Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Lazy Bear 2009 The Finale
As I may have mentioned, my husbear was a volunteer for this year's event and convinced the powers that be at Lazy Bear that I would make a good volunteer as well. One of the big movers and shakers of the volunteer coordination of the event was a gent named Ralph Jacks. Ralph is HIGHLY valued at Lazy Bear. He fed many of the volunteers at the event and I was particularly grateful that he had coffee available on those chilly mornings for the volunteers at The Outback Campground. Orlando and I were set to sacrifice our Friday and Saturday from 11 to 5 to work the registration desk at the fabulous Sonoma Nesting Company located just as you enter downtown Guerneville. It's a cool shop filled with antique and new items for the home and when you are in town -check it out. Dax and Smitty were gracious proprietors who allowed Lazy Bear to occupy their store. I bought a cute little pillow with a bunch of bears on it (the animals as opposed to the guys). We had a captain/manager type guy to supervise us and train us on the cash register. Bear tags were running $125 each and they allowed you to enter all the pool parties and get discounts on the big dance parties and other Lazy Bear events. It was actually Orlando's idea that I work the registration desk because it would be good for me as The Bay Area Cub to meet the hoards of other Bears, Cubs and their admirers that check in on Friday and Saturday.
The first day was busy because all the folks that couldn't get the time off during the week were coming in for the weekend. Our Captain that day was more interested in trying to cop a feel off everyone as they came through the door. It was easy to see why because there were many gorgeous men arriving, but Orlando and I took our responsibilities seriously. We had schedules to give out and Bear Tags to sell, but we didn't know all the answers. We looked to Jack Sugrue, the sexy blue eyed financial officer for Lazy Bear, for the tough questions ie: "I lost my Bear tag can I get a replacement?" or "So and So left me 2 Bear Tags and he told me just to tell you about it" Jack was the personification of level headed. Regardless-the issues were few with Lazy Bear participants and when a crisis arose, Orlando and I would just smile and politely ask them to hang out while we verified this with Jack. All the Lazy Bear board members in charge were available by walky talky. It was quite easy to resolve an issue via that communication method. All the events were a hop skip and jump away from each other. If we ran out of schedules or Bear Tags -Jack came to the rescue. Harry Lit, (CEO of Lazy Bear), wasn't all that difficult to reach either. I have to say that I was genuinely impressed with everyone’s team work.
Many people asked us where the Lazy Bear funds went to and we learned that it was various AIDs Organizations. Since then I heard that the board designates a variety of worthy charities to be determined later and announced at a special event. Here’s who benefitted last year. Beneficiaries included AIDS Emergency Fund San Francisco, AIDS Emergency Fund Sonoma County, Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, Bay Positives, Food for Thought, The Variety Club, Positive
Resource Center, The Lambert House in Seattle, Camp Laurel in Southern California, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, The Russian River Senior Resource Center and more.
As we were closing up shop for the day I sensed that Orlando was anxious for Friday night to begin. He didn’t want to waste a second of Friday night so we hustled through dinner. You see Friday night was the Underbear party and my baby doesn’t miss a CHANCE to show off his thong. The party was to start at The Triple R and then moved on to Flashdance with tunes spun by DJ Rotten Robbie …. We sorted through appropriate underwear choices. He favors a Royal blue Thong and I sported some lycra camo trunks that kept riding up annoyingly on me. The participation at The Triple R was minimal because “BABY it was COLD outside” There were a maybe 6 guys who were only wearing their underwear out of the 30 attendees-one of them being Harry Lit. Orlando and hung around with Harry a bit and drank a few cocktails. One of the things I noticed was how amazingly long it took to get a drink at the Triple R. Blame it on the Slow Country Livin but if you kick your cocktails back fast, the Triple R may not be the place for you. It took a record 7 minutes just to pour a little Skyy Cape Cod! I guess I am spoiled by The Edge here in SF. Keith and the boys at the Edge could pour 4 drinks in less than 3 minutes. I’ve timed em!
