Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Pines Ho!

Food shopping is done, so now I'm headed out the LIE.

Don't think I'll be blogging much for the next three days. I hope that I've been dense and prolific since the weekend to leave you with enough to mull while I'm away getting Browner.

Here are a few recipes for the grill, stuff I'm looking forward to making.

Barbequed Chicken

Slice up fresh peaches (or apricots work well) in a bowl. Add just a half a teaspoon of sugar, and then cover with a generous amount of balsamic vinegar.

Light your grill. After the coals have burned down, add some woodchips that have been soaked in water. Put the cover on the grill. Make sure there's ventilation to create a slow burn. If you're good, you'll be able to have smoke without any actual flame.

Place chicken legs in a roasting pan. Cover with the fruit and balsamic mixture. Put the roasting pan on the grill, and put the cover on.

You cannot leave the roasting pan on the grill too long. The challenge is always to leave it on long enough, because once those sweet, smokey aromas hit your nostrils, you'll be set to chow down.

Serve with couscous.

And beer.

How I Grill Steak

Pick out a nice piece of meat. Look for lots of marbling. It's all about fat content, folks!

Pour green peppercorns, kosher salt, and rosemary in a bowl. Take a drinking glass you don't care too much about. Using the bottom of the glass, ground the peppercorns. Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the ground mixture to make a sort of soupy meal. Slather the steak with the soupy meal and let it stand.

Make a very hot fire on the grill. Use lots of charcoal, more than you'll think you'll need. (Did you all know that charcoal for grilling was a by-product of the auto industry? Henry Ford needed something to do with the pieces of wood cut from the wooden dashboards of his vehicles. He got the idea of saturating them with lighter fluid and selling them. That way, when people drove his cars out into the country, they'd be able to make a nice lunch for themselves. Neat, huh?)

After you've got blazing white hot coals, put the meat on. Count to 200 (one one hundred one, two one hundred two, three one hundred three...), and then turn it over. Count to 200 again. It should be well on the outside and bloody on the inside. If'n you like your meat well done... well, close out of this window and delete Singletails from your Favorites List because you have no business being here. Okay okay okay. That was harsh. I apologize. Put the cover on the grill and let it cook through. (I'm weeping thinking about what you're doing to that steak. I hope you didn't pay a lot for it.)

After the steak is done, remove and plate. Then, put veggies cut in half or whatever (red pepper, summer squash, and zukes make a nice combination) on the grill. When they're nice and black, remove and slice them down to bite size. Put them in a big bowl as you do so. Make your favorite vinaigrette, pour over the veggies, and toss. Some good grated parmesan makes a nice addition, but isn't necessary. You don't want to kill the flavor of the grilled vegetables.

Serve with beer.

Vietnamese shrimp salad

Slice up some cucumbers. Take off the skin and seed them so you've got cucumber slices that sort of look like the crescent shape of the shrimp.

In a bowl, combine friseed basil, chopped cilantro, finely chopped ginger, garlic, lime juice and lime zest, a half a teaspoon of sugar (go easy!), and peanut oil. Oh. Some chopped peanuts are a nice addition.

Peal and vein the shrimp. Your call as to whether or not you leave the tails on. Pour a lot of Tabasco sauce over the shrimp and toss. Add about a tablespoon of peanut oil to this mixture. Toss again. Put the shrimp in a tin pie plate. Put it on the grill that's doing the smokey water soaked woodchip thing. Cover. You'll only need to keep the shrimp on the grill for a very short time. Don't overcook the shrimp! As soon as they look cooked (no longer transluscent), they're done. Take'em off.

Pick out the shrimp (don't pour the Tabasco, oil and the shrimp--that's a different salad altogether) and put them in the cucumber mixture. Toss and serve.

The shrimp will be juicy little balls of fire, the cucumber will be cool and subtley flavored. Always a crowd pleaser.

Serve with beer.

Who da man?

George W. Bush

I've been listening to the President's press conference before his departure to Crawford, Texas.

I don't doubt that this will have some (many? all?) of you howling. But I gotta say, George Bush is a good man. I don't agree with him on everything (Ai! Those deficits!), but I trust him implicitly. He is sure of himself, and self-confident, and, I believe, fundamentally decent. There was no dissembling. There were only honest, stright-up replies. It was almost conversational. If I was sitting talking to him, posing questions, and he replied the way he did in front of the White House Press Corps, I would have been satisfied.

I loved his answer about homosexuality. "I believe we're all sinners," and went on to caution against "throwing the first stone." And that our country should "look well on anyone who has a good heart." To be sure, then he said that marriage in his view is between a man and a woman and that this should be preserved and codified, but I don't know that I disagree with him there. After thinking long and hard about the matter, I have come to conclude that a relationship between a man and a woman is in essence a different thing than a same sex relationship, and that's not a bad thing. Legal parity of those relationships? I think that's on the way. But the whole Right to Marry effort seems to me symbolic, and could suck the life out of the more worthwhile and painstaking efforts to achieve parity for same sex tax-paying households.

Oh. And a note. His $3,000 Re-employment fund? I'm lovin' that. That just says 'Welding School' all over it to me. I think that's brilliant, helping people adjust to the inevitable dislocations from the transition to a global economy.

Suffice it to say that I like the man. I trust him. I think the country is in good hands under his stewardship.

Howl away!

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

The Beat Goes On

I almost don't want to dilute the post below with another post so soon. At the risk of immodesty, I think it's pretty good.

But before I go giving myself carpal tunnel syndrome by patting myself on the back, I'll add this, an excerpt from email I just sent to PunchPig.

I think it's kinda cool.

Not to sweat. You are a great man, and that was a great scene. That was landmark. Everything you did was right.

Interestingly, I don't feel vulnerable. I feel like the proverbial million bucks. Here I am, no job, fending off creditors, spilling my guts every day to strangers, and I feel like I'm totally on top of my game.

And that's thanks to you. Because after yesterday, nothing can fucking hurt me. Not really. Not in any way that matters. Because you hurt me really bad, and you loved me all the way through.

It's like you pulled out the arrow in my back, or sawed off my gangrene leg to save my life, or took out your trusty penknife and made an incision between the marks the fangs left so you could suck out the venom. And the thing that really took courage on your part was that I didn't know the arrow was there, that my flesh was rotting away on my bones, or that the viper had bitten me. So as you were doing what you knew you had to do, I was uncomprehending. I didn't understand. I just felt the pain. But I get it now.

The other thing that strikes me is that the scene was complete in and of itself. The equivalent of fifty years of marriage or something. An entire journey we took together in an afternoon. It was all there. If at the end you had revealed yourself to be some angelic/demonic being and vanished forever in a cloud of smoke, that would have been fine. You did what you had to do.

Angels again. I wrote about 'Wings of Desire.' Now I'm thinking of Heinrich Boll. Ever read him? I read some of his novels when I was in college. He has characters in his books that are angels. They appear, change everything, and then vanish. Angels are fearsome beings. Read the Book of Revalation if you want to know what angels are all about. That's enough to banish those Victorian ideas of the guardian angel--a nanny with wings--guiding the wee ones across the stream. Absolutely. You are an angel .

Anyway, everything since then--you're reading my ms., the email correspondence... it's all gravy. Really good gravy. Gravy like the kind I make to go with my stuffed porkloin, but gravy nonetheless. It's all there already, and has been since Sunday.

Talkin' 'bout my G-g-generation

So PunchPig read my manuscript. I think I've gotten my first favorable review. One criticism he had was a sort of preamble in the beginning, in which I answer the question, "Who the hell am I to be writing this book?" He thought it was unnecessary. Just say what I have to say.

I might be a wee bit passive aggressive in that. In the gay S/M community, there's definitely a generational thing going on. When Joe Bean and Guy Baldwin were cranking out stuff for Drummer, they were my age, or slightly older. But there doesn't seem to be much in the way of apostolic succession. Now, both of those men I admire enormously. No flies on them at all.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to this guy. He asked how old I was, and I told him my age, 38. He was the same age. "Huh," he commented, "we're the S/M generation that wasn't supposed to happen."

Now there's a provocative aside, huh?

I asked him what he meant. He asked me when I first started going to leather bars, and what it was like. It was 1989. The Bike Stop in Philadelphia. I saw very little action. He replied that if it had been 1979, it would have been a different deal altogether. For one thing, there would have been a lot of action. According to him, there actually used to happen that older men would be on the lookout for younger men who seemed to have promise. Tell them how it worked, show them the ropes (so to speak--can we agree that that's the most overused pun in leatherdom?), and mentor them into the scene. That wasn't happening in 1989. The Mineshaft was closed. Most of the significant leather bars were likewise shuttered. So many of the Great Ones had died, and those that were left standing were too busy burying their brothers to worry about taking some pup into their care. Fear and intimacy went hand in hand. Many of the backpatch clubs were wiped out entirely by HIV/AIDS.

I have to admit, when I read Guy Baldwin talking about 'the way it used to be' and the decline of Old Guard Values, I don't entirely buy it. He describes a world so alien to my experience. There's an autobiographical account in Leatherfolk--I forget the author--describing how this guy met a man in a leatherbar in L.A. when he was just coming out in the 1960s, and how the man essentially got him trained to be his Master. The author was essentially apprenticed to various Tops who would school him in their special skill. Although I have no reason to doubt the veracity of that, I just can't bring myself to believe it. Only because it's so entirely foreign, it sounds like a fairy tale.

No, I had nothing like that. In fact, before I became a member of GMSMA, no one taught me anything, little less took me under his wing.

It wasn't entirely a solitary journey. There was that mixed blessing of the AOL chatroom. "Yeah boy, I'll collar you and make you my slave. I'll break you and make you over as perfect slave meat. I'll teach you what it means to wear My collar and bear My marks. you'll be branded, caged, and say goodbye to wearing clothes." says the married man and father of three with a wife sleeping in the next room.

