Monday, December 31, 2007


Every year when I write these updates it seems that I have just had my most dramatic year yet, full of the biggest changes of my life.  For once I think that I may have just had a year which won't be topped in the change department.

I will write updates soon on all of the recent developments.  For now, suffice it to say that I am in love.  It's an unexpected, un-euphemistic, uncomplicated, unquestionable kind of love.  It came out of no where and hit me sideways, taking me completely off guard, and not only am I defenseless, I can't think of a single reason to slow it down or stop it.  I never would have expected the year to end like this, but I'm very glad it is.

I am very happy and hopeful.

Thank you to Dave, for knowing exactly when tough and tender love are needed.  Thank you to Scott, for constancy that spans more years than that of any other, and for being the most inspirationally brave person I know.  Thank you to John, for giving me my 25th chance (at least).  Thank you to Dale, Direktor Dave, Brad, Jerry, John, Blaise, Spiky, Jake, and Ray, for teaching me about the nature of friendship, new and old.  Thank you to Papa, who understands what makes a home.  Special thanks go out to Matti, who understands some things better than those who should be teachers, and who may have saved my life.

Best wishes to everyone for 2008.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

You so crazy.

Ah, evangelicals.

Towleroad reports that Pat Robertson is claiming the highway Interstate 35 was mentioned specifically in the Bible as the "way of holiness" and should now be used to cleanse America of sin.

I was born and lived most of my life in Kansas City, where I-35 bisects the metro area from Southwest to Northeast. It's impossible to live in KC without spending hours on this highway. Rest assured, it is both full of sin itself and a conduit to many sins around the city. The number of times the Lord's name has been used in vain while waiting in traffic jams must be easily in the trillions. And if the evangelicals begin their cleansing with the most obvious and egregious offenders--the car dealerships lining most of the highway--they'll need far more than 35 days just to clean those up! The gay bars and strip joints won't get attention until 2010.

Why must so many "religious" people behave so stupidly?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Brains, delicious brains.

I regret I haven't posted more lately. Life has just been overwhelmingly busy. Fortunately it's also a lot of fun and good things are happening. I'll be back to report soon. For now:

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dinghy, dong.

Julie is in a long-term coma and there are no indications of brain activity. The lawsuit regarding the disposition of her body will rage for years. Barring some miraculous return to consciousness, I imagine her feeding tube will be removed by a helpful night nurse any day now.

Don't cry for her, New York City. Y'all had good times, and cruising will go on without her.

By the way, law enforcement officials are looking for a shady character named Tate, who is wanted for questioning regarding the fateful evening when Julie received an unexplained blunt force trauma to the back of her head.

Friday, October 26, 2007

And I always claimed to be a geek.

Your Score: Pure Nerd

52 % Nerd, 43% Geek, 21% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


Also, you might want to check out some of my other tests if you're interested in any of the following:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Professional Wrestling

Love & Sexuality


Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I aim to misbehave.

Above: Washington State Troopers were named the "best dressed State law enforcement agency" by the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors. I'll consider doing my own personal investigation into this question. I am quite impressed that the puppy gets his own uniform!

I caught this thanks to the magnificently-named Keckler.

Uniforms are especially on my mind because NYboL's gear party last Saturday was uniform-themed and particularly successful, in my humble opinion. MAUL made quite a splash with their entrance in force. It looked like the bar was being raided! At some point I was handcuffed for some infraction. I vowed to commit greater crimes next time. Later, while we were getting some fresh air on the sidewalk, three lovely old tourist ladies asked to have their photo taken with the dashing officers. Fantastic. Thanks to all who attended.

Next month's theme is rubber. Mark your calendars for November 17th.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

R.I.P. Natasha LaBelle

Always big, but never too much a diva to chase the mice.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Everything's up to date.

I'm very homesick today. I don't know why.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I haven't posted much lately because my life has been crazy.

Last week I was busy every evening with something I had to do, and while much of it was fun stuff like the Tori concert, it's still exhausting not having any down time. The weekend was also spent running around taking care of things, and then was topped off with an early Sunday, because I had to be at church to serve at the altar at both the 10:00am and 11:00am services.

I really, really enjoy being an altar server at church, but by Sunday afternoon I could feel myself wearing down. I wasn't feeling well at all by the evening, and I ended up being sick through Tuesday. I'm still getting my strength back today.

Then work has also been busy, topped off with a lost client last night. And when I say "lost" I literally mean lost--he didn't show for an appointment and we couldn't find him. He's an 85 year old man, so it was a big concern. This morning we finally heard from him and learned that he had blacked out on his way to our office, only waking up much later and finding himself inexplicably in Midtown. As bad as that sounds, it could have gone much worse, so it was a relief to hear that he was home and safe. I had to go down to his place this morning to take care of various paperwork to resolve his matter. Apparently he has no family, and his living conditions are so sad that I'm about to cry while writing this. It's squalor, really, right in the middle of the largest city in the most advanced country on this planet. Not because he has no money--he appears to have plenty--he simply has no one who cares about him. Being in his apartment this morning was deeply disturbing to me. I have a lot to think about.

I have never felt so much like a spoiled, selfish American brat. What are these things that matter to me, the silliness that I blog about? Rope light bondage and exotic pipe organs seem so irrelevant when I'm forced to look at the unmet needs of fellow humans. How is it that I can ignore these things so completely for 99% of my life? How long will this feeling last before I go back to ignoring that which violates my sense of what is proper in the world? I can feel my imaginary world full of acceptable right angles--it's just around the corner, ready to reassert itself at any moment. Should I fight it off? Can I fight it off?

Is this a mid-life crisis? I thought I had at least another ten years before I had to worry about one of those. Oy vay.

So that's me, checking in. When this ride slows a bit, hopefully I'll have more stories to share.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tonight, tonight.

Above: the five concept characters from Tori Amos's latest release, American Doll Posse. From left to right we have Santa, Clyde, Isabel, Tori, and Pip. One day I'll figure out why Tori is holding a chicken.

Thank god it's Friday.

Tonight Matti and I are going to see Tori at the Madison Square Garden Theater. We have pretty good seats, if I'm not mistaken. We're in the second balcony, but only a row or two back from the front, which should be good. We were online the instant tickets went on sale, but with all the brokers lately, it's almost impossible to get good seats through the normal routes.

I first saw Tori live on June 13, 2006, during her Dew Drop Inn tour, subsequent to the release of Boys for Pele. She played Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, a dinky little venue where area Catholic high schools also had their graduations. She sat alone with her piano, harpsichord, and organs, and she was fantastic.

Over the years I've seen her a couple more times, last with Scott in Kansas City, during the Scarlet's Walk tour.

Describing what Tori's music has meant to me over the years would be very difficult. I am intimately familiar with her first three albums. In fact, I'd venture to say that they contain the most influential music on my late adolescence and early adult life.

Her influence in my life has waned over the years, as she moved towards electronics and mainstream themes. Still, she produces quality work that I'm very happy to hear interspersed with her more classic material.

And I've never been to the Garden before!

