Tuesday, June 28, 2005


This is so cool.

On my way home today, I was thinking about turtles.

Sometimes, driving the backroads of Bucks County in the summer months, you run across box turtles. My father would always stop the car, get out, and bring me home a turtle. I love turtles. Just the word... turtle. What a great word. Can you resist smiling when you say 'turtle?' Turtle. Say it out loud.

Don't you just love turtles?

And then, I knew this guy who lived in Reading. He had a place in the city with a little twelve by twelve foot yard behind it. He once brought home a turtle and put it in his back yard. Among his friends, it became "a thing" to bring him turtles. They couldn't go anywhere as his backyard was surrounded by a wall. And the turtles bred. In no time at all, his back yard was full of box turtles.

And they were great! You'd come out into the back yard and they'd all retreat into their shells, but one by one they'd pop out. And get this, because he always had lettuce or whatever with him, they'd come up to you, expecting to be fed.

Friendly turtles!

So as I drive along, I'm thinking all about turtles. And... y'know... keeping an eye on the road, on the lookout for turtles.

I didn't find a turtle.

I got home, and, of course, the first order of business was walking Faithful Companion. I leashed him up and we headed out.

And there, just off the driveway, about ten feet from the road, was a box turtle.

I looked at the turtle. The turtle looked at me.

Faithful Companion had urgent business to attend to. And we took care of that business.

When we came back from our walk, the turtle was gone. He had been headed in the direction of the road, and... well... that's too terrible to think about.

So I hunted for the turtle.

We found him about fifteen feet away (fast turtle, huh?).

I looked at the turtle. The turtle looked up at me.

I picked up the turtle, and took him to the mosquito infested slime hole pond in the woods behind the house. I found a nice green spot for the turtle, and put him down. He came out of his shell.

I looked at the turtle. The turtle looked at me.

See? This is how it is with me. Just when I start to get into A Mood, the Universe reaches out to me, giving me what I need,

Sending me a messenger. In the form of a turtle.

Monday, June 27, 2005

I Am Lana Turner

Except for time at work today, the past 30 hours have just about all been spent in the company of the Baron von Philadelphia.

Yesterday (that would be Sunday), I picked him up at the train station in Doylestown, and we headed up to NYC for Pride festivities. On the drive up, we talked politics and economics. Well, I kept my mouth shut mostly, because I know better at this point than to argue with the Baron about politics. We arrived in the city at about 3 pm, found parking in my newly discovered parking spot haven (like I'm gonna tell you where!), and positioned ourselves at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 24th Street.

Timing couldn't have been better. At least, I can't think of any contingent that I'd want to see that I missed out on. I saw the leather/fetish/BDSM groups (Go GMSMA! Go Eulenspiegel Society! Go LSM!). And, I was treated to the spectacle of all five of the Fab Five from Queer Eye riding in convertible VWs. (I nearly wet my pants.) (Carson, Ted, and Thom waved back to me.) And then, we saw the religious affiliated contingent. And, the Episcopalians sure constituted about 75% of that section. (Go Home Team!). And, newly ordained openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson was on hand. I was hoping to get a blessing out of the Bishop, but he was just in smile-and-wave mode. Purple is definitely his color though!

So that was all very cool.

The Baron and I grabbed some food, wandered down to the Village, hung out for awhile, grabbed some more food (at Mamoun's on MacDougal Street--Woof! to the guy behind the counter, worth the trip all by himself, not counting the best humous and falafel anywhere), and then slowly made our way back to the car.

More non-stop-turn-down-the-radio conversation on the way back home. Not about politics this time, so I plunged right in.

We arrived back at the Humble Abode at a decent hour, and I got a good night's sleep.

After work today, I headed home to retrieve the Baron, who was my houseguest for the night, and then we went to hang at Starbucks until the Baron's train arrived to take him back down to Philadelphia.

"So," asked the Baron,"When are you going to get published?"

I hemmed. I hawed. "Well, y'see..."

The Baron took me to task. "You," he said, "should be a columnist. You should be writing for the Voice, or for Instigator. Or somewhere. What you should do, and what I suggested you do two years ago, is put together a sampling of some of your best writing and send it off to every publication you can think of and..."


No, I told the Baron.


