Thursday, June 30, 2005

Poker Tourny!

Announcing the commencement of the 2005 monthly poker tournament! The tourny starts this July, and meets monthly. Scheduled dates are as follows:
July 12
August 30
September 13
October 23
*winter hiatus; to resume in 2006

1st 2006 event:
May 18, 2006

Monday, June 27, 2005

Kissing Boys in the Park

I'm enjoying my summer, and I won't lie and say I don't like feeling a bit decadent. Drinks, sun, coffee, naps, down-tempo beats, big breakfasts, more drinks -- all of these things are deliciously decadent to me. I currently lounging in my office chair still smiling from the utter nothingness I did yesterday. I awoke in NYC, went to my friends place, took another nap, then met up with a bigger group for brunch and $9 unlimited mimosas. Decadent. Even the 90 degree sun on our walk to the Chinatown bus outside felt delicious. Then I came back to DC, had more drinks, more lounging, more music.

But all those substances and inactivity aside, I've discovered by new absolute favorite indulgence: Kissing boys in the park.

Lets rewind a few days. On Friday, without much warning to the office, I up and left at 11:00am. I was done for the week. I then went to the gym for my rescheduled personal training session (see Gym False Starts for the sad buildup). Walter (who I was expecting to be Asian for some reason -- like Dennis or Henry) ran me into the ground. And there wasn't a single episode with a heavy weight or too many reps. No, we were doing full-body "core" workouts. Like balancing on jelly blocks, holding free weights, and doing squats and bicep curls, all simultaneously. If I had been graceful, it might have been nice to watch. I was not. And while the workout itself was a living Hades, the muscle ache afterwards was kinda nice.

Then my roommate and I caught a bus to NYC for various friend- and Pride-related activities. I had a date planned with Five, a boy from online from long ago who I had just started talking to again. As weird as going to a date in another city with a boy was, talking to someone on IM seemed even stranger, like I was 19 again, so I was happy for the face time.

We walked to Union Square, grabbing smoothies on the way. We circled it once then settled on a brick wall around the perimeter. After some time we had fallen over and were laying in the grass watching people pass, listening to the city, staring at the sky. And then with me on my back and him laying perpendicular to me on his stomach and up on his elbows, he leaned in and kissed me. [I realize the use of the word perpendicular negates the romantic sounding nature of this story, but I felt you needed the visual.]

What fun! Kissing boys in the park! There were several opposite-sex couples laying in our vicinity, in various stages of amour, and we were the least scandalous of the bunch. But just lips touching alone, of boys, seemed like such exhilarating scandal to me! I guess I feel like it just doesn't happen enough, or it doesn't happen to me enough (screw the privacy of my own home), but it was so wonderful and sensual and DECADENT.

I think I've found my drug of the summer.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Lactose Intolerants Revolt?

This morning, I saw an ad on my city bus that said: "Got Lactose Intollerance? Take Legal Action," with the catchy URL.

To which I thought: Oh great, just as I try to convince people that most litigation isn't frivolous, another lawsuit by attorneys seeking to make bank.

But then I looked at the sponsoring organization, Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, and their press release, and now I just can't decide.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Goggle & Tell

Its a temperate and calm Wednesday night and Alethea and I are sitting outside enjoying burgers at our local haunt. Because there was apparently nothing more interesting at the moment, we were trying to figure out the difference between ham and pork. Is one smoked? I decided it would be googled in the morning.

Alethea: "Oh! You'll have to Google and tell me!"
Me: after laughing and choking on my burger "I never Google and tell."
Alethea: "Did I tell you about the boy who googled and told?"

Sure, its not funny when I write it, but Alethea has sitcom comedic timing. Not like the WB or UPN, but straight up "must-see-TV" Thursday night sitcom timing. Maybe between Will & Grace and Scrubs.

At any rate, the story went that she met a boy for about 10 minutes, he googled her (later on, not while she was sitting there), and on their next encounter he told. Mind you, her name is a lot more generic than Alethea, as is mine. You can't just google her name, you have to think about important or relevant facts. But he did it, he found her, and he told.

Caveat: You can tell on or after the fifth date, when its a "funny story." Before that, and its a deal breaker.

