Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What happened to me? What happened to you!

I woke up at the normal time and thought, jeez my arm kind of itches. I scratch it a little and realize it feels a bit bumpy.


I look at it in the mirror.

Clearly, I’ve been attacked by some kind of mythical scorpion demon monster straight out of the Clash of the Titans. The skin is red and swollen and it looks like I have been recently tattooed in red up and down my entire arm.

“What in the holy hell?” I worked through Friday and did my best not to scratch it, but man did it itch and burn. Eventually I admit, I broke down and scratched and even a small amount of pressure tore the skin open and my arm started oozing clear fluid, which was also clearly not pus but some kind of weird bug venom.

“What in the serious holy hell?”

I spent the next hour around my bed trying to find any sign of the demon entity that had gone after my arm, to no avail. I was worried I had bedbugs. I changed the sheets, vacuumed the bed, and tried really, really hard not to scratch my arm. Fortunately I had a doctor’s appointment for a follow up check-up the next day. Unfortunately my arm burned and was becoming stiff, like board stiff, to the touch. Since nothing was turning black I deemed it not an emergency, but definitely something I wanted to have check out.

That night I didn’t sleep for fear of being attacked again while I slumbered. I tossed and turned and looked for alien creepy crawlies that wanted to take a chunk out of me, but saw nothing. Finally in the morning, tired, unrested I went to the doctor.

The nurse asked how I was and I told her fine except that on top of the regular part of the visit I had a bug bite I’d like the doctor to look at. She asked me to uncover it.

She was facing the wall when I pulled my dress off my arm. She turned back around.

“Holy fuck.” She actually jumped.

“Did you see what did this?”

“You think you wouldn’t be looking at the body of something if I had?”

“Okay, well don’t cover it up.”

She walks out. The doctor is looking at my chart and talking on her way in.

“I heard you have…Oh my god, what bit you?”

“Look, seriously, if I had a clue, I would have challenged it to an epic battle, fought to its death and brought you the head.”

She just blinked and stared at me.

“It’s oozing.”

“Since yesterday.”

“Okay, well, how do you feel about antibiotics?”

“Like it’s the best prevention for a zombie takeover of my flesh.”

The rest of my visit showed that I am healthy like a freaking horse. Over three weeks later and my arm still itches.

Monday, May 18, 2015

I'm not Mexican, but really?

On the last day, I had some time to myself once the project I was in Canada for had finalized itself. I hadn’t eaten all day; in fact, I had purposefully, perhaps even spitefully, not eaten. I decided I was going to go and check out a restaurant I had seen that was named after one of my favorite tequilas. I figured that was a good sign, a good place to  start, so I would start there and have some food, and then maybe walk about and try to find something interesting in Canada. Anything?

I was truly, at this point, hungry and annoyed and I admit that my mood was slipping fouler by the end of my work day; however, I had the bright light, thoughts of tequila looming on my horizon and I thought that would help to inspire joy and happiness. That is at least, what I wanted it to do, failing to properly calculate in the angry that comes from being stupid hungry.

The Mexican place, Milagro, like many Mexican places, was run by actual Mexicans. I figured that was a good start at least (I learned during my conference that Toronto boasts the largest number of immigrant settlers of all the Canadian cities, with close to 74 different languages spoken in the city). The day was absolutely frigid but I also didn’t want to be so warm that I would fall asleep, so I got a seat at the bar in a section that was not quite warm and not quite cold, where Goldilocks probably would have deemed it passing for a moment before trying to find someplace else to sit.

Reading, drinking, eating, is there a better way to spend an afternoon? And with Mexican food. Trifecta, I hoped.

My hopes, sometimes die on the menu. As they did this day.

The menu did have lots of tasty looking eats and also somehow managed to be the most carb-laden Mexican menu I had ever seen. I know, Mexican can be carby, but really this was a bit much. If it wasn’t fried or battered it wasn’t going to be served. There was a real lack of grilled anything, at least in the neighborhood of chicken. I’d have more to go on if I’d been willing to eat beef or pork, which, surprise, I was not entertaining. Eventually I settled on a chicken tostada and to sulk over some tequila.

