Friday, November 30, 2007

Slice up the fruitcake!

It's December this weekend, y'all! Time to cue up the Christmas tunes. I'm dying to know your favorites. Mine? So so many, but I think my most cherished holiday song is "We Need A Little Christmas" from Mame. Imagine that-- a showtune. Yeah, I know. You're plotzing.

If you're looking for something more contemporary, you really can't go wrong with the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Holiday CD. All the Broadway companies record songs every year for this compilation. I've been buying it for the last few years and it's always a fun mix of traditional and decidedly non-traditional fare. And your twenty bucks goes to a good cause. You can buy it here.

Out, damn'd spot(maker)!

Do yourself a favor and head on over to Faustus's joint. Once there, read the funniest thing I've seen in months.

This is who I am and this is what I like

On the 14th anniversary of the military's mind-boggling Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, 28 retired Generals and Brigadier Generals have released a statement urging its repeal. If you watched the CNN/YouTube Republican debate, you heard many of the candidates say that their support of DADT is in respect of the best judgment of those in the military. Here's the text of the letter:

We respectfully urge Congress to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Those of us signing this letter have dedicated our lives to defending the rights of our citizens to believe whatever they wish. As General Colin Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said when the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was enacted, it is not the place of the military or those in senior leadership to make moral judgments.

Scholarly data show that there are approximately one million gay and lesbian veterans in the United States today, as well as 65,000 gays and lesbians currently serving in our armed forces. They have served our nation honorably.

We support the recent comments of another former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General John Shalikashvili, who has concluded that repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy would not harm, and would indeed help, our armed forces. As is the case in Britain, Israel, and other nations which allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, our service members are professionals who are able to work together effectively despite differences in race, gender, religion, and sexuality. Such collaboration reflects the strength and the best traditions of our democracy.

Lieutenant General Jerry Hilmes; Branch: Army
Vice Admiral Harold Koenig; Branch: Navy; Field: Medical
Vice Admiral James Zimble, Midlothian, VA; Branch: Navy; Field: Medical
Major General Leslie Burger, Vancouver, WA; Branch: Army; Field: Medical
Major General Alexander Burgin, Salem, OR; Branch: Army NG; Field: Artillery
Major General Michael Conrad, McLean, VA; Field: Infantry
Major General James Delk, Fair Oaks, CA; Branch: Army; Field: Medical
Major General Jack Farris, New Jersey; Branch: Air Force; Field: Aviation (pilot)
Major General Fred Forster, Tennessee; Field: Aviation
Major General David Hale, Hampton Bays, NY; Field: Combat
Major General Randy Jayne, McClean, VA; Branch: Air NG; Field: Aviation (pilot)
Major General Dennis Laich, Dublin, OH; Branch: Army; Field: Military Police
Major General Dennis Malcor, Vine Grove, KY; Branch: Army; Field: Combat
Major General Michael Scotti*, Arlington, VA; Branch: Army; Field: Medical
Major General Harry Sieben, Minnesota; Branch: Army and Air NG
Rear Admiral William Retz; Branch: Navy
Brigadier General Clara Adams-Ender, Woodbridge, VA; Branch: Army; Field: Medical
Brigadier General Dale Barber, Waverly, NY; Branch: Army; Field: Infantry Engineer
Brigadier General Harold Bowman, Pleasant Hill, IA; Branch: Army NG; Field; Medical
Brigadier General Douglas Bradley, Diablo, CA; Branch: Army; Field: Medical
Brigadier General William Colvin; Branch: Army NG
Brigadier General Bob Hardy; Branch: Army
Brigadier General JD Johnson, Salt Lake City, UT; Branch: Army

What say you now, gentlemen?

