Friday, December 22, 2006

Great Friends Are Good to Have 2

Great Friends Are Good to Have 2
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Great Friends Are Good to Have

Last night I had a few beers with two of my best friends, Rayner and Suzanne.

I felt very happy being with them and upon reflection concluded that great friends are good have.

It was an extraordinary day in other ways as well: Rayner had completed one of the holy sacraments of becoming a “man” and Suzanne had found a certain man that she had been looking for.

I am honored to have been privy to the details of both of their experiences and was grateful for the opportunity to celebrate these important events in their lives with them.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Doctor Said I've Got ABD...Alec Baldwin Disease

The Doctor Said I've Got ABD...Alec Baldwin Disease
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

It’s Not Easy Being a Baldwin…

I need a good workout.

Better yet, I need a good work-out partner—someone for some…mutual motivation.

Because, quite honestly, as per the photo above, I’ve discovered that December is the worst month of the year to decide that you want to get back into shape (i.e. from amorphous blob back to some semblance of a human being). Granted, it took me several years to realize this, but, here I am, now realizing it.

My problem, you see, is two-fold.

First, I’ve been partying far too much lately—far more than ever before—call it my middle-age crisis or simply a result of a spurt of opportunity. Either way, the revelry has to stop; okay-okay, at least I have to taper it.

And secondly, uh-hum, please excuse what will immediately come across as hubris, but frankly, I’ve been banking on a bit of brazen demeanor and general good looks a little too much lately.

I’ve found that people often are attracted to characters with confidence. Moreover, having a pretty face makes you cocky, which combined with a little bravado and persistence usually gets you what you want and desire, so much so that your body and constitution pay the price. Because, even though you get lazy, you keep getting laid (an expression I’m using quite liberally here—not literally—to make a point).

Truth is, it’s not easy being a Baldwin, which I’m not, but I believe I’ve gained a good understanding as to why Alec has gotten so damn fat.

Anyway, working out for me, until this year, used to run the gamut of not-so-long-distance running; a faux-blend of tai-chi, yoga and pilates; trekking about Manhattan taking pictures; spontaneously running circles around quirky-quasi dates; a lot of dancing—and tantric sex.

I ran the New York City Marathon almost 15 years ago at a 6:45 pace, so I once-wasn’t so bad of a runner. Alas, that was then, and this is now, and somehow I’ve let go of the requisite discipline. My mile time is probably double what it used to be (on a good day).

Until the end of last year I was a drill sergeant when it came to getting my ass to the gym. For a couple of years, one way or another, I’d wake up at four AM, and after reading and writing for an hour, I’d work out for another hour or so, either at home or in the office gym.

Alas (again), I went through some significant life changes this year, and so my workout regimen gradually and quickly changed. Funny how the price of freedom can be degenerative debauchery.

Dancing, oh, dancing. Lerner and Lowe once put it quite aptly: “Dancing is like making love to music playing.” It’s true, with a good partner who intuitively understands the give-and-take of ballroom, swing and traditional Latin dancing (i.e. the man leads) it is easy to feel like you’re making mad-love on the dance floor—it is not a lurid feeling, so much as a sentiment of sensuous synchronicity.

Earlier this summer, I had an amazing dance partner and we went salsa dancing a couple of times a week. Unfortunately, this partnership was not meant to last. Besides, the late nights were beginning to wear upon me and incur upon everything else I wanted to do and accomplish. Hence, I guess, now I’m seeking a better balance.

This morning I was getting dressed in my study, when my eyes set upon a group of books running the gamut from The History of Sexuality to The Illustrated Kama Sutra and The “New” Joy of Sex (pocket edition). I literally considered putting the latter into my pocket, but quickly gave up that fantasy to reality.

For the sad fact is that you need a partner to practice that art. And although there is a lot to be said for preparing for the next opportunity, masturbation doesn’t burn enough calories to justify a reread.

That said, albeit a workout partner-and-sexually insatiable girlfriend would be ideal, I’d settle for a plain ol’ platonic running partner (3-6 miles about the park, a few times a week) right now.


The accompanying photo here was taken on October 31, Halloween (pretty scary, huh?)—things haven’t changed much since then. And although it may very well be a gross exaggeration of the sad shape I’m in, I think it keenly signifies how I’m feeling.

Most importantly, owning up to who I really am is key to change. For you’ve got to accept what you are before you can truly change who you are; and I’m set to changin’.

Moreover, considering that this photo is not bound to coral me that harem I’m vying for, I figure motivating myself is going to prove to be my best bet at this juncture.

