Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pray For Those Who Persecute You

This worthwhile post discusses some interesting developments in Nigerian politics. It seems that there's currently a bill before the Nigerian Senate which would criminalize homosexual organizations of any kind, as well as any public displays that signify same sex "amorous relationships."

Why, how regressive and apluralistic, right? I mean, we're not just talking about sexual activity here, but we're talking about the Nigerian equivalent of the Mattachine Society. Too, a provision of the law penalizes the promulgation of images of those same sex amorous relations.

What small-minded thirdworlders would be behind such a law?

Why, Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola, for one. The spiritual leader of several million Nigerian Anglicans and of a few thousand formerly Episcopalian Americans thinks this legislation is just swell. The Americans who are clutching at Archbishop Akinola's ever-lovin' bossom to preserve them from the horror and hellfire of Host-consecratin' homos are tripping all over themselves trying to explain this to their more pluralist Episcopalian confrères. After all, it's one thing to want to separate yourself from a presiding archbishop who's an icky girl and a homo-lovin' one at that, but gosh, does that mean you have to associate yourself with a nightmare in a purple dress who wants to send Nigerian pooftahs to prison for five years for getting together for a coffee clatch?

Thus, the American Akinola apologists argue that their new bishop and confessor is promoting this law to prevent imposition of a harsher alternative: the imposition of Sharia law in Nigeria, which calls for the stoning to death of homosexuals. (Islam is a religion of Peace!)

But apparently, that isn't quite the concern in Nigeria. And the Moslem President of the Nigerian Senate is against the bill, arguing that it's unnecessary as they already have legislation defining marriage as between a man and a woman so let's all move on and see if we can't come up with some issues to work on that people besides our homophobic Archbishop actually care about.

As you can probably tell by the liberties I'm taking with alliteration and colorful language, this burns me up.

The pricks.

If'n you like Nigerian Anglicanism so much, why don't you pack up and go live in Nigeria? Hmmmm?

But here's the thing: they're the losers and we're the winners. In ten years, we'll see same sex couples marching down the aisles in Episcopal churches across the country, even more gay and lesbian (and maybe transgendered?) Episcopal clergy. Several more states will offer legal recognition to our relationships. Our fundamentalist non-denominational Christian brothers and sisters will realize that if'n they keep comin' at the gays, we'll keep comin' at them, boycotting their businesses and makin' a big ol' fuss when their leaders indulge themselves in the tina fueled buggery-filled soirées. And they'll just decide to devote their attention to taking on less vicious adversaries like the NEA and the teachers' unions so they can home school their kids and not have to pay school taxes. Cannier politicians will decide that the issue doesn't have legs.

And we'll all just move on.

And perhaps, gay and lesbian Americans, rather than resting on their laurels, will turn their attention to the world beyond our borders, joining their brothers and sisters in the UK and South Africa and put our time, energy, and resources towards the international struggle for gay and lesbian liberation.

If'n I was in NYC, I'd be thinking about calling up some of my old activist buddies and seeing if we could make some signs and do a demonstration outside of the Nigerian Consulate.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Leavin, On A Jet Plane

I am off to Sunny Southern California on Thursday!

Reeeeeally looking forward to that. I'll be staying with my buddy Alpha, and also--I hope--meeting up with Roadkill for dinner.

Alpha has promised me time in the desert and time in a hot tub. And man am I looking forward to all of it.

And I've been thinking about San Diego.

In terms of "After."

I could totally live there. Easily.

First and foremost, I know people there. People I've come to love.

And also, Roadkill has built a beautiful thing there with SuperPigs. Once a month at Stately Roadkill Manor, the place is transformed with slings and crosses and eye-bolts and the like. On average, forty men gather there. The evening starts with dinner served on the deck. After dinner, the cigars and pipes come out. Then, the play begins. And from what I've heard and seen firsthand, it's some of the best SM you'll find anywhere.

But pay attention to the dinner part! Forty men, mostly in leather, talking and getting to know each other over food. That is a beautiful thing.

And of course, it takes a lot of work. And all of that work is done by volunteers.

At the outset, it was Roadkill, his slave pluG, and a handful of their friends. Now, key volunteers, called the "Core Pigs," are pretty much running the show. Pretty generous of Roadkill to offer up his home like that, no?

In otherwords, in San Diego there exists something all to rare in the leather world today: community. And that, of course, is is what I want the most.

So yeah, the way I'm thinking right now, I'd hire movers for the big stuff (books, bookshelves, a few pieces of furniture), load Faithful Companion in the back of my trusty Jeep Liberty, and head west to San Diego.

So, this trip should be particularly poignant.

I don't anticipate having much in the way of World Wide Internet access while I'm out there, but when I get back, I'll be sure to tell you all about it.

I Want One!

Several years ago, my tongue-in-cheek request to the Fantasy Committee at Inferno was for a "Buck Rogers Jet Pack that can really fly."

It looks like such a thing is now available. At least in a prototype.



Now Serving Number Forty-four!

Here's a little turn of phrase that's increasingly cropping up in online profiles: "step to the front of the line!"

As in, "Short, muscular dominant men in their 40s and 50s can step to the front of the line!"

Okay. Now the reason that we're told by our high school English teachers to avoid clichés in our writing is because clichés are really annoying. They add nothing, only take away.

But this one is just crazy. I mean, it begs the question, "You have a line?"

Being a literal-minded kinda guy, I'm imaging an actual line of men, in the hallway outside the apartment door or going up the walk from the street to the front door. Doing what people do in lines, exchanging text messages, reading newspapers or magazines ("'Scuse me, are you done with the Sports section?"). Maybe some of the Men On Line showed up really early for a good place on the line, and they're huddled under a blanket eating powerbars and looking a little groggy after a sleepless night spent in someone's front yard. And there would probably be Line Drama, right? "No! I was here, I swear! I just had to run down to the diner on the corner to use the bathroom!"

Okay. So you there! You with the line! What the hell are you doing trawling around on the internet when you've got a line formed? Do you survey the line through the curtains and yawn behind fanned fingers, disappointed by the prospects?

Don't you owe it to those guys standing on line to at least step out and make an announcement? ("Thank you all for turning up, but we're not seeing anyone else today. Please leave your number and email address and we'll let you know.")

Or, do you dutifully accept all comers, offering a hopefully cheerful, "Next!" as you open the door, clapping the departing sexual conquest warmly on the back with one hand and extending the other to welcome the guy at the front of the line?

And just let me be clear: I have no line. So step right up! We can meet up at Starbucks, with the weather getting warmer, maybe get to know each other over cigars. And if'n we hit it off, we can go get busy.

No lines ever!

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Today, I reread the children's book I wrote a long time ago as a birthday present for my first NYC boyfriend. I can't help but like it, and I find it moving still. Even after all these years. (Although there's no way I can be objective about that I realize.)

But I notice something interesting. My children's book and my Great (Gay) American (Werewolf) Novel(la) are the same story.

I swear!

Way different genres I realize. But both are stories of two men (or two boys) who find in each other something no one else can offer.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

But That Would Mean... Oh. My. God.