All that remains to be seen is which of the five concept characters from the latest album will open the show tonight. Matti and I are hopeful we'll get Santa. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Honey, I'm taking up scuba diving.

Sometimes I wonder why I can't get more boys interested in going to church with me. All the kinkiest people are at church!

Take, for instance, the minister of Montgomery, Alabama's Thorington Road Baptist Church. Rev. Aldridge was found dead, alone in his home, hogtied, dressed in two wetsuits, a rubber mask, rubber gloves and socks, with many leather and rubber belts and straps holding it all together, and all topped off with a dildo up his butt.

Of course there's no way to be sure, but I suspect that this poor man would still be alive if he had an accepting support structure around him. He managed to have some incredibly elaborate gear sex alone (how does one hogtie oneself?!?!), and it's staggering to think what he might have come up with if he had the chance to explore his kink with another like-minded man or woman. At least with someone else in the room he may not have strangled himself!

Today is National Coming out Day. It will pass quietly for me, as it does every year, because I have very few closets left. I'm lucky to live in NYC, where being different is pedestrian and conformity can be outrageous. However, for those who endure fearful lives in places like Alabama, having visible peers could make all the difference. I salute all the high-profile individuals who are brave enough to come out and live directly in the glare of today's media spotlight.

Visit Towleroad for lots of cool videos and coverage.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

12 Steps to Godliness

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

Blade Runner: The Final Cut

Above: Movie poster for Blade Runner, circa 1982.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut
Clearview Ziegfeld Theater
54th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues
Monday, October 15th, 8:30pm

Click this link to buy tickets.

Be sure to change the date to the 15th before you purchase.

This is an open invitation to join me in viewing this sci-fi classic. This version is a complete remastering and final cut by Ridley Scott. It is only playing in NYC and LA through October 18, so this will be your only chance to see it on the big screen.

I'm meeting my crew in the plaza in front of the theater at 8:00pm. We'll have plenty of time to hobnob, get snacks, and find good seats. I suggest buying tickets in advance, as this limited screening may be very popular.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

From Hell's heart, I stab at thee.

Above: screen shot from a Family Guy episode which featured a Wrath of Khan scene.

Last Friday afternoon I was browsing the movie listings when I noticed that Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan was screening at midnight. What??? Hello??? Wrath of Khan???

I'd seen listings for Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight, as well as a couple of other cult classics. But who ever heard of Wrath of Khan being included in that category of weird movies people will come out to see late at night? After contemplating this weirdness for about sixty seconds, I decided I could not miss it.

I sent out a call for victims, but it was last minute so not many could go. Matticakes and I headed down together after partaking of some herbal recreation. We fueled up with candy, popcorn, and soda at the theater.

From the credits it was clear that this was going to be a fun ride. All the actor names came up in classic 1980s style before any of the action began. The theater cheered for their favorites and you wouldn't believe how many loved George Takei!

It had been quite some time since I last saw this film. I completely forgot how campy it is! The audience laughed, quoted lines, and generally had a fun time. It wasn't quite the production that Rocky Horror would be, but it was still quite a party.

All in all, it was another great "only in NYC" evening.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Delicately Presbyterian.

Above: beauty shots of the new Casavant pipe organ at Brick Church.

Last night I heard Stephen Tharp play a lovely recital on the above instrument. This was my second experience with the instrument and my fourth Tharp recital. Overall, I think the Casavant is an incredibly interesting instrument that never quite becomes great, and Tharp is an fantastic recitalist and virtuoso.

First of all, Tharp is amazing. As this is the fourth recital of his I've heard in NYC over the past three years, I think I have a fair sampling of what he can do. He was actually the first organist I heard in recital in NYC, and that was on my first trip to St. Mary's, so I owe some of my recent elevated infatuation with both pipe organs and St. Mary's to him. His playing is spectacular. As another attendee aptly stated, he is capable of great flash for the grandiose pieces, as well as quiet beauty for the more serene moods. At times I could hardly believe how fast his fingers were moving. The Dupré was especially impressive--he laid into the 2nd Symphony at a breathtaking pace and he never let up through all three movements. The first movement was especially fun for me, as I have a recording of it I rather enjoy, and hearing it live for the first time played so very well was really special. Tharp had an entirely different take on the piece, one which I liked a lot better than the recording. I was on the edge of my seat.

The Casavant is a peculiar instrument. It's very, very good, make no mistake about that. It is unique in that it was built as a virtual copy of a Cavaillé-Coll French Symphonic instrument of the 19th Century. Modern materials were used, of course, but a vast number of too-technical-for-me details were created in the historic fashion, so the instrument probably comes close as any American pipe organ to accurately reproducing the sound for which the great French Symphonic composers wrote their music. This no-compromise approach to organ building is unique in the U.S., as by far most instruments are built here to adequately handle all of the major periods of pipe organ repertoire, rather than focusing on any one. The "plays everything" sound is, simply put, the origin of the American Classic school of organ building.

I appreciate the great effort and care that was devoted to creating this instrument, and I readily hail it as a success in reaching its goal. However, it's not really my favorite sound for pipe organs.

I think its strengths are its dynamic range and variety of colors in its solo stops. The organ can play so beautifully at nearly-inaudible volumes that I found myself sitting forward in my seat, straining to hear the teasing, subtle, precious sounds. From that low level it grows smoothly and steadily up to fortissimo, without a hint of any abrupt rank additions. Also, at times the solo stops sang out with incredibly interesting and colorful sounds. Unlike the Dobson at the Kimmel Center, I really felt the variety of options available in a 118 rank instrument, and every new rank presented a new idea.

The weaknesses for me came with the full organ sound. The organ seems weighted toward the high end of its range, without much gravitas in the bass. I know it has a full compliment of 32' and 16' stops, and I could certainly hear them played, but they never shook my insides. I want to feel the pew vibrating with the power of the final big chord. Perhaps the problem arises because the two sections of the organ reside on either side of the choir/altar area, and speak across that narrow space to each other, rather than directly out into the sanctuary. The result is a subtle difference which may not even be measurable in terms of volume, yet significantly affects the sound. Imagine a person singing a song just around a corner from where you are listening. You'll probably hear them without any trouble, but at least half of the sound will be the result of reflections, rather than hearing it directly, and the difference will stand out. The result is a somewhat muddy sound which kept me from hearing much of the quick keyboard work Mr. Tharp was doing, along with the lack of bass presence.

All in all, while it's easy to find issues with this pipe organ, it is still a gorgeous, complex, and unique instrument which I thoroughly enjoy hearing. Stephen Tharp brought out the best in it, without a doubt.

It was truly a lovely way to spend an evening, and well worth the trek to the stodgy Upper East Side. Why do I love scaring all the delicate Presbyterian ladies into clutching their pearls? I suppose I could wear my work drag and avoid all that, but it's really not me, so they just have to put up with my skinny black jeans and gold-skulled Vans. Oy, I'm a bad person.

Friday, September 28, 2007

There's no such thing.

Above: Bonfire, Spiky, and myself cheesin' it at Wednesday's Newd party. Yeah, we look like goobers, but clearly we don't care.

