Turn Me On

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Those who seem to be the most popular are usually the ones who are the most lonely. It’s the reason they’re popular – they’ve made themselves so in an effort to never be alone. I’m too honest to be very popular, and up until now I’ve never been lonely, but I think I may be starting to feel it a bit. The truth is, I’m more often alone these days than with people. Usually by design, but sometimes against my subtle wishes.

Like a flower, waiting to bloom
Like a lightbulb, in a dark room
I’m just sittin’ here waiting for you
To come on home and turn me on

And so I wait. For the feeling to pass, for the loneliness to subside, for what I once knew to return to me – because once upon a time I was all right, and it was okay to be waiting. There wasn’t restlessness, there wasn’t discontent, there was me – alone and waiting.

Like the desert waiting for the rain
Like a school kid waiting for the spring
I’m just sitting here waiting for you
To come on home and turn me on

Sometimes we have to be a home to ourselves. Sometimes we have to stoke our own fire, tend to our own hearth, and be satisfied, happy even, with the wait. Sometimes the wait is all there is.

My poor heart, it’s been so dark
Since you’ve been gone
After all your the one who turns me off
But you’re the only one who can turn me back on

Once in a while, though, maybe once in a lifetime, someone comes along and ends the waiting. And they are home.

My Hi-fi is waiting for a new tune
My glass is waiting for some fresh ice cubes
I’m just sitting here waiting for you
To come on home and turn me on, turn me on
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Hunk of the Day: Matt Cardle

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Our Hunk of the Day hails from an ocean away, and first came to the public’s notice on ‘The X Factor.’ (Sort of the UK’s version of ‘American Idol’.) Matt Cardle has since released a couple of albums while honing his singing and song-writing skills, and he’s not too hard on the eyes either.

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Friday Morning, Enter Fire

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SUNRISE
By Mary Oliver

 

You can

die for it -

an idea,

or the world. People

 

have done so,

brilliantly,

letting

their small bodies be bound

 

to the stake,

creating

an unforgettable

fury of light. But

 

this morning,

climbing the familiar hills

in the familiar

fabric of dawn, I thought

 

of China,

and India

and Europe, and I thought

how the sun

 

blazes

for everyone just

so joyfully

as it rises

 

under the lashes

of my own eyes, and I thought

I am so many!

What is my name?

 

What is the name

of the deep breath I would take

over and over

for all of us? Call it

 

whatever you want, it is

happiness, it is another one

of the ways to enter

fire.

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High Holy Holding Pattern

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As the high holidays kick into gear, I’m going easy on posts for the moment, as I’m starting a new job and want to focus on that, as well as getting ready for spring and trying to be healthier and happier – both of which require effort and work and living in a world off of the computer. That doesn’t mean I won’t be checking in regularly.

The easiest way to keep abreast is by that social media triumvirate of FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram – each of which I try to update throughout the day, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. That holy trio often gives you a better pay by play of what’s going on with me than the lengthy diatribes and hot hunks you may find here. So friend me or follow me and we’ll have a splendid time.

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Hunk of the Day: Nick Kenkel

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Broadway Bares – the AIDS benefit whereby Broadway stars strut their naked stuff on stage – is coming around again soon, beginning with some scintillating solo strips. Directing this year’s proceedings is Hunk of the Day Nick Kenkel. A Broadway Barer himself, Mr. Kenkel has an impressive body of work in his own right, as evidenced by these teasing shots, and his impressive curriculum vitae, which lists a number of notable choreography stints.

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Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered

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It’s a memory that may not have actually happened. The time of the year is accurate, the weather quite distinct, and the location a very tangible one. The tail end of August, after a rainy day, on the very tip of Cape Cod ~ Provincetown. It was still summer, but barely, and the first hints of fall were seeping into the night. The year was 1995, and Suzie and I made our virgin trip to what might as well have been the edge of the world. Foolishly, we hadn’t thought ahead to make any sort of reservation (things were slightly different back then) so we entered the town after a long drive, exhausted and not in the mood for the lack of vacancy that was going on. Finally, we found a place – well, Suzie did – and I went along, relieved to lie down on a stationary object.

