Tag Archives: wine

three words equal one date.

Last Saturday evening, I decided to “enhance the dating experience” of Daryl and me. These “ideas” seem to POP into my head on my days off while I’m tooling around obsessing running errands, viewing porn reading the news on the internet, or just sitting on the crapper playing Bejeweled Blitz in an easy chair reading a good biography.

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Our “dating life” has not gotten stale, mediocre, or even lack-luster after eight years together, however, with our conflicting work schedules we often go days without dates, weeks without sex, and months without a good vodka tonic. Sometimes it feels as though we’re two disabled Carnival cruise ships passing in the night.

So occasionally, I just like to… what’s the term I’m looking for… “raise the bar?” Yeah, I’ll go with that for now. I’m fortunate that Daryl is so adept good at tolerating embracing my ideas to be creative in our relationship. I always enjoy the look on his face when I present these brainstorms over a glass of pinot noir and some English cheddar cheese when he gets home from work. It’s usually a look of a deer in headlights bewilderment, followed by feigned understanding and capped with a sigh smile, a nod and him obligatorily enthusiastically asking “how do we get started?”

“I’m not suggesting initiating new toys, or boys, or boy toys into our dating repertoire,” I explained to him,” I just think we can use tools to make the date more meaningful and thought out.” He shuffled for another piece of cheddar as I sipped my wine and began to explain that on Sunday (his day off) and Monday (my day off) that we could give each other three words that begin with the same letter and must be “incorporated into the date” somehow.”

He washed the cheese down with what I thought was a larger than normal gulp of the wine and continued to wait for more explanation. “For example,” I responded, “Water, Wish, and Wine! You have to come up with a date tomorrow evening that somehow involves those three words! Easy-smeasy right? (thinking to myself that I am NEVER again to use the phrase “easy-smeasy” while presenting an idea of ANY kind).” I must admit that I sort of had a preconceived idea as to how this date could happen quite easily and inexpensively. I’m thinking in my head that a quick trip into West Chester to the Court House fountain, throw in a couple of pennies, grab a glass of wine and a salad at Iron Hill, and BINGO! We’ve enhanced the dating experience with water, a wish, and wine!

Not so fast. Daryl didn’t seem to make the “W” connection quite as quickly and looked a little panicked. Okay, I’ll concede that I DID push this on him without a whole lot of warning, and I thought that perhaps we needed a little time to digest this plan as we finished up dinner for the evening.

The next morning, as I was sipping coffee on the sofa while listening to pretty birds chirping outside while unfriending a few tired folks on FaceBook, I received a phone text from Daryl who happened to be in the bathroom down the hall (how DID we ever survive without smartphones?) that said “Transportation, Transparent and Tradition. Use one or all three in our date tonight.”

I was ecstatic! My idea was accepted!

I immediately started thinking about how I could incorporate these three words into a fun-filled, exciting, worthwhile date. The first word that instantly stuck in my head was of course, “transparent.” I thought Saran Wrap, right? It’s obvious, overt, and just plain obscene!


I dug the Saran Wrap out of the bottom of my foil and baggies drawer (oh yes, I have snack baggies, quart baggies, gallon baggies, zip lock, and even color strip baggies… it’s pathetic) and took it to the bedroom where I was going to “test” how this would work. I didn’t get too much “wrapped” when I realized that this would most definitely NOT be pretty. So I thought about using invisible Scotch Tape on my nipples! I could hardly contain my self-brilliance. How hot would it be to see me with “transparent” tape on my erect fleshy nipple? Then I tried to pull one off of as a clump of hair followed.

Sigh, again.

I finally decided to just make peach Jell-O with homemade whipped cream and a fresh slice of peach on top for dessert. “Transparent” down, two words to go.

The “tradition” part was easy. I just incorporated that into our traditional clinking of the wine glasses at the beginning of our meal. I most likely could have come up with something better on this one, but considering the timing, I went with it.

“Transportation” was more difficult to figure out. I thought that perhaps a ride to “Kiwi Yogurt” in town would be a fun way to relay transportation, but since I had used a dessert for another word, I was at a road block. I finally decided to dig out a game that we used to play called Mille Bornes. It’s a card game that originated in France and required us to interact while moving along in an imaginary car race to the finish line. It was a perfect solution considering the winner had choice of the after dinner um… prize.

So it’s not the finale of the Bachelor, or Game of Thrones, but it DID give us the opportunity to have a little fun with a little effort. I can’t wait to try this again next week!



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the Negro nod.

Please bear in mind that while Daryl totally supports my blogmanic blurbs on our co-named site (after I post them of course), that I should have a disclaimer somewhere on it that states that my opinions are NOT necessarily his.

Oh well, my bad.

Daryl and I have very little quality time together as most of you are aware. That being said, when we ARE together, prancing ourselves around in public as a happy go lucky interracial gay couple living in the Republican singed suburbs of Philadelphia (whew, more labels there than a “can-can” sale at Shop Rite), there are subliminal public observations that I tend to notice. It could be a wave, a gesture or a tone of voice… but there is one observation that is different… one that is frightening… one that I call…

… the “Negro NodTM.

