Saturday, October 30, 2010

Megachurch Pastor Comes Out

I am of two minds about this video and story. Not once in any of the stories like this do I read or hear anything referring to God, Christ, or the Gospels.  It's all about themselves and their church congregations' survival. Watch for yourself and comment, if you wish.
His personal epiphany is appreciated, but the deceit must be unbearable for many in the congregation. How does one justify building a huge congregation with a lie as its foundation?

More religious hypocrisy. 

And so it goes.
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Halloween Caturday


Sea Witch Weekend here.  Humans parade this morning, treasure hunt later, costumed animals parade tomorrow morning.  Winners announced Sunday afternoon.

Restaurant opens early today.  We're all in costume to welcome the humans before and after their parade. Sounds like fun to me. Hope to take lots of photos, but am told this is a very busy day. Full floor staff and double kitchen staff.

More later. (if I'm still standing.)
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Friday, October 29, 2010

It Gets Better...With Age.

So, stick around. This is a joyous, uplifting video that I snagged from my friend Elizabeth's site.  After viewing it and hopefully passing in on, you will indulge yourself by reading the post accompanying it. Enjoy:
Here is the link to Elizabeth's pages. Telling Secrets.

And so it goes.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

VOTE, Dammit! VOTE!

This is no time to sit by and let the teabaggers, wingnuts and other crazies who want a circa 1800 white America, take control of this country.  There is too much at stake. This arrived in my inbox this afternoon and you need to see, hear, and heed Olbermann's words.

There is a second part to this spot-on Olbermann rant, just in case part one doesn't convince you.  It's our duty dammit, and we ought never forget that.
You'll find the link to part 2 on the YouTube page. Enuf said.

And so it goes.
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Juan Williams Takes the Buckwheat Seat at Fox

 I decided to sit out the Juan Williams brouhaha and let the anger, race-baiting, and all-round stoopid run their course. I used to be a big fan of Mr. Williams until he began to work at Fox News and talking out of both sides of his mustachioed mouth. Hearing him say one thing on NPR only to say the exact opposite the next day on Faux got old really fast, and so I tuned him out. I don't know why it took so long for NPR to show him the door; it seemed a long time coming to me.

Anyway, I found this just now and, to my mind, it is right on the mark.  From Big Think and Kris Broughton:
Maybe it was a good thing that I was headed out of town the day Juan Williams got whacked by the NPR head honchos. Because it probably wouldn’t have taken more than two or three hours before I would have had to write "take your handkerchief head wearing ass somewhere and sit the hell down."
By the time I got back from the great state of Kentucky earlier this week, where people in wheelchairs and on walkers come a dime a dozen and sorely neglected teeth are de rigueur, but the populace still hates the thought of getting any help from the federal government even though government money is the only thing propping their state up these days, all I could do was watch as Magic Bishop Don Juan Williams took his pimp game to FOX News for a full-time gig.
So why do the commentators at FOX like Juan Williams so damn much?  In an excerpt from one of my own short stories, The Black Folks Guide To Survival, the main character explains why “Our Gang”, the vintage show that had a black boy in a sea of white faces, loved their black friend so much:
The only two reasons Buckwheat was in "The Little Rascals" was because he didn't challenge Spanky and the gang could laugh at him all they wanted. Is that what you want--to be a modern day Buckwheat?"

Is that what you want, Juan Williams? To be a modern day Buckwheat?

How you feel about Juan Williams often depends on how you were introduced to him and his work. If it was through his early books and documentaries there tends to be a degree of admiration for the philosophy major who became a leading political journalist.
If you discovered him after he joined the FOX News Network as a regular analyst and expressed what could be perceived as conservative views on the state of black families, you may see him as some sort of Racially-charged Judas, playing the Liberal pantomime on FOX News Sunday. 


Read the rest HERE

And so it goes.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Decisions: Financial, Halloween, & Political

Wednesday in October and it feels more like July.  It's 82' this very moment and while there is a light breeze, the humidity is making everyone grumpy today.

The appointment with the financial adviser went well. Turns out he remembered me from the restaurant and we hit it off  right away. He explained (as best he could to one as financially dense as I) the entire process and as mentioned in the comments on the last post (thanks, everyone) it is a no brainer.  All I need to do now is complete the enrollment form, present it to the Dos Locos guys and the funds will be deferred to the new account as soon as the next pay period.

While I was out and about I did some accoutrement-hunting for the Halloween costume to be revealed at Dos Locos on Saturday afternoon. Yes, for the first time the lunch crew will be festively adorned - in rather tasteful attire, of course - to get diners into the spirit (no pun intended) of the holiday.  The night crew gets very risque, but that's them, not us.

