Thursday, April 30, 2015
We live in a cow town... literally.
Lewistown Montana is a farm
community surrounded by ranches
filled with acre upon acre of cattle.
Those black beauties stand along
the side of the road on the other
side of the fence alluringly waiting
to be devoured. However much like
the shoe maker's children we lack
any venue to dine upon a properly
cook piece of beef. More important,
it is absolutely impossible to order
and ingest a rare hamburger.
I am a carnivore. Therefore this beefy
boy likes nothing more than the red
stuff. In my opinion, there's only one
way to enjoy a cooked piece of cow -
RARE. Hence when I order a steak
my preference is seared with a cool
in fact preferably cold "blue" interior.
When it comes to a burger, I want it
to talk to me. In other words - said
slew should be as close to RAW as
possible. Yet unfortunately I live in
a place where absolutely nobody is
willing to give me what I want.
Back in Manhattan we never had a
problem. Weekly we journeyed to
Cafe Luxembourg on the upper west
side. There amidst the trappings of
a frenchified bistro we dined upon
a hand minced mound of raw beef
topped with a raw egg, Tabasco, and
other accoutrements. At every steak
house in the city that never sleeps,
if I ordered a steak "black and blue"
that's exactly what I got. Meanwhile
at every corner bar a luscious rare
burger was ready and waiting.
How dry I am
So why can't I have what I want in the
heart of beef country? Sadly even our
best restaurant is incapable of serving
a steak cooked rare enough for me.
So often I just cook it myself. Our
local butcher hand slices up a pretty
damned good rib eye. However unlike
the old days when I could easily buy
dry aged steaks at our corner grocer,
there are none to be had in town. Why
must I live in my dream land only to
be deprived from enjoying properly
prepared protein? It seems so unfair!
One thing is certain - not a single
chef in town will serve us a rare
burger. Hence both Frank and I
continue to push the issue. Post
request, the machinations are if
nothing else entertaining. At our
local Inn, the chef either yells at
the wait staff or angrily storms
from the kitchen to our table. On
the rare occasion when Frank has
ordered it rare at Doc's, the cook
demanded that he sign the check
to absolve her of all responsibility.
According to local culinary experts -
it is "against the law" to prepare and
serve a rare hamburger in Montana.
Incredulous, I did my homework to
uncover the raw reality. I won't bore
you with the details but the reason
our local restaurants cannot serve it
rare is simple. They purchase cheap,
preformed, frozen patties processed
in facilities that cannot guarantee the
safety of their meat. And so I must
suffer the consequences and either
do without or flip my own burger.
Bump and grind
I recently posed this question to the
chef. If I ordered a rib eye steak and
he ground it himself in his kitchen
then could I have my rare burger?
Baffled at my audacity of suggesting
he do some extra work, he not so
politely refused. Which means that
even if I'm willing to pay New York
City prices for a rare burger, it ain't
gonna happen in Lewistown. That
doesn't mean I'm going to give up.
There must be someone, somewhere
willing to give me what I want!
In Manhattan every menu has a small
footnote outlining the risks associated
with ingesting raw food. Said subtext
puts the onus on the consumer who is
willing to take the risk given theres a
big difference between eating a raw
versus cooked oyster. Yet why must
we be protected from a chef who opts
to not serve us the best? Quality tastes
better and processed food has no place
in a quality establishment. So if I'm
more ethan willing to pay my way -
why can't I have it my way?! RARE!
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Believe it or not, one year ago this
cowpoke left Manhattan. How fast
the time has flown by! And while
much has been accomplished in the
past year, I really have little to show
for all of that time well spent. The
Passion Pit has come a long way.
Our "new" old home is completely
transformed inside. And while we
still have some work to do on the
exterior, it's more than we hoped it
would be. No wonder "they" say
time flies when you're having fun!
