i found it funny that bruce called me this morning to make sure i was up. why wouldn't i be up? this would be my 6th boston pride parade (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007). besides the free stuff, it's also a great place to get some choice photos. he called me again minutes later, suggesting we should head out soon due to some construction work on the longfellow bridge requiring all passengers to disembark the train and take a shuttle bus instead. sure enough, everyone had to get off the subway at kendall to catch the shuttle bus. going across the bridge, we saw that they'd ripped up some of the train tracks.

although we could've continued on with a subway extension at park street, we left the station and decided to wait for the 43 bus that would take us closer to where we wanted to be. i wasn't surprised - given my ability to attract the undesirables - when a crazy guy sat down next to us. when he wasn't ranting about all the insane relatives in his family ("she's got papers," referring to his deranged sister), he would wave to any ladies that passed by our way. the bus finally arrived, 10 minutes late. normally it'd take us straight down tremont street, but because of the impending parade, the bus was rerouted. we got off on waltham street, which wasn't very far from where we wanted to be.

although we were 30 minutes late, where we wanted to be was ed and joe's apartment in the south end for some brunch prior to the festivities. i'd been invited in the past but never got the chance to come until today. unfortunately joe had some work-related duties and couldn't be with us, but jack was already at the apartment with ed, along with ed's friend elizabeth. the 3rd floor unit seemed very sophisticated, with interesting artworks scattered about the house and art books lining the bookshelves. a kitchen counter overlooked into the living room and there was even a fireplace. so this is how the other half live! we scampered to the back of the house, were a shady wooden deck covered in wisteria was the venue for our meal: cherries, strawberries, yogurt mixed with blackberries and raspberries, chocolate croissants, and orange juice with or without sparkling wine added. ed told us about the raccoon family living underneath a neighbor's porch, as well as the drey of baby squirrels on a nearby tree. down below we could hear groups of men laughing in some party of their own.

from the apartment it was just a short walk to the intersection of tremont and berkeley street, the location we were at last year. it's the perfect spot because we can see both sides of the parade procession as it eventually comes down the street. already there were people lining both sides of the street. a squadron of lesbians on motorcycles were noisily revving their engines, waiting for the parade to begin.

other than the bikers, the start of the parade was boring, as all the church and family groups marched down the street. the one person i can always count on to be at these parades is boston mayor menino. i grew up with mayor ray flynn, and couldn't imagine anyone else filling his irish shoes, but since then a decade and a half has passed and i think menino is doing an okay job. still, as much as i love the boston mayor, i can't get over this feeling that he may have a touch of the downs, or at the very least a habitual mouth breather.

i bumped into kay and her girlfriend rebecca. apparently she still reads my blog because she knew about the motorcycle accident. i was sad to hear that kay sold her bike (although here in new england, it's more of a luxury item since most people don't ride it year round, although i think kay did when she had hers). she's still in med school and is thinking about getting into the surgery field.

i can always expect to see at least one lesbian with the taped-up boobs. this year was surprisingly lacking in naked flesh however. where were all the well-oiled young muscle men, dancing on the flatbed trucks, flirting dangerously with civic decency laws? it had nothing to do with the weather, since temperature was warm and relatively sunny.

there's always a theme at these parades, although it's not always obvious. this year was about being green and environmentally conscious. i saw a lot of green-colored dresses and a few drag queens upped the ante with costumes made from plant material. but overall the theme wasn't well represented through the various participants (not that it should anyway).

the big news this past week was the governor's daughter coming out to the press. everyone was expecting her to make an appearance. i didn't see her myself but got some photos of the governor's wife. turned out she was there, i just didn't recognize her.

i didn't get any beads this year, although i did get some "party packets." i was standing next to this tiny asian grandmother who received a fistful of condoms. her grandchildren were working both sides of the street, picking up any stray necklaces that might've gone unclaimed.

all and all, it was sort of a lackluster pride parade. normally there's a huge latino contingency that dances throughout the entire tail end of the procession, but this year the end came in the form of clean up trucks and police cars. there was hardly any corporate sponsors, like the banks or the airlines or even starbucks. could this all be due to a bad economy?

back at the apartment, we had our post-parade portion of the brunch, ham croissants with beanstalk salad garnished with spicy chive flowers. below us a topless muscleman was noisily cleaning a backyard patio with a high-pressure spray, creating a loud distraction. about that time joe finally came home. bruce casually mentioned some story about tight-fitting jeans that ed told us in confidence, which caused some playful drama between ed and joe. bruce also inspected a free t-shirt he got during the parade. when he unfurled it, it looked to be a baby's t-shirt. ed grabbed it immediately and tried it on, a perfect fit. we (the men of cambridge) left soon afterwards.

instead of trying to go home by train (assuming the construction work across the longfellow bridge was still going on), we decided to catch the number 1 bus on mass ave. the bus was crowded and grew to full capacity by the time we arrived at newbury street. by that point we'd all gotten seats already and it was just a matter of arriving at harvard square.

the cast wasn't giving me any problems but when i finally took it off when i got home, there was some itchy chafing. i left it off for the rest of the day. after a shower and surfing the web on the couch, i quickly fell asleep. something about the sun, the parade, and good food makes me drowsy.