Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

whether you're buried under five feet of snow or sweltering in the southern heat... happy holidays!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Notes From All Over: Political Edition

after obama won the democratic primary fight i purchased an obama magnet to put on my car. it has been displayed there ever since... but i've always joked with my friends that i bought the magnet because if obama ever disappointed me...i could take it off and put it back on once the feeling had passed.

the obama magnet is in the trunk.

the purpose driven inauguration
so obama has asked evangelical, bigot rick warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. well, fuck you too.

warren runs one of those evangelical monstrosities out in california...the bareback or saddleback church... something like that.

he was also one of the leading voices in support of prop8 out in california and has used strong, divisive language when discussing homosexuality. he called his defense of "traditional marriage" "a moral issue that god has spoken clearly about."

andrew sullivan, the openly gay obamacan, said "if anyone is under any illusion that obama is interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now."

obama himself has tried desperately to defend his choice:

obama mentioned that warren asked him to speak at saddleback church two years ago eventhough obama has beliefs "that were entirely contrary to his." right...two years ago before you were even the democratic nominee. not at an inauguration that will be watched around the world. not at the precise moment when you're supposed to move this country forward and start the "change" you've been preaching.

no...warren seems like a spectre of the bush years kicking off your big day.

obama also said, "we're not going to agree on every single issue, but what we have to do is to be able to create an atmosphere when we can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as americans."

yes...we fags can be so disagreeable.

what pisses me off is that this is the issue obama seems okay to set aside for his inauguration. this is the issue that clearly does not concern him enough to make an effort to not ask a leading homophobe to provide the invocation.

i am fearful that obama simply does not give a flying fuck about equal rights for homosexuals in this country.

will he even carry through with his promise to repeal "don't ask, don't tell?"

his transition team met with leaders from the GLBT community yet there has not been a single, openly gay individual posted to his cabinet.... despite my earlier post which lead us to some optimism in this regard.

obama's invitation to rick warren to play such a pivotal role in his inauguration (and don't even get me started on why there's an invocation and benediction at the inauguration of the president of the united states when there's supposed to be a separation of church and state) just shows obama's lack of empathy or support or whatever you want to call it....solidarity? with the gay and lesbian community.

a large number of us supported hillary in the primary and then happily (or begrudgingly) backed him in the general... but this large voting block that helped usher him into the white house is the first group to get a giant "fuck you" from the president-elect.

call it political savvy or maneuvering or whatever... i'm afraid he just doesn't care.

the clintons, the bushes and the saudis
so records from president bill clinton's foundation and library have been released. turns out he's received millions from the saudis. what a shock.

but what amazes me even more is that the republicans.... even the media... seem to want to make a big deal out of this.

"can hillary stand up the saudis as secretary of state when her husband received so much money from them?"

if these questions are to be raised by the media and the republicans...we must yell "foul!"

were these questions ever asked of president bush with all the connections his father has with the saudis? no.

ex-presidents who continue to play an active role on the international stage will have ties with other countries. bush41 and clinton have them...

if anything...i'd say poppy bush being in bed with king abdullah played an enormous role in bush43's blind acceptance of the atrocities carried out every day in saudi arabia.

but hillary has never been under the thumb of bill...and i see no reason why any donations (charitable or otherwise) to her husband would make any difference in her negotiations with any country.

hillary is one tough broad. that's why i love her...

she will be a great secretary of state. (she would've been an even better president. but there's still time for that....)

farewell, deep throat
w. mark felt...a.k.a. deep throat, has passed. the man who leaked information regarding president tricky dick and watergate was 95. felt admitted he was the linda lovelace of the political world in 2005.

caroline, or change
so the last-living spawn of john f. kennedy wants to be senator from the empire state.

well, la-de-da.

i have mixed feelings on this. initially i loved the idea of caroline kennedy serving in the senate. but then i started thinking more about it.

sure...she's an intelligent woman. a constitutional scholar and lawyer. an advocate for education and schools.

but where has her voice been over the past eight years? where was she during the dark days of the democratic party?

my friend sally sent me a great article from the huffington post that said caroline was silent during all this time but now that everything is coming up roses...she wants to be an active member of the democratic party.

and not just any member... a senator from one of the most powerful states in the country. a senator from new york is no small thing.

but i have a bigger concern. this is hillary clinton's seat. hillary.

who did caroline support in the primary? obama....

in fact, several pundits may say that caroline and teddy kennedy's support of obama was a major turning point in the primary campaign.

so should hillary's seat go to someone who isn't even a supporter? caroline is saying she's an obama/clinton/kennedy democrat... but are we really sure about that middle one?

of course, nobody's opinion really matters but that of governor paterson. he has the sole discretion to pick hillary's successor. and i heard some reporting last night that it's a done deal: the seat belongs to caroline if she wants it.

i can't say having another liberal kennedy in the senate is a bad thing...especially with teddy's future in question.