I care too much about my writiing. And I can't do that. When I put together my poetry and sent it off to the fine folks at the MFA program at Temple University all those years ago, and received in the mail the thin envelope instead of the fat envelope, I stopped writing poetry then and there.

I just can't deal with rejection. And every time in my life that I've tried to compete in that way, I've failed. And it hurts terribly.

The Baron countered that I'll never get published without doing that. That's how the game works. You write, you send off your stuff, you get rejection after rejection after rejection, but then maybe your hard work will pay off, and you'll get a letter of acceptance. Why, if you were an actor instead of a writer, it would be all about going to auditions...

And then, the proverbial lightbulb came on.

Not quite, y'see.

I've met with a lot of success in my life. I've had some wonderful romances. I've had some great jobs (I was the Executive Director a non-profit organization with a staff of 25 and a budget (when Ieft, after increasing it by 500%) of $4 million.

But, none of those successes came my way by putting my hat in the ring and hoping for the best.

I operate differently.

And that's when I thought of Lana Turner.

You remember Lana Turner, right?

There she was, sitting at the counter of Schrafft's, sucking on an ice cream soda, wearing her pink angora sweater, when in walked some big Hollywood director or producer or someone who took one look at her and signed her on the spot.

Okay. So I leave it all up to chance, huh?

Uh uh. And neither did Lana.

Lana decided to eschew the route of running to all those auditions with all those other hopeful would-be starlets. She knew that Hollywood types frequented Schrafft's. So she strategically positioned herself at the counter, and made sure she looked radiant, and dressed in something eye-catching, like a pink angora sweater.

And that's how I operate, too.

Not the pink angora sweater part though.

I don't send out my resume to eighty different ads I find on Craig's List and hope for the best. Because that's never worked for me. And when it doesn't work for me, I go into an emotional tailspin. I don't have the fortitude for that. It would wreck me.

Rather, I look for opportunities in the modest situations that my daily life presents to me wherein I can shine. When I meet people, I do my best to be friendly and engaging. When I'm given the opportunity to have the spotlight, I do my best to rise to the occasion. I try to come off as warm, thoughtful, smart, and fun. (And I am, pretty much, warm, thougtful, smart, and fun.)

And every once in a while, someone notices and approaches me with an offer. "Would you consider...?"

The Baron was not impressed.

"But," he countered, you can't count on that. Lana Turner was all of eighteen. If she had tried that at 40, the result might have been different."

Not so fast, Baron!

"Yeah, but here's the thing. Even though I make $10 an hour, even though I can't go to Florida, even though this guy from LA that I'm wild about takes me for granted, even though my father makes me crazy on a regular basis, even though I'm no longer tooling around NYC and getting laid as much as I like... I am happy. I am at peace. I might not like my life, but I like living it. I like what I do at work. I like sitting at Starbucks and shooting the breeze and making cute boys nervous with my Scorpio gaze, I like going to the gym despite the fact that I'll never be a big muscle-bound thug, I like walking my dog and seeing the fireflies every night. Life is good. I am happy. And if, perchance, someone out there says, "Hey! I've read your blog! I really like your writing! How would you like to be a columnist for my publication?", well then that's gravy.

So screw the whole sending off what I affectionately refer to as "my stuff" to several dozen publications. And dying a slow death by a thousand knives in the following weeks.

I'll be at Starbucks. Enjoying my iced venti quad one-pump-vanila easy ice latte. Waiting patiently.

And if my patience goes unrewarded, then I'll head to Lake Galena and enjoy the sweet breeze and the sunshine and working my muscles paddling my kayak for a few hours.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


So yesterday, the first day of Spring, I was sitting at Starbucks enjoying a cigar and a latte. And coming out of a rough period. I had just had the double whammy: realizing that my financial straits were too dire to afford a trip down to Florida; and having that man from LA with whom I'm totally smitten inform me, without a trace of 'gosh sorry' in his voice, that although he knew I'd be attending Session A of Inferno, he was opting for Session B. (I give, and I give, and I give...)

But the night before, I had taken Faithful Companion for his last walk of the day, and the night air was thick with fireflies. Millions of them. Everywhere. It was just breathtaking.