Orlando and I LOVED Flashdance. He was soooo happy dancing away and singing all the songs at the top of his lungs! The Music was great and we danced for a long sweaty fun filled time. DJ Rotten Robbie knows how to make people move!
The next day at the Sonoma Nesting Company, registration was relatively quiet and we shut down shop early. We were trying to decide what to do for Saturday night. The big dance that night was aptly named “Sweat” but I was less enthused about attending. Tons of guys had asked us about pre-sale tickets and I knew it was going to be too packed for me. Orlando can dance until his feet fall off and I get kinda bored with it. The only real kick I get out of it is watching him have a blast which proves that I am indeed deeply in love. That night he showed how much he loved me by saying that we didn’t need to dance. Relief! I was much more excited to see “The Golden Girls” a live performance of the popular 80’s Sitcom.
It was performed by local drag queens artistes –three of whom I actually knew: The ubiquitous queen of the dead pan Heklina (Dorothy) and the multi-faceted actor/actress/singer/dancer Matthew Martin (Blanche). La Martin (as I call her) and I go way back. The last time we were on stage together was a souped up version of The Man Who Came to Dinner in which she upstaged me by playing 3 different roles to dazzling perfection, leaving my interpretation of Sheridan Whiteside in the dust. The GG cast was rounded out by an on target Sofia delivered by Cookie Dough and my new best friend, Pollo Del Mar playing Rose. Okay Okay so Ms Del Mar and I just met that night, but I felt a kinship with her that I felt needed to be acknowledged. We are both returning to the gym after a very long absence. She feels my pain. Last but certainly not least was another pal, Mike Finn who played Dorothy’s Lesbian friend who had a crush on Rose. Let me tell you, this man is one of the FUNNIEST guys I have ever seen. He’s also adorable.
There is nothing more romantic than a bonfire and the Outback Campground along with the talents of a man named “Pyro” (not kidding) threw a nice one on Saturday night. After the play we strolled down to the Bonfire and it was FULL of many bear lovers and bears. More bear lovers than bears I noted. My honey and I enjoyed the big camp fire a bit and then went back to our campsite. We chatted with Masseur Big Red Paul Brown (http://www.paulbrown.net) . He had set up his massage tent next to us and was relaxing by his own little fire. He has a basso profundo voice that sounds like a big warm embrace. He had offered both Orlando and I couple’s rate massage earlier in the day, but we had plans for our funds that involved more alcohol consumption. The three of us talked of found love and lost love and all manner of things as we gazed into the flames and warmed ourselves. I found him to be a wise and joyful soul. He was contemplating doing a pagan ceremony on the last night of Lazy Bear involving me as a sacrifice. No blood- this involved pie! Quite frankly it sounded like fun because I would’ve arrived in my birthday suit to the ceremony being carried by these handsome muscled hunks and then Paul would break a pie over my stomach and eaten it off my stomach. The pictures alone would have been great –alas, there was an issue involving the baking of the pies –no oven or no car to get the supplies-so Paul couldn’t properly perform this ritual. Sorry guys.
The following Sunday morning the entire camp was roused by Ralph Jack’s caterwaul announcing breakfast. It was a fantastic smorgasbord that he had assembled for the entire camp because many were leaving that night. The big party that day was at a place called, “The Estate” which was just that –a private estate used for private parties. DJ Rotten Robbie presided over the affair and everyone was wiggling to the music when we got there. I got to see many friends including Jim Bernstein who is a talented restoration artist and sexy beast in general. Orlando’s pal Mike Tufu who is this big hunka hot Samoan and I hit it off –in fact I’ll tell you all, I got a little crush on him. Orlando is amused. With the major exception of being baby smooth on his chest, Mike looks like a poster boy for bears. Again I noticed a plethora of sexy circuit boys and a dearth of furry heavy set men. It really was true. Everyone would rather be a Lazy Bear. O and I wound up concluding our sun and fun back at The Woods Resort just down the street. We stripped and swam and had fun watching all the other boys be naughty with each other.
