Monday, June 30, 2008

Pimp My Pride

Please meet Ozzie and Jay.

We met Ozzie and Jay earlier today at the 2008 New York City Gay Pride parade. We were with our family of bloggers at the corner of Christopher Street and Gay Street.

Ozzie and Jay are both eighteen years old. They have been together for two years and five months. When I asked them some questions about the trials and tribulations of being "out" to family and friends, they looked at me as if I were a curio on the Antiques Roadshow. They really didn't have much of a frame of reference for my issues, all of which are old battles played out on hills that are now covered over with new and forgetful grass.

Ozzie and Jay talked about their high school in Brooklyn. They ran for "class couple". They won, and are proud of the fact that they were the first gay couple ever to do so.

So much has changed. It did not really matter to me that we stood chatting about these things on ground that in my mind still reverberates with the din of the Stonewall riots thirty-nine years ago, a date even Ozzie and Jay's parents may not have been old enough to recall. So much good has happened. So much has been accomplished.

Ozzie and Jay are likable guys. The kind of guys who are full of fun and style and promise. The kind of guys for whom you wish only great happiness, knowing full well that they will have their share also of pain and difficulty and strife and disappointment, all of which goes into the making of a life in full bloom. And no one would have it any other way. I wonder if we'll see them on this corner again next year. Still together. A little wiser. A little older.

To all of you who say that these annual parades have become meaningless celebrations, I say take a look at Ozzie and Jay, and feel some good gay pride. They are reason enough to do this again next year and every year.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Waterfalls by Olafur Eliasson

I offer this brief and unpolished video tour with wandering and unscripted commentary to those of you who have read about this big art installation, and may not get a chance to see it, or, to those of you who are thinking about seeing it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Une certaine recherche vestimentaire

Originally uploaded by farmboyz

At Folsom Street East, this lady stood out in the crowd despite her addition of a black leather belt to her immaculate church dress. Hers was probably the sexiest, most intelligent outfit of the day. It invited transgression and attack in a way that a mountain of harnesses won't do. The pearls, socks/shoes, bag and hat, their meticulous whiteness, and the way she wore them, contained the essential and inflammatory elements of fetishism. One instantly wonders what she had on underneath it all, and if in the course of the day, anyone would finally have the sense to understand her wordless invitation to be violated, her pearls scattered on the wet pavement and rolling into the gutters as she gathers up the tattered remains of her outfit and hurries home satisfied.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New York Social Diary and

If you are not regularly reading David Patrick Columbia's New York Social Diary, you really are walking past a window into a world that few of us will ever otherwise experience. Sometimes, Mr. Columbia will deliver a fascinating historical glimpse, such as today's bit about Onassis and diamonds. Ordinarily, we read about the socially prominent of New York and their philanthropic events. The writing and photography are unfailingly satisfying and never mean-spirited. There is also a list of names to help you follow the players. I think you'd have to have a serious case of reverse-snobbery to be angered by this diary.

And, as the perfect antidote to the spectre of so many lifted and relaxed faces, I recommend a quick trip to!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Folsom Street East 2008

Go here for thirty photos of this convivial leather and fetish event, some of which might be considered borderline NSFW.

Later in the week, I'll add more, and some video. Almost all the new York bloggerati were in attendance, and the brief downpour did little to dampen spirits and much to keep the rubber glossy.

males au naturel

c, glenn, nick, joe, chris

Saturday, June 21, 2008

As Daisy reminded Nick

C reminded me that this is the longest day of the year.

The summer solstice. It was also the most beautiful day of the year to be out and about in Manhattan with nothing to do but relax.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sudden summer rain

Sad is the first time you run to seek shelter from a sudden summer rain, for it marks the day you leave your childhood and enter the unnatural world of Grown-Ups. We excite ourselves about making this transition, and once we have, we strive for years to wedge ourselves more deeply into the narrowing ductwork of adulthood, until with luck we squeeze through the last few twists of it, and uncork ourselves where that same rain lights up our eyes. We run into it, drenched and home again.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

With little wind in their sails

Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles together with his six auxiliary bishops issued the following statement regarding the newly permitted gay marriages in California.

It has a weak and whiney tone about it. It's not the boldly voiced proclamation of the sort that the Catholic Church had been making until it became clear that public sentiment worldwide has shifted in favor of allowing gay marriage. It seems to say "Come on, guys, you already have some of the benefits you want. Why can't you just be satisfied with that?"

It also makes a rather pompous reminder to the State that it is supposed to be protecting "the family" and that allowing these marriages does the opposite. Jesus Christ.

The part that amuses me is the argument that tradition is the potent indicator that gay marriage is wrong. Mahony/Cronies support this by siting/footnoting their own previous statements as Catholic bishops. Yeah. Convincing.

