Wednesday, June 30, 2004

"Are You Committed To This Weblog Or Not, boy???!!

Aw shucks, Buttercup.

I realize I haven't been posting whacha might call regularly lately, but I've been reeeeeally busy.

Busy, because on Friday at 6:30 pm I take off on America West flight something-or-other bound for Ontario, California. And then, for the next ten days, I'll be tooling around Southern California in something like a Buick, soaking up the sun and Case Study Houses in San Diego, Palm Springs, and LA.

I used to be such a non-chalant tourist. "Yeah. Off to Moscow for two weeks tomorrow morning. Guess I'd better throw some stuff in a bag." 'What you forget I'm sure you can buy there,' was my motto. Don't know why I'm getting so het up about this.

I started a packing list and stocked up on cigars for the trip. Confirmed my reservation for SuperPigs in San Diego with Roadkill and his slave pluG and a cast of thousands (okay, a cast of tens), booked all the lodgings I need to book, arranged for Faithful Companion to spend the week in doggie lock-up, and rented a car.

Now, all I need to do is...

  • Buy Nicorettes gum, cuz it's a long flight
  • Figure out how I'm gonna get to the Always Awful Philadelphia International Airport for a 6:30 pm flight when I get off work at 3:30 pm on Friday
  • Buy and prepare meals for my father to eat for an entire week
  • Pack for ten days... (devote one bag entirely to boots or not...? Hmmm...)
  • Spend tomorrow night with the Baron von Philadelphia, who's making the trip all the way up to thhe hinterlands of Bucks County to see me
  • Do laundry (it's 5:26 am; I have to be at work in 34 minutes, and I've got stuff in the dryer that I need to fold)
  • Figure out a good spa to take Alpha to in Palm Springs. He agreed to endure the seering heat of Joshua Tree if we get there before dawn and I treat him to a Day of Beauty And Massage when we're done hiking. Lots of cool spas in Palm Springs, and I've never been to a spa. So we're spa bound. If I can just figure out which one...
  • Download all the photos off my digital camera so I'll have a clean chip for my trip.

Here's a cool thing. I'm pretty much turning myself over to Alpha for the first three days in San Diego, and to Sir for the final three days in LA. So the only leg where I need to be concerned about managing my own time is in Palm Springs, the... uh... middle leg of the journey. Hopefully, I won't spend it idling around, driving endlessly around in the desert looking for internet access, or soaking in the hot tub at the Desert Bear Inn until I shrivel to a prune.

Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to post on the road, and who knows? Mebbe again before then, too.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Please Disturb

Aw heck.

This morning, barely awake, I made reservations for when my Sir and I meet up for a weekend in LA. Touring on line, I found a really nice place, with a good hot tub, and reasonable rates, located conveniently in Silver Lake.

Called the Coral Sands Motel.

I called Sir with the good news. He laughed. Apparently, it's notoriously sleazy. A 'leave your door ajar so other guests can come in and fuck you' kind of place.

Not what I had in mind.

But they had no code words on their website! There was nothing along the lines of Where the Hottest and Horniest Studs stay in LA or even a reference to 'Clothing Optional.' It all looked pretty legit.

I'll scout around. See if I can come up with something better.

Oh. When I called in my reservation, after giving me my confirmation number, the guy said to me, "My name's Brian."

I was silent. I had no idea what to say in response to that. (He already had my name after all.) I mean, it's not quite a Let's Get Acquainted situation, right?

"My name's Brian."

Oh Brian, I hope you don't give ma a difficult time if and when I call and cancel my reservation.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Big Beach Trip

I love it when almost in spite of myself--okay, almost entirely in spite of myself--things work out perfectly. They sure did this weekend.

Big was in NYC this weekend. I had a standing invitation from Friend and (Former) Landlord to be his guest out in the Fire Island Pines. A few weeks ago, I suggested to Big that we head there, and got word from F&L that the last weekend in June would work. And, typical of not-detail-oriented me, that was sort of that as far as I was concerned. Last week, I decided I'd best give F&L a call to confirm, and see if we would have the pleasure of his company. And in trying to get in touch with him, I realized that I had copied his phone number incorrectly. Apologies to the kind woman in Manhattan I called over and over again hoping that it was some cellular malfunction. And then, on Thursday, F&L called me and left a message, inquiring about restaurant recommendations in a city not New York.

Yikes! Would that mean that he had forgotten? That there would, in fact, be no beach trip for Big and me?

I started to hold my breath.

The plan was that I would head up to NYC on Friday night after my second session with tattoo artist extraordinaire, Joe Rose. This would mean bording Faithful Companion. So on Thursday, I called the dog bording place. They informed me with regret that they were booked solid for the weekend. Okay. Not a problem. I have a back up bording place. And the back up bording place was also booked solid for the weekend.

Uh oh.

I called Big, and let him know that unless I came up with something or one of the places had a cancellation, it would have to be a Saturday morning to Sunday evening trip. And told him that I had cause for concern about the trip t the Pines.

Big took the news well. I delivered it not so well.

What the hell kind of boy am I? Is that how I serve my Sir? Getting all daffy doodles with making plans?

My anxiety level was through the roof.

What if I fucked it up? What if my Sir and I are forced to find a hotel room available for only Saturday night, in Manhattan, on Pride Weekend? Shame on me. Better believe I won't let anything like this happen again.

Anyway, I got my deceased sister's ex-husband's cousin to walk my dog on Saturday night and Sunday morning. So that was taken care of. And on Saturday morning, I had the presence of mind to check my AOL email account (AOL is a place I don't go much anymore), and sure enough, there was email from F&L giving me the name and phone number for the house man.

And, as it turned out, it is best not to plan to do anything after I have a session with tattoo artist extraordinaire Joe Rose. When I showed up on time at 6 pm on Friday, Joe told me that he was running two hours behind schedule. Like all great artists, I guess he can't be rushed when he's doing his art. Or something.

Well, not a problem. I headed to Mother's Restaurant in New Hope, where I worked some twenty years ago, and had a nice dinner, after sitting on the porch of Starbucks and enjoying a latte while watching a verrrry dramatic thunderstorm. I got back to the Lion's Den tattoo parlour, and Joe was still not quite ready for me. Not a problem. I sat and read a book on Norse Mythology.

I didn't end up going under the needle until 9:30 pm.

Such is life.

It had been my hope and expectation that during this session, the length of chain would wind from where we left off at my kneecap up to my butt. But Joe was leery of blackouts. He said it would be a disaster if he got the stencil on and the lights went out, and thought that shading what he had already done would be a better use of time.

Shading what we had already done...

So just so we're clear, it would not be the meaty and muscley flesh of my thighs we'd be working on, but once again my ankle, achilles tendon, shin, under the knee, and the kneecap.


More pain. More excruciating pain.

But, even though it was painful, it went a lot quicker. And it wasn't as painful as when he was doing the heavy outlining. I made noise, but it wasn't at the level of Civil War Field Hospital Amputation Without Anesthetic like it was last time.

But afterwards, at 11:30, I was pretty wrecked. It would have been a pretty bad scene if I had tried to drive to NYC in the wake of that. I wanted bed. And sleep. And quickly. And that's what I got.


Sooooo, the next morning I headed up to NYC. I got to Big's hotel, picked him up, and after fighting traffic getting crosstown, we made it through the Midtown Tunnel and were crawling out the LIE in no time. We made it to the Ferry at 2 pm.

I hadn't had anything to eat since I left the house at 9:30 am, so we had hotdogs. I started something of a trend, reminding everybody waiting for the ferry just how good and how satisfying a hot dog can be. What is as good as a hot dog? Not a lot.

I realized that this would be my first trip out to the Pines without Faithful Companion along. He was always the biggest dog on the ferry, and as usual, the other Pines-bound dogs were about the size of your grandmother's pocketbook. (I'll make it up to you, buddy! Promise!)

Finally the Ferry pulled out into the Great South Bay, and Finally, Big and I disembarked at the Pines.

Right from the gitgo, Big was charmed. He found, I think, all the things to like about the Pines that I like. It wasn't what he was expecting--I think that would be something a little more rustic--but, but he liked what he found there.

We were warmly greeted when we reached the house on Beach Hill. We took a walk so I could show Big some of the sights, and together we made a Very Important Discovery: there's a Starbuck's in the Pines!!!

Well, not a real Starbucks, but this place opened up that 'Proudly Brews Starbucks Coffee,' and they can make a latte with that coffee, so I was all fuckin' set. And so was Big.

How perfect that the Sir I serve is also a Starbuck's afficionado?

We hit the sumptuous hot tub (see last year's photos), and killed time before dinner.

Ah! Dinner in the Pines! The house gathers, the wine flows, conversation ensues. I love that aspect of Fire Island Life.

Alas, this years houseman (the past two succumbed to crystal meth), is not quite the best of cooks. But the filet mignon was not too bad at all, so I didn't complain. Not getting dessert was a definite disappointment however.

After dinner, Big and I retired downstairs. I put my head in my Sir's lap, and very quickly was dreaming beautiful boy dreams. I don't remember going to bed that night, but I sure remember waking up. My Sir's dick was rock hard in the crack of my ass. It was time once again for this boy to be bred. Yeeee Hah!

And it was a pretty magnificent breeding, too.

Sir and I had breakfast, and then hit the beach.

Ahhhh... sun, surf, sand. And Sir! What's better? Not a lot.

Alas, I couldn't do much as far as enjoying the surf. My ankle is still pretty lame, and there was a strong undertow judging from the angle the waves were coming in, so I didn't chance it.

After the beach, we headed back to the house, took showers, did the hot tub thing, had lunch, and with heavy hearts, headed to the Ferry. We had more Starbuck's while waiting for the Ferry.

I noticed that many of the boys are sporting camo shorts this year. Reflecting, perhaps, the fact that ours is a nation at war? Hmmm.

Then, east on the Sunrise Highway to JFK, where I left Big at Terminal 6 so he could catch his JetBlue flight back to SF.


