Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Architecture Wednesday: Casa T

Casa T is a home made up of three vacation studios ... Earth, Wind and fire ... in Tulum, Quintana Roo, MexicoThe desire of the client, was to create a composition of volumes and shapes, rhythms and textures to catch the visitor by surprise.

It’s called Casa T because when seen from above it forms a “T”; and there are shades near the swimming pool that make a “T”; and the niches in the showers are holes with a “T” form.

I guess the client wanted a home that suited him ... to a “T”.

“The Earth” studio is on the ground floor with views to the entrance garden and the swimming pool; there are separate social areas, a bedroom and kitchen-dining area as well. 

“The Wind” studio is also on the ground floor with views to the back garden and the swimming pool; it’s a true studio with the social area and bedroom connected to the kitchen-dining area

“The Fire” studio is on the upper floor with views to the back garden, the private terrace and the social terrace. The social area and bedroom are connected to the kitchen-dining area here, too.

It’s three separate studios all with the same vibrant colors and open to the earth, the wind, and the fire ...

Studio Arquitectos

Hate Mail Sent To Ten Mosques In Donald _____'s Name ... And He Says Nothing

I almost, kinda, sorta, don’t wanna lay the blame for this at the feet of President-elect _____, but when he starts off his campaign with talk of deporting 11 million people back to Mexico, and then raises that with mocking women and the disabled, and then plays his _____ by suggesting we “register” all the Muslim folks in America—while making sure no more of “them” get in here with “us”—then maybe I’m being foolish.

Maybe he is to blame for this ... at least 10 Islamic centers in five different states have received letters that seem to be written by the same person; these letters call Muslims the “children of Satan” and say that Donald ____ is the “new sheriff in town” who will “cleanse America and make it shine again” by eradicating the country’s Muslim population:
“He’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.”
These letters of hate, and terror, homegrown, mind you, were sent to the Evergreen Islamic Center in San Jose, the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles, the Long Beach Islamic Center, the Islamic Center of Northridge, the Islamic Center of Claremont, the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, the Islamic Center of Savannah in Georgia, the Islamic Center of Cleveland, Ohio, Islamic Society of Greater Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the Masjid Miami Gardens in Miami.


The FBI said earlier this month that hate crimes against Muslims in this country spiked last year to their highest level since 9/11; wasn’t that right around the time _____ started his hate speech about Muslim Americans ... deportations, registries, calling for “a total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States. 

That’s not a coincidence. It’s also no coincidence that last March, appearing on Anderson Cooper’s 360, Donald _____ said that Islam is defined by “tremendous hatred”:
“I think Islam hates us. It’s very hard to define. It’s very hard to separate. Because you don’t know who’s who.”
When the hate speech and the fear starts at, sadly, what will be the top, it doesn’t take long at all to trickle down; you have these terrorists, and I’m talking about the ones who sent those letters, who suddenly feel emboldened because the future president says what they think.

And then the future president says nothing; as he has said next to nothing about the more than 100 anti-Muslim incidents that have occurred since the election. In addition, the Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC], a hate-watch group, has tallied more than 800 incidents of harassment within the 10 days after the election, many of which have been made in _____’s name.

Where is Donald _____’s condemnation of these letters and these incidents? I mean, in his first interview after the election, he asked those who were protesting to please stop, but he’s not uttered a word about these incidents of hate speech and harassment toward Muslims. When he says nothing, it’s like he’s condoning the messages of hate, so, yeah, when it comes to blame, it starts at the top.

And there is nothing but silence there.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Barred From Owning A Gun, William Pulliam Shot James Means Dead In The Street

William Ronald Pulliam was arrested in Charleston, West Virginia last week after shooting unarmed 15-year-old James Harvey Means twice in the abdomen with a .380 caliber revolver; well, he was arrested right after he committed the murder. First he grabbed a bite to eat and then stopped in to visit a female friend.

But, when he was finally arrested, Pulliam showed no remorse for his crime, saying:
“The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off the street.”
Pulliam readily admitted to the murder and told police the gun was left at his friend’s home. Charleston police asked federal authorities to determine if the killing meets the definition of a Hate Crime since Pulliam is white and Means was black.