Originally, the boss thought that I should be a Snickers Bar since it would be the least constricting, but he quickly nixed that idea when I said, "great! I can go up to people and say 'Hi, I'm a Snickers Bar, you wanna eat my nuts." He frowned and said that would be OK for the night crew, not lunch.  Here I thought nuts were good any time of day.  What do I know?

So far, I think we have The Tooth Fairy, a Southern Belle, a Police Officer, Pirate, a Ninja, and at least one very-scary clown. Zombies are discouraged, I mean, people are EATING, after all.

No, I ain't tellin' what my costume will be, but here's a hint: one accoutrement is a corn-cob pipe. That's all you get outta me.

The phone hasn't stopped ringing and I am not answering. They are political robo-calls regarding the upcoming election and I know that because not one caller has left a message. Not that anyone calls these days.

Oh, I'll be voting, unlike some LGBT folks I've encountered, because I think this is a critical election in many ways and now is not the time to sit-one-out. Not that I believe there is ever an election to sit out.  I may not be raising banners, but the process is only as good as the people and we have a stake in this one, a big stake.

(off the soapbox)

I'm flabbergasted by the events of the past week, and can't understand why this is happening to me at this time in my life. But...as I hear constantly, 'it is what it is', and that's the truth.

And so it goes.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An Invitation and More Trash & Treasure

Yesterday the bosses formally invited me to enroll in a simple IRA (sort of a 401k, I think), of which I know nothing. The company will match up to 3% of what I choose to invest (?) if that's the correct term.  I meet with the "financial advisor" tomorrow to learn more. Financial stuff, like the stock market, have always befuddled me. I still believe the market is rigged in favor of the rich who manipulate the ups and downs with their enormous financial clout.  But, what do I know?

Never having such a thing in the past (being in a 30 year relationship can do that to you) I have so many questions; Is it right for someone my age?; how will it impact my take-home pay?; are there penalties for emergency withdrawals? While 3% doesn't sound like much, I wonder how much the deduction will deplete my already tight monthly cash flow.

Still, I feel they are looking out for my best interests and hope to garner some useful information at the meeting with the FA tomorrow morning.

In other news, I was able to empty 2 more boxes of trash and treasure.  Have another full box for the Thrift Store tomorrow, as well.

Another box contains condensed versions of major motion pictures on super 8 film with magnetic sound tracks. I no longer have the projector to view them - lost in the settlement - and the Elmo sound projector's ability to accept the larger reels was the cream of the crop back then.  There's about a dozen titles, but I have no idea if anyone would want them in this age of the DVD.  They're on 800' reels and in original cases.

 Anyone with thoughts or ideas, please share.  I would like to give them a good home with a collector who will enjoy them for years to come.

And so it goes.
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

The President Contributes to "It Gets Better"

And totally blows my tiny mind.

OK, I am late to the party with this, probably because I am totally confused by his message.  Now, if I (an openly gay man) am confused, what on earth are young people thinking when the president's words are no match for his administration's actions,  DOMA, ENDA, and especially Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

It hasn't gotten better for our men in women in the military even with the latest ruling.  What is Obama's point?  To score with the progressive base for the mid-terms?  Forget that move, the GayTM is closed.

Still, I was moved by this video; this is the man I voted for and believed in.  Look carefully at the numerous edits in this piece.  Far too many for my taste.  What was deleted, and why?  I will not be taken in this time. Results, not words, are what matters as we get down to the wire. Here is the video:
Don't get me wrong, I am pleased that the PoUSA has shown an interest in Dan Savage's project, but he needs to put his pen to paper to end injustice (which he can do) instead of appealing court decisions at every turn. I will not be grateful until he grows a pair and makes real changes. Empty words don't carry water.

And so it goes.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cable Caturday


If I had it, I could complain, too.

More later.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

On Spirit Day, Political Debate & The Hunting Trip: Part 2

As we sat on the new sofa sipping wine she scanned the room offering decorating ideas, her gaze fell and fixed on an 11X14" photo I shot years ago of my grandmother as we enjoyed coffee with chicory and beinets at the Cafe du Monde in the French Market in New Orleans. It is one of those once-in-a-lifetime shots of her in one of her favorite settings, and she is glowing.

GM: Who is that in the picture eating a piece of cake?

me: That's my grandma and it's not cake, it's a beinet. I related the whole story to her and she smiled.

GM: I never knew of this side of you. (Our glasses clinked.) I truly understand what you have been through these last few years; I was there myself not that long ago. (very personal stuff followed) I know how you feel about not being able to go out to dinner or even buy a friend a drink once in a while. I also know how this hurts you deeply; you're so used to giving, and you will again. I know it. I have been there.

The personal stuff  floored me and (to my mind) was far worse than my situation. Different, she said, not worse.

GM: Did you read the label on that bottle of wine I brought in?  No? Go get it and read that label.

