Friday, December 30, 2005

Down for the Count

My home computer is acting up ... and won't let me get online. I feel like a junkie without his drugs. I can check email at work, but can't go into a lot of the sites I chat on. So bye bye Gaydar. Bye bye Big Muscle. Bye bye Tribe.

Maybe this is good. I know I spend way too much time online. I'll have to meet guys the old fashioned way. In person.

[represses a shudder]

I'm at a computer cafe right now, clearing my gaydar inbox. I'm trying to keep the open windows small so that the innocent boys around me don't freak.

Been fighting the blues all day. Not sure why. There's nothing specific. Well, except for the complete lack of romance or sex since I left New York, the fact that I'm smoking and drinking and eating lots of sweets [damn holidays] , the mess that my studio is, the energy I'm spending trying to help a friend who's going through a very rough period, and that I'm turning 40 tomorrow.

40. Shit. Most of the time I forget that I've had a birthday until days afterwards. Not tomorrow. 40 doesn't bother me per se - it's that the next milestone is 50. And that freaks the shit out of me. Sure, it's ten years away. But I just took a state job that will take ten years to get vested, and it pretty much ties me to the islands until then. I can't really walk away from state retirement benefits. I've entered the gilded cage of my own free will, but I've lost some of the freedom that I've always guarded so jealously.

And there's my buddy. I've had friends go through worse and stood by them. And I've been through my own rough patches, and can empathize. So this is a road I know. What's new is the reaction of my other friends. I'm getting mini lectures from random sources on enabling and codependency. I might pop next time someone says either of those words in my presence.

Because what pop culture calls enabling, I call unrequited love. What they call co-dependency, I call brotherhood. And what they call self-empowerment I call being cold hearted.

The benefit of having a Catholic background - and of having lived in other cultures - is that I know there are alternatives to this puritanical self-help 12-step bullshit. I refuse to buy into it.

Don't know if I'll be online until Tuesday. I'll try and have lots of good adventures so that I'll have things to write about. Cheers, and Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Whale Rider

For awhile I thought that Greenpeace was becoming irrelevant, that they were taking ideological stands that got in the way of actually making progress on saving the world.

But damn if they don't have cojones. Two of their boats have been trailing and harassing the Japanese whalers that are slaughtering minke and fin whales for 'scientific research' [read: sushi]. When one boat tried harpooned and tried to haul aboard this minke, activist Mikey Resto lept onto the whale's back - in gale force winds - to stop them.

I'm in complete awe.

More info at and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

In Defense of Vermouth

I tried to order an Old Fashioned in one of the new Chinatown hotspots awhile back, and the bartender couldn't do it. "I refuse to stock vermouth in my bar," he told me, adding a little snear to the word vermouth.

The bartenders at a friend's bar - a very cool neighborhood hangout - didn't even know what vermouth was.

Last week I was at a party. The food was devine, the liquor premium, and the crowd hella cool. The hosts were mixing martinis in the kitchen. I offered to help, but couldn't find the vermouth. And sure enough ... they didn't have any.

This past weekend Roy and I went to Cirque Hawai`i [it was completely amateurish - don't go unless your tickets are free]. We stopped at a bar in International Marketplace en route, figuring we'd have a final drink before the whole place is torn down and replaced by Armani Exchange clones. I ordered a Manhattan, and hell if the guy wasn't sure how to make it. "There's ... vermouth in that, right?"

I don't understand this contempt for vermouth one bit. With the looks I was getting you'd have thought I was asking for Mad Dog or Boone's Farm. This is getting ridiculous.

Ready for the rant?

1. Vermouth is a fine drink. It is an essential ingredient to the classic American cocktails. Sweet Vermouth is an excellent digestif. If your bar doesn't stock it, your bar isn't stocked ... and I don't care how expensive your other grain spirits are.

2. Cheap vermouth tastes cheap. There's no reason to stock it.

3. A martini has vermouth in it. The dry in dry martini does not mean no vermouth. It means the martini is made with dry vermouth [as opposed to the classic martini, made with both sweet and dry vermouth]. Waving the vermouth bottle over the top of the glass is stupid and doesn't count. Some wanker did it once, other wankers copied him, and soon the sheep figured that that was the cool thing to do. Don't be a sheep. Pour the vermouth into the frikkin' gin.