Apparently Pulliam and Means had a confrontation outside a Dollar General store where, witnesses say, the two exchanged words after physically bumping into one another on the sidewalk. It seemed to have ended there for a moment, because Pulliam went into the store and Means met up with friends at the home of a friend’s grandmother.

When Pulliam left the store, he walked past the house where Means and his friends had gathered, and the two began arguing again. When Means crossed the street to approach Pulliam, he took out his gun and shot Means twice. James Means died shortly after arriving at Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital.

A witness to the shooting—13-year-old James Cooper—also had run-ins with William Pulliam because the older man would pick on Cooper’s younger brother.
“One time I went over there to talk to him about it, I said, ‘You’ve got to quit picking on my little brother, that doesn’t look right.’ He said, ‘Get the [expletive] off my property.’ He said I need to go on with my nappy Latino self. He’s just a real bad guy.”—James Cooper
William Pulliam was arraigned on the murder charge last week, appearing cool and calm during the proceedings. But he was startled by the idea that he would have to remain in jail for now; the possibility of him being released on bond won’t come before his preliminary  this Thursday:
“Don’t I get to say anything? I’ll lose my job and everything unless I can get out of here.”
Huh, maybe he should have thought about that before, I don’t know, murdering a man in cold blood.

But violence is nothing new for William Pulliam; he pleaded no contest to a charge of domestic battery in 2013 after striking his pregnant daughter in the face, kicking her in the stomach and shoving his wife to the ground.

Those charges meant that William Pulliam was banned from ever owning a gun again ... except, of course, here in the United States of Guns.

Pot.Kettle.MarcoRubio

Oh, Florida, how dumb can you be? I mean, you elected Marco Rubio as your Senator once and he, to be fair, did a terrible job. Then he up and told you he wasn’t even going to finish the job to which you elected him, and the job where you pay his salary, because he wanted to be president and he would never, ever go back to the Senate again.

So he stopped working for you, and ran for president and failed miserably at that job, too. And then he came crawling back home and suddenly realized he might become an unemployed has-been so he asked you to re-elect him to the Senate—the job he stopped doing, the job he said he no longer wanted, the job he stopped showing up for—and you voted him in again.

How.Dumb.Are.You? Don’t bother, it’s a rhetorical question and, actually, not at all the subject of this blog post. Nope, this is about the death of Fidel Castro, tyrant, dictator, human rights violator, and despot. And, yes, to be clear, a family man; father, brother, cousin, uncle ...

When Castro passed away over the weekend at the age of 90, President Barack Obama said:
“At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people. We know that this moment fills Cubans – in Cuba and in the United States – with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him…”
There was no praise for Castro, just condolences to the family who lost someone they loved. But that wasn’t enough for Rubio, who then took to the media to call the President’s comments “pathetic”:
“Barack Obama is the president of the most powerful country in the world. And what I called pathetic is not mentioning whatsoever in that statement the reality that there are thousands upon thousands of people who suffered brutally under the Castro regime. He executed people. He jailed people for 20 to 30 years. The Florida Straits, there are thousands of people who lost their lives fleeing his dictatorship. And not to acknowledge any of that in the statement, I felt was pathetic, absolutely.”
But should we have expected more for lying, pandering, can’t get elected, can’t do his job, Marco Rubio? See, because after Castro’s death Marco Rubio ran to the media to talk about Fidel Castro’s history of oppressing gays.

Huh; oppressing gays? Who else has done that? Oh, wait ...Marco Rubio.
Marco Rubio who voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act [ENDA] which would have protected LGBT Americans from being fired from their jobs based solely on their sexual orientation.
Marco Rubio supported the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA] and was steadfastly against marriage equality even after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of it.
Marco Rubio has raised money for the Arizona Center For Public Policy, which advocates for "ex-gay" torture among other anti-gay positions.
Marco Rubio allowed his voice to be used in robocalls for the National Organization for Marriage [NOM].
Marco Rubio has vowed to do whatever he can to undo the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling which made marriage legal in the United States for same-sex couples.
Marco Rubio was a sponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act [FADA], which would legalize anti-LGBT discrimination nationwide.
Marco Rubio threatened to withdraw his own immigration reform bill if it were be applied to same-sex couples.
Marco Rubio declared that gay adoption is a “social experiment” that “shouldn’t be forced on children.”
So when Marco Rubio stands up and denounced Fidel Castro for being anti-LGBT—and to be clear, in 2010, Fidel Castro told the press that he took the blame for the “great injustices” suffered by his nation’s gay community—when he himself has been at the forefront in this country of many of the same vile ideas, he is nothing but a pandering lying asshat of epic proportions.

