Saturday, March 31, 2007

Field Of Dreams

Got up early this morning and drove up to NYC. It was the first practice with my softball team, the Ball Breakers.

Traffic was a nightmare. Right past the tollbooths coming off of 78 going onto the turnpike extension, there was a huge traffic back-up. It was a parking lot as far as the eye could see. I made a quick turn and headed onto the NJTPK North bound for the Lincoln Tunnel instead of the Holland. I hate the Lincoln Tunnel. It's always a hassle, and this time, of course, was no exception. And since I'm not familiar with getting onto the FDR from Midtown, it took some doing, but it went alright. I was only ten minutes late. Good thing I gave myself two solid hours to get there or it would have been a huge problem.

Great great great to see all those guys again. We have some new Ball Breakers this year. Last year's crop of new players was... not so successful. With two notable exceptions. Last year, we had two cops and one firefighter. This year, it seems we'll have three firefighters and one cop. (The other cop has now become a New York City public school teacher and is happy as a clam. (Clams are happy? About what exactly?) So firefighter Ball Breakers will outnumber police officer Ball Breakers in the 2007 Season.

(There are members of the uniform services who are straight, right? Although you sure couldn't tell from the Ball Breakers.)

Practice went great. We started with fielding (got some work to do there), and then worked on our batting (got some work to do there, too).

Things I must remember...


1. Be aggressive, go after every ball;
2. Get under the ball;
3. Open up my glove;
4. Hit my cut-off man;
5. For a grounder, put my body in the path of the ball.


1. Stand so the meat of the bat is centered over the plate;
2. Plant my back foot;
3. Keep my right shoulder and elbow up;
4. Swing right across my chest, nice and level;
5. Keep my eye on the ball because you hit what you're looking at.

I've gotta find some batting cages near me! I found a place down outside of Philadelphia, but they want $60/hour. Which is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, for that money, I'd want an actual pitcher, catcher and coach to work with, not just a machine spitting balls out at me. Deeeee-ammm.

There was a dire moment during practice. Two seasons ago, our manager had his leg broken badly by a total asshole on a team of total assholes. Completely unnecessarily. We protested to the league and got the guy suspended for a few games, a decision we all disagreed with. It was a nightmare, almost ending our manager's softball career. (And now, of course, we have to hear him talk about it Every. Chance. He. Gets. (We Ball Breakers delight in giving each other a hard time, so I generally refer to this tragedy as "the bad toe stubbing incident.")

Anyway, our manager was pitching during batting practice, and caught a line drive right on his shin. On his good leg. He dropped to the ground, and there was this moment of "no way" as we gathered around him. It turned out it wasn't a bad hit: no lasting damage, just painful and he'll have quite the goose-egg on his shin.

And that will probably be the last time he leaves his shin guards in the car.

Then, we headed back to Ty's on Christopher Street, our sponsor, and I had me a good dose of hangin' with the Ball Breakers. Sweet. We cought up. We picked on each other mercilessly, nothing being sacred. (Except the job of our first baseman, who even though it involved him digging through Anna Nicole Smith's garbage down in Bermuda or wherever in hopes of finding one of Danielynn's diapers so his boss could run her own DNA testing... is off limits! Which drives me crazy.)

And there was pizza. I love pizza.

One by one, Ball Breakers headed off home. Before I faced nightmare traffic going home, I decided to fortify myself with a nice triple-venti-two-pump-vanilla-latté from the new Starbucks at 10th and Hudson. This is a great development. (Once again I rhetorically ask, "How many Starbucks do we need?" to which I answer, "At least one more! That one!") Now I won't have to hike all the way to 7th and Christopher to get an iced latté before I head to the piers to smoke a cigar in warmer weather. And given the foot traffic, a significant proportion of it homosexual men, that Starbucks could very well become My New Hang in NYC.

On the way home, traffic was much worse than even I anticipated. Personally, I don't see too much wrong with the medians on the Casciano Memorial Bridge, but I guess those must have been some serious hairline cracks in the median to warrant backing up traffic for ten miles on a Saturday night; or else North Jersey is rife with corruption or something, and that couldn't be the case, right?

And the season starts.


And tomorrow morning, I get to sing my all time favorite hymn, "All Glory, Laud, and Honor" while walking through Doylestown holding a palm in my hands.

Could things get better?

(Yeah. I would really have loved to meet up with Bruiser while I was up in NYC, but that was not to happen. Darn it. But I'll bide my time and keep hope alive there. And life seems to offer its little compensations.)

Benefits Of Blogging

Oh My Lord And Taylor! Lolita has some serious fans!

This restores my faith in humanity on a number of fronts:

1. There are people walking around on this planet who are capable of all but boundless kindness and generosity;

2. People like Lolita who do so much good in the world are sometimes rewarded for that;

3. I might get to ride in a Ferrari!

I'm reminded of when I put out the call here on SingleTails to request that readers send my father a card for his 80th birthday a few years ago. And the cards came pouring in from all over the country. My goal was for him to receive 80 cards, one for every year he's been alive. He received eighty-two. He was pretty blown away by that, and he still has all those cards. (Although I was vague on the details of who these cards were coming from. I simply told him, "Friends of mine.")

Friday, March 30, 2007

Pain And Blood

This morning, I started out my day at the gym. Great workout! I'm usually not there in the mornings, when it seems I'm a good twenty years below the median age, but it was nice. I didn't have to wait for any of the weights or stations I needed. Not even the cable machines. I got an early start because the Baron drove up to spend the day with me here in Bucks County.

So cool. The Baron and I hung out in Doylestown for awhile, talking and talking and talking. Once again, the Baron commiserated and had kind words and thoughtful insights as I ran through a story he's heard more than once before: I meet a guy, hit it off, it seems to be a mutual thing, but then before I know it, I seem to be the only one riding the train. What is up with that? Is it my breath? Do I have an enemy who is constantly taping a sign on my back that says "Get Out Fast!" on my back? Perhaps there's been something in the news that I missed about a guy with a chain tattooed from his right ankle to left wrist who is coincidently wanted by the Federal authorities for identity theft or eviscerating kittens or something? What? Or maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm the only gay man on the planet who read and took to heart all that 18th Century English poetry ("Thy coyness lady were no crime if we had world enough and time, but at my back I always hear, Times wing'd charriots drawing near...").


The weather was beautiful today, the Baron was in a rare good mood. After spending the afternoon in Doylestown, we headed up 611 to Plumsteadville. I had to buy a rake at the hardware store there. (If you drive by the Ol' Homestead, you'll see just how badly I had to buy a rake.) And once again, I had that experience that's so much a part of being my father's son. The first time I went to a lumber yard, I was flabbergasted to discover that for not a lot of money, you could buy... say... an eight foot long two-by-four. My father, e'er the miser, was big on saving every scrap of wood. (This actually worked in my favor when I used to build treehouses.) The loss of a nine inch plank was for him an unimaginable disaster. So I assumed that the price of wood was about the same as the equivalent weight of saffron. When I learned that for $2.50, you could buy just about any board in the yard. The rake that we have, and that we've always had, probably since my father bought it in the 1950s, has had fewer and fewer teeth (tines?) over the years. During my raking years in adolescence, about half of them were still in place. These days, I'd say there were six, and they're not even grouped together. I was planning on spending not more than $40 on a new rake at the hardware store today.

Whaddyaknow, a rake cost me $6.50. And I even upgraded from bamboo to steel.

And of course, the Baron and I had a delightful time stalking the teenagers working in the hardware store. We did some grocery shopping so I could get the fixin's for a nice minestrone soup four our Friday-night-in-Lent supper tonight, picked up a prescription for my father, and had some pizza. The Baron suggested we take a drive down to New Hope. And so we did. The Delaware River is high, and the sun was beautiful as it reddened the western sky. We visited a couple of the tchotchka shops that drive the economy in that town, and I decided to drop in on my tattoo guy. And there he was, standing outside his shop by the canal, greeting me warmly. I mentioned in passing that I still had to come by for the touch-ups. A look of concern crossed his face... "What? Anything wrong?" No, no, no, I reassured, just the lines get a little thin in a few places. So Tattoo Guy got out his appointment book and scheduled me for two sessions, the first one on Thursday, May 3rd.

I'm trying to think about where exactly I've noticed those thin lines... One on the top of my thigh (won't be too bad), one on my shin bone (Yow!), one on my collar bone (Double Yow!). I just had this image of myself, the shaving, that sound of the needle, the scrunched up face Tattoo Guy makes when he's working, the pain, the blood.

Again? So soon? Does it need to be Perfect?

Yeah. Well. I'll just think Spartan thoughts.

And maybe--hope against hope--something will come through for me in the Romance Department and I'll be able to drag somebody along with me to offer moral support. Or at least call afterwards.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Vote For The Worst!

I have never been an American Idol fan. Most of the repertoire is the worst kind of pop music, and that singing-around-the-notes thing gets on my nerves. The hosts and the judges aren't especially entertaining. And the idea of America voting for "The Best"... That's kinda how we ended up electing George W. Bush back in 2004, right? So there's something wrong about that.

But I'm loving the whole Vote For The Worst phenomenon. That is truly making me feel good about life. I hope the phenomenon spreads... talent shows, science fairs, the Whitney Biennial... no contest should be immune! Whenever the ultimate decision is to be decided by an "applause-o-meter," I'll know what to do.

And just imagine the results if the VFTW phenomenon would seep into the psyches of our contest-obsessed brothers and sisters in leather in San Francisco! The whole "Hi! I'm proud to be Mr. Leather 1700 Block Of Noe Street For 2007! And from now until my step-down speech..." thing. I'm for the guy who wears a caftan in the jockstrap competition, whose fantasy involves a dramatic reading of Julia Child preparing monk fish, and who is clearly in the throes of meth-induced paranoid hallucinations during the question-and-answer segment! If we're gonna persist in the delusion that these guys "represent" us in some way and are to be held up as "role models," then let's see what we can do to make it a tad more interesting, huh?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I Want Your Sex

...says girlfag.

In the final days of Question Month, she sends me one: "How do you define sex?"

And that's an easy one. For me, sex is pentrative intercourse.

