Sunday, May 31, 2009

Up!

I'm so on track for making the quest of one movie per month this year. I know it seems like a small goal - but so far, it is one that has not been achievable.

I guess it's really an average of one movie per month, considering we've seen three this month alone and I'm still falling one short year to date. But with Harry Potter and Julie & Julia on the way, I should make it.

Yesterday we saw Up. In 3D, no less.

Except for Honey, I Blew Up the Kids down at Animal Kingdom, I'm not sure I've ever seen a three dimensional movie.

Aren't the glasses fabu? Aren't I? I look so very European.

For all of Pixar's releases, we've made most of them on their opening weekend. Up has gotten rave reviews. And maybe it works on multiple levels, but I have to say, I didn't see it from a kid's perspective. I found it to be extremely kid-unfriendly for the first two-thirds. VERY.

Much like Wall-E, the first half-hour is a poignant movie on its own, but obviously goes on longer and with other or extended story lines. But still, I wondered (aloud) why the kids in the audience weren't in tears or scared. Again, Disney is the master of making movies work on multiple levels, so maybe I can't see it through a child's eyes.

The story is ok, but it didn't WOW me. As always, the visuals were great - though I can't say the scenery shots were better than Cars or the Incredibles. Those were outstanding. Some of the 3D stuff was good, but I'm not sure the movie wouldn't have worked without it. Visuals have always been Pixar's strong suit, so I'm not sure that 3D is necessary.

Up is a decent 90 minute or so flick. I wouldn't say you need to rush out to see it, but it's something to do on an uneventful afternoon.


Song by: Shania Twain

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lost

I've seen this the last few days on my way to work. I finally snapped a pic of it yesterday. All I could think was......

Oh No! Jody Whatley lost an earring.



Ok - that this was all mostly for my friend, Jon.



Song by: Sarah McLachlan (what??? I don't own any Jody Whatley!)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Is it a Crime?

This was in my email yesterday. It didn't even make it to my spam folder - which is how I saw it.

Granted I am always looking for new career opportunities, but I never thought anything I would do for cash would start out with a theme song done by the Who.

You know I'd be on some critical mission, but be the one given the walkie-talkie. I don't even see anyone carrying their special lights to identify semen stains in the dark. What's up with that? Maybe the specially trained don't need that light. Is that what you were going to say all so snidely????? IS IT???

Though I'm sure I can come up with worse career choices, this is still nothing I would ever consider doing. Unless of course, I get to work with George Eads.

And by "work", I means "sleep with". And by "sleep with", of course, I mean "have sex with". And by 'have sex with", of course I mean....... Oh you don't want specifics.



What? You were thinking I'd be wanting to hook up with Marg Helgenberger? Puh-Leese!!! (say like Squidward.)


Song by: Sade

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bigmouth Strikes Again

What the hell is up with Dick Cheney?

I know this is has been question that has plagued the U.S...no...no.. ..most of the world...for the last decade or so. But I'm talking more recently.

Actually so has he. That's all he's been doing. Yak yak yak yak. He's like a frickin' woman. Sorry girls. And he's worse than the H1N1 - and spreading himself around just as much.

I know there is a group probably for just about everything on Facebook and normally I just can't be bothered with that shit. But when this came up, I had to had to had to join. Had to.

That's right: Telling Dick Cheney to Shut the Hell Up.

Of course I would have changed one word in that title. I'm sure FB wouldn't have allowed it, so from now on you can just say it in your head. You know what I'm talkin' about.

Your time is over old man. Go sail off into the West - as if they'd even have you.

I cannot fathom how a man who left office with a 13% approval rating has become the mouthpiece for the GOP - especially when he almost refused to talk for the eight years he was in office. Like he was too good for his royal subjects.

Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer (and wife of Democratic Senator, Sherrod Brown) had a good piece in yesterday's PD.

I guess the bigger question to me is, save for Fox....because, well.....they're Fox....why does anyone give this man the opportunity to speak? He can't be that much of a ratings draw - can he?

And what the fuck is up with that torture press conference that Obama gave last week and Cheney had his counter one at the same time??? Do you know how fast the GOP would have shut that down had it been the other way around? Where are the Dems balls?

One could say the Dems are just happy to watch Cheney & Co implode with this, but this has taken on a life of its own (this blog piece included). Not only is Dick going on and on and on and on....so it everyone else.

The last eight years can't go away fast enough. Why won't he let it? WHY?


Song by: the Smiths

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Super Sugar Supreme

Believe it or not, I have no songs with the word, 'court', 'judge' or 'trial'. Who knew? I have like 14,000 songs in my liberry, how is this even possible?

Yesterday was a big day in the name of justice. Some good. Some bad. Both kind of expected. Let's start with the good.

Obama picked his first (and hopefully not last) Supreme Court Justice nominee - Sonia Sotomayor. His short list was reported to have been made up mostly of women, so it's not a huge surprise that his final pick was one. That she is hispanic is a plus. That court needs some diversity. Thomas doesn't count. He's as white as they come when it comes to matters of the law.

The Prop 8 decision was the bad. And again, not horribly unexpected.

And guess what, I'm going to be a seemingly bad apple here: Good for the California Supreme Court.

Before you berate me and start thinking of your flames, let me tell you why I say that:

If last November, Prop 8 had not passed and things gone our way and yesterday the court were to turn over that election, we (the gays and gay loving public), would say it was a travesty and an outrage that the court reversed something the public voted for.

So how is this different?

This is not 2000 where the courts were looking into voter fraud and election tampering. This was a population not happy with an election result.

But here is my positive take away on the result from yesterday. I feel there is a huge loophole in the court's decision. There is zero equality in allowing 18,000 gay couples to be married and recognized by the state and no others. It's a risk, but there could be thousands of lawsuits over this fact.

Of course I want there to be the ability for same-sex couples to marry. I am for all the rallies going on and I do think there will be another initiative in California - and soon. I also think more people are now aware of how election language is set forth and how to educate those around what is right and what is real.

