Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I Can Make $123,000 A Year Selling Life Insurance!!!
(Wanna Buy Life Insurance From Me?)

Oh dear.

So the guy I work with, Columbine Boy, has gotten involved with this multi-level marketing scheme called Primerica. I hate these things.

Years ago, I was visiting a dear friend of mine in Milwaukee, a woman I knew from college and her husband were going to grad school there. I was in their apartment, catching up, going through all the 'remember whens,' and they started in.

"It's time for us to have our shakes!"

"Oh great! I'll have a chocolate one! I had a vanilla this morning, and I'm looking forward to the Very Berry for tonight!"

"I'll make them. They're so easy to prepare! And they taste delicious!"

"It's incredible to think that we get all of our nutritional needs met from these great tasting shakes!"

It was awful. And sure enough, before my time with them was over, they had to go to a meeting, and invited me to come along and sit in. Their mentor or manager or whatever he was cornered me and told me more about the benefits of whatever this thing was called.

"It's not a supplement! Don't call it a supplement! It's food you drink!"

Any questions I asked ("What about phytochemicals? Nutritional necessities that break down easily and so are only available from raw, unprocessed foods?") were deflected, or I was told to talk to someone else who would know, or come to a meeting on Tuesday when that would be discussed.

I've forgiven my friends, but I felt so abused by the whole thing. And after they were unable to either sell any of the crap from their "Representative Starter Kit" or sign up any of their nearest and dearest as representatives working under them... well, let's just say I haven't heard a word about it since.

So when Columbine Boy told me about this great opportunity he'd stumbled upon, and wanted to extend to me, I pretty much knew what to expect. But, for political reasons (like, I work with this guy every day, all day), I had to go to this damn meeting.

And it was way down in Conshohocken, an area I don't know at all, and my MapQuest directions had me going left when I should have gone right and right when I should have gone left. So it took me twice as long to get there and twice as long to get back than it should have.

And it was really bad. Lots of hype; no questions answered in front of the group; white people talking in the front of the room telling African American and Latino people listening to them that they can become financially independent, get out of debt, and leave behind their unrewarding low-paying jobs. Basically, they enlist you to sell life insurance, 401k plans, and mortgage refinancing. (And, the principle of multi-level marketing is that the product--whatever it might be--is inferior to what you'll easily find elsewhere, but because it's your sister-in-law or whoever who is hawking it, your chances of buying are greater.)

Now, would you trust me to refinance your mortgage?

Neither would I.

In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say it would be a really bad plan for me to refinance anyone's mortgage. Ask anyone on the Board of GMSMA during my term as Treasurer and you'll find out just how bad a plan that would be.

Luckily, my charm and wit got me out of there without too much of a hassle. I only had to talk to one person to explain that "gosh it's been a really interesting evening (Lie!), but it's not for me (Truth!)."

I'm hoping that Columbine Boy will A.) leave me alone about it from now on, and B.) not ask too many questions.

And I got home too late to watch the UK version of 'Queer Eye.'


Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Jeanne is upon us. I sat inside at Starbuck's tonight. I kinda went into Not Be Wet mode, and it was coming down so hard that the only option would be pressed against the wall. I opted for the comfy chair.

And driving home was unbelievable. The local roads were creeks. When I took Faithful Companion for his walk, he got soaked. And my boy-boy does not do soaked well. But, he loves the toweling off part afterwards.

I unpacked two boxes tonight. A weird thing. I've been looking and looking for my marmite. This amazing thing I got years ago at Williams-Sonoma. For the stovetop, for the oven, even at my preferred temperature for cooking anything of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It occurred to me that it wouldn't fit in a box. And hunting around the garage--which is increasingly easy to do as I clear it out--turned up nada. I may have to invest in a new marmite.


It's still coming down out there. Pretty hard, too.

With the new arrangement of my bedroom, my bed is now underneath the the window. So I'll be going to sleep listening to the sound of the rain.

I wonder.

How long will it be before lying in bed listening to the falling rain doesn't make me think of that wonderful, perfect night in the cabin at Delta with Big?

Monday, September 27, 2004

Duluth Trading Company Rocks!

Duluth Trading Company is my new favorite online vendor. I am really thrilled with my Cab Commander Organizer. (From their... *ahem!* "Master Series.")

And check out the hot bald guy that appears on the front page of their catalog. He inspired my boss to come running out of his office clutching their catalog to make pronouncements about the uncanny resemblance.

Yeah. I was flattered.

And here's my next purchase... the Cable Tamer Bag! What, pray tell, do I need with a cable tamer bag? Do I have a bothersome fifty foot airhose that I'm finding awkward to take everywhere I go? No, silly! I need it for whips! The current inventory is two signal whips, two snake whips, two bullwhips (one ten footer with a two foot fall), and of course, my magical Joe Wheeler made hybrid signal-bullwhip. And it even has a handy compartment for holding the Pecard's leather dressing.

'Edge is right! The difference between a gay leatherman and a straight leatherman comes down to our uncanny ability to accessorize. The search for the gay gene need not have taken this long. All they need to do is look for the strand of DNA shaped like a messenger bag.

From bags to boots to bolos to belts, any damn fool can squeeze into a pair of chaps, but it takes a homo to find the perfect shoulder bag (like this one from REI) to hold his cigars, clip, lighter, money, lube, and trick cards since chaps are so pocket deprived.

Shop around at Duluth. Their products are 'designed and tested by Tradesmen.'

Sunday, September 26, 2004

I Am My Own Thom Felicia

Oh yeah.

Another pleasant day of domesticity.

Somewhere in this great land of ours, leathermen gather for fun and frolic. (Uh... "somewhere" would be Folsom Street in San Francisco).

But here at the Ol' Homestead, it's a different story. After yesterday's bout of housecleaning, today I turned my attention to my bedroom, the bathrooms, laundry, and chopping some firewood. The prize of the day is my bedroom. It is transformed. Even Dear Old Dad commented, along the lines of "You turned a shithole into a palace."

Yes I did.

The arrangement of the furniture I did when I moved here a year ago totally didn't work. So job one was moving around the furniture to find something that works. Then, I filled up two hefty bags with crap I don't need anymore (I love nothing more than throwing stuff away; it's like getting my teeth cleaned, getting a straight razor shave, and having a session with the Showershot all in one day). Then, I started arranging things on my bookcases. First off came a sort of shrine to all things leather. Three framed prints I bought at last year's Erotic Arts Festival in NYC, my officer's cap, rebel cap, leather cowboy hat, bootblack kit, various lengths of chain... It looks great in there. So great. It all, suddenly, works together so well.

Oh. And I swept up a years worth of dog hair, too.

Now, attic to basement, the house is looking great. (Okay, so the basement is still a disaster. That will have to wait until I can rent a dumpster.)

And I think I'm gonna go tackle a few boxes from the garage. Get that cleared out. Set up a welding atelier. As a time of renewal, Spring is over-rated. It seems Autumn is what's giving me a well deserved kick in the ass.

Top Tip

This from the Better Homes and Dungeons Department here at SingleTails...

Y'know those black plastic bags they give you for your purchases at your local purveyor of leather and SM goods? Don't throw them away! Save'em!

After working your boys but with your favorite dildo or butt plug, toss the toy into one of the bags. That way, you won't get santorum all over and you don't have to interrupt the scene to clean up then.

Cool, huh?

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Hey... I'm Gay...


Checking on GeekSlut's blog, I found a link and a mention regarding this. A confab of gay bloggers in the Nation's Capital.

It's that ol' high school feeling again.