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.

it was all fantasy. Well, not all, I did encounter men who were very real, who owned slaves, some of them I've come to know since then. But compared to the lines that the married father of three was putting out, the real thing paled in comparison. Consensual? You're kidding? Aren't you supposed to buy me at an auction after I've been abducted on my way home from work?

But, a Very Important Message was delivered. I wasn't alone. I was far from alone. And in this maelstrom of inauthenticity, I decided to try and find something authentic, or at any rate forge it in myself.

And that's where GMSMA comes in. At the meeting I attended when I marched in and wrote a check and became a member, there was Diabolique, there was Past President, and they really really did take me under their wings. And, considering that both of them are involved in the Novices SIG that I took part in last winter, they did school me.

Those circumstances I described--the way the AIDS crisis took the bonds of community and shredded them--were, as I understand it, a big part of the reason that GMSMA was formed. How to preserve the best parts of this world that was passing away? Just like those monasteries in Ireland during the Middle Ages.

GMSMA takes a lot of hits ("How To Make A Meatloaf: Duct Tape Mummification Explained" and "...take clothespin A and attach it to nipple B like so"). But the alternative would be what exactly? Oh, right. You find a mentor and earn your leathers. And that happens where? The Never-Neverland Eagle?

I'm too old for TNG. The kids are alright. They're the DIY generation, and that seems to be what they're doing.

So I guess I and my coevals are sort of stuck in the middle. An anomalous trough right in the middle of what should be a bell curve. Unable to sit around reminiscing about those nights at the Mineshaft, but viewed as One of Those Old Guys by the TNGers.

I guess this means that I will never be asked to be the keynot speaker at a Leather Leadership Conference .

Huh. That begs an interesting question. it looks like when the mantle of leadership is passed, it will go right over our heads, Guy Baldwin will bestow it upon some worthy twenty-eight year old with five Infernos under his belt, the ceremony to take place in either Palm Springs or Fort Lauderdale.

And my generation are the middle children. We don't get the attention that the youngest get, and we stand forever in the shadows of our elder brothers. We'll never be the patriarchs, because by the time the current patriarchs have moved on, the Young Turks will be in their prime.

And that's fine. We listen. We learn. We look for continuity. We keep the family scrapbooks. We work behind the scenes to make sure everything goes alright. We quietly discard the things that have become obsolete but which might still have sentimental value. We nurture innovators, but caution them to go slowly. We indulge our elders when they go on tirades about what the world is coming to. When the glare of the spotlight finds us, we smile and step quickly out of the way.

That's cool. As long as I get to whip some men along the way.

Ferry Interuptus


I looked up the Ferry schedule on the internet and saw that the last ferry of the day was at 5:10 p.m. There was no way I could make that. So I straightened up the Humble Abode, took the Faithful Companion for a walk... and came back and decided to write it down so I'd have it with my directions tomorrow morning.

...and I realized I was reading the Early Spring Schedule. I could have easily made the 7:35 ferry. But not now I couldn't.

So I'll head out tomorrow morning. It'll probably be cheaper to be here tonight, and I can get to the gym and get in a work out today.

And sit on the Perry Street Pier smoking a cigar and enjoying an iced latte.

Yes. Oh yes.

Anybody know a Chrysler dealer?

Just paid my bills. Not as painful as I was thinking it might be.

The huge burden I'm carrying is my car payment. I lease, and my monthly lease payment for my 2002 Jeep Liberty is $575. That's right. Five hundred and seventy-five dollars. It destroys me every time I see a car commercial on television and hear things like, "...and you can lease a 2003 Audi for $300-a-month." No one has a lease payment of $575. Except me. Long story of why it's so high, but let's just say every time I write out that check I think of my Ex and call say mutherfucker under my breath.

Anyway. I called my dear dear friends at Chrysler Financial today to ask (once again) if there was any way that I could reduce my payment. And there isn't. A lease is a lease. It's set in stone.

But then I got an idea. It's always been my intention to buy my Liberty when the lease is up. I've never loved a car as much as I love this one. What if I were to buy my car? Now, rather than when the lease is up. The nice woman I was talking to said that would be totally possible to do. And I could finance that purchase independently of the loan.

Now, I've never bought a car before, so I have no idea how financing works. Mortgages I know like the back of my hand. Car financing I haven't a clue. What's the standard term? How are interest rates determined? Idaknow.

And, according to the nice woman, I wouldn't have to go back to those vicious scumbags at Fuller Jeep-Chrysler of Union, New Jersey who saddled me with the $575 a month in the first place. I could go anywhere. Or at least, to any Chrysler dealer.

So. Anybody know a Chrysler dealer?

PunchPig and I go deep again

Jumpin Jehosophat.

I emailed my book to PunchPig. He had said he'd love to take a look at it. And so I emailed it off to him.

Nobody has seen it. I've been careful--here and everywhere else--not to go into too many details about it.

See that guy over there? The one with the black eye? He's on tenterhooks.

I totally trust PunchPig. Heck, I gave him my face, which in the great scheme of things is probably up a few notches from giving him my book.

But still.

PunchPig could wreck me in so many ways.

That's the core of intimacy, no? Exposure. Risk.

This didn't occur to me when I sent it. I did it without thinking. Well, let me be clear about that: I did that Without Thinking. As in, pulling the plug on those lobes of the brain while I clicked on 'Upload File' and 'Send Mail'.

So we'll see how that goes.

And speaking of fucking men...

Today, after I pay bills (Egad.), after I catch up on some GMSMA stuff, after I do some quick shopping to get food for the trip, I'm loading my dog into the Liberty and heading out the the Pines.

I love the Pines. Truly I do. It's pretty much paradise. I can go to the beach. I can get drunk (cuz I'm not needing to worry about driving home), and I can get laid.

About that last item...

Usually, after heavy play, I'm after comfort sex... him and me taking it slow and calling each other 'buddy'... that kind of thing.

But not this time. I want some ruffstuff. And I wanna be the one dishing it out. I would really like to do some beating. I'm packing a flogger or two and some rope and probably my SAP gloves. Chances are just about nill that this will come to pass. I don't know who the players are. Everybody is wearing beachwear so you can't tell from wardrobe choices.

I guess my shiner will have to be my lantern light fixed to my prow.

In response to anybody that gets up the nerve to ask me about it, I'll say "You like bruises? Want some?" And we'll see how that goes.

PunchPig informs me that it's like a secret handshake or something. Most people look right through you or look away. But some boys are transfixed. Like the would-be gum swallower on the PATH platform.

Or I might end up settling for a blowjob in the Meatrack.


But I am feeling really intensely sexual.

Not like me.

Really it's not!

Maybe I'm reading too much geekslut.

I want it to be intense. And I want it to be hard. And I want it to be edgy.

And furthermore...

On the post below, the one with the boxing pic, that seems to have shown up three times for no good reason...

There are definitely women out there--and whipping boy and girlfag come immediately to mind--who can totally take it and want more. And to whom I would not hesitate to give it. At all. Women get beat, too. Maybe I never dated the right girl in high school (huh... my parents could be right: the right woman could turn me around ). For the most part, I'm thinking of sex rather than S/M in that little discursis. And maybe it's just me, but I would have a really hard time fucking a woman the way I fuck (and get fucked by) a man.


Post Punch

PunchPig wonders how I'm doing. Of course, in the wake of a scene, things come up. Reactions emerge, it's like a parade. A sort of depression is not uncommon, possibly the effect of the sudden drop in those mood governing neurochemicals.

Yesterday I left the house to buy cigarets and walk my dog. I didn't shave. I didn't shower. Depression, right? Not quite. Last night, I called my parents, and I called my friend Son of Gaetano. Son of G. is one of my oldest friends, something of a touchstone for me. I made tuna noodle surprise, and then I sat down and was compelled to write my book. And it just flowed. I couldn't get the words on the screen quickly enough. I did the ice-pack thing with my shiner, thinking of the drive out to Sayville to get the ferry to the Pines. I want to be able to see for that ride.

Today, my shiner looks great. The swelling has gone down. Yesterday it seemed to me to be a little grotesque. Now it's perfect. It's a classic black eye. No more ice. I'll hold here.

So how'm'I doin?

Honestly, yesterday I was thinking along the lines of "I'll never do that again. At least, not for a long time." But this morning, almost as soon as I woke up, I'm thinking differently.

Next time... heh heh: "The fire next time"... I want to back up some. Maybe see if PunchPig would go at me with some heavier gloves with more padding. Y'see, I want to learn how to take a punch to the face. Wammo! And I see stars. And I'm grinning. If PunchPig and I were to meet up again tomorrow, and he would put on the SAP gloves, I don't doubt I'd skip the preliminaries and go right to screaming in the fetal position.

Yeah. That's it. No restraints. Me standing. Both of us standing. Looking in each other's eyes. PunchPig wearing heavier gloves. Measured. Slow build. With some body blows thrown in.

Look closely at the pic of me below--the day after shot--and you'll see that there's a decent bruise on my tricep. Compared to getting whomped in the face, I didn't even feel that. Taking those punches was sweet.

Don't know if PunchPig plays that way. He wants the raw, authentic response, and that looks a lot like me screaming and crying and begging. So in a sense, I'd be making his job harder by schooling me in how to take a punch and not freak out. Cuz it's the freak out that he's after. But I doubt harder by much. I think it's genetic. Keep coming at me, and I'll freak out. I give a lousy blowjob, I have a tight hole that takes lots of warm up, and I freak out when I get punched in the face.

And, also in PunchPig's favor is my fiercely competitive nature. When I do S/M, I don't just wanna be good, I wanna be the best. And that goes for whether I Top or when I bottom. I wanna be the best that he's ever known. "S/M is the quest for excellence in ourselves and others." So I wanna be the punchmeat that makes PunchPig forget all the other punchmeat. Now, that's hardly realistic, and it's a black/white way of looking at the world. But still, it makes for good headspace.

