December 19th, 2009

andrew potter

In the Rough by J.B. McDonald

I remember with pleasure By Degrees, the previous romance by J.B. McDonald, and In the Rough is almost a sequel. Rick and Jay, the two men of this new story, were also in the previous book; Rick is Tim’s older “big brother”, the reference figure social services assigned to Tim when he was a troubled teenager. But Rick is not the perfect man that usually is assigned to this task; he himself was a runaway kid, escaping and abusive father when he was only 13 years old. Rick was only lucky to find Jay before any other potential danger found him, and Jay took him under his wing. Jay who at 16 years old was barely old enough to look after himself, who was already and hustler and a drug addicted, Jay tried to save Rick from all of it, since he was unable to save himself. And Rick obviously falls in love for Jay.

Now 20 years later, Rick is still in love with Jay, but he is also angry. Oh yes, to the reader Rick could seem the perfect balanced man, the mainstay for the unbalanced Jay, but for me Rick is only a very upset man; for almost 20 years he has waited for Jay to change, for finally stop behaving like a teenager and take in hand his life. After that, obviously, Jay would finally realize that Rick is the perfect man the readers already see, and he would fall in love back for him… yes, Rick is always supporting of Jay, he is always ready to help him, even now that he is trying to obtain his daughter’s custody, and he is always willing when Jay is in the mood for some buddy-sex without strings attached, but deep inside Rick is always hoping for more, he is always trying to change Jay, to fit him to the image of the perfect partner that he wants, someone completely different from his own father.

And instead Jay is avoiding all of it, he is avoiding having a serious relationship, he is avoiding having a family, he is avoiding settling down… he is trying to be as far as possible from how his father was. But when his daughter needs him, then Jay understands that it’s time to change his life, and even if not consciously, he is slowly arriving to the conclusion that, since Rick was always there for him, since he loves him and Rick loves him back, then why they couldn’t be a family? What I was probably expecting was that sooner or later one of them arrived to the logical conclusion that being together, and living together, would have solved their entire problem. Since Rick loves Jay, for me it was obvious that he should offer to Jay his heart and his home; since Jay loves Rick, for me it was obvious that he should accept Rick’s help for the well-being of his daughter… but what it was obvious for me, it wasn’t for them.

Sometime I had the feeling that Rick was willing to help Jay, but only so far; he was risking a lot, but not all of him, I had the impression that, in the end, he was not willing to risk his heart. It’s not that Rick is not a good man, it’s probably that he has some hung ups from his past that he has never realized to have: he can’t fully help Jay, risking his heart, since he himself needs to be comfortable with his own trouble. For all the novel, all the people around focused on Jay, and on making him change, to be a better man and a good father, but no one, if not sometime Tim, had the courage to bring aside Rick and tell him to grow. When they were young, Rick thought Jay to be the world; when they got older, Rick thought he overgrown Jay, and now Rick thinks to be better than him since he has a job and a place to stay. In the end, I think that instead Rick has never overgrown his best friend, and Jay still is the older and bigger of the two, who is still taking care of all the people he loves, while at the same time trying to destroy himself due to some bad placed guilty sense.

Amazon: In the Rough

Amazon Kindle: In the Rough


1) By Degrees:
2) In the Rough

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
andrew potter

The view from my window this morning...

Just a note, the big pine tree you see was a very little and ugly christmas tree my aunt decided it was not fit to be in her house. My mom, when she saw it had the root, told her to not threw it away, and she put it in our garden... my mother always rescued everything alive, stray cats, dogs, plants...

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andrew potter

Gay Commercial: Sony MiniDisc

I think jaye_valentine  will like this commercial, even if it could have been a bit more... naughty. Anyway I like the idea, even if I would have preferred for the male car driver to be a little more "pretty", but I read comment around of people who like the butch imaginery.

In a clever commercial about the uniqueness of identical twins, the ad shows the similarities of two young men as they get ready in the morning.