Geekslut, Addaboy, Jimbo, DogPoet, jockohomo... When I was starting out, I read these guys all the time. I met Addaboy for lunch once. I've chatted with Jimbo on AOL about MAL. I think DogPoet had a link for me on his blog. They were heroes and role models.

But... I mean... whaddamI? Chopped liver?

I think I have a kinda good blog going here. I'm gay. I would miss my brother's funeral if there was a conflict with Queer Eye. My favorite cocktail is a cosmo. I swear! I'm gay as a goose!

But somehow I just didn't make it onto the A-List of gay bloggers. Or the B-list. Or the C-list. Or, y'know, the R-List.

Well, yeah but so what. Story of my life.

Mondo Gay has always left me on the outside looking in. I don't quite measure up, and they're always switching the yardsticks on me.

But then there's the leather community. Somehow I think that if various and sundry leather community bloggers were to have a national confab, I'd be on the list. Cuz I'm on the list. I am totally on the list.

Acceptance and love. The warm arms of welcome giving me a big ol' bear hug.

That's what I get from the leather community.

Thanks, leather community.

Anybody up for meeting me in DC on October 24th, spending some time smoking cigars at DC9--say from 5pm till 8pm--so the place is nice and stinky before those homo bloggers show up?

I Guess Meshak and Abednego Stayed Home

I can now trace my lineage back to 1778.

That's the year that my father's father's mother's ancestor, Shadrack Lord, came over from England and settled along the banks of the Schuykill River north of Berks County. (Present day Pottsville, Pennsylvania, home of Yuengling, the oldest brewery in continuous operation in North America.)

I love it that I descended from someone named Shadrack.

If I remember my lessons from Mennonite Summer Bible School correctly, Shadrack, Meshak, and Abednego were friends of noble Daniel. He of the Lion's Den. (I think I recall my teacher giving us a mnemonic to remember the trio: My shack, your shack, and to bed we go. Pretty risqué for a Mennonite, no?

What's Doin' With The Most Fierce And Fearsome Leatherman In The Delaware Valley?

Viciously whipping a linebacker from the local college football team into tearful submission?

Throwing some punk street urchin boy into the sling and filling his hot boyass up with a load of piss?

Introducing a trainer from my gym to the joys and rapture of having 200+ pounds of steel chain padlocked on his rockhard body and keeping him there till he smokes a big fat maduro down to the ring?



Today was all about housecleaning. I vacuumed. I dusted. I was down on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor. My countertops are gleaming. The carpets are free of all dog hair. There are two enormous garbage bags less clutter that will go out on the curb on Tuesday night.

And, I followed Faithful Companion around with paper towels all day. Y'see, FC must have picked up a bug in doggie lock-up. He's been throwing up about a six times an hour. I kinda don't mind dealing with FC's vomit. Any chump can play with a puppy and take a dog around the block. But cleaning up shit, piss, and vomit... that takes love.

And after dinner (Cream Chip Beef on Toast!), I fixed brownies (of course they're from scratch) for Dear Old Dad.

Bike Stop tonight?

Nah. Way too late.

How about the Raven in New Hope.

Eh. I'll pass.

A good night's sleep.

Tomorrow, I'll be cleaning the bathrooms, burning the trash, and... chopping firewood! Yup, it's that time of year. Winter approaches, the leaves show their colors, and we'll need to keep warm.

Yeah. This Fierce and Fearsome Leatherman has the homefront covered and the homefires burning.


What scar are you most proud of? A small, almost imperceptible scar on my palm. Years ago, I was visiting a farm in Kentucky with Faithful Companion. The farm dykes who lived there had electric fences up all over, to keep their own dogs away from their chickens, geese, and ducks. It was suggested that I let Faithful Companion 'discover' the electric fencing on his own. Well that didn't work. Or, perhaps, worked too well. Faithful Companion's collar got caught in the electric fence. He was panicking, trying to get away from weird sensation he didn't understand. I intervened, I reached down, trying to unsnag his collar from the electrified wire. I managed to do it, but Faithful Companion, in his terror, bit my hand. This is my favorite scar because it embodies what I believe to be a great truth: Faithful Companion's power to harm me is less than my love for him and my power to help him.

What's your favorite condiment? That's a toughie. If we're talking turkey, chicken, or tuna, it has got to be mayonnaise. But, if we're talking beef, pork, or processed foods derived therefrom, then it's got to be mustard. People who put mustard on mayonnaise foods and mayonnaise on mustard foods are degenerates.

Do you have freckles? Nope.

What's your preferred method of cooking? "Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. That's how all my favorite recipes begin. I love to roast.

What shoes are you wearing? My Kean's.

Who was the first person you ever French kissed? One of several girls I hung around with in high school. I was voted "the best."

What's your preferred breed of dog? Mutts rule!

Where were you were born? Doylestown, Pennsylvania

What color underwear are you wearing? The color of air. I don't do the underwear thing.

Where are your keys are right now? In the wooden tray on the table in my room..

What's your opinion of airline food?I like institutional food. If I could be on the meal plan for life, I'd check that box.

What cosmetic surgery you would consider? Not quite surgery, but along the same lines, I've long wrestled with the question of steroids.

Where's the most interesting place you've had sex? Beneath a waterfall in the moonlight. No, in a cemetary. Noooo, in the middle of a parking lot in downtown Milwaukee. Noooooo... in an army barracks with the threat of MPs coming in the door at any moment. Noooooo... in the surf of the beach of the Fire Island Pines... Get the picture? I get around.

What's been your worst ever injury or illness? I've led a charmed life in this regard. I remember praying for God to 'take me' when I had earaches as a boy. I think two years ago, when I had crypto or something (Thanks, Jersey City Water Authority!) would probably be the worst I've had to deal with.

Can you can sing well? I think I do, but no one else who has heard me does.

What would your Olympic event would be? I guess the assumption here is that I'd be able to train and get good, huh? I think baseball.

Name someone you admire.Woodrow Wilson

Which country would be hardest for you to locate on a map? Is it Uruguay or Paraguay that's across the Janiero river from Brazil?

Which part of the Sunday paper do you read first? When my Sunday paper was the New York Times, it was the City Section. A neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of what's happening.

What languages do you speak? English, French, Italian, Russian. If by 'speak' you mean being able to conjugate verbs and have a rudimentary vocabulary. On a visit to Puerto Rico ten years ago I was able to pick up enough Spanish to get along fine.

In what religion you were raised? Uhhh... a nit to pick. Corn and pigs are 'raised,' but children are 'reared.' I was reared an Episcopalian.

Can you can draw well? I do alright. But my lines have no conviction.

What's your favorite photograph?Anyone of several from Margaret Bourke-White's industrial photographs, or depictions of construction workers building sky scrapers.

W 2

I know. Too terrible to contemplate. A second term for George W. Bush.

Or is it?

Think about it.

The situation in Iraq continues to crumble, albeit at an accelerated pace. Without a plan, without adequate ground support, we defeated Saddam Hussein, but we are clearly losing the peace. The elections in January will do not a lot to tamp down the insurgency, as Prime Minister Iyad "Sweetheart of the CIA" Allawi is increasingly perceived as a tool of the U.S. occupation forces.

[Note: And that's a damn shame! I supported the original intentions of the war in Iraq: to supplant a ruthless dictator with an elected government in a region of the world where democracy is rare as are igloos.]

The Moslem world increasingly views U.S. interests with hostility, young Moslem men from Indonesia to Morocco are more and more inclined to heed the call of Jihad and wage war against the Great Satan. Al Quaeda has evolved and changed, from a fairly simple operation lead by a very shrewd man to a many-headed international Hydra. Diplomatic relations with other countries are so soured that nobody will be joining any U.S.-led coalition anytime soon.

