Thursday, June 30, 2011

What IS This?

A Dell...........rolling in the deep.


To Catch An Adulterer

We've all seen those shows.

You know, the ones where a car pulls up to a house and a man gets out, holding a paper bag. He knocks at the front door, and a fresh nubile young female voice tells him to come inside. Then she tells him she made some Sweet Tea or some Lemonade and she'll be right out. And the man sets his bag on the counter just as.....

Chris Hansen and an NBC film crew sweep down on him and tell him he's the next contestant on 'To Catch a Predator.'

Well, turns out now that the shoe is on the other foot.
It seems that Hansen, host of that controversial 'Dateline' show that uses hidden cameras to trap would-be perverts in sting operations, has been caught cheating on his wife.

In a sting operation.
Using hidden cameras.

It seems that Hansen was on the receiving end of the old hidden camera tricks after the married NBC anchor was secretly filmed on an illicit date with a blond television reporter 20 years his junior.

Hansen has been the subject of a four-month long sting operation conducted by 'The National Enquirer' after he ALLEGEDLY began an affair with former NBC intern Kristyn Caddell. Hansen has been busy working, yeah, working in South Florida for months, REPORTEDLY investigating the disappearance of James "Jimmy T" Trindade for 'Dateline.'

Now he's gonna be on the receiving end of some Sweet Tea.
Oh yeah, neither Hansen nor NBC has commented publicly on the ALLEGED affair.


He's A Politician....Did We Really Expect He Would Keep His Word?

The former mayor's a drag.
Remember when Rudy Giuliani, in the throes of his dissolving marriage, fled Gracie Mansion to avoid his wife, Donna Hanover, and crashed with a couple of his Best Gay Pals?

Well, while he was sponging off The Gays--Howard Koeppel and his partner, Mark Hsiao, left--they asked if he would marry them, and Rudy, ever the politico, said, 'Howard, I don't ever do anything that's not legal. If it becomes legal in New York, you'll be one of the first ones I would marry.'

Well, cut to now, and Howard and Mark are asking if their good friend, ex-mayor and wannabe-president, Rudy Giuliani, would perform the marriage ceremony and he's suddenly not taking their calls.

Koeppel and Hsiao did get married in Connecticut in 2009, but they had hoped to repeat the ceremony in their home state, and hoped that Giuliani would officiate, since Mayors of New York City retain the right to conduct weddings even after leaving office.

And Rudy said he would....and now he won't.
How Republican of him.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Architecture Wednesday

The Fab Lab House by IAAC looks a little like something out of Star Wars, rampaging the deserts of some foreign planet looking for a woman with bagels on each side of her head...but it isn't.

This home is a breakthrough in the integration of solar systems, featuring an organic shape, many hi-tech features and, probably best of all, a very affordable construction cost.
The house is mostly done of wood, plywood and other materials that are available globally, light, and manageable. It not only features a rounded shape that allows for maximum internal volume with minimal exterior surface but is elevated off the ground upon three ‘legs’, in order to create a space under the house for some outdoor activities.

The Solar House can comfortably accommodate a family of 4 and can be built. start to finish, in under fifteen days. It generates three times the energy it consumes and also houses an orchard in order to produce food.
This house works for you.


Coke Goes Green

A couple of weeks back, I showed y'all some green art. As in environmentally green art. A rendition of a Van Gogh classic 'painted' with plants and flowers on the side of a museum in London. See that post HERE. Now, however, I have some new green art for you, though this time it is art of the commercial variety. Coca-Cola, in conjunction with the World Wildlife Federation [WWF], unveiled a new billboard in the Philippines that is actually good for the environment.
The 60 x 60 square foot "living" billboard in Manila is made up of thousands of Fukien tea plants surrounding the iconic curvy shape of a silver Coke bottle. The project, with the CO2-eating plants was created in conjunction with Coca-Cola Philippines’ Live Positively sustainability program.

Pots made from recycled bottles contain the 3,600 trees, which live off a mixture of organic fertilizers, and although the plants are in the first stages of growth, they are expected to grow quickly, completely taking over the billboard surface, absorbing a total of 46,800 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Now that's green art.
And why can't we have that here?


Our Lady of the Rosary Gay Bashes A Dead Man

Our Lady of the Rosary
John Sanfilippo was a devout Catholic, attending services at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Little Italy in San Diego for decades.

John Sanfilippo died last week, losing his battle with emphysema, and he'd hoped to have his funeral mass held at Our Lady of the Rosary, but her was denied.

John Sanfilippo was a gay man, and that's why, even though he attended mass regularly, and even left some money to the church in his will, that his funeral mass was canceled. Over the weekend, Sanfilippo's partner of 28 years, along with his family, were notified that the church canceled the funeral because Sanfilippo was gay.