As I've pointed out before here, I agree with our former President that blowjobs are not sex. It's foreplay, but not sex.

And I don't consider SM to be sex either. It can be sexual, and it can include sex, but if SM is sex, than boxing is sex, and extreme sports are sex, and riding a really good rollercoaster is sex. And they aren't. All those things involve adrenaline, endorphins, intimacy, and exhilaration. (When they're good, anyway.) And so can sex. But if we're doing an Thomistic defining of terms thing, then it's best to keep things simple.

Cruelty To Animals

Today, Wednesday, March 28th, I mercilessly tortured my dog. I was heartless and unrelenting. I used the most diabolical of all weapons: soap and warm water.

That's how he'd tell it anyway. From my perspective, I was just giving him a bath. It's a beautiful day for it. The weather is sunny and warm. And he's starting to blow out his winter coat, as testified to by the blanket of dog fur that rings my room and most other places in the house.

He hates water. I removed his collar and picked him up, and it wasn't until I deposited him in the shower stall and climbed in with him that he knew something was really Really REALLY wrong. Throughout, he makes these whiny little whimpers that I refer to as his "little mouse noises." I'd say I turned a deaf ear to his pleading, but that wouldn't quite be accurate. I find it almost unbearably cute.

After I soaked, soaped, and rinsed him, I did the same for me. "See! Dad likes getting all clean! It's not so bad!"

Faithful Companion was not reassured by this.

Once the door of the shower stall slid open in it's tracks, he was out of there like a shot.

But then came the part he really likes: the toweling off! (Dogs love getting toweled off! At least my dog does.

Now, his noises are vastly different, all playful growls and yelps of joy.

I put some clothes on and we headed out onto the porch for some brushing and combing. The real brushing and combing will come later. When his wooly undercoat, loosened by the bath, will turn my little brown-eyed boy into a cottonball factory with four legs and a tail.

Maybe tomorrow or the next day, I'll take him over to the dog park in Montgomeryville and show him off.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Worth Watching

Just saw Find Me Guilty And loved it. Really nice piece of cinema.

I got it, of course, because it stars Vin "Chained At My Feet, Soaked In My Piss" Diesel. that was about it. Same as when I begged you all to go out to see The Pacifier? I want this man to have a long career in front of the camera. If he insists on turning down my offer of realizing his destiny as my slave, I want to see him doing his acting thing now and then.

But anyway, don't miss Find Me Guilty. Vin does a really good job with the acting, and the picture demands a lot of him. Once again, we get to see Vin wearing handcuffs. And slammed up against the bars of his cell. And he looks sooooo sweet with his face all beat up in one scene. But alas, he keeps his clothes on.

So find me guilty! Of being a Vin "Chained At My Feet, Soaked In My Piss" Diesel!

There's The Pitch...

Oh cool! It's a new weblog I found. It's written by a guy named Pat Neshek, who's a baseball card collector. And, he's a pitcher for the Minnesota Twins!

That is pretty fascinating. I mean, among the baseball cards he collects are his. In his 'blog, he's writing all about spring training down in Florida, trying to hone his change-up. I don't know of any other ball players who have blogs. If I find more, or if it becomes a "thing," then I'll never leave the house again.

I love baseball. So much. Damn I love baseball.

And softball, too! This Saturday will be the first practice for the Ball Breakers. I said that I wouldn't be able to make it, since it's Holy Saturday. And that night will be the Easter Vigil at church. (For non-Episcopalians who might be reading this--and what the heck is holding you back?--it's sort of the Oscars, World Series, and Venice Biennial combined of church. But I'm having second thoughts... Maybe there will be enough time to get back here, change, get something for dinner for my dad before heading off with my bell. (Yeah, we bring bells to ring.)

Softball and the Easter Vigil within a twelve hour period. That would be pretty powerful.

Sure As Sherpa

Despite the fact that my previous attempts to influence popular culture in one way or another (trying to introduce the word "Daft," which means, roughly, "idiotic" in Scotland as a complementary term along the lines of "Phat" and "Stoopid"; trying to get flagging a white hankie to mean that you're on the lookout for comfort sex rather than a blowjob or a handjob as it currently signals) haven't worked out so well, here I go again.

Is there perhaps some area in your life where you need the guidance of a geeky expert? You want to buy a new computer, or you have a new high-profile job that requires a spiffy new wardrobe, or you've invited ten people to dinner even though cooking for a crowd of that size isn't something you've taken on before, or you're moving into a new apartment and you don't want it to look like a dorm room the way your last apartment did?

And there's all these reality tv shows where people who are expert in these areas swoop down into the lives of folks in need. Don't you wish that would happen to you?

Of course you do! We all of us have our deficits.

Then again, if you think about it, there are probably some things that you're totally great at, right?

Throwing an orgy? Can do! Out-of-towner planning a trip to NYC that involves something more than The Drowsy Chaperone and some lame-o over-priced dinners? I'll set you up, Bucko! Interested in supplementing your income by doing some hustling on weekends? Talk to a pro!

As we all know, climbers of Himalayan peaks hire a sherpa, someone who knows the mountain and will be happy to guide you.

There are areas in my life where I could sure use a sherpa. Areas that have nothing to do with climbing Himalayan peaks. And at the same time, I know some stuff about some stuff that would qualify me as a sherpa. (Again, excluding the climbing of Himalayan peaks.)

Now, there already exists a forum whereby people offering services can hook up with people in need of those services. And it's called Craigslist. So what I'm recommending here is a new "term of art." Think about what sherpa services you could offer, and throw some ads up on Craigslist. I hereby declare that the fees involved will not excede $20/hour. And what we're talking here is something less than hiring a consultant, and something more than a bit of friendly advice.

Here are the sherpa services I could offer...

Dating Sherpa What to wear, where to take him, what to talk about, how to find him, how to ask him.

Dungeon Design Sherpa How to create the erotic playspace of your dreams on a budget!

Getting A Dog Sherpa Are you ready to take that step? What kind of responsibility are you taking on? How do you find a good dog? Puppy or adult?

Leather Makeover Sherpa Don't buy chaps off the internet. Just don't do that. We'll head out shopping and I'll set you up. And it'll be fun!

Menu Planning Sherpa What should I make??? I'll help you out! Not to worry! And they'll love it!

Getting In Shape Sherpa Not personal training, just some perspective on finding some physical activity you enjoy. Rule Number One: It's gotta be fun. Rule Number Two: it's gotta make you feel good about yourself.

Cigar Sherpa How to pick one you'll like, where to buy them, how to smoke'em.

20th Century Architecture Appreciation Sherpa You and me, at the museum. I'm the Sister Wendy of Gehry and Meier, Bay-bee!

And at the same time, I'd be keen to find some sherpas...

Elder Care Sherpa Just what are my options for my dad? How would I go about arranging for home care? How does financing assisted living or senior housing work? What happens when my dad requires more help than I can provide?

Personal Finance Sherpa I. Need. Help. Not desparately right now, but that thing that people do called "saving"? How does that work exactly? And a 40.99% APR on credit cards isn't the standard, right?

Owning A boy Sherpa Ummm... Maybe premature, but a guy can dream, right?

Car Maintenance Sherpa How to find a good mechanic, what should I be doing that I'm not, what can I do as opposed to paying someone else to do? Lesbians learn this when they get their membership cards, right?

Landscaping Sherpa After the deer ate all the hosta I planted...

Starbucks Sherpa I go in there, and I just get so confused, I don't know what all the drinks are, and is it okay just to hang out after you get your coffee? And for how long? And do they call it "coffee" at Starbucks?

(Hah! Joke!)

So you get my drift?

What kinds of sherpa services could you offer? And what sherpas would help you out?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Gay Sex In The 70s

On my last trip to Blockbuster Video in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, what should I find in the stacks but Joe Lovett's documentary, Gay Sex In The 70s. I loved turning it over to the teenager behind the counter so she could ring me up. She gave me a sort of inquisitive look, to which I responded with a big smile that announced, "Yes I am."

Back from the MAsT meeting today, I made dinner for my dad and settled in to watch.

When I saw my friend George Catravas in a still early on, I knew I was going to enjoy it.

George was the embodiment of Gay Sex In The 70s for me. Once when I introduced George to a young woman who was a friend of mine, Alexis D___, George said, "Alexis D___... Did you have a father named Alex D___ by any chance?"

Alexis replied that she did.

"What a coincidence!" George responded gleefully, "Your father once balled me royally in the Rambles!"

Alexis took that pretty well, but I was struck by the fact that it didn't occur to George that telling someone you had sex with their father is not like telling someone you kenw him. But from what I know of George, it was much the same thing.

When I was sixteen years old, I was working as a dishwasher at Mother's Restaurant in New Hope, Pennsylvania. I had a cigaret going in an ashtray. One of the waiters, Herbie, ran back to the dishwashing area.

"Drew," he said, "could I get a drag of your cigaret?"

"Sure thing, Herbie," I answered.

He picked it up, raised it to his lips, and then stopped.

"Um, Drew? How's your health? Do you have anything I might catch?"

"Like a cold, Herbie?"

"No, not like a cold."

"Like what? Like Herpes? Herbie! You can't get herpes from a cigaret, can you?"

Herbie explained, briefly, that up in New York, gay men were getting sick. And dying.

This was 1980. There wasn't even a name for it then. Not even GRID, little less AIDS. I was already having sex with men.

Of course, things got weirder. "Don't have sex with anybody from New York, LA, or San Francisco," someone told me at one point. Once I heard, "Don't have sex with young guys."

So my teen years involved things like people going off to New York because they had some mysterious "liver disease," gay men discovering that they were bisexual, John Berra--this hot bear before there were bears--showing us this weird purple bruise he had in his mouth and being dead a week later.

Now, this didn't stop me from having sex. It didn't even slow me down much. It wasn't until after I was out of college, maybe 1987, when I was taking it up the butt in a dirty bookstore (then a recent discovery; anal sex, I mean, not dirty bookstores). He pulled out and said, "Y'know, you shouldn't let people you don't know do that. So much." (People like him.)