Did you know that Britney Spears is a precise anagram for "Presbyterians."

It's true!

Get out your Scrabble set and work it out, just like Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby.

It works out perfectly.

Scary or what?

Excuse Me, But I Have To Schism

For those of you reading this who aren't Episcopalians (you know who you are), let me bring you up to date on the interesting goings on in my Community of Faith.

It all started a couple of years ago when Episcopalians in New Hampshire chose an openly gay man, Gene Robinson, to be their bishop. (As opposed to the Roman church, where things come down from above, we operate in a more democratic manner.) Which would have been cool, although instead of just voting and installing him in the normal course of business, they waited until the general convention (big church gettogether) so it was a Big Deal.

There was a lot of fallout from Big Deal about Bishop Robinson's installation. Although thirty years ago, the Episcopal Church was referred to as "Republicans at Prayer," it's become one of the most inclusive denominations in the United States. But not everyone was on board with that. Conservative parish churches and a few bishops were really pissed off by that move, not just over disagreements with the theology, but the in-your-face manner it was pulled off. And so they wanted to disassociate themselves, and the specter of schism was raised.

Now, the Episcopal Church in America is part of what is known as the worldwide Anglican Communion, churches that sprang from the Church of England. Once, the sun never set on the British Empire, so it really is a worldwide thing.

Particularly fittuzed about these developments in America were bishops in East Africa. There, christianity is very much in competition with Islam in a struggle for converts. These bishops felt, probably correctly, that having to apologize for belonging to a church that went against those biblical injunctions against sodomy put them at a severe disadvantage with the illiberal message being put out by their Moslem counterparts.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the "first among equals" in the Anglican Communion. The African (and a few East Asian) bishops appealed to him, and he offered a rebuke to the Episcopal Church, basically saying, "Cut it out, will'ya?"

Skip ahead to the Autumn of 2006 when the Episcopal Church once again held a General Convention, and part of the business at hand was to select a new Presiding Bishop, the "first among equals" here in the U.S. Rumor has it that retired bishops, who each get a vote and who represent a substantial voting block, decided to pull some political machinations of their own, still smarting over Bishop Robinson's elevation. They decided to vote as a bloc for Katherine Jefferts Schorri. Now, Bishop Schorri was technically not qualified to be Presiding Bishop. She hadn't been a bishop long enough. But she was included on the slate because it would be nice to have a woman up there with all the boys.

Why would the retired bishops do this? Simple. They knew that if Schorri became the new Presiding Bishop, then the simmering anger that many conservative Episcopalians and Anglicans felt would quickly boil over into outrage.

And that's what happened.

So there was just a meeting of all the head bishops in the Anglican Communion in Dar es Salaam in Africa. Six bishops refused to take Holy Communion with Bishop Schorri. (Note that they're as upset about the fact that she's a she as they are about her past positions on blessing of same-sex unions, so that's something of an indication of where they're coming from.)

And the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, put out another "rebuke" to us: don't elevate any more gay bishops and stop blessing same-sex unions.

Now that's interesting. As the Episcopal Bishop of New York, Bishop Sisk pointed out in the NY Times yesterday, we don't do that. There is no service in our prayer book, the Book of Common Prayer, for the blessing of same-sex unions.

"But wait! Friends of mine..." Exactly. Some priests amend the service as presented in the Book of Common Prayer, or read Grateful Dead lyrics, or make it up as they go along, or whatever, to bless the union of two men or two women, but when those priests do that, they're acting as free agents, because they're not going out of the Book of Common Prayer.

Get it?

So Archbishop Williams' rebuke doesn't seem to touch that. Because it can't. Individual parishes choose their priests, and if the parish is fine with it, then the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Presiding Bishop and the local bishop are pretty much out of it.

But there's all this fuss.

I try to be as charitable as I can be about the whole matter. I like the fact that I can worship as an openly gay man at my church. 'Cuz I like church a lot and I'd hate to have to stop going. Back when I was in college, I had sort of an ecclesial affair with the Roman church. And there's a lot to like about Roman Catholicism. But I just got tired of all those implicit and explicit messages I was getting saying, "We don't want you here." So I went back into the ever-lovin' arms of the Episcopal Church. And I think it must be hard on those conservative Episcopalians who are unable to reconcile their personal values with the changing world around them. That must be a terrifically painful and confusing thing. And, in fact, as Christians, we're called on to resist the values of the world and be the light of Christ shining in the darkness.

But I have to admit, I'm pissed off at the African Bishops. Less and less I by the whole cultural relativism thing. "Oh okay! Your values spring from your culture, and since all cultures are okie-dokie, that's beyond criticism."

Bullshit, say I.

Female circumcision is barbaric. Islam oppresses women. There are more slaves in the world today than there have ever been in human history (and I'm talking about that non-consensual kind of slavery) and the overwhelming majority of them are in Africa. Genocide is still going down in Darfur. President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa doesn't believe that HIV has anything to do with hundreds of thousands of his countrymen dying. (I haven't heard what Bishop Desmond Tutu has to say about gay stuff, but I'd be surprised if he came down hard on the gays.)

I mean, what would Jesus do? If he was in Africa today, I don't imagine he would be railing against same sex unions and women being bishops on that other continent. In other words, you folks have a lot of work to do there at home before you go sticking your noses in our business. After you've got your own houses in order, then I'll be willing to hear what you have to say about your interpretation of Holy Scripture as it relates to human sexuality.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash (Merry Christmas!) Wednesday

This morning, I drove down to Philadelphia. I had three purposes in mind. First off, I wanted to do a volunteer shift with the Former Place of Employment. Which could be weird, right? I've been doing that since I was given the axe. It goes down out on the streets, not back at HQ. The folks who work that outreach site are some of my favorites. And I'm really good at working with our clients. Those winning ways of mine. And the Wednesday site, sort of on the border between Center City and South Philly draws an interesting mix. There's some gay boys slamming crystal, some trans folks shooting hormones, and some delish goombahs from South Philly who are doing steroids. (I'm doing my best to convince one guy that it's not necessary to inject steroids into his biceps to make them better. But thankfully, it hasn't occurred to him to do that with silicon.)

After the volunteer shift ended at 1 p.m., I headed off to Pho 75, this amazing vietnamese place at 12th and Washington. Now, I love pho. For the uninitiated, it's sort of the national dish of Viet Nam. In a large bowl, you put rice vermicelli noodles, and then some raw beef. Over the top of that goes boiling beef broth that semi-cooks the beef. It's served with bean sprouts, basil, and lime. And I give several shots of hot sauce.

Pho is my Cherry Pez. (Remember in the movie Stand By Me: "If you were only going to have one food for the rest of your life and only that food, what food would you choose?" "That's simple. Cherry Pez."

Pho: so good and so good for you. It fills you up and it satisfies, but there's nothing in there to slow you down.

Post-pho, I went to the AIA Architecture and Design Bookstore. At the Former Place of Employ, we did a holiday gift exchange. The person who got me somehow heard that I get sexually aroused by architecture and headed there to shop. I got a bag, and inside was this way cool little key fob. Which I loved. And a card. In the card was a gift certificate. Now, there was a $20 limit on gifts. I figured the key fob was between five to ten. Much later, I saw that the gift certificate was for $50.

