Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

30 March, 2005

Watching the Storm

I spent lunch yesterday over at Ancora reading the Chicago Reader. I hate it when I do that because there's just so much cool shite happening down there that I can't attend. Some bar shows flicks via DVD projection and a couple of them really caught my eye including A Clockwork Orange. Plus there's was a kabuki theater presentation that sounded really neat in addition to various plays. And Neil Gaiman was going to be speaking. And the Art Institute had a few neat presentations going on as well. I looked at the schedule for the Old Town School of Folk Music and they've got tons of cool shit going down. I wish I had a banjo because Danny Barnes will be giving lessons there in a couple months! That'd be so hoopy! Herr Barnes, for those of you unfamiliar with him, used to be with the Bad Livers. Yeah, I'm sure most of you have no idea who they were either. Think bluegrass + Captain Beefheart. While I've seen recordings of performances from OTSoFM for trade and figured they provided instruction but didn't know the breadth of what they offer. Dancing and singing in addition to teaching how to play various instruments. If I wanna learn how to play the didgeridoo, I could head on over there. Imagine that. If I learn the didgeridoo, I could put together a band and play endless solos just like the Greatful Dead.

Whereas yesterday was pretty busy, today is dead slow. I think one (1) case has come down the pipe in an hour and I easily dispatched with it. No meeting today, no documentation to write, and I've given my usual websites a look-see. I am to meet The Dulcinea this evening so we can talk or so she can chew me a new asshole or something. We'll see how it goes. I await an email from her giving me the time and location of our meeting. Perhaps we can come up with a secret phrase too. "The crow flies at midnight..."

I've been trading emails quite frequently with Geno, a friend of mine in Chicago. He recently got back from Rio de Janeiro. Sounds like he had a good time and I look forward to reading his online account of the trip. He and I have known one another since 1977, when we were in kindergarten. Holy fuck shit! That's 28 years! Sheesh. Where does the time go? In a similar vein, Miss Pamela recently returned from N'awlins. She threw some of her photos from the trek up on the Net and it looks like she and Bill had fun down there. I'm presuming that many a hurricane was consumed. With this nice weather we've had the past few days, I've been itching to do some camping. (Of course, now that I look at the long range forecast, I see that temps are going to be dropping into a more normal range for this time of year. Bye-bye highs in the 70s.) Unfortunately, Dogger & Mel are probably not gonna be doing much camping this year. Mel certainly won't be in a canoe for a long time. Perhaps a babysitter can be found so Dog can take a trip this summer. And, since Marv is nearly impossible to get a hold of lately, I'm presuming his relationship with this Jill chickie is going well. Of course she's invited on most of our trips but I dunno if she's the outdoor type or not.

I am wondering what The Dulcinea has to say to me. Still no email regarding our meeting tonight and I'm getting anxious. I suppose she's in a fragile state right now, though, as her divorce becomes final tomorrow. But I'm sure she's also hopeful somewhere inside. I mean, her marriage will be over and she can move forward. She's planning on returning to school, which makes me a bit jealous. She is also planning on having her oldest son, Desmond, go live with his father in New York City. While I don't have a complete picture of her motivations here, I have this feeling that, at least in part, she's doing this more out of guilt than anything else. Guilt she feels for, in her mind, being a bad mother. I also suspect that she just wants more of a life outside of parenthood. I'm not being critical of her, mind you, because I never got the impression that she's a bad mom. I know that she loves her kids immensely. I did, however, get the impression that she wasn't too keen on motherhood. By this I mean that she always seemed more keen on pursuing a different kind of life other than being a parent. Her pregnancies were not planned and she always made them out to be like missteps along the way. Basically, I get the impression that she really didn't want to be a mother but accepts it and finds the good in it despite wanting to indulge her carefree, artistic nature.

I've been thinking about this stuff a bit lately. Plus The Dulcinea told me that the miasma in her mind began dissipating when she stopped using the birth control patch. Because of all this, I've begun considering getting a vasectomy. When I get my arse in gear and get my insurance paperwork in order, I'll find out if it's a covered procedure. You'd think so. I mean, kids must cost insurance companies gobs and gobs of cashola. Pre-natal care, birth, and, when they're out of the womb, they get sick constantly so getting a vasectomy means that they can significantly decrease the odds of me coming along one day asking to insure a child. Then I'd be left to worry only about disease. Speaking of which, check out Mistress Lola's tale of her wounds from 28 March.

I see that we're in for some severe thunderstorms this evening. Oh, that'll be the perfect backdrop for my conversation with The Dulcinea.
|| Palmer, 11:46 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

28 March, 2005

Comin' Around

Early this mornin’ I was washin’ my face
Thinkin’ ‘bout goin’ to town
Sick and tired of hangin’ around this place
Waitin’ on the blues to track me down
Bless my soul maybe I’m comin’ around
Been lyin’ low but maybe I’m comin’ around

I’ve been runnin’ nearly all of my life
Far and as fast as I can
It may sound funny but I’m thinkin’ this might
Be about right where I came in
Well I don’t know maybe I’m comin’ around
Got a ways to go but maybe I’m comin’ around
Finally layin’ my burden down

One fine day
I’ll be free
‘Til it comes
I’ll go on

My heart’s a little ragged but it’s all that I got
So I’m gonna give it a try
look out world I’m comin’ ready or not
I don’t wanna let you pass me by
Here I go maybe I’m comin’ around
I’m a little bit slow but maybe I’m comin’ around
Finally layin’ my burden down


~~~Steve Earle
|| Palmer, 11:45 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Songs for the Dumper

It feels weird to be back at work. For a Monday, it's a bit slow. Nothing we can't handle, though. I'm in a mixed mind today. I had a good time in Chicago over the weekend and have some tasty Indian sweets here with me in addition to some kabli chana and a couple bars of Scharffen Berger that my mom gave me. When I got home last night, I grabbed the mail and found a heavy envelope addressed to me from The Dulcinea. Was it a letter bomb? Anthrax? No, it was a CD and the last song on it was "Song for the Dumped" by Ben Folds. I had this weird feeling that we were going to continue our communications via mix CDs. I guess that's how we nerdy types do it. After having sat around a bit with Stevie and Becca, I called The Dulcinea to see if she wanted me to drop off the sweets I'd bought for her. When I spoke to her, she was a bit terse. Not really malicious but more in a let's-get-this-over-with kind of way. We agreed for the drop-off to take place immediately. So I grabbed the box of treats and headed over. Instead of walking as I was accustomed to, I rang the doorbell. She answered and I stepped inside. Again rather tersely, she asked if I could stay for a few minutes. We sat down on the couch and I read off the names of the candies as I had written them down at the store. I could see she was holding back the tears which only forced me to do the same. Once she had surveyed the edibles, she showed me her new beaded necklaces.

And she fidgeted.

And there was silence.

And I felt uncomfortable.

More silence.

She wanted to tell me a few things but couldn't bring herself to do it so there was more silence. I just wanted to her to tell me what a jerk I was and curse me out and hit me or whatever it was that she wanted to do. Her silence was probably worse than whatever she had to say. So I took my leave. I was genuinely tired and figured that, if she wants to chew me a new asshole, she knows where to find me. As I sat in my car, I looked up at the windows of her living room. I pictured her sitting there on the couch - alone. The image just tore me up inside and the tears started flowing. I wish it were a few months down the road. Maybe then I could enjoy being single again more instead of just feeling bad over having ended the relationship. You know - there's supposed to be a plus side to this whole deal. I care for The Dulcinea a great deal and like her very much but I just can't be her boyfriend. And I'm worried about her. Here I am needing to be away from her only to have this nagging feeling that her situation will only decline further. That audio blog entry made me sad, angry, and worrisome. I don't know if she'll try to follow through on that fantasy or not. Sad but true.

I had dinner on Sunday at my aunt's place out in Arlington Heights. Various and sundry family members were there as well as a friend of my grandmother. (Estelle?) I've met her a few times previously and she's a super-nice womyn. At one point, she looked to me and said something to the effect of "You know, your grandmother is waiting for you to get married and she doesn't have that much longer." I really can't recall how she phrased it. She also said that her grandson had wait until he was almost 32 to get married. I informed her that I am 32 and that, if I was ever to get married, it would be some time in the distant future and that it was my cousin Sue's responsibility to get married and have kids. I know my brother will never get married nor have children and I have no such intentions either so it really is up to Sue.

After dinner, I went for a walk with my mom, her cousin John, and her cousin Ted's wife, Susanna. (What does that make them? Second cousin a few times removed?) We walked around Lake Arlington, a stretch of about 2 miles. It was rather nice out. The breeze was just a bit chilly but the sun shone brightly. I really should hang out with my family more often. Many of them are even nerdier than myself which makes conversation with them a hoot. Once we returned, I fixed my aunt's computer and then hit the high road. Traffic was brisk but not bad, especially when compared to the drive there. Fuck, it took me over half an hour to get from Irving Park to the end of the Kennedy Expressway at Cumberland.

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I just laugh at people here who complain about the Beltline. Bubba, it ain't nuthin' so stop whining. Try taking I90 south to Chicago on a Sunday evening most of the year. It's backed up to the Wisconsin-Illinois border with people returning to Chicago from Wisconsin as well as the normal year-round traffic. 70 miles or so of interstate packed bumper-to-bumper.

The Ozrics show on Saturday night was quite good. The opening band, Lotus, sucked big time. Their set dragged on for what seemed like years. Every song was 10 minutes of boring guitar work backed up by a generic techno beat. It complete escapes me how they got all the raves that appear on their website. And they're here in Madison tonight at The Annex. But when the Ozrics came on, it was all better. My brother came to the show with me but we couldn't convince Andrew to do so. Carl was completely unfamiliar with their music while I know one of their albums by heart plus the odd song here and there. From what I could tell, their newer material featured less acoustic drums, which was disappointing to me when I sampled the tunes so I was a bit worried that the setlist would favor that material and be a bit too much like techno for my taste. Well, I needn't have worried. Ed Wynne went crazy ape bonkers in his Steve Hillage-esque kind of way on just about every song. And drum machines were kept to a minimum allowing their drummer, Metro, do do his thing. On keyboards was Brandi Wynne, presumably related to Ed in some capacity. She was easy on the eyes and was smiling and dancing a lot of time during the show. I guess you could say she gave off a good vibe, to use hippie parlance. The light show was typically psychedelic but not overdone. And the band just rocked. Even though I recognized only 1 song, it was easy to get into the rest of the set. That one song was "Sploosh!" from Strangeitude and it was the encore. They prefaced it with a slow, moody tune that I wasn't familiar with but, when I heard the gurgling noise, I knew what was about to happen. I shook my booty to the groove, man. It was, like, way out there, man. Carl spotted a guy taping the show on the floor. He had a big mic duct taped to his hat and you could tell that he was trying to stay still amidst the crowd of dancing folk on the floor. I shall have to keep an eye out for a copy of the show. Too bad yesterday was Easter otherwise I would have been sorely tempted to see them again at Shank Hall. Except for their flautist, John Egan who had mic/monitor problems for most of the show, the band was bouncy and in a good mood the whole time. Ed would thank the crowed after songs and introduce the next one. He sounded like a little kid - just smiling and joking. The second great performance in as many days.