And then there I was, soaking up the sunlight, enjoying a very good cigar, and watching the seemingly endless parade of Really Hot Boys that seem to be swarming around Starbucks in Doylestown this year...

And then it happened.

Out of nowhere, I just had this sense of myself as... nothing. As a chance agglomeration of energy, just like the trees. Just like the chair I was sitting on. Just like the air moving in and out of my lungs. And so ephemeral. Since the Big Bang until the end of time, I'm not even a blink of an eye. I am nothing. Nothing at all.

Kooky, I know.

But it was just so amazing.

I've never been good at meditation. Never able to quiet my mind. Stop the endless thoughts. The best I can do is to count.

But yesterday, without even trying, there I was in Zen bliss.

So nothing is wrong. Nothing is bad. Because nothing is.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Hello, Thrill Seekers!

Here's a cool article from the NY Times emailed me by Diabolique. If you enjoy taking personality tests--I know I do!--then here's a link where you can take one to determine just how much of a thrill-seeker you are.

Enjoy! And keep those dopamine levels elevated!

The New York Times

June 20, 2005

What's the Lure of the Edge?


DURING a vacation last winter, I took a zip-line canopy tour of the
Costa Rican rain forest. Strapped into a harness 100 feet above the jungle
floor, I was flying through the air, with the toucans and parrots,
attached to a steel cable strung between two platforms. I was having far
too much fun to think that this could be dangerous. At first it was pretty
thrilling, but by the 10th zip line I felt it was losing its charge.

On the last and highest platform, a guy just in front of me began to
hyperventilate. Being a psychiatrist, I realized he was having a panic
attack. I got him to relax with some deep breathing and then asked him
whether he had had this problem before. "Oh, yes," he said. "I thought
this would be a way to conquer my fear of heights."

Why was he terrified by what was beginning to bore me? We were both
members of the sex that studies and more informal surveys indicate is more
drawn to thrill seeking (for better or worse - more men than women have
orbited the earth, while men are two to three more times likely to be
pathological gamblers). But this man and I seemed to be on opposite ends
of the thrill-seeking spectrum.

On an individual level, the difference seems to be hard-wired in our
brains, scientists have begun to discover. What is more surprising is that
thrill seeking appears to be enjoyed not just by an elite - or, as some
think, aberrant - bunch of people who put their lives at peril for a jolt
of excitement.

The focus of research on a relatively small, though dramatic, group of
unsavory characters like psychopaths and drug addicts can give the
impression that thrill is only for the mentally unbalanced. Far from it.
Thrill seeking in one form or another is so widespread that it has
practically become institutionalized in the culture. From reality TV shows
like "Fear Factor," shot through with danger and risk, to the growing
popularity of extreme sports, there is something to suit everyone's taste.

The root of the thrill-seeking experience lies in an ancient neural
circuit buried deep inside the brain that is intimately involved in
pleasure, reward and novelty seeking. This system, which connects our
thinking cortex with our more primitive limbic emotional center, runs on
dopamine, a neurotransmitter. Many of life's greatest pleasures feel good
because, in the end, they cause the release of dopamine from the brain's
reward pathway. Sex, food and recreational drugs all flood the brain with
dopamine - and so does thrill seeking.

Like just about every other human attribute, there is great variation
in individual taste for novelty and thrill seeking, much of it rooted in
the brain. For example, Dr. Nora Volkow at the National Institute on Drug
Abuse has shown that response to euphoria-producing drugs is related to
the levels of brain dopamine receptors.

In one experiment, she gave normal male controls intravenous Ritalin,
which releases dopamine, and found that those who experienced the drug as
pleasant had significantly fewer dopamine receptors than participants who
reported unpleasant effects. Those with more dopamine receptors at
baseline are probably less likely to abuse drugs or seek any thrill
because their brains already have more dopamine activity to start with. In
fact, these guys are likely to be thrill-averse, like that fellow I met on
the zip line.

For the chronically underaroused, a simple bike ride or jog in the
park doesn't do the trick; it would take something more intense like
diving 50 feet into a gorge or snorting cocaine to provide them with
enough dopamine for them to feel excited.

