November 30, 2003
Europe: Day 9 - My poop is green
The big event
After a day of getting all the shopping done we could, we prepared ourselves for the big event of the weekend.
Needless to say, a tangent is appropriate: All the dietary changes, the cheese and air-cured meats, the beer, the wine, the vita-drinks, caught up to my bowels. Not pretty. Which pretty sums up the main event at the bear run.
There was a loose hollywood theme, and contestants sang bad Madonna songs and other showtunes with the lyrics changed to incorporate bear lingo.
It was a large space yet everyone crowded around the doors in an impassable thicket. We sat in the back with plenty of space and yawned. Bad Americans, us, we left early only to find the coatcheck was under duress. High-tailed and proper train found, we went back to the hotel and got our stuff packed. Lounged around and watched TV, played with Legos and drank a few.
November 28, 2003
Europe: Day 7 - Shoppin and ice cream
The streets of Cologne
A lull of a day, planted in the middle of the trip after we'd experienced many sights, sounds and tastes. We took some time to explore the city and wander through shops. Holiday decorations were going up all around and the Christmas Markets were planted in every square. As touristy as this place is, it didn't seem over-done. The vibe was genuine.
We went to likely the best CD store I've been to aside from Amoeba. It was a little overwhelming and I didn't have a crib sheet with me, but perusing the aisles was good fun.
Afterward, we avoided Starbucks and had some fancy ice creams with liqueurs. Actually, I had hot chocolate. We took a moment to piece together a torn up note we picked up along our walk, in hopes to recreate a moment from Amelie. Sadly, the letter writer Nils had nothing much to go on, other than he was gifting a ring and sorry about a death in a family.
There were no other clues or poignant meaningful messages. We shed no tears over our ice cream.
November 25, 2003
Europe: Day 5 - Museum, Beer, Vittles and More
Greetings from the Heineken Experience
The Stedelijk Museum was first on the agenda, and it rocked. I was a little amused that the Marmot and I would gravitate toward the same pieces of art. And what a fun variety this place contained. So many good things, I'll leave most of the detals to a gallery to be posted later.
Afterward, we found ourselves breaching the memo and hitting the Heineken Experience (Brewery Tour). Dang, this place was totally different than it was 10 years ago, and way more funner. Yeah, i said it. FUNNER.
Interactive exhibits. Rides of sorts (with disco lights no less). Great interior space design. Those kiosks where you can send photos and videos to friends (see above), and of course BEER. Well, three beers that is.
I think every museum should have kiosks to send internet pictures and videos, and beer.
Dinner that evening was spicier than J-Lo.
Then it was time for some relaxing downtime. I watched The Fugitive with Brian and threw caution to the wind after it was over. I went out to meet Brodie and Gus for one last night on the town and bumped into a friend of the BearsGoneWild to boot. It was a quiet night at the bars, but I much preferred it. Got to converse and drink.
3am came way too soon, no coffeehouses seemed open, so I headed home begrudgingly and found the 15 minute walk turn into an hour and a half street-wandering.
The weather was mild though, and I didn't feel like a mark when i would take out my cruddy map to realize how much more lost I was.
Amsterdam is a fine place. Two thumbs up.
November 23, 2003
Europe: Day 3 - Spa, Netherbears, Rendezvous, Dinner
It's a bit blurry now
I still felt "normal" at this point and well adjusted to the time zone. Sleeping in Sunday was natural and good.
Pratt, Brian and I decided to hit the Thermos Day Spa and it was disturbing. The mental image of folks peeping the top of their head around a corner to see if there was space in the hot-tub was comical. As was the rest of that place. I did however, find myself a barstool and beer. And since it wasn't shoulder to shoulder, I could fill up those tiny little beer glasses a lot.
Leaving there, we went over to Le Shako to meet up with the Netherbears and rendezvous with Brodie and Gus. When we got there, the bar was relatively empty. So we secured a fine table in the side nook and soaked in the warm tiny atmosphere.
Little by little, the bar began to fill up with kind faces and the beer flowed. We delayed dinner for an hour as the spirits were mighty fine.
Dinner itself: another warm memory. The Hemelse Modder was supertasty. Potato soup, mushrooms and sprouts with wasabi sauce were my starters before some tasty sausage.
And the wine, was delicious.
November 14, 2003
T-shirts on the brain.
Wanna get back on the silkscreen press.
Got package from Brian with my sketch wonderfully transfered on to a shirt.
This is going in the vault for sure.
September 22, 2003
Fun with the olfactory
New scents from the Yankee Candle Company
After a tasty lunch accompanied by honey butter drizzled over croissants, I forced Mr Dallasbear into the videogame store. Seems like everything I want is always not out yet, and if I would just wait a month or two after the release, I could save tons of money.