And here at home, the chickens of the enormous deficit caused by out of control Federal spending will surely come home to roost, with skyrocketing interest rates (thus quashing the boom in home ownership), private sector recession due to contractions in government spending, and it's only going to get worse as the baby boomers start to retire, taking their productivity out of the economy and spending their golden years demanding increased government funding for entitlements due to the expectations raised by our political leaders of every stripe.

And a government without money to spend is an impotent government. And that means a crumbling infrastructure. And even fewer resources to enforce (weakened) environmental and labor regulations.

Okay. So that's bad. Right?

It sure is.

Now, do the Democrats really want to preside over that?

Even a shrewd politician like LBJ was defeated by inheriting the Viet Nam War from his predecessor. And John Kerry may be a lot of things, but a adept political wheeler-dealer with an amazing ability to unite and motivate an ever more divided nation he isn't. The Republicans would eat him alive.

So even if Kerry doesn't pull it out in six weeks, would it really be a bad thing to have four more years of Bush's earnest and decent ineptitude?

After all, it's not like he's going to head off to some new foreign adventure. He can't! It seems to me that the worst he could do would be to unleash the dogs of Ashcroft here at home, playing on the growing fears and insecurities of many Americans, and heading down the path of jingoism and benighted moral certainty.

But I can't see that happening in any way that would really matter. It would quickly become laughable.

Here in Up-For-Grabs-Swing-State-Land, where you can't relax on the porch of Starbuck's with a latte and a cigar enjoying the final days of 2004 warm enough to wear shorts and tank tops without being accosted by that nutty nutty Theresa Heinz Kerry tottering over the cobblestones dripping diamonds big as banana slugs, I think this has even dawned on the Bush-Haters among the Kerry voters. Even though I have yet to meet anyone who actually loves loves loves W., I know a lot of people who plan on going to the polls and voting for him. But, I have also yet to meet anyone who thinks that John Kerry is Da Man, or that he'd actually be able to do anything as President to make the world a better place in even some small way.

Peace abroad, prosperity at home. Remember the Clinton years?

Dang. At the time, it seemed like this was what life was going to be like from here on in. Imagine: an oval office blowjob rising to the level of national crisis.

Now, I wonder if I will ever again see an era like that in my lifetime.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Over The Shoulder

Another session tonight with Tattoo Artist Extraordinaire Joe Rose. (By the way, didj'y'all know that form of appelation was created by the New York Times? The definite article is missing. "Actress Glenn Close" instead of "the actress, Glenn Close.")

Not too much work done tonight. We made it from my shoulderblade up my neck and over my shoulder. Joe wrecked his knee getting his bike started, and he had a busy busy day. It seems that he's going to be on a show called The Makeover Story that appears on the Learning Channel. (And tuners-in would be learning what exactly?)

Makeover Story sounds a lot like Queer Eye, only without... y'know... queers. And, it's mostly girls they're making over. Joe and the gang from Lion's Den were part of a makeover the show did awhile ago, and the host and crew loved them to pieces. So much so that they asked Joe if he'd want a makeover.

Most of today involved them rampaging through Joe's adventurous wardrobe (featuring everything from the black AC/DC concert tshirts to a propeller beanie to blue fuzzy slippers with googly eyes to camoflage briefs). Joe was told not to shave for this day, as it's 'Before.' So he was all kindsa scruffy. Tomorrow is all about 'Transformation,' so Joe gets taken clothes shopping and visits a spa. Somehow I think I'll prefer Before to After.

Anyway, it goes without saying that it looks really great. It doesn't look like it will be complete in time for my birthday. But it's the journey and not the destination, right?

Oh! And I was a trooper tonight. Not a whimper, not a whine, little less howls of anguish came from me. Granted, mostly we were hitting muscular areas, although the neck and collarbone are no party.

Video fare was the Triumph the Insult Comic Dog dvd. I was roaring.

Anyway, the adrenaline ride has left me tired. I'm off to bed.

Cage Situation: In The Alternative...

Now if indeed I managed to get my new cage back here to the Old Homestead, it will promptly be dismantled and sit in the garage indefinitely. Soooo... I would sure be open to consider a long-term loan. In other words, if you have some dungeon space that could accommodate the niftiest cage you've ever seen (measuring six feet around and four feet high), and you're in that Fabled Providence-Philadelphia Corridor, then let's talk. All I would ask in return is to be able to use the cage to do a scene should the opportunity arise, and so that probably wouldn't be more than two or three times a year max. And, of course, that would be at your convenience. I wouldn't just go barging into your dungeon to take over. And if the dungeon space is commercial, we can talk about that, too. Lord knows it was built to last.

So. Interested in having a cage around the house?

Lemme know.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Assistance Needed!

Good news! My cage is complete! Pics are on the way to me via email, and I'll post them if possible.


Cagemaker Guy didn't quite follow the specs, and so it's bigger than designed. Not too much, six feet in diameter instead of five feet in diameter. But, it's too large to get into the back of my Jeep Liberty.

So how to get it from Providence, Rhode Island to my garage in Bucks County, Pennsylvania?

I need help with this. Know anybody with a truck or access to one who lives somewhere within the Providence-Philadelphia corridor? I'll pay cash money! (Not a lot, but some. Definitely buy dinner and give gas money.

Help. Please help. Help help help.

So. Anybody have a pickup? Anybody know anybody with a pickup? Anybody know anybody who knows anybody with a pickup?



If your answer is 'yes,' than by all means let me know. You can reach me via email at krrrush(at) That's three r's in krrrush.


I have to be at work at 5 am tomorrow. That means, I have to set my alarm for 3:30 am. When was the last time I got up at 3:30 am? Why.... that would be never.

And... And... I have to work a full day on Saturday.

Since I have my next session with Tattoo Artist Extraordinaire Joe Rose this Friday night, it is verrrrry unlikely I'll be showing up at 7 am. But we'll see. I'm kinda on a roll lately.

Apres Delta, la déluge.

I have to be at work at 5 am tomorrow. That means, I have to set my alarm for 3:30 am. When was the last time I got up at 3:30 am? Why.... that would be never.

And... And... I have to work a full day on Saturday.

Since I have my next session with Tattoo Artist Extraordinaire Joe Rose this Friday night, it is verrrrry unlikely I'll be showing up at 7 am. But we'll see. I'm kinda on a roll lately.

Apres Delta, la déluge.

I have to be at work at 5 am tomorrow. That means, I have to set my alarm for 3:30 am. When was the last time I got up at 3:30 am? Why.... that would be never.

And... And... I have to work a full day on Saturday.

Since I have my next session with Tattoo Artist Extraordinaire Joe Rose this Friday night, it is verrrrry unlikely I'll be showing up at 7 am. But we'll see. I'm kinda on a roll lately.

Apres Delta, la déluge.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Reflections on Delta

What a great weekend.

(Am I repeating myself?)

Something occurs to me. I'm a pretty good Top.

I swear, I say that with all the humility I can muster, being as objective as I possibly can.

When I bring all the elements together and just rock the guy's world... It's a beautiful thing.

And I put a lot of thought into making sure it all comes together.

Hmmm. "Thought" isn't quite the word. All my creative juices get flowing. The time worn formula of 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration comes to mind. There's that flash of intuition, and then go through it all in my head, step by step.

I know of nothing that engages me like that.

Delta is where I live. Where I really live. That's the real world. Delta and... y'know... similar events. MAL, Folsom Street East and Leather Pride Night, IML, TES Fest, Dore Alley, Inferno, Delta, Santa Saturday. Wherever leathermen gather. That's home.