Good and bad yesterday. You see the winds of change with a hispanic woman judge potentially being on the Supreme Court. It was unfathomable that it could even be a possibility a few years ago. The same will be true for gay marriage. Soon.


Song by: the Philosopher Kings

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Up, Up & Away

You really have to click on the image to see what I saw. ...and even then it won't be that impressive. Unfortunately.

What is up in the sky are six hot air balloons.

In the town I grew up (as if I ever actually grew up!), they have hot air balloon races each Memorial Day weekend. On and above the horizon you can see the half dozen of which I spoke. A few minutes later there were an additional six.

For a good 30-40 minutes they would bob up and down, above and below the tree line. Or some of them did. About half kept their height.

The plan was to have them fly over and past my parents house, from where I took this picture. But neither the festival, nor the balloon pilots have much control of anything other than the amount of hot air they put into the balloon. They are kind of dependent on the wind, of which there was none. Nary a leaf was moving on any of the trees.

The balloons never made it over my parents house - this was as close as they got. They certainly never got to wherever their final destination was supposed to be.

I was hoping to have really cool close-up shots, but that was out of my hands. I love it when they fly right over - you can hear almost every word that is said in the gondolas. .....and they can hear everything that is said on the ground (or so I've been told - as I've never been up in one).

Maybe next year folks. Maybe next year.


Song by: the Fifth Dimension

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memory in the Making

I just love someecards.

I have no feeling for Memorial Day per se, other than it's my first absolutely scheduled day off since January 1. So for that I'm psyched.

Yes, folks in the healthcare industry rarely get off on MLK, President's Day, etc. Don't even get me started on Columbus or Veteran's Day. Damn sick people!

I mean, I guess back in the day for people who died fighting for freedom are to be honored is a noble thing. I have nothing against that, but let's face it - between Shrub and his father and their fake-ish wars, they've kind of cheapened what freedom is and how we go about achieving it. Atrocities just as big are happening in other parts of the world, but well......they have nothing we want, so we can't be bothered.

As for our 'black president', I have seen this rising ire from the gay community on what he is or isn't doing for us. Of course, that's assuming we all want the same thing. But those speaking out assume we do and yet I don't remember officially being asked by anyone.

Whether I want to get married is irrelevant. Yes, it should be a right, whether we opt to take up those vows after/when it's legal. But Obama pretty much made it clear what his stance on same-sex marriage is prior to the election. So if you voted for him and are bent out of shape on his inaction - suck it up.

DADT (and to a degree, DOMA) is another matter, as he implied it would be changed. But for g-d's sake, give the man a break. Yes, it's not done yet and who knows when or if it will be. Between a crappy economy, record foreclosures and unemployment (and all the things that go along with that), and a supreme court nominee to get through Congress - all within the first four months, I think he is ok in working with his timeline. Not necessarily "ours".

I believe change will come - sooner rather than later. Clearly it is not soon enough for some. With social change like this, I'm a patient man - go figure. I want it done right and without the potential for backlash. I keep thinking some of these outspoken folks have good intentions, but sometimes come across acting like Veruca Salt (the character, not the band).

All I'm saying is give the man a break. Or at least give him a chance. It's only been 120 days.

There are still worse things out there - like Dick Cheney.


Song by: John Kilzer

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Star Me Kitten

One of my sisters, and her family, are the proud caretaker of a new family member. A kitten. Or another one. They've almost always had two cats and two dogs.....and two kids. Don't knock symmetry, there is a beauty to it.

They actually got one a few years back, but Marty disappeared two months back. He ran away, or someone took him. No one wants to say the other things that might have happened, but he liked to roam and they live on country roads.....and it is not unusual to see a fox or coyote on these roads now and again.

My sister kept telling me how upset the kids were. Her husband would tell me that it was my sister who'd go to the door three or four dozen times a day calling for him. That's my family - transfer your feelings and emotions to others while absolving yourself of them.

Anyway, they got X yesterday. X, you say? They have not come up with a name yet. I say their oldest, college-bound daughter doesn't get a way (she's picking the worst names) doesn't get a choice as she's leaving home.

It is a house full of male pets too. They had (well, have) one girl cat, but all the other cats and dogs have been male. X is a guy too.

He's got great markings. Better than show up on the iPhone. He's on high-alert as the two dogs who share the house are trying to familiarize themselves with him. But they're not allowed in the family room - something X will use to his advantage in the very very near future.

I'm loving the two little dots on his nose.

Here's me looking a little shlubby, but I completely attribute it to my posture, or lack of. I plopped down on the couch and the little guy curled up right next to me. I think he'll be a cuddler, but in reality I provided a save haven and warmth for him. Hey - it works for me.

I HATE his pic of me, but it's cute of him. I love how it shows how small he is (no, not how large I am).

Of course, all this makes me want another kitten, but deep down I know better. And Denton asked me if I even remember that stage: all energy, jumping, running, climbing and clawing?

My response, naturally was, 'you mean like Sophie now?'. Sophie turns three in a few weeks. She has yet to outgrow kittendom.

I'll let you know the chosen name when they get it. My brother-in-law said they had to have one by the end of Monday. He's so funny when he attempts to lay down the law in that house.


Song by: R.E.M.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Family

Well - my time away didn't last very long - did it?

I kind of suspected it wouldn't. You know - routine and/or OCD. Some habits are hard to break.

In this very left-of-center effort to make connections with some of my lesser know relatives, I had lunch again with my cousin Bill. This time he invited his nephew (also my cousin), David, to tag along.

David is two years younger than I am and I think it might be 30-35 years since I've seen him last. He didn't remember ever meeting me. Normally that would have shot my already low self-esteem even lower, but really, it's been three plus decades and not everyone is blessed cursed with a memory like mine.

I say this with the utmost affection (honestly): David is one big bag of crazy.

And I immediately connected with him.

