Friday, May 30, 2008
Julie Andrews is best actress in "Mary Poppins."
Gilligan's Island, the Dick Van Dyke show and the Beverly Hillbillies are hits on TV.
The Easy Bake oven is a top new toy.
"Why We Can't Wait" by Martin Luther King is a top selling book (fierce urgency of now, anyone?).
Jackie Kennedy lays flowers on her martyred husband's grave.
And, oh yeah. I was born.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Look -- I'm an introvert. My boss recently reminded me of this when talking about a problem inter-personal relationship between me and another in my office, and she remarked, "you're not the most outgoing person in the world."
Who knew she had a gift for understatement?
I'm tired of feeling bad that I'm an Introvert. It's time to claim a little Introvert Pride (Instead of protests we'll have "think-ins." The silence will speak volumes).
First, a definition: an introvert gets his energy from within, an extrovert from without. It's not that we Intros are shy, per se, look, I spent the weekend at a nude beach. But, as an introvert, I need some alone time to recharge after being with a lot of people; an extrovert gets his energy from a lot of people. As a psychology web site says:
Introverts tend to get their energy from within, so being with people is draining. After a day filled with people or activities, introverts tend to feel exhausted and empty. To recharge their batteries introverts need to be alone reading, daydreaming, painting, or gardening – any solo activity fills them up again.
One of the things introverts hate is small talk. I find it boring and repetitive and not worth the energy it takes me to participate. How many times in our lives do we have to say the same things over and over about the weather being too hot or too cold or the fact that weathermen suck? Small talk about the weather just means we are emitting more personal carbon dioxide and making global warming worse. If we all stopped making small talk about it being "hot enough for ya?" how many polar bears could we save?
Being stereotypically gay in one aspect -- I don't follow ANY team sport -- adds to the problem of being a small-talk-hating introvert. Let's face it, sports is a conversation ice breaker. And my attempts at participating have been met with disaster. Years ago, waiting for a business meeting to begin, someone mentioned how exciting the "tournament" had been the night before. Now, I had watched the men's figure skating championships the previous evening. Here was small talk I could participate in that I found interesting! I quickly chimed in, "yes, Brian Boitano was fabulous!" Everyone looked at me. Of course they were talking about the NBA tournament. I think that has something to do with basketball. Small talk is better left to the extroverts.
Jonathan Rauch, an admitted practicing introvert has written that we Intros are persecuted:
The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Still, we endure stoically, because the etiquette books—written, no doubt, by extroverts—regard declining to banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts' Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say "I'm an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush."
Despite the oppression we Intros face we are successful. George Washington was an Introvert. Ronald Reagan was probably one too. Most actors and artists are. Even successful business men. Warren Buffet? Yup. Albert Einstein? Of course. Queen Elizabeth? A practicing Intro!
So yes, I am an introvert and proud of it. We're here. We're quiet. Get used to it.
Yes, Larry Craig is writing a book. And yes, he's taking us there:
"There will be a bit of what's happened in the last year, and the way it evolved,” Craig said. “I think that's important for Idaho and those outside Idaho who are interested to know."
Let's hope he doesn't give us diagrams -- or, God forbid, pictures -- of his supposed "wide stance."
Could someone please get this man some help?
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
In the security line at National this morning there was a young soldier in desert fatigues. He started to remove his boots when the TSA agent told him he didn't have to, after showing his military ID. Good, I thought -- the young men and women who put their lives on the line for our security shouldn't have to endure the same indignities we do.
When I got through security, quickly reclaimed my stuff, I saw him again, this time in the search area, and he was taking off his boots. He'd been tagged for some reason, and was busy removing every bit of medal from his body and uniform before being frisked.
I know the TSA agent was just doing his job. It just seemed wrong.
I said to the LTR: Wow, that guy's got a huge rod.
The LTR looks at the fisherman walking down the beach carrying his gear. The LTR punched me.
Yes, they fish naked here.
And play volleyball naked.
At our guesthouse we met a lesbian couple who planned to have a holy union the next day at the beach. They met four months ago, at a Home Depot. It wasn't long before they moved in together and, now, this. Well, at least they weren't conforming to stereotype.
Also met a 40s something DC guy at the beach who was staying in Asbury Park, 15 miles further south, because there's a gay bar there. "There's no nightlife here" he said, meaning Highlands where we were staying. From the looks of him he should skip the nightlife and take a nap. For about two years.
We're going back later this summer.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Well, the LTR and I spent the day at Gunnison Beach, where exposing all your parts to the sun is not only legal but expected. This is our second trip here.
