Friday, December 31, 2004

Last day of 2004. It was a rotten year, it was a great year. At a national and international it sucked, anyone with a smidgeon of common sense must realize this. Enough said, in many ways this was a year to forget.

In contrast, on a personal level 2004 was pretty good. Highlights: remodeled my kitchen and bathroom, went on a couple of trips (NYC and DC) where I met a bunch of bloggers, had my mom in town for a month, had two successful parties, took a few lovely pictures, wrote a few great entries on my blog, kissed a few cute guys. I think the best thing is that I've made some really good friends this year- Archerr and Jimbo get special mention, but there are a bunch of other people who I feel lucky to have spent time with, I won't do a laundry list of names, I'm sure you know who you are.

The few bad things- "cosmetic" colonoscopy, having to find a home for two cats, and hernia surgery- ended successfully. The day after my surgery I also made a decision to rid myself of some harsh feelings I had toward the Ex. It's been too long and those emotions were a waste of energy. I felt a big rush of relief and peacefulness afterwards.


Yesterday I paid somebody for the first time in two and a half years to cut my hair, which I'm letting grow out. And this morning, I was horrified to find not one but two gray chest hairs!

So I rubbed snowman ornament's little round tummy and made a wish list for 2005:

- more time spent with friends
- more interesting work
- more travel
- maybe a nice boyfriend
- better times for the rest of the world

Why don't you rub the snowman's tummy on your screen and tell me your biggest wish for 2005?

Thursday, December 30, 2004

I want to avoid the news, the tsunami tragedy keeps getting worse and worse. And then I hear that after three days our beloved leader lifted his ass off his couch and went to the phone to offer condolences to the leaders of the countries affected. Oh, and they have upped the aid money to $35 million. That is still less than the $40 million being spent on the upcoming four-day Inauguration celebration. I'm not feeling particularly rich at the moment but I sent a cash donation to the Red Cross today to help out people who need the money more than I do.

I chatted an hour last night with Archerr and we discussed hot topics like insurance, computer hard drives (hehe, I typed the word 'hard'), our love for the Beloved Leader, and so on. I had horrible (unrelated) insomnia afterwards, and because I had no computer, went low-tech and sat on my couch and looked at the pretty Holiday Tree lights. I'm one of those people who have decided to liberate the season away from Christian tyranny, much to their anger. Fuck em, it was a pagan holiday long before Christ was thought up. All three cats came and lay on me, trying to suck my body heat away. Eventually I went back to bed and turned the electric blanket on, which made the cats all happy.

I'm almost back to normal from the hernia surgery. The incisions (which were apparently super-glued shut) are just a little painful. Can't lift any heavy things either. I guess I'll be packing light for my trip to England.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

At home computer withdrawal... geez I hope the hard drive arrives tomorrow, I am lost without my internet connection. I asked Jeffrey S. what he does, since he lives in the Dark Ages and has no or internet or cable. He claims he reads books, watches regular television. Personally, I'm convinced he must be doing voodoo rituals and sacrificing goats or something similar.

I'm working on my PowerPoint presentation for next week's talk in England. I've never done one before and can't say I particularly like it. I'd rather show slides and talk about the pretty pictures. I'm going through my images directory and looking for artifacts photos- below are a handful of things found on some of my digs.

Artifacts from a Chinese farmer's well.

O'odham bean pot.

People always ask if I've found gold or dinosaurs. No gold (have found silver coins and gun ornaments) and paleotologists look for dinosaurs. The strangest conversation I had was the woman who refused to believe that I had a buffalo bone in my dig area, "The Bible says bones turn to dust!" she yelled at me. She was from North Dakota...

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

All day long I have been distracted by a certain picture a certain blogger has sent me. That’s all I’m saying.

I’m sitting in my empty office where people drop by for a few minutes and then scoot, once they have been seen by the boss. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here because our computer guy is examining my home computer’s hard drive trying to figure out why PhotoShop won’t work. Let’s hope he doesn’t examine certain files, which could prove embarrassing. A little while later it turns out that “the system disk is physically failing on many blocks.” Yuck, my hard drive is going to have to be replaced. Luckily it is under warranty. But it means I will have no computer at home for the next couple of days. It will be like being back in the Stone Age. It is bad enough that I only have basic cable and my television is so old that Universal Remotes don't work. I should just put on my caveman outfit when I get home.

In case you didn't know, today is Jimbo’s birthday and yesterday was TinMan’s.

Monday, December 27, 2004

The news is so depressing- tsunami, suicide bombs, and the like- that I just want to crawl in bed and hide there with the cats. A nap this afternoon and I woke up with all three cats snuggled up against me. My house absorbs the cold and retains it, the little electric heaters only warm up a small space. The cats look upon me as a big heating element. I don't mind.

