Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fuzzy Uggs And Frosty Mugs

On Saturday afternoon, after some shopping and errands, JB and I decided it was time to treat ourselves to lunch. When it comes to eating out, we've kind of fallen into a rut. The typical restaurant selection process goes like this:

"Where would you like to eat?"

    "I don't know. Where would you like to eat?"

Repeat until one or the other sticks his neck out with a suggestion:

"How about that new Italian place?"

    "I don't know..." (Which I know means "no".) "I'm making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner."

Apparently JB is a fan of cultural diversity, as long as you rotate and evenly space out the cultures such that there's never more than one meal of the same nationality in gastric transit at any given time. That's how ghettos start, you know. Once Little Italy gets a foothold, there's no stopping Chinatown and the barrio from setting up shop. Next thing you know, your G.I. tract looks like Buford Highway.

It's kind of sad that Urban Spoon shows dozens upon dozens of eclectic eateries within walking distance of our condo, yet every time we decide to eat out we continue to hem and haw like the only choice is between Wendy's and Golden Corral.

I don't know if I was feeling adventurous on Saturday afternoon, or I was just over the whole restaurant selection process. I told JB, "You pick. Whatever you decide will be fine with me." The words still haunt me.

JB seemed momentarily taken aback by my capitulation, but he saw his opening and ran for it. "Well, since we're in Buckhead, there is one place I've been curious to try. It always looks packed during the week at lunchtime, so I'm thinking it must be pretty good."

I'd seen the place before, but I'd never been inside. From the outside it looked rustic and outdoorsy. Like a Rocky Mountain ski lodge. The inside was every bit as rustic and had a sports bar atmosphere with college football games playing on at least a dozen flat screens. As the sign instructed, we waited for a hostess to seat us.

This is when their shtick began to dawn on me. And why the place was called "Twin Peaks". And here I was hoping it might be based on the quirky 90's television series.

"This is what you chose? Jesus, it's hootier than Hooters in here!" I whispered after we sat down at our table and our Ugg-shod hostess scampered out of earshot. JB started laughing. And when our waitress, Brandi-with-an-i, came for our drink order, we both started giggling uncontrollably like we were fifteen and seeing non-mom cleavage up close for the first time.

I felt bad for Brandy... er, Brandi. It's bad enough having to go to work dressed like an Appalachian hooker just to get ogled and groped by beer-buzzed business men. Now she's got a table of gays tittering at her too.

In an attempt to ease the tension, I apologized and said, "This is our first time here. We don't get out of Midtown much." This was basically code for, "Two homosexuals wandered into your establishment by mistake. A round of Dos Equis please."

Brandi not only deciphered my code, she brought us two ice-cold beers and introduced us to her girlfriend, Ami.

Been there, done that,
bought the calendar.

Monday, December 17, 2012

No Happy Ending I Hope

Last week I took the afternoon off work to help my ex, Joe. He told me he was having a minor outpatient procedure done and needed a ride home from Piedmont Hospital.

I assumed it was yet another one of his cosmetic things. I was there for him when he had his eyes done, and again earlier this year after his double moob-ectomy. I was shocked when he told me he was actually there for heart surgery.

Joe showed me where the cardiologist went in at his groin to snake his way to the heart. It didn't look too bad, two gauze bandages on either side of where his pubic hair used to be. Certainly not as horrifically shocking as when he dropped his sweats to show me the residual bruising and swelling from the Viagra accident of 2007.

But much less funny.

I shuddered. It wasn't just the idea of having instruments threaded through my veins, but the thought of losing my friend. I insisted on spending the night. Joe momentarily resisted then relented. He was tired and, I think, relieved to have the company.

Like my current partner, Joe is also a flight attendant. No, I don't have a thing for flight attendants. And no, I can't back up that assertion with actual data. But ask JB and he'll tell you how, on the day we met, I face palmed after he told me what he did for a living.

Why? I'm loath to generalize, but all flight attendants are whoremongering sluts. At least in my experience. Experience which, to be fair, consisted of three or four short-term relationships after three years with Joe.

So as we fixed a simple dinner, I wasn't surprised when Joe showed me iPhone pics of his "masseur" in Manila. The twenty-year-old looked cute in his baby blue jockeys, and – when I swiped left – out of them. Looking up at Joe's grin, I could tell he was hoping I'd swipe that way.

"That reminds me..." Joe said as he ducked into another room. He came back with a shopping bag from Dick's Sporting Goods. "I got him a Christmas present." It was a weight-lifting belt.

I consider myself lucky that my ex and my partner are good friends. A lot of it has to do with the fact that they work for the same airline. Now that I think about it, considering how JB gets jealously suspicious of even my Twitter friends, I'm sure that has everything to do with it. But I credit their friendship for keeping Joe involved as a daily part of my life.

Joe knows that JB has a trip to Manila this week. He asks me to ask JB to pack the weight belt. Joe's "boyfriend" will come to JB's hotel to pick it up.

I'm not sure how comfortable I am with hot young Filipino "massage artists" calling on my husband in his hotel room.

Flight attendants. I shrug and take the belt.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Deer Sata

It's taken me a little while to recover from hosting my family for Thanksgiving. It's not all the planning, cleaning, shopping, cooking and entertaining that got to me. It's the depression that hit when when the last car load left, and the house got quiet and still.

One of the highlights of the long weekend was being able to spend time with my six year old nephew. When children are that young, a year is way too long to go without seeing them. You miss so much growing up.