You come on like a flame, then you turn a cold shoulder

My workout routine was getting a little stale, so I infused it with some new blood this week. Verily I say unto you, my flock, SQUATS are the Devil's instrument. My quads are SCREAMING right now. (PS? They scream like a girl.) It's actually kinda good, though, you know? Like Mom used to say, 'It's a fine line between pleasure and pain.' Oh wait. Ewww. No, she used to say it's a fine line between joy and sorrow. The thing is, she only started saying that after she was too cheap or lazy to shop for a new card, and she sent me an old condolence card on my 21st birthday. Then all of a sudden this joy/sorrow, life/death dichotomy was her mantra. You just have to love that cheap old ho.

Deck the halls

Maybe all my bluster the last few years about not being into Christmas any more was just that. Bluster. This picture makes me swoon. Maybe it's just the beauty of it, independent of Christmas. Anyway, you can click to enlarge, but if you're like me, make sure you're sitting. It makes my knees buckle-y. Can't you just imagine opening your presents by that tree, and then bangin' your sweetie, all warm and toasty by the stone fireplace?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

Or would it? I had a man in my office just now whose smell just about drove me wild. It definitely drove me to distraction. I didn't ask what he was wearing, because this is a professional setting and it just didn't seem appropriate as I don't know him that well. Yet. Whatever it was, his scent shot straight to the most basic areas of my brainstem, mofos. This shit was limbic. Primordial.

I wonder how much differently (if at all) men and women smell things, and what smells appeal to the sexes differently. Would that scent have been as good to me on a woman? Are the scents they engineer for women designed to appeal to men or to the woman who buys it? Some scents just ooze sex, and that can be independent of the wearer. I've had a female friend who preferred to wear scents marketed to men. They still smelled great to me, but I never did have the urge to bury my face in her neck like I did with this guy today. I could have suffocated on this guy's neck (or in his armpit) and died a happy man.

That is all.

I can dream of the old was beautiful then

I was thinking about the way memories work and how they can be tied to senses. You know how some memories are just a sound or a smell or a picture? Then others can be like watching a short video. I have one particular and cherished memory that I've played over and over in my head for almost as long as I can remember. Wanna hear? OK, I was a young boy of maybe six or seven. It was a spring day and I'd just walked home from school with my friends from the block. I know I did that, but the details of that really aren't there. Here's where it gets vivid. I ran into the kitchen because Mom was there and she had all the windows thrown open while she was cleaning. A cool breeze was making the sheer curtains dance away from the windows, the sunshine was glowing in, and there she stood in jeans and a button down shirt tied at the waist, her blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail. She gave me her smile and asked me how my day was going. I can remember my little boy self thinking she was just the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.

I've often wondered why it's THAT day or THAT time I remember. Was that such a special moment because it rarely happened or just because I've thought about it over and over all these years? Over thirty years later and it can still make me feel warm and comforted. I just realized that she was years younger than I am now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

You don't know me at all

Why do people feel the need to inflict their (lack of) taste on me? Two things:

1. If you've been around here, you know I recently sold my house. I've moved to an apartment while I decide where I'm going. It's a semi-attached duplex. New neighbors moved into the other half last week. I met the dude for the first time this afternoon when he knocked on the door, introduced himself, and promptly asked if he could hang icicle lights across the front of my house, as he was doing his side. What the? Yes, of course, because fucking BLUE icicle lights require continuity. For what? TASTE'S sake? We'd just met and I didn't want to seem difficult and so I said it would be fine. Oh, shutup. Yeah, I know, I'm a pushover. Now, for the next month, I get to be haunted by the sight of that dangling blue mess every time I drive in from work. Ugh! I know I made my icicle-y bed and now I have to lie in it, but if he trots out a verchacte inflatable Santa or Frosty, all bets are off. PS Why are those things deflated half the time? Who wants a puddle of Christmas in their front yard anyway?

2. When I moved here I decided to have one of my sofa's re-upholstered. It was of good quality, and I liked the shape of it, but the upholstery had seen better days. I figured it was wiser to spend $600 or so to rehab it, rather than the expense of replacing it. Well, last night they delivered it, and the upholsterer took it upon herself to round the goddamned corners on the back cushions. Did she call and ask if that's what I wanted? No, she did not. The fuck? She's a client of mine, so again, I didn't want to make a fuss or seem difficult, so I didn't say anything. I didn't complain that she'd ruined the clean, squared-off lines of my sofa. Argh!