What a weekend. I love the Pines. I love my Sir. And there I was with my Sir in the Pines.

Oh yeah. When we met up on Saturday morning, Big had a present for me. A bear. As in a teddy bear. ("Every boy should have a bear.") Around this bear's neck is a little silver chain. A bear to keep me company during these interstitial times. A bear to talk to when I'm missing Big. Every boy should have a bear.

And tomorrow, it's back to work. Back to screwing things, and screwing things up. Just five days, and then I get on a plane and fly to Southern California. Next weekend, I'll be in San Diego, enjoying the company of Alpha, Roadkill, and a few other men who hold a special place in my heart.

And the weekend after that, Big and I will be tooling around Los Angeles.


Friday, June 25, 2004

More Pain? Sign Me Up!

Tonight, at 5 pm, is Round Two with Tattoo Artist Extraordinaire Joe Rose. We're starting where we left off (above my kneecap, where a slutty Catholic School Girl's skirt hem is to be found), and heading up my thigh. Hopefully, we'll get as far as my butt.

Big liked the looks of the tattoo so far, and Man! So do I.

Hopefully, the firm, muscley flesh of my thigh and butt won't hurt quite as much as my shinbone, ankle, and knee. But... uh... it'll hurt. I have no doubt that Joe Rose will make sure of that.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

It's Hard(ware)

I am beat. Worn down to a nub. Heading to bed in a bit, but wanted to post before that happens.

Yesterday, Wednesday, was absolutely my most trying day since I started at the woodshop. Oh man.

Since I'm no longer a Sandinista, that also means that Delivery Guy has made his final appearance. But, let's welcome Service Call Guy! Y'see, after the cabinets are installed, they need knobs and such, and it's usually one of us from the Hardware Department who are sent. Yesterday, it was all three of us who went off to a pretty ferociously ostentatious McMansion to do just that.

And that's cool. I'm definitely down with that. It's always fun to get out of the shop, getting paid for riding in a truck.

We pulled up to the McMansion and we were pleased to see it was under construction. (Always better when the homeowners aren't looking over your shoulder.)

As I walked up the driveway, my pulse quickened: two... three... four... four cigar butts. And indeed. The construction crew was out in force, and it was the House of Muscled Tattooed Beasts. Oh criminy! But we were only on site for about twenty minutes, long enough for me to get an eyeful, when someone had to drive back to the shop. Y'see, we needed machine screws, and also, two of the doors had to be replaced. The replacements had arrived. They just needed to have the glass and the hinges installed.

And so I was off, bidding a fond farewell for a while to the House of the Muscled Tattooed Beasts, frolicking with rebar in the mud pit that would become the swimming pool. (Woof!)

Back at the shop, things got tricky. While changing the bits on the router I needed to drill holes in the door for the hinges, whaddya know, the bit got sucked up into the exhaust system. Phoop!


I needed that bit to put the hinges in the door, and the Hardware Team was waiting for me and the doors and the machine screws at the House of Muscled Tattoo Beasts.

There I was, blinding sheer panic. Oh. My. God.

I checked with the foreman. No, there was no replacement bit on site. He'd pick one up tomorrow morning.

Oh. My. God.

Okay. Deep breath.

I improvised. I'll spare you the details, but it pretty much worked. Only it took me two hours. Working right through lunch. And on the way back, I ran into a highway road crew and the picturesque New Hope-Ivyland Steam Railroad.

A fine performance by the Employee of the Month, huh?

Oh man.

When I got back to the House of Muscled Tattooed Beasts, my fellow Hardware Guys were totally non-chalant. Although that did nothing to cure my anxiety, as I imagined that they had spent the intervening time dissing me up and down.

Finally, after spending the remaining hour and a half of the day putting knobs on the cabinets--and getting an eyeful of the Muscled Tattooed Beasts, it was time to call it a day. Never was I so glad. We headed back to the shop, I punched out, and got in my car and headed to NYC.

Whassup? I had agreed to be part of GMSMA's final program of the season. The theme was Sports. Aggressive Sports. I had been asked by Program Chair to talk about softball. Well that was cool with me.

And, more importantly, Sir was waiting for me.

I met him at the Starbucks at 16th and 8th, which is, in fact, where we met. Better believe that was poignant. As I walked up 8th Ave, there he was in the window. Oh man, am I a lucky boy.

Big had coffee, and I had a Venti Iced Quad Three-Pump-Cinammon Light-Ice Latte. As always, instant repartee. Sir reminded me that although grueling, in a short time, it would be amusing. Although it hasn't gotten to that point yet, I've learned at this point to trust my Sir. It's all about trust.

Then off to the GMSMA meeting. I think I peaked in rehearsal. (Rehearsal was in my jeep on the way up.) And, I was in between minimally clad boxers and minimally clad wrestlers. Talking. Regardless, I think I made some good points (although way too many of them for a twelve minute chat), and I'll see if perhaps they don't better lend themselves to writing.

Big walked me back to my jeep. And then I did one of the hardest things I've done in a long time. Harder even than the tough day at work I had just had. I got in my jeep, headed through the Holland Tunnel, and was homeward bound. No, I didn't get to climb into bed with my Sir. Nope. I headed home. Arriving just after midnight, calling my Sir to let him know I made it home safe and sound, and got in a nice almost-four-hours-of-sleep before heading to work this morning.

Quite the day.

Sorry if I'm a little bit disoriented, but I am not running on all my pistons at this point. And I'm headed to bed.


Monday, June 21, 2004

Just A Thought

Earlier today, I was thinking about the pervasiveness of kidnap and abduction fantasies. There's this blond boy I see at Starbuck's... Well, you can fill in the blanks easily enough.

But anyway, I wasn't thinking so much about abducting (I have this huge duffel bag that doesn't zipper up the side but secures with a sturdy clip at one end, and it could go right down over his head and probably reach his knees...) as I was the fantasy of being abducted.

It's such a common thing on AOL, and even crops up from time to time on the more serious World Leathermen. I'm willing to bet that it's universal, or nearly so. At some time in every kinky person's life, he or she has fantasized about being stalked, and then "taken." (Rope would probably work well around the knees, and there he'd be, helplessly encased in heavy, dark, olive drap canvas. Then it's into the back of the jeep and off we go.)

What's up with that? I'm gonna take a stab at it.

A verrry wise man I know suggested that at the core, it's a very selfish fantasy. The very idea that someone is going to go through all that trouble for you. This man, accomplished in the arts of slavery, finds it all very unworthy of a slave. The slave's role is to make himself available to his Master.

And I agree that it has little to do with submission, but I wouldn't disparage it by calling it 'selfish.' (Once I've hauled him back to my lair, I'd secure his feet with steel cable, then set the hoist going, first his feet off the ground, then his butt, then he's dangling. Off comes the duffel bag for the reveal.)

I think it's just about wanting to know that you have worth and value, and what could be more certain confirmation of that than someone out there going through so much trouble to take possession of you? (I wonder how long it would take for the blood rushing to his head to weaken and disorient him? Whatever. I have plenty of time. I'd just need to get the cuffs on him. Once the cuffs are on, he's pretty much subdued. That's why cops like them so much. Attach a leash to his ballsack to lead him around, although I'd just have to get him into the cell.)

That certainly was a big part of why I so readily submitted to taking Big's collar. He was willing to make the effort. And that effort was nothing on the level of risking liberty to stage an abduction. It was just letting me know he'd be in NYC and being at Starbuck's like he said he would, and fitting me into his schedule. But, that's way more than any other man had been willing to do. (No torture, just possession. Making the blond boy mine. Telling him he looks good in a cage, and that he's going to be spending the rest of his days looking out from behind steel bars.)

That told me that in Big's eyes, I was worth something. He saw me as having value. In other words, he cared.

(I'd like to read a treatment of the Stockholm Syndrome, the phenomenon that makes victims of abduction come to identify with their abductors. How does that manifest itself? What would be blond boy's psychological state six months out?)

And subsequently, Big has only reinforced that. Hardly a day goes by that he doesn't let me know that warts and all, it makes him feel good knowing that I'm his boy.

(Would it get to the point where I could leave the door of the cell unlocked and open? And blond boy would not want to leave?)

Big has done it. Patiently, carefully, like hunter and prey, he has made off with this boy's heart.

(Then blond boy would be mine. All mine.)

I'm his. I belong to my Sir.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Ye Puir Wee Beastie

Friday morning, when I took Faithful Companion out for a walk before heading to work, I found a little field mouse, about the size of the end of my little finger, curled up in a ball in the driveway. I gave him wide berth (and distracted Faithful Companion) as we headed out.

On the trip back, he was still there. I went in for a closer examination. He seemed stunned. I rolled him over with my finger, and he responded, but returned to his little mouse fetal position.

And, he was about a foot and a half from the front tire of my father's car. And Friday is one of the days when my father goes to get the mail. So I scooped him into my hand, and moved him over into the yard.

When I got home from work, he was still there.

Huh. What to do.

Visions flashed through my head... I could get an aquarium... maybe he's sick... I could nurse him back to health... he looks young, maybe his mother abandoned him... 'oh that, why that's my pet mouse, his name is... STOP! No names! I definitely don't need a pet mouse! I moved him out of the driveway, and from here on in, he's on his own.

Saturday morning, when I headed to play softball, he was still there, curled under a dandelion.

...maybe just bring him something to eat, some corn meal, and maybe a lid full of water...

The Laird be thankee, he's gone today. Perhaps a cat or an owl swallowed him up in one bite, perhaps he regained his composure and headed off into the wide world. But either way, he's God's mouse now, and not mine.


PunchPig sent me an email after I posted the meme the other day saying he found the 'frailty' response to the question of 'what I most feared' to be interesting.

I had typed it pretty much without thinking--first thing that popped into my head kinda thing. But frailty is pretty much it. Being weak, in terms of physical strength and spirit. My nightmare vision of myself is me as a brittle, frightened, weak, lonely old man. A lot of what I do and what motivates me is avoiding just that.