A raft of emails from PunchPig greeted me this morning, including this way hot pic...

Love that. There's a fundamental ambiguity with boxing, no? This is especially evident in stills. Are those men fighting or making love? Is that tender or violent?

I've long held the secret suspicion that of all the possibilities for coupling--two women, a man and a woman, two men--two men have the others beat hands down. Back in the days when I was having sex with women, it was like worshipping at a shrine, or handling something fragile. You had to be careful. You had to be on your best behavior. Now granted, my experience is fairly limited, but when I've shared this impression with straight guy buddies, they tend to agree. I don't doubt that there are dykes out there who would laugh in my face, but even in that situation, I'm bet that to get to that point, you have to overcome a lot of learned behaviors and cultural programming.

"What are little boys made of?
"Rats and snails and puppy dog tails. That's what little boys are made of.
"What are little girls made of?
"Sugar and spice and everything nice. That's what little girls are made of."

Boys play rough. When fucking a man, you might start off nice and slow and easy, but your goal is to get to the point when your slamming his open and welcoming hole hard and fast, slapping your balls against his butt. With women, it's riding the waves on an inland sea. With men, it's jackhammer.

Men get hurt. It's all about 'suck it up, buddy.' So when fucking a man, you don't have to worry about hurting him. You're gonna hurt him. And he's gonna hurt you. Men get hurt. It comes with the penis.

I guess Andrea Dworkin was right: penetration is violence. If you're doing it right.

So at a very basic level, there is no difference between two men boxing and two men making love. It's exactly the same thing.


A raft of emails from PunchPig greeted me this morning, including this way hot pic...

Love that. There's a fundamental ambiguity with boxing, no? This is especially evident in stills. Are those men fighting or making love? Is that tender or violent?

I've long held the secret suspicion that of all the possibilities for coupling--two women, a man and a woman, two men--two men have the others beat hands down. Back in the days when I was having sex with women, it was like worshipping at a shrine, or handling something fragile. You had to be careful. You had to be on your best behavior. Now granted, my experience is fairly limited, but when I've shared this impression with straight guy buddies, they tend to agree. I don't doubt that there are dykes out there who would laugh in my face, but even in that situation, I'm bet that to get to that point, you have to overcome a lot of learned behaviors and cultural programming.

"What are little boys made of?
"Rats and snails and puppy dog tails. That's what little boys are made of.
"What are little girls made of?
"Sugar and spice and everything nice. That's what little girls are made of."

Boys play rough. When fucking a man, you might start off nice and slow and easy, but your goal is to get to the point when your slamming his open and welcoming hole hard and fast, slapping your balls against his butt. With women, it's riding the waves on an inland sea. With men, it's jackhammer.

Men get hurt. It's all about 'suck it up, buddy.' So when fucking a man, you don't have to worry about hurting him. You're gonna hurt him. And he's gonna hurt you. Men get hurt. It comes with the penis.

I guess Andrea Dworkin was right: penetration is violence. If you're doing it right.

So at a very basic level, there is no difference between two men boxing and two men making love. It's exactly the same thing.


A raft of emails from PunchPig greeted me this morning, including this way hot pic...

Love that. There's a fundamental ambiguity with boxing, no? This is especially evident in stills. Are those men fighting or making love? Is that tender or violent?

I've long held the secret suspicion that of all the possibilities for coupling--two women, a man and a woman, two men--two men have the others beat hands down. Back in the days when I was having sex with women, it was like worshipping at a shrine, or handling something fragile. You had to be careful. You had to be on your best behavior. Now granted, my experience is fairly limited, but when I've shared this impression with straight guy buddies, they tend to agree. I don't doubt that there are dykes out there who would laugh in my face, but even in that situation, I'm bet that to get to that point, you have to overcome a lot of learned behaviors and cultural programming.

"What are little boys made of?
"Rats and snails and puppy dog tails. That's what little boys are made of.
"What are little girls made of?
"Sugar and spice and everything nice. That's what little girls are made of."

Boys play rough. When fucking a man, you might start off nice and slow and easy, but your goal is to get to the point when your slamming his open and welcoming hole hard and fast, slapping your balls against his butt. With women, it's riding the waves on an inland sea. With men, it's jackhammer.

Men get hurt. It's all about 'suck it up, buddy.' So when fucking a man, you don't have to worry about hurting him. You're gonna hurt him. And he's gonna hurt you. Men get hurt. It comes with the penis.

I guess Andrea Dworkin was right: penetration is violence. If you're doing it right.

So at a very basic level, there is no difference between two men boxing and two men making love. It's exactly the same thing.


Monday, July 28, 2003

Thanks, PunchPig

Maybe it's because PunchPig is a writer himself.

Maybe it's because PunchPig wrote and told me that thing about the glacier was fucking beautiful.

Maybe it's because I really needed to Go Down, and that amazing scene has unblocked a lot of stuff in me.

Maybe it's because talking to PunchPig is my new favorite thing to do ("Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea").

But tonight, I added twenty pages--twenty good pages if I do say so myself--to my manuscript. Only a few subject headings remain before I can start on the final third, and that will be the easy part, the part that will write itself.

So thanks for that, too, PunchPig.

By the way...

...other than having a guy suck on your balls, which feels great but probably doesn't have much in the way of curative powers, what's good for jock itch?

Email me at That's three r's in drrrew.


One additional thought to 'The American Dream is a Blue Collar Job or Ought To Be' rant below...

Baron von Philadelphia yearns to found a School of Journalism. At the Baron's school, he would attempt to undo everything that the Columbia J. School and its ilk have done to American Journalism. Namely, they've professionalized it. They worship at the throne of Objectivity.

This, too, has it's genesis during the Viet Nam War era. Before Messrs. Woodward and Bernstein happened along, if you wanted to write for a paper, you took your high school degree and got a job at a local paper, and slowly worked your way up to being a reporter. Reporters were not professionals. Reporters were hacks. The newsroom resembled not a corporate board room, but a shop floor. The idea was to Get The Story, not to report the news.

In the UK, it's still pretty much this way. A journalist is not a respectable job. No one goes to Oxford aspiring for a job in Fleet Street.

Another good, decent, working class profession, wrecked by American Higher Education.

Before there was Buffy... Before there was The X Files...

There was Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Just did a search on looking for some '70s television shows I wouldn't mind having on DVD. These include the Six Million Dollar Man, the Bionic Woman, and Kolchak, the Night Stalker. No one has thought it worthwhile to commit any of these to DVD. Surely Lee Majors, Lindsay Wagner, and Darren McGavin must need the money...

The Night Stalker was on television roundabout 1973 or '74. I don't think it ran for more than two seasons. The original movie, The Night Stalker featured a hardbitten reporter in a rumpled white suit named Karl Kolchak who comes to suspect that a Las Vegas serial killer is in fact one of the Undead. It spawned a series. Every week, Kolchak was presented with some new supernatural phenomenon, a disbelieving world, and hostile authority figures. There was the headless, sword wielding motorcycle rider. There was the fashion model who practiced witchcraft. There was the Cajun swamp monster. There was the shape shifting Hindu demon. There was the animated knight in armor. There was the zombie. There was the werewolf on a cruise ship. There was the malevolent Indian spirit. There was the prehistoric reptile.

It was all so cool. Chris Carter, the creator of the X Files, acknowledges The Night Stalker to be a major influence. And I see a lot of similarity.

I would love to have those shows on DVD, to watch again and again and again.

Hello, Television Land? Anyone listening?

Uh oh

Just talked to my Dad. I raised the issue of going to school for welding. Dad was not warm to the idea. His first shot over the bow of the good ship My Future was, "Welders are a dime a dozen, kid."

Now, where have I heard that before? Oh that's right. All my life I've heard that whenever I voiced a career aspiration to my father.

I corrected my father on that point. Welders are not, in fact, a dime a dozen. And there are more jobs for welders out there than there are for Chiefs-of-Staff for elected officials or Executive Directors of non-profit organizations.

Then, Dad took a different tact. "That's not the way to go. You've got to work with your mind. Not with your back. Welding is hot and dirty work."


How to explain to my Dad that the 'hot and dirty' is appealing to me?

I think it sounds too much like mining. My people are from the anthracite regions of Pennsylvania. In my grandparents' generation, everyone had managed to get out of the mines. My paternal grandfather came down to Philadelphia, and managed to get a job as the painting foreman for the subway system. My mother's father had been in the mines, and was bald as an egg from an explosion. He never went back after that.

So in my father's worldview, going into welding is a huge step in the wrong direction, inching closer to that underground world of eternal darkness.

I also called my friend Son of Gaetano from college, who lives in Reading, Pennsylvania. We are friends from college. He lives with a woman whom he refers to as his partner in solidarity with folks like me who are not able to marry. I'm pretty sure that's one of her things. This week, it's out to the Pines, but I think that next week I'll head to Reading and spend some time with the old gang. His partner and I talked while Son of Gaetano was getting off the other line. I told her about welding, and she told me that her daughter (former marriage) was dating a guy who right out of high school got a job at a battery factory making $22 an hour. And that's unskilled industrial. She lives right across the street from the Godiva Chocolate Factory (and you thought that was in France, dincha? nope, they were bought out by Hershey's and are made in Reading, Pennsylvania), and every day sees folks coming out of the factory who are getting paid and making their car payments. She and Son of Gaetano are both in the human services field, and work is hard to find. Son of Gaetano is currently a methadone counselor on a part time basis.

Y'know, I've long thought that something went wrong during the 1960s. Before that time, a minority of any high school graduating class went on to college. Most colleges offered History, English, Biology, Chemistry, and one or two other majors. Most people got good old fashioned jobs when they were graduated from high school: auto mechanics, haberdashers, cooks, truck drivers. But during the Viet Nam war, everybody wanted to go to college to avoid selective service. College majors ballooned, and suddenly, everyone wanted a career, rather than a job. Working as an auto mechanic or a haberdasher or a cook or a truck driver became somehow less than honorable. Of course, at the same time, the United States transitioned from an industrial economy to a service economy. I'm not an economist, so I'm not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg in that equation.