Sunday evening concluded with a romantic anniversary dinner in Bodega Bay. (6 months y’all-I usually can barely last past 2 months) We headed off to a restaurant called The Tides Wharf and Restaurant. Let me tell you – the pretty view was NOT worth it. My honey bear shelled out a hefty chunk of change on a mediocre meal and he was MIGHTEE disappointed. The steak was awful and the lobster was rubbery. The waitress was sweet and efficient, but humorless. The cherry on top of that runny sundae was the Bartender. He relates a tale to the waitress –loud enough for all to hear as we’re eating -about Lazy Bear. They were having a chat about what was going on this weekend and he knew about Lazy Bear. He talked about what bank you could make as a waiter in Guerneville during Lazy Bear weekend except you had to put up with unwanted advances. “I was crossin the street once”, he booms, “and there was a crowd of cubs- that’s what they call the young ones-cubs. And this cub points to me and says, ‘YOU! –I want YOU!’ I said, “Not today buddy-not ever!”
I looked at Orlando and he looked back at me. Would I say something? He didn’t appear to want to stop me, but I could tell he hoped I wouldn’t make too much of a scene. A number of zingers whipped through my mind: “Jeez Dude he must’ve been wasted if he was coming on to YOU-I mean look at ya!” and then look like I had just ingested vinegar. Maybe I should simply point out that “the old ones” could be cubs too and introduce myself? I just settled for letting you all know our experience there. Got it? The Tides Wharf and Restaurant at 835 Highway One, Bodega Bay, gets HUGE thumbs down from PA Cooley Bay Area Cub 2010. Oh –and here’s their number 707-875-2777.
We came back to the Outback campsite and we were met by flashing Emergency vehicles. One of our own had a hernia attack and passed out. We watched him get carted away by the EMT. Paul told us- as we sat by his campfire (and digested the overpriced poorly made meal) the details of the event. I didn’t want to mitigate the medical emergency by rehashing our crappy dining experience-besides I was still feeling all lovey-dovey and bathing in the glow of a six month relationship. Like all good Gays we shelved our fearful feelings and changed into our dance togs-I wore camo cargo pants that were strategically unbuttoned almost too far but still stayed on- and matching hat. We arrived at the WOOF CLUB CLOSING EVENT DANCE and the heat from 100’s of shirtless testosterone filled men wafted out –in sharp contrast to the chilly night. We both peeled off our shirts immediately because of the flash heat wave. I ran into an old acting pal and we briefly embraced our sweaty torsos before commencing to sway to the beat. Mere minutes later, I broke out in a tiny angry red pin point rash all over my stomach and left shoulder. WTF? I was just dancing and feeling all sexy and I got a rash! What caused it? Who knows? At any rate –it wasn’t hideously uncomfortable and felt more like light sunburn. We chalked it up to the Lobster or the tons of SPF 70 I liberally sprayed on myself daily. I danced on with Lando and then we went back to our tent and REALLY celebrated our anniversary-rash and all. My doctor later diagnosed me with sensitive skin –jeez!
The next day, Monday, was kinda sad because it had this last-day-of-summer-camp-feel. All the boys were loading up their cars. Much hugging took place and business cards were exchanged. It really was one of the BEST vacations I have ever had. As my best Gal Pal Drew said it was probably the ONLY vacation I have ever had. Orlando and I had one of the slowly made drinks at the Triple R and made a few goodbyes there. I bought him lunch and then we trundled off to San Francisco. I made some new friends and gotten even closer to Orlando. There has been some speculation as to whether there will be another Lazy Bear due to economy woes or maybe Lazy Bear will happen somewhere else. No one had any definitive answers but I wouldn’t worry if I were you. Lazy Bear will definitely live on.