It was very relaxing and the LTR fell asleep after lunch. I was restless, and took a walk. While I was gone, he woke up. He said he didn't know where he was, he was alone, and he was naked! After a few seconds the panic was gone and he put it together. Until he realized that the magazine he had been reading fell on his lap while he slept. And while he sweat. So he had a big ink stain across his, well, interior. At least it was a painless way to get a tattoo there.
Two observations about the naturist beach (even people who take off all the clothes have politically correct terminology, you musn't say "nude").
1) The clientele here skews fat. Not just out of shape but moridly obese. Now, this doesn't bother me as I'm no model either. And I'm not here to look at naked people who turn me 0n (I have the Internet for that). I'm here to experience being natural outdoors. But there is enough common obesity to make me wonder if it is a constant in the naturist community? And if so, why? Is it a way of saying "fuck you" to our Abercrombie and Fitch obsessed culture?
2) If you're going to sunbathe at a nude beach, take your clothes off. Here at Sandyhook there are multiple beaches to choose from and only one naturist beach. So if you are on the naturist beach donning a bathing suit you're only there for one reason -- to gawk. To me it's the only perverse thing about the beach. You. In the wet clingly bathing suit. Take it off or get out. We fat naked people don't like you staring at us.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Usually, about a week or less before a major holiday, one of us will say to the other, "Hey, it's a holiday weekend. Let's go somewhere." Hilarity ensues as we scramble to find a place -- anyplace -- with an availability. So far no one has laughed in our face two days before oh, New Year's Day weekend and we asked for a room. I think they save the derisive laughter for after they hang up. Then we usually resign ourselves to a weekend of yard work.
But, anyway, back in Feb. it dawned on me that they'd be holding Memorial Day weekend again this year and I booked us a room -- the Captain's Quarters if you want to check it out.
Looks like there are lots of things to do there, from shopping, hiking, museums and of course the nude beach at Sandy Hook.
Have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend. I feel sorry for you poor slobs who didn't plan ahead. Enjoy your yard work.
Fast forward to yesterday, and on one of America's most popular daytime talk shows a lesbian host talks about her upcoming wedding with another woman with the Republican nominee for president, and with the audience cheering on it's the straight man in the room who looks awkward and uncomfortable.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
ELLEN DeGENERES: Yeah, I mean, I think that it's -- it is looked at -- and some people are saying the same -- that blacks and women did not have the right to vote. I mean, women just got the right to vote in 1920. Blacks didn't have the right to vote until 1870. And it just feels like there is this old way of thinking that we are not all the same. We are all the same people, all of us. You're no different than I am. Our love is the same. To me -- to me, what it feels like -- just, you know, I will speak for myself
-- it feels -- when someone says, "You can have a contract, and you'll still have insurance, and you'll get all that," it sounds to me like saying, "Well, you can sit there; you just can't sit there." That's what it sounds like to me. It feels like -- it doesn't feel inclusive...It feels -- it feels isolated. It feels like we are not -- you know, we aren't owed the same things and the same wording.
SENATOR JOHN McCAIN: Well, I've heard you articulate that position in a very eloquent fashion. We just have a disagreement. And I, along with many, many others, wish you every happiness.
ELLEN DeGENERES: Thank you. So you'll walk me down the aisle? Is that what you're saying?
SENATOR JOHN McCAIN: Touche.
ELLEN DeGENERES: Well, my hope is someday it won't be called a contract; it will be called marriage.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
“I’ve noticed in recent years most people don’t have a clue about proper cornholing technique. Improper approach, poor follow-through, and generally sloppy form will invariably lead you too far to the left and that’s NO good for anyone involved.”
Tip Number One:
First, you must get everything set up and ready. Proper cornholing requires a lot of space. You need plenty of room so that there are no unwelcome collisions with your sack.
Read the entire guide to proper cornholing, complete with helpful photos and illustrations.
That's torture! I said.
No, he wrote. It's just "Enhanced Workout Techniques!"
Andrew Sullivan, call your office.
One reason may be simply because it feels good:
Not every sexual act has a reproductive function," said Janet Mann, a biologist at Georgetown University.
Clearly an activist scientist.
But she goes on:
"It could be a way that you strengthen bonds — that's one hypothesis," Mann told LiveScience. "Another is that it could be practice for heterosexual sex. Bottlenose dolphin calves mount each other a lot. That might benefit them later on."
Oh. So that's where the term "practicing homosexual" comes from.
But the one thing unique to humans with regards to homosexuality?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Scott, for what's it worth as a moderate GOPer, I think this kind of crap is out of place in America.