Although, I will add, that not too long ago, I posted another self-deprecating photo that had all the ladies saying that “a sense of humor” was a great lure, line and sinker.

Well, guess what? Apparently, someone forgot to tell me that you also need a hook to catch something, to reel in one of them fish in the sea.

Oh, well, at least I’ve still got me and my sense of humor…



Friday, December 15, 2006

Dead at the Table

Watch Out Men!
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Dead at the Table

So, these two outlaws here were playing a game of cards you see.

And they got in a mean old scuffle. They’re a yelling and shouting and a screaming at each other one minute. And then suddenly, when it starts to get real hot in here, I mean broiling, the cowboy with the black kerchief (they called him the black bandit I heard!) pulls out his pistol; then the other one does the same, but lightening-quick; and then, Bang! Bang! one shot right after the after.

So, mister, what you see here is what you got, two shots and both were left dead at the table.

Word is that they were brothers, and they got in a dispute over some lady or uther.

Can never be too careful when it come to them women-folk you know, they’ll distract ya! And before you know it you’ll be fighting over them, even if it is yer own bruther! Dag nab it!

They women-folk ain’t no good I tell ya! Devil’s brew, witching ya all the time with their luuuv-spells and magic batting eyelashes, lookin’ at you like you was Ulysses, hero of the Seven Seas!!

And they make you believe it too! “Ohhh, you’re so strong, and ooooo, yer so this and yer so that…”– meanwhile they’re emptying out yer pockets, and then its your bank account! “Buy me this and buy me that….”

The other night I dropped a whole lot of silver for one of them dames. She kept kissing me and telling me, “Come on now darling, just buy me one more drink! Just one more…?”

I tell her, “Look darling you’re depleting me of my life savings."

Quick as silver, she bats them long and lovely lashes, puts her hands on her hips and with a wicked smile wiggles me a little witchy dance, “Well, I’m an expensive date you know!”

“Yeah, I know, but are you worth it?” I countered, “Am I gonna be able to take you home tonight?”

She just smiled, wicked and all, bewitching me, and she replies with a wile that was a mile long, “Just buy me another drink cowboy, and put you’re pistols back in your pockets! I just need one more drink…”

Smiling all innocent and all..Jeessh.

So, of course, what did I do? Well, I bought her another drink of course. I felt like I was back at the gold rush again. All excited and all, panning in the stream, looking for that magic gleam in her eyes, but this time it wasn’t the stream I was dreaming about, it was this little sass of a lass called Lydia. Ol’ Lydia! What you do to me! Oooo, eeeee!

Anyway, they’re man-eating sirens I tell ya, every one of them! At least, all the pretty ones are…I know cause Lydia ate me alive, swallowed me right up!

But no, we don’t learn do we? Even after being swooned and tormented over and over again, we just continue looking, standing on the corner watching all the girls by…waving our fishing poles, hoping one of them is hungry enough to take a bite.

So, then when we got them - and they really got us - and were listening to them (or at least pretendin’ to, you know what I mean men? Snicker, snicker) we get sucked in anyway! Pulled in like a sucker!

Dag nab it!

Evil, just plain evil.

So, careful out there fellas, because they’re all out to get ya; and if one of them don’t do you in, you’ll probably end up like these two men, killin’ each other over a little ol’ lady friend. Shame, shame I tell ya, what a shame….

You’ve to know when to hold ‘em
Know when to fold ‘em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run.

You never count yer money
when you’re sittin at the table
They’re be time enough for counting
When the dealin’s done!

- The Gambler, Kenny Rogers -

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Atlanta,GA, Thursday, December 14, 2006:

How is it that I always seem to have a great time whenever I’m in Atlanta?

These photos are from Twisted Taco in Midtown Atlanta on 12th Street, where my colleagues and I went after our annual holiday party at Nikolai’s Roof, atop the Atlanta Hilton and Towers Hotel.

It was pretty crazy.

Thank you to all my friends, new and old, in Atlanta-Alpharetta. I appreciate the good times. I look forward to seeing you all again soon.

And Happy Holidays to all my friends around the world, may your celebration of life equal your appreciation for it.

Love, Peace, Happiness and Lots of Good Lovin’…


Tuesday, December 5, 2006

It Is Only The Beginning

It Is Only The Beginning
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

The End is Not The End
(it is only the beginning)

Last night, my estranged wife and I sat down in the breakfast nook and looked over the photo from her recent high school reunion.

She demurely asked me if she could “Ask me a question”

I hesitated for a moment, if only because there is this thick entanglement of synapses in my brain that when triggered tell me to pause, tell me to figure out how I should react, tell me that I must assess the moment first and then respond, because something seemed amiss here.

