Friday, August 31, 2007

Miscellany 3: I'll Cry If I Want To

1. We're number one! We're number one! I had no idea, but I blame the gays.

2. The heteros whinge frequently that gay couples are not really committed to each other the way breeders are. I would just like to respond by saying that on Wednesday morning, I had to take my car to the shop, and b&c went with me and then dropped me off at the Metro station, even though he had a boy coming over. If that's not love, what is? He did say that we had to hurry so that he could get back, of course: he's not crazy. (See, there's committed, and then there's committed. I wonder whether I can sign the papers for that. Probably not.)

3. Tuesday evening, b&c and I went with my friend G. and his roommate/tenant/fuckbuddy/second third boyfriend V. to see West Side Story at Wolf Trap. You know what? The $40 loge tix are no better than the $18 lawn tix. (Unless it's raining, of course.) Neither ticket allows you to see facial expressions, but either ticket lets you see the choreography. The male lead had a competent but lackluster voice, and the female lead had problems with pitch. But the dancers were terrific, the group numbers ("America" and "Gee, Officer Krupke") were great, and, hey, it's West Side Story. Even a weak production doesn't really hurt it. Go and bring a picnic and sit on the lawn. By the way, as long as you pre-squeeze the lime and just use the juice, no one can tell if you replace the water in your Evian bottle with a gin and tonic. I mean, so I've heard.

4. Road trip! I'm off to scenic Vermont this weekend to take EFU to college. I've already packed the car and printed the directions. I'm a mess. At choir practice last night, I was chatting with a soprano whose oldest child is a sophomore in high school, and when I mentioned how much trouble I was having, she started to tell me how thrilled she'd be when her kids went off to college because of all the fighting and nagging that she has to do. When I told her that EFU and I never fight and that I don't have to nag her to do anything, she said, "Wow, I guess if my kids were like that, I'd miss them too." This made me feel simultaneously better and worse. The college has scheduled a full day of events, presumably to make us feel better about our children abandoning us, but I'm sure that I'm going to be blubbering like that chick in "It's My Party." You would cry, too, if it happened to you. Actually, I'm coming to learn that most people really wouldn't, but at this point I probably can't avoid embarrassing both myself and EFU, so I've decided not to care. Note to self: pack more handkerchiefs.

5.I'm not losing a daughter: I'm losing a daughter and her iPod. So I need music (and a CD adapter, which I have. Somewhere.) for the trip home. Inspired by everyone's favorite multilingual bear, I went online, determined to buy this. And you know what? I'm feeling it, but I'm not feeling it at seventy bucks. Instead, I ordered two other blasts from the past. I can't wait to listen to them. I'll round out the road trip soundtrack with some Johnny Cash.
And if only I could remember these dreams... I know they're trying to tell me...something. Ooooeee. Strange dreams.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Toe Tapping Redux

For me, the most surprising thing about the reaction to the Larry Craig incident is how many otherwise clued-in 'mos seem to have been unaware of the public restroom toe-tapping maneuver. When TJ asked about it, I assumed that he was being disingenuous, but a good deal of subsequent chatter has led me to suspect otherwise. I have, of course, heard the rumors that TJ is a submissive/slave who is only allowed out of the house once a month so that his partner can show him off at Blowoff and who has to perform all manner of unspeakable sexual acts (and, really, if I won't speak about them, well, I have three words for you: "tampons" and "crème brûlée") in order to be allowed to use the computer to post to his blog, but surely the same can't be true of every guy who doesn't understand anonymous hook-up bathroom etiquette.

While it is, hopefully, true that I'm blessed with a greater than average amount of intellectual curiosity, I surely can't be the only person who is interested in reading about sexual activities that I would never engage in. (Full disclosure: I once, long ago, had a previously arranged meeting with a guy in the men's room of a department store. It was a disaster on the order of the great flood or perhaps Gotterdammerung [the opera, not the Norse god fire sale].) It's also, hopefully, true that if you gave a standardized test of sexual knowledge (aka, the STOSK), I'd score in the upper percentiles, but I've known about toe tapping (which, again, I'd never do) seemingly forever. I couldn't help wondering how I'd learned about it.

And then I remembered being a young lad, in the seventies, and opening a bedside table drawer in the spare bedroom and finding a book: Everything You Always Wanted To Know about Sex* but were afraid to ask. The thing I was most afraid to ask at the time, of course, was how my parents came to have such a book (and why it appeared to have been so carefully thumbed through), but I was soon too busy reading the book to worry about its provenance.

You can read a fairly scathing (and scathingly fair) review of the book here. The bit about toe tapping was in the chapter on homosexuals, where Dr. Reuben recounts the story of someone he interviewed who liked to go into the stalls at the local bowling alley, tap his toes a few time and then give and/or receive head.

I don't recall too much of the book, but I do recall that Dr. Reuben was very firm in his insistence that most of what people called perversion was really just an alternate expression of sexuality and should be greeted with great tolerance. Not homosexuality, though. The gays were just a sick little mini-minority who all acted the same way and needed to be cured. (Read the "Homophobophilia" section of the review.) Even as an eleven (I'm guessing) year-old boy, I found his stance hypocritical and mean. Thinking back on it now, I find it telling that he thought his bowling alley man was representative of the homosexual lifestyle. Because, really, after show tunes, if there's anything you associate with ass piracy, it's bowling, right?

Anyway, the book has, deservedly, been swallowed up in the composted manure of time, but it did inspire (the title of) a Woody Allen movie that is well worth adding to your Netflix queue. And, don't worry. If you don't understand any of what's going on in the film, drop me an e-mail, and I'll explain it to you.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Creamy or Chunky?

Natasha Fatale: what a babe.
I was chatting, a few days back, with a commenter and blogger who happened to mention that he'd had bad sex twice last week. I don't know this person very well, but given that he reads my blog, surely the sex wasn't bad because of any technical inadequacy on his part. I told him that if he's having bad sex, then he's not screening his tricks sufficiently. He agreed. I'm not sure whether he agreed because he saw the irrefutable logic behind my statement or because he realized that disagreeing with me is necessarily an exercise in futility. What does it matter, so long as I win the argument?

Anyway, if you're going to hook up with, date, share a bedroom for an indefinite period with, or marry somebody, you've got to do your best to make sure that they aren't going to disappoint you. You have to ask them, specifically, what they like and don't like and what they will or won't do. Be precise. Pin them down. Don't forget to let them back up when they say "uncle."

Not all of the important questions are obvious, however. Sure, if you only date bottoms who watch American Idol (is that redundant?), you'll want to ask about those things, but sometimes the circuitous path to enlightenment is really the most direct.

Back in the day, when I was single and chatting with a potential date, I would sometimes amuse myself (and, one hopes, the other guy) by giving him a series of one-or-the-others. I would often do this as a response to the totally ridiculous things people asked me. Like "Do you like smooth or hairy?" The answer to any question meant to elicit my type (Cut or uncut? Slim or muscular? Tall or short? Red or yellow, black or white?) is always "yes." My questions are better. The rule is that the guy you're chatting with has to pick one from pair. One response, no explanations, no evasions.

Guys who fret that the options you're giving them are too limited and/or that they need to expand on the answers are the types of people who will require six tries to schedule a coffee date. And then when you're having coffee with them, it'll take them longer than Proust to get to any point. Just say no.

Similarly, you can learn a lot about how interested and patient a guy is by how many questions you can get through before he starts changing the subject or demanding that you answer some questions that he poses. Which is, of course, entirely fair. I hate fair.

