Friday, October 31, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
We simply cannot discuss Silver Foxes without mentioning the reigning King of Middle Aged Hotness, Anderson Cooper. I admit it - I'm a fan, but not nearly as dedicated as the person in the last picture.
Ours is a youth obsessed culture. Almost everything these days is geared toward the 16-30 crowd - advertisements, fashion, food, entertainment, cellphones - you name it.
Well, that's just fine. I'll eat a nice Twinky any day. I worked on a college campus for a couple of years and discovered that what they say about young men in the 18-25 bracket is true: they are at their prime with skin like silk, long lean bodies, and eyelashes that cast shadows on their cheeks. I had to keep my briefcase in front of me when the spring weather broke and they shed their winter clothes.
But (and this is a big but), there is something to be said for maturity. For graying hair and eyes that have not only seen a lot of life, but know life. For skin changed from smiling and bodies that carry wisdom along with an extra pound or two. Trust me, there is a difference in the touch of a man of years versus that of a boy with enthusiasm.
This week's google man search was "Silver Fox." Enjoy
British Swimmer, Mark Foster
American Idol, Taylor Hicks
Host, 60 Minutes
Some photos courtesy The Silver Feast
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Because this is my blog, I believe strongly that I should do the lion's share of the writing. I will try not to post too much of other people's stuff here. However, I'd like to direct your attention to this piece in the Huffington Post by Frank Schaeffer: Obama Will Be one of the Greatest (and Most Loved) American Presidents.
If you're a democrat planning to vote for Barack, Mr. Schaeffer puts into words some of the extraordinary feelings his candidacy have raised - people following politics for the first time or donating time and money to a campagin for the first time in their lives. He gives a voice to the strong emotion the possiblity of an Obama presidency strikes in many people.
If you're a republican, perhaps you'll get an idea of why this man is in the ascendancy and why it's entirely possible that we as a country will finally decide that business as usual is no longer acceptable.
Worthwhile reading. I promise.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I'm still getting the hang of this blogging and getting content up is a struggle for me. I want to opine on weighty matters (the election, metaphors for life, etc.) and have several posts started but my muse comes and goes - mostly goes.
Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light . . .
Here in DC we can usually depend on shirt-sleeve weather lasting until mid-November. However, winter seems to be coming a little early. The days seem to be shortening rather quickly and most evenings when I'm walking to the Metro downtown, the sun is low in the sky and the light seems to have a feeling - melancholy comes to mind.
But that's probably me.
Up until the beginning of the summer, I was enrolled in a bootcamp class - up three times a week at 5:15 am for a 6:00 am exercise class. It was fun and I stuck with it for a good long time, almost a year and a half. I wanted my mornings back so I stopped the class in favor of controlling my weight via Weight Watchers and I've enjoyed moderate success. Unfortunately, as the light becomes melancholy, so do I. I realized as I was walking home tonight that, since I'm not exercising regularly, I may need to pull out my SAD Light earlier than usual. Because exercise does wonders for depression - seasonal and the regular variety - my light didn't get a lot of use last year.
Still, coming home tonight and feeling that melancholy light, I sense I'm sinking a little bit. Noticing the dying light and feeling just a little... oh... I don't know - anxious - when there's no reason for it.
Worship the Locomotive
Waiting for the subway some mornings, I'm on the platform when the commuter train comes roaring in on its way to downtown. I've always loved trains.
Yesterday, as I looked at the locomotive, it was almost as if it was transparent and I could see right into all its inner workings. Just how did some engineer decide on all the bits and pieces that make this huge, noisy, powerful machine?
I felt like I should fall to my knees and worship such power. When it sings I have to struggle not to plug my ears with my fingers but I'm so thrilled.
I enjoy an occasional trip to the local adult bookstore. They're dying off, really, and seem to be filled with an older and older crowd of which I'm one.
So strange to see all those guys standing around, glaring at one another, feeling their dicks through their pants but nobody measures up enough to touch it but them. The space is crowded and those standing against the walls have to be brushed against so others can move from one place to another - you can't help but brush them a bit and they recoil as if burned.
I'd touch their dicks. That's what I came for.
What a fucking waste. Public play spaces are dying and the men who use them most don't even know it.
Posted by Firethorne at 6:23 PM
Saturday, October 18, 2008
My friend, Ravn over at Nightwatcher seemed taken by my story about my ex-partner so I thought I'd share a few things about my first and longest relationship.
In a nutshell, I met Ex on a gorgeous September Saturday afternoon in 1978, went home with him the next Sunday evening, and stayed until 2001. While I don't think we were/are soul mates, we spent the entirety of those 23 years in a relatively harmonious state. We've both been asked many times why break-up after 23 years, especially when - at first glance anyway - there was nothing wrong with the relationship.
