Thursday, February 28, 2019

Bobservations


In our house we have four pets … MaxGoldberg, Tuxedo, Consuelo Roca-Jones, and the dog, Ozzo.

As happens with pets, they tend to bond with one of us slightly more than the other. Ozzo is clearly more attached to Carlos, though he loves to sit with me in the office while I play on the computer. MaxGoldberg, though, likes us equally, and will run back and forth between our laps, never quite sure who he wants to sit with for long.

Now, Tuxedo is mine; he bonded with me first and he’s always been ‘my boy.’ And Carlos sometimes gets jealous of how Tuxedo comes when I call him, and how Tuxedo follows me around the house, and how tuxedo will sleep on top of me.

Cut to the other night when I walked in the living room and found Tuxedo curled up in Carlos’ lap, fast asleep. Carlos bragged:
“I think he likes me better now.”
I took a seat …
“Don’t bet on it.”
The second my ass hit the chair, Tuxedo was up and walking across  the side table to curl up in my lap and fall asleep. Carlos muttered …
“Stupid cat.”
“Honey, you were just a place card until his real daddy came into the room.”
“Stupid cat.”
It’s gonna get ugly when Carlos finds out that Consuelo, who hates to be held, has been sitting with me at night, sleeping in my lap.
Garry Smith a South Carolina Republican … because, of course … lawmaker wants libraries to ensure the events they host are age appropriate after an Upstate library hosted a children’s story hour featuring drag queens.

Cuz drag queens are dangerous, y’all. So, Smith proposes that all state-funded libraries must ensure outside groups using library facilities comply with the same regulations for public school curriculums, and if they don’t , they must return their state funding.

For having drag queens read to children. Sadly, Smith doesn’t seem to realize that libraries aren’t schools, and they have meeting spaces available for public use because he’s stupid and a homophobe.

That’s all … oh, but then … the committee voted to table Smith’s proposal, killing it, and then telling smith to Sashay away.
Just an example of how stupid racists are …. There is video of Jill, a white woman, swearing at the general manager of a Mexican restaurant in West Virginia because he was  speaking Spanish:
“English is our first language, so you need to speak English. Get the f--- out of my country.”
As Jill continues to scream at Budar, saying that she has “no problem with the way he looks,” one of the chefs that works at the restaurant intervenes:
“If you’re going to be racist you’re going to leave."
Jill says:
“I’m not racist.”
Like I said, racists are dumb. Jill is dumb. And hate-filled. As she left, she said to the manager:
“I got raped by illegal aliens. F---ing rapist."
Fuck Jill.
Earlier this month Kansas GOP state Representatives Randy Garber, Owen Donohoe, David French, Cheryl Helmer, Ron Highland, Steve Huebert and Bill Rhiley introduced a set hate-filled bills that would ban same-sex marriage, legally deny the existence of transgender people, allow gay conversion therapy, and much more.

However, this week Ron Highland withdrew his support from the bill after his daughter, Christel, publicly shamed him in an open letter on Facebook:
“This has been a strange and difficult week indeed. My name is Christel Highland, and my Father, Representative Ron Highland … was a co-sponsor of the legislation, bill HB2320, that will likely never make it to Governor Laura Kelly’s desk for veto. As a proud member of Kansas City’s LGBTQ+ community, a Mother, a Partner to the love of my life, an Artist active in my creative community, and a hard-working Businessperson, I am personally offended by the egregious nature of Kansas Representatives’ proposed legislation, most notably, my father’s. This is the letter I sent to him:
“Your God did not elect you, living, breathing humans did. Further isolating the marginalized among the population you serve is far from your duty. Hate has no place in public policy. I respectfully request an apology on behalf of my family and beloved friends that this cruel attempt at legislation impacts…”
After his daughter’s public Facebook post, Ron Highland said he’d made a mistake:
“The bill that I should not have signed on to co-sponsor contained some hateful language, which I do not condone. I have asked for my name to be removed from the bill. The process for doing so is in motion.”
Brava to Christel for calling out her father.