The wine was called "To Hell and Back"

GM: That, my friend, is where you have been and the best part is that you are 'back'! Though you've had little support here, your friends around the country and elsewhere have supported you and that support gave you confidence and the strength to move forward. Mine was provided by the Dos Locos guys when the times were very dark and I made it through, too.

I didn't have anything to say to all this. We sat in silence for a while, sipping the Merlot. Then...

GM: You know, you need 2 more EXPEDIT bookcases for that wall to frame that large painting over in the corner, which will help cover that old thermostat in the process.

It was time to part company and this wee Irish lass with a big heart took all the packing materials, tossed them into the back of the truck, turned and gave me a big hug, and was gone.

I came back upstairs and sat on the new sofa once again. It was so still after all the noise and activity assembling furniture. Looking around at the difference a few furnishings and a single person can make, I began to cry. Quiet tears, not big sobs. The knowledge that this very private person would share such intimate details of her dark times had a calming effect; allowing for the release of 'aloneness' (is that a word?) I've held in for so long.

Exhausted and a bit drunk, a shower was taken and the bed felt warm as I drifted off to dreamless, restful sleep.

There has been a marked difference in our relationship since that day; one that is most welcome by both sides.

And so it goes.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

On Spirit Day, Political Debate & The Hunting Trip: Part 1

First things first.  Spirit Day here was an interesting success. Many people wore purple (gay and straight) and some businesses actually hung purple ribbons in their windows. Interesting because us older folks are always whining about the young'uns not being interested in what went on before; the brutal history of the movement.  Then I noticed older lesbians and gay men dining who were not wearing purple - not one of them. I randomly asked a few if they knew about the project and recent suicides behind it.  Some knew, others didn't seem to care. None wore purple.

The impression I got was "I lived through it, I've got mine, to hell with everyone else."  Nice, huh. Oh, and these very people were about to attend a candidate debate that included those running for the DE Senate seat to replace Joe Biden (the VeePee) and one is the teabagger nutcase, Christine O'Donnell who wants, among other things, to ban masturbation, hates LGBT folks with an uncanny, irrational mindset, and who makes Sarah Palin look like a Rhodes Scholar.  Enuf' said. Doubt that I'll elaborate on this crazy one.

It was disappointing to hear people my age who've survived, thrived, show no emotion regarding the current situation involving our young folks. Again, I detected an attitude of "I had no one to help and support me, so why should I support these kids." Maybe it IS true that we turn into our oppressors.  I hope not.

Back tracking to Tuesday and the Hunting  Adventure. The Gen. Mgr. picked me up promptly at 8 am. We arrived at the IKEA in Pennsylvania at 10:10 am (the store opened at 10 am. - good timing) and oh - my - G*d I was blown away. The place is huge and as she steered me through the maze of departments, stopping here and there to test a piece of furniture, I had an epiphany.  This is where I was supposed to be for useful, decorative, practical furnishings for a small apartment.

Having gone online and printing  pictures, specs, and location of the items I liked, I thought we'd head to these areas first, but that's not how the store is organized and I am SO glad it isn't. I found almost everything I was looking for in the most surprising places. I found the 3 items I was hunting for - apartment size sofa, chair, and bookcase - over the course of an hour, throwing away printed pages I brought with me. I came home with more than I hoped to find, adding a few new words to my vocabulary. Words like KLIPPAN, EXPEDIT, EKTORP, LEKMAN, and KNIPSA.

I also purchased a few kitchen items and the total still came in under what was budgeted for. Well, not in the budget, exactly, but what I planned to put on a credit card. With the extra pieces the total was $45.00 less than expected.

The GM picked up a few cabinets for herself (renovating the kitchen of the house recently purchased, and we made our way to the aisles and bins containing our purchases.  Ten minutes, 2 flat carts and a shopping cart later, we were in the checkout line. Another 15 minutes and the truck was loaded and we were homeward bound. On the way the GM stopped at what I think has to be the largest wine store in this country. The size of a supermarket it boasted wines from even the most obscure countries one would never imagine producing a fine wine.

Arrived at my place and the GM pulled the truck into the driveway next to my apt. We (she) unloaded the goods spreading everything around the living room floor. As she began to rip off the packaging I took the smaller items into the kitchen or bedroom where I began to unpack and assemble those requiring it. I thought she would be finished with me and would head home, but I was very wrong. We put the sofa together then she disappeared and returned with a bottle of wine just purchased; handed it to me and asked, "you have a corkscrew? good, open it and pour two glasses."

As I did so, she began to assemble the bookcase (without my help) telling me - as I handed her a glass of a new Cabernet - that she had put many of these together and it would be best if I just kept her glass refreshed, which I did.