The tequila was not bad, and I have to admit, the chicken tostada was amazing. However, considering that I was in fact in an English speaking country, the fact that it had come loaded with beans and cheese, which I had specifically asked about and was told that they did not exist on the dish, annoyed.

So, I picked up the chicken and tried again.

“Can I get this again, but with just the chicken, no beans, no cheese?”

“Oh, we can’t do that.”

“Why not? You have to put the beans on to put the chicken on, and then you top it with the cheese. You are just skipping two steps.”’

“Yes, but the beans make it stick to the tortilla.”

“Look, I’m Puerto Rican. I understand the basic mechanics of a tostada. Stuff moves around. It falls off. All I need is for you to accept that fact that I will take responsibility for the chicken falling off and bring me the food. I want the food. I’m hungry. I’m happy to pay for it.”

“Yeah, we can’t do that.”

I just kind of stare at him. I think I’m being reasonable. I had said, in fact, when I came into the restaurant that I wanted a seat at the bar where I could drink, eat and write for a while. I was upfront about wanting to sit and spend money on food and booze. I hadn’t misled anyone. I was disappointed with the menu but willing to make do.

“Come on, seriously?”

“I’m sorry. We can only make it that way. We don’t customize our dishes for dietary needs. You could eat a taco instead.”

“You do realize that a taco is just a tostada with the corn tortilla toasted differently, right?”

“Yes, but it comes without beans.”

“Yes, and it comes with all sorts of other things I don’t want like a side of rice and beans and salad. Can you make it without that stuff?”

“No, that is what is included in the dish.”



I finished my drink, closed my computer, cashed out and left. There are not polite words for the emotions I was feeling. I was too angry to try to do much else, so I hit my room, worked on packing up my things, and then hit the hotel bar for dinner and drinking and book reading until it was finally time to fly home. Thus ended my great northern trip. The next time I go to Canada I need to schedule it better, meet up with friends, and avoid Mexican restaurants.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Is Canada really just the U.S.'s hat?

Okay. I can generally have a good time in any country I go to, so maybe it was just that I was visiting an English-speaking country, which made this less fun than it could have been. It was a work trip, my first time using the company card (good times) and honestly I worked through so much of it that there was hardly anytime left for anything else. Most nights I just hung out in the hotel bar because it was too cold to go out and do things and I had to be up to early in the morning to do work things. So the hotel bar served me well.

I would have been happy to have Canadian food, but there is no such thing as Canadian food. Most days I had Starbucks and worked through dinner with events. On the first night I managed to escape a bit and figured I would need to find some food. I never mind wandering and free-time eating is usually the best time to explore a city as well.

The problem for me, though, was that Canada was just bland. It felt like any other North American city and I wasn’t seeing or experiencing anything that made it exciting and different. I know, part of this is my fault. I mean, there was the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum that I didn’t visit. There was a tower that looked like it had been plucked straight out of Seattle. There were several hotels. There were all sorts of things. They were even having a fashion event on some street, so there was that.

But at the end of the day none of this impressed me.

I had been walking about that evening, enjoying a somewhat warmish night and the last day before work kicked up hard and decided to try to do something to excite myself. To that end, I had walked by an oyster bar and figured that might at least be somewhat entertaining.

So I walked down the stairs and into St. Louis. The bar itself was well laid out, and they did have a lovely selection of oysters for people to feast on, so I can’t really complain about that, but it was funny to me how, of all the bars and restaurants on the strip, I had picked the one that was basically St. Louis. They even had a Sazerack on the menu. The special that night was dirty martinis, so I figured I’d have oysters and martinis and a gay old time.

I also blogged, but not for love of writing, for work. One of the many reasons my writing for myself has languished over the last few months. I worked, I ordered a martini. The martini was woefully small, which is when I noticed that in Canada, like Germany, they measured the liquor to an ounce and there was not going to be any such things as a proper Chicago-size martini. I experienced much sadness at this and figured if I drank enough of them, I’d be all right. Which is what I set out to do.

I ordered a half-dozen oysters and let the chef pick. The selection was not bad overall and I admitted to enjoy the Americaness of the ambiance as I sat in the little bar and worked. I chatted up the waitress a bit, had some fish, chatted up the waitress some more, and after having consumed a fair number of martinis I hit the cold night air for the walk back to the hotel, leaving St. Louis, re-entering Canada. Canada did not get much more interesting than that.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

O Canada

So we have come to the point where I need to write about going to Canada. I shall regal you with the excitement of my trip.

