Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Rescued from the abyss!!!

I hated Blogger for a little while. They forced me to switch to Blogger Beta. My old blog came along fine, but this blog did not. I haven't had access for a couple of weeks now. I've still been writing posts, so I'll have a few to go up in the next week or so. Sorry to be gone for so long.

Anyhow, it's fixed now, so my babbling will resume shortly.

I'm in Kansas for the week visiting my family and taking a short vacation. It was much needed. I haven't had any time off since I started my new job in May. I'll report on the whole trip soon. And hopefully I can figure out how to post photos!


Friday, December 08, 2006

Holy days.

I guess the holidays make me nostalgic. I've been writing an awful lot about my past lately. I'm not generally quite so sentimental, but December gets me going every time.

I'm going home to Kansas for Christmas and I'm staying for almost a week. It's going to be hella fun. There are a ton of people and places I want to see. It's been a while...I guess I was there last Christmas, and that was a whirlwind two day trip.

This year I'm spending nearly a week, but it's still going to be difficult to see absolutely everyone I want to see.

JuCoMo just bought some commercial space where he's going to open a coffee shop in downtown KCMO, so I'll get to see that. He may even have his big espresso machines in by the time I'm which case we're going to lounge around caffeinating ourselves and making critical decor decisions, or at least deciding what music should be played for the grand opening. I have a lot of new electronic stuff I want to share with him...I'd better take some blank CDs.

DaBull is just retiring this month after a long career as a jurist full of stirring crap up...including one little drama recently where he temporarily shut down the entire public education system in the state of Kansas. I'm glad I'll get to see him before he jets off to Palm Springs to lounge by the pool for the remainder of the Winter.

My ex...let's call him Wapio...has agreed to meet me for lunch. This would not be so extraordinary except that I didn't get to see him before I moved to NYC, so it's been at least three years and possibly longer. I have a peculiar desire to touch base with him. I'm so incredibly different than I was in my early 20s, when he and I were together, and I guess I'm curious to see how he's changed. There was a time when I honestly believed I could not live without him, and that we would spend our lives together. I suppose that but for a handful of factors things might have turned out that way. It's interesting, though we may have little in common now, he was once a very important part of my life, and I want to keep in touch with him.

Another highlight will be going to midnight mass at Grace Cathedral in Topeka. I used to sing in the choir at Grace and I have many acquaintances there who it will be lovely to see. Not to mention that the service is usually beautiful, with a ton of music and a bit of sparkly wonderment at the end, when they turn off all the lights and the congregation is hushed as they watch the glowing nativity stained glass window, which is lit from the outside for the evening.

And then there's my family...but I think I will save those traditions for another post.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I love cats.

It's a bit strange, because in the leather world I'm a puppy, and I've spent more than a few hours running around on all fours (usually in hotel lobbies crowded with leathermen), sniffing crotches (hello...leathermen!), and generally being man's best friend.

But when it comes to home, give me a cat over a dog any day.

First of all, a cat can take care of herself. If I decide I want a drink after work, I don't have to worry about running home to walk my cat. She'll be fine, and running a little late will just mean she's that much happier to see me.

Which brings us to secondly: cats are totally loveable. No, they may not come running at you, leaping up on your legs as soon as you walk in the front door. Hello! I don't want to be assaulted when I enter my home! I want to set down my bag, take off my jacket, and settle in to some good play time once I'm comfortable. Every cat I've had who has lived with me has been very affectionate. So what if it's on her terms rather than mine? Do I really want a relationship with someone who will love me when I say so and go away when I'm not in the mood, without regard to my friend's feelings? How boring.

I could go on at length. I suspect it's a genetic thing, as during Christmas dinner with my mother's side of the family I expect to get a full report on the recent activities of the feline companion living with each of my relatives. Yes, even my uber-butch brother loves him some kitten.

Of course I left my Niechi back in Topeka, living with a friend from school. It is a very good home and I'm sure she's doing well, but I miss her desperately.

Last night I experienced one of those rare full body memories. As I settled down under the covers, shivering a little and waiting for the bed to warm up, I could feel Niechi walking across the bed. My body recalled exactly what it felt like to have her little paws pushing the blankets down as she crossed the bed to sniff my chin and say goodnight. Her weight would come down tentatively with each step as she tested to make sure she wasn't settling on an unsupported section of blanket, but overall her gait was confident, because she knew and loved me, and had done this every night for years. I missed her so much it really hurt inside my chest for a moment.

I hope you're sleeping well, Niechi-baby.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Subliminal sublimation.

Lately I've been thinking I'm not a submissive anymore.

WAIT!!! STOP!!! Don't go getting carried away. I'm still a "boy" and a leatherboy at that. There are many different elements that make up boys and being a sub is not necessarily part of it.

However, I haven't been feeling particularly submissive lately. In fact, when my sub friends mention asking permission to do this or that, I find myself getting rather irritable. How dare anyone tell my friends what to do? Nevermind that my friends have actually sought this out; my gut reaction is to correct the injustice.

I wasn't always this way. Just a few years ago I was glad to submit myself in a whole variety of ways, and I found it very hot. I'd stand with my hands behind my back and I'd walk a step behind in public. I wore my collar constantly, taking it off only to shower because I didn't want to ruin the silver.