When it was assembled, her bottle consumed,  I opened a bottle of Merlot and we sat on the new sofa, sipping wine and resting our glasses on the tray of the storage ottoman I purchased for just this purpose (Turn over the top reveals a serving tray) and it felt so right. Now, 2 bottles of wine under normal circumstances would bring on a buzz in the best of us, but we had no breakfast and only a hot dog for lunch. And this is when she opened up...

Sorry, it's not meant to be a cliffhanger, I need to process this more so I don't get all teary-eyed when I finally write this part of the "hunting trip" - I just need to understand it more to write and do justice to the moment. 

Besides, I am pretty overwhelmed, and mentally exhausted by events of the past week. The brain is on overload...

And so it goes.
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I'm Back...Almost

Busy here this week with much to write about. The hunting/shopping adventure, candidate debate, Internet Training, and much more. Plenty to do at work - with the new responsibilities - and with the addition of Webmanager things will get busier.  Great for the dark, cold winter months ahead.

More later, I promise.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hunting Trip

The General Manager is at this moment borrowing the boss's truck and will pick me up in a few minutes. Then it's off on a shopping adventure a few hours away  in Pennsylvania at...


At her suggestion, I checked their website again and found exactly the size sofa I can use in the apartment, plus a few other things. The pieces come with a 15 year warranty, so that should be enough for me. Doubt if I'll last that long, anyway.

She has been renovating her new home with IKEA kitchen fixtures and it looks smart and compact, so I figured, what the hell, if she's willing to help me out, I'll help her out, too.

And of course, rain is in the forecast.  Never fails when I'm moving things in an open truck.

More later.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Oct. 20th-Spirit Day: "It Gets Better" Broadway Style

Please wear something purple.

Young performers from Broadway Shows sing out for the Trevor Project. And, boy, do they ever sing it!!!
From the YT description:
Broadway stars rock out in a celebration of life, in the wake of LGBT suicides across the nation. Please SHARE this original song and video to help send a message of hope and support. Available October 19th on iTunes, with all download proceeds benefiting The Trevor Project. www.thetrevorproject.org (c) 2010 Jay Kuo & Blair Shepard. Inquiries: jay@singoutlouiseproductions.com.
Post on your site and share.  Word has to get out to stop this insanity.

And so it goes.
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

"It Gets Better": A New Video

This one is by Chris Salvatore and it's pretty powerful stuff.

h/t to JMG

And so it goes.
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jazz Fest - The Joint is Jumpin'

The music began at 1 this afternoon and ends at 6 this evening. These guys (keyboards, bass, and drums) are pros and have worked with some of the best in the studio and on tour - separately and together - with seemingly effortless perfection. Don't let the white hair fool you; like a well oiled machine they take great tunes, pull them apart, twist them around and make them very special. Ellington, Rodgers & Hart, Cole Porter, Steve Allen, and more. (Click images to embiggen.)

They got a kick out of the fact that I knew lyrics to many tunes and would sing them (quietly, of course) as they played and jammed. What a great joy for me.

The restaurant was packed a half hour after opening; by 2:30 there was a 45 minute wait for seating - anywhere in the house - the bar was standing room only the entire afternoon into the evening when I finished work and headed home.

Everyone was enjoying the good sounds while having cocktails and good food with friends. The boss picked my brain and came up with a special New Orleans themed menu, which included a gumbo, creole, and a dessert. Here we are pulling it together on Thursday afternoon getting ready for the first night of Jazz. And NO, too many cooks didn't spoil the dish.  It was really good.
Boss, me, Nicole, Jose, Daniel
My kind of day...AND...I get to do it all over again tomorrow.  The trio will be playing from 12 noon til 4 pm. - almost the entire lunch shift. The best part is that I have a front row vantage point.  Good music, good vibes, good people.  That's what it's all about.

And so it goes.
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Carnival Caturday



This weekend has turned into quite a ride.
More later.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Training & Telemarketers: Reading Beads of the Stoopid

So, I am minding my own business, attending a training session to help manage the restaurant's website, and all of a sudden my cell phone rings. Thinking that it was the boss checking up on me, I answer saying, "yes, alright already, I am here, Jeez!"

But it's not the boss; it's a random call from the DNC asking for a donation to fight off the racist teabaggers and Republicans in November. As the caller began to read from her script I interrupted asking that they remove my cell number from the call list (it is already on a no-call list) and she asked for my home phone number, which was her big mistake.

me: Please remove this number from your list. It's in the National Do Not Call Registry.

dnc: Oh, well, give me your home number to add to our database.

me: No,

dnc: Well how are we supposed to reach you?

me: Somehow you got my unlisted cell number, so I am sure you're capable of finding those published, or are you people too lazy?  Look it up.

dnc: (ignoring what I just told her) Well in any case since I have you on the line we're asking for a donation to ----. 

