Negative Flight Time

SMS from E, who will now be renamed “Memory Man“:R u excited? One more day :-)

Me: You remembered! Yes we are both so excited! ^^

Memory Man: I remember every thing :-). Well have a Hot time w/ him them :-P

***

Departure
Scheduled: Sat – Jul 19, 2008 10:50 AM
Estimated: Sat – Jul 19, 2008 11:00 AM (runway)

Arrival

Scheduled: Sat – Jul 19, 2008 11:40 AM
Estimated: Sat – Jul 19, 2008 10:22 AM (runway)

Mark: So wait. He’s going to get here before he leaves?

Housing

Mark says to the woman at the central 24-hr leasing office, “No, I’m calling for a friend…Korea…yes, I have her permission…no, I think that’s a bit more than she wants to spend… My phone number? Sure, it’s…”

I write on the notepad between us, “You my housin’ pimp!”

“Break Out the Champagne!”

Friday
Good Man, after I had a phone interview for an additional hour: Monday’s meeting do you go to the school?

Me: No, we’ll meet at a deli.

Good Man: Oh a deli…
:) That is a good sign
Nobody says “that is a good meal..it’s yummy. Oh by the way, you’re not hired.”

Saturday
Me, reading an email from Principal out loud to Mark and his Lover: “Amanda, should [position A] not work out, what would you think of [position B…] I wouldn’t want you to get away.”

Mark and his Lover: Wha-hoo! Let’s break out the champagne!

Monday
Principal: HR is going to call you and offer you a job. You will say, “Yes, I accept.” Don’t get fickle on me now, promise!

Me: Let me practice. “Yes, I accept.”

“Break Out the Champagne!”

Saturday Adventures on the Farm, in DC, on the Street

Apparently, Mark and his Lover want to be migrant workers. First raspberries, and then Saturday morning blueberries.

Mark Picking Blueberries

At The Blueberry Farm
At a larger size, the bokeh is very interesting.

Blueberries I

Blueberries II

Blueberries III

We picked blueberries for about an hour and came back with about 13 pounds at $2.99/lb. I was glad we stopped after an hour as sweat was dripping in my eyes.

On the way home, we stopped by a foreclosed/abandoned/trashed house and of course we didn’t go exploring inside, ohhhh noooooo, because that would be illegal marginally legal (in our minds).

Outside a Foreclosed House

We swam in the pool for a bit, and then it was off to DC for my first real view of the National Mall. Album coming…eventually.

“Think of [Good Man], Amanda.”

After that, we headed to Alexandria, for their birthday party.

Fireworks at Alexandria’s Birthday Street Festival

At this point, we sort of stumbled home. My feet definitely hurt and I was getting tired. And then. Then I got an email…

The Sexpot

Yesterday two friends of Mark’s Lover had their birthdays. So seven of us ended up going out to dinner. Both birthday guys were Gaysians, one of whom, E, I’d briefly met at the July 5th party. That one had recently been dumped by Scott, and we were sort of trying to cheer him up, too.

We met at a Mexican restaurant…unfortunately the food wasn’t too great. Still, it was pleasant conversation. Mark’s roommate was there, and she was awesome. I’m glad we got along since Good Man and I will be living with her for a few weeks.

Mark’s Roommate

After dinner, we went to the bar where Mark and his Lover met.

We left the restaurant and went back to the car. Mark and his Lover were holding hands. This area of the city had a high concentration of gay bars. While trying to cross at a crosswalk, some woman in an Escalade drove by and screamed (I found out later) “Faggots!” out her window.

Before I realized what had happened, Mark was gone. He tore down the street after her, hit the back of her car, and tried to open her door. The coward had rolled her windows up. He pounded his fist on her window and yelled at her.

E and Mark’s Lover ran after him while Roommate and I, who hadn’t heard her yell, hung back, a bit confused.

Mark stood in front of her car, hands on his hips, so she couldn’t move. She pulled out her cell phone, and started dialing. He yelled at her, “You messed with the wrong faggot this time!”

There was a gay bar on the corner and everyone was cheering for him.