I resisted going to college, and actually thought about all these issues a lot during my junior and senior year of high school. (No really, I did. I swear!) I didn't see why I needed to go to college. I hated high school. Just hated it. Why would I want to spend four more years sitting in a classroom? As it turns out, I had a good time in college that I didn't have in high school. And I got to read poetry and James Joyce and Sartre and Wittgenstein and Hans Kung.

But when I was graduated with a degree in English, I certainly didn't feel any more prepared for the job market than I had when I was graduated from high school.

My best friend from high school, who also hated high school, started working for a contractor. Best friend would talk about how they were building a house with out nails, with the enormous trunk of a tree as the central beam of the roof. As far as I know, he's still doing that. And probably owns a house and is solidly middle class.

Somehow, we been robbed. A college diploma was marketed to us as the American Dream. But it's not. It was just a marketing ploy. The American Dream--a good job that pays the bills, benefits, retirement... the thing that Bruce Springsteen always sang about--was replaced by this illusion of a piece of paper from an accredited four year college being the ticket to Success.

Anyway, next week I'll spend time in Bucks County with my parents, and do a full court press on welding school. Hopefully, there will be a raft of want ads for welders in the local papers that will bolster my argument. I wonder if I can find those local papers on the web and see if that's so?

Help me pay for school, Dad, and then I can get a job as a welder somewhere here in Bucks County, and then I can move back.


During Folsom Street East weekend, I did a dungeon demo at the Eagle. The other Top doing a dungeon demo was a guy who also brought copies of his Smoking Hunks porn DVD.

'Member I said that yesterday I had lunch at Better Burger (aka Bitter Buggers) before I met up with PunchPig? Well, I was sitting in the window of BetBurg and this guy sitting at the restaurant across the street was intently cruising me. I recognized him as none other than Smoking Hunk. So when I finished up my burger, I went across the street to say hello.

He told me that he had just gotten back from a trip to California where he had made yet another porn video, and showed me some photos he had taken of the cast. In the movie, he had done abrasion and hot wax scenes. I told him that if they ever were looking for someone to do whipping, I'm the guy.

So Smoking Hunk said that he would absolutely pass that on to J.D. Slater, the renowned pornographer.

Would I do porn?

Is the Pope homophobic? Of course I would! I'd love to do porn. And Smoking Hunk reports that he was flown out to wherever they were shooting the thing and put him up in a hotel.

I wonder if it would be looked upon favorably if I don't really enjoy porn? I've heard that casinos like to hire people who don't enjoy gambling rather than people who gamble, so that they don't get any compulsive gamblers on staff. Probably it's not that complicated, huh? More a matter of 'And how big is your dick?' And, I've also heard that there is virtually no market whatsoever for S/M porn. The vast majority of porn hounds are looking for young guys with big dicks and wanna see blow jobs and fucking. And, my dick is the standard issue six inches, I'm not young, I don't have sixteen inch biceps, and I'm pretty boring in bed.

Oh well.

And, it's unlikely that I'm gonna be able to get money to pay my August rent by doing porn.

I'll go with Plan B.

What was Plan B again?

Okay, readers. Here's what you've all been waiting for. It's the pics.

Here's a happy smiling stoopid punchmeat, right after PunchPig took off the restraints. Look at the sweet beat face on punchmeat...

And here's punchmeat in a pic taken about a half an hour ago, wearing his new suspension harness, and doing his best to strke a fetching pose...

While I'm at it, I'll post some other recent pics.

Here's an example of my recent chain bondage explorations...

And here's chain bondage boy up on my cross. Notice that nice red butt! Okay okay okay, so my ropes aren't perfectly symetrical. So bite me.

Unfortunately, it's almost the end of the month. So in a few days, these pics will be consigned to the archives. Alas, blogger's archiving isn't all we could hope for. So get an eyeful now.


I believe I can fly...


My UPS Guy, Aryan God that he is, just delivered my industrial safety suspension harness. I'm wearing it now. It's very cool. I just dangled myself off my cross.

Tragically, it has straps in all the wrong places for whipping or flogging, but I actually have another scene in mind. Namely, I want to suspend someone from a tree limb in it and wrap them up in duct tape. Thus making a big christmas ornament. Or a hummingbird feeder. Or a Calder mobile. I'll have to experiment with it. It seems that having legs together gives a little bit of muscle strain in the crotch, and if the loops aren't in close to the balls, I think it would be right on the arteries leading to the legs, but it is certainly pendulous with possibilities. An alternative scene, a propos of recent events, might be to hang someone with a heavy bag, and securing their arms and legs to the heavy bag, and then doing a nice workout. The bottom becomes the heavy bag.

Way cool.

Okay okay okay.

Let me see what I can do about posting pictures.

Forty Five Days

After my sister died, I took great comfort in something said to me by a woman I worked with. This was not a woman I particularly liked. She was a model of passive-aggressive behavior, who never ever failed to get under my skin. And, she was the epitome of new age-y spirituality. She was always pushing some loopy modality or other, from wheat grass juice to healing crystals.

Anyway. She told me that some Buddhists believe that after a person dies, the soul remains intact in this plane for forty-five days before being reabsorbed into the universal energy.

I figured out the date that was forty-five days from my sister's death. During those days, I talked to her frequently, just sitting down with a cup of tea and talking. "Oh Man, Kathy, remember the time..." That kind of thing. I dreamed about her several times. And then, on the forty-fifth day, I went out on the deck outside of the kitchen of my place in Brooklyn, and looked up at the stars and said good-bye.

So I'm looking forward to spending time with Mark over the next forty-days. Interestingly enough, the forty-fifth day will be September 5th, the second day of Inferno. I think that I'll somehow do with Mark on September 5th the scene we never had a chance to do.

I started to do this last night. When I poured my beaten body into bed, I recalled how Mark had told me about a special memory he had of the love of his life, one glorious summertime day, while visiting New York, they went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and then headed into Central Park. It was a glorious green summertime day, they were drunk on laughter, and their love of each other. I told Mark that I wished him that day with the man he loved for all eternity, a glorious green summertime afternoon, filled to overflowing with love and laughter.

PunchPig knew Mark. They had an on-line relationship. But when I told him just before we did our scene that Mark had died, he was saddened. Such was the spirit of this man.

Beat III

Forgive this half-formed thought.

As PunchPig points out, yesterday we went Deep. Way Deep.

Usually, when I bottom, I can put myself without too much trouble into the role of the Top, evaluating, second guessing, making a mental note to 'use that' some technique or other. And in a sense, I'm not bottoming: I'm still a Top, orchestrating a scene from the inside out through signals I send to whoever is working me over.

Not so yesterday. Not so at all.

Definitely yesterday was a learning experience as far as developing my own skills. But in part, what I learned was that I'm not ready to take that scene on.

Among the lessons I learned--and something I knew, but which certainly was driven home--was that a Top must do a lot of work in his own head. Because any unresolved issues are going to come spilling out into the scene. That daemon you haven't been paying attention to is soon going to be piloting this mission.

What if I was doing a whipping scene, and the man I was whipping became what I became yesterday? It's not what I go for in a scene. I want a joyful bottom. I want a warrior, proving himself. The tough punk that I was at the outset of the scene is the bottom I want. A part of me was a little appauled by how I behaved in the scene yesterday.

And yet, at the same time, I've talked before about an adrenaline scene, where I goad the restrained bottom into blinding rage. And yesterday, that was all about adrenaline. That's what adrenaline looks like. It's the neurochemical of the fight or flight response. And yesterday when fight wasn't working, I went right to flight, although flight meant burying my beaten face in the carpet. And I've long yearned to have a bottom on whom I could truly and completely open up and unleash, just go and go and go.

Now I doubt very much that yesterday PunchPig had the opportunity to just go and go and go. But he very much had the opportunity to do an adrenaline scene.

When (and if) I go there as a Top, it will be Big. It will mean a lot of work on my part. I've gotta be ready, and be able to shoulder the responsibility of what I'm getting into.


Beat II

Here's PunchPig's take on yesterday's proceedings...

Met him at starbucks. He is much more beautiful than his pic. Tall, mighty, graceful, incredibly beautiful face. "Smart" -- i.e., verbally curious, talented. He drove me to jersey city. Large one-bedroom, the "living room" of which is a kind of dungeon, big black painted scaffolding with metal rings to tie guys up on (he's into whipping, uses it for that). Singletail whips hanging on the wall. Sweet benign dog (who, during these and presumably all other proceedings in that apt. never budged out of his sleep, despite the -- noise). Told him to strip. (By this time I was in black leather jacket, jock & boxing boots). Put on thigh/wrist restraints, put mouthguard into his mouth. God he looked sweet. Put on SAP gloves (can't remember what the acronym stands for, but they're tight black leather gloves with -- BALL-BEARINGS packed into the knuckle area. Illegal, obviously. He got them for the session). Tapped him in the mouth, in the eye. He smiled. Increased intensity. FAP FAP.... FAP FAP... Ah, how to say the unsayable. This "scene" -- when it works beautifully, which it was doing -- is very like fisting or whipping. You can't go thru it without going deep. He started emitting animal noises, inhuman grunts of passion and terror, trying to lean forward to get away from the increasingly sharp punches, mostly my right to his left eye, me pushing him back (he was kneeling/squatting in front of me), holding his face with my left SAPped hand (hardly sapped) while I busted up him sharply with my right. Face began to transform. The deeper he went into himself, the more he hunched over, like a little boy, crying now, getting to some well of agony deep inside him which now SCREAMED for release. I suppose it didn't last long; I dont know; felt like an eternity. But he became a little boy pleading with me to stop, glad I wasn't stopping. His body trembled at its extremities; he sweated like a pig (oh that sweet muscular trembling body) while I kept up an absolutely unending soft sadistic muthafukka river of verbal riff ('c'mon boy, lemme punch you bloody & stupid, want some more boy? sure you do boy") -- a riff that I felt what turned out to be spot-on inspiration never to vary, never to stop: no matter what HE did (now scrunching away from my punches) I was a kind of constant. The effect was (ultimately) to enable him to trust me: he was powerless, in my hands and fists, going deeper and deeper into surrender, pleading with me to stop, while I never stopped; he both ecstatic and resistant, a perfect pitch, right on the fine line. damn.