By the way, if you're so young that some of these questions don't register with you, I'd just as soon not know. Thanks.1

Anyway, some of the questions:

Bugs or Daffy?
Rocky or Bullwinkle?
Boris or Natasha?
Sherman or Mister Peabody?
Road Runner or Wile E. Coyote?
Milk or Dark?
Underwear or Commando?
Boxers or Briefs?
Cats or Dogs?
Dip or Salsa?
Still or Sparkling?
Sean Connery or Roger Moore?
Ginger or Mary Ann?
Gilligan or The Professor?
Thurston Howell III or Mike Brady?
Faulkner or Fitzgerald?
Madame Bovary or Anna Karenina?
Little Creatures or Fear of Music?
Creamy or Chunky?
Dress left or Dress right?
Coke or Pepsi?
Regular or Diet?
London or Paris?
New York or San Francisco?
Aisle or Window?
Beer or Wine?
The Lady or The Tiger?

If you want to play along at home, write down your own answers. Then you can compare them to mine and see whether e-harmony would think we're a match.

Actually, I normally ask this sort of question so that I won't have to answer it, but, for the record, here are my responses. The asterisks will be explained in due course.

*Bugs or Daffy? Bugs
Rocky or Bullwinkle? Bullwinkle
*Boris or Natasha? Natasha
Sherman or Mister Peabody? Mister Peabody
*Road Runner or Wile E. Coyote? Wile E.
*Milk or Dark? Dark
Underwear or Commando? Underwear
Boxers or Briefs? Boxer-briefs
*Cats or Dogs? Both
Dip or Salsa? Salsa
Still or Sparkling? Still
Sean Connery or Roger Moore? Sean Connery
Ginger or Mary Ann? Ginger
Gilligan or The Professor? The Professor
Thurston Howell III or Mike Brady? I am just yanking your chain with this one.
*Faulkner or Fitzgerald? Faulkner
*Madame Bovary or Anna Karenina? Anna Karenina
*Little Creatures or Fear of Music? Fear of Music
*Cream or Chunky? Chunky
Dress left or Dress right? Left
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Regular or Diet? Diet
*London or Paris? Paris
*New York or San Francisco? New York
*Aisle or Window? Window
Beer or Wine? Yes, please
*The Lady or The Tiger? The Tiger

A lot of these questions are throwaways. They might be amusing to ask and even to answer and discuss, but they give you little information about the guy. Others, however, are valuable. And a few are critical.

Bugs or Daffy? Come on. Bugs was cool; Daffy was a total moroon.

Boris or Natasha? Sometimes guys will figure they should choose Boris because it shows that they're more macho and have no interest in drag queens. Please. Natasha had it going on. You can overlook the wrong answer here (or reward the right answer) if your counterpart knows the surnames. (Do I have to do everything for you people? Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale.)

Road Runner or Wile E. Coyote? If a guy chooses Road Runner, you can totally invite him over and pound him until he cries "Meep meep!" And then send him on his way. No character in 20th century cartoondom is more tragic or worthy or respect than Wile E. Coyote. In the face of Sisyphean odds, he keeps after the thing that he must know he can never have -- sort of like my phone stalker. The Coyote -- very much unlike my phone stalker -- has a great depth of character. The man who chooses Wile E. is the kind of man you want to marry.2

Milk or Dark? Guys who prefer dark chocolate are better and more adventurous lovers. If you like your sex vanilla, choose a man who likes milk chocolate. By the way, anyone who ignores your options and chooses white chocolate (ewwww, ewwwww, ewwwwwwwwww) deserves nothing but your contempt. He's only worth doing if you're into branding. Nobody's into branding, right?

Cats or Dogs? It doesn't matter so much which he chooses, but his choice should be the same as yours. By the way, if he says "both," he's just trying to not choose the wrong one because he wants into your pants; in other words, if he's a bottom, you should tie him down, plow him and then ignore him, which will make you both happy. I'm the only person who likes both cats and dogs more or less equally.

Faulkner or Fitzgerald? God, how I hate Fitzgerald. Conversely, I adore Faulkner. I may be the only person who cares, so you may want to substitute something like "Britney or Christina?" or whatever it is that you kids these days consider culture. Just don't include "Paris" in any context where you might mean Ms. Hilton instead of the French capital. See below.

Madame Bovary or Anna Karenina? Sure, they both committed suicide, but that Bovary bitch swallowed arsenic and died painfully over a period of days. Anna K turned an express train into a local, and it was all over in a snap. Again, nobody except me cares about this one. Also, anyone who didn't notice that you didn't italicize and were, therefore talking about the characters rather than the novels, is not sufficiently detail oriented. In other words, he has a loose ass.

Little Creatures or Fear of Music? Anyone who understands the question is sure to be great in the sack, regardless of his choice. Go over to his place, fuck two loads out of him, and steal some of his CDs. Date him long enough to download them to your iPod and regift them to him on his birthday. Excuse me? Of course I have never done such a thing. Why do you ask? Extra points to anyone who responds Remain in Light.

Creamy or Chunky? Similar to cats and dogs, a house divided against itself over peanut butter cannot stand. Actually, that's not true: you can have two jars, but it's tricky. By the way, be sure that a guy who says chunky is talking about sandwiches and not sex toys. Even I switch over to creamy if peanut butter is making a cameo in my horizontal quality time.

London or Paris? This is not such a big deal unless you suspect that the person replying Paris means Paris Hilton. In which case you should kermit away with all possible speed. By the way, if a guy chooses London, don't expect any romance from him.

New York or San Francisco? If you live in one of these cities, the answer to this question is of vital importance. The rest of us really don't get what the pissing match is all about.

Aisle or Window? In this case, you want, if at all possible, to find someone who wants the opposite of what you want. Sort of like that whole top and bottom thing.

The Lady or The Tiger. People who pick the tiger are pragmatic, skeptical, and horny, with higher median incomes. People who pick the lady are charmingly naive and live in another world, which they will enable you to visit. Your call.

1Also, if you want to complain about my capitalization here, I agree with you. I don't know that there's a right way to capitalize here, but if there is, I'm sure I haven't followed it.

2I am mostly serious about this one. If you're a Republican, however, you should stick with people who answer Road Runner, even though Wile E. shares your views on product safety regulation.

Why We Really Need Term Limits

I, for one, don't understand much of the uproar concerning the Larry Craig incident. After all, what does "public service" mean if it doesn't mean "giving a blowjob in the airport restroom"? Besides, at this point, don't we pretty much expect all Republican elected officials to be closeted cocksuckers? Seriously, would you be all that surprised if you found out that the real reason Dubya was upset about the resignation of his attorney general is that Gonzales gives much better head than the rest of the cabinet? I'll allow you a moment to clear that rather unpleasant mental picture out of your head.

The Craig incident highlights a number of important issues, none of which are what he was really doing in that men's room (after all, we all know what he was doing in that men's room).

1. Our elected officials need sabbaticals. After four terms in the House of Representatives or two terms in the Senate, you ought to be sent out to toil among the real people. Senators are far too insulated from the real world to effectively represent their constituents. How else is it possible, in 2007, for a guy who spends most of his time in the capital of the free world not to know about sex on the Internet? I mean, he's got a private office where he can guarantee that he won't be disturbed, and if that's busy (you know, like if trick #1 is still recovering from the awesome Craig head or is still vomiting while trick #2 is coming up in the elevator), I hear that the washrooms in the Senate are much nicer than those at the Minneapolis airport. No plain clothes police officers, either.

2. Public sex is so 1973. What we need is more semi-public sex. Bookstores, sex clubs, darkrooms, etc. If you're going to be waving your cock around in front of other people, make sure they're the sort of people who enjoy seeing a cock waved around. I'm probably too frightened to engage even in semi-public sex, but I might watch, and a lot of people are willing and eager to engage. Somebody ought to step forward and provide comfortable and hygienic venues. This is an area where I favor a free market solution. A necessary corollary is that the rest of society needs to get over itself and not attempt to legislate prudishness. I favor getting rid of the current second amendment and replacing it with something about not infringing upon the privacy rights of consenting adults. The exact wording is left as an exercise to the reader.

