jacktellslies: (circusfolk)
Pardon my silence. The last while has been painfully busy. I work until I drug myself to sleep so that I can rise and work again. I'm building new muscles, tearing them again before they have time to heal, and gods, they hurt. Shrove Tuesday I was running to work by four thirty in the morning, but when I was done I was racked and cracked, then massaged, then found good liquor and good friends. Our table was strewn with my masks, and we told them our worries and our plans. Tom was newly tattooed, more fatigued with pain and with high ritual than I was with work and with practice. I felt as if I stayed up late, but I was asleep shortly after ten. Today I swore I wouldn't get out of bed, and I haven't. I read. I spoke with my lover, plotting a tricky seduction. I took a bath with candles and a glass of wine. I accomplished none of the personal things that piled up while I worked. It is Ash Wednesday, and I am repentant for nothing. And staying still felt so delicious, so decadent, that my work ethic, one of the American flaws in my temperament, recoiled in horror at my sloth. I start work again in the morning. I suppose I'm ready for it.
jacktellslies: (crow)
Bella Vista Beer Distributors are fantastic. Not only do they specialise in hard to find imports and phenomenal locally brewed beers, but they deliver for only five dollars. If, however, you should happen to find yourself enjoying an excellent conversation about beer, travel, and fishmongering with one of the resident experts, and if in the course of that conversation you find that he lives a mere three blocks away from your house, he may offer to drive your case of Harrisburg's Appalachian Brewing Company's mixed sampler to your house himself when he's through with work. Lovely!

I must also report that Whitney and I have a new and unwanted pet mouse. We've named him Syphilis and struck the traditional bargain: he may stay, but only if he and his friends form a tiny jazz band. It worked remarkably well last time.

I am, I think, proud to announce my involvement in The Zagat of Sex, a group Twitter account involving four of my dear friends, time travel, little virtue, excellent taste, and no discretion whatsoever. And you thought Twitter was useless!
jacktellslies: (crow)
Timing her arrival with a marvellously dramatic sunset, the amazing [livejournal.com profile] westlinwind found me at the train station and stole me away to a whiskey tasting. The event was a fund raiser for the Colonial, a theatre that hosted Houdini when it was a vaudville venue, and later, as a cinema, was featured in the film The Blob.

Our whiskey expert, Riannon Walsh, began distilling at the age of six. We were provided with excellent cheeses and breads and chocolates; I'm not often fond of dark chocolate, but apparently I do seem to enjoy it when it is combined with citrus, ginger, or whiskey. We were given six kinds of whiskey to try. One was an American variation produced in the same way as it would have been made in the West in the nineteenth century. (I didn't entirely approve. Cowboys: they're doing it wrong.) Some smelled of vanilla, caramel, the oak in which they soaked, and, some claimed, the sea. The best was a Scotch that tasted of peat. All six were better than anything I deserved to touch. Unopened, the bottles from which all six came were as like to be investments as they were to be a toast. I'm not often permitted to taste investments, so I enjoyed the experience a great deal. Several of the gentlemen in my life are whiskey drinkers. My father was one, too. So it always tastes a bit sentimental, even, especially, when it's kicking me in the teeth.

Earlier in the day I'd found a magnificent little bakery in Old City called Tartes. One couldn't go inside, but would instead appraise the offerings from a window. Beyond the window there was a small group of women making little cakes. After a moment one noticed that I was watching them and walked over to work the register. It was perfectly small and charming, and their deserts were beautiful things. It's difficult for me to resist a pretty girl wielding a cupcake. I also like supporting local businesses. And, most importantly, I like pastries. So I ordered two of their signature dishes: one with apples and cranberries, and one with sweet potatoes and pecans. They were quite good, but perhaps more important than that is the fact that, as Krys noted, yes, I am Jack, and sometimes I do arrive with tarts. (I tend to think of myself as the Jack of spades, actually, but so far as I know, the Jack of spades doesn't concern himself with dessert nearly as often as I do.)

Before going home we went to visit Bernie and Linda and Loki. We admired vultures and planned knitting and dreadlocks. And then, with very little time to spare, Krys delivered me safely unto my train.
jacktellslies: (dandy)
It came to my attention on Saint Patrick's Day that my grandmother and some of my aunts and uncles were under the impression that I don't drink. As they've seen me do so at most family gatherings, it is apparent that their definition of abstinence ignores the consumption of three drinks or less. My dear family, I'm terribly sorry. I was not aware that you expect me to be wasted beyond reason every time we see one another. Please trust that I shan't disappoint you again.

My uncle is interested in genealogy. He recently discovered our oldest known ancestors, a family of five siblings living in the South during the Civil War. There was a daughter and four sons, none of whom were mentioned in military records on either side. He couldn't imagine why, until he discovered that all four of the men were deaf. They must have had fascinating lives; I believe sign languages and schools for the deaf existed by that time, but I tend to assume that such things weren't always particularly accessible to the lower classes. But with four of them, I wonder if they created their own language.