A frustrating day trying to book train tickets in England. The website claims that anyone, including international tourists, can book tickets and retrieve them from a kiosk at stations. Once you attempt to do so it prompts you to input an English postal code, which of course you will only have if you live in England. Very frustrating, I sent then train people an email telling them their online ticketing service was lousy.

In the grander scheme of things that is an insignificant event. But focusing on English train tickets allowed me to avoid thinking about more important, awful things for a little while.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

How come on soap operas people who are sick or in th hospital have perfect hair and skin? I bet they don't suffer from constipation either.

Well the Happy Holidays are about over and while not the worst I've experienced, these were certainly not the best. But luckily for me the medical drama is largely over and I'm almost back to normal except I still can't fit into my pants (I'm a little swollen). I had visits from my best buddies and they would be surprised to know how much that meant to me as I lay around all pathetic and whinified.

Having six days off from work- now that is weird. I'm actually looking forward to sitting at my desk tomorrow.

Last night I watched parts of Sound of Music, which ABC managed to drag out for three hours. I really like that film, even though the children can't act. That Baroness, she's one icy bitch, she's my favorite and I bet she would have been better in bed than Maria, who probably sang real loud about her favorite things when the Captain porked her.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Art experts were amazed by the recent discovery of a long-lost masterpiece by Wayne. Wayne, who's experimental and profound work spanned the 20th and 21st centuries, is best known for his dramatic murals, "Llamas going to the bathroom."

Art historians are calling the Christmas Eve discovery of the fabled "Homer runs from llamas" the most important archaeological find of the millenia. The work was made during Wayne's 'Muah' phase, right before the infamous urinal incident. The re-discovery leaves experts breathless, wondering what other long-lost artworks are just waiting to be found on forgotten hard drives, buried in old spider-filled caves.

Homer running from llamas, by Wayne.

Thank you Wayne for making me smile with your artwork and the cute Miso Pretty present. A big smooch to you and to the other nice bloggers who I have met in person or via computer in 2004.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Later, I'm an addict. Doug rescued me by coming over and hanging out while the doctor and pharmacy sorted out my refill of pain killers. I was beginning to freak out a tad since I was running low on pills and the pain is pretty extreme. Doug brought me some little gifts- the Hello Kitty coloring book was especially nice. We made each other holiday cards and he listened to me grunt as I climbed in and out of his new car.

It is very strange the panic I was beginning to feel, worrying that I wasn't going to get those 20 pain pills. I don't think I've ever felt that way before. For some reason the abdominal pain really intensifies at around 2 PM (at least today and yesterday it did).

I have a surprise for tomorrow- someone made me a little something for my blog.

Bah humbug. It decided to get cold yesterday, cold for Arizona that is. Luckily I saw Mike getting the mail and he was kind enough to carry all of my best potted plants inside as I stood nearby, wincing. Mike said, "You look terrible!" I'd forgotten to take pain pills at the right moment (I was too enthralled by watching the Bold and the Beautiful, where Ridge and Thorn are starting their own Christmas family traditions, just like Archerr's siblings!).

Speaking of which, I just got off the phone with Archerr. He has become one of my best friends, I get all giddy chatting with him because he makes me laugh and laugh (although I kept the laughing down this morning because I didn't want my guts to get all screwed up). Plus we gossip like a pair of old ladies and I tell him exciting things like the nasty side effects of Vicodin and so on. I don't have any secrets with Archerr.

In other news, did you know I never got to believe in Santa Claus? I was the youngest of five kids and my mother just gave up and so no Santa, no Easter Bunny, no tooth fairy. Maybe that is why I'm an atheist too.

I never got to sit on Santa's lap when I was a kid either, maybe that's why I like to sit on the laps of certain men as an adult?

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I'm hanging out at home, ohmigod I'm sore-as-hell and the Vicodin is plugging me up and I feel like puking. It's a whine-a-thon in Homer'sWorld!

I did manage to run to Border's to buy presents for the Ex's family. Getting in the car- painful. Fretting about what to buy- painful. Even wrapping things was painful, the paper was so unruly. It was nice to see Sonja and Karen, though, and they admired the house and the tree and the cats. Puff was super loveable and climbed all over them. He's a slut for petting.

I was thinking about doing jumping jacks or bouncing on a trampoline, but instead I'm going to take another Vicodin and maybe lie down for a while.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

I am sore. From about an inch above my belly button down into the privates area. A big bruise is forming and my tummy is swollen. The guy that gives you anesthesia was cute. I didn't feel nausea. It is amazing how quick you fall asleep and then wake up. Less pain than I thought. Chas and BJ would be amused to know that I have to wear a medical jockstrap for the next week or so. No pictures though, it isn't so pleasant to look at right now.

In preparation for today's double hernia surgery I watched the season finale of the Swan last night. I'd never seen the show before, although I knew what it was about. It was amazing what plastic surgery, make up, and exercise can do to average housewives. The woman that won kinda looks like a porn star, but then maybe that is a good thing since her idiot husband divorced her for being unattractive when she was half-way through the process.