I know what you're thinking. If I'm gonna complain about this, I should have said something to the people involved. What I'm trying to say is why would these people presume to think I'd share their taste? Or that they have any level of taste at all? Because no.

I'm not meant to live alone, turn this house into a home

It's a mid-century modern gingerbread house! Love it.

I was made for lovin' you, baby

If you glance to the right you'll find some of the things I'm loving right now, courtesy of that little Amazon widget. I love a nice widget. Don't you? If you put your cursor on items in that one, my mini-review pops up, and you don't even have to click or get sent over to buy. Fun!

Can you read my mind?

Bear with me on this one. I was driving on Sunday and suddenly thought of this girl I used to see in my office. Not sure why, and I hadn't thought of her in years, but I wondered how she was and what she was up to. Well, today she's scheduled in a few hours. Turns out I haven't seen her since 2001. I randomly thought of her three days ago. Now she's coming in. That actually happens more than you might imagine. So is it that she thought of me, and that made me think of her? Or I thought of her and then she thought of me? Or do I randomly think of hundreds of people a week and it's only when they suddenly come calling that it stands out? I tend to believe the last, but it'd be more fun if it was one of the other two, no?

UPDATE: She's fresh from a year-long stint abroad studying native art on a Fulbright scholarship. Amazing kid.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Look for the bare necessities

I'm speechless. I am without speech. I thought I'd loved on Robbie all the different ways, but this new furry Robbie is making me rethink my aversion to a full-on beard. ::swoons::Like my girl New York, I need my man to be well-faceted. Who else wanna polish that gem?

It's the little things

There was a man in my office just now, eighty years old yesterday, and he was regaling me with stories from his life. He said, "I've had more fun than anyone has a right to." Wow. Can I say that? Can you? He had some great stories to tell, and boy did he have me laughing. Then he said, "Never lose that laugh and you'll be just fine." Now I'm thinking that I have a little bit. Lost that laugh, I mean. Like him, I used to have a lot more fun than anyone has a right to. He made me realize I need to continue making the changes that will get me back to being that man again. Pronto. I know life is not all about FUN or HAPPINESS, but it don't hurt. I also know that I have it awfully good compared to a lot of people, and I should cool it with the whining, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be trying to make my life MORE, right?

What a cool guy. "I've had more fun than anyone has a right to." I want to be able to say that if I get to 80. So I'll continue to dispense with the fear and move forward. I'll continue to distill my life down to what is important to me. And when I come up with a third "d" verb, I'll let you know, because DISPENSE and DISTILL are just screaming for a third musketeer. It takes THREE verbs to make a kick-ass life mantra. Fact! If you have a suggestion, hit me up in the comments. DISPENSE, DISTILL, DISCUSS is what I'm saying, I guess. ::wink:: Or whatever.

And my head I'd be a scratchin'

I'm here to admit that when Freakgirl told me she had a turducken for Thanksgiving, I initially thought it was some kind of genetically engineered avian hybrid. I know, I know, but is that idea really any more fantastical than someone stuffing a chicken into a duck into a turkey?I'm asking.

It brings to mind the moment when I realized that baby carrots are not actually baby carrots. I'm fairly bright, I swear.

Want to play a little ball, Scarecrow?

