April 2007

…And I guess my self-imposed vacation falls into that category. As of this posting, I should be on my way home to southern California after three weeks of traveling between San Francisco, California, Orlando, Florida, and upstate New York. It’s always too short, especially when it involves so many friends. Pete and I did the last of our sightseeing today. He first drove me back to his hometown where he introduced me to his mother…let’s just say he is a near spitting image of his mother. Gosh, I know he’ll strangle me for even bringing that up here. HEHEHE! We then drove out to Fort Johnson, Canajoharie, and Schoharie Crossing…let’s just say the ‘sticks!’ But seriously, all these places were quaint, steeped in some kind of history. The operators or curators of Fort Johnson had some sort of re-enactment day yesterday so the grounds were dressed up in period tents, cooking equipment, and personnel in period garment. Schoharie Crossing actually houses a portion of the ‘old’ Erie Canal. It was cool to actually see what I had studied back in grammar and high school history. I just wish that there was still a working segment of the canal left for posterity. I remain amazed at how much the State of New York could save and preserve of history. And perhaps, thereby draw some additional industry to many of the ‘dying’ towns we drove through during our day trips.

That said, here are some thoughts embedded in my mind:

– Missing one person like crazy!

– I have the fortune of having some of most ‘real’ people in my life now. As always, thanks Spidie, Pete, Rob, Tom, Derek/Mike, Dan, Sorted, and Mikell for the on-going memories that you fill my daily life with.  For new memories generated by Mitch (no…not the demon Mitch that is disrupting Spider’s life), crazy Jack, “M,alt>Mike, and David.

– All I know is I still have the ‘travel fever’ bug in me.  I thought it had died after most of my European vacations.  Nah!  It’s merely reincarnated itself in the form of U.S. travel.

– There is so much American history, culture, and architecture that we are letting go by the wayside across this great nation.  It’s sad…  We need to look for better ways to preserve and or support preservation in this nation.  What that is exactly, I don’t know.

– Boston…you better be on the look out for Pete and me the next time I am out visiting the Northeast!

– It’s amazing how REAL an individual can be when others have made him/them out to be non-existent, he a she, she a he, him and him one-in-the-same.  Thanks for that warm call…next the eventual meeting in person.

– It’s scary knowing that it is now time to step out into the real world again on a fresh start, especially when you are 47, in an age range that is often not readily or warmly welcomed in corporate America.  You know the thought process…he’s reached his plateau of productivity and beginning the downward trip.  JUST HELP ME FIND MY NICHE…that’s all I ask.

– And damn, when I get home later today, I better have word from school telling me I passed that last class of mine!!!

‘Til next time…..


HOWDY! Hard to believe it’s Friday evening with yet another weekend strolling in and well, for me, the beginnings of a wrap-up of my East Coast travels. I have been laying low with Pete since Pete threw out his back late Sunday and is still recooperating, albeit much better as of this date. My bud had planned on surprising me with a two-day trip to Boston. We would have left straight from the airport this past Wednesday. It wasn’t meant to be. Hell, there will be other visits out to the East Coast where Pete and I will have that opportunity again. I am sure of it.

lakegeorge.jpgSo what have I been doing? Pete has shown me a bit of upstate New York to the east and to the north. We got out to farm country Thursday. We also went though his old hometown. I saw where he spent his childhood, where his mom lives, where he went to school, etc. Kinda neat to experience a bit of how someone else lived during his childhood, all on the opposite coast. Today, Friday, we headed up north to Lake George. What an absolute prestine lake and some of the houses (estates) along the lakeside were charming. In talking with Pete, it sounds like the housing prices for lake front property in Lake George are much the same as to California’s equivalent, Lake Tahoe. It’s frustrating at times to think that the average person really no longer has the opportunity to buy a piece of dream property.

As for the rest of the weekend, I am unsure what Pete might have in store. Personally, I am not to0 picky.  I just want to take in as much as I can of this beautiful state of New York.