Now I realize that I’m using an N word (as opposed to the N word) that is racially reserved for those of color, but frankly, this is my blog and my subject matter and I’m an adult of the utmost maturity, so there.

I didn’t notice “the nod” in the first stages of our budding relationship. Hell, we were in the throes of romance, and passion, slathered with loads of ubiquitous sex. Our eyes never left each other in the first few months (although I don’t think Daryl actually realized that I had blue eyes until our fourth date) and we were newbies and fresh and still discovering all of Daryl’s quirks and issues that I had to deal with.

Then, one steamy summer evening…

… while we were at a local mall shopping for candles, wine glasses and most likely underwear, I realized that there was a code… a secret code that I was not privy to. I was not a part of. Whenever Daryl and I would walk past another Black couple or family, the male would make eye contact with Daryl only and nod ever so slightly. I was confused at first. I smiled at them too, but they would only nod at Daryl. It wasn’t fair and it wasn’t polite. I felt invisible. I felt… what’s the word I’m searching for…


I wondered if perhaps it was just a onetime thing, then I noticed it happening in other public situations like grocery stores, bars, movies, bars, the wine store, festivals and bars. I was appalled at how casually I was ignored by the men in Daryl’s race. No nods for me. What did I do to deserve this rude racial behavior?

Was it like some secret handshake between “brothas” that I was to never know? Was I being paranoid? Was it a silent symbol of solidarity that meant that someday the Black men would take over the world and I would be the one thrust into slavery forever? I felt panic and despair rise within my gut and then I thought…

Maybe I was over analyzing?

Daryl and I have discussed it in length. He says that I’m over reacting again and that “you Crackers do your own nodding too” but I still think I’m missing something. It’s as if he’s hiding a long guarded secret from the Mother Continent.

As a pasty White man, I don’t ever remember that sense of connection, or camaraderie with other White guys. I wasn’t a part of that fraternity. Then again, I didn’t really play a lot of sports, and I DID find my girl cousins a lot more fun to hang out with than the guys. I still sometimes attempt to do the “high-five” but I never really get that quite right either. I usually miss, or have my palm get slapped so hard I can’t use it for days. Not that I USE my palms for days mind you… sheesh… I’m digging a hole here.

Perhaps I could possibly lessen the significance of the “Negro Nod” by going into the secret signals and nods of gay men, but frankly that would be redickulously complicated and overwrought with more dramatic definition and flamboyant flair than I have time or patience for this afternoon, so I’ll save that for another day.

In the meantime, you just watch… you’ll see. Watch the interaction between Black men in public locations. Try to ignore it. I dare you.


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a day at Longwood Gardens…

I LOVE Longwood Gardens, just outside West Chester, PA. I decided on a whim that on this amazingly clear warm late summer day that Daryl and I were BOTH off, we should spend some time here. We strolled and sat, strolled some more, then ate a leisurely lunch. Daryl took an extra allergy pill (he truly works at our relationship) and everything was fine until he said at the end of our outing that “Mr. Longwood should be proud!*” I laughed SO hard that I actually cried. I love that silly man.

(the photos are just from my iphone)

SO relaxed while enjoying a spectacular day at Longwood Gardens.


Italian Water Gardens


Brugmansia (Angels Trumpets)


breezed hallway off the Main Conservatory


water lily pads


Chime Tower


gazebo outside of the rose garden


tea rose... the fragrance was amaaazing!


topiary garden


within the "Eye of Water" pavillion

* Daryl is WELL aware that Longwood Gardens is NOT named after a Mr. Longwood.


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bathroom mystery solved

I found this in the bathroom the other day and wondered what the hell it was.

At first glance, it looked like some sort of shoe gadget. You know, one of those things the manufacturers put in a shoe to help keep its shape? Daryl DID just recently purchase a pair of sneakers online (which I told him was probably not the best way to purchase shoes) and I thought perhaps it was from one of those.

The sneakers he purchased really couldn’t sneak up on much of anything though. He put them on like a giddy 9 year old who thought he would be able to run faster and jump higher! That is until he got out on the sidewalk in front of our condo. He was behind me as I heard the dreaded “squeak… squeak… squeak” of his walk in what we now refer to as his “squeakers.” At least he kept the receipt, if we can locate it.

As I got down on the floor to more closely examine this “molded plastic,” I noticed a couple of used Q-tips and a huge lint slash hair ball behind the toilet. I was beginning to realize that I needed to clean the bathroom a little better next time as I finally came to the conclusion that this unknown white thing was not for a shoe.

As I lay on the bathroom floor in my robe I wondered if maybe it was some sort of “spork?” It had a handle and it appeared as though one could hold it like a utensil to eat with right? However, I deducted that an eating utensil would most likely never be found in one’s bathroom. Although, recently, I did find myself finishing a half bag of popcorn one night after some extended wine drinking while sitting on the hopper. Sorry for the image.

Still unsure as to what this mystery plastic was on the floor of the bathroom, I had an “a-ha” moment and realized it MUST be a sex toy! After all it has a handle, and odd shaped holes all over no matter which way I turned it, so it must be something from ToyBox.com right? With all of our “frequent-buyer” points, perhaps this was a “bonus gift with case” purchase that Daryl ordered as a surprise for me?