I stopped her cold.

me: Whoa!  Stop there. Let me tell you something - and - listen - carefully - there will be NO donations to the Democratic Party until EQUALITY is addressed; until DADT is ended; DOMA is gone for good: the DINOs (Democrats In Name Only) are made accountable for voting with the GOP and Teabaggers. As promised during the last campaign.

dnc: What do you mean by "equality" exactly? (Again ignoring the elephant in the room)

me: If you have to ask that question, you don't know how to use a search engine, or pay the slightest attention to the events of the past two years. Listen, if you are a volunteer dragged in to make cold calls, you can be somewhat forgiven. If, however, you are employed by the DNC you are part of the problem and the reason that I will not contribute to the party.

dnc: Well, why don't you just tell me so I don't have to search for the answers? (touch of sarcasm, here)

me: So, you ARE lazy.  THAT is the real problem. None of you have a clue to what is going on, making you just as out of touch as the Republicans.

This made her bristle.

dnc: we're taking great steps to address the needs of the American people and.... (reading from her script again).

me: Are you calling from the Washington DC area?

dnc: No, I'm in Florida - and things are about to change. (that damned script again - got to admit the old girl has stamina).

me: Are you aware of the BP Disaster in the Gulf back in April and its continuing impact on the lives of the communities and people in that area? The devastating impact on the aquaculture of the entire gulf coast?

(silence)

me: that's what I thought. Tell you what; when you acquaint yourself with the issues I've mentioned and can discuss them intelligently, give me a call on my home phone, when you find it.  Oh, and what you find out may make you rethink your own contributions to the party, too.   I hope this call is being recorded, though I doubt it. For now, this conversation is over. 

(call ended)

My trainer, Nancy, was staring, mouth open. She didn't know what to say, if anything, so I just went to my notes and picked up the session where we left off because of the rude call. I was seething inside, but wouldn't let it show. I let it go away quietly and finished the training. It was a good session and the site will be relatively easy to update. A very productive 3 hours. And, no ftp protocol to deal with.  Praise G*d!

Nancy escorted me to the parking lot and mentioned the call and my responses because, she said, " your face was tight, eyes fixed on nothing,  and there was a calmness about you." Truth is I was forcing every fiber of my body to remain calm and fixed on the point. I am not very good at this sort of altercation, but getting better.

Maybe because of the interruption I became more focused, but what ever it was, I retained more knowledge than I thought I would.  Yes, I took notes, but only for navigational and editing purposes, and I was pleased that when I returned home I was able to log in and make some of the corrections that have bothered me for months (hey, being anal isn't easy!) and upload the corrected items.  Cool!

I'm ready for dinner and a few olives to celebrate.  Cheers.

And so it goes.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

"It Gets Better" - The B. D. Wong Contribution

This is just beautiful. I still have tears in my eyes. B.D. makes a video that is so personal and intimate that you really must turn up the volume of your speakers. (Of course, you will find out why all the whispering at the end of the video. I won't spoil it for you.)  I've always loved this guy's work, but this is something special made just for you, the viewer; one-on-one and secrets are shared. Watch, listen, and be amazed.
Nothing to add on my part.

And so it goes.
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Columbus, Buddies, Greyhounds, Sales, NCOD, & Jazz

While few, if any "celebrate" Columbus Day anymore, they still take advantage of the extra, free day.  This year it also happens to fall on National Coming Out Day (NCOD) and with the recent suicides, it will be a special day of remembrance for many, as well.

Here at the beach there were activities to keep everyone busy and interested. This is the week the greyhounds visit the DE beaches with their families, to play in the sand, enjoy the big parade of themselves through town and on the boardwalk, and get a lot of attention from us all. Saving these creatures is an ongoing and increasingly desperate situation.  They are content, easy-going with kids and well behaved.  And, a pleasure to observe with their human families.

Saturday was the annual "Buddy Walk" to support the Special Olympics and since the restaurant has been a big supporter for years, it benefits by many walkers dining with us in large family groups for lunch and dinner. Saturday was a very busy day for us all.

There is a three-day "Christmas/Holiday Fair & Sale" sponsored by the Episcopal Church in town. It began Friday afternoon and ends this evening. As I walked home there was a line stretching around the corner of the convention center of people waiting to get in. 

I don't care to hear "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing..." as ghosts and goblins scowl at me from store shelves. I'm sorry, but I like to get Halloween out of the way before I hear Christmas songs and carols, but that's just me.

With all that said, the star attraction of the weekend has been the weather. Since Thursday we have experienced the bluest sky, brightest sun, and temps in the 50s overnight and in the 70s during the day. This made auto and foot traffic look like a day in July, not at all typical for October.  What a joy.