This morning I ran around the house cleaning, getting things ready so I can lie in bed and have my weeping friends bring me food and gifts and read uplifting poetry while I am out of my mind from the most excellent pain killers the doctor had better prescribe me. I am a baby about pain and I'm guessing that the internal prodding that is happening today will involve lots of ouches and owies.

Now if only I could train Puff to bring me a glass of water when I want one.

Monday, December 20, 2004

I made holiday cards while watching Desperate Housewives last night. I got out pieces of old wrapping paper, glue, glitter, sequins, glitter glue tubes, and my scissors. I've been doing this for about a dozen years, making my own cards. Some turn out really nice, one went right into the trash. Most years I have mailed out about 40, but this year only people who have sent me cards are getting them, with the exception of a couple of special people.

Homer'sWorld, 2004.

Because of my on-going computer problems, Jane was nice enough to scan this in for me at work. I'm going to wish everybody an early Happy Holidays, however you celebrate it.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Thinking and drinking. I'd make a terrible alcoholic because I'm not much of a drinker. Firstly, I am such a lightweight. Give me two beers or a glass of wine and I start to slur my words. Three or four beers, it is staggering time. Secondly, Tucson is a driving town and I'm responsible enough to not want a DUI. Hence, I hardly ever get tipsy.

The first time I got really drunk was from rum and coke. To this day that drink is revolting. I'm not that fond of dark bitter beer or high-alcohol drinks like martinis. My friend Mark in Boston likes his martinis and I've tried them, but it just tastes like I'm drinking lighter fluid. Back in college when I was young and we were cheap we used to make Everclear Punch for parties in my dorm. Now that stuff could be lighter fluid. I had me some hangovers back then, yessiree.

Okay so I do like gin and tonics, preferably with a big twist of lime. Bartenders ask me what brand of gin and I guess I'm pretty unsophisticated because they all taste the same to me. A glass or two of red wine is fine, but again, I couldn't tell the difference between an expensive bottle and a cheap one.

Reminds me of my Grandma [the nice one] who liked her glass of MD 20/20 before she went to bed. "But grandma, that is what winos drink!" I said. "I'm not a wino!" she replied, handing me the bottle to buy for her at the store. My uncles told her she couldn't have her wine anymore and I said fuck that and took her to the store. I think it was the last bottle she ever had and she was a pretty drunk 85-year-old lady when she was done.

As I type this I'm sipping a little Bailey's Irish Cream. Joey would like a sip too but she's underage and besides, being a cat while intoxicated is probably illegal in Arizona.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I ran into Patrick at Borders while buying my Amish brother an exotic chicken calender. He pointed out to me that it was basically a calender with pictures of cocks, fancy ones really. He also mentioned that he looked forward to meeting Jimbo when he comes to visit.

I was going to include a picture of Patrick, who oftens makes the funniest faces (on purpose) when I take photos of him. He has the best moustache in Tucson. However, something is going wrong with my relatively new computer. Adobe Photoshop no longer works and the program I use to download photos is extremely slow. I've also not been able to upload another program. I've tried the normal things (compressing data, deleting unused files) and nothing works. When I did a disk scan the computer announced it couldn't complete it. Let's just note that I am a trifle annoyed.

Brian sent me a mini-camera tripod with an Xmas card. I guess he'll have to wait to see it used. Adam sent me a Kwanza card, unfortunately I had to go to the post office to pay 12 cents postage due. That just seems inefficient, I'm sure more than 12 cents in wages were spent filling out the little form and then retrieving the card at the post office.

I skipped dinner with a friend, I'm getting a tad anxious about the upcoming surgery and so on. And that's the way it is.

Friday, December 17, 2004

My sister Susan made me 14 pairs of socks for Christmas.

I am no longer sock-impaired. Actually, I'm giving the four most flamboyant socks to women at work, I really don't need a pair of powder puff blue ones.

Of course I should get my act together and actually go buy presents. Probably this weekend. I hope I hope I hope the stores will be utterly empty and the staff people compliant and helpful. If there is a Santa Claus, I beseech you to grant me this one tiny wish!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Let's just skip Christmas and go to New Years. I don't have much holiday spirit, maybe it is because there is no one special to buy presents for, maybe because I'll be lying in bed suffering from surgery. And New Years is so much fun!

- two years in a row when I was in college I had to go out to the barn and pull calves out of cows. They breed big calves and they get stuck. Just reach inside and yank 'em out.
- back in 1990 a friend was murdered on New Year's Eve.
- back in 1999 the ex went out to LA to party with his friends and I wasn't invited. Talk about something I should have paid attention too. The next bf I have won't pull crap like that.

On the other hand one New Year's my friend John R. gave me the most beautiful Chinese silk jacket. I only wear it on special occasions and everyone oohs and aahs over it.

