Tuesday, November 03, 2009
First off, let's get some things out of the way...
It seems to me that after a hiatus from writing, especially with circumstance being a little more 'interesting' than usual thanks to some escort drug-drama, 15mm would rightfully dive into the thick of things in regards to LA-based Scott Adler. After watching a couple of blogs sprout under the guise of 'fair and balanced' reporting, I'm now at a point of simply wanting this whole story to wrap up with some sense of finality. With factual evidence trickling out of the court system at a snails pace and speculation at an all-time high (coupled with a strange contingent of folks who think, somehow, that Adler is innocent), all I can say is that this story was reported long ago on these pages.
This is much less of an 'I told you so' than a 'heed the advice given in the future' suggestion: 15mm has repeatedly reported the asinine actions of sex workers in this industry who continually put not only themselves at personal risk, but the guys they see as well. With Adler now enjoying fractional ownership at the Long Beach Club Fed (with a possible long term property investment), this is one of many 'scoops' that 15mm has warned readers was forthcoming. Looking back, this blog took a great deal of heat not only from this story, but also from one that told of an LA-based escort who lied to his client base about his health status, working bareback while HIV+. After much ballyhoo, a legitimate, vetted review was posted on Daddy's Reviews regarding the hustler, warning of the very thing 15mm had reported weeks earlier.
Once again, I warn everyone reading that all that glitters isn't always golden: This sage advice goes for escorts as well as the men who hire them... In the words of a very wise man, DO YOUR HOMEWORK before making a final decision on those you're keeping company with.
The latest bit of scandal to come into the 15mm inbox involves a well-known, storied and 'respectable' review contributor to both MER and Daddy's. In addition to having a credible mass of written experiences, it oddly also seems that this gent is slowing his roll when it comes to submitting new bits of prose. Digging a bit further and making contact with some of his past hires, it appears that this married fella rarely wanted to play safe and that his irresponsibility has come back to haunt him in the form of an incurable STD. It's incredibly sad, but also incredibly stupid, especially since he's now on a downward spiral of continual bare-backing. Based on his long history, it appears as if seeing escorts isn't just a pastime, but an addiction.
I offer this advice to escorts who want his 'name' review: Play safe, every time. No matter what is promised or threatened, there's always recourse in the long run. There's no amount of tip money or glowing words on a webpage that are worth a lifetime of medication cost, stress and the likely event of an early death.
Breaking away from those two very depressing issues, the past month was spent successfully traveling, dealing with broken technology, dealing with temporary heavy/craptastic portable technology and trying to figure out if Rogaine would work on my cat. Long story.
Let me explain...
Coming back from Tokyo my laptop was dropped, leaving my LED-based screen to slowly die over the course of a few days, much like Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment. I can't quite reproduce the sound I made as I watched my machine fall to the tile floor, but everything seemed to slow down considerably as it was happening and I somehow managed to yell the Japanese word for 'shit.'
What appears to be a tie-dyed t-shirt is actually my broken laptop screen. Lovely.
Back in the states, I immediately took it in for repair, but it seemed that getting Dell to factory replace something takes an act of God or somehow calling Michael Dell's home number to threaten his family with salad tongs. It ended up that the screen had to be shipped in from, you guessed it, Tokyo. Funny how life has it's own sick sense of humor... HA HA life, aren't you full of irony!
In any event, it took ages for the correct fix, as the first two screens didn't properly calibrate and all the while, I was stuck with a 2 gig of RAM, 10 lb black brick from Compaq: What this really meant was that I could have checked my email faster using a carrier pigeon and smoke signals. Honestly, how am I supposed to have the appropriate material to jack off to when I'm waiting for my laptop processor to slowly get through one naked image? I quickly realized that masturbating using this temporary machine was a lot like watching bad burlesque: There was a whole lot of extremely slow build-up with absolutely no payoff. When you graduate from dial-up porn, there's just no going back.
I had the opportunity to spend a few days at the newly opened (as of October 15th) Amangiri resort, located in a very remote corner of Utah and Aman's second property in the United States. They have a long history in Asia and Europe as one of the premier ultra-luxe resort chains, functioning less as the mechanical all-inclusive and more as the private villa experience. With most of their locations having less than 50 suites, Aman's level of personal attention is unlike any other hotel/resort I've stayed at. The guest-to-staff ratio is incredible, making it possible to truly feel as if you're staying with good friends rather than in an impersonal, cooperate setting.
Amangiri's design keeps clean lines, minimalism and a neutral color palette at the forefront, mixing light Southwestern touches and DWR sensibility without crossing the kitsch line. There's a real feeling of having left reality when you walk around the compound, as it's built within and into a natural bowl of boulder and rock. I didn't think it was possible to combine the arid appeal of the desert into something so tailored in overall design, but Amangiri achieves it without making you feel as if you've just booked a stay at Buchenwald.
As with any just-opened resort, you've got to take into account a few things: One, that the level of service might not yet have gelled the way you'd expect and two, that everything is brand new, not yet broken in and ridiculously photo-ready pristine. Luckily, Aman brought in a staff of people who are both new to the company and old pros who have worked at other Amans around the world, creating a group that's not only eager to please, but knows just how to go about doing it.