You love Nasty Pig don't you? Yeah, I know you do.

Well, I'm a little late posting this, but you should definitely check out David, owner of Nasty Pig, educating Mo Rocca on jean fit. It's hilarious.

Click here.

Frankly, I don't know what the debate is all about. There's no such thing as too tight, everyone knows that.

From the sound of things, if I moved to Idaho I could be governor. I love NYC and all, but that is somewhat tempting.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Big, bad, bold.

Above: photos from the Newd party last night at the Eagle.

Wow, what a good time that was. Do I look happy tying up the hottie? Actually, it was the end of the evening by then, and I was untying him. Hopefully a clear photo of the body harness will come through, because it was fairly impressive. Of course he looks hot with all the lights as well. Peter does an amazing job with the photos.

It's a good thing I'm not actually a bondage top, because I'd spend most of my time making things pretty, and very little worried about whether my bottom was having any fun!

I never thought I'd be part of performance art, but that's really what it is, and it a whole big bucket of fun. I'm going to be smiling about it for a long time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

All worked up.

Above: The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church of America.

As I said this weekend, I'm not a very good Episcopalian. Yes, I go to church and I make my donations, but my faith don't quite rise to the level of sainthood. In fact, I might best be called an agnostic theist, though I acknowledge the inherent contradictions and problems with that point of view. For me, contradictions are not a fatal flaw. Many, many elements of my life are at odds with each other and I feel no drive to resolve them. I nurture my contrary nature.

This is not to say that religion, and specifically the Episcopal Church of America, is not important to me. My participation is sincere. The inherent unprovable nature of deity does not invalidate the benefits of morality, ethics, love, support, and community which are the result of religion at its (arguably rarely seen) best. I cannot know and will not pretend to have discerned the nature and will of God, but the beliefs of the Episcopal Church constitute a reasonable "best guess" to me, and as a practical matter it is undeniable that my participation in church is a net benefit to my life, and I hope to the lives of others.

Then there's the fact that I'm a gay man. I don't think I need to delve into the variety of ways in which my life departs from the "traditional" American norm and the lifestyle of the majority. Read a few posts down if you have any doubts about that.

These two parts of my life are important to me, so I watch the "Current Unpleasantness" unfolding within the Anglican Communion with great interest. To briefly summarize the recent statement from the bishops: we love our gays, but we promise not to marry them or make them bishops until doing so isn't going to cause a rift in the Communion. Also: get off our turf, African bishops!

The last part is actually the easiest to support. How in the world can anyone allow the prejudices of the continent of Africa influence the lives of so many Americans?
We are vastly different cultures in far more ways than just our tolerance of homosexuality. We generally have no problem coexisting with those differences, though we'd never consider allowing one culture to impose its way of living on the other. Why in this one area does it become reasonable? Who are these American bishops who can look their peers in the eye while facilitating this incursion into their jurisdiction, which has borders that should be protected as a matter of course, for patriotic reasons, if nothing else? It boggles the mind.

As the issue of full inclusion of gays, I don't find myself terribly worked up about any of the recent events. I accepted long ago that I am on the outside of American culture. I don't believe in marriage for anyone--least of all the gays. Why are we fighting to join this failed, flawed, and feeble institution? My relationships are not likely to ever fit into the mold it demands. For the rest, I acknowledge that full inclusion and open participation for gays in every part of the church is an appropriate and admirable goal, and at the same time I'm not shocked or dismayed that we haven't quite reached it yet. To me it seems that the bishops are taking baby steps toward the goal, or at the very least are not giving up ground. Their most recent proclamation does not represent "caving in" to the African demands. They have merely slowed the rate of progression toward full inclusion.

We'll get there, I'm confident of that. I will continue to support those who fight for inclusion. I will also be happy with a result that finds the middle ground and maintains the fabric of the church. Compromise is a good thing. Time and generational change will ultimately wear away at these illogical prejudices.

At any rate, I'll be praying for that in church on Sunday.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Best ad ever.

This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite advertisements ever.

The fact that it pisses off CWA and zillions of other crazies makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I told you I'm a weird Episcopalian.

Via Towleroad.

Without clothes.

Above: poster for this Wednesday's Newd party at the Eagle.

The image is of a bondage scene created by Bonfire and myself at the last party. I'm rather proud of how it turned out and the photo by Peter Lau makes it look even better than it did in person.

The upcoming party has a "best of" theme and you can bet Michelangelo has an exciting and outrageous lineup of fun. I'm on board for another rope creation and some other surprises.

Nekked are crazy talented, hot, and great to hear live.

Come out and enjoy NYC's freshest concept in fetish art and entertainment.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Blow by blow.

Above: ganked from Hypofixx.

I don't generally write blog posts which are simple recountings of events or my day-to-day life, because I prefer to focus on the smaller, more interesting stories buried in the rough. The only time I really regret this is when I travel. So this is a brief account of my birthday and trip to DC last weekend.

The whole thing actually got off to a very bad start. The Eagle for Code on Thursday night was a complete disaster. I became very upset and I didn't even stay until midnight to toast in my new year.

Which meant that I got plenty of sleep Thursday night and had no trouble getting up for the bus on Friday morning. Matt was fairly amazed that I answered my phone the first time he called. I was upset about the previous night when I woke up, having that tight anxious anger in my chest feeling, so I took half a Xanax before we left the house. Even had I not been upset, this would have been a wise choice, as it made the 4.5 hour trip down very tolerable. In fact I slept through most of it, which was only a problem when I'd wake with a crick in my neck from my head lolling to the side. Hopefully I didn't snore too much, though it's not like it ever bothers me.

Matt and I disembarked on time and hopped into a cab for Scott's apartment. Scott was finishing up a job, so we stopped in at Dakota Cowgirl for lunch. I'm not generally crazy about the restaurant, as I've only been there during MAL when it's swamped and the service and food are sub-par. Fortunately our lunch was tasty and our server was attentive, friendly, and flirty.

We soon joined Scott and dropped our bags at his apartment. The tone of the weekend was clear from the beginning; we relaxed, chatted, and caught up on our lives, and none of us seemed to feel any pressure to move quickly. It's always so nice to see Scott, because we seem to pick up our friendship vibe as if we hadn't gone months without seeing each other.

After a change of clothes we headed down to Titan/Ramrod for bear happy hour. Scott said attendance was low, but I thought there were plenty of guys there, and I was quickly reminded of how much like a pinball I feel in a room full of bears. This did not dampen my mood, however, and we had a cheerful couple of drinks while meeting several of Scott's friends. At some point I saw a guy with a shirt that read "TOPEKA," so naturally I grabbed him and said hello. I think we ran into the same guy three or four times over the course of the weekend, and every time he'd point and yell "Topeka!" Some people are so easily entertained.

As happy hour was winding down we slipped across the street to Thaitanic for dinner. I had a very tasty and spicy chicken dish with peanut sauce on a bed of broccoli. It's always nice to have Thai outside of Hell's Kitchen, because while our Thai restaurants are very good, they tend to have remarkably similar menus. After dinner we walked back to Scott's place and did some more hanging out, watching videos, and enjoying each other's company. (Are you sensing a theme yet?)

