15 April, 2013

Flattery & Family

Category: Exercise,Family,Government,Politics,Queer,Relationships,Running — Moose @ 10:55 pm

I’m flattered by the number of friends who think I run fast enough to qualify for the Boston marathon. Not even close here, but I appreciate the sentiment. I’m safe, trust me.

That said, the boy’s sister was running it for charity. His family lives in the greater Boston area, and his parents were expected to be at the VIP seating near the second bomb. Thankfully they stopped, earlier, at another spot on the route where they found a better view, so none of them was hurt. My future sister-in-law was still out on the route, and got pulled before she could finish, based on the security concerns.

My first thoughts, after comforting the boy, was how we’d need to marry early, to make it official, so we could take care of his (soon ‘our’) niece. And while I’m happy we don’t have to do the legal shit earlier than the ceremony in late May, it was still scary as all hell to contemplate that his ENTIRE family would be out at something and be killed. Given his sister’s wishes we’d still have gotten his niece to raise, but the lack of legal protections scares this lawyer.

Also annoying is our utter inability to help with blood donations. Despite having a safe profile, despite testing consistently negative for communicable diseases, I can’t donate, because I’ve “had sex with another man since” the year I turned 5. Not before I was legal, but, y’know, the FDA rules don’t make rational sense, they just fuel prejudice rather than public health purposes. So, yeah, I’m gonna make this political; fuck you, FDA, and your stupid rules, and how dare you prevent me from helping my fellow citizens when they need it.

23 October, 2010

Essays, Aging, and Not Quite There

Category: Literature,Queer — Moose @ 1:09 am

I’m reading Andrew Holleran’s collection of essays, “Chronicle of a Plague, Revisited: AIDS and its Aftermath”. I’ve met (and dined with) Andrew a couple of times, and I can hear his voice pretty clearly in the writing. I also suspect I’m just barely old enough to have a real idea of what was going on in NYC in the 80s, though I’m not old enough to have been there. Having just finished Larry Kramer’s “Faggots” which, as any good satire should do, hit far too close to home on a number of occasions (as a late 30s, single gay man), it seemed a good transition into the period just after Larry’s work.

It’s not easy reading, however. Even making it through the introduction is likely to cause an emotional response in anyone who has or does know people who live with HIV. Andrew’s descriptions of living as someone without HIV, and not quite knowing what to do, are difficult. I can see where the impulse for Act Up came from. And I admit that I struggle between the idea of conforming, seeking acceptance in more mainstream society (even looking at the possibility of supervising), and going out to challenge those norms in more radical ways. It’s part of trying to see where it is that I belong, I suppose. And heaven knows I’m not quite there. Wherever there is.

11 June, 2010


Category: Exercise,Mood,Queer,Racing — Moose @ 8:10 pm

I haven’t managed to switch the swim and run workouts yet, but it’s been an odd couple of weeks for workouts. Got in a fun 5 hour ride last weekend to prep for Eagleman this Sunday, and it felt good. Overall I’m feeling good about this one, though it’s looking like it’s gonna be a really, really hot run.

I’m remembering now why it is I haven’t signed up for this race before, though – it’s the same weekend as Gay Pride here in DC, and I’m regretting that I’m going to miss the festivities. As much as I’m looking forward to another PR (gotta beat Diamondman’s dreadful seven and a half hours – ugh!), I’m going to miss seeing a lot of friends who only come into DC on special occasions like Pride. So as I sit and pack tonight it’s kind of melancholy. It’ll be better as the race excitement hits tomorrow, but tonight I’m feeling a little sad for missing it.

5 December, 2009

Weekend Away

Category: Dating,Music,Queer,Running,Shopping,Travel,Weather — Moose @ 7:53 pm

I’m spending a lovely, if wet, weekend in Massachusetts with the bf. Flew up yesterday after work, he picked me up at Logan, and we immediately drove out to Provincetown, a place I’d not been before (so, yeah, coming to the summer resort in December? Brilliant!). Overall it’s been a nice little visit, the town is quite cute, and I can see how it would quickly get overwhelmed on weekends in the summer, even worse than Rehomo Rehoboth Beach, DE does. Most of the shops have been open for some last minute shopping, and the overall atmosphere has been fun.

