Hunk of the Day: Andrew Hayden-Smith

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British actor and television presenter Andrew Hayden-Smith brings the gay back to the Hunk of the Day, as Mr. Smith came out way back in 2005. It’s always nice to see my tribe represented in this elite pool of hotness.

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Greeting the Day With A Poem

Trilliums
By Mary Oliver

 

Every spring

among

the ambiguities

of childhood

 

the hillsides grew white

with the wild trilliums.

I believed in the world.

Oh, I wanted

 

to be easy

in the peopled kingdoms,

to take my place there,

but there was none

 

that I could find

shaped like me.

So I entered

through the tender buds,

 

I crossed the cold creek,

my backbone

and my thin white shoulders

unfolding and stretching.

 

From the time of snow-melt,

when the creek roared

and the mud slid

and the seeds cracked,

 

I listened to the earth-talk,

the root-wrangle,

the arguments of energy,

the dreams lying

 

just under the surface,

then rising,

becoming

at the last moment

 

flaring and luminous -

the patient parable

of every spring and hillside

year after difficult year.

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Just a Pair

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This is a filler post. I haven’t made one of these in a while, trying valiantly to give more content to this blog, but I may go back to filling in the blanks with photos. Spring is a busy time…

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Hunk of the Day: Andre Mull

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This gorgeous guy is Andre Mull, a male model who makes his first appearance as a Hunk of the Day. Mr. Mull also offers a little arm pit action, something in short-supply of late here. Enough said.

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Aromatic Indulgence

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It’s not something I usually do. Only on certain nights, when I need an extra boost, or have had a tough day, do I indulge in such fragrant indulgence. My gateway into this world of naughty nose-tickling was a bottle of Hermes, used on an evening following a steamy but rainy summer day. It was so exquisite, I sprayed a little on before going to bed one night. It wasn’t to entice or impress, it wasn’t to turn on or turn out – it was a simple act of solitary enjoyment, a self-celebratory act of pampering that, contrary to wide-held belief, I don’t often allow myself. (This blog is a repository of all the times that I do, so it may seem that way.)

The other night, after a weekend of Easter activities and family gatherings, I wanted to mark the occasion and extend the moment a bit, so I looked through my collection of Tom Ford Private Blend samples and dabbed a little ‘Black Violet’ on my wrists. It’s a fragrance I wouldn’t purchase or request in a full bottle – far too sweet for everyday use, and not really my style  – but perfect for a special spring night. Remembering the joy Andy and I found in our family was a special-enough moment to merit Mr. Ford’s handiwork, and the vision of great swaths of sweet violets in sun-dappled light sent me off to a dreamy slumber.

As with most of the Private Blends, the floral aspect is imbued with a darker edge, something a little sexier and more mysterious than the delicate violet would deign to reveal on her own. Such shyness, when removed, is an integral part of its eventual enjoyment. The most flagrant exhibitionists are only successful when aware of the anti-thesis of their showmanship.

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The Dream is Alive

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A few days ago Andy posted a photo of Ogunquit, taken on the Marginal Way, that immediately set my heart to missing that gorgeous seaside town. We’ll be there in a few weeks, and I cannot wait. Nowhere else is there such a sense of peace and calm such as we have found in Ogunquit. Our May stay also marks the start to our summer season, and there are traditionally lilacs in bloom (or slightly before or after that glorious spell). In all respects, even in years when it’s done nothing but rain, Ogunquit has offered us respite and relaxation, as well as some badly-needed, and increasingly rare, time together, as husband and husband. In fact, it’s a toss-up as to what I love best about it – the sea, the seafood, or the time with Andy.

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Hunk of the Day: Jose “Joey” Parra

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If this is the new way to wear your underwear (slung that low) then I am in deep trouble for the coming season. My stomach will not tolerate this sort of sartorial slant. If you’re Hunk of the Day Jose Parra, however, the style does not seem to be a problem. In fact, it only serves to highlight the practically-perfect package he has going on from the neck down (and up for that matter). Sling low, sweet chariot, sling low.

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Tulip Titillation

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Their color spoke to me first – the scarlets and salmons, the serpent-like tongues of yellow lapping toward the edges – and then the softest gentlest green of the silver-tinged leaves. They were the ultimate antidote to the longest winter. They pushed all thoughts of that season far away, clearing the way for summer. It was the only outcome. How happy that the tulip heralded such a direction.