Which broke all the rules!!! But given that my gift giver is a force to be reckoned with in the Philadelphia House Ball scene, I'm guessing it's part of her insisting on doing everything Big.

So I've been looking forward to my trip to the AIA bookstore.

I got two books. The first is Desert America: Territory of Paradox, put out by Verb Monograph. Some amazing photographs, and the perspective in the text that I read grabs me. But the really really cool thing is a two-volume box set, Architecture In The 20th Century put out by Taschen. You have totally got to own that, whoever you are.

"Wuzzat?" you say, "Me plunk down lots of money for one of those architecture coffee table books?"

Not quite. This sells for $25.


Taschen is a publishing house with a mission: they're committed to architecture being truly a public art. (And of all the arts, it is, of course, the most public.) So that's why they put out this acclaimed and apparently definitive work at the low low low price of $25.

And then, there was the third aspect of my mission today. I went to Giovanni's Room, the LGBT bookstore in Philadelphia. Not to buy. I wanted to find their Horror section to copy down some names of publishers. Publishers who can expect to receive a copy of my Great (Gay) American (Werewolf) Novel(la). And there were about two feet of shelf space devoted to this genre. Gay horror, that is. Not gay werewolf erotica. In fact, it seemed to be all about gay vampires. Not a werewolf in sight. Which I guess could be good or bad.

I'm not going to go into why werewolves are way cooler than vampires. I've covered that before.

And then it was time to head north on i-95. I had to get to church.

Today, of course, is Ash Wednesday, marking the start of Lent. From the time I was a wee lad, I always found Lent to be mysterious and compelling. In a way, it's all about darkness. A time to meditate on your sins and smell the sulfurous fumes of hellfire and imagine a world without God. "Remember man, that you are dust, and to the dust you shall return."

Kinda sobering, huh?

So when I got into church, all frazzled because traffic was bad and I just made it in time, I sort of busted through the doors, ran up the aisle, did a quick genuflect, and dropped to my knees. And out came this extraordinary prayer...

"Lord God, Heavenly Father,
Break me, shatter me, destroy me. Let me enter into the sorrow and suffering and desolation of Christ in his Passion. Let me die with Christ during this season of Lent that I may rise with him on Easter.
In Jesus' name I pray.

Like... where did that come from?

Now what have I let myself in for?

Of course the intereesting thing is that it reads like bottoming in a heavy SM scene, huh?

Oh, and one more thing.

Today I wore my amazing Puma warm-up suit. Dark brown trimmed in turquoise. So 'Seventies Porn Star. Totally, "Catch me in 'The Harder They Cum'?" I was wearing that and my big ol' custom Wesco harness boots and a black knit skull cap. I felt Big and Bad. And that felt good.

And that's what I was wearing all day long. At the outreach site. At the AIA Bookstore. Getting my ashes at church.

I came from dust, and I'll return to dust, but in between, I'm gonna try to look hot.


Yesterday, I met with my priest. To talk about my father.

I wanted to make sure I wasn't breaking that Commandment; the "so your days may be long upon the land" one.

He was great. Not so much in what he said, but just his presence. Just talking to him, I felt compelled to approach the matter prayerfully. There's no urgency here. Today was a good day. Tomorrow will probably be a good day. February was a good month. March will be a good month. 2007 will be a good year. Get me? I can bloom where I'm planted.

But, the Padre also made me feel trusted. And that allowed me to trust myself. Something that doesn't come easy to me.

He offered an interesting observation. Old age has been referred to as "second childhood." All men have a little boy inside them. (I swear I'm not going in the direction of a "getting in touch with your inner child" thing here.) When you don't get what you want, and there you are bellowing "It's so unfair!!!"... That's all about regression.

And so is my dad. That's why he takes it for granted that the Universe conspires to make sure that dinner shows up on the table, that his laundry gets done, that his bathroom stays clean. And if'n you think about it, that's not an adult take on reality.

But that Little Boy Dad aspect is important to remember. Little boys, if I remember correctly, having been one, so I'm told, need reassurance that all is right with the world, that whatever happens, they're loved and will be taken care of. When they're in bed, the nightlight burning means that the monsters will stay underneath the bed.

And I have a good idea what some of those monsters might be. Hospitals and doctors. Poverty and want. But the big one is Being Left Alone. We're talking about a man who has buried his parents, his younger brothers, three wives, and his only daughter.

So I can work with that. Whatever goes down, that little boy who raised me will be acknowledged.

Although of course the tricky thing is this is my dad we're talking about. And if you want to see a forty-two year old man turn into a little boy, put him in a room with his father.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Shrove Tuesday = Pancakes!

It's Shrove Tuesday!

And that, of course, means pancakes. If'n your Episcopalian it does.

So tonight I made pancakes for my dad.

Pancakes, in fact, are the dish that made me famous.

My senior year of college, I moved off campus with two friends of mine, Lou and Florence. Florence was quite the party girl, and was always up for inviting half the school over to party down. I would come home from my poetry reading or Black Flag show or whatever and find our suave digs filled with co-eds drunk on beer. I'd be the one to say "Yo! It's late! The music goes off! We have neighbors! And I'm going to bed and I don't want to hear you."

So of course, I ran the risk of getting a reputation as a huge Party Pooper. And we couldn't have that.

So when I got up in the morning, I would run to the grocery on the corner and come back and set to work.

Pancakes for a crowd.

It would take a whole box of Bisquick, but I'd use just about a whole carton of eggs. And my secret ingredient: I'd find an open bottle of beer (not a hard thing) and add that to the batter. It made the batter rise like crazy and gave a nice flavor of the hopps. But here's the clincher. In a pot, I'd melt some butter, then add diced apples. (Granny Smiths work well.) When the apples get soft, I add some brown sugar and cook till it gets all bubbly.

Get it? It was syrupy from the brown sugar, and there was plenty of butter in their, too, so I din't have to deal with people using all that butter and and syrup on my pancakes.

So that's what I made my father for supper tonight. And to make sure I got my protein, I sliced up some Aidell's Chicken Apple Sausage, tossed it with some walnut oil, and cooked them off in a 450° oven.

A plate heaping with sweet, savory, and, most importantly, pancakes.

And tomorrow begins the season of Lent. Forty days. The Baron asked me what I was giving up, and I hadn't given it much thought. I'm big Big BIG on Lenten devotions, so I'll think of something.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Problem With My Plumbing

The plumbers are here! Yay!

And they're indefatiguable in their pursuit of Good Drainage For Me. Senior Plumber is reaming out the pipes from the septic tank end, and Junior Plumber is down in the crawlspace under the house coming at it from the opposite end. When they meet and kiss, I'll be able to flush and take a shower and brush my teeth and everything!

I've really gotta hand it to these guys. They're just being relentless. I was a little worried earlier when they dug up the septic tank out in the yard, since I'm convinced that's not where the problem is. But after the septic line was cleared out (more reaming), the toilet still wasn't flushing very well. (And by that I mean, water all over the bathroom floor.)