And today, frail is how I'm sort of feeling. First off, there's The Ankle. It's doing a lot better today, but still it's a problem. There's a lot that I ought to do here at the Old Homestead, mostly straightening up kind of work. But that would involve a lot of being on my feet and walking around, and I just don't feel up to it because of The Ankle. And then there's the sunburn.

Yesterday, I spent seven hours on the softball field cheering on the Ball Breakers. It was a really exciting day, lots of drama of operatic proportions, the screenplay version of the Ball Breakers. And I got a sunburn. Not severe, just red and sensitive. I have a very outdated--circa 1978--view of suntanning. I like a nice dark tan, a good reddish brown. And a little burn is good, because it toughens up the skin, and resolves itself into a nice dark brown. I comfort myself that I'm at a low risk for skin cancer due to my coloring and ethnicity, but any dermatologist would slap me for saying something like that.

So today, my arms and legs feel stingy and sensitive. The cool breeze makes me chilly and the warm sun makes me cringe.

Today, up in NYC, it's Folsom Street East. I was thinking of heading up there, but with The Ankle and the sunburn, and the hour-and-a-half drive each way... it just seems a little much to take on. Also, being there at an event like that without my Sir seems a little pointless to me. And finally, it's Father's Day, and since I'm living with the Old Guy, I can't get by with just a card. No, I'll have to make my Dad something good for dinner, probably his favorite, peel-n-eat shrimp.

But, I'm resolved not to spend the day like a shut-in, peering out at the world from behind lace curtains.

I'm going swimming. Preferably a swimming hole situation (a deep part of a creek) rather than a pool, although a pool will do in a pinch. And I'm going to the gym today. At my Sir's recommendation, doing lots of light weights and high reps. Hopefully, it will just be a bunch of skinny high school kids and middle aged housewives there, so I won't start to feel all competitive and get down on myself. Just keep focused and do what I have to do, and pecs like throw pillows and arms like firehoses and legs like trans-atlantic cables will be back in no time.

So fuck frailty. I'm tough. I can take it. I'm strong.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Employee of the Month, Bay-Beee!

Okay. Make a big fuss!

I was not having a good day. Hardware is verrry stressful. I went from being a mastercraftsman at the sanding table to not knowing what the hell I'm doing from one moment to the next, and doing plenty wrong, putting legs on upside down, my doors never line up...

And then there's the ankle thing to deal with. It's gotten to be just plain irritating at this point. And earlier today, I saw my reflection as I approached a glass door. Something about my slow, shambling gait was vaguely familiar. Then it hit me: there ought to be villagers carrying torches pursuing me.

But when we all punched out for lunch today, there was a sign posted on the timeclock: Meeting at 12:30. So we all gathered around the loading dock, and I eased myself down onto the floor (there's no place to sit on the loading dock after somebody climbs up onto the forklift). The president and her husband came out, and announced first off that in anticipation of our shut-down-for-maintenance week when I'll be in California, we're all being asked to work ten hour days--6 am to 4 pm--starting Monday. (Ugh.) And then she turned it over to her husband, the vice president, and he informed us that it was once again time to name an employee of the month. I looked around wondering who it would be. When I heard, 'although he's only been with us a short time, and had no previous experience with woodworking..." I pricked up.

No way.

My name was called.

No. Way.


Dutch is the new Employee of the Month.

And, my fellow employees were genuinely happy for me. Nightingale is the outgoing Employee of the Month. He told me he couldn't think of a better person to fill his shoes.

Oh. Man.

I'm pretty bowled over by this. Beyond the whole 'You like me! You really like me!" aspect of it, there's the fact that... well, let's face it, I'm a fag from New York City who didn't know until a few weeks ago that a two-by-four actually measures 1 5/8" by 3 5/8. Or something. Let's call it 'affirming.'

And it's great to have a job where it's generally thought that I'm good at what I do. Certainly makes a nice change from Senator Sunshine (g).


Employee of the Month.

And there are goodies that go with that. For one thing, from now until July 21st, I get to park my jeep not in the employee lot, but out front of the showroom in the specially designated Employee of the Month parking spot. And, my name goes on the special Employee of the Month plague hung in the showroom. And, I have $220 worth of gift certificates--dinner at two local restaurants and $40 for the movies.

As soon as I got off work, I couldn't wait to call Big. In fact, when they made the announcement, one of my first thought's was that he was gonna be proud of his boy. By an amazing coincidence, just as I pulled up in front of Starbucks, my phone rang. It was Big. My Sir. So he was the first to get the news.

Employee of the Month.


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Can't Resist A Meme Ever

A meme.

Name: Drew
Birthplace: Doylestown Hospital, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Current Location: Seven miles east of there, up the hill from Pt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania
Eye Color: Gray, green, blue, depending on the shirt I'm wearing and the sky.
Hair Color: Brown, with flecks of gray
Height: 6' 1 3/4"

Your heritage: My people are from the coal regions of Pennsylvania. From the Urals to the Bay of Biscay, every nationality that was found down in the mines has made a contribution to my lineage. And, my great great grandmother was Native American for good measure.
Weaknesses: gadgets, latte, Yorkshire Gold tea, tobacco, dogs, movies with explosions, Vin Diesel
Fears: Frailty
Perfect Pizza: sausage, mushroom, red pepper, black olive, very thin crust and lotsa cheese
Goals: Things that begin with W: Whipsman, Welder, Writer, Woodworker.
Bedtime: 11:35.
First thought on waking up: Do I have to?
Best Physical Feature: Public opinion seems to be my moustache.
Most Missed Memory: At this point in my life, the future has much greater allure than the past, and I've had a great past.

Pepsi or Coke: Coke.
McDonald's or Burger King: If there's no Wendy's handy, I'll do Burger King..
Adidas or Nike: Wescos
Chocolate or vanilla: Tough call! I'll go with chocolate devil's food cake with vanilla buttercream iciing.
Cappuccino or coffee: The current Starbucks order: I'd like an iced, venti, quad, three-pump cinnamon, light ice latte, please..

Do you...
Cuss: Oh yeah.
Sing: Oh yeah. Unless someone is around.
Take a shower every day: Absolutely. Just ask my father ("What the hell do you do in there for so long?") Heck, shaving my head takes about ten minutes in and of itself.
Have a crush(es): Oh yeah. About people, things, places, ideas.
Do you think you've been in love: Oh yeah..
Want to get married: No. I... well, I won't get into all that here. Again.
Get motion sickness: Uh uh. Fairly sturdy traveler here.
Think you're attractive: If I didn't, I wouldn't bother to moisturize daily.
Think you're a health freak: No. I'm a sybarite and an epicure.
Get along with your parents: Absolutely. As long as I don't overcook the bacon.
Like thunderstorms: Love thunderstorms.
Play an instrument: Is a man an instrument? Once he's up on my cross he is.

In the past month . . .
Drank alcohol: A couple of beers. Oh, and I had that cosmo to celebrate my broken ankle.
Smoked: Cigars and Unfiltered Camels.
Done a drug: Caffeine, nicotine, and endorphins.
Had sex: Yes..
Gone to the mall: I have!.
Eaten an entire box of Oreos: No.
Eaten sushi: And great sushi, too! At a reasonable price! Here in Doylestown!
Been on stage: No.
Been dumped: No.
Gone skinny dipping: Not yet.
Stolen anything: No.

Ever . . .
Played a game that required removal of clothing: No.
Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Yes. Though not in the past ten years or so.
Gotten beaten up: Gotten beaten, and was pretty up about it.
Changed who you were to fit in: My M.O. tends to be I change my environment to suit me.

Age you hope to be married: No. I... Not now.
Numbers and Names of Children: boys abound, none of whom I father, but since the men who did seem not to care too much, I think I have the more vital role.
Describe your Dream Wedding: I think I woke up screaming when I had that dream.
How do you want to die: I'd rather not die, if it's all the same to you.
What do you want to be when you grow up: If I could be anything, I'd be an architect. Short of that, I'd like to travel far and wide designing and building dungeons.
Country would you most like to visit: Viet Nam

Number of drugs taken illegally: I think that would be four.
Number of people I could trust with my life: Countless! Every time I bottom I'm sort of doing that.
Number of CDs that I own: More than 50, less than 100.
Number of piercings: Two.
Number of tattoos: One completed, and one in development.
Number of scars on my body: Three
Number of things in my past that I regret: One. That condo in Fort Lauderdale.


Duty done.

"Running From The Cops."

When you have a visible injury, and my recent gimpiness is very evident, you field the questions "What did you do to yourself?" about two dozen times a day. It's a great conversation starter.

The standard formula I've come up with for a reply is "A firstbaseman got in my way." I do my best to deliver this with a sort of devilish 'yeah-you-know-me' kinda way, implying that I'm no stranger to sports related injuries. (This would be my first ever.) It's all about For The Love Of The Game. You get the idea.

But after about the fourteenth time, it gets a little dull. I'm a creative kinda guy! Maybe I could come up with something a little bit more provacative. How about...

"Y'know how heavy those hand-held grenade launchers are? Imagine dropping one of them on your foot!"

"Well, if you want to know the details, you'll just have to look in the next edition of Ripley's Believe It Or Not under 'hopping on one foot.'"

"This little girl was crying because her kitten had climbed up a tree, but when I was chopping the tree down..."

"Y'know that flesh eating bacteria thing? Well, it looks like this will be my last summer wearing shorts!"

"When you've got a bottle of Old Grandad under your belt, someone saying 'I bet we could use this tablecloth as a parachute' sounds promising."

"They busted my meth lab. Again. Say... how would you feel about doing a stint as a character witness?"

"I decided to investigate that weird crop circle phenomenon out by Sellarsville. I wanted to see for myself. I saw these lights... moving too fast to be a plane... well, it gets pretty incredible after that."

