Saturday, February 28, 2009

Under One Sun Pool Party - Winter Party 2009

More videos and pics tomorrow. I'm off to WHIP: A Leather Fantasy at Jackhammer.

Also last night at the Winter Party

Before jumping into the Kiehl's Party (see previous post) I attended the media reception at Van Dyke on Lincoln Road hosted by the Task Force.

In this photo are Nicole Milson, Abigail Webb, Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey and Yuval David whom you may recognize from Days of Our Lives.

I spent a few scorching minutes with Jonathan, an incendiary 23 year old drag queen from Atlanta eager to make the most of his Titanium Pass to all events of the Winter Party....

I ended the evening with the gorgeous ladies at the Women's Cocktail Reception at Town House.

Here's Amanda Decetis with the delightful Janice Thom, Director of Special Events at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Lighting up the night sky are Dayna Gamba, Lisa Harbingen and Lisa McNeill.

Kiehl's Gives 20/20

As those of you who have tasted me know, Kiehl's coriander-infused body wash makes my skin delicious, and, I would never leave the house after 10PM (even to go to the 7/11!) without first applying Kiehl's Facial Fuel under my eyes.

And yet, last night, my established appeciation for Kiehl's sky-rocketed, as I walked through the door of their Miami Beach store at 832 Lincoln Road. The very hot Chad Richter, who is the Southeast Retail Sales Manager for Kiehl's and is also the chair of the Winter Party Festival, threw one hell of a reception for Winter Party attendees, during which, we were given a 20% discount, with Kiehl's donating another 20% of sales to the Festival. (Lincoln Road is a pedestrian Mall making it difficult to back the Uhaul up to their front door after I had made my selections for the next ten years.)

In the second video, the two guys in swim suits were not staff, but rather visitors (from Minneapolis) whose self-discipline in flying with only carry-on luggage stored under the seat in front of them became literally admirable.

Also, toward the end of the second video, in the yellow shirt of the Winter Party volunteer, is Gary who was not ready for his close-up.

And here, on the far right, cracking up behind a stack of lip gloss, is the Task Force's effervescent Deputy Executive Director of External Relations, Russell Roybal.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thursday at the 2009 Winter Party

This evening I attended the Women’s Art Exhibit, another of the events of the 2009 Winter Party. The reception was held at the Fache Arts & Amy Alonso Gallery on NE 124th Street in Miami.

Amy Alonso specializes in women’s art, having been in the business for a remarkable ten years. As is always the case, she has had to change addresses a few times in order to find affordable rents as neighborhoods become trendy and consequently expensive.

We talked about selling art in a tough economy. Ms. Alonso typically sells three paintings a month, but this month, not a one. We joked about cutting down on restaurants and learning to use our own designer kitchens that have been largely ornamental until now. Ms. Alonso was amazed that she could purchase huge slabs of fresh fish which when combined with sticky rice produce excellent sushi for days!

Ms. Alonso did however have a bit of bright art news. The Los Angeles market seems to be strong and interested in abstract painting. She recently did a show in LA that sold out entirely. We also discussed the extremely weak market for photography. These days, anyone with money to spend on art wants something that does not come in multiples.

Here are (left to right) two artists, Roz Keating and Ana Mettola, with Amy Alonso.

Fueled with a couple of excellent brownies and some chardonnay, I headed to Collins Avenue for another event called Pretty in Pink at the Whitelaw Hotel lounge.

The rooms of the Whitelaw are saturated with the most intense pink imaginable, offset by whimsically padded white headboards.

I was pressed to down shots of a suspiciously sweet and sinister pink fluid with a clot of short black-haired Latinos who would not be photographed, informing me that they were all getting off Facebook, Twitter, Manhunt, Myspace, Friendster and all other similar venues. It seems that obscurity is the new black. When I asked them how they would keep track of each other, they assured me that they had ways, but these they would not divulge. Oh for the days of the princess phone. In pink, of course.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Winter Party 2009

The annual Winter Party in Miami Beach is on! The festivities began this evening with a convivial poolside cocktail reception at the Surfcomber on Collins Avenue.