Walked out pleased with myself for being empty handed.
The next stop was the Yankee Candle Company and we found ourselves musing on fragrances they have yet to capture.
Which brings up a tangent... Proctor and Gambler says 'Febreze actually cleans away odors on fabrics rather than covering them up' Yet, Febreze has a distinct scent.
This confuses me.
August 11, 2003
Mental note: Don't sniff Comet cleanser
So I found my office keys buried in my satchel and the studio remarkably shiny. Dave has new shoes and a pilot's license. Heather was fit and blonder. I wasn't terribly productive, but mapped out some stuff. Perhaps it was the mountain Dew and XL latte pre-noon that made it difficult to focus.
Two of the three bears jumped into the journaling fray Kevin and Jim and taught me a thing or two. I had previously twiddled with offline journal editing, but X-Journal for the mac ROCKS and has a handy history feature to edit my redundant redundant-ness.
I cannot shake a scene from Cheech and Chong's "Up in Smoke" since viewing it in St. Louis. In dire need to remedy the memory, I failed downloading the movie from peer networks and rented the Video Cassette. While hooking it up to a DV cam to digitize, I found a message saying it was illegal to dub copyrighted material. I could only record a few seconds at a time and had to splice together a few clips. Hmmm, why can't protecting images online be so smart?
Apparently it has been raining lots since I was gone in the ol' Queen City. This summer has been notably cooler than norm.
A friend from up north clued me in on a great program for the mac, Still Life . It stitches together stills with nice pans and fades. This will make the creation of a DVD for this past journey easy. Much easier than iMovie or iDVD (gasp).
August 09, 2003
How much meat can you handle
The three bears
Lunch was a "Gerber" at Ruma's Deli - essentially a big open faced sub slathered in garlic butter and ham put through the oven to melt the Provel cheese (A St Louis original - a pasteurized process cheddar, swiss, and provolone cheese).
Dinner was That'sa Nice'a Pizza and French Dip subs.
If I stayed here in St. Louis, the three bears would make sure that I fill out.
July 29, 2003
Suckers for the photos after the rollercoaster ride is over...
Recovery from Dore "Up Your Alley" Fair was relatively painless. We got in somewhat early after bar hopping and slept soundly.
Today we ventured to Santa Cruz to hang out at the Boardwalk amusement park thingy where Lost Boys was filmed.
The drive down was a bit foggy, but once at our destination, the day opened up to be quite lovely. We rode the Giant Dipper wooden coaster a few times, got wet on the log flume (twice as well) and did the haunted house, and a handful of other attractions.
Lunch was the biggest corndog I've ever had.
July 28, 2003
It was hot
So after deciding to be the boring midwesterner, I grabbed a flannel and my camera and headed with Art to the Up Your Alley fair.
Started off sorta empty, though there were a few folks that felt it wasn't too early to get naked. We stood on the corner by the Bay Area rodeo beer booth and just watched as the people went by. Throughout the day it was a roll call of LiveJournalers: Arkanjil, Bearzbub, Funkybearmartin, Urso, Sinnabor and too brief run-ins with ThatDangOtter and Iberianbear.
After seeing "Jack Radcliffe" in the flesh, folks with funny piercings and contact lenses and flailing appendages, I felt sorta, hmmm, non-plussed by the whole scene.
The aforementioned LiveJournal folks were more interesting and attractive. Maybe this is 'cause I don't get my kicks completely from cruising, and this is by no means a virtual community-building backpat. These folks are truly handsome. Sad part though, not enough time to chat. Not near enough.
The day ended at the not-too-painfully packed Lone Star and then some other bars and then I was truly done.
I survived Dore Alley.
July 26, 2003
FunkyBear dips into the rock section
Went to the Haight and avoided the Gap.
Bought too many useless knick-knacks and t-shirts.
Met up with Martin.
Ate crepes and heard folks argue in French.
Then, there was Amoeba. They actually didn't have everything I was looking for, but they had a helluva lot I wasn't. Art left FunkyBear and myself to our own devices and several hours there.
Bussed it down to the Metreon to look at all the cool Sony stuff we shouldn't buy and relaxed to JLo on the big screens and comfy couches.
Headed to the EDGE for happy hour. Bleh crowd other than meeting back up with Art.
Tried to find parking in the Mission for taqueria.
Didn't find parking in the Mission.
Ate chinese vittles in the Castro.
I dropped Art off at the bars and went home as stomach screamed from the chinese vittles.
June 30, 2003
Canadian Rockies International Rodeo
Spent more time watching the rodeo today. Toward the end of the day, I was beat and took a nap on the lawn behind the stands.
Decided against dinner on the grounds and went to BJ's house to have some tasty stir fry. Watched a few episodes of "The Family Guy" then headed back for the dance, though we didn't stay long.