Back then some of my friends did not understand the submission. No matter how much I explained it, they could not get on board with my decision to be "less than." This used to frustrate me, but now I understand where they were coming from. How things change.

I wonder whether I'll ever go back to it. I imagine I will when it comes to sex. It's not such a big deal to be the sub in a scene. Perhaps I've become the kind of boy I used to mock, the kind who is only brave enough to submit in bed.

I don't think I'll be mocking that kind of boy any more. I'm also not sure anymore that it's a lack of bravery which brings me to this place. It takes balls to grow up.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

New Millenium Meta: Blogging about Blogging.

Last weekend was lots of fun. Thanksgiving was a blast, with every kind of special moment and disaster that you'd expect from such a holiday. There were grandly gay decorations and there were grand topplings of such. There was new family love and there was blood family guilt. There was fantastic food and a giant mess that required a bulldozer to clean up. Who could ask for anything more, really?

Saturday McJock arrived for a visit. Naturally I had an insane morning and afternoon which left me exasperated and irritable. Fortunately my intuition that he and I would be comfortable with each other was fully borne out. It took no time at all for me to be curled up under him on the bed (with our clothes on--such dirty minds you have!) and a little bit of that cuddly action went a very long way towards cheering me up.

I was a touch concerned that our interests were going to be too disparate for us to enjoy Saturday night out on the town. He was very interested in gay clubs in my neighborhood of which I had never heard and had no knowledge. He flipped through HX and Next (local gay rags) looking for ideas, and I consult neither of these publications when I'm going out, or any other time for that matter.

But as usual my narrow view of things was laughably inappropriate and my prejudgments were misapplied. We talked about music and I asked specifially what the "electroclash" genre sounds like. As it turns out, I'm a big fan and I even have some of it in my iTunes already. Who knew? Then he decided that he'd like to hear Larry Tee (the "father" of electroclash) spin at Element. I've not been to Element but I was fairly sure that it was far too gay for me. I simply have zero patience for the attitude and shallow-ness that are the prevalent themes of such places. If it matters to you what brand any item of clothing or accessory I'm wearing is, even for a moment, then we're probably not going to be comfortable in the same room. And there were a ton of boys there to whom it did matter. Frankly, it's funny, they pretty much all looked the same. Boring. And then there are the usual pitfalls of going to dance clubs with someone you don't know well: am I paying too much attention to my guest, or not enough? Am I dancing too close or too strangely? Are either of us drinking too much? There are just so many more things that can go wrong in such a place than in...say...a restaurant, coffee shop, neighborhood bar, or even the Eagle. Danger Will Robinson!!! But I need not have been concerned. The club had all of the drawbacks listed above, plus a $20 cover and $10 mixed drinks (fucking cheese on a fucking cracker--I am not that kind of fag!) and I still had a really good time. As usual, I spoke to not a single other soul there other than McJock, but he and I vibed really well. We wanted to dance at about the same time. We wanted to rest at about the same time. He didn't mind my spastic dancing. I thought his dancing was very fun in a vaguely butch way. And the music was fantastic. Really and truly some of the best I've heard at a club in a very long while. least the first half. Later when the crackheads showed up and the place really got packed Larry Tee began to play remixes of Justin Timberlake and Nellie Furtado, which I'm told are beneath him and not normally his style, but which he must endure to keep the masses happy.

It's really sortof sad that the majority of fags, after seeking out a life on the fringes of society, must insist on such mainstream music. Boring!

But I was very glad we went. I enjoyed McJock and I enjoyed a club and a DJ who I otherwise would never have discovered.

And the rest...well, that's the thing. I'm not sure how much to write. McJock reads my blog, and I'm glad, because there's a lot here about me that I'd like to share. I asked and received his permission to blog about him. But I'm not sure how much I want to tell. My writing would be influenced by my audience (as all writing should be) and I'm certain I don't want to make this blog into a place where I pull punches or color things in an effort to influence anyone. I've actually done that before. My former Daddy made me write a blog which was supposed to be a journal that only he would read. It was awful. It basically became a way to communicate directly with him, rather than a clearinghouse for my thoughts and opinions. Toward the end most of my posts consisted of song lyrics, all of which were very important and significant, but none of which he bothered to understand. True, there's not a single Tori lyric that can be interpreted in any straightforward way, but he didn't even read generalities.

So for now I will hold my cards close, though nearly every one of my many personalities is demanding to shout its thoughts from the nearest mountaintop. All of me loves to babble.

I'm writing a book. It will be called "Blog Ethics" or "That Day When the Everybody-Knows-You Internet Decided that Discretion Really Does Have a Purpose."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Waxing Poetic

So here's the thing: sometimes I miss Kansas. WAIT!!! STOP!!! Don't you dare go reading anything into that. As has recently been made clear, and as Madonna so eloquently put it, I love New York. I don't want to move back to the Midwest. Not even a little bit.

However, I do think fondly of Kansas sometimes. It's nostalgia, I suppose. I spent nearly 29 years there, and after driving those highways for a decade and half, it's hard not to remember every hill and curve. A lifetime of shopping at the same malls and convenience stores, going to the same restaurants, and seeing the same downtown skyline in the distance leaves an imprint that is not so easily erased.