Jazz Fest is on tap this week with acts large and small playing various venues around town and many restaurants (including Dos Locos) are participating.  Tickets for the big guns are sold out, but there will be great music to be had beginning Thursday and ending (at least for DL) with a Jazz Brunch. The boss settled on a New Orleans theme and I supplied my recipe for a classic dessert - Bananas Foster.  It is one of those dishes that everyone's mama had her own recipe for and passed it down.  Mine is one of those and it will be interesting to see how many people recognize it when they see it on the special menu for the event. I just hope the kitchen is faithful to the recipe. If not, I am sure my grandmother will haunt my dreams for weeks afterward.

Football was on all screens in the bar today where the Queans, Dikes, and Straights mingled and cheered (screamed!) for their fave teams. Isn't that the way it ought to be? All of us together?  I had a quick after-shift cocktail and headed for home with a headache bubbling to the surface. The walk home was tranquil, as the sun was setting (far too early for my taste) making the sky an event all by itself, and turning every surface it touched to gold.  Lovely.

And tomorrow I get to do it all over again. I plan to be festively decorated for NCOD.

And so it goes.
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Prince of Darkness Pissed at Church of Hate

Ozzy Osbourne is bearing down on the infamous Westboro Baptist Church for using his song 'Crazy Train' during protests of gays in the military, E! Online reports.

After the small church used his 1980 hit at a demonstration on Thursday at the U.S. Supreme Court, the Prince of Darkness couldn't hold his tongue any longer.

"I'm sickened and disgusted by the use of 'Crazy Train' to promote messages of hate and evil by a 'church,'" Ozzy said in a statement.
The Kansas-based church was in Washington because the Supreme Court is set to review a ruling that awarded $5 million to the family of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, whose funeral Westboro protested. The church appealed, and now it's going to the high court.

At this week's protests, church members turned Ozzy's song into a hate-mongering chant: "You're going straight to hell on your crazy train."

Of course, the song doesn't contain such lyrics. Instead, the metal hit is a plea for tolerance and understanding. The first line:
Crazy, but that's how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe it's not too late
To learn how to love
And forget how to hate
I would venture a guess that for Westboro it is far too late to learn how to love. But, they are always on the stoopid train, if that helps. One has to wonder how the oh-so-devout Phelps and Co. know a 30 year-old heavy metal song and where this new twist will take us...Maybe Ozzy will just bite the head off of one of the "church" members.  That would be interesting.

I. Am. So. Tired. Of. These. Crazy. People.

And so it goes.
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Caturday at the Movies

"Catzilla"

Say, I remember this one!!!

More later.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

BP Gulf Disaster & Health Issues in South Louisiana

"Flesh-eating Bacteria!" This is criminal and, of course, the White House killed any information regarding the situation.  Not something we expected from this President.
"David, Kindra and their neighbors have been there from Day 1. And still the onslaught continues. Every day, the oil comes in with the tide. It spreads up into the marsh grass, coating it. Then heated by the sun, it melts and drips back down into the marsh. At night, they still spray their toxic dispersants. No, things are not OK in Plaquemine's Parish. And they won't be for a very long time.

In this recent video, Kindra gives us the latest on public health (or the lack of it) in the Gulf. Kindra and her friends Joanie and Vicky of the Coastal Heritage Society of Louisiana are running ongoing fund drives for Gulf families. Imagine you're a Gulf fisherman and your entire livelihood is gone. Many of these families have had no income since April. Now, they're faced with having their electricity turned off, and making decisions as to whether they should be food or medicine for their kids."
This is one brave, strong woman. Please watch this video. It is 9 minutes long, but it needed to be to get all the information on tape.
Yes, it is that bad and not getting better.
And sadly, so it goes.
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Accomplishments

Last Friday  I received a coupon in the mail from an online furniture company worth $25.00 toward any purchase $50.00 or more.  Now, I was skeptical but decided to have a look.  As I thought, their products are on the expensive side, but I also found their "clearance" site and wandered around, looking at various items getting ideas for the apartment.

I stumbled upon something perfect for my tiny place that would supply seating, serving, and table needs quite nicely.  A storage ottoman with reversible top which when turned over offers a 19" square hardwood tray which then sits back inside the top of the storage part.  It came in 3 colors; black or eggplant fabric and brown leather. The clearance price was $62.00 (for the fabric covers) with FREE shipping all weekend. So with the coupon and free shipping it cost $37.00. I went for it.

Yes it was in stock in the selected color. I kept looking for some catch, some string attached, but it was legit. Did the deed and sent the order.  Received an email notice within minutes that it would ship on 10/2 - a Saturday. Odd.

Decided to give the last local furniture store a try yesterday morning, looking for that illusive "apartment size sofa" unfortunately, it remains illusive. The salesman didn't even know what the phrase meant, so that was telling.  All of the living room furniture was bigger than my whole apartment. So, I think a visit to the IKEA in south Philadelphia is in my future. At least I'll have the new ottoman in the otherwise bare living room.