4. Oh. It's a dry vodka martini. My bad. Grow some cajones and call it what it is, then - a shot of vodka.

off topic: Vodka is basically neutral grain spirits with water added. Unlike almost every other liquor, vodka makers don't actually brew their product. They buy the grain spirit from a distributor, and add water. The only difference between Grey Goose, Finlandia, and Russian Rotgut is the source of the water. It's the biggest scam since ... oh. Bottled water.

I'm liking the new state job. I'm part bureaucrat [boring] and part eco-police [cool]. Hopefully I'll find a way to work some environmental planning into the mix.

The problem is, I can't really write about things except in the vaguest sense - it would be a quick path to a lawsuit. It's too bad; you meet some characters on the job [the starlet who wants to build her dream home, the politician illegally poisoning trees in his neighborhood, and the mainlanders sending us rocks they took, hoping to alleviate Pele's curse].

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Amis. A found poem.

It's actually been a good month for poetry. I found this one night lying in a Jack in the Box parking lot. It was scrawled across four unlined pages, front and back, and all in the same hand writing. The lines and spaces are the writer's own. I don't think her partner ever wrote back, so this is all one person's voice.

And that is all you need to know for now ...

Are you ready to stop - to detox?

Take blood
Find vein
She's filling all those up so you only
get stuck once


Electrolytes / vitamins
The shot you got into your iv was
the Ativan. When Dr. comes, I'm going
to ask for more.


They haven't admitted you yet because
they need doctor consent and I the jerk
at the Waikiki Health Center didn't give it.
So I think they're going to change your provider
to someone who will consent.

She's most recent winner of American Idol

How old were you when you started

[new page]

BA low below .10 but she says
that's why DT's so bad. And usually
they're worse after 72 hours, so that's the concern.

She's admitting you and getting you
more Ativan. Whether I can stay is up
to the nurse and floor where you go to stay.

They're going to send you for a brain scan
and send you to a room.

She also said they will give you little
pushes of Ativan if you feel you need it.
It sounds like is no limit as long as you
have evidence of symptoms.

She's also going to have someone meet w/ you
to give you info. On long-term detoxing

If they think you don't want to stop
drinking they're sending you home today with

NOTHING - they'll send you home so you
can drink. They will only help if they think
you want to stop drinking-so say you do!

[new page]

you will get dinner.

I'm starving, can I use your card to get
something cheap?

[new page]

- 2 or more days

- I'm going to tell them you're insistent
that I stay with you and that you may
refuse to be here if I can't.

- Ativan by IV. An hour after you get
it, you need to complain that it's not
helping much and can they give you more.

IV much stronger and faster

Dr. just checked on you. Next
time he comes in, I'm going to say
the Ativan didn't work.

[new page]

I realise you must be very frustrated right
now and the nurse care really sucks! But I'm
doing my best and would appreciate if you'd stop
being mean to me.

I'm so pissed off at the nurses. I'm doing
their jobs. They're lousy. What's going to happen
when I have to go to my Dr. tomorrow?

She asked if you have problems seeing

If anyone from social services or your Dr. comes
while I'm gone, ask them if they can come back
after 1:00 so I can be here to help communicate

I have my dr. appt. at 10:00

Do I have to do the CC again?


Potassium - you have to eat bananas

They're taking it out soon anyway.

You don't pay attention to ANY form of
communication anymore. It's not your hearing
you just act like you don't care what I have to
say. Just read these pages and see how many times
I've had to write the same thing to you.
Now - what I said was what about the tent you

I'm sorry if I'm irritable but you have been a handful
(and not because you needed care) and I have hardly eaten
in 2 days and I haven't had any meds of my own or to
counter the fact that I'm not drinking. I'm tired & hungry.

[new page]

My Dr. took emergency leave and
won't be back until Monday. They won't
be able to see me until Monday.

For you but I'm out. We'll need to get me a
few pills from your mom's $ ok?

Secret word Amis (What's the Dog's name?)

Since I already told everyone I'm leaving
now, I should go and will be back ASAP.
Now's a good time, right?

We'll go. I want you here until afternoon,
at least. That way you can shower and rest-up.
I think it may be better today to avoid the
social svcs. people. But I want you here
for your health until tomorrow.

Matt does need the $10.00 for the dime-bag
you promised you would pay for. Otherwise, you'll get
at all. Don't you trust me?

I'm going to sell pills. We'll be ok. Besides,
if we stop drinking alcohol, we'll save about $400.00
per month or more - But you

Are you going to run out and buy a bottle? Be
honest. Then go ahead and check-out today but
later. Rest as much as you can or will you feel
immediately better?

