Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beauty and beatings for a better life

It's already been a full weekend's worth of activities, and it's only Saturday night. I had arranged to take Friday off to do a chore for Open Love NY and to have a long-awaited visit to the Met.

It had been exactly a year less a day since my last visit, which was the last date I had with Bonnie, so I was long overdue for a visit. I lingered in the American wing for long periods of time, reminiscing about my first meeting with Tara in October 2005 that irrevocably changed my life. But mostly I was just keenly aware of being surrounded by beauty, drinking it in through my eyes, fingers, the pores of my skin. Oh great Met, how I've missed you!

I had lunch with my friend Angel, who works at the museum and got me a comp admission, so I treated her to the meal at a diner that Puck and I went once where they have an excellent Eggs Florentine. I also shared a marvelous bread pudding with pears, cranberries and creme fraiche, which was Angel's first bread pudding.

After letting Angel get back to work, I spent a few more hours looking at the musical instruments rooms, which I found interesting, what with my recent explorations of the violin. I was just getting ready to start making my way to the exit when I got a text from Agnieszka, asking if I wanted to go with her to MOMA for the Free Friday promotion. I agreed to meet up in an hour, so I took a bus down Fifth Avenue to the next stop on the famed "museum mile."

When I got there, I saw that the line for the free admission went from the front door half a block to Sixth Avenue, a whole block to 54th and down that street farther than I could see! Knowing we were never going to get in, we switched plans and met on Broadway to try the Book of Mormon ticket lottery. Failing to win those tickets, we eventually ended up seeing Conan the Barbarian at the Regal RPX Theater on 42nd Street before she hopped a bus home from Port Authority.

Whew, that was a busy day!

Today was equally packed, but slightly less exhausting. I went to get my hair coloring redone by Kelly, who did my red panels last time. This time I wanted to add purple to the mix, and it turned out really well. It took a long time, almost five hours, because she had to lighten my hair to do the color right. We talked about our family backgrounds (she's originally from Malaysia, like my mom's side of the family). We talked about children and spouses and the differences between Singaporean and Malay laksa. Her coworker, an older gay Asian man, suggested some authentic Malaysian restaurants to try in Elmhurst, since I can't seem to find what I'm looking for in Manhattan.

After the coloring was done, I walked over to Home Depot to buy some window treatments for my bedroom. Puck came over Thursday night to work on their linguistics paper (because it's less distracting at the apartment than their house) and slept over - which was doubly fortunate since I was off work Friday so I could make a leisurely breakfast for them. But they didn't sleep well because of the lights that filter into the bedroom from the adjacent building, so I decided to remedy this long-standing problem.

I got a couple spring rods and panels of deep red taffeta drapes that blackout the windows. They didn't have the sheers that I would have liked for my living room windows, so I will go back for those another day. But now my bedroom should be pretty much pitch dark, which is my preferred state too, but I've just gotten used to the light over time.

In the evening, I tried the Mormon lottery again solo - no luck of course - and then went out in the cool of the evening to run some errands before Piper and Jet's fundraiser party at their house in Astoria. They are raising money for a play that Jet is working on that will run for a dozen performances later this year. I exchanged my Sony headphones at Best Buy for the premium Bose noise-canceling headphones, reckoning them to be better at twice the price.

I stopped at Barnes & Noble to pick up the next two Kushiel books by Jacqueline Carey - Kushiel's Justice (which was available in hardcover for a bargain $5.98) and Kushiel's Mercy in paperback. I'm currently tearing through Kushiel's Scion, the story about how a young man learns how the arts of love can bring pain as well as pleasure. In a way, his story mirrors my own explorations of kink, which continued later that night.

I brought a box of cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery to the party and chatted with all the usual group of friends. There was a raffle for various items, including a dragon's tail whip made of pleather. Guests also bought tickets to be exchanged for administering wicked blows to bottoms using a dizzying assortment of toys.

I was fascinated by something we nicknamed the dragon's tongue - a short braided leather whip with a triangular piece of leather at the end. I almost asked someone to try it on me, but didn't quite find the nerve. I don't think I'm ready to do those kinds of things publicly before trying it in private. Piper got two lashes with it, leaving bright pink welts on her bare bottom, along with loop-shaped marks made by a particularly nasty toy made from a length of coaxial cable formed in a double loop.

The raffle was drawn at midnight (didn't win anything for the second time that day), and I left shortly after because Lori and I are planning to visit the natural history museum on Sunday. Now to bed in my darkened bedroom cave, and another fun day on tap tomorrow.