Friday, September 29, 2006

Looking At Deer Differently

Deer are vermin, right?

The suburban equivalent of rats.

That's how I looked at them. Just knowing that somewhere out there was a deer that would eventually come in contact with the front bumper of my Jeep. Always lurking by the side of the road, ready to strike.

Well no more. I've had a change of heart.

I remembered something.

My sister.

A little background here, for those of you who haven't been paying attention. My sister Kathy was thirteen years older than me. Our mother died when I was three and a half, and so her relationship with me was as much maternal as sisterly. Not that it was uncomplicated. She contended with a lot of pain in her life, and numbed that pain with alcohol. She would lash out, sometimes at me, and that really hurt. She had several stays in rehab, but it just didn't work. Until it did. Clean and sober, Kathy started to put her life back together. And there she was, owning a sweet little former one room school house in upper Bucks County, paying off some ancient bills, going back to school, finding outlets for her artistic talents and creativity.

And then she took a stress test as part of her routine checkup. And it went badly. It turned out shhe had Primary Pumonary Hypertension. It's a slowly debilitating illness, and short of a heart-lung transplant, there is no cure. So over the course of the next couple of years, she went down hill, the slightest exertion left her short of breath and weak. Until she passed away on July 14th, 1999. she passed away.

And deer play into this how?

Well you see, my sister and I are 1/16th Native American. And she considered herself something of a throwback, very in touch with that. And she once told me the story of how she found her spirit guide. One night in midsummer, she wanted to sleep outside. So she headed to nearby Ralph Stover State Park, left her car in the lot, hiked into the woods in the dark, and under a pine tree, the ground soft from needles, she lay down and went to sleep. She awoke in the first light of dawn, and found a doe standing over her. The doe gave a loud snort, and stomped her hoof. My sister and the doe looked into each others eyes. Then the doe slowly walked off into the woods. So my sister's spirit guide had made herself known.

It was a few weeks ago, driving home, when the thought passed through my mind. Y'see, I miss my sister so much. I would give anything to spend just one more day with her. Anything.

You probably see where this is going.

Now, when I'm driving home at dusk, like tonight, and there she is, standing by the edge of the road, a sleek (okay, pretty plump actually) young doe, still with a few white spots in her coat, so probably only six or seven months old at most.

I slow down, and call out, "Hi Kathy! Hi! I love you! I'm doing harm reduction work again! Remember when you visited me up at the place I worked in New York?"

Every time I see a deer, it's my sister checking in on me.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Life Is Rich And Full

I dreamed up this reallly smart, innovative idea at work that could allow us to expand the number of people we're reaching exponentially without hugely increasing our expenses. If it works, it could totally put us on the map.

Tonight was the first meeting of an adult Christian formation thing at my church. We went around the room and introduced ourselves. I came out.

I'm going to spend the weekend with hot tub guy at his cabin in Pennsylvania's gay campground (no, not that one, the other one)>

Next weekend, I head to DC to play in a softball tournement with the Ball Breakers.

I've got a couple of dates to hook up with these potentially hot manhunt.net guys tomorrow and Friday after work. (It's been a very long time since I got laid. Y'all know that?)

Bob Casey is apparently widening his lead over incumbent Senator Rick Santorum (R.-Penna.).

And now this... on Project Runway, Laura, Michael, Uli, AND Jeffrey are all going to Fashion Week! That. Is. So. Cool. They're all so great.


Life Is Rich And Full

I dreamed up this reallly smart, innovative idea at work that could allow us to expand the number of people we're reaching exponentially without hugely increasing our expenses. If it works, it could totally put us on the map.

Tonight was the first meeting of an adult Christian formation thing at my church. We went around the room and introduced ourselves. I came out.

I'm going to spend the weekend with hot tub guy at his cabin in Pennsylvania's gay campground (no, not that one, the other one)>

Next weekend, I head to DC to play in a softball tournement with the Ball Breakers.

I've got a couple of dates to hook up with these potentially hot manhunt.net guys tomorrow and Friday after work. (It's been a very long time since I got laid. Y'all know that?)

Bob Casey is apparently widening his lead over incumbent Senator Rick Santorum (R.-Penna.).

And now this... on Project Runway, Laura, Michael, Uli, AND Jeffrey are all going to Fashion Week! That. Is. So. Cool. They're all so great.


Life Is Rich And Full

I dreamed up this reallly smart, innovative idea at work that could allow us to expand the number of people we're reaching exponentially without hugely increasing our expenses. If it works, it could totally put us on the map.

Tonight was the first meeting of an adult Christian formation thing at my church. We went around the room and introduced ourselves. I came out.

I'm going to spend the weekend with hot tub guy at his cabin in Pennsylvania's gay campground (no, not that one, the other one)>

Next weekend, I head to DC to play in a softball tournement with the Ball Breakers.

I've got a couple of dates to hook up with these potentially hot manhunt.net guys tomorrow and Friday after work. (It's been a very long time since I got laid. Y'all know that?)