The crowd was lively and lovely, but what makes this event superb is the cordial team of volunteers who make every attendee feel beautiful in a crowd of many thousands of heartbreakingly beautiful men. Here are volunteers Elliott Thompson and David Salih. (Elliott has a secret project about to bloom. I couldn’t pry it out of him. He changed the subject, saying “You’re from New York. All the New York guys wear black.” He was right.) Incidentally, bright yellow and orange are the colors of the season, and if you don't have an orange hoodie, you just don't have a hoodie. So say the men in Miami Beach tonight.

I used to think this was just another circuit party, but that is inaccurate. The Winter Party attracts all ages, colors and sexes; and the scheduled events go far beyond the dance hall.

The South Beach Bum is a volunteer this year. Here he is with Steve Brady of upstate New York (hence allowing himself colors.)

Here is the fabled enchantrix, Countess Bedelia (center) and courtiers (from left) Alexis, His BF Leo, Walter and Gary. They will be ensconced in a private cabana during the Saturday pool party, but tonight they mixed with commoners like your humble scribe who dared to lick the diamond brooch on the Countess’s decolletage. It tasted like chicken.

Here is that flawless sine qua non of Miami culture, Pussila.

Rea Carey, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (sponsors of the Winter Party), welcomed the crowd.

Here is the chair of the Winter Party festival, Chad (Hot) Richter with The L Word actress Daniela Sea.

Balmy wind off the ocean. An open fire. Trays of delectibles served by smiling handsome guys. Wine and music. Swag from Kiehl's!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Instincts of Leadership

For all who do not know him, this is a good indication of why Tim Dolan, newly named archbishop of New York, will be a fine leader. While I will never agree with his allegiances to some of the twisted policies of Catholicism, he is a refreshing step in the right direction and is cut from some excellent cloth.

Tomorrow on Bilerico: "A Fool and his Donuts are soon parted"

You will have to go to Bilerico tomorrow to find my response to the following:

Dear Father Tony,
I’ve been seeing one guy for about six months and have stopped dating anyone else. I think we are in love and that this may be the guy I spend my life with but there is one thing about him that worries me. Every time we have sex – and I do mean EVERY time - he starts shouting out “Yank ‘em! Harder! Do it harder! More! More!” No matter how hard I pull on his balls, he still begs for more. Sometimes, I am afraid that if I pull any harder, they will come off in my hand and I’ll end up on the other side of the room.

At first, I used to laugh about this, but he felt hurt by that. I guess a man can’t help what he gets turned on by. Now I do it without being asked, but he still yells for more. I don’t think he could cum without it. And, he has started to ask me to use my teeth instead of my hand….

Is this dangerous? Is it kinky in a way that could lead to some really weird stuff from him once we settle in together? Can I train him to like something else?

I’m Stretched-to-the-limit.

Repairing America

Ours is a time of change in which we will see the rectification of some intolerable nonsense. Organized religion will be taken out of the driver's seat of government (and into the front passenger's seat). Financial recklessness will be slowed (not stopped). Gays will get more (not all) rights.

Some fixes are easy. As I listened to our new President deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress, I felt that the strength of his words was diminished by the sight of a rabid and grinning Jack-in-the-box and a dazed ancient stoner seated just behind him. And that floor to ceiling flag. Don't we rather associate that sort of desperate decor with the old regime's need to hide behind fake patriotism?

Obama ought to carefully fold up that flag and replace it with a smaller one. He ought to move the Speaker's and the VP's chairs about 15 feet to the left and right of camera range, or simply get rid of them. If those two should take offense, a diplomatic solution would be to replace them with a line-up of the entire Cabinet. Why not send in all the clowns?

(source photo: Reuters)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dolan takes Manhattan

Archbishop Tim Dolan will succeed Cardinal Egan in New York!

We were in Rome together for a few years, and a friend/classmate of ours occasionally sent him to this blog.