An entire industry has emerged in the last decade to satisfy such
voracious appetites for thrills. Rich Hopkins, an inveterate surfer,
stuntman and extreme sportsman, is president of ThrillSeekers Unlimited, a
company he founded in 1992. Clients try anything from skydiving, bungee
jumping and paragliding to zip-line or stunt driving. They will even give
you the "fire burn," where you are set safely on fire, like a real
stuntman. "When we started, we had around 50 to 75 customers that first
year," Mr. Hopkins said. "Now, we routinely take out several hundred
people in just one adventure."

Who are these thrill seekers? About 80 percent are men, Mr. Hopkins
said. But the big surprise is that some of the largest clients are
corporations and that many participants are men well into their 50's and
60's. "Instead of a golf holiday, they are sending their employees for an
extreme sports adventure and they love it," Mr. Hopkins said.

Charles Edwards has been chasing tornadoes in Oklahoma ever since he
studied meteorology in college. "I've been obsessed with tornadoes for the
last 15 years," he said. "Every storm is completely different, and you
just get this adrenaline rush and try to get as close as possible to them.
I've seen houses getting blown apart and cows tossed aside. Just awesome."

Mr. Edwards was so hooked by the thrill of chasing storms that he
created his own company, Cloud 9 Tours, to support his habit, as he called
it. "We take people out during the tornado season here in Oklahoma, from
April through August. These guys come back again and again."

But what about thrill-averse guys? Can they learn to enjoy a little
more excitement? If so, would thrilling activity itself change their
neural circuitry to make them more like thrill lovers?

Probably not, judging from studies of Dr. Jerome Kagan at Harvard, who
has shown that certain temperamental traits you are born with are pretty
stable. Using M.R.I. brain scanning, Dr. Carl Schwartz at Harvard recently
found that these anxious adults showed greater responses in the amygdala,
a brain region that processes fearful and threatening stimuli, to faces of
strangers than to familiar faces. In other words, people who like novelty
have biologically different brains than cautious folks, and no one knows
if experience changes this.

Of course, the surge of dopamine that thrill seekers search out can
literally be addicting. The reason is that anything that activates our
reward system, whether it's a natural reinforcer like sex, food or a
thrilling act, is seen by the brain as something that should be repeated -
over and over. And despite how smart we think we are, our brain can't
really distinguish among the activating effects of drugs, thrill or useful
behaviors. Even worse, for some people, drugs and thrill are more
powerfully self-reinforcing than even food and sex. So the very design of
our brain that promotes survival also makes us vulnerable.

Alain Robert, a k a Spiderman, is known for climbing skyscrapers
without special equipment or a safety net. He recently climbed the Taipei
101 Tower in Taiwan, which, standing at 1,670 feet, is the world's tallest
building. "The euphoria when I reach the summit maybe lasts a few hours or
days at the most, and then I have to have it again," he said. "I enjoy the
risk and to be in control of my fear and have to do it again and again. I
cannot stop climbing."

Not all men get their thrills in such physically spectacular ways as
Mr. Robert; some get it from their work.

James Cramer, a founder of TheStreet

.com and a financial commentator, used to manage a hedge fund. "I
craved the risk," he said. "I would come to work and if by midday I hadn't
made a serious bet, I'd be miserable. The bigger the bet, the better."

"I got such energy and felt so alive," he added, "I was ecstatic on a
daily basis."

For some, though, there may be more to thrill than only a dopamine
rush. "Guys like extreme sports not just because it's exciting, but
because it makes them feel accomplished and more self-confident," Mr.
Hopkins said.

John Bardes, a freshman at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., who
enjoys scaling 50-foot walls, echoed this. "The wall is a genuine test of
your ability and if your muscles can't make it, you fall. It's a way of
finding your limits and seeing how far you can push yourself."

Mr. Bardes, however, is not fearless. "At first I was nervous, and the
higher I went the more anxious I became," he said. "But I got over that.
Up there, I feel like I'm alone in my own world and it clears my head."

Thrill has a dark side, too. In the sexual arena, it can literally be
fatal. Men with a strong taste for sexual novelty in the form of multiple
partners are at high risk of both getting and spreading H.I.V. and other
sexually transmitted diseases as they move from one encounter to the next.

But few forms of thrill are as insidiously destructive as gambling.