Long story short, there was a period of perhaps four months when I was sixteen years old that I was having sex with reckless, joyful abandon. And then, not so much.

Instead, there was sex with rubbers, and activism with reckless, joyful abandon. Heck, I remember when giving a blowjob to someone not wearing a condom was viewed as tantamount to taking a nap with a dry-cleaning bag over your head. When I first moved to New York, many of the bars had backrooms, and interestingly, they also had people employed as "safer sex monitors." I know, I dated one.

To be sure, I and most of the men I have sex with have relaxed a great deal. And I've heard talk that the advent of sero-sorting--an HIV prevention strategy endorsed by the San Francisco Department of Health--there might be something of a renaissance.

And I've sure had some good times. And more to come. I have no cause for complaint.

But still, by circumstances of the year of my birth, I missed out.

The movie, by the way, is worth the watch. And you can get it at your local Blockbuster!

Friday, March 23, 2007

What A Difference A Vernal Equinox Makes!

I swear.

Where do I begin?

First off, when I give Faithful Companion his Last Walk Of The Night, my ears are filled with the sound of spring peepers, wee little frogs, probably relatives of the coqui in Puerto Rico, chirping away. So this other cool thing happened. On the recommendation of one of my Starbucks buddies, I sent my resume to this progressive alternative school here in Bucks Co that's looking for someone to do fundraising. They called me and I have an interview on Tuesday. (Yay!)

And then... well, let me give the back story. At the Previous Place of emPloy, during my five month tenure as Executive Director, I wrote this proposal. In fact, I landed there, and pretty quickly developed this new and transformative vision about how the organization could fulfil it's mission more effectively. I was able to put that new vision into words, and also describe how we would go about making that happen, and I sent it off to the Pfizer Foundation. Welllll... Today I learned that the Pfizer Foundation contacted the Previous Place of emPloy and said, "Sounds good to us!" and is gonna bankroll that endeavor to the tune of $100,000 per year for four years.

Did you get all that? I'm there five months, come up with a new vision for the agency, and get them $400,000.

So I'm kinda good at what I do, huh?

And then tonight. I got my dad all squared away with something to eat for dinner, and headed up to NYC. First stop was the ACT UP action planning meeting. I found parking in one of my Top Secret Parking Spots without too much of a problem (don't ask me where, I'll never divulge, because if I did, you'd park there, wouldn't ya?) and headed to the LGBT Community Center. The meeting was on the third floor in the big room where GMSMA used to have their Wednesday night programs. I peeked in, and there were like ten people sitting in a circle.

Not a good sign.

I took a seat out in the hallway on one of those leather ottomans (they don't seem to be holding up too well) and set to work on last Sunday's Times crossword puzzle. Fifteen minutes later, I looked in the door to see if the numbers had swollen any.

And they hadn't.


So if I do go to the action next Thursday, it will be as an attendee, not as either a marshall or as someone risking arrest.

I headed to Bennie's Burritos on Greenwich.

Shocking development! I go up to the counter (I went to the takeout place on the north side of Greenwich) and I'm like, "Hi! I'll have a Mission Burrito with black beans and an extra side of guacamole for here please!" And they were like, "What?"

I repeated my order. The same thing I've been ordering from Bennie's Burritos since I landed in NYC seventeen years ago.

Again, they're like, "What?"

I was directed to the menu.

And it was all different!

Now, you order at Bennie's by telling them what you want inside your burrito--grilled chicken, carne (beef) asada, shredded beef, tofu, rice and beans, or spinach--and all burritos are now made with black beans.

What the hell?

How are we supposed to tell if the people ahead of us in line are clueless out-of-towners when they say, "I'd like a burrito, please" and then have to answer the follow-up question, "Black beans or pinto?" What happened to pinto beans? (I never liked nor ordered pinto beans, and neither did anyone else that I'm aware of, but still...)

Anyway, I managed to piece together a burrito order from this new and disorienting menu.

And Bennie's still makes a great burrito. And their guacamole rocks.

After eating, I still had some time to kill, so I headed up to Factory Café on Christopher Street and got myself a nice latté. Sitting in the window, I managed to knock out some more of the crossword. Finally, it was time to head to the Dug Out at Christopher and Weehauken Streets for the co-branded New York boys of Leather and MetroBears party, benefitting Bailey House, a hospice of people living with AIDS. I got in, paid my $5, and worked my way through a clot of bears ("'scuse me, 'scuse me, 'scuse me, 'scuse ME!") to where the boys were clustered at the front of the bar.

And there they all were! Gathered around a sling.


It turned out that the sling was an additional fundraising strategy: one of the boys would take his place in the sling, and $5 got you six clothespins to put on the boy.

Love that!

boy ray was the first to take a ride. A very hot and very hairy MetroBear had first crack at boy ray, enjoying applying the clothespins and also working ray's butt with a thoughtfully provided flogger. And then there were a few other clothespin applications.

So I decided that even though I'm (ahem) on a fixed income right now, I could afford to part with some of my greenbacks.

But first, I inquired of boy alex, who was serving as Dungeon Master, if I could re-arrange some of the clothespins gracing boy ray.

"Sure thing!" said boy alex.

Cool. Because I know this about clothespins: putting them on is fun; taking them off is Big Fun! Y'see, when they've been on a while, it stops the blood from flowing into that portion of skin. And when they get taken off, the blood starts to flow back there a lot, and it's... uh... an intense sensation when that happens. I leaned in close, and whispered in ray's ear that I had just purchased twelve clothespins. And that I was going to re-position some of the clothespins that were on him.

"Take a deep breath, boy," I said.

When ray took a deep breath, I yanked off the four clothespins on his nipples and was rewarded with a yelp from boy ray.

(My evil plan was working perfectly!)

Then, I put those four clothespins and the six I had purchased in two neat lines in crescent formation along the bottom of ray's pecs. And spent some time gently flicking them and running the tip of my finger along the lines they formed.

boy ray seemed to be enjoying this.

I sure was.

So the heavily tattooed guy was there. A little woozie after a killer week at work. He's had to deal with a sizeable portion of the thousands of men in town for the Black Party (which he has taken to calling the Blech Party (à la Mad Magazine: nice). I couldn't take my eyes off him. I'd be talking to somebody and look up and spot him through the crowd, and totally forget what I was saying. When I was near him, I couldn't take my hands off him. He's got this great, tight heavily inked body. I want to see him naked so bad.

But, alas, as is usually the case among men who do it for me in a big way, I was all kindsa bashful around him.

boy david relieved boy ray in the sling. I totally wanted a piece of boy david--adorable, and such good taste in music--but I didn't think I had the money to invest in more clothespins.

But wait! boy alex was having a snack! Tasty-Cakes! (Tasty-Cakes are from Pennsylvania, and so am I!)

"Uh alex," I nonchalantly asked, "how much for a Tasty-Cake?"

The price was one dollar.


I slapped my dollar in alex's hot little hand, and put the end of the Tasty-Cake in boy david's mouth. And then we recreated that controversial Super Bowl ad and ate the Tasty-Cake from both ends.

It was a wonderful moment.

After that, of course, I needed a smoke. So I headed out into the little coral.

Whilst smoking among the bears, I heard my name called. I turned around, and peering at me through the bars were Lolita and the current President of GMSMA.

Whoa! Whoa!! WHOA!!! Way cool!

When I got back inside, Lolita and El Presidente were mingling, working their way through the crowd. You know, the way personages do.

I sidled up to heavily tattooed guy--let's call him Bruiser for now, that fits him pretty well--and pretty soon, Bruiser, and Lolita and I were chatting.

Now maybe it was because I was teasing Lolita about how the New York boys of Leather are soooo fabulous that perhaps Leather Pride Night should be re-branded as "The New York boys of Leather present... Leather Pride Night!", or maybe, "Leather Pride Night! Brought to you by the New York boys of Leather!", that Lolita leaned over to Bruiser and announced, "Y'know, he's got a crush on you."


I... I... I felt like someone had just yanked four clothespins off my tits!

Bruiser's face lit up.

And then I didn't feel quite so bad.

The three of us continued chatting. About that. About other stuff.

I, of course, couldn't keep my hands off Bruiser. And Bruiser put his arm around me. And we stood there, talking to Lolita, our arms around each other.

And that just felt so good.

So good like I can't believe.

Damn. That felt good.

boy joey took his turn in the sling, and of course, he instantly had a line six deep waiting to have at him. I joked that all those guys were men that joey had slept with in the past week. This was joey: "Yeah. I'll go home with you, but there's something you have to do for me..."

"Nah," said Bruiser, "Not the past week. Last night."

The evening wore on. Bruiser announced that since he had a full day tomorrow, it was time to call it a night.

"It's about time for me to hit the road," I said, "How about I give you a ride home?"

And Bruiser accepted that.

(Yeah. It made me feel good to be leaving with him, hot man that he is.)

Outside, the night was cool and springtime fresh. Bruiser and I walked to my car parked at... Aha! Thought you had me there, huh! We piled in and headed crosstown then uptown to Bruiser's humble abode.

"So, growing up in NYC, did you ever learn to drive?" I asked.

"Yeah," he answered, "when I was fifteen we used to steal cars and go joy-riding."

The little delinquent!

(I could have creamed my leather pants when I heard that. I. Want. Him. Bad.)

Way sooner than I would have liked, I turned down Bruiser's street.

We kissed goodnight, just a peck, and he climbed out of the car.

I felt almost dizzy, watching him walk up the block.

As I passed him, my eyes fixed on him, he turned to see me and smiled.

On the drive home, all the songs coming out of my iPod made me think of Bruiser. And I sang along at the top of my lungs.

Theory Of Flannel

So flannel shirts are pretty much over, right?

Flannel used to be What You Wore With Leather when you went out to the leather bar.

And I love flannel shirts. Every fall I'd go out and buy one or two new ones. When I was a poor college student, starving in a garret, this meant a trip to K-Mart, where I could pick them up for $4.99. Or, in fatter times, pricier fare made by Woolrich. They'd start off the year sort of stiff, but with these beautiful deep, rich, over-saturated colors. Reds, blacks, greens, blues, yellows. In high school, from October to April, I wore a flannel shirt just about every day. Flannel shirt, jeans, boots. Pretty much the uniform. And flannel shirts were in the mix during my punk rock era, too. And when I first moved to NYC, one day I stumbled upon All American Boy on Christopher Street west of Hudson. And there they all were, lined up on hangers, covering an entire wall. It was pretty much Clone-Central. And I was in Flannel Heaven.