Trent Lott, Larry Flynt and a gay escort. It's almost too good to be true, isn't it? Here's hoping that there's a big ol' fire behind all this smoke. (via)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Green with joy then gray with sorrow, ripened fruit that falls tomorrow

I can't focus my brain enough lately, so even composing a coherent blog post seems like TOO MUCH EFFORT. So it's bullet points you'll get, and you'll like it. Until further notice.
  • You can call it tourist trap theater, jukebox theater, or even the downfall of American theater, but why does one experience necessarily detract from another? What's that? You mean some people just pick one show and the other's suffer? I hadn't thought of only seeing one thing. Anyway, when you start with ABBA songs, then add gaudy costumes and ebullient choreography, well, then I'm on board, tenuous plotline be damned.Yep, Mamma Mia swung through town and if it's nutritionally barren fast food theater for the masses, consider me sidled up to the trough, y'all, because I loved it. This guy playing Sam Carmichael certainly didn't hurt. When I'm all with the swooning over some dude, and then I go home and find from his website that he's partnered with another theater guy and they have two doesn't get any better. Unless he was mine, mine, mine, mine.
  • Beowulf in digital 3D rocked my socks! Visually stunning. It's an entertaining ride, too, but it's worth the price of admission for the 3D effect alone. ((The new 3D glasses were kind of Wayfarer-esque, only more Poindexter. Awesome. Will you fault me for keeping them on as I shopped apres-theater?)) This movie wasn't just "spears and arrows" flying out at you 3D, although there is some of that to be sure, it was an entire eye-popping three-dimensional feast of an experience you won't regret. Perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon. Oh, and our man B, all buff and tumble, likes to battle balls out. Literally. His virtual furry chest gives me actual randy pants.Top that with a sweater sale at Banana Republic and I had a spring in my step the rest of the day.
  • Have I ever told you that I'm intimidated by the A-List gays? I saw a couple of them in the theater lobby before Beowulf and even though they couldn't have been more friendly (well, at least one of them...the other guy always has a smirky look), I was all tongue-tied and awkward. I'm not so very sensitive to criticism generally, so I wonder why I'm so worried about making a good impression, that I make a horrible one with the queer elite. Huh.
  • This is what I bought at the Banana. You like? It really does play right into my default mildly preppy aesthetic. Should I work on that?
  • My love for Christmas music is a bit of an anachronism (see: don't love Christmas, no longer a Christian), but love it I do. I'm a dirty whore for a carol. I cued up the holiday music on my iPod this weekend. Over 350 Christmas songs? Really?
  • Speaking of music, I'm still loving all over Billy Bragg, but I'm also falling hard for The Weepies. Their 2005 release, Say I Am You, is just about perfect. Thanks to Landis over at the Two Dog Blog for that recommendation. Deb Talan's voice recalls Natalie Merchant or Harriet Wheeler, or maybe a young Joni Mitchell. Paired up with Steve Tannen, The Weepies are an intoxicating folk-rock quaff. The songs are just gorgeous.
  • Like Andrew, I cheated on my hair dude last week, and guys, I'm a little in love with Leticia (LaTisha?). I love my hair and she's so sassy! Unlike Andrew, I haven't full-on made the switch, though. Torn!
  • More later!

A Pipedreams Test

For those of you still questioning your sexuality, if you watched that entire video, you're gay.



Friday, November 23, 2007

I want to be a part of it

Whenever I'm feeling a bit down I just listen to this, and everything is OK again. Thanks Midget Mac, you're my VH1 Reality Prozac.And small tongue be damned, with a build like that, you can chop my ass down any time, MM. Many thanks to Freakgirl for turning me on to Tiffany "New York" Patterson branded entertainment.You raise my spirits, too, doll, if not my intellect.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Have a holly, jolly Christmas

Here's a heads-up for ya-- I do not want in on your pyramid scheme. I don't care how revolutionary your dietary supplement is, or how much money it can make for me. If it's so great, I imagine you'll be sitting back and watching the dollars roll in. So you do it. Also, I don't care to take a sample, because even if you promise me there's no obligation and you won't hassle me later, you will and I'll probably even have to get blunt with you. Save us both the trouble.

One more thing. Please don't bring your Blair Witch-lookin' holiday craft project into my office and expect me to feel compelled to buy it. I don't, and I won't.

Happy holidays, y'all!

