Monday, August 31, 2009

Edward Rondthaler

One good reason to read the obits is to finally meet folks whom you then wish you had known while they were upright. Edward Rondthaler is such a one.

I wonder if, at the age of 104, he was aware of how greatly the idiot's adventure known as "texting" has served to further his cause. If we produce a generation or two of youngsters who can spell only spontaneous abbreviations, we will have achieved Mr. Rondthaler's goal.

More seriously on the subject of phonetic spelling, the difficulty is in the freezing and thawing. You rule on the correct spelling of a word based on its current pronunciation, and within a few decades, when vocalization takes an inevitable turn (Think of Kate Hepburn's production of the vowel "a" as in "rather" in 20th century movie-speak.), you've to redo it. Oh but hold on. That was rather Mr. Rondthaler's point. Set the rules in stone, not the words, and the resultant fluidity will work forever. Very much what he did with photo-typesetting.

What new drug will take its place?

None of these vehicles lasts forever, and the distance between popular and forgotten has never been shorter than it is today, but if this is a harbinger, there is a second governing factor.

An addiction to constant worthless communication has been established in the herd. If the drug delivery system breaks down, I can't imagine that people on city sidewalks and in supermarkets and behind the wheel will all suddenly become quiet, thoughtful and alert to their surroundings.

Last year, In Miami Beach, I met a group of four very young and handsome gay Latinos who claimed to be entirely offline. Embracing an obscurity that shocked me, they claimed to shun Facebook and similar in favor of an anonymity that I hoped, at the time, would become trendy. In a world in which there is no "Guam" for the retreating, to be unreachable is almost impossible and matches my own convictions regarding the goodness of the "gay monastery" concept.

I wonder what became of those four. I had assumed they were each secretly on Facebook, unbeknownst to their comrades.

Will veiled secrecy become the new drug for the chatter-obsessed? God, I hope so, and if so, let that one trend be permanent.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Aaron Away

Apparently, Aaron is moving to the other end of America. I'll miss his mischief most of all. I'll also miss receiving the directive "OK, you take that room and I'll take this room, and there will be no crossing over." whenever we bumped into each other at certain venues in which one might prefer to play the crowd unobserved by those who know your name.

A farewell gathering at the cruisy Chelsea restaurant Intermezzo. Left to right are Foxy, Chris, moi, Dr. Jeff, Aaron, Little David, Damian, Joe and C.

Thinking about Aaron's departure made me realize what a durable family we have become. Very few changes. There was Chris B's move to Texas, Eddie's mysterious seclusion in Philadelphia, and Mark's stone's-throwish move to Jersey, but other than that, the line-up has remained rather constant over the last four to five years, the passing of which has felt like five minutes.

Insufficient Provision

Today is the fifth anniversary of Farmboyz/Perge Modo.

Lately, I have discovered what I knew all along in a seminal way, that this would be a solitary voyage akin to those made by men on rafts with insufficient provision who find strange clots of painted people on untitled beaches, and return with tales spilling through fabulous whiskers.

I find I have the instincts to decide what among the exotic fruits to consume and what to avoid.

This lengthy prelude, now performed far afield of its inspiration and happily scuttled into improvisation, is bleaching and fading and sinking into the sand. It is overcome, overtaken and perfectly unfinished.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lars Stephan Self-Portraits

On Thursday, August 20th, I attended a one-night-only show of the self-portrait photography of the handsome Lars Stephan. I admire his work, and although his art is inextricably joined to the beauty of his own body, I think he has a fine eye and was pleased to hear him say that when a vista appeals to him, he will simply strip down and jump into it. I often do the same, sans the camera.

Because Lars speaks with an accent, I have added subtitles to this video.

Update: Lars says he much prefers the interview without the subtitles. He likes its raw unpolished quality. I have swapped out the subtitled version at his request.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tomorrow on Bilerico: "Motown Helps When Smoke Gets In Your Eyes"

You will have to go to Bilerico tomorrow after 10:30AM EST to find my response to the following:

Dear Father Tony,

I'm involved with a smoker. He is funny and brilliant and we are great together, but I am not dealing well with the cigarettes. He wants us to live together and I do too. He promises that he will quit smoking forever on the first day of 2010. I don't know if he can do it, and I don't know if I can handle it if he doesn't. Love is a bargain, and I have a few bad habits of my own, but I am afraid I am getting into something I will regret.