And so a good time was had this weekend. It's always fun to chill with Andrew and my bro. Next time I go down there, I'm to bring some New Glarus brew. In exchange for my promise, Andrew lent me his copy of The Axemaker's Gift. Not that I really need more reading material at the moment, but it's sure to be interesting and have it on loan for a while.

Well, I think I'm off to get a cuppa tea for lunch.
|| Palmer, 11:38 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

26 March, 2005

I Got Me Some Barfi

I'm at my brother's currently. The Illinois-Arizona game is one so we're huddled around the tele. All I really care is that the Badgers won last night and I don't even care all that much. I spent the afternoon with my mom but more on that later.

Firstly, the Steve Earle gig was incredible last night. Most of the set was uptempo and there was a tangible energy in the air that was for the most part an extension of the music but was also a reaction to Earle's lyrics and tirades against Dubya. Going in the Barrymore, I was really keen on hearing "Home to Houston" but I'm not sure why. It's a blatanty catchy tune, to be sure, but so is "Billy and Bonnie". I guess hearing a song about the predicament of Haliburton workers in Iraq instead of a love song was what the doctor ordered. The lights went down and Gil Scott-Heron's "Revolution Will Not Be Televised" started blasting through the PA. To say that revolution was a motif for the show is a bit of an understatement. The band came out and Earle started the guitar riff for "The Revolution Starts..." And, just as on the album, "Home to Houston" immediately followed. While I know anything about driving a rig much less driving one in a warzone, but I still love it and sang along. Over the course of the night, he played The Revolution Starts...Now in its entirety. This was cool as it meant that he played "Condi, Condi" but it but it also meant that he played "Comin' Around". I must be an old softy because tears welled up in my eyes while they played it. It got more intense when he did "Goodbye". Not only did it speak to the end of my relationship with The Dulcinea the night before but it also reminded me of my dad. As I wrote last year about this time, it was the song that would not leave my head as I drove away from the funeral home with my dad's ashes. I felt like I was reliving that moment at the Dick Thompson show in '96 when she played "She Cut Off Her Long Silken Hair". Earle did a great job with the setlist. Most of it consisted of faster, heavier lefty songs but it was punctuated with slower, more tender moments such as "Goodbye". It was also cool that Earle's girlfriend, Allison Moorer, came out and sang on few songs as well having opened the gig. She is a hottie in addition to having a great set of pipes.

As I said, the show was chock full of heavy, angry tunes interspersed with Earle's tirades against the Bush administration. The show was really loud, which I liked, and this gave mid-tempo songs like "Transcendental Blues" extra energy. I didn't recognize many of the songs but they didn't take long to grow on me. "Harlan Man" was great and he did a rippin' version of "Copperhead Road". "F the FCC" was killer and they closed the show with a cover of The Beatles' "Revoltuion" and "The Revolution Starts...Now". They ended up playing 4 or 5 encores to boot including a cover of "Sweet Virginia" by The Rolling Stones. When he comes back I will definitely see him again. It was a great show full of energy and emotion. Before walking off the stage for the final time, Earle told the crowd, "Madison - get out in the streets!"

Although I didn't get to bed until around 1, I ended up awaking before 7. I spent part of the morning watching a Zatoichi flick on IFC and chatting with Stevie, who now has a bug up his ass to be a social butterfly. We perused the Isthmus for events going on for him to attend. Then I did laundry, caught up on e-mail, and prepared to head here to Chicago. I got to my mom's place about 2:30. She greeted me with a couple bars of Scharfen Berger chocolate. Soon we were out the door and headed out for lunch. We decided on German cuisine and went to Lincoln Square to eat at the Chicago Brauhaus. I had sauerbraten while my mom got wiener schnitzel. Mmmm...sauerbraten...vinegary, clovey, beefy goodness! For dessert, we split a piece of German chocolate cake. With bellies full, we went to Merz Apothecary. For Madisonians, Merz is a bit like Community Pharmacy but with more of an old-time general store kind of look. Lots of skin care products as well as dental stuff and just lots of stuff to make one smell nice. And it seemed like most of the products were from Europe. For my part, I bought some Bath Tub Gin shower gel, a new toothbrush with "natural" bristles, and some German toothpaste. The last one was a tough decision as they had German, American, and Italian toothpastes. (None from England, not surprisingly.) The Italian stuff came in funky flavors and was the clear winner in the best-looking tube category, but I thought $8.50 was a bit steep so I opted for some that was more reasonably priced. The area used to be heavily populated with German folk, unsurprisingly, and is now becoming a yuppie haven.

From there, we walked down the street a bit so my mom could do some window shopping at a clothing store. Then it was off to Devon Avenue and to Ambala. It's by Devon and California smack dab in the middle of a large Indian neighborhood. Walking into the store, we found that we were the only ones there. It was a large place with a long semi-circular counter littered with trays of treats. Wandering to one side, we encountered barfi, barfi everywhere. Plain, pista, chocolate...The guy behind the counter approached and handed us a sample of this delectable, warm sweet which was kind of like one of those fried Italian cookie hoolies that look like a round pretzel and begins with an R, the name of which escapes me at the moment. Well, it was like that except it was drenched in a honey glaze instead of being sprinkled with powedered sugar. Oh my fuck, was that good! I knew immediately that I'd be spending some major ching. The guy brought out a box and prepared to fill it with some Habshi Halwa but I said I needed something bigger. So he reached underneath the counter and got a larger box. "Do you have anything bigger?" So he pulled out the mega-box. "Great! I'll need 3 of those." And they got filled with, not only Halwa, but also Pera, Pista Barfi, Chocolate Barfi, Ladoo Motichoor Badam Barfi, and other stuff whose names I cannot recall but contain tons and tons of pistachio and cardomon. The guy also gave me a spoonful of this pasty carrot stuff that was on a tray - oh mama! Just sooo fucking good! As I was paying a small fortune to the owner, we chatted a bit. My mom told him that she'd heard of the store via the Sun-Times and I relayed that I was from Wisconsin. He replied that his brother lives in Janesville and used to live in Eau Claire. I wanted to tell him to have his brother move to Madison and befriend me so I can get free consignments of these pukka sweets.

It seems like every time I come here to ChiTown, I see a billion wonderful culinary opportunities. I really must take advantage of them more. Next time I'm going to that Swedish bakery my mom raves about. And the Swedish restaurant we drove by on Paterson. Life is too short for fast food. Not only will is shorten your life but it also deprives you of the opportunity of experiencing the wonderful cuisines of the world. One grocery store we drove by had a sign in the window for young goat - only $3.29/pound. Eating should not be viewed as something you do when you have time or as something that just makes you fat. It should be seen as a sensual experience, something to relish and enjoy.

OK, the Illinois game is nearing an end and the Ozrics show nears. Hopefully they'll play something from Strangeitude as that's the only album of theirs with which I am familiar. "Sploosh!", perhaps? Maybe "The Throbbe". We'll see.
|| Palmer, 8:14 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

25 March, 2005

Here Comes the IMAX

We are getting an IMAX!
|| Palmer, 4:46 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Comin' Around

Things would be a whole lot better if I could get "Comin' Around" out of my head. But it is a Steve Earle song and I'm going to see him tonight at the Barrymore so the chances of it going away are pretty small. At least it's not "Goodbye". That song came into my head too last night as The Dulcinea and I were parting ways. At least we did it on friendly terms and I didn't inform her via an email as I did for our first break-up last year. (Let us hope that this will not become an annual event.) Aside from being sad, I do feel a bit of relief. I can go off and be as dumb as I want without regard to a significant other. As she pointed out last night with examples of my failings in our relationship, I was not a particularly good boyfriend. There were definitely some wonderful things between us but not enough to sustain a committed relationship. I shall definitely miss doing stuff with her. (Beyond sex.) I've never maintained a friendship with an ex-girlfriend before beyond a couple months. I'd like to remain friends with her. In a way, our relationship was more like a friendship with benefits than a dating scenario. And now we have these knots to untie. Speaking of which, she's got my copy of Knots - d'oh! We had planned to go to a chocolate tasting at A Woman's Touch together but now that has to be dealt with. I told her that she should find someone else to go with and I'd replace my name on the list with his/hers. Ah well, it'll all come out in the wash.

So while she officially becomes a divorcee and prepares to return to school next week, I'll be off flying solo. But the adventure begins tonight. I have this weird feeling that the Steve Earle gig is going to be eerily remeniscent of the Dick Thompson show at the Barrymore back in 1996 which I went to not too long after having broken up with another girlfriend. We'll see. This weekend I am off to Chicago. Tomorrow night I'll be having a nice bowl of Ozric Tentacles for a late-night snack.

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Plus I'll hang out with my brother and Andrew. But, before that, I''m going to have lunch with my mom and then head over to Ambala to fetch some sweets. I'll spend Sunday afternoon with family as they're getting together for Easter dinner at my aunt's place. Next week brings the Wisconsin Film Festival. Plus there's trivia in Stevens Point to look forward to as well as the Tempest show in Stoughton. It'll be odd seeing the Ozrics and Tempest sans The Dulcinea since we had planned to see them together. Oddly enough, when I first saw Tempest in 1996, I went with the aforementioned ex-girlfriend. Funny how things repeat themselves.

I got the new issue of The Progressive last night. In it was a letter from a reader which said that we progressives ought to rescue Jesus and his message from conservatives. The writer went on to say something like, "As long as we're at it, let's rescue Mohammed, Moses, and Buddha." Holy fuck it did that piss me off! Bubba, the last thing we need is to get into a pissing match over religious dogma. And rescue Moses? Mohammed? Yes, we should align ourselves with Joey Midianite Killer.

Moses:
"Have you allowed all the women to live?" he asked them. "They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD's people. Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."