Glad I could share all of that with you.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Working from home, you say?

This is basically how the dog feels about me working from home:

"Please don't!"

"Love me more than your computer."


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Winter Commutes

I had hoped February would be like spring. February was not like spring. Which is fine; it’s not supposed to be, but I had hoped for a slightly warmer February. As I approached the last week of February I vacillated between going into the office and staying home to work. On Thursday my job sent out an alert telling us all to stay home and work so I felt more obligated to go into the office on Friday, even though the weather outside was negative C and only slightly above zero F. Sometimes I don’t know which temperature feels colder to me. I still occasionally get my weather in C as it makes more sense.

I want to live my life in C.

Or maybe I should live my life in K, with temperatures always in the hundreds.

Even with the cold I decided that I should hoof it and walk to the train and go to the office that Friday. The dog was not pleased to see me leave. He was very clear that I should stay at home and be cold with him.

5 minutes into my walk I sorely regretted my decision and started to agree with the dog, but at that point, I was committed. I was committed all the way to the train where, when I arrived on the platform I learned my train was running about 10 minutes late. I decided I might take my chances and stayed committed til I got on the train.

The train was running very late and I was thinking of running away, had already flagged the difficulties with commuting to the office. I was just about to turn around get off the platform to wind my freezing way home when suddenly the train pulls up. I decide to go for it.

I get on with everyone else. Find a seat. Sit down.

The train moves forward an inch.


The lights go off.


I know what is coming next and I really don’t feel like being stuck on this train in the middle of the tracks 20 miles from home on a Friday. I get up and move to the doors. The doors are closed and we are sealed in.


An announcement comes over the speakers. “We are experiencing some technical difficulties, but hope to be underway soon.”

The guy next to me suddenly loses it. Clearly he had been on the track waiting longer than I, and clearly he was not having any of it. The train did not move. The lights did not come back on. I got up again and went to the doors. Still closed.

I was starting to feel claustrophobic at this point and really wanted to be anywhere but on the train.

Another five minutes. Another announcement. “We are just having a mechanical problem. We will update you soon.”

I stood in the vestibule and waited and as a conductor came by I asked as politely as possible if I might get off the train. He sighed and announced that they would open the doors if anyone wanted to deboard, and I and quite a few others abandoned ship. I walked home in the freezing and swore to never leave again.

The dog, who was not amused when I left, was even less amused when I came back, but we kept each other warm until the evening.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Leave Taking

 This morning, like many other mornings, was freezing. We had planned to take a cab; however, it was cold enough that they were hard to come by so we managed to figure out the bus and subway there and were at the salon in reasonably decent time. 

The place was nice; there were many chairs and a curt salon hostess getting people in for appointments. There was much chatter and hair cutting. I felt horribly out of place. Mario was happy to see us. He is almost exactly what you would think a stereotypical New York hairdresser would be like. Gay as the day is long, burner-level piercings, dressed with a flair and total a chill person to hang out with. He and the Artist immediately hit it off. 

“Well, who should I do first?”

“Her. I’m not going to be that difficult.” Which pretty much settled that.  

We both got hair washes, she got a trim and a bit of tint and a gloss. We talked at random with Mario about our lives and who we were, where we were going, how we met, the lives we have entwined with others. As she was getting her hair done (which did in fact take much longer than me) I watched strange American soap operas and wondered how they managed to keep going. Haven’t we moved so far past the age of daytime television that there is no one left to watch? I supposed there must be viewers but who? I found myself wondering about who would be watching the strange colliding story if not just random strangers in a salon. 

We hoped into a taxi to work our way back home, and before finally getting back to the apartment stopped off for some bread and additional snacks for birthday lunch, which was composed mostly of carbs, caviar, champagne, asparagus and cheese. Hellion joined us after he got off work, when we were still knee deep in caviar and champagne, so he joined us for our meal. 

“Is that caviar?”


“I’ve never had caviar.”

“It really tastes best with the lavender confit.”

I think we rarely have a get together now without lavender confit. Her eyes meet mine and we smile as Hellion tries the caviar.