Held him as he clutched himself fetally, let him tremble and cry his way back to the surface.

Untied him. Licked his beautiful (now closed) black eye. Kept up the gentle riff, still sadistic ('c'mon boy, u know u want more'), while he said 'no, no, no' -- no that sounded exactly like yes -- but I no longer punched him, just held him, oh that sweaty magnificent body. ended up kissing beating off. He told me he'd never gone to the "place" he went with me then. It was a little boy place.

We took pix. He'll send today.

We went out and ate at a jersey city restaurant (he summed up jersey city as an "irony-free district" which I thought was witty; true, too) (I told him I lived in one of those and oh! yearned for a little irony), attracting notice, god knows. Took the path train back to manhattan, hunks checking him out with alarm & desire. Kissed as we parted.

it was great.

Sunday, July 27, 2003


Wow. That was quite an experience.

I had hoped to get to the gym this afternoon. But alas, the Holland Tunnel was a disaster, so I didn't have enough time before I was due to meet up with PunchPig at the Starbucks at 16th and 8th at 3pm. So, I went to Better Burger and got myself something to eat.

When I arrived at Starbucks, there was PunchPig, looking... well, not just like his picture, which features him with a shiner and a good mouse or two... but instantly recognizable. He was sitting in the corner reading the letters of Emily Dickinson.

I got myself an iced latte and we talked. PunchPig is great to talk to. His mind is wide-ranging and he is full of insights, and was also interested in listening to me. We talked but briefly at Starbucks, when PunchPig suggested we get to Jersey City. We talked on the way home. Installed here at the Humble Abode, we talked some more.

Then, while talking, PunchPig stripped down to a jockstrap and from his gym bag pulled out a leather MC jacket. Things were starting. He told me to strip. I got naked. Then he put on leather restraints that secured my wrists to my thighs.

And then, PunchPig beat me in the face.

I thought the scene would go something like this: PunchPig would punch me, and I'd be tough. I'd say 'Awww fuck, that one hurt,' and he'd say, 'Yeah? Ready for another?' And he'd punch me again, and I'd say, 'Hooo-EEEY! Saw stars that time.'

It wasn't like that. Well, maybe it was for about 20 seconds, although even that is giving myself a lot of credit in the tough department.

What happened was that I discovered that getting punched in the face freaked me the fuck out. Very quickly, I was curled in a fetal position, so that my restrained hands could protect my face. I was screaming and begging and crying. I was screaming, mind you. I learned a long time ago in GMSMA and I've heard it repeated several times that you should listen to the register of the noises that your bottom is making. If it's low and guttural, that's good. If it's high pitched, that's bad. I was singing fuckin soprano. And PunchPig kept coming.

If I was a dungeon master observing a scene like this, I would have intervened and stopped it.

I'm glad there was no dungeon master observing the scene to intervene and stop it.

Now, as it was happening, I wanted nothing more than for the scene to end. I hoped that every blow would be the last one. I was crying. Really crying. Crying like I've never cried before. I was intent on crying really hard, hoping that PunchPig would be merciful. There was no mercy coming from PunchPig.

The punches kept coming.

Not so heavy. But there was a point when PunchPig's voice changed. He became gentle and kind. I relaxed. Pow. I wasn't going to do that again.

And then, I said something like, 'No, please, I can't take any more,' and PunchPig replied, 'Actually, you can. Take one more for me.' At this point, he was gently caressing my body. This was good, when I could account for both his hands, I felt safe. When one of his hands would leave my body, I would scream and cry and bury my face in the carpet. But when he said that, he unleashed a firestorm in my brain. Two contending spirits had a screaming match...

"C'mon. You can take one more."
"No! Fuck no! I can't!"
"C'mon, he's gonna think you're a wuss."
"I don't care. I can't take another one."
"Wuss. Take one more."
I am a wuss. I. Am. A. Wuss. I can't take one more."
"Fuckin wuss."
"Fuck you! I can't take another one."

Still caressing, punchpig stopped pressing. I did not relax, remembering what happened the last time that happened. I kept up my guard. It wasn't until PunchPig removed the bag gloves from my hands and the leather restraints that I started to relax, take some deep breaths.

It was amazing. I think my first wiords were, "Wow. I've never been there before."

And where exactly was there? I was curled at a man's feet, screaming and crying and beggiing for mercy that wasn't coming. I was in a place where there was nothing that I could do. It was total and complete surrender. Surrender like I've never experienced before. And I mean, I could have done something. At any time, I'm reasonably certain that if I addressed PunchPig by his name and said with all the calmness and firmness I could muster, "This is over. Safeword. Don't hit me again," then that would have been it. At the same time, nothing prevented me from slipping the restraints off of my legs. But I didn't do any of those things. I displayed an aspect of myself that I've never allowed myself to display before ever. And I did it in the presence of another man, and it was fine.

In fact that was the essence of the experience: fine. It's like... this might not come off well, but it's the image that's in my mind and has been all day... imagine a fire blazing on a glacier. Just raging. Consuming. Destroying. But the glacier is vast. The fire is gonna do some damage, but the glacier will still be there.

Get it?

The fire is PunchPig's merciless brutality. Clearly. And the glacier? I would say that was the connection between PunchPig and I, and his bedrock human compassion. When it was all over, I would be fine. And it would be over. I was in good hands, even though they were hands that were beating me.

Then, PunchPig and I talked some more. I suggested that we go to dinner at Comfort Bistro.

I got my shiner. Walking down to the restaurant, no one made eye contact with me. I had made the decision that I wasn't going to look in the mirror. Rather, I would try to gauge what I looked like by the reactions that I got.

It occurred to me, and I mentioned to PunchPig, that the women at Comfort Bistro might make a fuss. I could very well end up with a package of frozen peas on my eye during dinner. PunchPig suggested and I agreed, that if that went down, just go with it. Don't fight it. When we walked into Comfort Bistro, one of the women said, "Oh Gosh! What happened to you?" I smiled and said, "Don't make a fuss," and she said, "Okay. What'll you have for dinner? We're doing it bufet style tonight. It's $15, all you can eat."

Then, PunchPign and I took the PATH train into the city. (With one eye swollen shut, I have no depth perception, and thus I'm unable to drive.) As we came down to the PATH platform at Grove Street, there was this tall muscleboy waiting for the train. If he had been chewing gum when he got a load of me, he would have swallowed it. He stared at me, openly. When the train came, he found an excuse to talk to me, asking me if this train went to Manhattan. (For those of you unfamiliar with how PATH trains run, let's just say that's the equivalent of standing at the counter at McDonald's and asking, "Can I get a hamburger here?") PunchPig whispered in my ear, "This would be your first favorable reaction." Muscleboy sat right across from me on the train, still staring, until he got off at Christopher Street. I thanked PunchPig, and promised that tomorrow morning I'd take a picture with my digital camera and mail it to him.

That's the wonderful thing about bruises: they blossom after the scene. It's like watching the stars come out, or watching a springtime garden come into bloom.

I got off at 23rd Street, and PunchPig continued on to 33rd. I headed to Big Cup. If I wanted reactions from witless gay boys, might as well head to the hive.

I was sort of disappointed. No one looked at me. Then I realized that that in itself was exceptional. I always get cruised by somebody.

In the movie 'Wings of Desire,' the angels in the movie could hear humans thoughts as though they were spoken aloud. I tried to imagine what those thoughts would be... "Fagbashing. God, I've gotta be more careful." "Abusive partner. I hope he knows where to go to get help." "Somebody needs more boxing lessons before getting into the ring again." I sat calmly reading PunchPig's book (sort of a PunchPig immersion was today), and laughed a few times at some of the humorous parts.

Then it was off to the Eagle. There, it was more of the same of no one looking at me. I had told PunchPig that I considered this trip to the Eagle as an important element of the scene: showing off my shiner, walking around like some Irish tough from a bygone New York, frightening the horses.

I ran into a bartender from Ty's, who asked me, "What the hell happened to you?"

"I got punched in the face," I told him.

"Oh, man, I'm so sorry. Looks nasty."

"It was really cool," I said. In response to his uncomprehending look, I said, "I am a very sick fuck," and smiled.

Up on the roof, I met up with UnFortunate. I had briefed him earlier, so he wasn't surprised. He was, however, pretty impressed with how bad it looked. (I still hadn't seen myself in the mirror.) We talked about the scene, and I smoked a cigar. UnFortunate is altogether on the outside looking in when it comes to S/M. He doesn't get it. Well, he gets it, and thinks it's great, but it's not anything he's drawn to in the least.

A gentle, warm summer rain began to fall. The roof cleared out. We stayed. I found that I was able with effort to open my swollen eye a crack.

Then, mission accomplished, I headed out with UnFortunate. We talked about architecture and urban plannning and the Edward Durrell Stone building at 2 Columbus Circle while UnFortunate walked me to the PATH train.

When I got home just now, I looked in the mirror. I have a good sized bump on my left temple. My left eye is royal purple, like there's a fat plum where my eye socket should be. The eyelid is a slit. I sort of look on the left side of my face like an alien on the X Files.

Tomorrow morning, when more bruises come up, I'll take some pictures. In addition to sending them to PunchPig, I'll see if I can post them here.