Perhaps perhaps perhaps the day will come when everything is integrated. No more stepping back and forth through the looking glass.

Until then.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Oh man.

Oh man!


That was a great weekend.

Such a great weekend.

Left work on Friday and headed to the airport. Picked up Big and his luggage (for a little bit, I wasn't sure that those two had both arrived in Philadelphia together). We managed to find room in the jeep to accommodate Big and his luggage, and headed south to Delta. Hurricane Ivan was threatening, but we managed to get to the site before the rain started or darkenss fell, thanks to Big's excellent navigation. We found our room and unloaded, and managed to get to the dining hall before dinner service shut down.

Lots of sizing up the first night, finding out who was there and who apparently wasn't. Lots of Inferno folks that I was thrilled to see, and a passel of NYers, and some reeeeally reeeeeally woofy men.

Big and I wandered, checking it all out. We found our way to two of the dungeons, and things were pretty busy there. And that was a good thing. Travel fatigue soon set in--and let's remember, I had just worked a full week in the hardware department--so we headed to bed.

But first, Sir presented me with the New Collar. The first one, that I loved so well, made me break out. Red, scaly, itchy. Not what Sir and I were hoping for. So Sir, who always rises to the challenge of a mission (Virgo, doncha know), went in search of a replacement. He found a great woven black leather belt, took it to the nice folks at Mr. S, had it cut down and put D-rings on the end, and voila! New collar. So that was padlocked on, and once again, I was a happy boy.

Quite the night. I hear hurricanes a' blowin'. Ivan hit and hit hard. The rain was pounding against the windowpanes. But, sleeping there next to my Sir, I couldn't have passed a more peaceful night.


Saturday. The first full day of Delta. Right off the bat, I was approached by the man from British Columbia (BC) with whom I had done a chain bondage scene last year at Inferno. He was up for another trip deep into Chain Bondage Territory. Cool.

Of course, Job One was lugging two hundred pounds of chain and sundry other gear down to the dungeon. Luckily, BC was happy to help. And working patiently, the way you need to be with chain bondage, I soon had him helpless helpless helpless, padlocked into 200 pounds of hard cold steel. And he looked unbelievable. And just loved it. Loved it!

Apparently, BC is something of a budding Harry Houdini. The last rope bondage scene he did ended with him escaping. (And the better attributes of rope bondage would be what exactly?) Well, there was no escaping my chains. Uh uh. Under lock and key until I decided otherwise. Heh heh heh. He'll turn to dust before those chains will. And totally no escaping.

Good scene.

A brief word on Run Psychology. Day One, you think you've got all the time in the world. Best not commit yourself. Hold back. Figure out what you're in the mood for. Day Two. The halfway point. You start to feel the pressure. It's not gonna last forever. Kinda like turning forty... you realize that your time there (here, whatever) is limited. Make the most of it. Day Two is clarifying. You get up your resolve. Day Three. This is it, Bucko! Go for the gusto! It's now or... next year.

My Day Two Revelation: I want to Top! Sorry, Tops. I'm not the bottom boy this run. I want to Top again. I want to step up, take the lead, and make it happen.

Oh yeah.

Day Two brought a great opportunity. He's from Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale exists in my mind as a sort of Leather Paradise. Paradise as it exists in Islam. Y'know, the thing about all those virgins feeding dates to the faithful. I once whipped three men within twelve hours of getting off the plane in Fort Leatherdale. If the leathergods really find favor with you, you get to go to that sunny warm paradise where the beer is always cold, the bottoms are always begging for it, and cigar smokers are welcome everywhere. Not to mention the omnipresent mid-century design!

And Mr. Fort Lauderdale was just knee-buckling.

And kinda found me woof worthy, too.

But then we talked. As a Top... well, whatever. I wasn't interested in bottoming. As a bottom, Mr. Fort Lauderdale didn't like percussion. As in, Don't Hit Me. Huh. Well that would knock out... just about everything I do. How to parse this?

And then, I remembered the scene that Alpha had done with me that first year at Inferno when I presented a similar challenge. ("I don't bottom," said the man who would shortly be whipped, punched, tied up so it hurt a lot, pissed on and in...) So Alpha gave me a massage, and taught me how to submit, to give it all up, turn it all over, and just trust.

Thus, armed with massage oil, I set off for a date with Mr. Fort Lauderdale.

It was way cool. Oh man. Just beautiful. and he even had a space heater.

That's right, folks, I had a great time at Delta, even though I was cold much of the time! (Higher praise has rarely been uttered by my lips.)

And another amazing thing about Mr. Fort Lauderdale. We had an incredible amount of kooky things in common. I mean, how affirming was it for me to meet another gay man who had an over acting gag reflex? Criminy jigs! I'm not the only one!

Okay. Even though I was deep into Top Mode, I kinda wanted Keckler to tie me up. Lemme tell ya, I think he just rocks. Best I've seen. Beautiful, fluid, and he makes it loook soooo easy. He has such a good time with the whole deal. Such a good time.

I... uh... mentioned this to Sir. And... uh... kinda suggested that he and Keckler have a conversation. Make a plan. I was told to meet up with them after snacks.

So, fresh from a great time with Mr. Fort Lauderdale, i showed up at snacks. Sir and Keckler were a'waitin'. Flanked by the two of them, these two beautiful men, I headed back to the home away from home. There, Sir and Keckler had me hogtied on the bed in nuthin' flat. Sweet. Being Kind Tops, they allowed me to suit up in one of the many flight suits I had brought along to stave off the cold. The ropes felt great. Really great. Keckler bid us goodnight, and Sir and I settled in. Loved that.

Sleeping with Sir that night was, again, sublime. Absolutely sublime.

Even though... y'know... it was Bitter Freezing Cold.

Okie doke. Monday. The last full day.

Gotta tell ya, it was perfect.

To start off with, I gave Sir a lesson in throwing the David Morgan signal whip I got him for his birthday. Sir picked it up right away. I think he's a natural.

And then, it was all about boots. Earlier in the weekend, I had partaken of a great workshop on bootblacking run by black, bootblack extraordinaire. I still have nothing resembling self-confidence, but I think that I can take a shot at Sir's boots without doiong too much damage.

And a hike down along the creek had played hell with Sir's Corrigan jump boots, so I had my work cut out for me. So, I settled myself in the sunshine, and set to work with spit shining. I was at it for a while.

Bootblacking is so pleasantly meditative. And it's great to do in a communal setting. Like quilting. Sitting around chatting. And I think Sir's boots were looking pretty good. No shame in this boy.

I was busy with the boots right up until dinner.


I was kinda feeling the pressure. Doing the fox and the grapes thing. "So I only get to Top in one scene. That's cool. It was a great weekend." That kinda thing.

But the leathergods intervened. By the time dinner was over, I had two scenes lined up with two wonderful men. So after a few cups of coffee, I had a toy bag to pack.

First scene: singletails.

With a wonderful man. The two of us have been sort of circling each other and making noises like llamas in heat for years. No stranger to the whip he.

What can I say. It was wonderful. A beautiful man with a beautiful back. It felt great to take a man on that journey again. Wonderful. Wonderful wonderful wonderful. There is such magic and power in the whip. Such majesty. Like nectar and ambrosia, they're things for the gods, that a few of we mortals get to sample for ourselves. There is no greater scene.

We wound down. He was all giggly. No complete sentences were coming from him for a while. Uh uh. And I was pumped. I was flying.

Okay okay. Gotta shift gears. Gotta get ready for the second scene of the evening.