Maybe we can skip New Year's too, but then the next big holiday is Valentine's Day. Blech.

I awoke at 3:38 am, a coyote was wandering through the neighborhood howling. My neighbors mostly keep big dogs in their backyards, and the dogs responded by howling back. You could trace the coyote's course by listening to the excited dogs. As it moved farther away, the sound gradually faded.

Mama Cat got scared and came and lay on top of me. I put my arm around her and in a little while she started purring. Puff soon followed, he's always jealous when she gets attention. Soon Joey jumped up on the bed and picked out her usual spot. I fell back to sleep, aware that if I rolled over I'd have three disgruntled cats to deal with. This morning Joey has decided that she needs to be under the warm light next to my computer, and she is watching me as I type this. I pat her head and talk cat talk to her (you don't want to know, it is pretty goofy).

Mama Cat and I.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Sometimes I admire certain bloggers who can write about anything they want. I have to be somewhat circumspect because co-workers and friends read my blog and as a result Archerr gets to hear stories that I don’t share with everyone else.

Geekslut writes real durty stories about sex and whatnot. I’m more prim and proper that way. I will let loose this one time and tell a few secrets:

- I threw up on someone once
- I saw a penis that was smaller than my little finger
- I saw one as big as two pop cans stacked on each other
- I stopped dating one guy because his back hair was longer than his chest hair
- I messed around with someone who cried dramatically afterward
- The best kisser was also the only real bisexual I’ve met
- Someone once told me “I wish you were so and so instead of you…”
- I was stalked by a German grad student who sent me long-stemmed roses and awful poetry

Can you tell my mother left on the airplane today?

Monday, December 13, 2004

I called Archerr as I drive out of the driveway at work. The twenty minute drive home went so fast- he makes me laugh. Once home Mummy and I made lemon tea cookies for the annual company cookie exchange. I think this is the fifth or sixth year in a row I've made them, people expect them by now.

I've been avoiding the news. Either too depressing (war, suckass economy, Bushit) or weird (poisoned Ukranian politicians, sharks biting legs off). Today our local news led with the Scott Peterson death sentence. Not that it had anything to do with Arizona. Does anyone else think the guy is handsome?

Worked on my conference paper because there is nothing else to do, no billable hours. No bonus or raise this year, the economy is going great. If I say that a thousand times maybe it will come true. On the other hand, a lot of work coming up in the next year, so I don't have to worry about becoming homeless.

Mummy is leaving, next winter she'll have to spend two or three months. She says, "Maybe I'll have a dog by then." Well that is just too bad, she still has to come entertain me.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Feeling a little down, maybe it is because Mummy is leaving Tuesday. John breezed into town and he and I and Mum went to the Arizona Inn for lunch on the veranda. The vegetarian sandwich wasn't so great but apparently the leak and potato soup is real good.

The library at the Inn is decorated for the holidays.

Yesterday we watched the movie Arizona. I'm writing a paper comparing how Western movies portrayed the state and what actually happened. I need to include stills from the movie, which is available only on VHS, so experimented with pausing and shooting images with my digital camera. I can't seem to avoid this little red splotch- the dreaded red-eye thingy, which shows up even if I hold two fingers over it (it actually goes through my fingers, scary!). Of course I have no idea where my little booklet is that might tell me how to turn it off.

Jean Arthur, a second rate actress.

What to make for dinner tonight? That is the burning question.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Oh HELL! I just watched the trailer for the new Willy Wonka movie. Why-oh-why did they pick Johnny Depp to be the new Willy Wonka??? I never cared for Gene Wilder in the first one, but Mr. Depp is so utterly wrong.

I wonder if they will have lots of Oompa Loompas? I hope so, they are the best. I wish they would think doing a sequel (without Johnny Depp) about Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator because I really want to see the Vermicious Knids gobble some chambermaids.

As you might guess, I'm pretty bored at work.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Creative writing, part II. I'm not feeling very creative tonight, so instead of posting some stream-of-consciousness-carp I'll settle for a story I wrote in creative writing back in 1985:

We're Walking to Krogers

We're walking down Fuller Street toward Broadway and it looks like it's going to rain. Above us the sky is dark, the wind blows in gusts pushing along big grey clouds. Towards Krogers, Brad wants to buy beer at the convenience store next door, they'll accept his fake ID. Dean and I walk as a pair ahead of Brad and Mike. Dean is dark-haired and thin, the smart one. Brad is blond and mustached and has a stomach that threatens to escape from the top of his pants. Too much beer. Mike is a dull, plain red-head with a typical Irish last name. He always tags along after us. I'm the brown-haired mesomorph, the quiet one of the bunch.

Tonight everyone is quiet. We walk along, scuffing through piles of leaves, avoiding the occasional pothole filled with scummy water. We pass a dead animal, maybe a raccoon or a possum. It is incredibly squashed. A mass of black blood and guts.