Saturday we woke to a beautiful day. Scott had some work to do, so we took our leisure getting showered and dressed. We set out into the day, first stopping for coffee and scones, and then wandering up to a couple of cute shops. The first had nothing interesting, but the second had a jacket which was perfect for me. Gray, long, fitted, with lots of wonderful details. It looked great on. Everything about it was just right, except the price. I left it there, but there's a chance I may yet give in and have it shipped up. It was that good.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent at the National Gallery, which was fantastic. For all the times I've been to DC, I'd never visited any of the museums. I noticed a distinct preference for sculpture. They had three Brancusi birds which I found to be just as affecting as they were during the exhibit where I first saw them at the Guggenheim.

We did some more serious relaxing at Scott's place, which was helped along by some tasty pizza, before we showered and outfitted ourselves for the DC Eagle. The Eagle was busy and seemed to be filled with all sorts of hunky men. It's so fun being fresh meat! Matt was immediately groped, and I'm happy to report that I felt more than one unidentified hand on my ass over the course of the evening. Gene came in from wherever he lives in the boonies and we also met one of DCboL's pledges. We ran into a few other notables and fuckables, but most importantly, I met a man into full leather who is also an organist. There is no hotter species! To ice the cake, he was perfectly willing to dish about pipe organs with me. Cream.

We headed home fairly early, as we had all drank a few drinks rather quickly, and we were feeling them. Walking through the convention center area of DC in full leather is an adventure! I'm happy to say all the comments yelled from cars were very positive. It's simply ridiculous how much the girls like to flirt with boys in leather...loudly.

Sunday morning was a bit slower getting started than Saturday, owing to the previous evening's festivities. None of us was hurting too badly, however, so after some hydration and showers we were ready to go. We stopped in for donuts and coffee in the gayest of the gayborhoods, and because we had rock star parking, we were able to take a few extra minutes to stroll through Universal Gear. Scott found a couple pair of pants which fit him well and Matt and I cruised the underwear sale. Then we drove over to Georgetown, which is a gorgeous neighborhood, and we did our best impression of uppity New Yorkers slumming it in the design stores. A tour of Barney's Co-Op left me a bit sticker shocked and in wonder that anyone shops at the real Barney's. A cute fag in Zara said he loved my pants and made my day. Finally, we stuffed ourselves with Five Guys burgers (YUM) to round out the day.

The trip home was uneventful. Another xanax helped me ignore the hour delay in departure time and the guy next to me who needed to sleep curled up in a ball, with his elbow perfectly placed to hit me any time he moved. (Not Matt--there were no two seats together.) I arrived home tired but happy.

I wish I could claim some revelation, inspiration, or epiphany during the trip. I have claimed such in the past, but I think I was giving in to hyperbole at those times. It's true that distance from NYC provides perspective and respite. It's also true that the problems I leave here are always waiting for me when I return. Thankfully, this weekend has helped put me in a better state of mind to face them with resolve and calm.


Above: Scooter, Matticakes, and moi in our shades.

The weather was gorgeous this weekend. Just warm enough to work up a good sweat while vigorously shaking down every shop in DC for cute, cute Autumn clothes. It's here, you know.

Autumn has never felt like a season of decline for me. It begins one of my new years. It brings new school, new shows, new events, new church, new routines, new direction. It's like the Summer was just time spent in the charger, storing up energy to run the game of life in the Fall.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hanging in DC.

Above: Jesus in bondage. Need I say more?

Probably not. But I will, just a little. I took this today at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. What a fun museum. I never thought I'd say this, but I may like modern art more than the classic stuff. The paintings by Vermeer were outstanding, but the modern East Wing by architect I. M. Pei was astounding. Not so much for the exhibits, though they were good, but for the building, which is an awesome space. I always felt I was in a building of mass enough to weather generations, but there was also a whimsical air of a school kid's geometric doodle.

Jesus, of course, was in the classical West Wing building, hanging out in a secluded corner of the sculpture exhibit.

He says howdy.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Above: boys & friends, car washing.

I write to you in my last few hours as a 31 year old. This year was marked not so much with new experiences, but rather more extremes. The highs were very high and the lows were very low. I am more independent now than I have ever been, more singularly responsible for the direction of my life. I am perhaps less sane.

If I had a wish for this year, it would be for serenity. But I don't believe in such things, so I haven't just lost my wish by telling you about it.

If I had a fear for this year, it would be pride. Being my own worst critic does not elevate me above my mistakes.

If I have another year, that will be enough.

32, here I come.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Enough already, Universe.

Now listen, Universe. I've had quite enough. This needs to stop.

Robert Jordan died before finishing his Wheel of Time series.

From my childhood through my early 20s I was a voracious reader. Those who know me now might not believe it, but as a child I was incredibly shy and introverted. I spent far more time with my nose in a book than I ever did speaking with people, even my family. I was especially drawn to fantasy and sci-fi novels, though really any fiction would do. Books were my escape from the real world to a place where I was confident and happy.

Late in my high school career I worked at Claire's Boutique in the Mission Center Mall. (Yes, it's nearly the gayest job in the world, and yes, I looked the part.) On the opposite end of the mall was a Brentano's book store (remember those?) where I would spend the bulk of my paycheck.

One day on my break I was buying a book or two instead of the stack of a dozen I would have liked to have bought. I knew the couple books I could afford would never last until my next paycheck, so in despair I asked the cashier whether they had anything I could have for free. To my shock he handed me Robert Jordan's Eye of the World, a small paperback. Of course nothing is really free. When I reached the end of the book I discovered that they had only printed the first dozen or so chapters of the entire novel. Naturally, I bought the full book with my next paycheck.

Yeah, I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. But for once I didn't mind--Jordan's Wheel of Time series is really, really good. It's not so much the writing, which is average at best. What draws you in to the story are Jordan's characters and the detail with which he paints his fantasy world. There aren't just two, three, or four factions vying for control of the world--there are dozens. The main characters are complex yet bold. It is fascinating to watch them grow and change over the course of the story. Secondary characters range the gamut from peons to demi-gods, and none of them are "stock." The antagonist role shifts constantly, and though there is a clear "evil" persona who ultimately must be defeated, during any given book the conflict might come from any of a dozen different factions, most of which fall squarely in the gray area between right and wrong. The protagonists themselves often make choices which result in death and loss, and they ally themselves with people and groups who are completely unsavory, yet necessary. The system of magic is distinct from any other fantasy world and broad enough to be used in tens of thousands of ways.

The story is epic and compelling. With 11 books ranging in length from 700 to 1200 pages each, I've made a big investment in this world, perhaps more than any other author I've read. The thought that I'll never get to know how it all ends in Jordan's own words really saddens me.

So what's up, Universe? Is this one last blow at the end of my long, painful Summer? Or do I have more months of disappointment, sadness, confusion, and anger on the horizon? Because honestly, it's getting harder to deal with these losses while remaining sane and not self-destructive.

I need a break.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Enough already, people.