It's unrelated, but my own hearing is fairly bad. I get by just fine, but not without worrying that I'm inconveniencing my acquaintances with the frequency with which I'm forced to ask them to repeat themselves. When on my counter, I repeat my customer's requests back to them as a standard practice. It works well, as it isn't particularly obtrusive or even unexpected, and "half a pound" and "have a pound" do sound a great deal alike, however good your hearing might be. Unfortunately, a larger percentage of my customers than one would expect are British. Really, there are a good number of them. As it happens, they pronounce turbot, which is sort of like a buttery flounder, more like it is spelled, the second syllable rhyming with the second in robot, whereas the Americans I know pronounce it more like ter-bow. It may also be worth noting that the American tendency to be a bit loud has its advantages, such as in instances when I'm actually trying to hear what they say. So, on occasion, someone asks me for a fillet and I haven't heard a word they've said. If they have an accent of any kind, I'm unaware of it. In such cases I'm not repeating their request half as much as I'm interpreting the direction of their gaze, reading small gestures, or simply using my amazing psychic powers to venture a guess. "Turbot?" I ask. The icy rage with which they articulate the word when they repeat it again, as if I'd been trying to correct them, is entirely unexpected, if deeply familiar. I'm always so surprised by it that this is the last remaining scenario in which I can't quickly disarm (if not permanently disable) a rude customer. Neither, "I promise that I'm more sorry than you can possibly understand for having learned to speak on this side of the ocean, but please don't hurt me?" or a more likely, "Bitch, please!" ever find their way out of my mouth. It's fast becoming one of the reasons I'm so looking forward to leaving this place for a bit: if I'm going to continue losing this particular battle, could I at least be spared the humiliation of losing it on home ground?
jacktellslies: (cafe terrace at night)
Tonight I found my way to an underground bar (Safe from the war, as Robert said. Nine steps closer to hell, I added.) with friends, including Courtney, back from the south for the briefest of stays, and a DJ. I'm the bartender's roommate, so all I had to do was encourage him to create things, to give me adventures, and suddenly I was standing by the bar in a suit and holding a martini glass containing something new and interesting and unnameable. He wouldn't even let me tip him, let alone pay my tab. So, should you find yourself at Bar Noir with a handsome young barkeep named Terrance, please tip him well and write something dirty on a napkin for him on my account.
jacktellslies: (ladies)
It is Mardi Gras. I took to the streets like a fool or a devil or a saint, expecting riots. I found no such thing. In all honesty, it was really fairly tame. There were more police than drunkards, and my city disappointed me. But! You may recall my friend Amie. I'd always thought her spectacularly attractive, but also extraordinarily straight. Tonight, however, she found a dozen excuses to place her arm around mine, her hand on my leg, to kiss my cheek and burrow into me against the cold. And I matched her, getting her drinks, walking her home. I thought I was imagining things, but Brandon noticed it, too. And then Lindsay was talking about kissing a dancing girl, the first woman she has ever kissed as an adult, and Amie was shocked. All of her ladyfriends have fucked, at one point or another, she said. Oh. Well. I love to be wrong about everything. We all have a date for lunch tomorrow: we'll go back to Tattooed Mom's for cheap sandwiches and then somewhere else for drinks before work and a game or two of pool. And then, at some point, Brandon and I promised to watch both Kill Bill movies with her, because she has never seen either, despite the fact that her sister is apparently a dear friend of the's. And, also, she asked if I own a power drill because she'd like for me to help her hang and fix things in her apartment. She offered to pay me, but I said it would not at all be necessary, so she said that she'd just get me drunk, instead. Oh, look. I've been seduced.
jacktellslies: (ladies)
Friday was amazing. (There has been more since then, but I've only time to catch you up to a certain point.) My customers were sweet, which is unheard of, and Aiden came to visit, which was awful of her, as she'd brought her guests, visitors from Indiana, Pennsylvania, which is a silly place: if one is near Pittsburgh, why would one not wish to be in Pittsburgh? But, again, it was awful of her: no one's first impression of me should ever be the thing that I am at work: I am made to wear a very orange pair of waterproof overalls, as if I were catching the fish as well as hauling and preparing them, and I tend to be covered in scales and bones and bits of meat. However, perhaps this should be a great many people's first impression of me: for some strange, strange reason, one that makes me doubt my species, dykes seem to think the getup cute. Megan has been telling me this for some time; I thought it just another display of her incessantly bad taste. Apparently, the problem is much more far reaching than I'd thought. So. I worked, and then I went home and drank Jameson in the shower. I went out, and I got lost, walking very, very far in the wrong direction, being yelled at by several large groups of very large men, and eventually being told to meet the group at the next bar to which they were going, which was only a few blocks away from my house. (I am pixieled more often than most people, and I try to remember that I should take that as an honour. But I should also remember to tie a bell to my boot, and to turn my coat. Getting to where one is going should not be as difficult as it usually manages to be.) At long last I met them at Twelfth and Locust and we walked cobblestones to the Tavern at Camac, a place I'd never before been. There were more shots, large ones, and quite a few fags were rather impressed, apparently never having seen an order for Jack and Jameson and Tequila before. When we arrived on the dance floor, a very excited boy that we did not at all know celebrated our presence with shouting and by touching my bum more times than was probably appropriate. I tried to introduce myself, as I sometimes like to know the names of the people who are touching me, and he insisted that his name was Gay Boy. Sigh. His lesbian friend commented that he was even more excited to see us than she was. I danced with a great many bitches, and at some point became drunk enough that I was no longer wearing a shirt and most likely being far too bold. We were all quite drunk when we walked back to Aiden and Meredith's new house, and I walked holding Kerry's hand, but she fell dead asleep immediately, and I found myself with Chrissy, instead, a sort of situation I'd never really expected to experience, and one with which I was greatly impressed. Aiden, please feel free to put me in bed with lesbians I've only just met anytime you'd like. Meow. And thank you.
jacktellslies: (ladies)
i had dreams i felt. i'd needed an operation, and the doctors were too much like me at my cutting board. they took everything out to get to the things for which they were looking. after the operation i sometimes thought the immense pain in my torso was only the result of everything having been moved around so much, and at times because i thought they'd failed to put anything back at all. when i woke i was bloody and cramped, but with the sort that fills me bellow my navel, the kind that i sort of like. it didn't shift to the tight, between the legs cramps until i'd been at work for some time. i like those much less.