The 90s brought the advent of Nirvana and the whole Lumber-Surf look. So once again, it was all about flannel.

But these days, not so much, huh?

Under Armor seems to have replaced flannel.

And I'm fine with that. I was a pioneer in the wearing of form-fitting athletic garments made from miracle fabrics of the 21st Century.

But on a day like today, mild, damp, cool... What I want to be wearing is a nice warm cotton flannel shirt.

So I am.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Officer! Stop That Leatherman! He Just Stole My Ass!

So today, in anticipation of my MAsT appearance this Sunday, I dug out my harness and leather jock, both of which were purchased several years ago at Bear Man's Leatherwerks in Fort Lauderdale. The harness, which always nets me some compliments, still looks good. But the jock--which admittedly I don't have much occasion to wear--that was another story.

The leather strap with the snappy things that loops through the O-ring at my hip bone was about five inches away from my hip bone. I was expecting it to be a little tight, but not like this. Luckily, it's adjustable. So I did some adjusting. Letting it out all the way, as far as I could go, and with herculean some effort, I managed to get it on.

When I checked out the package in front of the mirror, something I've suspected was clearly confirmed: baby's got back. I've got something of a booty going on.

Now, I've always thought I had a pretty flat ass. Even back in the days when I was squatting six plates at the gym, lying on my stomach it sort of resembled an Indian burial mound. And same thing standing up. There was no crescent shaped crease. And in admiring the asses of others, I've always found that crescent shaped crease pretty beguiling. I think that's what is often referred to as a "bubble butt."

I knew my waist size had increased. Since junior high school up until a few months ago, I bought pants with a thirty-two inch waist. But, starting a few months ago, while I worked at my Previous Place of emPloy and wasn't able to go to the gym, my pants with 32 inch waists that were previously snug became unwearable. I just bought a new pair of Carhartts with a 34 inch waist. (I like'em to hang a little bit, because as we all know, ass-crack is the new cleavage.)

Not that I minded! A beer-gut beats six pack abs every time in my book, and I sure wouldn't mind that development on me.

But I didn't quite put it together that the increase in girth could be attributable to what's going down around back.

And then, bedecked in my harness and leather jock, I looked in the mirror today. And, my heart pounding, I turned around and took in the view from the rear.

And there it was!

A shelf! On me!

For real!

Now, I'm going to be 43 this year. (Age, not waist.) Isn't this the age when things are supposed to go in the other direction? Where did that come from? How long will it stay around?

A guy I used to hang out with in NYC once observed upon spying a particularly fine example of masculine callipygian pulchritude, "Look at the ass on him! He must have stolen it from a fifteen year old Black girl!"

Now I wouldn't put myself in the same class as your average fifteen year old Black girl, but I do get the sensation that I'm walking around with somebody else's ass.

Not that I mind.

Plug It Again, Sam

Don't forget youse guys... This Sunday, in NYC, from 3pm to 6pm, I'm doing a presentation for Masters And slaves Together/NYC at the LGBT Community Center.

And I'll be doing the presentation wearing only boots and a jock strap. Although maybe a harness, too.

Here's the program announcement from MAsT...

Masters And slaves Together:NYC
Sunday, March 25, 2007
3 to 6 pm at The Center, 208 W. 13th St., Manhattan
Men only
$5 donation (or whatever you can afford)

How Masters/Tops and bottoms/slaves Become Who We Are

Joseph Campbell is best known for his analysis of world mythologies in terms of an archetypal "hero's journey," in which an everyday person undergoes a series of extraordinary experiences that enable him to be someone others can look up to and be inspired by. The early "Star Wars" movies, for instance, drew heavily on this archetype.

Drew Kramer ( likes cigars, hot tubs, chains, minimalism, church, leather, cooking, softball, and whipping men until they bleed. He is a member of GMSMA and an Associate Member of the Chicago Hellfire Club and the New York boys of Leather. He thinks that many of our careers in s/m and Mastery/slavery can be understood spiritually through the archetype of the hero's journey. How do ordinary kinky guys become the kind of exemplary leathermen that others seek out and look up to? What makes a Master worthy of loyal, self-sacrificing, obedient service? What makes a slave worth taking control of and responsibility for? How do we become who we want to be?

What is the relation between spirituality and s/m anyway? Do you compartmentalize them in your own life, or does one enhance and intertwine with the other? As you get deeper into s/m or Mastery/slavery, do you find yourself growing spiritually as well? And just what do we mean by that?

Drew has been thinking and writing about these questions for several years while pursuing his own journey of becoming a whipping/bondage master as well as a cherished boy. At our meeting, he'll share some of his answers, and he's interested in hearing yours. In addition, he'll strip down to jockstrap and boots to show off the spectacular tattoo of a chain that wraps around his whole body -- and stay that way throughout, unless we have another cold snap.

Don't miss this very special MAsT presentation!

Bill Richardson For President

Not Hillary. Not Obama.

I like Bill Richardson.


Bill Richardson has wide-ranging, diverse experience in government. He basically served as Bill Clinton's international problem solver. And he's a Governor, rather than a Senator, skilled at moving forward a legislative agenda.

Bill Richardson can win. Against whatever Republican gets the nomination. He's a grown-up, and has that not-to-be discounted Down Home quality that made W. so irresistable. (New Mexico made the bolo the official State neckwear.) Plus, he's Hispanic. And all of the rumblings about immigration before the 2006 elections would seem to indicate that Latino is the new Gay: the Karl Rove's of the world tried to get out the vote by demonizing undocumented immigrants, perhaps feeling that the threat of Gay Marriage was subject to the Law of Diminishing Returns as far as getting the folks in Dubuque or wherever all exercised and off to the polls. But in the wake of that, Latino voters across the country are mobilized. (He's vowed to tear down the wall going up on our Southern border.) And, he's the Governor of a Western state, and if the Democrats want to get the electoral votes, they need all the Blue States, plus to pick up a few states from the Old Confederacy and from the West.

Finally, I like the guy. When General Peter Pace proclaimed "I might be your top military commander, but I'm also a total moron and a buffoon" that he liked Don't Ask, Don't Tell because homosexuality was immoral, when asked to comment, Hillary got all "blah-blah-blah" and evasive, and so did Obama! (In Hillary's case, it was more "blah-blah-blah give me your money, Gays!") Richardson, on the other hand, issued a statement immediately saying it's not immoral to be Gay and that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is detestable. And New Mexico is a pretty amazing place, politically speaking. The Department of Health there has made sure, to the best of their abilities, that syringe exchhange is available throughout the state. that's a pet issue of mine, of course, but if New Mexico is doing such a good job with that hot button issue, that's impressive.

And I'm gonna send him money. In this day and age, Presidential politics is all about money and the raising thereof. Alas, Richardson's only hope that the arc of disillusionment with Hillary and Obama begins to descend soon enough for him to get some traction. That will allow the New Mexico governor to pick up some of the talented fund raisers and politicos who have signed on to their campaigns.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Taking My Carharrts To Good Will

...and replacing them with Balls Out Jeans.

[Credit where credit is due goes to The Ashton Cruz Zoo. (Who has more than his balls out in the pic accompanying his weblog.]

Azis As Is

Okay... Think of a big, blond Bulgarian Bear.

Got the picture in your head?

Okay. Now imagine that big, blond Bulgarian Bear singing Chalga, the hypnotic dervishy folk music of that country.

But wait! Isn't Chalga usually sung by women?

It is, except when it's being sung by Azis.

Check it out: this guy rocks! Or Chalgas as the case may be.

Credit where credit is due: Joe. My. God. turned me on to this whole deal.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Heterosexuality Is Pleasurable.

From the Land Beyond Brilliant comes this: The Daily Show's Take on Gay Reparative Therapy

(We're playing right into Sumner Redstone's hands here, but it's just too good.)

No! Not The Squeaky Shark!

Check this out!

I think it's rare footage of the Fabulous Lolita from here "tween" years.

What Kind Of Blogger Am I?

Who wants ta know?

So I took this little quiz, and here's the result...

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few

I guess I'm of two minds about that. On the one hand, "Uh... I guess." I mean, I don't think of myself as a pundit. To some degree I have a point of view. I think of myself more as an essayist in what I'm doing here, sort of a leather-wearin', man-whippin' Joan Didion. But on the other hand, "Me??? A Pundit? Oh Snap!

So you see what I mean?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sado-Masochism In The News

This is troubling. I'm wondering if the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom was on this case? To some extent, it's pushing the envelope.

But, I'll admit, I sure wouldn't mind seeing some pictures.

What You're Missin', Boss!

Odd thing happened to me at the gym tonight.

If you're workout experience goes down in some urban area, I better explain. My gym, in beautiful downtown Furlong, Pennsylvania, is the gym of choice for local moms and dads and jocks from the local high schools. The other homos there I can count on one hand and still have fingers left over to pop a zit.

But it is what it is. And I like it, for the most part. And the dads and jocks in the lockerroom don't bat an eye anymore at my enormous stainless steel cockring.

And it's in the lockerroom where it all started.

I was getting out of my street clothes and into my gym clothes. Next to me was a dad.

And unbidden to my my mind came a thought: "He's never taken it up the butt."

I stopped what I was doing, totally froze.

Gosh. Imagine that. That was probably true.

Never in his life.

And that thought kept cropping up. A guy would be waiting for me to finish up my pull-ups so he could use the bar and I'd think, "Gosh. He's never taken it up the butt."

It just seemed so ridiculous. It's like, Gosh! he's never watched the sunset! Or, Gosh! he's never been body surfing! Or, Gosh! he's never had a hot fudge sundae! Or, Gosh! he's never been on a rollercoaster!

What's with these guys? What could possibly lead to someone making a decision like that? That's insanity, right? Why would they forgo that.