On the whole, the statement is a hand-wringing nervous act of desperation coated with an insincere statement of warm outreach to the gay community. Roger, you'd have done better to keep your mouth shut. Fire your writers, and the next time you need to issue a statement regarding the gay community, email me. I can be bought, and you'll get your money's worth.
(click to read:)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Get over yourselves.

I'm not about to run out and buy this book, but the author's comments in this interview, while sure to rankle many, clarify a position to which few men will admit.

This tiresome battle between the monogamous and the non-monogamous will probably go on forever, with each side demanding respect and hurling insults at the other, pointing out hypocrisy. There is a better route: real toleration for different lifestyles. I know plenty of married men (in gay and straight marriages) who enjoy a night out at the baths or similar. So what? Relationships are complicated things, the workings of which are not visible to others, no matter how close we get to their skin. Because we will always be curious about other people's lives, we will always speculate and gossip about them, but judging them is a fool's venture.

I wanna do it

I ran for the camera when a group of these floated by. I must experience this. They glide by like something in a dream. This is similar to but different from parasailing where a small boat tows the airborne rider, and parasurfing where the rider skims the waves on a surf board while wrestling with the kited parachute. Here, you simply sit in a chair with a giant fan behind your back while you glide along the shore almost noiselessly.

Of course, there are some perils. The wind could drop off or the fan power could expire but I imagine a soft landing. Hopefully, not amid the group of five sand sharks that were feeding a few feet away (I couldn't get a decent picture of them) or anywhere near this frightening waterspout (click to see it) that formed further down the coast and was headed to shore, retreating into a single dark cloud in an otherwise gorgeous sky.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Drawing class

It's not easy to funnel into the pencil in your hand what your eyes have sent to your brain. It takes more practice than I have given over to it. All the same, last night's drawing class was enjoyable. About a dozen participants including some art teachers from nearby towns and a number of "ladies who lunch". A congenial group. We chatted between poses. The session began with a number of two minute poses to help us get into gear. This was followed by a few ten minutes poses, a couple of twenty minute poses, and a final forty minute pose. The model was a stand-in with no previous experience. Two rather exhausting hours, for him and for me, given the fact that you cannot let your concentration flag. I think I'll do this again.

I learned that the best results may be had when I start with the line or curve of the body that is most appealing to me, and build the rest of the figure off it. Everyone else in the class worked with bigger paper and next time I will too. My images kept running off the page. I wonder why I don't mentally scale down what I see so that it will fit the page. Perhaps I have been made lazy by the camera wherein I immediately zoom-to-fit or move closer or further away from the subject.

I think I am most satisfied with the ten minute sketch in the upper right corner. I started with the curve of the spine, and I was startled to see that the head was placed correctly and that the left hand appeared to be functional.

Every day

Every day, I swim in the ocean.
To the shore, I sing various ballads.
I make wishes (prayers) for the happiness of those I know,
and, I make faces in the elevator,
fully aware of the surveillance camera.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

As Shakespeare said

in R&J,
This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous kitchen when next we meet.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The art of conversation

On Sunday, I in Fort Lauderdale, called C in New York.

“Hey there.”

That is what he says when he is napping, about to nap or napped.

“You know it’s cooler down here than it is in Central Park.”

I know. It’s 95 here.”

“Oh well. What is that poem Kitty used to recite? ‘Something, something something. When it’s hot he wants it cold. When it’s cold he wants it hot. Always wanting what is not.’ Probably G.K. Chesterton. Anyway, I am just calling to say that we no longer have a kitchen down here. It’s gone. They ripped it out. Hauled it away. Just a big cavity left. I walked round and round in it. And that wall is gone too, so you know how you used to be able to sit on the toilet and if you had the door open you could look at the ocean through the kitchen? Well now you can see twice as much ocean from the toilet, plus the TV, so I really can’t see any reason to get off it unless its bed time.”

“That’s wonderful.”

“Hmmm. Well. I can tell you’re delirious with excitement. Anyway, the plumber arrives tomorrow and the electrician the next day and then something called the “roughing in” happens which I think is like the Rapture, and then the countertop people come to make a template. I don’t know why, but I am over-le-top excited about the making of the template and I would miss the Academy Awards before I’d miss this. I think it was the tone of voice they used when they told me I had to be present to sign off on the template once it was created. So ominous. You could almost hear the screaming of customers-past shouting ‘That’s not what I ordered’, or ‘It’s not my fault that it doesn’t fit.’ Anyway, given that we are using quartz, the making of the template is literally written in stone, so I’m going to get lots of sleep the night before and I’ll have no coffee until it’s made and I will photograph everything so that when they deliver something that looks like a Celtic knot, I can triumphantly produce the exonerating evidence of their malpractice.”

“Or, maybe everything will go swell.”

“Oh isn’t that just like you. Always suspecting the best. Oh and guess what. I signed up for a drawing class.”

“Down there?!”