Not until I talk to them. It will take hours
for you to get out of here. We should tell them
now so they can get started.

Like 3-5 hours.

[new page]


I told your nurse that I need a time frame as to
when you can be discharged because you're ready
to leave and I'm hoping to get a prescription and
referral first. He's calling the Dr.

I told him you want to go now and asked him to
call the dr. to get discharge instructions so we
could get you taken care of before you leave.

There going to discharge you with no
meds. Since you won't wait for Dr.

This woman is going to yell at us. If we don't
need to stay near Matt I'd tell both of them to

I told him he acted like the $10.00 was more
important than your life.

I CAN'T go to jail NOW. My daughter's
birthday is tomorrow AND I need to get pills.
I don't want to take the risk. If you want to,
I'll help, but I don't want to go down with
you tonight. I CAN'T. Either we stay in
Waikiki a few more nights or the burden is on you. You choose
Simone's B-Day / 1 year ago!

[new page]

I am sorry about giving Tom some what of an
attitude. and the money isn't most important, but
you must understand also where I was coming
from. I told the guy I would pay him Tuesday
and it wasn't able to happen and I didn't
want the guy thinking my word is "crap."
I could care less about the stupid money
I was just wanting to pay off the money
I owe. o.k.

It's 6:00
Let's check the tent first!

the one you
wanted to look
at on the way
to Times -
before the
bus to Times

Sport Goods

Not far
enough away.
We need to meet
at Ala Moana
If you want me
to do it.

Wait for them to
leave, then grab
the beer. Also
put everything in
your pocket and
hide your



I grab
cart &
we go
to bus

I Could Give All To Time

It's been awhile since I tumbled across a new poem. For some reason I was thinking about Wally Stegner at lunch. Hell if I know why. He was a friend of my grandparents, but I wasn't really being nostalgic. It was just one of those random thoughts that seem to wander in out of the ether: hey, I wonder where Wally Stegner got the title to his books?

Like I said, random. But I googled Angle of Repose [which turns out to be the angle that an aggregate forms while resting on a slope] and Crossing to Safety. And I found a wonderful poem by Robert Frost, one that I'm not sure I knew before, but that seemed quite appropriate for the day.

I Could Give All To Time

To Time it never seems that he is brave
To set himself against the peaks of snow
To lay them level with the running wave,
Nor is he overjoyed when they lie low,
But only grave, contemplative and grave.

What now is inland shall be ocean isle,
Then eddies playing around a sunken reef
Like the curl at the corner of a smile;
And I could share Time's lack of joy or grief
At such a planetary change of style.

I could give all to Time except - except
What I myself have held. But why declare
The things forbidden that while the Customs slept
I have crossed to Safety with? For I am There,
And what I wouldnot part with I have kept.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas is When???

Payday! And I can breathe a little easier now. I budgeted for my vacation, started work a few days after getting back, and thought I had everything under control. I must have miscounted pay periods – this is my first paycheck since early October. It’s been tight.

So Christmas is going to be coming late this year. Even if I mail things out this evening, nothing will arrive until January. Oh well. Late holidays are a bit of a tradition in my family. My friends will just have to adjust.

I hung lights, so haven’t been totally lame. And I did go to quite a few parties already. Haulani had hers last night, went to Dolan’s [new workmate] with Dawn Friday and hung with the Punahou crowd, and cooked for Ron’s birthday last Tuesday. Did the North Shore weekend with the guys, and the surf was amazing and the Waimea Lifeguard’s party full of the world’s buff and beautiful. Before that it was the big party hosted by the Hawai`i Kai trio full of the gay world’s buff and beautiful [and invisible – where do these boys hide out the rest of the year?]

All good. And I’m amazingly alright being single. I’ve only spent two of the last ten holiday seasons as part of a real couple. Add two years where I was in ambiguous situations, two with lovers, and one where I was dumped half-way through, and that still leaves almost half of them starring me, flying solo and keeping a stiff upper lip about the whole thing.

But last Christmas was so, so full of ugly incidents that I have no nostalgia at all for married life.

Although midnight New Years eve –when everyone falls into the arms of their lover for a kiss – will be as rough as always. I’ll have to scope out the bachelors’ corner ahead of time.