3. Exact wording matters. This douchebag got in front of the microphones and cameras to say "I am not gay. I never have been gay." Deep, deep sigh. Surely the question is not whether you're gay; it's whether you were giving and/or getting blowjobs in public washrooms. I'm perfectly willing not to call you gay. I call myself gay, and I would prefer that there be as few words as possible that apply to both of us. Of course, the more disturbing implication of what he said is that he believes that his constituents are more comfortable with the idea of him receiving head in a men's room than they are with having a gay Senator.

I expect that where this whole affair goes next is through the well-traveled terrain of counseling, rehab, tearful interviews, and deciding not to run for re-election so that he can spend more time with his family. Then he'll get divorced, find a high-paying lobbying job, and become a fixture on Manhunt and at Windows. If you see him there, let him buy you a drink and then laugh at him. He's probably compensating for a small endowment, and it's a safe bet that he sucks cock about as well as he uses the Internet. In the end, he'll have a houseboy and some sort of addiction, and his memoirs will be remaindered. His kids won't talk to him, but he'll say that he's never been happier.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Personal Sexual History - II: Female Trouble

I can't write a personal sexual history without discussing the breeder years. Alas. I apologize in advance. Let me assure you that I have long since considered myself a Kinsey six, so I'll avoid any overly explicit talk about sexual activities with the other gender. I'm sure I'd find it just as disquieting as you would. If, on the other hand, you're all about the female erogenous zones, well, I'm sure you can google "boobies" and find what you're looking for.

I was in sixth grade when I had my first girlfriend. I still remember her name. It was a definite case of puppy love. I remember going to a middle school dance with her and holding her hands on the dance floor. All of the cool kids, who were not willing to go that far, formed a circle around us and danced (separately) along. I could have died from embarrassment.

I don't remember much else about that particular proto-relationship. I do know that she was easy to talk to and fun to hang out with. Also that she really wanted me to kiss her, and I wouldn't. Maybe that (along with that whole sex-with-my-best-friend thing that happened a year or two later) should have been a clue. Anyway, when seventh grade started, she went to a different school, and that was that.

I didn't date again, at all, until I was a junior in high school. I developed a crush on the smartest girl in the senior class. I met her at practice for our high school's It's Academic team. I was kind of a nerd (but at least I was good at it). Anyway, we got to know each other, and before long, we were spending two hours a night on the phone, talking. We'd hang out at lunch and after school. At one point, I indicated an interest in a more romantic relationship, and soon after, we were standing in front of the library (no, really) late one afternoon, and she put her arms around my neck and looked up at me, expectantly. I had no clue.

We did eventually go on a couple of dates. On the first date, I drove her home and finally went to kiss her, and I was surprised, and not really pleased, to see the tongue come out. She later told one of her other friends that I was the worst kisser she'd ever encountered. At least I was memorable. On our second date, we went to a party at somebody's house, and she spent the last two hours making out with somebody else. After that, we figured that dating each other wasn't in our best interests, but I was still clueless as to why. She eventually ended up engaged to the only guy in her class who was smarter than me. He ended up calling off the engagement, leaving me with mixed feelings. We were very good friends for many years thereafter, though I haven't spoken to her in about ten years. I should probably e-mail her. The last time we got together, we were both married and we both had two young children. I have some explaining to do, I reckon.

I had one other girlfriend, for maybe two months, during my senior year of high school. Most of our dates ended with a half hour of making out somewhere dark in the car, but it was just kind of pleasant for me. I don't remember any particular hunger for more, and I don't remember any wood.

When I look back at that time, and the twenty or so years that followed it, I think, "How could I not have known?" In my (particularly weak) defense, I can only say that I grew up in an environment where sex was not discussed. I was raised Southern Baptist, and my parents idea of teaching me about sex was to give me a book on the subject when I was thirteen. The book had been written by someone associated with the church, so it was a combination of biology and "don't." I don't think my parents knew what homosexuality was, so it wasn't so much condemned as it was ignored. And I certainly didn't know any openly gay students. (There was one guy a year older than I whom the other kids made fun of, but he wasn't out. He lived in my neighborhood, but I didn't really know him. I was home visiting about ten years later, and I heard that he'd died of AIDS. My mother was talking to a neighbor who expressed surprise that there were "so many young men at his funeral." That same neighbor has now been a beard for her male companion for something like thirty years, and I'm not sure she knows he's gay.) Gay characters weren't at all common on TV or in movies at the time. Not that I was allowed to watch much TV or many movies. I certainly wasn't aware of any instances of two men living together as a couple, or having a relationship of any sort. I knew that experimentation and fooling around were fairly common among adolescents, but eventually, everyone grew up and got married and had kids, right?

Still, how could I not have known? And, more to the point, how could it have taken me so long to figure out. There's really no good answer to either question. It does seem, however, that my cluelessness largely worked in my self-interest (not something I'm proud of, by the way). If I had known, I wouldn't have children now. And I'd probably have been going to porn theatres and glory holes and various other venues for anonymous sex in the early eighties, and that didn't work out well for many of the people involved.

College was a particularly sexless experience for me. I lived in an all-male dorm, but aside from frequent masturbation, there was nothing going on in my room. I had a crush on one of the guys who lived down the hall, but I didn't know how to process it.

I met my now-ex-wife not long after college. I was rooming with a couple of graduate students, and they one of them thought I should be dating his officemate. His officemate wasn't interested, but she had a party where she introduced me to a friend of hers. Then she (the officemate) badgered me into asking her friend out. Aside from both being graduates of MIT (my ex-wife graduated just before I got there), we didn't really have anything in common except for a deep and abiding respect for Grace Jones, but relationships have certainly been founded on less.

I think the ex and I probably started having sex on the third date. I wasn't sure how that was going to go, but it went pretty well. I got turned on by the kissing and by playing with her nipples, things that are still major generators of excitement for me, though they're so much better with men that there's really no comparison. Most guys in their twenties are excessively horny creatures, so almost any stimulation will work. Most women have nice lips, and the ex had a truly excellent rack, so it was all good.

Problems didn't really start to surface until after we were married. We were engaged within six months of first going out, and then we were married about another six months later. She was finishing her Ph.D., so we mostly saw each other on weekends, but sex was pretty much a given whenever we were together. We had a lot of sex on our honeymoon, and then we came home and had sex maybe four times over the next year. It was just weird, and it truly wasn't me. I was as horny as ever, but she had issues. Big issues. Issues that she never finished working through, at least for as long as we were married. Sex was suddenly almost frightening for her.

I do think that a true breeder would have been so frustrated by the lack of sex that the marriage would have fallen apart after a year or so. I was frustrated, but it wasn't as big a deal for me. I could still jerk off, after all. So I complained some, but not too much, and then after a couple of years, we decided to have a child. That probably would have resulted in a lot more sex, but EFU was conceived on the first shot. Then there wasn't much sex during the pregnancy, and then there wasn't any sex for the two years after the pregnancy. After that, there were periods where we were more active, especially after we went through a period of joint counseling, but for the most part, sex was rare because she wasn't willing. We were having a bit more sex before YFU was conceived (it took several months), but then the second pregnancy was even more difficult than the first, and our sex life never rebounded. I had pretty much lost interest. At first, I thought that I had just been shot down one too many times to get my hopes up again, but it became clear that something was different. It took a while for me to understand just what that thing was (the evidence was plentiful, but I was again clueless), but sex with the ex became almost tedious for me. She was interested slightly more frequently, and I had no trouble getting an erection, but we would go at it until she was too sore to continue, and I wouldn't cum. That was awful for both of us, so I just stopped trying.

I don't think I was bad at the heterosex, though. The ex once told me that she'd initially had trouble believing that I was gay because I'd always been "so passionate" when we were having sex. I guess she must have meant compared to the other guys she'd fucked before she knew me (It was only three guys, if memory serves, but given that she's the only woman I ever bedded, I can hardly complain about her being an amateur; besides, she'd lived with one of those guys for ten years, so I have to figure they had sex at least a couple dozen times. Would that I were only being snarky.) because while sex with the ex was physically pleasant, my level of passion was nothing like it is with a guy. It's a matter of having the right tools to work with. You can bang nails into a board all day with a rock if you have to, but once you have a hammer, then you know what nailing is supposed to be. I would apologize for the obviousness and clumsiness of that metaphor, but if you've read this far, you're clearly a glutton for punishment, so shut up and take it, bitch.