We have to cross the Huron Bridge to get to the store, but first must pass under it and then go up the pedestrian stairs beyond. We've done this many times, it's our Friday night ritual.

"We should've taken Joe's car, its going to rain, " mutters Dean to me. I nod in agreement. "Why didn't Mike ask him for it?" he wonders.

"I don't know, " I say. "Maybe they aren't getting along."

We've reached the bridge and are starting to walk under it. From behind Brad starts to speed up and in a sudden spurt of motion grabs Dean by his tan coat collar and slams him up against the dirty concrete of a bridge pillar. I'm stunned, so is Dean of course, his mouth open in protest and pain. Mike pushes up next to Brad, leaving me a little distance away, looking on at the three from the patchy grass growing next to the pillar.

"Faggot!" Brad snarls at Dean. His left hand presses Dean against the concrete while his right flails about, finger pointing. Above us a car or truck crosses over the bridge as the wind blows a little harder, scattering leaves at us. "You dirty fucking faggot! I can't believe you Dean, you disgust me."

"What's your problem?" asks Dean, a look of alarm on his face. I am confused. The three of us share a room at the fraternity and Mike lives next door. We're all friends. We are going to buy beer because it is a Friday night, and now this.

"What are you doing?," I am asking at the same time. Dean looks over at me. Brad is shouting also. Over and over again, "Faggot, you fucking homo!". Over and over. Mike isn't saying anything, just looking at the two of them. I wonder if Brad has moved onto more potent things than pot. Dean reaches up to pull Brad's arm off his chest.

"Don't touch my arm, you son of a bitch. You know what I'm talking about, don't act so innocent. We found about you Dean, you're a homo." Brad smiles as he says this, looking very strong and superior as he pushes Dean into the column, leaning forward quite close to Dean. I step toward them, planning to pull him away. I didn't think Brad had had more than one or two beers before we left. I must be wrong. "Stay outta this!" he barks.

Mike is talking now, his voice low. "Janet Palmer, you know, the blond that Joe is screwing, went to this fag bar last Saturday and guess who she saw dancing with some guy?" he glances at Dean. "She said it was obvious that you knew quite a few of the fags there." He is telling this to Dean, but also to me. He must have told Brad. Brad has cooked up some pretty wild ideas and now he believes Mike's dumb story. It was Brad's idea to do this. Mike is too stupid.

"Faggot," Brad says, making the word sound dirty, the way words like pussy sound when you say them out loud really slow. "That explains a lot. Why you never dated, never had a girlfriend. You never talked about fooling around with girls and stuff. We thought you were shy or something. You had us pretty fooled."

"Asexual," announces Mike.

"Yeah that's what we said about you," Brad says. He pauses and spits at Dean with surprising force, but it misses and slams against the wall next to his cheek and slides down in a bubbly drip. Dean and I flinch. He stares at Dean as he slowly screams some more names at him, reeling off a list.

"Faggot, homo, fairy, pansy..." The list rapidly deteriorates. "I thought you were my friend," Brad shouts. I have to do something, to stop this, but I'm chicken. I don't know how to fight and I think Brad is high or something.

"Let him go, " I say. "Are you wasted or something?"

"Fuck off asshole. Dean and I are having a little discussion. Why don't you go for a walk?." I stay put, Brad looks over his shoulder at me and sees that I'm not moving. He motions Mike toward me and Mike comes closer.

"Don't touch me," I say to him. Mike is surprised and listens. He knows I'm a wimp, but I don't think he really likes what is going on, he keeps looking up every time a car goes over us. This is so stupid. Brad has believed some stupid story. Janet Palmer is the flakiest girl, she has to be, to be dating Joe. What does she have against Dean?

Brad looks at me again. "I'm not drunk at all. Dean and I are having a little talk right now." He turns and peers at Dean. "I thought you were my friend," Brad says again.

"I am your friend," Dean says quietly. He seems suddenly tired and as a cloud slips off the moon I see him clearly. He's scared looking.

"No you're not. I don't have any faggots for friends. How about you Mike?" He looks over at Mike, his fists busy twisting Dean's coat.

"No," Mike says quickly. Brad looks over at me, but I am silent. Dean looks straight into my eyes. I look back. Brad starts yelling again as a semi roars over us.

"Did you ever look at me naked Deanny?" he screams. "Did you like what you saw, come on admit it, you musta seen me naked." Of course he had, Brad always walked around in our room like that. Dean and I had decided that either he was trying to attract the attention of the women in the sorority house across the street or it allowed access to scratch his jock itch. Brad is one of those guys who is always touching down there, checking his equipment.

"Did you ever look at my dick?" Brad continues. "I bet he did and I bet he liked what he saw." He is saying this to Mike. "Did you ?" this time to Dean.

"No I didn't." says Dean, not specifying which question he was answering. "I can't believe you're doing this. I thought you were my friend." He talks quietly and I have to strain to hear him as the wind blows stronger and the fallen leaves skitter down the street.