Oh. Wait.

That's right.

They're heterosexual.

Sort of depraved when you think about it, right?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Someday, boys Will Rule The World

And we'll all be so much better off.

Get down on your knees and thank the Lord for the New York boys of Leather.

I sure do!

It was a terrible day in April, 2003, when leatherfolk in NYC awoke (at about 3 p.m.) with the knowledge that the night before, they had visited the LURE in the meatpacking district, closed to make way for a Hold Everything or a Belgian restaurant or something, for the last time. For awhile, we did our best to make the best of it at the NYC Eagle, but we were no match for the hordes of Chelsea Boys in flip-flops. There were just too many of them.

We stayed home. We surfed the net. We bitched and complained. All looked hopeless.

But then, just when we were all sure that leather in NYC was no more, and started to check out real estate in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Springs, bursting onto the scene, radiating enough boy-energy to power a midwestern city, came the New York boys of Leather.

No doubt the hoary heads and greybeards smiled indulgently: "That's nice. You boys go have a nice time. I'll be here alone in my studio apartment chatting with this guy in Minnesota on Manhunt."

But the boys perservered. And they prevailed.

Last night, at the 9th Avenue Saloon, there was an entire bar filled with men (and boys!) in gear. For awhile, I was talking to musicboy at the door, so I got to watch the guys come in out of the icy cold New York night. Ever see the face of a kid who is surprised with a real live pony on Christmas morning? Well, a reasonable facsimile flashed across the visage of everybody crossing the threshold of the 9th Avenue Saloon. The music was great. The testosterone was freshly brewed and liberally poured. Everybody came out of the woodwork: Master of Mirage! Stevie! JoeyRope! Moose! Rubbermannyc! RubberLarry! Leather Invasion Guy! Even a full member of the Chicago Hellfire Club and his boyfriend who had just flown in that day! And, of course, all of those hot New York boys of Leather. (Did you know that the boys of the New York boys of Leather are the hottest boys in the whole world? It's true! Ask anybody. They'll tell you.)

The parking deities were with me, and I found a space right at Hudson and Christopher that didn't require me to put it in four-wheel-drive and climb a snowbank. NYC was exhilarating last night. The night was cold and clear. At every corner, you either had to climb a mountain of ice or jump over a slush puddle wide as the Aral Sea. The bars and the streets were filled with green clad merry drunks. (I passed a group of young women, reeling down the sidewalk, and one of them called out to no one in particular, "Weeee! We're from Paramus, but we're in The Village!")

I took a cab Uptown, and as we sped along at a speed that would suggest I was about to deliver a baby, I remembered a cab ride years ago when I lived here when I discovered that my driver, who hailed from the Indian subcontinent, had never seen snow before that night, little less driven through it.

I got there just before eleven, earlier in the evening, and I was warmly greeted by the boys, several of whom I had just seen on Tuesday night when I joined them to see 300. Only the strong! Only the hard! There were, alas, no chocolate chip cookies offered, but there was an efficient coat check and your second drink free if you were wearing gear.

And the gear of the night was rubber, rather than leather. I don't own much in the way of rubber, and I have to admit that wuss that I am, I wouldn't have worn it anyway when the temperature was only 24° outside. All the familiar faces started to show up, and I busied myself catching up with guys I never see any more. Holding a conversation, or just having intelligible words and phrases come out of my mouth, was made especially difficult by the august assembly of the hottest men I've seen in a long, long time. (Perhaps since the last NYboL LOAD party I attended?)

But one man in particular stood out. He was a bruiser with a buzzcut and some amazing ink, his compact body encased in neoprene. When I first laid eyes on him, some verrrry Not Lent Appropriate words came out of my mouth. (I won't compound the sin by repeating them here.)

Let's just say he rocked the house.

The night went on, the energy building and building. But then, I saw by my watch that it was time for me to go (church the next morning!), so I said my goodbyes and headed for the coatcheck. And there was hot inked guy.

And he spoke to me.

I was right there with a suave come-on line, of course. Something along the lines of: "Humminna-humminna-humminna gi-gi-gi-gllllluhhh... uhhhh... ummmm... Hi!"

We chatted for a bit. I knew of him, but I had never met him before. And a while back, we had exchanged messages on worldleathermen.

He expressed the hope that our paths cross again, and soon, and I said I was planning on coming back up to NYC for the co-branded NYboL/MetroBears party at the Dug Out next Friday night. (I am? I mean, I am!) And he said, "I'll see you there."

Heading out into the night, I picked up a copy of the Sunday Times and headed back to my car and started for home. As I made the right turn from Washington Street onto Houston to get to the Holland Tunnel, I ran into an NYPD Happy St. Patrick's Day Sobriety Checkpoint. I pulled over, and one of New York's Finest shined a flashlight in my eyes and said, "'Evening, Sir! Been drinking tonight?"

I briefly considered answering, "Officer, I am inebriate! Tonight I drank deep from the potent springs of romantic possibilities!" but confined my reply to, "Just Red Bull, Officer!"

The drive west on I-78 flew by, sped along by all the vivid imaginings that could be filed under the heading of "What I'd Like To Do To That Hot Man With The Great Ink."

So, y'know, as you can see, Great Night!

Thanks New York boys of Leather! You've done it again!

Friday, March 16, 2007

This Won't Hurt A Bit. It's Gonna Hurt A Whole Hell Of A Lot.

We're snowbound here at the Ol' Homestead. And just the other day it was 75° here.

Hate that!

So I'm all kinds of rammy. I tried to make it out to go to the Starbucks in Doylestown and hit the supermarket today, but the roads were just too bad. So I've been hanging around the house all day.

And it's produced an interesting effect: I'm feeling wa-a-a-a-ayyy Sadistic.

I want it to hurt. I want to see tears. I want to hear begging and pleading for mercy that isn't gonna come.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Did that hurt? Had enough, huh?

"Dang! I bet that hurt even more?

"You're just having all kinds of second thoughts about agreeing to go without a safeword, huh?"

That kind of Sadistic.

I wonder if I could set something up before it goes away?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Question Month!

This showed up in my Inbox, for which I'm grateful:

Hey Drew, If someone during your formative and
developmental years kept whispering and reminding you
of something in your ear, what would that message have

Thanks for the continued informative and riotous blog.
Be well Larry

What message indeed?

There's so much I'd like to tell the previous version of myself, my proto-me. I probably have enough for a weekend seminar, if not a semester-long college course. ("Okay, as you see in the syllabus, next we're going to be talking about the sublime pairing of hot tubs and cigars.")

And then, of course, there's the whole question of what would proto-me be ready to hear.

"Hey, you guys? You're never gonna believe this. After fourth period, right, I cut gym, right? And I'm hanging in the lounge writing 'Siouxsie Sioux 4 EVER' on the cover of my AP History notebook--I am totally failing that class--and anyway, I had this like apparition thing happen, where this like big guy with a moustache, and he was like bald and everything, like appeared to me and he was like... No wait... He was totally like... 'Drew, can I have a moment of your time?'"

There's plenty of practical advice, too. "Learn to drive stick!" (Still haven't.) "Join little league!" (I wish.) And probably most importantly, "Don't listen to your father! Become an architect!"

Not that I would have followed through on any of that. Back in high school, I was terrifically screwed up. I remember once sitting around with a bunch of people I worked with getting stoned and we decided to each answer the question, "Where will we be in twenty years?" When it got to me, I said, "Uhhh... Remembered fondly?" And no one disagreed with that.

I guess it would be this though. The fundamental message: Don't be afraid.

The sixteen- seventeen- and eightteen-year-old me was afraid of everything. And the twenty-five-year-old proto-me also had a lot he was afraid of. And the thirty-five year old proto-me? Ditto.

Although I still have things I'm afraid of, I tend not to let my fears hold me back at this point. So progress is being made.

Hey, man. You. The skinny kid wearing the high water pants with the big coke-bottle glasses and the giant hair. C'mere. No. Relax. I'm not coming onto you. That would just be way too weird. But I will give you a backrub. Damn you're tense. The muscles in your back are like Trans-Atlantic cable. And that's what I want to talk to you about. Don't let stuff get to you. I know I know I know. There's your wicked stepmother. And the whole thing about you being queer. (Between you and me, that's the best thing God did for you so far.) But here's the deal. You'll get through. You'll be intact. You're always going to have people in your life who love you and who think you're a great guy. Although that will change over time. C'mere. Lemme hold you close. Yeah, boy. It's cool. You don't need to be afraid. Don't be afraid. I know. I know. It's tough. And I can't guarantee it won't get tougher. But don't be afraid. The best is yet to come, boy. Don't be afraid. Try new things. Open up to new people. Don't be afraid.

Apropos Of Nothing In Particular...

At all costs, avoid Neutragena Skin Clearing Shave Cream for Men.

It's crap.

For one thing, there is no lather. There is a total absence of lather. But here's the worst part of it: it's totally cologne-a-fied. I hate any contrived smell. But this is absolutely the worst. Even for cologne.

Is it nice and musky? Does it have citrus highlights?

No. No, it smells like Deep Woods Off.


And no matter how many times you wash your head with Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap to get it off, it won't come off. It's almost midnight and I'm still smelling like I spent the day doing laps in a pool filled with bug spray.

Then Again...

So I've been stuck on Roadkill's parting words to me when he dropped me off after we had dinner together...

"You're never going to be happy in an egalitarian relationship. You're too dominant and controlling. You should find yourself a slave."

Earlier at dinner, we had talked about the difference between having a boy and having a slave. Roadkill's opinion of having a boy can be summed up as: "What the hell would be the point of that?"

And I get that. True enough, I enjoy fleeting relationships with boys. I have naught but fond memories of my sanding table boys at Wuperior Soodcraft. Being a boy is transitory. So eventually, the boy is gonna leave his Sir behind.

But a slave...

Now that is an attractive proposition, right? What's not to look about owning a slave?

And yeah, I'm shallow enough that I'd want a total trophy slave. So when I'd be hanging with buddies of mine and one of them would say, "Damn! Look at the shelf on that boy," and I'd get to be all like, "Yeah, and I own title to that."