Second was their fragrance. Nothing overpowering, nothing too cloying or sweet. In fact, nothing to write much about at all, but it was the scent of spring, the scent of pure joy. It was not something that Tom Ford would try to bottle, it was not going to multiply by waves of bath gel or body lotion, it was a subtle smell, with just the slightest bit of spice to work its trance-like effect.

Finally, there was their history. I love a flower with a tale to tell. Especially one as twisted and tumultuous as the tulip’s. People paid fortunes for a single tulip bulb. A bit of feverish supply-and-demand madness, a crippling inflation, and a blight or two along the way – and all in the name of a single beautiful bloom. The power of the flower.

Some beautiful things defy logic and reason. Some things cannot be priced or valued in any such hum-drum manner. How to monetize the sublime? And why would you bother?

The moment you sully something so pure is the moment it starts to deteriorate.

Such prettiness demands a lighter touch, an effortless brushing by the merest of breaths. It is meant to be inhaled, like the purest of perfume, in ethereal fashion, unfettered by clumsy hands or the clutch of a greedy child.

I didn’t always understand this. My hands picked them from the garden – to covet, to cherish, to hold close. They fought back with their pollen, committing suicide with their fallen petals, or simply expiring in a wilted, lamentable heap of decomposing tissue. I too fell prey to the tulip craze – and I’d do it all over again to come so close to beauty.

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Hunk of the Day: Miguel Ortiz

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As Mr. Gay Europe, Miguel Ortiz has a large mantle to uphold. Thankfully, he appears up for the task at hand, unafraid to get down and dirty, and turn the other cheeks. As the Hunk of the Day, he may have even more pressure put upon him. Ahem…

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A Sigh That Only Tom Ford Could Elicit

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These are Tom Ford‘s Chesterfield Floral Embroidered Silk Tassel Jacquard Evening Slippers. They merit such a lengthy moniker because they are priced at $4120. [Gulp.] That’s a bit much for evening slippers, even if you are Tom Ford. But if I had that kind of money, I’d totally get them because they are, quite simply, perfection.

And even if I didn’t have the money, I would toy with the idea of finding a way to get them (selling an organ?) because they are so pretty it would be like investing in a work of art.

PS – They also come in blue, for a fraction of the price of the pink ($3770.) But I do prefer pink…

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Put A Recap on It

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Having finished off the final days of Lent with a Good Friday flourish and an Easter Bunny Sunday, the week in which I started a new job came to a rather quiet close. We finally had a spell of sunny, decent weather, whereby I could finally begin work on the winter clean-up. Thus far I’ve loaded 25 lawn bags of debris and leaves from the backyard, and I’m only about halfway there. My back will verify, but it will be worth it. Onto the week behind…

Shifting gears from the sexy to the sweet, a pair of posts featuring the Ilagan twins set the cute dial to high, with this tease, and this delivery. The kiddie hi-jinks continued here and here, because with twins it’s always double the fun.

A Trojan Experience.

Music, man flesh, and memories, accompanied by the magnificent Ella Fitzgerald and Norah Jones. Oversexed again

An incredibly shirtless set of Zac Efron GIFs that set fantasies on fire.

Dreaming Until

Giving rise to things other than Jesus, the Hunks of the Day included Nick KenkelGerrad Bohl, Matt Cardle, Noah Wright and CJ Richards.

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Hunk of the Day: CJ Richards

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Represented by the watchful eyes of Wilhelmina, CJ Richards is more than just another magnificent model, which makes him extra hot for those of us who need some substance behind the eyes and beneath the abs. Mr. Richards backs up his bodacious body with an equally-impressive resume of accomplishments, including his co-founding of the Livology Wellness Group. It’s reassuring to see that a body like that is the result of healthy nutrition and working out. As Hunk of the Day, Richards is proof that hard work pays off. (Even if I’m not quite ready to test that theory.)

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Getting My Feet Wet (And Fingernails Dirty)

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Every gardener goes about their winter clean-up a little differently. Some start at one end of the yard and work neatly and methodically across the expanse until it’s all done. Some dabble a little here, and a little there, picking and choosing tasks as they present themselves. I’m somewhere in-between. I like to alternate tasks so as not to set winter-weary muscles into shock or spasm – a little raking, then a little bagging – a bit of pruning, then some soil amending. Then I’ll do a methodical sweep from one end of the yard to another to finish it all off.

