Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lost in Translation

I spent much of this past weekend visiting a friend who owns a place in Rehoboth. He was there with his partner, who was recovering from shoulder surgery, and another friend of his whom I once found impossibly cute, but who now is merely possibly cute and so serves as a reminder that time and tide wait for no man.

I did not actually see any tide while I was there, the Delaware beaches not being among my favorite things. Also not among my favorite things are crowds, traffic, or shopping, so I typically only visit this friend, whom I have known for a good many years, only once during the summer and perhaps two or three times in the off season.

In any case, the weekend was mostly unremarkable. I got in very late Friday night because b&c and I had tickets to see American Buffalo at Studio Theatre. I didn't end up leaving Bethesda until nearly eleven, and then I stopped three times, mostly for caffeine, but also for gas and to put some air in one tire. I am a big fan of making the drive to Rehoboth very late at night, so long as I don't actually fall asleep at the wheel. There is a grittiness to the wee-hours combination of caffeine and fatigue that I find compelling, and the long empty roads through flat fields reminds me of trips to the Norfolk area to visit my grandparents when I was a small child and the Interstate highway system wasn't what it is today.

The last thing I did with my friends was to go to breakfast on Sunday morning, at Crystal Restaurant, an eating establishment that specializes in breakfast and lunch and is very popular with an orientationally diverse clientele. I was on my third cup of coffee and had just started into my blueberry pancakes, when my friend John picked up one of the lucite advertising stands sitting on the table and said, "Look at this! They're going to start serving dinner." There followed a discussion of the likelihood of Crystal being a good dinner place (it had, apparently, not done so well in the past), but I was intrigued by the advertisement itself:

I picked it up, stared for a moment, and then said, "Oh, look. Kristallnacht. There's a good idea." Two of my three breakfast companions didn't know what Kristallnacht was, and the third just shrugged. I was tempted to launch into a those-who-do-not-learn-the-lessons-of-history-are-doomed-to-repeat-them rant, but I didn't because a) I don't really believe that saying, except perhaps as it's applied to history classes, and b) I didn't want my pancakes to get cold.

We were done with breakfast before eleven, and I had packed my car before we had set out, so that when we got back to the house, I had only to say my goodbyes and head off. Under usual circumstances, I would have been home well before 2pm, but as it happens, I had -- just before leaving the office Friday night for dinner and the play with b&c -- downloaded my first iPhone app, a social networking application designed specifically for gay men, and whose name is derived from a word that is used as, among many other things, a New England regional term for a submarine sandwich. I have in the past pooh-poohed this app -- not least because it's misspelled, but also because I didn't have an iPhone -- as a non-productive time sink, but while marveling at its very existence and widespread use did eat up a not inconsiderable amount of time (and battery life!) over the weekend, it did not turn out to be entirely non-productive: several different gentlemen contacted me over the weekend, when I was not really in a position to make or receive social visits, so upon saying goodbye to my friends, I did pay a call on one of them and was thus delayed by about two hours.

When I finally got home (having had to stop and pick up YFU and some groceries) I noticed that another tree was in full bloom.

It's very pretty, and it has a pleasant, though not especially pronounced, scent.

Later in the evening, I had an opportunity to ponder the nature of online social networking when I turned on the same application and noticed that (unlike in Rehoboth where the expense tends to encourage a more mature and moneyed crowd, almost all the men who showed up on my iPhone as being within 1.5 miles of me were a) extremely attractive, and b) roughly half my age. Often less than half my age. Alas.

Well, it was fun while it lasted, and, especially given the relatively small amount of time I put into it, it was a lot more effective, and a lot less annoying, than Facebook, which I have -- beginning some time ago -- abandoned until such point as I can figure out a compelling reason to keep up with people who didn't especially like me in high school. Currently, I approve all friend requests but don't otherwise visit my page. Which may or may not be reflective of how I behaved in high school. My memories are a bit fuzzy.


  1. "You know, I bet there's an app for that" yeah for sure! You probably was awful in high school...

  2. We used that term in California for a submarine sandwich as well. So. Tis a fun app I agree.