And please, let us not forget how Marco Rubio blatantly lied about his own family’s history with Fidel Castro, claiming that they fled Cuba after the revolution when in fact they were living comfortably in Miami years before Castro seized power.

Florida. This is what you elected to office ... again. A pandering asshat who knocks down Castro when, apparently, he and Castro share many of the same ideas—even if there is evidence that Castro had evolved on LGBT issues. A lying pandering asshat who can’t even tell the truth about how, and when, he arrived in America.

Marco Rubio. F**k off.
Issue Hawk

Monday, November 28, 2016

President-elect _____ Throws Another TwitterTantrum

Well, if it’s Sunday, it must be President-elect _____ Twitter Meltdown Day, right? I mean, he usually goes after Saturday Night Live and Alec Baldwin but, alas, this week was a rerun, so what is the soon-to-be Tweeter-In-Chief—though I prefer Twit-In-Chief—to do?

He takes on the recounts happening around the country, spurred on by third party candidate Jill Stein. And he’s angry because How Dare She not accept the results and move on because we all know that Donald _____ would have gone quietly into that good night had the results been different, and by different I mean better.

Donald _____ would have encouraged mass protests and used all his minions, his special Hounds of Hell, even the Dumb Son, Eric, to battle against the idea that he lost; to rail about rigged elections. He would demand recounts! Hell, he’d pay for the recounts if he was guaranteed to be paid back for all his expenses.

But now it isn’t just Jill Stein asking for a recount in Wisconsin and possibly Michigan and Pennsylvania; nope, now the Clinton campaign has decided to join in the recount effort. And that’s where President-elect _____ has gone off the Twitter-Rails again:


To be clear: Donald _____ has lost the popular vote by well over 2 million votes—though that’s not enough to change to outcome ... let’s be real; and he won three traditionally blue states by the thinnest of margins. So, maybe questions are needed to be asked; maybe recounts are needed.

Though, again, sadly, I don’t think the outcome will change. But _____ is now whining about Hillary Clinton not accepting the results, even though she has yet to say a word about all of this; but _____ can’t take on Jill Stein because, well, Jill Stein, so he’ll go after Clinton ... who did accept the result ... who did concede the election ... something Big Ego Tiny Hands _____ never would have done.

I mean, had this gone the other way, the right way, can you not picture _____ and his band of miscreants all over the country whining and crying? The marches! The misspelled signage! The camouflage!

Oy. Seriously, Donald, just because some folks are questioning the results in a few places—and, again, I don’t think the outcome will change anything—can’t you step away from twitter and try, try, to focus on running this country? You’re looking like a fool whining over a few questions; you’re looking like an ass, when you say that millions of illegals voted and had they not you would have won the popular vote, too.


I mean, if that were true, you’d be first in line for a recount because, of all things you hate, being a loser is number one.

And, to paraphrase the immortal Bette Davis, to the slightly less immortal Joan Crawford, in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane:

“But y’are a loser, Donald, y’are a loser.”

By more than two million votes ... one of them mine.

In the Age of _____, Stand Strong and Tall and Firm For Equality

Everyone makes jokes about Thanksgiving dinner and the family feuds that erupt over a meal meant to be thankful and grateful I once read openly gay comedian Bob Smith’s book, Openly Bob, and loved how he said he’d come out to his family, over Thanksgiving dinner by quietly asking if, “Someone would please pass the mash potatoes to the homosexual.”

My family never had those uncomfortable holiday dinners; I don’t think we ever fought once, or argued, or disagreed, we were just happy to be together sharing a meal. But this isn’t about me or my family on Thanksgiving; it’s about a woman, a straight woman who is an LGBT ally and the request she received before ever leaving home to travel to her parent’s house for Thanksgiving.