This year we’re a bit behind, and usually by this time I’d have had a number of workable days in which the clean-up would already have been accomplished. When I walked out into the backyard and surveyed the sad state of affairs, I had a strange moment of wanting to give up. I contemplated not doing a damn thing, and letting the gardens and yard go all ‘Grey Gardens’ this year. With a new job and other responsibilities coming up, I felt a little overwhelmed. But I put on the gloves, unfolded the first paper lawn bag, and began as I always begin – pruning the sweet Autumn clematis to within a foot of the ground and removing last year’s twining stems from the arbor. You never when a spring or summer might be the last.

Another spring clean-up has begun, and the long, happy road to another warm season stretches far into the distance. Embrace it ~ summers are not endless, and spring is even less so.

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Happy Easter!

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You monsters love to see me in tears, so here’s the annual Easter Bunny shot, trotted out again to bring you your yearly dose of pleasure in my discomfort. (Dedicated to you, Kristi.) It remains Suzie’s most favorite picture of me, and for years it stood framed in her house. (How and why anyone would send it to other people is beyond me. It’s a veritable photographic record of how to torture a child.)

At the mall the other night, I looked over to see a line snaking its way toward an explosion of fake flowers and plastic grass, and in the center of it all a sign that read simply, ‘THE BUNNY.” Those poor kids, I thought, with a rare moment of compassion for the little people. All they want is the chocolate non-animated version of that thing. I will say that the Easter Bunny has come a long, friendlier way from the horrifying form he or she used to take when I was peeing in my pants having my picture taken with the beast.

I’ve also come a long way in reconciling my initial traumatic experience, going so far as to approach an Easter Bunny at a Boston brunch last year and conquering the fear. Still, part of me will always recoil at this holiday, and I’m glad you get such joy out of it. Now hop along, there’s nothing more for you to see here.

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Until…

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“Suppose I happen to know a unique flower, one that exists nowhere in the world except on my planet, one that a little sheep can wipe out in a single bite one morning, just like that, without even realizing what he’s doing – that isn’t important? If someone loves a flower of which just one example exists among all the millions and millions of stars, that’s enough to make him happy when he looks at the stars. He tells himself ‘My flower’s up there somewhere…’ But if the sheep eats the flower, then for him it’s as if, suddenly, all the stars went out. And that isn’t important?” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

If I caught the world in a bottle
And everything was still beneath the moon
Without your love would it shine for me?
If I was smart as Aristotle
And understood the rings around the moon
What would it all matter if you love me?
Here in your arms where the world is impossibly still
With a million dreams to fulfill
And a matter of moments until the dancing ends.

There was a river rushing by, and on the other side of it a city rose in the twilight. On our shore a wedding party assembled, all in happy, colorful costumes, all joy and unabashed love. There would be dancing and embracing and kissing, and the moving silence of a bell that could never be rung. Here a magical horse and accompanying chariot awaited to whisk us away to an evening of enchantment, where beneath a blanket we could hold hands and sigh. There was no way to stop the rush of a river in spring, nor a reason to try.

Here in your arms when everything seems to be clear
Not a solitary thing would I fear
Except when this moment comes near the dancing’s end.
If I caught the world in an hourglass
Saddled up the moon so we could ride
Until the stars grew dim
Until…

She sings songs of love, songs of heartbreak, and songs of longing. She will sing your song, if you ask nicely, if she knows it, and she will smile and nod when it’s over. You will thank her with folded green paper tossed into a glass goblet, with your smile and your hands brought together, and waves of love and appreciation – because that sort of thing matters, that sort of thing gets through. She will sing a song that accompanies you as you cross the river, and return to your world, and then she will sing you to sleep.

One day you’ll meet a stranger
And all the noise is silenced in the room
You’ll feel that you’re close to some mystery.
In the moonlight when everything’s shadows
You’ll feel as if you’ve known her all your life
The world’s oldest lesson in history.

When the song ends, and you’re alone in the quiet, you may find reason and want to cry. It’s all right if you do, though better if there’s someone to hold you. Well, not better, for there’s an unfair stigma attached to solitude, but different. It is possible to dance alone, but it’s so much friendlier with two.

Here in your arms where the world is impossibly still
With a million dreams to fulfill
And a matter of moments until the dancing ends.
Here in your arms when everything seems to be clear
Not a solitary thing do I fear
Except when this moment comes near the dancing’s end

When the dance is done, and the world has stilled, and all seems ready for slumber, you will slip into the sheets of a perfectly-made bed. Maybe someone will tuck you in, whisper sweet nothings, and hold you until the morning. Or maybe you will just dream until…

Oh if I caught the world in an hourglass
Saddled up the moon so we could ride
Until the stars grew dim
Until the time that time stands still
Until…

 

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