Monday, February 27, 2006

The Quest, Child Abandonment, and Buying Body Parts

The Quest. So I'm totally in love with the new Natasha Bedingfield song, "Unwritten." I loved it when I first saw it on VH1. And then on the cruise at the last dance, they played this awesome remix of it and I was just overwhelmed by it. It was one of those moments that the music just completely resonated with me and just felt so right and so good. So I determined right then and there that I would get a copy of the mix of Unwritten. And so begins the quest. MSN Music: Nope. I-Tunes: Nope. Via Google I find out that what I'm looking for is a promotional CD that was sent to only certain DJs. Great. It's up for bid on ebay at $50. FIFTY DOLLARS?!?!? For one CD with 5 remixes of the same song? Aghh, I'm torn. In desparation I email this DJ I know from Ptown who emails me a copy of it. LOVE HER! And I am so rockin to this song right now!

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Child Abandonment. I totally forgot that my sister is coming into town and she shoots me an email. We're making plans to get together for dinner and in her emails she says that my 6 year old nephew had a meltdown the night before she left LA. Apparently he was just utterly convinced that she was moving to a new home and leaving them there. She said it was heart wrenching, but I just couldn't stop laughing. I know that's bad, but I can just picture it. Of course it's funny to me after the fact, I'm sure my sister felt like Mom of the Year as she packed her bag to come here.

Buying Body Parts. I can't wait for the future when we can buy body parts. Preferably online if possible. What's first on my shopping list? New ankles. Walking back from the gym tonight, I hit this one little piece of round concrete and popped my ankle. It hurt like a bitch and I've been walking on it all night. I just know that it's going to stiffen up tonight and I'll be limping tomorrow. So definitely new ankles. Then I'm thinking a new chest. Not Ah-nold big, but nice size. Oh and a size 30 inch waist. And since I'm working down that way anyways, I'd like a nice big . . . .

Friday, February 24, 2006

Another Whole Foods Altercation

(warning: foul language ahead)

Friday night. I go to the gym and on the way home I decide to hit Whole Foods. It's a weakness, I know. I grab some risotto and mediterranean pasta salad and I walk down to the express lane and I get behind a woman. A short, black woman with very short hair. And a grocery cart full of food. FULL. In the express lane. I'm tired, but I've got the whole post exercise zen thing going, so I'm like screw it. I don't care. I'll wait.

The poor checkout clerk is trying to explain to the woman that this is the express lane. But the woman won't hear it. "It's been a long week, I don't want anyone talking to me me, can you please not talk to me, I just want to buy my food and go home, can you please just ring my food up and not talk to me, I just want to not talk to anyone. . . ." and she continues to babble on. The checkout clerk is overwhelmed by the tirade and just starts ringing her up. And the whole time the black woman hasn't stopped talking. I think if she thinks if she stops talking then she'll have to listen to someone explain to her why she's not supposed to be in this line. I stand and watch and listen. She's buying some good stuff. Flowers, cakes, some salmon, etc. It's Whole Foods and it's not cheap and I think from her accent she might be an embassy person. Not sure.

The checkout clerk finally gets her to sign her credit card and she turns to me and starts to apologize for the delay, etc. I just shake my head as the short black woman wheels her cart out of the store. I tell the clerk it's not a big deal. But I add, "You know for someone who didn't want to talk about anything, she sure did talk the whole time." That got a chuckle from everyone in the two lines that had seen the little situation.

I pay for my food and I go to grab a Blade and I hear someone say, "Just mind your own business, faggot." I stop. And I turn around and there is the short black woman pointing to me. "You can keep your fagotty comments to yourself becuase I don't give a shit about what you think."

Now, my post exercise zen is gone. Evaporated. Now it's all about my post exercise adrenaline. And as K would say, "Oh hell to the NO!"

"I told the clerk that for someone who didn't want to talk that's all you seem to do." I replied. There's a stubborn streak that I have that's not pretty and I will not put with this crap.

"Well you can kiss my cunt you faggot."
"Gee, that's why I'm gay, becuase I don't want to kiss your cunt." I reply.