Denton always asks me if I ever have an unverbalized thought. Normally I would said, 'no, no I don't', until I (re)met David. I absolutely loved it. In a matter of minutes he was talking about mulch, his sister, bath houses, high school reunions, San Francisco, volunteering and being a germaphobe. None of (or very few of) these subjects had to do with each other.

Just to be clear on the bath house and SF comments - I guess I should note that David is not gay. Clearly gay-friendly, but not gay. At least I'm 71% sure. He is married. To a woman.

He goes on to mention how absolute nuts everyone in his family - immediate and otherwise - are, then proceeds to ask me 'so, what's wrong with you?'. Without missing a beat I said, 'where would I even start......?' Then I think he asked what my credit card limit was.

At this point I honestly couldn't tell if Bill was enjoying himself or just tolerating us. I think he is genuinely fond and close to his nephew, so I think he was good with it all. Lunch lasted a good 90 minutes, and yes, it was a work day for me.

After lunch we walked over to the Western Reserve Historical Society. Bill had taken the liberty of calling ahead and pulling some strings and had achieved history of our family pulled out and waiting for us. Apparently we have at least 40 linear feet of documents and photographs chronicling our family here. They gave us little white cloth gloves if we were to touch anything.

There were pictures of at least part of one side of the family (paternal) here. We kind of chuckled over some that were there from a family reunion from 30 odd years ago and I got to relay my house hunting werido story.

We also got a special tour of the facility and where/how they achieve stuff. For some reason, WRHS has the (or one of the) largest collections of Civil War documents. Allegedly Ken Burns spent mucho time there for research when doing his PBS series. Who knew?

I'd love to do something with David again, as he just seems like a lot of fun. That he's family is a plus - and how many times can you really say that? But since getting reacquainted, he is someone I can see hanging out with just because he's smart and funny.

So anyway, it's 04:11 and I can't sleep. ....and I'm back. Or still here, to be more precise. Insomnia is a wonderful thing - isn't it?


Song by: Dar Williams

Friday, May 22, 2009

When You Say Nothing At All

OMG. I've got nothing.

I'm seemingly tired of talking about the gym, yoga and work. And let's face it - that's all I've got lately. And you're probably tired of hearing about it. I gotta mix it up. I gotta.

Am I really taking a break? Probably not - but I'm almost seven months in, without missing a day of posting. Who wouldn't need a day here or there?

It's a holiday weekend, so maybe I will. No one is going to be reading anyway - you all got stuff to do.

Of course, you can check in and see what there is to see - if anything.


Song by: Allison Krauss

Thursday, May 21, 2009

You're the Top

I'll go out on a limb - that if you are the owner of this license plate, that you're the bottom.

Just a hunch.

This car was parked outside yesterday at a mexican restaurant on the way to my parking garage. I rolled my eyes and kept walking and thought, 'oh fuck it' and then walked back and took the pic. No doubt the queen owner had a window seat and wondered what the fuck I was doing.

This is where I lose my gay card. I'm a homo of a certain age...maybe off the cusp by a few years. Thankfully. I'm not one who does the gay inhale when they announce her super duper final farewell tour. I don't think she's a good actress or singer. I even loathe that she ingratiates herself in politics and I usually side with her party/candidate.

Though not in the movie, she was a running "joke" in "In & Out" - that shiteous gay movie with Kevin Kline and Tom Sellack. g-d, I can't believe I just typed that. One more reason to associate her with bad things.

She has done one thing that I like - What's Up Doc? And while she is decent in it, it really is because it is such an ensemble piece. If you look at the individual players you'd never think it could work, but it does. Ryan O'Neal? But Madeline Kahn in the best debut role ever!

Do prisoners still make license plates? (did they ever? really?) I wonder what that rapist who had to forge this thought when he had to make this one.

I have to get my registration renewed this year. I'll have to see if STACEYQ is taken.



Song by: Barbara Streisand (for the record, I normally put songs I own as the blog titles. I do not own this!)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bend and not Break

If goooooogle images were to be believed, every man who does yoga is inked.

I can confirm all are not - as I don't have a tattoo. It's not so much that I don't want one as that I'm a huge huge wuss when it comes to getting one. Haven't I had enough needles and other things poking into me and cutting my skin?

....well, that and I probably could never decided on a design.

Anyway, yesterday was day two of yoga. It went slightly better than the first. It had to - right?

Same place, same instructor, a few of the same participants, though I went during lunch instead of after work. I'm not a complete imbecile when doing it - or at last no worse than anyone else . I think. To be honest, I didn't look around. I wasn't going to relive aerobics from all those years ago. And the point of yoga (or one of them) is to be centered and not worry about your surroundings. I'm trying to do this correctly.

But I will say, it really grinds my gears that some folks come in 10 minutes late. The instructor really probably should have squashed that one - but she didn't. Where is common decency?

Over the weekend, I went and bought my own personal yoga mat. This way I don't have to use the bacteria-filled communal ones. Yesterday we used yoga "straps". I didn't have a set, so I had to use my towel. You use them to stretch parts of your body and have something to grasp and use for resistance. But my legs are too long and the towel was too short, so there were a few things I couldn't do.

So I guess now I have go buy straps. Or as Denton pointed out, "is this some kind of pyramid scheme?"

Don't even get me started on the blocks.


Song by: Dashboard Confessional

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Can't Wait

Normally, I don't take pictures at the gym....mainly because normally I don't have my iPhone in the gym. I have a Nano for my music while working out. But on Sunday, I forgot the Nano - and if I'm spending 30-45 minutes on the elliptical, I need a musical distraction. So I actually used my iPhone.

What sucks is, the shorts I was wearing had no pockets and I have no arm strap for the device, so I had to hold it for all my work out. Very difficult to do.

But since I had it, I thought I'd snap a few shots....if nothing else, to prove I do go to a gym.

Here I is, in the Big Boy Weight Room - which I've just started to get the nerve to go back into. Normally, I'm on the Nautilus equipment, but I'm trying to be a man. TRYING! (menwithiphones.com - I'm still waiting for my big debut!)