And here it is, in full; click to emBIGGERate.

I’m not saying I’d do that to a driver who brazenly parked like an asshat, and I’m not saying I wouldn’t do.

I am saying I bought a box of zip ties this week and keep them in my glove box.
On the heels of yet another pope declaring that the Catholic Church would do something about priests raping children, Cardinal George Pell, until recently the head of the Catholic Church in Australia, and a “top adviser to Pope Francis”  was accused and found guilty of five charges of child sexual abuse.

Pell was found guilty in December, but a gag order was placed on the case because he was scheduled to be tried in a second sexual assault case that was later dropped; the gag order was officially lifted Tuesday.

With this verdict, Pell is the senior most Catholic official convicted of sexual offenses.

The pope has said nothing about Pell. Go figure.
Breana Harmon, a Texas teenager who falsely claimed she was kidnapped and raped by three black men last March, will likely serve no prison time.

While she pleaded guilty to four felony charges of tampering with physical evidence and government documents in relation to false reports of kidnapping and rape, her plea deal will kore than likely include no prison time. 

So, those of you screaming for Jussie Smollett to go to jail because he lied about being attacked by two black men, need to keep this story in mind. Or maybe you don’t have a problem with Harmon lying because she’s a white girl? 

Asking for a country.
This is LA’s ABC7 entertainment correspondent, Karl Schmid.

He’s hot, he’s Australian, he’s gay …and he’s been living with HIV for 10 years. I only say that last part because there is still a stigma in this country, and even in our own community, about HIV, and what it ‘looks’ like and what it means.

What it looks like is a hot, gay Australian TV personality; what it means is that you can live with HIV these days; it’s not a death sentence, it’s a condition; it’s not curable but it is manageable.

Karl came out as HIV+ last year in a Facebook post:
“Hi. I’m a 37-year-old HIV+ man who has been poz for almost ten years. I work in television. And on the side of the camera where, for better or worse it’s considered “taboo” for people “like me” to be “like me”. For 10 years I’ve struggled with “do I or don’t I”? For ten years the stigma and industry professionals have said, “don’t! It’ll ruin you”.
But here’s the thing. I’m me. I’m just like you. I have a big heart and I want to be loved and accepted. I may be on TV from time to time, but at the end of the day I’m just an average guy who wants [what] we all want. To be accepted and loved by our friends and family and to be encouraged by our peers.
So here’s what I say, stand tall, and stand proud. You can’t make everybody happy but you can make you happy. And so long as you tell the truth, you will never have to remember anything. Labels are things that come and go but your dignity and who you are is what defines you. I know who I am, I know what I stand for and while in the past I may not have always had clarity, I do now. Love me or hate me, that’s up to you.
But, for anyone who has ever doubted themselves because of those scary three letters and one symbol, let me tell you this, you are somebody who matters. Your feelings, your thoughts, your emotions count. And don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
I’m Karl Schmid, and I’m an HIV-positive man!”
Hot, gay, open, brave …did I mention hot?


Just sayin’.

Silence still = Death


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Architecture Wednesday: Fitzroy Park House

This is a new home, built on the site of an older home from the 1950s, in North London within the Highgate Conservation area.

The house is surrounded by natural landscape with its second floor cantilevered out and floating among the trees, with views to Hampstead Heath and beyond. To maintain that sense of park-like living, the home is set back from Fitzroy Park with a minimal stone and metal bridge, allowing for the mature trees to be saved.

The bridge leads into the heart of the home and opens up to views over a double-height living area open to the garden level. Glass doors blur the boundary between inside and out, with stone paving extending into the landscaped garden which gently curves around the house.

The living area flows into the  dining room and kitchen, which also open to the gardens; a set of stone stairs leads to a small swimming pool, reminiscent of the nearby Hampstead ponds nearby. Material references for the house also reflect the setting of the site, with cedar fencing and oiled Iroko balconies contrasting with the Accoya timber walls painted dark grey to enhance the limestone façade. Inside the colors and textures are softer and warmer, with oak ceilings and limestone floors.