What else? I restocked the pond [two blue gouramis, two angelfish, one peacock eel, two golden algae eaters, and six shark – 2 bala, 2 red tail, and 2 albino]. The only survivors of the massacre were the goldfish, five electric yellow cichlid fry, and the two albino cichlids. The nocturnal pleco, eel, and shovelmouths are still unaccounted for.

Been to Max’s twice since I’ve been back. And it was horrifying both times - truly and utterly horrifying. There is nothing left to redeem that place. Nightlife is suffering with Big Tom gone. I went to Angles for the first time in a year, but it still sucked. Hula’s has been a bit better – they finally opened up the dancefloor. R. has been spending plenty of time there. But, basically – gay life in this town is just not happening this year outside of private and one-off events.

And – as of last Monday – I am an official state worker. I’m still adjusting to the idea.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Tragedy in the Garden

At the end of last week my fish started dying. I found one of my Bala Sharks face up in the pond one morning. Poor thing. I fished him out and tossed him in the compost. That afternoon a second shark died. That was a bit odd. There was no sign of disease or stress. I had put in two new Shovelmouth Catfish, but Sharks are jumpers - if the other fish had harassed them they would have lept out of the pond.

The next day the reamining three sharks died. That hurt - I liked my curious little sharks. They were already up to six inches - only half their full size - and I was looking forward to seeing them full grown. I figured there was some mysterious shark disease going around.

Day three, and lots of fish were acting funny. The fat goldfish was swimming upside down. The yellow cichlids were bumping into things. No one was eating. I didn't know what to do. In the next two days the two clown loaches, both adult yellow cichlids, and one of the juveniles went KO. I couldn't figure out what the problem was, and was worried that I'd lose them all.

I finally changed all the water. That seemed to help - the survivors started eating again. Then yesterday I found the culprit: a new brand of fertilizer spikes I had used for the taro.

So now I need to restock. The survivors: four Ryukin, one adult and one spawn albino cichlid, a striped cichlid, one shovelmouth, and a few [not sure how many] yellow cichlid spawn.

Still missing in action: my eel [who I never see unless I clean], the pleco [who I rarely see], the golden algae eater, the juvenile red shark, the blue cichlid, one of the striped cichlids, and the four remaining juvie yellow cichlids.

That just hurts.

Heading to the North Shore after work for the Hale Aikane weekend. Ken rented out the beach house, Dirk is cooking, I've got a load of wine from Fujioka's - I'm ready to go. This is my last day with Forestry, and I'm itching to get out of here and laze for two days on the beach. Waves are big, and the Eddie Aikau might happen. Here's hoping ...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bad King Wencelas

Ah well. Didn't make it through the weekend without smokes. Bummed one off of Kevin and one off of Roy Friday night. Saturday had a moment of anxiety before volunteering and bought a pack. Smoked half of it. Had five yesterday. Today I’m a bit on edge, but I'm not totally at the beginning. This feels more like a day 3 of no smokes than a day 1.

Met Dawn pau hana Friday and went to Indigo's. We missed the pupus, so it only took two martinis for me to get a bit trashed. We met some guys from Istanbul, and talked with them most of the early evening. They were very handsome [I thought: Dawn said their eyes were too close together], and very straight. And I was a bad fag. A friend came over, and his eyes just lit up when he saw them. I didn't feel like being outed, and I definitely didn't feel like watching my friend slime all over these guys.

So I blocked access. The friend was all guttural noises, all hmmm and ohhh and oooh, as he tried to make eye contact with the Turks. And I pulled the butch act: yo, how you been? and all that, and made sure I kept my body between them.

Later hooked up with Kevin and Garret, hit a couple galleries, ate Vietnamese with Dawn, then headed home.

Saturday was surf, then my first Civil Defense activation for the City Lights festival. I told my friends I was working security. Hah. My job? Checking to make sure folks parking in the handicap lot really were handicapped.

It was excruciatingly boring. I was stuck in the parking garage for three hours. I was wondering how I got into this. Civil Defense Volunteer sounds sexy. And here it turns out we're nothing more than glorified crossing guards. I tried to tell myself that every roll is important, that we're all part of one system, that England expects every man to do his duty and that I was fulfilling my civic responsibilities and that this was a good thing - but honestly: I wasn't feeling it. It didn't help that there was a Scotsman playing bagpipes in the garage. And when he was joined by a friend life became downright painful.