“You know it really tastes like fish.”

We both smile again and all three of us make an entertaining night of laughing, talking and drinking. So much so that eventually we give up on plans to venture out in the freezing cold night for a musical show. The warm of my apartment pulls us in on Saturday as well. We spend the last two days of her visit happily holed up in my apartment, vacillating between naps, talks, kisses, and my bed. It was the best possible way to spend those two days. 

I helped her pack on Saturday and called a cab for her on Sunday. When Monday finally came around I just tried very hard not to miss her, while I missed her every step of the cold, winding way to my train. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dry Like a Desert

I met Mario by way of a friend of a friend of Hellion’s. He liked the look of my hair and recommended I schedule an appointment. I asked if he wouldn’t mind instead if I scheduled one for myself and my lady love. He was happy with it and an appointment was booked for her birthday.

I was asked what I wanted to do with my hair, which is pretty much the stupidest thing in the world to ask me. It’s hair. I like to wash it and dry it. That is about it. I’ve given up on trying to make it rainbow colors as it feels like work. Basically being in Korea for 12 years made going to a salon for anything seem weird. Also, I remember that the last time I went to have the color in my hair touched up, the Koreans died my hair purple black. Had I needed a nail in the lid of a salon-shaped coffin that accomplished the task nicely. However, my lady love has not issues with salons and I knew she’d enjoy being able to speak English to a hairdresser.

I looked up the menu of things the salon did. It actually had a menu. There were words on the menu in English. I’m sure I knew all the words. I had no idea what any of them meant.

So while she was still in Korea I asked “What do you want done to your hair? The hairdresser wants to know.”

“Tell him my hair is thirsty.”

I think to myself, Like a plant?


“Probably just a cut, a wash and a gloss treatment.”

I have no idea what any of that means after cut.

“Got it.”

I communicated these things to the hairdresser who said he totally understood and our appoint kept itself nice and warm until the Artist finally arrived.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Plans Change, Eat Chicken Wings.

Wednesday is quiet. I called in Hellion as backup to take the Artist shopping while I continued to work through my week. I took another nap in a huddle room to get through the day while they went out shopping at Goodwill, Rainbow, and Target.

“Your Target really does suck!”

“Oh good; it’s not me.”

“It’s not you.”

I mean, it could be me, I tend not to be a fan of big box-type stores anyway, but I really hate the Target near my house and will do most anything to avoid it.

“You should write the company and complain. It’s awful.”

She found some nice things at Rainbow and was relatively content with her day of shopping and hanging with the demon-child. He was still hanging around when I got home so we all sat about, watched Archer, laughed, got slightly drunk, and collapsed at a wide variety of appointed hours. I went to work, sleepy again, with Thursday looming and the thought that there might be plans for the evening with another of her friends.

“Soooo, I'm going alone tonight.”


“Yeah. She's met one of my exes and I think she just doesn’t want to deal."

I was annoyed, as I had taken off Friday with part of the plan being to hang out with her and her friend that night. So I called Hellion and we went our own way, eating a lot of chicken wings and watching Birdman.

My lady love, on the other hand had a magical night at the long-running New York mystery theater dinner and music experience called Sleep No More. Apparently it was an engaging and entertaining experience which involved a lot of masks, a murder plot, and an interesting little bar. It is on my list of things I wouldn’t mind doing, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to at some point. I was happy she had a good time and we snuggled up in bed and slept in a bit on Friday, getting up in time to get dressed and get out the door for the appointment I had made for us with Mario the hairdresser.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Pleasure Boss

When one sets out for dildos, one really should go to the Pleasure Chest.

We walked in with time still left on the clock and immediately the entire vibe was different. Aside from the fact that the Chest is literally three times the size of Babeland, our helpful queer-friendly, perky and knowledgeable clerks were actually happy to see us, even if the shop was closing in 30 minutes.

“Do you know what you are looking for?”

“Oh, all sorts of things.”

We browsed through floggers and whips and canes, which always makes me happy, got a price check on a couple of nice slappers, then went to check out the dildos. They have an extra-large collection of Fun Factory silicone toys and I happen to be a fan of the Fun Factory anyway.

“This one is very popular.”