Anyway, I think the last time I had sex with the ex was a few months before I finally admitted to myself that I'm gay. So that would be about six months before I admitted to the ex that I'm gay and about ten months before I actually had sex with a man. But more about that in the next installment, which, I promise, will be much, much heavier on the smut.

Monday, August 27, 2007

WIDOMSV VI - Not with a Bang but a Whimper

The picture above was taken just down the hill from my folks' Pennsylvania house. I could see them from the front porch, and I drove by fields and fields of these piles while I was in Pennsylvania. For years, I'd thought they were hay, but they're actually bundles of oats. It rained briefly a number of times while we were up there, and I believe (my Somerset County reader can correct me if I'm wrong; also, drop me an e-mail; I promise not to stalk you: I outsource my stalking to India these days) the farmers are waiting for a few days of sun before they go rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. The bunches of oats always give me a peaceful feeling, probably because I don't watch people sweating to make them. Or maybe it's a marker of the turning of the seasons or a reminder of amber waves of grain. Anyway, I like them.

We left Pennsylvania on Saturday (nine days ago; yes, it has taken me six entries and more than a week to write about a vacation where mostly I sat around playing cards or reading the first volume of Kristin Lavransdatter) . The morning before, my father took me to the local wholesale produce auction. It's less than a mile from where they live, and I've been driving by the site for a few years, so I was curious. We ran into one of my father's cousins up there. Not the ones who live next door. My paternal grandmother was Amish as a child, but her family left the church. My paternal grandfather was originally Mennonite. In any case, I come from people who believed in having lots and lots of children, so you really can't swing a dead cat up there without hitting one of my cousins. That might be because the Mennonites are deeply opposed to animal cruelty, though.1

Anyway, the auction was kind of cool. Maybe more cool if you're in the market for eighty dozen ears of sweet corn, but cool to watch even if you don't run a farmstand or a restaurant. There were a few items sold in small lots.
But the smaller lots didn't get sold until the end of the auction, and we only stayed for half an hour or so. The auctioneer was amusing to listen to. Earlier in the morning, Mom had said she'd seen one of the local farmers headed to market with a wagonload of mums (they follow me everywhere!), and, sure enough, there they were.
I don't pretend to be an expert on the ways of the Amish. Mom knows a fair amount about them, and Dad knows a lot more. There was a large group of Amish men at the auction. I understand that some Amish are sensitive about having their pictures taken, so I didn't take it, but they mostly stood together as a group, not to close to where the bidding was happening. It occurs to me that most of them were probably sellers rather than buyers. They all have gardens, after all, so they probably don't need to buy large amounts of produce. And they apparently don't have a lot of cash on hand. Mom said that one of her neighbors wasn't making jam this year because she couldn't afford sugar. Mom was thinking about taking her a ten-pound bag. She was worried that doing so might give offense, but Dad thought it would be okay.

Mom also said that a lot of the local Amish had given up making desserts because of not having sugar. I wonder about that, but, frankly, it wouldn't be much of a loss. They're much better with potatoes.
I wonder how many miles an Amish farmer gets on a bushel of oats. There don't appear to be any EPA standards. There is a lot of horseshit on the local roads, but horseshit is kind of easy to avoid and generally less unpleasant than, say, cow manure.

Anyway, we left Pennsylvania Saturday afternoon. We drove home via the Hagerstown outlets, where I spent three hours buying EFU clothing and other supplies for college. I don't spend three hours a year buying my own clothing, but she was happy with her haul, so I guess that's good. YFU got a couple of items, too. She was still looking for a first day of school outfit. She had some nice clothes that my mother bought her earlier in the summer, but she said they were all better second day of school outfits. Apparently, none of them fully expressed who she was. Or so she said. I suppose that when you're going to middle school for the first time, you don't want any clothing-related faux pas. Otherwise, you might go three years before you get another chance to fully express yourself. I guess if I ever decide to start hitting the gay bars, I can hire her as a consultant. Today was her first day.

This Saturday, I'll be driving EFU to Vermont to begin her adventures in higher education. I think that if a child is leaving home, she shouldn't expect a ride, but apparently societal standards differ. Maybe I'll see the beginnings of some fall foliage. Tempus fugit.

1Dead cat swinging was originally slated to be an exhibition sport at the Beijing Olympics, but it has been dropped. The American Dead Cat Swinging Society (google them if you want their website, but be warned that it's NSFW) has gotten its back up and has gotten into a bit of a hissing match with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who were significantly less disappointed at the sport's exclusion. The ADCSS blames groups like the ASPCA and PETA (oddly, PETA has no official position on dead cat swinging) for the IOC's decision, but it is not clear that the animal rights movement is entirely responsible. The Egyptian Olympic Committee, for one, is known to have complained that dead cat swinging was insensitive to "countries with a tradition of feline-based polytheism. Additionally, there are reports that one or more confused translaters rendered "dead cat swinging" as "polyamorous bestial necrophilia," a practice that is, apparently, without an effective lobby.

Wretched Excess

There's an old saying that you probably know. The world can be divided into two kinds of people: those who believe the world can be divided into two kinds of people, those who don't believe the world can be divided into two kinds of people, and those who can't count.

Anyway, my favorite two-kinds division is guests and hosts. You're either more comfortable attending someone else's party or hosting your own. I'm very much more comfortable as a host: I have control over the guest list, and I never have to ask where the bathroom is. There's also the fact that I don't have to drive home afterwards, so I can drink as much as I want. That's not such a big deal, though, in part because it takes so little alcohol to get me drunk, but mostly because I always make b&c drive, so I can get as blotto as I want even if it's not my party. Hell, I could even have that third beer!

We had a small barbecue/party on Saturday evening. We would probably entertain more, but b&c has been away a lot, and I'm, well, some would say I'm not the best planner. B&c mentioned last Sunday that Saturday would be a good day to "do something" and I said, "Sure." Then on Monday we started thinking about what "do something" might entail but not until we were finished with the evening's horizontal quality time and subsequent dinner, so we didn't really make any decisions. On Tuesday, we decided that b&c would grill some meat products, and I'd make appetizers, side dishes, something alcoholic, and dessert. On Wednesday, it occurred to me that I needed to invite people. It's always something.

I've learned a few things about giving dinner parties over the years.

1. Less is more. Back in the day (i.e., 2006), when we entertained, I'd spend two days cooking, exhaust myself, and make way too much of many different things. But I've learned that if you tire yourself out cooking, you can't drink as much, so nowadays, I prepare fewer dishes, buy some things pre-made, get everything done in a few hours, and make way too much of fewer foods.

2. While it's true that you will feel simply awful if your partner sets the grill on fire and there isn't enough food to feed both the fire department and the police when they show up, your partner setting the grill on fire is really a low probability event. So stock up on plastic wrap.

3. A drunk guest is a happy guest. And a guest who's easier to grope. With this in mind, it's okay to lie about how strong the beverages are. It's for the greater good.

4. Everyone likes punch. Sangria is a good choice. The secret to making good sangria is to find the cheapest red wine possible. I used a five-liter box of Franzia Chillable Red. It's completely undrinkable by itself, but it makes terrific sangria. And at $9.99, it works out to the equivalent of a buck fifty a bottle.

5. A barbecue is not technically a dinner party, so you don't have to set a table or assign seating.

Anyway, everybody ate and drank too much and had a terrific time. My friends are unfailingly polite. I'd told them to come at 6:30 "or whenever." They were all there by 7, and they all left at midnight. And despite my repeated protestations that they shouldn't bring anything, we ended up with two bottles of wine, two bags of cookies, a bag of ripe tomatoes, and a pot of mums (two took me at my word and didn't bring anything: the bastards!). You can see most of it in the picture above. The tomatoes and one bag of cookies got eaten during the party, though.