Bob Casey is apparently widening his lead over incumbent Senator Rick Santorum (R.-Penna.).

And now this... on Project Runway, Laura, Michael, Uli, AND Jeffrey are all going to Fashion Week! That. Is. So. Cool. They're all so great.


Life Is Rich And Full

I dreamed up this reallly smart, innovative idea at work that could allow us to expand the number of people we're reaching exponentially without hugely increasing our expenses. If it works, it could totally put us on the map.

Tonight was the first meeting of an adult Christian formation thing at my church. We went around the room and introduced ourselves. I came out.

I'm going to spend the weekend with hot tub guy at his cabin in Pennsylvania's gay campground (no, not that one, the other one)>

Next weekend, I head to DC to play in a softball tournement with the Ball Breakers.

I've got a couple of dates to hook up with these potentially hot manhunt.net guys tomorrow and Friday after work. (It's been a very long time since I got laid. Y'all know that?)

Bob Casey is apparently widening his lead over incumbent Senator Rick Santorum (R.-Penna.).

And now this... on Project Runway, Laura, Michael, Uli, AND Jeffrey are all going to Fashion Week! That. Is. So. Cool. They're all so great.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

And So It Goes

Spent the past twenty-two hours in the company of hot tub guy.

The plan was for us to go to Great Adventure and ride rollercoasters all day. On Friday, I made the mistake--under the sway of my father--of checking the weather report. Which was calling for rain. I sent hot tub guy a message letting him know this, and we agreed to spend the day hanging out in Philadelphia. Of course, it was a beautiful day, perfect for riding rollercoasters. So I took some needling for that.

We went to see a play, Chariot of the Sun, at a puppet theater in Old City (a lot of fun!), grabbed something to eat and sampled the cocktails at Continental (truly mediocre food, and my French Martini tasted like Tang® dissolved in grain alcohol, After dinner we went to Buffalo Billiards and shot a couple of games of pool. I'm not much good at pool, but luckily hot tub guy is only slightly better than me. I managed to narrowly beat him in the first game, and then he scratched while going for the eight ball when I had four balls on the table in our second game, sort of a pyhrric victory. After pool, we decided to see a movie. The only thing we could get into when we got to the theater was "Jackass 2." Which was great. Worth watching if for nothing else than for the butt beer bong. I found watching it a really interesting experience fresh as I am from my Inferno experience. The similarities were almost uncanny. In one of the Jackass stunts, they even used the same fishhooks that were used in the hook dance, although piercing a different part of the anatomy. At one point, one of the Jackass posse mentioned the fact that he was flying on adrenaline after a scene. Uh... I mean, "stunt." We walked up Delaware Avenue and up South Street (Ahhh, South Street! Site of so many youthful hijinx when I was in high school and college.) Our destination was the Bike Stop, where this is possibly the last weekend I'll be able to enjoy a cigar with my beer in the basement bar, since anti-smoking laws are going into effect about now. There's an exemption for "neighborhood taverns getting most of their revenue from alcohol sales," but I have no idea if the venerable Bike Stop will fit into that category.

As we turned down the block of the Bike Stop, hot tub guy reported that he had a bad stomach, and felt that it was best he headed home and spent some time sitting on the john. So we headed back to hot tub guys. We watched the Pacifier (well... I watched Vin "Chained at my feet, soaked in my piss" Diesel).

Then came what I had been waiting for since we made plans. I curled up and in bed next to hot tub guy. There's nobody better. Nobody better at all. When it comes to curling up in bed, hot tub guy has the competition beat.

But during our time together, walking through the streets of Philadelphia, sitting next to him watching a movie, over dinner, I had an insight: it's never gonna happen with me and hot tub guy.

Never?

Probably not.

Now let me clarify. By "it" I have in mind wine and roses, passionate kissing in thunderstorms, weekends at remote country inns, "that dizzy dancing way you feel." That kind of thing. And by "going to happen," I mean hot tub guys opening, and suddenly seeing me as a handsome, strong, competent, kind, passionate man who cares about him deeply and cares more finds that his happiness is the source of great happiness to me.

It's not going to happen.

But that doesn't necessarily mean that nothing is going to happen with me and hot tub guy. I like his company. I like him. I like being the person he can call when his back is to the wall. And heck, I'm spending next weekend up at his cabin at Pennsylvania's gay campground (no, not that gay campground, the other one) because they're having "Leather Weekend." (Isn't that cute? Do you think there will be bondage?)

So I'm totally down.

But I guess on another level, I'm still looking. Still hoping out there is a man who's going to look at me and I'll look at him and we'll be off to the races.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Coming From A Place Of Anger

Oh hell.

I've been having problems with my cell phone, a Nokia from Cingular. Thinking that with the new job I needed a PDA, and deciding that Mac was never ever ever going to come up with an iPhone (just imagine what that would be like... remember what MP3 players were like before the iPod came along?), I decided to go for a BlackBerry.

I ordered. Fedex delivered. I got service. Good to go, right?

Not quite.