The conversation, if one wants to call it that, went downhill from there. I'm so glad there were no children nearby as I think every curse word I knew flew out of her mouth as she tried to denigrate, shame, and intimidate me. And it wasn't working.

She said that she would beat me. And I asked her if she was going to hit me. I was taller and bigger than her, and there were people around. I was thinking "Bring it on bitch!" But she said she wasn't going to him me, that she was going to "fuck me up." That's a nice general threat.

She brought up the race issue. "I'm a black woman and you can kiss my pussy." Yeah, I'm not blind. I think we've established that I'm gay and not going to be eating any pussy. "You think you becuase you're some white faggot that you can say what you want." Actually, I think I'm an American enjoying my freedom of speech.

The filth continued to spew from her mouth and I finally realized that she while technically not crazy, was pretty screwed up. So I started to walk away. Which only emboldened her. So I turned to her and said, "Have a good night. God Bless You!"

As I walked away, one of the guys who had been in the other line and seen this whole altercation said, "Wow, she's insane" as I walked by.

Ah, another routine evening in my diverse and friendly neighborhood. BTW: the sun dried tomato risotto. Fabulous!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Navy Leadership Part II

After about 10 months of daily abuse for the never ending battle against rust, or the problems with lead based paints, or the anchor, or the ship’s boat, or whatever, I was finally relieved as First Lieutenant. I had taken the ship through the final stage of overhaul, ship trials, and two major inspections, so I was rewarded with a new job in the Combat Systems Department. I was going to be the new Missile Officer. Which was perfect, so I went from one high visibility job, to another. All of the missiles had been offloaded prior to the overhaul, so now we needed to reload. Add to the fact that the previous Missile Officer had messed up the requisition and that we were in Hawaii (the end of a very long supply chain), it was a hassle. But I could deal with it. Sort of.

That summer coming out of overhaul, we participated in various fleet exercises including RIMPAC. RIMPAC is a multi-national exercise that includes the navies of several of our allies that rim the Pacific, to include Japan, Australia, and that year I think Singapore. Since the USS Reeves had previously been stationed in Japan, we got assigned to the Japanese battle group for the exercise. The only US ship in the battle group, we were sent out on point, very far south in the OpArea where there was basically no one around. We were definitely out of the ship traffic lanes and we would go days without seeing any merchant ships.

The problem is that for the exercise, the Captain had assigned three officers to each bridge watch. There was the Officer of the Deck, Junior Officer of the Deck, and then the Junior Officer of the Watch. The Junior Officer of the Watch was pretty much the flunky of the bridge team and got stuck riding the radar console, doing mo-boards during maneuvering drills, or breaking communication signals during the exercises. So it’s not like you were bored when there was stuff was going on. But when you are the edge of no where and not really involved in the exercise, it got boring. Quickly.

One day while the bridge team was sort of slacking off and just shooting the sh!t, the Captain came out onto the bridge. “The Captain’s on the Bridge” the Bosun announced. I went to go look at the radar while the Captain got up in his chair and looked out the window. It was a bright sunny day and there was nothing around but miles and miles of deep blue water. After a few minutes of fiddling with his papers, he turned and looked at me and said, “What do you do now LT R?” I was sort of confused by the question. I had been missile officer for a little over a month now, he surely couldn’t mean that. But I couldn’t think of a better answer, so I said, “I’m the Missile Officer now.” And that Captain smiled and said, “Yeah, that’s right. I’m going to need to check out the missile magazine. I haven’t had a piece of your sweet ass in quite a while.” He chuckled. Picked up his papers, and went into his at-sea cabin. “The Captain’s left the bridge” the Bosun announced to an oddly quiet bridge. No one said a word and everyone was looking at me. It was awful. To break the silence, I laughed and said, “He likes me, He really likes me.” A bad Sally Field impression, but it was all I had. Everyone laughed, but it wasn’t really that funny.