Enough cowboys for one weekend.
June 09, 2003
Cincinnati Pride 2003
Luther and Dan at Cincinnati Pride Parade, 2003. (Carl's off to the right)
I have never been to a pride parade in Cincinnati.
I went to the one in San Francisco way back in 1999. Seems like an eternity now, but it is one of those things a somewhat sheltered fella from the midwest was not likely to forget. Some people were running around naked. I saw boobies and peckers floppin' about. Lots of folks in leather, out in public!
The most memorable thing though, was the "Beige is Beautiful" float, where everyone was in, um, beige. It was totally unlike a Gap ad.
Flash forward to Cincinnati, which I think has had, maybe 4 pride parades scattered throughout time. It is held in "Northside," our most liberal neighborhood aside from the University's Gas Light district.
The weather was threatening, however a damn good crowd came out.
It was F U N, despite the occasional bursts of rain.
The dykes rode bicycles and kept their shirts on. In fact, there was no nudity. It was like "River City" was having the parade of parades where everyone was just happy to be out and reveling.
The vibe was kick ass.
My personal highlight: watching the "flaggots" come down the street, doing a fucking brilliant routine(?) to I belive Christina Aguilera's Beautiful.
So much happened, I can't begin to fill it all in at this hour. A shout out to
P H O T O S :Cincinnati Pride Parade 2003
May 25, 2003
Great Plains Rodeo 2003: Day 2
I must remember to read up on the instructions for my camera to learn how to lock focus manually. I must also remember to bring a tripod of some sort. Marmot has that nice tiny one you can strap on to things, I bet that would do nicely.
I missed breakfast by mere moments at the hotel this morning. There were a handful of fellas online though, and laughter was hearty. One guy from Texas had me in stitches. A very charismatic fella, he made NOT being overtly masculine work somehow. It's taken me a while to accept everyone as they are, and I think I've made progress. I'm not going to ever be comfortable calling fellers "girl friends" or mix pronouns for endearment, but there's no reason not to laugh when someone says, "...And where did you think you were going when you put that on, 1994?"
I got to the rodeo early and scarfed down a chili cheese dog.
I actually watched most of the events this day and enjoyed hanging out with a Texan who's got the nickname "Asshole Magnet" from me. Dunno what it is about this guy, but he seems to find more fights and get in verbal brawls than anyone I've met.
He can hold his own though, I've little doubt.
I spent some time pestering the DJ, browsing through his mixed cd's and making mental lists. I love lookin at other people's music. More often than not though, I'm beginning to get overwhelmed by everything that is out there.
A good friend slipped out quietly and I didn't get a chance to say goodbye, but as he mentioned later, online, I'm a "special" friend and goodbyes aren't always necessary. As I agreed, I began to ponder the worth of being special.
Dinner at a BBQ joint with some Denver contestants, their other halves, and the Texan brought out the truly horrible pun, "tradin bruised ribs for spare ribs" and laughter trickled from there into the hot tub back at the hotel.
Thoroughly beat, I took a nap that turned into a very long nights rest.
UPDATE: Gallery posted.
May 24, 2003
Great Plains Rodeo 2003: Day 1
Behind the arena, a horse takes pause from lunch to ponder the fella with the camera.
The first day of the rodeo began with usual ceremony. Grand Entry has groups from area rodeo chapters prance around the arena with flags a wavin' and shirts neatly tucked. There's singing of the National Anthem and O Canada, which is really a ploy to let us know what lurks under those Stetsons and Baileys. A riderless horse is guided around during a prayer for cowboys lost.
Then it's on to the events. I got to catch up with folks and enjoyed myself. I tend to spend more time than I probably should in the vendor area, but I knew the DJ and a t-shirt seller. Mark Weigle also performed to a sadly empty audience. He sang that Bears song and kept pointing my way during the chorus and I got all red faced. I really don't consider myself a bear from the outside, but if you're one of three people there, and the only one with a beard, I can understand the mistake.
Dinner at McDonalds had our small party drooling, and the conversation was light and fun. A great bumpersticker idea surfaced, but it has legs, so I won't blow it.
That night, it seemed that it was the goal of many to get me good n drunk (of course, I just liked to think that - my yoga teacher does say, "It's all about me"). Regardless, there was success with more bourbons and sevens than I can count (they were watered down methinks, or I have one helluva stamina).
I remained upright though, and managed not to fall into the pool. I met a great feller from Kansas City, handsome dark features, wonderful graying beard, a photographer. He likes 'em "beefy" but I'd still like to find out more about him and his work.
Lessee, what else? Well, as I start to get drunk, I get huggier. I was staying at a remote hotel that night, so when a friend from Hot Springs was leaving, I opted to take the ride back and leave my car there. It was a great first day.