Recently, scientists have peered into the brain while people are
playing a game that simulates gambling. Dr. Hans Breiter at Harvard had
subjects play a computer game of chance in which they either won or lost
money, and monitored their brain activity. He found that the prospect of
winning money activates the same dopamine reward pathway in the brain as
recreational drugs like cocaine do. No wonder gambling is so compelling.
This also helps explain why gamblers, like drug addicts, often seem
helpless to resist an impulse that brings intense pleasure but can ruin
their lives.

Curiously, winning the prize is not what seems to make gambling so
thrilling and addictive. Dr. David Zald at Vanderbilt University measured
dopamine release in a group of subjects who played a computer game in two
different conditions. In the first, subjects selected one of four cards
and knew they might win a $1 reward, but didn't know when it might occur.
In the second, subjects knew ahead that they were guaranteed to win $1
with every fourth card.

Dr. Zald found a large increase in dopamine activity when winning was
unpredictable, but not when the subjects knew what was coming. The
implication is that gambling is powerfully addictive precisely because the
outcome is uncertain.

Believe it or not, thrill seeking is pretty much a modern phenomenon.
Our hominid ancestors did not bungee jump or do any of the silly things
that we do these days for thrill. Life back on the savannah was exciting
enough on its own, with ferocious predators and an overall lack of

Nowadays, where the basics like food or a sexual partner are a mouse
click away, we don't really need our reward circuit for survival; we are
free to use it just for pleasure. (To determine your risk comfort level,
you can try a test adapted from the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality
Questionnaire at nytimes.com/menshealth.)

With few exceptions, like 9/11, modern life has become so safe and
controlled that you have to work at finding a little excitement. In fact,
one might predict that as life becomes more predictable, riskier forms of
excitement will emerge. Hang gliding off Mount Everest? Antarctic
triathlon? There's no telling what's next.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Life With Father, Part LCXXXIV

So I get home this evening in a black mood. How black? Well, I sat in my jeep in the driveway for a good half hour bellowing, first from anguish, and then with rage.

Pour quoi?

One thing I won't go into. For... certain reasons. But, I realized that the numbers don't add up and I won't be able to drive down to Florida the first week of July to visit my brother and a bunch of my leather brothers along the way. I just can't afford it. Not on $10 an hour.

Poverty = Sucks.

And then, of course, there's my dad. "Why can't he be different?" was the basic gist. (jist?)

So after I had exercised myself some, the first order of business was to take the groceries inside, and take Faithful Companion for a walk.

The sky was beautiful. Everything is so lush and green. So much in bloom. Beautiful.

Then, I went back and relayed the days events to my father. And then I fixed him dinner (Monday means ham and eggs).

And then...

Well, more correctly, and now...

He and I are sitting here smoking cigars, flipping the channel back and forth betweent the Red Sox-Indians game (Go Bosox! Dave Wells on the mound! Yesss!) and Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky's ballet, Tchaikovsky being my father's second favorite composer after Hector Berlioz.

So I'm still miffed about the cancelled vacation, but overall, things are better.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Been Busy Today

Yo. Check this out...

So tomorrow, at Folsom Street East, all these guys will be like "Dang! Look at your boots? They are sick! They are phat! Who you got blackin' for ya out there in howling wilderness?"

And I'll be like, "Yo. This is my work."

And they be like, "Yo. No way. You got the excellent services of cubby j. sherwood working on your boots, right?"

And I'll be like, "Dig. I was makin' with the saddle soap and makin' with the Huberts. This is my work."

And they'll be like, "Yo! Dawg! Can't touch that."

So, y'know, it should be good.

Tragically, it's going to be cold. San Francisco cold. Like mid 70s. (Brrrrrr...) But I'll do my best to show up my ink work.

See ya there!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dose Of Reality

I am an absolute sucker for reality tv. (I'm really upset about how all my favorite castaways keep losing the contests on The Real Gilligan's Island.) Fan as I am of the genre, I've thought some about how about BDSM could serve as the basis of a reality show. I mean, the possibilities for contests are endless. But what could the overall scheme be?

Well, it looks like VH1 is a few steps ahead of me.

Check out Kept.

Okay okay okay. So it's not overtly about BDSM.

Here's what it is about...