I was half expecting a "Well, I think that's all we'll be able to do" or something.

But no!

They uncapped the line down in the crawlspace and now the house is filled with these sounds of sucking and grinding.

And I'm totally beside myself with eager anticipation.

And I've learned my lesson: no more flushing gi-hugic fourteen inch dildos down the toilet! When they get old, just put them out in the trash.

Or maybe turn them into fetching lawn ornaments!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


(I know that "Uber" should be "Über" but I couldn't make it work in the title field.)

The translation, I think, would be "Songs for Super Pigs." SuperPigs, of course, is the nations premiere SM play party in the country, way down San Diego way. Roadkill, who started the whole deal, is looking for music to play during the monthly festivities. I offered to put some music together, and Roadkill was grateful.

So I set to work, setting up an eclectic mix.

When I met with my Gay Men's SM Spirituality Discussion Group, the group that defies an acronym, I made mention of this after dinner. But, I also revealed that I was breaking The Great Rule of Dungeon Music: no words.


So, everybody in the Gay Men's SM Spirituality Discussion Group said that was wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

The No Words school contends that if there are words, it will distract the bottom from the important business of getting whipped. Or whatever. The Annals of SM (read them yet? slow in parts, but some great stuff there) are full of hair-raising tales of bottoms getting totally out of appropriate headspace and humming along with Nessune Dorma and the like. So, The No Words rule states that it's got to be obscure and purely instrumental. Chanting is okay, as long as it's something atonal.

Okay. I've got a two word rebuttal: Barry White.

Barry White, of course, has provided the soundtrack to more heterosexual couplings than any other artist. And Mr. White is not known for his instrumental work.

See what I'm saying?

Why can't lyrics enhance the experience? Or rather, why can't music with lyrics enhance the experience?

I've selected the songs with care. Going through my library, the question I asked myself was, "Listening to this, would two men fall in love with each other?"

To my mind, that's what SM is all about.

Who knows? It may or may not work. I decided to spring for an iPod Shuffle ($88!) for Roadkill. He can give it a listen, and if he doesn't think it will fly, he can load it up with Messian and Tavener and the like. Or, just listen to it while he's working around the house or whatever, and hopefully enjoy it.

So what do you think? There you are, getting flogged, or fisted, or getting fed piss from the tap, or doing the bootservice thing; or flogging, or fisting, or feeding a hot man your piss right from the tap, and in the background, you hear... say... one of the following...

•"Try Not To Breathe" by REM
•"Under Pressure" by David Bowie with Queen
•"We're Having Much More Fun" by X
•"What A Dog/He's A Tramp" from the Lady And The Tramp soundtrack, sung by Peggy Lee
•"Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine Show
•"Lost Not Found" by Dirty Vegas
•"Love Rollercoaster" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, from the Beavis And Butthead soundtrack
•"Lust For Love" by Iggy Pop
•"Love My Way" by the Psychedelic Furs
•"Mr. Big Stuff" by Jean Knight
•"More Than Love" by Los Lonely Boys
•"One Big Love" by Emmylou Harris
•"Presence Of The Lord" by Blind Faith
•"Only Love Can Break Your Heart" by Neil Young
•"Sodomy" from the Hair soundtrack album
•"Stand By Your Man" by Lyle Lovett
•"See A Little Light" by Bob Mould
•"The Boys Are Back In Town" by Thin Lizzy
•"The Look Of Love" by Dusty Springfield
•"We Are All Made Of Stars" by Moby
•"Tough Guy" by the Crystal Method

So. What happens?

Are you blown out of the water? "Excuse me, Sir? Let's dance!" All kinda wrecked? Thinking of that guy you dated in college when the two of you fell asleep listening to his OMD album and then the bastard dropped you for his Anthropology T.A.?

Or do the music and the man and the flogging/fisting/watersports combine and make the experience all the richer?

And years from now, when you're driving home from work and the radio plays That Song, are you transported back to that night at SuperPigs, and your breathing gets heavy, and it's like you can smell the guy's scent. And you wonder whatever happened to him, and that night, when you get home, you track down the guys number, give him a call, catch up, he's happy to hear from you, but asks, 'So what made you call after all this time?" and so you sing a little bit of That Song, and he's all like, "Oh Man! Was that an amazing night or what?"

That's the way my mind works anyway.

How about your mind?

But I have no great hopes. I could see Roadkill giving it a try, and in tweny minutes, guys are running upstairs and they're like, "Yo! What the hell is up with that music?" and so it's back to Enigma or Buttboy or whatever (Eh! Philistines.)

Regardless of the outcome, I'm sure havin fun!


It started about a week ago. I overheard on television or the radio or somewhere an obituary of someone who died at the age of 93. My brain quickly "did the math," as they say. My father turns eighty-two this year. If he lives to ninety-three, that will be eleven years from now. I'll be fifty-three years old then.

And over the past week, I've been "getting in touch with" those feelings.

Which are complex, to be sure.

My presence here is a matter of convenience for my father, not necessity. He has a bad back and mobility problems from spinal stenosis. Every morning, he fixes himself a pot of tea on the stove. When I'm not here for dinner, he gets a plate I've prepared for him out of the refrigerator, and heats it up in the microwave. He washes himself, albeit rarely.

He could get by on his own here, although he'd be lonely.

And that I don't quite understand. An older man who has been my father's neighbor since 1949 lives down the street. Every once in a while, Jim will walk up here and stop in for a visit.

"Why don't you give Jim a call," I suggest, "see if he wants to come up and watch the game with you?"

"I don't know what Jim is doing."

Well duh. That's why you call him.

My father doesn't call anyone. Except the electric company when the lights are out. Or Comcast when there's a problem with the cable. Or me, when I say I'll be home at 7 p.m. but I take longer with my workout or get into a conversation at Starbucks. And then he calls every fifteen minutes like clockwork.

When I was in college, and in all the years afterwards, my father never called me, but I was expected to call him.

Like paying tribute to some medieval king.

And it gets more complicated.

My mother died when I was three years old. My father remarried a few years later, a Scottswoman, who had been in this country only a couple of years when she met my father. My stepmother, Ruby, died on the eve of my eleventh birthday. In less than a year, my father met, courted, proposed, and married my next stepmother. ("The funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forward the wedding table."

My second stepmother was abusive. Not physically, but she was an absolute harridan. From their marriage until I went away to college, homelife was misery, and I now realize I was severely depressed. My father did nothing to prevent this.

I once had a dream, a few years before I left NYC to move back here. In the dream, I was visiting home, out in the kitchen. I broke something. Out came my stepmother, "What are you up to out here?" I concealed the broken dish or glass or whatever. Tried to distract her with conversation. It was a typical anxiety dream. Here's the significant part: my father was in the dream, too. Sort of: he was behind a newspaper he was reading.

My stepmother and I effected a détente while I was in college. I came to like her, and forgive her, though still recognizing that she was a deeply flawed person.

Why did I do this? Why did I abandon my adult life in NYC to come back here and live in my childhood bedroom?