“Yeah, it’s called the Boss!”

The Boss is magenta and all angles and very exciting to look upon.

“It leaves pretty much everybody a satisfied customer.”

The Boss looked like he was not the sort of dildo that would take anything less than complete satisfaction for an answer.

“My god look at the color.”

And yeah, really, this was the most magenta of all the magenta dildos ever. This was a prize piece of shiny happy coloring, and along with the name made this the best of all possible dildos in the world.

“It kinda is something else.”

“Just the weight of it!”

“You should totally get it!”

“What are you getting?”

My eyes were taken in by entirely differently pretty in slightly less fabulous shades of pink, called the Magnum.

“I’m feeling sort of fond of this guy right here. I wanted to get it last time.”

“I can see that.”

“It’s not as girthy as the Boss, but possibly a better fit for me.”

“Knowing you….”

The knowing look was among other things the truth that my vagina has a mind of her own sometimes, and is not above throwing an absolute tantrum when she wants to get rid of something.

“Yeah, I’m going with this one.”

Our helpful clerk-tress also gave advice on a few additional toys, some good lubes, vibrators and invited us to classes if we had time while in the city. Then we spent another 10 minutes gossiping about bitchy-mc-smells at Babeland.

“Oh yeah, I used to work there. It’s really gone downhill, tell me more!” So we shared, paid for our new friends, and then fled into the night, almost directly into a cab, and found ourselves home, warm and celebratory with our separate wins for the evening.

Amusingly enough we were too tired to do much more about it than be solidly amused with ourselves before falling to sleep. However, before her visit was out, we would discover that the Boss was indeed a force to be obeyed.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Girls in Babeland

After paying for our dollhouse dinner, we stepped back into the cold and hoofed down the street for Babeland. Babeland is sort of a name among girls who like sex toys, being that they are sex positive, support some great sex-positive feminists, and have been supportive of educating women about masturbation, safe sex, and sex toys for a least 10 years or so. They were often a regular (and still occasionally appear) in Savage Love columns. All in all, I understood the point of Babeland, and was supportive of wanting to support the sex shop.

Unfortunately, the Babeland of the mid-aughts was not the Babeland of 2015. I recall being in the shop previously and it felt more spacious and lively and friendly. Babeland still had the space, but the shipmistress reeked of old punk and 30-year-old teenage angst that had been left out in the sun too long. The toy selection, while adequate, left something to be desired, and overall, I was not impressed. To the wandering traveler that is my Aritist, it was adequate enough for her to find a few things, though nothing impressed me enough to end up in my cart. Considering the cold and the trouble we had gone to for shopping I really was hoping for something more.

It was still a touch early.

“Would you like to try the Pleasure Chest?”

“We could, I found some of the things I was looking for here.”

“Trust me.”

For this we said fuck it and jumped into a cab to head back uptown toward the Pleasure Chest. I had visited the Chest a few months prior and had managed not to buy anything, though I had been thinking about things I should have bought since the visit, so I knew I would at least see a few things I might want to add to my own collection and match her modest purchases.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Mexican and Shopping Trips

Despite the weather, Tuesday night we decided to go shopping.

This was very particular shopping, though, as our goal was to go to Babeland, a woman owned-and-operated sex toy shop in SoHo. I’d been to Babeland once long ago while living in NYC and figured it would be fine. I recalled a long-lost Mexican dinner with an ex-girlfriend in SoHo and did my best to find the restaurant. The plan would be to get some food, head over and get some dildos and then head home.

Of course, it was freezing, but we headed into the weather anyway.

The trains there were straightforward enough and at first I was feeling very confident about what we were doing; however after about five minutes of walking in the cold, past our destination in an effort to find food, I realized I was hopelessly lost and the food was not appearing from the cold. A few moments on the street of consulting the magic box of knowledge pointed out other eateries nearby and one Mexican place, which we settled on because it was nearby. Dos Locos, or Los Pollos Hermonos or some such was the name.

We moved along the streets as quickly as we could without slipping on the frosty cold streets, huddling together. It was cold, but with her it is always a bit warmer. We managed to find the restaurant, which was a little crowded but since we didn’t mind sitting at the bar they were able to get us in quickly enough. The place was filled with business types, hipsters, and chatty tourists. The table had a card that said the place was participating in New York Restaurant Month, a marathon that would allow people to afford typically stupid expensive dinners at slightly less stupid prices.

