Sunday, July 31, 2005

Faggot Crack House

Got home at 2:30 am this morning from New York City. [Thank you, Chinatown bus, for always finding a way to sap the last ounce of life from my listless body, always punishing me for wanting to save a buck. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in a New Jersey reststop parking lot for 3 hours.]

As I walked to my apartment, I passed what I have come to call Faggot Crack House. I'm not actually sure what kind of "house" it is -- drug house, sex house, den of prostitution -- but I know its bad. I first noticed it just weeks after moving, as it is one of the few "homes" that is on a commercial corridor here, stuck in among car mechanics, as opposed to on a residential street. Its also a run down building, you can't see in the tightly blocked windows, with a couple other random but unusual elements. So whenever I'm walking past it to work and someone walks out at 7am (okay, more like 8 or 9am), I am half tempted to blurt out "come on! you don't actually live there, do you?"

Well, try walking by at 2:30 in the morning on a Saturday night. As one guy left, another was approaching, and I stopped in disbelief for a moment. Sensing this, the guy walked on, as if he wasn't going to Faggot Crack House. So I walked a block, and waited, and sure enough he eventually came back round the corner and entered. On my walk home, I approached the cop that is always outside of my apartment (long story) and asked if he knew anything about it. He said he didn't, and was intrigued, so he asked I bring him the address tomorrow.

Now my question is: what do I do? In some ways, Faggot Crack House isn't really harming the community, at least not the proximate neighbors. Its not loud. In fact, it tries hard to be discrete. I think I'm most interested because everytime I pass I think to myself: "Wow! I mean, if even I CAN FIGURE THIS ONE OUT, how does this just go on?" Seriously. Hasn't someone else, perhaps a closer resident, found the stream of men in and out to be a bit suspect?!

I returned to the address, and stood around a block away for 15 minutes to see what happened. Over that time I saw at least a half dozen men enter or leave, all different, all alone. White and black, most were quite built, and were presumably gay. I'm only really calling it Faggot crack house because, well, built straight men don't do the urban dungeon thing much in DC. I doubt its actually Crack, but if its not directly drugs, they're definitely doing drugs wilst some other activity of choice.

But as for the community, then chances are they ARE harming it, if you are speaking of the larger gay community or even the human community. I struggle with the idea that I really should leave well enough alone those who aren't bothering me. That's what I'd like others to do with me and my lifestyle. And I should probably get over my "I found criminal activity all by myself!" streak that has supplanted having a boyfriend. And I don't mind people doing drugs. Or having sex. But I'm also a bit pissed off that they have to go and have big sex/drug parties with reckless and HIV-spreading abandon. In MY neighborhood!

So I guess its a toss-up. Touche, Faggot Crack House, touche.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Catching up, I promise

I've been busy moving (rooms), painting, and oh going to work too. But I'm headed to NYC today, and brough my laptop for 3.5 hours of uninterrupted blogging on the train. Watch for fun updates by Sunday (sooner if I find a hotspot!). Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

St. Thomas, Day 2 - a little later on

We've had a success in the blank paper procurement priority! After writing this morning, we headed next door, to the Wyndham, for breakfast. First, this involved walking all the way down from our hilltop bungalow. Then, while it was technically "next door," we had to walk on the non-existent shoulder of a narrow two-lane winding road. There is no pedestrian right-of-way here, much to Ms. Blue Like Mine's disgust. The Wyndham compound took some figuring out, as it was a full-on resort, but we found breakfast with a wonderful window-side view of the islands. The buffet was a steep but satisfying $18 each. [I decided that the resort breakfast was a splurge in honor of Signe's matrimony, a whopping 23 months prior. Yes, my bitterness can run as deep as hers.]

Next, we headed out front for the $1 taxicabs that run frequently clockwise on the island in the direction of Red Hook, a quick 2 miles away. Once there, Marina Market provided all our grocery needs, and I think we'll avoid a few meals this way.

The problem with the $1 cabs is that they only run clockwise. A trip back to the domicile would be an excruciating hour. I'm not sure of the time, but everyone agrees it would be prohibitive. Locals suggest a full fare cab return. Why no locals have resolved this clearly flawed system, I don't know. I guess these people are too laid back to find fault with everything. But as BLM might say, "If we accept the status quo, then the terrorists have won!"

At any rate, but a few steps and we'd found our first gypsy cab, offering $5/person back. This was fine, as he drove a brokedown SUV, a nice departure from the brokedown vans. He also took us all the way up the hill to our cabana, all the way chatting in indistinguishable English about what we should do on our trip.

We relaxed on our balcony, watching rain cloud after rain cloud hammer Tortola (BVI) then drift off to the West. Our balcony is so secluded and so high, one could sunbathe in the nude without concern. Well, except as I thought this I looked around the divider for the source of some reggae singing in the distance and peeped on a nude sunbather -- who was at that moment starring directly at me. Doh!

After lunch we went to see Shawn, and grabbed two kayaks off the beach. I got the hang of it, as did BLM, but when another wave of rain appeared in the East, we headed in, a bit battered by rain and wind. Finally, we had daiquiris poolside and I drifted off to sleep.