Google failed me. But where google fails, Ask Jeeves prevails.

The most reliable seeming answer came from "Ask Willie Barber,"
Q: What is the difference between pork and ham?
A: Pork is meat from swine that has been processed for food. Ham is pork from the hind leg of the hog. Meat from the front leg is labeled "pork shoulder picnic." Hams are available either cured, smoked, fresh or cooked.

That was also the least clear. It seemed to me that Willie was trying to sound informed and not give a straight answer at the same time. Why was Willie hogging the info to himself? Swine-lover? Protectionist? Other interesting things I found were: "ham is cured and smoked pork leg meat" and "today, ham is usually, but not automatically, the cured hind leg of the hog."

Which leaves us with Alethea apparently being right. Ham is cured pork.

Gym False Starts

On Tuesday, I joined a gym.

On Wednesday, I failed to wake up and go to the gym. [False start #1]

Then I got a call to schedule my free personal trainer session. Great! Thursday at 6:30am sounded good to me. I got up, ate some food, ran over, and met him. At approximately 6:40, after 30 lunges and a dozen squats, I proceeded to vomit. My body, apparently, was disturbed that it was awake, and exerting itself, and revolted. [False start #2]

We rescheduled, thank god, for tomorrow at noon. Cross your fingers for me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Rich people is Crazy

Last night I left work a tad early and headed to volunteer at the Chef's Best fundraiser for Food & Friends. In March I had done their dining Out 4 Life fundraiser, in which 100+ restaurants in the DC area donated 25-100% of their proceeds that day to F&F. Turns out that was the fundraiser for the plebs. First off, tickets were something like $250 a head (I'm not positive, as that is my monthly food budget) -- and it sold out. At this event the fabulous mingle, sample free food from 60+ top restaurant chefs in the area, drink heavily, and then bid in silent and live auctions.

So I arrive and I'm assigned to raffle tickets. Sigh. I have to walk up to people and try to sell them raffle tickets for the first part of the evening. Hell, why don't you just ask me to sell magazine subscriptions door-to-door with the impossible hope of winning something like a trip to space camp? My evening is saved by two additional factors: First, I am paired up to sell tickets with "Annette," a teacher in Arlington by day, a drag queen with a massive panoply of fruit in her bouffant by night. Second, everyone there either has a ridiculous amount of what is probably someone else's money, or their place of employment bought a table and gave them the ticket. In their case, they didn't spend a nickel on what amounts a rather swanky night, so they for damn sure are buying my $5 raffle ticket.

At any rate, Annette's shtick is simple enough: We stand by the entrance to the hotel where people were picking up their tickets, she bats her eyes at one that is staring at her caked on makeup or 5 inch lashes, and then we make our sell. Candy from a baby, folks. Mostly sold tickets 5 at a time (for $20). We raked in about $700 in an hour. I even saw one person I know. An AcquaintanceSter, or perhaps a YourDatingMyRoommateButWhoIsntSter. He bought one raffle ticket. I'll bet that $5 his ticket was paid for by his law firm and another $15 that his six figure salary could have sprung for more than a $5 night out. [Pay no attention to the angry gay man.]

Raffle ticket selling was done, and it was time to sample the food. Favorite was by the chef at Red Dog Cafe, in Silver Spring, no less! I had spent the first two hours in the lobby and the side room that I thought was the center of the attraction. I'm not sure why. While all of the silent auction items were in the side lobby, there were clearly only a half dozen chef tables, not 60+. Regardless, when I finally went "downstairs" to the live auction, I was awestruck by the MASSIVE International Ballroom, packed with people. I'm not sure where they came from, because the thousands of people packed in to the ballroom certainly didn't all pass us in the hour we were in the lobby.

I met up with Benji at this point, who was a "spotter" for the live auction. We were in the far back tier, so it was our job to wave our flags frantically if one of our table patrons decided that $7000 for a trip to Montreal was their cup of tea. Suprisingly, two items were won by our little section. There were also cards on each table for people to give of their credit. One nice gentleman discretely dressed in a polo handed me the card with a $500 charge on it. All in all, it was great fun... and completely not my world -- yet, or possibly ever -- but it was fun to visit.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

And the sign said:

Art makes for better self-expression than law.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I Heart Straight Men

Okay, not all straight men. Straight men are as varied and diverse as gay men. But this past weekend reminded me that a serious quadruple shot of testosterone on a regular basis will do everyone good. I guess I just like my straight men.