I pointed it out.

“They do have a set menu if you want.”

“You think that is going to work for you?”

She knows me so well.

We rejected the fixed menu and went to look at regular food. Most of which was the kind of trussed-up Mexican that just annoyed me. I don’t want mango-and-lime fish tacos rolled in tempura batter or cilantro-glazed salmon with fried plantains in mango salsa. Who thinks this shit is a good idea? This is always the question that crosses my mind when I see the nonsense.

“I’m going to get the empanadas with the lobster tacos, and we can share.”

“I’m going to get a lot of tequila, the cauliflower, and eat a shit tonne of guacamole.” Which is what I did.

The gauc and chips were normal, and their strange salsas were not half bad. And while the empanadas and lobster tacos were tasty, the portion was clearly designed to feed a hamster who might also be eating a mini-burrito, which was disappointing to say the least.

We had each other, we had food, we had drinks (and her charcoal-grilled mango margarita was actually pretty good) which mad it all passable enough, and soon we would have dildos. You cannot fault any night that will end in dildos.

Thursday, May 07, 2015


Sunday we had plans to go and have dinner with one of the Artist’s friends in New York. Hellion hasn’t left us, and I can’t blame him, as we like having a dedicated manservant and have no intention of kicking him out as long as he keeps making us drinks and being entertaining.

We pass Sunday between drinking, talking, taking pictures, and napping.

“Do you want me to make you cookies?”

“I love cookies. Do you know how to make cookies?” the Artist asks.

“Well, first you buy cookie dough…” She just looks at me.

“He’s 20, beautiful.” I smile.

She smiles.

We give him money to go buy milk and cookie dough.

Then we head out into the cold, get lost, again, buy drinks for the friend’s dinner, eat a very delicious meal, and manage to get back to my apartment, which is warm and smells like cookies and happiness.

I go to work tired, but contended on Monday.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

See, Hear, Taste, Touch

We slept in a bit on Saturday and managed to do very little that was productive or useful, which was just the way it should have been. We slept and vacillated between the bed and the couches, lazing about like contended cats for most of the day.

It was too cold to go out, so we satisfied ourselves indoors.

Originally I think there may have been a plan to get food, but I’m sure this got forgotten in the general melee of trying to keep our hands off each other throughout the day. We failed miserably at it and only barely managed to get showered, dried, and presentable for leaving the house to go and see Hellion perform in his play on Valentine’s evening.

This required a trip to Brooklyn, which we managed to figure out how to do between the two of us even though it was a weekend and sometimes the trains can be strange. We snuggled into a car, pressed against each other, talking, thinking. I feel her next to me and think about our subway ride from the airport in Korea, how at home it felt to land in Incheon, just like landing in Chicago. The ride is full of diversity, the opposite of a Korean subway ride.

We manage to find the theater while dodging some snow and ice. I realize when we get there that I’m starving and at some point during the day we probably should have had some food instead of feasting only on each other. I don’t regret it, but the small little servings of pre-show hors d'oeuvres make me crazy. I stop eating, grab some wine and find us some seats. We check out the small side gallery to see what art is on display, but we do not see young Hellion. Not a surprise, as he is most likely backstage getting ready for the show.

We look resplendent together, I think as I look at her in her furs, with her tiara and the bun in her hair. I am wicked eyes, and chain necklaces and dark, a hard edge to her soft femininity. We are overdressed for the show and neither of us care. We dress as much for each other as to scandalize, and to amuse and distract the demon-child on the stage.

The show is a set of one-act plays which span across a theme of seeing, hearing, tasting and touching. With the theme, it’s a strange mix and only two of the plays seem to really go with the general thematic edge placed on the show. Hellion is fascinating as a dislikable paraplegic with a desire to gnash his teeth on blonde nurses, and looks completely flummoxed as the mark in a short play about gold-digging wives and down-and-out brothers. It was a fun show, sometimes odd in its collection, but all together interesting and engaging for a Valentine’s treat.