At the end of the watch, I ended up going down to the mess deck to eat lunch. An officer has to “sample” the mess every day to ensure the enlisted guys food is decent. And to be honest it was usually better than what we ate. But I got a tray of food and sat down on the mess decks to eat when one of my old M division guys sits down next to me. I asked him how it’s going. Not bad he replies. And then he says, “So how’s that sweet ass?” I paused, fork in mid air, and looked at him coldly. “I’m sure Petty Officer Second Class X that I must have mis-understood your question. Would you like to think about how you would re-phrase a question like that to an officer.” My voice may have been a bit louder than I thought because all of a sudden it was very quiet on the mess decks. Very quiet. Yes the tale of my little incident with the Captain must have gone from the bridge, into Combat, and then to the rest of the ship in record time. If the snipes had heard the story already, everyone must know about it. Great. Nothing like being known as the Captain’s bitch. I still caught a lot of sh!t in the wardroom, but after awhile most of the crew forgot about it. I think.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Navy Leadership (Part I)

My second CO on the USS Reeves had a saying. “A ship is judged by how it looks and how it communicates.” If the ship was rusty, had a bad paint job, if it couldn’t communicate properly via radio or signal flags, then there must be more things it couldn’t do well, such as fight. So we learned to live by that motto. I certainly did.

I was the First Lieutenant as we started to make our exit from the ship yards. After a complete refit that lasted over 18 months, we had made some major changes to the inside of the ship, and I was in charge of the outside of the ship. I quickly became adept in the art of Navy painting. Deck Grey, Haze Grey, Macine Grey. So many types of grey. But my job was a losing battle. The ship was older than I was, made of metal, and sat in salt water. Rust was just a part of everyday life. So it was a constant battle to stay ahead of the rust spots, the worn paint, and off the CO’s sh!t list. To say that I was micromanaged, would be an understatement. Not a day would go by where the CO hadn’t found some spot that he wanted fixed that day. And I would listen to him and then I would explain what everyone else was working on. And if he didn’t want those things done, then I would pull the guys from another job to fix this problem, or I would add it to the list for tomorrow. He never liked when I did that, but it was the only way to stop getting constantly re-directed and actually get something done.

Our sister ship, the USS Sterritt pulled in Pearl Harbor after their deployment and like most returning ships, they got the good parking spot. There are a couple of ships berths (aka parking spots) on the main waterfront that are close to the McDonalds, Enlisted and Officer Clubs, the main gate, etc. So those prime parking spots usually go to the ship returning from deployment.

About a week after the Sterritt pulled into Peal Harbor, they moved to the other side of our pier in the shipyard so they could get some minor work done. The next day as I walked down the pier, I started to smile. The Sterritt looked like sh!t. Big rust stains running down the side of the ship. There were huge patches of paint that had fallen off and rust was coming through the primer. Most ships usually do a total paint job before they return from deployment so they will look good when they pull up to the pier. But the Sterritt hadn’t done that and you could tell. I smiled because I knew we were going to look so much better than our sister ship, and the CO would probably be so mad looking at them that he would leave me alone. I was wrong.

As I wandered topside checking on my guys, the CO comes up to me. I pop a salute and say good morning and then next thing I know he’s got a death grip on my arm and pulling me towards the bow saying “Come with me.” As I was dragged away, my guys just shook their heads. They had seen this routine before and it usually meant long days for them. The Captain drags me to the very bow of the ship and points to the Sterritt. “Look at that.” He said. “LOOK AT THAT.” I did. And it was not pretty. He turned to me said very quietly: “If we ever look like that, I’ll cut your balls off. Do you understand me? I'll cut your balls off.” I said the only thing I could, “Yes sir.” And then he stormed off.

My Bosunsmate Chief had been called by the guys who had seen the Captain drag me off and had come up behind the Captain and me, but he dared not interfere. “So what did the old man want” he said after the CO left. “My balls.” I replied.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Land of the Living Dead

That would be me. Sick as a dog for the whole week. I've been shlepping my way into work and suffering through most of the day and then come home and just collapse. So sad. Interestingly enough, I seem to be getting the best sleep ever when I'm medicated with Nyquil. Better living through chemisty. Gotta love it. The only problem is the medicine head in the morning when I feel like I'm moving through jello. I almost fell asleep in a meeting. Not good.

