Friday, January 27, 2012

A lovely evening

Tonight Piper came over to start our Alfred Hitchcock film festival, starting with Rebecca (1940). We had a light dinner here in the apartment and talked for a bit, which was really just getting updates on things because we chat online all throughout each working day so we know most of what's going on with each other's lives.

Piper has become my closest friend in terms of staying connected and in contact, although our conversations typically don't go as deep as with others. We don't randomly text each other or call each other, nor spend weekend time together (except for the occasional parties - we're going to be at Wicked Faire together with Jet and Puck in a few weeks, for example), but we are on Gchat together all day long while at work, the way Bonnie and I used to be. Here's hoping things don't turn out the same way with us.

While I was making tea tonight, I found one of Puck's anniversary notes stuck on the wall under my range hood that I somehow managed to miss all these months ("Papacookie and Poly Pride" - Oct. 8, 2011). I don't know how many more I'm supposed to find, but this one was the best one yet. It reads:

You're more than music and movies,
more than eggs and bacon,
more than musicals and concerts
and reading aloud together at 3 AM.

You're more than True Blood marathons and Street Fighter IV,
more than Six Flags and Poly Living,
more than anything I could ever put into a poem.

I love you. Always.
<3 P

I don't know what I ever did to deserve Puck but whatever it was, I'm so glad I did it. Seeing Puck happy is one of my greatest joys in life and one I hope to indulge in for many years to come.

I love you darling, now and always. <3

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


It's been a pretty non-stop week before a nice, quiet weekend, and it's late now so I'll briefly recap before bed.

Tuesday was the Open Love NY leadership meeting at Diana's place in Brooklyn. Puck and I went together and they took notes for us. We talked about our mission statement and upcoming events.

Wednesday was the Poly Women's Group and we had a couple new members, plus Sylwia, Sarah and Katie. It was actually a really fun talk, as it usually is when we get a decent turnout.

Thursday I went to a bar in Brooklyn for Lourdes' 22nd birthday. Lourdes is Kacey's intentional sister and flatmate, and I was happy to see Kacey there too, back from her trip home to Colorado.

Friday night Puck came over and we had a late supper at the next door Dervish Mediterranean Restaurant. In the evening we continued our Buffy/Angel viewing and they worked on their paper for school.

Saturday we went down to Union Square for lunch at Whole Foods and to go shopping at Nordstrom Rack. We found a pair of size 7.5 men's black Oxford wingtips to go with the rest of the clothes I found them. We also bought a tie for Dave's birthday present, and we went out to celebrate that later that night at Society Billiards, along with Beth and a new person, Emily. We played a game of nine-ball and eight-ball and then went to the Hollywood Diner for a late dinner.

Sunday night was Myth 3: Friendship is Magic party (WARNING: not safe for work!) where Puck and I volunteered to give massages in the aftercare area. This is only the third public kink play party I've ever attended, although I've been to plenty of private and semi-private ones. Early in the evening I found my friend Jen there and after checking in with Puck we agreed to play a scene together with her topping me. We started in the common area and moved to a bathroom stall where she gave me some nice bite marks on my torso, shoulders and back, plus a vigorous spanking. There was also some stand-up making out, which was fun.

All around the room there were various forms of play going on - wax play, floggings, suspensions, punching, bondage, spankings. It was pretty amazing to see. Piper was going to come, but she was flying back from out of state and got delayed at the airport. I spent most of the evening hanging out with Beth, who was serving as the official photographer for the event.

From 1 to 2 a.m. I gave massages to people in the aftercare area, where people go to chill and recover from intense scenes. We got back home from Myth at 4 a.m. so no surprise that we woke up after 1 p.m. today. After our afternoon breakfast, we watched a little of Aladdin and Puck had to leave for a doctor's appointment, then home.

The rest of the day I've been doing laundry and cleaning up the kitchen, plus clearing off shows from my DVR. It's been a nice buffer until it's back to work and Open Love NY tomorrow night.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy Old New Year!

This weekend was the epic Old New Year's party that almost wasn't. Puck got really sick early in the week with a 102 degree fever and had to get to the doctor for antibiotics. By Wednesday they were feeling better so we decided to go ahead with the party, and I figured to do a lot of the "heavy lifting" so they wouldn't become exhausted.

Last week I'd found a couple of cute Cadbury fondue pots at Marshall's for $6 each, and I'd been bringing things for the party a little at a time all week long - bottles of wine, the air mattress, etc. - so I could load it all into Yoshi on Friday. After work I went grocery shopping in Princeton before heading out to Staten Island. Puck and their mom got big hunks of Gruyere cheese, bread and white wine for the fondue, and I got the chocolate, poundcake and fruits for the dessert fondue.