Mark and I have known each other more than 15 years and I’ve never seen him do that. I was shocked. And proud. (And confused because I hadn’t heard her yell.)

Mark returned to the car shortly, and we headed to the bar.

At the bar, I didn’t dance much, though E and Mark’s Lover both tried to teach me how to follow. Mark’s Lover was a better lead, and E and I ended up laughing most of the time. We were closer in height, so our knees kept knocking. At one point E said, “Follow me, girl, let me lead!”

“I went to a women’s college, I can’t help it!” I exclaimed.

Dancing with E was really fun though. He was keeping his hand low on my back and I teased him that he was trying to grab my ass. (Later, Roommate and I briefly talked about how comfortable it is to be a straight woman in a gay bar because you can dance and flirt and touch the guys without anything coming of it. Also, this bar was just a nice bar to hang out at. The people were super friendly and everyone just seemed nice.)

Learning to Dance (Roommate and E)

There was a lot of line dancing, which I enjoyed taking photos of. I wasn’t using my flash because a) I didn’t want to distract people with it and b) I wanted to catch the movement. I think it worked.

Line Dancing I

Line Dancing II

While I was watching people dance, one guy caught my eye.

There was some East Asian looking guy on the dance floor. He danced with a ton of different guys and rarely rested.

And he was sexy.

But only on the dance floor, where his movements were well controlled, well timed, and really fluid.

E and I were checking him out, arms wrapped around each other’s backs. I said to E, “Eight days until [Good Man] gets here. I miss him. I think he needs to be here now…wow, this guy…”

“This guy is hot…”

We told Roommate to watch him. She said she wasn’t really into Asian guys (neither is E) but she watched. This guy did something with his hips and Roommate and I shot each other a look over E’s shoulder.

“Oh my God,” she said. “Wow. Wow.”

Roommate started calling him The Sexpot.

Some people are attractive, whereas other people are just plain sexy. Jennifer Aniston vs Angelina Jolie, for example. Aniston is cute. Sweet looking. Angelina, however, smolders.

This guy, when he wasn’t dancing, was just Good Looking Asian Guy. When he was dancing, he was The Sexpot.

Mark scolded me lightly, telling me he was going to tell Good Man. But it wasn’t that I was really attracted to The Sexpot, it’s that watching him made me miss Good Man. I’m so glad I came out here, it’s great seeing Mark, but I really miss Good Man. Seeing couples—two men, two women, one of each—makes me miss him.

Watching the others dance was fun, too. Mark and his Lover had so much fun out there. And seeing how they looked at each other…well, it made me so happy for Mark.

It was a great night, and so far I’ve liked all of Mark’s friends. I’m so, so glad that Good Man ended up applying to his grad school before we ever met. Living here, with a support system of friends and 100,000 things to do in the area is going to be so wonderful!

Line Dancing

At the End of a Song

Mark and his Lover

Roommate Line Dancing

::

A few notes about this post: I’m sure as I get to know these guys, I’ll come up with better nicknames for them.

Also, I am being very cautious about showing faces clearly because I haven’t asked everyone for permission to post their photos on my blog. A lot of military guys and government employees were at the bar. I think the chances of anyone knowing them reading my blog and finding out they’re gay is slim, but I would feel terrible if I outed someone unknowingly.

Meeting My Nephew, and Happy Fifth of July!

On July 4th, after heading to the Korean market, we stopped by the side of the road to pick wild raspberries.

Raspberries

Mark

Mark’s Lover

In the afternoon, Mark and I headed to his house. I nearly killed us both getting onto 495, but eventually we got there.

Welcome to Virginia

After picking out some new shoes at DSW—which was a lot easier than I thought it’d be—Mark’s Lover joined us. And later, Johnny, Ashley, and Liam showed up.

And so I got to meet my nephew for the first time.

Johnny and Liam
The bottle of beer is out of frame.

Liam is a damn adorable child, I tell you.

Liam and Me

And he gets along with Mark’s Lover.

“Don’t Eat the Feet, Liam!”

Then the six of us headed to the Air Force Memorial to watch the fireworks. I brought my tripod and camera, hoping to get some good shots. Unfortunately, it started to rain a bit. That made the air extra humid. So we were able to see the first explosion…then a cloud of smoke hung in the air and we couldn’t see anything else.