Early adopter that I am, I was once the owner of a Handspring Treo. And it was great. I totally relied on it. It ran my life.

I would drop my Treo into its little cradle hooked up to my Mac laptop, and it would get all synced up. A beautiful thing.

Tonight, I dropped the cd into the drive on my iBook G4, and that new software thing didn't happen. A wee bit of research and my worst fears were realized: the BlackBerry software isn't compatible with the Mac OS.

Like... expletive deletive!

Jump over to Google. Do a search on BlackBerry Mac, and I came up with "PocketMac for BlackBerry."

Woohoooo! A patch!

I downloaded. I installed. I launched.

Or didn't launch. I can click on that damn icon until the cows come home. Nothing is going to happen.

Time to call Tech Support, right?

Not hardly.

Remember back in the day when you could get tech support?

*sigh*

Well, those days are gone forever.

The folks at PocketMac will be happy to talk to me. For the low low low low price of $20 per "incident."

Why do I think that all of those phone sex entrepreneurs of yore have all switched to providing tech support. 'Member, where it was "free" to be teased, but if you really wanted to talk with a person (allegedly "HOT GUYS who are NEAR YOU looking for SEX NOW!!!"), you had to cough up. and then it all became a ploy to keep you on the phone longer and longer ("Do you want to know what I'm wearing? Yeah? I'd love to tell you what I'm wearing. I bet you really want to know what I'm wearing. You do, don't you? Want to know what I'm wearing I mean? I bet you can't guess what I'm wearing, can you? A jock strap? Do you want me to be wearing a jock strap? I might be wearing a jock strap. Do you want me to tell you what I'm wearing?")

I am so pissed off.

Handspring was a company that cared. Three months after I got mine, it dropped out of the pocket of my bathrobe and broke. I called Handspring (and got them on the phone no problem) and asked where I could take it to get it repaired. "Oh," the nice representative informed me, "I'm afraid we don't do repairs. But you should be receiving your replacement tomorrow morning."

Yikes! How much will that cost?

Nothing, of course.

And, of course, all I had to do is drop my replacement Treo in the cradle and it synced right up with all my data and I was good to go.

The software from PocketMac is free, and I wish it wasn't. I'd pay money for one that worked.


Monday, September 18, 2006

The Inferno Post

(Thinking ahead this year, I carried with me a pen and notebook, jotting down thoughts at random. So here they are, in lieu of a narrative. I mean, at this point, you know what the narrative is, right?)

Left at 3:00 a.m.

Foggy hills dappled with goldenrod in Western Pennsylvania.

Crows watch me speed by from the side of the highway.

Just past the halfway mark at the first rest stop on the Ohio Turnpike, I get my first Starbucks. (And see several hot Ohio men.)

Other than Starbucks, I'm still boycotting Ohio because we have them to blame for the last election.

The Left Turn Signal Gambit that hot tub guy taught me (while on the interstate, put drive with your left turn signal on to indicate to truckers that you're up for sex) proves fruitless. I think that must only work in Florida.

From what I've seen, the entire state of Indiana has let themselves go. Everybody needs a makeover. That could be their state motto: "Indiana -- Just Let Yourself Go!"

Michigan is beautiful countryside. It puts me in mind of Hemingway's Nick Adams Stories. If you haven't read it, take it on your next vacation. Especially if it's a camping trip.

I get to Inferno! Thirteen hours on the road.

I'm in my room unpacking and hot tub guy calls. Crying. Really crying. Because he was out riding his bike and had a spill. And got hurt. Bad. And was alone.

That. Was. Rough.

I did the best I could to talk him through it. Called later on and there was no answer. The next day, he called me. He took a bunch of sleeping pills and passed out. Woke up the next morning in sheets soaked in blood. Made it to work where they patched him up in the infirmary or whatever.

And hot tub guy thanked me for being there for him.

The first night of Inferno. The dungeons are open. It's cold and drizzly. Maybe because I drove twelve hours on four hours of sleep, maybe because I was worried about hot tub guy... I just feel so detached. So out of it. I head to bed early.

The next morning, I renew my acquaintance with Officer Wes. Officer Wes met my best Inferno buddy Alpha when they were roommates their freshman year of college. Such a sweet man. He mentions that he wants to be singletailed at some point. (!) I would totally be up for whipping Officer Wes! The connection is definitely there.

In the alternative, there's my roommate from LA. It's his first Inferno. He's a gentle, thoughtful man, and I immediately liked him. So I did my best to impart to him some words of wisdom for his first Inferno, and before dinner, gave him a quick tour of the compound.

Monday, 5 p.m.

Rain, rain, go away.

No play today. The bondage tent collapsed. No one was injured, and the facilities crew did an amazing job in rearranging the equipment so there was no interruption in the availability the various bondage tables and such.

But I couldn't help thinking that the collapse of the bondage tent was somehow symbolic. The overall mood was somewhat subdued.