This is one of those posts where I don't say much more than AMEN to those who have said it better than I could. Joe writes today about Kenneth Hill's article on sissies.

I would take the idea one step further and suggest that the word "masculine," as it is seen often in profiles and descriptions of what guys are seeking online, is simply an euphemism for "straight-acting," a term which was popular five years ago but which most gay men now deride. My problem is not with masculinity, which is a quality I admire and sometimes possess. I see a problem when masculinity is held up as superior to any other way of behaving, and yes, that is exactly what most guys who use the word are doing.

It irritates me even more to see this phenomenon in Leather circles. How many times have we heard, "he was really hot until he opened his mouth and a purse fell out." How many times have the topics of musicals, flowers, decorating, or pipe organs been derided as not acceptable for leathermen? As if there is only one way to be a proper leatherman! We are complex, multi-faceted, interesting people, and there is absolutely no reason to limit the areas of interest we can discuss or explore.

If you hear someone knocking sissies, tell them to stop. If you see someone being a faggot like me, smile and be glad we're creating a country where that can happen. Fight for it. It's important.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A meme I like.

You scored as Experimental,Experimentation is a great place to be. Open-mindedness when it comes to sexuality can open doors and allow you to discover things that you didn't think you would find engaging. Having such a curious attitude can help you learn more about your own sexual nature as well as the nature of others.

Do you have an inclination for BDSM?
created with







Exhibitionism and Voyeurism












Vanilla Sex


Do you have an inclination for BDSM?
created with

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Saturday's neologism; Sunday's calendar girls.

heatherbears (noun, pl.) attractive bears with bad attitude, heatherbears have only their looks and their insecurities and their haughty bad behavior

Also, there were cars to wash, and Matticakes was enthusiastic. Also, he was half naked. He can't help it, really. Also, I did manual labor. I couldn't help it, though I tried.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Car Wash!

What: New York boys of Leather Car Wash
When: Sunday, September 9th at 2:00 PM
Where: Eagle NYC
Who: The NYboLs and their pals, and all the hot men of summer beer blast.
Also, cabbies and firemen.
Why: For charity and fun!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


It seems like all I've been hearing for the past month or two is that my feelings are wrong, created by unusual situations or medications. This seemed entirely possible, as this Summer has thrown some very intense problems my way. I've been plagued with doubt about my perceptions and analyses, as over and over again I've reached conclusions about the behavior of those around me, only to be told I was mistaken, it was coincidence, it was simple forgetfulness, or some other lame excuse. I feel like I've been painted as a small-time conspiracy theorist, capable of seeing only the worst possible explanation. I've been called paranoid.

But yesterday I received hard proof that one of my suspicions is true. I am not paranoid. I am correct. I am vindicated. One of my worst fears is realized. The rest of my "crazy theories" now seem a lot less like the dark musings of someone trying to find reason in ordinary disappointment and misfortune, and instead a lot more like real insight. I'm feeling both incredibly hurt and incredibly relieved, which is a very odd combination.

And you know what? I'm okay with it. I can deal. I had my day for crying at the outset and now it's done. Only the across-the-board insistence that I had lost my faculties was causing me to doubt, delay, and cling to the hope that things might not be as bad as they appear. Finally a crack has appeared in that facade and instead of trying to deduce what's behind it, I can see for myself. My expectations will change to fit the circumstances and life will go on.

How not.

How not to have me cuss you out and hit your vehicle when you pull into the crosswalk while I have the green light on my way to work in the morning:

Be a hulking daddy of a construction worker in coveralls over a plaid shirt, smoking a fat cigar, and when I attempt to give you the glare of death through the windows of your beast of a pickup truck, blow smoke at me and sneer a little half smile when I can't help but continue to stare in lust.

Otherwise, screw you, and maybe the ding I'm going to put in the side of your car as I detour around it will teach you not to pull into the intersection when it's already packed with vehicles and you know full well you're not going to make it through "the box" before the light changes. This city is ruled by pedestrians. Cars are a barely-tolerated necessary evil. I bet half of the cars on the street on a weekday morning contain a single passenger who could just as easily get to work via public transportation. Be a diva and drive your pollution-spewing, resource-wasting hunk of metal into one of the most crowded cities in the country if you must, but at least follow the rules of the road, or suffer my wrath as it is rained down on your metallic finish!

Have you ever seen that ride at the amusement park for which you're strapped into a full body harness, attached to wires hanging from a giant metal structure, dragged back and up about five stories in the air, and then unhooked so you freefall and fly out over half of the park, with everyone on the ground laughing and pointing as you scream like a little girl who's just witnessed Barney being doused with gasoline and set on fire by a rabid band of unemployed Christmas elves?

My mood swings are exactly like that.

Friday, August 24, 2007

It's me! It's me!

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Brooklyn, baby.

Last night I trekked to Brooklyn to meet JP and the gang who made the short film "HEY GiRL" last Saturday. (See YouTube link below.) All of the entries for the Film Racing event were being screened.

First things first, the Film Racing guys really got it right to include free popcorn and soda with the $8 ticket. Brooklyn scores a point for being frugal.

Second, JP's roommates and friends are pretty fun. I enjoyed hanging out with them while they were making the movie and that feeling continued last night. The movies ranged from very good to very bad, and all very hetero. HEY GiRL was shown as the very last of a couple dozen, and I just don't think the straight people got the humor. But that's okay, we had fun.

Third, Brooklyn is all right. Of course, I always have a good time when I go there, other than the one near-death experience with the vampire--but that can count as an exception to the rule. It's generally low, so I can actually see the sky, if not the stars. It has some very fine parks, restaurants, bars, and all the good things that come with urban living. I could definitely live there.

I am proficient at Manhattan snobbery. I learned it early in my career as a New Yorker. When you live in Manhattan below Central Park, it's almost too easy to be superior to everyone from anywhere else. I live at the center of the Universe. Some would try to throw out London, Paris, Berlin, etc., and to be sure those cities all have some areas in which they can beat NYC. But this city is far more than the sum of its many, many parts. Manhattan is magic and anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is being dishonest.

With all that said, I really and truly feel no need to gloat over my superior location. I mean, so a guy lives in Jersey City, so what? I'm sure it's a nice place and he has good reasons to be there. The fact that I have a different answer to the question of where in the NYC area I want to live than any other guy merely means we have different priorities. No further judgment can be made.

I throw out my Manhattan snobbery as a verbal game, with a wink. It's fun. It makes non-Manhattanites all jittery and defensive. That's all.

The real reasons I visit Brooklyn so rarely are all practical. It's a long subway ride away. I'm generally going in the evenings, when the trains are few and far between, especially for the return ride. It really is a completely different city and I don't know my way around. Look at the map and you'll see a dozen different street grids, each tilted a different way and overlapping the others. It's like navigating the West Village, which I'm only now figuring out after three years, only 20 times the size. I can't tell which direction is North! I have to print a map and look at it on the street!

I've adapted very well to this crazy city. And in time I'm sure I'll learn plenty about its boroughs and suburbs. But for now, dear friends, I'm going to mostly stay in Manhattan. Because I'm still just a boy from Kansas, after all, and though my back yard may be paved, it's my turf now and I like being here.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A sink full of crabs.