Part of what prompted it was my stepmother's declining health. She had congestive heart failure, and the life expectancy with that diagnosis is less than a year. With the decrease in oxygen getting to her brain, it stopped working. She was forever "in the moment," unsure of the day or month or year.

I thought that if I came back here, if it was just me and my father, I could have the relationship with him I always wanted to have. But, I realized recently, like the America of the 1950s that is the dream of so many political conservatives, that never existed. It was never like that.

And, it never will be.

I am my father's fourth wife. I cook for him, I clean for him, I do his laundry, I make his bed.

He never says thank you. He never offers to compensate me. He never says anything along the lines of, "without you, I don't know what I would do."

In his mind, it's a matter of what I'm expected to do. I only hear about it when dinner is late or when he needs his laundry done.

Yeah yeah yeah. Poor li'l' ol' me, right?

Not quite.

As anyone who knows me can attest, the past three and a half years that I've been here have brought an amazing amount of personal growth and insight. It's been a big Time Out: an opportunity to think deeply, not allow myself to be distracted. Much.

But I don't know how much longer I can take it.

Well... that's not quite true.

Today is a good day. There's a blanket of snow covering the woods outback. I'm heading off to the gym soon, and I'll stop in at Starbucks afterwards. I have money in the bank. In two weeks, I'll be in Sunny San Diego visiting Alpha and hopefully spending some time with Roadkill. I just heard from my doctor on the results of my bloodwork: I'm in very good health ("Your prostate is fabulous!") Today is a good day.

And tomorrow will be a good day, too. And March will be a good month. And 2007 will be a good year. But "good" in the sense that I'm not in pain or hungry or fearfull.

But I'm cut off here. There's no love. There's no romance. There's no community. There's no family.

It's just me.

And that's not how I want to live my life. It's fine for today. But eleven years from now, I won't be thinking back and remembering, "Remember that day you got two new tires for your jeep and did shoulders at the gym and then made ham and sweet potatoes and green beans for dinner for your father?"

There are no memories being made.

And so, I'm exploring options for my father.

Or I'm starting to.

I've heard some bad things recently about eldercare facilities. Most of the residents are afflicted with dementia or Alzheimer's. They babble, they stare vacantly. For the few that aren't, it can be nightmarish. They stay in their rooms.

But maybe there's a "nice one."

How much would my father hate that? He built this house we live in himself. Here and his parents' house have been the only habitation he's known in his life.

Or maybe he wouldn't have to go anywhere. Maybe arrangements could be made for someone to come to him. Home care. Meals on wheels. That kind of thing.

I wouldn't mind it if I had to be "nearby," getting an apartment in Doylestown or somewhere, stopping by a few nights each week, doing things around the house on weekends. As long as I could go home. To my home. The place where I live. That's actually what I envisioned way back when, making the decision to leave NYC. I'd have my own place, nearby.

I don't know, I don't know.

I've been talking the issue over with the Baron and with hot tub guy.

Hot tub guy argues that I'm doing harm to my father. Life is full of challenges. We grow by facing those challenges. It's wrong of you to shield him. He can get by fine without you being his nursemaid. The Baron takes a more psychological bent, arguing that just because my father has never taken the time to get to know himself, to be at ease spending time alone, that's not my fault. It's something all of us have to learn. He's had eighty years to learn that lesson. And his isolation is self imposed. "If he has social anxiety," (this is hot tub guy again) "then that's why there's Paxil."

On Tuesday, afternoon, I'm meeting with my priest.

My chief question will be whether I'm breaking a Commandment. The "Honor Thy Father And Thy Mother" one. And, I'm hoping that he'll have some insights into elder care options. Or, at the very least, know of some support for caregivers.

(And why the hell isn't there anything on-line for that? Do you have any idea how many gay men I know who are in my same situation? It's about 1-in-20. Serious! And I'd put the number of gay men who have had that experience in the past at less than 1-in-10. So chances are, if you're out there reading this, and you're gay, chances are it's coming your way.)

And this is all so hard.

My father's approval means so much to me. He's all about withholding and distance, so of course that's the case.

Daddy, please, tell me I'm a good boy. That could go on my tombstone.

So if I do decide to take action, going to some new arrangement, I'll be being--in my father's eyes--a very bad boy. A bad son.

That's gonna be rough.

And so it's the ultimate contest: act or do nothing. (Funny that I should quote Hamlet at the start of this post, huh?) Take the risk of surgery, or just learn to live with it.

Hard choices.

Friday, February 16, 2007


I have an interview with the conservancy organization on Tuesday morning. That was the very first place I sent my resume. I like the group a lot, and I think I have a lot to offer them. (I can't imagine that there's a raft of resumes from people who grew up enjoying the aspect of our Bucks County heritage they're out to rescue and protect and who also have over almost two decades working in government and non-profit leadership.)

But... Like... So soon?

I'm just getting used to this whole high-protein-breakfast-surfing-the-web-and-checking-email-doing-work-around-the-house-running-errands-heading-to-the-gym-for-a-good-workout-relaxing-at-Starbucks-grocery-shopping-fixing-a-delightful-dinner-for-my-dad-taking-in-Heroes/Top Design/Supernatural-writing-Gay-Werewolf-Erotica routine! And now it might be over? I'll have to go to work?

Dude! Don't harsh my mellow!

Maybe I can make some excuse to put off a start date so I can enjoy this Life of Leisure at least until the weather gets warm and I can get outside and enjoy.

But on the other hand, I've got two balled tires on my jeep and tires ain't cheap.

I'll adapt.

And thrive!

If need be. There I go again: one chick, two chicks, three chicks... four... five... eight... ten... Why, look! I have a dozen chickens here in this egg carton! Ease off. Go with your strengths. It'll be cool, whatever happens.

Let's remember: it was nothing less than Divine Intervention that got me in this pickle, so however it works out, I'm in God's hands.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hatin' On Skinheads

I've been debating this post all day long. I do my best not to keep Singletails free of negativity. But something I just gotta sound off about.

It all started the other night. This guy on Recon flags me down with an "Oi m8!". I gave a polite 'hey whats up, Boss" in response. He said I was hot. I thanked him. (Of course, he had the obligatory pic shosing him giving the finger to the camera, and I hate that.) He persisted.

"88? WP?"

That's when I shut him down. "88" is code. "H" is the eighth letter of the alphabet, so 88 is HH. And HH stands for "Heil Hitler." And WP, of course, stands for "White Power."

Gay skinheads are bullshit.

Yeah yeah yeah. I know. The fellas at Instigator are always telling us how hot they are. And that guy Drub is so down.

But I just don't buy it.

Skins had their origins in London's East End and in various industrial towns in the North of England during the 'Sixties and 'Seventies. (And, some would argue, going as far back as the 'Fifties.) It was a working class phenomenon, typified by looking sharp in a set range of clothing brands and short haircuts. To some degree, skins were a reaction against some aspects of the countercultural movement of the 'Sixties, the whole Mods and Rockers thing.

Oh yeah. And they were all white.

This at a time when the East End of London and industrial cities and towns in the North of England were seeing increasing numbers of immigrants from the former British Commonwealth. And so, a Fun Thing To Do for skinheads was to go down to Brixton in cowardly groups and beat the bejeezus out of "Pakis and Blacks."