This is kinda sad. These are my new cross-training shoes. My first new pair. It's not that I've gone to the gym barefoot (except at yoga), it's that I've been cheap and have just gotten hand-me-down shoes from the BF and my 16 year old nephew!!!!

I'm not really cheap - not really. I'm just a bit pathetic. Oh - and I loathe shopping. The used shoes never really fit, but then until a few months ago, I never truly wore them for work-out, just bike rides and to cut the lawn.

And though my purchase didn't provide the title of the post, I went with a round-about means, since the group name did.

No, the above image is not an illusion. Nor is it trick photography. With those above hairy legs (and new shoes), I can push out 260 pounds. Probably 280, but I'm not trying to hurt myself.

Today is day two of yoga. And I'm doing it over lunch. But with out shoes.



Song by: Nu Shooz

Monday, May 18, 2009

Record of the Month

I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!



It's really a shame the Cardigans started off their U.S. career with their more than fluffy single "Love Fool". At the time it was annoying as hell and they were written-off stateside almost immediately. Upon listening to it a decade later, it is actually not a half bad song.

What is even better was their three follow-up disks which never found footing over here. I'll have to make their Long Gone Before Daylight one of my Classic disks. It really is in the top five disks of the first decade of the 21st century. Seriously!

But those three disks were eventually released here in America - a good 12-18 months after their initial European launch. So it is no shock or surprise that lead singer, Nina Persson's side project, A Camp, suffered the same fate with Colonia.

Colonia is not a bad album, but it won't hit any airwaves here - nor does it strive to. Or at least I don't think that was the intent. The group is a lot lower key than the Cardigans, and they weren't too 'out there' to start with.

The music itself is sparse - some guitars, rudimentary keyboards, drums and the occasional strings. That's it. But that combo has its moments. I really like "It's Not Easy to be Human", "My America".

There is this weird early '60s girl-group/Phil Spector vibe weaved in and out of part of the album (horns on "My America", vocal arrangement "Here are Many Wild Animals"). The latter being about survival - with references to the bomb, the ark and cockroaches. I don't think it's really about eating our young, as that is more of a metaphor than meant for literal translation. Either way - you'll never hear something like that on radio.

There are clunkers along the way - the too sleepy "The Weeds Had Got There First" and "Chinatown".

I liked the last three Cardigans disks so much, I had high hopes for Colonia, but in reality this is a so-so disk. Lots of promise and little follow-through.

...but I love the cover art.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Return of the Grievous Angel

Oh, how I wish this were a post about at least a half-nekkid David Boreanaz. You know Angel, from Buffy.....or, I guess Angel. .....but mostly I care about Buffy.

Even with the bumps on his left shoulder (go ahead, enlarge the image and look), he's still dreamy.

No, this is about going to see Angels & Demons yesterday. I know, I know - it goes against most everything I stand for: catholicism and Tom Hanks. But short of being rude - what could I do? I was out-voted 3-1.

We rarely see our friends David and James, and they really wanted to go. For full-disclosure, they'll see almost anything and everything. David worked in film (in a way) and has an appreciation for most everything - though it is not to say he likes everything.

Denton wanted to go too, so what's a good bf to do? I went.

I never read the book and I think I'm one of 18 people in the U.S. who did not read The DaVinci Code. I tried. Honest. I could not get past page 104. I'm not estimating here.....it is not an approximation. I distinctly remember the page I gave up on the book, even years later.

Clearly, I didn't see that movie either.

But we went. It was exactly what I expected, though with a few twists I didn't quite see - but the end result was how I figured it, about 25 minutes into the picture.

One twist was that Ewan MacGregor was in it! Who knew? Probably anyone who read an ad or the movie poster. I wasn't one of those people.

I don't care that Hanks has two Oscars to his credit and one is a Jonathan Demme movie about a person with AIDS. It could be argued, he peaked with Bachelor Party. But once he went down the road to Big, I started to find him insufferable. Ok, maybe that's a bit harsh, but the schmaltz with Forrest Gump and that FedEx movie......oy.

I'd say 70% of the movie is background information. Them walking and talking and explaining a few millennia of history, but just enough to end up fitting very very very neatly in the the jigsaw puzzle of a movie was annoying to me. Yeah, lots of movies and TV shows do it - but they do it better. Raiders of the Lost Ark comes to mind, or something a little more didactic like The West Wing.

For the blockbuster it was supposed to be, I doubt there were more than 25 people in the theater. ...and it was a rainy Saturday.

...oh and the music. The overreaching score. The Gregorian chants in the background. And bombastic approach to the final credit music. Way too much, Opie.

As it turns out, no one thought it was a great movie, so I wasn't the cheese standing alone. I doubt that Dan Brown or Ron Howard even scraped the surface of how evil the catholic church is, but it's not exploding anti-matter.

On a positive note - I'm up to my third of at least 12 movies for the year (you all remember my never-achieved goal, right?). And with a few movies slated for summer release, I honestly think I'll make it.

But at least for this, I got a really really cute image of Mr. Boreanaz.


Song by: Gram Parsons

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Clean

I'm a bit hungover today. More just tired than hungover. Yeah, I probably killed a bottle of wine by my lonesome, but it was worth it. Oh c'mon - I could have easily killed another one. You know me.

My man-date, Scott, and his wife came over last night. It was supposed to be dinner, but we ended up just noshing on cheese, hummus and the likes. I even had macerated strawberries and bought angel food cake (oh yeah, and ice cream) for a dessert-like finisher.

We never got to that last part. Too much wine or Makers Mark.

Scott and Celeste had not been over before. We've had many failed attempts. And then we lost the person who helped us clean our house. Poor Florida got cancer and decided to retire. My mother tried not to laugh and attempted to look appalled when I tried to wipe a faux tear from my eye when saying: "It's true.....cancer does affect everyone!"

As a cancer survivor, I thought (and think) I could get away with a joke as crass as that.