Post a short period of adjustment, this
creature of habit has now fallen into
a rather magical groove. Hence each
and every day seems to literally end
shortly after it began. There are those
who say "retirement" is the busiest
time of one's life. Given most of my
list is still waiting to be checked off -
I must agree. Many ask me if this is
the "end" and my response is "no, it's
just the beginning." My only quandary
after twelve months in my new found
world is what's "next"?!
Little seems to be lacking in our new
life except Manhattan. I'd be a liar if
I said we didn't miss it. However I'll
candidly confess that my yearnings
for the big big city are occasional at
best. There are many things we miss.
Raw oysters at the top of the list with
sushi, pastrami, "real" Japanese, Thai,
and Indian cuisine following. Yet we
recently had a divine meal at our local
Chinese restaurant. That's because the
owner served us exactly what she was
eating and we felt like we were home!
Food cravings aside, one must work
a bit harder to procure most things
easily gotten in the city. Hence it
takes a bit of effort yet we lack for
nothing more than the stimulation
of living in a city that never sleeps.
However we suffered from similar
deprivation while living in Chicago,
Minneapolis, Dallas, and last most
least... Columbus, Ohio. Happily
there is little comparison to living
in Lewistown given it's where we
two homos feel most at HOME!
Living in a rural community is
a definite change from midtown.
Beyond wide open spaces, one
can't beat the open hearts of our
fellow residents. I'm still in the
process of learning the ropes as
we come from different worlds.
Here in God's country there are
many folks with more money
than God. The difference versus
posturing Park Avenue socialites
is that the last thing they want is
for you or others to know it.
Our friend "J" is another transplant
who ranches outside of town. She's
learned that ranchers prefer to stash
their cash rather than do something
frivolous like paint their house. You
never know when their might be a
drought! Their preference is to buy
a few cows rather than a new truck.
If they must, it must be the same hue
as their prior pickup. Their goal is
that nobody will notice what's new.
The last thing they want is for you
to know how they spend their cash!
Over the last twelve months I've
tried many new things and have
learned even more. Said lessons
have taught me to look at life in
a kinder and gentler way. After
attending the school of hard
knocks for most of life I rather
like my new curriculum. So will
I ever go back to work? Possibly.
However wherever life takes me
a bit of Lewistown will remain
in my heart. I'm a changed man
and home is where the heart is.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Lost in space
One can't help but think we've lost
it. Sadly every vestige of courtesy,
service, and dignity is absent from
our culture. Almost everywhere I
frequent - care, commitment, and
responsibility seem to be lacking
Instead we now live in a world
where mediocrity, mendacity, and
not so passive aggression seem to
be perfectly acceptable. Is anybody
else as sick as I am of being smile
fucked while being screwed - all
while being forced to pay for it?!
Consider the airlines. Travelers are
regularly subjected to what once
was considered torture. It's quite
obvious that they hold the cards.
Hence one is forced to sit hours as
they resolve "maintenance" issues
and then cancel your flight. Only
to be sent to the opposite end of
a terminal in search of yet another
flight. Only to be finally shuttled
to a Siberian Doubletree versus
the five star hostelry you booked
and paid for at your destination.
Why do paying customers accept
being treated like cattle? Worse,
why are First Class passengers
who paid for said privilege still
treated exactly the same as those
who fly for free? In theory I'm all
for democracy but at some point
the airlines must acknowledge
that there is a difference. Paying
a premium should insure more.
Yet most accept their fate and
like lambs being led to slaughter
do and go exactly as they are told.
Let me be clear. I'm an adult and hence
am fully aware that mistakes happen.
However it seems equally obvious that
a true apology or courteous attempt to
rectify the situation by the wrong doer
no longer seems necessary. Is customer
service dead?! Has our lazy embrace
of corporate mediocrity placed us into
indentured servitude to their not our
bottom line? Somehow I find the very
idea that the customer no longer matters
more than shocking. Rather, I find the
entire experience highly insulting.