Everyone says they see a lot of me in Noah. JB says it's the look his face gets when he's deep in thought. Sis says it's his huge, pumpkin-shaped "C.S." head. (Where "C.S." can stand either for "Charles Shultz", creator of the round-headed Peanuts characters, or for "C-Section".)

Then there's his colorblindness. Both Noah and I are blessed with the recessive X-chromosome that's been passed down on Mom's side of the family for generations. When Sis told me about Noah's kindergarten crayon confusion, I was tickled pink. (I may not know what pink looks like, but I know how it feels.)

When my family arrived on the day before Thanksgiving, Noah and I played Wii games until way past his bedtime. He wanted to play Wii again on Thursday but I had too much cooking to do. So I tied an apron on him which almost touched the floor, lifted him onto a step stool, and he helped me with some of the simple chores that didn't involve anything sharp or hot.

Since I still have the attention span I had at six years old, I completely understood when he asked if he could be excused from kitchen duty to play Rayman's Raving Rabbids.

It's been a week and a half since they left. Yesterday Sis sent me a copy of Noah's revised letter to Santa. It seems he's added a few new items to his wish-list since returning to Wisconsin: a Wii and his own, Noah-sized kitchen.

Noah wants some sort of football, a kid-sized snow blower, Hot Wheels,
a Wii and a kitchen area. I hope this is for Santa and not Satan.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Several weeks ago, I received a text message from my sister. "TJ and I are talking about meeting at your place for Thanksgiving. Sound ok?"

I wrote before about the online drama of Little Brother's divorce. It seems ironic that TJ's ex-wife has already remarried and now he's engaged, yet I still can't bring myself to open Facebook. It seems I'm the only one who hasn't moved on from the trauma of that ordeal.

And now he's bringing his "fiancé" to my house.

I first met Chardonnay at my sister's house last Christmas. She and TJ had just started dating and he couldn't have picked someone more completely different from his ex-wife. Even if he had shown up with a dude, it would have surprised me less.

A blonde cliché with a Texas-sized personality, Chardonnay instantly assumed the role of "life of the party". Now Chardonnay isn't her real name, but it's close enough that JB started calling her that, and it stuck. I admit to being alarmed that my brother, also an engineer, would consider dating a professional (quote-unquote) "Energy Healer" and former "lingerie model". (Which probably says more about just how gay I am than anything else.) I found it difficult to suppress my disdain when she described aligning my brother's unbalanced chi with a bit of selective blood-letting.

She was totally inappropriate
with our pantry supplies.
My discomfort only escalated as my husband and Chardonnay bonded into true BFFs before my horrified eyes. I pulled JB aside and asked him to please stop touching my brother's girlfriend's boobs. The look he gave me made it clear he didn't feel my request was nearly as reasonable as it sounded to me. And I knew he had no intention of honoring it.

Over the course of that Christmas holiday, Chardonnay could sense I was the only member of the family that wasn't warming up to her. And she obviously took that as a challenge, focussing more and more of her attention toward me. She could tell her unsolicited back rubs weren't decreasing my tension one bit. Yet this only made her rub harder.

I finally realized the only way I was going to literally get her off my back was by pretending I liked her. While acting doesn't come naturally to an introverted engineer such as myself, the stakes were high.

And now, eleven months later, Chardonnay was about to bring her feng shui voodoo to my house for Thanksgiving weekend. And, like it or not, she's going to be part of my family. I decided it was time for me to accept this and let down my guard a little.

And I have to admit that I had a nice time this weekend. Yes, there were still a couple uncomfortably tense back rubs. And her constant use of the term "fuckballs!" grated on my nerves a bit. And the Saturday morning I awoke to discover Chardonnay sleeping in our bed, spooned in between JB and me, a little weird. And those couple of times she flashed her breasts in public. And as much as the futon spring squeaks emanating from my guest room creeped me out, I could have gone pretty much forever without hearing how my new shower head gave her a (quote-unquote) "Big O". (I'm praying I saved the Bed, Bath & Beyond receipt for that thing.)

But I could also tell she adores my brother. And that he's the happiest I've seen him since he was a kid.

Don't tell anyone this, but I think I'm starting to like Chardonnay too.

My last impression of Chardonnay.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Slack The Vote

I kicked myself for not taking advantage of early voting when the alarm went off this morning at 5:15am. And at 5:30 as I waited for the coffee to brew and listened to rain drops tapping against the window. And again as I walked to my polling place when the wind turned my umbrella inside out.

JB voted last week. It took him over two hours, but now he was curled up in our warm, dry bed. Where I would be, if only I could get my act together. I was reminded of a story about an ant and a cricket or a grasshopper or some other irresponsible bug.

I'd hate to give credit to the cold, driving rain, but the line outside waiting to vote was mercifully short. Short enough to pack completely beneath a sheltering carport by folding itself into an intricate queue with the organic efficiency of a fingerprint whorl.

Less than fifty minutes after leaving the house I'm back at my computer writing this post, sipping my still-hot coffee and listening to my pants and socks tumble in the dryer. Ants think they're so smart.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hot Buttered Broadcast

Last night I was glued to Hurricane Sandy coverage when JB announced he had to get up early for work. With a kiss goodnight and a mild warning not to stay up too late, JB retired to the bedroom as I flipped between news channels on TV and news apps on my iPad.

Around midnight I decided to give my brain a break from the increasingly repetitive superstorm updates. I turned the channel to "Family Guy" to see what hilarious mischief Stewie had gotten himself into this time. (Is it bad my role model is a cartoon baby?) Yet most of my attention was focussed on my iPad.