Sweet, right?

But the day after I had dinner with Roadkill, I was running this all by Alpha.

"Imagine!" I said, "I could get a backrub whenever I wanted!"

Alpha threw a little cold water on my piping hot reverie: "Y'know, when you own a slave, you have to keep your slave sexually satisfied. Otherwise, you're going to have a very unhappy slave. And that's a recipe for misery."


I hadn't thought of that.

So since then--and it's been like three weeks now--I've still been thinking about the possibilities of a non-egalitarian relationship.

Next Sunday, on Sunday, March 25th, I'm discussing the intersection of SM and Spirituality for Masters And slaves Together (MAsT) up in NYC.

Here's a draft of the blurb...

Masters And slaves Together:NYC
Sunday, March 25, 2007
3 to 6 pm at The Center, 208 W. 13th St., Manhattan
Men only
$5 donation (or whatever you can afford)

How Masters/Tops and bottoms/slaves Become Who We Are

Joseph Campbell is best known for his analysis of world mythologies in terms of an archetypal "hero's journey," in which an everyday person undergoes a series of extraordinary experiences that enable him to be someone others can look up to and be inspired by. The early "Star Wars" movies, for instance, drew heavily on this archetype.

Drew Kramer likes cigars, hot tubs, chains, minimalism, church, leather, cooking, softball, and whipping men until they bleed. He is a past president of GMSMA and an Associate Member of the Chicago Hellfire Club and the New York boys of Leather. He thinks that many of our careers in s/m and Mastery/slavery can be understood spiritually through the archetype of the hero's journey. How do ordinary kinky guys become the kind of exemplary leathermen that others seek out and look up to? What makes a Master worthy of loyal, self-sacrificing, obedient service? What makes a slave worth taking control of and responsibility for? How do we become who we want to be?

What is the relation between spirituality and s/m anyway? Do you compartmentalize them in your own life, or does one enhance and intertwine with the other? As you get deeper into s/m or Mastery/slavery, do you find yourself getting growing spiritually as well? And what do we mean by that?

Drew has been thinking and writing about these questions for several years while pursuing his own journey in becoming a whipping and bondage master as well as a boy. At our meeting, he'll share some of his answers -- as well as his spectacular tattoo of a body-wrapping chain -- and he's interested in hearing yours.

Don't miss this very special MAsT presentation!

(That slave david stein can sure write some mean copy, huh?)

(Although he forgot to mention that by popular demand, I'm going to be doing my presentation wearing only a jockstrap and boots.)

Anyway, I'm trying not to let my pondering get in the way of a slamdunk on the SM/Spirituality presentation. But maybe afterwards, if some of the MAsT guys want to go to dinner with me, I'll raise it.

A Year Without Love

On a recent trip to Blockbuster, what to my wandering eyes should appear but the image of a man wearing a collar bearing his back with his arms extended over his head. And here's the blurb on the back...

Pablo is a young writer. The process of writing his personal diary helps him ease the emotional aspects of his malaise in the search for the love of his life. He places personal ads in magazines, cruises the gay scene in Buenos Aires, and falls in wiith some people who introduce him to sadomasochistic sexual practies and leather fetishism. By exploring the relationship between pain and desire, he finds a way to eroticiize his pain and tame the monster lurking within him

Sounds good so far, right?

And it was good. Although it's less about SM than one is lead to expect. Although I suppose that it's the SM aspect that most lends itself to sensationalization. Pablo--who is a total hottie--spends a lot more time talking to his doctors about starting HIV medication than he does getting whipped.

That said, there are some really lovely aspects to the movie. It's presented with subtitles, and even though my Spanish isn't very good, and I don't have an ear at all for South American Spanish, I was struck with how well the language lent itself to SM. A Top, whom Pablo addresses as "Señor," calls him "Pablito," the diminutive for his name. I thought that was beautiful because it's the same name his father calls him. As far as I know, most Spanish names have diminutives, and those, I suppose, would be preferred forms of address for a submissive.


It's simultaneously humiliating and tender.

And at one point, Pablo is addressed as "esclavito," or "my little slave." I love "esclavito." That's even better.

Anyway, on balance, I would recommend A Year Without Love. Although if it had come with a happy ending, I would be saying that with more enthusiasm.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Why I Love The Episcopal Church

On Wednesdays during Lent, my church has this meatless meal thing going on. The food is great.

Tonight, I sat at a table with two little old ladies.

When I sat down, one of them said, "Drew! Nice to see you! So what have you been up to?"

"Oh, y'know," I answered, "Just tryin' to bring sexy back."

"You're doing a good job with that," said the second little old lady without missing a beat.



It seems that the New York boys of Leather outing to see 300 wasn't the only thing going down in NYC last night.

Twenty years ago, the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center (as it was then known) had a problem with their Tuesday Night Speakers Series. The scheduled speaker canceled at the last minute. For a replacement, a call was placed to author Larry Kramer, one of the founders of Gay Men's Health Crisis and the author of several articles in the New York Native about the AIDS epidemic.

That night, Kramer issued a call to arms. "Look to your left. Now look to your right. If we don't do something, one of the three of you is going to die." A group of people who heard Kramer's speech decided to do something. They met again, the following Monday night, and ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, a "diverse, non-partisan group of individuals, united in our anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis" was born.

And was incredibly successful.

I've always attributed that success to a phenomenon unique in the annals of political activism. Y'see, you had these gay men, who were stock brokers, media and public relations types, academics, designers, film makers, and the like, who were suddenly politicized because they didn't want to die. In other words, they were highly competent, connnected, and supremely entitled. But joining them from the git-go were lesbians, many of whom were veterans (and that's a poor choice of words) of the women's peace movement, who knew all about community organizing and direct action.

So back in those days, some of the best minds I've ever known were doing detailed analyses of the FDA's cumbersome drug approval process, the economics of new drug development, the inadequacies of the social services bureaucracy that people were forced to rely on. From these analyses would come strategies for changing the way the system worked. How can we get Burroughs-Wellcome to lower the price of AZT, a drug that was developed by the FDA in the 1960s for cancer, that's inexpensive to produce, but from which Burroughs-Wellcome was reaping huge profits for no other reason that they bought the patent for the compound from the FDA for a song? How about we hit them where it will hurt, right in their profit margin. We shut down the New York Stock Exchange, calling Burroughs-Wellcome and AIDS Profiteer, telling the traders to sell Burroughs, and see if we can get their stock price to drop. Okay. So how do we go about doing that?

The alliance was always a delicate one. And because of ACT UP's success, fringe politicos whom I would generously describe as whackos, calling for everything from the overthrow of the government to establishing state-socialism glommed onto the group. Happily, ACT UP operated on the basis of what has been described as "anarcho-syndicalism": there were no leaders. Just about everything had to be taken to "the floor" (whoever showed up at a Monday night meeting) for a vote. And, there were a series of gay men living with AIDS--Bob Rafsky, David Feinberg, Aldyn McKean, George Catravas--who would not hesitate to stand up and say, "What the fuck is the matter with you people? I'm dying, and you're talking about irrelevant bullshit! I don't care about this! This isn't going to save my life!" And the floor would vote down the proposal.


It was an amazing thing to have been a part of. Those were some of the best years of my life. I met my first NYC boyfriend at the controversial and misunderstood Stop the Church action at St. Patrick's Cathedral. The Baron and I forged our friendship organizing busses to take people from Philadelphia down to Maryland to take part in Storm the NIH (National Institutes of Health).

But over the years, and especially with the development of the protease inhibitors in 1993, the urgency became less, people drifted away, much of the work of ACT UP was institutionalized. In NYC, for example, there's this whole cadre of people, mostly working for AIDS service organizations, who do AIDS policy work. And get paid for it. (I was one of them for awhile.)

The group that I worked with the most, the City Issues Working Group, broke away to become City AIDS Actions when we felt that having to deal with the increasingly whacko-ized floor of ACT UP was holding us back. And, we laid the groundwork for instituting a basic level of services for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS as Local Law 49.

Back in 1999 I guess it was, when I was doing HIV prevention work running a needle exchange program in NYC, I ran into a former comrade of mine from ACT UP, and asked her if she had been to a meeting recently. "No," she answered, "I haven't seen either of those people in a while."

So now, it seems that last night, Larry Kramer spoke at the New York City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Community Center, and called for a new generation of AIDS activists, committed to bringing about change by direct action to come forward. And there's going to be an ACT UP demonstration on March 29th, marching on Wall Street and demanding single-payer universal healthcare.

You can read about it here.

So like... wow.

I interested in taking part. Although I'm a wee bit skeptical. Who is doing this? Is there going to be civil disobedience (the whackos were generally leery of taking a bust)? Is this legit? Or am I going to find myself among a bunch of folks from the Workers World Party or being asked to carry a sign demanding that marijuana be legalized?

And whose gonna be there?


There's a marshal training planned. I think going to that would not be a bad thing.

Heck. I've still got a bunch of ACT UP tshirts in my closet.

And y'know, if there is civil disobedience, I think I'd want to be involved in that. It's been so long since I got arrested.

And I swear, this is not just about being handcuffed.

Okay. Maybe it is a little bit. But mostly not.

300: 0% Body Fat

Here's a piece on the workout that the actors in 300 were put through to get in shape. As the article describes, basically the costume was "a pair of leather underpants and a red cape." (I foresee an Oscar for Best Costume Design!)

Did I mention that I loved this movie?

Hmmm... Three months, two hours a day, six days a week... If someone were to come out with the "300 Twelve Week Workout," I'd buy that book!

300 + 11

As planned, last night I drove up to NYC to go see 300 with the New York boys of Leather.

[You: Hey, I didn't hear about that...
Me: Well that's cuz you're not an associate member, Bunky! Go here right now, sign up, give up your $25 (you get a patch and a pin!) and get in on the action!]

It was a great night all around. Let me just say this: the boys provided fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. I shit you not.

Traffic was not too bad on the drive up, and Li'l' Ol' Weehawken Street had an open parking space for me. I jumped in a cab and headed up to the Loew's on 34th Street. boys were lingering on the sidewalk, including Ray who had apparently taken it upon himself to organize the outing. Other boys showed up in dribs and drabs, there were eleven in our group in all, and I was just basking in all that sweet boy energy.