For the bedrooms, timber is brought inside for the warmth, while the bathrooms are clad in limestone. Lighting throughout the house is minimal, washing walls and ceilings with soft warm reflected light, while the outside garden lighting illuminates planting and trees to avoid the effect of the glass walls turning to mirror and only reflecting the interior.

The home has a discreet presence from the road and steps down into the garden to fully embed it within the landscape, making the Fitzroy Park House both private and open.

Even Without Pence, Indiana Is Still Racist and Homophobic


Apparently, the ghost of Michael Elizabeth Pence lives on in the Indiana state Senate, as they recently voted to amend a hate crimes proposal scrapping all protected characteristics, including gender identity, race and sexual orientation.

Just so you know, if you aren’t white, and you aren’t heterosexual, and someone should assault you because you aren’t those things, that’s not  Hate Crime in Indiana.

Governor Eric Holcomb, a Republican, because, of course, has said the amended bill "does not get Indiana off the list of states without a bias crime law" and says he will “continue to fight for the right ultimate outcome for our state and citizens this year so we’re not right back here in the same place next year” but hasn’t said whether or not he’ll sign the bill.

Just seven Republicans—including authors of the original bill, Senators Ron Alting and Sen. Mike Bohacek—joined the Democrats in voting against the amendment, but not one of the seven spoke out against it on the Senate floor because … Republicans.

In response, Senate Democrats walked out and didn't return to vote on any of the remaining bills on the calendar.

Democratic Senator Greg Taylor:
"You don’t have to agree with how somebody lives to respect their ability to live freely and responsibly in this state. But when you take that ability away, knowing that they have been targeted, it is a shame, and this is a disaster for the state of Indiana. It might be worse than [Pence’s beloved] RFRA."
Senate President Pro Tempore, and Republican, Rodric Bray, defended the amended bill:
"This conversation has always been philosophical. Do you include a list in which you can maybe leave somebody off, or the court could interpret somebody not included in that, or do you make it more general so that everybody can be included?"
He’s arguing that excluding people from a Hate Crimes legislation—people of color, LGBTQ people—actually means they are more protected.

Seriously.

Democrat Senator J.D. Ford, the first openly gay senator in the state, says this amendment would tell people like him that they don't exist. And Democrat Senator Lonnie Randolph, an African-American lawmaker, asked his colleagues:
"Why don’t you recognize us?”
Possibly because they’re Republicans and they have never recognized black people, or LGBTQ people. I mean, listen to what state Senator Jim Merritt, one of the Republicans who voted against the amendment said:
"I will tell you, early in my career, we were in this room with a 10-hour discussion and I voted against it. I think through the years Indiana has changed. I think I’ve learned and I’ve evolved. I know my constituents have. You always think about what your constituents want you to do."
And yet he still plans to vote for the bill.
This is what’s wrong with the GOP; out of one side of their mouths they seem to say positive things, but when the time comes to act, to vote, they turn tail and run back to the party platform of racism and anti-LGBTQ bias.

Seriously, Indiana? You got Pence outta so you can no longer blame your bigotry and homophobia on him.

It’s you, and the people you elect to represent you.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Oscarvations


So, here we are at the No Host Oscars, which is making me think it’ll be as fun as a No Host Bar. Amirite?

But, we’ll see, after they start off with Queen featuring Adam Lambert. That was actually a rollicking good start, though watching it back, I was saddened to see Glenn Close rocking out since she :::::SPOILER ALERT::::: had no idea what was coming for her.

And while the opening rocked and rolled, the obligatory film montage, as though we have no idea what the Oscars are about, annoyed me; get on with it!

Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are out to present the first award, though they pause to give us a host monologue, even though they aren’t the hosts so, yeah, no host> Not so much. At any rate, Fey and Poehler are high-larious, and Maya Rudolph got off some good jokes, the first one being her dress.
Welcome to the One millionth Academy Awards!
There is no host. There is no Popular Movie category. And Mexico will not pay for the Wall.
And while there was a thought to present some awards during commercials, tonight we’ll be doing commercials during the awards. So, if every winner could, instead of thanking anyone, just say, “Hellman’s Mayonnaise. We’re on the side of food!”’
Hey Chadwick Boseman? Wakonda plans you have for tonight?
These spanx are so tight, they’ve entered my spiderverse.
Roma’s on Netflix? What’s next? My microwave makes a movie?
And this ends the No Host jokes portion of the evening, and it’s on to OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE… Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk. My take? Regina King should win every award, and then be given an award for acceptance speeches. She keeps them short and passionate and powerful, and she’s brilliant. Hat tip to HOT MAN ALERT Chris Evans for helping her to the stage. Not only is he a gentleman he has a hot gay brother. Scott, so, you know, my mind goes there.

Jason Momoa and the Fabulous Helen Mirren are out to present OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY FEATURE … Free Solo to Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, a little cutie, Shannon Dill, and Evan Hays. Chin gets bleep for ‘Sh*t.” I mean, for saying the word. Elizabeth rambles, I fast forward.

Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, whom I’ve never seen before, but he’s hot and he’s bald—too of my favorite thing—presents Vice, the film about Satan Cheney. Then Elsie Fisher and HOT MAN ALERT Stephan James are up to give out ... 

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIR to Vice. Perfect, because if they can make Christian Bale look like Darth Cheney, that deserves an Oscar for Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney.

Finally, some jokes, when Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry  appear in full-on, wack-a-doodle costuming, including Melissa’s little bunny friend, to present OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN to Ruth Carter for Black Panther.

Chris Evans is back with JLo … ugh … to hand out the award for OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION DESIGN to Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart for Black Panther. Hannah is one of those annoying winners who reads a speech, from her phone, and drags on so long that he co-winner doesn’t get to say a word. Plus, her dress was hideous, so I’m not  a fan.

Speaking of ‘ughs’, after JLo, we get Tyler Perry, Male Oprah, or Moprah, to present OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY to Alfonso Cuarón for Roma. You know how much I like the Latin men and Alfonso is silver fox dreamy Latino. Just sayin’.

JHud

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING by alternately yelling and shrieking and whispering the effects. The award goes to Bohemian Rhapsody’s John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone. They follow up with OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING which goes to Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali, also for Bohemian Rhapsody.

Then Queen Latifah appears to present Best Picture nominee, The Favourite, a story about a queen. Ohm that’s why she was there? Why not have Elton do it then, if you wanted a queen, I mean?

Steaming Hot Presenters Angela Basset and Javier Bardem—he speaks Spanish … ‘No border or wall can … restrain talent’—and give out the award for OUTSTANDING FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM to Roma; Alfonso is back onstage and I’m not at all mad about that. 

We have another HOT MAN ALERT when Keegan Michael Key Poppins down from the ceiling via umbrella to present Best Song nominee ‘The Place Where Lost Things Go’ from Mary Poppins Returns. Bette Midler sings it, but it’s really not a terribly good song; it doesn’t stick with you at all. Luckily, Trevor Noah appears to present Best Picture nominee Black Panther; he is  cute and hot and funny, with an accent.

Michael Keaton trots out to present OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING to Bohemian Rhapsody’s John Ottman, who makes a quick speech and a quicker getaway. I like him for that.

Two studs are up next, HOT MAN ALERT Daniel Craig and Charlize Theron, to present OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING role to the serene Mahershala Ali for Green Book. He is such a calm, grateful presence. I want Ali and Regina King to just stand and talk to one another and I’ll buy a ticket.

Michelle Yeoh and Pharrell, in his Garanimals, present OUTSTANDING ANIMATED FEATURE FILM to Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse and Bob Perischetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Five men win the Oscar and there are like twelve people onstage. They really need some kind of border protection between the audience and the podium to keep the riff raff from coming over.