There are 33 suites at Amangiri, all outfitted with high-def LCD televisions, Bose 321 surround systems, complimentary wireless internet, custom-created bath products (that smell incredible) and Crestron control systems that handle both lighting and drapes. The bed, while extremely comfortable sleeping, is designed platform style (very low to the ground) and completely out of solid blocks of limestone, leading frequently to bruised shins and breaking the serene desert silences with shouts of 'fuck' and 'holy fuck, that hurt.' All rooms have private patios that are comfortably cushioned for relaxing and include a fantastic bio-fuel firepit system.
Be aware: The resort is almost totally isolated from the rest of civilization, so all of your time there is spent either on-property or doing a private, arranged activity (hiking, boating, horseback riding). My cell service with AT&T was spotty at best, leaving me to enjoy an anti-cellular existence, circa 1984.
Amangiri's spa, at 25,000 square feet, is incredible not just by location standard, but against all spa facilities I've ever visited. While it's still got some atmosphere kinks to work out, the overall aesthetic of the design is calming, very clean and thoughtfully finished-out. I especially enjoyed the play on opposites in the steam room: It resembled the inside of an igloo, with curved, textured walls and a frosty white coloring. For the brave, they also offer a VERY chilly cold plunge pool, complete with a dramatic marble stair entrance into the water and frigid deluge from above.
While the resort offers a large, heated resort-style pool, the spa offers its own private wading facility with severely tiered levels of seating, rising around it in square formation. While beautiful in design, the result might leave a swimmer somewhat on-display to the sun-worshipers towering above them. I think a system of small contemporary cabanas would have worked better, giving spa goers the privacy they need to seek absolute relaxation.
Treatment rooms line a private, very large outdoor Watsu pool (Japanese for 'Extremely Whored-Up Lap Pool'). Inside, the rooms are spartan and somewhat cold. Each room has an individual rainfall steam shower system, a private side-enclosed, open-skied space for taking what my therapist called 'natural rain showers' and a very comfortable, heated massage table. Spa treatments range from standard massage therapies to intense Native American-inspired sweat rituals. For being so incredibly isolated, it was surprising (and refreshing) to see that Aman didn't gouge their guests with astronomically high spa rates
The fitness facility is large, with fantastic natural light, floor-to-ceiling windows, well-placed mirrors and new, state-of-the-art equipment. What's most interesting is that the space was designed for open-air ability as well, with large format windows folding out into the walls.
The main building serves as not only a central meeting spot and well-stocked library, but as the dining room as well. While the space isn't separated by traditional walls, lighting fixtures and varying degrees of high and low level help compartmentalize it. For what is in essence one big room, the sound level remains low and somehow absorbed away. The one personality trait this resort exudes in mass is silence: The only sounds you do end up hearing seem very calculated and always geared toward complete relaxation. I don't know how Aman does it, but it's a very impressive trick.
Meals are served whenever and wherever, reinforcing the idea that you're staying in a private villa with friends rather than an impersonal, massive commercial resort. The menu for both lunch and dinner err on the side of healthy, but breakfast is an exercise purely in gluttony for those up to the challenge: Sit down in the morning and instead of a menu, you'll be politely asked what you'd like the chef to create for you for breakfast.
How cool is that? ... Might I recommend a plate of ricotta-blueberry pancakes. They rocked.
Also, in typical Aman fashion, there is no tipping or signing for anything while a guest: You simply walk away full, happy and relaxed, settling the final bill upon checkout. Opening rates begin at $600/night, with on-season rates increasing to $800/night starting in December 2009. If you happen to be familiar with the Virtuoso travel booking program, Amangiri participates and offers free meals and spa treatments as guest amenities. Highly recommended.
I recently uploaded some new snapshots onto my Google Gallery and continue to photoblog my life as it happens multiple times a day. Twitter is also still there, so feel free to send me a tweet or comment on what I'm dishing up. I also just got back proofs from a photo shoot I did and the shots look fantastic. Here's a sampling from some of my newest snaps... Enjoy:
A BN.com website update (finally!) is in the works with these and other new images, but I'll keep the updates coming here on 15mm when things go live. Thanks to my new iPhone, it's now easier for me to post on-the-fly flexing and travel vids to my YouTube page, so definitely keep an eye out. I'm spending most of my November cruising the Mediterranean Sea and wondering how I'll keep a web presence on what amounts to a 1200-baud rate ship wireless signal. Luckily, ports are frequent and I've still got my Blackberry. It's truly a 'go anywhere' kind of smart phone.
Check out a BN-mention in the latest edition of CyberSocket Magazine: Big thanks to the guys there for the thumbs-up and complimentary writeup.
And before I forget, I'm taking all criticism into consideration regarding how the Eye Candy is now being posted (and how Nazi-like Photobucket is): I'm actively searching for a new way to display the EC, hopefully in a click-to-enlarge, gallery-like function. If anyone happens to know of a site that does this well or can suggest software, please shoot me an email. Thanks much!
NEXT EDITION: Look for a review wrap-up on Broadway's newest, the lowdown on exercise system P90x, the bastardization of the Aussiebum and, naturally, some eye candy for good measure.