"A faggot?," Brad says incredulously. He laughs a little. I think to myself what an asshole he is for picking on Dean. I don't understand what is going on, why they are making these stories up.

"Yeah that's what I am. I'm really not any different y'know. Now you know a little more about who I am but..."

Brad cuts him off. "Shut the fuck up!" he gasps.

"Christ," Mike mutters. He steps away from him as if he'll catch it. An amazed or maybe disgusted look is on his face.

"Brad let him go, " I say. This isn't happening, any of it. Suddenly I'm all sweaty.

"I'm not done talking to Mr. Homo yet. I have a couple a questions that I've been wanting to ask Deany boy ever since Mike informed me of his sexual perversion...whatever. Alright Dean, have you ever sucked cock? Come on tell us, do you suck cock? Ever gotten fucked before? I bet you take it up the ass all the time. I bet you do. Got AIDS yet? God, I hope that you haven't given it to me. You probably have." He stops.

"You don't have to worry about that, the only way you'd get it is if you've been fucking somebody who has it. Or getting fucked" Dean starts to slide out from under Brad's arm. "The rest is none of your business." Brad pushes harder against him and Mike steps up close again.

"Stop it!" I shout, but Brad is busy screaming at Dean again. My teeth are chattering and it's not because of the cold. I'm scared for Dean. A car passes behind us and the headlights reflect over Dean's face. I want to step in and stop this but I don't.

"It is too my business, I've lived with you for a year and a half and you've been out fucking guys."

"Are you jealous?" Dean asks defiant. Brad grits his teeth and slams his whole body against Dean's, their heads almost touch.

"You shouldn't have said that." Brad isn't screaming now. His voice is hard, as he speaks his moustache doesn't move. "I'm going to teach you a lesson, faggot. But first I want to know. C'mon, did you ever get fucked in the ass? Did you?" Dean looks defeated now, he has sorta slumped down.

"Yes," Dean says. He is looking toward me, but doesn't seem to see me.

"Oh shit!" Mike cries out, glancing away. My heart jumps in shock also. I can hardly believe it, I lived with Dean for more than a year and didn't know he was gay.

"You bastard," Brad says slowly. His arm swings back and his hand becomes a fist and before I can do anything he punches Dean really hard in the gut and steps back as Dean crumples to the ground and as Brad gets ready to kick him in the face I step forward and I make a fist of my own and slug him right in his itchy balls and Brad sorta sucks in his breath and scrunches up his face and falls flat on his ass. Mike gasps.

"What the fuck did you do that for?" he asks me as Brad tries to get up. I musta got him good for he just rolls back again in a little ball, swearing and screaming at the world in general. Mike glances first at one and then the other, both are lying there. Dean is making little choking noises as he gasps for the air knocked out of him. Brad is hanging onto his balls and he's crying and saying, "Shit, oh shit you motherfucker, I'm going to kill you!" over and over again.

Mike looks nervous and peers around, down and up the street. Another car is going by, slowing down with the driver gawking at us. I'm not sure Mike really likes what Brad was doing, and now he bends down and tugs his arm.

"C'mon, you got what you deserved asshole," he says. "You knew he wasn't going to stand there and let you beat up Dean."

"I'll kill that motherfucker."

"Hey later man, I'm leaving and then it's two against one. This wouldn't have happened if you'd listened to me." But Brad doesn't remember or choose to remember as he gets up with Mike's help and limps away, screaming at us into the wind. I've hit him where he thinks.

The first drops of rain are falling now and it quickly comes down faster. The moon slinks around the clouds. I shiver a little as I watch them fade into the darkness and turn and bend over Dean. He's still breathing a little hard and is crying harder.

"Are you going to be OK?," I ask. I brush off a cobweb that's stuck in his hair, rubbing it in the grass to get rid of it's stickiness.

"Why don't you go with them?," he asks, vocal cords stretching. He sounds tired. I kneel next to him and touch his shoulder, running my hand up to his face. As the rain falls you can't tell which are tears and which aren't.

"I don't want to." My stomach is feeling all twisted. Dean turns his face to look at me and through the tears in his eyes I think I see something else.

"Why?" he asks quietly.

"I think you know."

At the time I wrote this it was considered pretty controversial. There was little media attention given to gay people, with the exception of the growing HIV crisis. I was at liberal U of Michigan, but even there most gay guys were probably closeted. My teacher for the class was impressed with the piece and read it out loud to the rest of the class. He liked the language- the use of all of the profanity. I remember the frat guys and sorority girls HATED it. The funny thing about the story is that it all started with the one line, "As the rain falls you can't tell which are tears and which aren't"- I built the whole story around that one line that popped into my head. Now sure how this plays now, 19 years later, what do you think?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

On the way home from work I called Archerr. He was telling about his plaid shirts. I commented on how I had been thinking about my monkey arms. Basically my arms are so long that it is impossible to find normal shirts that have long enough sleeves. I've tried the Big & Tall stores (which should really be called Overweight & Tall Guy Ugly Shirts stores). Never any shirts there that I would want to wear (how many red and white striped oxfords do you need?). So I buy regular long sleeved shirts and they shrink a little and my forearms stick out. Yada-yada, etc. I like summer weather for that reason.