To my dismay, as I examined this white synthetic mystery much closer, I noticed the word “Hydra” embossed within its wide mouth and realized that it was simply a holder for a razor. I immediately wondered why Daryl would keep it around after ripping the razor from its package and realized with a grin that the man keeps everything. He’s one of those hoarders you see on TV that lives under piles of stuff. I’d snap a few photos to illustrate this to you, but I’ve already signed an agreement at the onset of our relationship that I have to run photos involving personal space, ass shots, shower pics and sleeping drool portraits past my partner first. Sheesh. As if I’d expose anything about our private lives online.

Now, I have to get up off the bathroom floor. ugh.


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just make a wish and blow…

Just call me Santa Claus! Or maybe I’m the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Glinda the Good Witch all rolled up into one.

Daryl asked for a “ménage á trois”  for his birthday, and lo and damn behold I got him one (see photo). How the heck did he know that the wine store would even have that? Funny huh?

I’m just glad he didn’t ask for a million dollors, a new car or a buff boyfriend ’cause I didn’t see them in the bordeaux aisle.


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Today is my Dad’s Birthday…

I guess I should also explain that it’s the FIRST birthday I’m celebrating without him. I don’t even know how old he would have been. I’m like that. He passed away two days after Christmas last year of a stroke. It was a complete surprise.

I don’t feel sad really (that’s a lie because I’ve teared up several times while proofing this), however, I DO miss being able to text him (he JUST learned how to do that about 6 months before his death). I also miss knowing that I just can’t call him to wish him a Happy Birthday.

In our past, we never really had the type of Father-Son connection like you’d see on the Brady Bunch or the Cosby Show. We shared a fairly tumultuous relationship growing up. A lot of yelling and anger were common in our familial world. I wasn’t his perfect son and he really wasn’t what I wanted or expected as a father emotionally (although he ALWAYS provided for us economically).

We actually became estranged for a few years when I discovered he was cheating on my Mom and I thought he was a hypocrite and I also hated him for not being true. It’s funny in retrospect how the more opposite I thought we were, the more we were actually alike.

After many heartfelt conversations as we matured and became somewhat wiser sharing a few well intentioned glasses of deep red wine, we eventually grew away from the resentment and into respecting each other. Dad totally accepted my “lifestyle” after I explained it to him, and it was about at that time that I “forgave” him for his infidelity and subsequent divorce from my Mom several years earlier. We began to see each other as just two men who happened to be Father and Son and who also realized we were not perfect. At the risk of oversimplification, it was truly an epiphany for both of us.

As our lives moved forward, I’d call him about once a month and we’d chat about each other’s jobs a little, he’d ask how my partner, Daryl, was doing. I’d ask him how his health was and how his wife Sharon was and then we’d end the call with the promise to have lunch as soon as MY schedule allowed. My schedule never works for things like that.

I don’t regret words unspoken. We ALWAYS said we loved each other at the end of our conversations.

I think I’m going to do what Daryl and his Mom usually do for his Dad and sister, Jo who passed several years ago; I’m going to release a few helium balloons this evening after work, to the sky… and watch them while I squint until I can’t see them anymore as they sail into the heavens and into my Dad’s arms with wishes of peace.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll once again see his face in mine as I shave in the mirror and grin.

Happy Birthday Dad.


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Spit or Swallow?

It began as a romantic evening. Candlelight casting a hazy glow over the entire room as if the very atmosphere knew we were on a journey of love and hopefully… LUST! We gazed into each other’s eyes like two schoolboys giddy with excitement that we were about to begin something that was akin to that first kiss where hot sloppy tongue was involved and it went on forever making your body betray what you truly desired. We had not done this before.

I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous inside. This was something I personally had never really thought about before… never really tried it like THIS. Would I like it? Would it feel good going down? The evening was about to begin…

Daryl asked, “Are you going to swallow that all at once?” to which I wickedly winked at him and grinned, “Yeah… every delicious drop!” We both half laughed, half moaned at the sensual sensations before us.

I placed my finger lightly on the thick stem at first, and then grabbed it harder with my entire hand. I stroked it a little quicker as I started to revel in this adventure we chose together. As I brought it to my lips, I was mildly amused as a little drop of precious juice splattered on my chin. I was amazed at how crimson it was at first but in the light at certain angles it took on a deeper shade of purple, with hints of ebony. It was simply glistening as I pulled it toward my waiting mouth. My heart felt as though it would pound out of my chest in anticipation of what awaited me.

My jaw tingled sharply, then my entire mouth was full as I took the whole warm juice deep within my throat and swirled it deliciously around my tongue while sucking softly. It filled my entire being as I moaned slightly as I wondered whether I should spit… or should I swallow?

Just when I thought I would absolutely explode, I decided to swallow! It felt SO good sliding down my parched throat. It warmed my stomach and I knew I was completely satisfied and fulfilled.

I am so glad Daryl and I found this wine tasting class to attend! It was worth it and we can’t wait until next week!

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