Afterward I run into a few people I’ve met on the scene, and meet one of Hellion’s friends as we wait for him to make his appearance from behind the curtain. He is greeting and thanking people, all Hellos and smiles generally working, which is something I understand all too well from my own work with people.

We finally all meet and collide over wine and decide to leave the fun, and the people, and the merrymaking and after parties in bars that Hellion can’t attend because he’s still only 20. Instead we decide to make our own party and pile into a cab, avoiding the ice, and snow, and cold, headed back to a small dog, open bottles, and my warm apartment.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


Friday we ventured out into the cold to go bra shopping. This was more for her and less for me, since I’m pretty fussed on my vintage corselet and the world can be damned if they don’t like it. However, I haven’t been bra shopping, ever, so I figured it would be at least fun for finding out what that was all about.

Of course, it was freezing, far too freezing to really want to leave the apartment, but armed in a thousand scarves and our coats we hit the buses and the trains to get to the place that would put our boobs in bras. Of course since it was at least ten nipples below a reasonable temperature I started us walking in the wrong direction at least three times, and finally we had to stop in an American Apparel to warm up and for me to allow my phone to warm up enough to find the place were looking for. Even with the stopping and starting we made it in time for our bra-fitting appointments, though part of my brain when we arrived was still in the American Apparel trying to figure out why people pay 50 dollars for half a shirt.

The bras were not that much cheaper. The clothing in the place was pretty enough and I took in a look and then settled happily into my book while we waited for someone to come get us.

“This really is my favorite place to get bras; they make the best bras.”

I really have very little to add to this conversation. Two very nice women came to grab us for our bra fitting and put us into separate rooms. I could hear the Artist chatting with her girl, while mine talked to me.

“I’m really probably not going to find what I need here.”

“Are you sure? We have something for everyone.”

I explained the crux of my problem and she was able to understand.

“Yes, the women I have met who like the full-body experience really don’t tend to like much else. But let’s try anyway?”


“Do you want to step out so you can put on the robe?”

I mostly just laughed and took off my clothes. This part I have down. Those years of living on couches and in full exposure had served their role to make me much less body shy. Clothes, no clothes, whatever.

She took a few minutes looking and then stepped out and came back with some bras, which she offered to have me try on, then she left again.

I tried on one and had the immediate “nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope” reaction  and took it off. I waited for her to come back, but figured I was supposed to work these things out on my own.

I put my corselet back on by the time she came back in.

“Anything working for you?”

“Nope. But thank you, this was fun.”

I finished my book while I waited for the Artist. She was very pleased with her bra consultant and invited me in for the end where I gave my opinions on which bras she should buy and managed to restrain myself from mauling her in the fitting room. She got three new bras and I got to check her out in three new bras, so everyone was a winner.

It was still cold when we were released into New York.

We took a cab home and a made a giant pile of fajitas for dinner.

Monday, May 04, 2015


The very cold February week would coincide with the visit of my lady love, but all things told a week spent in a warm apartment with drinks and warm-blooded friends was just as acceptable as a week running around the city in the cold.

Originally I planned to do all manner of things: museums, food, wine, parties, events, etc. etc.

But really it was freezing and unpleasant and she was also coordinating some plans with her friends so in the end we just went with the flow. Often I don’t do well without having a plan, but with her it is easier to somehow be fluid and just let change happen.

On the first night I finished work and made us a nice dinner. We sat around talking and gabbing and I shared some of the pictures and stories of the hell-child who is often my partner in crime when it comes to traipsing about the city on the late-odd hours of the night.

The goal (for at least the next few days) was to go out and see a show for Valentine’s night that Hellion was starring in. After that, we would mostly chill, maybe hit a museum or a movie, have good food and drinks, go to Carnegie Hall, go shopping, get our hair done, and eventually return her to the airport.

All in all we managed to accomplish most of those things.

“When do I get to meet him?”



“He’s rehearsing tonight, but let me see if he wants to come hang out.”


“He’ll be here in an hour or so.”

“Plenty of time for more whiskey.”

Which is of course exactly how that was going to happen, especially after months of not seeing each other. Relaxing with a drink and each other. By the time Hellion managed to get to my apartment the windows were starting to steam up a bit, and it wasn’t because of the heater we had going.