But then, I thought that same thing when I saw HRC and CodePink posters being carried in DC back in 2004 with pictures of W kissing KarlRove or pictures of Laura Bush with slogans like "You can't trust her! She killed her childhood friend!"
It has no place in American politics.
Well, first, the Curious George slur.
It saddened me. That someone would vote against Obama because of his race or his supposed religion is galling. That a voter would proudly tout a racist image was painful to see. But it is her right to express her political opinions as she see fit, even if it offends me -- and it does.
But as sad as it makes me, it's her right to say it (just as it's my right to ridicule and mock it).
Regarding the HRC pictures:
It's not how I would choose to express my grievances with the Bush Administration. But I'm not sure that I see it on the equal to the Obama smear. What is so offensive? A gay kiss? The disrespect? The cartoonish aspect?
Presidents have been disrespectfully mocked and pilloried in cartoons since the Republic began. I revere Abraham Lincoln -- yet in my office hang two prints of cartoons disrespectfully lampooning him. It goes with the territory.
Or maybe it's the idea of a gay kiss that offends you?
Look, any long-time reader of this blog knows I think the HRC is ineffective, and they blew it in 2004 with their George W you're fired campaign. But I'm curious Mich-Matt. Why are you so offended that you would seemingly ban those images from political discourse?
Washington Post political columnist Dana Milbank (whom I find oddly sexy, in a political geek sort of way) likens Hillary to the Black Knight in his column today, a must read.
I loved this line:
We're here in a gym," Clinton correctly observes.
But, Milbank points out, that's about the only correct observation she has about her own chances of winning.
Obama's ahead by every measure relevant to the Democratic Party's nomination process. But, as Milbank observes:
"There is no way that this is gonna end anytime soon," vows Knight Clinton, standing her ground at the bridge.
Yes, how troublesome that the California Supremes made a ruling about the California state constitution. Interlopers.
Before I get to the substance of the Post Editorial, let me say this about the "activist judges" nonsense. I could see that term applying if the Court, bored one day said, hey, let's make gay marriage legal! The Gays will be dancing in the streets!
No, what happened here and in other cases, a minority pressed for a legal decision about whether their constitutional rights were being infringed. And the court made a decision in response to the minority. That's their job.
To the editorial -- the Post says that the California supremes:
correctly recognized that government bears the highest burden if it decides to treat differently the relationships between opposite-sex and same-sex couples.
And so the California court ruled that the government did not meet that burden. And the Post wants to second guess -- i.e., "meddle" -- that decision. The Post makes an odd distinction, saying the U.S. Supreme Court acted correctly in finding that separate was not equal when it comes to school segregation (Brown v. Brd of Education) but that rationale can't apply to gay folk wanting to get married:
This is a far cry from the California experience with the rights of same-sex couples. The state's elected representatives passed sweeping legislation in 1999 that gave same-sex couples near legal parity with their opposite-sex counterparts; that landmark legislation has been amended over the years to expand the rights of gay couples. Before the court ruling, same-sex couples in California had virtually the same -- not separate, but the same -- legal rights as heterosexual couples, insofar as state law can grant that.
Emphasis added. The key words here are "near" and "virtually" the same rights. We gay folk are supposed to be grateful we're granted nearly and virtually the same rights as straight people. How dare we question whether or not that's okay in a society supposedly based on the notion of equal protection under the laws.
The California Court looked at the California state constitution and agreed separate is not equal. All three branches of California's government are now on record supporting the rights of gay people not to be discriminated against by marriage.
It's too bad the Post thinks that "virtually" equal is just fine for gay Americans.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Actually, he said for me to set out the "pterodactyl" as he usually buys these really HUGE mammoth whole chickens that could easily be mistaken for the giant prehistoric birds (and unlike Giant's cuts of beef which are usually so gristly and tough that they probably ARE prehistoric, these birds are actually very good). And so we call chicken, "pterodactyl."
So Sunday I dutifully complied, awarding myself good husband points for completing a honey-do task without a reminder.
The LTR just returned home and I emailed him and asked him how things were there.
He replied, "Ok. I'm a little surprised that you set out a 14 pound turkey for dinner."
Well, like I said, no practical skills...
Sunday, May 18, 2008
One was the fact that (typically) of the two gay lead characters one ends up dead and the other ends up a loser and a loner. There can be no happy gays on the stage. Tangentially, it struck me as odd that the school boys would accept one of their own -- "Datkin," played by Jay Sullivan -- gleefully seeking an affair with a young male professor. The play is set in the 1980s and I don't recall that sort of openness about bisexuality. Oh wait, this is set in England, well, cheerio and pip pip. Perhaps Margaret Thatcher's Great Britain was more progressive than we thought it was.