Jerry Hall, the former Mrs. Mick Jagger, is seeking a kept man. A troop of hot, stupid, and narciscistic American boys are flown to London to compete for the honor. All the guys just don't get it. At all.

Like, they're constantly saying things like, "I wish I could get some time alone with Jerry cuz I'm sure we'd have a romantic connection." And Jerry is constantly saying things like, "My kept man must no how to handle himself in a variety of social situations as I won't have him embarrassing me. Ever."

Uh huh.

And what's that "kept man" thing about anyway?

Well, the winner gets to be Jerry's escort of sorts, and will receive a six figure "allowance" for one year. Doing what Jerry wants him to do, wearing what Jerry wants him to wear, looking the way Jerry wants him to look.

And Jerry is constantly saying things like, "What a great opportunity to take this raw material and create from it my ideal kept man."

In the episode I saw, the guys got a lesson in etiquette (how many times have I heard that etiquette is the key component of a good boy?), and for an art lesson, had to strip and pose naked with spears, shields, and such.

How humiliating, huh?

(Yeah. I'm grinning.)

So what we're talking about is one of these hot, clueless, men competing to spend a year as the boy of Jerry Hall.

boy, my bags. boy, amuse me. boy, I'll have a massage now.

I mean, can't you just see it dawning on the guy what he's gotten himself into? Like maybe Jerry, after a long day of shopping, will use him as a footstool, and he'll realize that the "romantic connection" he was hoping for isn't going to transpire anytime soon.


My choice for a boy... oh excuse me "kept man" was tragically eliminated in the art contest. But I think he's a hot one.

Long live power imbalance relationships!

Monday, June 13, 2005

I Am gps


Kick in the stomach!

What was that weirdness with the hot bear from New Hampshire I met at the Salt Ash Inn? Been wondering and wondering. I've been wanting some action between the sheets, and here was hot action with a hot man, so why couldn't I get my head together?

Now I get it.

This sounds sort of extreme and dramatic, but here goes. Remember that LA guy who had me all hot and bothered? Well, I thought I was over him, worked my way through, but guess what... He's spoiled me for all other men.


It was just so good with him. So good. I couldn't ask for more. And I'm trying to find a viable alternative. One that's just like him.


Not that I blame him. At all. It's just that he was designed by the Creator to be able to reach to the very depths of my soul and satisfy all of my deepest desires. It would be like blaming cuban cigars. Like blaming single malt scotch. Like blaming Joe Wheeler's whips. So they're unbelievably great. Not their fault, just a fact.

But of course, there's that fact that I'm in the same boat as Adam. Of Genesis fame. Evicted from paradise.

But don't be dismayed. I'm not. My story with the guy from LA isn't over. And the search for other terrific scenes and men continues. I'll do whatever it takes.

It just kinda hurts sometimes.

Wish he'd call me.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

I Say We Go For It

Seen this? Kinda cool...

Dear Red States,

We're ticked off at the way you've treated California, and we've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.

We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's,we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's
caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's
quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and
Seven Sister schools, plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

By the way, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Author Unknown in New California

Quote Unquote

All dogs will look up to you. All cats will look down on you. Only the pig will look at you as an equal.

-Winston Churchill



Green Mountain Adventures


You never know!

This weekend, I joined CigarBiker and his babyboy for a stay at the Salt Ash Inn in Plymouth, Vermont.

Now, Plymouth is 300 miles away from me. A long, long drive. I was making that long, long drive because I always enjoy the company of CigarBiker and babyboy. I envisioned the Salt Ash Inn as being something like the sad and tragic Rainbow Mountain Resort that Sir and I visited back in December. Namely, a weird wee outpost of homo-ness in an otherwise hetero wilderness.

Can you say... Wrong!

I mean, the place was great!

The men were Hot! Like, way hot! And they were all Tops! (Thank the leathergods for my newfound versatility!) the hosts, Jonathan and Jordan, are really great guys. The place was nice, but not fussy. The room rates are entirely reasonable, and the dungeon space was kickass. (Love the Rustic Country Dungeon!)

And, they have a hot tub.

I had planned to head up on Friday night. Unfortunately, I had to do a service call for work on Friday. I was assured that I'd be back at 5 pm, in time to cash my paycheck, stock up on cigars, and head out on the road.