My memory is a funny thing. When I focus on something and really pay attention to it, I can remember nearly everything about it. No, I don't mean I have a photographic memory. I wish. What I mean is that my brain absorbs visual input and spacial relationships at an incredible rate, along with certain other details that happen to catch my attention. I can say with near certainty whether I have ever laid eyes on any given person, though I'm not nearly so good with names. I never forget what make and model of car someone drives; in fact, I used to know the tail light configuration of nearly every modern model on the road. If I'm paying attention when going somewhere, I can repeat the route reliably every time.

While some people have an internal monologue, I have internal video. It's not creative video; I'm not good at visualizing what things could look like, I'm good at remembering what they did look like. And I can call that up pretty much whenever I like. It's my own personal Google Earth.

Lately I've been thinking of KC. Coming into the city from the West, as I did a thousand times while driving in from Topeka, you can see the downtown KCMO skyline from miles away. It peeks out at you from between the hills on the North side of the Kaw (Kansas) River, along which I-70 runs. All the major freight trains also run along that route between I-70 and the river. As you approach downtown, the train lines expand into train yards, wide swaths of tracks bathed in a hundred thousand floodlights, running between power and manufacturing plants, down in the valley below the highway. Somewhere around the 18th Street Expressway the train bottoms are so visible that they become their own river of twinkling lights, running on toward downtown, which rises up from them at the junction of the Kaw and Missouri rivers. The glass tower of One Kansas City Place presides over the shimmering crystal mountain, keeping watch over the Power & Light building as its art deco top is bathed in alternate colors of light, and supported around the edges by smaller buildings such as the four concrete towers of Bartle Hall suspending the convention center over the mad conflagration of I-70, I-670, and I-35. The Bartle Hall support towers were crowned by some artist's futuristic metal sculptures which shine beams of light in all directions, three small ones and one large on the tower closest to the center of the city, and these alien spaceships grin back at you, looking ready to launch into the sky at any moment. Beyond the valley to the South of the main skyline there's a hill that struggles to steal glory from downtown, and on it rises the lone monolith of the Liberty Memorial, the country's only World War I memorial, which smolders with red fire at its apex hundreds of feet in the air, supported by a giant stone angel at each compass point and forever burning in memory of people long forgotten.

I've seen that view perhaps tens of thousands of times. The first time I can remember was riding in the back seat of my mother's car as we crossed the Kaw on the 7th Street Viaduct. It was only a little different then, with a few less towers and alien spaceships, but it was no less amazing. I can see it just as clearly in my mind's eye right now, immune in this view from the distorting tears it struggles to pull from my eyes.

Yes, sometimes I miss Kansas.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hey, I'm walkin' here!

So, let me just get this out of the way quickly: McJock (see below) is coming to visit from Philly. I'm completely thrilled and looking forward to it. We've been exchanging emails and talking on the phone. He's incredibly sweet, smart, and thoughtful. We seem to have some interests in common, such as electronic music. He definitely gets me hot and bothered. At the very least I think I've made a new friend, and anything else is bonus. And that is all I will babble, lest I embarrass myself!

It's funny, in the past few months I've begun to really feel like a New Yorker. There are upsides and downsides to that.

On the downside, I actually yelled, "get the fuck out of the way!" to a car that was blocking the crosswalk when I had the green light. A window was open so I know the driver heard me, though he did as I demanded and quickly moved on, so I'm not sure if he flipped me off or anything. It was just a tiny explosion, completely unplanned, and I shocked myself more than a little. I walked the rest of the way home bemused. I'm definitely more abrasive than I was as a meek Midwestern boy.

On the upside, I've been out of my apartment a lot. Jink told me about the old NYC chicken and egg question: do New Yorkers have small apartments because they're always out or are New Yorkers always out because they have small apartments? I certainly can't answer that, but I've been out nearly every evening lately, and it feels good. I spent most of my first two years here moping in my apartment, so I think this is a definite improvement.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Weekend with the Sister

Blogging every day is a lot harder than it sounds! I think I need to be more succinct. I just finished the Philly weekend report and I've already had another whole weekend in between.

So here goes:

Friday, out on the town with my sister and her gorgeous boyfriend. He's not at all my type, but he has these classic good looks that made me do double takes every time I'd catch a glimpse of him out of the corner of my eye. Freaky. Sister was as difficult as ever. I love her because she's just like me. Except less refined and experienced. She'll be a hell of a cruise director one day. We went to the Buzzcock party at the Eagle. Boyfriend was quite interested in the skinhead porn being shown on the big screen. Seriously. We all kept catching him looking. After that we headed to Batcave, the goth club, with Spiky, SkinC, and BabyB. Boyfriend and sister weren't very into it, I think, as they didn't dance. They soon headed off to do their own thing and I danced the night away with my boys. Spiky and BabyB came back to crash at my place at like 4am and Spiky headed home after we chilled out for a bit.

BabyB and I had to get up hella early and go to Rock Center to get M&M's in the colors of the leatherboy pride flag (hunter green, red, white, and black). I work at 30 Rock during the week, and I always complain about the tourists, but let me tell you it's FAR worse on the weekends. We mistakenly bought $60 worth of M&M' was all in bulk so we couldn't back out of it once we'd filled our bags. I'm still catching heat from the club for that one, and justifiably, though the message has been received.