"Maybe you didn't know that if she's cornered, and if she feels her young are threatened, a duck can mount a pretty vicious attack."

"Would you believe it actually is physically impossible for Fred Flintstone to have stopped his car with his feet?"

"This woman in the Wal-Mart parking lot let her cart roll right into my jeep, and I guess I must have slipped on some of her blood..."

"Let's get clear on one thing. I know nothing about any covert CIA operations in New Foundland. Understand? I said, 'Do you understand??!!!'"

"Talk about nursing a grudge! All I said was, 'Hey Tanya, you had no chance of beating Nancy Kerrigan anyway.'"

"Contrary to what you see on Queer Eye, some straight men really don't like it when you make fun of their clothes in front of their girlfriends."

"I had just started ransacking the bedrooms on the second floor when all of a sudden the family came home!"

"If you plan on climbing Everest any time soon, I can definitely tell you which sherpa not to use."

"If Vin Diesel was tired of me pestering him for a date he should have just said so. The bear trap was way outta line!"

"...and I was like, 'No way! What an incredible coincidence! Would that be Joseph L. Kiestermeister, born August 11, 1958, Social Security number 060-98-2112? Of all my identity theft victims, you were totally my favorite!'"

And so on.

Time for dinner.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Traffic Jam in Doylestown

So there I am, tooling around Doylestown in my Jeep after work. I pulled up to a four way stop.

What to my wondering eyes should appear, but this... this... this... man.

Built like a brick shithouse. Full beard. Tattoos. Like, all over. Aviator dark glasses. Buzz cut.

And he was jogging. Or running or whatever they call it. Wearing only running shoes and really really little tight shorts.

Get the picture?

So what did I do?

WOOOF!!! And betrayed my Native American ancestry by letting out an ear-splitting war whoop.

I have no idea how much time passed while I was feeling the rapture of Running Man. But presently, I came to my senses. There were three other cars at the four-way stop interesection. The drivers and passengers in all the other cars were focusing their attention on me. I guess I was the next one to 'go,' and consequently, they had all witnessed the big bald buy in the jeep going apeshit over Running Man.

I saw five smiling, laughing, nodding-in-agreement faces looking at me. That had been a shared moment. Shared with my fellow Bucks Countians.

To the best of my knowledge, Running Man was oblivious to the fact that he caused me to cause a traffic jam in Doylestown.

Hope he shows up at Starbucks for a post-run latte at some point.

What's Up, Doc?

Saw Dr. Burmeister today. Very cool. The man who delivered me, gave me all my shots growing up, told me that when I was older, my susceptibility to acne would mean that I would be much less susceptible to rinkles..

Me: Good to see you! I wonder if you remember me... I haven't see you in twenty years...
Dr. B: Twenty years! How the hell am I supposed to remember you after twenty years?

Dr. B. found my vasculitis interesting, and would be up for trying something to stop it. I didn't fess up too my untreated hypothyroidism

And the ankle? He said, "Well, we could x-ray it and see if you've chipped that bone that's tender, and I'd recommend you wear an air cast until it heals. Or, you can skip the x-ray and just wear the air cast, and see if that doesn't make it easier for you to be on your feet all day at work. Either way works.

I decided that I had plenty of carcinogens in my life already and skipped the aircast.

Dr. B. also complemented me on my Ace bandage wrap. He asked if I had learned to do it that way, in a figure eight pattern, in the Boy Scouts. I replied that in fact I had. I also know how to make a splint and bandage a head. I also know how to wrap a man head to toe in duct tape, but that I didn't learn in the Boy Scouts. Although I sure wouldn't mind doing some duct tape mummification with my hunka hunka burnin' love Scout Master of yore.

Dr. Burmeister is gruff, old school, honest, upfront. He must be in his seventies (at least), but aside from some reminiscences about when he almost got a tattoo in the Navy, seems sharp as a tack.

And after that Once-A-Day-For-A-Healthy-Prostate episode, what is not to like?

Two Steps Forward...

Life with The Ankle got easier and easier yesterday. When bedtime rolled around, I was able to walk unaided to my room and get myself into bed.

Then the morning came. There was the alarm, blaring cheesy country western and bleeping like a truck backing up. The word 'uh oh' crossed my lips as I swung my legs around and planted my feet on the floor. Ow. It was just like yesterday morning. Maybe not quite that bad, but still, bad.

And the crutches were out in the kitchen.

So there I was, crawling down the hall, through the living room, out to the kitchen. It seemed like the easiest way.


Well, let's hope today is like yesterday, only with improvements coming more quickly. And let's hope Dr. Burmeister makes it all better.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Did You Know...

...that the Dutch for Master is Meester?

I can't help but giggle whhen I think about that.


"Yes, Meester. your slave is grateful to serve you, Meester."

Dutch Masters (Meesters... LOL) must have a lot of passive-aggressive issues todeal with when they collar American slaves, huh?

I guess that might be pronounced 'meh-ster.' Hope not though. Meester has brightened my day.

Never Ceases To Amaze Me

He's 19 years old. He declares himself to be ready and able to relocate to be my slave. From the Isle of Wight. Sight unseen. (He doesn't have a picture to offer.)

Why sure! That sounds credible. Let me give you my credit card number so you can book one-way airfare! I'll fix up the basement for you to live in.


What A Great Game!

Roger Clemons is facing his first defeat as an Astro... to the Cubbies!

Baseball doesn't get a lot better.

Oh Yeah. I'm Tough, Too.

The ankle was stiff and sore this morning, but as the day wore on, it got easier and easier. By the end of the day, I was walking (slowly) without the crutches. I still can't put weight on it, but I can move forward.

Spent the whole day working in Hardware. I was doing touch up on the finish of samples (this allowed me to sit down), and putting shelves and hinges on cabinets, and gluing cleats (strips of wood on the back of wall cabinets by which they're hung). And I ended out the day tapping screw holes in the molding that holds the glass in place in glass front cabinet doors.

But it dawned on me at one point... is that it for me and sanding? Adieu, Sandinistas? I saw my boys as they passed by Hardware on the way to the bathroom and such.


I miss the repartee around the ol' sanding table, the looks they gave me that spoke of a request for my approval, their Big Life Questions that they'd ask. Yeah, I'm mourning the loss of the sanding table a bit. But onwards and upwards, I guess.

After work, I had to head to the hardware store. Y'see, I have to start buying tools. Nothing spectacular. It's not expected that I lug in a circular saw or something. A hammer and a tape measure to start out with. I added to this a Mag Light (for checking the finishes), and needle nose pliers (you always need needle nose pliers for something). And I also found a pick that won't go in my toolbag. That's for unknotting the crackers of whips.

Then the supermarket. Dinner tonight was special. To celebrate my rapidly healing ankle, and my first full day in Hardware. I got shrimp for Dad and cherrystone clams for me, and some zucchini that I sauteed in butter for both of us. Basically, I had butter for dinner. Butter on clams, butter on the zucchini. Can't beat that with a stick. Dad and I both have arteries of steel. No cholesterol here.

Oh. And here's an interesting development. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. I want him to take a look at my ankle, just to be safe. I called to make an appointment with Dr. Blor, who's something of a local celebrity and my father's doctor, but he was booked solid all this week. Sooooo, they asked if I would take an appointment with Dr. Burmeister.

Dr. Burmeister. He brought me into this world. Why would I not accept an appointment with Dr. Burmeister? I can't wait to see Dr. Burmeister. Longtime and careful readers will recall that when I was thirteen, Dr. Burmeister posed to me the following: Well, I assume you're masturbating by now?

I had no idea what masturbation was, but felt I would disappoint him if I said so. I nodded my head. "That's fine," said Dr. Burmeister, "Once a day for a healthy prostate."

How forward thinking is that? Go Dr. Burmeister! I wonder if he'll do a rectal exam tomorrow? Maybe I'll garner a compliment on my supple but firm healthy prostate. I have never not taken Dr. Burmeister's advice. Even though that's the only advice I ever remember him giving me.

And now, the dishwasher humming, I'm watching the Chicago Cubs play the Houston Astros. How freaky is it to see Roger Clemons and Andy Petite suited up and pitching for the Astros? Way freaky. But here's the best part: the Cubs are up by two in the 4th. Go Cubs!

I have a taste for something sweet after all that butter, aquatic protein, and veggies. I think I'll bake some cookies tonight. Yeah. Cookies. That's the ticket.

Oh. And before I close... any readers down San Diego way interested in geometrically expanding their competency in all things SM? Check out the San Diego Pain Guild. Twelve days of soup-to-nuts SM skills building and discussion of the psychological aspects, lead by none other than Roadkill. (Talk about blooming where you're planted... Roadkill sponsors monthly dungeon parties and now he's taken this on! Bravo!) The curriculum is as follows:

The course will cover these SM basics:  basic rope bondage, flogging, spanking, strapping,  tit play,  genitorture, rope harnesses, things that pinch, shaving, candles, fire play, cigar play, sensory stimulations, fantasies, scenarios, verbal abuse, humiliation, basic electricity, abrasion, bruising, punching, ass play, fisting, piss, raunch, gags, masks, collars, hoods, gloves, boots, history of leather, breath control, suspension, heavy duty bondage, mummification, head confinement, handcuffs, orchestrating a scene, erotic massage, cum control, temporary piercings, cuttings, sounds,  and topics introduced by the members. The last session will be reserved for topics which group members specifically want covered. At each meeting all participants will pair off and practice new skills on each other.  Both technique and psychological aspects of SM will be considered. 

It's based on the excellent GMSMA Novices Special Interest Group. So you know it's gonna be good. If'n you're interested, email me at krrrush(at) and I'll hook you up.

And now, I'm off to soak my foot in icewater and bake Tollhouse cookies.


I keep forgetting that I need to use crutches. Or more correctly, I keep thinking that they're optional, as in, "Oh, I don't have time for them now, the phone's ringing, I'll use them later."

Today is gonna be a tough day at work. I'll do my best to soldier on, but it's gonna be tough. Really tough.