I'm not sure what to do with the pot of mums. B&c says he can plant them in the yard, but I suspect he might not get around to it. We'll eat the cookies and drink the wine (one of the bottles is branded Ménage à Trois, so I reckon I have to save it for a threeway), but, really, I'm kind of over all of these house gifts. I'm sure my friends' hearts are in the right place, but I'm not going to take it any more. The next time, I'll put "bring nothing but your fine self" in the invitation, and if they still ask me what they can bring, I'll tell them to bring a blowjob.

I reckon then they finally will learn not to bring anything. Either that, or I'll get some blowjobs. It's win-win!

Friday, August 24, 2007

WIDOMSV V - More Amusement

Every once in a while, b&c and I will be about to go out, and he'll look at me and ask, "Am I driving," and I'll stare back at him, as if to say, "Do I have to go look for the pod again?" before he'll say, "Oh, yeah. Dumb question." As it happens -- and I'll never tell him this -- b&c is a pretty bad driver, but he's not bad in a dangerous way, and if my disdain for his driving tries to fight with my dislike of getting behind the wheel, well, it's a very short fight.

Really, though, it's not so much that I hate to drive as that I can't stand the temerity of other drivers who want me to share my road with them. I'm perfectly content to drive on the open highway (unless the traffic's heavy, I'm pretty good at staying between rather than within clumps of cars), and I actively enjoy driving on scenic back roads. Which is yet another good reason to drive a long way to places while on vacation.

Idlewild is probably a ninety minute drive from my parents' place in Pennsylvania. It's hard to say exactly because we always stop for a meal on the way there and another on the way back. And because I don't take the quickest route. (Google Maps says that my route should take an hour and thirty-four minutes and that its suggested route would take an hour and nineteen minutes.) I used to take the quickest route, but then one year I missed a turn and had to take a parallel route, and I ended up driving through a state park and then an area with a lot of large manor houses. When we got to one turn in the road, there was a long driveway, and a couple was out walking a whole pack of hounds. I haven't ever seen the pack of hounds on subsequent trips, but it's so much nicer a drive that it much more than makes up for the extra fifteen minutes.

Idlewild's a pretty big place and includes a waterpark and a storybook area. I mostly like the older amusement rides, including the old 1930s wooden roller coaster. YFU loves the whole park, including the Spider (pictured at the top), the only ride that I have to be cajoled into riding. EFU pretty much avoids anything even remotely stomach churning. I don't think she had the greatest time this year. Her mind's already on college, and there isn't a lot at Idlewild for her, but she doesn't complain. This year, while YFU spent an hour in the waterpark in the mid-afternoon, I bought a deck of cards, and EFU and I played Egyptian rat screw and talked. It was fun. EFU is also good at the competitive games that involve rolling balls or hammering gophers, and she won two stuffed animals this year. As is her tradition, she named her stuffed animals after sexually transmitted diseases. I shit you not1. She already had Gonorrhea and Syphilis at home, and now she has Crabs and Herpes. Crabs is a puppy; Herpes is a teddy bear.

Anyway, the STDs weren't around until sometime in the afternoon, and I noticed pretty quickly after I got there that I was ogling the men and thinking about sex (even) more than usual. But, really, with amusement park rides, how can you help it? Here, for example, is the Round Up. It's at rest, and everyone's pretty quiet.
Then, a minute or two into the ride, it's semi-erect, and all the riders are getting excited.
And then, pretty soon, it's all the way up, and everybody's screaming and having a great time.
There are a lot of guys to ogle at Idlewild. I really, really suck at getting pictures of attractive guys, but the park is pretty much packed with twenty-something and thirty-something dads. A lot of these guys are fit and wearing tank tops. And a lot of them have goatees and tattoos, probably to demonstrate their virility. Really, you'd think you were in Dupont Circle if it weren't for the tragic haircuts and footwear choices. Here's a cute guy with a tragic haircut. The picture doesn't do him justice.
Apparently, I have a bad habit of taking a lot of pictures of the skeletons of amusement park rides. I find them fascinating. I don't know why. Here's the Wild Mouse, Idlewild's most aggressive roller coaster. It's hella fun.
Here's a picture of the Ferris wheel.
I didn't take it to show the skeleton, though. I took it to show these guys.
I suppose they might have been a father and son from Scandinavia, but I think more likely they were a daddy and boy from Pittsburgh. In any case, they were two of the few men who were not accessorized with small children. Here's another pic of the Ferris wheel, from the inside.
And here's the view from the top. Now you know how I see things. (I gave apologizing for bad jokes for Lent. Your loss.)
Here's one of the guys who got off the Ferris wheel shortly before me. Again, it's a bad picture, but he's really pretty hot if you ignore the accessories. And the tragic footwear. You know, back in the day, if you wanted to be tragic, you had to kill your father, become king yourself, marry your mother, find out about it all, and put your eyes out. Nowadays, you just have to wear sandals. I would lament the (tragic) erosion of standards, but I reckon the elements of pitty and terror are still there.
To be honest, I don't judge people by their footwear. Apparently, none of the men in Idlewild own flip flops, but neither do I. I was wearing some New Balance shoes with no-show socks. I would be afraid to wear either sandals or my New Balances with mid-calf white socks, but the guys at Idlewild weren't. I suppose it's good to have a way to identify the breeders.

You can't go to an amusement park and not eat bad food. I had a lot of Diet Pepsi and a hot dog, and then I had a cyclone cone. They sell cyclone cones from one window of this building. They sell funnel cakes from the other window.
A cyclone cone is a large waffle cone with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream. It's delicious and very bad for you, and it's four bucks. EFU and I each had one. YFU had the funnel cake. For $3.95, they'll cover it with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, a mountain of strawberries, and a lot of whipped cream. Also delicious and very bad for you, and even more filling than the cyclone cone. It's the sort of indulgence that amusement parks are built on.
I'm not sure about the wisdom of having a cyclone cone just before riding the Scrambler, but I rode it with YFU anyway. Then we rode it again. There were usually some reasonably cute guys standing by the amusement rides, watching.
If you don't look too carefully, the fence blocks the stroller and the five-year old. As a general rule, I don't lust after straight men, but if there hasn't been anyone to lust after for a while, and the evidence of breederdom is hidden, I can make an exception.

I'm not sure that we'll be going back to Idlewild next year. It's not clear to me that my folks will come back to Pennsylvania next summer. YFU would be just as happy at Hershey Park, Six Flags, or Kings Dominion. EFU's off to college, and even if she's back, she probably won't want to do amusement parks, even to win more stuffed animals: she's already got the major STDs covered. I try not to be too nostalgic about it. After all, maybe she'll decide to branch out. Who doesn't want a stuffed frog named Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis, after all.

1Really, I shit you not: she names her stuffed animals after STDs. The poor child has inherited her father's sense of humor (I suggested Scabies, but she didn't know what it was). But it's not my fault: her mother doesn't have one to pass along.

Healthy Skepticism: in Memory of Kaycee Nicole

I'll be back to writing smut (and posting vacation pictures) soon. But first, this aside.

A number of years ago, I participated in a large community weblog called MetaFilter. Back in 2000 and 2001 (I had to go and check the dates: it really has been a while), many members there were following the story of a young woman named Kaycee Nicole. She was suffering from some form of cancer, and her incredible spirit in the face of terminal disease was an inspiration to many people. When she finally succumbed, people were devastated.

Except, she didn't. She didn't exist, so she couldn't have an incredible spirit and she couldn't ultimately succumb. When someone first suggested that she hadn't existed, there were angry responses: she must have existed because her story was so detailed; she must have existed because no one would fake such a thing; she must have existed because I felt so sorry for her; she must have existed and to suggest that she didn't is a horrible, horrible thing, and you are a horrible, horrible person.