Sadly our monolithic corporate
approach to just about everything
is the problem. Parity has gotten
too big and true management is
far removed from reality. While
they publish reams of guidance,
the minimum wage employee
who actually serves their guests
doesn't care what headquarters
says. Aside from exceptions one
sees on Undercover Boss, most
go through the motions like
automatons on an assembly line.
Fortunately we live in a small town.
While most local establishments may
lack the perks of corporate packages,
the people who run them are actively
involved. The majority try to do their
best to make their customers happy.
It's certainly not perfect. However
given there is some sense of personal
responsibility involved, the experience
is most definitely better! Now if only
these folks could dream a little bigger
and try a little harder. Part of me still
yearns to be dazzled. Is that possible?
It seems that both we consumers and
those who offer goods and services
willingly accept the bare minimum.
I may be a big city snob but when I'm
paying - I want to be treated well. It's
the little touches that make even the
most pedestrian of processes unique.
Once someone wraps my purchase in
tissue or offers to gift wrap it - I'm
theirs forever. Said loyalty turns into
repeat business. Which means that
we all benefit from each transaction.
In my opinion that's good business.
Monday, April 27, 2015
I was recently made aware that some
of my loyal readers feel that roue'
has gotten a tad too risque. More
specifically that there are too many
pictures of naked gentlemen shown
on this blog. Well, while a bare boy
or two may appear - especially at the
end of each Sunday's surprise - my
intention is never to offend. Actually
readership stats tend to show quite a
dramatic increase with any such over
exposure. Therefore my first reaction
is... "thou doest protest too much."
Guilty as charged
Trusting my advisory "bored" I feel
I must explain said sporadic stints of
public nudity. To be clear - I'm a gay
man. Given boys will be boys, most
men enjoy stimulating their senses.
However girls seem to see things a
bit differently. Homoeroticism aside,
this blog uses images to help make a
point. Yet some apparently feel that
too much of a good thing is just that.
Accused of over exposure, I feel it's
necessary to give those in question
the benefit of their doubts.
There is a fine line between demure
and debauched. Anybody who has
known me for any length of time is
fully aware that I will often color
between said lines. With an at best
ribald sense of humor I've never
met a double entendre that I didn't
like. Therefore it's safe to assume
I'm not a prude. Nor is there any
doubt that I love to push a button
or two. This blog's content reflects
it's creator's broader thinking and
hence pushes the brown envelope.
Fortunately for all of us, one brave soul
suggested that some of the accompanying
imagery within this blog may leave more
than something to desired. Therefore I'm
placing this candid input about my output
under consideration. If that requires that
I reign in my homoerotic tendencies, so
be it. With few exceptions, I never want
my missives to make you uncomfortable.
My sole reason for writing this blog is to
entertain. While I derive much pleasure
in sharing my dreams and desires - I've
no desire to offend my loyal readers.
Growing up during the sexual revolution,
I should have known better. However
being raised in a ultra conservative home
meant that any discussion of sex was out
of the question. The truth be told, the only
chat I ever had with my father about sex
was on the morning of my wedding day.
Howard's advice was "Please be gentle -
some guys go WILD!" The fact is I had
to figure it out for myself and sadly that
didn't happen until my mid thirties. So
I learned the facts of life via trial and
error. Which was harder than you think!
Propriety aside, part of me believes
we should all be more open about
our desires. Why hide what is most
probably the part of our lives that
make us happy? After I sowed my
wild oats - I finally understood what
true intimacy was. Without that key
carnal knowledge, I would never
have been able to figure out who
my Mr. Right was. After twenty
years with Frank one thing is most
certain - when it's right... it's right.
And what's wrong with that?!
While I apologize for my bouts of
show and tell - I can't guarantee it
won't happen again. I'm a bit of a
hedonist but now understand that
for some of you, au naturale does
not come naturally. So I'll attempt
to control myself and in return I
ask for your candid feedback. In
the process of reconciliation if I
strike a chord, tell me. And when
I'm totally off key, please sing out
Louise! That's the only way that
I can possibly clean up my act!