He’s singing in two concerts this evening with the local gay men’s chorus. I’m going to the later one, so am catching up on web reading until then. Got in a very wet five mile run this afternoon, which despite the rain went pretty well, if a bit fast (probably because of the rain – pacing was out the window as I simply tried to pay attention to running on the side of the road with some, though not much, traffic). Heart rate was similarly a bit high, but I’m not concerned – I’ll treat it as a last race-page workout before the Celtic Solstice 5 miler in two weeks.

We head back to Boston at some point to pick up his pug and settle in for a quiet evening before I fly back Monday morning, heading into work directly from the airport. I’ll get to see him again Xmas weekend in Pennsylvania, then again the next weekend when he flies down to DC for new year’s eve. Even with the distance he makes me happy, and that’s worth a lot.

11 October, 2009

National Equality March

Category: DC,Government,Politics,Queer — Moose @ 6:09 pm

I’m glad I attended the National Equality March (NEM). It’s hard to come up with excuses not to go to an event held in your back yard, though heaven knows I’ve begged out of other things. The last “march” in DC for GLBT rights was the Millennium March (MM), and that one felt more like an extended version of DC pride than an actual “march” (in contrast, the MM had a vendor area much like DC’s pride festival, down to the location). This one, at least for the march itself and the rally afterward at the Capitol, felt more purposeful than the generic feel-good atmosphere of the MM. Perhaps because this one was actually called for something, and didn’t feel like a corporate-abused bit of PR for HRC.

And yes, in case you couldn’t tell, I have an exceedingly low opinion of HRC. They got a lovely new building from all their fundraising, and the rest of us got saddled with DADT and DOMA. Not exactly a wonderful trade-off for paying for all their supposed “expertise” on lobbying.

Got down to the Capitol grounds as the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington was in the middle of their performance. I definitely could have done without the religious BS right after the Chorus sang, but I understand that it’s a necessary evil in our society. Popped out after a bit of the rally to go grab food, a very late lunch, but wandered back afterward to meet a Twitter buddy who’d come down from Pittsburgh, and managed to catch Kate Clinton, Urvashi Vaid, Cleve Jones and the cast of Hair (I left again as Lance Black was talking). Kate was funny, Urvashi was strident and allowed to go on for too long. Cleve was good, and the cast of Hair was amazing (Lance was good as well, but I wanted to get home before it got dark).

Hopefully some progress will come out of this, legislatively, and hopefully Cleve will get his (unspoken) wish – a better organized actually grassroots organization to counter HRC and company’s ineffective money pit, and actually get some work done. Were it not for the specter of how much worse a majority Republican Congress would be now (in the modern, nutso-driven version of that party), I’d like to believe we could do something like withhold donations until we got some progress on our issues, but I suspect that’s not practical. Not that I personally give to anyone other than my local politicos anyway, since I have no vote for Congressional representation as a citizen of the District of Columbia, but that’s a rant for another day. In any case, it would be nice to think that at least some of the folks here will go back and start talking to their representatives, Federal, State and local, and put more pressure on those same representatives to protect all of us.

30 September, 2009

Random Stuff At FY’s End

Category: Exercise,Health,Knitting,Music,Queer,Running,Stuff,Weather,Work — Moose @ 7:40 pm

So, I fagged out this morning and bought the super-duper-mega-deluxe-expensive version of Our Lady Of Pop’s latest collection of music I mostly already own. I must say, I’m kinda enjoying having the vids on ye olde AppleTV thingey (since the TV is the best set of speakers in the apartment, this is a good thing).

(oh, and the champagne flutes she uses in the Music video? That’s my crystal pattern)

I’m also suddenly feeling the urge to knit a sweater. I think I must be getting feverish from the head cold. So instead tonight I’m going to work on the long-neglected sock I’m supposed to be knitting. I have to admit, I’m a little afraid of knitting a sweater. I’m not a fan of wearing them, and I’d be trying to make this to be at least partially fitted (as opposed to looking like a big lumpy sack cloth, like many sweaters do), with a really pretty pattern, but man, that’s a lot of yarn to buy and work with. I’m hoping the feeling will pass, but I suspect it won’t. Hmph.

I did get up and run this morning, so am obviously feeling better than I was this weekend. May bike in the morning if I wake up for it. It’s perfect running weather out there now – 50s in the morning. Not so perfect biking weather, but it’ll do. Better than using the trainer, which I’m not ready to do yet.