It took us almost a year to find someone new - someone we like and trust. She started yesterday, so we got right back on the social bandwagon and had guests over on day one.

Today we have plans with other friends, but not here. I love them, but really am ambivalent about the actual plans. More on that tomorrow.

Now, it's off to the gym.


Song by: Depeche Mode

Friday, May 15, 2009

I Am Stretched on Your Grave

So, yesterday I ventured into a new realm of exercise. Yoga.

A few weeks ago I hurt my left shoulder while doing my weights. I tried to power through it for another week, but all I did was continue to aggravate the injury. So I'm off lifting for at least this week, possibly next.

I've wanted to try yoga, but the reality is that I'm not very bendy and I'm not sure I have a center. I know I don't have "a happy place". Since I was in 6th or 7th grade my legs have always been longer than my torso, and since then I've never been able to touch my toes (see the bendy comment above). So I wasn't horribly optimistic on how it would all work.

I actually worked out at my usual 05:30 time and then returned to the gym at 18:30 for Yoga for Beginners.

I wasn't sure how it would work or how the set-up would be, so wouldn't you know that when I got my mat down I ended up in the front of the class? Frick.

And while the class may have been for beginners, I felt like I was on the Yoga Short Bus.

It seemed the instructor continually used me as the example of how to do things correctly, since apparently I wasn't. She'd gently guide me to the correct positions and such, but I suppose it helped the other members of the group to do the right things as well.

To be fair - I didn't suck at it. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't impossible either. I didn't feel nearly as self-conscious as I thought I might, even with Barrie walking me through some routines. (she did it to others too - not just me.)

I felt things stretch, but all I really did was confirm my un-bendi-ness. I'm sure it takes time to become more adept at it all. I've got my Warrior poses down, and I'm decent at the Triangle. I don't remember the names of the other moves.

There is something relaxing about it, but I definitely broke a sweat too. Not soaking wet like when I'm doing the ellpitical.

At the end, Barrie made a point to ask me how I liked it (was I the only new face in the class?) and then continued to encourage me and congratulate me on the 'good job' I did.

Yeah - I was being treated like I rode the short bus, but I can deal with it. I'll go back. I think it would be good for me.


Song by: Sinead O'Connor

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Shopping with Blobby

Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think!


I'm a big fan of cauliflower. Mostly raw - the vegetable, not me. I can have it cooked, but it seems to loose whatever appeal I truly have for it. I like the crispness of it and the texture.

But hell, you cook it enough and it tastes like nothing and it looses all that crispness and texture.

The other day I came across something I had never seen before: orange cauliflower. orange! What the hell is that?

Of course, the wrapping says 'multicolor'. I guess.......if you include the leaves.

I have no idea if this is genetically manipulated food or not. And as much as I like cauliflower, my guess is if it were put in front of me, I might not eat it. I can guarantee you that I would not purchase it.

But I will take a picture of it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Don't Ask Me to Choose

Yesterday the mailstudman brought me a present. One of my oft used phrases, by way of Lisa Simpson and Ralph Wiggum, on a t-shirt.



...and yes, I've used it at least twice in Valentine posts. And now I have a shirt to go with those posts and fond Simpsons memories.

But it was not from "my beloved" that cho-cho-chose me. Well, maybe it was. I don't know. I'm so confused.

I mean, it was not from the man I've spent the last 20+ years with. You'd think that would be the obvious choice - but that's not how we operate. Unless one of us is traveling and then we might surprise each other with a little gift.

No, it was Rebecca. Maybe she loves me more. {sigh}

How fun!

Way back when "blogging" was new(er), I surprised her with a Blogger t-shirt and mug. I thought it would be fun. This was before WordPress and all the other sites existed. Certainly before more and more people started hosting themselves. ...and it was also before I had a blog.

Anyway, this shirt totally brought a smile to my face. I thought I'd call her immediately and then thought better of it. Not better - but different - of it.

Wouldn't it be more fun....or funner....or funnerer...to log on to my blog and see the shirt you bought someone? and they were wearing it? and they were writing about it? and writing about them?

Of course, I always write about Rebecca. If it weren't for her, I'd only have about 500 entries and not 1500.

The bestest thing about the shirt? It's a Large. Not an Xtra-Large. And it fits. g-d love her for affirming my work-out routine. A risky gamble though. An ill fitting shirt could have sent me into a shame spiral that would last until Friday's happy hour.

I also didn't realize my forearms were that hairy. I look so manly. ....kind of like a certain cab driver in Los Angeles, eh Morty?

Of course, now I feel obligated to get her a t-shirt that says "Look in the tunk".



Song by: Fine Young Cannibals

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fast as You Can

...so on Saturday, I got pulled over and given a ticket for speeding.

ME!

Would it surprise you to know that I have never been ticketed in all my years of driving? It's true.

I've been pulled over four times and never ticketed. Once, they not only should have fined me, but probably hauled me in. I had had a few drinks, but was not drunk. Speeding? Yes. And I ran a four-way stop sign where two cops sat. And still they let me go.

It must have been my devastating good looks. Or my winning personality. Yeah - that's it.

At my last job, I logged a few hundred miles a month by way of driving. And I flew. Not on a plane, but down the highway. I never got pulled over. I'd tell people this and they would say 'don't say that, you'll jinx yourself'. Quite the opposite, I'd think. I figured if I said it, I'd continue my lucky streak.

Saturday I was not so lucky. After working out and then buying pastries for my mother to take to her for Mother's Day, I was going 38 in a 25. I'm not trying to let myself off the hook here, honest. I was speeding. I got caught. But I wasn't even able to keep up with the two cars ahead of me. Sometimes it is just the luck of the draw.

I kind of thought he'd give me a warning as when he checked my priors he'd find I had none. But no, we're in cash-strapped times - and no tax levies have passed in a few years. Our roads are for shit and our services diminished. Catching law-breakers is our revenue generation these days.

So the fine? $150 !!!!!

The funny thing is - I'm not even upset. How can I be?

If there was any rub to the situation - the cop was not hot. Not by a long shot. But hot cops are like the Holy Grail - or mythological creatures. The chances of them looking more like Chief Wiggum is even money. Eye candy would have been nice. I should have gotten something out of the situation - right?

And I did - a ticket.



Song by: Fiona Apple

Monday, May 11, 2009

The World is Full of Stupid People

You might look at this title and the accompanying image and assume that I went to go see the new Star Trek movie and didn't like it.

You'd be wrong.

I mean, I did go see it. But I more than liked it.

The reason for the song title - which is about a decade old or more - is because it contains lyrical references to Jean-Luc Picard and the United Federation of Planets.

See, I was never ever a fan of the original Star Trek series or their movies. I saw Wrath of Kahn. I saw Search for Spock. I saw the one that was #V - whichever one that was. You know, the one where they were going to Shakaree or something. Of course, Jon and I would substitute Chaka Kahn just for our own giggles. Awful!

I remember seeing that last one with Jon in that old Grandview theatre and successfully (?) quoting dialogue that had yet to happen. THAT is how predictable it was. I remember turning to him and saying, "hell! I could have written this", to which his quick reply was "thank g-d you didn't!!!" Oh how we laughed. The movie cost us a dollar and I still wanted a refund when it was over.

I really enjoyed The Next Generation series though, but not so much their movies. I could never get into Deep Space Nine, Enterprise or Voyager. TNG was an anomaly.

Anyway - back to the movie. Yes, we saw it on day two, so the place was packed. They even had an 'event coordinator' to make sure all seating was utilized. They tried to get me to move to the center to make it easier for others to get in. Tough cookies, babe, I got here early, I scoped out my seat. I'm keeping it.

JJ Abrams did a great job with it. Better than he's done with Lost or Felicity (insert laughing here). The effects, the storyline and the acting. Except for two or three lines they had to throw in (c'mon - did anyone think Scottie wasn't going to say his frickin' trademark line?). I was annoyed at a few product placements that clearly every movie has to do anymore to off-set financing. The Nokia ringtones are a blatant display was just crappy.

And then there was Lenord Nimoy talking around his new dentures. It was a distraction.

Oh oh oh.....and Winona Ryder!!! She didn't take anything away from the flick, but she certianly didn't add anything to it either. It could have been played by anyone. But it probably keeps her in Actor's Equity for another 3-5 years. Denton didn't even recognize her.

The cast was actually really good. I don't know why all the gays pine for Chris Pine. He's a better actor than he is a looker - but that could be my opinion. But Zachary Quinto was great as Spock. And of course Harold (or was it Kumar?) as Sulu. Even Uhura was good - though she a bit of a space slut.

And is there anything that Eric Bana is in where he isn't totally hot? Even as a Romulan?

Don't get me wrong, there are great scenes but little suspense. It's not quite a spoiler alert when you know none of the main characters are in complete danger - as they all live for another 6o years....or 60 films. Whichever comes first. (flash on the Simpsons: Star Trek XII: So Very Tired!)

You know we don't go out to tons of movies, mostly because I'm picky....and cheap, so I heartily recommend it.

Go. Now. I think they need the cash.



Song by: the Refreshments

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother Stands For Comfort

Can I say this? For the most part, I have a pretty great mom.

Except for a few blips when I was a teenager, I think we've always had a pretty good relationship.

Naturally, those blips were all about me becoming......me. I think my sexuality came a lot more easily to me than it did to her. Mind you, when I was 15 or so and she was figuring it out, as I was. I had less of an issue with it - I'm assuming.

It's not that she was ill equipped to deal with it all, it was just a different time. Hell, we didn't know anyone who was divorced way back then, let alone who was gay. It certainly wasn't what anyone talked about.

Of course, it might have just been about me being a teenager. Who the hell knows?

But we've come to a great place where not only am I not the black-sheep of the family, but more like the golden boy. Yes, granted, I am the only boy, but now you're just nitpicking.....

My mom has been extremely supportive of how I've lived my life. It probably doesn't hurt that I've never asked them to move back home or asked for cash and have always had a steady job (well, except for that 5 months in 2006-2007 - but I had a severance package, so there's that...).

She has always accepted Denton and you know that has to be a huge plus. I know so many people who do not get along that well with their in-laws - whether they're queer or not.

Like me, my mother has a great sense of humour. For the most part, so do my sisters. My "aunt" (quotes used, as she's not really my aunt) Rosemarie said at my mother's 70th birthday, to my mother, (almost like I wasn't at the table), "he has the same wicked sense of humour as your mother."

I can't say that for sure - as she was just my grandmother and died when I was 10. My keen sense of humour was not fully honed at that point - and I don't remember her being funny. But my mother is, and I think her grandkids know she is.

So like most every Sunday, we'll go over to have dinner with my parents. There will be a gift or two, but she really wants nothing.

I always try to make time for my mom - and she for me. It's not just about a day. It never is.




Song by: Kate Bush

Saturday, May 09, 2009

So Good to See You

I don't know how "out there" in the blogosphere this video is. I just found it funny. I doubt it is being shown on America's Funniest Commercials You've Never Ever Ever Seen - or whatever that show is.

...and clearly it is not even meant to be shown in the U.S. We just don't allow that. We're not that progressive.




For the record, how could you not know the difference?

....and yes, I know I'm just phoning it in with a YouTube Saturday. Sue me.



Song by: Shawn Colvin

Friday, May 08, 2009

Record of the Month - Classic

Another installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I'm trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 5 years old.

I was all set to go with another selection and then a song rotated through my iPod play list and I completely changed direction.

Maria McKee's third release, Life is Sweet is one great disk. Granted it is not for everyone, but what music is? And it is an album - one meant to be played front to back. It's not just a collection of songs thrown together and set out for sale.

Unlike her work with the short-lived band Lone Justice (a totally other RotM-C) or her first solo disk it is not country-rock. And unlike her second solo disk, it's not blues-tinged.

Life is Sweet is electric guitars, distortion and strong vocals. It is everything I want out of Maria McKee.

Opening with what is arguably the best track on the disk, "Scarlover" is as rough and painful as the title suggests. Oddly enough it's off-set the background vocals which tend to draw you in lessening the edge if only for a few seconds. Then you're drawn back in. Or I am.

Even with the guitar work, sometimes her lead and backing/harmony vocals really set the tone for the disk. Hard and soft. Mean and nice. ("This Perfect Dress", "Everybody")

The theme of the disk is clearly being an outcast ("I'm Not Listening", "Smarter" "What Else You Wanna Know?"). But there are underlying hints of duplicity and/or schizophrenia ("Absolutely Barking Stars", "Carried").

As much as I love "Scarlover" it is really the title track that makes the disk. Maria must like it too - as she has recorded and released it thrice - once here, once on a live album and then on her High Dive disk.

In my opinion it works best on this disk and it really encapsulates the entire album into one four minute song (though technically you need to play the following and accompanying "Afterlife").

Depending on when you go to amazon, Life is Sweet may or may not be available for purchase. Oddly enough, it is the only McKee disk not available on iTunes.

But I'd recommend finding it.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Pineapple Head

Rebecca sent me this photo while I was driving. I should have known better than to steer, gas, brake and download photos on the iPhone, but c'mon - it's Becky.

She had me ROR'ing (that's asian for LOL dontcha know). So she immediately got a call - because texting while driving in Cleveland is now against the law. I don't want to be a felon.....again.

I will admit to seeing High School Musical. One. Not Two or Three. One! And once was enough. I have three nieces and nephews who were pre-tweens who loved it and while watching them I was forced to sit through it ("We're all in this together").

Isn't Zac's head HILARIOUS?? At first I assumed it was an optical illusion, because of his hair-don't. Or as I said to Becca: "HE'S a HAIR HOPPER!" Then launched right into "....but Zac ain't no first lady....is she?".

If you haven't seen the original Hairspray, you might not get that. Ironically enough, Becky had to tell me he was in the musical remake of it (which I have refused to watch. Ugh....John Ravolta!).

But Becky insists that it's just bad photoshopping that makes Zac's head look like it is being continually filled with helium. She has even submitted the image to PhotoShop Disasters.

I'm loving the website - and could have held out until June (omg...June is on its way already!) for my Site of the Month, but I really wanted to get this up ASAP. I'm very fond of Tatooine's Best Restaurant. If for nothing else, because I missed Star Wars Day three days ago (may the 4th be with you!).

Enjoy the image. Enjoy Zac Big Head. Enjoy the site. Enjoy doing all those hundreds of Hairspray quotes in your head and chuckling to yourself while you do it ("Tracy! Don't run. You've got heels on - you'll fall !!!").



Song by: Crowded House

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The French Mistake

Poor Dom DeLuise. Dead.

He'll be missed - not that he's really been seen in the last decade. At least not by me. Unless of course, I'm watching Blazing Saddles - which can be a frequent occurrence.

It is such a great movie and so could not be done now-a-days. I think it was my first R-rated movie. My mother would have said 'no', so of course I went to my father who was clueless about these things and gave me his permission.

Naturally, it was the bean/fart scene that had 12 year olds just rolling in the aisles - me being one of them. There were so many other jokes that were so much funnier, but you needed some age and wisdom behind you to catch on. It's not like the entire movie isn't quotable. My man-date, Scott, and I do it all the time.

Of course, I distinctly remember the entire two minutes or so "Buddy" was in the movie - right near the end. It's still funny when he says, "watch. me. faggots!" Like I said, I'm not sure they could pull off some of this shit anymore.

Enjoy the clip.




Song by: a bunch of Sissy Marys.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

No More Mr. Nice Guy

I told my friends I wouldn't talk about this anymore, so of course I have to get in one last reference to an on-going conversation we've been having.

I have been in discussions with an organization about employment. Yes, I know I'm gainfully employed - so it's been a relatively no stress situation.

The COO/VP to whom I would report to had an immediate connection during our first phone call. It was a great hour phone call. It wasn't an interview - he made that clear.

I did interview and it went well. Not well enough, but they liked me.

How do I know? Because the COO/VP called to tell me, personally. I know, right?

Ok - in our first call, he said he would always be the one to let me know where I stood. No HR. No recruiter. No secretary. My first thought was, "what the hell is wrong with this guy - who, at his level, does this?" My immediate second thought was, "I want to work for this guy".

The next day he left me an email thanking me and giving me his contact information if I had questions. Not his secretaries line - his direct one. And his cell phone. That above question and above foll0w-up statement came back to mind.

So yesterday, when I was told I was not the candidate, the COO/VP called me personally - as promised. And even though I did not get the job, it was still one of the most positive conversations I have had - even for a turn down.

He acknowledged that connection I felt we had - professional, people.....just professional. I, in turn, told him exactly what I typed about my reactions to his personal interaction with me. I think he was really struck by that - in a good way. I also told him I mentioned that same reaction to the president of the company and the head of HR.

Mr. COO/VP then told me he'd like to keep my contact info - as he plans on there being a job opening up (i.e. being created) possibly in 3-6 months. Maybe there is. Maybe there isn't. It was still a classy way to be not chosen.



Song by: Alice Cooper

Monday, May 04, 2009

Comfort

Ugh. Yesterday we went over to my little sister's house for a small-ish gathering. It was when we were halfway there did I realize we had not been over, or invited over, for almost two years.

I guess it should be mentioned that she lives less than 30 minutes away from us.

I don't think she is harboring resentment at us or anything, but we certainly don't see them a lot. I see them at my parents and they've been over our house a few times, but it is usually to drop off their kids so we can babysit. I'm not really complaining. While I like my sister and her husband, we clearly don't see eye-to-eye on politics. And by that it would be closer to eye-to-big toe.

A bigger group of right wing nuts you'd never want to meet. So maybe that has a bit to do with why we're not asked over. I really don't know. Or care.

The other thing we differ on is religion. She married into a large Italian Catholic family - and raising their kids as such. Strike Two, I guess.

I could almost deal with their Jesus this and Jesus that crap it weren't for the hypocrisy - which I guess is the spine of Catholicism. You know, having their kids sing songs about Jesus while downloading music from the internet without paying for it.

I mean, I'll peer to peer share songs too, but I don't tell my kids not to steal from the other side of my mouth.

Let's say nothing of my brother-in-law's previous divorce and my sister living with him before marriage. Aren't those on the pope's 'Not To Do' List?

But the actual thing that I loved about the day was that one of the in-laws in-laws came up and introduced themselves to me and then to Denton. I missed the exchange, but apparently she asked who Denton was to Denton. Just being honest he said, "we're partners".

It seems that a records needle got dragged across the vinyl with that statement. Denton said her face just dropped! I'm sure we were persona non-grata upon leaving - though I'm guessing they did indeed all talk about us afterwards.

I have zero idea of my sister and brother in law have never mentioned this to some of their family or not. I mean, her in-laws have known us for longer than a decade, so are we just too embarrassing to talk about?

I kind of hope so. And I'm happy to make those kind of folks squirm a bit and forced to sit there and have cake with two homos.

Luckily the "flatware" was plastic, so they can just throw everything out because lord knows whatever we touched can't ever come truly clean.



Song by: Michael Penn

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Smoothie Song

It's happened. I have started..........eating better! I know, right? I've always tried to eat somewhat ok, but never gone out of my way to eat..................healthy! ewwwwww.

Hey, I like cheese and I have no issues with mayo. Sorry Becca, but it's true. And of course, I like alcohol, cookies and chocolate too. But I do try. I also like salads. The other day, this found its way to my desk.
The few times I've eaten sushi, I think it will never be enough - and it always turns out six pieces are more than enough. It's all that bed of cold rice that fills you up. It's ok, but not my favourite of foods. But it sure is better for me than the fried chicken tenders in the cafeteria.

Then at home, I started making these.......

Yup. Fruit smoothies. In this blender, I got a little OJ (not the alleged murderer), fresh strawberries and b-a-n-a-n-a-s. Also included is frozen blueberries, red raspberries, black berries, and yogurt. Oh and some ice cubes to thicken it up a bit. A little frappe and you get............

.......this. Ok - yes, it made a lot. A LOT. But you know, you just throw it into a container and put it in the freezer or refrigerator. I have a little when I get home and it keeps me till dinner. Or I take some with me on the way to work or the gym. It beats the other crap I used to eat. Well, I still eat. But less of......and fewer times.

Doesn't it look refreshing?

I really wasn't planning a lifestyle change when I went back to the gym, but it seems to be happening. Slowly. Nothing extreme. It's not like I want to be Wynonna or Kirstie Ally. ....except for maybe spending time with Parker Stevenson, of course.

I seemed to have gotten off topic. As usual.



Song by: Nickle Creek

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Lovecats

Hello. I'm Tovah. I'm ever so cute. Look at me. I'm quad-coloured. I know calicos are supposed to be tri-coloured, but they never account for my pink triangle of a nose.

Yes, I know my whiskers make me look like Wilford Brimley's love child, so what? They help me maneuver though doorways and such. They're functional and look good - at least on me.


I just turned 15 the other day. I used the be the rambunctious one of the household, but now I'm more like the Grand Dame. I'm very ladylike and sophisticated.

I'm pretty spry for a 15 year old, but now and again I like my downtime - like resting my paws and chin on my dad's hand. We do this daily. He loves it - even if it makes it impossible for him to read......or type..........or eat.

When I need downtime, I just hit the ottoman. Yeah, I know it makes it look like I have been hit my nerve gas - but it's just how I unwind. And again, it makes me look ever so cute.

My pink pads match my pink nose. My dads are gay. Of course I coordinate.



Song by: the Cure

Friday, May 01, 2009

Site of the Month

I'm going against my own self-imposed rule of not posting a Site of the Month too early in the month. Is the first too early? Probably.

But like a fool, I've been holding onto this site for about a month too long - and now everyone and their brother has it posted. I feel like I'm jumping on the bandwagon - which I'm totally not! You make one simple blog rule-of-thumb to follow and it comes back to bite you in the ass!

And while I have an iPhone - see above - you will not be seeing me at Guys With iPhones.

I should mention - before clicking on that hyperlink, that it is totally NSFW. TOTALLY. NOT.

And if you're not Fairview Sue and yet, still a woman - it might not be suitable at all. Ever.

I won't lie, some of the pics are not bad - and some are even inventive. In the best of times, with multiple takes, I can't get a good picture of myself - let alone nekkid and with the iPhone camera. Someone who operates this site has to be taking the best of the best submissions.

I have to say - you see what you want to when going to a site like GwiP. The first time through (yes, I've been several times.....so what?), I assumed all there were nude. Not true. Not true. Many were clothed or partially clothed. Somehow I missed those guys at first pass. Go figure.

But since this site has been done to death in the blogosphere, for a limited time only, I'll give you a second SotM at no additional cost. If you act now.

Yes, people, we have Hot Prison Pals. When eHarmony just won't do, (btw.....whomever signed me up for JDate - very funny! NOT!) you can find yourself a hot incarcerated man. Mind you, "hot" is all relative, though their not all heinous.

I did click on a few to see what they write and it's quite amusing actually. First, I was taken on how many never actually specified they wanted a woman. Maybe they never assumed guys would be looking at this site. Maybe they don't care. Maybe prison has changed their mind. I've seen Oz!

Or maybe they're just that lonely, that they need some kind of outside contact.

It's not NSFW, but you still might want to wait until you're in the privacy of your own home before going to Prison!



Please note: I do have shorts on in my picture. Most on GwiP do not. Though I might cop to going commando under those shorts.

Oh - and how about that rockin' gym bod? Ok Ok......give me another 6 mos...then maybe......