Yes, this is exactly the kind of asshole whom we should make our ally. Mohommed? Joey Let's-Kill-All-the-Infidels is right up there on my list of people with whom we can have a great working relationship, lemme tell ya. The last fucking thing we need is to align ourselves with mythical figures and nutcases from the past who claim to have heard a voice telling them things which are usually about killing people who are somehow different. We lock those kinds of people up today so why in the name of fuck would we want to "rescue" them?

Sidestepping religion again, I see that Porcupine Tree will be stopping in Milwaukee come May. I must get me a ticket for that! Still now news on Son Volt passing by here. Though I do see here that their retrospective CD, which will be released in May, will feature a version of Woody Guthrie's "I've Got to Know". I've never heard that before. Hopefully it will also include “Ain't No More Cane” (With Kelly Willis), “Old Dutch” (Vocal Dave Boquist), and “Seven To A Room” (Vocal Jim Boquist). We'll see if they include any tunes from their various radio performances like the old Stanley Brothers' ditty "She's More to Be Pitied".

OK - I'm off to buy a PT ticket!
|| Palmer, 2:30 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

19 March, 2005

Deadwing

OK, I just couldn’t wait. I saw Porcupine Tree’s new album, Deadwing, available for download and I snagged it. I swear I will buy it when it is released but I just couldn’t pass up a sneak-peak.

My very first impression was that it was bleak just like In Absentia and, like that album, had a song or two that hit me immediately but it would take repeated listenings to appreciate the work as a whole. Having heard it a few times, I can say that I like it very much. I can also say that I’m a bit disappointed with it. Not in way that would prevent me from listening to the album constantly or from enjoying it but rather I’m disappointed that it’s not different enough from their earlier work. But perhaps it is a case of having unreasonable expectations. Lightbulb Sun built on Stupid Dream but was not a great departure from it like Stupid Dream was from Signify. Unlike some PT fans, I rather like Steve Wilson’s appropriation of heavy metal which replaced the more Floydian meanderings of the early PT albums. It’s just that I’ve become accustomed to Wilson taking bits of this and that and throwing them together so as to come up with something new. The first 3 PT albums were very much like mid-70s Pink Floyd. Then Signify came along which threw minimalism and electronica into the mix. Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun are like peas in a pod but they collectively brought new things to PT’s sound - heavier guitar, sax, strings. Wilson even brought in banjo, a blatantly odd instrument for a progressive rock album. The song, “Last Chance to Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled”, is just great. The first part has the banjo and the vocals while the second is a more familiar PT bit of psychedelia. It’s that kind of juxtaposition that lent the music an air of freshness and made it exciting. Plus Wilson started doing harmony vocals. While not the most talented singer ever, he does have a good voice and the harmonies were, in my opinion, great. In Absentia brought in even heavier guitars. Wilson really detuned that E-string but this shouldn’t be surprising since he had produced an album by the Swedish death metal band, Opeth. IA isn’t death metal – Wilson just added another hoolie to his palette. There were still bits of psychedelia, keyboards, and acoustic bits but the emphasis was definitely on slashing chords.

Perhaps the biggest difference here is the number of shorter, “poppier” tracks. While there’s little that would be considered typical Top 40 fare, there are a few songs that are short and very direct. I’m sure that some long-time fans are gonna jump on the shorter tracks and cry “sell out!” but I think that would be unfair. “Shallow” has a riff that is vaguely Load-era Metallica but has some nice piano in the slower parts in addition to organ beneath Wilson’s riffing. “Lazarus” is, dare I say, a very beautiful, melodic song. No heavy chords and lots of wafting piano. It’s easy to see it as a continuation of “Stranger by the Minute” and “The Rest Will Flow”. What these songs lack are the usual twists and turns and the little touches of color that we’ve come to expect. Most of the elements from the past few albums are present on Deadwing but nothing really new seems to have been added. Like IA heavy guitar is prominent. Curiously enough, amidst all the guitar, oddly enough, keyboards are more prominent than they were on IA, which I don’t mind one bit. Things here just sound more straightforward than they have on past PT albums – there’s no real leaps into unknown territory. I miss the curveballs like the Middle Eastern drum loop from “Four Chords That Made a Million” or the sax on “Tinto Brass”. I thought “Gravity Eyelids” from IA was a great example of how Wilson took the old and mixed it with the new. Take the droning choir sound of the Mellotron normally associated with 1970s progressive rock and put a modern drum machine behind it. Then add some heavy guitar riffing. It all made for a great, moody song.

I suppose the more I listen to it, the more things I’ll hear in it. There are a couple things that may have had a bearing on the music: 1) the songs are based on a film script that Wilson co-wrote. Ergo some of the elements may be quite appropriate for the storyline. And 2) this is the second album for a major record label, Lava Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic. From what I recall, it was a 2-album deal so there may have been some pressure from an A&R guy and/or from the band themselves to create an album that would have more of a chance at commercial success. Personally, I’m disinclined to believe that #2 was much of a factor. While I certainly don’t know, I don’t think Deadwing is a particularly “commercial” album. It is, perhaps, more “commercial” than their previous albums, there’s nothing here for which you can’t find antecedents in their catalogue. It’s easy to see the songs here as extensions or rehashes of previous ones.

I will mention that I also snagged the non-LP(?!) tracks from the “Lazarus” single, “So Called Friend” and “Half Light”. The former is based around a heavy guitar riff while the latter is a typical slow burning bit of PT psychedelia. I should also note that Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth and Adrian Belew of King Crimson guest on the album. I’m not familiar enough with Akerfeldt and Opeth to be able to pick put his playing but I assume he’s got his E-string in there somewhere. Belew, on the other hand, should be fairly obvious but I admit that I have no idea on what song or songs he plays. There no evidence of the Twang Bar King nor of elephantosity to be found.

I guess that, at the end of the day, what matters is that Deadwing is a very good album – one that I like more each time I listen to it. I have favorite albums that I didn’t care for much initially and only became favorites years after I first heard them. My taste in music is constantly evolving so all I have now is a snapshot in time. We’ll see how Deadwing fares in the months and years to come.
|| Palmer, 11:56 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

16 March, 2005

Beware Three Days After the Ides of March

Since we haven’t been able to play D&D recently due to people’s schedules, Marv, Dogger, Chris, and I took it upon ourselves to continue our adventure via email. You may recall in our last cliffhanger that our intrepid adventurers were in media res of a dungeon crawl. Mystina had wandered ahead of the rest of us only to have a 5’ thick stone wall drop down and separate her from the rest of the party. Here’s what happened next:

Cave Troll from around the next corner: Me smells elf down here somewhere...

*Severus casts Calvin Klein's Obsession on himself.*

Mystina: Oh, wow, seeing you really takes me back to when I was a volunteer at the cave troll orphanage. Boy, how I loved those little guys. I hope they all turned out well. I sure did do my best to raise them like they were my own.

Cave Troll: Hmmrmph?? Oooahh! I bemember do little elf girly! Herm usem me like puncher dummy. Practices, she says! No fun like she say. ME pratice now!

Banshee materializing from wall to Severus' right: Mmmmm... Obsessive.

severus: D'oh!

Speaking of D&D, methinks that Marv needs to get us one of these.

I got home last night and heated me up some Gaston Beef Stew which prompted Stevie to give me the old “There’s only a little bit left – you don’t want it, right?” spiel so I let him polish it off. I then proceeded to hash out a couple music reviews to appease Kim, my editor. First was The Roots of Robert Johnson which is a killer album. Good liner notes about Johnson’s influence and the author argues that he was the first blues musician of note to learn most of his tricks from records as opposed to a mentor. It’s really cool to hear songs that Johnson appropriated as his own. For instance, “Old Original Kokomo Blues” by Kokomo Arnold became “Sweet Home Chicago”. The second album I reviewed was by Kroke. They’re from Krakow, Poland (“Kroke” is Yiddish for Krakow) and play a weird hybrid of klezmer, jazz, and minimalism. Quartet is a really good album with its ethereal viola and moody songs that build over the course of several minutes. The only dud was a 16+ minutes epic that went nowhere. All in all, a good night spent listening to some great music. Next up is going to be Clannad best of album and it’s going to be a downer because I really don’t like them. Too little Celtic and too much newage. (prnounced like “sewage”)

When I get home tonight, I should find that a couple more Genesis shows have downloaded. I think the one from ’75 finished last night and the gig from ’98 has to be done by now as there was only about 10 megs left on the last song. But I won’t be home til late as I’ve got tutoring right after work and then I’m off to meetup with some godless heathens such as myself. When I got home last night, I found that the latest episode of Clayborne, “Bad Call”, had been posted. Now that the characters’ backgrounds have been explored a bit and their relationships to one another have been delineated, a lot of the excitement I felt listening to the first several episodes is gone. But I have to admit that I like the more recent confrontational bits and that I got a quite a shock last night when Frank got a phone call from his dead lover, Helen. Her ghostly voice was spooky but, when she shrieked, I almost jumped out of my seat! You may have noticed that I’ve started a new Doctor Who audio drama - Winter for the Adept. It’s the second or third in a row that takes place either during the winter or in a very cold setting. It really sucks lying there in bed trying to snuggle up with myself only to hear howling winds and envision The Doctor and Nyssa struggling through the snow. You’d think I’d be listening to an adventure that takes place in the desert under the baking heat of the sun instead. But no. I choose the stories set in the coldest places.

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Winter for the Adept is quite good so far. In involves Nyssa being stranded in a Swiss all-girls school in the dead of winter. And the school just happens to be inhabited by a poltergeist. (But aren’t all girl schools?) It’s creepy and snowy and it gives me chills in addition to scaring me.

I spent some time yesterday at Ancora reading Why I am Not a Muslim, Ibn Warraq’s polemic against Islam. It’s quite a good book but is a bit slow-going as there’s a quite a bit of history with which I’m unfamiliar. The first chapter was inspired by the fatwa against Salmon Rushdie and it briefly describes the general intolerance of Islam before delving into an attack on its Western apologists. Chapter 2 continues the screed’s assault on Islam by exposing its earthly origins and the unoriginal elements of Mohammed’s creed. It’s been a very interesting read so far. I’m learning some history and adding to my knowledge of the Qur’an which, before I started the book, was close to nil. A reader directed me to a complementary website, Apostates of Islam. I knew it would be interesting immediately as the front page boasts video footage of a guy having his hands and feet cut off. Presumably he was caught thieving but you never know.