Looking forward to the three day weekend when I can just relax. Need some good down time. And can hopefully get back on track with the diet. Today was my first day at the gym and I thought I was going to cough up a lung on the treadmill. Or throw up. Either one.

So at the gym tonight I saw someone whose profile I had seen on one of the more adult oriented web sites. Umm, not as cute as picture. Not at all. And then I wonder if that's what people say about me. Oh well.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Mr. President!! Mr. President!!

Not a Republican "Pioneer"? Don't have enough money to get a latte with Jack Abramoff? No good connections at Halliburton or one of the big pharmaceutical companies? Yet you dream of being able to actually attend one of the pre-screened orchestrated public viewings/speeches of the President and ask him a question?

Well, we can't help you. But Dan Froomkin asked WashPost readers what questions they would ask the President if they could. Love the questions.

"From Tracy:

"Mr. President, the CIA had described waterboarding, used with administration approval on several Al Queda suspects, as the following: 'The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.' If this were done to an American soldier, sir, would you consider it torture?"

From Phillip:

"President Bush, many times you and your administration has claimed that a significant fraction of the Al-Qaeda leadership has been captured or killed. But when you consider that none of those persons were captured or killed in Iraq, were from Iraq, or, to the best of our knowledge, have ever been to Iraq, how can Iraq be 'the central front in the War on Terror?'"

From Oliver:

"Once you said Osama was 'like those posters in the old West: Wanted dead or alive.' Later you said you were really not that concerned about him. In your recent State of the Union address, you said, 'Terrorists like bin Laden are serious about mass murder -- and all of us must take their declared intentions seriously.'

"Which is it, Mr. President? And why is he still at large?"

From Mary:

"Mr. President, you have spoken often and with conviction of your Christianity and how you bring Christian principles to bear on your conduct of foreign and domestic policy. The 2007 budget you have just proposed extends tax cuts that mostly benefit upper income Americans, while drastically cutting programs that help the poor, including sick children. As news sources have pointed out, the cost of these tax cuts is far greater than the cost savings coming from entitlement program cuts. Given the number of times the Bible, and Jesus himself, references lifting up the poor and tending to the sick, how do you reconcile this proposed budget with your Christianity?"

From Shannon:

"Why was CIA Director George Tenet given a medal of freedom/honor after the failures of 9/11 and WMD intelligence? For an administration that uses the word responsibility and accountability why has no one been fired/held accountable for those failures?"

From Robert:

"How does it feel to be considered less trustworthy than Bill Clinton by the American people?"

There are alot more in the article. What question would you ask?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wheel Watching

I got stuck with a poorly placed elliptical machine tonight and my viewing options was either Faux News or Wheel of Fortune. There was some Navy guy on WoF, so I ended up watching it and I realized two things. First, the puzzles seem easier to me for some reason. Not sure why, but they do. Secondly, Vanna White has the easiest job in television. I remember when she actually had to TURN the little square to see what the letter was. Now it changes color & shows the letter when she taps it! TAPS IT! How lame is that?

The hottie quotient at my gym is higher in the afternoon than in the morning. The morning folk are all serious and intent. If you've waken up at 5AM to be at the gym at 0530, you're pretty serious about your work out. There's no lolly-gagging, no social chit chat. You come in, you work it, and then you leave. In the afternoon, it's just got a whole different feel to it. It's more social. And slow. That being said, there are alot more hot guys walking around in the afternoon. So it's a bit more distracting. And apparently two of the young guys who work at my company go there at night. Cute, but not my type.

So yes, I've been pulling 2-a-day gym visits. I need to really need to kick the Fit By 40 program into high gear. I saw so many hotties on the cruise and I was there like a small whale. Must change.

Another pic of my imaginary boyfriend. And I am not obsessing!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cruise Report Part III


Royal Caribbean owns this private resort called Labadee. On the brochure they say it’s on Hispaniola, the island that includes the Domincan Republic and Haiti. But the resort is actually part of Haiti, but you don’t really want to say that for a marketing perspective.