While Tim most certainly would not approve of much that I have said or done since my ordination, he is the kind of man who would never treat me with any less good will and respect than would he afford any other priest or lay person. Extremely likable and magnanimous, he is a startlingly good choice for New York and and anyone who meets him will have an easier time tolerating the evil B16 (Oops. That's the kind of inconvenient talk that might keep me from getting invited to dinner at St. Patrick's.)

While he will not say or do anything that would raise an eyebrow in Rome, Tim Dolan is sensible and compassionate and intelligent and will find the subtle routes to making the Catholic Church more inclusive. I do not know if he is gay or straight. I suspect he is celibate.

Tim, welcome to New York. Ed Petty would have been so proud. If there were cell phones in heaven, he'd have woken me up in the middle of the night with this great news.

Fort Lauderdale Sunday

We pulled up to a red light on Oakland Park Blvd next to this joyful fellow who was enjoying the second childhood that Fort Lauderdale grants a man. (His music, not ours.)

Other aspects of our Sunday excursion were not so cheerful. In some previously gentrified neighborhoods, lawns have gone to seed and houses with for-sale or for-rent signs outnumber those without. In the picture below the video, it seems that someone has lost faith in plush purple and in the wisdom of Jesus.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

If you weren't feeling sick before you read this....

Click to read.

I get it. They're pushing vernacular, but why? Because a sick person can't get through a healthy sentence? Jesus Christ, where to begin?

THE best thing to do is not TO get on the train.

...ask someone to do it for you. Do what? Fade?

Someone from our staff or the police will stay with you until you can be on your way, or you're in the right hands. This is where the derailing becomes wreckage. In this case, the comma/or creates an opposition implying that being helped by the staff or the police would put you in the wrong hands. And, there is the irritating construction at the start of the sentence. This might be repaired in one of two ways:

Our staff or the police...

Someone from our staff, or FROM the police....

Take care. Yeah. Right.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Upper West Side religion

Now that's my idea of church. In our neighborhood is the totally delightful Society for Ethical Culture.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thursday on Bilerico: Just Tell Mama

You will have to go to Bilerico tomorrow after noon for my response to the following:

Message: I have worked for the Catholic Church most of my life. I have seen many relationships that were hushed. I do find that the Church is a safe place for the clergy to be a couple, or carry on the relationships. I know of one couple who are Fathers, that have spent every free moment with each other as a couple for the past 40 years. Be it that they are not married but they are a couple. The Church defines relationships as man and wife, but allows the gay relationships to flourish in the shadows. I was told while working for a parish that the church does not have an open opinion of the gay life style,I was also told that the Catholic Church in the southern california region was 66 percent Gay, this was from a minister in a seminary. How could they support the proposition against gay marriage when they are 66% gay? I think it's talking out of both sides of their pulpits. What can we do to bring these truths to the parishoners so they are aware? We need to make a change to make it right for the gay clergy that are forced out of the church for speaking up about this.
From: JesuitJack

It's up. Get on it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

“I’m Estelle of the Ronettes. Thank you.”

A sad story, but very well written. This reminds me why I read the New york Times. Ben Sisario is a keeper.

You've heard of the Dick Dock

But have you heard of the Dick Rock?

In a monastery in Mongolia, there is a larger-than-life sculpture that absorbs all the sexual desire that would otherwise inflict the resident monks. I wonder if it works.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Protesting False Arrests in New York City on Valentine's Day: video/pics/texts

A group of men gathered at the corner of 79th Street and Fifth Avenue (a few doors down from Mayor Bloomberg's home) to protest the recently escalating number of false arrests targeting gay men in adult book and video stores. The entrapment involves a young undercover vice squad policeman coming on to an older gay man and eventually offering him money in return for sex. Once the older man is lured from the premises, he is arrested for prostitution.