Now that you have some idea of what I have been up to, I’d love to know what you have in store for you weekend.  Any fun, any work, any kinky play…did I say kinky…well bless these virgin ears of mine.  I’m not sure I meant that.  LMAO!  Have a great and safe weekend.

Well guys…my apologies for being on ‘the low’ since last Tuesday. I’m getting ready to wrap up my visit here in Orlando with Spidie. Had to get in some “quality time” with the BF. Spider looks fantastic. He’s dropped 35 pounds and mind you, that was before the heart attack. The heart attack (and the cancer) is merely going to ensure he eats the right foods now.

– Wednesday…a blur once the taxi pulled up to Spider’s cottage. What’s that adage…’for me to know and you to find out.’ Neener, neener, neener! The Chinese food was a nice intermission. Hey guy – it’s Spider here! Just checking behind Tony to make sure the story is right – and he is correct – the Chinese food WAS a nice intermission…

– Thursday…went with Spider to his radiation treatment. Short and sweet. Back on the bus to the library to scan emails and pick up some videos. Once we got home, Spider and I both crashed. Nappy-poo time. The only advantage of not working now… We had a long evening prior. Spidie’s friend picked us up in the early evening to head over and pick up his vehicle. Look out Orlando…the crazy arachnoid is back on the road after a four week hiatus. We capped the day off with us both cooking dinner…pork tenderloin in a peppercorn marinade, baked rosemary baby new potatoes, and garbanzo beans marinaded in garlic, onion, parsley, seasonings, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Oh, and of course, topped off with dessert. WATCH IT GUYS…not that kinda dessert. Vanilla pound cake and vanilla bean ice cream. SWEET! Dinner was excellent – it was fun to have someone in the kitchen cooking with me and even nicer to have someone eat dinner with… and even better to have someone to curl up with after dinner…

– Friday I again rode over to the hospital with Spider and kept him company until his radiation treatment. We met up with two of Spider’s friends, W and J, and headed off to the Orlando Parade of Homes. It essentially is a showing of a variety of new homes and remodels in all styles. Unfortunately we saw only one contemporary/modern home on the tour. The clincher…it was the best house, by far on the tour. We all agreed that it was a total guys house; it was casual, comfortable, and livable; and each of could easily see moving in, with all the furniture in tact, nothing to be changed. Just imagine the whole back side of the house opening up to the pool area…10 foot sliders that receded into the walls. Lets just say there were several areas that could be ‘hideaways, ‘ if you know what I mean, including the wet steam shower in the massage room. RRRRRRRR!!! Of course he didn’t mention the built-in doggy door for Hampton – it is always the children that get forgotten… Afterwards, we all headed over to Chili’s for dinner. Fish and Margaritas for me! Fish and a Diet Coke for me!

– Saturday…a bunch of bloggers gathered here at Spider’s to do the Orlanda AIDS Walk – Spider, myself, Sorted and the BF, Mike of .AltMike, Mikell and his hubby, and David of Just David. It was three laps around Lake Eiola in Downtown Orlando. And guys, Spidie did it with absolutely no problems. And yes, there was some eye candy. The gang headed off to brunch afterwards to fill the tummies and share some stories. It was GREAT getting to meet Mike and David… and Mikell deserves all the credit in the world for organizing a bunch of bloggers to raise the amount of money we did and to all walk around the lake without anyone getting hurt or lost… Spider and I spent the afternoon just chilling at his place. That evening I treated him to dinner at a local restaurant. More Margaritas for me. Of course the BF forgot to tell you he offered to take me to dinner then forgot his wallet… My money or my body – not sure which one he wants me for…