Coin Tosser

Update: It's up. Get on it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I did not know that Hollister is part of Abercrombie and Fitch, although the writer of this NY Times review thinks I should have known it.

Who buys this stuff? I thought kids were supposed to be media-smart these days. I thought they didn't fall for this kind of marketing.

Monday, August 17, 2009

GMHC's 19th Annual House of Latex Ball Burns Down Roseland. Again.

And we learned that when one house dares to violate the pre-ordained table arrangements by moving a table or shuffling a place card to gain proximity to the runway, there is hell to pay. Here is the chart and here are pics and vid, some of which is by C. (Here are the pics if the following link is faulty.)

For more about GMHC's involvement, check out Myballroomlife.

Update: over at Bilerico, our very own Birdie wondered what This House and Ball" stuff was all about! here is my response to her:

Dear Birdie,
OMG, are you in for a fabulous ride! I'm predicting that within one week. You'll be vogueing, throwing shade,and screaming to your husband and son "Work it, bitch! Walk for me! Get her! Xtravaganaaaaanza! and "Tens across the board!"

This 20 yr old article will define "Vogueing" for you:,9171,957725,00.html

You will need to rent and watch the 1990 "Paris is Burning"

Then you must form your own house:

I think it should be called "The Birdhouse of Paradise".

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A error

Provident Bank runs this ad in the New York Times:

I think it should read "an SBA..."

Upon encountering the abbreviation "SBA", most people neither think nor say "Small Business Administation" so even that reachy argument would not prevail. The whole purpose of "an" is to make nice-nice phonetically. This is something the Bostonians do in spoken English when they substitute "er" for a word's concluding vowel if the next word begins with a vowel, as in "Rhonda charges $200." but "Rhonder always charges $200."

This matter was also with us yesterday when C requested a ruling regarding the use of "an" before words beginning with an "h". And there you have the long an short of it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Milky White Goodness

He took it quite a bit farther than I had gone, and he did it admirably.

My Starbucks Idea

There is a website where one may suggest improvements to Starbucks. This is what I posted:

Three lines, labeled "1,2, 3" printed inside the cup indicate the level to which the customer would like the cup filled. A customer would say "I'd like a tall coffee. Fill it to 3, please."

This would eliminate the huge amount of wasted coffee that gets poured into the trash immediately upon purchase. (Surely you have all noticed this.)

This would also eliminate the ambiguous question and response concerning whether or not the customer wants "room" or not.

It would also speed up the purchase process. Surely you have noticed the number of times that a customer, upon receiving the order, hands it back immediately, asking the barista or cashier to add more coffee.

I'm assuming that there is a soy-based ink that is non-toxic and would not alter the flavor of the coffee.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What color are your toes?

OK. It has come to my attention that at least two (men!) of you have interesting colors painted on your toenails.

(Long have I felt that the time has come for men to start painting their nails. Why should women and trans folks have all the fun?)

I'm going to do a post about the colors of the toenails of ya'll - men, women and trans - that will require your sending me a snap shot of your toe or finger nails in all their chromatic splendor. Or, if you don't paint 'em, tell me your thinking behind the abstinence. (Use the email address)

I know you are a colorful lot. Let's unfurl that resplendent ungual rainbow.

PS: I am also going to be including some reference to the fact that straight men sometimes color their toe nails - albeit at the instigation of their brush wielding girl friends.

If we can't be creative with our toe nails, how can we be expected to save America?

Today in the SF Blade: "Protect Me From What I Want"

Today, in the South Florida Blade, I say this.

(The print version ran the photo I supplied.)

Today on Bilerico: "Unplugging and Rebooting Your Partner"

You'll have to click off to Bilerico after 10:30 AM to find my response to the following:

Dear Father Tony,

Got any tricks to turn an old dog into a young pup again? (I'm not talking about sex. We are great with that.) But he seems to have lost interest in other stuff. He wants to stay home more and more and more. I am interested and involved in community theater and boating, hiking and fishing. He used to share these interests but it's like he's dropping out of everything and just wants to stay home and watch TV. When I mention it, he gets mad and says "Aren't I enough for you? Am I boring you?"

Suffield 37, partner of Jack 47 going on 147

Update: It's up. Get on it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Fashion for the City Streets

In case you were wondering what they’re wearing in New York City in the heat of the summer, I kept the camera in hand this weekend.