See, her father texted her and asked, well, he actually kind of demanded, that she could either remove the bumpersticker from her car before arriving at their house, or maybe she could find some alternative transportation so the offending sticker wouldn’t be on view.

The sticker? The Human Rights Campaign [HRC] equality sticker.

But before making any decision, the woman, identified only as “Rachel” decided to share her story on the pro-Clinton Facebook group Pantsuit Nation, where it went viral and finally reached the HRC blog where they reported that Rachel had thought about covering the equal sign with an index card to avoid a confrontation:
“Ultimately, Rachel realized that removing the sticker was allowing discrimination to win, and she refused to back down from something she so strongly believed in. Unwilling to compromise her convictions, Rachel decided to leave the sticker on her car.”
Rachel saw her story on HRC and replied:
“Thank you for the outpouring of support and suggestions through comments and private messages. I truly did not anticipate this response. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in this battle. Many of your comments have brought me to the realization that covering the sticker would be equivalent to removing it.
 I am an ally at all times, not just when it is convenient or easy. My father would win by forcing me to back down from something that I believe in, and it would validate his belief that he still has control over me and can bully me into submission. So there will be no compromise, as I am not willing to compromise my convictions anymore than he is willing to compromise his.
I have decided that I will be parking elsewhere and walking to their house, even though that will be a good little hike since they live down a country road in the middle of nowhere. I feel that this will send a far stronger message than if I were to refuse to remove the sticker and just cover it instead.”
Equality. Her father was offended by equality, but, in the Age of _____, such liberal ideals will face scrutiny; people will still stand up for those who can’t stand for themselves but it might get harder. That’s why we have to stand, strong and steadfast, to let those who would seek to deny equality ... equality for god's sake ... to anyone will not win.

For me, I would have parked the car in Dad’s driveway, with the bumpersticker facing the street; hell, I might have painted the car to look like the HRC emblem.

Whatever we do, we keep doing it.

LGBTQ Nation

Saturday, November 26, 2016

It's Snarkurday!

From my old hometown comes a Kanye Tale ... it seems Kanye West’s ‘Saint Pablo’ tour took him to Sacramento, where he performed just three songs before ranting about Jay-Z and Beyoncé and then quitting the show:
“Beyoncé, I was hurt! ‘Cause I heard that you said you wouldn’t perform unless you won Video of the Year over me, and over ‘Hotline Bling.’ In my opinion—now, don’t go tryin’ to diss Beyoncé, she is great. Taylor Swift is great. We are all great people, we are all equal. But sometimes, we be playin’ the politics too much and forgettin’ who we are—just to win. Fuck winning! Fuck lookin’ cool! I’ve been sent here to give y’all my truth—even at the risk of my own life, even at the risk of my own success, my own career. I’ve been sent here to give y’all the truth. Jay Z, call me, bruh! You still ain’t call me! Jay Z, call me! Jay Z, I know you got killers, please don’t send them at my head. Just call me! Talk to me like a man!”
Okay, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense but then not much Kanye says does so I’ll break it down for you ... he’s gotten his panties in a twist because he believes Beyoncé only agreed to perform at the VMAs this year because MTV promised her that she would win Video of the Year.

Huh, wasn’t it just a few years ago that he took to the stage at the VMAs to say Bey was the greatest?

I guess Kanye fell off his meds and the stage in Sacramento. But the best part is the video of his stunned fans in the audience after he walked off, chanting in unison,
“Fuck you Kanye!”
Now, if they’d just stop buying his music maybe he’d go away.

Well, JLo dumped Casper Smart recently and so she’s been alone about twelve seconds ... time to get a new man? Or maybe an old man?


Just as news broke that JLo’s ex-husband, Marc Anthony, had split from his third wife Shannon De Lima—JLo was Number Two—Lopez and Anthony appeared at the Latin Grammy Awards and shared a kiss onstage.

And now, of course, rumors are running that JLo was responsible for the breakup. Maybe she was, maybe she wasn’t, but she sure did take a run at his lips the moment she heard he might be single.