– Sunday…Brett headed off to mass with me. I came back and did some blog reading. I also got in touch with my bud, Horsey, and introduced him to Spider. I had to let Spider hear his sexy Aussie voice! We again met up with Brett’s friends, W and J, for a second round of Parade of Homes. This time we snuck in a $6 million plus house. As J said, the house was a perfect example that money doesn’t buy taste. But it DID have a glory hole for midgets in it! The Casa Estrella while nice reminded me more of an adult Disneyland castle – tacky. Spider and I then got together with Sorted and his BF ‘M’ for dinner…at that same local restaurant I had treated Brett to dinner at on Saturday. We even had the same waitress as the night before. Yes, Margaritas for me again. Is there a pattern here? Funny, this time when the waitress came in sight of our table and saw that my first drink was nearly gone, she just gave me an eye, I pointed at the glass, and gave her the OK sign for another. She even remembered the tequila she had the bartender put in the Margarita for me the night before…hummm, should this be home, am I becoming a local? Wouldn’t THAT be nice… ~eg~ LMAO!!

Today, Monday…Just another chill day with Spider. We needed it. We did a tad bit of shopping and then picked up some groceries for dinner. Terriyaki marinated chicken, lightly fried polenta with sharp cheddar cheese topping, and marinated asparagus. Spider and I just got back from our evening walk around the lake. Picked up some hot drinks at Starbucks and now we are at the cottage getting ready for dessert. I’ll leave it at that! 😉 Smart man…

Tomorrow I think we’re going to piddle and look at downtown condos for the hell of it. Then in the evening, we’re having an all-you-can eat crab feast at another local restaurant with Sorted, his BF ‘M,’ and several other local friends. Should be fun. Wednesday morning I am on an airplane to Albany, New York, via Washington DC, to see Pete. I can’t wait. My only regrets is that we didn’t get to meet up with Derek and Mike this trip. Mike’s sister had surgery so he had to play ‘uncle’ and watch the kiddies. Poor Derek managed to throw out his back last Wednesday and is still in major pain. Spider and I, as much as we were aching to get up to see him, just decided to give those two their space. Guys, we really missed you!! Yes we did! Very much!

So, I’m all ‘yapped out’ and I am certain you are tired of hearing blabber on. Guess it is time to say, “Later!’ Stay tuned for the New York report. Bigg…next time I am out, we have to try to work something out. I’m gonna meet up with you sooner or later. Well, since HE is finished, I guess I am also… take care everyone and thanks for the comments here at LCB… miss all of you!

Oh…by the way.  Spider and I want you to take a look at something.  Stroll over to HERE and stay tuned.  He’s BACK but with a sidekick!!!

I know many of my readers share a cross-interest in reading what was A Spider’s Web in Thornton Park. I have to admit I had a heavy heart when Spider called me to delete his blog entirely for him (though ultimately I was not the one that deleted it). Thanks to the continued phone taunting of a crazed reader, gay or straight, what was a man’s personal journal containing many memories of the year past…new friends, special gatherings, personal opinions of issues of concern…all are gone for good. I think this saddens me the most. I realize that we hold the truest memories closest to our heart and therefore we seldom forget them. But it’s the idea that some of these memories had photos associated to them.

So to the individual that felt he had to not only destroy a person’s life through the loss of his job, it sickens me to know that there is so much EVIL in your heart to strip away everything dear to someone. But I do know this, Mr. Crackpot…in the end it catches up with you and the result, you must deal with the harm you’ve produced and the ensuing penalties.

I don’t know about each and everyone of you but I am going to miss my daily reading of A Spider’s Web in Thornton Park. Stay tuned though as one never knows what the future brings forth?!

A side note…as you’re reading this post, I’ll be on an airplane going to visit with my one and only Spidie. I think the two of us are both giddy. Hmmm, and maybe more! We’re going to let the week evolve though we have some ideas in mind. I think one of them involves two hunky bears in northern Florida.

Happy Hump Day!

…But oh so much fun, with a capital ‘F.’ Have I said how fortunate and lucky I am to be meeting some of the people I am meeting and to have such good friends already in my life? Well I have… and I have got to say it again. “They are awesome.”

