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!"