Yossie from SF organized a hook dance. Whuzzat? Wellllll... Participants get a couple of large gauge fish hooks through their pectoral muscles, strung with loops of cord. Attaching the other end of the loop to some fixed object, leaning back and letting the hooks support one's weight, giving it to a partner to tug. Very quickly, the sublime dance began. If endorphins could be harnessed to produce electricity, we could have powered some midwestern metropolis.

Watching it, however, I felt fragile.

Fragile?

Fragile.

Perhaps not trusting myself after my reaction getting whipped by roadkill last year. Or, perhaps, the psychic energy I expend keeping pain and loneliness at bay in my daily life depletes my resources. I had a feeling watching the men with hooks in their chests that I was staying up with the grown ups.

This morning at breakfast I proposed to Officer Wes that I whip him. But he has a bacterial infection and doesn't feel up to it.

And no other topportunities have presented themselves.

But then, I got the phone call from hot tub guy, reporting that he was alright. And that was the best thing that happened to me all day.

Huh. A thought occurs to me. I'm internalizing. The weather is crappy. People are staying in their rooms. The bondage tent collapsed. Maybe the reason that I'm not having any opportunities to play is because no one is playing. It's not about me.

But maybe I'm just not cut out for all this stuff. I'd rather be making dinner for hot tub guy. I want to fall in love, and it's unlikely that will happen at Inferno.

Now if it's not not about me, just what am I doing? Or not doing? Maybe it's just the case that my expectations are too easily raised. Or a general awkwardness in new situations.

Maybe I'm just "Complicated." Am I "Complicated?"

I thoroughly enjoyed a shaving scene with Manboy Bill. The first scene I did during my first Inferno was giving Manboy Bill a mohawk. This time, he wanted to leave what was on top, but take off the back and sides. I was as obsessive shaving his head as I am with my own, not letting up until it was smoothe as a baby's ass. And he looked great. And it was very even.

Wandered around with my whip around my neck for awhile. No takers. Not even close.

With my sponsee (the one who showed up!), I watched ARt whipping the Mann von München. My sponsee commented, "I feel my spiritual quest and my sexual longings are one." (Can I pick'em or can I pick'em?)

More rain today. Good news for performance outerwear fetishists, bad news for the rest of us.

Text message from hot tub guy asking about the weather. My reply: You can see your breath. Then I messaged him: There are a few porn guys here, and many other hot men, but all I want is to curl up next to you in bed. He gave me an emoticon smile for that.

Maybe everyone who was here for A made dates or is all played out.

What vibe am I giving off?

At this point, if I did have an opportunity to play, my head would totally be in the wrong place.

"Own your power" was what Yossie told a reluctant hook dance participant.

"I have really bad news. The rain gods want us to sacrifice a virgin. So we're shit out of luck."

In the world but not of the world. That's how I feel. Just like the 2004 season of the Ball Breakers.

Tuesday, 1 p.m.

In matters of the heart, I don't deal well with ambiguity. (Thanks, Dad!)

So that's why I'm having such a hard time.

However, my roommate from Los Angeles has asked me to flog him this evening after dinner. So now I can relax.

Tuesday After Midnight

Flogging my roommate from Los Angeles went really well. I gave him a sampling of as many sensations on his beautiful back as I could squeeze in. Afterwards, I was supposed to get my butt beat by TxLthrDad. After the scene with my roommate, I needed to unwind just a wee bit. I saw TxLthrDad as I was heading up to my room to get a cigar, but on my return, he was gone. I have to admit though, I was steeling myself rather than panting with anticipation. I can't take anything at all on my butt. It makes me cry. Anything but that. Bondage, edge play, knives, face punching... But not my butt. I hung around the beverage tent until midnight snack. No sign of him. So I decided to go to bed. After all, long day of Tear Down tomorrow.

Huh.

I wonder if my SM is different now. Not so much about whips and needles and wax and such, but more about relationships, connection... Not so much about bodies but more about heart, mind, and soul.

If someone so much as pokes me, I'm going to cry.

So I had a crappy Inferno, but a great Tear Down.

Could it have been a failure of my sadistic imagination? I used to be so much more involved with things. Before I lived out in the howling wilderness. I'm so out of the game.

During the final brunch of the run, before everyone heads for home whose not staying for Tear Down, they read a list of all the groups represented by the men attending. "GMSMA, Dallas Discipline Corp, Renegades..." In the middle of the list I heard "American Organists Guild." I was sitting next to church organist Manboy Bill. I turned to him, and barely looking up he said offhandedly, "You don't know for sure that was me."

I never jerk off during Inferno. The eroticism is the sea I swim in, it seems so de trop. But the first night of Inferno, I decided to give it a shot. It was slow to get going. Like I had to teach myself to do it again.

During Tear Down, the facades began to drop. (Or mine did anyway.) We became ourselves again, little by little. The men we are the other fifty-one weeks of the year. Comparing notes on PDAs. The price of gas back home. Flooded basements. Overweight cats. I found that DCSMTop and I shared a preoccupation with Project Runway. At dinner, I met a Russian man with great energy. And, he lives not so far away from me. Hope to be seeing him sometime again.