It was on a quiet side street, and after the rain the town had seemingly gone to sleep. The forecast had not been a happy one, but Suzie and I were just glad to be out of upstate New York, and near the water. Overcast and cool, we couldn’t care less. Depositing our suitcases in the room, we rustled up some grub and had a leisurely dinner. That night, Suzie stayed in while I took a short walk along Commercial Street.

A long line of men stood watching me pass by. In a tight black t-shirt and flowing linen pants, I must have looked like a cross between ‘The Birdcage’ and the clearance section of International Male. I was too young and inexperienced to know any better, and I strutted down the street like a bashful peacock, a haughty, arrogant air defying anyone to say hello, a mask of outward confidence barely betraying a bottomless well of insecurity. I pretended so long and so hard that it would eventually come true, but back then it was ordinary make-believe, a case of flimsy affect that I was certain people could see right through. Quickly, I passed the crowd, much quicker than it felt I’m sure, and made my way further into the evening. The air had cooled from the rain, and that glorious fragrance of its aftermath, the scent that always made the rain worth it, was lingering like a few scant straggling blooms of the privet. A few still managed to hang on, perhaps tricked by the upcoming change in season.

I’m wild again, beguiled again, a simpering, whimpering child again
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I
Couldn’t sleep, and wouldn’t sleep when love came and told me I shouldn’t sleep
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I…

That much of the memory is clear. Pristinely so. The only haze was that of the actual evening – my head recalls every nuance perfectly – until this moment. On a street off of Commercial – and it may be directly off, or the one just above, running parallel – a quiet portion of Provincetown revealed itself between green hedges and immaculate yet lush landscaping. There stood a guest house, and through its windows a warm amber light glowed. It was painted richly in shades of purple and lavender, with accents of brick red that somehow worked (though I would never combine them in any outfit outside of a circus). Gold was at play too, either in gold leafing or brass handles or some sort of filigree that wound its way into my memory. There was music too, faint at first, but it came to the ear if you stopped pushing gravel around, if you stood still and listened like we never really do. Scratchy at first, like the muffled old spinning of a true record player, it smoothed itself out into a soulful and creamy voice singing of love and sex and loss and relief.

Lost my heart, but what of it?
He is cold, I agree…
He can laugh, but I love it
Although the laugh’s on me.
I’ll sing to him, each spring to him,
And long for the day when I’ll cling to him…

I looked deeper into the house through the windows. A bookcase stood on one side of the room. A chair was placed by a small table. I thought of two old men having tea and coffee together, sharing a moment, sharing a lifetime ~ a lifetime of twists and turns exemplified by the languidly-paced music.

This was, I believe, my first brush with ‘Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.’ I’d just heard it in the film version of ‘Love! Valour! Compassion!’ so looking back it was probably that soundtrack that was playing. Ella Fitzgerald’s version, so dreamily slowed down into a dirge of desire, a meandering tale of the blossom and decay of romance, the tricky, capricious nature of love, and the way most of us would do it all over again no matter what.

He’s a fool and don’t I know it, but a fool can have his charms
I’m in love and don’t I show it like a babe in arms
Love’s the same old sad sensation
Lately I’ve not slept a wink
Since this half-pint imitation put me on the blink

I stood there, alone outside a guest house that wasn’t mine, near rooms that would remain forever closed to me, and looked into the dark sky. I wanted for something I could not put into words, for someone who seemingly did not exist. If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s possible to miss someone you’ve never met, yes, it is. I learned that then, as Ms. Fitzgerald told her wonderful, woeful, wild and winsome tale.