Just a stranger on the bus

The YouTube Republican debate is coming up. I think these folks deserve an answer. How will these candidates support THEIR family values?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Twice on the pipes if the answer is no

For sixteen years I've owned homes. As you know, my house sold rather quickly this fall and I've rented an apartment until I can decide on my major move. What city? The answer is still hazy. Anyway, when I moved into this place, it was essentially like moving into a much smaller single family home, brand new and nicely outfitted, because there was no one living in the other half. It's a series of what we call duplexes around here, though I know that term has a different connotation in some places, on a small cul-de-sac. Anyway, tonight someone is moving in to the other side. Here's where the rubber meets the road. Will I like ATTACHED living? You already know I'm not a great sleeper. I figure it's gonna key on how loud these people are.

When I'm getting ready for work in the morning, for the first time in sixteen years, I won't have a favorite music mix shivering my timbers to get me ready for my day. Le sigh.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Waiting for my real life to begin

We don't need no education

While you bitches are out whoring around this weekend, yours truly will be stuck indoors doing continuing education. Twelve hours! Ugh. I'm hoping for the best, a vibrant lecture on a scintillating topic, but this joint ain't called Pipedreams for nothin'. Break up the monotony and send me pictures/text/video, why don'tcha? Something fast and nasty.

I only want 2 see u laughing in the purple rain

I thought this op ed was interesting when I read it in USA Today, enough that I revisited it online this morning. In addition to the information it provides about some changing demographics that could affect next year's elections, the online version has the added bonus of COMMENTS from the huddled masses. About what you'd expect. And if you're out there ZoomZoom Diva, you have all my love!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Young man, there's no need to feel down

Sweet fancy Jesus how this made me laugh.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Say hello in there, say hello

I started to apologize for posting another video, but I'm not sorry. This is one of my favorite songs in the world, performed by some of my favorite artists. For a long time I've had a scratchy MP3 of Natalie Merchant and Michael Stipe singing this lovely John Prine song, but I've never seen this video before. It's such a beautiful and simple tune sung by two gorgeous haunting voices. And to find that Billy Bragg is playing that guitar? I know I tend to gush, but I don't think I can describe how happy this makes me. I cried through the whole thing.

I'm sure that we can find some common ground

One of my favoritest people has recently turned me on to Billy Bragg. I'd been aware of him, if only peripherally, through duets he's done with Michael Stipe and Natalie Merchant. he's my Boo. I've been crushing on him for the last few weeks. Over lunch I burned a new CD chock full of even mo' Bragg, cued it up in the car, and I wasn't even out of the driveway when I had the biggest smile on my face. No really, it was a smile that stretched the corners of my mouth and I think it may have even briefly leapt off my face. And it lasted all the way back to work. So so fun. You know it's a good song when you're singing along the very first time you hear it, and tell me if these aren't some of the best opening lines evah:

I've had relations with girls from many nations
I've made passes at women of all classes
And just because you're gay
I won't turn you away
If you stick around I'm sure that we can find some common ground

Sexuality - Strong and warm and wild and free
Sexuality - Your laws do not apply to me

Monday, November 12, 2007

She's practically perfect in every way

I LOVE this Dr. Berman. She's calm, informed, makes valid points, will not be baited, and that leaves O'Reilly looking like the ridiculous, pandering asshat he is. If she's also Jewish, I could die. (via)

"Around the World" is what I call my wall of special things

Did I tell you I think there's a raccoon in my attic? Or possibly a small family of raccoons. Intellectually I know it's not true (probably), but at night I swear I can hear him/them rustling about up there. It's probably the wind. Only it's not.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Knock, knock....are you alone?

What?! It must be a coincidence. Yeah, that's it. Hang on. Someone's at the door.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

You seem like you'd be a good dad

Who was it that blogged recently about certain things being SO BAD that they loop back around to FANTASTIC? Well, I give you Paul Lynde's Halloween Special, ladies and germs. Holy crap. I was up at 2:30 AM, so maybe it was partly the insomnia, but I was in hysterics, and trust when I say there was not one good joke in this masterpiece. Except they all were. Paul Lynde was not so much about the content, people, and ALL about the delivery.