Then BabyB and I headed over to GMSMA's Leatherfest at The Center. Jink and Rare had put together an excellent table for the club that was perfected by our M&M's. The event overall was a lot of fun! Big L was there with his clan I flirted furiously with him. When all was said and done, I decided to just head home, as I was exhausted. Sister was doing her own thing all day, so I just crashed at home for all of Saturday evening.

Sunday I got up and went to church at Smoky Mary's. I just love that place so much. Once again, I'm agnostic. But services there just make me happy and the organ is exceptional. I'm glad I found the place.

Met sister, boyfriend, Jink, and Spiky for gay brunch at Boxer's. There was a big sign that Boxer's lost their lease!!! Much sadness, as it was our new favorite place for gay brunch. We had a nice one otherwise, after which sis and bf headed off again, and I went butch man shopping at Dave's with the boys. I chilled at home some more, hung out with Rare for a while, tried to get my cable modem working (HATE TIME WARNER), and then headed down to meet sis at the Brooklyn Bridge. We walked across said bridge and had pizza at Grimaldi's, the best pizza in NYC according to almost every authority. Boyfriend got us lost on some pier access road which was actually below the highway that runs along the East River. It's the only time I've ever felt a little nervous in NYC...there was absolutely no where to go if anything bad would have happened. It was fine though, so I didn't have to kill him. We hopped on the train and headed back up to Times Square, where we said our goodbyes.

It was super weird saying goodbye to my sister. Walking home, the past two years really came crashing down on me. It's crazy what I've done with my life. I uprooted myself from Kansas and came halfway across the country for a crazy relationship that didn't work out. My best friend in Topeka died a lot earlier than he would have had I stayed (no way to know that for sure, but I believe it in my bones). I've been through the ringer in NYC. I've also met some amazing people and made some very close friends. I don't know what it was...I guess I just normally don't stop and consider everything that has happened. I don't regret any of my decisions, but I don't think I realized at the time how momentous the really were, at least to my little life. I cry too often and too easily lately, and rarely from sadness.

So that was this weekend. This blog post is no shorter than those before, so I guess I don't have the hang of "succinct" just yet. I'll work on it.

The rest of the story...

So Philadelphia is much more that crappy churches.

John lives there, which is why I go to visit every few months. John rocks. He's kinky but oddly averse to all things leather. I don't even think he likes me to wear it, though gawd knows that doesn't stop me.

John and I met on AOL ages ago...I guess it was...what? 2002? That doesn't seem long enough ago. Maybe 2001. (It's a good thing I'm writing this journal, I've forgotten most of my life at this point and more slides down the drain every day.) We used to have long involved chats while we were both at work. Eventually I flew from KC to Philly to visit him and we got along very well. It was just good fortune that landed me so close to Philly. With my visits with Justin and Scott becoming less and less frequent (hell, Justin never has come to NYC) John really qualifies as my oldest friend who I see regularly.

John has the most adorable little house in Center City. It must have been built 200 years ago or something. Benjamin Franklin's best blow buddy up the block probably lived there when they were kids. It's three stories tall but still not much bigger square footage-wise than a two-bedroom apartment. The stairs are steep and treaturous; people were tiny back then! He lives right in the middle of the gayborhood, and for all that NYC is pretty much gay all over, I'm a tad jealous. He has a very friendly feeling neighborhood gay bar and restaurant only two blocks away which I really like. In Hell's Kitchen we have gay bars and gay restaurants, but rarely do the two meet. This one is very traditional-looking, dark, and very comfortable. I'd go there all the time if it was in my 'hood.

But John has been making new friends lately, and they're pretty damn cool, as evidenced by the fact that they like to hang out in this very sleazy dive bar called The Post. The Post has strippers wandering giving lap dances and such. The Post allows smoking indoors even though it's been outlawed in Philly. The Post is low-ceilinged, dark, and vaguely dank, which makes it right up my alley.

Anyhow, so we're sitting in the bar, and I'm looking cute and charming all of John's friends, when in walks this hunk of man. The arms on this guy! You should have seen him. And his face was quite charming as well, in a sortof-innocent kind of way. Like real innocence, not the fake BS that boys in Chelsea think they fool everyone with. I mean he looked like he'd never said a bitchy word about anyone, and like maybe despite the fact that he was gorgeous he might not have an attitude, and he'd talk with normal people without condescending. In other words, he looked like a real person who was confident enough in himself not to have to raise himself above others in order to get through the night smiling. That's so fucking sexy on a man. We're talking instant wood here.

So I made eyes at him. Shamelessly. And I really didn't think it was working. I mean, let's face it, I'm not exactly at my most confident with the muscle guys. Everybody likes muscles, it seems, and everybody wants them, and they generally want nothing to do with scrawny boys like me. So I'm not getting my hopes up. And pretty soon I just gave up, or got distracted, or otherwise lost track of him.

Later, after we'd wandered into a darker and danker back room, John pushed me. Right into Mr. Sexy! I was a little tipsy, but I wouldn't have stumbled this badly on my own, I swear. I didn't mind though, because he let me buy him a drink. And that was all the excuse I needed to start blathering about my crazy life! Only it didn't seem to scare him away. Which was odd but pleasant.

Anyhow, long story short (yeah, right) we closed the bar down and as we were leaving he asked me to hang out more with him. Gawd, I wanted to. And I'm not normally that kind of girl...mostly because I like to plan ahead for these things, for a variety of reasons. But I totally wanted to go. And then we got to talking about it, and John had no extra key to his place, and he was definitely falling straight asleep, and how well did I know Mr. Stud, what if I needed to get back to John's before morning? Plus I was there to visit John for the weekend. So, after vascillating drunkenly in the street, I finally had to decline. It's just good policy not to push these things.

I got his card though! Hooray!

So that was Philly...I managed to get up for church the next morning, as you can see below. John and I had a relaxing afternoon together and saw an IMAX movie. Overall, a very nice weekend, and a welcome break from the crazy city.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

All that glitters...

I'm obsessed with church. Yes, a big element of the fascination comes from the fact that most pipe organs are housed there. And much of the appeal aside from the organs lies in the "pretty factor," i.e., how the choir sounds, how involved the liturgy is, how interesting the building and accessories are, and generally how a services is conducted. However, there's also a sociological fascination that has very little to do with the physical elements, and everything to do with a feeling of amazement that humans pour such resources into places of worship. Logic rules my thoughts and my life, though it is usually well-disguised by the (calculated) inanity of my social interactions, and there is a deep disconnect for me between critical thought and the incredible faith people put in things which they cannot see and which cannot be proved.

At any rate, my taste runs towards "high church." Think Roman Catholic before Vatican II. Think incense and robes and choirs and lots of ritual. I appreciate dignity and solemnity. I weep at the thought of guitars and drums in church. I don't want to feel good during a service, I want to feel awed. And thus I am an Episcopalian of the anglo-catholic variety.

Last weekend I made a trip to Philly to visit my friend John, a truly great guy and one of my oldest friends. Naturally I sought out recommendations for pipe organs I should hear. I was given several ideas but I settled on St. Clement's, which was advertised as the most anglo-catholic of them all.

First things first: the organ is outstanding. It's an old Austin which has been carefully restored and revoiced. It occupies an appropriately honorable place at the front of the church, split between left and right. It was described as "aloof" and indeed it is, the sound seems to come from some distance, it has a softness and a subtlety, neither of which adjectives are normally associated with my favorite instruments, but in this case which work very successfully. Yes, it did come down to earth and shake the firmament when fully cranked up, and I suspect the sucessful and transparent electronic stop additions were important in grounding the music when called for. However these positive elements somehow never collected together and moved me; while I enjoyed the sound, I was resolutely in a curious mood during all uses of the instrument. It never really reached out and grabbed me as some do. Overall I found it very enjoyable and unique, just not overwhelming.

The choir was also exceptional. The director was quite animated and clearly reheared his people a lot. Even when their sound was a bit strained (about half were volunteers, half paid singers) they always had impeccable unison and timing.

The service, however, was abhorrent. I have been to a lot of Episcopalian services with many different liturgical styles. The liturgy here was vastly different than any I have previously encountered. This would have been fine had the bulliten been of any help keeping up with everything, but it was nearly useless. There were many local customs, none of which were explained or even listed in the bulliten. The effect was to leave me feeling like a bumbling idiot who had never been to mass before, a feeling I haven't had in a very long time. The place was relatively empty, filled perhaps to an eighth of its capacity, so there was so much free space between me and the other patrons that I felt my errors were on prominent display. Oddly, most of the people in the congregation were men, I saw only a handful of women. The rector was from Britain and his cold upper-class accent served to distance him from the rabble gathered there. In the pulpit he very strongly hinted that separation of church and state was a foolish idea!!! Now I realize there are conservative Episcopalian congregations, but this was just ridiculous. It was the first time I had ever considered walking out on a sermon.

I did not take communion. I was just too upset and uncomfortable to participate. I felt unwelcome.

I ran out of the church after service without shaking hands with the ministers or speaking to anyone. I will not return.

I'm sorry that my first pipe organ review must be sullied by such an unsatisfactory report on a church. Rest assured that for the next time I'm doing a special report on an out of town adventure, I'll do more research.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Candies of fun.

Julie Cruise Director here, reporting in from a pay phone which she assures you is nowhere near her secret hideaway from the Feds. Julie would never make such an amateur mistake. However, Julie has been pushed to extreme measures, as this call had to be made even before the next delivery from the pharmacy, which take place every six hours.

Julie must immediately issue a public apology. Julie sincerely regrets the recent Halloween candy mix-up. Julie assure all the parents of her hideaway neighborhood that it was an honest mistake which led the sweet Cruise Director to believe that if Commit lozenges made smokers not want a cigarette, then giving them to non-smoking little children would actually build their defenses against the evil lure of cigarettes which they are sure to face later in life. No! Julie meant no harm. Julie loves the little children, all the children of the world. Julie wants the little children to grow up to be big and strong, and to slave away at soul-killing office jobs, so they'll make enough money to occasionally splurge a little of it on a lovely holiday cruise! Julie is especially fond of the 'Salons of 9th Avenue' cruise, and healthy lungs are definitely in order, as it is sometimes necessary to hold your breath for long periods, at least until you're two blocks upwind of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Julie had no idea all the little children would demand that their parents return them to Julie's humble hideout home, desperately seeking more lozenges. Julie absolutely wanted to assist the parents as they attempted to break up the bloody melee which erupted when the little heathens realized that there were no more luscious lozenges, and the bigger of the monkey spawn fell upon the smaller, seeking to rend their plastic pumpkins asunder, revealing the secret stashes of gleaming lozenge love hidden within. Julie cannot help that her laser-guided security perimeter was activated and the drones mistook the little brats for terrorists bearing bottles of deadly Gatorade, thus authorizing lethal force. No! Julie would never wish such a thing on future cruisers.