To put it plainly: skinheads were a violent and racist subculture.

But, they also had music associated with the movement. And a lot of people were drawn to the movement because they liked the music, rather than the racism.

"Oh no!" Skin-identified homo apologists will argue, "It's a working class movement, about being proud of your working class roots."

Uh huh.

When I was on the fringes of the punk scene in Philadelphia during the 1980s, I knew skinheads. And they were racist. And, of course, they hated fags. But it was the 'Eighties, and everybody hated fags back then. Now there was this whole "Anti-Racist Skins" thing going on, even way back then. Kids who liked skinhead music but objected to the racism.

Then, and now, that didn't cut a lot of mustard with me. Like being "anti-racist Klan" ("I just like the cool costumes and the traditions and the brotherhood and standing up for the Southern way of life! Honest!")

Skinheads are racist. Skinhead violence in Europe is still a reality. And it's violence directed against people of color. And fags.

What's going on here, and what no gay skinhead I've run across is willing to cop to, is that it's not about the music or being proud of your "working class roots" or whatever, it's a fetish. And that fetish is all about worshipping what you fear.

Not that there's anything wrong with that!

I'm totally cool with worshipping what you fear on the level of fetish and roleplay. You wanna bring out the Swastikas to get yourself off? Cool. Just take some time and watch the Claude Lanzmann's 1985 documentary "Shoah" sometime so you have a fuller understanding of the dark forest you're romping in. And hey, I've got a cop uniform hanging in my closet.

So why don't I give a pass to gay so-called skinheads?

Here's why. Because today, skinheads have been co-opted by racist organizations here in the U.S. and Europe. For the Klan and other white supremacist groups here in the U.S., the skinhead movement has been the greatest possible recruiting tool imaginable. White supremacists bankroll the shows, the kids show up, skins recruit, pass out hate literature, and so it goes. Easy enough to argue that this is American and Freedom of Speech and expression and all that, but let's keep in mind that white supremacists bomb gay bars, kill radio talk show hosts, and elect klansmen to Congress.

So by bein' so cool in your bleachers and braces and Fred Perry's, what you're doing is being dupes for some really bad people, and giving them wider acceptance and legitimacy.

And I'd go so far as to say that there's blood on your hands for that.

So no. I'm not a skinhead. And none of my friends are skinheads. And gay skinheads are bullshit.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Oh No They Did Not Just Go There

Yeah they did.

And if you go here, you can watch.

Not for the faint of heart.

(Our thanks to Diabolique, who sent it my way.)

Wrong Wrong Wrong.

It's St. Valentine's Day!

I had been viewing the holiday the way Joan Collins greets her birthday: "Oh. Yeah. I guess it is. What's on cable?"

But beneath the commercialism of the holiday (in which it's so easy to get caught up, especially with all the goofy ads on television for teddybears and diamonds), the abstract concept it celebrates is worthy indeed: Love.

So what is the role that Love plays in my life?

I'd like to think it's significant.

These days, of course, that love tends to be epistolary.

[Yo! Wait! Time out! It's a SingleTails neologism! Epistolary: Having to do with, or mostly contained in letter. Well then how about "E-pistolary," meaning, "having to do with or mostly contained in e-mail"? Get it? That's good, right? Six weeks from now, when you see E-pistolary everywhere, remember where you read it first.

Now, back to our posting...]

I've gotten a couple of Valentine's Day cards and emails, and I'm grateful for them. But gosh, the Abélard and Heloise thing makes thin gruel after a while.

I have to admit I wouldn't mind a romantic dinner for two. I'll even do the cooking!

But, as one of the characters in "Something Wild And Dark" reminds the hero, "You can't go looking outside yourself for what you need to find inside yourself." It's not about the love you need, it's about the love you have to give.

So that's my meditation for the day: the love I have to give. And looking for opportunities to offer up the gift of my love, for a minute, for a night, or for a lifetime.

And speaking of which, even though there's freezing rain outside, Faithful Companion, my great schoolmaster in love, needs a walk.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Something Wild And Dark

That's the working title of the Great (Gay) American (Werewolf) Novel(la). I'm in the middle of doing the technical edit, but couldn't resist jumping the gun and getting copies of the thing at Staples and dropping some in the mail to a few folks who I thought might appreciate some werewolf erotica on a cold winter night.

And, I got a verrrrry interesting response to a resume I sent out. From a very local conservationist group looking for a new Executive Director. I could definitely see myself being very committed to their mission, as it concerns a feature of life here in Bucks County that is quite near and dear to me. A lot of the job would be to shake money out of the local political powers that be. And, it wouldn't mean driving an hour and forty-five minutes to get to work in Philadelphia, and an hour and forty-five minutes to get home again.

Alas, it might mean returning to that whole "Going To Work" thing that seems to have become so popular. (Why? What's up with that? I hate that "Going To Work" fad.) But I'm totally enumerating bipedal domesticated fowl while they're currently embrionic.

I'm hoping that we won't be snow-bound tomorrow. I'll sure be happy to leave cold and wintry Pennsylvania behind in two weeks and head off to sunny San Diego. Alpha has promised me time in the desert and time in a hot tub while I'm there, and I'm also hoping to pay a visit to Roadkill. Alas, SuperPigs--Roadkill's beats-the-band monthly SM sex party--has been moved from the usual first Saturday of the month to March 16th to coincide with Mr. San Diego Leather weekend festivities, so I won't be able to attend.

Anyway, blah blah blah.

Back to editing.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Heaven Help My Soul Mate

A fun personality test reveals the following...

Stability results were high which suggests you are very relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic..

Orderliness results were moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly flexible, improvised, and fun seeking at the expense of reliability, work ethic, and long term accomplishment.

Extraversion results were moderately high which suggests you are, at times, overly talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting at the expense of developing your own individual interests and internally based identity.

trait snapshot:
messy, disorganized, social, tough, outgoing, rarely worries, self revealing, open, risk taker, likes the unknown, likes large parties, makes friends easily, likes to stand out, likes to make fun of people, reckless, optimistic, positive, strong, does not like to be alone, ambivalent about chaos, abstract, impractical, not good at saving money, fearless, trusting, thrill seeker, not rule conscious, enjoys leadership, strange, loves food, abstract, rarely irritated, anti-authority, attracted to the counter culture

Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Extraversion |||||||||||||||| 66%
Stability |||||||||||||||||| 73%
Orderliness |||||||||| 33%
Accommodation |||||||||| 36%
Interdependence |||||| 30%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||| 63%
Mystical |||||||||||||||| 63%
Artistic |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Religious |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Hedonism |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Materialism |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Narcissism |||||||||||||||| 63%
Adventurousness |||||||||||||||| 70%
Work ethic |||||||||||| 43%
Self absorbed |||||||||||| 50%
Conflict seeking |||||| 30%
Need to dominate |||||||||||| 50%
Romantic |||||||||||||||| 70%
Avoidant |||||||||||| 43%
Anti-authority |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Wealth |||| 16%
Dependency |||||||||||||| 56%
Change averse |||| 16%
Cautiousness |||||||||| 36%
Individuality |||||||||||||||| 70%
Sexuality |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Peter pan complex |||||| 30%
Physical security |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Physical Fitness |||||||||||||| 57%
Histrionic |||||||||||| 43%
Paranoia || 10%
Vanity |||||||||||||||| 63%
Hypersensitivity |||||| 23%
Female cliche |||||| 30%
Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality tests by

Sunday, February 11, 2007


The kid behind the counter of the gas station where I bought a half gallon of Rosenberger's Iced Tea (the closest we come to a vin du table in these parts) blurted out, "Dude! That is such a great beard you have!