Friends, family, and neighbors were furious with the decision by the church, and took to the streets in front of the church to protest, and, as soon as the story broke on TV and the Internet, suddenly the church had a change of heart. The church, however, has not communicated the decision change to either the family of the deceased man or the media.

In an email, Rodrigo Valdivia, the chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, said: "The Diocesan office was notified about this situation earlier today... Diocesan Authorities have concluded that the funeral as scheduled at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish may take place. Plans for the ritual are yet to be made."

At the cocktail lounge that Sanfilippo owned for 28 years, Neil Thomas was not buying it: "All of a sudden, they change their mind and say, 'Well, you know, we may still allow the funeral to be here.' Why? Because they got caught in the process of denying equal rights to people?"

Yes, because they got caught being the homophobic hate-mongers that they are.

But Sanfilippo's partner and family may have the last word. They have already found another Catholic church for the funeral because they do not feel comfortable going back to Our Lady of the Rosary after being denied a funeral mass.

Even though this happened in death, this should spur Catholics on. If you are a member of a church who would allow a man to attend mass for decades, take his money into the collection plate for decades, be included monetarily in his will, and then denounce his homosexuality and deny him a  funeral, maybe you ought to rethink where you worship.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Just A Thought

Lifted from Kevin at The Lisp

A Different Kind Of Drive, A Different Kind Of Pride

So, last Friday, Carlos and I drove up to Chapel Hill, to the university there, so Carlos could talk to students about HIV.

T'was an interesting drive, though, from Smallville to Chapel Hill. You can either drive either miles east, then 150 miles north, then 90 miles west, to get there, or you can take the backwoods roads, most of them two-laned and, thankfully, paved.

We took the shortcut, and it was a lovely drive. McBee, South Carolina looks cute and we may head back that way. Cassatt, on the other we drove through, past the gas station, some kind of store, and the Post Office, Carlos asked why the road didn't go through town, but around it. I told him it did go through. Cassatt. I wouldn't even stop for gas. Now, Pittsboro, North Carolina is another adorable town, and I told Carlos we could live there, in my best, semi-homegrown Southern accent. 

Why we live in Pittsboro, y'all. 

Most of the time, though, we were in farmland, or in the trees, and most of the time we could drive fifty-five, which was a good thing, because I could swear that, through the open car windows, I heard the Deliverance banjos.

That's the drive.

The pride came once we reached the university. The students in question were Advanced Placement students from around the country who had come to Chapel Hill for a week-long session of classes and discussions on the medical field. All these kids--and sheesh, I felt and sounded like such a geezer around them--were thinking of going into medicine, so that's what brought them to North Carolina. They viewed surgeries--ack!--and spent roughly eight hours a day in classes on a variety of subjects.

The day we arrived, the topic was HIV, and Carlos would be speaking to a group of about twenty students. Since I was just the DD--designated driver--because of the backwoods Google map, and because it was a long-assed day, up there, speechifying, and then back again, I thought I'd sit out the lecture as I didn't want to intrude on the classes. But the folks running the whole shebang said it would be fine if I went with Carlos while he spoke, and I must say, I'm very glad I did.

i know about HIV. As a gay man, I believe it's my responsibility to know about it. How it you get you care for yourself if you do become infected. But, sitting in that classroom, listening to Carlos talk to these high school kids about HIV, I learned a great many things I hadn't known before.

Not so much about HIV, but about Carlos.

He is such a great communicator, especially with these young people. There was no 'talking down' to them. There was no cutesy ways of speaking. it was blunt, it was direct, it was educational, and, I believe, it made an impact.

He has a way with telling the story, using a house as the metaphor, and wind and rain as HIV. He taught them how to protect themselves from HIV, he taught them to say No, if there was no condom He taught them to realize that, if you do become infected, it isn't a death sentence; it's a condition. One that you can treat with the right medicines and a good doctor and a positive outlook.

He spoke to them in terms they could understand; the hot guy who wants to have sex with you, but he doesn't have a condom; the hot girl.....Just say No. At one point he even talked about blow jobs, which stunned the class. One girl even turned around to her friend, with her hand over her mouth, in shock. But he simply said, "C'mon, people, we all know what a blow job is....."

When Carlos left the veterinary field, and took a job as an HIV counselor, tester, and outreach worker, I was a little shocked. He didn't care much for homeless people, or high school kids, and suddenly, those were his clients and students. I assumed he would stay at the job for a while, and then move on to something else, but he's been at this for three years now, and he has become quite the advocate for the homeless community, the HIV community, and those in need of an education about HIV.