Saturday morning after breakfast, Puck, their mom and I cleaned up the kitchen and living room and set up tables and chairs for gaming, plus brought out the House games (Apples to Apples, Set, Blokus, Magic, backgammon, poker chips and cards, among others). As people started to arrive, I made my first batch of peanut noodles and we played our first game of BananaGrams (which I'm terrible at). In the early evening, Puck's mom left to stay with their grandmother for the evening, leaving us to get the party in full swing.


Once a fair number of people had arrived, Puck and I made the cheese fondue as an appetizer, served with chunks of French bread. Unfortunately, Puck themselves couldn't eat any of it because of the anti-inflammatory diet they're on (although I think they snuck a bite anyway). The fondue, which was really tasty, was probably the first cheese fondue I've had since I had some in Montreal in 1996.

I played some Texas Hold'em poker and came in third out of a field of seven. Puck's suite-mate Ri played the best (including getting quad aces once) and amassed the most chips, but Dave eventually won the game.


Puck and I played a game of backgammon and then I got started on dinner. I made another batch of peanut noodles, plus curry chicken, rice and stir-fried vegetables. Here's a picture of what my chicken curry looks like, from a batch I made last week at my place. The difference is that the one pictured is made with chicken thighs, livers and hearts, and the one I made for the party was made with organic chicken breasts, and minus a LOT of red pepper.


After playing some more games I got started on the chocolate fondue. I improvised a double boiler and melted chocolate chips with milk and Frangelico hazelnut liquor and served that with strawberries, bananas, cubes of butter poundcake, green apple slices and clementine wedges. It was messy but delicious. Here's a before and after shot of our fondue bowls.



At one point we had about 30 people in the house playing games and socializing, which is about as big a New Year's party as we've ever had. As the crowd started thinning, we built a fire in the fireplace and put a movie on the projector, "My Neighbor Totoro," the animated film by Hayao Miyazaki.

I set up beds on the upper two floors of the house for people to crash before turning in around 4 a.m. Puck came to bed a little later, just to make sure the fire was safely down.

The next morning I made omlettes with green onion and leftover Gruyere cheese, plus fried rice using the leftover rice, eggs and diced onion. I also combined the leftover noodles and the stir-fried vegetables to make a third dish. It all got consumed eventually, and I was pleased to get so many compliments on my cooking.

Some people left early but most stayed until just after midday before taking off. The rest of us made another fire and chatted until sundown. A few people stayed for a dinner of pan-fried fish and salad, which Puck's mom cooked for us when she returned in the late afternoon. We also watched one of the old Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies before I left for home.

I've never cooked so much food, and for so many people, in my life. I thought the party was a great success, and I'm glad we went through with it because it made Puck so happy to have their friends all around playing games and eating good food.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hard choices

I was talking to Piper yesterday about the Bonnie situation (bonus points if this phrase brings to mind a scene in a certain movie directed by Quentin Tarantino) and I was talking about my past and leaving Houston, about the alienation from my birth family and from Tara and her family.

It made me think about the fact that I don’t run away from negativity. I avoid it, but I left Houston to be with Tara, not to be away from my birth family. It’s a bonus that I don’t have to deal with them, but they weren’t the reason I left.

As for M, it was never my choice to leave him. That choice was taken away from me by my ex, the family law attorney, out of bitterness and vindictiveness. Complicit in that outcome was my birth family, who abandoned me at the critical time window when I most needed assistance in order for that not to happen. If they had supported me, I could have fought my ex and maybe M would still be in my life. That he’s not, and the reasons why, are not things I can easily forgive or forget – birth family or no.

Even with all that, if my parents had any interest in reconnecting, I’d be willing to give it a try. But the fact that I learned about my father having a stroke from one of my cousins and not from my mom or my brother tells me that I am not welcome in their lives, even under the most trying circumstances. And part of me is glad that I don’t have to make the effort, because a trenchant effort it would take to get them to reconcile the person I am with the person they remember.

With Tara, she made it clear that she needed the space to be away from me, in order to get her life and her marriage back on stable ground. She made it clear that she would contact me when she felt we might resume contact. Knowing her as I do, I’m fairly certain that message will never come. But for me to initiate contact, I think, would be hurtful and destructive to both of us. I’m not willing to take responsibility for further damaging her family just to serve my own wants, nor do I want to hurt her any more than I have already. She knows what she said and we both know we don’t play games with each other. If she wants to reach out to me, she knows where to find me.

Everything I just said about Tara, I would also say about Bonnie. She asked for a month of non-contact, and then asked me to stop contacting her altogether, so I honored her requests as best I could. At least for my part, there wasn’t nearly as much animosity between us as there was with Tara (perhaps not as much love either) so I felt maybe we could be friends after we’d gotten past the final breakup. But now I think perhaps we’ve wounded each other too deeply and in too many ways. We probably could be civil in each other’s company, but it would be like crawling through a minefield of old hurts and bad memories. Is a friendship worth all that stress? Maybe, but it’s not really my call.