As everyone already knows, this is the year of the jaunty and lightly woven fedora, and its sister, the pork pie panama. Both men and women are wearing them, and the idea is to personalize them with a slash of color or a small feather, or by twisting the brow up or down. The basic look is easy-suave Jude Law in The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Wearing this hat necessitates a smile. Without the smile, the hat struggles.

Here is the other popular hat that is giving the fedora some much needed competition. Choose it in beige.

Some guys are adding shaggy hair and beards that seem to be a protest of the buzz cut/shaved head look of recent seasons.

The messenger bag is still on every guy’s shoulder.

Speaking of bags, ladies, what on earth are you all carrying in those huge studded leather bags. They make you look like camels. Seriously, what’s in there?

Colors are what you’d expect. Hazy sherbets. Here are two folks from different generations who have chosen the exact same palate.

Footwear is light hearted and fun this summer with the simple canvas sneaker being the most popular choice for urban prowling. You can go with watermelon, Pink Floyd or just popped-up pink.

The look of the moment for young guys is definitely the black vest (extricated from a thrift shop suit?) over the white tee shirt topped with dark Wayfarers. Muy caliente, but don't try it if you are over 40. Seriously.

In some cases, an "A" might be given for effort


But what style could be sexier than that of two Mormon boys crossing a New York City street? Don't you just want to lick their...nameplates?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Dazzling the Troops

In the South Florida Blade this week, I look at the proposed March on Washington. Some will disagree vehemently with me.

A group show on W20th

I went to an opening at Jonathan Levine. A light-hearted group exhibit of what I assume to be mostly extremely young artists. Their imagery is largely rooted in comics or typical of the elaborate mental fantasy doodling that they will eventually shed like molting skin as they age.

There were a number of paintings that featured cutesy/uneasy human/animal combos. Yawn.

There were a number of paintings that are based on photorealism. Pretty, but…yawn.

Three noteworthies:

Nicola Verlato combines the two themes that preoccupy the young artists: critters and comics in a masterful painting that has good light and motion, or maybe I’m just a sucker for a Sam Browne belt over rippling muscles.

Anthony Lister seemed to channel Francis Bacon.

Cleon Peterson is responsible for my favorite in this show because his three pics made me laugh. This is what the Vivian Girls would look like if they had been allowed to grow up. (The artist is in California so I could not ask him if he was indeed doing Darger but I can’t imagine that he’d deny it.)

When you see paintings by young artists, you can almost feel their hormones mixed into the paint. So much desire to say something and yet so little to say. This, incidentally, is why I hate Mozart. (Oh, go right ahead, and rage, you Mozart lovers. I’ve tried to like him. His music is heartless wallpaper.)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tomorrow on Bilerico: "He's in love with a GRAMP! (Gay, Rich, Alone, Middle-aged, Positive)"

You'll have to go to Bilerico tomorrow after 10:30AM to see my response to the following:

Dear FT,

How can I convince an older man that he should take a chance on me?

Him: 56. HIV positive. Hot. Healthy as can be expected. Rich.
Me: 24. Cute. Negative. Hard working.

He says things to me like "Run the other way. You have your whole life ahead of you. Find someone who you can build a life with." He is the man I love. The one I always knew I would meet. I know he feels strongly for me but won't let himself go with it. He tells his friends and they tell me that he thinks he loves me but would not wish himself on me or anyone else like me. He won't have sex with anyone who is negative. I'm not winning this battle. My friends tell me to give up on him but I can't. How do I win him over?


Update: It's up. Get on it.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Just because

A fraction of the stuff we see and do in New York makes it into this little boutique blog. Sometimes I sift through forgotten files and find snippets that I had forgotten. Like this. In some art gallery.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Central Park in the Rain

On Sunday afternoon, when C suggested that we go out into the Park during the downpour without umbrellas, I could think of no reason why not, except the usual adult ones.
Here are some pics he took with the cam wrapped in a plastic baggie.

Here is my husband, the beautiful child, running through a flooded soccer field.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

La Donna è Mobilephone ?

In front of Lincoln Center.

Where the operatic performances are not confined to indoor stages.

Don't miss the little sigh of satisfaction this diva makes at the end of her aria.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

1959 fins

This is the style that is hardwired in my brain.

It will never change.

The way the world should look.