OK, here's the skinny. The show stars Paul Lynde as the character Paul Lynde and his housekeeper, Margaret, is played by Margaret Hamilton. Paul is having all kinds of troubles with the Trick Or Treat crowd, as we see straightaway in a song and dance number where Paul is menaced by a gang of nubile young dancers dressed in devilishly sexy costumes, ending with Paul being sealed off in a trash can by Donny and Marie. The trashcan subsequently explodes, revealing a smoking and disheveled Paul in his frayed and burned up outfit. I figured the show had blown its comedy wad early at this point, but we were just getting fluffed up.

This musical comedy turn of events sets our protagonists off on a trip into the country, away from the maddening crowds of Halloweeners, to visit Margaret's sister. Who is Witchiepoo. Oh, and Margaret is now a witch, too. THE Witch. And their wisecracking houseboy is Billy Barty, who is the brunt of a barrage of short jokes and gags. Genius! Still with me? It gets a little foggy at this point, but for some reason, the witches grant Paul three wishes (are they also genies?). Breaker Breaker 1-9, the first of these wishes has Paul on a circa 1975 trucking escapade complete with CB radios, sequined jumpsuits and silver platform boots, and a competition with Tim Conway for truckstop waitress Pinkie Tuscadero's hand in marriage. Before seeing this, I can't honestly say that's the first thing I would have wished for, but it is now. That Pinkie is leggy. And sassy. I won't apologize.

I could go on and on. How about Paul as a sexy sheik who pursues a proper and British Florence Henderson? I'll venture that theirs is the MOST awkward kissing I've ever seen in a pop culture medium. That's not to include some of the awkward kissing from my own life, natch. Much worse. Boy, when it's your own lips and hands and eyes and tongue that don't know where to land, it really ramps up the cringing. So many Saturday nights. Oh well. Anyway, we're also treated to three numbers by KISS. Weren't they at the height of their popularity in the 70s? The Paul Lynde Halloween Special? Really? Hmmmm, what else? Oh yeah! Florence Henderson croons That Ol' Black Magic!

Needless to say, a new holiday tradition is born at Casa M.E. That's not to say I won't watch it again tonight, and all this week.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

So what are you trying to say exactly? just suggested that I might like to buy 2(x)ist underpants and The Wizard of Oz on DVD.

ADDED: I'm sure Amazon recommended The Wizard of Oz because I recently ordered The Paul Lynde Halloween Special. And he came today! I'll fill you in on the fabulousness later, but to whet your appetite, I'll offer a list of guest stars. Besides the titular host (and honestly, for me, PL is more than enough), we have Billy Barty, Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West), KISS (!), Billie Hayes (aka Witchiepoo), Florence Henderson (Alpha Hag), Roz (Pinkie Tuscadero) Kelly, Donnie and Marie, and Betty frickin' White. I know.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I spy with my little eye

Jonathan Rhys Meyers is on the cover of Details this month. Oh, and he's in white jeans. Suck it, Will and Charlie.

EDITED: I replaced the small pic with a scan of the cover. You can now click to enlarge for full hotness (pornstache and all, FG). Please to enjoy.

From "A Boy's Own Story"

Here he comes, blood drained from his dark cheeks, lips purple and open to reveal wet, white teeth, legs lean and slightly bowed, the calves compact, not bulging, his whole body so intelligent that despite its hairiness nothing about it suggests an animal. He's the cautious, isolated man who sleeps alone, rises before dawn, runs, irons his chinos, pares his beautiful nails that haven't a single ridge or moon in them but that seem built up out of layer after layer of clear lacquer, who never seems to have a headache or hangover, who's a well-maintained machine but idling, idling, who approaches each new experience (the iconostasis doors break open and the black nave floods over with candlelight: Christ is risen) in a spirit of mildly detached curiousity, and yet nothing has touched him. He is vulnerable and he's untouched. He is a man to whom something is about to happen.

Isn't that gorgeous?

Thursday, November 01, 2007