I was kinda worried about that. I mean, a bottom does not want to feel like the second course. He wants full attention. He wants to be the pearl of great price.

I went out into the (Bitter Freezing Cold) night, spent some time in quiet awe of the stars, cleared my mind, then headed back into the dungeon.

The second scene. My grand finale at Delta this year.

Couldn't have asked for a better man to work with. What a trooper. Again a challenge, though of a different sort. Y'see, there was hardly a square inch of this guy that wasn't already severely bruised. He had had one helluva run.

So how'd it play out?

Well, first, I got him nicely restrained in this big ol' bondage frame. A little vet wrap around his head took away his sight and allowed him to focus. With my kangaroo skin flogger with all the fine stringy tails, I worked his whole body, waking up the skin. This was The Beginning.

Then, I applied clothespins in even lines to his pecs and his thighs. This was no mean feat. His skin was stretched pretty tightly over his muscular beefy frame. But I got them on. Played with them for awhile, playing over them with my fingertips. This was The Middle.

Then I took out another flogger. The brickbat. Elk skin. Really heavy. Takes two hands. That's what I used to take the clothespins off. I took careful aim, and WHOMP!!! The clothespins went flying. Or at least some of them did. They were as tricky coming off as they were going on. And the boy was bellowing like a bull. Oh man was that great.

Another man, another great time.

This morning was all about packing, loading up the jeep. Heading out the driveway and homeward bound was poignant. Delta was great. Delta was really great.

So. So what about the food?

For the record, I had absolutely no complaints about the food. In fact, it ranged from Good to Very Good. And the coffee was really good. Seriously. The coffee at Inferno is absolute dreck. Barely drinkable. But at Delta, whether at dinner or at Command Central, I didn't have a bad cup of coffee the entire time.

Delta didn't have the intensity of Inferno. It was much more relaxed. Casual. Friendly. Suited me fine.

Next year? I have no idea. I think Delta will be held over Labor Day Weekend. And so, of course, will a softball tournement with the Ballbreakers.

I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

What a great weekend.

Thursday, September 16, 2004


Almost finished packing.

Tomorrow, I head to work, and after work (and after depositing my paycheck at the bank, buying some evaporated milk, and grabbing a venti iced quad three pump vanilla easy ice latte at Starbucks), I'm off to pick up Big at the airport in Philadelphia, and then we head to the wilds of Pennsylvania for Delta.


Hope I have a good time.

Talk to you on Tuesday or thereafter.

Have You Always Dreamed...

Sick Boy at work.

The one who greets new guys on their first job by asking them, "So if you found a dead babe, she just died, and her body was still warm, would you fuck her?"

And... you've gotta see this kid. He grew a beard in eighth grade. Hairy like a goat. He's about five foot three, but wears size twelve-and-a-half shoes. Huge feet. Right now he's got his head shaved and has a beard about a foot long. And crooked teeth.

Get the picture?

Kinda scary looking.

Okay. Really scary looking.

But he's a sweet kid. At least, he sure melted my heart with the dead babe thing.

Lately, he's been down on work. Calling in sick a lot. (I attribute this to the absence of my guiding hand at the sanding table.) Today was the first day he showed up all week.

He told me that yesterday, he got this thing in the mail. Addressed to him by name.

The opener was, "Have you always dreamed of being a model?"

It went on to to suggest that if your answer is 'yes,' then you call and make an appointment.

When Sick Boy told me about this, my immediate response was, "You're gonna call, right? I'll drive you."

So Sick Boy is gonna call and set up an appointment. I'm definitely going to go with him.

Chances are, it's some scam operation. When ever anyone walks in, they say "Yes! Omigosh! You are the one we've been looking for! I just got a phone call looking for someone exactly like you!!!" You have experience modeling, right? Oh, you don't? Darn. These people only want someone with experience. A portfolio. Oh well. But maybe... Y'know, since this is such a sure thing, we'd be willing to work with you, and cover most of the costs, if you'd chip in for materials. You'll get it back in the first ten minutes in front of the camera. Probably be about $150 if you've got it..."

So yeah. I wanna be there with Sick Boy when they try to put that line on him."

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Kathy!! Kath-eeeee!!!

Yesterday and today, cool, overcast, rain off and on. Weather like this always puts me in the mood of Heathcliff and Kathy. Wuthering Heights. As children, exploring the moors day after day.

Or, y'know, making a pot of tea and reading about that.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I Am The Wolf Who Lives By The River

Last night. Me. Soaking in my brother's whirlpool bath. (Well... it'll be my brother's until 10 a.m. tomorrow morning when he gets a check and give sup the keys.)

It was, of course, sublime. I put out a call to Wolf and he came. Whenever I call, he comes.

Our conversation was incredible. Natch. Way too much to go into now. Or ever, perhaps. But I want to telll you all about the best part. Wolf called me by my name.

"You," he said, "are the Wolf Who Lives By The River."

Wolf Who Lives By The River.

That is so it. So totally it.

Clearly, I'm in the Clan of the Wolf. Since I was a little boy, the Wolf has always called to me. Resonated with me. When I was about nine, out on a November night under the full moon, running through fallow fields shimmering with frost with my dog, I became a wolf. I know I did. I have the most vivid recollection of it.

I am Wolf.

And Rivers. I've always lived by a river. I grew up along the Delaware. I went to college on the Schuykill, Philadelphia sits between the Schuykill and the Delaware, and New York City is bounded by the Hudson and the East River. The river is my favorite body of water. (And you thought it was the hot tub, didn't you?) There's something sacred about a river. Something holy. The ancients ascribed a god to every river. T.S. Eliot, writing about what he considered the greatest American novel, "Huckleberry Finn," described the Mississippi River as the 'long brown god moving through the story.'

I am Wolf Who Lives By The River.

I know the shores choked with brambles and saw grass, the sandy beaches, the spit of grey pebbles. I have seen the river hold the moon, and watched the river fill up with dawn. I have given up myself and let the river take me where it will, and trusted the river to carry me where I need to go. I have tasted the waters sweet with spring rain, and sour with fallen leaves in the autumn.

I am Wolf Who Lives By The River.

Rubber Up!

Oh man.

My dad's five times per hour perusal of the Weather Channel brings the news that Big and I should be arriving at the Delta site about the same time as Hurricane Ivan.

Hope those cabins are waterproof.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Tomato Harvest Smothered Chicken

Here's a recipe. Hope you like it.

You'll need...

One of those cut up fresh chickens
Four or five tomatoes
A lemon
An onion
Black pepper
Olive oil

First, debone the chicken breasts. Put a lot of olive oil in the bottom of a casserole, or any dish that can go in a 500 degree oven and has a tight cover. Oh. Wait, the first thing is to preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Anyway. Put the chicken in the casserole. Then, liberally dust the chicken with the cumin. Put it in the oven.

Slice up the onion. After the chicken skin is seared, but not brown, add the onions.

Slice up the tomatoes into wedges. Put them in a bowl. With a vegetable peeler, get the zest off of about half of the lemon.
Chop up the zest until it's fine. Add it to the tomatoes. Add lots of black pepper. Mix it around.

By this time the onions ought to be pretty well cooked. As in, not brown, but getting waxy and transluscent looking.

Take the casserole out of the onion. Put the tomato wedges in between the chicken. Oh yeah. Shake the casserole to stop the chicken from sticking to the bottom. Dislodge it with a wooden spoon if it's starting to. Put the wedges in so that the skin is facing up.

Put it back in the oven for like eight minutes.

Take it out, put the cover on the casserole, and then put it back in the oven. Give it like ten minutes.

Serve with rice. Or cous cous. Or, I guess, even pasta.