And then there's tomorrow to look forward to. And the next day.

Oh for the love of Pete.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Koan: If You Wear Leather Alone In The Woods, Are You Still Wearing Leather?

Convalescence breeds prolix, or so it seems.

'Edge' is posting a lot lately, giving me much food for though. Particularly his riffs on the Future of Leather Culture, and how he just is a leatherman in small ways (wearing boots, keeping his head buzzed or shaved, facial hair, handcuff keys on the keyring).

Interesting interesting.

Here's where my thoughts run.

So am I. A leatherman, I mean. After all the items he ennumerated, I can place a check. I guess I also have what 'Edge describes as Presence, although maybe not, since it's something I've always had. I think it's endemic among Scorpios. Long before... well, no, I was going to say "long before I was wearing boots,' but I bought my first pair of combat boots when I was a punk rock boy in high school and I've worn them ever since, but let's say long before I darkened the door of my first leatherbar, I had people telling me about 'my Eyes' or something.


So I'm a leatherman.

To the point where I've sat at the Starbucks in Doylestown in leather breeches (is that 'breaches?') and my bar vest sipping my latte.


As was driven home with me when all of my fellow Sandinistas at the sanding table at work assumed that the chain padlocked around my neck indicated I was In Solidarity With The Bruthas In Lockup, I could wear just about whatever I want, and nobody gets it. They don't know the language. It's as if I went around with my sexual predilections on a sandwich board sign in Serbo-Croation.

Ya lechtyet Pesstchos! (That's really not Serbo-Croation for 'I like piss.' I don't speak Serbo-Croation, so it's kinda the Bad World War II Movie Japanese version of Serbo-Croation.)

When did I last do a scene? When was I last in space that could accurately be described as a dungeon?

Okay. Not that long ago. It would be when the Sir in North Jersey who gave me the little thing to recite upon entering his Domain (i.e., suburban tract house) put me in a sleep sack. Which was fun, though rushed. And the weather was warm, so it couldn't have been that long ago. And I've done two presentations since then, and although softball has kept me pretty busy, managed to visit a few leatherbars.

And I've got a Sir and I wear his collar, for Pete's sake.

But overall, my life (and, ipso facto, this blog) tends to be more about gardening, woodworking, figuring out novel things to make for dinner that my dad will eat, Woofing at men at the supermarket, Starbucks, and reading books. Not so much of the Whipping Men Till They Bleed lately.

So here's what occurs to me. Y'know the place where I very much am a leatherman? On the Internet. Specificallly, on WorldLeathermen. I chat. I flirt. I hoot derisively. I mentor. I let myself be mentored. In the pics that I have posted, nobody has any doubt about the chain around my neck, the whip in my hand, or how I got that black eye.

But here's where I think I might depart from 'Edge. It's not real!!!

The Internet is not real. It's the Greenworld from Shakespear. But it all vanishes with the dawn. Or, when you close out the window. Poof! Gone. And there I am, sitting in the naugahide recliner in the livingroom, or out here on the porch (the astilbe are gorgeous!). Wearing my boots.

It's insubstantial, and I choose that word with care. It's jejeune. It doesn't provide nourishment or sustenance. It feels like it should, it feels like it should be about 'Community,' but it's no more so than you come to think of the characters on your favorite television show as your friends.

(Speaking of 'insubstantial,' the frozen dinner I heated up for myself for dinner three hours ago is gone. I'm starving. Problem: How to have a bowl of cereal on the porch when you're on crutches? Solution: First you bring out the box of cereal, then you bring out the milk, then you bring out the bowl with the spoon in your pocket.)

That lack of substance is a Monster Problem for me. Because more than anything else, what I want out of SM is for it to be Real. Really Real. Real Pain. Real Blood. Real Steel. Real Intimacy. Real Connection. Real Fear. Real Bliss. Real Tears. Real Laughter. The antidote to contemporary culture where we're programmed to be passive observers and consumers.

If it ain't that, then I say t' hell with it.

So maybe, it's not the Internet that's the future (or 'present') or leather, it's me who's the future/present of leather. Way out here in this howling wilderness. Nominally a member of a few clubs. Occasional visitor to a leatherbar mostly to animadvert. Going to runs and events and such. But mostly it's about woodworking, gardening, cooking, Starbucks, and the supermarket. "Community" is that Brigadoon like thing, springing up once a year at MAL or Inferno, then vanishing into the mists.

Wait a minute...

Hey now...

Imagine it's 1947. I've just been decommissioned from the army. The marine whose ass I used to whip when both of us were stationed at Pearl Harbor has gone back to his high school sweetheart in Topeka. I got off the carrier at Los Angeles, and figure I might as well stay here. I go crusing in the parks at night getting blow jobs. Visit the bars where homosexual men congregate until the police force them on to a new bar, but don't find much I like there. Nothing to replace my marine buddy, who liked it when I called him my bitch when I was fucking him. And then, one night, at a bar or in a park, a guy wearing a motorcycle cap and boots--and looking really out of place because of it--chats me up. He invites me to a party and offers to take me there on his Indian motorcycle. I go. I can't not go. At the party there are a bunch of men wearing jeans and boots and motorcycle leathers. A few times, I see them standing in small groups, looking in my direction, and talking among themselves.

That's how it starts. Little by little I'm initiated into their circle. Taught their folkways. I hear that in the other large cities that saw decommissioning of service men in large numbers other groups have sprung up. Motor cycle clubs, mostly. Sometimes taking over one of the local fag bars the first Saturday of the month. it's underground. It's not for outsiders. You don't talk about it to anyone. There are little signals by which we recognize each other. Like Lodge brothers.


Same circumstances, as you think about it. This Existential Thrownness. This isolaton. This haunted feeling. Here and there are leathermen, seeking each other, but not finding each other.

Could a re-birth be possible? Something small scale, underground, clandestine?

How long, O Lord, how long, before we again are go up to the gates of your Jerusalem?

Generosity of Spirit

Okay. Scenes from a marriage...

Way back when, as in, when I was in the middle of the seven-and-a-half year relationship with The Ex, we had a disagreement. Not unusual. Y'see, my brother and his wife were coming into NYC and visiting us in Brooklyn. I told them I'd meet them at the Port Authority Bus Terminal when they got in, and together we would find our way via subway out to Boerum Hill.

When I got off the phone, The Ex gave me that look of his that would freeze piping hot tomato soup and said, "Why did you tell them you'd meet them at the bus station?"


Well, because my brother and his wife aren't very familiar with the subway system, and because it's a grim place, especially after a long bus ride, and it would be nice to find a friendly face on the platform.

That, of course, didn't cut it.

The Ex's argument? My brother and his wife are adults. Adults are capable of carefully reading one of the many subway maps that the TA posts throughout the system, and determining a route to a station that is a mere two blocks from our house. It is WRONG and BAD to treat an adult as if he or she were a child.

[Note: That's the second time today that I've employed the subjunctive mood in the blog. "...[A]s if he or she were a child." Although common to anyone who has studied french, the subjunctive is a rare thing in English. It's used to indicate something that the speaker forsees or would like to see happening, but over which the speaker has no control. To do it, you generally use the third person plural form of the verb regardless of the gender and number of the subject. For example, "if I were a rich man..." Or an even more common one, "God bless you!" If you omit the subjunctive, those could be "If I was a rich man..." and "God blesses you!" Anyway...]

And so we argued. He won. Well, as usual, he didn't so much 'win' as just wear me down, to the point where I would give in to shut him up. Then, I tried my usual passive-aggressive tactic, trying to shame him into seeing things my way, and called my brother and told him that in fact I would not be meeting him at the Port Authority, but that he would have to find his way to the Hoyt-Schemerhorn station on the 2/3 line on his own, while The Ex listened in on the conversation. The attempt to shame didn't work. He knew no shame when it came to being flint-hearted. And, he had his creepy therapist, who had a svengali-like hold on The Ex and his other clients, named Stanley Weinberg who has his offices on West 12th Street (oops! Did I just type that? Must make a note to go back and delete that at some point), to back him up. "Stanley says..."

The Ex was nothing if not consistent. One of the biggest fights we had when we were together was when I took a small table we were giving to my friend Andrea and walked it over the six blocks to her apartment on 14th Street. He was furious. Why couldn't Andrea come and pick up the table herself.

But... but... but...

Why am I telling all of this to you good people? To get you to see how despicable he was and probably still is? Yeah, there's that. But soldier on.

At the end of seven and a half years with this man, I wouldn't lift a finger for anybody. "Well, that's your tough luck" and "I hope you learn a lesson from this" became my unspoken credo as well as his.

I thought about this the other day, when I offered to give one of my co-workers a ride home, even though he lives out of the way. As I did so, I flashed on the face of The Ex, purple with rage and framed with blond hair.

Generosity of Spirit. Looking for opportunities to help, and to bring a little bit of joy to the lives of those around us. I've got to find ways to rekindle that in myself. Got to got to got to.

If only to deliver (yet another) final Fuck You to the man who made me so unhappy for too long.

Adventures in Orthopedics

Ahhh... Softball.

Yesterday, Saturday, was a beautiful day for softball, warm but not hot, nice and sunny. Met up with the Ballbreakers in front of the Dugout, only a few minutes late. We loaded up my car and headed out to Randall's Island. We had a good hour to practice, and made the most of it. Then it was game time. We were going up against the Renegades, a team we beat before. I was batting twelfth in the lineup, and made it to the plate in the first inning. I let the first pitch go by me. It was a strike. The second pitch was a ball. The third pitch was outside, also a ball. The fourth looked good. I swung, but just clipped it. Another strike. Two balls, two strikes. Here's the pitch, looked good, I swung and connected, and sent it out just past the first baseman. I ran like hell for first base.

But not in time. It was split second close, but the firstbaseman for the Renegades got his glove on the ball just before my foot hit the plate.