He was tall and young and wearing a blond bed-head haircut. Good enough to eat.

So I'm feelin' all kinds of kicky after that.

And he didn't even see my tattoo!

The Great (Gay) American (Werewolf) Novel done.

At least the first writing. Want to let it rest for a bit, then give it an edit.

Writing it left me ecstatic, and I was sorry to see it completed. The characters, Gary and Vic (and Gary's dog Sophia) were great to spend time with. It was like they were telling me the story, and I looked forward to seeing What Happened Next.

Since it went so well, and since I seem to have... uh... a lot of time on my hands, maybe I'll turn my attention once again to Fire On The Glacier, see if I can hang some more roses on that trellis.

Since TG(G)A(W)N is complete, I'm wondering about getting it published. It came out to just under seventy (12 pt, single-spaced) pages, not enough for a novel, too long for a short story, more or less a novella. And I'm not even sure at this point who even publishes stuff like that.

But I think it's good. In fact, I think it's great. Although I'm obviously not the best person to make that determination.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ever Seen A Grown Man Cry?

Check out me, watching the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge on Bravo.

Faithful Companion hangs his head in disapproval. When they described the relationship of dog and trainer as "Partners," as in, "See how Rio's eyes are always on Lisa, her partner," I totally lost it.

"Are you my partner, buddy?" I asked, getting all choked up, of Faithful Companion.

If'n he could talk, he'd say, "Of course I am. But don't go getting any ideas about me and obstacle courses, frisbees, or going off a diving board. Now how about a treat?"

Halló Geta þú Hjálparvalmynd?

Oh I'm sorry... You don't read Icelandic?

*weary sigh*

Neither do I.

And I need some help. For the Great Gay American Werewolf Novel, I need names for some minor characters from Iceland. Four men's names and one woman's name. Just first names, and diminutives are fine ("Jim" rather than "James"), if Icelanders use diminutives.

I, of course, have always been pretty intrigued by Iceland. It all started when Reagan and Gorbachov had a summit in Rejkjavik back in the Eighties. In the coverage of the summit, Dan Rather, I believe, was interviewing the Prime Minister of Iceland. Lots of blah-blah-blah about that freedom, democracy, and volcanic hot springs lovin' country.

But then, Dan Rather poses the following question: "Mr. Prime Minister, polls indicate that eighty percent of Icelanders believe in elves. Do you believe in elves?"

Without hesitation, the Prime Minister of Iceland replied, "Elves are welcome here!"

So that's the deal. Some typical icelander names. And no using "Oli," the name of the character in Hostel from Iceland. That's too obvious.

Post'em in Comments, and I'll be grateful, and you'll have assisted in creating Art!

I'm Not Obsessed With Olivia Newton John, But Some Of My Best Friends Are

For real.

Clicking on this here link will take you to one bloggers choice of the Five Worst Videos Of All Time. Leonard Nimoy singing a tribute to Bilbo Baggins is a demented gem, but what I really appreciated was Olivia Newton John providing visuals to her mega-hit (ahem) "Let's Get Physical."

My best friend in high school, Ed, claimed to be obsessed with ONJ. (Ed was gay, and we all knew it, even if Ed didn't, so his frequent declarations that she was "soooo hot" were greeted with a chorus of "okaaaaay"'s)

Anyway, well I remember this video, watching it in my college dorm when MTV was new.

Oh how physical fitness has evolved in twenty-five years! I used to have those little wrist squeezy things!

But we get to see ONJ as a psychotic aerobics instructor, a massage therapist who seems to be using way more grease than would be necessary for Happy Ending (but spicing it up with some breath control?), and burbling water in the shower.

The punchline--that working out at the gym makes you gay--has always been self evident to me.

Think the "hunks" at the end look hopelessly and laughably dated? Well kiddo, come along with me to a place called New Hope, Pennsylvania, and we'll visit the Raven, where on an average night, seventy percent of the crowd looks Just Like That.

That's what I have to put up with.

ONJ does have a great voice though.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007



John the hot musclebear got eliminated on Top Design! Damn! I could give a rats ass about any of these other bozos.

Michael's design was totally the worst. John's wasn't all I would hope for, but it wasn't bad in terms of design.

Look at the guns on that man! Oh! And in the opening segment, he was wearing a chain wallet on the right, so he's a bottom.

I guess if there's a silver lining, since he didn't emerge from Top Design victorious, I might have a chance with him.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Pushy Pussy

I've known some bottoms like this, but not enough of them.

(Courtesy of Diabolique.)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Brrrrrrrr! Right?

So tonight, it's supposed to go down to 5°F. here in the Howling Wilderness. As I was driving back from Philadelphia today (had to pick up my paycheck from the former Place of Employ and meet up with a 26 year old who insisted on getting together with me for coffee and then--wait for it...--didn't show up, it was 10°.

Yesterday found me in NYC, where the icy arctic blasts were coming in off the Hudson and cutting through you like a knife. I met up with SadistNY for brunch (huevos rancheros at Brite Food Shop are highly recommended), then caught a cab over to the East Village for the winter meeting of the Gay Men's SM Spirituality Discussion Group (still eluding any attempt at an acronym). Afterwards, as I'm watching my money, I ended up walking from 2nd Ave and 7th to where I had parked my car at 10th Ave and 22nd Street.


I hate the cold, and I always have. My sister, on the other hand, was one of those people you might have read about in books who "loves the cold." (Like "Morning People," they have a lot of work to do if they're gonna gain my favor.) Once when I was all bundled up Charlie Brown-style, and she was wearing basically a tshirt and a scarf, she offered me some words of wisdom: "Don't do that!"

"What?" I asked.

"Don't tense yourself up like that. It just makes you feel the cold more. Just relax into it. It feels cold. So what. It won't kill you. Just relax and be aware of what the cold feels like. Stop acting like you're getting root canal without anaesthetic."

And so I do. Or at least, I do after I remind myself to do that every time I'm out in it during the winter.

Just thought I'd pass that on.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Why Are You Writing A Story About Werewolves?

Good question!

It's like this...

As you know, wolves and dogs had a common ancestor. The lines parted ways about, if I recall, 50,000 years ago. About the time our forbears were starting to live in settlements and discovering agriculture. Some of the common ancestors of wolves and dogs started hanging around these human settlements, probably at the garbage dumps. The humans started putting them to work, finding out that they'd do a lot in exchange for some food.

So really, it's all about kibble.

And, all things considered, that was not a bad choice to make. There are countless millions of dogs in the world today, and probably about 150,000 wolves.