To the best of my knowledge, I don’t know anyone who is a Muslim. I used to work with an African fellow who was one, though. He had a hard time finding a secluded spot in which to pray, lemme tell ya. I walked in on him while he was praying in the tiny changing room we had which doubled as the super soda syrup repository. We ran out of Coke and I couldn’t let the spoiled brats from Long Island go without so I accidentally barged in on his prayer session. It’s not so much that I can reasonably have anything against any particular Muslims that I’m likely to meet but I find myself weary of anyone who subscribes to such a barbaric religion. Granted, Christianity is probably equally barbaric by its nature but it has been tempered by hundreds of years of secularism here in the West.

Oh, Happy St. Urho’s Day!

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|| Palmer, 3:55 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

11 March, 2005

Loser?

Perhaps I’m a loser for staying at home on a Friday night but I don’t mind. Call me what you will. I have a nice cup of Ethiopian java by my side (earlier I had me a bottle of Lakefront’s barley wine…mmm…) and a pot of gumbo simmers as I type. Earlier, I cranked up some Steve Earle and started chopping. By the time, “Condi, Condi” started playing, I was hovering over the pot stirring the roux. I listened to the album 3 times getting the gumbo to the simmering stage and while cleaning up. Luckily Stevie and Becca are gone so I could really crank up the volume and even “dance” as I put away the clean dishes. Now I’m listening to some Son Volt with the aforementioned coffee. It’s a show from Chicago back in 1999 that was broadcast by WXRT. There’s just something about the Wide Swing Tremelo stuff right now – hard to describe.

I’ve got a trio of bananas that are going to become banana bread and I’ve decided to make Kapusta z Wieprzowina this weekend. That’s Polish for Sauerkraut with Pork. Notice it’s not the other way around. I’ve got a few pounds of spareribs thawing right now. I brought some Black Velvet cheesecake into work today that I made earlier this week and it went over well. I even got a marriage proposition but, unfortunately, it was from Ed. Nothing against him, mind you, as he’s a stand up guy, but he is a guy. Ya know, I had this moment earlier when I realized that the majority of my cooking implements were my dad’s. Both with the gumbo and the cheesecake. It’s his cast iron kettle I’m cooking the gumbo in and his springform pan that held the cheesecake. I used his food processor to make the crust and his sifter to top the cheesecake with cocoa powder. OK, it was the sifter we had when I was a kid and lived in Chicago but…You know what a turtle is? Same thing.

I thought about him a lot today. For some reason, I was really cognizant of the things about me that were also things about him. Little things like mannerisms. And, when I got home, I found that my brain decided to engage in a conversation with itself about how my father would curse the darkness instead of light a candle. It made me feel sad and angry at the same time. But now, after having done a spot of cooking – one of his favorite activities – I feel more relaxed. Tears even began to well in my eyes during “Tear-Stained Eye”. There are days when I think about him quite often and days when he rarely pops into my mind. The Dulcinea and a blogger or two that I read have troubled relationships with their fathers. It saddens me to hear of their tales. While there are certainly differences between their relationships and the one I had with my dad, there’s so much in common. At times I want to tell them to make peace with their fathers, be brave and be the one to reach out. Say what’s on your mind because, when he’s gone, you won’t ever get to do it. While it may not repair a broken relationship, you can at least say your piece and live knowing that you tried. My dad and I never really had a good relationship but I still miss him. I tried to have one but it just didn’t happen. My father could never reach out and I was never able to reach out far enough. Like I said, he spent the last few years of his life doing virtually nothing but cursing the darkness. I sometimes think that maybe I held out a candle but no matches. While my father is now just a memory and a box of ashes, I still think about our relationship. It’s not that I struggle vainly to mend a relationship that is no more but rather to make sure current and future relationships don’t suffer the same fate. At least I’d like to think so. I’m hesitant to actually give advice to The Dulcinea when she tells me about her father. I’ve never met him so I’m loathe to judge him but he sure sounds an awful lot like my old man. I feel comfortable only telling her about my experiences, about what I did and not with laying down a course of action for her. For my part, I’m comfortable with how things stood between my dad and I when he died. They were far from perfect but he knew I loved him despite his imperfections and my own. There was no unfinished business between us, no words and feelings ready to bubble to the surface. Just business that would never be finished. We both knew that we loved one another but we also had this mutual understanding that filial affection would remain in check forever.

I see that some Muslims in Spain have issue a fatwa against Osama bin Laden. Well, thanks for getting with the program. Where were those jackasses on September 12th, 2001? Or how about on March 12th of last year? Well, they are a bit quicker than The Vatican. I wonder if a pontiff will ever excommunicate Adolph Hitler. I find myself less tolerant of religion these days. It started with reading Richard Dawkins’ tirade in the wake of 9/11 and really got boiling while reading The End of Faith. Most of my ire is directed towards Islam but perhaps that’s not fair. After all, Xtianity is similarly stupid and catalytic. But, after reading page after page of quotes from The Koran about killing infidels it really got in my craw. It makes me question anyone who is devoted to The Koran. How does one pick and choose like that? I do want to learn more about Islam because, to me, it looks to be a religion of violence and conquest. You can’t say that it is all true, the word of Allah, etc. while you only adhere to passages about devotion and peace and ignore all those about killing non-Muslims. If you believe it to be the true word of Allah, then you believe in smiting most Americans. The idea that anyone would find it their duty to their fairy tale deity to choke the Yahara River with the bodies of infidels is disgusting. When a fatwa was issued against Salmon Rushie calling for his death, why did we not hear Muslims rise up and say that it was bullshit? Was it merely our media not reporting it? Personally, I am glad that Yusuf Islam, a.k.a. – Cat Stevens, was denied permission to enter this country. Instead of watching an effigy of Rushdie burning at a demonstration, he said, "I would have hoped that it'd be the real thing.” If you support immolation for apostates, this country does not need nor want you. Your beliefs are antithetical to the ideas that made America possible and poison to the maintenance of a republic. Keep him and all similar barbaric fucks out of my country.
|| Palmer, 8:23 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
No Apology Needed, No Regret Necessary

The next day, Pam sent me an email apologizing for having been the ring leader in our adventures.:

i am soooo sorry for my behaviour last night. It was really uncalled for. i'm just realizing now how drunk i was. i never would have let things go to that point otherwise. it's a wonder i even made it back here. i can only hope my car is in one piece when i go out to the garage. it was bound to happen eventually it's just a little awkward now that it was jennifer. tell her i'm sorry about that -- i hope when we meet again things won't be bizarre. and the next time i see YOU for that matter. god, bill can never find out about this. he'd never let me do stuff with you again.

anyways, i did have a good time as always. i hope we can overlook this little lapse in my good judgement.

xoxo pam


I felt saddened that she should feel this way so I replied:

What in the name of Jehovah are you talking about?!

There's no need to apologize for anything. The Dulcinea and I had a great time. She couldn't stop talking about it yesterday. You made her feel really, really wonderful! She's been really stressed out with her divorce and life generally as of late and she was incredibly happy to not only to have so much physical pleasure but also so much attention given to her. She was aglow all day yesterday so don't feel bad at all.

The only problem I foresee is when I tell her that you're coming to visit again that she'll demand a repeat performance. ;) Again, there's nothing to apologize for so don't feel bad. Our friendship has survived the stupidity of high school and drunken nights in college. I'm thinking this ain't nuthin'. :D I told The Dulcinea this yesterday: I was kind of worried about you 2 meeting. What if you didn't get along? I needn't have worried. Hehe

So, did you get to yoga class OK? I've got one of your ropes, BTW. I presume that not all of those boxes of chocolate were for you - have you tasted any of it?


Whew! I didn’t want anyone to feel bad about that night as I thought it was wonderful. She wrote back:

well, your email made me feel a lot better. i was obsessing yesterday that i'd maybe pushed her into something... i mean, i didn't remember her trying to resist but i wasn't sure. i never in my wildest dreams would have imagined that happening. in a way i wish i could tell bill but in reality i know he wouldn't take it well. maybe years down the road it'll come out and he'll be fine with it. i've mentioned it to him before in a joking way that he should bring a girl home -- he didn't take me seriously and frankly, i didn't take me seriously either... this has all given me a different perspective on myself for sure.

anyway, i'm glad The Dulcinea enjoyed herself. I enjoyed myself too as much as i'm trying to convince myself otherwise. that's funny about you being worried... i liked her from first meeting her. I remember later on i just kept telling her how beautiful she was. it's true. she's very attractive and sexy... obviously. guess this is what happens when two randy thirty year old women and a length of rope get together. i'm still in shock. i know you and i will be fine ... i guess I was just concerned more about you and jennifer and me and jennifer going forward. i'm really thinking too much about this. that's me tho. so, when I left did i basically just run from the house like cinderella??? cuz i don't remember giving a proper farewell.


Looking back, I have to say that it was one of most exciting as well as most sensual experiences I’ve ever had. The whole time I felt very close to Pam and The Dulcinea. It didn’t feel like we were doing things to each other but rather a sense of the 3 of us all going to the same place with a common purpose. We were all helping one another this wonderful feeling of unity and of togetherness. It was almost like there had to be 3 of us to get where we were going, wherever that may have been. Several years ago, I wrote an essay which contrasted pornography and erotica. I argued that pr0n was purely prurient, i.e. –was directed solely at sexual arousal. Erotica, on the other hand, had a prurient element but also entailed more. That extra stuff is almost ineffable but I described as attainment of a sense of communion. By this I mean that erotica sheds reveals the way sex gives one gets a great sense of companionship with other human beings. You can see our commonalities and gain an understanding that one path to true happiness is via other people. Erotica shows sex in a light that helps you comprehend your self and our shared humanity. In this sense, that Saturday night was possibly the most erotic night of my life. It is no lie to say that all 3 of us were changed by that night. A lot of food for thought came out of it and new perspectives for each of us about ourselves.

For my part, that night gave me some nice masturbation fantasies and made me question my sexuality. I’m reading about polyamory. While I don’t think it’s fair to say that I’m polyamorous just yet, I do think about that part of my sexuality. I’d never been in a threesome before and so I really don’t have any basis for comparison. I can’t say what it’s like to be in one with a partner or partners whom I don’t know intimately as a friend or lover. I have this gut feeling that I was really lucky to have had my first with 2 womyn for whom I have intense feelings, that are friends and not strangers. I feel closer to The Dulcinea and Pam. We shared something really special. My sense of trust in each of them was already great but grew even larger. And I feel like I know both of them better and on a deeper level. While I don’t know what will become of The Dulcinea and I in the future, I know Pam and I will be friends until the very end. It’s like I know her on a different level now that goes beyond the physical, although I now know her more deeply on that level as well. It’s like loving her as a friend as well as a lover. Like we are going on the greatest and most improbably journey together.

