Monday, March 26, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Puck and I took our first multi-state trip together this past weekend, driving from New York to Hershey, PA, to Springfield and Cincinnati, OH, to Indianapolis, IN, back to Columbus, OH and home. Puck created the #roadtrip hashtag, so I’m interspersing their tweets in my narrative.
Adventure weekend is officially begun! #roadtrip
Listening through @PhilippaJane's Chasing the Bard on our trip west! #roadtrip #podcasts
Our first stop in Hershey, PA was to visit my dear friend Alex (formerly known in this blog as Sean and Chris). He met up with us at our hotel and it was such a joy to see what a fine person he has turned out to be. I met him online when he was only 15 and we went through some difficult times together when I was transitioning back in 2005. Now 23, finishing up school and with a new job, he seems like he’s really gotten his life on a good track.
Yay for making new friends! #roadtrip
Alex and Puck hit it off famously right away, bonding over their mutual fandom of the BBC series, Sherlock. We went to an Indian restaurant for dinner, followed by a trip to Midtown Scholar, a wonderful bookstore in Harrisburg.
We came back to the hotel and Puck read aloud their Tolkien short story they picked up. I bought a book on Stanley Kubrick to prepare for my next film series with Piper. We also watched the first episode of Doctor Who since Alex hasn’t started on that one yet, and then it was time to say goodbye. But we are planning to meet up again in May for the Steampunk World’s Fair in Piscataway, NJ.
Chapter 9 of @PhilippaJane's Chasing the Bard! #roadtrip
#roadtrip music is Ego Likeness.
The next day we drove from Hershey to Springfield, OH, just west of Columbus, to meet my friend Joanna. I met Jo back in 2006 and we’ve kept tabs on each other since then, but she’s been busy raising two kids and I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing. She’s going through a rough time with a divorce, but still took time out to take us to the nearby Cracker Barrel.
My music education continues. Listening to The Cure #roadtrip
#roadtrip music now is This Way To The Egress (aka creepyfantastic macabre carnival)
Just passed a Schoedinger + Norris hearse. So that's what cat people do after their runs in fiction... #roadtrip
After dinner we went to the Ninja Headquarters store in the local mall, where I bought a German-made, ceramic folding knife and Puck picked up some book recommendations. Apparently, there’s a lot of ninjas in Springfield.
Springfield, OH has been charming. Love making new friends. #roadtrip
Got book suggestions and weaponry at the Ninja Headquarters (no I'm not joking) #roadtrip
We dropped Jo off and proceeded to Cincinnati, home of Puck’s friend Kat. She and her mom had just sold their house and were getting ready to move, so we are the last friends to visit her there. She’s moving to Indianapolis to live with friends and pursue a career in theater. She’s also starting a custom steampunk tailoring business and showed us her sketchbook. She may be short in stature, but Kat is a dynamo of energy and good vibes, and I was very pleased to meet her.
Visiting old friends = best thing ever. #roadtrip #cincinatti
Chatting with @xkaptain in her home. <3 #roadtrip #oldfriends
The next morning we drove to Indianapolis, spotting a few interesting sights along the way. There was a barbecue place in the shape of a mechanic’s garage, with the words “meat” and “lube” side-by-side, hence the tweet:
"That's what we need: steak-flavoured lube." -@Waterlily888 #roadtrip
Dog in a pick-up on the I-74. #roadtrip http://yfrog.com/mn8minj
Metamora next right... Town of metamors? xD #roadtrip
Next up was meeting Dez and Seifer and their little girl Amara, whom we took out to the Steak ‘N’ Shake. Neither Puck nor I had met them before – they are friends with Puck on a Skypechat group, so it was just a convenient coincidence that they live near Puck’s first girlfriend, Billie. We hung out with the family afterwards at their house and I played balloon volleyball with Amara – she’s such a precocious and polite little girl. I give Dez and Seifer major props for not only raising a future geek, but a well-mannered one at that.
Just met up with Dez and Seifer! #roadtrip #skypechat
We drove a short distance to meet Billie at the apartment she shares with her boyfriend Nate and two other roommates. She took us to see the sights in downtown Indianapolis and we lusted over teapots at the Teavana store.
Having sushi at Ichiban with @iridomaniac and Co. #roadtrip
After sushi, everyone went home to smoke some hookah and play games for a short time before we had to leave. We decided instead of staying overnight in Indy, we had to start back in order to make it back in time for the 5th Anniversary Poly Cocktails party on Monday night.
Hookah and Pokemon at House @iridomaniac before starting to head back east. #roadtrip
Farewell to Indiana and @iridomaniac! This #roadtrip is coming to an end.
We drove a few hours before stopping at a hotel east of Columbus for the night. In the morning, I found a delightful automatic pancake machine, the first I’ve ever seen, in the breakfast area. I get excited about the silliest things!