Thus, “I knew what was coming,” because I understood by the context, by the moment, and by her look that she wanted to ask me a “guy” question.

Despite this learned, and truly token, reason for pause, I was actually open to answering.

Besides, before we were dating, before we fell in love and decided to try this matrimony thing, before the kids, the house and the corporate job—we were actually very good friends. And things are fairly amicable now, living apart is apparently the elixir to everything.

Nonetheless and allthemore, she eventually asked and I honestly answered. I was actually happy for her. She is a wonderful woman and she deserves a lot of attention—at least a lot more than I was able to give her when we were together the last couple of tumultuous years.

(12 hours later)

Anyway, sleepy-eyed and a little worried about being late to work (again) this morning, I consoled myself on the bus stuck in traffic by reminiscing on this warm moment.

As a result, it occurred to me, I had an epiphany, that there are really very few bad experiences in life, that for the most part life is pretty kosher, it is vibrant, teeming with possibility, and it is wonderful—if you want it to be.

The two bad experiences that immediately came to mind though were—one, actually being physically sick (Enzo, our oldest, was reeling from a cold this morning, crying because he didn’t want to go to school)—we all know how excruciatingly grueling truly ailing can be— when there never seems to be an end to it all and you vow to clean up your act if only you ‘re allowed to survive; and two, is the experience of being in a sick relationship—not sick as in perverted, but sick as in quite normal, sick as in the natural disintegration of it all, when you can’t just have fun anymore and actually have to deal (with issues, decisions, obligations, and dreams that pull you apart and off into opposite directions).

Of the two, I’d take reeling over the bowl for a night or two, because the latter lasts a lot longer, and is much more painful in so many respects—your heart, soul and mind all ache at the same time and, combined, they make your body sick.

Since the separation, we don’t argue much anymore. We play tennis on occasion. We talk, we calmly make decisions—and like last night, we even talk about our feelings.

Two nights ago I wrote to her:

Subject: just want you to know

i'm wearing one of my favorite, most comfortable, shirts right now: the orange LBI t-shirt (that you gave me). thanks.

i still love you (you know). i may just not want to live with you, or anyone else, for that matter, but i still love you, nonetheless and allthemore.

say hi the kids for me, please tell them i love them (too).



So why do I share this with you? It does seem rather personal after all.

Well, it is rather personal, and thus it is rather real.

I think it is important to be real, to not be afraid of being human, to encourage others to do and be the same. I encounter too many people who are afraid of expressing themselves for fear of being judged, for fear of not being like everyone else, for fear of having failed one ideal or another.

Moreover, I think it is important to convey that there are alternatives to nasty break-ups. I know of too many that have gone this course; I’ve witnessed the rage, the grating anger, the virulent frustration. I find it unfortunate and unnecessary.

Perhaps, it is because I believe that the end of a relationship is not as bad as it seems nor as tragic as our society purports it to be.

It is primarily because we deem it to be that it becomes heavier than it really is. The end of anything is always the beginning of something else. Sometimes, it is the unknown, sometimes it means we have grown beyond the realm of another or that our vines have spread apart.

Initially, the intertwining is divine, but then we find ourselves thirsting, pining for space, and we start to miss the taste of freedom.

Ultimately, we begin to face the reality that we are squeezing life out of one another.

Thus, although given the druthers, we usually choose to continue suffocating, because we are taught suffering is part of the deal. We are sold a set of beliefs that justify the grief of monogamy and (un)dying commitment by deeming them as natural as breathing, and that intimacy and love and desire are as everlasting as life itself.

But just as life meets death, the makeshift bliss of contrived human relations dies too.

Once we have begun the institutionalized path of the relationship it is almost impossible for it not to become the same old thing, the same hard road to nowhere where upon all the signs read "dead end."

Most of us see this sign and resign ourselves, as if we had signed a contract with a no-compete clause, the breech thereof that would end absolutely everything—till death do us part.

Thus, we sigh, we cry, anger takes over, we become utterly despondent and sulk, never realizing that the answer lies in our innate inclination to run away, to turn in another direction, if only to move on, elsewhere alone.

You see, there are essentially two realities we live in. There is a personal reality that all of us are capable of manifesting, but which most of us do not realize. And then, there is the social reality that the vast majority blindly follow by heeding to contemporary values, constructs of thinking, and the institutions that support them.

Thus, to live a happy life it is incumbent upon the individual to realize what is the absolute truth within one self. Personally, I know that the great things in life, whether they be interactions with others or the awe of the morning, are all fleeting. Perfection is possible, but it is ephemeral.