As for my relationship with The Dulcinea, it deepened greatly. A greater sense of trust was gained, I think, and more of a feeling that we’re going through things together, that we’re a team, of sorts. Who knows if we’ll explore this again. I think we both want to but want to slowly, carefully to see what we can learn about each other and about ourselves. It’s like a door has opened up and we want to check out what’s on the other side.
|| Palmer, 7:48 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Triad

So you see--what we can do--is to try something new
If you're crazy too
I don't really see
Why can't we go on as three


Returning to my place, we took off our coats and began to relax. With Stevie and Becca both out of town for the weekend, I put on some loud music in the living room and lit the candles there. I then headed to the refrigerator to grab one of the Sprecher 20th Anniversary Generation Porters. Popping off the top, I greedily poured some into my mouth. It was very fine. Very fine, indeed. It tasted like raspberry but the flavor wasn’t overly strong and there were definite shades of chocolate. I got lost doing something I can’t recall at about this point and the next thing I know I walk back into the kitchen only to find that Miss Pamela had started tying a harness on The Dulcinea. It was, to say the very least, quite stimulating. I made sure not to get into Pam’s way and just watched while occasionally giving The Dulcinea a slug of the Sprecher. Feeling a bit tunned on, I grabbed a camera and started taking some snaps. I believe I went to the bathroom at some point and returned to the kitchen just in time to see Pam pulling down The Dulcinea’s pants. Oh, it was getting good. But it got better when she relieved her of her panties. Pam has never been one to let clothing get in the way of art. It was almost too good to be true and I couldn’t let this moment pass without capturing it for posterity so I took more pictures.

With the harness finished, a light bulb flashed above Pam’s head and she lead The Dulcinea to the living room while I eagerly followed. For her next trick, Pam had The Dulcinea lie prone on the couch. I suspected (and hoped) what was to happen next. My suspicions were proven correct when Pam had The Dulcinea raise her legs – she was fit to be hogtied. This was really their show so I watched. Then I thought that some musical accompaniment was needed so I ran and got An Asspocket of Whiskey by R.L. Burnside. As “Goin’ Down South” and “Boogie Chillen” boomed, Pam weaved her magic. I grabbed the camera again. (I got some nice pics of Pam standing over The Dulcinea looking like a hunter standing over her prey.) Once she was done, the look of concentration & determination disappeared from her face and it was replaced by one of relaxation. She began to caress The Dulcinea’s legs and ass and I knew that we were taking a turn towards something beyond merely tying rope.

In the glow of the candles, Pam continued to caress her legs and ass while I kissed and gently bit her neck, which I know she loves. She had such a beautiful look on her face. She looked so happy, so content lying there tied up. Occasionally she would moan as Pam and I continued. For me, it was just an incredibly beautiful scene. The amber tint from the candles, the throbbing beat of the music, and two gorgeous womyn. I felt aroused and had this tightness in my chest from anticipation. I’d never been in a triad before and it just felt so new, so wonderful. What would happen next? Could it get any better?

Not forgetting that The Dulcinea was in an unnatural position, I would ask her if she was comfortable and she finally needed to move. Pam loosed the rope that bound her feet and we rolled her onto her back. She felt better. I sat on the floor by The Dulcinea’s face while Pam was kneeling at the end of the couch by her feet. Pam and I continued caressing and kissing.

I began to drag my fingers up and down The Dulcinea’s legs while Pam put a finger inside of her. She slowly pulled it out and gently pushed it back inside. I couldn’t hear the squishy sound of Pam’s finger going in and out of The Dulcinea’s pussy over the din of the music but I know she was wet. With her eyes closed and mouth open, she would sigh and moan. I sat there watching Pam as she stared at her finger. Occasionally Pam would lick her lips while her whole body swayed gently back and forth as she fingered The Dulcinea. Surveying the scene, my mind bounced back and forth between concentrating on The Dulcinea’s body and being totally giddy like a little kid. I mean, there I was living out every guy’s fantasy. I’d masturbated countless times while fantasizing about being with two (or more) womyn and now I was actually with two of them. It was almost surreal. One thing I noticed was just how nervous I wasn’t. Maybe it was the beer but I felt no anxiety. I just felt so comfortable with them. No fear, no jealousy – just a sense of pleasure, of letting go and indulging my senses.

I began to drag my tongue along The Dulcinea’s leg. Pam repositioned herself and bent down putting her mouth between The Dulcinea’s legs. It was just an incredible turn-on to witness one womyn perform oral sex on another. That feeling of living a fantasy returned in full force. I love going down on The Dulcinea and I saw that Pam did too. I knew she would. I felt like saying to Pam, “I told ya so.” While Pam licked and sucked, I began to rub The Dulcinea’s breasts through her shirt. Her nipples are very sensitive so I gently pinched them. Turning back to Pam, I saw that she was removing her shirt. (That kind of thing happened a lot that night. I’d turn around and something new would be going on.) It seemed so natural – like the next logical step. Next thing I know, she and I are both naked. The Dulcinea’s breasts were wrangled from her shirt and they stuck out from between two ropes. They hung there, her nipples so tempting. I suckled at them and they quickly stiffened. Pam leaned over and kissed The Dulcinea. As their nipples rubbed together, I began to caress the insides of The Dulcinea’s thigh with one and Pam back and ass with the other. At first it felt odd to touch Pam like that. It was something I’d wanted to do for so long but she was married. Fortunately I soon got over my hesitation.

Variety being the spice of life, I took great pleasure it touching Pam. It had been a long time since I’d been with a womyn other than The Dulcinea. As I caressed them, I looked at them admiringly. I looked at the contrast in their skin colors and at the different curves of their bodies. Both of them are so beautiful! I think I could have sat there watching them kiss all night. Pam began to suck The Dulcinea’s nipples and then offer hers. Occasionally Pam would whisper to The Dulcinea’s. Softly, the words “You’re so beautiful…” would trickle into her ear.

The Dulcinea’s limbs were getting constricted so Pam and I loosened her up and she could then touch and caress us. She was still on her back and Pam once again began to eat her out. I was having a hard time, um, getting hard. The combination of awe and beer, I guess. I needed direct stimulation and lots of it. So I stood up and offered my self to The Dulcinea which she accepted gleefully. As she wrapped her tongue around the head of my cock, I looked out the bay window of the living room and briefly thought how funny it would be if someone were to be looking in. I began to get hard and Pam blurted out, “Fuck her!” Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get hard enough. I rubbed my cock between The Dulcinea’s legs but to no avail. Oddly enough, I really didn’t feel like a failure. Instead it was an opportunity to bring Pam back into the mix. I put my face between The Dulcinea’s legs and circled my tongue around her clit. Pam bent over her and they kissed and nibbled at each other’s breasts. As The Dulcinea later admitted, she was just so nervous and excited that she was unable to come.

We ended up in a position whereby The Dulcinea was lying on her back on one end of the couch while I sat on the other. Pam moved to get on top. As she did so, her right breast hung before me and I tenderly laid a kiss on it. Kneeling over us, she began to insatiably kiss The Dulcinea. With one hand, I started caressing Pam’s back as I looked at her tattoos. They’re so colorful and contrasted nicely with her pale skin. It was almost hypnotizing as I traced the smooth curves of her hip and ass as the muscles of her back undulated. My hand wandered to her ass and I kneaded her cheeks while I started touching myself with the other. Because of our position, I had to stop stroking myself and instead concentrated on Pam’s behind. They were tantalizingly fleshy and her skin so silken. I ran a couple fingers down the cleavage envisioning her tight, puckered hole. My finger made its way to her pussy and I ran it down the center spreading the lips. I could feel the intense heat and her wetness. I slipped my finger inside and gently began to pull it out. And then back in. With my thumb, I rubbed her clit. I began to feel really aroused looking at Pam’s ass stuck up in the air. The slope of her hip, the curves of her ass – it just looked so inviting. Pulling my finger out, I noticed that it was bloody. It then occurred to me that it was also that time of the month for The Dulcinea.

The Dulcinea got up and scurried to the bathroom. Pam then sat on my lap. Our eyes met and then wandered to look at each other’s bodies while our hands did the same. At first it felt like a break from the intensity of what had come before but it then took on an intensity of its own. It felt like we were friends and lovers. Perhaps that feeling came to me earlier in the night but there was this sense of recognition at that moment. A sense that the ties of our friendship were strengthened, that it had become deeper.

Upon The Dulcinea’s return, things had wound down and we got dressed. There was no embarrassment, no shame. Indeed, I think there was a desire to keep going. But, as Pam later wrote me, she had to head home as she was afraid of what else might happen though she didn’t really regret any of it. With Pam on her way home, The Dulcinea and I headed to bed. And of course we fucked.
|| Palmer, 7:03 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
At Mickey's

Walking into Mickey’s, we saw only a few people. A tall, lanky guy who was standing over the jukebox looked familiar – a lot like Shad. Shad was a good friend of a former roommate/friend of mind, Wally, and is a guitarist/singer in the local band, Brickshithouse. Not being able to see his face, I wasn’t sure if it was him and so Pam and I took a couple seats at one end of the bar. We ordered a couple barley pops and began talking about how great an experience the class had been. Some loud music started booming through the bar. While I forget what it was, I do recall Pam enjoying it. She talked about her trip to Madison a couple weeks previously and about how she, Bill, and their friends had gone to the Lava Lounge whose jukebox had impressed her. The guy at the jukebox returned to his stool just across from ours. As Pam and I chatted, my eyes glanced over at him – he looked just like Shad. It had to be him. Finally our glances met and we recognized one another. Not having seen one another in several years, we asked each other how the other was doing, what we had been up to the past 7 or 8 years since we’d last seen one another, and the like. I’d heard that he and Mia had finally gotten married and he confirmed this saying that things were well. They lived not too far from me, in fact. I asked about Britt, the drummer in Tongue, the band Shad was in last we spoke. Britt had moved to Florida and was still there, married’n’all. I was hesitant to ask about Wally since he and I had parted on bad terms but did so anyway. He was still in contact with him. Wally had finished school and was living in Stoughton and seeking employment in his field. Shad wasn’t sure what this field was – fluvial or aquatic something-or-other. In any event, I was happy to hear that Wally was doing well. I drifted back to Pam trying to jolt her memory into recalling Wally whom she’d met at least once. My conversation with Shad ended as he began to talk to the bartender and another patron. Looking out the window, I guesstimated the hour and figured that The Dulcinea was now available so I asked the bartender to use the phone. I called her and told her to meet Pam and I to which she replied that she’d be there in about 20 minutes.