I’ve sinned a lot, I mean a lot
But I’m like sweet seventeen a lot
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I
I’ll sing to him each spring to him
And worship the trousers that cling to him
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I
When he talks he is seeking words to get off his chest
Horizontally-speaking he’s at his very best
Vexed again, perplexed again, thank God I can be oversexed again
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I

Not having ever had your heart broken doesn’t mean you can’t access or know heartbreak – and sometimes loneliness exists even when you’ve never lost someone. I listened to the end of the song and walked back to our room. The next day, before departing, we’d visit the beach. A windy and wild day, it remained slightly overcast. The photos we took show us squinting into the rush of air and sand, hair blowing messily, propped against a travel pillow for whatever buffering effect it might produce. We read a bit there on the beach, listening to seagulls and the occasional snippet of conversation carried by the wind, and then it was time to go.

On our way back from the Cape, we brushed Boston, where these photos were taken. In a few weeks I’d return to Brandeis, but there, in the sudden dark, driving with Suzie, I was in a holding pattern. Waiting. Wondering. Watching for signs. The turn of the song, then, a surprise twist lending whimsy and humor and pathos, and for the next few years I’d find it all, even, and especially, when I didn’t want anymore.

Wise at last, my eyes at last are cutting you down to your size at last
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered no more
Burned a lot, but learned a lot, and now you are broke, so you’ve earned a lot
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered no more

Love, then, was a difficult business. It came in fits and stunts, it arrived unwanted and unheralded, it was there when you least expected it and elusive when sought out. It was a funny thing, made that way out of necessity. We’d all be crying if we couldn’t turn it on its head, but for me at least, it was hard to make a laugh out of such sorrow. Ella knew this, and her voice comforted and soothed. She said it would be all right, it would work out in the end, because sometimes we end up with the wrong people. Sometimes we have to go through the silliness, the sexiness, and the sadness, as she took us through the last lines of the song. Determined to leave it all behind, the words are a final declaration of defiance, and a chance to start it all over again with someone else. Back then, that was hardly an appealing notion. I wanted to fall in love once and for all and have it last forever. That was the romantic in me.

Couldn’t eat, was dyspeptic, life was so hard to bear
Now my heart’s antiseptic since you moved out of  there
Romance finis, your chance, finis, those ants that invaded my pants, finis
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered no more.

And there it ended, not with a bang or a boom but with a simple “no more.”

The song haunted me for years. I wanted it to have a happy ending. I wanted it to work out. I wanted there to be something that matched the longing and yearning and wistfulness of the music. But it wasn’t happening, and eventually, after trying to force a few failed romances to be what they would never be, I understood. If it’s meant to be it will be. If it’s not, it won’t. Once I got that into my head, once it was understood, the world of romance became a much happier one, and I became a lot happier too. It was then that I embraced the song, every twist and turn of it, from the unlikely hope at the start to the freedom of the finish.

 

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The Music of Troy

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The first time I set foot in the Troy Music Hall was when I was rehearsing for an Empire State Repertory Orchestra performance. It is said to have some of the best acoustics in the country, but I wouldn’t have known the difference if I’d been playing underwater. It was enough just getting through the staccato sixteenth notes of Copland’s ‘Hoe Down’ on the oboe, that most unforgiving of double-reed instruments. I’d been feeling knocked down by the competitive nature of the orchestra, and the demanding discipline it required of an already-fragile fifteen-year-old, but the beauty of the surroundings entranced me, occupying my worry and setting me at ease.

A couple of weekends ago we went to see a performance of Ciaran Sheehan, and the beauty of the hall, a well as the traditional Irish music, transported us to another time. The sound of the venue remained perfect, and the musicians who played that evening wholeheartedly agreed, opting to try out part of their program without any electronic amendment so as to enjoy the acclaimed acoustics.

Some people joke about Troy, and I’ve been guilty of that in the past, but there are good things here, and the music hall is proof of that.

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Horsing Around in the Attic

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After a dinner topped with birthday cake (and lots of frosting) the twins needed to let off some steam and sugar energy. We hopped up to the attic and they had the literal run of the place, bounding from end to end, pretending that portions of the floor were lava, and jumping from soft-cushioned chair to chair. At times like this, I am reminded that the most important part of childhood to cultivate is the imagination. If you can refine yours, you can do anything. It’s why I rarely get bored or restless: my head can take me to places my feet could never manage. I hope these kids have the same freedom, and that they don’t fall prey to television or the internet to lazily fill their head with half-baked entertainment. Based on their elaborate lava game, they’re off to a good start. (I’m not sure what part the elephant played in the scene, but I went with it and rode it safely to shore.)