So good, so full of flavor. And the chicken will melt in your mouth.

Easing Into 40

To thank me for helping him with all those boxes, my brother took me to lunch yesterday. We went to Villa Capri in Doylestown. This is where I go for lunch during my workday when I have a yen for pizza or a hoagie or a meatball parm sandwich. As it's right up the street from my brother, he and his wife go there a lot, so his wife can get whatever miserable combination of victuals deemed aceptable to her vegan palate. (Just think, "Pizza, hold the cheese," and you get the idea.)

So we go in, my brother, his wife, me, and there's the guys who make the pizza. They know me, they know my brother and his wife, but had never seen us together before. Their eyes darting back and forth between my face and my brother's, they made the connection.

"Oh," one of the pizza guys said to my brother, "is this your son?"

My brother, of course, looked like he had been kicked in the stomach.

"Yes I am!" I said.

"No, we're brothers," said my brother.


My brother is fifteen years my senior. But still...

At the table, his wife asked, "Do you think they thought that I was your mother?"

"Nah," I answered, "He divorced my mother. You're the trophy wife."

Much yuks all around at my poor brother's expense.

Ferocious Beast On A Leash!

Yesterday, Saturday, I had to head out early to help my brother move stuff. Before I headed over there, I took Faithful Companion out for a walk. There, in the middle of the driveway, was a plump grey field mouse.

This would be my second encounter with mice in the driveway. The first time, I couldn't figure out what this puir wee beastie was doing in the middle of the driveway. This time, it was obvious.

Y'see, my father has an exterminator come a couple of times a year. Among the evil things he does is plant mouse bait around. The poison acts such that the mice get insatiably thirsty, so they leave the house to find water. And die outside instead of in the house. Outside.

And don't seem to make it much further than the driveway.

I cursed the exterminator, cursed the mouse bait, and picked up the little dying mouse and put him off the driveway, in the yard.

Faithful Companion was verrrry interested in the mouse.

I took F.C. for his walk, and on the way back, saw him head for the mouse. I steered him away. I was distracted by something or other, and looked down to see Faithful Companion looking like... well, not quite like the cat who swallowed the canary, because instead of yellow feathers, Faithful Companion had a mouse tail hanging out of his mouth.

"Leave it!" I ordered. (This was a great command that the trainer I used when I got Faithful Companion taught me. Er... us. When he picks up something on the street in his mouth, "Leave it!" has him drop it.

Leave It did the trick, and out plopped the mouse into the grass behind the sidewalk leading to the back door.

Okay. Time to get over to my brothers.

Job one was clearing out the car. My gym bag, my folding chair, my beach kit, books, cigars, coffee mugs... Get it all out. I was making trips from the car to the back porch, and I looked down and found that Faithful Companion had found his way out of the house and was checking out what I was doing?

'Does this mean we're going for a ride???" he wondered. I lured him into the back of the jeep, and then went into the house to get his leash. And as I headed up the sidewalk, I notiiced...

The mouse was gone!

Looks like Faithful Companion made a stop before heading over to me clearing out my jeep.

Uh oh.

I wasn't too concerned about Faithful Companion eating a mouse. But eating a poisoned mouse... Relative body weight should mean a dose sufficient to kill a mouse shouldn't be lethal for a dog, but maybe not. I had to get to my brother's, but I asked my dad to keep an eye on Faithful Companion.

The day passed without an urgent phone call, and Faithful Companion seems to be doing just fine.

So field mice beware! Faithful Companion has tasted your blood, and he likes it.

Somewhere In Michigan...

It's Sunday at Inferno. The men who only did Session A are packing up and leaving, heading home. The men who only are doing Session B are arriving. The fresh meat. Smiling. Coming home. Home to that Once-A-Year-Brigadoon. To the only place that all of us really feel ourselves to be ourselves. Home. Among men we love. Every offer holding out the promise of life changing adventure. That Valhalla of the Heroes. So much love there.

The weather has been beautiful. Right now, it's 81 degrees and clear. No doubt people have headed to the beach, are strolling through the little resort town. Renewing friendships. Falling in love two dozen times a day.

Ah Inferno. My Inferno. I miss you so much.

And Diabolique and ARt and Alpha and roadkill and pluG and Michael and Mel and Greg and John and JP and Frank and all the rest of them... What an extraordinary phenomenon. Year by year, the story unfolds.

But for me, not this year. Not this year.


Ah well. mondaytuesdaywednesdaythursdayDELTA! Delta and Big. In a few short days, I'll be sleeping in the arms of my Sir. Meeting new people. Finding my way to dinner. Staying up late. Complaining about the food. Catching up with men I know. Watching the magic of a scene unfold as two men search out the excellence in themselves and in each other. And, he'll catch my eye, I'll catch his. Where're you from? Cool. Like that town. Only been there once though. Sorry I didn't meet up with you when I did. Yeah, I think you're pretty hot too. Woof. Yeah? Cool. So what all do you get into? Yeah? As a Top or as a bottom? I like flogging. I like flogging a lot. Although the way I flog has evloved some. It's not so much flogging anymore as... well, I'm not sure what to call it. Instead of being six feet away from you, I want to be up close, looking in your eyes, so I've had to adapt. Yeah, it is hot. Or it can be. I like the intimacy. Smelling you. Feeling your body against mine. Tasting your sweat. Hearing you sing your song. Yeah? Up for that? Good. Me too. Let's see if we can find an open spot...

Oh man.

If I have only one life to live, please God, let me live it as a leatherman.

Ink Saga: Spine to Shoulder Blade

Friday night. Seven o'clock. I show up for my appointment with Joe Rose, tattoo artist extraordinaire.


It seems that as Joe had been booked solid on Friday, our appointment had been for Thursday night. I had missed it. Joe was busy, and couldn't fit me in. He felt bad. I felt bad. He asked if I was available on Saturday night. And I decided to make myself available.

So. Saturday night. I rush home from moving, and meeting up with Friend and Landlord, who surprised me by calling from Starbuck's in Doylestown to let me know that his world travels had landed him there, and could we meet up for coffee and conversation (Yes I could!). With lightning speed, I scrambled eggs for my father to eat for dinner, and headed down to New Hope.

The town was packed! (Damn tourists.) But I found the Last Available Spot, and headed to the Lion's Den. And there was Joe, waiting for me. Jamie was finishing up an elaborate tattoo on this kids shin. He didn't even seem to notice. (How possible?) After all of the preliminaries, we got down to it.

Joe had me sit on his new massage bench. You sit face forward, with your face in the little pad with the hole in the middle, and your shins parallel to the floor, also resting on little pads. It's really comfortable. It would be great for fucking. And I guess it worked pretty well for Joe to tattoo my back.


Maybe because Joe was in a bad mood. His bike had broken down twice on his way to work, and he ended up taking his car. Or maybe it was me.

Anyway, I was a wuss. I was really flinchy. I was feeling the pain a lot. Maybe it was because I was trying not, to, like the kid who was smiling and watching Pirates of the Carribbean (our DVD selection for the night, a really fun movie), while his shin was getting tattooed... Whatever.

But I was just a wincing, flinching wuss.

I wanted it to be over. I thought about saying, 'okay, that's all I can take tonight.' I got angry at Joe. I decided that I couldn't go through with the rest of the tattoo, all the way down to my left wrist (clavicles! elbow!).

I couldn't find my headspace. I just couldn't.

It hurt.

Finally, after the credits on Pirates were rolling, Joe was done. I got up and looked in the mirror.

Holy shit. It looks amazing. Absolutely amazing.