Tonight Mummy and I had dinner with Bob and Steve. Mummy likes their dog Peaches a great deal, plus she likes their house, and she likes them. She told me it was the highlight of her visit. And later after we got home she grumbled because I had taped Lost and she doesn't care for it. She kept getting confused as I fast-forwarded through the commercials. "Isn't it done yet?" she said, "It is too violent!" Meanwhile she is busy reading one of the mystery books that she likes to read, you know, the ones where two or three or four people are bumped off in new and interesting ways.


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

My mother must have flirted with the plumber. He spent over three hours at the house and charged less than $250 to fix the clog, replace the toilet, and replace valve gaskets in my guesthouse bathroom. That should have cost a bazillion dollars, but she must have charmed him in her folksy way.

On the way to the recital last night I noticed she was having trouble walking. Turned out her shoes were a bit too big and she was afraid they were going to come right off her feet. On the way back to the car I held her hand. That was probably the first time I had done that since I was seven years old.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Mummy and I sat next to Mark Mc. at Sandy's presentation. Sandy gave a lecture on Italian madrigal comedies, and then he and a group of actors, singers, and musicians presented Saviezza Giovenile, a madrigal published in 1628. It is basically a story of how two young couples thwart the attempts of older men marrying much younger women.

Sandy at the lecturn.

The music was lovely, I knew Mummy had never heard anything like it.

Me and Mark Mc.

Mark and Sandy are a great couple. Mark is Australian and now that his classwork is done he's forced to go back to Australia. Sandy will follow sometime next year. I asked Mark how expensive plane tickets were to Australia. I'm going to start saving up and sometime in the next year or two I'll be visiting with them and Zane and Roger (their dog).

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Three hours before the start of the party my mother clogged the toilet in the cat bathroom. An hour and a half later I had pulled the toilet up and attempted to snake the line, to no avail. A truly stressful and appallingly disgusting way to start the day. She thought I had a low flow toilet (it isn't) which was why it wasn't working well. She gets to sit at home tomorrow when the plumber comes.

A few minutes after two o'clock the first guests trickle in- Mike and Alyssa. He was a little hesitant about decorating cookies, but caught on quick. Soon Dottie and Alandra, her cute granddaughter, show up, and suddenly the house is full. About an hour into the party I thought, "Maybe I should take some pictures!" I made a list and at least 59 people came to the party.

David Mc. and John R., the latter making a guest star appearance from Phoenix

Zane, before the orange fight.

A photo for Jimbo- Patrick and Jeffrey.

Jim and Chris sitting on my $800 scratching post.

Abe, Zoe, and David G. make pipe cleaners ornaments

Jeffrey T. and Jeffrey S., with crafters in the background.

Oslynn works on a cookie.

Michael concentrating on his polar bear.

Brian (trying on my glasses) and me.

Doug, Mark, and Adam discussing an upcoming game party.

Clean up was quick, set the computer up, visited with a pair of stragglers who got to take some craft stuff home (what am I going to do with the extra snowflake ornament kits?).

One highlight of the day was hanging out with four fellow bloggers, two of whom (Donut Jelly and Cheap Blue Guitar), I was meeting for the first time, and another, Looking for Sam, who I had met only briefly once before. I guess the other highlight was the fact that my other toilet didn't get clogged...

Saturday, December 04, 2004

My friend Reuben says my blog is too revealing sometimes. Maybe not as revealing as today as I was giving a tour to 20 people at the old Mission site. I realized that it felt a little breezy down at my crotch and when I checked I discovered that not only was my zipper down, but my privates were busy being public. I don't know if anybody saw my genitalia, although there was a very cute redhead who could look as much as he wanted....

It has been a busy day running around getting ready for the party tomorrow. If you are in the neighborhood, why don't you stop by. I live in the white Spanish Territorial style house with the purple trim.

Tree is up, a batch of cookies make, cheesecake and another cake made, craft stuff sorted out, closets are jammed full (don't open that door!). Mummy bought me some stuff for my kitchen and a couple of rugs.

Holiday tree.

Cranberry cheesecake.

So after dinner more cookies, maybe some cleaning, etc. Should be fun tomorrow- see you there.