But finally, the truth came out, and people were devastated all over again because while Kaycee hadn't died, they'd lost something more precious to them: their naivete.

Hoaxes, of course, predate the Internet. Often they're mostly harmless; sometimes, they're not. But while hoaxes have been around forever, it does seem that they propagate more quickly on the Internet. Sometimes, they unravel more quickly, too. A lot of them are similar in a lot of ways to the Kaycee Nicole incident.

I hadn't followed the blog purportedly written by Kaycee Nicole, but I did follow the reaction to its debunking. Here's what I wrote back then*:
I'm not aware of, nor do I care about, the particulars of this case, but I hope that people will learn something from it; namely, that it pays to have a healthy skepticism about anything you see on the web.

The very nature of the Internet encourages this type of deception because accountability is severely limited where it exists at all. And because the medium is anonymous and impersonal. People put on faces every day. They show you the part of themselves that they want you to see. If you're dealing with the person face to face, you may still be taken in, but you have a lot more information to use to determine the person's veracity. And you have immediate feedback. On the net, people can show you a very limited piece of themselves, and they have plenty of time to refine what they say to make it credible. The net is supposed to bring people together, but that works only at a superficial level. I think it actually discourages a lot of people from forming more meaningful relationships.

I talk with people on the Internet all the time, but I try to take the interaction for what it is: words on the screen. If it's a person who's local and who I think would make a good friend, then I try to meet him, because to me, he's not a real person until I do meet him. Or at least not a complete person. When you mix the real and the unreal, you get trouble. Reading someone's page and having compassion is fine, but then crossing the line and sending real stuff to an assumed real person is asking for trouble.

I sympathize with what everyone is saying, but some of it strikes me as disingenuous. Saying things like "I'm 100% certain" that so-and-so was/wasn't involved is misguided. You can't even be 100% certain that you're going to wake up tomorrow. "It doesn't make sense that..." is not much better. People on the web do things that don't make sense all the time. I'm not saying that you're wrong, only that your certainty is illusory.

I'm sorry, but saying that it doesn't matter whether it was real or not is ludicrous. All that compassion you felt was felt for something unreal. Until you knew that this person wasn't real, you'd have said that the compassion was largely for her benefit. Now that she's not real, suddenly it was for your benefit? Compassion is not a physical entity. If you put more of it out in the atmosphere, it's not suddenly available for people who need it to take. The likely result of this incident is that people will feel less compassion for people who genuinely need it, and that's not good.

Skepticism is not the same thing as cynicism. I am not a cynical person. And I think I'm a fairly compassionate person. But it makes more sense for the actions based on that compassion to benefit people I know. Or if it's people I don't know, it makes more sense to do it through a legitimate charity.

The other thing is that the web is a public medium, similar to the legitimate press but without the controls. Anything you put out here is subject to public scrutiny. It doesn't matter whether people have a right to know: they have the ability and the opportunity to investigate, and no one else has a right to stop them.

Does honesty on the web really matter? I think it does. Fiction is fine, but don't mix fiction with real life. At some point, you will be deceiving other people who will get hurt when they find out you aren't who you say you are. And you're making the Internet, and the world, a slightly less reliable place with each falsehood. And, usually, you're doing it for your own benefit: to drive up your hit count or to garner praise from your commenters. In short, to get attention.

But skepticism matters, too. I might be dismayed when someone turns out to have been telling tales and channeling multiple personalities onto multiple blogs, but the person who's doing it is usually some wounded soul who deserves to be ostracized but also deserves at least a bit of pity. But I'm more dismayed that everyone accepts such information blindly. Even, often, after compelling evidence comes to light that someone isn't being forthright.

We are a gullible people and a gullible nation, and it gets us into a lot of trouble. Not having a healthy skepticism about what people tell you might only lead you to believe some joker on the Internet, but it might also lead you to support a war that shouldn't be fought or to vote for an administration that doesn't deserve a first or second term. The scope of the problems is, obviously, vastly different, but the causes -- a lack of critical thinking, an unwillingness to ask hard questions, and a refusal to see that people will lie to you if it will benefit them -- of all those problems are the same.

In case any of you don't know what I'm talking about, I'm talking about this. I didn't read about it there first: I can't read Durban Bud at work. I read about it first on the blog of the accused, and, at first, I thought that TJ might be mistaken, and I left a kind, albeit vague, comment on the accused's blog. Having read various posts from both the blogs in question and the people who were calling them out, and, more importantly, having recalled some of my earlier qualms about some of the blogs in question, I came to believe that TJ (and others) were correct.

I'm not going to go into specifics: I'm merely stating my reasoned opinion. In my opinion, one person is claiming to be several different bloggers. In part to get more attention and in part to bolster his own credibility. If you look at some of the posts from today, you will see not only internal inconsistencies, but the spectacle of one person pretending to be two bloggers, playing good cop/bad cop with himself.

Your opinion may be different. You may think I'm being a jerk, but then I may think you're being gullible. And you may think that it just doesn't matter whether it's true or not, but I think that pretending to be a dying person in order to get attention is sad. And cruel. And that it matters.

(*Full disclosure: I wrote that under a different nickname than the one I use here. I have two blogs, and I use that other nickname for the other blog. It is a cooking blog. I used to use that nickname when I commented on gay blogs, but then people from, say, I Probably Hate You would find their way to my cooking blog and leave filthy -- and badly misspelled -- comments, which I had to delete [filthy comments are encouraged here, but do your best on the spelling, please]. Also, I couldn't really talk about the buttsex on my cooking blog, so I started this one. I still post recipes on the other one every couple of weeks, and if you really want to read it, e-mail me, and I'll give you the URL. It would be easier to just ask for a recipe, though.)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

WIDOMSV IV - Amusement

Warning: this post is pretty much entirely SFW. My apologies. I know that some of you have begun to accuse me of wholesomeness, and, let me just say: it stings, people. Anyway, if you want smut, just page down to the next post. Also, I promise more smut soon. I only go on vacation two or three times a year. Smut happens all the time. Mmmmmm, smut.


When I'm up in the wilds of southwestern, Pennsylvania, sitting on the front porch, staring off into the mountains, and pondering the ways of the Amish might be enough of a vacation for me, but the progeny frequently require additional diversion, and, difficult though it may be to believe, the search for windmill exhibits is not always enough. Fortunately, when you're up in the mountains, the driving is pleasant, and driving for forty-five minutes or an hour (or maybe more) doesn't seem like all that much, especially if there's ice cream along the way. Over the last few years, we've come up with a small list of activities that we try to hit on every vacation. Chief among these is the alpine slides at the Seven Springs resort. Seven Springs appears to be mainly a ski resort, so I'm guessing the bulk of their business happens in the winter. During the summer, there are usually some families there. There might be some business retreats happening, too. I'm not sure. They have pools and tennis courts and water slides and restaurants and all that. We sometimes grab a meal when we're over there, but mostly we just go for the alpine slides.
I like zooming down the mountain on the slides, but mostly I enjoy the chairlift ride up the mountain and then hanging around up top. Because of the way the tickets are priced, we usually by them in books of five, which means that EFU and YFU can each go up and down the mountain twice for each time I go once.
The trip up takes about ten minutes, and affords you the opportunity to check out the track, make fun of the people who are coming down too slowly, and look for chipmunks. We saw a few chipmunks, but they're usually in motion, and I can never get a good picture of them. Chipmunks are cute. They don't really sing in high squeaky voices like Simon, Alvin, and Theodore, though. Theodore is my favorite, obviously. I identify with him because he's such a top.
Most people arrive at the top of the chair lift and head immediately down the hill to grab a slide and wait their turn to race down the mountain. EFU and YFU did that, but since they had two tickets each to my one, I told them to go down and come back up without me. I'd walk around for a while and then take a slide down with them on their second go-round.
It's very nice up there, especially if you ignore the construction sites. They're always building new condos up there, but you can walk in the other direction and look out over the valley below.
Or just wander around. I figured I had about twenty-five minutes to meander, so I set off towards one of the ski trails. It was a very clear day, and pretty soon I was over underneath another lift, which wasn't operating because it was summer. The snowmaking equipment was similarly idle.
There was a relatively cute, late thirty-something or early forty-something guy out walking a small dog, and he said hello to me. He asked me how far it was to the other lift, and I said that I'd just come from there and that it was only five minutes or so away. He remarked how nice and peaceful it was on the top of the mountain. I concurred. I wondered briefly whether he was gay (it was a very frou frou dog) and cruising me, but I decided that I was just feeling the effects of several days without any male companionship. I'm sure he's just like the cute married guy who often gets on the elevator at the same time as me in the morning at work. He smiles so much because he's a friendly person. On the one hand, it's a good thing that I still work in and visit places where strangers can smile at and talk to each other. On the other hand, a world where not every man I meet wants me to take him back to his mountaintop condo and have my way with him is a bad world.