Kacey Musgraves introduces Best Song nominee ‘Where a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings’ from the Ballad of Buster Scruggs sung by Gillian Welch and David RawlingsYeah …no. And then, and I kinda saw this coming though I’d hoped the Oscars wouldn’t stoop this low, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey come out as their characters Wayne and Garth, to present Best Picture nominee Bohemian Rhapsody. Look, I get it, Wayne’s World and all that, but these two men are in their early nineties and this was cringeworthy.

Luckily, next up we had Awkwafina and John Mullaney who only played at being uncomfortable, and were actually quite funny, when they presented OUTSTANDING ANIMATED SHORT FILM  to Bao and Domee Shi and Becky Neiman-Cobb. Next was OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT, and it went to Period. End of Sentence, literally a film about menstruation. The winners Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton were joined by a few other woman and a couple of very uncomfortable looking men.

Diego Luna and Chef José Andrés presented Best Picture nominee Roma, before the Fabulous Sarah ‘Visual effects makes it look like I actually run over by a truck in Birdbox’ Paulson and Paul ‘Visual effects make me look like an actor’ Rudd gave out the award for OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS to First Man’s Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles, and JD Schwalm. One of them, I neither know, nor care, pulled out a  card to read from and I almost tipped over the telly.

Luckily, they left, and Lady Gaga and HOT MAN ALERT Bradley Cooper sang ‘Shallow’ from A Star is Born. Cooper seemed really nervous at the outset, but by the end he was into it. And, for me, it was a slam dunk as the Best Song, and performance of the night.

Krysten Ritter and Kiki Layne present OUTSTANDING LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM to HOT MAN ALERT Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman for Skin. I need him in front of the cameras, Hollywood, okurrrrr?

Brie Larsen and Samuel L. Jackson are up next, to present OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY to Green Book’s Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly, before they hand out OUTSTANDING ADAPTED SCREENPLAY to Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, and Kevin Wilmott for BlacKkKlansman. Spike was overjoyed, but his speech was a hot mess; sadly, he wins for writing and the speech he wrote was a rambling d-i-saster.

Tessa Thompson presents with HOT MAN ALERT Michael B. Jordan …lucky bitch …and when he looks at her and smile, melt. They give out the award for OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SCORE to Ludwig Göransson for Black Panther

Next up are Jordan’s Black Panther costar HOT MAN ALERT Chadwick Boseman and Constance give OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SONG to ‘Shallow’ from A Star is Born, and Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt.

After the In Memoriam, where I think they forgot brilliant director Stanley Donen who died just a couple of says ago, Barbra Streisand comes out to present the Best Picture nominee, BlacKkKlansman. 

That’s followed by Gary Oldman and Allison Janney who present OUTSTANDING ACTOR to Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody. That was a small surprise because I’d thought Christian Bale would win, but Rami snuck right in there and won Oscar on his first try. Good for him.

Amandla Stenberg and Congressman John Lewis, who rightfully received a standing ovation. Presented the last Best Picture nominee, Green Book, before Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell, two winners from last year, presented the OUTSTANDING ACTRESS Oscar to  to Glenn …. Nope, Olivia Colman for The Favourite. I had a serious OMFG god moment, not because I wanted Close to win, but because I thought she would, and because I couldn’t help but think back to the red carpet when she said that hideous dress she wore had over 4 million beads and weighted forty-two pounds. She sat there, front row, in a dress that weighed forty-two pounds for three hours and got bupkis. Well, at any rate, Colman won, and I loved her in The Favourite, and she gave a delightful speech, so I was happy.

Glenn was not. Guillermo del Toro, also a winner last year, presents OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR to Alfonso Cuarón for Roma; he had a big night, winning three of his four shots.

And finally, three hours and fifteen minutes in, Julia Roberts appears to give the BEST PICTURE Oscar to Green Book. That was also a surprise. I was thinking almost any other film, well, not A Star is Born, would win.

But there you have it, the No Host Oscars. Luckily, we have a Host Bar at Casa Bob y Carlos or I would have been drunk broke.

Just sayin’.