"They come in 24-packs? I'm getting one!" "You've had a whole 12-pack already!" -@waterlily888 and I about diet Mountain Dew #LotR
On the road again. The plan is to alternate napping and working all the way back to NYC. #roadtrip
To sum up, it was a wonderful trip. Yoshi logged miles like a champ, and everything worked out according to our hastily conceived plans. It was fantastic meeting all these cool people, and of course, the highlight for me was meeting Alex for the first time.
But the common theme I took away was that everyone we met is going, or has gone through some very tough times in life, at least as tough as my travails. Despite all this, I was struck by how positive all our friends are, how hopeful they are for their futures, and the futures of their children. It inspired me to see that, and made me grateful that we have friends with that quality of positivity and resilience. Hopefully we’ve also made some lasting connections that will lead to longer meetings in the future.
Passing through NJ on the way home. #roadtrip
Thursday, March 08, 2012
Puck came over in the early afternoon and we had some Chinese food delivered (including an excellent Peking duck) and went over our agreements for the party. This led to a little mini relationship check-in that was very positive. I also made peanut noodles to bring to the party while we talked.
We packed our bags and walked over the Shake Shack to meet Piper and get some food and drinks for the drive. I got vanilla frozen custard with chocolate truffle cookie dough mixed in, which was deliriously good. We walked over to a nearby park and Jet picked us up in the Dykemobile, a Ford Explorer like the one I used to drive in my previous life.
We had a little difficulty finding the house in the dark and snow, but we finally made it there and found the party in full swing. I met a girl named Katie right off the bat, and was surprised to discover that I’d already met one of the party hosts, Curtis, at my first public play party almost a year ago ("Slumber party" - May 17, 2011). He's a little too shy to have his picture here, but it's easy to describe him. Just think Edward Norton in American History X and you're about 90 percent there.
Katie had brought a flogger she made herself to the party. It was unusual because its tails were made of deep red satin, stitched into segmented tubes and filled with rice, so it was quite heavy. I tried it out on D (previously referred to as Dee), but I was kind of afraid to let loose and have the pillows burst, which would have made a mess of rice everywhere. So she got off easy >: )
The same couldn’t be said about another girl who did a scene in the living room while I watched from the couch. She was topped by a very large, muscular guy using a variety of floggers, paddles and even bundles of rope. I’ve seen Piper take a lot of punishment, but this girl probably surpassed her in this instance (not that it’s a competition or anything, of course).
Other than flogging D, I didn't participate in anything other than conversation. Many people were playing with D's collection of stun guns, violet wands and other electric shock toys, but that is definitely a hard limit for me - I hate electric shock! I even have this tiny static discharge toy that I got from the Japanese bookstore that I use when I take my coat off at home. It lights up with a smiley face to discharge electricity when you touch it to metal.
In the wee hours while Puck was having sexy times with Kiernan downstairs, I scoped out the sleeping arrangements upstairs. There was one bedroom with two single beds and a smaller cot. Piper and Jet were sharing one of the beds and Katie was in the other one, so I asked her to move to the cot so that Puck and I could share the single bed. It was tight to be sure, but we somehow managed a fairly restful sleep from 4:30 am to about 11 am.
The next morning we had a communal breakfast preparation with some people making bacon and sausage and I heated up my leftover noodles in a skillet. Just like the last party, I had a dream; this time about Puck, Piper and me being in a gang and finding an abandoned Lamborghini. We were constantly trying to keep one step ahead of a rival gang of vicious thugs who were trying to steal the car from us. I also enjoyed the view of the frozen lake from the screened-in porch for as long as I could stand the cold being outside.
Puck had a French onion soup and duck confit, while I had bouillabaisse and rack of lamb. The lamb was the best dish, and we had a delicious French Malbec red wine to go with everything. We also had a walnut cake with baked pears and a maple pecan ice cream. We toasted to happiness and love, and our love of New York where two people like us can be openly affectionate in the middle of a crowded restaurant without anyone batting an eyelash.
Saturday, March 03, 2012
In our suite we enjoyed a scrumptious barbecue dinner and watched the rodeo, which included bull riding, bronco busting, calf roping and wrestling, mutton busting (little kids riding on sheep), a calf scramble (older kids chasing after and subduing the animals for prizes) and chuck wagon racing. This race was a particularly close and exciting finish!
Here’s what bull riding looks like:
Plus there was an indoor fireworks show that preceded a concert by Lady Antebellum, one of the few country acts I’m familiar with. We left right after they sang their hit song, “Need You Now” so we could beat the rush and get to bed before our early flights home in the morning.
All in all, it was a very fun, very busy, and very exciting day – and a very memorable trip.