They have their downsides. They're hairy, they get bad tan/burn lines, their clothes don't match, they're messy, they smell, they're obsessed with women, they think they are way hotter than they are, they have trouble following simple directions, they're distractible, and they are very VERY loud when you're trying to sleep.

But by the end of the weekend even much of that was endearing. They're also refreshingly unselfconscious, considerate, energetic, unrestrained, spontaneous, imaginative, and supportive. And funny. Ridiculously funny. I laughed so hard all weekend. And drank. And sat by the pool for 7 hours while we pissed off the rest of the guests before we endeared ourselves in to their lives. And walked the strip all night in a dress with 4 Navy guys also in drag.

...skeet skeet skeet...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Dear Lamar,

So much to say. You have been a phenomenal disappointment as a lover and as a friend. You know this. But you reluctantly place it on the laundry list of “Things That Are Unfortunate,” display the requisite sorrow, and carry on. This is what is frustrating. And because I know I will not convince you otherwise, I’m not going to try. Instead, I’m going to share what this has taught me about the fickle hearts of men.

M.K. is the one who got me thinking about this recently. During a deluge of discovery, she offered a passing lesson from Marriage Encounter (a form of group marriage counseling and exploration for Catholics): Love is an Act, not a Feeling. Very simple, but with profound implications. As she heard a happy couple of 50+ years explain their enduring love: “Neither of us fell out of love at the same time.”

The idea that we are going to be passionately in love every morning with the same person is an attractive proposition. I’m not so naive to think that there are many who believe this is possible. But even of those who accept that it “takes work,” most still seem to expect Love to take control and wait for it to act. M.K. was pointing out that love follows the act. When she is less-than-loving of her mate, she does something nice to reminder herself of how she truly feels.

Without knowing it, I think this is a concept I subscribe to. I’m still exploring its landscape. What I know is that those I have dated have not. Rather than acting, Lamar sat patiently waiting for his mood to sway him; for some divine intervention to smack him and say “LOVE!” or “Get out!” And just as I don’t believe that’s going to happen, it didn’t. Instead, I smacked him (figuratively), and we went for the default: Get out.

While this is a different approach to Love than the one I would opt for, neither do I fault the fickle hearted men. What I have learned, instead, is that I am not like them. Case in point: I have never broken up with someone. Even when I should I have. But with Lamar that was far from the case. Lamar was a good person, and he was good to me. Lamar was just waiting. I fault him for being complicit in that indecision, but I feel as if I can’t expect otherwise at this point.

What I’d like to expect, instead, is a bit more truth in advertising. Lamar, you see, pursued me. Lamar advertised himself as a man looking for a relationship. He would not admit this. He would simply say that he enjoyed spending time with me, and each date lead to the next. But I would argue that a man averse to being in a relationship would not allow the dates to follow. Take Ridic: He is just such a relationship-averse guy (though he’d argue the point), and as a result his ability to lead men on is decidedly short-term.

But the expectation that the BBB is going to intervene and put a warning label on these men is not the solution either. These men would not admit to being fickle, and even recognizing their track record, they would not find fault with it. The “life partner” of the post-modern professional metropolis is dead. It has been supplanted by individualism, accented by spikes of infatuation, exploration, and intimacy — a high that is intoxicating but unsustainable. As it subsides, the individualism and self-determinism returns. These men would acknowledge their life cycle and accept it.

I can’t speak to whether the punctuated highs or the sustainable buzz is better. But what I can say is that, in practice, I seem geared toward the sustainable buzz. I have stopped many pursuits before they’ve gotten out of the gate. Once I’ve found what I feel to be a connection that I can champion, I embrace it. Each horse has bucked me. If I can beat one more analogy out of this line of thought: I’m not interested in returning to the race tracks. I think I’ll go bowling.

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