Pam and I continued to blather on about music, rope tying, and life up north when we were in high school together. After a while, I had to use the men’s room. While standing at urinal, I looked out the window and noticed The Dulcinea traipsing up the sidewalk. For no good reason, I felt a bit nervous. Would she and Pam get along? A few seconds after returning to my stool, The Dulcinea walked in and introductions were made. I really needn’t have worried as they got along fine. It wasn’t long before they too started talking about music, specifically their love of British Seapower. Sometime later, The Dulcinea recognized a guy with whom she went to high school and they started chatting. As they did their thing, Pam and I once again did ours. She related to me a funny incident from high school. She had somehow ended up in bed with a former classmate of ours, Ernie. Things got hot’n’heavy between them but, before she’d allow Ernie to wax his wick, she told him that he’d need to wear a condom. He disappeared for a moment and then returned. Pam said that she heard this crinkling noise, very uncondomlike. Since he did not have any rubbers, Ernie improvised in the most Marine-like way. Pam described how, once a little light was shed on the situation, she discovered that he’d tried to sheath himself with the wrapper of a candy bar. The things we guys do for sex.

Pam called her hubby to check in as it was getting late. Well, not really late but we had planned on only a couple beers so Pam could get home as she had to teach yoga the next morning. We had been there a few hours and the three of us were inebriated. So we decided to head back to my house where Pam could sober up a bit before heading home.
|| Palmer, 6:30 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
More Rope

…which was another harness.

This one involved a series of diamonds running down the front. Again, Pam tied me up first. Sarah had quickly demonstrated how one might completely wrap a leg. (After the harness is done, take another piece of rope and secure it to the harness. Then you wrap it around the thigh. Work your way down in a series of stitch knots until the whole leg is netted.) This time round, Pam got all artistic and improvised. Whereas everyone else just did the harness, Pam started on my leg. And she kept going. I really enjoyed it. For some reason, it just felt really good on my leg. Perhaps because I had been standing for a while or perhaps there was a visceral thrill that registered in my brain from having a gorgeous womyn kneeling down before me. Or perhaps both. Pam got so into it, that we ran out of time on this lesson and I didn’t get a chance to try the harness out on her.

By this time I was feeling a bit high. A mixture of arousal and being intrigued. Pam and I have been friends for many years but we’d never done anything quite like this. It was that feeling of heightened awareness. I noticed that I was completely comfortable learning an erotic activity alongside total strangers. In fact, I felt a certain connection to them. Plus Pam and I were just having fun.

For the final lesson, Sarah announced that it was for womyn only. That is, the ropework would not work on men. Once more, Sarah chose Miss Hairstylist to demonstrate. It basically involved sandwiching the breasts from the top and bottom while binding the arms to the side and creating a pattern on the back with the emphasis firmly on the breasts. Ogling Miss Hairstylist’s breasts as they were pressed between the rope was quite titillating. With the demonstration over, it was my turn to do that to Pam and her mammary glands. It must be admitted that I really enjoyed this particular bit of tying as it involved lots of concentration on her breasts. I was a bit nervous at first but warmed up to the task as A) we are good friends and B) she has a nice pair. The fact that she’s quite ticklish under her arms helped too. With her arms bound, I had to slip the rope underneath them and to her back which caused her endless laughter.

The class having ended Pam and I walked across the hall back to the store. I kept thinking about, not only how much fun I had, but also how much fun it would be to tie up The Dulcinea with no clothes involved.

Back in the store, we started poking around. For my part, I grabbed a bottle of Liquid Silk as I knew that I was out.

A digression: The Dulcinea is a fan of Maximus while I prefer Liquid Silk. But each has its place. Maximus is more viscous and better for lubricating orifices such as one’s vagina or anus. But I find it less well-suited for masturbating whereas LS is quite good for this. It’s smoother – silkier, if you please – and not so sticky which just makes stroking my member more pleasurable.

So Pam wanders off to look at the wall of dildos and vibrators while I got check out the selection of videos which is already being perused by a pair of pulchritudinous young womyn. It occurred how often I’d been to the store in the past several months compared to how often I’d been there the previous 14 years or so. A good thing, perhaps, for my anatomy but probably not so much for my bank account. One of the womyn had found a video to her liking so she and her companion were looking it over. I walked over to the shelves and began looking for the two videos in particular: 1001 Erotic Nights and Passion Bi Fire. You see, I had written the store a week previously asking if they carried any videos which featured womyn with unshorn pubic areas and those were the titles I was given. Sometimes I feel like a pariah finding pubic hair to be sexy as I do. If you ladies wanna shave or wax or whatever, so be it but I find that triangular tuft of fur to be a huge turn-on. Unfortunately, I didn’t find either of them so I wandered over to a display and looked at some books on bondage. There were some great pictures of some fantastically creative rope-tying. As I was reading, er, I mean looking at the pictures, I noticed this brunette looking at dildos. She was tall with a gorgeous figure and long hair. (I absolutely love long hair!). My eyes kept darting from her mane to her ass and back to her mane and then her ass again. I finally stopped after I realized that I’d soon be caught and hurled out of the store. Everytime I got to AWT, there’s always at least one stunning womyn in her early to mid-20s looking at dildos and vibrators. Now, a beautiful womyn alone is wonderful to look at but a beautiful womyn with an effigy of a cock in her hand, well, that’s even better. Part of me is still your typical dumb guy and asks, “Why in the name would a gal as fucking hot as she be in need of a dildo? She could get laid by any guy she chooses.” Then the more enlightened part (only slightly) of my brain kicks in. Masturbation is a necessary part of life whether you have intercourse or not.

Setting the book back on its shelf, I wandered over to Pam who was busy perusing some dildos of extraordinary magnitude. I mean, these were big, veiny horsecocks that put me to shame. I finally found one that wasn’t a hundred times longer than my penis only to find that it was as wide as a hockey puck. I had to bolster my self-esteem by repeating my mantra, “It’s not the size of your wand, it’s the magic inside that counts.” I then saw a different model of the Isadora line that I’d bought for The Dulcinea and her strap-on and remembered that she needed a smaller o-ring. So I found a stash of them and began looking for one that was 1.5” in diameter. The 1.75” ring that came with the strap-on was too big as the dildo would pop loose when she was thrusting hard. Pam wandered over to another section where she had become enamored of the latest in dildo technology – Cyberskin. It’s this version of silicone(?) that mimics human skin quite closely. “Here, touch it,” she said thrusting one of them at me. It really did feel a lot like my cock. Still, there’s nothing like the real thing. My cock is warmer and you don’t get the throbbing with the simulacrum.

Soon we made our purchases and decided to head down to Mickey’s for a beer or two before Pam headed back to Milwaukee.
|| Palmer, 6:28 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Action! Adventure! Drama! Fresh Fruit!

I’ve been listening to some podcasts lately. For instance, there’s the fantastic Clayborne drama which is getting interesting. Frank and Thompson went to the station to find out what happened to it but Frank found that his passcode no longer works on the door. Who changed the code? A womyn that Thompson thought had worked at the station dies but he finds out that she, in fact, did not work there. Why was she there? What will happen to Karen now that her estranged husband has found out where she is? Run – don’t walk! – to clayborne.blogspot.com and find out!

I also subscribed to Chris Pirillo’s podcast. Chris, as you computer types out there probably know, is computer geek. He used to be on TechTV helping people out with their PC problems but left for reasons I cannot recall. I guess it’s not a big deal as TechTV is now G4 and seems to avoid any mention of computers that is not related to video gaming. Although I should, I haven’t watched any of this G4 hoo-ha as 2 minutes of television about gaming is more than enough for this non-video gamer. From the web page, it looks like they still have hot young things gracing the screen, though. Personally, I liked Leo LaPorte and the other guy who wore a Utilikilt. Hey, I fix computers for a living – they’re my kinda people. And I liked Martin what’s-his-name. Not his late night show but when he was on The Screensavers. With a degree in English or literature or English literature, he made good, geeky Dennis Milleresque puns. I dig that stuff.

If I may go off on a digression, has anyone seen his MSNBC show or whatever cable news station he’s on? I saw most of one of them a week or so ago and, boy, how far the mighty have fallen. Our political differences aside, he’s just not very funny anymore. He’s been castrated – there’s no ooomph to his schtick. His demeanor is just way too mild-mannered and he seems about as comfortable as Mother Theresa at a Chippendales show. Anyway, back to podcasting.

So I get like a million podcasts from Chris Pirillo’s feed a day. And they’ve all been interviews with folks attending SES which is this convention for techno-marketers or something like that. I am so fucking tired of hearing about how blogs are going to be the primary means for people to get their fill of news in the not-so-distant future. What a fucking nightmare that’s gonna be! Right now, I’d hazard a guess that perhaps 0.00001% of all the blogs out there are worth a shit (and I count my blog in the other 99.99999%). Of them, a lot are just news aggregators, that is, they just have brief commentary on a story and lots of links to sites that employ real human beings to go out and research the story. (And even that’s becoming rarer nowadays.) Pretty soon we’ll require blog aggregators to filter through all the blogs that winnow through the news. Who the fuck wants to tack those seas? Just find good news sources and go to their page directly or get their RSS feeds. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything particularly revolutionary about any dipshit being able to post a link to an AP story and say how wonderful or how awful the story is. Fuck, pretty soon there won’t be any investigative journalists left. News outlets will just offer press releases and talking point memos because it’s cheaper that way. Save yourself the hassle of navigating all those blogs and just go to the taproot of lies: whitehouse.gov.

The BBC podcast I’ve been listening to is pretty cool. Some guys hosts a show about an obscure topic and brings some university professors on to discuss it. So far, I’ve listened to their thoughts on alchemy and the modern conception of utopias. The Sex Geeks feed has been hit or miss. The show on Inside Deep Throat bored the shit out of me but the latest one was alright. They just bantered on about various things sexual. At one point, silicone was mentioned and the female host asks where it comes from. The guy replies, “From silicon.”
Her: “Where does silicon come from?”
Him: “It’s one of the elements like oxygen.”
Me: “It comes from sand you moron!”

The Dulcinea directed me to a podcast on shibari, the Japanese art of rope bondage, called Rope Weekly hosted by a guy calling himself Graydancer. He’s a dork in the grand tradition and, although I’m a dork too, it makes for bad listening. Oddly enough, he lives here in Madison.

So, as with blogging, the lesson about podcasting is that, just because anyone can do it, doesn’t make it interesting or worthwhile.