Diabolique was the Tear Down co-chair. He was perfect. Set just the right tone. Encouraging, clear, concise, focused. Just perfect. In the wake of a nuclear apocalypse, I'd be hunting for Diabolique because I'm sure he'd have us growing organic vegetables under geodesic domes to get us through the nuclear winter in no time at all.

Some secondary roads that overpass or underpass the Ohio Turnpike:
Fangboner
Mudd
Dishinger
Copp
Humm
Frailey
Joppa
Angling
Vermillion
Bagley
Usher
Sprague

During Tear Down, while we were toting away the St. Andrew's crosses, I was singing to myself one of my favorite hymns: "Raise high the cross! The love of Christ proclaim!"

Overheard during Tear Down: "Hey Tiger! Oh... I'm sorry. I didn't mean you, I meant the other Tiger.

The first morning of Tear Down, I awoke to the sound of rain drumming on the roof. It took me about twenty minutes to put on my boots. I was just dreading heading out in it. But it was fine. Better than fine.

Okay okay okay. So it seems I like Joe the Barber. This always happens to me. Just when I make up my mind not to like someone, I become a big fan.

The "Last Day Of Inferno Conversation Phenomenon." You've got to get a move on and head for home, and there's that guy you did that scene with last night, and what transpires is this staccatto "That scene we did. Transformative. So powerful. Changed my life. Get home safe." Like drive-by affirmation.


So anyway. I get home on Friday. Saturday, I headed up to NYC (MUCH to my father's chagrin) for an awards ceremony for softball. And that was cool. I had heard that the New York boys of Leather (NYboL) was having a bar night at the 9th Avenue Saloon, and figured that would be worth a stop-in.

And was it ever. I knew half the place. And they were happy to see me. Really happy to see me. Like a homecoming. Which it was. And I was asked to become an associate member of NYboL. You bet I said yes! And there was my buddy Rick who moved down to FTL!!! Back in town for some meeting. Such a wonderful, sweet man with a smile that lights up a room. Rich was the last person in my life with whom I could go out and get drunk off my ass and laugh myself silly. I miss him so much. I miss everybody so much.

That's what was awry at Inferno. It's not the SM I need. It's to feel like I'm part of... ...something. A brotherhood. A family. A circle. A band of warriors. Among people who know me. Who find my presence in their life something to celebrate. Not to mention that numinous cloud of romantic possibility.

Although it meant giving up several opportunities for play at Inferno (among other things, it was pretty Top-heavy this year), I think I did the right thing by not bottoming. I'm bottoming most of the time these days. And I've always felt so much more myself when I'm on Top.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Back From Inferno

Here's the précis: Inferno had it's moments, but they were few and far between. But Tear Down rocked.

First the drive out.

I got all bent out of shape with my packing. On my way back from putting yet another pair of boots in the jeep, I'd think of something else to bring, and something else, and something else. So instead of 7:00 p.m., it was more like ten when i finally finished up and went to bed. And so I overslept some, not managing to hit the road until 3 a.m. Regardless, my evil plan worked perfectly. I made great time in the middle of the night, and had almost made it all the way across Pennsylvania before the sun came up.

Pennsylvania is a beautiful part of the country. The early morning mist on the mountains, all those blackbirds by the side of the road, the meadows dotted with goldenrod... it was pretty wonderful.

A few times, I tried to rouse the interest of truckers with the "left turn signal gambit": according to hot tub guy, in Florida, if you want sex on the interstate, you drive with your left turn signal on for no reason. When you notice someone else with the left turn signal on, you pull into the next rest stop and there ya go! Trucker sex! But apparently that only works in Florida. (Let's change that, okay?)

Just past the half-way point on the Ohio Turnpike, I had my first Starbucks. And not a moment too soon.

That venti triple pumpkin spice latte lasted me until Indiana, when I stopped again. Although there was lots of eye candy in Ohio, there was not one single hot man in Indiana. From what I saw, the entire state of Indiana has let themselves go. That could be their motto: "Indiana -- Let Yourself Go!"

Of course, neither Ohio nor Indiana are particularly interesting to drive through. Flat flat flat. Michigan, however, is beautiful. Driving through Michigan I always remember Hemingway's "Nick Adams Stories," which I read so many years ago, about a young man traumatised by war taking off into the woods of northern Michigan to heal.

With almost perfect timing, I made it to the Top Secret Location, registered, and found my room.

I was unpacking when the phone rang. It was hot tub guy. Crying. Just balling. He had taken a bike ride and fallen off his bike. He was hurt bad. And hurting. Panicking. Blood everywhere. A four inch piece of flesh hanging off his elbow. I did my best to get him to go to the ER to get patched up, advising him to go knock on neighbors doors till he found someone at home to drive him. Unfortunately, giving this a try, he caught his toes in the industrial steel door to his apartment. More blood. More pain. He called me back to report.