This, coming during Pride, reminded me that I don't need to be proud of being gay. That's kind of like being proud that i have blue-eyes. I was born with both. But there is a pride at living openly and honestly, and rather in-your-face--especially in a place like South Carolina--that is really lovely.

But, for me, the real Pride is now also about Carlos. Proud of what he's done, what he's doing, and how he's done it; proud of the joy and the passion he has for teaching people--of any age, of any race, of any economic or religious background--that we are all the same.

We can all be HIV+, but we should mostly be positive about life.

Carlos, for me, is my Pride.

Hey Teabaggers? You Picked her!

Even though she already appeared in one Presidential Debate, where she announced she was running for President, Michele Bachmann went to Iowa this week to announce again that she wants to be our Crazy-Eyes-In-Chief.

Now, you may wonder why she's announcing again. Well, no one, except for her faithful wingnut minions, ever believes a word she says because she's known for her tendency to, um, lie, so she says everything twice.....or thrice.

So, there she was in Waterloo, Iowa, you betcha by golly wowing her fans as she announced she would be the next president of these Untied States. And during her announcement, she compared herself to one of the towns most famous residents, John Wayne, saying,  "That's the kind of spirit I have too."

Um, Michele? Honey? John Wayne wasn't from Waterloo. It was John Wayne Gacy, serial killer, to whom you compared yourself. Gacy, who has "that kind of spirit", as Bachmann reminded us, murdered 33 young men and teenage boys in the late 70s.

Oh, Michele.
You're dumb.
And you will never be president of anything.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Marriage Equality Voices

"I can't stop crying. We did it kids."
 — Lady Gaga, on Twitter.

"happy gays r here again !!!!!"
— Rosie O'Donnell, on Twitter.

"I have never been prouder to be a lifelong New Yorker than I am today with the passage of marriage equality."
— Cyndi Lauper, in a statement.

"Time to celebrate!!! Marriage Equality for NYers! Its about... love!"
— Ricky Martin, on Twitter.

"It PASSED! Marriage equality in NY!! Yes!! Progress!! Thank you everyone who worked so hard on this!! A historic night!"
— Neil Patrick Harris, on Twitter--NPH then proceeded to ask David Burtka to marry him in New York.

"I'm thrilled about the news from NY. Marriage equality! Every day we get a little closer. What an amazing feeling."
— Ellen DeGeneres, on Twitter.

"tonight we're all New Yorkers! Straight & gay alike, let's all celebrate marriage (hash)equality. The right side of history!"
— Kathy Griffin, on Twitter.

"Happy that New York passed marriage equality tonight. A victory for human rights. Progress."
— John Legend, on Twitter.

"congratulations!!!!!!!!! About time!"
— Pink, on Twitter.

"Alec! Now we can get married!"
— Steve Martin to Alec Baldwin, on Twitter.
"Ok. But if you play that ... banjo after eleven o'clock..."
— Baldwin's response.

"I sing it every night, but now it has better meaning: `New York- concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there's nothing you can't do.' :)"
— Darren Criss, on Twitter.

"Yay for Gay Marriage! NY, it's about time...jersey we're next! How you doin?"
— Wendy Williams, on Twitter.

And my favorite quote of all:
Ny Senator Roy McDonald, a Republican who voted for equality, to reporters:
“You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing. You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing. I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this.”

Forty-Two Years Ago Today

Originally posted June 27, 2009:

It was forty-one years ago, a lifetime to some of us, a minute to others, but it marked a turning point for the LGBT community. It marked one of the first, and definitely the loudest, times that gay men and women stood up en masse and said, No. We will not be treated like this any longer!

The weekend of June 27-29,1969 began what is the modern day gay movement. To be sure, there were gay and lesbian activists before that weekend, but the confrontation between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York lit a fire in the hearts of the LGBT community like it had never been done before.

And like any good story, there is controversy surrounding the Stonewall Riots; there are arguments and differences over what happened, how it started and how it ended. But the fact we all need to remember is that it did happen, and it should continue to be a rallying cry for the LGBT community to be, finally, considered equal in the eyes of America.

It was Friday, June 27, 1969, and the world was mourning the death of Judy Garland. Could it be that the death of one of the most famous gay icons was what sparked the fire of the modern day Gay Rights Movement? Many people have speculated that Garland's death did indeed push the gay community into the streets of New York that night. But it was also hot, that night, and many say it was the heat that fueled the crowd into action, into reaction. Maybe it was both Garland's death and the hot summer night; or maybe it was just that the gay community had finally had enough of being told what to do, what not to do, and how we should live our lives. Whatever the reason, it was enough. Finally, enough.

In the early morning hours of June 28, police officers raided the Stonewall Inn, a small bar located on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. Although mafia-run, the Stonewall, like other predominantly gay bars in the city, got raided by the police periodically.

