Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pilgrim's Progress

While StevieB made a pilgrimage to his holy land, so I made my way to mine. There's something about leaving Atlanta's still-oppressive heat for a completely different climate; one which more accurately represents the calendar. Last Thursday morning I once again found myself in Munich, Germany for the opening day of Oktoberfest. Yet my passage was far from complete.

Like StevieB's spiritual journey, mine required donning traditional vestments of leather. I'm not sure if his mission included sacramental drink. If it did, knowing Stevie, it was probably coffee.

My pilgrimage may have begun with planes and trains, but the final leg of my journey could only be completed by imbibing the ancient, mystical nectar of the gods. There are only five consecrated Oktoberfest brews, all strictly adhering to the Gospel of Reinheitsgebot. Served by the liter and consumed in song and fellowship to the sound of deep brass horns and cracking whips.

It took nearly two gallons of sacred brew (and at least half a dozen offertories to the urinal trough) but I finally achieved spiritual enlightenment. I touched the face of God. Well, I belched in the face of God. The rest is kind of fuzzy.

Pac enjoying mass. (Here they call it "Eine Maß".)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Sometimes the stars align and something for which you've given up hope becomes possible. And sometimes those alignments aren't always positive.

I'd written off the idea of going to Oktoberfest this year, mostly because of the expense, especially in light of the employment situation. But also because I couldn't consider leaving my old cat with a sitter for more than a day or two. He'd been going downhill since he lost his brother in February.

Even when JB picked up a Munich trip for opening weekend, it didn't make sense for me to tag along just to spend a single day on the Theresienwiese and come right home. Since there's a huge obnoxious music festival in the park by my house this weekend, I planed to stock up on food and beer and spend the weekend hunkered down with Emil. (The cat.)

But last week it became obvious Emil's old cat body was shutting down. On Saturday, after seventeen years together, we made the hard decision to euthanize him.

With Emil gone, I couldn't bear the idea of hunkering home alone all weekend. That's when my ex, Joe, suggested I come with him to Munich on Wednesday and fly back next week on JB's return flight. He even kindly offered to let me stay in his hotel room until JB gets there.

Which explains why I'm now sitting at an airport bar with an RSVP cruise gym bag stuffed with lederhosen.

Auf Wiedersehen.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


This weekend I was convinced to tackle a chore that's been on my honey-do list since we had the ceilings redone five months ago: clean out the spare room.

I never know what to call this room. On the original floor plan it's labeled "Den". That would be appropriate if there were bears frolicking within. (Sadly there isn't.) I could only call it a den if it had a comfy leather chair in which I could drink brandy from a snifter while admiring my taxidermia.

I was once invited into a straight man's den.
It could rightly be called a "Guest Room", but it's almost never in a condition for company. Lately, in fact, I've been making sure the door is tightly closed whenever anyone knocks. Or Skypes.

I sometimes call it the "Computer Room". There is a computer in it. That I almost never use since getting my MacBook. It would make more sense to call it "Printer Room" than computer room. It's across the hall from the "Toilet Room".

I suppose I could call it a "Home Office". But I can never work from home without JB giving me stink-eye for "playing" on the computer whilst he folds laundry. Once while attempting to work from home, he sent the not-so-subtle message I wasn't performing anything he would consider "work" by repeatedly ramming the vacuum cleaner into the back of my chair. That made for an awkward conference call.

I have to give JB credit for making rush-hour commuting pleasurable.

For now I'm just calling it the "Spare Room". And since I'm between jobs (my euphemism for "unemployed") I have no excuse for not cleaning it. No, really, just ask JB.

Thus I began cleaning the spare room like any normal person who forgot to take his Adderall would: by thumbing through my high school freshman yearbook. Aren't we all glad I grew out of that awkward phase? Evidently I could only convince one 9th grade classmate to sign my yearbook.

Proof that cheaters never prosper. I bet her algebra sucks too.

Its tone has the finality of Senior year. Of course I had to go through the other three books to see if Wendy ever got to know me better. Apparently she didn't.

I'd barely moved on to my college yearbooks when JB came in to inspect my progress. And I thought getting hit with a vacuum cleaner was bad.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Seashell Network

Looking back a year, it's clear how much I was focused on the upcoming big gay cruise. Nearly every post expressed the anticipation of a well-earned vacation. While I expected a good time, I never imagined I'd be sitting here seven months afterward still writing about the experience.

The cruise itself was just a vacation. A very, very enjoyable vacation which I plan to repeat as often as practically possible. But still just a vacation that ended back home with the first load of laundry.

It's the people with whom I shared that ship that still impact my life every single day. Those I knew well, barely or not at all before the cruise, all imprinted themselves on me with equal regard. It's these relationships that come to mind when I remember that week at sea.

When the email came for next year's cruise, I knew it wasn't going to happen. Part of me sensed the job situation was going to be an issue. But another part of me worried I could never recreate the experience without all the same people there.

But lately my attitude has changed. I might miss this cruise but I'm definitely not going to miss the next one. Not when the worst that can happen is the possibility of adding more amazing friends to my social network.