Well, that's not exactly true. There was plenty wrong, most of which we simply didn't bother to acknowledge or talk about. By the time one of us wanted out (me), there was no repairing it. However, if I were to boil it down to a single, easily digestible, reason, I'd say that the 41 year old man I had become could no longer live with the decision made by the 18 year old boy I had been.
Leaving Ex was the hardest thing - to date - I've ever had to do in my life. The process was an extremely long one. I probably knew I wanted to leave the relationship 10 years before I did so which is proof that the human capacity for discomfort is vast. My father has a saying: never believe your own press clippings. Ex and I had extremely good "press" as gay couples go. Our 20 year age difference made us a successful intergenerational couple. Our racial difference made us a successful interracial couple. And, of course, as the years piled on, our longevity made us a shining example of a long-term gay couple. Everybody thought we were perfect and with all of that affirmation, who actually needed to work on the relationship?
In October 2000 while returning from a visit to see an amazing collection of Faberge eggs, I told him I wanted to end the relationship. He was surprised, shocked, hurt, and angry. Later, he was amazingly understanding and, on some level, it was a conversation he had been expecting since he found himself shacked up with a man 20 years his junior in 1978. Because of his profession, we remained together until the middle of the next year, sleeping in the same bed right up to the night before we moved to separate residences.
If we had stayed together, we would have just celebrated our 30th Anniversary. I sent him a letter I'll share here:
My dear Ex,
It's Official! We've been friends for 30 years! Certainly, in 1978 we both had expectations that things would turn out differently, but we are still friends and still looking out for one another (even with a little distance) - proof that not a one of our 23 years together were wasted.
I sometimes wonder where I would have wound up musically had I not met you. Would I have come to know a Mahler symphony (with more than a passing familiarity with at least three of them)? Would a Stokowski Bach transcription be one more thing I passed up on my way to the choral section? Would it all have sounded as good without a big brown mug of coffee from the industrial-sized urn?
Thank you for your wonderful music collection, your encyclopedic knowledge of symphonic music, our Friday night trips to Tower, and the open heart with which you shared all that with me.
Every weekend, I sing for 700+ people. Over the years, I was lucky enough to sing at the Vatican, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and other venues large and small all over DC. Along the way I amassed a small stack of recordings of which I am very proud. Somehow or another, I've actually managed something of a career as a singer in Washington!
Thank you for your encouragement when I was starting out - braving the rats in Old Towne, driving to upper Northwest late every Monday night in the Paul Hill Days, and dodging water-wielding Princes of the Church. You have always, always been my best and most loyal audience. It meant a great deal to me then and now to know you were out there, applauding for me, and giving me one more reason to do my best.
Remember how taken Stef used to be with my being a "WSS Girl"? Somehow a brief business English class in secretarial school cracked open the door to my own writing talent and how much I truly love expressing myself through words.
Thank you for being my best editor and encouraging my first efforts. I will never forget 1981, the year you gave me so that I could go to school unencumbered by a job or financial worries. That year established a rock solid foundation for my entire working life and benefits me right up to this very minute. How could I have known that a one-year certificate program would lead me to such adventures – Supercomputers, Charity Balls and Jackie O., Georgetown University, and now ringside seats at the meltdown of the entire f'ing world financial system!
Finally, thank you for our friends – Fred and Wilma, Jasper and Juliette and, most especially Tom and Jerry, who have been with both of us at not only our best times, but also some of the worst. We could not have asked for or been blessed with better, more supportive men in our lives. Thank God we were smart enough not to divide them up with the Christmas decorations! Seriously, could we have been luckier?
The year we lost Mitch and Murray to AIDS is never far from my mind. Your support as I helped care for them - more than two months of nightly trips to sit with Mitch and later weekly trips to Pennsylvania to be with Murray towards the end - made it possible for me to be the best kind of friend I could be to them at the end of their lives. All these years later I am moved by the care and love you extended to me during the resulting depression.
23 years is a long time and the hot little 18 year old with big hair you picked up at MCC is fast approaching 50 - I don't have the memory to recount your every kindness to me, every moment of teaching, every impact on my life. I want to be sure you know that they are remembered in my heart – each and every one - whether or not I can readily call them to mind.
Happy 30th Anniversary, Ex.
Thinking of you always with love and gratitude,
Yeah...30 years is a long, long time . . .
Friday, October 17, 2008
Before I bring on the guys . . .I'm wearing someone else's underwear at the moment. They're black, kind of stretchy, trunk style briefs and just about my size. I was putting in some laundry this morning and noticed a pair had been left in a machine. I washed 'em again and dried them (I'm a pig, but a clean one). I also realized that as soon as I saw them and noticed the size, I'd be wearing them today. And I am. Makes me a little horny. I wonder who the owner is? Anyone I've noticed in the hall? Maybe one of the hot military boys from Walter Reed?