Still, at least there are wildflowers. Even on the mountaintop.
After EFU and YFU had each gone up and down the mountain four times (meaning I'd gotten to ride the slide twice; "ride the slide" is not a euphemism, at least not this time), they were satisfied, and we headed back towards my parents' place. Naturally, they wanted ice cream, so we stopped in Rockwood.
Rockwood is a small town that, apparently, once had an opera house. I suppose they still have an opera house, but it's been converted to retail space. I didn't spot any divas there, but I wasn't looking too hard. The ice cream place has a flavor called Rockwood. It's maple flavored, with pretzel sticks and chocolate balls. That part of Pennsylvania has a small maple syrup industry. (I have it on good authority, however, that some of the local vendors buy truckloads of maple syrup from Vermont and repackage it locally. Oh, the humanity.) The chocolate balls represent rocks, and the pretzel sticks represent wood. Personally, I found the interpretation a bit too literal, so I had a cone of creamsicle ice cream instead. I did get a taste of the Rockwood, and it was pretty good, but the creamsicle was better.
There is also a bakery in the same store. They were selling several varieties of a regional specialty: the whoopie pie. The whoopie pie is a good example of the sort of baked good that could, and perhaps sometime is, be made very well but is usually uninspired. Most of the whoopie pies that I've encountered have been downright bad, but they are undeniably popular.
After our ice cream, we headed back to the car and drove back to my folks' place. Not, however, before seeing something shocking.
All those apples, rotting by the side of the parking lot. You hear all the time about how people in small towns are frugal and waste nothing, but now you know the truth. You could feed a hundred children on the applesauce that could have been made from those apples.

At least I can take comfort in knowing that I ate every last bit of my ice cream cone.

Pecs and Prostate

This is not another post about nipple play, at least not directly. I've been using, mostly, single initials to refer to the guys I play with, and it's a cumbersome practice. I could add a number to the letter to create unique identifiers, but that, too, would be cumbersome. Besides, given the way first names go, I'd pretty soon get to an R37, which would accentuate my sluttiness (and, for the sake of this sentence, let's pretend I think that would be unfortunate) or a B12, which might create confusion in the defense sector.

Anyway, I'm thinking of keeping initials for guys I hook up with once or twice, but on the third time, the guy deserves a unique identifier. I realize that may be akin to Franck (mmmmmm, Franck) assigning ring tones to his romantic interests; in other words, if I give them their own nickname, I might not fuck them again. But it's a chance I'm willing to take.

Anyway. F. from this post is now Pecs, a moniker he would surely embrace. He is justifiably proud of his prominent, smooth chest and his pert, sensitive nipples. He is not in any way buff, but it's really a nice chest, and he really likes having it played with, albeit at low intensity. When you go from about three to about four on the nipple index, you pretty much always get pulled back. Unless he's about to cum, in which case, you might get to a 4.5. Briefly.

At work today, at 1:00, I got a call from our receptionist asking why I wasn't in the conference room for the ethics training. "I'm signed up for ethics training?" So I spent four hours hearing about things like AICPA Interpretation 101-3 ("Performance of Nonattest Services") and new rules from something called the PCBOA and various other things that were either not applicable to a tax professional or totally lame. (Apparently, we're meant to be ethical. No, really? Who knew?) I spent most of the training with a sinus headache, so by 5:00, I was in a foul mood. I went back to my office and worked desultorily on not much of anything and fired up the old I wasn't really expecting to find anything, but before long Pecs was starting a chat with me.

Pecs is an extremely affable guy, but he usually gets right to what he wants, which is always the same thing. I told him I couldn't be at his place before 6:30, but that I'd happily stop by then. I was thinking that since b&c and I almost never have sex on Wednesdays (it is usually a custodial night, but this week is the ex' vacation week with the kids) and since he'd been acting a bit weird (see the end of this entry) this week, he wouldn't be expecting sex. He'd mentioned something about salmon for dinner, and I'd said I wouldn't be home until 7:30. I'd been expecting to work until 7, but, well, plans change.

Anyway, after surviving Bethesda traffic, I got to Pecs' place just a couple of minutes late. He opened the front door before I rang the bell, said hello, and I grabbed him. Since he truly is the affable sort, he was asking me about how I was as I began to molest him, but I soon focused his attention elsewhere. Besides, I'm in my early forties: nothing all that interesting happens to me for months at a time. I mentioned that b&c and I were planning a vacation to Italy in October, and then I asked if I could use his bathroom for a minute.

When I got out, he was sitting on the bed and started back in with the "how are you doing?" crap. And you know what? How I was doing was horny. So I jumped him again and got him back in a lip lock. Again, I'm happy to make conversation, but can't we just have the sex first? Priorities, people!

Anyway, the last time Pecs and I had hooked up, the action was somewhat perfunctory and unsatisfying, but he was back to his old self last night. Maybe better. He was just warmer and more into extended kissing. And extended nipple play. I had him on his back with his polo up around his shoulders and went back and forth between his very soft lips and his nipples. I know he's not into the intense nipple workout, so I went with the lip-suck,tongue-flick maneuver, and it produced the desired results.

Neither of us seemed in any hurry to get fully naked (polo shorts and underwear for each of us), and I mostly kept him on his back with the same two activities for the next half hour. I did throw in some lightly running my fingers along his legs and over his testicles, and that was also a big hit.

When we finally got naked, he started to play with himself while I worked on his nipples, and since that usually leads to a quick orgasm for Pecs, I grabbed his hands and held them over his head. He's never struck me as particularly submissive, but he really liked that, so I got on top of him and pinned him down. Then I shoved my cock between his legs and thrust while I kept on working on his nipples.

Pecs always claims that he wants me to fuck him someday, but he really doesn't. Or at least, he doesn't want to be penetrated. He loved feeling my cock go between his thighs and close to his ass, but he didn't want me inside him. I was pretty turned on, and I wasn't ever going to cum that way, so it was a good thing for me to keep doing for a while.

But eventually, I got off him and lay on my side next to him. I kept working his nipple with my tongue while he jerked himself off. As usual, it didn't take long for him to cum. He shot a much larger load than he normally does, however. While he wiped up, I turned on my back, and once he was done with the towel, I put my left arm around him, and we made out while I stroked myself with my right hand. I'm never very fast, but I was more worked up than I'd been in a while, so it only took me a couple more minutes to finish up.

Lately, I've been working on my distance when I bring myself off. When I was (four or five years) younger, I used to shoot a really long way without any special technique, but lately, I've only been shooting up to my chest, and only when I'm very excited. Something Steve wrote a while back, though, reminded me that physics does play a role, so I've started squeezing harder and shooting up to my face or beyond. I was going to do that with Pecs, but I figured that he was the sort who wouldn't take kindly (though he'd never complain audibly) to semen on his pillows, so I pointed my cock more or less straight up and didn't squeeze hard. I still ended up with impressive height and volume, but my abdomen caught the whole load. Go me.