(okay, watching older Madonna vids, it’s sooooo obvious that she got serious dance training over the years, because the newer ones are so muh more technically competent than her early ones – I mean, watching Lucky Star makes me feel kinda embarrassed for her it’s so amateurish)

Managed to get through the last day of the fiscal year without major drama, mainly because I completely ignored one of our program offices. They can’t manage their own field offices, and I refused to play referee today. Made the day go much better than it might have otherwise. Of course, they’re trying to drag me in tomorrow, but I think I’m going to ask my management to intervene, both with the program people and with the field personnel who are a piecemealing their objections to what we’ve (HQ) told them to do. Tomorrow will be another day, and another year, and another set of messes. Gotta love it.

15 September, 2009


Category: Geek,Queer — Moose @ 9:52 pm

The new gay.com looks like a Smurf threw up on it. And, to top it off, it’s literally headache-inducing due to the bad conflict between the colors. Looks like they reduced the size of the font, too. Dreadful choices all around.

5 July, 2009

Dear Love, 2009

Category: Body,Exercise,Health,Leisure,Massage,Mood,Motivation,Queer — Moose @ 10:06 pm

I still have a lot of stuff to process from this past two weeks. Dear Love of Comrades (DLOC) was simply amazing, and precisely what I was needing. It revealed a lot of things to me which I needed to see and experience to help clarify where I am in my life and where I might want to go. But it’s going to be difficult to reconcile those with my daily practices. There are changes I will need to make, and I’m not entirely sure where I’m going to make them yet.

Two of the big things that were revealed were the extent to which I have let fear dictate so many of my actions. Fear of change and fear of my body being at the top of that list. And then, as I dwelt on those, the incredible sense of anger I felt at how I’d let that fear dictate things, and especially anger at my body and how it sets me aside from the norm (more specifically the lactose intolerance and all the problems associated with that, and the extensive history of cancer in my family and how that affects me and my behaviors). Most of this was revealed on Friday, first during the daily movement practice before breakfast (an exercise where we were visualizing our obstacles and chopping, pushing, dropping them, and then pulling toward us what we wanted in our lives), then in a large heart circle we had before and after lunch.

I knew there were emotions that were going to be revealed as part of the week – no one gets through Body Electric without some sort of emotional experience, large or small – but I don’t think I expected these particular ones. Of course, my previous experiences with Body Electric have all been ones where I felt this overwhelming joy at the connections made. I got a lot of that joy during the week as well; the big draw we did on Wednesday was the most intense, and the most intensely erotic, that I’ve experienced to date. Unlike last fall where I felt the build up of energy in me, but didn’t know what to do with it, so released it, this time I held the energy, moved it over and around my body with my hands, and claimed it as my own. It was incredible to hold that much energy and be able to channel it rather than simply releasing it into the cosmos. I did laugh again, from giggling to full body, shaking laughter. Even thinking about the experience now, a week and a half later, gives me goose bumps. There was one moment where the masseur was working on my lower body and one of the assistants came over and put his hands under my back, helping me arch up and throw my head back as I lost track of where was up and down, simply concentrating on how awesome (and erotic) the whole thing felt. I spoke first when we were done, describing the marvelous experience I’d just had, and started by repeating the word “wow” over and over again (when asked to breathe into it, the coordinator said to breathe into “Wow to the ninth power”). I don’t normally speak first for those, but it just came bubbling out this time.

Comparing that amazing experience and connection to the much more mellow and introspective weekend after Friday’s revelation feels somewhat unfair, but they’re part and parcel of the same body of experience. There is incredible joy to be found in the connections with other people, but there are barriers I’ve erected to fully giving myself over to the connections I could be making, and I need to change that.

One of the hardest things about coming back into the Bay area from up on the mountain in Guerneville was the lack of practiced movement. Each morning at DLOC you got a choice between a walk/hike or practiced movement (yoga, sufi meditation, etc.). All but one morning I did the movement exercise, all of which were wonderful (and, as written about above, cathartic in one case). Even when we were getting together during the day we were able to move and dance and stretch, experiencing the wonder of being fully present in (and thus mindful of) our bodies. Wandering around SF I kept wanting to stop and drop into yoga poses when the feeling arose, but of course even in SF there are expectations of behavior (and public sidewalks aren’t conducive to yoga). I had to content myself with stretching my arms above and to the side when I was able, and that just wasn’t the same. I suspect one thing I’ll have to do more is that type of spontaneous stretching during the day – close my office door and take a few moments to stretch out and be present in my body. It can’t hurt, and I’m lucky to have that freedom to be able to close that door and take a brief break, even in work drag.