I had my second tutoring session with Alex on Wednesday. He’s got the alphabet about 85% down. Well, more like 45% if you don’t count the fact that he doesn’t recognize lower case letters. So I’m having him write out the letters over and over in upper case until he’s got them down cold. Then I’ll move on to lower case. From there we’ll go into the sounds of the letters. Yeah, it’s a long row to hoe but it’ll be worth it. I realized at our first meeting that he wasn’t good with the letter V. He’d draw the left-hand line vertically instead of at an angle. However, by the end of our session on Wednesday, he was writing it correctly and even doing so without lifting the pencil off the paper. Personally, I felt this was an accomplishment and got all giddy inside when I saw him do it.

As I wrote previously, Alex is from Gambia and his native tongue is Mandinka. As we were going over the alphabet, he told me that “today” in Mandinka is pronounced “bee”. So I learned something myself. Next I wanna get him to give me some Gambian recipes. It’s pretty weird to think about how he gets through life right now not being able to read. That’s gotta be a real bitch. At least he can speak English. I’m fairly certain that he wants to get a GED at some point but I’m thinking he’ll be fucking thrilled as pie when he can read the newspaper. I asked him why he came here and he told me that he watched TV, such as CNN, and one day he pointed to the TV and told his mother, “I have to go there”. And he came here. He loves America and he thanked me over and over when I left his apartment. Not many Americans give up their lives here and move thousands of miles away across The Pond in search of a better life. We’ve got it pretty good here so let’s not fuck it up.

I got my tickets for the Wisconsin Film Fest yesterday. There were 2 or 3 films that were sold out but I got a good smattering:

Wheel of Time - Werner Herzog – ‘nuff said.
Kabala
The Big Red One: The Reconstruction - Sam Fuller and Lee Marvin.
Moolaadé
Nomi Song
A League of Ordinary Gentlemen - it’s about bowling!
Vodka Lemon
What’s Wrong With Frank Chin?
Consuming Spirits
Old Boy

The Kino Film Revolution
Wisconsin’s Own Narrative Shorts – Program 1

I wasn’t able to get tickets for Shake Hands With the Devil or Henry Aaron’s Summer Up North. Still, plenty of cinema to keep me busy.

I’ve gotta remember to get a ticket for Steve Earle so I can get drunk and yell for “Condi, Condi”. I may go meet up with a bunch of pagans tonight. It would be in public so I don’t think anyone would be skyclad but you never know with these people. Perhaps Gem can give me the info I seek…
|| Palmer, 3:00 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Action! Adventure! Drama! Fresh Fruit!

I’ve been listening to some podcasts lately. For instance, there’s the fantastic Clayborne drama which is getting interesting. Frank and Thompson went to the station to find out what happened to it but Frank found that his passcode no longer works on the door. Who changed the code? A womyn that Thompson thought had worked at the station dies but he finds out that she, in fact, did not work there. Why was she there? What will happen to Karen now that her estranged husband has found out where she is? Run – don’t walk! – to clayborne.blogspot.com and find out!

I also subscribed to Chris Pirillo’s podcast. Chris, as you computer types out there probably know, is computer geek. He used to be on TechTV helping people out with their PC problems but left for reasons I cannot recall. I guess it’s not a big deal as TechTV is now G4 and seems to avoid any mention of computers that is not related to video gaming. Although I should, I haven’t watched any of this G4 hoo-ha as 2 minutes of television about gaming is more than enough for this non-video gamer. From the web page, it looks like they still have hot young things gracing the screen, though. Personally, I liked Leo LaPorte and the other guy who wore a Utilikilt. Hey, I fix computers for a living – they’re my kinda people. And I liked Martin what’s-his-name. Not his late night show but when he was on The Screensavers. With a degree in English or literature or English literature, he made good, geeky Dennis Milleresque puns. I dig that stuff.

If I may go off on a digression, has anyone seen his MSNBC show or whatever cable news station he’s on? I saw most of one of them a week or so ago and, boy, how far the mighty have fallen. Our political differences aside, he’s just not very funny anymore. He’s been castrated – there’s no ooomph to his schtick. His demeanor is just way too mild-mannered and he seems about as comfortable as Mother Theresa at a Chippendales show. Anyway, back to podcasting.

So I get like a million podcasts from Chris Pirillo’s feed a day. And they’ve all been interviews with folks attending SES which is this convention for techno-marketers or something like that. I am so fucking tired of hearing about how blogs are going to be the primary means for people to get their fill of news in the not-so-distant future. What a fucking nightmare that’s gonna be! Right now, I’d hazard a guess that perhaps 0.00001% of all the blogs out there are worth a shit (and I count my blog in the other 99.99999%). Of them, a lot are just news aggregators, that is, they just have brief commentary on a story and lots of links to sites that employ real human beings to go out and research the story. (And even that’s becoming rarer nowadays.) Pretty soon we’ll require blog aggregators to filter through all the blogs that winnow through the news. Who the fuck wants to tack those seas? Just find good news sources and go to their page directly or get their RSS feeds. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything particularly revolutionary about any dipshit being able to post a link to an AP story and say how wonderful or how awful the story is. Fuck, pretty soon there won’t be any investigative journalists left. News outlets will just offer press releases and talking point memos because it’s cheaper that way. Save yourself the hassle of navigating all those blogs and just go to the taproot of lies: whitehouse.gov.

The BBC podcast I’ve been listening to is pretty cool. Some guys hosts a show about an obscure topic and brings some university professors on to discuss it. So far, I’ve listened to their thoughts on alchemy and the modern conception of utopias. The Sex Geeks feed has been hit or miss. The show on Inside Deep Throat bored the shit out of me but the latest one was alright. They just bantered on about various things sexual. At one point, silicone was mentioned and the female host asks where it comes from. The guy replies, “From silicon.”
Her: “Where does silicon come from?”
Him: “It’s one of the elements like oxygen.”
Me: “It comes from sand you moron!”

The Dulcinea directed me to a podcast on shibari, the Japanese art of rope bondage, called Rope Weekly hosted by a guy calling himself Graydancer. He’s a dork in the grand tradition and, although I’m a dork too, it makes for bad listening. Oddly enough, he lives here in Madison.

So, as with blogging, the lesson about podcasting is that, just because anyone can do it, doesn’t make it interesting or worthwhile.

I had my second tutoring session with Alex on Wednesday. He’s got the alphabet about 85% down. Well, more like 45% if you don’t count the fact that he doesn’t recognize lower case letters. So I’m having him write out the letters over and over in upper case until he’s got them down cold. Then I’ll move on to lower case. From there we’ll go into the sounds of the letters. Yeah, it’s a long row to hoe but it’ll be worth it. I realized at our first meeting that he wasn’t good with the letter V. He’d draw the left-hand line vertically instead of at an angle. However, by the end of our session on Wednesday, he was writing it correctly and even doing so without lifting the pencil off the paper. Personally, I felt this was an accomplishment and got all giddy inside when I saw him do it.

As I wrote previously, Alex is from Gambia and his native tongue is Mandinka. As we were going over the alphabet, he told me that “today” in Mandinka is pronounced “bee”. So I learned something myself. Next I wanna get him to give me some Gambian recipes. It’s pretty weird to think about how he gets through life right now not being able to read. That’s gotta be a real bitch. At least he can speak English. I’m fairly certain that he wants to get a GED at some point but I’m thinking he’ll be fucking thrilled as pie when he can read the newspaper. I asked him why he came here and he told me that he watched TV, such as CNN, and one day he pointed to the TV and told his mother, “I have to go there”. And he came here. He loves America and he thanked me over and over when I left his apartment. Not many Americans give up their lives here and move thousands of miles away across The Pond in search of a better life. We’ve got it pretty good here so let’s not fuck it up.

I got my tickets for the Wisconsin Film Fest yesterday. There were 2 or 3 films that were sold out but I got a good smattering:

Wheel of Time - Werner Herzog – ‘nuff said.
Kabala
The Big Red One: The Reconstruction - Sam Fuller and Lee Marvin.
Moolaadé
Nomi Song
A League of Ordinary Gentlemen - it’s about bowling!
Vodka Lemon
What’s Wrong With Frank Chin?
Consuming Spirits
Old Boy

The Kino Film Revolution
Wisconsin’s Own Narrative Shorts – Program 1

I wasn’t able to get tickets for Shake Hands With the Devil or Henry Aaron’s Summer Up North. Still, plenty of cinema to keep me busy.

I’ve gotta remember to get a ticket for Steve Earle so I can get drunk and yell for “Condi, Condi”. I may go meet up with a bunch of pagans tonight. It would be in public so I don’t think anyone would be skyclad but you never know with these people. Perhaps Gem can give me the info I seek…
|| Palmer, 3:00 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Condi & Rose

Oh Condi Condi beggin’ on my knees
Open up your heart and let me in wontcha please
Got no money but everybody knows
I love you Condi and I’ll never let you go
Sweet and dandy pretty as can be
You be the flower and I’ll be the bumble bee
Oh she loves me oops she loves me not
People say you’re cold but I think you’re hot

I’ve been listening to Steve Earle’s The Revolution Starts…Now constantly here at work and I can’t get “Condi, Condi” out of my cranium. It’s just so blatantly catchy. And so I’m trying to shake it out by listening to the first album by Masters of Reality. It’s been quite a while since I’ve heard it. The album originally came out in 1988 or 89 and I bought it at the time based on the album cover. I was expecting something akin to Black Sabbath since their name came from the Sabs’ Master of Reality and the cover was full of deep blues and black featuring an old mansion replete with overgrown weeds & vines. Instead of dark heavy metal, I discovered that they were quite an anomaly for the time: MoR were steeped in Cream and Led Zeppelin much more than the Sabs. Plus there were some nice acoustic elements that sound like what we now call Americana. Chris Goss was the leader of the band as he wrote most of the material. All of the songs on the album are quite tuneful. However heavy or acoustic a song is, it’s got a catchy melody. Obviously The Beatles were an influence on him as well. Goss isn’t a typical hard rock singer. He has a really smooth voice and he doesn’t scream. The songs are just so wonderfully melodic. Rick Rubin produced the album and gave it a clean sound that has a warm ambiance. There’s a scene in one of Steven Seagal’s flicks where he wanders into a club and MoR are onstage playing “Domino” from this album. I think I was the only person to recognize them when a bunch of us watched it back when I lived in the dorms. Goss went on to produce a few Kyuss albums and I think he also produced the first Queens of the Stone Age disc. (Have they made a second?)