Then, I noticed the buzz. Adrenaline and endorphins were pumping through me. I was flying.

I put in a phone call to Big to let him know how it went. I was having trouble forming sentences.

Yup. I was flying.

So it's a journey. Like any scene. You never quite know where you're going, but you learn along the way. The next time I'm bottoming in a scene, I'll have to try to remember all this. Even if things aren't going the way I hoped, even if I'm not enjoying myself, even if I'm just not into it... just hang in there. There will be a payoff.

Diverse and Sundry

This oughta be a long one. Fix yourself a nice latte, or a good hot cup of tea, light up a cigar, put on some nice music, and settle in.

Since I have a lot of ground to cover, I'll break it down in headlines as best I can.


Last weekend, it was off to Milwaukee for softball with the Ballbreakers. We were playing in the Dairyland Classic.

After the 3:30 bell rang at work, I zipped over to the bank to deposit my paycheck, grabbed a venti-iced-quad-three pump vanilla-easy ice latte to go from Starbucks, and headed down to Philadelphia International Airport. (The latte was crucial, as do to the inherent pay-to-play corruption of PhilaPolitics (the mayor's brother runs concessions at the airport), Philadelphia International Airport is a Starbucks Free Zone.) As luck would have it, the longterm parking lots were full, so I got to park in the day-rate parking lots at the same cost. Love that. I had some luggage shuffling to do at my car once I found a place in the garage, and once I was sure that I was taking with me everything I would need, I bolted for the stairs. I was two flights down when I did that little l'esprit de l'escalier argument with myself: "Did I forget something? Nah I've got everything. But I feel like I forgot something... Well screw it, you gotta run" I decided I couldn't remember locking the doors of my jeep, as in, pushing the little button on my keyring and hearing the horn give a toot. Okay okay okay. I'd go back up the two flights of stairs to do that. As I emerged into the parking garage from the stairway, I saw that the left front door of my jeep was standing open.

I mean Really.

Thanks for looking out for me, l'esprit de l'escalier!

The flight to Milwaukee (changed planes in Chicago) was mercifully brief, and I had a seat open next to me both legs. Can't remember the last time that happened. The cab from the airport to the Best Western Inntown Hotel (henceforth, the Craplodge) was exhorbitant at $27. I checked in, and found my roommate waiting for me. His trip was not so smooth. United canceled his flight from Chicago to Milwaukee, so he had to take a bus. And, his luggage never made it out of Chicago.

Now, keep in mind we were there to play softball, so his luggage included such necessities as his glove, his cleats, his bat, and his uniform. He was forced to the conclusion that everyone who had worked at United who gave a rat's ass about making sure United passengers got their luggage had left for greener pasteurs.

He recognized me from our ACT UP days of a decade ago, and we spent some time briefly reminiscing. It wasn't warm and frothy, more like gently prodding an infected wound. We hadn't always been on the same side of issues back then, or (for my part) had a lot of respect for each other's activism. And now, we were Team Mates. And that was the focus. So best let sleeping dogs lie.

Go out?

Nah. I was beat. I went to bed.


Saturday was a beautiful day for softball. I got up early, and grabbed breakfast in the basement dining room of the Craplodge. It was like eating in the lower-lower-lower berth dining room of the Lusitania. Red velvet flocking, ugly cheap paintings, no windows. A perusal of the local papers gave an interesting read on a former boy of mine--the one who lost the collar I gave him. He and his family are local royalty, y'see.

After breakfast, we loaded into cabs and headed to the fields in Wicks Park. Everybody was soooo welcoming! "Wow! You're the guys from New York! Thanks for coming!"

The first three games we played were to determine our see and division. We played teams from Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago, and beat them all. Not soundly, mind you. Every game was a challenge, and we were well matched. The scores were tight. It was great softball. I had three at-bats. I got out once, got on base twice (yessss!), and got two rbi's.

Didn't that feel good! Damn my ankle anyway! It's weak, but it didn't hurt, either when I was awkwardly hurtling down the baseline, or afterwards. Cool.

We played two more teams--good games both--and at the end of the day, we were undefeated. We were tied for first in the D Division. The three non-Ballbreakers (my roommmate, our pitcher, and an outfielder) fit right in with the Ballbreakers spirit of things. There they were cheering on our shortstop when he got up at bat by bellowing 'Fill! Thee! Whore! Fill! Thee! Whore! Fill! Thee! Whore!' with the rest of us.

Evvvvverybody gets a nickname up on the roster clipboard. Some of the nicknames are established (i.e., 'Filthy Whore' for our shortstop. Mine varies. I've been FistFest, Ann Jillian (when I had a severely infected piercing), CawFeee, and Gimpy. This time, I got to be Dahmer. Love that.

There was much eye candy all around. Love those Wisconsin men! They're all so big! That's what you get from bratwurst, cheese, and beer as your three basic food groups. I was in heaven among those beefy boys.

Our dyke umpire, concurring, told us a joke: "Whaddya call a 250 pound girl from Green Bay? Anorexic."

The softball was so good, and the men were so hot, and the beer was so cheap, that I proposed to my fellow Ballbreakers that we pool our assets, buy a big bus, and spend the rest of our days traveling around the midwest playing softball, sort of a gay, softball playing Partridge Family ("C'mon now we got games to be playin', c'mon get happy!"). Everybody liked the idea, but there were no takers. Although there was lots of contention about Who Gets To Be Laurie. Natch.

Round about game four, I had an idea. We were in the Midwest. The Midwest means great steak. Since we all had little envelopes containing $162 (our share from the various fundraisers held for the team at Ty's), let's find a great steakhouse to have dinner. I planted that seed in the heads of a few of my team mates, and by the time we got back to the hotel, those seeds had sprouted, bloomed, and born fruit: The Ballbreakers wanted Steaks!

So, dinner that night meant Butch's, a Milwaukee institution. It was walkable from our hotel, so we headed out on foot, snapping our fingers and whistling parts of the Bernstein score from West Side Story as we made our way down Wisconsin Avenue.

Butch's, there near the bus station, was perfect. Classic steak house. We got drinks and smoked cigars while we waited for our table, listened to football jokes in a heavy midwestern accent from our bartender ("What dew yew call this?" he asked, indicating an empty upside down rocks glass, "Why tha-a-at's a Minnesota Vikings Super Bowl trophy case.")

Alas. No rose without thorns. I sat next to this... this... guy. He's new to the team this year, and way hot. Seethingly so. At first, we were all a little bit gooey around him. Cuz he's so hot. But slowly, over time, his deficits became apparent. And he's got a bunch of 'em.

For example, he made an ass of himself at Butch's. Sitting next to me.

He opened the menu, and stated (really loudly) that the prices were ridiculous, cuz after all, you could get the same steak at the supermarket. I patiently explained this was not so. They served up only the best beef here, and aged it themselves for tenderness. Then when the waitress came to take our drink order, he gave her a hard time, demanding a separate check. And why? Because he only drank premium liquor and he didn't want us to have to pay for it. I'm not kidding. He actually said that. And went on to order a Dewar's. *ahem*

But then came the worst move of all. Mr. Premium Liquor ordered his steak well done. Idiot! No wonder he's not wild about steak, he's never tasted it in his life. All he's had by ordering his steak well done is incinerated slabs of gristle. The philistine!

I, on the other hand, ordered an 8 oz prime sirloin and a lobster tail.

Oh. My. God. The steak just disolved on my tongue. It was unbelievable. So sweet, so full of flavor. (And I selected a nice California Merlot for the table that everyone agreed was a winner.) The lobster was pretty much lobster, but since I love lobster, that did it for me. And, with liquor (albeit not premium, wine, entrees, appetizers, and 20+% tip, dinner cost each of us $60. That was fantastic.