This is wrong on several levels. There is the absurdity of a hot young guy having to offer cash to an older man. (I won't say it never happens, as I myself have been offered cash for sex even in my dotage, but I think it is extremely rare.) There is the fact that this drama deliberately targets gay men. There is the ridiculousness of using limited police resources to entrap gay men who are doing nobody any harm.

Surely the mayor can put a stop to this. Surely a leader as enlightened as Michael Bloomberg can prevail upon his own police department to stop this type of persecution.

Here is the flyer distributed at the rally, and the texts of the two poems written and delivered by the delightful activist George Tynan Crowley. Your click will make them readable.

And here is a photo of the scruffy/sexy JoeMyGod with Little Nick who, when I pointed out the owner of the now defunct sex club El Mirage, wondered if I had ever been to the nightclub El Morocco. Sheesh Nicklet, I'm not that old.

And here are two raw videos showing the delightful George Tynan Crowley reciting his poems and one video of the protestors.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In every palm, a psalm.

You know the safety-rule about bloggers: Until you meet them, they are not real. Well yesterday I was visited by a blogger from far away and known to me only via our posts, comments and email. I'm happy to report that she is real, pretty, funny, sharp and delightful in that way that makes an entire afternoon together seem like five minutes.

I wasn't worried about meeting her, but I was anticipating the possibility that she might be a church lady. Turns out, she does believe in God, but she does not fear God. And she seems to have mown through the nonsense of organized religion without cutting down the wild flowers of truth that still might be found growing from the roots of earliest Christianity. She is called to make her church more inclusive. It is a true vocation for her, not a choice, and it makes her spiritual but not judgmental.

I don't think she is capable of small talk, but her conversation is swift and wide-ranging and it easily incorporated anything that came to my mind and anyone we met, including those at Java Boys, the coffee house in Wilton Manors (and I want to do a shout-out to the owner, Nicki, who is unfortunately standing under the Pick Up Here sign in the picture below. Nicki has made some subtle changes to Java Boys that have vastly improved the atmosphere of the place. I should go there more often. I have never seen it quite so cruisy, and the shrieking diva dance music has been banished. Also, on a wide screen, there are regularly scheduled viewings of popular TV series such as American Idol.)

You know what's the best part of meeting someone you've only known through your blog? It forces you to be a better writer. You get away with no posturing when someone can quote back to you something you once wrote that might deflate the bravado being dished up by your mouth.

As we watched the huge hawks slowly circling over Birch
park, she said "In every palm tree, there is a rat."

That line keeps returning to me. I declaimed it loudly in traffic today while waiting for the lowering of the bridge over the Intracoastal. I mumbled it bitterly into the debit card reader while having my groceries rung up this afternoon, and I said it soothingly as would a nurse while brushing the fluffy white fur of the little dog in my lap. I'm going to steal that line and use it someday. I don't think she will mind.

Joe Cocker Lexicon

From C.

Watch this anywhere you can crank the volume and laugh. In 1969, we weren't listening to the words.

Today on Bilerico: A Real Snake Charmer?

You'll have to go to Bilerico after noon today to see my answer to the following:

Dear Father Tony,

Last week, I did something I have wanted to do for years. I did it while my partner was away on business for a week. I got my first tattoo. It’s a really sensuous green serpent that winds around my shoulder and ends with its forked tongue flicking my nipple. I decided that I would do this as a surprise for my partner, “J”, but when I came home and revealed it, “J” went through the roof. Furious that I did this secretly without sharing the idea. We had a huge fight. It’s not over. I think I have a right to my own body and what goes on it. I had always pictured my lover’s hands moving over my body following the serpent down to my nipple. Well I don’t think that’s ever going to happen and the whole thing is ruined. Was I wrong to do this? I don’t think so, but what do I do to fix this mess?

My Bad?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

It would appear that we have a new mayor in Fort Lauderdale, ending the shameful tenure of Mayor Naugle. And I can't even bring myself to trot out the Naugline hideousness for those of you who are unfamiliar with it.