On the way back I stopped at a kitchen supply store and purchased a whisk, mandolin (with multi purpose blades) and a meat thermometer. Since is was "senior citizen" day, (ouch!)  I received an additional 10% discount on my purchase. Such a deal!!

No major grocery shopping to do, but I did stop for 2 fresh baguettes, a half pound of ultra-thin sliced rare roast beef, 2 large cucumbers, and the remaining ingredients necessary to prepare my own Muffuletta Olive Salad. More on that at another time.

I raced home, made some gravy, threw in the beef, sliced a baguette & tomato, shredded some romaine, and prepared a delicious roast beef po-boy. Something I've been craving for a very long time. Lightly browned the halved bread slices, smeared them with mayonnaise, layered the beef, thin slices of tomato, and the shredded lettuce, topped it with a bit of gravy and took a dive into one of the best New Orleans sandwiches ever invented.

Mine was an "8 napkin" experience, which is how many napkins one uses while eating the thing.  The more napkins used, the runnier the gravy and juices - always a good thing.  Hell, I needed a shower after that meal, but I was in Cajun Heaven.

Before that shower I changed the sheets and, for the first time in this apartment, I put on a light throw cover.  Yes, it was that cool here. Love the smell of clean sheets. Slept well, enjoyed eggs, toast, cranberry juice and coffee for breakfast.

Ironed a few shirts and slacks for work, made a Remoulade sauce as well as a roasted red pepper & garlic hummus for snacking.

And, the ottoman just arrived. Shipped via Fed Ex Ground - I am impressed.  I unpacked it and it is everything the description and reviews said it was. The color is my favorite. Up to now my life has been full of brown, beige, chocolate and black.  Not anymore.

The only direct sunlight the place receives is through the skylights in the kitchen and bath. As the sun sinks lower in the sky this time of year, only about 30 minutes of late afternoon sun pops through the windows.

Soooo.  The place is going to be alive with color - rich red, blue, green, gold, and yes, violet and purple.  Probably sounds silly, but I have a vision in my head that I think will work out fine. Well, at least for me. Anyway, what to you think of the ottoman? Honesty is preferable.

Next up, I have my eye on an area rug for the living room and a few large throw pillows until the sofa is purchased. It would be nice to sit and watch a DVD on the TV once in a while.  I am in no rush, but it would be nice to have the sofa in place by the holidays. Stay tuned.

And so it goes.
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Paris Flat Lay Undisturbed for 70 Years

Just another one of those stories that I love to find and share.  One wonders what else will be uncovered in such a beautiful place. What a precious treasure this flat must be. I hope there is more coverage of this story as it develops.  Fascinating..."for 70 years the apartment had been left uninhabited - under lock and key - rent paid faithfully, but no hint of what was inside."
Behind the door, under a thick layer of dusk lay a treasure trove of turn-of-the-century objects including a painting by the 19th century Italian artist Giovanni Boldini.
The woman who owned the flat had left for the south of France before the Second World War and never returned.
But when she died recently aged 91, experts were tasked with drawing up an inventory of her possessions and homed in on the flat near the Trinité church in Paris between the Pigalle red light district and Opera.
Entering the untouched, cobweb-filled flat in Paris' 9th arrondissement, one expert said it was like stumbling into the castle of Sleeping Beauty, where time had stood still since 1900.
"There was a smell of old dust," said Olivier Choppin-Janvry, who made the discovery. Walking under high wooden ceilings, past an old wood stove and stone sink in the kitchen, he spotted a stuffed ostrich and a Mickey Mouse toy dating from before the war, as well as an exquisite dressing table.
But he said his heart missed a beat when he caught sight of a stunning tableau of a woman in a pink muslin evening dress.
The painting was by Boldini and the subject a beautiful Frenchwoman who turned out to be the artist's former muse and whose granddaughter it was who had left the flat uninhabited for more than half a century.
The rest is HERE.

More later.
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 20, 2010 - Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple to honor the 7 boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months mostly because of homophobic abuse and gay-bashing in their homes, neighborhoods, or at school.



The Purple stripe in our Rainbow Flag represents Spirit and that’s exactly what  we're going to show on that day: SPIRIT.

To all LGBTQ teens out there, please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality.

Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools. R.I.P. Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase, Billy Lucas and Cody J. Barker (picture not shown). You are loved.

The tears come whenever I look at their pictures. Such a waste, such a terrible waste.

And so it goes.
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Monday, October 4, 2010

STOP Gay Teen Suicide: "We Give A Damn"


So many of us here in the US have horror stories about our junior high and high school years. For many of us it was not a time of joy and happiness, but a time of terror and all too often, despair. I've been reading posts related to just this subject and the pain is evident; in many cases severe. It never goes away. Many of us have never attended a reunion, and why would we want to?  The tones of many posts I've read are resolute, defying, determined, and filled with pain from the experience.