Unfortunately, the firstbaseman had his right foot extended behind him touching the plate as he reached for the ball. Extended behind him over all of the plate. So he tripped me. I went flying. And at some point I heard and felt a snap in my ankle.

I picked myself up off the grass beyond first base. The umpires came over, the firstbaseman and our first base coach came over.


Yeah. I'm okay.

I picked myself up and dusted myself off, and walked back to the bench.

Yo! Maybe not okay. That's a little tender.

Ooooh. That's a lot tender.

By the time I made it around the backstop, I was hopping on one foot. I sat down on the bench and told the coach, "I'm out of this game."

A bag of ice was procured, and I kept my right foot propped up on top of the cooler.

I was definitely not okay.

At one point, I gingerly put my foot on the ground and tried to walk. No dice. I couldn't put any weight on it at all.

At this point, I started to get a little bit panicky. I was in New York City. I had to drive home an hour and a half. It was my right ankle--the one that works the pedals--that was messed up. Uh oh.

Oh. And we were losing. Bad. The final score was something like 23 to 1. Bad bad bad.

What if it's broken? How will I drive? If I can get to work, how will I work?

I wanted Big to be there, to help me think, to tell me everything would be alright. My cellphone was in my gear bag, and I couldn't even get to it.

Oh. And we were losing.

We've been losing a lot this season. Eleven losses, five wins. A little bit more critical of each other. A little bit more tending to complain, about the weather, the fields, the trips out to Randall's Island, the other teams. Having a little less fun. That's tough, of course. It's more fun when you're winning. But that's softball.

But what the hell was I going to do? I pictured myself trying to drive home, clutching the steering wheel white-knuckled, hurting hurting hurting. Or sitting in an emergency room. X-rays. Getting the bad news.

I know a guy who coming down the stairs to catch the subway in flip-flops landed wrong on his foot on the bottom step. He broke one of those innumerable wee tiny bones in his foot. And wore a cast on his leg for nine months. At the end of nine months, the cast came off, they took x-rays, and found that the wee tiny bone had healed wrong. It had to be rebroken. And he had to spend another nine months wearing a cast. For a total of eighteen months. In a walk-up apartment in New York City. On crutches. He's told me how your whole life changes when you're on crutches. Every aspect. You get up in the morning. You pour yourself a cup of coffee. Okay. Now how are you going to get over to the chair to sit down and have your coffee. (You get a travel cup and wear it around your neck on a lanier.)

Oh. My. God.

I want my Sir. I want to be able to go to stay with my Sir until I'm all better. I want to be taken care of. I can't do this. Oh no no no no no. A broken foot. This is awful.

Sir wasn't there, but Ballbreakers were. Getting my bag for me. Proferring me Ibuprophen. Refreshing my bag o' ice. Helping me get to my jeep.

Once in the jeep, I took an experimental tour around the field.

Huh. It wasn't too difficult to drive. As long as I didn't have to brake hard. And even then, I could probably manage with my left foot to hit the brake pedal.

Huh. Okay.

I rode in the back seat going into the city. I was still feeling a little shakey and vulnerable. Donee, our pitcher, offered to put me up for the night. I called my father and gave him the bad news. I wouldn't be home. He was, of course, verrrry upset.

I started to come around. Driving up the West Side Highway, traffic was slow. In the next car, I noticed this very hot man. With a woman in the passenger seat, a little boy in the back seat, and an American Flag sticker, a 'Semper Fi' sticker, and a metal fish gracing the bumper of his car.

A very hot, straight, Republican, fundamentalist Christian Dad.

Since he could only see my upper torso from where I was sprawled in the back seat, I started jerking my hand furiously in my lap and leering at him. Sadly, he didn't notice. He never looked over to see the vision of the maniacal fag in the backseat of the jeep apparently jerking off and drooling at him. Sadly.

Back at Ty's, I installed myself on a barstool--actually two barstools, one for my foot. Since I wouldn't be driving, I decided that it would be fine to get a little drunk. How long has it been since I did that?

I ordered a Stoly Cosmo. Vodka when I hadn't had anything to eat all day save for a couple of Luna Bars ('Complete Nutrition for Women... ...and me') and an Ensure.

Danny the bartender made a great Cosmo, and I was soon feeling pretty good. The Ballbreakers did their best to keep me company as I couldn't very well move around the bar. Although at one point, when a very drunk man wearing no shirt sauntered up and started talking to me, a certain Ball Breaker who will remain nameless (Mark!) turned away, leaving me to fend for myself.

Shirtless Guy slurred something at me. I smiled and said, "I broke my ankle. I'm in pain." He slurred something else and tried to grope me. "Careful!" I said firmly, "I just broke my ankle. And I'm in a lot of pain." The second time it seemed to sink into his addled brain and he moved on. I grabbed the nameless Ball Breaker (Mark!) and said, "Don't ever do that again."

Mark laughed. I laughed.

At this point, one Cosmo under my belt, I was feeling no pain.

Drinking is such fun! I should do a lot more of it!

And then this guy came over.

"Softball injury?" he inquired.

"Yup!" I said.

He put his hand underneath my toes. "Can you push against it?" he asked. I could, and did. Then he cupped his fingers over my toes. "Now pull." I pulled. He said there didn't seem to be a lot of swelling. I told him I had kept it iced and elevated since it happened four hours ago.

"I'm an orthopedic surgeon at St. Luke's," he said, "Would you like me to take a look at it?"

No way.


What are the chances?

Go to an emergency room? You've gotta be kidding! Me?!! Rub elbows with the hoi polloi? Take me to a gay bar. Stet!

I climbed down off my barstool. "Put your weight on the ball of your foot," advised my doctor, "Not the heel."

Oh. Right. That's not so bad.

Outside, I had a smoke while the doctor examined my ankle. (Love that!)

He determined that it probably wasn't broken, just 'soft tissue damage,' like a torn ligament or tendon. The important thing was to not let it swell. Keep it iced and elevated above my heart. It should heal in a week or so, but if it swells up, it will take ten weeks.

Thanks, Doctor!

I hobbled back inside. Our pizza had arrived.

After three slices, Donee and I caught a cab back to his apartment on West 30th Street.

Donee took care of me. He was perfect. He got me on the bed and propped my foot up, then fixed me an iced coffee. Together, we watched a Star Trek movie (one with the Borg, and they go back to the 21st Century where this guy is on the verge of changing human history by discovering warp speed, and Mr. Data has sex with the Borg woman because she gives him real skin. That one).

Then we watched South Park. Unfortunately, none of the episodes featured Mr. Slave. (J'sus Chris'.) During Star Trek, we ordered food from Intermezzo. I had two appetizers--crab cakes and tuna carpaccio since I had filled up on pizza. Then, I went to sleep on the bed, and Donee went to sleep on the sofa bed. Donee snores, and I had that ankle situation, but as usual, I slept the sleep of the innocent. Like a rock.

The next morning, Donee had to sing at a church. While he headed to Starbucks to get me a latte, I managed to make my way into the shower. Shockingly, Donee washes with soap! And he has a really bad moisturizer situation going on. I think I see a way to say 'thank you' for his kindnesses. But, I made due with the soap and the handcream moisturizer.

Then it was time to head out into the wide world.

At this point, I was in a much better frame of mind.

This will be another adventure! That's the way I usually look at things like this. It's an adventure. It'll hurt. It'll make a great story. I will encounter kind people. It'll be fine.

I struggled down 30th Street to 9th Avenue to catch a cab, pausing to grimace, wince, and sip my latte. No prooblem at all getting a cab, who took me down to wear my jeep had been parked on Washington between Perry and Charles. Once I piled into my jeep, all was fine. There was just about no traffic going through the tunnel, or on 78. I stopped in Clinton, New Jersey to get gas. Because of the weird traffic pattern when you come off of 78, II had to make a right and go into town so I could turn around and stop at the gas station across the street. Danged if there was no place to turn around for about a mile. Then, I spotted a pharmacy on the left side of the road and pulled into their parking lot.


A pharmacy.

Pharmacies sell... crutches.

I hopped on one foot across the parking lot and into the Eckerd's, getting a cart on the way. They did have crutches.

(Trust me to turn wrecking my ankle into an excuse for shopping, huh?)

My crutches are brushed aluminum, and Barbie Doll flesh colored foam rubber. Sweeet!

Crutches are great things! I fly on my crutches! Seriously, I can move.

Before I headed off on the road, I gave a call to the Baron to let him know that I would probably have to cancel. I wouldn't be able to make it to Philadelphia to do Pride festivities with him. Dang. That was a hard phone call. Luckily, the Baron was very understanding.

Armed with my crutches, I felt ready to take on the world. Singing along with the radio, I zipped right by the gas station. No matter, I could fill up when I got to Frenchtown.

And whaddya know! I paid less than $2.00 a gallon for the first time in weeks! Love that!

Once home, the first order of business was to walk Faithful Companion. My father had taken F.C. out twice, but dogs being creatures of routine, F.C. didn't get what was going on and didn't pee. (He probably thought it was odd that this guy who gives him table scraps took him all the way outside and didn't come across with any pizza crusts.)

Dad was much relieved to see me home.

Okay. Now that you're all up to date, I'm gonna fix myself something to eat. Gotta get to bed early tonight, since it will take me about twice the time it normally does to get ready for work tomorrow morning. And I'm due in at 7 am.

Oh. Let me back up.

The first thing I did when I got home, still sitting in the driveway, was call Big. Y'see, I had taken off his collar when I played softball, and wanted to be talking to him on the phone when I put it back on. Big wished me well, said agreed it would be great if I were there or he were here to take care of me, but that can't be, and wished me a speedy recovery.

And, Big's collar is back around my neck. Where it belongs.

Saturday, June 12, 2004


Greetings from the screened in front porch here at the Old Homestead! The perennial bed and the annual border are looking great. It's a perfect day for softball, and whaddya know! I'll be playing softball at 4pm this afternoon.

Yesterday at work, I bid adieu to the Sandinistas and spent my first day working in Hardware.