I wonder . . .
This week's search was "classically handsome." Paul Newman (RIP) was as beautiful a young man as there ever was and Sean Connery just has "it." The last offering, young Hamdan, is the grandson of an Emir - perhaps not "classically" handsome, but damned irresistable, yes?
Posted by Firethorne at 4:41 PM
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I was commenting on a post over at My Confessions this morning and got shoved right down Memory Lane. My buddies, HB and Bigg, are experiencing something fairly common to intergenerational couples - petite angst based on the older partner's history and the younger partner's reactions thereto. HB's a little put out after witnessing Bigg's reaction upon encountering (after 25 years) a man who could be described as his First Great Love. On the face of it, I'm inclined to side with Bigg and think maybe HB's overreacting. Followers of My Confessions know that it would take the Second Coming itself to dislodge HB from Bigg's #1 spot - and there's some doubt about that!
About that trip down Memory Lane, though - my ex-partner and I spent 23 years together with a 20 year age difference between us. When we met, I was 18 and he 38 so I spent a good bit of time as The Child Bride (a favorite nickname of our friends).
Some memories from those 23 years are clearer than others. The one that tickled my brain while reading Bigg's blog stands out, if for nothing else, as an embarrassing reminder of one of my less stellar moments as both a partner and seemingly rational human being.
Before Al Gore invented the internet, back when gay men actually had to leave their homes to meet each other, one way of making a connection was through local and national pen pal services - paper, stamps, the United States Postal Service and a phone number if you were lucky. Email? Still in Mr. Gore's imagination. Some of those services were through national magazines like Stars and others were local with some guy, for a membership fee, collecting and compiling personal ads into a newsletter, Xeroxing it and mailing it out to subscribers. Before meeting me, Ex (that's what we'll call him), belonged to one of the local pen pal groups. By the time we met, he had been using this service for quite a while, and we even socialized with a couple of guys he met over the year or so he subscribed to the newsletter. Domestic bliss made short work of that subscription.
Several months into our relationship, Ex was cleaning out some old files. I saw he was going to toss the pen pal file, and I asked if I could take a look before he did. The newsletters made for interesting reading. It was fun to follow how some men changed their ads from time to time, tops turned to bottoms, dick sizes increased, weights fluctuated, and men used words to figure out how to be appealing without the benefit of the very visual technology we take for granted today to get certain needs attended to.
As I mentioned, we socialized with a couple of guys Ex had dated before me, and I especially enjoyed reading their ads - mostly because they contained information I might not get over white wine and quiche (the preferred meal of the average suburban gay male circa 1980). There were also ads for guys he had hooked up with. He freely shared some of those hook-up experiences, some of which lead me to conclude that - Internet or not - dating was just as sucky an experience then as it tends to be now. One of his favorite stories was about a guy he called Long Dick Albert, a young Black man a year or so older than me with a 31 inch waist and a penis of significant - practically useless - proportion. They visited a couple of times and despite Ex's fascination with Albert's knee-length pecker, things never progressed though Ex said he was a nice enough guy who really enjoyed older men. (The photo is the infamous Long Dong Silver - to my knowledge Albert was never captured on film.)
I have to say this - no penis is so large as to be useless. One simply has to adjust his technique. That, however, is for another post.
Anyway, I'm happily reading and tracking Ex's ads over a period of time. They didn't change much, but when they did, it sure got my attention. At some point, his ads changed from "Any Race" to "White Only" and stayed that way until his subscription expired. Now what kind of news was that for his 19 year old, African American, Child Bride to stumble across? Considering we were both an intergenerational and an interacial couple (he's White), I could only conclude in the rapid, non-thinking way that teenagers do that I had been sharing my life with a racist.
There's no excuse for what happened next except perhaps at 19 I was kind of stupid. Okay - really stupid. I lit into the poor guy - still one of the gentlest men God ever put on this planet - as if he were George Wallace baring the doors at Ole Miss. How Could You! If I had Known! You're A Racist! WTF!!?!?! I went on at some length before Ex could get a world in edge wise - shouting at the top of my well-trained classical singer's lungs. I gesticulated, fussed, fumed and made a general handwaving idiot of myself, determined not to hear an explanation for his betrayal.
When I decided there was enough for the Academy to go on and calmed a bit, through gritted teeth, he offered his explanation for his Klan membership. (Never said I wasn't a Big Ole' Drama Queen.) After listening for a minute, it was clear he was not a racist and the noose in the bedroom had other uses. His explanation, in fact, puts a kind of weird perspective on the subject of "type" and "preferences" as we consider our attractions to other people.