Part of this weekend's festivities included a Saturday afternoon trip to JP's outrageously oversized SoHo loft, where he and his roommates were participating in Film Race. I managed to help out in a couple very, very small ways. I held the microphone and acted as a human boom mic during a couple of scenes. I also clapped while the music was being recorded for the opening sequence. All in all, it was a fun afternoon, and exciting to do yet another new and crazy thing in NYC.


Above are a couple of photos of my apartment. And yes, what you see is most of my apartment. To the right out of the frame are a small kitchen and a small bathroom. There's also an entry hallway with enough room for a couch and a good size closet.

I'll have to dig up some of my photos of my houses in Kansas. The last I owned with my ex had five bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen, full living and dining rooms, a full basement, a two car garage, and was on a corner lot in the nicest old neighborhood in Topeka. The amount for which we sold that house would barely be a downpayment on a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan, and I'm talking before paying off the mortgage!

I'm unlikely to be a homeowner again in NYC. I look forward with wonder to answering the question of whether I'll ever want to move away from NYC, because I cannot now imagine the circumstances that could prompt such a move, at least voluntarily. Thus I may from now on always be able to fit my worldly possessions into a small van. And frankly, that's okay with me. Lean and mean, I can be three blocks or three thousand miles away without too much inconvenience.

I fight change. I worry and fret over how it may negatively impact my life. And yet it happens, over and over again, whether I worry or not.

Last weekend I painted my apartment. Not all of it, just some select areas. The darker caramel brown and the lilac gray/blue are both new. For once I'm really happy with my color selections.

If I must live with change, I suppose making some of those changes myself, rather than waiting for what the world throws at me, is probably a good idea.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Above: Yeah, my nephew really is the cutest baby in the entire world. Totally ready for his close-up.

I started this post last Friday, when I thought I'd write about how I'd been feeling really sad and angry, and then I had an epiphany on Thursday night which made me feel all better.

Well, that was Friday.

I guess I just have to get used to the idea that I'm on an emotional roller coaster right now. I used to say that all the time, but only now do I really think I know what it means.

In many ways, I had a good weekend. My sister just arrived from Kansas and is settling in to NYC life. Made a movie. Had fun and relaxed.

And yet...and yet...still so upset. Can't even put my finger on it. GRRRR.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Make up your mind, already.

Above: The high altar ready for Easter Sunday at St. Mary the Virgin, Times Square. For a bit of perspective, the altar is 13.5 feet wide. The tallest candles at the back are more than 6 feet tall.

I get it all the time. Those strange looks when I tell people I have to go to church on Sunday morning. New York is a very, very secular city. For all that it is filled with churches, they're rarely filled with people on Sunday morning, at least not relative to the number of people who live here. Religion is the domain of the Midwest, the Bible Belt, the Red States--at least that's what we hear; most New Yorkers haven't been there.

Add in that I'm gay and then add on top that I'm a kinky pervert, and you start to get an idea of how strange the looks are. Yes, there are quite a few leathermen who are associated with church, often as organists, but most of those don't talk about it much. Whereas I have a tendency to invite everyone to come with me.

But I'm not an evangelical! The word "evangelism" originally meant preaching or proselytizing and did not have the conservative Christian connotations it holds now. But in either case, the word does not describe me, because I'm certainly not conservative and I could care less whether you believe in Jesus.

I'm not so sure I believe, after all. When it comes to religion, spirituality, or belief in anything that science can't measure, I have only questions and no answers.

So why in the world do I go to church? That's the question behind every strange look.

I don't have a good answer. I often cite the ritual and the beauty of the space. The music I hear there, be it pipe organ, choir, or otherwise, is also a big factor. It's the kind of art into which I can really sink my teeth. And viewed in that way, it's not so strange--many people are moved by the collections at The Met, MOMA, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, or any of the other bastions of art, I just happen to find my favorite works in a French Gothic church. Tastes vary.

There's more to it, of course. Some of it hearkens back to my childhood and the time I spent growing up in sacred spaces. You can take the boy out of church but you can't take the church out of the boy. Also, I'm sure some of it is fear of death--isn't religion the opiate of the masses?

The ethics of Christianity are also a quality I admire. Remove the supernatural motivation from the equation and the ten commandments are still worthwhile guidelines. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don't kill or steal. Sure, many fanatics have wrongfully twisted the Bible into a club which they use to beat others over the head, but when it is stripped to its most basic elements, Christianity is built on a solid foundation of morality.

When all of those things are added up, however, I still don't hold the total sum of my motivation to spend time in church. I can't explain why I leave feeling so good after Mass.

Maybe I do it just so I'll have some time set aside to contemplate these questions.

Some people would say that it's God causing these things, prompting me to go to church, and soothing my soul when I'm there. Well, okay, maybe it is. But then maybe it's like my father would say--the aliens who terraformed our planet are beaming happy rays into my brain. The point is, any number of explanations are just as likely in my book. Invoking the divine does not by itself raise a theory above raw conjecture.

In the end, I again give in to the contradiction. My life is full of them. This just happens to be one of the more obvious.

Tonight I'll be at Solemn Mass for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Rector will be preaching, the choir will be singing, the incense will be burning, the flowers will be verdant, and I will be content.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fried trip.

Above: myself, a couple boys, and some of the guys who went to NYboL's Second Annual Beach Day on Sunday. That's us at 8:00am, looking more chipper than we should given the hour, but perhaps that's because of orange juice they had on the ferry. The Verrazano-Narrows bridge is in the left background.

And here's the Verrazano up close and personal. This was snapped in the afternoon, on the way back to the city.

And finally, the view just after passing under the Verrazano and into New York Harbor. From right to left there's Manhattan, then a gap which is the Hudson River, and then New Jersey to the left of the Hudson. Even farther left from the cluster of buildings that is downtown Jersey City, one can just make out the Statue of Liberty.

Half of the fun of Beach Day for me is the ferry ride. Being from Kansas, I'm very impressed by large bodies of water and the ships that sail them.

I'm also continually impressed by the huge pieces of structural engineering all around me in NYC. Just getting to the beach we passed under four suspension bridges. In outgoing order, they were the Williamsburg, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Verrazano. I actually dread going over the bridges, just a little, but I love going under them!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

It happens.

Above: snapped in Asbury Park, New Jersey, at a leather block party three of my brothers and I attended this Summer. A scary drag queen taking a painful crap into a golden throne? You betcha. And she picked that bitch up over her shoulder and carried it off after her number.

This evening I put together a small group to see a play at the Fringe Festival. The show was called Top and Bottom and was billed as being about an extremely submissive bottom and a socially awkward top. I'm not sure where I first read about it, but it sounded like it would have all the elements of an interesting show. Plus I had the impression that the Fringe Festival was very edgy, interesting theater.

I was disappointed. There were certainly some funny lines and situations, as when the bottom was babbling on about a really hot bondage scene he had in the woods while the poor top was slaving away tying him up very intricately, but without any passion. But for the most part, as Densemore observed afterwards, it was pretty clear that the writer/director was not writing about what he knew. They hit pretty much every kink/leather cliche in the book, without putting any new spin on them.