The resort was huge, and nice. I did some more sunbathing and then I had a massage in a tent up on top of a hill over looking the lagoon. It was nice and the massage was great. The guy was working me over trying to get the knots out of my shoulders.

White Party & the Aftermath.

So the big dance party during the cruise is the White Party. Everyone dresses up in white and the dance lasts all night. I took my Navy chocker whites top, paired it with some white boxer briefs, and voila I had my costume. But the terrible twins, Polly and Esther, are not my friends and I was sweating like you couldn’t believe. If you have any type of muscle tone at all, you’re dancing shirtless and as much as I wanted to do that, I couldn’t.

The ships crew all come out to the party also and stand on the upper deck and just look at the maelstrom of hot sweaty bodies, fog from the dry ice machines, and the colored flashing lights from the laser light show that ricochet across the pool deck. The music was great and I had such a good time dancing and taking pictures of people.

Around 430AM, I decided to call it a night. I crashed, but my stupid body clock went off at 730 and I couldn’t go back to sleep. So I wandered up to the gym and ran into one of the hottie trainers. He made the funny comment that a lot of the guys were still “in state” from last night. Meaning that they were still in whatever drugged state they were in from the dance party. But then I heard that that party wasn’t over. The ship actually has a small dance club called the Dungeon and that’s where the party was. I still had my ear plugs so I went down to check it out.

It was packed. Packed with the living dead. Guys who were hot at 1AM, are not so hot at 9AM when they are cracked out of their minds. Do you really need another bump of crystal meth at 9AM? The music was good, but the crowd was a bit scarey and I just decided to go hit the pool deck instead. From what I understand, the party lasted till 1230 in the afternoon. That’s just insane.

Oh, and here's a pic of my i-boyfriend at the white party.

Last Tea Dance

As the ship sailed back to Miami, we had a final tea dance where Brett Henrichson was spinning. It was just amazing. Everyone had recovered from the White Party and was getting their groove on. We heard great mixes from everyone from Kelly Clarkson to Natasha Bedingfield to Sheryl Crow. It was just amazing. We danced as the sun set, as day turned to dusk and dusk turned to evening. As it got darker, the stars and the moon emerged in the sky above us as we danced to the beat. It felt so good.

Last Laugh!

Shann Carr does an amazing comedy show the night before the cruise ends and basically busts all of the guys for the stupid and funny things that happen on the ship all week. She told some great stories that were funny, poignant, and just too true. One of the great stories she told was about seeing a guy dancing in a corner during the Classic Disco Tea Dance all by himself. She went up to talk to him and he was said that he was dancing with dead people. That he was dancing with all of his friends who had died and who hadn’t lived long enough to see something like this cruise, full of gay man and women, and how special it was. How they would want him to be dancing and celebrating the progress and changes that have been made in the last 10 year. She went on to make a comment about the issue about pulling into Grand Cayman and how we’re making a difference just by going there and letting them see us for who we are. She said that in Cozumel, they know us. We’ve been there before and they know us. And they are actually marketing to us now! “Hey mister, you need a sarong for the White Party?” How’s that for change?

Cruise Report Part II

On the last cruise I had a bit of an infatuation with one guy. I would see him everywhere and I snapped a lot of photos with him. He has an amazing body which he has no problem showing off. All of it. He was on this cruise as well (here's a pic), but let's be honest, he's not really boy friend material, is he?

My new i-boyfriend.

Sitting next to the porn star is my new i-boyfriend. He’s tall, good build, clean shaven, great smile. Plus he's actually wearing age appropriate clothing. A nice white polo shirt not some too tight A&F t-shirt at dinner. So while I was staring at the porn star, I kept checking out my new i-bf.

I’m calling my new imaginary boyfriend Alex. And he’s just dreamy. He’s definitely someone I could take to the company Christmas party. I can totally see him in a suit and tie climbing the business world. I’m thinking he’s an investment banker or something like that. He works out, but isn’t obsessed with the gym. He’s knowledgeable about the world and is professional, but he comes on the cruise and can dance with his shirt off like a circuit boy.

I’ll be honest and say that I spent the rest of the cruise looking out for him. Technically it’s not stalking since we’re on the same ship and I wasn’t looking *for* him, I was looking *out*for*him. There’s a difference.

