Anticipation of the World Social Forum

It’s been non-stop travel and participation in the World Social Forum at Porto Alegre, Brazil, since I left the United States on January 22.

Starting with the flight from San Francisco to Sao Paolo through Miami, I’ve met many interesting people. On that first flight I met Victor, a guy who lives in Pueblo, a town near Mexico City. He was flying to Recife, Brazil, for a foreign exchange program from his school. He is 23 years old. He’s also going to meet up with his boyfriend Heldaar, a young Brazilian studying marine biology. Victor and I got along quite well and he moved from the seat in front of me to the seat next to me for the last half of the flight from Miami to Sao Paolo. We cuddled under the blanket a bit on the plane and he tells me he’d like to come visit me in San Francisco, perhaps on his way back to Mexico from Brazil.

I started noticing people headed to the World Social Forum while in the Sao Paolo airport waiting for the flight to Porto Alegre. Waiting for that flight, I met Marina who is a journalist and a teacher at New York University. We chatted until the plane filled up with passengers and I talked with a Palestinian fellow, also attending the Forum, who sat down next to me on the plane. We discussed a bunch of topics, including the Islamic religion and its tenets with regard to women, adultery, and homosexuality. The conclusion: fundamentalism is a problem whatever the religion.

I’ve very much enjoyed attending this conference and meeting people from all over the world who are committed to improving the social and political conditions of the world.

Opposing Total Information Awareness

I had an article published today on the MIT Alumni web page at http://alumweb.mit.edu/whatmatters/200301/.

The article opposes DARPA’s Total Information Awareness (TIA) program and reviews recent efforts to fight terrorism and increase the security of U.S. citizens. Admiral John Poindexter, whose five felony convications were overturned based on immunity for testifying against others and who arranged shady Iran-Contra deals for the government, is the head of the program. Check out the spooky logo they used to have on their website!

Prospective Mom?

Gina and I met again today for a long walk in Golden Gate Park. I met her dog Jack. We talked about a lot of really good stuff related to parenting. I’m feeling good about the possibilities. I’m glad that I didn’t let my fears about not hearing from her for a week or so get to me.

Last Film of the Festival

I saw my last film of the Berlin & Beyond German film festival this evening. It was called “Halbe Treppe” (translated horribly as “Grill Point” when it actually means “Landing” like on a stairway). It was a good film about two East German couples and an adulterous incident.

My favorite of the festival is still “Irgendwo in Afrika” which I described in a prior blog entry.

Hanging With Steve

After the Friday afternoon film at the Berlin & Beyond German film festival, I realized it had been about a week since I last heard from Steve. Since I was at the Castro Theatre, right near his place, I gave him a call and once he reached the Castro on his commute home, he gave me a call on his cell phone from across the Castro & Market intersection. It was funny to talk on cell phones so close to each other!

We met up and went to his apartment which overlooks that intersection and the Castro Theater. His dog Justyn is named after a wizard in one of the Mercedes Lackey books which I’ve read, similar to Vanyel, Guy’s dog, who is a character from the Magic series of Mercedes Lackey.

Jerrold called while we were in Steve’s apartment and Steve invited him to join us for dinner at Chow. There was a wait when we got to the restaurant so we had a drink at the Pilsner Bar next door. I had my usual pear cider and got a Sierra Pale Ale for Jerrold and a Heineken for Steve. The maitre d’ from Chow came over to pull us out of the Pilsner when our table was ready and we sat on the back patio. Those guys ordered lasagna and I ordered spinach pasta with a delicious mushroom garlic cream sauce. We ordered deserts as well– mine was a ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream. Yum!

Steve and Jerrold took me to Daddy’s Bar, my first time there. Most of the guys in there aren’t my “type,” but it was interesting to check it out nonetheless.

Then, we hung out watching videos at Steve’s place for awhile. Eventually, Jerrold took off and Steve and I crashed out with Justyn. After listening to some great music that reminded me of Two Nice Girls, we were both really tired. Steve snored a bit so I didn’t get much sleep, but I really enjoyed cuddling with him and fooling around a bit in the morning.

We went for breakfast at a little place on Castro Street with a cheap breakfast special. We ran into Jeff who I’ve known since my days at MIT, about 20 years now!

We headed back to Steve’s place where he put together a bookshelf and showed me some fun mp3′s which he displayed from his Powerbook onto his TV screen. I logged in to his wireless network and read my email. Then it was time for him to get ready for his dinner guests and for me to head over to dinner prior to the Berlin & Beyond film for the evening.

I really appreciate the time I spent with Steve.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you have probably realized by now that I live a rather nonmonogamous or polyamorous life. Although I may choose to live in a primary partnership at some point in time, I am getting to know and maintaining friendships and relationships with a group of mostly guys for the time being. I’m feeling really good about it for now and issues around jealousy or competition for time or whatever have resolved themselves fairly easily so far. Let’s hope it continues that way! :-)