Once we finally got to the sappy meat of the story, the bottom became very emotional while recounting a scene which had gone bad and ventured into non-consensual territory. But when ultimately he had not been seriously hurt, and clearly the experience was not keeping him from seeking out kinky sex, the story lost all of its bite.

Likewise, when the top proceeded to recount a lifetime of hiding his kink and then being rejected when finally revealing it to a date, thus sending him scurrying back to his shameful hermit hole, I was unconvinced. It's 2007, after all, and these guys were supposed to be from Los Angeles. The man had more gear and knowledge of technique than he was likely to acquire without encountering many guys comfortable enough with their kinky sexuality to set him at ease, at least a little.

I could have forgiven the naive writing, however, if the actors had simply sold their roles. I've seen many simplistic portrayals of the kink world that were nonetheless compelling because the characters were imbued with believable sincerity. Instead, during much of the show, I found myself daydreaming of my theater fag days back in high school and trying out my own delivery of the lines in my head.

Most disappointing, however, was not the sub-par production, but the fact that my first foray into the Fringe Festival couldn't even push an envelope across my desk. I wanted edgy, but I got safe. I wanted experimental, but I got by-the-book.

I wanted to go home thinking, "Wow, only in New York!" Instead I left wanting to pull the writer and actors aside to say, "Seriously guys, this is New York."

I'm nobody, least of all a creative type, but a week and a half ago I was in a friend's show at the leather bar, where he put me in a donkey mask and had me humping and bootsexing a punk tranny boy onstage. It was a Wednesday night, we did it for shits and giggles, and we still had a bigger and happier audience.

I'm just sayin'.

Friday, August 10, 2007

So therefore.

NYC Gay Pride Parade, 2007

well hey do you do judo when they surround you
a little mental yoga will they disappear
it's grim but never dubious as motives go
no matter what it takes she promises a show

thunder wishes it could be the snow
wishes it could be as loved as she can be
these gifts are here for her, for you, for me

i watch me be this other thing, i never know
if i'm marooned or where the purple people go
then lily white matricide from vicious words
it doesn't leave a scratch so therefore no one's hurt

thunder wishes it could be the show
wishes it could be as loved as she can be
these gifts are here for her, for you, for me

and on and on the nurses make it clear
just when you escape you have yourself to fear
a restaurant that never has to close
breakfast every hour it could save the world

so hey do you do judo in your finery
an angel's face is tricky to wear constantly
thunder wishes it could be the snow
wishes it could be as loved as she can be
these gifts are here for her, for you for me

Purple People

Monday, August 06, 2007

It was one of those.

Above: A happy photo at Folsom Street East, to cheer my mood.

This post was written Monday, but then I got distracted with painting and such, so I'm posting it a bit late.


I am wroth with the world.

It's actually a touch alarming. I had a decent night's sleep last night, but I woke up very groggy today, and I just can't stand anyone. My boss, who is a bit excitable but overall a good guy, is getting short shrift from me today. His well-known foibles have become intolerable.

I wonder if it's perhaps the muscle relaxer I took last night before bed. I have TMD issues in my jaw so the doc prescribed these to loosen things up, but I haven't been taking them lately until last night. I know they make me groggy when they're working, but it seems a stretch that they're causing me to be bitchy the next day.

Despite my cranky blog post yesterday, it's not like I spent the weekend at home doing nothing but being depressed. I was actually much more productive than usual--I cooked quite a bit of food which should last most of this week and I painted my bathroom. The latter I'd been threatening to do for a couple months and it felt really good to accomplish. I'm going to start in on painting my room this evening, while I'm on a roll. I also went to Mass in the morning and the Folsom Street East volunteer thank-you party in the evening. There was much shopping for the perfect quilted coverlet on Saturday, and though unrequited, the hunt was pleasant. I also treated myself to a cup of a fantastic single-origin brew at Grumpy Coffee, which was excellent, though at $7 for a small I'll probably stick to the usual but still-extraordinary varieties. I saw the Simpsons movie on Friday night with Fluffybutt after we got stoned out of our gourds; it was clever and entertaining, if not really side-splitting.

So I was really fairly busy being productive and social this weekend, which means I can't pin today's ire on yesterday's complaints. What, then, is causing these homicidal thoughts?

Perhaps it was the coverlet. I really don't like being denied what I want. They have the perfect answer at West Elm, but I don't want to pay the $120 they want. Can anyone direct me to a lightweight, solid color (prefer a light sage, blue, grey, or tan), quilted blanket or duvet which won't break my budget?

If I'm going to have to lay in the bed I make, I may as well make it stylish.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Whipping post.

Above: Grace Cathedral, Topeka, Kansas.

I really try not to use my blog as a place to bitch. But this afternoon I'm going to fail.

Lately I've been feeling low and having difficulty connecting with people. I'm feeling like an outcast for a natural reason, though I know it's not logical. I went to church this morning and was feeling really good afterwards. Then I tried to have brunch.

I'm going to jump back a little bit. A couple weeks ago I decided to have some guys over for drinks. It was last minute, but I'd done it before successfully. Of two dozen invitations, one guy (bless him) showed up, half said no, and half didn't respond.

I've spent most of the intervening time by myself. Finally, last night, I started to feel really lonely. Great, I thought, that means it's time to get back into the world.

This morning I invited five of my closets friends to brunch. One has a date, one has to clean his apartment, one declined without explanation, and two did not respond.

Fine. Whatever. I'm sure it was nothing personal. I send out as many of these invitations on a regular basis as anyone I know, so it shouldn't be surprising that many are declined. This post is not a passive-aggressive attempt to get anyone to change their behavior. I'm working hard on attempting less to impose my will on the world and accepting the choices of others. A sudden deluge of invitations would not fix my problem and would of necessity have their sincerity doubted. There's nothing that can or should be done.

But when do I start wondering whether the universe is trying to tell me something? Because this is making me mad and sad. And when I feel strongly about something, it has to have some underlying import, right?

When do I start wondering whether all these people are trying to tell me something? An old friend in Topeka used to ask me, when we hadn't seen each other for a while, whether his deodorant wasn't working. Somehow, with this crowd, I don't think that's the issue.

I realize the answer to those questions is in this post. It's almost certainly me, not anyone else. But if it's all much ado about nothing, why must it piss me off so much?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Tori, Tori, Tori

So I finally dug into my photos last night after the delay caused by the hospitalization of my Powerbook. Mostly I have new pics of IML and Pride. I'll be putting up some of the fun ones in the next few posts. Above is me on the Eagle NYC float, looking as sedate and butch as I managed to get that day. Most of the time I was waving that gold hanky around with my boots in the air like a mad faggot. Good times!

Matticakes and I just picked up tickets to Tori Amos's October show at Madison Square Garden. I'm not quite as much of a Toriphile as I once was, but I'm still very excited to see the show. Her latest album has a bit of an edge she's been lacking lately and it will be interesting to see how she translates it to the stage.