The other thing that stood out was ensemble actor Adam Foss (pictured). He's a beautiful young man and he moved energetically and gracefully about the stage. He didn't have much else to do, but of the boys he seemed the most innocent, eager and mischievous. And he was just plain fun to watch. I hope to see him in a meatier role in the future.
Okay, I said, two things, but here's a bonus:
There's a scene where the audience is waiting for the student Datkin to make a move on his young professor (shortly after Datkin invites the prof. to "suck me off"). Man, could you feel the tension in the theater and everyone was rapt. It's one of those collective live theater experiences that make it worth going to the theater.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
The CA legislature has twice voted in FAVOR of same sex marriage.
The elected governor of CA, Ah-nold, supports the CA Supremes' decision.
Now the right will strike back with a ballot initiative to make same sex marriage unconstitutional. Which is their right to try and do.
And we must stop them. And the polls are moving in our direction. Winning in CA on this issue should become the number one gay civil rights issue in the nation. More important than Hillary. Or Obama.
Do you get it, HRC?
2:57 p.m., Yeager Airport, Charleston, W.Va.: A steep descent brings Clinton's plane to Charleston's hilltop airport. After an appropriate wait, she steps from the plane and pretends to wave to a crowd of supporters; in fact, she is waving to 10 photographers underneath the airplane's wing. She pretends to spot an old friend in the crowd, points and gives another wave; in fact, she is waving at an aide she had been talking with on the plane minutes earlier.Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. There is no man behind the curtain. But of course, Hillary's not the only one who does it. A reader in a chat on the Post asked Milbank if others do it too. He says:
Bush does it all the time, waving to the photographers as if he's greeting a campaign rally. What was unique about the Clinton arrival in West Virginia was how she singled out one woman in the crowd with a special wave, indicating how surprised and delighted she was to see her. The woman was a press aide who had just been with Clinton on the flight from Washington. She waved back, dutifully.
Leave it to Clinton to take fakery to a whole new level. Hey, can't you news media guys turn the cameras and report what's really going on? Isn't that your job?
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
There's been a lot of talk in this campaign about Barack Obama's problem with working class white voters or rural voters. But these claims are both inaccurate because they are incomplete. You can look at states like Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states and see the different numbers and they are all explained by one basic fact. Obama's problem isn't with white working class voters or rural voters. It's Appalachia. That explains why Obama had a difficult time in Ohio and Pennsylvania and why he's getting crushed in West Virginia and Kentucky.
If it were just a matter of rural voters or the white working class, the pattern would show up in other regions. But by and large it does not.
Read the whole insightful post here.
The very fact I have "Lonely Goatherd" on my Ipod I think qualifies me as pretty gay, let alone working out to it. And now I have stuck in my head. And now so do you.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Karen Seifert, a volunteer from New York, was outside of the largest polling location in Lackawanna County, Pa., on primary day when she was pressed by a Clinton volunteer to explain her backing of Obama. "I trust him," Seifert replied. According to Seifert, the woman pointed to Obama's face on Seifert's T-shirt and said: "He's a half-breed and he's a Muslim. How can you trust that?"
No, not everyone in West Virginia who voted for Clinton voted because of these base sentiments. But it would seem a lot of them did.
So for them, I dedicate this song:
The Blade photographer, Henry Linser, came buy last night to shoot me. I hate having my photo taken. It didn't help that I found Henry to be very attractive and his tee-shirt kept creeping up when he lifted the camera and my eye so wanted to wander to see if he had a happy trail.
Okay, so I'm old and resorting to troll-like behavior. It's inevitable, isn't it?
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I decided to find out just what kind of elitist I am, and took the elitist quiz. My result said:
Your CD collection is almost as big as your ego, and you can most likely play an instrument or three. You're a real hit at parties, but you're SO above karaoke.
What people love: You're instant entertainment. Unless you play the oboe.
What people hate: Your tendency to sing louder than the radio and compare everything to a freaking song.
Well, actually, my ego is much bigger than my ample CD collection. And I can play three instruments, one of the them well, one of them ok and the other, well, at least it's not the oboe.
And I don't compare everything to a freaking song. They're called symphonies, dahling. And hand me that bottle of Chablis.
Yes, we'd really like to have you be the Queery feature for next week's paper. This is where we ask someone 20 questions and then print the answers alongside an introductory paragraph and a photo. People really seem to enjoy doing it, and I know it's a popular feature among readers. Given your long history with the Different Drummers, I think you'd be a great person for this.