I was thinking about a conversation I had with a friend earlier in the day about Halloween costumes. We were bemoaning the fact that slutty cop costumes seem to be all the rage lately for women but, sadly, not for men. The conversation ended with my offering to help him find the uniform clothing and accessories required to complete his "bachlorette party stripper cop" ensemble.

Google was as helpful as ever when entering search terms like "police uniforms" and "hot cops" and "sexy police stripper". As the links I clicked devolved from law enforcement wholesale suppliers to eBay uniform fetish retailers to, finally, a series of increasingly prurient Tumblr streams, I gave up any pretense of trying to help my friend with his costume. I decided to end the day by treating myself to a scene or two from a video I stumbled upon titled "Hot Buttered Cop Porn". It was a long day and I'm a sucker for a clever spoonerism.

As the obligatory, thirty second backstory gave way to steamy cop-on-cop foreplay, I couldn't help but feel something was missing. Yes, the butter. But also the sound. I started with the iPad volume on mute because I didn't want to bother JB while he was trying to sleep. Or maybe I just didn't want him to know what I was up to in the living room. Not that he'd have any problem with it. Unless his mood was swinging toward the estrogen side of his cycle, when he'd be feeling unattractive and under-appreciated. I felt it wise not to risk it, and turned on the sound to the lowest possible setting.

I don't know what horny people did in the olden days, but silent porn has to be almost as bad as no porn at all. In my teenage years I was able to get off just imagining the word, "porn". Maybe it's because I'm getting older, or maybe I've gotten trapped in a porn de-sensitivity loop, but these days I find it helps to get as many of my senses teaming up as possible to get the job done. And my ears seem to pull as much weight as my eyes in this regard. I bumped up the volume of the video one more notch.

I could tell from the cops' facial expressions and lip movements that I was missing crucial dialog required for a full appreciation of this movie's finer plot points. I kicked the volume up some more, keeping in mind typical porno dynamic range. I've been startled by screamers before. The last thing I needed was an unexpectedly boisterous moan to wake JB on the other side of the bedroom door. But I knew I had some overhead, as the sound was still barely audible. I turned it up two more notches.

Sometimes I think it would be fun to work in gay porn. But then I imagine having the tedious job of holding up a big dry-erase board and checking off each position as the actors execute them in the order prescribed. Then erasing my checkmarks to do it again for the next scene. But what a porno lacks in creativity and spontaneity (and sound quality) can often be redeemed by the enthusiasm of its actors. And these guys sure looked enthusiastic. Too bad their growls, howls, shouts, slaps, grunts and moans were decidedly muffled.

I had my sound volume pumped up to at least 85% by the time my penile volume hit 105%. Just as my nasty cops and I simultaneously reached the point of no return, the bedroom door swung wide open.

"Jesus Christ, what the hell is going on??" JB demanded.

If the question wasn't intended to be rhetorical, the ongoing state of affairs rendered it so. It was only after my senses returned that I noticed the sound of heavy sighs emanating loudly from the bedroom behind my grumpy hubby. And music... the unmistakable beat of porn music...

Whocka-whocka-wow, chicka-BOW-wow-wow.

Confusion gave way to realization. A memory. Earlier in the day while listening to hurricane updates, I used the "AirPlay" feature to wirelessly stream my iPad's audio to the bedroom stereo.

And I forgot to set it back.

Always remember to turn "AirPlay"
OFF before watching porn. Unless
you need the full, rich sound of
5.1 Dolby through JBL speakers.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Horny Halloween

Can't I have a horn on my head
and be happy to see you?
I've always enjoyed Halloween. From the first time I put on a cheap plastic mask (the kind held on with elastic string) and scored free candy, I was hooked.

I realize I'm now far too old to go trick-or-treating for free stuff. Mature adults spend big bucks on costumes and go pub-crawling.

On Friday night, JB and I went to a costume party. It was an OTP* shindig put on by one of JB's flight-attendant girlfriends. JB went as an Alpine Ricola Yodeler in an attempt to gain some meager return on his Oktoberfest lederhosen investment. As I had just got home from work and didn't feel like putting in any actual effort, I simply put on my new unicorn mask. If anyone asked I was a "business casual unicorn".

Not a costume. Just
how people dress OTP.
(*OTP = Outside The Perimeter, the Perimeter being the 285 Interstate which circles Atlanta. For us in-towners, the Perimeter serves as a demarcation between "urban" and "suburban" verging on "Deliverance".)

I knew I was OTP when striking up a conversation with a guy dressed up as a burglar. After a bit of smalltalk ("hehe, business casual unicorn") he judged the party "awesome" based solely on the fact that there wasn't one "babe" in the entire condo clubhouse he wouldn't fuck. This prompted me to make an objective scan of the party guests and conclude Mr. Burglar's bar probably wasn't set too high to begin with. A real burglar would have avoided a room filled with female cops, no matter how sluttily they were dressed.

Another man who was dressed as a prison convict (or an inebriated zebra with precision stripes) asked me if I was dressed as "a Democrat". I don't know if he was serious or trying to be funny. "See this horn?? Donkey's don't have horns, wise guy. What are you anyway? Let me guess... a republican caught evading taxes?"