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More Twin Mayhem

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It’s difficult to get one four-year-old to sit still, but when you have two, it’s almost impossible. Thankfully a little bribing with an additional birthday present worked wonders, and I managed to get these shots. (Uncles can do the bribing thing. They may not respect me for it later, but they can take a number and join the line.)

After their birthday dinner we had some additional fun in the living room. It’s always more fun to exit the adult table early and squeeze out a few more hours of play before bedtime. I remember that from my stint as a four-year-old. Some things get passed on from generation to generation.

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When 2 Become 4

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A short time ago we celebrated the fourth birthdays of my niece and nephew ~ Emi and Noah. Here are some shots from that fun family weekend. They speak more eloquently than anything I could muster, and the twins are already developing voices of their own. (Talk to the hand.)

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The Return of the Ilagan Twins

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Switching from the salacious to the sweet, soon we herald a couple of posts returning the Ilagan twins to the fold, with a recap of their fourth birthday celebration. For now though, a hint of that, in the toys of childhood ~ colorful, innocent, and fresh as the break of dawn. Come back in a day or two when we resume the usual adult content.

Until then, welcome to the dollhouse.

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The Friendly Skies

It’s easy to get lost in the airport. Not physically lost, but emotionally. Surrounded by strangers, and people from far and near, it’s simple to drop your identity and pick up another, if only for a layover. It’s one of the reasons I love the airport. It gets tiring being me sometimes. You have the luxury of clicking away if things get dull or annoying or bothersome. You have the choice not to see me at all. I don’t have such an escape.

But in an airport I can pretend I’m someone else. Not seriously, and not forever, but when I need to get away before or after getting away, it’s a nice feeling. Pretending to be lost is better than actually losing yourself. Safer too. And if that’s what it takes to return to the world that I know, if that’s what it takes to survive, then let me be lost at the airport. Await my arrival.

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Hunk of the Day: Gerrad Bohl

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This multiple-hyphenate (model-dancer-actor-singer-writer) is Gerrad Bohl, our Hunk of the Day. A Renaissance man in the truest sense, he wears many hats, but seems to work far better when not wearing any of them (or any pants for that matter.)

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Those Shirtless Zac Efron GIFs

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When Zac Efron accepted his MTV Movie Award for ‘Best Shirtless Performance’ or something, he made good on a promise to do so shirtless. Personally, I think he should have done it pants-less, but beggars can’t be choosers. Besides, that’s what this naked Zac Efron post is for. This stunt is a blatant pandering to have his own sub-category, like Tom Daley, Ben Cohen, or David Beckham, but Mr. Efron is going to have to do a lot more in his underwear before that honor gets bestowed.

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Racing Through A Racy Recap

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While I’ve been gone, there have been more than a few skin-heavy posts, glorifying gratuitous male nudity, and putting naked male celebrities upon a posterior-posing pedestal, which means this recap is going to be more than a little racy.  April is, however, one of the racier months, speeding by as it removes the last vestiges of the most stubborn winter. Until the heat is here to stay, we’ll rub some sticks and dicks together and make our own warmth. Onto the hotties…

The “Great Naked Male Celebrity” post has been done to death, right here on this site, but never with this amount of GIFs and a bonus video.

A recap within this recap (as is the tendency when I’m away) is doubly represented by The Words and The Photos.

Another double-dose of sexiness was on full display with a pair of posts: The Bulge Report – with its healthy recollection of some notable male package action, and The Butt Report – with its coming-from-behind posterior power.

If it was my butt you were after, one of my favorite artists captured it here.

The Hunk of the Day feature was in full daily effect, populated by the sexy clothes-shedding likes of Andrew Morrill, Joshua Michael Brickman, Todd Hanebrink, James Clement, James MaslowDrew Pare, and Jason Taulb.

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