Thing is, we're still around, and while our torturers have probably forgotten their taunts, abuse, and hateful sneers, we cannot. Those things will stay in our memories forever. Oh, of course we put them out of our minds for the most part, but when these suicide stories are brought to light the ugly memories come flooding back and we relive that hurt and pain all over again. At times I, myself, have wondered how and why I survived.

I was wondering what I could do to help end this nightmare but nothing came to mind other than one to one contact with a kid in the community suffering through such abuse while struggling with their own self worth and then...An invitation to join this organization arrived in an email today. It included this video made by Cyndi Lauper. I viewed the video and joined up.  Maybe you will be moved to do so, as well.
And so it goes.
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

With Little to be Sure of: Another Surprise Gift

Received some bad news last evening that I am not at liberty to discuss at this time. Because of who I am, my sleep was fitful and restless, interspersed with bad dreams. I woke up exhausted. It was dark and rainy as I pulled it together for the day at work.

There was a big benefit brunch in town today; a charity event to support "Meals on Wheels" and the restaurant was one of those participating. The Dos Locos (bosses) were hosting our booth there and I was entrusted to get the restaurant open, the symbolism was not lost on me. No problem. I was blessed with a terrific wait staff and kitchen crew. A top notch barman rounded out the morning/lunch group.

As it rained the winds picked up putting a damper, if not end, to the annual fall sidewalk sale all over town.  That meant diners were fewer than expected. Everyone kept busy as wait staff helped one another by busing tables and setting up for the next seating. Very smooth.

Then at about 3 pm, an elderly man walks into the restaurant and tells me that he's visiting for the day and accidentally left his car lights on - his battery is dead - asking if we knew of anyone he might call to help him out of this situation. I provided a phone directory and while I was busy with other things he called around. Nothing on a Sunday.  And, though he had had AAA for years (and never needed to use it) he let it lapse this year.  Figures, right?

I began asking all employees if they knew of anyone who would at least give his car a jump-start.  Suddenly everything fell into place with 2 line cooks, the barman, and a server springing into action.  The gentleman had jumper cables in his trunk, so while a cook, barman, and server pushed the car into a spot, safe  and convenient to a jumper vehicle, the other cook got into her car and drove up along side his car. (Mind you, it was pouring rain and the winds are about 25 mph) The jump was made, the car started, and applause was deafening inside the restaurant and out.

The gentleman attempted to pay for the assistance, but it was refused by the staff. Their answer was simple; this could have been any one of us and we would be grateful for assistance.  Since we were able to help, we believe that when it does happen to us, that someone will be there, too. 

Karma may be a bitch sometimes, but it can be beautiful, as well. I am very proud to have such people in my life. They always surprise and amaze me with their grace, generosity, and spirit.

And so it goes.
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pirate Caturday II


More later. Sun makes a brief appearance today.
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Friday, October 1, 2010

Tea and Crackers*

Title isn't my own, it's from the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone.*

In it, Matt Taibbi explains all there is to know about the wingnuttery Tea Party crowd.  And, as usual, he pulls out all the stops. I dearly LOVE me some Taibbi in the morning.  Hell, any time of day.
This is an article from the October 15, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone.
It's taken three trips to Kentucky, but I'm finally getting my Tea Party epiphany exactly where you'd expect: at a Sarah Palin rally. The red-hot mama of American exceptionalism has flown in to speak at something called the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, a gospel-music hoedown in a giant convention center filled with thousands of elderly white Southerners. Palin — who earlier this morning held a closed-door fundraiser for Rand Paul, the Tea Party champion running for the U.S. Senate — is railing against a GOP establishment that has just seen Tea Partiers oust entrenched Republican hacks in Delaware and New York. The dingbat revolution, it seems, is nigh.
"We're shaking up the good ol' boys," Palin chortles, to the best applause her aging crowd can muster. She then issues an oft-repeated warning (her speeches are usually a tired succession of half-coherent one-liners dumped on ravenous audiences like chum to sharks) to Republican insiders who underestimated the power of the Tea Party Death Star. "Buck up," she says, "or stay in the truck."
Stay in what truck? I wonder. What the hell does that even mean?
Scanning the thousands of hopped-up faces in the crowd, I am immediately struck by two things. One is that there isn't a single black person here. The other is the truly awesome quantity of medical hardware: Seemingly every third person in the place is sucking oxygen from a tank or propping their giant atrophied glutes on motorized wheelchair-scooters. As Palin launches into her Ronald Reagan impression — "Government's not the solution! Government's the problem!" — the person sitting next to me leans over and explains.
 "The scooters are because of Medicare," he whispers helpfully. "They have these commercials down here: 'You won't even have to pay for your scooter! Medicare will pay!' Practically everyone in Kentucky has one."
 More HERE

And so it goes.
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