Grand Cayman

So we were originally supposed to go to Belize on this cruise. But a month before the trip, Atlantis sent an email letting us know that there were too many ships pulling into Belize City so we were going to Grand Cayman instead. Atlantis assured us that they had been in contact with the government in Grand Cayman and there would be no problems. What problems could they be talking about? Well in 1998, the Grand Cayman government refused permission for a gay cruise to pull into port. They were doing it in response to local political pressure and despite a non-discrimination policy that was adopted in 2001, no gay cruises had returned to Grand Cayman. Until us. The largest gay cruise in history.

We anchored off shore again and took the tender into port. We were waiting in the parking lot when I saw this huge crowd of people standing outside the port terminal in front of the Elmslie Memorial Church Hall. A reporter had made it inside the terminal and was asking us what we thought of the protesters and Grand Cayman. The best answer: “Well we just got here and we just want to enjoy this beautiful island. Ask us again at the end of the day and we’ll tell you what we think.”

But it didn’t take until the end of the day to get a feel for the protesters. We pulled out of the port terminal area in old school buses and there was a couple in the front seat. One guy was putting lotion on the other guy’s back and when the crowd saw this, they proceeded to yell and chant. Nice.

The excursion on Grand Cayman was nice. We took a boat out to the reef to snorkel a bit and then we went to Sting Ray city where you could swim/wade with the string rays. If you had seen the guys on my boat, you would think that they were straight. Most of them were in good shape and most of the nelly types don’t do excursions like this. But when they hit the water and the sting rays would rub up next to them, these big burly men began to scream like little girls. Kind of sad really. I thought petting the sting rays was cool, but you had to be careful you did it the right way or they would sting you.

When we returned to the port terminal, I walked into town to do a bit of shopping. There were just a few protestors left and they just help up little signs quoting Leviticus. Sure, quote Leviticus, but ignore the parts of the bible about slavery, women as property, eating shell fish, usury, etc. Anyways, they didn’t really cause any trouble.

As I returned to the port terminal, one sweet little lady thanked me for visiting Grand Cayman and wanted to let me know that she appreciated us coming to her island. It was a nice way to end our experience on Grand Cayman.

Gay Comedy

Atlantis does a great job of bringing some really funny gay and lesbian comedians on board the ship for us. The second night, they had this comedy showcase where these four comedians do a short set as kind of a sampler for their shows later in the week. All of them were very funny, except for one. This one guy had a very dry delivery voice and he just had the wrong material for the cruise. He started talking about BrokeBack Mountain and then bareback sex. He made a really bad joke and you could have heard a pin drop in the theatre. He drops that and moves on to circuit parties and that doesn’t win him a lot of laughs either. And at this point he realizes that he’s just bombing and decides to hang it up and leave. It was aweful. I felt so bad for him. Circuit parties are a great target for jokes, but they need to be in a funny “ha-ha”, not funny “sort of judgemental” kind of way. Atleast not to this crowd. These cruises are about getting away and relaxing and having a good time and basically escaping. Don’t ruin it by bring up reality.

Another comedian did this routine called: “You Might Be A Middle Aged Gay Man If” type thing. It was hilarious! If it takes you a week to decide on whether to spend $5K on a new living room set or liposuction, you might be a middle aged gay man. If you need your reading glasses to watch porn, you might be a middle aged gay man.

We also had Margaret Cho on board. Her opening act was the guy who bombed and I was concerned that Margaret’s routine would be too political and it wouldn’t work out. But she managed to do some light and heavy stuff at the same time. I loved the joke about how she had accidentally activated the “Al-Gay-da” sleeper cell when she had made some politically comments last year. She joked that the “Al-Gay-da” training camp had it’s own Pilates class. She was definitely very good.

Dancing & Dancing & Dancing

Atlantis does a great job of pulling in some well known DJs to host the different dance parties. There was the dog tag dance party, the Mardi Gras Party, the 90s Diva Party, and the tropical Heat party. All of them were outstanding. The music was really good on this trip. I know because I could here it in our stateroom. We were on the deck below the pool deck where most of the dances were held and I’m fairly certain we were right underneath the speakers. Even with ear plugs I could still hear/feel the beat reverberating in our stateroom.