Well, after the cabinets are finished, it's my job to put in the shelves, rollouts (formerly known as 'drawers'), knobs, backers, and such. If'n you've ever put together IKEA furniture, you pretty much have the picture. The difference is that IKEA furniture comes with instructions. The cabinets don't. So I would sorta take on a tall cabinet, installing rollouts on the left side and shelves on the right, and then re-read the specs and learn that it was shelves on the right and rollouts on the left, so I'd take them all out and put them back in again.

The hot, sweaty, former football playing, high-and-tight wearing guy with the beautiful gut that's training me (have I got it good or what?) smiled and said, 'You're fired."

I'll get it.

I get to work with powertools. Specifically, drills and a radial arm saw. And, I need to start assembling a tool box for myself. And a shop apron (with pockets for screws and such) probably wouldn't be a bad addition either.

As far as tools go, I really need to spend a day poking around here at home. My father had a good collection of tools, and my grandfather spent his life as a painter, and is pretty well off in that department, too. In fact, I have an amazing collection of horsehair paintbrushes at my disposal, and a pretty amazing collection of shellacs.

Last night, talking to Big, he pointed out that since we've met, this is the longest stretch of time we've spent apart. We'll next see each other at the GMSMA Program next Wednesday. The final program of the season is devoted to the curious interplay of SM and Sports. I'll be talking about softball. Don't get the connection? Well, it's there. Guess you'll have to show up at the LGBT Community Center on 13th Street between 7th and 8th Aves at 7:30 pm to find out how it all plays out. And Big will be coming into town from a trip to DC to be on hand. The following weekend, we're off to Fire Island, courtesy of Friend and Landlord. I'm really looking forward to showing Big the Pines. I'll be the guy in the sarong and leather vest on Fire Island Boulevard! Look for me!

Oh. And another thing. I had to buy a new glove for softball yesterday. My old glove seems to have gone the way of all flesh, turning up missing in my softball bag. While I was at Modell's in Montgomeryville, I made the purchase of some pairs of boxing gloves. I have 12 oz sparring gloves, and some lighter weight gloves for working out with a heavy bag. Y'see, I now own a heavy bag. I bought it off a guy at work (the Apple Cheek Boy, to be exact) for $20.

I think I've gotta make getting the garage cleaned out a priority. It's still loaded solid with my stuff. In boxes. If I could accomplish that feat, I'd be able to set up a welding shop, hang the heavy bag, and maybe buy some freeweights. And possibly even set up my St. Andrew's Cross. Gotta look into storage facility. Or a landfill. Either one might do.

Anyway, gotta get my day going.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Dad Is Pissed Off!

Because of Ronald Reagan's funeral, the post office is closed tomorrow, along with all Federal government offices. But it's the post office that's bugging my father.

Y'see, he's running low on cigars, and tomorrow is the day he was planning on mailing in his order.

It's a big problem.

So Where's The Tattoo Pics?

You may well ask.

Y'see, for the past month or so I have been hugely afflicted with my old friend, vasculitis. (Recap; Looks awful, but totally benign.) And so, my shins and calves are covered with ugly (way ugly) red blotches.

No idea why they're cropping up. Maybe because I seem to have developed sensitivity to having metal next to my skin. I'm all broken out at the sites of the collar and cockring. Funny thing is, I don't mind much. Itching reminds me of my collar, and that reminds me of the man who holds the key. And that's fine by me.

But anyway, my lower legs look like something you'd see at a burn center, and would detract from the tattoo. So, youse are all gonna have to wait until either it clears up or the inking moves to a different part of my body.

Sorry bout dat.

I, Gansta Rapper

Uh... not.

For the past week, I decided to flaunt my collar. At work. Heretofore, I decided to be low key about it. I'd wear a tshirt and wear the collar inside. Or if no tshirt, I'd turn it around so the padlock was in back. No more. (Talk about your Mauvais Foi, huh?) All week, I've been front and center with the padlock securing a steel chain around my neck.

And nobody said a word. Nuthin.

Odd, methinks.

Well, maybe not so odd. Short of a muu-muu (what a thrill to be able to work that word into a written sentence; did you know how it was spelled?), there's not a lot that I could wear to work that would elicit some kind of comment. Straight men tend not to notice those things, or don't think much about them if they do.

This held until today. Something was mentioned about somebody being in prison, and one of the sanding boys said, "Hey Dutch, your in solidarity with the brothers in lockup, right?"

Uh... come again?

And it was explained to me that amongst gangsta rappers, it was a 'thing' of late to wear chains padlocked around your nect to draw attention to the socio-political issues surrounding the high incarceration rates of African American men.

I said that wasn't my intention in particular, but I thought that the full explanation would be a little much.

Maybe later.

Speaking of work though, things are going absolutely gangbusters. I took my cabinet making exam tonight, and I think I did pretty well. And tomorrow, I could very well start working in the hardware department. And, my trainer in the hardware department will be none other than the other hot man with the amazing gut--well, I guess at this point he's the only one since Nightingale continues to lose weight and is now down to a scrawny 209. And.. and... there's this new head foreman guy at the shop. He comes to us from Thomas Moser. Everybody has been sort of jittery about him. We proles always get anxious when there are changes among the demigods that rule our world. But today, he comes up to me and says he heard I gave a great presentation on sanding, and would I please give it to him, as an audience of one. So, of course, I did.

And we totally bonded. Talking about the sublime joys of woodworking. I think we're totally on the same page. In other words, he gets crushes, too. Wonder what his sign is. This can only be a good thing for me, right? Right.

Although I'm feeling a little better about moving to Hardware (the prick has been all but neutralized), I am definitely sad to leave behind my sanding boys. My sandinistas. My sandawgs. Today, being Thursday, was Pirate Day again. (Aaarrrgh! Avast ye swabs!) I doubt the prick and I will honor Pirate Day in the Hardware Department. Although maybe Amazing Gut would be up for it. I'd sure walk his plank.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Sartre on SM

Amongst Freudians, the desire to submit in that SM kinda way is usually attributed to infantilist fantasies: the subconscious drive to return to infancy, when you were both helpless but also felt loved and protected cuz of the overwhelming presence of your Mother.

And although I can't think of much to contradict this from my own experience, I have always thought that a different explanation was a wee bit more on the mark.

Turn with me now to the writings of M. Jean-Paul Sartre.

In Being and Nothingness, his viciously convoluted and written-on-pain-relievers opus, he discusses the burden of being human. What is foisted upon us is radical contingency: we are who we are because of our choices, and the only reason we aren't otherwise is because of our choices. At the extreme, the question 'Why are we at war in Iraq?' can be answered, 'because you chose to have us go to war in Iraq," and 'why aren't you the lead dancer in the New York City Ballet can be answered, 'because you chose otherwise." Hence, the other great theme of Sartre's work, responsibility.

Not taking responsibility for your choices manifests itself in what is called 'mauvais foi.' Literally translated, 'bad faith.' And one of the most common manifestations of this bad faith is self-reification: the desire to make yourself into a Thing rather than a person. A Thing, as in, not alive, not responsible, radically determined. A doorstop is a doorstop not because it chose to be a doorstop, but because someone decided that this material would be so configured and serve as a doorstop.

Now wouldn't that--as a matter of passing fancy--be sweet? No responsibility, none of that choosing. You just are because powers beyond your control decided you were going to be.

See what I'm getting at?

slave, prisoner, lashed to the whipping post, wrapped up in duct tape... there's a certain 'thing-ness' to each one of those. And clearly, some power beyond your control is clearly in charge at that point.

One way that my theory works and where the freudian approach falls down is in the Safe, Sane, Consensual department. If it was just a matter of wanting to return to an infantile state, than the SSC formula wouldn't be an issue.

But it is an issue. Everybody wants to push those boundaries. Even the World's Most Responsible bottom (whoever he or she may be), who negotiates every scene in advance to the nth degree, entertains fantasies of being gang-raped while lashed down to a pool table by nameless faceless strangers.

(Trust me on that one.)

See, if it's my theory that's operating here, that makes sense. SSC sticks in the craw of the eroticizing of the flight from personhood into thing-ness. Because you can't choose to be a thing without the ability to choose. In order to make it work, you have to make believe that that pre-scene negotiation thing didn't happen. And a good Top will play with that ("I like having you in those chains, boy. And you're gonna be there for as long as I decide you're gonna be there, aren't ya? Maybe that will be forever, fucker").

And therein lies the Eternal Paradox--or one of 'em--of SM. You can never quite escape being your bad ol' radically contingent, choosing, and ultimately responsible self. And so you're never quite satisfied. Mr. Preston, the Master who makes men into slaves, is thus a fiction, but a compelling one.


I guess it's kind of evident that I'm still a wee bit peeved that my college didn't give me a minor in philosophy becuase I was three credits short, huh?

Monday, June 07, 2004

Career Path Takes A New Turn

This morning, I got called into the office of the the Vice President. First off, he wanted me to give my presentation on sanding to two new guys that are starting on June 21st. And I'm sure happy to do that. And, to a bunch of the cabinet makers. Yikes! I'll do my best to keep it light and self-deprecating.

And then there was the second item. I'm getting a promotion and a raise.

Yahoo! Yippee! Woo-hoo!


Well, not exactly.

Y'see, the one guy at my job who I hate is the other person who works in the hardware department. Before he made the move there, when he worked at the sanding table, he drove me nuts. And, it's hardware. It's a step up from sanding, I'll be learning new skills, but basically it will be like putting together IKEA furniture.

Oh well. I told Mr. Vice President my concerns against the socially inept closet case I'll be working with for eight hours a day. Mr. V-P said that I wasn't alone in voicing them. So it's a done deal.

I will make the best of it. And the raise will sure help.

Again With The Pain

Found a place in New Hope that does body piercing. They seemed nice. Very amenable to putting my post back in.

It hurt.