The new mayor, John P. "jack" Seiler, is heterosexual, married, Roman Catholic and a family man. Even his hair style would make you think that he is going to be Naugle 2.0. I interviewed him earlier today, about an hour before the polls closed.

After the brief interview, off camera, we had a rather lengthy chat, and I was favorably impressed. He had been mayor of Wilton Manors (one of the gayest places in the known universe) during the boom years. He actually has a track record that is somewhat pro-LGBT. I think he may not be so bad. We talked about the policing of sex on the beach. We talked about the separation of church and state. We talked about justice for the LGBT community and the tourism dollar. He actually has friends who go to Slammer.

My assessment: the new mayor of Fort Lauderdale does not suck dick, but he is not so bad. I am encouraged.

Our new Mr. Gay World

The oldest contestant (they refer to them as delegates) has won the crown, and will be spreading his ambassadorial good will everywhere.

If I had been a judge, I'd have been partial to Mr. Argentina, Mr. Mexico or Mr. Spain., and while on that page, don't miss Kwazulu Natal 's (South Africa) hair!

Blossom Dearie 1924-2009

When playing that American Songbook game in which everyone tries to guess who's singing, if you've exhausted all possibilities and still cannot identify the voice, it's probably hers.

Rahav Segev for the NY Times

Monday, February 09, 2009

A fascinating dispute over ownership

Mannie Garcia/Associated Press

The New York Times tells us that Shepard Fairey, the artist who produced the iconic image of Obama is suing the Associated Press to counter their claim of copyright infringement. Verified is the source photograph that is the basis of the artwork. Providing a further wrinkle, the photographer himself is claiming that under his agreement with the AP, the rights to the photograph are his rather than theirs.

The key issue is whether or not the artist's "treatment" of the source material produced something that is original, or something that is derivative in a way that requires certain permissions that were neither requested nor granted. The initial volleys from the attorneys and experts leave me undecided. For the moment, I'm of the opinion that the artist should have secured the rights to the "image" before he began to sell his "version". For me, the deriving of revenue is the critical factor. I tend to credit any photos I post that are not of my own doing, but I make no money from this blog. I think the instant you receive ad revenue from a blog, your responsibilities are different. You now have a home-based business. You are using other people's material to make money. I would think some level of permission would be necessary. The grey areas here are very grey. More grey than that bow in Aretha's hat. That hat is a good example. It traveled around the world overnight. Are those who used it for entertainment purposes, and derived income (ad revenue) in the course of the delivery of that entertainment, obligated to pay something to someone for the use of that hat? Oy.

Roman Catholic bishops fervently driving nails into their own coffins.

There's an article in today's NY Times about a resurgence in the Roman Catholic Church's marketing of indulgences. The bishops who are promoting the practice are worried that the steep decline of the sacrament of Confession indicates that modern Catholics don't feel personally sinful the way they used to. Gee, I wonder how that could have happened. Could those very same bishops be held responsible for the fact that modern Catholics no longer feel that God has issued a list of mortal sins (the big ones that could send you to hell) and venial sins (the ones you need to regret but get you only a hand-slap rather than perpetual incineration)?

I think the day those bishops declared that eating meat on Friday was no longer a mortal sin, we Catholics got a glimpse of what was behind the curtain. One day something sends you to hell, but the next day it's no big deal. Arbitrary. Optional. A game of rules devised by men, not God.

When the meat-on-Friday ban was lifted, I wondered if the bishops would next declare that missing Mass on a Sunday was no longer a mortal sin, but then I realized that Sunday Mass meant revenue, and Catholic revenue trumps Catholic theology any day of the week.