JB pretending not to know the
culturally insensitive unicorn.
My mask offered a very limited field of vision, so if I wasn't carefully avoiding furniture and Oompa-Loompas, I tended to remain stationary and take in the activity around me. At one point I realized I was surrounded by slutty cops on their hands and knees with a roll of paper towels. Evidently the cooler I was standing near had sprung a leak and I was unaware I was standing in a widening puddle. This prompted jokes about the unicorn not being housebroken. I advised them to save those soggy paper towels since unicorn piss fetches almost as much as ground unicorn horn on the Chinese black market.

This is when I remembered the host and half the guests were Chinese. Through my left nostril I could see JB roll his eyes. I knew what the topic of discussion was going to be in the car all the way back into the Perimeter. Business Casual Unicorn can never catch a break.

Checking the latest going rate for Unicorn urine on the black market.
There's an app for that.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Atlanta celebrated it's annual Pride festival this past weekend. This is the third year since Pride was moved from late June to early October, a decision I celebrate every year. Not only is the weather so much more accommodating, but it better distributes the fun throughout the year. If there ever comes a year I really want to get my pride on, I can hit some other city's Pride in June while still looking forward to ours in the Fall.

An added benefit is that my post-Pride depression is mitigated by the ramp-up into Halloween. And as some anti-gay windbag recently pointed out, we gays do love our Halloween.

Peer shame prevented me from getting my funnel cake this year. :(

The weather was perfect for Pride. Autumn is my favorite season in the South anyway. Even though we don't get quite the brilliant foliage before the leaves fall, the period of classically mild Fall weather seems to extend much longer than it does up north. In Upper Michigan I remember Autumn more as an urgent wake-up call to get your affairs in order for Winter.

Down here the oppressively humid heat and haze give way to week after week of comfortable days in the low-to-mid 70s with crystal-clear blue skies. And the nights turn cool and crisp, a feeling I miss from my days up north. As much as I say I'm acclimated to the weather down here, I still can't get used to the warm, humid Summer nights.

Saturday... In the park... My boyfriend caught me checking out guys.

Maybe it's the weather and the fact that Pride no longer competes with a clump of other Summer festivals, or maybe it's just a sign of greater acceptance, but I noticed especially this year that Pride seems more mainstream. The park was filled with the usual diverse LGBT crowd, but mixed in were plenty of straight people. Straight friends and neighbors, families pushing strollers and/or carrying toddlers on their shoulders, and couples holding hands. (Ladies, if you ever want your man to display his affection more in public, take him someplace gay.)

I love that.

The celebration at Blake's spilled out into the parking lot.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fire And Rims Blown

Church Bus Mayhem #2: "Think About The Children!"

At the end of August I wrote about a pervasive danger facing individuals who are actively involved in the Christian lifestyle. I’m afraid September wasn’t a better month for these folks.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees religious freedom, and I’m a huge fan of the First Amendment. I’m also a big fan of our interstate highway system. I’m not advocating new limitations or regulations on either one. If a bunch of consenting adults want to pack themselves into a van designed for hauling cargo like a gaggle of circus clowns, that’s their business.

However, these stories make it clear that a disproportionate number of the victims of this tragic phenomenon are children who are under the age of consent. These are innocent children whose only fault is surrendering 100% of their care and well-being to their religious indoctrinators. This is specially troubling when the precepts of that religion favor the well-being of its followers in a hypothetical “afterlife” over their well-being in reality.

Man killed in Highway 54 Crash

Sept. 10, 2012
One person was killed when the car he was driving struck a church bus early Sunday afternoon. His wife was injured. EMS was called to Highway 54 West near Herbert Willis Road.

Fund created for teen seriously hurt in church van crash on I-4

Sept. 13, 2012
Her fight began on Saturday, as she and fellow members of the church traveled to the Rock the Universe concert in Orlando. Around mile marker 55 on I–4, a tire blew out on the van they were traveling in. It flipped into the median, and she landed on her head.

Teen dies after being seriously injured in crash on I–4

Sept. 14, 2012
Lakeland, Florida – Sierra Johnson, the 17-year-old who was injured last weekend in a church van crash on I–4, has passed away.

Two die when church van collides with SUV in Sevier County

Sept. 16, 2012
SEYMOUR (WATE) - Two people were killed and several injured Sunday morning in a fiery wreck when their church van collided with an SUV in Sevier County.

Two teens hurt in church-van crash

Sept. 16, 2012
Tire failure is the cause behind a single-vehicle Polk County crash that has left one of seven passengers in serious condition, according to the county sheriff’s office.

Deceased victims identified in church van crash

Sept. 17, 2012
Deceased victims identified in church van crash …. According to Knox County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Martha Dooley, Schaeffer was convicted of one felony county of robbery in January 2011. … Settle said he had never seen such a serious accident.

‘Sunshine of the school’: Teenage church bus wreck victim

Sept. 19, 2012
Courteney, one of two victims of Sunday’s fiery and horrific head-on collision on Chapman Highway between an SUV and the church bus in which the girl was riding, will be buried on Thursday. Friends, family, school officials and even … Izzy, who said …

Church Van Driver Convicted of Child Sex Abuse

Sept. 21, 2012
A Spring Valley man who was the church bus driver for a South Nyack congregation has been convicted by a Rockland County jury in New City of sexually abusing a young boy in 2011.