I called him later to check up. No answer. Texted him the next morning. Finally he called. He had taken some sleeping pills and passed out as soon as he hit the bed. He woke up the next morning in blood soaked sheets, made it to work where he was patched up in the infirmary or whatever.

And then he thanked me for being there when he called. Hanging on the phone with him. And of all the people in the world, he called me.

Me.

But enough about hot tub guy. Let's get back to Inferno.

Although I never really did get back to Inferno.

No I didn't.

I kept thinking about hot tub guy.

*sigh*

Sunday night, the first night of Inferno, I sort of wandered around, seeing who was there. And who wasn't. And there were a lot of people who weren't there. roadkill, Alpha...

One of my roommates was making his first Inferno. A swet guy from LA. I did my best to pass on some pearls of wisdom, trying to remember what had worked for me my first Inferno. And I gave him a tour: this is the raunch tent, this is the whipping tent, this is the

So nothing happened. Around midnight, I decided to call it a night.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Ya Cain't!

Alright, this is it. I'm off to Inferno. (Well, after I make my dad dinner, pack, load up the car, and get some sleep.) But since I won't be able to post from the Top Secret Location, I'll leave you all with this little treat while I'm away.

(Sung to the tune of "You Can't Get A Man With A Gun," from
"Annie Get Your Gun!"

I trim my shrubs and tulips
with signals, snakes and bullwhips
to keep my aim in shape top tip,
But when it comes to datin'
It's zero that I'm ratin'
Cuz ya cain't get a man with a whip!

If your up for a paddlin'
My sawhorse you'll be straddlin'
Bend over 'n' I'll let'er rip.
But when I want to kiss and cuddle
It's nothin' but a muddle,
Cuz ya cain't get a man with a whip!

With a whi-i-i-ip! With a whi-i-i-ip! No ya cain't get a man with a whip!

When it's floggin' that they're wantin'
For me they come a'huntin'
I can give you quite a trip!
But when they're lookin' for romance,
I haven't got a chance,
Cuz ya cain't get a man with a whip!

With a singletail,
A flogger or a flail,
I have quite a relationship!
But though my skills I hone
Ev'ry night I sleep alone,
Cuz ya cain't get a man with a whip!

With a whi-i-i-ip! With a whi-i-i-ip! No ya cain't get a man with a whip!

If it's a whippin' that you're lackin'
Turn around show me your back 'n'
We'll take care of that in a zip.
But if it's love then I betchya,
Some other guy will getchya
Cuz I cain't get a man with a whip!


There. Something to hum to yourself while I'm away.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

That's the sound that I make when I'm really excited about something. (But not when strangers are around, because people just wouldn't understand why that big, built, stached, inked bald man making that odd noise.)

And right now, I'm really excited.

Because I get off work at 5 pm today, and then I head for home, and maybe stop off at Starbucks on my way, and definitely stop off at StoopidFresh in Doylestown to buy something for dinner (and hopefully remember that I'm out of mouthwash), and then I go home and make dinner, and then I maybe watch some television, and then I go to bed, and then I get up early tomorrow morning, and then I do some packing, and then I take Faithful Companion to doggie lock-up, and then I pick up some cigars and other last minute items in Doylestown, and then I go home and finish up packing and load up the Bucephalus, my trusty silver Jeep Liberty, and then I make an early dinner for my dad, and then I go to bed even though there are still several hours of daylight, and then I wake up when my alarm goes off at midnight, and I take a shower, and then I hit the road and drive to Inferno!

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

It's here it's here it's here it's finally here!

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!


The Karen Black Decade

It's been quite awhile since we heard from the Apt Metaphor Think Tank here at SingleTails. (Okay, we've actually never heard from them before, which leads me to question why I'm paying them all this money and giving them lush office space in the silo at the I.M. Pei re-designed farm that we here at SingleTails call home.) But they've come up with a good one!

I've written before about guys in their twenties. I do not and will not date them. I dated a 26 year old once and it was pretty bad. My reason has always been that guys in their twenties have no idea who they are. You have to spend years in therapy, and/or have an experience that brings home to you the fact that you're going to die, and/or get to a point in your life where you feel that you're an absolute failure, and/or just get real, and few and far between are guys in their twenties who have compassed any of those.

So they conduct their lives doing things and making decisions without having any good reason or the slightest inkling why. Such as, always picking fights on the second date, or always being late for work, or always maxing out their credit cards and having to ask their parents to bail them out, or... Well, you get the picture. And it takes a long time (usually a decade) before they notice a pattern in their behavior and start to wonder why it's there.

But until then, it's just like... (Here it comes!) Karen Black in the movie Airport, where the flight crew was incapacitated by a bomb and... the stewardess had to fly the plane!

Right? Right?

Isn't that what it's like being in your twenties? Don't you feel like you're in the cockpit of this enormous vehicle cruising along at 50,000 feet above the earth and somehow you're expected to be able to direct it and make it do things like find an airstrip and come in for a landing. But look at that! You're headed right for that mountain in front of you! What's up with that? Is there something maybe you should be doing? Is there a button to push? Do you go left or right or up? Wouldn't it be nice if you just could concern yourself with making sure everybody had hot coffee and their seatbelts were fastened correctly and passing around steaming hot towels?