Indulgences are quaint and comforting. They presume that even if we earn a place in heaven, we must pass through a place of purification that is like hell, but temporary rather than eternal. Sinning less will get you out of purgatory faster, but certain prayers are tagged with indulgences. Saying them will get you a specific amount of time off from purgatory. For example, as a child, I was taught to memorize a short prayer to be said silently after receiving Holy Communion:

Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity; true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Thy five wounds, pondering them over within me, and calling to mind the words which David, Thy Prophet, said of Thee, my Jesus: "They have pierced my hands and feet; they have numbered all my bones. "

I was crazy about this prayer. It was just so ...juicy. Also, it carried an indulgence of thirty days. I said it often and tried to compare my cumulative days off from purgatory with the extent of my sinfulness. That however was a problem because no one knows the time length of a stay in purgatory. Is it five minutes or five centuries? My several years off by dint of that vivid little prayer might be just a drop in the bucket. And once one begins to fry, there would be little opportunity to put Xs through days the way one might do in a prison cell with a photo of Jeff Stryker taped to the wall above the calendar.

The cadillac of indulgences is the plenary indulgence, which erases all of the accumulated time you would have spent in purgatory. On Christmas Eve of the Holy Year of 1975, the Pope granted a plenary indulgence to all who received his blessing and said the prescribed set of prayers within a specific number of days. On that occasion, the Pope went so far as to clarify that you didn't have to be at St. Peter's to take advantage of the special offer. You could get it by hearing the blessing via radio waves or by seeing it on TV. I got it in the flesh which I assumed would strengthen its efficacy, but I forgot to do the prayers by the deadline, so I lost out on that terrific opportunity. I am not worried because on another occasion, while in Saint Peter's basilica, I received an indulgence of 7000 years because of something I saw. I repeated the experience three times, earning a total of 28,000 years off!

There is a reason why people think that indulgences can still be bought. This has to do with the booking of Masses to be said for the deceased. The hope is that Masses said for the soul of a dead person will abbreviate his time in Purgatory. Faithful folks who mourn a loved one often ring the doorbell of the church rectory and say to the housekeeper "I'm here to book a Mass." The housekeeper fetches the priest who escorts the pious person into the office where he opens the big leather-bound scheduling book. A series of questions ensues. Who is the Mass for? When do you want it said? Do you want a High Mass (music) or a Low Mass (mumbling)? Do you want it repeated every week? Month? Year? The priest booking the Mass would tell the pious person the fee paid to the singer or the organist, but would never ever ask for money as payment for his saying the Mass. All the same, not once in my five years of parish work did I ever book a Mass without receiving a "donation". This money would be distributed among the priests of the parish to match which Masses each one said (with the pastor often taking the lucrative ones and leaving the assistant pastors with the pittances.) Just a wink and a nod separate this business from the pray-for-pay that brought about the Reformation. Really, priests ought to strenuously shun those offerings. If you take money at a moment like that, your hands are dirty forever.

I think that rather than start hawking indulgences, the clergy ought to be sent back to school to learn how to hear confessions. I gave some advice about this recently. and received email from some of my priest-readers who understand the merits of Confession for the modern Catholic. These are men who are good at forgiveness. Unfortunately, they are in the minority.

There is just too much wrong with the Roman Catholic Church today. In the same issue of the Times, the Pope is reported to have un-unexcommunicated that stupid British bishop who was denying the Holocaust. Old B16 bowing to international pressure over one of his more ridiculous moves to traditionalize his church by cozying up to the far right fringe is doing a flip-flop that is pitiful to watch. Catholics, no longer intimidated by threats of hell, do not tolerate this stuff and have replaced personal sin with personal judgement. They have become the adults that the post-Vatican II bishops intended, but those same bishops are asking them to be led by a childish and vain old man. If he lives long enough, he will bring the Roman Catholic Church to the brink of extinction. Bishops from the third world who are not intimidated by Rome will lead the revolt. The American bishops, mostly ill-chosen conservatives who are afraid to think, will be the last to get on the bus of the renewal to come. By then, they will be irrelevant.


It's Freedom to Marry Week, and as a painlessly/happily married old man, I'm doin my part for the cause just because some people deny us the option and not because we ever craved the exchange of vows.

Go here for more.