The last portion that I wrote about my vacation to San Francisco had to do with meeting Mitch last Wednesday. Awesome #1. Friday I met up with Tom, the Untraveled Travel Guy. We met down at the new Mall Area next to the old Emporium Building on Market Street. What a great piece of architecture rehabilitation. We just grabbed a bite to eat at the Food Court which was pretty impressive and then meandered through the mall for a short spell. Then it was up to the Castro to meet Dan from DanNation. Dan looked great…hadn’t seen him since last April at my first ever blog get together. I introduced Tom to him. I got to meet Dan’s boyfriend, D, at Badland’s and then Dan, myself, and Tom headed on up to the 440 Club (formerly Daddy’s). Just hung and chatted up a storm. Then we moved down to The Mix for a very short spell. Tom and I had to get buzzing…I had a massage appointment care of Tom. Let me tell you, I was in HOG HEAVEN. Tom, thanks I needed that massage!!! So there is Awesome #2.

Saturday was suppose to have been a gardening day at my mom’s house. You remember. Me wanting to show mom that I was her #1 son. Well mother nature chose to not cooperate and it rained like hell. Instead I lounged at home until about noon and then headed over to my brother’s house to see what of my design plan he had instituted in my absence and to also give give him some landscape design advice. See, I do where a few ‘different hats.’ I have to say, his house will be quite the bachelors pad when it’s done. I chilled the rest of Saturday evening at my mom’s house, given I have it all to myself at the moment. Plus I had a full schedule for Sunday.

Yesterday (Sunday) I met up with Rob from Roblog, a good friend of mine. Let me tell you, those of you who read Rob and have seen pics of him, he’s looking hot as ever. For the life of me, he still thinks he needs to bulk up more. Rob, my comment to you is, “Can I please just step into your body right now. I’d be content for the rest of my life.” 😉 And Rob’s partner, Fuad…well he’s a physical trainer and a ‘walking species in and of itself!’ We had lunch at Tower Burger near the Portola Valley/Diamond Heights area of San Francisco. We couldn’t have asked for better weather in San Francisco either. Fuad had to meet up with a friend afterwards so Rob took me for a spin in his new Porsche around Twin Peaks so I could experience its tight handling on the curves. I must say the car is almost as ‘pur-teeee’ and ‘muscle-bound’ as Rob. LMAO! Guess that’s Awesome #3 and #4.

I parted with rob and headed over to Room & Board to get a bit of a ‘designer fix’ until Jack (aka Jack Hampster) was ready to cruise into town. Then the call came. Jack was done with his 48-mile bike ride, yes you read it correctly, and that he was on his way to meet up with me. We hooked up at the 44o club (no guys, get your minds out of the gutter…not that kind of hook-up) for beer and then headed across the street for pasta and uninterrupted conversation. For those of you who do not know Jack…you should. He’s one hot Latin bear and as silly as can be. Jack, thanks for where those tight jeans. Then again you did know how to win my heart – how dare you titillate me in such a manner! 😛 We were all over the board in conversation. Afterwards, the two of us headed up to The Edge for a couple of margaritas each. I rather enjoyed the eye-candy at The Edge. And while I have been ‘eye-undressed’ many times at bars, I’ve never been pinched in the arse. Well this boy got his first unexpected pinch…and from a rather handsome bear cub! I initially thought it was Jack fooling around. In any event, Jack and I had a great time. I think he’s someone that is going to be a close friend too. There’s Awesome #5. Finished out my evening with coffee with Tom who lives very close to The Edge.

Wow…did I just blow by all of this in three days. What a whirlwind weekend. My only regret, and I feel bad about this, is that I didn’t meet up with Moby. Part of it was the original location, aka bar, that we had selected. It’s not everyone’s most favorite bar spot. The other part was that my head was simply reeling from all the running around. I know I wasn’t giving Moby the lovin’ he deserved. So I promised him he could give me 20 lashes the next time he sees me. Should I be overly concerned about that? 😛

Oh, and for today…it’s a replay of my attempt at ‘gardening day.’ Tomorrow I head home to maybe get a little birthday celebration in with the family in SoCal and to do a quick turnaround on clean clothes and repack as on Wednesday I have a flight out to Orlando to see the BF, Spider. I am so ready for that and I know he really needs the visit in so many ways.  I’ll be seeing Pete in New York for 4-5 days the following week.