Something for you to look forward to, no?

I don't know if I would be the one to be a demo bottom when PunchPig presents at the GMSMA program. It would be one thing if I was indeed able to pull off the tough punk thing, but I think if the membership of GMSMA were to see their beloved Chairman reduced to a quivering, blubbering heap on the floor, someone might call the cops. And we wouldn't want that. That's just for me and PunchPig.

One other interesting thing. My eyes play tricks on me. What I see bits of is my brains attempt to fill in the signals that my left eye is not sending to my brain. This is hard to explain. Bear with me. Imagine a Paul Cadmus canvas of buff, bronzed men wearing pale blue-grey uniforms, and writhing in a mass, and imagine that Paul Cadmus canvas viewed through a kaleidoscope. I mean, I can almost discern faces and body parts. Wild, huh?

Anyway. Pictures tomorrow. For now, I'm gonna walk Faithful Companion and get to bed.

It's been a long day. I'm beat.

Own your fantasies or they will surely own you.

Isn't that a neat and simple formula? I'm not sure if it's original with me, but it is in the sense that to the best of my recollection, I've never heard it before, at least not put so succinctly. So I'll claim it. It's mine.

It could be the subtitle of Singletails.

Own your fantasies, or they will surely own you.

There was a time in my life when my fantasies scared me. In fact, for most of my life my fantasies scared me. Even when they were incredibly lame, like when I was in high school and would jerk off thinking about simple rope bondage and smoking cigarets. But as I got older, they got more intense and scarier. Much darker. Cannibalism, snuff, hanging, castration, torture, slavery, degradation...

I was afraid of my fantasies, or more correctly, what the fact that I had these fantasies said about me. Surely I should be locked up for my own good and that of society.

Because I did my best to suppress them (I remember trying to jerk off thinking about 'nice' and 'normal' things... ), I was from time to time led into what were in retrospect dangerous situations.

Owning my fantasies was a huge thing. Saying, "Yes, that's what I think is hot." It was like flicking a light switch, and seeing that the terrifying and menacing phantom was a guy in a bedsheet. It was a very Scooby-Doo moment: "So all along it was the janitor, Mr. Jenkins."

The first significant discovery was that I wasn't alone. There are lots of people out there with the same dark fantasies that I have. So much so that I've had lunch with cannibals (hamburgers and tuna salad sandwiches) and I'm looking forward to spending some time with a guy who's hot to cut the cock and balls off of state troopers at Inferno.

The second significant discovery was that real life experience can be much hotter and much more satisfying than those pale shades. Your basic whipping scene is a life changing experience. Fantasies have no place when what's going on in reality is much hotter than any fantasy could be.

Own your fantasies or they will surely own you.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Hell's bells.

It seems that in my last "Help! I'm drowning in paper!" frenzy I threw out the poem I wrote for Mark. There are fragments of it in my head, but I doubt I could re-create it, so I guess it's gone forever. A shame, since I think it was one of my better efforts.

I feel sort of illegitimate in my grief. Mark somehow found his way to my weblog, sent me email, and thus began a correspondence. This was perhaps in March or April. I had seen him at Inferno last year, but I was more than a little awed by him and his... conviction. So we didn't speak. At his invitation, I went to Chicago during IML weekend, and we met, talked, and spent time together. Bumping around someone's apartment for four days actually is not a bad way to get a handle on a person.

Basically, we clicked. We really clicked. Every idea he shared with me sent me to what Ferlinghetti called Coney Islands of the Mind.

On the drive back from Chicago, I thought about him a lot. I thought in terms of a future: him in my life, me in his.

I think I wanted to be in love with Mark. That's awkwardly phrased, and sounds cloying, but that's sort of it.

I feel robbed of possibility. I guess I have no one but myself to blame. The important thing to remember is 'when love walks in the room, ev'rybody stand up.' Always always always take the plunge. Jump in with both feet. Don't hesitate a moment. Life is nasty, brutish, and short. Very short. When two souls find themselves on the same small raft tossed by the waves, it's a great thing, a thing to be savored. It need not be a thing forever, and it probably won't be even a thing for long the way things tend to go. But it's a thing not to be missed.

Despite my sorrow, I joined the Ballbreakers in winning our final two games of the season today. We're number one in the standings, thus, we get a trophy. We played the Diablitos. They're a great team. They're scrappy, but they're out to have a good time, just like we are. Now comes the playoffs. I'm unclear who we're gonna be playing in the playoffs.

I scored twice today, and struck out twice, and was out on a short ball that I didn't manage to outrun to first base, but a runner did get home during my attempt. So overall, I think I made more of a contribution than I was a drawback. It was tough to keep my head in the game. I EP'd, which was good, because I would just be swimming if I was in the outfield.

Tomorrow, at 3pm, I meet PunchPig at a Starbucks on Eighth Avenue, and we come back here, and do a scene together. I'm looking forward to it, and not. I feel a little raw from the news about Mark. I'd really like to be whipped rather than punched in the face. Heaving sobs rather than taking blows. I guess I need to find my anger for the scene tomorrow to be successful. It'll be self-pitying anger--as in, "Fuck you God for taking Mark away!"--but anger nonetheless.

And it looks like I'll be spending some time on Fire Island next week. That is so great. The sea, the sand, the sun, the boys, the dunes, the meatrack. That is soooo what I need. To just disappear into a picture postcard for 72 hours or so.

I hope my dog, Faithful Companion, doesn't have a relapse while I'm out there. That would not be pretty.

Oh. Just when I'm thinking that Crystal Meth is abating somewhat, suddenly it's everywhere again. Ev'rybody's doin' it doin' it doin' it. Last night at the Eagle, I was hanging with UnFortunate, and I spied with my little eye two muscley guys. Total knockouts. They were a couple, but were interested in a threesome.

Now, threesomes are not my favorite thing. With only a few exceptions, I've always been the odd man out, or I'm much more interested in one of my partners than the other. But, given that they're a couple and tag teaming was something they did a lot, it seemed like it might work. One of the muscley guys mentioned that he had done Tina earlier in the evening. I thought this might be the equivalent of smoking a joint after dinner before you went out. This proved to be wishful thinking. It proved to be all about them doing bumps the whole night long. If it wasn't for the fact that they were a couple of Colt Models, I probably wouldn't have gone through with it. It seemed pretty clear that what we were gonna get bizzy with was fucking, and I like that to be about connection. Connection and Tina haven't met. But, overall it worked, just because it they were both very hot looking. So it was sort of like watching porn. And, come to think about it, it had all the emotional content of watching porn, too. I suppose you could call it pig sex. I had a good time. Although the sex portion of the evening transpired between 4:30 am and 6:45 am. And me with softball today. I think I'd honestly have to say that I can see the appeal of the whole P'n'P scene. I mean, they were up for anything, and so turned on to getting plowed. That said, it's nothing I'd seek out again, and I think I'd be inclined to decline the invitation the next time around, as I'm not very happy with sex being a performance, and i always think that's what's oing down when your partner(s) are on crystal.

Anyway. My eyelids are getting droopy. Time to walk the dog and then fall back into the arms of Morpheus.

Shock and Disbelief

I just opened email that Diabolique had thoughtfully forwarded to me.

Suessesschwein, whose name was Mark, passed away at his home on Wednesday morning. Mark was my host during my weekend in Chicago during IML. He was a brilliant, wonderful, kind, amazing man, and I am really rocked to hear this news. When I last heard from him, he was preparing for his annual pilgrimage of sorts up to a lake in the Canadian wilderness over the Summer Solstice. I wished him the best for the trip, and he sent a short note to say how busy he was getting ready for it all.

Mark is the reason that I'm mortgaging the farm and doing both Sessions A and B at Inferno this year. Before I left Chicago, he and I had lunch together in the hotel. Both of us were full of regret that we hadn't had the opportunity to play while I was in town, but we agreed that we'd definitely correct that at Inferno. We had a great connection. We were enraptured with one another. I told him that I was planning on just doing Set-Up and Session A. His face fell. he told me that he did Session B, and asked if there was any way that I could switch. I told him that come hell or high water, whatever it took, I would be there for Session B.

Oh. Damn. This hurts.

Not Mark. No no no no no. I hope against hoping that there's been some terrible mistake, but I doubt that's possible.

He should have died hereafter. We are all diminished with the spirit of this wonderful man now taken from us.

By way of thanks for letting me stay in his apartment, I wrote Mark a poem. I didn't post it here, as it was just for him. I'm going to see if I can find it after softball this afternoon when I get back from softball and post it here.

And now, I've got to get ready for the game. But first, I think I'm going to have a good cry.

Please say a prayer for Mark Collier. Mark's partner of many years died last summer, and Inferno last Semptember for Mark was a way of saying goodbye and moving forward. In Mark's apartment was memorial of sorts to the deceased love of his life. The inscription read, 'Tusk to Tusk, For All Eternity.'

Tusk to Tusk. For All Eternity.

Close your eyes and sleep, you wonderful man.

Friday, July 25, 2003


Today is a great beach day. So UnFortunate and I are off to Garrison, the gay nude beach at Sandy Hook. So if you're not doing anythin, come on out. You'll get to see my dick!

Faithful Companion Update: He seems fine. He ate all his dinner of rice boiled in beef stock (into which I mixed some of his kiibble.) Of course, it's not over until we see that glorious symbol of canine health that all dog owners love: a nice firm stool.

This is quick, cuz I gotta call Unemployment and maybe get enough money from them so I can pay my rent.

This quick note though. Yesterday I helped GMSMA's current Membership Secretary and his boyfriend move a boxsprings and mattress that was being given to them by a friend. Apparently, they've been sleeping on bundles of newspapers and carpet remnants, and their friend took pity on them and gave them a bed. MemSec and boyfriend are so sweet. So full of that young and in love energy. And MemSec sent some pics he took of me smoking a cigar at the GMSMA Board Retreat. Again, if I get my act together, I'll post it here.

