Hi -

It’s a new year. I’m glad. So glad, in fact, that whenever I find myself writing out 2 0 0 4 — even on a utility bill — I feel a twinge of something resembling pleasure. Or at least relief:

’03 is over.

With this postcard I want to wallow in a rare guilty pleasure:

Optimism.

Lord, may 2004 allow us all to bask

I’m smiling, but serious.

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL, PART MMIV

(CAUTION: As I learned the hard way, people from Washington state do not appreciate joking comments about the many and varied blatantly obscene [or merely odd] names on their map. . . .)

2004 promises to be a busy year.

In answer to those of you who have written asking:

Yes, Alex Buchman’s BARRACKS BAD BOYS really will be published. Really. I know I’ve been saying that for over a year, but see for yourself. Never mind the listed publication date. It should be out around June.

And yes, I really am completing the second edition of BARRACK BUDDIES. But should anyone reading this have any unpublished original homoerotic photos of Army or Air Force men (preferably from the 80s to early 90s) that would fit, I still have room for one or two more. (For every 50 images of sailors and Marines there seem to be at best 1 or 2 of soldiers and airmen.)

I’m even more excited about an altogether new project, about which I can’t say too much just yet. Other than it builds on what I’ve previously confided here: my sense that the last frontier in research on homoeroticism in the military, and for that matter male bonding in general, is . . . is . . . [Refer back to above images of sailors.]

Speaking of sailors, clicking on the above image will take you to a cool authentic story of cruising San Diego ca. 1980 (illustrated by images from the “Best of Seadogphoto” CD) hosted by the charming David K of nightcharm.com.

* * *

One big reason why I’m able to smile is because of my friends.

I couldn’t ask for better.

- Steve, January 2004

PS Special thanks, as always, to Dave Clemens. For his “Steven Zeeland” Yahoo! group I will soon be submitting a collection of outtakes — photos not included in my books . . . and several slightly embarrassing rejected author photos. Even worse than this one.