Could there be a fourth marriage for Anthony and a fourth for Lopez as well? Who cares ... if it happens it’ll last about two years because that’s the going rate for a Lopez-Anthony marriage.


Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna finally had their reality show baby, one Dream Kardashian. Dream? From a nightmare of a couple who can’t seem to stay together longer than it takes to get a girl pregnant?

Okurrr. Well, apparently there was no drama during the birth and media outlets are saying Rob and Chyna are getting along now, for about five minutes, but that won’t last long if That Woman has anything to say about it.

Apparently Granny That Woman got her Depends in a snit because the baby was named ‘Dream’ and not some ‘K’ name as they are ALLEGEDLY contract-bound to do.
“[That Woman] was there and told both Rob and Chyna that the baby’s name needed to start with a K. She said it was all about branding. But they didn’t listen. [That Woman] was yelling, ‘We all agreed as a family it was a K name! I’m so done, I can’t believe you reneged on this,’ and stormed out screaming.”
Kream Kardastrophe? Well, there is a certain ring to it.


I don’t think all supermodels are dumb, but there is a certain stereotype that most of them are a little low on the IQ point scale. Take for example Kate Upton ... Kate’s fiancé, Justin Verlander plays for the Detroit Tigers and he seemed a shoe-in for the American League Cy Young Award. He didn’t win, but being a gentleman and a human being accepted the loss via Twitter rather graciously:
“Just want to say thank you to all the @officialBBWAA who voted for me.”
But Upton was furious and took to Twitter—because that’s where you go when you’re a pissy little supermodel or a President-elect—to vent:
“Hey @MLB I thought I was the only person allowed to fuck @JustinVerlander ?! What 2 writers didn't have him on their ballot?”
And she wasn’t done ...
“He had the majority of 1st place votes and 2 writers didn't have him on their ballots?!! can you pick more out of touch people to vote?@MLB”
And then she dished up a conspiracy theory:
“@MLB how many 2nd place votes? huh? he lost to Justin in 1st place votes. If Tampa bay writers weren't paid off...”
Unfortunately no one, including Justin, could pry Kate’s hands from her phone and keep her from acting like a petulant child who didn’t get what she wanted ... an award for her boyfriend. Seriously ... model’s and Republican presidents, shouldn’t be allowed to Tweet.


So Mimi and her ex-fiancé James Packer are spending more time fighting about their breakup than they actually spent together as a couple, or at least it seems like that.

In fact, Mariah, whose song “All I Want For Christmas” is a big hit at the holidays now feels that  Packer is trying to ruin Christmas for her with this breakup and so she is demanding ... demanding ...  the pay-out from their pre-nup—set to be about $50 million—even though the two never made it down the aisle. She never even got to put on the dress, though maybe that was because she ordered a size 2??!!??

A source—and you know it Mariah phoning the tabloids from the inside of a bottle of champagne—says:
“[Packer] is causing Mariah severe emotional distress especially at such an important time of her life. He knows she is the queen of the holiday season and she knows he’s trying to ruin it for her.”
Mimi is the queen of the holiday season? Now that’s funny stuff!

Anyway, Mimi and Jimmy are said to be fighting over her sure-to-be-craptastic E! reality show, which chronicles the run-up to the wedding that wasn’t and now James wants all footage of him removed from the show. He also wants his ring back, but, hey, it’s rumored to be worth ten million so Mariah won’t be FedExing it back anytime soon. In fact, she’s taken to Instagramming pictures of the ring just to taunt Packer.

In addition, Mariah says she was so distraught about the breakup she had to cancel several dates on her South American tour and packer owes her for that; Packer, for his part, says the dates were cancelled for lack of interest and ticket sales and that seems more plausible.

Mariah also wants James to pay for the mansion in Calabasas they leased together, whining that he “left her with a pile of expenses. He abandoned her with a house full of staff.”

And by staff, I think we all know he means burly men who carry Mariah from room-to-room.

Poor Mimi. My.Heart.Breaks.


Well, well, well ... after his last tirade in Sacramento, and cutting the concert short after just thirty minutes, Kanye West has been hospitalized.