Julie has an alcohol problem. Julie knows it's not an excuse, but it's true. Julie was also touched inappropriately by a nun when she was in third grade. Julie can't be held responsible for these minor lapses in judgment. It could happen to anyone in her condition! What Julie needs is professional help, and believe me, Julie is getting it. In fact, the pharmacy is making an emergency delivery in 20 minutes, so Julie has got to sign off, as she must get through decon before the sweet little pharmacy boy arrives with the candies. Medication. Julie knows it's medication. Don't question Julie!

Julie loves me, this I know, for her doctor tells her so.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It was not a good thing.

I'm very ambivalent about Halloween. The one time I chose to celebrate it here in NYC, I went with Joey to the parade, and that was a disaster of crushed bodies through which I was pulled like a flailing water-skier, attempting to apologize in the wake of the large man-boy parting the crowds like Moses himself. I lost several of my home-made CDs off my jeans that night, which was sad as that project may have been the one time in my life I was artistically inspired.

Later that night Joey dragged me to an apartment party of some boy he wanted to schtup, where he left me in the clutches of a demented Martha Stewart from Leawood, Kansas. In case you don't yet know, being from Kansas is not a sufficient attribute to have in common to create good conversation, especially when said Martha was thoroughly drunk and insisted on shoving her cheap cupcakes (how I wish that was an euphemism) in my face.

This sad sack of a boy was from Leawood, one of the most tony of the suburbs in Johnson County, Kansas, a place which has as little to do with the rest of the state as bacon does with bagels. I am from Kansas City, Kansas, which is Wyandotte County, adjacent to the North of Johnson County, and home to an odd collection of gangsters, hicks, and old world Croatian families too stubborn (read: poor) to move to the 'burbs (guess which I was). The 'Dotte could be a very dangerous place, and those from Johnson County rarely found reason to go there, other than perhaps when tromping one of our high school football teams, which happened regularly, as tax income used for education in Kansas was by law only allowed to be used in the county in which it was generated, and Johnson County kids thus attended great citadels of modern education on lush campuses while kids in the 'Dotte sweltered in old buildings without even air conditioning, let alone modern physical education equipment.

So you see, meeting a demented and drunk Martha Stewart from Leawood was not exactly my idea of fun on Halloween. When it opened its mouth and began discussing how it drove a Mercedes in high school, I was appropriately vicious and venomous in my responses. I was not drunk and my bitch skills were well honed long before I arrived in NYC. This, naturally, soon earned me a cheap cupcake to the face. Johnson County boys can be so sensitive! I probably knew his father paid for his Mercedes by working some awful corporate job, rather than by making his mother walk the darkest parts of Prospect Avenue at night, but the latter seemed a reasonble guess at the moment.

At any rate, Joey was perceptive enough to remove us from that confined space quickly after the cupcake incident. Johnson County boys may have beat us at football, but they always hopped quickly into their luxury vehicles after the game, as they knew better than to stay around and face 'Dotte-style vengeance, some of which was nigh on making an appearance in a cramped Chelsea apartment.

The night deteriorated from that point, though I believe I began to drink enough to fuzzy up my memory. I know there was a very unwise trip through the projects of West Chelsea on our way to the Eagle, during which I was hit in the back by a thrown egg that miraculously bounced off me and spattered harmlessly on the ground. Rather than use it to make more cupcakes, Martha attempted to call down the wrath of housekeeping on the culprits using a wildly-wielded wooden spoon, though I believe she was distracted and led away by a Prada carrot on a stick. I vaguely remember an ill-advised attempt by an older patron to remove her apron at the Eagle, which prompted more girlish screaming than even the real Martha could muster, and after that I believe my brain quit functioning. Mercifully.

All of which is reason enough, I think, for a certain ambivalence about the spooky holiday.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Your hair is on fire.

Howdy y'all, this is Julie Cruise Director, phoning it in from an undisclosed location. I paid the pharmacy delivery boy for his minutes, but there's always a chance that big brother has discovered his phone number or implanted a radio in his head, in which case they're triangulating on this signal now. So Julie will make it quick.

Julie Cruise Director is saddened to report the early departure of one of her favorite cruisers, but Joey was warned not to lean across the railing. Julie cannot be held liable for any personal injury or death incurred while cruising. Joey should have remembered the disclaimer he signed before he started climbing the rails like a monkey. No, Julie's nervous tick in her arm had nothing to do with the accident. Julie is under professional medical care for that problem and cannot help it if the pills hadn't quite kicked in yet.

Julie will be making a brief public appearance on All Souls' Day at her favorite church (Julie likes to think of it as the flaming spinster of Times Square). Yes, you really should join her, as you have no doubt sinned a month's worth of sin by now, and Julie is, despite murmerings to the contrary, deeply concerned for the well being of your eternal soul. No, Julie is not going to send up a prayer over dear, departed Joseph, as we all knew he was damned to begin with. Julie wastes no time on lost causes.

