fair (I believe that was it) and how they were doing bag searches of everyone attending. Now, forgive me, Nebraskans, but I can't imagine your state being a particular obsession for Osama Bin Laden. True, Nebraska is the heartland of this great country of ours, and there's mention of 'the fruited plane' in America the Beautiful, but frankly, I think you're all pretty safe.

Anyway. Life goes on here in New York, where we're NOT THINKING ABOUT IT when we ride the subways. NOT THINK. NOT THINK. NOT THINK. NOT THINK. NOT THINK.

I used to know a guy who grew up in Belfast. His family, who were Roman Catholic, ran a bar. When he was a young'un, his 'job' was to go around the bar after it closed and look for any 'packages.' Once, when he and his mother were coming home late at night, they were waylaid by two men with guns who forced them both to their knees, told them to 'say their prayers,' and then ran off.

This guy now returns to his car after he parks it to check to make sure that all the doors are locked (by walking around and trying them all) two or three times. I've never eaten with him in a restaurant when he hasn't sent back the cup of coffee the waitress or waiter brings him and asks for another cup. Countless weird idiosyncracies like that. I wonder if that's what we'll all turn into? If being a New Yorker will come to be associated with filling up the bathtub with water and submerging the package that the Fedex guy brings you ("It was only some wedding photos from your niece.") and refusing to fly across the country without a minimum of two layovers and other odd behavior associated with post traumatic stress syndrome.

I wonder how Number Two (now Number One) at my old job is holding up. He has a daughter who will be two in April. She is something of a miracle baby. He never imagined that he would be a father, and he's devoted to her. He took his wife and fled the city during the Y2K brouhaha. He lives in Brooklyn, not more than six or seven blocks from where they uncovered a bomb making cell back in the '90s.


One good upload deserves another. This would be my dog.

And this would be my dog

I made it go! I done did it!

So anyway, this is me, your humble host. What you see is my favorite whip. It was made for me by Joe Wheeler. It's a hybrid bullwhip and signal whip, meaning that it has a rigid handle, but the cracker is woven directly into the tail of the whip; there's no fall. You might say that that whip is the namesake of SingleTails. How appropriate that this is the first image I've successfully uploaded.

Okay. Maybe it'll work this time around.

I doubt that worked, but I thought I'd give it a try. If it did, that's me, your humble host here at SingleTails.

Anyway, I'm just now back from the GMSMA Wednesday night program at the Center. Tonight there was a panel discussion on S/M in the context of relationships. Topics covered included playing inside the relationship, playing outside the relationship, resolving crises, and the like. It was provocative, sweet, tantalizing, and always interesting. I asked a question at one point, namely, "When your partner first became the object of your desire--whether that was when you first laid eyes on him or later--what was the nature of that desire? Was it kinky, as in, 'I want to see that man chained at my feet, drenched in my piss,' or was it romantic, as in, 'I want to do the Times crossword in bed with that man on a Sunday morning'?" The consensus on the panel: both! Sweet, huh?

What images were floating through my head during the panel and afterwards as I enjoyed a quesadilla grande with black beans and extra guacamole at Bennie's Burritos? What else. Sarge. Sarge and me. Me and Sarge.

I went so far as to go shopping for a Valentine's Day card tonight before the meeting. Made me seriously reconsider this plan. They were all either those black-and-white beefcake photos on the cover (of guys better looking than I am), or else dopey and expressing sentiments not appropriate for a card sent to a man that I hardly know anonymously.

A buddy of mine in Portland has a print on his wall depicting two Tom of Finland type guys. One guy is opening the door of (what can only be described as) his cottage, and we see his visitor from the rear, wearing chaps, MC jacket, and officers cap, and with a bouquet of roses and a heart-shaped box of chocolates held behind his back. That would be perfect. (There's so much romance among kinky folk.) Alas, nothing remotely similar was available.

So after Boss Sunshine left today, we all got on the internet and started looking for jobs. It was highly amusing. "Hey, Staffina! Here's one that would be perfect for you!" That kind of thing. Sort of indicative of what kind of day I had, huh?

But, today I also learned that Boss Sunshine is taking off all next week for vacation. What can contain my joy at that news? No earthly vessel, that's for sure. And it starts on Friday, so I only have one more day to deal with him, and then I won't for the next ten.