OK. I snagged the new Doctor Who episode which was leaked onto the Internet and finally got a chance to watch it the other night. There are quite a few differences between this new incarnation of the series and the old beloved series that ended in 1989. Firstly, there is length. Each story of the new series is one episode that is 40 minutes long. Previously, each story was 2-6 episodes that were 25 minutes long and ended with a cliffhanger involving either the Doctor or a companion or both in great peril. Those days are gone. On a technical note, the new Who is shot completely on DV so the show has a nice, uniform look. For the old series, interiors were done on video while exteriors were shot on 16mm film so the various scenes looked drastically different because of the differing media. The theme used now seems to be the one from the 1970s when Tom Baker portrayed the Doctor (and at the end of the Pertwee era?) but remixed with some bits added.

The Doctor’s new companion is Rose, played by Billie Piper. When I first heard about her being cast, I had no idea who she was. Then I read that she’s a complete bimbo with a failed singing career behind her who flashes her tits when she’s drunk. (You can find such pics on the Net easily.) Ergo, I wasn’t expecting much out of her other than being eye candy. However, I thought she did a good job. (Hey, it’s not Shakespeare.) And she’s good eye candy. Also grabbing the eye was the new TARDIS console room. It’s now this huge cavernous space with flying buttresses. It’s dimly lit with a funky-looking console in the center. There was a shot of the Doctor standing at the TARDIS door talking to Rose who was standing outside and you could see the console room behind the Doctor instead of darkness. The sonic screwdriver is featured as is the return of an enemy that was last seen back in the early 1970s during Jon Pertwee’s tenure as the Doctor. The show is a lot more PC now with Rose having a boyfriend who’s black. (African-English?) As for the Doctor, Chris Eccleston seems like a good choice so far. I miss the Edwardian clothing but I found that I got used to his leather jacket and short hair quickly. Eccleston’s Doctor is as hyper as a whore in church. He’s running around doing this and that just like Pertwee’s Doc did. But he’s also a bit goofy and eccentric in the Tom Baker vein. As a character, I really like him so far.

Now to the special effects. While they aren’t as good as you’re going to see in Revenge of the Sith, it seems the Beeb dropped some serious ££££ in CGI. Honestly, I’m still undecided about them taking away the cheesiness factor. It was one of the endearing things about the original series – all those cheap plastic monsters and laser guns that send smoke and sparks out the barrel when they fire. We’ll see how I feel after I’ve seen some more episodes. Lastly, while the structure of the story have changed due to the change in format, the plot was the same old stuff: an alien intelligence that can animate and control plastic. Lots of perilous situations with humanity being saved at the last minute by The Doctor and the forces of good. Oh, the TARDIS sounds the same when it de-/materializes.

There was a part in which Rose looks up the Doctor on the Internet and is led to a conspiracy buff who has evidence of the Doctor’s presence at moments in history when disaster strikes. For instance, he shows Rose a picture of The Doctor in Dallas watching JFK’s motorcade driving by. It’s was a nice inside joke (the very first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast on the day JFK was killed) and made me wonder if there may be a tie-in somehow with the book Who Killed Kennedy.

Overall, I enjoyed it. I laughed aloud a few times, ogled Rose, and just had a good time. My only criticism is that it’s too short. I’d have liked them to either keep the old format of multiple 25-minute episodes or one 50-minute episode. I read a criticism of it that said it was “too English” which, after having seen the episode, don’t understand at all. It’s no more English than the old series which the person didn’t rake over the coals. Although no American network picked up the show, we Yanks can always find it on the Net. As far as I know, the transmission date is still March 26th.
|| Palmer, 12:53 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
RotS Trailer

Here's the one that played last night during The OC and is now in theaters (Windows Media):

Click Me!

Oh fuck, is it gonna be fun! Watch for the scene where Mace Windu and a few Jedi go to arrest Palpatine - man, the Chancellor opens a fucking can of whoopass!
|| Palmer, 10:41 AM || link || (0) comments | links to this post

07 March, 2005

Chat With Richard Dawkins

There will be a webchat with Richard Dawkins on Sunday, 20 March at 4PM EST/9PM GMT. The folks at faithless.org will be hosting it.
|| Palmer, 9:43 PM || link || (0) comments | links to this post
Rope

Miss Pamela and I have known each other for quite some time – since 1987. Our friendship has survived high school crushes, a drunken college make-out session or two, living in different cities, her marriage – it’s really flowered into one that I cherish immensely. It’s a real benefit of growing older, to see a relationship change and grow for nearly 18 years. There are, to be sure, benefits to being young, but nurturing a friendship over the course of almost two decades has its challenges and its great rewards that are unknown to those younger than us.

We seem to have this great mixture of common interests and a common past along with differences that make things interesting. Having gone to high school together, we can talk about those awkward times with a laugh and, perhaps, compare ourselves to our former classmates. Our interests in the arts converge at some points and diverge at others. So we can appreciate our mutual interest in, say, the music of Wilco, but then introduce one another to new bands such as when she burned me a copy of Get Born by Jet. We can freely confide in one another and just enjoy spending time together. She’s such a pleasure to be with. How could I not be attracted to someone who is smart, makes me laugh, and is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet? Of course, Pam is also very beautiful.


My eyes drifted from looking at the rope back to my fellow students. The womyn in the older couple looked to be in her mid-40s but she still looked good. She was about 5’8” with nice curves and long hair. One of Sarah’s friends – the one who had cut her hair – was also very beautiful. She looked to be more my age. Olive skin, black hair that ended just above her shoulders, and nice curves like the other woman but shorter. The instructor gave a brief spiel about BDSM including why anyone would want to get involved in it and safety. The safety bit was obvious to me but a couple of the reasons one might want to tie up a lover or be tied up had never occurred to me. For whatever reason, I had always thought the appeal of tying up a womyn would have to do with exercising power. But when Sarah remarked about the erotic nature of it, I thought to myself, “Well, duh! How did I miss that?” By erotic nature I mean being close to your lover and applying the rope on his/her skin. Making patterns with the rope that complement your lover’s body. It requires strict attention and concentration on certain areas. And you’re touching your lover through most of the process as you run rope between legs and under arms. Why I always thought of power as opposed to the sensual/erotic nature of it escapes me. See, you learn something new everyday.

Sarah then handed out a sheet with instructions on tying various knots and had us open our bags and check out the ropes inside. There were two gauges: a piece 33’ in lenth and half an inch(?) thick and a much shorter run that was about twice as thick. Nylon. Sarah went over the uses of various gauges of rope and the various said she’d begin by showing us a fairly simple harness. Her guinea pig was the hottie, Miss Hairstylist. She started by hanging a loop down Miss Hairstylist’s back and then began wrapping the rope around her front. Sarah herself is pretty good-looking so right off the bat I was titillated by watching one beautiful womyn tie another beautiful womyn up in knots. As the harness came together, I noticed that it really accentuated the womyn’s curves. For example, she was wearing rather loose clothing but nearly the full outlines of her breasts were exposed by the rope pulling as it pushed the sweater against her skin. As Sarah finished tying off the rope in back, I was given a chance to ogle Miss Hairstylist’s behind which was quite nice. Beautiful hips, lemme tell ya. Having seen an example, it was now up to us, the Padawan BDSM learners, to give it a go.

Before any tying could commence, Pam and I had to figure out which of us would tyer and which would be the tyee. Pam decided she wanted to tie me up. (I should have known.) I took my position in the circle and she threw the loop down my back. Then she went to work. Even wearing clothing, it was a nice sensation to have the rope looped around my body and pulled tight. Not too tight, though, just kinda snug. Nothing was constricted and the pressure of the rope was rather nice. When Pam was in front of me, I could see a look of concentration on her face, like that of a painter hard at work before a canvas. She was really getting into it. Watching her reach between my legs and feeling her tug on the rope so that it pressed against me was erotic even though we were in a roomful of strangers and fully-clothed. Not only were the physical sensations pleasing but I also like the idea of being submissive, of being tied. When she’d disappear behind me, I’d look at my classmates and try to see what they were doing as I’d be tying Pam up soon. Just to my left, the older womyn was being tied up. She was, quite frankly, hot. Her shirt would occasionally lift up revealing her flat tummy and I’d stare at it as long as I could before I got paranoid that she’d see my gawking. Looking to my right, Miss Hairstylist was tying up Sarah’s other friend. She was a big girl. Not so much overweight as just stout. Still, Miss Hairstylist was hot as tyer as well as tyee.

Next it was my turn to put the harness on Pam. It took me a while and some help from Sarah but I was able to complete it. I must admit that it was a wonderful, erotic experience. It was my turn to reach between her legs! At one point, I stood there staring at her breasts trying to figure out what kind of pattern I wanted in front. As with the other womyn, Pam’s breasts came into sharp relief with the rope pressing her shirt to her body. It was difficult to concentrate at times. But I quickly understood what Sarah meant when she talked about the artistic aspect of it. It was a challenge to try to devise a pattern, say, that looked right on Pam, that matched her curves. It became immediately apparent that I would need lots and lots of practice. As I was tying, I remarked to Pam that I should have brought my camera. The older womyn overheard me and graciously allowed me to take some snaps of my work in progress. I got the harness mostly completed by the time I needed Sarah’s help to figure out the best way to tie off the ends. When it was done, Pam looked at herself in the mirror and was somewhat impressed.

The next lesson involved binding hands and ankles. (Remember: 2 fingers of space!) This is fairly easy and I managed to bind Pam at the wrists and ankles without having to ask Sarah for any assistance. Then it was Pam’s turn. She got all creative and tied my wrists behind my back and, for this, the camera came over with the womyn taking the picture herself. At this point, Miss Hairstylist had her wrists bound behind her back and was preparing to be freed when Sarah asked if she could demonstrate hog-tying on her. Luckily, she agreed.

Man, was I glad she did. Lying prone on the futon mattress, Sarah began to bind her ankles and then connected the rope to that at her wrists. Now, being from Madison, I’ve been inculcated with ideas that white men are evil rapists and that our society degrades womyn. And my brainwashed gray matter equated a womyn being hog-tied with oppression. But then I saw that she was very comfortable and I was able to shake off my preconceptions. I must admit that seeing her hog-tied before really aroused me. It just looked so incredibly erotic and I could feel my penis beginning to get hard. Looking back, the scene was just a wonderful confluence of things that arouse me. Firstly there was the fact that she is an incredibly beautiful womyn. And I was really attracted to how her lovely hair fell over her face. Secondly was that she was in a helpless position. Thirdly she was being tied by another beautiful womyn. Lastly was that, because she was lying prone, attention was drawn to her shapely ass. I suppose I should add the sheer thrill of it. By this I mean that I had never seen a person, much less a hottie, hog-tied before so there was a certain visceral newness to it.

Somehow I managed to calm my erection down in time for the next lesson…
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