Therefore, It is wholly natural to say goodbye, for everything must come to an end. And when we realize and accept this inescapable principle of being, we allow ourselves to turn our strife from a bumpy road to hell into the joyride of our lives.

It is true that nothing lasts forever, including "love," and yet as foolish humans we still strangely perceive, conceive and cohort as if we are capable of manifesting otherwise. And despite the wise lessons of time, we find ourselves falling in love over and over again anyway.

The late and great mythologist Joseph Campbell stated that he believed the romantic form of love as we know it today in Western civilization began with the troubadours of the Middle Ages. Therefore, everlasting or "true" romance is not something that has existed throughout the history of mankind. And not only has it not always been universal, it is also not necessarily an innate need that can only be fulfilled by "the one."

In fact, the notion of the "soul mate" has been alien to much of the world for most of the time we have existed as intelligent sapient beings. It is oddly as elusive as all those things which are invisible and divine, yet somehow we find ourselves inclined to hopelessly believing that such ideals can be manifested in a single person anyway.

The hard truth is that romance is a commercial enterprise that we actively partake in and which artificially realizes this swell of sentiment within us, one that does not entirely stem naturally from within. Or if it does, it is expressed with trite expressions of amorous emotions. Valentine's Day is a perfect example of this, for it honors something that should be celebrated creatively everyday, and one which buying a card or candy or a bouquet is only okay if you are too lazy to make an effort.

Overall, we accept so many things that we are told wholesale to believe in, simply because it is easiest to sail through life that way. If we had to try and figure out which way to go with every step, we would immediately get weary and wary of the journey.

Surely love is a many splendored thing, but it is not always meant to be everlasting. And once one has learned to accept this, she or he will be all the more happier, and likely happier than most.

So, the end is not the end. In fact, I’d like to think that in terms of my marriage, that perhaps we are at a new beginning somehow. We are becoming friends again, and that is a good thing.

My feelings on the matter are akin to how I feel about death. I want people to party at my funeral, not because I am dead, but because I have lived, and my life has been an example of how to live the good life, for life should be a celebration, a comedy—not a tragedy.


JC: Goethe says "all things are metaphors" —everything that is transitory is but a metaphorical reference. That's what we all are.
BM: But how does one worship a metaphor, love a metaphor, die for a metaphor?
JC: Well, that's what people are doing all over the place! Dying for metaphors. And when you really realize the sound aum the sound of the mystery of the word everywhere—then you don't have to go out and die for anything because its right there all around , and just sit still and see it, and experience and know it.

~ The Power of the Myth, Love and the Goddess, Bill Moyers Interviews Joseph Campbell

The End is Not The End

Sunday, December 3, 2006

A Lazy Sunday Inside

A Subway to Somewhere
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

A Lazy Sunday Inside

It was a beautiful day outside today, so I heard.

And so it seemed, by the cool breeze and bright sunshine streaming in through the windows. I stayed inside though, a lazy Sunday inside after a long night of revelry—got home at five this morning, slept in till after noon, then got up and cleaned the apartment; reshuffled things a bit, rearranged furniture, made changes, if only to keep things fresh and new.

Even though I’m getting old(er), I feel new. Renewed really, practically every morning I wake up, Not absolutely everyday though, because I am only human, after all. Getting old teaches you that.

I walk through my apartment and think, “Gee, I’d like to just sit on my couch for a moment,” but then I pass the couch, and as I’m passing my bedroom I think, “Gee, I’d love to lay down in my bed and close my eyes for a while.” Alas, I pass that opportunity too, and keep on walking to the study, because I have to, because I want to edit some photos, because I want to work and I want to be creative and productive and feel as if I am making something out of my life. So no repose, no rest, keep on going, invest, put something into your life, because you know that’s how you’re going to get something out of it—in the end.

I like cheese sandwiches, I had one for dinner tonight: fresh, toasted Portuguese bread, and a good half a dozen slices of pepper jack (Monterey jack cheese with jalapeños) and Wisconsin extra sharp cheddar, all covered in Talapio, my favorite Mexican hot sauce.

This tasty treat was complemented by a Stella Artois in a frosted jelly jar. I cut fresh lime and squeezed a little on the edge of the glass, and then sprinkled a tad of salt on that. Mmmm, yum.

I sat at my long wooden dining table (in its new place) and slowly ate, alone. It was a very satisfying feeling, the sandwich was to die for—I like cheese, I like bread, I like hot sauce. Thus the combination was heavenly.