And to those who have been considering jumping ship during Julie's unfortunate isolation, Julie wants to know why her emails are not sufficient for you? Suddenly you think Debbie Cruise Director can lead a decent tour? You think Debbie could have found that yak's hidden birthing ground in Greece? You think Debbie can lead you to the alien artifacts in a certain French volcano? You think Debbie knows a single word of the language of the Chilean indigenous peoples? You should watch it...Julie and Debbie have a feud that goes way back to 15 minutes ago. You don't wanna make Julie mad. I mean, it IS Julie's cruise and all. Debbie came along later. And only because the psychiatrist recommended that Julie not be left alone. But he's a quack. Julie is fine. Julie takes her pills. It's Debbie who you need to watch out for. She's got a radio transmitter in her hair, Julie saw it.

Julie can say no more until you're wearing a protective helmet.

Thank you for your time and attention. Life preservers are located in the bins near the exists, and in an emergency your seat cushion may also be used as a flotation device. No, there was no time to throw one to Joey.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Pick It

Monday night I hosted the Colors Committee of New York boys of Leather at my apartment. ( It had been a long time since we met and there was much to discuss.

Conversation quickly devolved into my unfortunate condition. Apparently I have a chronic resemblance to a muppet. I am not quite sure when I acquired this strange ailment, nor exactly how it is to be treated.

I suppose not yelling "I am a hot toe picker!" randomly on the street in the screechiest voice I can manage might beat down the dastardly little microbes evidently controlling my brain.

But really, what fun would that be?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Coup De Blog

So there's been a coup at the Couch Stalker Compound. Joey is out. Not that I don't love Joey, because believe me, the love we share is deep and profound. Rather it's just that I'm lazy. I have decided to write a blog which is more personal in nature and signing up for a new account just seems too much work.

Not to worry, dear readers, as I have not given up stalking! No, my targets must still quake as they lie asleep at night staring at their ceilings, wondering what diabolical ploys I am developing from my very comfy Couch of Doom.

Instead of pure stalking goodness, my blog will now have a complete recitation of my daily activities. That will come along with the occasional report on a leather event, perhaps a pipe organ recital review or two, and the odd hilarious story gleaned from my extraordinary exploits in Gotham.

I have also entered into an exclusive agreement with Julie Cruise Director, a talented but reclusive organizer of spectacular outings to exotic destinations where wildly inappropriate fashion is worn and all innocence is lost. Julie will report irregularly from the ragged edge of her internal reality. I am assured that the federal investigation will ultimately exonerate Julie in the case of Joey's untimely death, but until that time she will only be able to report when her medication is delivered to her hideout. Security precludes any land lines or cell phones at that compound, so Julie borrows the cell phone of the sweet boy who comes from the pharmacy.

Stay tuned in and enjoy all the blogging goodness. It should prove to be delightfully inane, if nothing else.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hands-free creamin'!

Joe just posted his first video on his blog.

I just creamed my pants. I love you Joe! I want to have your babies.

In other news...

It's getting hot in here, and I'm taking off all my clothes.

Monday, June 19, 2006

But were there boots?

I was trudging out of Folsom Street East, completely exhausted after half a day in the sun drinking and the other half in the sun guarding the 11th Avenue gate, sharing a wealth of fun limericks with my fellow radioheads, when I spotted Joe. I was so tired that I could find no quick hiding place from which to yell, "We love you Joe!"

That, my friends, is pretty damn tired. I admit to being lazy, I am the Couch Stalker after all, but when the target is making himself into such an easy, public target, even the laziest stalker should take that handout. No, I was downright tired, barely able to lift my boots, and while this is no excuse, it will have to serve as my explanation. Gentle readers, I will not fail you next time.

I didn't even get a good look at his footgear. I'm going to give Joe the benefit of the doubt and assume he knows to wear boots to Folsom. The cargo shorts I can forgive, but flip-flops might have been too much. Some things are unforgiveable, even on Joe.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

On My Knees

So I've decided that I will be stalking Robert, the organist/choirmaster at St. Mary the Virgin in Times Square. I should have realized he was sexy ages ago, but they hide the organist away in a tiny loft in the rear of the church, so despite many trips for Evensong, I'd not had a good look at him. Today, however, I found a good photo of him on the NYC Chapter of the American Guild of Organists web page.


So watch it, Robert. We aim to get a good look at your pipes, at the very least.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Watch Their Watering Holes

When stalking reluctant prey, one of the best approaches is to scope out the places they frequent. To that end (okay, there were other ends, not the least of which were beer and hanging with Spiky Dave), I found myself at the NY Eagle this evening.

And what a blustery evening it was! More than once Spiky Dave and I were brought up cold from our steady walking pace by a sudden gust of wind. I'm afraid I was squinting for most of the evening with grit in my eye, but I wasn't worried--a few facial ticks and some excessive squinting in dark rooms can only reinforce the target's fear that his stalker is, in fact, quite mad.