People around us were getting so upset. “This is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen,” said one woman in her early twenties. I rolled my eyes and thought, Turn on CNN you idiot. A man complained very loudly, “This is a rip off!” And how much did you pay, exactly???

Fireworks, Sort Of

July 5th, however, the fireworks turned out a lot better. There was a party where I’m staying. We had tons of good food, and lots of good company. My brother’s family showed up, and I got to meet many “Gaysians.” (Mark and Lover are introducing me to all of the Gaysians so Good Man will have a built-in support network already. Ha! As far as Good Man knows, he’s only met one gay person, someone I introduced him to in Korea. Man is my boyfriend in for a shock when he arrives next weekend…)

Ashley and Liam

I ended up talking to one of the Gaysians for a long time because he is half Thai and half Vietnamese. He grew up in Saigon, so we ended up talking about Vietnam. I’ve never been to the south, and he’s never been to the north. He also managed to drop chapjae and his drink at my feet, getting food and beer on my silk pants (bought in Vietnam, actually). I joked that he was trying to get me to take off my pants. He was a nice guy, though.

After several hours of great food and company, the fireworks began.

Mark’s Lover is a volunteer firefighter and friends with various policemen. Someone ended up going to Pennsylvania, where it’s legal to buy fireworks if you’re not a Pennsylvania resident.

We had hundreds of dollars worth of fireworks at this party.

And instead of shooting them off at dusk, they waited until the night was pitch black.

This was my perfect opportunity to get some good photos.

Fireworks are illegal in Maryland. But remember all of the police officer friends? One of the roommates ended up listening to the police radio to make sure we were in the clear. A neighbor called the police about the fireworks and (unknowingly) got a dispatcher who’d been at this party last year.

As you can imagine, nothing came out of the call.

Fireworks Album

I was able to get some great shots. I ended up exposing the photos at ISO 100, f/11, with six second exposures. I used my remote release cable and set the camera in continuous shooting mode. Fantastic!

At Home in a Korean Grocery Store

The Fourth of July, Mark, Mark’s Lover (Who Is Graciously Letting Me Live In His House and Eat His Food Until I Find My Own Place to Land) and I went to Lotte Plaza.

Even in America, I am Foreign

We found food to make bibimbap!

Bibimbap Veggies

And the glorious red and white vegetable thing known as…

Kimchi

Good Man thought he wouldn’t be able to find rice cakes in America. (OK, to be fair, he meant a different sort of rice cake…)

And I found ramyeon—real stuff, not that weird “Oriental Flavor“—as far as the eye could see.

신, 열…

Whil Mark posted with dried fish, Mark’s Lover tried to determine how 60 kinds of noodles were different.

Mark Holding Dried Anchovies, His Lover Looking for Noodles

You’ve read the book, now eat his seaweed!

The Little Prince Seaweed

I found frozen dinners for when Good Man wants squid.

Frozen Dinners

And we need somewhere to eat that squid.

Wha-Hoo! Korean Tables!

And because eating it from a cone is better than eating it from the tub (because I eat too much from the tub), I was happy to find the glory that is…

Goo Goo Cones

It looks grosser than it tastes, we have Milkis, which is the…

“New feeling of soda beverage.”

A brief pause to look at the wonderful friend that is Mark.

Say “kimchi!”

And me, modeling my lovely knit top with matching (not made in Korea) dual-colored pastel marshmallows.

Dual-Colored Pastel Marshmallows Make Me a Supermodel

Good Man’s parents can bring me juice when they visit now.

Boxed Juice

Mark stared at these fishies…

Yummy Sea Creatures With Eyes

And I wondered how Cold Green Tea Noodles must taste.

I suspect 맛없어! Not delicious!

(Note: two years prior (exactly, oddly enough) I accidentally bought Green Tea noodles at the grocery store. I didn’t know it at the time. In fact, I only realized it looking at that photo now…bottom photo, next to the cereal. And it was, indeed, not delicious.)

Come on, Good Man, the ‘fridge is waiting for you!