Not as bad as it did when I got it pierced, but it hurt. And not as prolonged as when I got inked. But it hurt.

And here's the weird thing. The piercing guy rams it in, it hurt, so I went "Yeeeuuuhrrrr..." And he stopped. Midway.

"Is it in?" I asked.

"No," he answered, "Do you want me to continue?"

"Well, of course! I want it back in before I have to go through getting it pierced again. I'm just making noise to process the pain."

So he rammed it all the way through and I made more noise.

Am I the only one that finds having a ten gauge steel post jammed through my tendor flesh to be a painful experience? I guess I am.


Sunday, June 06, 2004



It's like...

Like eating in a bad vegetarian restuarant where you're like... "That was delicious! I'm ready for the entree now."

Like rain on the Fourth of July.

Like tomato plants that don't get fruit.

Like a decaf latte by mistake.

Tonight, I'm missing Big. At sixes and sevens. Out of sorts. Bent out of shape.


The whole weekend has passed, and no time with Big. And now it's back to work tomorrow.

So I'm heading heading down to Starbucks to drown my sorrows in caffeinated beverages. Like that'll help.

And it sure doesn't help that the weather this weekend has been cool and damp. The Baron loves this weather. Last night, as we were walking up Broad Street from touring his garden, he said, "It's just like San Francisco weather!"

Ouch. I probably didn't need to hear that.


On The Town

Got a lot done yesterday afternoon! (Picture this: me leathered up, ready for a night on the town, cleaning out the refrigerator, gathering up the trash for burning, changing my father's bed and doing his laundry...).

When all that was out of the way, I headed out. I got into Philadelphia around 5:45, just as I. Goldberg's was closing their doors. (I seem to be fated never to get there before then. A stop at my brother's in Doylestown wrecked the possibility of that happening in this instance.)

In the rain, Philadelphia struck me as being even more dreary, dour, and vaguely dangerous than usual. But I hit Kiehl's to stock up on products, then headed to Millenium for a latte, and then to More Than Just Ice Cream for dinner. As I was finishing up dinner, I was joined by the Baron von Philadelphia. We talked for a bit and then the Baron offered to show me his garden.

If'n you get to Philadelphia, stop by the corner of Broad and South Streets. There, you'll find a bit of green in that big bad city. Half of the formerly garbage strewn vacant lot is communal, and the other half is given over to individual plots. The Baron is the proud tender of one of these plots. All of his plantings seem to be doing beautifully. His basil and peppermint made for a nice way to refresh my palate.

And the Baron has allowed his life to be transformed by gardening. Plants have a life that is strangely independent of ours, but at the same time, tied to us. If we don't give them care, they wither. Or not. They will thrive or perish and it's beyond our control. And a garden is a living thing, never done. It's about the process, not the end result. And there is never not something to do. When the Baron finds himself getting trapped inside his head, he heads to his garden.


Together, the Baron and I headed to my car so I could drop off my bag before heading to the Bike Stop. As we rode up in the elevator in the parking garage, I heard something metalic fall to the floor. Huh. A coin? I looked around. There was the post from my piercing.

Egad! I wasn't about to try and jam it back in there and then. And besides, the ball that secures one end was gone gone gone.

This means that today, I have to find a local piercing parlor and have them reinsert it. I am way too much of a wuss to do that myself. I get off on the site of blood, except when it's my own. Tarnation.

But I took it in stride, walked over to the Bike Stop, said goodnight to the Baron and headed in.

Bad news.

The Bike Stop no longer has a dresscode on Saturday nights. So, there was like, madras. It was bad. And the manager that I know was keeping busy putting a stop on any inappropriate sexual activity.


This kind of got me to thinking. Over the course of the past couple of months, I've darkened the doors of the Eagle NYC, the Loading Dock in SF, and now the Bike Stop. And it's (shockingly) the same story at all of them. Not much in the way of sexual energy. A mixed crowd. Leatherbars make me think of Plato's theory of Ideals. Plato believed that we know what a chair is because in the realm of the ideals, there is the perfect chair, and the chairs we see all approximate the ideal, displaying a kind of 'chair-ness.' My philosophy prof in college acknowledged that this was pretty far out, but then demostrated this by asking us to consider the hamburger. We all have in our heads an idea of the perfect hamburger: big, juicy, full of flavor, charred on the outside, red on the inside, ketchup, mustard, pickles. And every time we have a hamburger, we compare it to this ideal hamburger in our heads. And usually find the actual hamburger wanting in some respects. But the thing is, none of us has probably ever had a hamburger exactly like the hamburger in our heads.

Get it? Isn't that cool? Where did that ideal hamburger come from? How did it get in our heads? And why is it that with some superficial differences (say, you don't like pickles), all of our hamburgers pretty much resemble one another.

Anyway, so too with leatherbars. We all of us have this ideal leatherbar in our heads, and yet although we might have come close, we've never been there.

Maybe it was an off night, but the Bike Stop was pretty far off the mark.

I did run into Lthrpup28, an AOL correspondent and frequent Singletails reader. So, 'pup became the first reader to get a look at my new tattoo.

There was a guy last night who definitely piqued my attention. This big bearded guy, leathered up, and around his neck was a length of chain secured with a padlock.



How 'bout that?

So, not only am I now a boy, with a Sir, but I've also become a brother, entering a special fraternity. A fraternity of men in the fullness of their manhood. Strong and capable men. Men with lifetimes of laughter and tears, joy and sorrow under their belts.

And men who have gotten down on their knees--knees that might crack at this point like mine do, knees that have bent in toil, and possibly in prayer, and that now bend to accept the collar of another man. It's different when a man decides to become a boy. A man who knows himself and what he's capable of, and who decides that his place is at his Sir's boots.


Dutch Remembers Dutch

In 1981 I was writing a paper for a class I had in high school. I was discussing the economic policies of then President Ronald Reagan. Basically I was comparing them to the economic policies of Margaret Thatcher, who had had a jumpstart in reshaping the UK in her own free market image. They had brought disaster to the British Economy, I argued, and doubtless the similar doings would do the same in the US.

As I sat there typing away, watching whatever on television, the news came on that Reagan had been shot.

I took a deep breath, and completely changed my thesis. Away with the welfare state! Get government out of the way of individual initiative!

I protested against Reagan's Central American polices. His failure to recognize the threat posed by the AIDS epidemic and to take action has given me an anger that is with me today. I volunteered with Walter Mondale's campaign in 1984.

And yet, and yet...

What a great man he was. What a truly great man. What strikes me most is his deep-seated and unwavering belief in the goodness and decency of people, his conviction that we are all abundantly blessed, and our measure is taken by the stewardship of those blessings. Living according to those principles is a great challenge for any man--sooooo much evidence to the contrary, don'cha know--and Ronald Reagan met that challenge with a palpable joy.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Defeat Bush?

Oh man.

How can John Kerry be such a weak candidate? It's unbelievable.

Bush's approval ratings are falling. They just hit an all time low. But, amazingly, Kerry's positive ratings have failed to climb.


John Kerry strikes me as a man who stands for nothing in particular, other than his electoral potential. In the primaries, Kerry was viewed as electable, a war hero to counter Bush's dubious Texas Air National Guard service. But that's just it. He's electable, but not a lot more than electable. Yeah, I'd vote for him.

Quick! What's Kerry's position on the war in Iraq?

Y'know, he's for it, but he's kind of against parts of it.

Quick! What's Kerry's position on gay marriage?

Well, he's against it, but he's kind of for it.

Quick! What's Kerry's position on the Bush Tax Cuts?

Ummm... Well...

Quick! Kerry on Social Security?


Quick! Kerry on a a drug plan for seniors?


See what I mean? It depends on what you want to hear. If you're an anti-war, pro-gay marriage, anti-tax cut, save Social Security at all costs, pro-single payer health care advocate voter, you can probably find stuff Kerry has said to make you feel okay about him. BUT, if you're a pro-war, anti-gay marriage, anti-tax, nuts to Social Security I'm self-reliant voter, you could probably find stuff Kerry has said that would make you feel okay about voting for him.

But 'okay' might cut it when you're seeking to represent the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate. And think about that... from what I know of Mass politics, you've got to grab votes from vegans in the People's Republic of Cambridge as well as mean-and-potato factory workers in Fall River to get state-wide office. But is that going to play out on the national stage?

I sincerely doubt that.

C'mon, Senator Kerry.

The Baron von Philadelphia points out that three and a half years ago, hard-core right wingers stole the presidency. They descended on the Sunshine State in force, determined to seize power by any means necessary. And they pulled it off. The former governor of Texas became President having lost both the popular vote and electoral votes. In other parts of the world, when this goes down, the people take to the streets in force. We were all kind of bemused. "Yeah, well. Whatever."

And now, in 2004, the Bush/Rove strategy? Simple. "Who is this Kerry guy anyway? Why don't you all just go back to what you were doing and forget about all this election stuff the Democrats seem to be perpetrating."

And John Kerry? Trying to tap into the anger and resentment felt in every corner of the country, ranging from 'what are our soldiers doing over there?' to outrage over the abuses at Abu Ghraib and festering resentment over what went down in 2002 in Broward County? Well, not quite. Just saying vague and carefully worded nothing and trotting out grizzled, misty eyes guys who talk about how John Kerry saved their lives thirty years ago. (And, y'know, I'm sorry, but I think that's crass. Kennedy, Carter, and Bush pere, who all had laudable war records with heroics) 'let it be known,' but never slapped it on their lapels.)

Pretty grim situation, I'd say.


Apparently--somehow I hadn't heard of this--the City of Philadelphia has taken much guff for an ad campaign to lure homos to that dreary burg. The ads include one of Ben Franklin flying a rainbow striped flag, two colonial twink boys meeting in front of Carpenter's Hall, and, the one that really has ruffled some feathers, Betsy Ross sewing a rainbow flag.

A Google search brough up this bit of lunacy. Trading in colonia breeches for tight fitting leather pants? This guy definitely has some obsessions.