Man…is anyone’s head spinning like mine over all this bouncing around travelling and meeting up with new and old friends?  Gosh I love it.

As I had mentioned in yesterday’s post, my day was to be spent with Sis#3 playing Designer Bro. And I did just that. From 11am to about 4:30 pm, I ran around with Sis #3 from a fabric store, to a discount granite/marble warehouse, to the EXPO to look at lighting, backsplash tiles, plumbing fixtures, and area rugs. I must say…we were quite productive. Plus my little designer brain was going “buggy” thinking about all the design possibilities I have when I get my own place again (if I can afford to buy one on the designer salaries I have been “getting wind’ of lately).

So today, it’s a haircut, yard work at mom’s (yes, I have consented to take on the role of #1 son), and then into SF/Castro for an evening of fun with Tom, the Untraveled Travel Guy. Think we’ll also be hitting Badlands bar later in the evening to have a drink with Dan and his Bo.

Well enough there. More importantly, I want to know what’s up for your weekend. So lay it on me. Nothing is too boring, too fun, too overdone, too shocking, or too XXX-rated. LOL. You all have a safe and fun weekend. I know I am going to do just that.

HI EVERYONE! I’m up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Only took me 6 hours to get home (my mother’s house – she happens to still be in L.A.) and that was with 2 stops and some heavy rain along the way. For most individuals, the trip probably is a 6.5-7.5 hour drive. I arrived at about 10:45 am. I ended up just unwinding and then taking a power nap for about an hour or so.

I was good to go for my get together with Mitch. By the way, Mitch gave me a personal ok to use his name directly rather than his ghost writer name, Adam. I arranged a reservation for dinner at a friend’s Italian restaurant…one I just love. As usual, they didn’t fail me. A free Meyers Lemon Drop Martini for me, free risotto appetizers for the two of us. The evening started off about 20-25 minutes late. We had reservations for 5:45PM. Seems this gentleman has forgotten how much traffic is growing in the East Bay. This, coupled with the fact that as I was pulling up to the restaurant my cell rang. It was Mitch, telling me he was going to be another 5 minutes. Seems he was pulled over by the local police for stopping on the railroad tracks. Lets say the car ahead of him stopped for no reason and left Mitch pinned on the tracks with no place to go. The ticket was a cheap shot by the police officer, considering the circumstances and the nature of commute traffic at the time on the city streets.

In any event Mitch arrived to me seated at the table. I must say, that glowing smile I remember from his BMB profile picture is still there. All I can say is what an incredible individual. So down to earth. The way the conversation was flowing, I felt as if I had known him up close and personal for a number of years. Mitch was very open in sharing himself. We were throwing around coming out stories, our level of comfort being out as gay men, and much more. We even found ourselves having some parallel issues with trying to win our fathers’ attention.

There is something I am discovering guys…the more I meet other gay men, I am finding that we really do live in a a small word. We so often make out our problems to be the end of all ends. They really aren’t. Other people, other guys, deal with much the same as me…simply at varying levels. I am finding that I am a lot more confident in myself than I ever imagined. But I am still growing too. Each time I meet a new person, I walk away with added and or reassured confidence. What a feeling. I have been so blessed to meet some wonderful men.

Mitch…again thank you for a perfect evening of relaxation and casual friendship. Thank you for taking a risk on getting to know me better. I know that meeting someone out of the blue can be stone-cold mortifying for some, though you clearly showed now signs of that. Here’s to another friendship…one that I want to see grow further.

So today I play designer consultant with Sis #3. Damn…did I say how much my mother needs her front lawn mowed. Should I be the good #1 son? Well if the rain doesn’t come back I guess I can be nice just this once. LOL. Have a great day.

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