We got our tickets and made our way up all those escalators--I think our theater was on the 43rd floor--grabbed some popcorn, and settled in.

300 is breathtaking. Such a great movie. I can't believe that beeeyatch at the Times and I saw the same movie. I thought it was just transporting. The cinematography was great. It's a film with a palette: black, gold, and red. The look of every frame was beautiful. And the fighting was sublime choreography. I think it's the first movie I've seen where I wasn't aware of the CGI being CGI.

Yeah yeah yeah. There were undercurrents of Hoe-Moe-Phoe-bia. (The enemy Persians are depicted as sort of androgynous, fey clubkids--Xerxes reminded me of Kevin Aviance; and the Spartans' allies the Athenians are derisively described as "philosophers and boy-lovers.") But none of that bothered me too much. And I'm a Hoe-Moe.

As y'all probably know, the movie describes how three hundred Spartans faced the army of the mighty Persian god-king Xerxes at the battle of Thermopylae.

One thing that did interest me though: Is 300 a Henry V for our time?

What do I mean by that?

Henry V is one of Shakespeare's plays that is rarely performed. It describes the former gadabout Prince Hal, now King Henry V, leading the English to do battle with the French. Joan of Arc is a character, although since she was on the Wrong Side, she's depicted as listening to whispering devils and not Sts. Mary and Margaret. And it includes the St. Crispin's Day speech: "Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more into the breach, till we fill up these trenches with our English dead." It's an unabashedly militaristic play, hence the reason why it's rarely performed. However, during World War II, it was almost always on the stage in London.

Similarly, 300 is wildly militaristic. The Persians, of course, came from the land that we now call Iran. And it even has the Spartan Queen going before the legislature and calling for a troop surge. (If we see Laura Bush addressing a joint session of Congress, it can only mean that Carl Rove has seen 300.)

But again, the militarism of the movie didn't bother me all that much.

In fact, I kinda got off on it.

It presents Sparta as the warrior culture it was. The weak and deformed were abandoned, the boys were raised to be soldiers, the girls were raised to be wives of soldiers. The Spartans, I believe, invented the barracks, the idea that you want all your men who are going to go to battle together to be sleeping together. (Maybe not Sleeping Together, but at least sleeping together.) So it was homoerotic in that dark sense, as the worship of the masculine and the deprecation of the feminine. The virtues celebrated were strength, courage, fortitude, honor, and brotherhood. And where in the world today do we get to see those celebrated?

I could swear someone spiked my Coca-Cola with testosterone, because I was flying on that stuff when I got out of there.

I loved this movie. Every minute of it.

Afterwards, I and most of the boys jumped on the subway and headed down to Pieces on Christopher Street. Tuesday is karaoke night.

I know.

I know I know I know.


Are there things I dread more?

When we walked in, a young woman on stage was warbling away to something or other and I wasn't sure how much I was gonna be able to take. but then, this blond guy got up there and sang really well. And then the smokin hot bearded boy who I think was the doorman totally rocked out. And overall, the level of talent was pretty good, putting the Rainbow Mountain Lodge to shame. Not like that's difficult. After the duet of "Summer Love" from Grease, when I was enthusiastically bellowing out "Tell me more, tell me more, did you get very far?", I was pretty much a goner. And it was big fun to see a room crowded with people who were so completely unbridled in their enthusiasm. (Although I guess the alcohol helped a lot there, huh?)

The boys decided to come up with a battle cry, which in the movie, was the Spartans' version of "Wonder Twin powers: Activate!!!" Or, like my own dear softball team, where we all put our hands in and shout "Ba-a-a-a-alllll-(slowly build to crescendo)-BREAKERS!!!"

I support that! The New York boys of Leather should have a battle cry. And spankings. A battle cry and spankings all 'round. Cuz good boys get spanked, too.

At 1 a.m., I bid the boys a fond farewell and made my way back to my jeep, then headed home through the nighttime New Jersey highways. I slept in this morning, not crawling out of bed until eleven. And what greets me but a warm summer day!

So enough of the blogging, I'm headed to Starbucks in Doylestown to smoke cigars and enjoy an iced quad venti one pump vanilla latté.

Go tell the Spartans!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Okay. That's Weird

So, I just heard the audio of General Peter Pace's comments that he things that homosexual acts are immoral and therefore supports "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Now, my father, whose hearing isn't what it once was, set the volume on the television, so it's pretty loud. But there was this strange quality to it, an echo, as if he was speaking in a very small, enclosed space. And there was something in the background--the sound of running water?

Did General Pace make that statement from a stall in a restroom?

Question Month!

it's a question! From Dave from SF!

And here it is:

If ignorance is bliss and knowledge is power, which is better??

That's an easy one.

I've long contended that bliss, or happiness, whatever you want to call it, is easy to achieve: Don't read newspapers; don't listen to the radio, don't read books. Immerse yourself in popular culture, cover your walls with airbrush rendderings of rainbows, sunsets, and unicorns. And above all, don't open your heart to love. Love, even when it's good (especially when it's good) will inevitably bring heartache.

Happiness must be distinguished from joy. Joy is what you're after. Joy is always snatched from the jaws of despair. Joy doesn't have to be rapturous. It can be a quiet, peaceful joy, stealing upon you while you do some small, kind act for a stranger. Or, of course, it can be rapturous. (Personal little flashback to slipping my dick right into Special Guy's ass as I held him in the surf at Fire Island. *sigh*)

And the strength that you get from knowledge? It's the good kind of strength. The strength that brings hope. It's the strength that brings the perspective that Sir Isaiah Berlin called "a spirited pessimism," which I'd explain as being, "things are probably going to get worse before they get better, but the crocuses are coming up and I just saw the first robin of the Spring."

Has It Come To This?

Apparently, it has.

Here's a little note to myself I wrote on a stickie and afixed to the hood over the stove. If'n you can't see it, it reads, "Drain chicken stock!"

Remember that warm spell we had several weeks ago? Well during cold weather months, I use the front porch as a walk-in cooler. But, out of sight, out of mind. And a beautiful batch of chicken stock was the victim of the unseasonably balmy temperatures back in February. I made another batch of chicken stock from the bird that I roasted for Sunday dinner, and last night before I went to bed, didn't feel like dealing with it then, so I left it out on the porch. But, not wanting another stinky rotten mess to deal with, I wrote myself a note.

Uh oh.

Am I going to become one of Those People? A note leaving person? Papering all available flat surfaces of my house with "Buy dog food!" and "Your vehicle registration expires on March 31st!" and "Pick up new pajamas for Dad!"?

That way madness lies. Clearly.

But, as I type this, I'm straining my chicken stock. Good thing, too, since the temperature is supposed to approach seventy degrees today.

Maybe I'll just do notes for really important things.

Like chicken stock.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A First!

Hooked up with this guy in Philadelphia for some Afternoon Delight today.

And it was really nice. In many ways.

But here's my favorite part: he had me flex for him, and he really got off on it.

As in, pose and make muscles.

No one has ever requested that of me. I always think of myself as being the 155 pound skinny kid I was in high school. And yeah, I know I'm not skinny anymore, and I get all excited when I hop on the scale and the needle goes past 190, but still...

I'd like to project my spectral self back to that skinny kid... no, not him, as he had yet to encounter rejection... rather, 22 year old me, going to gay bars for the first time, and being confronted with the fact that then, in the late Eighties, every gay man on the planet but him was going to the gym.

Yeah, him.

I'd like to go back in time and whisper in his ear, "Some day in the future, this guy is going to stop you while you're taking off your clothes, and say, "Wait! Turn around and face me. So I can see. Put on a show for me. Now flex... Yeah. Yeah! Do that! Show me the muscles in your chest! Damn! Look at the body on you."

Damn that made me happy.

Semper Fraud (Con't)

Oh man. That Matt Sanchez guy.

Listen to him here being interviewed by Alan Colms, tying himself in knots explaining that he's not gay. Sanchez claims his porn career was fifteen years ago, in the obscuring mists of the distant past. Colms presents him with a massage ad he placed in the New York Blade in November, 2004. Sanchez counters that people other than him use his photo for massage and escort ads.

Sounds plausible, right?

Or not.

Mr. Colms points out that the phone number in the ad is Sanchez' current phone number.

I think I called it correct: Sanchez is dumb.

I'm working on my application to Columbia University right now! The title of my essay: "You have to let me in because I'm way smarter than Matt Sanchez!"


No Heroes tonight because the world needs two hours of Deal Or No Deal?

That's ridiculous!

That's obscene!

I am so pissed off!

I ask so little from television. Three things specifically: Heroes on Monday, Top Design on Wednesday, and Supernatural on Thursday. And in any average week, you can scrap Top Design and Supernatural. But leave me my Heroes.

Speaking of entertainment, tomorrow night I'm probably heading up to NYC to join the New York boys of Leather for an outing to see 300.

All the way to NYC to see a movie?

Oh yeah. It's not Heroes, but I hope it'll do me.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Maybe Return To Brokeback Mountain?

In today's Sunday Times, there was a "Men's Fashions of the Times" supplement. Mostly, it made me sad. On two counts. First off, all of the suits hanging in my closet are suddenly unwearable. I knew this about my double-breasted guys from the '90s, but this new "slim suit" thing that has taken off means that even my sharp two and three button suits are no longer... sharp. And, the clothes are awful. Dopey sportswear on models with teenage bodies. Neither what I want to look at or wear.

But there was this...

An interview with Richard Gere.


Before there was Vin "Chained At My Feet, Soaked In My Piss" Diesel, there was Richard Gere.

When I was in high school, I saw the remake of Breathless with Richard Gere taking the Jean Paul Belmondo role. Instead of a jazz soundtrack, there were songs by the seminal LA punk band X, featuring the amazing vocals of Exene Cervenka. And Richard Gere came right down off the screen and into my heart. From the opening sequence, where he's seen struggling to read a Silver Surfer comic, his handsome face all screwed up, his lips moving.

I think my hardon lasted the entire ninety minutes of the movie.