When I look back on those three situations, in every case I was the one asked to leave, shut out or abandoned. I’ve never asked anybody to stop contacting me, ever. I don’t know why the fates have ordained that I’ve had to endure this not once, but three times in five years. It has never been my choice to cut people out of my life. But I'm not going to have a victim mindset about it - life is too short for that. I just have to pick up the pieces of my life and move on as best I can.

On a positive note, I want to give a shout to Chris, with whom I've recently reconnected here and on Facebook. We went through some of our most difficult times together as internet friends for a couple years and it's wonderful to be back in touch, with each of us in much better places in our lives.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

First post of 2012

First post of 2012 and way overdue. I've tried to start this post a couple of times and kept getting interrupted, but there's really not too much to say from an activity standpoint. The new year has started off pretty uneventfully.

I took 10 days off between Christmas and New Year's, and didn't really do much with it except be all lethargic. Puck and I spent Christmas together and we went to Beth and Ryan's Christmas Day party. Then the rest of the week I didn't do much until Friday, when I took Kacey to the Met to meet up with my friend Angel, who works there and was nice enough to get us free admission.

The museum was super-crowded since New Year's Eve was only a day away, but we snuck in the back door through the garage to bypass some of the lines and I got my angel ornament for 2011 for my Christmas tree. We started with a view of the Annual Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Creche, one of my favorite holiday traditions.

We had a quick tour of the newly renovated Islamic wing and I showed them some of my favorites, like the Versailles painting, Chagall's "The Lovers" and the Tiffany window, while Angel showed us the Picasso that someone impaled with their elbow that had to be repaired. In the modern wing, Kacey was fascinated by "Procession (Exodus)" by Portuguese artist Clinton De Menezes, a collection of hundreds of miniature people attached to the wall and took some pictures of it with my camera:

Little people

Islamic wing


Since Kacey had another appointment we sped through things, which was fine since we didn't pay for admission. On our way to the Asian wing, I mentioned that I'd like to pay my respects to Ganesha, and Angel commented that the Met has many images of Ganesha. I replied that she would see for herself when we got there the piece I meant. At the farthest top northeast corner of the Met, in the northeast corner of a roomful of statues, the iconic Ganesha stands - the only one with dozens of coins in all different currencies laid before it by respectful visitors.


After leaving the Met, I went to the library and checked out a few things, including a lecture on DVD on "Nationalism and Expressionism in the Late-19th Century: Antonin Dvorak and Richard Strauss," taught by Professor Robert Greenberg of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. It's the first time I've done a course on video, and it was very enlightening and enjoyable, since it focused on one of my favorite pieces, Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 "New World" (1893).

I've always been a fan of Russian culture - the music, the art, and more recently, the language. I've recently discovered Dmitri Shostakovich's series of short works collected in The Jazz Album, which I bought at the bookstore on the way home from the library. It features Waltz No. 2, which was recently used in a Heineken commercial extolling the rare virtues of handlebar mustaches.

New Year's at Puck's house was a fairly quiet family affair. We watched the ball drop, ate lots of food, and sang songs until about 6 a.m., then watched the old Clash of the Titans movie starring Laurence Olivier and went to bed around 8 a.m. One of my favorite things was helping out in the kitchen to prepare some of the food. Puck and I made deviled eggs, and I peeled and sliced pears for a tart. Those are some of the simple family experiences that I enjoy during the holiday time of year that I don't get to have very often.

One of the most boneheaded things I've done in a long time is not remembering that the office was closed on Monday, since New Year's Day was Sunday. I actually woke up early, took the train all the way to Princeton, and didn't realize what was happening until I saw that the shuttle wasn't there to pick me up. So I caught the next train back to New York and spent the rest of the day grocery shopping and cooking food.

Puck came over later in the evening and we started on Season 4 of Buffy, which we're going to watch interspersed with Season 1 of Angel in story continuity order. I've never actually done this before, because there is a large time gap between air dates between the two series. But it's really cool because there are several crossover events that you pick up details when watching them this way.

For example, in the first Buffy episode, she picks up a phone call and there's no one on the line, so she hangs up. In the first Angel episode, we see him placing that call just to hear her voice and not saying anything. That's pretty cool that Joss Whedon scripted those small details in two TV series that aired years apart.

Basketball season has finally begun, so I've been following the Rockets again, but they look pretty sorry this year under first-year coach Kevin McHale. Not expecting much of anything from them this year, but they're still fun to watch.

Piper and I are starting our own little film festival of Alfred Hitchcock movies. Between the two of us, we own several of his best films, so we're going to watch them in date order: Rebecca, Spellbound, Notorious, Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, Vertigo, and North by Northwest. After that, maybe we'll tackle Stanley Kubrick next, and Kacey expressed an interest in doing the full Harry Potter series with me, so that might happen too.

Anyway, now I'm rambling. At least I'm all caught up before a busy week starts. Two poly meetings this week, and next weekend I'll be in Staten Island for Puck's Old New Year's Eve party, so that should be quite a shindig.