Main | Tuesday, June 14, 2005

DC Pride was HOT, HOT, HOT

Capital Pride hosted over 200,000 queers this past weekend and it was HOT. It was Africa hot. Tarzan couldn't take that kind of hot. (Points for knowing that reference). It was so hot that I, Joe.My.God. himself, the supreme loather of museums and high-art, even took refuge in one of the national galleries lining Pennsylvania Avenue and pretended to look at dull French paintings, just to get a big drink of air-conditioning.

Just getting to DC turned out to be a bother, with Amrak's computers down and the thoroughly brow-beaten window agents forced to hand write thousands of tickets. I waited in line for a little over an hour in NYC's Penn Station, where the woman behind me fumed out loud the entire time.

"This is just outrageous! Out. Rageous! Look at all those empty cashier windows! They should have every single position staffed! No wonder they're bankrupt! They have no idea what they're doing! Outrageous!"

Finally I turned around, "You know, I'd bet Saturday morning is probably their slowest time of the week, which would explain why they have so few agents on duty."

"Well, they should have properly staffed it for this computer problem!"

"Do you think that Amtrak knew in advance that their computers would crash?" I asked, eyeing her knock-off, last season, lime green Fiorelli jelly bag.

"Well they should have called people in!"

"Oh right. 'Hello, Doris? It's Amtrak. Listen, all the computers are down and we're hand writing tickets and there are thousands of hot, angry, impatient, entirely unsympathetic customers standing in front of your window. What time can you get here? Hello? Doris?' "

That got a laugh from everybody nearby, except Outraged Woman, of course, who snorted and pulled out her cell phone so she could leave Outraged complaining messages to her Very Important Friends waiting for her in Trenton. Trenton.

When I finally reached the ticket window, I tried to be charming to the poor young woman behind the glass, but she'd reached her breaking point long before I got there and was beyond enjoying my empathetic humor. Poor thing, I felt like I should have tipped her. Amtrak got back in my good graces because I made my train and it left on time. E-Diddy jumped aboard in Philly and we were in DC by noon.

That evening, the Pride Parade sailed right past our Dupont Circle hotel and by chance our second floor room featured a jutting square boxed window, out of which we leaned and waved and blew kisses to the passing floats as Chi Chi Larue, porn stars, drag queens and dancing muscleboys waved back. We've definitely got to get that room again next year, because it was totally sweet to enjoy the parade from a chilled hotel room. Oh, please note that there's been an update in mini-bar technology! Each individual item now rests on its own unique sensor which is linked to the hotel computer. So even knocking an item over while reaching for something else will trigger the "SOLD!" message. I suppose this change was made to keep tightwads from raiding the mini-bar, then restocking it from the corner Rite-Aid. Placing the item back on the sensor is a waste of time. Just so you know.

Of all the parade contingents, the reliable PFLAG was the group that brought the hugest cheers (and not a few wishful tears) from the crowd. I was particularly tickled by the trio of sign carriers whose messages read "Proud Mother Of Gay Son", "My Daughter Deserves To Marry" and then "I Love My Trans Child." The gender-neutralness of the third sign spoke volumes.

Blowoff was great, as always. A hot, sweaty, furry, friendly, crowd of handsome drunks who were ALL hands. Thank god. Every DC blogger on my blogroll made an appearance. One blogger, celebrating his birthday, gave us spectacular time-lapse demonstration of sober arrival to face-down drunk in under two hours. I won't mention his name, but it rhymes with Sean. If you are really bad at thinking of rhymes.

Bob and Rich spun a great set, including a few choice cuts from their own recent and upcoming releases. They never fail to impress me. Standouts: Rich's dub remix of New Order's "Krafty" (which is out on CD-single, vinyl and available at iTunes), and Rich's remix of Bob's new single, "(Shine Your) Love Light Hope" from his upcoming full-length "Body Of Song", You can pre-order the full-length for its July 26th release, or get the single now on iTunes. Also, Rich introduced to me to Pat, the towering stack of man-fur that is the talented artist behind the very cool, WPA-influenced Blowoff artwork. Complete Blowoff set list here.

We spent Sunday wandering the baking asphalt of Pennsylvania Avenue amongst the usual cornucopia of booths one sees at Pride festivals. You know, chicken-on-a-stick, Human Rights Campaign, chicken-on-a-stick, Gay Chorus, chicken-on-a-stick, Freedom To Marry. My head kept being turned by the high numbers of sexy, muscular, tattoed, crew-cutted handsome young things with hot hairy legs. And a few of them were males.

Late in the afternoon, Bob Mould turned in a short blistering set from the main festival stage. All us hardcore fans, Blowoff patrons and fellow bloggers gathered close to the stage where a circle-jerk of pic taking ensued. I was particularly amused by the guy standing on the end of the stage attempting to do the translations for the hearing impaired while Bob snarled out his lyrics. After two songs, the guy was signing "something.....something.....something."

Yesterday, after a Keystone Copsian morning of running around, Eddie and I finally caught the train back north. Eddie ejected at Philly, two cities later the train went slower...and slower...and slower. Full stop. Lights off. Air-conditioner off. An hour later I was evacuated across two sets of tracks onto an open-air platform in some desolate hellhole called Metropark, where we waited for a rescue train. Amtrak, you bitch, it's back ON.


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