So, we're the dogs. We're thoroughly domesticated. It's all about the kibble. Although our kibble is slightly--only slightly--more complex. We live in a world where what is expected of us is to watch television and buy stuff. In other words, "Go to sleep." We live lives without hardship, but also without risk or danger or heroic struggle.

And without love.

That's right, we live lives without love.

Instead of love, we have the domesticated version: "Relationships." Those things we Work On. And there's sex, too. That's now available over the internet, too.

Ah, the internet. Which paradoxically offers contact without the connection. We while away the hours, seemingly communicating with folks in Phoenix, Seattle, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Coral Gables, Milwaukee, Boston... And it's easy to fool yourself that what's going on there is some kind of connection, that there's intimacy involved. But of course, we've all become marketing experts, selecting grainy pics and scribing profiles of 1000 characters or less. "Masc man seeking other masc men. Like outdoors, movies, trance. Seeking LTR but having fun till that comes along. Gym 5x/week. 8 cut."

Imagine this: not so very long ago, people would kill for love. Read Act V of Romeo And Juliet sometime. Imagine the kind of passion that would compel you to off yourself right then and there if you thought you'd never again get to kiss your beloved's lips and feel the warmth of life in them.

Not seeing it? Imagine harder!

See what I mean?

Just go to sleep, and tomorrow, there will probably be some more kibble in your bowl, so everything will be fine.

But in every dog, there's a wee bit of wolf still.

When I was a little boy, and this part of Pennsylvania was still fairly rural, the story went around that a certain wooded area was off limits to us, because it was rumored that there was a pack of feral dogs there. I was captivated by the idea. Feral dogs. I'd look at my own dog, Mokoa, sleeping peacefully on the hearth rug, fetcher of tennis balls, chaser of chickens. Would Mokoa leave all this behind and turn feral?

Feral dogs are the only hope for humanity. If dogs can do it, maybe it's not too late for us. Maybe we can still manage to find something wild, something feral, deep down inside.

I think that's what leather is all about. You just want it to mean something. The sting of a bullwhip, the taste of bootleather, the flash of fear in the face of the man who is submitting to you, that's real. That's wild. It's feral.

But for how long? Ross Perot was wrong, that "sucking sound" wasn't globalization; it's commodification. Every aspect of human experience getting turned into a product, a "lifestyle" that you can acquire, if you've got enough available on your credit card.

And that's basically what my werewolf story is all about.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Plumbing Problems

Oh for Pete's Sake.

I live in the house my father built in 1949, using these 'how-to-build-your-house' books produced by the U.S. Army for all those WW II vets pursuing the American Dream. Overall, pretty good. No complaints.

However, the fact that my father has memories of setting the studs, hanging the drywall, laying the foundation, running the wires for electric, nailing down the shingles on the roof... it makes him prone to this mindset that nothing will ever go wrong. He remembers the painstaking care he took in putting the place together, and feels certain this means that it will never ever fall apart.

Back over the summer, I started noticing problems with the drainage--or lack thereof--in my bathroom. So what do you do when the water is backed up in the shower and seems to be seeping out from the base of the toilet all over the bathroom floor? You call the plumber. "The plumber," in this case, is a family friend. Or more accurately, the son of a family friend. I called and told him the problem, and he said, "It sounds to me like you don't need a plumber, what you need is to get your septic system cleaned out."



I let my fingers do the walking, found a local guy (the euphemism for the trade is 'honey dipper'), and we were good to go.

He showed up and spent a couple of hours "reaming out my pipes" (as he described his work).

He told me that the problem was that pipes corrode not on the outside, but on the inside, and as they corrode, the space that the water and sewage has to pass through gets smaller and smaller. So, all it takes is one good dump and there's a blocked sewer line.

Like... uh oh.

And sure enough, not a week passed when water was once again backing up in my bathroom.

This time, I headed to the local hardware store. My thinking was to by some Dran-O like product. But the guys at the hardware store advised against that. A septic system, it seems, depends on micro-organisms to bio-degrade the... uh... "solid material" that you flush or rinse down the drain. A chemical drain un-clogger would wipe all of those little guys out.

Instead, they turned me onto a product called Rid-X. It's the equivalent of eating a lot of yogurt after you've been on anti-biotics. After flushing a couple of boxes of Rid-X down the toilet, the water flowed down the drain... well, like water flowing down the drain.

Since then, I have been religious about dosing my septic system with Rid-X every two weeks. And things have been copascetic.

Until now.

It's back.

Big time.

It's been getting slower and slower, despite my dumping a $7.99 box of Rid-X down the toilet on an almost nightly basis.

With all the stress I've been under, this is really the last thing I needed. So there I was, raging away about the injustice of it all, plunging furiously in the shower the other day.

Today, just now, was The Last Straw.

I've got a date. Maybe just for coffee. Maybe a little more. (He pursued me; I didn't pursue him; my New Years Resolution is inviolate.)

And of course, before I head off on my date, I want to clean out.

Since the drainage is so lethargic right now, I carefully laid a plan.

I would jump in the shower just to douche out my hole, and then head off to the gym for a "real" shower and shave. (The straight suburban dads and local high school jocks who go to my gym are tolerant of my traipsing around the locker room with my big stainless steel cockring, but if I were to use the gang shower for douching out my asshole, there would probably be some complaints. Puritans! Breeders! Oppressors!)

So I go into the bathroom, strip down, turn on the shower, and as soon as the water is warm enough, jump in and squirt it up in me. No sooner had I... um... expelled, then there was a gurgling in the drain, and I had a shower back up.


You guessed it.

Turds in the shower that aren't going anywhere.

And I have no confidence that I'm thoroughly cleaned out.

So I've had it.

On Monday, I'm gonna call John the plumber, and as his recommendation for a good septic system guy. If our pipes are the problem, then I want new pipes. If it's the septic system as a whole that's failing, then I want a new one.

My father, of course, will protest mightily.


If I can't clean out, then that's a serious problem.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Citrus-Chainsaw Kumquat-Inglenook Macrame-Palooka

Ah, those were the days. Way back when in the Nineties, when Google was just taking off, it was possible to play a game we used to call "Let's Stump Google!" It was simple. You did a Google search on two words that were unrelated enough to render the result, "Sorry, your query returned no results. Search again?" (Or something.)

These days, now that Google's vast databases contain just about everything that's ever been written (including, presumably, the output of those hundred monkies and their hundred typewriters who are now 999,827 years away from coming up with Hamlet), I think it's safe to say there are no two words that will even get you just a single page of results.

Drop That Paint Roller And Date Me, Dammit!

Okay. So Top Design on Bravo.

Not quite the panache of Project Runway, right?

From what I saw on Episode One, Todd Oldham is... uhhh... not so magnetic. And the judges strike me as a wee bit light on perspicacity and intelligent critique.

But whatever, right, because John, the Bear Guy from Chicago makes it all watchable.

I mean WOOF!. Totally rocks. Smokin hot Bear.

And I loved it when he defended his work--and slammed that bozo Michael--by saying "I'm not afraid to jump in and get my paws dirty."

So cool.