Here's hoping I get the deep dark tropical tan I've always yearned for. Look for me tonight at the Eagle to see how brown I managed to get.

Thursday, July 24, 2003


whipping boy is in town, and is looking to play. Upon going over my schedule for the next few days, I'm not sure I can make it happen. Tomorrow is a beach day with UnFortunate, and afterwards, I'll be dining with him at the Comfort Bistro. And then on Saturday, we're having our two final softball games of the regular season (look for us in the playofffs!), and I'll be beat afterwards. Actually, I'll be beat on Sunday. Sunday will be the long-awaited session with PunchPig. Look for me at the Eagle on Sunday night... I'll be the guy with the black eye and fat lip smoking a cigar on the roof deck. But, I'll need Saturday night to get myself psyched up for that.

Busy busy day. First I had my therapist. I got her Seal of Approval on the welding school plan. Enthusiastically so when I related my trip to General Technical Institute of Linden, New Jersey and my conversation with Cage Guy. Now I just need to get my Dad on board, as I'm hoping he'll be up for bankrolling some portion of this venture.

After therapy, I went to the only offices of the state Department of Labor listed in the phonebook. Alas, there is now no such thing as an unemployment office. Everything is done on-line or over the phone. But the nice lady there was able to provide me with a phone number that worked and a phone to use. After waiting on hold for ten minutes, I spoke to a human being. The problem should be on the way to resolution.

Then, I grabbed some pizza and an iced coffee. I was sitting in the window of Starbucks at 8th and 16th and Photographer Guy walked by. I met photographer guy when he tried to pick me up on the street when I had a date with Alabam (that Alabam stood me up on). It was one of those "Are you talking to me, or is there someone good looking standing behind me?" experiences. Photo Guy is a hottie. We ran into each other again on Pride Day.

Well, Photo Guy stopped in and sat and talked. He and his BF have split, but they're still co-habitating. (It often goes like that in Manhattan. I had a "I want out of this relationship" then roll over and sleep in the same bed together experience myself.) He asked me if I dated. I said, "Sort of," and went on to explain that I'm into S/M, and I meet up with men to do scenes. Sort of intense dating.

Now, isn't it odd that he should ask that question, when just the other day I was blogging about how I was horny for Date Sex. Huh.

He expressed interest in S/M. He's into fisting, and spoke very much like a worshipper at that shrine. He also likes getting spanked, but said he had tried to get his boyfriend to spank him, and BF just couldn't get it right, starting much to hard right away. I told him that in whipping, I started easy and built slowly. "I want to do that sometime."

I'm booked through the weekend, and he's going to be on Fire Island next week from Monday through Thursday. I'm gonna give Friend and Landlord a call. F&L just issued an invitation to stay at his place in the Pines. And it's supposed to be beautiful next week, hot and humid.

Danger! Danger! Danger, Will Robinson! Spending four days in the Pines with a hot man who is clearly hot for you and very much on the rebound from a recent break-up could put you smack in the middle of a relationship and you don't want that! Danger! Danger!

Huh. That is a consideration. But perhaps I could make it clear that I am not one to be settling down.

And perhaps Richard Serra could hire me as his personal metalworker and all my worries would be over.

And how is Faithful Companion? When I got home this evening, there were no puddles! And Faithful Companion seemed bright eyed and bushy tailed and his happy and robust self.

Taking no chances, right now I'm making him rice cooked in beef stock. It's binding, and good for dog diarrhea. I'm so glad this wasn't a prolonged illness. I'm wondering if it was just the heat that got to him?

Anyway, I've gotta go to the Eagle tonight. There's a Tom of Finland party, and the hot boy that's doing the promoting made me promise I'd be there.

I think that's a Peggy Flemming.

Now there's a Pop Cultural Reference no one is likely to get.

A Peggy Flemming refers to a throwaway line from the old Bob Newhart show. In one episode, Carol comes into Bob's office while he's in the middle of group. As she enters, we hear Bob say, "No, Mr. Carlson, I honestly don't think that Peggy Flemming was flirting with you at the Ice Capades."

Get it? Peggy Flemming wasn't smiling and waving at Mr. Carlson, she was smiling and waving at everyone. And hot boy wasn't going out of his way to make sure that I'd be there so we could throw him over my shoulder and haul him back to Jersey City for a night of wild debauchery, hot boy was promoting a party, which is... like... his job. It was a Peggy Flemming.

But, I think I'll make an appearance. It's a party to benefit the Tom of Finland Foundation, and I love those guys.

Anyway. Blah blah blah blah blah. Looks like Faithful Companion isn't the only one with diarrhea, although mine seems to be coming out my laptop rather than my anus.

I'll close now.

Bondage! Flogging! Dog vomit!

A great scene transpired last night here at the Humble Abode. On Tuesday, I was approached by this guy on Leather Navigator who suggested that we get together. That night, both of us seemed reluctant to stir from our respective hearths. I suggested we meet up the following night, and that he come to me, so I'd have all of my gear at my disposal while I worked my magic. He was amenable.

So I called yesterday to confirm, and he cut me off ("I'm in my car, traffic is crazy, I'll call you back"). He didn't call back.

"Huh," I thought, "Typical."

But no! Just when I had given up hope and settled in to watching a season of the Sopranos that I have on video, he called saying he was on his way over. I snapped into action getting the den together and planning the scene in my mind.

But what's this, my dog, Faithful Companion (he gets a pseudonym, too), approached, very, I-need-a-walk-NOW. So out we went. He had diarrhea. I chalked it up to the heat. While I was out with him, L'Amour Bondage pulled up. The three of us went upstairs. I was pretty favorably impressed: L'Amour Bondage is a hot man.

Upstairs, after some preliminaries that unfortunately included him doing a bump, we got busy. Slowly, slowly, I loaded him down with chains, and then wrapped his head in vet wrap. He reminded me to take some pics, so I'll see about finding the time to post a few here. I am definitely getting the knack of chain bondage. He looked beautiful. I released some of the chains to put him in a supine position, and had him lick my balls while I worked his cock. No cum, because of the bump he had done.

(Chain Bondage Helpful Hint: I suppose I really should have a bolt cutter nearby while doing bondage with chains. I have no such thing. So when something doesn't work, it takes some time to undo the chains. So, I tell the bottom to be patient, that this will take a few minutes, and it's fine. So far.)

Then came Round Two. I put him up on the cross. Because L'Amour Bondage loves bondage, I took my time securing him to the St. Andrew's Cross with rope. Again, the final result was pleasing to the eye.

Now usually I'm a back man, but I sort of sensed that for him, it was all about his butt. So that's where I focused my attention with the floggers. And he had a beautiful butt. I mean breathtaking. Just perfectly formed.

The dynamics of the scene were different because he was up on crystal meth. Hence, it wasn't so much about connection. In fact, it wasn't at all about connection. I compensated for this, and had a good time anyway, by just going to town on his bound and helpless butt. I wouldn't do fisting or fucking with someone who's speeding, as that, to my mind, demands connection. But, for bondage and flogging, I was fine working with essentially a piece of meat.

We wound down when the hour got late (the scene lasted for about three hours), and when we emerged from the den to pee and such, discovered that Faithful Companion had vomited in a few places around the apartment, and most disturbing of all, there was a puddle of bloody diarrhea in the kitchen (on the linoleum floor for easy clean-up... thanks, Faithful Companion!).

Luckily, L'Amour Bondage, himself being a lifelong dog owner, didn't freak out. Owning a dog means cleaning up dogpiss, dogshit, and dog vomit. You get used to it.

I walked L'Amour Bondage out to his car, and took Faithful Companion for a long walk.

Faithful Companion seemed better on the walk, and I thought that perhaps the spell had passed. When we got back, I gave him a little water, which he promptly vomited. I sat with him, holding him, and it was pretty evident that Faithful Companion was not doing well.

I went to bed. This morning, I woke up, and when I put my foot on the floor, it went right into a gooey puddle of vomit. (This day is off to a good start!) Out in the kitchen, there was sort of a sea of vomit and diarrhea. So I've got a sick dog on my hands, and a lot to clean up.

Best get busy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Just had a great conversation about welding with the guy who's making my cage. He was nothing but encouraging. He loves welding. He likes the people he meets through his work, and also what he described as the 'snap, crackle, and pop' involved. He does MIG welding ('Metal Inert Gas') and recommended that I get into TIG welding, as that will enable me to weld stainless steel, aluminum, and other metals.

Oh yeah.


The radio is reporting that James Davis, a member of the City Council from Brooklyn, was shot to death earlier today at the Stated Council meeting in City Hall. Davis was pretty active in the neighborhood I lived in when I was a Brooklyn resident. He was something of a nutjob. He organized this neighborhood march against violence that seemed designed to do little else besides promote James Davis, but at the same time he was a regular challenger to candidates favored by the Brooklyn Democratic machine. For that, I liked him, and if memory serves, I voted for him one year. Not the brightest bulb in the great neon sign of life, he proposed a bill that would have required that all tall buildings in New York City be outfitted with enough parachutes to get everyone in the building to the ground safely in the wake of September 11th. But overall he was rather harmless.

I was very worried when I first heard the reports about members of the Council and staff that I know and love. So far it seems that Davis was the only one hit. There was one other man who was shot, but as of this writing the reports that I'm hearing indicate that the other victim was, in fact, the shooter. Hope everyone else really is okay. That must be such the huge deal for the Council. Nothing remotely like that ever occured when I worked for the Council. It was always my thinking that nothing like that ever would happen as the Council was sort of a joke. But I guess I was wrong.

Write and Wrong

So I still haven't heard from the editor of the local gay paper about the email I sent. I guess that's ambiguous. Perhaps he was on vacation, and is just now slogging through the hundreds of emails in his Inbox. It doesn't seem likely to me that he would not respond at all.