This might also explain why I was somewhat startled when, while squinting through a very PC leather community conversation with Duce Dave and Lolita, the bearded face of Joe appeared, swimming through the crowd. All grit, not to mention decorum, completely lost, my eye went to saucers and I grabbed ahold of Spiky to whisper "THERE'S JOE!" fiercely in his ear. It is truly a blessing to know such relaxed souls as Spiky Dave, who doesn't seem to mind that I often grab him at odd times, and rarely explain my inappropriate outbursts.

Later, during a salmonesque shove through that same room (on my way to have a cig with Amazingly Beautiful Tattooed Shoulder Man), I had an even closer encounter. I was clearly fighting upstream against a flood of men, including the target himself! A wiggle to the left was all that was required to put myself in a tangental shove past him. And much to my joy, at the "which one of us is going to give way?" moment of question which all men in crowded bars know so well, we made eye contact. I pushed, and quietly but clearly enunciated, "Hi Joe!" He said, "Hello," and we slid across each other.

Such rapture! My cig with ABTSM was nearly silent. Direct contact with the target, and one on one flirty time with a huge chunk of sexy man who only 15 minutes ago had deigned to allow a complete stranger (me!) to lick his thick tattooed shoulder. I even got a little taste of pit.

A good night, indeed.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Joe will be mine

The subject of our first stalk is:


Okay, so yeah, we're not the only ones stalking Joe. He's been nominated for "best blog" awards by several major online sources. Half of the gay world online reads him, and a lot of the straights, too.

And for good reason! His stories are amazing and amazingly well written. His political views are satisfyingly left, but the thinking kind of left, not the knee-jerk kind. His observations on NYC and Manhattan offer a rare perspective of honest insight tempered with humor and fondness for the city.

And he's hot. Oh, so hot.

Here and there Joe has even let slip an interest in leather. The odd photo of him all buffed up in a harness is enough to get any boy's heart racing. Yes, we know his circuit boy body days are a couple years past, but for boys like Joey and I, it really doesn't matter.

We slobber after him with a mix of daddy-lust, celebrity-awe, and that rare "if someone as smart as you sleeps with me then I can't be all that dumb" adoration. It's a deadly brew, at once intoxicating and motivating.

And, of course, we're not his type. Reading between the lines makes that much clear. A couple of recon missions by good friends has yielded proof. As near as we can tell, he likes them older, beefier, and hairier than either Joey or I can claim.

Yet somehow, this makes us want him more.

Joey has simply never been denied anything in his entire life. He doesn't whine and stamp his feet to get what he wants; he just keeps asking. He has worn down the resolve of granite statues with this technique. Christian is fond of a quieter, more insidious approach to stalking. This is sometimes referred to as the "ass glued to the couch" technique. It takes a bit longer, yes, but you'd be surprised how effective it can be!

Beware, Joe. Our two-pronged approach to your prong may be the most dangerous challenge you've faced in this city.

Greetings from your hosts

Welcome to Couch Stalker! Who are we and what is our blog? Well, the latter has no answer as of yet, but at least I can cover the former.


Joey is a 21-year-old business college student. He lives with his parents in Westchester, because despite the geographical pressure, they are too wise to support his debauchery on a 24/7 basis, forcing him to come home occassionally to wash his clothes, and thus do his homework.

Joey avoids the dreaded "bridge and tunnel" label by spending every possible moment in Manhattan, so many moments, in fact, that he has fooled many into thinking he actually lives here. Many suspect that he sleeps in Grand Central at least two or three nights per week.

Those who are closer to Joey know that he is in fact a slut of historic proportions; he holds the unique honor of taking the post-sex shower in more bathrooms in this city than any other gay man in his age group.


Christian is a 30-year-old legal secretary. He was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, spent most of his 20s in Topeka, Kansas, and relocated to NYC in August of 2004. He makes his home in Chelsea, where he got a terrific deal on an excellent apartment, yet he still teeters on the brink of financial ruin trying to pay for it.

Most New Yorkers don't guess that Christian is from the Midwest. He was more a fish out of water there than in the big city. Still, he has watched some of his smaller town values erode in the past year and a half, and he cringes inside a little every time he shoulders a tourist out of the way on a subway platform.

The importance of guilt in Christian's life cannot be underestimated. Of his four grandparents, three were devout Catholics, and one was a devout Pentecostal. Despite this, Christian's parents are not religious, and he grew to be a very happy agnostic. Because of that strange mix of formal and emotional, on those days when his past is closest to the surface, you'll find Christian in a high Anglo-Catholic church, crying during a pipe organ recital.

Joey and Christian share a love of leather. Broadly defined, leather is a sub-culture of kinky sex, fetishism, and the social community that surrounds the gay man's expression thereof. Leather has occassionally found mainstream expression in the American culture, such as with the Village People. While its roots go back decades to times of oppression and secrecy, the modern expression of leather is rather liberal and open. Instead of attempting to categorize Joey or Christian, let's just say that they are likely to talk a lot about alternative, and sometimes extreme, sexuality.

Oh, yeah, and we may stalk people from time to time. From the comfort of our couches, of course. And occassionally, when we're really worked up, we may even stalk a couch or two.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


So I met Joe (again) and he kept repeating my age back at me...but there's something undeniably attractive about a man when he's shocked/frightened.

Sadly, he eventually moved on, and I slept with someone else whose name escapes me.