Update: Crash on Park Avenue Injures 7

Sept. 30, 2012
Seven people were injured when a church van collided with an SUV at Fifth Street and Park Avenue Saturday about 10:30 p.m. The Huntington Manor Fire Department responded to the crash that brought about 60 emergency personnel to the scene.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Smile By Jesus

Up early for a dental cleaning and check up. I always schedule myself to be the first patient they see at 7:30am. Mostly because my dentist is way up OTP and morning rush hour traffic on I-85 can be very unpredictable. I've learned I never want to show up late for an appointment. My dentist is like Bruce Banner, for the most part he's nice but I never want to see him angry.

Hard to believe it's been ten years since JB referred me to Doctor D. JB kept raving about his wonderful dentist. Meanwhile I had the uneasy suspicion my convenient, in-town dentist saw me as little more than a walking dollar sign with teeth yet to cap. I envisioned him calculating what work I needed based solely on whatever new car he was eyeing and a surreptitious x-ray of my wallet.

I was a bit nervous the first time I saw the amount of Christian paraphernalia in Doctor D's waiting room. It may have been he marble replica of the Ten Commandments. Or the illustrated bible story books aimed at children. Or the box of actual bibles. (Free! Take one!) I made a mental note not to mention my sexual orientation, and to suppress any flamboyant mannerisms I may have subconsciously picked up from my previous dentist.

Turns out there was little need to worry. The husband and wife team assumed I was JB's partner and if they have any problems with that, they hide it very well. It's as if they have all the best qualities of being Christian, which is a rare and wonderful thing.

I better get going. I get ten Hail Marys and extra gum scraping time in purgatory if I'm late.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hail the Fluid Master

Shortly before leaving on vacation I received an urgent call at work. JB was in a panic because the toilet wouldn't flush. I have a hard enough time helping people troubleshoot technical problems over the phone when I do know what I'm talking about. Not being a plumber I advised him to use the bathroom in our condo building's pool house until I got home from work. (Our version of "dropping the kids at the pool.")

Never the patient type, JB hung up and immediately called the condo association manager to complain. She correctly laughed at him.

When I got home I discovered that by turning off the water supply into the tank then turning it back on, the tank would fill. It just wouldn't refill automatically again after the next flush. While I didn't fix the problem, turning the water valve off and on after each flush provided a work-around until I could replace the fill-valve in the tank. This would have to wait until after vacation.

Yeah, I probably should have given the cat sitter a heads-up about that. But at least the litter box was immaculate.

Anyway, it was off to Homo Depot last Saturday to fulfill my manly duty. The strategy changed when I saw that the hot guy in the kilt was working. Turning down two other friendly offers of assistance, I made my way to Handy McFreeball and pretended I never saw the inside a toilet tank before.

Sadly for me, all the necessary parts were shelved above knee level. After my third stupid question he assured me installation couldn't be simpler. There's even a step-by-step picture guide right there on the side of the box, see? But what if I get home and find I need help? "There should be an 800 number in there," Handy offered as he turned on his heel (not fast enough) and abandoned me in the plumbing aisle.

It was only after Handy disappeared from sight that the Fluidmaster Duo Flush™ caught my eye.

A common feature on toilets in Europe is the ability to choose between a full flush and a "half flush". Because the fact of the matter is all flush requirements are not the same. Why waste a full tank of water when four out of five times (random estimate, less if you drink beer, more if you're Jamie Lee Curtis) just a fraction of a tank will get the job done?

It's one of those simple things we don't think about in the Land of Plenty. Until a drought hits, like the one that panicked Atlanta four years back. Nothing says you're in deep shit like hearing a respected local TV news anchor say the words, "If it's yellow, let it mellow..."

My project Saturday afternoon was to install the Fluidmaster ™. Mr. McFreeball was right, it only takes fifteen minutes. An hour and a half if cocktails are served. After final adjustments, I set the heavy porcelain lid back on the tank and called over JB to proudly show off my accomplishment.

After a brief instructional lecture ("Down for full flush, up for half flush") he asked, "How do I do a full flush?"

"You push the handle down."

"And a normal flush?"

"Push the handle down."

"No... a normal flush."

"What's normal? Number one or number two?"

"I don't know, you installed it!"

It was around here that I began to feel like I was doing a bit in an Abbott and Costello routine. I hope I have an easier time explaining it to the cat sitter.

It's really quite simple. All you need to remember is:
"Blue is for poo."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Wow. I can't stop watching this Expedia commercial. Stunningly beautiful and so emotionally heartfelt, there's no way these could be actors. If they are, they deserve some sort of acting award.

It really brings home for me what the fight for marriage equality is all about. This is how the world changes. One personal relationship at a time.

Just have a kleenex handy. Watching this had me in tears in my cubicle to the point my boss asked if I was okay. Since I had a cold anyway, I played it off as a sniffles attack. He sent me home early.

Update: Not professional actors, but not exactly amateur lesbians either. JB immediately recognized Jill and Nikki from a previous season of "The Real L Word".

Yes, it's one of JB's favorite shows. Which just supports my theory that my furry little bear has so much testosterone, it wraps around the other side to become estrogen. He's still fuming at Romi for marrying her ex-boyfriend.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fancy Pants 2 - Rise of The Flap

This morning I find myself asking, what kind of blogger would I be if I were to ignore the requests of my faithful readers? (Both of them.)

Sorry about the pixillation. If I had to add a click-through for the
"mature content" warning, I'm afraid I'd lose my Pakistani audience.

Going to the pisser is like
landing an airplane: flaps
down on approach.
First, I need to clarify something. (No, not that photo.) When I wrote earlier about the "easy-access" flap, I was basing that on my previous experience with my old lederhosen shorts. What I've discovered since is that my shorts weren't "traditional" lederhosen but a modernized variation. The "flap" was formed by two zippers which took exactly 0.2 seconds to open. (Assuming I used both hands.)