But who needs to sleep when there’s dancing to be done. Each of the parties has a theme and a lot of people wear costumes, some simple, and some ridiculously ornate. But all so much fun and usually pretty sexy. Here are some of the pics from some of the hotties who would dance the night away.

Cruise Report Part I

Who, What, When, Where and Why: In no particular order.

Well first of all I should tell you that I wasn’t supposed to take this cruise. I signed up for it after my first cruise with the sole intention of getting the discount and then rolling to the Med cruise this summer. But then life got in the way and I kind of got distracted, and by the time I remembered this, I was going to loose like $600 in cancellation/re-booking fees. So I said, “The Caribbean in January? Sure, why not!” And it was a good thing. I needed to get away from work. And there’s nothing like being on a ship with 3200 gay men to take you mind off work. You’re more worried about your neck twisting off while trying to check everyone out.

Okay, it wasn’t completely gay. There were some straight women friends along for the ride (aka fag hags), some lesbians, and even a Mom or two. But Atlantis bills this as the largest gay cruise and with over 3200 people on board, I’d say they were right. But it was mainly men of all shapes, sizes, and ages. I again was probably in the upper section of the bell curve when it came to age, but not by much.

Leaving out of Miami, we headed south to Cozumel, then to Grand Cayman, and then to Royal Caribbean’s private island resort called Labadee. Unlike my last two cruises where I went alone, I actually had a friend with me this time. However, he had met some guy just before the cruise and so he spent a lot of time focusing on his new boy friend. Our schedules and activities didn’t quite match, but we had a good time together.


Tulum is this amazing seaside Mayan ruin just south of Cancun on the Yucatan peninsula. We had to anchored off of Cozumel since the big pier had been destroyed by Hurrican Wilma. We left the ship via tender and went directly to Playa Del Carmen on the Mexico mainland. There we had a one hour bus ride to get to Tulum (not counting in the mandatory tourist trap stop). My only experience with Mayan ruins was my trip to Belize a couple of years ago and I was looking forward to seeing the large ruins at Tulum. The bus ride down was long, but I napped for most of it. We got to the site and the tour guide started to drone on and I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore, so I bailed from the group and wandered on my own.

It was just amazing.

The ruins are pretty well preserved and that’s partly because they have restricted access to the ruins so you can’t climb them anymore. But we could still get pretty close and look at these ancient ruins. The funny thing is that the hurricane destroyed the pier in Cozumel last year, but it didn’t do any real damage to these buildings built thousands of years ago. How amazing is that? The sun was out and it was getting hot as I wandered around the site. The village is a walled city with the exception of one side that has these very picturesque cliffs that overlook this pretty beach. There were lots of people on the beach and in the water swimming.

The water was so many different beautiful shades of blue and green and looked so refreshing and inviting and I was kicking myself for not thinking of bring a bathing suit. I would have jumped in commando if no one had been there. But not with other people and families present. We spent about 2.5 hours there and it was really fascinating and pretty. But hot! I was ready for the air conditioning on the bus ride back.

Dinner with the Porn Star

So have you ever been some place and you see someone you know, but you aren’t sure who they are or why you know them?

After returning from Tulum, we had dinner in the main dining room and as I was looking around, I saw someone at the table across from me up against the glass wall looking out over the ocean. He was hot! Short hair, a dark scruffy yummy goatee going, and I could see a little bit of a tattoo on his really nice biceps peaking out from his shirt sleeve. So while everyone was chatting about their day in Cozumel, I’m checking out the hottie trying to wrack my brain to figure out who this guy is and how I know him. So I’m staring. And I realize that I’m staring, but it’s killing me. And then it finally hits me. He’s a porn star and I’ve actually got several of his movies. So I know him, but I don’t really *know* him. Here's a pic from the White Party. He's the one on the right.

I’m afraid to know what it means when I think I know someone from a porn movie. And that’s definitely a rhetorical question. No answers are needed.