Ah, it's sweet being the guy who knows how to fly the plane. For the most part, I know the mountain is there before it appears over the horizon line, and I've adjusted my flight plan accordingly.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hot Bear Alert!

Oh man.

On Queer Eye, they're having "fat month." Every show they're including weight reduction as part of their makeover thing. So tonight, they're doing these two best friends, Adam and Steve.

In the opening sequence, they showed Adam and Steve in profile, in boxer shorts.

Fukken beautiful.

And as the show progresses, we get to know Adman and Steve. And whaddya know, they're great guys. They're total bears. All about having a good time and enjoying life. And the relationship they have... You can tell that the wife and girlfriend on some level realize that they can't compete with their husband/boyfriend's most serious relationship.

Wow. I love bears. Especially when they're as hot as Adam and Steve.


Super Genius

Okay. So on Saturday at midnight, I hit the road bound for Inferno. After the run is over on Wednesday, I'll be working Tear Down, under that relentless task master, Diabolique. According to D., we should be all done by Friday morning, and then I hit the road back. Pretty much, I'll be gone Sunday through Friday.

So, what will happen to my father?

Over the weekend, I was inspired. I made a phone call, and the fix is in.

My deceased sister's ex-husband will be staying here taking care of my father. and mostly, keeping him company.

If I know my deceased sister's ex-husband, he'll do his best to spend a week spoiling my father rotten. And he even likes football, and the Eagles are having their season opener on Sunday. (Twirling moustache with evil glint in my eye: "BWAH-ha-ha-ha-HA! I've thought of everything!") (I love baseball, but football holds my interest as much as a real estate transaction, which is about all a football game is.)

Ahem.

I'm going to Inferno!!!!! I get to whip men!!!! I get to chain men up!!!!

(If you were here, you'd witness me dissolving into incoherent squeals of joy.)


Monday, September 04, 2006

Eeeewwwwwww...

Tonight, I will have a hot shower.

(I know that any pigs reading this into manstank are uttering a disappointed, "Awwww!")

But I'm happy!

Here's the whole tale of woe.

When I went to take a shower Saturday morning, there was no hot water. I went to investigate, and didn't need to go further than the top of the cellar steps. The bottom two steps were underwater. Uh oh.

I put on my Wellies, which weren't quite tall enough to do thhe trick, and waded over to the sump pump. Which was dead. So we called the plumber. The plumber diagnosed the problem: one of our three freezers in the basement had gone on the fritz, and blown out the circuit breaker. And the sump pump was on the same line. With all the rain we had from Ernesto going by, the water came seeping in and the basement flooded, putting the guts of the furnace under water.

So the plumber pumped out our basement, and today the furnace guy came and got our furnace operable.

My big thing to do was to clean out the freezers.

In the coverage of post-Katrina New Orleans on NPR, they reported that when people started to come back, unopened refrigerators were out on curbs all over the city. Don't know if you've ever had the pleasure, but a refrigerator full of rotten food is just indescribably gross. I ran to the store and bought some heavy duty trash bags, headed down to the basement, and set to work.

It was pretty awful.

Okay, astute readers might ask, what the hell were you doing with three freezers full of food in your cellar?

That's all about my stepmother. During the last few years of her life, her mind wasn't too sharp, and she got a little bit obsessive. So the last couple of spoonfuls of mashed potatoes that no one wanted? It went down to the freezer. The leftover dipping sauce from takeout chinese? Down to the freezer. And when she found something on sale at the supermarket, then just look out. The woman believed strongly in buying in bulk. About eleven different kinds of non-butter spread (which I have totally no use for), doughnuts, fishsticks, blowpops, pie crust... And then, of course, fruit and vegetables in season were bought in bulk, sealed in plastic bags, and taken down to the freezer until hell froze over. Which haven't happened yet. The earliest I found was dated 1978, when Jimmy Carter was president and gay men were still having sex in public places because the internet hadn't happened yet. Early on here, I suggested that we empty them out. Of course not. So there they've sat all these years, humming away, keeping little plastic baggies of ducksauce and twenty year old zucchini frozen for all eternity.

Until it thawed.

And then it became countless bags of stinking goo blanketed in some really evil looking black mold.

One by one, I filled up the heavy duty trashbags till all the... uh... solid stuff was out of there. Then I wiped them down over and over and over again with disinfectant.

And I didn't toss my cookies once.

So it's the end of an era here at the Old Homestead.


Farewell, Croc Hunter

I've played with stingrays. They're docile and affectionate. On CNN, they're bending over backwards to explain this, and what a "rare" thing it is that an encounter with a stingray is fatal. I think it's safe to say that Steve Irwin is the only person ever killed by a stingray. There's probably more people out there who have met their ends at the hands of bunnies than stingrays.

I always found him unwatchable. One of the most annoying people ever to grace the television screen.