Friday, December 03, 2004

My last year in Ann Arbor I lived in a house on Anne Street with Les, Mike, Charley, Katy, and Nan. We all paid the same amount for rent, even though our rooms varied dramatically in size. Since I was the last one to sign up I got the awful room under the stairs, the one that was once the maid's room with doors leading to the kitchen and dining room and the front hall. You could hear every word spoken on the first floor. Most memorable was the time Nan sobbed to Katy, "Oh I'm so unhappy and yet I can't stop smiling! Look at me! I'm crying and smiling at the same time!" I put the pillow over my head and hummed really loud to block the rest of that conversation out.

Lots of petty alliances, an earlier version of Survivor. Les and Homer against Charley, Katy, and Nan. Charley and Katy against Nan. Etc. Mike was a diplomat and got along with everyone. Little did we know he was secretly sleeping with Charley's super sexy boyfriend.

Charley was the most amazing of the bunch. Let's just say he was sometimes a little off. I remember him telling us about his father's impotency device, one of those inflatable penis things where you squeezed a bulb and this thing blew up inside the shaft and made a hard on. And his father demonstrated how it worked to him. Yikes, that would be the last thing I would want to see. He was also convinced that his mother's ghost was trapped inside a door at his family home. And he kept this awful diary where he wrote mean things about Les and I and we found it and would give dramatic readings to our friends. Oh, we were the roommates from hell. Now doubt about it.

On the plus side I dated the hottest guy in Ann Arbor and still remember the mess on the blue bean bag. The mess that I failed to clean adequately, and the next day as Katy sat on the bean bag I looked over and realized, "Oh, there is semen all over that bean bag still!"

I don't know why I'm suddenly thinking about that house. Nan would do exercises in the living room to strengthen her vaginal muscles. Charley left a letter on Mike's computer pleading for mercy after he got caught plagarizing. The time the gas was turned off for three days in February and we had no heat or hot water. Getting up every day and going to the worst job I've ever had, where the library director had the largest nostrils I've ever seen. The best day was the day the Park Service called up and hired me for a dig and I left and became a fulltime archaeologist.

I still go visit Les and Mike, they are my best friends and we have so much fun together. I recently came across naked pics of Charley, I think he has taken some enhancing stuff because he went from being super skinny to freakishly huge. I sometimes wonder what happened to Nan and Katy, whether they are as neurotic as ever. Poor Les lived with Katy for a couple more years and has a bunch of even more bizarre stories, but maybe I'll save those for a rainy day. [note, I've changed the names of most people in this story, I'd hate for them to be embarrassed at how awful I'm being].

Thursday, December 02, 2004

It is a very opportune moment. Mummy is spending the night over at my Ex's Mom's house. They are best friends and have fun hanging out. The Ex's sister lives across the street and she came over and took me over to see her place. The best part of the house was the original 1958 kitchen- big pink porcelain sink, cute little built-in oven, the 4-burner range had a aluminum Eames-era hood for the fan, and the original cabinets had the original hardware (big round aluminum handles, indented in the center). Oh, so frickin' cool. And she is getting ready to gut the place to modernize it...Arghh. I don't think she realizes the value of it.

Brian and I are chatting online. You wouldn't believe the sordid details of his very private (but tawdry) life that he is busy QWERTYing to me. He must think I'm a total goof, and you know what, he'd be right about that. I have the stupidest sense of humor, part juvenile, part potty, part smart ass. If there was a hell, I'd be burning for what I just wrote about Billy Graham...

Small world continued. Sam had lunch with Rob yesterday. In the last week Rob mentioned that his uber-hunky boyfriend Faud had spent a year in Tucson in the arid studies program. I emailed Rob and mentioned that I had met a Saudi guy here in the mid-1990s. Oh, he was so handsome and had a very distinctive scar on his forehead. Well it turns out that the handsome man was Faud. I think being in a room with Rob and Faud would be kind like some gigantic nuclear explosion of hot manliness.

Okay so I did something to my neck and shoulder and it is practically impossible to turn my head to the right. Even typing this entry is painful, what a saint I am.

Can I go hang out on Lost island with Matthew Fox?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

It froze the last two nights here in Tucson. I brought most of my potted plants indoors where they sit on the dining room floor. The cats have only chewed a little bit and my mother was there to clean up the resulting mess. She complained it was cold. I asked her why she didn't move the space heater to where she sits and she paused and said, "Well, I didn't think about doing that." My mom seems to be losing common sense, it is a little scary.

Work is dragging, I'm writing a dull report and there's nothing to do about that. So I look at websites and blogs, today scrolling through Boy Wonder's, occasionally skirting around the naughty pics he posts. Bad Chas! Needs a spanking for putting Not-Work-Safe photos to tempt me. Came across another blog that I highly recommend, a gay version of Bridget Jones. The guy needs to publish his blog in book form.

Tonight more cookies and a new episode of Lost. My mother is so funny. She tells me she hates watching the telly and I glanced at her as Amazing Race was on and she was just staring at the screen. She also laughed over and over again at Desperate Housewives. I don't know why she won't admit to watching trashy television. Probably the same reason I don't admit to her looking at pictures on certain websites...

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