He was supposed to perform in LA after the Sacramento show but canceled at the last minute and then came word that Kanye was canceling the rest of the tour because he was “exhausted.”

Apparently, though, he was Lindsay Lohan Exhausted because he was taken to UCLA Medical Center for psychiatric evaluation ... in handcuffs.  According to LAPD sources, officers responded to a call for a welfare check on Kanye while he was at his trainer, Harley Pasternak’s home “acting erratically.”

How does one tell when Kanye is acting erratically?

When paramedics arrived, Kanye was calmer, but his team of handlers convinced him it was best to go; he was handcuffed to a gurney and transported to the hospital. Word now is that he claims to be overworked, not sleeping, still distraught after the Kim Kardastrophe West being robbed in Paris and, well, perhaps just crazy.

Sleep deprivation does mess with your mind, but it can also be a symptom of, say, the manic stage of a bipolar disorder. And that doesn’t seem so far-fetched, given the range of moods and emotions one sees in Kanye West at any given time; the “manic” periods when he makes almost no sense—like his rant in Sacramento—and the times when he acts angry and paranoid.

Here’s hoping he gets the help that he clearly needs ... and that part of his rehab is to never set foot on a stage again.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanks.Giving: Tie Your Old Scarf To A Tree This Winter

There’s an old song about a yellow ribbon, tied to an old oak tree; it was about a man who’d been away from his wife or girlfriend for a long time and if she wanted him back, she’s tie that ribbon to a tree to let him know. That idea morphed into one concerning our veterans, welcoming them home from war.

Now, there’s a new trend ... thousands of people from all across the nation are taking their old scarves, or making their own handmade and versions, and tying them around the base of trees in parks, along city roads and in neighborhoods. 

The scarves are left for homeless people who may be exposed to the frigid winter temperatures and inclement weather; the scarves are free to anyone who needs one and some even come with handwritten messages:
"I'm not lost! Please take me with you if you are cold. Stay warm. God bless!"
The trend started in Seymour, Indiana, and now church groups, schools fundraisers and kind random strangers from almost every state are pitching in to make sure a good portion of the 1.56 million homeless Americans are a little warmer this winter!

So, if you have an old scarf you aren’t using, take it downtown, take it to a park, outside a church or school, and tie it around an old tree.

Someone may come along who needs that kind of a warm hug.


Heart Eternal

Thanks.Giving: Denver Launches Programs To Employ The Homeless

Well, even though the country—not most of the country, though—elected a Republican President earlier this month, there are glimmers of hope that we aren’t going to become a racist, xenophobic, working for the betterment of the wealthy, screw the poor, society just yet.

Out there in Denver, Colorado, local officials have started a new program to provide thousands of paying jobs to the homeless. It all started on November 1st, when “Denver Day Works” hopes to put thousands of the city’s homeless to work doing things like public park maintenance, planting trees, clearing snow, etc.

And anyone can apply; Julie Smith, the Denver Human Services spokeswoman, says they’re aiming for “low to no barriers. No background checks. Do you want work? We’re going to put you to work today”

The program hopes to employ at least 300 homeless people and then keep at least half that number for regular work and the idea that participation may lead to future employment opportunities. The participants are paid at the end of each day—wages start at $12.59 an hour—and there are both full-day and half-day work schedules; the program is similar to that of paid internships, though the participants may only earn a maximum of $600.

The reason for that maximum pay is so the participants will be connected with more job opportunities, and more jobs, and yet, for now, avoid having to file taxes. And for those who might scream that the homeless are taking “our jobs,” that isn’t true; city staffers, and others who already do such work will still be working.

This is good news for the homeless community in Denver, and for those homeless in other cities who may want to start their own programs. Denver has already started a cafe—Purple Door Cafe—that employs homeless youth.

Purple Door Coffee offers employment for a year to homeless youth who want to move on to full-time employment elsewhere. Not only is work provided, but the employees are taught how to deal with mental and emotional stress, budgeting their income, and banking.

It’s nice that, at this time of the year, we are giving back to those who need our help, and I hope that, if this idea works, it can be implemented around the country. People deserve a fair chance, and respect, no matter who they are, or how they live, or what they’ve done.