The Ballbreakers, bloated and drunk and happy, made their way back down Wisconsin Avenue to the hotel. The plan was for us all to go out. I was already wearing my leather (welll... what do you mean when you say 'Dress for dinner'?). Maybe switch out of my western shirt and into a tank top.

I went up to my room, sat down on the bed, thinking about what a great dinner that was, deciding what I should wear to wow those big beefy Wisconsin men in the bars. My back was a little stiff. I laid back on the bed.

I woke up at 5:30 am. Still all leathered up. Basically in the same position I had been when I laid back. I still had my boots on even. So much for going out. I stumbled to the bathroom to brush my teeth, eased out of my leathers, and went back to bed to get a few more hours sleep.



Our first game was against a team from Madison called the Low Riders. They had a majorly woofy firstbaseman, some feisty dykes, and they handed us our asses on a plate, even though we had beat them the day before. It turns out that after the steak dinner, all of the Ballbreakers had pretty much gone straight to bed. This gave us insight to diagnose the problem: not enough liquor in us the night before! We were not at our peak.

Our second game was against the Teabaggers from Chicago. Teabaggers... Ballbreakers... a natural combination, no?

The Teabaggers were really really good. And beat the Ballbreakers soundly. Whomped us.

And so that was it for us. That's the way double elimination works. You lose twice, and your out.

This put me in a foul mood. Damn these people in flyover land! Luring us out here, suckering us in the first day, only to humiliate us on the second. We were from New York City! We had survived September 11, 2001! We deserved a trophy!

Scowling, I made my way to a rockin' coffee place across the street from the fields I had discovered the day before. You know, that day when we won every fuckin' game we played. That day. Anyways, the coffee place is called Blessings. If you're visiting Milwaukee, don't miss Blessings. In addition to the great coffee, they also have a raft of baked treats, straight from the oven of the owner's mother. The brownies were not to be believed. I had about four of them, and I'm not, in general, a big fan of sweets. Yum.

Then it was back to the hotel. Tonight was the awards banquet (Okay, gotta hand it to the flawless organizers of the Dairyland Classic Softball Tournement... a banquet? That's treatin' your players right. The banquet was great, and we consoled ourselves that the trophies looked kinda goofy: rainbow stained glass pyramids. If the boys from Queer Eye went on a rampage in your apartment, the rainbow stained glass pyramid trophy would end up out on the sidewalk.

And the banquet was way cruisy.

Damn those Midwest Men!

I had a hot and heavy thing going with a cowboy from Texas. Shaved head, bushy stache, a beautiful gut... and a husband. Husband notwithstanding, I was way into Cowboy Carl. Were he and the husband doing the monogamy thing? Could I lead Cowboy Carl astray? I intended to find out.

After the banquet, shuttle buses were waiting to take us all to the local bars. Our first stop was the Harbor Room, which bills itself as Milwaukee's premier leatherbar. It was a good place. The beer was cheap, the men were hot. When the Ballbreakers found out that being shirtless meant that the beer was cheaper by half, one by one we doffed our shirts. Guess who was the first to take the plunge? (What... and miss an opportunity to show off the tattoo?)

And then Cowboy Carl showed up. Damn. Wanted him bad. Such a hot man. Woof! I did my damndest, and I think I almost succeded in wrecking his happy home, but no dice. I wasn't getting more out of him beyond an email address.

I suggested to the Ballbreakers that we move on. I had heard that the other leather bar in town, Boot Camp, was sleazier. Blowjobs on the back porch. That kind of thing. That's what I was after. So off we went.

Loved Boot Camp. I'd be spending a lot of time there if I lived in Milwaukee. Count on that.

Right away, I buddied up to the doorman, a leathered up fisting Top named Joe. Joe the Doorman and I knew some folks in common, he was a veteran of several Infernos. A good guy.

And, he knew everybody. So sitting with him at the door was a good strategy. He'd greet some guy, and then as the guy went to the bar to get a drink, I'd get the headline version of the lowdown.

In walked Chicago Transplant. We had woofed each other and talked briefly (okay, kissed passionately) as I was leaving and he was arriving at Harbor Room. Very hot man, good leather, great body. Doorman Joe greeted him warmly, so I knew that I was probably dealing with a good man. Things got hot and heavy pretty quickly, and soon, Chicago Transplant and I were testing the limits of the decency rules at Boot Camp. (Blowjobs are fine, but I had to pull up my pants so that my ass was covered. Check.) Didn't slow me down a bit getting all hot and wild with Transplant Guy with My Entire Softball Team watching and commenting. ("I give him a 9.78 on that dismount!").

Chicago Transplant and I had a problem. I was sharing my room, and he was closing on his house in Milwaukee in a few days and staying with friends in the meantime. So, we had nowhere to go to take things to another level. What to do? Should we have straight-guy-sex (which I love) and just jerk each other off there at Boot Camp?

Chicago Transplant had a better idea. We headed out to his car ('Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy' by Big & Rich was playing on his sound system when he turned the ignition, a verrrry good sign.) We drove through Milwaukee, back in the direction of the Craplodge. I reminded him that it wouldn't work to go to my room. He said, Yeah, I know. We drove around for a bit, and Chigago Transfer found a deserted downtown parking lot. And we got out and fucked on the hood of his Chevy.

Woof! Love that!

It was a short drive back to my hotel. I was asleep almost instantly.


I woke up, threw everything into bags, and rushed off to the airport. The (direct) flight home was uneventful.

But then, I was able to find only one of my two checked bags rounding the baggage carousel back in Philadelphia.

Uh oh. And all the problems my roommate had with United...

But, outside of my various emoluments, there was nothing in that bag I had urgent need of. I filed a claim with the really nice folks at the US Airways lost luggage desk, and headed into Philadelphia. I found parking without too much trouble, and realized that I was in Philadelphia at 2:30 pm. This meant that I was actually in the city when I. Goldberg's was open! I made a beeline there. And as I was walking up Walnut Street, I made another discovery: Design Within Reach, my favorite website for modern furniture pornography--I gotta touch myself when I'm looking at their wares--has opened up a retail store. In Philadelphia. I was sucked right in.

And look! Two heavily inked, shaved headed guys wearing leather arm bands checking out Eames chairs...

I'm not alone!

I walked around the store, stroking myself, of course. The customer service reps didn't ask me to leave, they just smiled knowingly. I am definitely not alone. The mid-century design obsession and leather go hand in hand.

I worked myself into a lather, and then decided I could take no more. I headed to I. Goldberg's. Yahoo! Things I can afford! Boots a'plenty!

...and, of course, I. Goldberg's was closed. Because it was Labor Day.

Curses! Foiled again!

I headed home.

My brother's house in Doylestown has passed the second radon test. (They failed the first one miserably, the buyer almost backed out, they spent $5000 on radon abatement, and managed to come in with a score of .2. The closing is on.) This week was all about helping my brother clear out his house. Work work work work work. Shuttling furniture here and there, making three floors of Stuff disappear.

My brother and his wife are behaving the way most couples behave while undergoing this intensely stressful experience: they're always a hairsbreadth away from going for each other's throats with shards from shattered crockery. But, I got a dinner (my brother suggested pizza, I demanded sushi) and a lunch (okay, pizza it is) out of it. And tomorrow night, I'm going to have a final soak in his amazing whirlpool bath, before it belongs to someone else.

Astute readers will remember that said whirlpool bath was the site of my amazing encounter with Wolf. Here's hoping!

I'll close now. Ink gets an entry all its own.