And here are the pretty colors of justice:

Sunday, February 08, 2009

It's Supper Time and the Livin is Cheesy

On my way to the office, I walk past a storefront window on West 27th Street that often arrested me. It displayed a clock that I began to covet. Who designs such a thing? What company manufactures it? I know that if I could get a job working for them, I could produce such things as they have never imagined. I would rival the creator of this thing, the genius of which is how it perfectly replicates the harsh overhead bare-bulbed lighting of the VFW hall in which the last supper was held.

Shortly before Christmas, it was missing from the window. Someone had purchased it. I am gnawed by speculation about the buyer. Did he keep it? Did she gift it? How stupid to celebrate the birth of Jesus with a replica of his last meal. Maybe they did some sort of alpha-omega decorating, placing it next to the manger scene.

And didn't the storekeeper have another hundred of them in stock? I can't believe they sold out right down to the floor model.

Love and beauty must be claimed when they cross your path. Borne away, they do not return, though you should look over your shoulder and call out as the seconds turn instantly into years.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Butch boots

When C and I first met, I didn't own any work boots, and that is just about all he owned.

While touring Baltimore, we found ourselves looking at footwear and I announced that I would like a pair of boots like his "butch boots".

He helped me pick out just the right pair, and I entirely bowed to his judgement. He showed me how to wrap the long laces around the ankle parts in a careless way. Of course, these boots demanded ancillary purchases of plaid flannel and button fly Levis.

I loved my butch boots. I embraced their life, and every time I put them on my feet, I walked like a lumberjack. The lumberjack that had always lumbered about inside me.

After a few months, C caught me polishing them with saddle soap and made strong protestation. Didn't I know that they were supposed to be scuffed and beat up? How could I possibly think of ruining them with polish. I looked at the stained cloth in my hand and suddenly realized that I was scrubbing the soul off them. Like black music re-recorded by white singers in the 1950s to make it palatable for the mainstream. I never violated them again.

Sometimes I'd look at them in their place by the back door. They were like your family dogs, their tongues out and tails thumping when they see you coming and they know it's time to go out.

Other times, I'd gaze at them and feel what Martin Heidegger felt when he wrote that rhapsodic riff on Van Gogh's painting of old boots. I'd wonder if Heidegger was more of a fetishist than an existential phenomenologist.

As we prepared the house for sale and made decisions about what to keep and what to pitch, I'd pick up those boots and then put them down, moving on to something else, unable to part with them. Finally, I asked C to do the deed, and I didn't watch as he took them out to the garage and threw them into the bin, but I heard the heavy clunky butch sound they made as they tumbled into the trash. I could not look into that bin until after the town truck, making its weekly rounds, had taken them away.

I don't need them anymore. I am butch.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Cranky today

It's damn cold down here. Windows shut for a second day. Wearing my New York schmata (sp?) and hearing the man on the television warn us about falling iguanas. It seems the cold makes them fall asleep in the trees, whence they drop.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

B16 tries to cover his big pointy tracks.

We get a rare and amusing glimpse into a fractured Vatican power structure, as cardinals and bishops in and out of the Curia break ranks and talk about the fact that revoking the excommunication of the stupid bishop who denies the Holocaust was a papal mistake. Does anyone believe B16's disclaimer that he didn't know that this bishop felt that way?

This sort of thing never happened in recent previous pontificates. There's trouble brewing behind the chair of Peter. B16, you better watch your back. The red-hatted boys will toss you under the Popemobile if you become too inconvenient.

Thursday on Bilerico: Taking Out the Trash

You will have to go to Bilerico tomorrow at noon to see my response to the following:

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

That's not right

I'm in the kitchen with my back to the TV. A commercial for Celebrex is in progress.

Patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at risk

Monday, February 02, 2009

An Object of great beauty

Here are three views of an object I found in a kitchen cabinet while packing up the house we are selling. I rarely use it for its intended purpose, but I love to look at it. I love to place the palm of my hand upon its cool and smooth surface. I love the sound its crank makes. I love the letter style. Some things you don't tag sale. Ever. This is the kind of thing the ancient Egyptians would have placed in the sarcophagus of a pharaoh.