This is surely one of the rings, if not of hell, then at least of purgatory: being stuck in an underground parking garage with perfect acoustics while two mad Scotsmen play Good King Wencelas on the bagpipe. You wonder if these people have any friends, or if they're like Trekkies - the only people who can handle them are others with the same fetish.

After our dinner break it was time to head outside and do some crowd control. This is more like it, I thought. We broke up into teams .. and I was assigned to the parking garage. Again. Only difference was this time I had a radio. I got to listen to all the excitement. We need back up on Alapa`i! We can't control the crowd on King Street! Get those chicos off of Kapi`olani! And there was trouble with the police, and there was trouble with the Department of Transportation. And everyone got an adrenalin rush but me.

Finally, at 8:15 - five hours after I arrived - I was summoned by radio to the surface. Oh joy. It was crowd controlling time! I finally got to have some fun! I didn't get to bust open any heads - I was more excuse me sir can you step back onto the sidewalk? than the more macho cops who just yelled at folks. I did get to help a lost child find his uncle, and that felt good. And I decided that I really did like this gig after all.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Death in the Water

Finally got back in the water this morning. It felt good. I'd been kind fo nervous about going back in - I lost a lot of my confidence trying to surf on the North Shore last winter. I thought I could handle, and that I'd enter the summer surfing like a pro. Instead I was terrified most of the time. I tried to convince myself that it was a matter of willpower, of conquering your fear. Then John Mozo died, and the kid at Banzai shattered his leg leaning too far into a tube.

I decided my fear was there for a good reason.

Another surfer, Malik Joyeux from Tahiti, died at Pipeline yesterday. I heard in the water this morning that another kid from Kalihi had broken his neck, but his story wasn't in the papers. The news had a video of Malik disappearing. It looked insane - 60 guys in the water, all chasing the tube at Pipes. The sport has gotten way too popular. It was already crowded ten years ago. Now it's insane.

This morning I went to Canoes at ten - close to the time the old Surf Club used to go. There were a couple beginners online at the yahoo site who were talking about going, but I never heard back from any of 'em. It was a moderately decent day - good enough for someone who hasn't been out in three months. Waves were hip high, and fun enough. I caught a few early on, and then it got crowded. Soon you couldn't catch a wave without someone crashing into you. Good thing things were slow. And by 10:30 the break had closed out, with a solid line of beginners blocking everyone's way. That was a bit early - close out time used to be noon.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Day 5

No night time cig last night, no patch today, and I. am. on. edge. I do alright as long as I keep moving. Having food in my stomach also helps. It's when I have to stop, stay still, and function that things get a bit tense. I haven't snapped at anyone yet. Or at least, anyone who didn't have it coming.

And I'm looking a bit ragged, too. I don't know if it's real, or that I'm projecting. Either way, it's par for the course. I'll look [or think I look] rough for two weeks, and then when the nicotine has drained out of my system I'll suddenly notice that my skin has cleared up a bit and that some of the lines have decreased and I'll look [or think I look] ten years younger. Just got to make it to that point.

I'm meeting Dawn in a few minutes for First Friday. I want to wake up early tomorrow and hit the surf - some chicks online wanted to learn - so probably won't stay up late. Pupus, wine, and bed.

Tomorrow is the big Hawai`i Kai Party. I'm not sure if I'll make it, which is rough - this is one of the major gay parties of the year. If not The Party. At least ... it's The Party of the ones I actually get invited to. Not that I get invited to this one. I crash it. As do a couple hundred other guys. There's a pool, plenty of liquor, go go boys, lots of men - toutes le monde.

... sans moi. I volunteered to work security at the Christmas Parade. Yesterday I was wondering why more gay men don't volunteer in the wider community, why it's always either AIDS or art that seems to get most of our attention.

And now I know. It's because we would miss all the fabulous parties.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Day 4

Day four no smokes. Or almost none - I've had one before bed each night. I put on the last sliver of patch this morning. This weekend wsill be tough. Meeting Dawn for First Friday tomorrow night, and have a full day OCDA activation on Saturday.

Status check: a little hyper and speedy, but still focused. Appetite is solid - I'm more or less permanently hungry. I cut my workout short yesterday because I needed to grind. Energy level is good, though - I've had really solid sessions at the gym. I'm not feeling social at all, though. Roy wanted to talk last night. I wanted to read & not deal with him or anybody. Weight is good, skin is good. Lungs are starting to clear out, and I woke up this morning with a nasty taste in my mouth. I tossed and turned a lot last night. I have minor cravings, but nothing too bad.