Traditional lederhosen don't have zippers, they have buttons. And all the flap really does is add a second layer of buttons to the fly. Wearing my new lederhosen I quickly learned to begin unfastening my flap en route to the Herren's room. I noticed most guys wearing lederhosen did the same.

In fact, any short amount of time waiting in line to piss was spent fumbling with my flap. And you can believe that after five liters of beer, I had to piss. A lot. Nowhere is the stereotypical German passion for efficiency more obviously on display than in the men's restrooms at Oktoberfest. Inside you'll find miles of piss troughs. Any gap between men relieving themselves wider than ten inches is fair territory, as long as you wedge yourself in politely and carefully. (Don't say I didn't warn you about this point.)

And German efficiency isn't all that's on display in there. I've never been much of a urinal gawker, I'm more the take-care-of-business-and-get-out kind of guy. But often in these Oktoberfest restrooms, one doesn't have the option of staring straight forward since many of the piss troughs are efficiently arranged to face each other. It's okay to look, he's checking out your cock too. I noticed absolutely no difference between the straight tents and the gay tents in this regard. This only supports my general Oktoberfest theory that all distinctions between the straight guys and gay guys essentially disappears by the second maß.

I know what you're thinking: "But what if I'm pee shy?" Don't worry, there's hope...
Simply drink one of these. Repeat as necessary while symptoms persist.

Another clarification to my original "Fancy Pants" post is necessary. When I said that going to a Munich lederhosen shop – or "Tracht" shop – on the Friday before the opening day of Oktoberfest would be like going to Walmart on Christmas Eve, I was wrong. At least I think I was wrong... Does the Walmart greeter pour you a glass of champagne when you enter the store?

"Let me measure your inseam for that hat."
What an experience! After arriving in Munich Friday morning and spending the afternoon at a popular beer garden (the Viktualienmarkt Biergarten in Marienplatz) we all decided we needed more accoutrements for our fancy pants. These could be obtained at a nearby popular Tracht shop where my friends Joe and Larry purchased their lederhosen in years previous. On the walk over they warned me about the proprietor of the shop. He's a pervert.

We got to the shop 30 minutes before closing time and as I expected, it was a riot. Taking in the commotion, I was surprised by a short little man who snuck up behind me and pushed a flute of champagne into my hand. He looked like a troll. Not an ugly, under-the-bridge troll, but a cute, look-at-me-on-the-end-of-your-pencil troll.

"That's him," Joe whispered.

Sure enough, when picking out a pair of socks, the cute little troll man insisted on measuring my inseam. Carefully and methodically. I just shrugged and let the cute little troll man do his thing. I've done a lot more for free champagne.

Thank goodness I didn't go with the yellow shirt.
I'd look like Timer, hankering for a hunk of cheese.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Vacation Wrap-up

I'm technically still on vacation until Monday, but we returned home Wednesday evening. I started to come down with a cold Monday, but it didn't really bother me too much until we landed in Atlanta and I thought my head might implode.

God bless JB for risking getting listed as a potential mexican meth cartel mastermind by picking me up some behind-the-counter Claritin D. I'm still not sure if it was in time to save my left eardrum, but I'm feeling much better.

Oktoberfest was a blast! After spending Saturday and Sunday in the tents at the Theresienwiese, we boarded a train on Monday to finish our vacation in Klosters, Switzerland.

I'll post more pics and details later. But for now, if you'd like to get a hint of what it's like to be in a tent full of thousands of beer-drinking, leather-wearing gays, click on the pic below.

Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit, der Gemütlichkeit...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fancy Pants

Farewell bavarian short shorts.
Look for them on Craig's List under
"Leather / CBT Gear."
 (No fatties.)
I'm going on vacation tomorrow!

This might not sound like a big deal, but it's my first proper vacation since I started my current job four years ago. So naturally, I was excited to get started packing and preparing. On Sunday, I pulled some boxes out of storage and tried on my old lederhosen.

This was when I made an upsetting discovery. With my friend Joe looking on in amusement, I realized my lederhosen shrank. Okay. I admit I may have put on a pound or two since I last wore them to Oktoberfest five years ago. And even then they were a bit snug in the crotch.

But with Joe smirking as I inhaled to pull the last zipper home, I realized there was no way I was going to wear these skin tight cow hide shorts in public.

"Sure you can..." Joe laughed. "Look how they show off your package!"

Crushed testicles notwithstanding, I am not about to walk around Munich in a pair of Fräulein Dukes.

Before my first trip to Munich for Oktoberfest back in 2003, I never dreamed I'd ever wear lederhosen. Even if you grant they're far from the most repugnant German uniform of all time, they're just so... Sound-of-Musicy.

But my mind started to change after spending time in close quarters with so many handsome men in their traditional bavarian garb. I started to see that lederhosen can be downright sexy.

And very practical too, as their convenient design allows almost instant penis access. While this feature is primarily necessitated by the amounts of beer the wearer typically consumes, after discovering how much fun could be had by simply lowering the crotch flap I was hooked.

More than anything else, this subway billboard inspired
me to buy my first pair of short lederhosen.