He had the unfortunately timing of wanting to come up just was I had rather happily straddled my beautiful woman on the couch. The buzzer ringing to let him in distracted me for only a moment and by the time the door was opening I was back to what I was doing: my lips pressed to hers and my desire to do other things reaching a painful peak.

“Hello…” Hellion sings, in his sing-song way.

“You did that on purpose,” The Artist smiles.

“Me! Never.”

Maybe a little.

I made introductions and put on my best effort to behave myself, which went well enough. We all three got giggly and the Artist and Hellion hit it off immediately and became promising friends. Considering they both have an interest in eating bugs, the destruction of Monsanto and mutually compatible politics I was not surprised. Our conversation ranged from moderate to outlandish, with both of them ganging up on me at one point about the fact that my plates are too small. I should have spanked them both.

The evening continued longer than it should have, warm and pleasant with good conversation and better company, ending far past my bedtime with a tired Hellion sleeping on the couch while the girls retired to the bedroom to finish what I had started on the couch before we passed out to sleep.

Work the next day was bearable only because I took a nap in one of the huddle rooms in the afternoon.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Talking, Thinking, Planning

"Korea in October is pretty much a done deal."

"We will work it out."

"But I miss you now. Come here."

"I want to."

She did want to. Her visit in February had been ecstatic, even with the cold. I want to see her again. To have her here, but her job is such that she can't get out the way she would like and everything is complicated by this.

We had the late winter though, and it was worthwhile, cold but pretty.

She flew in and I got her a car to meet her at the airport and drop her off at my apartment. It was freezing. I greeted her with a glass of whiskey and combustibles. She smiled and took a bath, relaxing catlike while I finished my day at work. It was a good start to her visit.

I wanted to do everything with her, but her visit was during the single coldest week of February. We made it work anyway. We cuddled in bed keeping each other warm, we took pictures, we held hands, we did our hair, we were two girls in love in a cold city.

It was beautiful.

It was cold.

It had champagne.

"We will work it out."

"We will."

"I miss you."

"I know."

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Spring as a Season

The streets are warming up and bring all the warm things with them. There are people I haven't seen in months who have suddenly rediscovered the streets.

"I'm going climbing in the park," says Hellion. 

I'm sure he will enjoy it. 

There is youthful exuberance all around me but I don't buy into it. I want to escape my apartment but find my events cancelled. 

I need to get out. 

This is certainly true. 

But it is getting warmer. Something will happen. 


Friday, May 01, 2015


It’s funny.

To me it’s funny. I go through my writing file and I see all these random entries that I have not posted. And yet I am contented with this.

Sometimes it is more important to be doing than to be saying. Maybe I needed this time out of my head to just be, to just live, to just do.

Last night, though, going home to my apartment, to my dog, to my little life in the big city I had a moment where I felt like I would be consumed by solitary moments.

The key in my hand felt like an accusation. The pitter-patter of tiny little nails clicking on the surface of hard wood felt cold.

For a moment I felt utterly abandoned. My friends flashed before my eyes, all those people I missed, and I wondered.

Walking home on the streets of New York you constantly see advertisements for New York based TV shows that I don’t really watch. Looking at the posters though I couldn’t help but to be struck by the fact that in all of them there is always this gang. This group of misfit friends. Maybe four of them, held together by the some glue of connection: a job, a place, a hangout, past experience, future moments. They exist always as some vague duo, or trio, or quad in their triumphs and pains. Understanding each other.

And I know I have had those momentary packs of friends. And I think their names like a chant, like a hymn, those names that represent periods of my life. I know that in the early 2000s those names were Monolycus and McGlynn. I know that in the mid-00s they included a Canadian, a social worker and a writer. Later a volunteer with animals, a geek, those both passing quickly to become the Irish, and then the Irish and the One, and then the Artist…and now…

There is Hellion. For a time perhaps, but that time will pass. There will be constants. The Editor and the Bard, the Author, and my love the Artist. There will be constants that will remain, there will be transients and just passing throughs. There will be all manner of people.

But sometimes there is a moment and it catches me and all I here is the clicking of my small pup behind a door and I am overwhelmed with loneliness and mortality and the passing of time.

I cured it with a bottle of wine; that seemed like the best kind of cure.