One thing I’ve already brought back into my life is posting those things I appreciate, both to FB and to my main countfour blog (it wasn’t like there was anything else going to it!). Just noting something every day which I’m thankful for has been a good practice. It helps to focus on the positive, and to be more mindful of the experience of living.

The school set up a yahoo group for our class, at first to share rides up and otherwise coordinate travel, but also to keep in touch after the experience. Thus far it’s been pretty busy, with folks posting regularly to describe their transition back to “normalcy”. I’m glad to have this group of men, and this forum to stay in touch with them. It’s all too easy to let these experiences slip back into the background and fall back into old patterns, and I don’t want that to happen if I can avoid it. I can’t go on living as if this had never happened; I’d be miserable if I did.

13 June, 2009

LHH 09/Pride Parade

Category: Charity,Club,Queer,Racing,Running,Stuff — Moose @ 11:23 pm

Finished the Lawyers Have Heart 10k this morning (an hour and 8 or 9 minutes – I forgot to hit the stop button when I zipped over the finish line and they haven’t posted results yet). Ran for the first 4 miles or so, then took some walking breaks. It was made pleasant for those first 4 miles by a young law student who decided to chat with me about triathlons (I was wearing a club shirt). She had a good pace and we ran pretty well together, which was nice. I finally let her go when I needed to drop down out of zone 4 and back into zone 3 with some walk breaks. Glad I did the race, I needed the experience, even if it did mean I didn’t go out last night.

One thing that annoyed me was that they used a new disposable timing chip system – as if Championchip’s resuable chips weren’t good enough. So now we all have a piece of miniature electronics and plastic to throw away. Ugh. I’m going to send a polite note to the race organizers expressing my displeasure over the waste.

Popped down to the parade this evening. Dear heavens but that took forever. The sun had been down over half an hour and floats and groups were still coming past the reviewing stand. Someone needs to work on their timing. Or start the thing earlier. Or something, because N and I finally gave up and went to meet the typing pool for dinner down on P street. Took a lot of pictures, not sure if any are worth anything. Did discover my backup battery had no charge (whoops!), so those are getting charged now and in the morning before tomorrow’s day at the festival. My plan is to spend pretty much all day down there seeing folks, chatting and what not. I always prefer the festival over the parade because the pace is more leisurely and it’s not such a logistical mess.

In the meantime, I’m going to try and get up and get in a bike ride in the morning, as well as hitting the work ATM so I don’t have to pay fees. Sunscreen galore for tomorrow, too. No sense getting more fried than I need to.

11 June, 2009

So Tired

Category: Health,Leisure,Mood,Queer,Racing,Stress,Travel,Work — Moose @ 6:35 pm

I think the theme of this past week has been “yes, I’m incredibly tired and I’m so, so, so, so, so, so ready to go on vacation now, thankyouverymuch.” It’s been difficult to motivate myself to do much of anything.

Sort-of prepped for a 10k on Saturday, then likely planning to go watch the parade Saturday evening, and perhaps find myself out and about somewhere later that evening. Sunday is of course the festival, and I plan to go down and try not to get too sunburnt.

Also more than a wee bit tired of the daily thunderstorms now. With one exception they’ve all been in the evening this past week so have (theoretically) not interfered with my workouts, but I’m still a bit tired of the light shows and the wet. And the accompanying humidity. Not that we shouldn’t expect 198% humidity in DC in June, but still.

Gotten my stuff together, mostly, for California next week. I’m set for a ride to Wildwood, have made a couple plans to see folks, but will need to be making calls & dropping notes this upcoming week to try and set a few more things up. Looking forward to the Tut exhibit at the De Young, and the zoo, and yarn shopping. And, most of all, just not being at work for two full weeks. I need the down time from it or I’m going to seriously go nuts. I’m very, very glad I planned this trip and got it approved back in December, because it’s coming at a perfect time to get the heck out of Dodge.