today isn't quite my new year. it usually feels more like a new year sometime around halloween, even though this halloween was awful. were i a better heathen than i am, i'd better utilize the opportunity to create a more auspicious end and beginning, or i'd at least do a better job of using anyone's holiday as an excuse for a party. but i'm a bit ill again, and i mostly just want to be at home and quiet. i might try to get a bit drunk, and robert promised to kiss me.

today lindsay and i posed a serious question: why can't the people who live here tell the difference between failure and music? they are quite different things, really.

the above was written moments before brandon, lindsay, robert, and brandon's charming and sweet straight girl friend amanda convinced me that i should come out with them, just for one drink, just to one place. i spent the evening in two steven starr restaurants. we walked past both lines to get in to the continental when brandon simply opened the back door and let us up the kitchen stairs. a boy waiting in the cold yelled, "hey, can you get in that way?" and lindsay, in classic form, simply yelled, "no." we drank and danced and a cocktail waitress in doc martins brought us our drinks while we danced, which impressed me very much indeed, and we flirted with all of our friends, dressed as and gangster girls and playboy bunny drag queens and whatever hot thing bill was supposed to be, as a great many of them work in both places, and i paid for nothing. (i'll spot some people back today.) we were the first people dancing, and we danced with each other and with girls and a friend of mine, a tiny and cute thing named billy, was on stilts, on the floor all night and still dancing better than most of us can off of them. we went to jones, where newel was a hot little greaser thing in his starman hair and a tight white t-shirt, black vinyl trousers and absurd stompy gothy boots, a black and a white studded belt, and his light up belt buckle, like the one i have, where the words, "drink more!" scrolled all night while he barbacked. we wore the hats left on the table, and we danced at our table and at a dance floor we decided should exist, and we drank a bit more of the free champagne than we deserved thanks to newel's influence, and, for some reason i never quite understood, due to confusion or more of said influence, we found ourselves in possession of a free round. midnight came around, and i kissed robert more than once as he is a lovely kisser, and i kissed newel, who kisses like a boy, so i put an end to that immediately. he danced to michael jackson, though, and the entire restaurant yelled and clapped for him, and he pointed us out to every person to whom i saw him speak, and it was adorable. when we'd had enough of that we found our way back home, my arm around the hip of brandon's straight girl friend. (she had a lovely waist.) once there, megan made us mojitos and tea cups of champagne and where i left my remaining saki on the stove. i kissed bill when he got home, and hugged everyone who found their way into my house, and i succeeded in my quest, getting drunk enough that i pulled megan upstairs to convince her that kissing me was clearly a good idea, and that talking and missing one another and crying was obviously an even better idea, because we did a bit more of that. i am a fool, i am a fool, i am a fool. she always made me such an honest thing, but now when i speak to her, it is one or the other extreme of a truth. i hate her or i love her, and neither of those things is quite right, now, but i cannot find the middle space, which is strange for me, as that is usually where i exist. much of this happened in my bed, which was convenient, as very shortly thereafter i fell asleep in my clothes. now i can hear the mummer's parade from my window. i should do something about my hangover and go watch for a bit. so. it was a good end and a good beginning, i think., and a fantastic excuse for a party. i'll keep this new year, rather than the last one.


jacktellslies: (Default)

August 2009

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