“Yes, down here. Maybe it’s not as brain-dead down here as we have been thinking. Maybe it just takes a little searching to find the people who think and do. I saw an ad for this class that meets every Tuesday night and I visited the gallery where it is held and found out that they meet every other Tuesday in the off-season which is what we’re having and the next one is this Tuesday, so I signed up. The lady said there is a live nude model, and that this week it would be a male and that it’s going to be Mario. She sort of whispered the last bit as if it was extra-significant and well worth the fifteen dollar fee. I arched my back and told her that it didn’t really matter to me whether the model was alive or naked or male or female, and that really, an eggplant interestingly positioned on a Styrofoam plate would do just as well. She sort of ignored this so God knows what I’m in for but I’ve packed some extra purple pastels and some poppers just in case. Honey? Honey, are you awake?”

Friday, June 06, 2008

Never forget me, I am Nirodh

Oddly mesmerizing. This public service announcement goes on for seven minutes!
I think it is probably more effective than the slick sophisticated zingers we produce in this country.

Really Weird Indian Condom Commercial - Watch more free videos

Vice President Kennedy

Caroline, not Ted.
We have been reminded that when Bush was looking for a running mate, Cheney was named to the search committee, and ended up as the selection. Might we be seeing the same thing with Caroline Bouvier Kennedy Schlossberg now named to Obama's search committee? Catholic, married Jewish, excellent lineage. Hillary will not be happy.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Noteworthy: ACLU/LGBT Project

The ACLU LGBT Project recently launched Get Busy, Get Equal, an online toolkit for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists. Get Busy, Get Equal is designed to equip activists who don’t necessarily have much experience organizing with the tools they need to effect real and sustainable change.

The site now features a blog discussing LGBT rights and breaking news, as well as opportunities to connect to activists through the social networking sites Facebook and MySpace.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

P, forgive me

but I just could not resist.

Only in Fort Lauderdale will you find a guest house that advertises "a sling in every room". The other night at Slammer, I heard someone call my name. I hadn't seen P in many years, but there he was, recognizing me and saying that I look the same as I ever did. C and I first met P in 1990 at The Tunnel, in New York City. He became a friend in that way that only gay men can form friendships built on mutual attraction that sometimes starts with sex and evolves to friendship with sex never really put into a reliquary or made off -limits but kept like a book of well-read poems on the coffee table where it can be opened and the words recited when there are guests, or not, with no anxiety. Hard to explain unless you are nodding right now with understanding.

Anyway, he's staying at a guest house in town that has a clothing optional pool and a sling in every room. We stopped by to collect him before going out last night and insisted he try the sling.

Tomorrow, he will kill me for posting this.

P, you were a cute little Hell's Kitchen Bangee Boy when we met you, and you're still hot. Still. Hot.

Departure Anxiety

Today, I brought C to the airport for his flight north. We joked about what we have come to call my “departure anxiety”. I fret the comings and goings. Do I have my keys? My license? Credit cards? Gym card? Cash? Kleenex? Have I applied enough sunblock? Is the cell phone charged? Should I bring the camera? Where are my sunglasses? Coupons? Directions? Are we leaving with enough time to get to the destination? Do you think I’ll need a hat? Is there an umbrella in the car? Is there a clean towel in the gym bag? Chapstick? Tickets? Should I drink more water to keep from dehydrating? Keys? Right. Already in my pocket. I run through the list again. And when the trip is longer than local, there are the additional matters of clothing, extra contact lenses, vitamins distributed into the compartments of a seven-day container, and on and on.

As if my own meticulous efforts to manage my own simple movements are not enough, I run all those questions past C to make sure he hasn’t forgotten to assemble those articles for his own person. He rolls his eyes, and I am saved by our ability to laugh at this little neurosis.

But what is behind it?

What cosmic upset, what irreparable inconvenience, what blinking red failure am I so afraid of?

Here are the possibilities:

a) My life is so complicated that without the strenuous attention to detail, the entire fabric unravels beginning with some small frayed edge that had escaped my attention.
b) My life is so uncomplicated that I magnify the simplest of things to fill the vacancies left by bigger problems.
c) I am so enamoured of my current life that I fear the dropping of a shoe, first one and then the other because, as we all know, nobody has the right to real and durable happiness to the likes of which I now cling suspiciously.
d) I am the laziest bum on the planet, convinced that someone else (maybe the man on the jet going north) ought to be handling all these details so that I can serenely enter and exit any given room with nothing in hand and no obligation beyond charm, a land in which I have already carved my Rushmores.
e) I am a natural worrier who derives some sort of healthy endorphin release by this activity.

And then there is the fact that despite my Herculean efforts to accomplish laundry without disaster, why is a sock missing? I retrace my steps and inspect the three simple and accessible vehicles involved: a hamper, a washer and a dryer. The distance among them might be measured in inches. How can such a thing happen? What fresh hell, what godly interference, what manipulative unseen force, what obvious conspiracy is at play here?

Answers. I will have them, and drive everybody crazy in the getting.

And then, there are the typos.