I think this evening will be a $2.50 frozen pizza, and list refinement. For not only do I seldom vacation, I'm almost never as listless as this with nothing to do. We launched immediately into goals upon our arrival, I'm here paper blogging, I want to track the last two weeks of working out, and I want to start refining my diet.

Thank Allah for this notebook!

St. Thomas, Day 2

I learned from Ms. Write Again Soon that prolific blogging is not necessarily a function of internet access. So instead of a brief summary upon my return, I've taken to pen and the back of a taxi rate list to chronicle the utter nothingness of my first adult trip to the Caribbean. It was close to 20 years ago (or so I recall) that my family took me to Disney World and a family cruise that stopped off at islands in this area. It seems that long ago since I wrote out thoughts on paper as well.

To begin, an excellent airfare was brought my attention close to 2 months ago, and at a last minute plea I found Leila (who just entered the world as Ms. Blue Like Mine) amenable to the idea and we booked. I didn't do much inpreparation. As I explained, the last week has been stressing with a roommate's appendicitis, a search for a new roomy, and my strive for DRS employment. I even thought I had a room at the Marriott reserved, but a dozen hours before departure learned that was an intention I had failed to realize. Leila and I took off early yesterday morning, made our connection, and landed 3 and 1/2 hours later. Everything about the airport, the taxi, and Charlotte Amelie seemed of another world (a third world, to be exact). Leila said she kept expecting people to be speaking another language. Frankly, I felt like I was in Kigali and kept watching for signs of mass genocide. I know that's harsh, and I'm not implying anything wrong with the town other than it being a bit run down, it juts seemed so reminiscent of the scenes from various movies about whiteface in a foreign land. Our taxi, for example, was a van with 8 vacationers packed in, its years showed, and our luggage was thrown in a rusty rack on the roof. My bag made it, and I just told myself anything was worth making it to the embassy in time for the next airlift of foreign nationals.

Back to reality, our taxi wound through town, up over the island, and to the far east end, peppered with resorts. We are now staying for cheaper at Point Pleasant, which is sort of a resort/condo hybrid. While it was billed as a resort and comes complete with check-in and guest services, each unit in the villas that climb the side of the hill are privately owned. The guest book indicates that Marc & Robert of Atlanta, who I assume are a gay couple, own ours. They're quite chatty in the book on each of their many returns, most about where they got their most recent lizard wall decoration.

After cracking open our bottle of rum, Leila and I went to the balcony, which overlooks the water, St. John, and the British V.I. in the distance. We were swarmed by inquisitive(/hungry?) seagulls at first, but when that subsided we went to work making a list of goals on the back of an envelope (being the Type-A personalities that we are), complete with completion dates in the manner damended by my TCR employer of late. I'll share the final list later. Dinner was at the water-edged bar and restaurant, where we met Shawn of Ohio, our grungy activities director. Back on top of the hill we went swimming near our villa in the moonlight. Being alone, I promptly went in the buff. A few more drinks, a call to the parents, and I was out by 9:45pm. On the plus side, I was up at 7:00am! Straight to the balcony, where I've been ever since. I have the V.I. Lonely Planet book, Cloud Atlas (my first book of fiction in 3 years), my iPod, and this scrap of paper for these notes. Leila's now up, and when she finishes regaling Marc and Robert of our first night, we'll go to breakfast at the Wyndham next door. Then its off to Red Hook for food and paper, as we clearly have too many lists to immortalize. More then!

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Let's start with tomorrow morning's flight to St. Thomas. [Warning: Blogging hiatus will result.] Thought I had a hotel, turns out I don't.

Then there's the roommate situation. Current roommate has kept me busy lately, and is moving in a few weeks. Finally found a new roommate last night. Will update when I've felt her out more.

But for now, its work. Love work. I technically work for TCR, but am on a detail to DRS. I really like my job on a day-to-day basis at TCR, but there's not a lot of growth potential. My work at DRS isn't as diverse and exciting, but its a stellar place to work, very high profile and resume building, and the parent entity has endless opportunities. Plus I'm now doing what I went to school for.

So I told DRS three weeks ago that I wanted to stay. It was received positively. But they don't make the decisions, the people upstairs do. So finally this week I drafted a memo to go upstairs saying why I was great (and playing down what they wouldn't like to know about my past work). Every day I fall more and more in love with my potential at DRS, and more and more terrified that I will be forced to return to TCR.

And besides the great career move, I also walk to work, love my co-workers, have a big nice office with dry-wall, and the office is in the middle of everything. I get nervous just thinking about the step back to my crappy office in a crappy neighborhood that's far from where I live.

The ulcer is growing. Off to find a hotel.

Bad Blogger?

I've been told I'm a bad blogger. Okay, not in so many words, and not maliciously, but that there is some etiquette others would like me to follow -- such as letting my readers (more like reader) know of a hiatus. Well, you just saw one. Another is coming as I travel this weekend. But for today, I hope to explain why I've been distracted and why that has been happily melting away.

So in the spirit of the "theme" of this blog: I'm sorry that you don't appreciate my poor blog etiquette. ;)

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