I drank as much water as I could, watching some nonsense on HBO and drifted to sleep.
May 03, 2003
Well, I s'pose the DNS has finally seeded, and the site I'm helping put together with my friend Harley is now live. He started this HomoRodeo thing a while back to get fellers from the chat room together. Started as grassroots, got too much for him to manage by hand.
It's been a great success. He asked me for my help, and I gladly jumped. Not often you can have fun usin what ya know with such great benefits.
Sorta like a bear run, without the orgy undertones (not that there's anything wrong with that, i just like diversity), these rodeos tend to bring down-home country folk and cowboys at heart together in a great atmosphere. And diversity is a good part of these things. Hell, you could bring yer mom or kids.
I'm lookin' forward to the one's left this year I'll be attendin'... Oklahoma City, Denver, Calgary, Minneapolis and Chicago.
If i'm in yer neck of the woods, holler.
April 23, 2003
The only queer people are those who don't love anybody. ~ Rita Mae Brown (stolen from mass email)
If homosexuality is a disease, let's all call in queer to work. "Hello. Can't work today, still queer." ~ Robin Tyler
I'd rather be black than gay because when you're black you don't have to tell your mother. ~ Charles Pierce
In response to a reader who complained that a gay couple was moving in across the street and wanted to know what he could do to improve the quality of the neighborhood. 'You could move.' ~ Abigail Van Buren
The one bonus of not lifting the ban on gays in the military is that the next time the government mandates a draft we can all declare homosexuality instead of running off to Canada. ~ Lorne Bloch
Why can't they have gay people in the army? Personally, I think they are just afraid of a thousand guys with M16s saying, "Who'd you call a faggot?" ~ Jon Stewart
My lesbianism is an act of Christian charity. All those women out there praying for a man, and I'm giving them my share. ~ Rita Mae Brown
Soldiers who are not afraid of guns, bombs, capture, torture, or death say they are afraid of homosexuals. Clearly we should not be used as soldiers we should be used as weapons. ~ Letter to the Editor, The Advocate
You don't have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight. ~ Barry Goldwater
Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands? ~ Ernest Gaines
My own belief is that there is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror. ~ W.Somerset Maugham
Drag is when a man wears everything a lesbian won't. ~ Unknown
If male homosexuals are called "gay," then female homosexuals should be called "ecstatic." ~ Shelly Roberts
My mother took me to a psychiatrist when I was fifteen because she thought I was a latent homosexual. There was nothing latent about it. ~ Amanda Bearse
It always seemed to me a bit pointless to disapprove of homosexuality.
It's like disapproving of rain. ~ Francis Maude
and, the ever famous quote
The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision. ~ Lynn Lavner
April 19, 2003
Seattle, Day 1
Got into Seattle late Thursday night. As the cab approached the city from the airport, I was slightly taken aback by the skyline. This place was bigger than I thought. The skyline was all aglitter and I was slackjawed looking out the window at the lights and heights.
The hotel is a field-goal kick away from the space needle, likely the best icon i've seen for a city. It's jetsons cool. The hotel, hmm... I think it hasn't been renovated since the '62 Worlds Fair. (Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration)
After pondering goin to the pre-mixer in West Seattle, I figured a good nights sleep would be best. I settled in, frustrated that my data port was a dud, and managed to get some work done offline.
I woke up Friday and ate the uninspired hotel restaurant breakfast, used the wireless network uncomfortably nested by the elevators in the lobby, and fired off some emails.
Met up with Mr. Pratt and a buddy of his from San Jose and quickly felt at ease. Bumbling around the city, I found the scale of the place wasn't as daunting as originally thought. Broken up into neighborhoods and ample greenspace, Seattle is a trick to navigate with steep hills and the strangest street grid I've ever seen. Of course, with all that water surrounding the place, I can understand the challenge.
A trip to Redmond, peeked at the future Chalet, drank coffee, trip to the Microsoft company store (dang, they can't seem to give away them xbox games)... then back to the temp apartment to meet up with Marmot and hit the evenings festivities.
Honda Elements are cool.
Not sure where the evening went, but it was pleasant enough. I decided I wasn't wearing appropriate undergarments to maintain proper dress-code at the Eagle's Under-Bear party, but I had a good time.
Lots of new and familiar faces. After being accosted by the most handsome daddy bear as the bar closed, i gravitated to a kind furry faced fella, and we wandered away from the crowd filing into the bus headin back to the hotel. We walked around the city and checked out views of the needle and whatnot, strolled thru a few parks, and gushed in general at our happenstance meeting. Exhausted, it was time to go back to the Best Western.
Day 1 of Spring Thaw was good.
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