On the second day of Oktoberfest, there's an entire tent full of
thousands of gays in lederhosen. I'll be seeing you boys Sunday.
So, ignoring my mother's best advice, I caved to the combined pressures of conformity and alcohol and decided to invest in a pair. And I do mean "invest". These aren't something you pick up in the costume aisle at Party City. A decently crafted pair of lederhosen can set you back two to three hundred dollars, and easily more. That's a lot for a fancy pair of pants I'll wear maybe once a year. And that's assuming they don't, uh, shrink.

I considered shopping for a new pair of lederhosen upon arriving in Munich, but that would just waste time that will be much better spent at the Hofbräuhaus. And I'd think shopping for lederhosen in Munich on the day before Oktoberfest would be about as much fun as going to Walmart on Christmas Eve.

It doesn't matter how gay you are,
just say no to... these.

So on Monday I went online and found what looked to be a decent pair of lederhosen at a reasonable price from an eBay vendor that offered overnight shipping. Twenty-four hours later, my new leather hosiery arrived at my door. They looked gorgeous! And tiny.

Sure enough, my calf wouldn't even fit through the leg opening. In a panic I dialed the enclosed phone number and explained to the nice lady that I ordered size 34 waist, just like my jeans. The nice lady laughed at me. Twenty-four more hours later, size 38 arrived at my door.

I love my new fancy pants. And thanks to a lace in the back which can be loosened to let out more waist, they're future-proof!

They just arrived in the nick of time. And they fit!
Stevie B calls them "pedal pushers", but I'm clinging
to the belief that in Munich these will be considered
masculine and will get me laid for sure.

I'll have more pics of the full outfit later.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I've been paying a lot of attention to the news and I've come to a conclusion.

There is only one class of people who can legitimately mock the beliefs of other religions without the messy splashback of irony and hypocrisy:


While I've never been opposed to well-splashed irony, I hate hypocrisy and am pretty good at mocking things.

I have decided, therefore, I must be an atheist.

Let the mockery begin.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eleven 11ths

I keep better track of JB these days. This minute, for example.
On this day, I'm reposting something I wrote last year on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. This story is actually set three days afterward, on September 14, 2001. My partner, JB, was (and still is) a flight attendant and was originally scheduled to complete a domestic rotation and return home the afternoon of the 11th.

JB was just about to depart Las Vegas when word came that all flights were grounded. At the time I didn't know where he was, I only knew he was out there somewhere. That I was relieved to hear his voice on the phone later that morning seemed too obvious for words. My goal was to write something that properly expressed my feelings of relief and gratitude from that time.


Most of the guests had already arrived and more were still trickling in. One thing I liked about that apartment on Greenwood was how spacious it was, but now it was feeling rather cramped. With all the cars parked along the street and guests still arriving, it was going to be hard to pull this party off as a surprise.

I was amazed at the turnout considering the short notice. The invite had only gone out that afternoon. I was overwhelmed by this display of love and generosity, and I said a silent prayer of thanks to God for bringing such wonderful friends into my life. Into our life.

But I also realized they probably needed this get-together as much as I did, and I think they were grateful for the opportunity to celebrate. This was backed up by the fact many of my friends brought guests, some of whom I was meeting for the first time. I'd told my friends they could bring guests, but I honestly never expected even half of them to show up at eleven o'clock on a Thursday night. Yet every single one of the friends I invited was there, plus some new ones.

Some people brought food, others carried bottles of wine and cartons of beer. My friend Laura, ever the leader, took charge organizing the food into an inviting buffet. Hot Toddy, of course, took on the job of bartender without waiting to be asked.

I took the phone call outside on the deck, hoping JB wouldn't hear the sounds of a lively party going on inside the home we shared. Despite feeling I've lost all control over the event, I still wanted it to be a surprise to him. After hanging up, I rejoined the party. "Ten minutes!" I shouted over the music. This seemed to ramp the party up another notch as I grabbed the cold beer Toddy held out for me.

I gave up any notion of trying to turn off the lights or shouting "Surprise!". I decided it would be enough just for JB to walk in on this amazing spectacle. And the look of bewilderment on his face when he came through the door told me we'd hit a home run.

JB always looks handsome in his flight attendant uniform, even at the end of a long trip. And this one was longer than most. He let go of his rolling suitcase to wipe away tears with the back of his hand as one friend after another welcomed him home with hugs. Toddy put a glass of wine in JB's hand.

It was one of the funnest and happiest parties I'd ever been to, let alone hosted. And it was over in the blink of an eye, with the last of the guests leaving by 1am. Most of them had to work in the morning, after all. When it was just myself and JB, I wrapped my arms around him and, for the first time since hearing his voice on Tuesday afternoon, lost my composure. "Don't ever do that to me again!" I said into his shoulder, half laughing and half sobbing, my tears absorbing into his starched white shirt.

"I sure hope not!" It wasn't much of a promise, but it was the best he could do. I knew he wasn't about to quit the job he loved so much, and I was proud of him for that. I was just glad he was finally home. Three days later than scheduled, but he was home.

Hard to believe that party was ten years ago today.

Friday, September 7, 2012


So the Democratic National Convention caved to Fox News pressure and amended their platform to include the word "God". The amendment also sought to assuage another right-wing insecurity by adding wording that reaffirmed Jerusalem to be the capital city of Israel.

Downtown Gay
Fortunately that was the only capital city affirmed in the platform, keeping hope alive in my ongoing campaign to move the state capital from Kalamazoo to Gay, Michigan.

I know what you're thinking, but there really is a town in Michigan called "Kalamazoo". I've been there. And just like Gay, I'm pretty sure I'm the only actual gay person to have ever visited.