Remember Long Dick Albert? Well, it seems that in addition to his obvious gift, he was also blessed with the kind of body hair common to African American men who may not be as racially mixed as are many American blacks. Albert was a darker guy with very short, very tightly curled pubic, chest and under arm hair and Ex just didn't care for that. I, on the other hand, with plenty of white folks climbing my family tree, have straight, very loose - yea, even silky - body hair. Poor Ex who had only come out moments before we met and seconds after leaving his marriage, didn't have enough experience with naked black men to know that we didn't all come in the same flavor.
And that, was that. And I felt silly. He told that story at least twice a year during our relationship and, I'm happy to say, we still giggle about it on occasion today, even with new men in both our lives. Even with my 49th birthday coming on like a freight train.
I'm all growed up now and disinclined to tantrums. Wouldn't do me any good, anyway - Ollie would simply leave the room, pour himself some Merlot and, if it got real stupid, suggest I hop into my car and finish the scene in my own living room. Smart guy, my Ollie.
I'm certain my friends at My Confessions have it all figured out - in addition to a great blog, it's a fantastic love story.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Many years ago here in Washington, DC, my former partner and I helped establish and run Washington's gay youth group. The group we led was the immediate precursor of the Sexual Minority Youth Assistant League (which does an incredible job serving Gay, Lesbian and Trans kids) as well as groups established around the same time for "kids" in their 20s and 30s.
In it's heyday, The Youth Group, as it was called attracted upwards of 40 kids on a Saturday afternoon. For a couple of years, a local bar owner opened her bar on Saturday afternoons for our kids, provided someone to sell the kids sodas and let our budding DJ spin records. The meetings usually involved a "rap" session (folks of a certain age will remember when "rapping" had a meaning not connected with the hip hop music movement), followed by dancing or, to my sometimes horror, a raid of 30 noisy gay kids descending on the local McDonalds which was popular both with tourists on Capitol Hill and Marines from the local barracks.
I still keep in touch with some of my kids including one I consider my best friends and with whom I have lunch every week - we've done that for better than 20 years.
One of the things I remember most clearly about the group is that parents generally didn't know where their kids were on those long-gone Saturday afternoons. A few were "out" (it was 1980), but most of them slipped out of the house and into downtown DC from the burbs to spend some time with gay friends and be themselves before heading back home to their other life.
Meet Kaz Felix-Hawver - a local 7th grader who describes himself as bisexual and is pretty outspoken about the rights of Gay folk - all with the approval and support of his parents. You can read the whole story here.
Frankly, I'm not sure how I feel about this. A part of me is just thrilled to see this kid take a stand. He is the logical evolution of all those kids I spent Saturday afternoon's with 30 years ago. Yet, there's a queasy little part of me that recoils a little when I see that 7th graders are general "pre-teens" which I think means 11-12 years old. Despite the fact that I can look back to my earliest memories and know that I was gay, I'm a little concerned that a "pre-teen" - whatever that means - is able to label himself that way. And, until I read this article and actually thought about it, I was a big proponent of the world (and parents) understanding that children are sexual beings long before reaching the age of consent.
I suppose I'd just like to see Kaz be a kid for a little while longer, unconcerned with having to defend statements or take positions. I think back to my 7th grade year back in the Jurassic era and this kind of stuff just didn't come up.
Guess they're putting something else in the Cherrios these days!
Anyway, times have changed and this little guy is proof and I wish him luck. The article is worth clicking to if you have a few minutes.
Friday, October 3, 2008
In this case, Hot Men Friday. My taste in guys is rather catholic (small "c"). I love the male of the species - everyone from barely legal skinny twinks, skater bois, and saggerz to bears, cubs, daddies, and the ever elegant silver foxes . . . and whatever falls between! It makes for a very interesting porn collection, believe me.
I like 'em in all colors, sizes, shapes, flavors, and ages. My sympathies to those encumbered by a "type."
Herewith the Mosquito's First Hot Guy Friday:
Photo from Syd P's flickr files.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Up until August, my partner and I had two large dogs. We had to put our girl down in August and our boy has been languishing, both with loneliness and - we found out last week - lymphoma. Neither of us believe in extraordinary measures and ruled out chemo for him. So, we planned to see the illness out and, when the time came, we'd put him down ourselves (hubby works in animal research).
Thinking that yesterday was the time, we prepared ourselves, dug a grave, and amidst many tears administered the first shot - a narcotic to calm him. The second shot - a big one - was to knock him out completely before giving the third which would finish things. Often, they're gone before having the third drug.
Maybe it was seeing the fresh grave.
Our boy never went to sleep and as we waited for something to happen, a big thunderstorm blew in, soaking us, the dog, and turning what would have been his grave into a swimming pool.
Doggie seemed none the worse for wear - if anything those drugs seemed to mellow him right out. He seemed to rally just a tiny bit despite our jumping the gun. We'll still lose him, but I'm not complaining about having him around for a little while longer.
We'll file this one under "NOT QUITE YET"