When I moved to NYC, I heard that the rumors had long circulated about Richard Gere. Everyone knew someone who knew someone who had seen him at the Spike.

My saying to my first NYC boyfriend something along the lines of "Of course I want to be faithful to you, but if Richard Gere were to present himself and say, "Let's get it on!", then you have to realize that I'm just a fallible human being" brought about a huge fight.

Ahhh... Richard Gere.

I came to believe that Richard Gere was, in fact, heterosexual. Or at least a heterosexually leaning bisexual. And moved on.

(The jury is still deliberating on Vin "Chained At My Feet, Soaked In My Piss" Diesel.)

But now, in the Times Men's Fasion Supplement, I read this:

Interviewer: What was the first movie you remember?

Richard Gere: I remember watching Italian muscleman movies on Saturday-afternoon TV with characters like Hercules, Samson and Ulysses. As a kid, I liked those archetypal, heroic, muscular guys. Big, silent men. I still like those epic dramas: I'm thinking of doing a western.

Uh huh.

I swear he really said that.

Attention Richard Gere:

If you happen to google yourself (and who doesn't?) and read this, I want you to know that I love you and I've always loved you and I'm a good guy with a lot to offer and I bet you're a deep, insightful person who I would never grow tired of listening to and just hanging out with you would be great and I realize you have your career to think about so no one has to know about us and that's totally okay with me because our love would be something so precious and rare that the world couldn't begin to understand it anyway and you just let me know where and when you want to meet up and so we could get to know each other over coffee or something and then maybe sit in my jeep after the Starbucks or wherever closes holding hands and talking and talking and finding out about each other and all the things we have in common and then you could just sort of lean over and kiss me and I'd kiss you back and you'd tell me out of the side of your mouth "start the car, drive, I'll tell you where" and we'd go to your place in Manhattan and rip the clothes off each other and you'd stretch out on the bed and say, "I want you in me so bad" and I'd spit lube and lie down on top of you and slowly feel you open up for me and wrap my arms around you and we'd both be making a lot of noise and after we both shoot at the same time we'd just hold each other, all sweated and everything and both of us getting a little teary eyed because it was just so good and like there for hours listening to each other's hearts beating and then we'd see the sun coming up and we'd go out for breakfast somewhere with you wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses that famous people always wear and it would just be so perfect.

So get in touch, Richard Gere, okay?

Signs And Wonders

I forgot about that whole Daylight Savings Time thing when I went to bed last night, so my alarm didn't go off in time to get me up for church this morning.


I was feeling sort of bad about that, this being Lent and all. And then, ten feet outside of my window, working on a tree stump, I saw a woodpecker. It was huge! Big as a duck. I didn't know they got so big. With a beautiful scarlet crest.

He was amazing. Just beautiful.

And presently, he was joined by another woodpecker, slightly smaller.

I've rarely seen woodpeckers here, and never seen one quite so close. If I had been at church, I would have missed that.

Sinful, vain, worldly thoughts, I know.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Now Why Didn't You Think Of That?

To many New Yorkers In The Know, the title of this piece will bring a smile of recognition.

it was one of the segments on the amazing Brini Maxwell Show, which ran on Manhattan local cable in the late 1990s. Brini is better experienced than described. Here's the website, which I stumbled upon almost by accident.

It seems that Brini is contemplating a move to Palm Springs (me, too!). That's exciting! And what's more, reading through the "About Brini" page, I solved a longstanding problem: Just what do you call your dungeon? I mean, yeah, it's your dungeon, and your fellow BDSMers know what to expect. But how about the uninitiated? And also, "Dungeon" is pretty loaded with expectations, huh? Like torch bearing sconces on the walls, subterranean, etc.

So I'm taking a page from Brini's book: it's a rumpus room! I like what that evokes: the St. Andrew's Cross and the cages, but also the turkish corner and noguchi lamps.

Question Month!

It's a meme!

In the blogosphere, March is apparently Question Month. Send me a question, either as a comment to any post, or you can email me at drewkramer [at] mac [dot] com, and I'll respond.

I challenged girlfag with the following...

A few decades ago on PBS, there was a program called (I think) "Dinner Party." The idea was that various historical figures, portrayed by actors, were assembled to have dinner together. The program essentially consisted of their conversation.

So for instance, you'd have Elizabeth I, Abraham Lincoln, Macchiavelli, Thomas Jefferson, Lenin, and Ghandi discussing "Government" or whatever.

So, I asked girlfag, whose weblog is all about depth, insight, grace, and introspection, a wildly frivolous question: Who would be the seven guests at your "Dinner Party"? I also wanted to know what she'd serve.

How would I answer that question?


Erasmus, Geronimo, Anaïs Nin, William James, Jack London, Montgomery Cliff, and Lou Gehrig.

First Course: Salad of roasted endive, apples, goat cheese, pecans in a tarragon vinaigrette
Second Course: Spring pea soup with fresh mint
Third Course: Raw oysters with wasabi
Fourth Course: Pork loin stuffed with apricots and vidalia onions
Fifth Course: Tart pastry filled with vanila custard topped with lemon curd

Friday, March 09, 2007

Listening Inside The Box

Holy ear buds, Batman!

Do you guys know about Pandora?

It's so cool.

Apparently, it's an outgrowth of the "Music Genome Project," an effort by a bunch of musicians and music lovers somewhere in the big wide world to take songs and break them down into their basic musical components ("vocals-centric, blend of electric and acoustic guitars, in a major key," etc.). And the way it works is you type in the name of a song or an artist you like and Pandora starts playing songs by artists famous and obscure whose genotype matches your selection.

The aspect I like the best is the "artists obscure" part. Have you heard of Hayes Carll or the Starlight Mints? Well I sure hadn't till they popped up on my personal Pandora radio station.

The downside is that if I give into my yen to purchase all this new (to me) music I'm suddenly exposed to on iTunes, I will very quickly go broke.

So be careful. Remember what the outcome was for this website's namesake.

Semper Fraud


So I'm a little obsessed with this whole Matt Sanchez brouhaha. It's emerged from the pop cultural blur that I usually let blow right by me. All you need to know about Mr. Sanchez (I don't know what his rank is) can be found at the venerable Joe. My. God..

Here's the delio. A U.S. Marine, enrolled at Columbia University, makes the rounds of the various right wing chat shows on Fox complaining about the disrespect he faces there in the sacred grove of acadème, which he decries is anti-military. After he has his picture taken with Ann Coulter shortly after she called John Edwards a faggot (as in, really shortly; as in, he was in the room when she hurled that schoolyard epithet), it's revealed that Sanchez and his eleven inch penis have a fairly substantial career in porn behind them. (I'm not making this up. I swear.)

When confronted with this seeming conundrum, Sanchez came clean, but in an e-pistolary interview with Joe, took the tack of "Oh, I've done my best to put my youthful indiscretions of being a flaming homo porn star behind me."

Now, on it's face, this is not entirely implausible. Many young men need an experience to get their heads screwed on straight, and service in the military, and particularly the Marine Corps, often fits the bill. But it seems that Sanchez is still pursuing hot homo love hook-ups on Manhunt. So maybe it didn't quite take.

Here's what sticks in my craw. Sanchez is brimming over with blather about how his conservative principles make him anathema to homos. That's bullcrap, Marine!

I am a conservative homo. My conservative perspective springs from my observation that human nature is infinitely complex, and simple-minded solutions to such intractable ills as crime, poverty, illiteracy and the like often do far more harm than good, especially when they come from the Government. "The government which governs the least governs the best." And, this perspective is derived from my sexual orientation, too: would someone please get my elected representatives out of my bedroom? And I have nothing but respect for the military, and I hope the push to have this Congress overturn Don't Ask, Don't Tell bears fruits. If you're a gay kid growing up in rural Indiana who doesn't do very well academically, about your only hope of getting the hell out of there is to enlist. And, serving your country by putting your life on the line is an enobling and worthy way to do that. My hat is off to you, and I'm grateful for your service.

But the hard part about being a conservative is that you've got all of these clueless nutjobs who politicize their paranoia, narscisism (that word I can't spell again), agoraphobia, and--in the case of Matt Sanchez--self-hatred constantly climbing up on your bandwagon and wanting to be your standard bearer. The same thing goes down in liberal circles, too.

So that's what's irking me about Matt Sanchez. The key to unlocking the man is not that he's conservative, and not that he's queer, but that he's stupid. The man clearly doesn't have the brains that the Good Lord gave a petunia.

"Anti-military sentiment at Columbia"? Really? What did that look like? Scores of co-eds following Matt around campus screaming, "I hate you! You Marine, you!"? Most likely, when he would try to articulate his loopy political views, he'd be challenged on those, and getting challenged on the worth of his faculties for self-criticism and self-examination are probably not things that his career as a porn star with an eleven inch penis prepared him for. But for someone who at an earlier point in life realized that he could make money by bearing it all while the cameras rolled, Sanchez knew who to call. Although in this case, it wasn't Hot Desert Knights or whoever, it was associate producers at Fox.

Testifying to my assertion that Matt Sanchez is stupid is the fact that now that his career as a porn star has been inevitably uncovered, the folks who book guests at The O'Reilly Factor and Hannity and Combes have deleted his name and contact information permanently from their databases. Or, perhaps, kept his name but put in a notation to the effect of "No. Never. Whacko." And alas and alack, the career of the Next Dineesh D'Souza lies in ruins, all but stillborn in the cradle. (And Mr. D'Souza certainly proves my point that just because you can get into an Ivy League college, be it Columbia or Dartmouth, it doesn't mean that you're not stupid.) But clearly that move was short-sighted and ill-considered. And that's a nice way of saying "stupid."

So Matt, get some therapy. And do your best to come to the realization that you have an eleven inch penis, but not a particularly sharp intellect. And that's okay! That's fine! You may go on to lead a happy, fulfilling, and satisfying life regardless! But hopefully, years from now, the youthful indiscretion that makes you blush when your boyfriend teases you about it will not be your foray as a porn star but that time at Columbia when you ended up being an unwitting tool for a bunch of right wing nut jobs at Fox.