I got back to the shop at 8:15.

So, I had to head up on Saturday. And it was a long drive. Although a beautiful one. If you're ever in Hoosic, New York, be sure to visit Helvi's BBQ on Route 7. If the barbequed beef I had is any indication, the pulled pork, which they were out of, is amazing. And beautiful Vermont offers road signs bearing quaint names like "Wooten Pond" and "Hoopletonville" and the like. But eventually, at 7:30 pm, I got there.

I said my hellos and hit the hot tub. Every seven hour drive should have a hot tub at the other end.

Especially when it's a hot tub filled with gropey men.

Hot gropey men.

I exited the hot tub when I had to piss, and whaddyaknow, there was a watersports party going on! So I headed for the Rustic Country Dungeon. Hardly in the door, and no sooner had I relieved myself into babyboy's rubber waders, than I was set upon by two hot tops, who treated me to some CBT and TT, which I took like a trooper!

After I had all I could take (my tits are still sore) (love that), I grabbed a sandwich for dinner, and went to cruise the pub room. More hot men were arriving every minute.

And here's another surprising thing: the level of play was fairly sophisticated. We're talking sounds, scrotal inflation, fisting... And, I witnessed a really creative and innovative scene wherein one of the numerous Tops sprayed the back of a few men with a shower of sparks from a grinder held against a hunk of stainless steel. (Kudos! Reminded me of welding! And verrrry dramatic to watch. Like fireworks.)

I awed all present (aw shucks) by showing off my flogging and singletail prowess.

That felt good.

But, alas, no rose without thorns, no earthly paradise without a serpent slithering somewhere. Things started to get piggy. And, as readers know, I needed some of that. So I paired off with the hot bear who had worked my balls so well.

And wouldn't you know it, I just got sucked up into my head. My cerebral cortex just would not stop. Totally chatty cathy.

Mostly concerning the HIV thing. Damn my precious HIV-negative sero-status anyway. Had to keep reminding myself: hate doctors, hate pills, hate doctors, hate pills, hate doctors, hate pills...

Dealing with all that, and trying to keep a hardon to show this way hot bear how appreciative I was of his intentions resulted in a splitting headache.

Which further complicated things.

But all turned out well. He messaged me to let me know he had the best time with limp-dicked non-pig me that he's had in ten years. I guess that's the plight of being a Top in Vermont, the only state in the Union where Tops out number bottoms by about 30 to 1.

But don't let my crappy head space fool you! The Salt Ash Inn is well worth the trip. They have two more of what they bill as "men's parties" this summer, the last weekend of July and August respectively. July I'll be playing softball, but I'm hoping to make the August party. What could be sweeter than a sultry summer weekend in that beautiful corner of the world?

And, if'n you need a weekend getaway, the Salt Ash Inn comes highly recommended by me.

Onwards and upwards!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

In The Midst Of Life...

So today at work, my partner turns to me and asks, "What do you want out of life?"

I thought for a minute, and replied, "To enjoy friendship, to love, and to leave the world better than I found it."

I realized that I was getting close to The Place...

The Place?

Okay. You at home can play along. I sprang this on my partner.

Sit back. Get comfy.

Now think about this: What do you want to do before you die? What will make your time on this earth complete?

Try to think of at least three things. But by all means, keep going beyond three.

Take your time.


Now, imagine that your phone rings. It's your doctor. He has some bad news for you. It seems you've got about three days to live. You won't feel any pain until the very end. But pretty much, your number's up.

How are you going to spend those three days? What are you going to do with yourself?

Here's the life transforming part: why are the answers to those two questions that you just came up with so different? I posed the same question twice. The only thing different was the time frame.

When this gumball for the mind was first presented to me, I was a junior in college, at a conference for campus leaders or something. It was at a workshop on "time management." I went in expecting to hear about how to be more productive by breaking your day into fifteen minute increments or something. What I got was the two questions.

My answer to the first one was something along the lines of, "Get a novel published, spend a year living abroad, own a great house, find a job I enjoy, get my PhD., etc. My answer to the second one was, I'd go to the beach, and bring with me all the people I love and care about. We'd splash in the waves during the day, and sit around a campfire listening to the surf and telling stories at night."