The televised yea/nay vote on the amendment was simultaneously embarrassing and hilarious. Watching it, I've never felt better about not being the mayor of Los Angeles. Needing a 2/3 majority, it sounded to me like the "nays" predominated. Villaraigosa repeated the vote three times before finally just steam-rolling its passage, displeasing the naysayers in the sparse crowd.

While it looked like a total subversion of the democratic process, it was really more a justifiable deviation from Robert's Rules of Order to make Republicans happy. Totally worth it, right?

What? Is there no pleasing these people? Now lets zoom out of that carefully cropped picture and notice the signs.

I have a feeling it wasn't the "God" part of the amendment these folks were booing about.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Name Of God

I apologize for my obsessive political ramblings of late. I suffer from that on occasion. It's like my version of Pon Farr, only instead of mating it's politics. And instead of every seven years it's four. And the only remotely Vulcan-like person in this star system is Rachel Maddow. Otherwise the analogy is apt.

After Michelle Obama's masterful speech on the opening night of the DNC where her acknowledgement of my right to marry to man I love brought me to tears, I foolishly decided to harsh my buzz by checking out what Fox News had to say. This isn't as easy as it sounds, as it required me to dig deep into my Tivo settings to re-add Fox News to my channel line-up.

The first thing I see is Greta Van Susteren's oddly modified facial features asking the same question over and over: "Why isn't 'God' mentioned in the Democratic party platform? Not even once?" She seemed obsessively single-minded about this.

She asked one Democrat, "Was this an oversight, or an intentional omission?" The ambush news equivalent of "When did you stop beating your wife?" And the schmuck stepped right into her trap, stammering for an answer before name-dropping Jesus repeatedly. Cringe.

Here's my suggestion to any DNC representatives who plan on talking to anyone from Fox News regarding the correct way to address this question:
"You're correct, Greta, while acknowledging concerns of faith, the DNC platform does not specifically mention God's name, just as the Constitution of the Untied States does not. My personal belief is that God prefers to manifest himself in the hearts and minds of individuals of all persuasions rather than be frozen on some partisan policy document assembled by an agenda-driven committee that presumes to speak for Him.

"Please keep in mind that I'm not speaking for my party, but expressing my own constitutionally-protected viewpoint when I say that I give God credit for being smart enough to see through any servile attempt to gain political advantage by trying to make ourselves appear more pious than our brothers and sisters on the other side of the aisle.

"If you like, we can discuss the entire section of the platform sub-headed 'Faith' which recognizes and upholds the unique protections given to religion by our Constitution and is respectfully worded in a way that doesn't exclude one single American citizen, regardless of his or her religion, creed or conscientiously held belief."
Or if you're feeling rushed:
"To which god are you referring, Greta? Xenu? Would you like our platform to declare your freaky Church of Scientology to be the established religion of this country? Did your cosmetic surgeon snip a nerve? No, really, you're drooling a little. Other side."
And cut to Viagra commercial. Feel free to use either one.

But Greta knows the score, doubtless given instructions to hammer relentlessly on this point so as to maximize divisiveness by painting the Democratic Party as (gasp) godless. Just as Fox News had been doing all day long:

Did you notice how the stats on 'God' references in the Republican platform are only provided for this year, while stats for the Democratic platform go all the way back to 2000? There's a reason for that, as Media Matters expertly points out. It's because including Republican stats for those years would show the Democratic platform has historically invoked the name of God more often than the Republican platform has.

This graph emphasizes the question we should be asking... Why the uncharacteristic sixfold surge in appeals to Ceiling Cat in this year's Republican platform?

Could it be a defense mechanism to quell the unspoken, yet palpable discomfort felt by "mainstream" Christians who find themselves in the awkward position of having to support a candidate whose theological precepts are far, far, far more foreign to them than those of the president they hope to displace?

That might be part of it. But a big factor is that this year's GOP platform committee was appropriated by tea-baggers and far-right Christian organizations animated by their opposition to marriage equality, on top of their standard, run-of-the-mill authoritarian complex. This includes Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, one of the hate groups supported by Chick-fil-a profits. And David Barton, disgraced anti-gay historical revisionist who wants desperately to convince us Thomas Jefferson was an evangelical Christian and not a Diest at all. Oh, and Phyllis Schlafly. Yes, evidently she's still alive and kicking gays. That old bat doesn't just believe marriage is between a man and a woman, but that it's a sacred covenant that grants a man license to rape his wife. (She asked for it when she said, "I do.")

So this god that's mentioned twelve times in the GOP platform? That particular version of God doesn't care much for me, or people like me. This God doesn't apply to muslims or sikhs either. And while these tea-bagging christians won't say so in public – at least not during the campaign – they know in their self-righteous hearts it isn't really Romney's God either.

Exclusion and alienation, all in the name of God. I'll choose the godless platform, thank you.

"Stop telling Me where to send My hurricanes, bitches!"

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Talk About A Risky Lifestyle Choice

"Homosexual behavior is extremely unhealthy... homosexuals typically have far shorter life spans than the general population." --Family Research Council

"It's not a lifestyle. It's a death-style." --American Family Association
Gosh... Listening to these right-wing religious hate groups, you'd think there could be nothing more dangerous than having gay sex. While I've never been one to shy away from the tingle of moderate danger, there's one thing you'll never catch me inside of, and that's a moving, church-operated vehicle...

About 6,910 results (0.13 seconds)

I stopped after four pages of results, but it's all there on Google.