Typically, the more "deviant" patrons--drag queens and butch lesbians, especially if they were black--were arrested and taken away, while white, male customers looked on or quietly disappeared. The bar owners would be levied an insubstantial fine--a sign of corruption and collusion between bar owners and police--allowing them to open for business the following day.

On this night, the charge at the Stonewall was the illegal sale of alcohol. The raid began as they always did: plainclothes and uniformed police officers entered the bar, arrested the employees, and began ejecting the customers one by one onto the street. For some reason, however, the crowd that had gathered outside the Stonewall, a somewhat campy and festive crowd, began to cheer as the patrons were pushed out of the Stonewall Inn. But soon the mood changed; it was Judy Garland's death, or the summer heat, or the fact that the summer of 1969 was a particularly busy one for police raids on gay bars. Or maybe it was watching drag queens and lesbians being pushed and shoved and kicked into paddy wagons.

Whatever it was, the on-lookers lost their patience. No one really knows who threw the first punch; some say it was a drag queen, some say it was a rather butch-looking lesbian. But someone defied the police that night; someone had finally had enough.

The crowd, now numbering several hundred, exploded. People began hurling coins at police officers, then they moved on to rocks and bottles, whatever they could grab. The police, at first stunned that the normally docile and shamed homosexuals would react in such a fashion, soon began beating the crowds with nightsticks. This group, however,was too angry, and could not be pushed down; the police officers were forced to take refuge inside the Stonewall.

As news spread throughout Greenwich Village the crowd grew ever larger; many residents, some gay, some not, ran down to the Stonewall Inn to join the fight. Lighter fluid was squirted inside the bar and someone tried to light it; others grabbed a downed parking meter and used it as a battering ram against the front of the Stonewall. Someone began chanting "Gay Power!"

The riot-control police unit arrived to rescue the trapped officers and break up the demonstration, though it took over an hour before the crowd dispersed. To taunt their attackers a group of drag queens began to sing at the top of their lungs:

We are the Stonewall girls
We wear our hair in curls
We wear no underwear
We show our pubic hair
We wear our dungarees
Above our nelly knees!

That first Stonewall Riot ended the morning of Saturday, June 28, but the fight was far from over. That night a second riot broke out and the crowd now numbered in the thousands, filling the streets in the name of Gay Pride. They marched to the Stonewall Inn and waited for the police to arrive; and they did, in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 29.

For over a week, though in smaller numbers, protests and demonstrations continued in Greenwich Village. There was finally a sense of what could be accomplished by banding together, by being out, by being seen, by being heard. By being angry. It was a new day.

A month after the riots, the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was formed. Radical and leftist, the GLF was one of many politically focused lesbian and gay organizations formed in the days and weeks following the riots. The number of lesbian and gay publications skyrocketed as well, which led to an even greater sense of community. The LGBT community was no longer strictly marginalized in United States society. Now, out and proud lesbians and gay men were developing their own communities in cities across the country.

Since 1970, marches have taken place in New York City--and all over the world--every year on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. In June 1994, hundreds of thousands of people converged on New York to celebrate Stonewall's 25th anniversary. In 1999 the United States government proclaimed the Stonewall Inn a national historic site. The following year, the status of the Stonewall was improved to "historic landmark," a designation held by only a small percentage of historical sites.

It is our Plymouth Rock. It's where the gay community landed and came together and began the march toward equality. Stonewall was our first glimpse of a new world where we weren't alone, we weren't all that different, where we belonged.

It makes no difference how it started. The death of an icon; the summer heat; a sense of frustration. It makes no difference who started it; drag queens or lesbians; coin tossers or rock throwers. The difference is that it happened.

Forty-two years ago today.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Outstanding Guest Comment Of The Week

There were many to choose from this week, as I giggled and guffawed at some of your responses, but I've narrowed it down to just two.
This week's runner-up, responding to my post entitled Debbie Has A Garage Sale is:

mrpeenee has left a new comment on your post "Debbie Has A Garage Sale":

I would only bid on the Crawford dress if I had Crawford's tiny little waist. Damn.

Check out mrpeenee and marvel at his collection of delicious houseboys, and amuse yourself with his delectable wit and charming stories.
And our winner this week is one Ivan Vargas, from Queer Iv, who has a little something on his mind about Architecture Wednesday:
Ivan Vargas has left a new comment on your post "Architecture Wednesday":
I'm shvitzing! Help me!

Which is what one does when one is on a Greek beach....and living in a house that looks like a giant seashell.

Congrats to Ivan, and when you get time, visit him at Queer Iv for "The musings and observations of a wine-drinking, art-loving, culture-obsessed muscle-mary lost in the Big Apple."
It's always interesting.