Huh.

Maybe that explains it.

The gentle, playful stingray had had enough. "Christ Man! Will you please just shut up?"


Farewell, Croc Hunter

I've played with stingrays. They're docile and affectionate. On CNN, they're bending over backwards to explain this, and what a "rare" thing it is that an encounter with a stingray is fatal. I think it's safe to say that Steve Irwin is the only person ever killed by a stingray. There's probably more people out there who have met their ends at the hands of bunnies than stingrays.

I always found him unwatchable. One of the most annoying people ever to grace the television screen.

Huh.

Maybe that explains it.

The gentle, playful stingray had had enough. "Christ Man! Will you please just shut up?"


Sunday, September 03, 2006

...Just Asking.

Has anybody seen United 93? I'm wondering if they do background on the guy who was the gay rugby player?

Or did they maybe set the record a little too straight?


Saturday, September 02, 2006

I Hate My Life!!!

Oh NO!

If I go to Inferno as planned, that means I'll miss the New York boys of Leather Car Wash!

I can't think of a better way to bid a fond farewell to the Summer of '06 than having those smokin hotties from NYboL (pronounced "nibble") give the ol' Silver Jeep Liberty a nice, wet, frothy, lathered bath. (With the possible exception of having the smokin hotties from NYboL giving me a nice, we, frothy, lathered bath.)

Inferno? NYboL carwash? Inferno? NYboL carwash?

It's too hard! I can't decide!

Waaaaaaaaaaaah!


Friday, September 01, 2006

Am I All Gay?

In the new job, I have a lot of contact with the transgendered among us. (We have a really great HIV prevention program up and running doing work with people of transgendered experience, and like all great HIV prevention programs, the services are peer-delivered.)

And on the job, I've met up with a couple of guys who, upon first meeting them, I think to myself, "Woof! Damn hot one he is!" (Of course, consumate professional that I am, I don't give voice to this. For a change. Straight family men at the supermarket in Plumsteadville, Pennsylvania, are one thing, but workplace romance is always a bad idea.)

But anyway, not infrequently, I come to learn that by gosh, by golly, these are men of transgender experience. That is to say, you probably wouldn't know them if you had only their 6th grade class picture to go by.

And this isn't a new phenomenon. In fact, most of the trans-men I've met I've been hot for.

I've never taken that anywhere, and I'm not sure how I'd feel about the absence of a penis, but it does give one pause. Or at least, it give sme pause.

After all, I am a gender essentialist. (I know, I know... All the transfolks reading this were on my side up until right then, right?) I feel there are essential male qualities and essential female qualities. Sort of like the logic that St. Thomas Aquinas came up with to explain how the bread and the wine at Mass becomes the true body and blood of Christ: he used the Aristotelian argument of substance and accidents. The substance of the wine is it's "wine-ness," the essence that makes it truly wine. Whether it's red or white, Merlot or Chardonnay, those are mere accidents, and it's still wine. And what happens when the wine is consecrated is that the accidents stay the same, but the substance changes into... uh... "Body-of-Christ-ness." That's why it's called "transubstantiation."

Okay, that's a bit obtuse. Let's just say that having the experience of being in the world as a female at an earlier point must leave something indelible behind.

And I think that those experiences at the other end of the gender continuum, in combination with all those secondary sex characteristics that I love love love (facial hair! baldness! beer guts!) are pretty potent.

Oh yeah. I also an often enthralled by butch lesbians.

Remember Leslie B. Feinberg? She wrote an amazing book back in the Eighties called Stone Butch Blues, about being a butch lesbian in Buffalo, New York, during the middle of the Twentieth Century. I once met Leslie B. Feinberg at some queer social event, and spent some time pretty much throwing myself at her thinking that I was throwing myself at him.

And it doesn't have to be the case that there's a trompe l'oeil thing going on. I've always been drawn to butch lesbians, even the ones who are obviously women.

Oh. And one of the best experiences I've ever had whipping a boy--sometimes I think the all time best--was a scene where the boy was the mother of a five year old.

And of course, in the SM realm, someday I'm going to come up behind girlfag, yank her by the hair so it hurts, and growl into her ear, "You're mine now bitch," and proceed to flog her, giving it all I've got. (I have it from a very reliable source that the grabbing-by-the-hair thing may cause girlfag to cum right then and there.)

What would it be like to take a woman to bed?

I came close a few times in high school and college, but never... uh... went all the way.

In terms of my experience, I'm a Kinsey 6.

Huh.

Would I still maintain my Kinsey 6 status if I got it on with a transman? The stubble, the musculature, the deep voice whispering in my ear, and that soft skin and the vagina?

Our contemporary understanding of the gender continuum and claiming one's own gender identity doesn't quite lend itself to hair-splitting like that, does it?

And... Uh... I guess they'd kick me out of Inferno.

Oh. No they wouldn't. That's right: there are heterosexual men at Inferno who have regular dealings with cooze. It's just the cooze itself that's not permitted within the sacred apollonian grove.