And today, the question from my partner was pretty much the grace of the moment. No matter how he had framed the question, my answer would be the same. Having the same answer to either question is being in The Place.

As in, the good place. The right place. The place where you're supposed to be. The place you want to be. Not the place where you ought to be, or where people think you should be, but the place you are because it's your place.

You're home.

Speaking of being places, I'll be in Vermont this weekend. At the Salt Ash Inn. It's some kind of a dungeon party I've been invited to. At an inn with a hot tub. I don't think I could ask for much more.

Well, okay, it's a five and a half hour drive for me to get there. I could ask for somewhere closer.

But wherever I am, I'm in The Place.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Just A Thought...

You'll find 'Monogamy' in the dictionary...

...between 'Misery' and 'Murder."

Just a thought.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Remember Sex?

I can. But just barely. It's been months. Maybe a year or more.

What am I talking about here? Not SM. Since I got my garage cleared out, I could spend every waking minute chaining up, flogging, and whipping a seemingly endless array of willing men out there. And I'm not talking about anonymous blow jobs at El Mirage.

I'm talking about consumating mutual physical attraction. I'm talking the Missionary Position. I'm talking no negotiation beforehand, no safe words, no toybags, no group sitiations. Just two guys, in bed, going at it.

"Whaddya like? Yeah, you like that? Like it when I do it like this? Oh yeah. That's sweet. That feels soooo good."

Whatever happened to that?

They still have it on television. And in the movies.

It seems to me that there used to be a lot more of it going on.

And I may be wrong, but I don't think it's just me. I mean, given all the men banging on the door of my garage, I seem to be some gay men's idea of reasonably good looking. But getting laid has become just about impossible.

Maybe it's the internet. After all, the World Wide Internet has sure made masturbation a lot more interesting. Even great. And if you and your laptop can work it out, you don't really need somebody else there, do you?

And I think we can ascribe blame to the whole Gay Marriage thing. By elevating the issue in importance, it's made those committedlifelongmonogamous relationships normative. If you're not in one, you're probably asking yourself why not. But, as we all know, after the first six months or so, no one in a committedlifelongmonogamous relationship has sex. Companionship? Yes. Someone to fight with about whose fault it is that you're out of toilet paper? Yes. Sex? Uh uh.

And, loathe as I am to admit this, but the movement of SM out of the Mineshaft and into just about every suburban livingroom in all the Blue States (and probably more than a few Red States, too) probably has something to do with that, too. I mean, yeah, it's erotic, but there's all kinds of things you have to be good at, and you have to run up a hefty balance on your credit card, too.

And, of course, there's HIV. Oh man, is there ever. I'm old enough to remember when what is now called "unsafe sex" or "barebacking" was just simply referred to as "sex." Now, there's a small and elite group that seems to be having all the fun--seems, in fact, to have cornered the market on sex--by having that which has come to be known as "pig sex." Which is just sex, but because of that persnickity virus, it's now all kinds of transgressive to have it. And, when you do it, you're Making A Statement, so it must be like being the first African American to not ride in the back of the bus in Birmingham, or being the first woman admitted to the Citadel, or being the first openly gay politician elected to the U.S. Congress. I mean... imgagine the pressure!

And maybe it's the fact that the advertising industry has discovered gay men, and just like they did to women for all those decades, has bombarded us with images of perfect men with perfect bodies that none of we mere mortals measure up to and so we're all feeling inadequate.

And then there's the whole crystal meth thing. Apparently just having good old toweling-off-after-twenty-minutes sex isn't good enough any more. Now it's got to go on for hours and days at a time and involve acts that would set world records.

I mean, I used to go out to a bar every Saturday night and find some man to have sex with. (I swear! I'm not making that up!) On those rare occassions when it didn't work out that way, I'd go home, listen to Morrissey, wonder what was the matter with me, etc. etc., but that would last exactly six days, until the next weekend, when I'd be able to have sex again. If I had to wait that long.

Sometimes it was bad sex, but at least it was sex.

So what about you? Are you having sex? Are there still pockets of resistance out there? Is there a bar left in the world where, "Can I buy you a beer?" is unambiguously taken to mean, "Would you like to come back with me to my nearby apartment where I live alone and have sex with me?"?

Please tell me I'm wrong.