Recently I've been back in touch with a good friend from high school, we'll call her Blondie. She may have been my original fag hag--we caused all kinds of trouble back in those days. I remember skipping school with her to go get our ears pierced, because in the middle of the day the ladies at Claire's Boutique assumed we were over 18 and didn't card us before piercing us. We'd call in to school pretending to be each others' parent, and to the best of my knowledge, it always worked.

Anyhow, to tie this all together, I remember the first time I ever knew of Tori's existence was in Blondie's bedroom. She had a copy of the first album, Little Earthquakes, and I remember being fascinated with the art on the back. It took me a while to realize the giant mushrooms were arranged as phalluses. I don't think I listened to the album at the time, as my real introduction to Tori's music came with Under the Pink, but I'm quite sure this was my first exposure to the most influential artist during my late adolescence and early adulthood.

This fall will be the fourth time I've seen her live. Can't wait!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

It's getting hot in here.

The city is boiling over.

You know the feeling. You put the pasta on to boil in a smaller-than-recommended pot. You wander out of the kitchen for two minutes to send an email, change the music, or answer the phone. And then you hear it--that sizzling, popping sound of the frothy water overcoming the sides of the pot, splashing down and frying into a huge mess on your stovetop. You run to catch it, but by the time you've heard the sound, it's too late. Your quick pasta dinner has turned into a mess. You'll spend 20 minutes just cleaning up the stove.

It's not yet noon and New York City is 90 degrees. Back in Kansas, a 90 degree day in August was almost a blessing. But here, everything is paved. My walk to work takes about 20-25 minutes and is about 25 blocks, which is about 1.25 miles. By NYC standards, I have a very easy commute, because I don't have to use public transportation. In the course of that mile walk, I pass exactly zero blades of grass. There are no parks or grassy medians. I suppose there are trees, but trees along 9th Avenue are bedraggled stick figures which provide no shade.

Everything here is covered in concrete, asphalt, and buildings. Put a couple million people on top of that surface and the city literally begins to cook them. Being on the streets of Manhattan in August means getting sautéed with all the homeless, tourists, bridge and tunnel jackasses, and poor souls like me who can't afford to get out of town during the stinky season. It quickly becomes a vile stew full of vicious glances, sharp elbows, and angry growls. It's nothing short of a miracle that people aren't brawling in the street.

I'm heading out to get a salad for lunch. I'll do my best not to throw my cell phone at someone's head!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Blogging in the Dark

I've been in a very dark place lately. I can't talk at all about what has happened, so it's difficult to blog about the issue.

I generally deal well with emergencies. In an acute situation, I'm your go-to guy. I can identify a problem, research possible courses of action, analyze the pros and cons of each, make a decision, and resolve the situation. I'm not always correct, of course, but for better or worse, I get things done.

Unfortunately, my skill in this area drops off markedly when the situation becomes chronic. I'm an excellent sprinter, but I'm useless in a marathon. Anything that requires long-term planning is beyond me. I just don't have the discipline. Eventually I'll get tired and distracted, and my attention will wander off to something else, leaving that problem which required a long-term solution to fester.

Moving to NYC was a huge effort. Packing, disposing of nearly everything, shipping, closing up life in Kansas, setting up accounts here, finding a job, finding an apartment, joining a gym, etc., etc. Check, check, check...I took care of it all, with very few bumps in the road. A few months later I found myself with nothing to do, no problems to solve, and feeling terribly alone in a strange city.

Building a social life in a new place, especially NYC, requires patience and persistence, and I found it much easier to stay in my apartment and have dinner delivered.

Fortunately, I eventually worked my way out of that quagmire and developed a life I love here. But as often as not I don't solve the long-term problems. My finances are a mess. My career is something I fell into, rather than planned. And so on.

Life has changed once again. The problem is solved, inasmuch as it can be. The course is charted and the ship has sailed. I am left to deal with my emotions, which won't return to "normal" for some time. I don't like it one bit and I'm not doing very well. It's dark in here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A little indulgence can't hurt.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

One day I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why oh why can't I?

Friday, June 08, 2007

My baby is sick!

I haven't been posting much lately, and this trend may continue, as my Powerbook decided to die yesterday. I'm still working on getting it in to the Apple Store to see a Genius who can make a diagnosis. Keep your nuts crossed that it won't be too expensive.

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Well, another IML has come and gone.

Some quick stats: this was my sixth IML. Since "coming out" to leather in 2001 I have only missed the event once. In 2001 I attended after having my first leathersex only two weeks before and I saw my first puppy party. In 2002 the man who would later become my Daddy took me to my first puppy party. In 2003 I was wearing Dad's collar on a full-time basis and at the end of the weekend he asked me to figure out how to move to NYC. In 2004 I was one Summer class away from finishing my college degree and on the verge of moving to NYC. In 2005 I judged the IML contest as a New Yorker.

By 2006 things were very much on the rocks with Dad & Moose and none of us went to IML. I don't even remember anyone bringing up the possibility.

Thus, IML 2007 was a transitional year for me. For the first time I went as a single boy with a full understanding of leathersex, the leather community, and the possibilities around me. For the first time I was obligated to no one but myself.

In some ways it was a quiet year. I did not have sex. I did not play. I flirted and licked some boots in the 16th floor cigar lounge, but that's as far as anything went.

In some ways it was a boisterous year. I reconnected with friends from Kansas City, friends from around the country, and many of the beautiful men in the IML class I judged. I passed out trick cards shamelessly and gregariously introduced myself to anyone who seemed interested or merely came too close to me. I was "on" in every sense of the word. For the first time since learning the meaning of leather community I was free to socialize at my own breakneck pace, unfettered by the need to let someone else take the lead in all things.

In some ways it was a new year. I shared a room with my club brothers Rare and Jink. They're the absolute bee's knees, and that's really all I can say about them without getting mushy, which I did more than enough of in the last post. It was the first IML each of them had attended. Rare found a new appreciation for his own hotness. Jink found new success in his work at the Leatherman and Fort Troff booths. I discovered new friendships with Matt, Christophe, and Max. Densemore is full of new life experiences and a new appreciation for NYC. And there was new leather everywhere, plus lots of other new stuff that I've forgotten due to a new appreciation for Jack & Coke.

And now, more than a week late with my IML blog post, I have new custom-made leather pants which are payment for my work at the Leatherman booth that weekend. They're the low-waist jean cut, in all black, modified with shallow L-pockets in front, inside pockets in back, light grey stitching all around, and a dozen other little changes to make them fit me just right. I love them and my butt looks fantastic in them!

And while it may sound shallow, my friends, if your butt looks good, then all is going well in the world.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Joy, without irony.

I'm in my hotel room at the IML host hotel, having a drink and dancing around to Tracy Bonham. I'm about to go down to the vendor mart and work at the Leatherman booth. Many of my friends are with me this weekend. Many of my friends who aren't with me this weekend nonetheless feel close to my heart.

There are times when a good feeling overcomes me so strongly that I want to cry. I like those times. I want to remember those times more often.

It's joy, without irony.