But this means that I have to take The Next Logical Step and give him a call. I am dreading that. Totally. Absolutely.

What exactly am I dreading?

I guess, I call, and ask if he got my email and had a chance to read it over. And there's this pause. Silence on the phone lines. Lasting a few seconds but going on forever in my head. "Yeah, I did..." comes the reply. And then it's kinda over. Just the 'letting me down easy' part, uncomfortable for both of us.

And then? Well, then I'll send the same email to the editor of the other gay paper in town. See if that flies. Actually I might have a better chance at the other gay paper.

In the current issue, the Interloper's first column appears. And it's not bad for a first effort. I could snipe that about a quarter of it is discussing things happening in San Francisco, but he probably needed copy, and as far as covering the 'leather and porn scene in New York City,' well, there's not a lot going on as far as I'm aware. Well, there is. There's a lot. There's no mention of GMSMA or TES or LSM. But hopefully, in time, he'll get his act together there.

And I think that I'm a better writer than he is. But that's not the point. He has bigger biceps and he's a porn star. Alas. I'll match my hit counter against his hit counter anyday. Thanks to you, dear readers. Seeing those numbers goes up really sustains me. I don't doubt that there are people out there who want to read what I write, because there are apparently about 70 people a day that want to read what I write. Not huge, but significant as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks for that.

Write and Wrong

So I still haven't heard from the editor of the local gay paper about the email I sent. I guess that's ambiguous. Perhaps he was on vacation, and is just now slogging through the hundreds of emails in his Inbox. It doesn't seem likely to me that he would not respond at all.

But this means that I have to take The Next Logical Step and give him a call. I am dreading that. Totally. Absolutely.

What exactly am I dreading?

I guess, I call, and ask if he got my email and had a chance to read it over. And there's this pause. Silence on the phone lines. Lasting a few seconds but going on forever in my head. "Yeah, I did..." comes the reply. And then it's kinda over. Just the 'letting me down easy' part, uncomfortable for both of us.

And then? Well, then I'll send the same email to the editor of the other gay paper in town. See if that flies. Actually I might have a better chance at the other gay paper.

In the current issue, the Interloper's first column appears. And it's not bad for a first effort. I could snipe that about a quarter of it is discussing things happening in San Francisco, but he probably needed copy, and as far as covering the 'leather and porn scene in New York City,' well, there's not a lot going on as far as I'm aware. Well, there is. There's a lot. There's no mention of GMSMA or TES or LSM. But hopefully, in time, he'll get his act together there.

And I think that I'm a better writer than he is. But that's not the point. He has bigger biceps and he's a porn star. Alas. I'll match my hit counter against his hit counter anyday. Thanks to you, dear readers. Seeing those numbers goes up really sustains me. I don't doubt that there are people out there who want to read what I write, because there are apparently about 70 people a day that want to read what I write. Not huge, but significant as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks for that.

A cabin on a lake in the New Hampshire woods

This morning I received email from the guys I visited a few months ago in New Hampshire about the scheduling of the sweat lodge I'm hoping to attend in the coming weeks. I replied, letting them know what weekends I would and wouldn't be available.

But I was struck by something. Those two days with men I had previously only communicated with through the wonders of the Internet has sunk into my soul. I am changed from the experience, in ways that I probably don't realize.

Of course, one way that I do very much realize is that I want to get out of New York City. Or, more precisely, I want to get out of the city. I want to live rural. Not today, not tomorrow, but eventually. With welding certification, I'll be able to get a job. That's just about guaranteed. Welding is a needed skill. And it's fairly ubiquitously in demand. Now, that job will likely pay $10 to $12 an hour. By New York City standards, that's not a lot. In fact, that's not enough to live on. But in vast swaths of this great land of ours, that's solidly middle class. In fact, in Schuykill County, Pennsylvania, I could probably have a quality of life that surpasses what I now have here in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area.

And it would be rural. A wee house with a dungeon out back somewhere. Water, trees, fallow fields... the works. And that's what I'm after.

Before the New Hampshire trip, I wanted that. But New Hampshire Men helped me to flesh out that vision.

And other things fell into place, too. Like the opportunity to live deeply and by your own rules. Uncompromising. I don't think I'm idealizing New Hampshire Men. They're just guys. They're doing the best they can with the hands they've been dealt just like we all are, subject to the same doubts and qualms and unfulfilled dreams. But I sense a certain right-ness to how they're living their lives. A sense that they wouldn't have it any other way. I tend to be plagued with the same harpies that tormented Henderson the Rain King in Saul Bellow's book: "I want I want I want" without being able to really identify what it is that I do want.

I want not to want. That's what I want.

At my back I always hear, Time's wing'd chariots drawing near

This morning, I went to the big apple softball league website. This weekend will be the last league games. After that will be two weekends of playoffs, and it looks likely that the Ballbreakers will be included.

But then softball will be over. And then it will be the middle of August. And then Inferno the first two weeks of September. And then the leaves turn gold and the weather gets cold and then there's two feet of snow on the ground.

Summer is passing by. And summer days are so precious.

And a week of rainy days gets me pissed off. It looks like Friday will be the only beach day. I'm invited to go to spend some time in the Pines. But when? Time flies.

It's the same feeling I would get when I was working on Sunday afternoon. That's it. The weekend is almost over. Back to work. A certain melancholie steals over me.

Well, make hay while the sun shines.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

The night was hot and still..."

A million years ago, when I was living in Philadelphia, I attended the weekly meetings of a group that called themselves the Philadelphia Poetry Society, but which was better termed the Philadelphia Poetry Mafia. They were a nutty bunch, sort of an extended mutual admiration society: I'll love all of your crappy, derivative poetry if you love my crappy, derivative poetry. You definitely got the impression that each of the members had written much more poetry than they had ever read. They had no time for me. My readings (it was open mike every other week) were greeted with polite applause and yawns from behind fanned fingers.

So I let them have it. I wrote a poem especially for them. It was a narrative, basically a poetic approach to the Rod Stewart song, Maggie May, describing a young boy who drops out of college to get involved with an older woman and ends up heart broken. (Boo hoo.) Derivative and crappy as they come. The word 'fuck' appeared about three times in the poem. it went on and on and on. They loved it. Some rose to their feet when I was done. It was mentioned to me that I had had a "breakthrough."

Get the picture?

Oh. And one more interesting tidbit. They met in the upstairs bar of Jimmy Tayoun's Middle Eastern Restaurant. It was a wednesday night, so the upstairs wasn't being used. Jimmy Tayoun was a homophobic member of the Philadelphia City Council. At an ACT UP/Philadelphia demonstration (one of a series of endless, pointless, ill-conceived actions in Council chambers that I made a point of not attending), one of the members of ACT UP yelled something to Councilman Tayoun about problems he was having with the Internal Revenue Service. One day, I came home to find a message on my answering machine letting me know that 'Jimmy Tayoun knows where you live, faggot.' *sigh* It's was no fun being the often public face of ACT UP/Philadelphia, which left you answerable to the actions of any one of the loopy members of the group. Nothing ever came of Jimmy Tayoun knowing where I lived. Anyway, I digress. This was a few years after I was attending Philadelphia Poetry Mafia meetings at Jimmy Tayoun's Middle Eastern Restaurant. I mention it only because throughout the meetings of the Mafia, you could hear the sounds of the belly-dancing music downstairs, and the belly dancers would use the space where we were meeting to change and smoke cigarets in between dances, talking loudly and ignoring us as they did so.

I'm recollecting the Philadelphia Poetry Mafia because at about the last time that I went, a mousy librarian looking woman--reminiscent of a Carol Burnett character, perhaps--tentatively approached the mike to read one of her poems. After a few 'ahem's' and fussing with papers, she launched in:

"The night was hot and still, like a woman fighting an orgasm," her poem began. That struck me as incredibly funny. I got the giggles, couldn't stop, and had to leave.

So. Tonight is hot and still. Like a woman fighting an orgasm. After today's thunderstorms, the humidity must be about 685%.

And what a day it's been. First order of business was to head down to Linden, New Jersey, there to visit the General Technical Institute, a welding school.

It was well worth the trip. The cost at GTI is roughly half of what it would be at Apex. I want to talk to some welder guys tomorrow and see if the courses are comparable. And ask them about this whole welding thing in general.

During my tour of GTI, the instructor who was showing me around demonstrated some of the equipment. I blurted out "Wow! That is so cool!" when he cut through a piece of steel plate using a plasma torch. I mean, it was like, "zip!" and one strip of quarter inch steel became two strips of quarter inch steel.

And another neat thing. I asked if equipment was included in the cost of the course. "Yeah," he said, "You get your basic tools, your shield, your goggles, and your leathers."

Your leathers. Welders refer to the tunics they wear as their 'leathers.'

Second order of business of the day was to drive up to Patterson, New Jersey and drop off with Brawler the mat and the gloves he lent to me for GMSMA's aborted punching program. Good to see Brawler. Too bad he's taken.

Then it was into NYC to buy more cigars and hit the gym. I was starving at this point, so I stopped into a new place on 8th Avenue in Chelsea called Better Burger. Poor choice of names, I think. Surely everyone will be calling it 'Bitter Buggers.' The burger I had was good, although sort of petite. A Wendy's Single gives you more meat. But I had to admit it was grilled to perfection. While I ate my burger, my hands-down favorite Eagle bartender strolled in. He recognized me and said hi, thus giving me reason to live. That man is so damn hot. At least he knows I'm alive . I wonder if he'd be up for a romantic dinner followed by some hot sex?

The workout was good. It's time to up my weights. The poundage I struggled with not so long ago I now lift with relative ease. Alas. I'm only tipping the scales at 186.

Oh. Tomorrow, I give PunchPig a call and set a date. I'm ready for my black eyes and fat lip.