The problem is, this isn't going to reveal my "long history" with DCDD, it's going to reveal my long history as a post
Consider some of the questions:
7. What has been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Do I answer truthfully that I remember when Roots was first aired -- the first mega mini-series on network TV? The release of the first Star Wars movie in 1977? The death of Elvis? When Marcia got hit by the football when the Brady Bunch was not yet in syndication but still on the air? I can even remember when Sonny was married to Cher.
Or how about this one:
9. What item of clothing has been in your closet since high school?
I'd like to say I have nothing that I wore in high school 26 fucking years ago but today while cleaning the house I actually found a belt I wore back then with a (no kidding) tuba-shaped belt buckle. Hey, I was a band geek. But is that an answer I really want in print? Do I really need to let the world know how much of a nerd I was back then? (And looking back on it now and thinking about me wearing that belt it's no wonder I didn't go on many dates)
And then there's this one:
3. What is Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Well, let's see...past best nightspot: my bedroom. Okay, not really, but back in the day my club of choice was Rascals on Connecticut Ave. Three floors of gay fun, first floor dancing and drag shows, second floor bar and movies (non-porn), third floor strippers. Anyone but me remember Joey or Francois? And the LTR and I had our first Friday night date there...we ended up sucking face on the third floor ignoring (and annoying) the strippers. It's long gone now, having been swallowed by Riggs Bank (now PNC) which bought out the block back in the mid-90s.
Present nightspot? Once again, my bedroom, where the LTR and I are usually fast asleep by 10. Let me climb off my bedpan so I can take some more Geritol.
Here's one question I can answer:
I mean, that one's easy.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Her answer: Abraham Lincoln.
Ugh. Now, I'd definitely include Lincoln in my "pick three people living or dead you'd invite to a dinner party" (I'd also invite Jesus -- think of the money I'd save by not having to buy wine). But would I date him? Nah.
I'd pick Alexander the Great. Why?
1) Hotter, beefier thighs than Lincoln.
2) A ride on an elephant.
3) Cairo as a post-date gift.
4) Three-way with Hephaestion
Sure, Lincoln would take you the theater but then all you get is blood-stained dress.
But I wonder...what IS in Hillary's nightstand? Any guesses?
In his younger days, Buster and his older "sister" always slept with us.
Then, arthritis made the stairs too difficult. Buster was the first to give in, and we got him a dog bed which we put by the back door of the house. Truthfully, I like having him there -- a better sentry we could not ask for. He's already stopped countless squirrels from breaking into the house.
Ranger, the younger dog, who has insisted to be next to me in bed since I rescued her, lasted longer. Then for some strange reason she wouldn't stay in bed but would lay on the floor. We'd pick her up and put her back but she'd jump right off again. Then, because of the brittleness of her bones (she's 15) we realized the wisdom of letting sleeping dogs lie. Now she's too weak to attempt the stairs and we don't carry her up any more for fear of her falling down them at night.
So it's always a bit of surprise when Buster decides to join us in bed these days. What makes him endure the risky flights of stairs? Was he having a bad dream? Where the squirrels chasing him? Or did he just wake up in a quiet house and miss companionship? Do dogs have the 3 a.m. heebie jeebies where every little thing you ever worried about rises like a specter to taunt you into restless half wakefulness? (and since dogs can't use phones, they can't call Hillary for help).
Whatever the reason, I awoke to a warm mound of fur curled up next to me. One bonus -- when Buster pants, being a big dog, the entire bed shakes, like one of those cheap vibrating beds at hotel pay-by-the-hour. Except with Buster, you don't even have to put a quarter in.
But the need for companionship wasn't limited to the canine side of the family. About 6 am I heard the pitter-patter of clawless feet, opened my eyes and saw two little hands on the side of the bed, and then a blond head came into view as Eli pulled himself up into bed and crawled under the covers between Pappa and me.
So there we were, an aging dog, two aging homosexuals and a three year old, addressing the human and cross-species need for warmth and companionship in the lonely hours of the morning by snuggling together.
If we all didn't have to pee, we'd be there still.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Me: Wakey, wakey! Good morning, honey.
Eli dashes down the hall.
Me: Aren't you going to give me a good morning hug?
Eli: I have to go potty first. Then I'll give you a good morning hug. And a good morning kiss.
A tinkle a hug and a kiss later, Eli sits on my lap in my study. He yawns.
Eli: I yawned twice.
Me: Yes you did.
Eli: How many times did you yawn?
Me: I'm not sure, I wasn't counting.
Eli: Count your yawns, Daddy!
And so we spent several minutes counting yawns. Not all of them real.
Okay, it's mundane. But it was a charming, cuddly way to way to start the day before facing a gauntlet of conference calls for work.