As if in the military, Erik and Derek get ready together in the morning, shaving and even showering together. They wear the same clothes and each makes his own music mix for their MiniDisc players. They both leave their apartment together and wait to be picked up.

One is picked up by a sexy woman in a slinky outfit, and the other is picked up by a rather unlikely, not-so-attractive (by idealistic advertising standards), goateed wrestler. The ad agency, which clearly intended for somewhat of a shock effect with the wrestler, purposely picked someone who does not reflect society's general view of "beauty" and absurdly put him in a wrestler's outfit.

Commercial Closet Association

Company: Sony Corp.
Brand: Sony MiniDisc
Ad Title: Twins
Business Category: Consumer Electronics
Media Outlets: Television
Country: Australia , New Zealand , Philippines
Region: Australia/New Zealand
Agency: Generator
Year: 1999
Target: Mainstream
Ad Spotter: Michelangelo Signorile
andrew potter

Dieux du Stade by Tony Duran

Just because, the cover of the coffee table photo book Tony Duran made from the shot he did for the Dieux du stade 2010 Calendar:

It took me at least two minutes to understand how many bodies were involved, and I'm still not sure ;-) The link to buy it is not yet available, meanwhile, if you are interested, you can buy the Calendar:

Amazon: Dieux du stade 2010

And since it's almost up to the theme, a link I found on kyellgold:

British Lions rugby legend Gareth Thomas: "It's ended my marriage and nearly driven me to suicide. Now it's time to tell the world the truth - I'm gay"

Read more:

"Ex-Lion Gareth Thomas reveals he is gay"

Read more:

More Photographers at my website:, My Ramblings/Art

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andrew potter

Happy Ending (Men of Smithfield 2) by L.B. Gregg

Happy Ending is set in the same East Coast small town, Smithfield, like Gobsmacked, and has some traits in common with it, but it’s an independent story.

The feeling of a “familiar” story, the little town where everyone knows everyone else, the gay characters that yes, maybe have some trouble, but more or less are living like ordinary people among the small community, those are the traits in common. Other than that, David and Seth are two completely different characters from Tony and Mark.

Seth is a 36 years old business man, and truth be told, neither so nice. His sister Nikki died leaving him the sole relative of a six years old baby girl, Molly, and Seth is not sure what to do with her. Seth is used to deal with construction workers and budgets and due lines, not with barbies and little pony, all in shades of pink and purple. The new turn in his life also cost him his in live partner, Quinn, who packed and moved in Florida; I have the feeling that Seth misses more Quinn’s cooking abilities than the partner though.

From what I gathered, Seth is a creature of habit who doesn’t like change; for this simple reason it's never passed on his mind to cheat on Quinn, not since he loved the man, but since he was not interested in looking around. When Quinn is out of the picture Seth, after a short period of mourning, starts to notice again the dating world around him, and his eyes focus on David. Not that it’s so difficult, in a small town like Smithfield David works three jobs, and all of them are somewhat involved with Seth: he is a masseur in the spa where Seth goes once a week; he is a waiter in the pub Seth frequents more than once a week; and finally he is a young adult writer and Seth has a six years old girl who reads his books.

But David is not Seth’s type, or so he thinks. First he is way to younger, 10 years; second, he is not on the same level of Seth, he has no steady job, he is the picture on unsteadiness; third, with his long black hair, piercings and tattoo, he is not the man Seth would picture on his side, even less now that he is the parent of a child. But one thing is thinking it and another thing is to convince his body that he doesn’t like David. David on the other hand, after the initial usual misunderstanding, seems more than willing to deepen their acquaintance, and the sex is great, easy and without second thought regrets.

As before, the story is good, the drama and angst is there, but like the small town in which the story is set, also the drama is small, not so overtly imposing to overcome the romance. All in all, everything is near, even the solution and the answers to all the questions. Happy Ending, like Gobsmacked, is a little and nice story, with an homey flavour.

Buy Here

Amazon Kindle: Happy Ending (Men of Smithfield)

Series: Men of Smithfield
1) Gobsmacked:
2) Happy Ending

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle