Friday, October 18, 2019

I Didn't Say It ...

Kamala Harris, responding to a Tweet from Junior saying she’s the only one who laughs at her jokes:

“You wouldn’t know a joke if one raised you.”

And snap!
Shepard Smith, longtime Fox News anchor, quitting the network because _____ and Fox:

“Even in our currently polarized nation, it is my hope that the facts will win the day. That the truth will always matter. That journalism―and journalists―will thrive.” Smith said in an apparent nod to President Donald Trump’s war on what he calls “fake news.”

Smith has no plans to move to a different news outlet but will instead spend more time with his boyfriend, Gio Graziano.
Sad to see the one sane voice leave the crazy.
Elizabeth Warren, responding to a question at CNN’s Equality Town Hall about an “old fashioned” supporter telling her that marriage is between a man and a woman:

“Well, I’m going to assume it’s a guy who said that, and I’m gonna say, then just marry one woman. … I’m cool with that. Assuming you can find one.”

Gotta give it to her, she’s quick on her feet.
And right.
Marco Rubio, attacking Elizabeth Warren for that remark:

“Vividly captures the condescension of elites & their incessant ridicule of Americans with traditional values. It elicits glee among celebrities & blue check brigade. But for the millions sick of being disrespected it elicits support for fighting back, even in a crude or vulgar way.”

Oh Marco, don’t you have a foam party to attend.
The LGBTQ community has been attacked for decades and decades and what Warren said wasn’t an attack, it was an opinion.
Kerron Clement, Olympic gold medalist track and field athlete, has come out as gay:

“I was tired of loving in the dark. I have been through what a lot of people have been through which is being afraid of being who you are. I struggled with my sexuality for 17 years. Over time, as you get older, you care less. Now it’s time to just be yourself and be free. That’s what I’ve become, free. I’m just telling my story, finally being free and comfortable.”

Welcome out, Kerron, and please accept, as out gift from HOMO HQ, a copy of the Gay Agenda and the Official Coming Out Toaster Oven™.
Welcome out.
PS He’s kinda hot, no?
_____ playing the race card this week in Minnesota where he once again attacked Representative Ilhan Omar and the entire Somali refugee community in  the state:

“As you know for many years leaders in Washington brought large numbers of refugees to your state from Somalia without considering the impact on schools and communities and taxpayers. You should be able to decide what is best for your own cities and for your own neighborhoods and that’s what you have the right to do right now, and believe me, no other president would be doing that.”

By all means let’s have people decide who can be their neighbors. Let’s go back to the days when families of color were ostracized and threatened and beaten out of their homes.
Racist fuck, and everyone who attended that rally and cheered.
Racist fucks all.
Geraldo Rivera, on Fox News, about the so-called “satire” video in which _____ murders top Democrats and journalists:

“I was very, very outraged by Kathy Griffin when she had the head of the president, remember, and she was excoriated for it, almost wrecked her career, which rebounded because Trump hatred was sufficient and brought her back and made her popular again. But I think it’s very dangerous when you start going there. I don’t like it. It’s not funny. It may be satire, but it’s a bridge too far for me. I think that you’ve got to, you know, you have to condemn it and have no tolerance for it.”

I, too, thought Griffin went too far, but ain’t it funny how, when the rightwingnuts do the exact same vile thing it’s all good?
Even better, _____ has ignored calls for him to denounce the video because, and I’ll paraphrase, ‘some mass murderers are nice people.’
Judy and Dennis Shepard, Matthew Shepard’s parents, rebuking Attorney General William Barr and _____’s DOJ for endorsing discrimination against transgender Americans and taking other anti-LGBTQ actions:

 “We find it interesting and hypocritical that [Barr] would invite us to this event commemorating a hate crime law named after our son and Mr. Byrd, while at the same time asking the Supreme Court to allow the legalized firing of transgender employees. Mr. Barr, you cannot have it both ways. If you believe that employers would have the right to terminate transgender employees just because they are transgender, then you believe they are lesser than and not worthy of protection. If so, you need not invite us to future events at the Department of Justice that are billed as celebrating the law that protects these same individuals from hate crimes. Either you believe in equality for all or you don’t. We do not honor our son by kowtowing to hypocrisy ... As the head of the Department of Justice, [Barr] can take a stand as a member of this administration to disavow and condemn any person who fuels the fires of hate with their words and actions. He must lead and demonstrate his refusal to accept hate in all its manifestations. He must demonstrate courage, even if it means disagreeing with the administration. So far, he has done none of these deeds.”

Barr did not attend the event, but Eric Dreiband, chief of the DOJ’s civil rights division, “sat stoically” as the Shepard’s statement was read; when it was over the crowd stood.
Hate; it’s the ______ administration’s way.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Bobservation ...Happy Five Nineteen!

I say ‘Five Nineteen’ because it’s five years legally wed and nineteen years, um, illegally married? 

And it’s been a ride, one I wasn’t certain would ever happen to me, and I was fine with that; and then I got a computer and went online and into a chatroom and suddenly there was someone talking to me.

It was odd; it was not the way I’d expected it to go, and I was certain it would amount to nothing, but what are a few private messages and some emails? Right? What could possibly go wrong, or so right. He wanted to meet me; but he lived in Miami and I lived in California. We couldn’t be much further apart unless I was in Hawaii. And so, I flew to Miami but …

Quick aside: I used to be the kind of person that would not take any really bold chances, such as flying across the country to meet a perfect …and oy, did he sound perfect … stranger in a city I’d never been to. As the day approached for my flight, I actually created a story in my head that I would take the flight, but get off the plane when we had a stopover on Houston., spend the week in some cheeseball hotel in Houston, and then fly back home and tell everyone that Carlos was nice but he wasn’t the one for me; and then I would ignore him online and by phone; I would be inventing ‘ghosting’ way back when. But …

Aside over: I stayed on the plane and in Ft. Lauderdale, there he was, in a  freaking bowtie no less, with a bouquet of roses. He looked exactly like his pictures, but much more handsome and adorable.

We spent eleven days together; we went to Key West and watched the sunset and …yeah … and we went to South Beach and swam in the ocean and … yeah … we stayed at his house and I met his Aunt Gloria and … yeah, only a lot quiet because she’s a light sleeper.

And then it was over, and I was flying home and what in the hell was this? Was it a 3,000-mile-long distance relationship? A 3,000-mile-long distance booty call?

It was love; and the next month Carlos was on the West Coast, meeting my friends and my parents and … yeah …in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe and … yeah …in my parents house though we were much quitter because they were right downstairs!

And then that was over; what next? We called and emailed still; he spoke with my parents and friends and I spoke with his family until it became clear that I would move to Miami. I had a job that would transfer well to Florida and, well, there are times in life where you just have to, as I like to say, Shake the Etch-A-Sketch. That was what I had done that day I  Houston; I shook the Etch-A-Sketch and everything changed.

So, where does this all lead? It leads to today, nineteen years after I stepped off another plane in Florida, though this time I wouldn't be staying a week or so. Nineteen years ago today Carlos and I started our life together and there was no looking back; only forward.

Fats forward to marriage effing equality and the notion that it was about to spread nationwide. And we wanted that; we wanted the world, our friends and family, coworkers, strangers, the check-out girl at the food Lion, the waiter who brought me another cocktail, to know that we weren’t just a couple, we weren’t close friends, we weren’t partners—though those are all good thing—we wanted to be Mister and Mister.

And in 2014 so we flew, again, across the country, to Bellingham, Washington, to be married with my father as a witness. I seriously never thought I would see the day that I would ... that I could ... marry Carlos,  but we did just that. I only wish my mother and sister could have been there in more than just spirit because, as much as they love me, they love Carlos as much ... maybe more.

I remember as a kid—a not-yet-out-but-knowing-I-was-different kid—telling my mother that I would never get married, but I would have a maid to take care of my kids. How things change; as I remember that story now, realizing it may have been my first shot at coming out— s a six-year-old, I think—because, even then, I never thought I could get married, never thought I’d be allowed to get married.

We chose to get married on the same day I moved to Miami, October 17, because, and he’ll hate me for saying it and then he’ll quickly forget I said it at all, Carlos is bad with dates; I figured the last thing he needed was another “us” date to recall.

And so we did it, and it’s been five years and nineteen years. And while it has been lovely and raucous and fun, and there have been down times and sad times and bad times, but, as Elaine Stritch would say—and god am I gay …Elaine Stritch!—we’re still here.

And looking forward, always forward, and fabulous, and while I didn’t say this myself—Charlotte said it in one of those Sex and the City movies … again, god I’m gay—I like to say that I am happy every single day with Carlos. Oh, not all day, every day, because that’s life, but every single day for the last nineteen years, for some small or large part of the day, I have realized how happy I am and how happy he makes me.

And that’s something to celebrate!

PS Also celebrating anniversaries today are Anne Marie of From My Brain to My Mouth and Todd of ArTeeJee, as well as Travel Penguin and his Sweet Bear!

Stop in and wish them all Happy Happy!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Architecture Wednesday: French Treehouse

Okay, so it’s not a treehouse but it is a house in the trees, in a lovely pine forest in Frehel, France, and was created and built by Atelier Victoria Migliore to harness the fun and authentic elements of an actual treehouse.

The house, while it  sits on a hill in the midst of a forest, and appears quite rustic, is actually a very modern and contemporary; and green, because it not only blends into the nature surrounding it but also respects it.

The plot on which the house was built is sandy which created the need for foundation posts deep into the soil, and allowing the house to float above the terrain; at its highest point the house is raised nearly ten feet off the ground. Great care was taken with the posts, so they did not disrupt, disturb, or harm the roots of the pine trees around the treehouse.

The house is a single rectangle made of locally sourced, and upcycled, burned wood. Still, the rectangle is not solid on all sides all the way around but features several voids where miniature courtyards indent to accommodate trees and green space views through stunning floor to ceiling windows all the way around its perimeter. The way the windows and glass walls open onto raised outdoor spaces makes the treehouse feel as though the surrounding woods extend inside the home and into the main living spaces; in addition, balconies and raised courtyards make the whole raised experience of staying there consistent to being in the trees.

The wooden theme carries throughout the home, though there are some unique features: like the tiled fishpond running through the center of the house. And the knotted rope hammock that is suspended about the central fishpond. And as if those features aren’t interesting enough, over the edge of the deck there are two wooden rope swings where adults, and children if that’s your thang, can play.

Inside the gorgeously smooth light wood keeps things grounded in that woodland feel while the large windows and up to date appliances and amenities provide a thoroughly modern living experience; the large windows carry through to the bathrooms making the house bright and open no matter where you are. Adding to that openness is the fact the Each room has a glass wall in the center that look out upon the fishpond. These windows also let natural daylight and the warmth from the sun travel through the house, rather than just into it, helping make it more efficient to light and heat.

Like I said, it’s not really a treehouse but it is a house in the trees, with a sort of river running through it.

ISBL Asshat of the Week: Arizona Homophobe Doug Ducey

Arizona’s Republican governor, and asshat, Doug Ducey, says he is “against discrimination in all its forms” …except for The Gays; anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination is just fine with him because there are too many laws already.

Arizona already has laws on the books prohibiting discrimination based on things like race and gender and national origin and religion and there’s just no room on the books for new laws to protect Arizonans based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Of course, LGBTQ people aren’t protected in 28 other states either, but in Arizona it’s apparently because the governor doesn’t want any more laws, so LGBTQ people? Too bad.

Ducey was responding to that recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Arizona in which a couple of homophobes, Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski , sued the state to be allowed to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans—see my original post HERE—because, according to the court  every American has the right to “express their beliefs in public,” which “includes the right to create and sell words, paintings, and art that express a person’s sincere religious beliefs.”

Like invitations, cuz that’s what Duka and Koski sell. And Doug Ducey praised the ruling:
“The court was able to find a place where they could respect the First Amendment and religious freedom. And we’ll continue to be a state, because it was so narrowly decided, that doesn’t accept discrimination in these forums. I’m against discrimination in all its forms.”
And yet he refuses to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes in his state, so clearly, since he’s against discrimination, Ducey thinks LGBTQ people are less than human, led than other people. And that’s been made clear because Doug  Ducey has not only opposed marriage equality but he’s against domestic partnerships as well.

Much like a certain bigot in the White House, homophobe and asshat Doug Ducey packed the state supreme court with anti-LGBTQ+ conservatives after expanded the size of the court, allowing him to appoint justices that would further the same hate-filled agenda he has fought for most of his career.

He says Arizona has too many laws, but he clearly has no problem having laws allowing LGBTQ Arizonans who pay taxes, own businesses, serve in the military and contribute to our economy to be discriminated against.

Seriously, Arizona, you can do better than this, can’t you?

Doug Ducey, an old school gay hating homophobic family values Christian conservative who says he hates discrimination while praising it and doing it is our Asshat of the Week.

Monday, October 14, 2019

I Should Be Laughing: Wyatt Imagines Barbara

Black coffee, an oil slick in a cup. Wyatt, bored and alone, stared into the reflection of the water-stained ceiling floating in the slick mirror on top of the coffee. It was, perhaps, the only sullied, dull and blemished spot in the entire house. Every time Wyatt refilled his cup, this was his fourth, he set it down in the same spot on the table so he could analyze the water spot. It was like trying to find faces in clouds, or images of the Virgin Mary in the dented fender of an old Ford. Wyatt was by himself now; Renny had vanished upstairs with her orange juice and vodka; and Harry…Well, he had simply disappeared altogether, even though the rental car was still parked beside the fence. Wyatt had no idea where Harry had gone although he most certainly knew why.

This was painful for Harry, returning to a house where the memories of his mother were too agonizing; coming home after so many years away simply to bury her. The past was a scar that, although appearing healed, nevertheless ached whenever it rained, or the winds grew cold; or his mother’s birthday came around again. This particular scar wouldn’t ever fade away, no matter how many years slipped away, because Harry never had a chance to confront his mother for what she had done to him, to Renny and Jimmy; he never had the chance to look at her and say, “Mother, I’m gay.”

Memories too uncomfortable to hang onto, yet they itched beneath the surface of his skin. A mother who, on those nights when she had been too inebriated to sleep, would pull her son into bed, and hold him close, refusing to let him go until she drifted off; even after all the years Harry still gasped for air when he passed her room. A mother who begged and pleaded for her boy’s help, but shoved him out of her life the first time he truly needed her.

Not only had Harry returned to a house full of horrific memories, but there was a great deal of sadness, too, when he faced Renny and Jimmy again. He had often wondered what might have happened if they had banded together all those years ago; would they have been able to survive life with Barbara at the end of nowhere? Would they have decided to run off together and form their own family, one of love without pain? Renny, Harry and Jimmy, each one carried their own recollections of abuse and neglect, the heartbreaking silences and earth-shattering rages, open palms and closed hearts. The abuses of Barbara’s life visited upon her children.

Wyatt swished his coffee around the mug and the water stain skewed into abstract. He had his own vision of Barbara Seaton—a woman he had never met, and never would—gleaned from snippets Harry had told him over the years. The half-noticed asides Harry uttered while reading newspaper articles about abandoned children; the wincing Harry endured the night they watched Bastard Out Of Carolina on cable; the times Harry’s eyes teared up because a mother screamed at her son in the market.

For Wyatt, Barbara was a terribly lonely, angry woman who suffocated her daughter and sons with meaningless acts of love whenever someone watched, and then retreated to her room and her bottles when the front door closed. Wyatt, the artist, envisioned Barbara as a three-armed monster, each hand clutching one of her children, the elbows remaining locked. Barbara held Renny, Harry and Jimmy in an iron grip, and yet kept them at arm’s length; she saw to it that they never truly got away and, better still, never got too close.