We chatted for a few minutes about Italy and stuff generally. (I think his partner must be out of town.) He said something about not having seen me in a long time, but I checked the archives, and it's only been six or seven weeks, and he and I regularly go at least that many months without playing, so I think maybe he was just lonely. Or something. Anyway, I got dressed, thanked him, hugged him, kissed him goodbye and drove home.

I got home just after 7:30, and I was surprised to see nothing working in the kitchen. I called "hello," and from b&c's response, I knew he was napping in the bedroom, which normally means that he wants to be fucked. Oops. I was kind of spent, and, in any case, my sinus headache was back with a vengeance, in spite of the Afrin. I got my laundry together and went upstairs, and we lay next to each other and chatted, and I kept thinking "WTF?"

Tuesday night, I'd come home all horned up to also find him napping in the bedroom, and I'd showered and come out and started making out with him. We often make out for half an hour or so, and we did that Tuesday, and then (we're kind of predictable), he went down on me for a while. But then (WTF?) he started to kiss me again and jerk me off. I sometimes tell b&c I'm ready to fuck him, but usually I wait for him to get the lube, but it soon became clear he wasn't going to go for the lube but just keep playing with me. I asked him if he was okay, and he said that he was fine, so I maneuvered us around on the bed so that I could jerk myself off while we made out some more. It was weird, but it was fine.

So we're lying there chatting on Wednesday night, and I remember that he's been to the urologist and ask him how everything was, and he tells me that his PSA is back down to 2.2 or 1.8 or something low like that. And then I remember that a few months back, his PSA was up over 4 and his urologist (I don't even have a urologist; is that weird?) was worried. Then b&c had done some research and had found out that any sort of prostate stimulation can falsely elevate PSA levels. And, sure enough, the night before his last PSA, I'd fucked him. So he didn't want to be fucked on Tuesday night, and he must have thought I knew why, and I'd forgotten why, but now the riddle was solved.

There's a lesson about your health and communication with your partner here, but I'll leave you to work it out for yourselves.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

WIDOMSV III - Don Quixote

Every vacation should include a quest. Ideally, your quest should combine something of real importance with a not insignificant amount of amusement. It's clear that, using these criteria, the ne plus ultra of vacation quests is the search for the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. But since I already make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich (don't ask; I won't tell you how; I wouldn't tell my brother; I wouldn't tell my Siamese twin1), I had to settle for tilting at a few windmills.

There are groups of windmills on several ridges throughout the greater Meyersdale area. If you look carefully at the horizon line, you can see them.
They're a lot easier to see in person, except on hazy days, and I imagine that there are plenty of people who feel that they detract from the landscape. I think they're pretty. And apparently, at least some of the farmers like them because the company that operates them pays rent to use the property that they're on.

They look small in the pictures, but apparently, they're 375 feet tall. That's the hub. I guess that means they're even taller when one of the blades is at its apogee. These particular turbines are made by these people, but I suppose there might be other manufacturers. I'm not going to get into an argument about the relative merits of various brands. The last thing I want is to get on the wrong side of Big Wind. Anyway, they're huge. A couple of times during vacation, I got caught behind a caravan of cars ("OVERSIZED LOAD") surrounding a large truck transporting one of the base sections. It looked like a grain silo, without the top. Huge.

Every time I'm up visiting my folks, I stare longingly at the wind turbines, and my father tells me that they drove right up to one of them once and that there was a small exhibit near the base of one of the turbines that gave some information about the turbines and/or about windmills through history. Or something. Dad's never very clear about just how to get to this exhibit, though, and I haven't before had the time to go off looking for them.
This time, however, I found myself with an afternoon free and two progeny who were willing to accompany me on my quest. I soon gave up calling either of them "Sancho Panza," though: YFU was confused, and EFU rolled her eyes. I did try asking the folks for more specific information about my destination, but their responses contradicted each other. But, hey, what's a Y-chromosome for? I don't need help finding things. We hopped in the car and headed off in the direction of most obvious windmills.

Part of the reason that a humongous wind turbine looks tiny is that it's far away. Of course, pretty much everything is far away in that area. Anyway, just sort of generally driving in the direction of the windmills works pretty well if you're observant and not too easily discouraged. After an hour and a number of wrong turns, I wound up somewhere west of Garrett (which is somewhere north of Meyersdale, which is somewhere north of Salisbury, where, apparently, I have a reader; join me in a chorus of "It's a Small World After All," won't you? If only I'd known sooner: I could have asked him how to find the windmills. And to show me all the hot spots in Salisbury. I wonder whether it's true that there's good cruising at the Bent 'n Dent.) on Schrock Road, a few hundred yards from a small group of the turbines.
Don Quixote, I am sure, would not have been impeded in his quest by a large number of harshly worded no trespassing signs, but I of course wish to instill in my daughters the belief that you only disobey the law for really good reasons: like running a red light to avoid being late. Or speeding. But not trespassing or underage drinking. Especially not underage drinking. Anyway, I figured maybe we weren't in the exact right place. After all, if there was an exhibit, they wouldn't tell you to keep out, right? (It occurs to me, though, that the Smithsonian, which has had some budgetary problems, could cut costs by throwing up a few carefully placed no trespassing signs. This would, naturally, lead to hundreds of poorly dressed DC tourists crying in public, but that's why it's a win-win solution.)

Anyway, we drove around a bit more, and I got to see the windmills from a relatively short distance and from several vantage points. Including the one below, which I took from near the main door of the church on Center Church Road. It might be called Center Church, but I didn't remember to take a picture of the sign. In any case, you can see, behind the church cemetery, a row of the turbines. Religion, death, and clean energy all in one view: it just doesn't get any better than that. Unless you can also work in donuts, but that's a tough one to pull off without Photoshop.
I told my parents that I'd come close but ultimately failed in my quest, and they were so disappointed (Very supportive of them, I thought. At this point I'd insert a comment about how Mr. Quixote's parents weren't nearly as helpful, but to do that I'd have to read the book, and I have a very firm rule about only reading picaresques in the original language. I don't read Spanish. My apologies to Mr. Cervantes.) that later in the week they insisted on setting out with me to try again. Despite my frequent insistence that the way they were instructing me to go was exactly where I'd been earlier in the week, they continued to give the same directions, and we ended up in the same place, with the exact same results.

But then they took us to lunch, and I had a very nice grilled ham and cheese sandwich, so it all worked out.

My parents reckon that they took the exhibit down because it was being ruined by an undesirable element2. My first cousin once removed reckons that the exhibit is still there but that we went after the wrong windmill. I reckon that maybe some mountains aren't meant to be climbed.

1For the record, I do have a brother, but I don't have a conjoined twin, which is good because I wouldn't know whether to refer to myself as I or we. I cannot handle pronoun ambiguity. My reference to Siamese twins was a rhetorical flourish. Also, I lie about my age, but only a little. Everything else is true. I don't plan to stop lying about my age. Not ever. I'm going to stay the same age that I say I am now until my birth certificate would say that I'm fifty. At that point, I'm going to claim to be fifty-five so that I can do the daddy thing.

2My parents worry a little more than they ought about undesirable elements. It's not clear to me what the undesirable element would be in the greater Meyersdale area. Cow tippers, perhaps. For my mother, the undesirable element usually has something to do with non-WASPs. When she learned that EFU would be sharing a triple at college, her immediate reaction -- I shit you not -- was to ask EFU, "Do you know what ethnicity your roommates are? Are they Jewish? Or Muslim? EFU was dumbfounded, but fortunately, Mom was in the next room, so when I replied, "I'm pretty sure her roommates are two black guys, Mom," EFU was able to cover her mouth so that her laughter would remain inaudible. I think that for my father, undesirable element mostly means Unitarian Universalists (he originally thought I had turned gay because I wasn't attending "a new testament church"), but he's mellowed considerably on that position, and I'm pretty sure that while the UUs embrace heresy, they rather eschew vandalism.