all i'm saying is...i have questions about caroline. and if she wants to be the senator from the tough as nails state of new york.... she better buck up, stop running from the press.... and flash us her balls (and i say that in a metaphorical, funny "ha-ha" way and not a sexist, anti-feminist "you need balls to be successful" way).

in conclusion
only 32 more days until that fucker is out of office.

that, at least, makes me happy this morning.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Four In a Row, Baby!

yesterday was a good day.

thursday night i was surprised by a call from sister epiphenita and st. barbara offering me a ticket to yesterday's match-up between the houston texans and the tennessee titans. and how could i say "no"?

luckily for me...sister e is not a big fan of the football. st. barb is.... and you know where i stand on the whole thing.

barbara and i sat 26 rows up from the field in the endzone....lined up directly behind the right hash.

good seats.

i had the best time with barbara... we drank our beer. chatted with the season-ticket holders around us.... we yelled. we jumped out of our seats. we shared some frightfully inappropriate stories that may have shocked any of the straight people around us.

we checked out the cheerleaders and compared notes. we admired my new favorite, kevin walter, and discussed how mario williams scares me a little bit and that turns me on.

and when it was all said and may not have been the prettiest win.... but we broke our seven game losing streak against the titans. final score: 12-13 houston.

for the first time in texans's franchise history... they have won four in a row.

the texans seem to be turning a corner. they have found ways to win ugly...something that has always escaped them in the past. last week they pulled off the win after four turn-overs in green bay.

and yesterday.... the texans became the first team this season to hold tennessee from scoring a single touchdown.

tennessee.... the team with the best record in the nfl at 12-2.

and how did we play? from the houston chronicle today:

Johnson scored the game’s only touchdown on a 13-yard reception from Matt Schaub. Slaton is the only back to rush for at least 100 yards against the Titans, and he has done it twice. He finished with 100 yards on 24 carries, including 46 on the last drive when the Texans were running out the clock.
we looked impressive enough that peter king of sports illustrated actually put houston in his "fine fifteen" at number 15 with the caveat:

What? The Texans at No. 15 over the Jets and Cards, two division leaders? No question.
mr. king, in his monday morning QB column that i always highly recommend, also listed andre johnson as his offensive player of the week:

Andre Johnson, WR, Houston. At various points this year, I've considered Brandon Marshall or Larry Fitzgerald the best receiver in football. Not the past two or three weeks. In the first 20 minutes of Sunday's game against the best team in the conference, Johnson had five catches for 129 yards and a touchdown. He finished with 11 for 207 and the TD. In the first meeting between the teams, in Nashville, Johnson dropped two touchdown passes, so he made this game his personal shot at vindication. He succeeded and went over 100 catches for the season in the process. Johnson is big, fast, acrobatic and, though he doesn't have the soft hands of Fitzgerald, his hands are plenty good to be a superstar for a long time
king also went on to say:
I think if Steve Slaton (last five games: 156, 73, 130, 120, 100 yards) had been playing this big a role all season, he'd be challenging Adrian Peterson for the rushing title right now.


I think the receiving race is going to be a good one down the stretch. Andre Johnson's up on Wes Welker, 103 catches to 102, and Johnson has a 98-yard lead on Roddy White for the yardage title. Johnson's amazing. He's averaging a 100-yard receiving game per week. Exactly.
i know this may be confusing to a lot of texans fans.... but this is called praise.

several people are now predicting an above .500 winning season for the texans for the first time in franchise history. next week we play at oakland and should win. then our final game is against chicago at home.

if we can pull these two games off....we'd not only win six straight, but end the season 9-7.

i don't think we're quite a play-off team yet... but we're close. next year, we should honestly be able to hope for our first playoff berth.

fingers crossed.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Keep It Gay, Keep It Gay, Keep It Gay...

i seem to be obsessed lately.... but since i seem to be on the subject of gayness, here's an exclusive from mike allen of politico:

Gay and lesbian activists, who had been getting a bit restless about the Obama transition’s centrism, were welcomed into transition headquarters yesterday for a big meeting with John Podesta, who’s leading the transition, and Jim Messina, personnel director of the transition and a deputy chief of staff in the new White House. Participants said afterward that the session, which drew about 60 attendees and a cadre of senior Obama advisers, was very positive and productive. A prominent lesbian activist will chair the White House Council on Environmental Quality. And at the meeting, Obama officials said they’re giving serious consideration to two favorites of the community – John Berry for Interior and Mary Beth Maxwell for Labor.
and that's just plain secretary of the interior... not secretary of the interior design, my lovelies. and if anyone knows about labor, it's those hardworking lesbians. sister epiphenita of the power tools and st. barbara are DIYing their garage apartment repairs...

so butch.....


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It Does the Mind Good

so last night i saw gus van sant's milk.

it is an extraordinary, moving, inspirational, devastating film...

i'm not always the best fag, but i know harvey milk... i knew a lot about harvey milk going into this movie. but i didn't know everything. and i wasn't old enough to remember him on the news or hear his inspirational, groundbreaking messages.

i have friends who remember him.... and how i'm envious of that memory.

but how i don't regret not having to suffer through his assassination at the hand of a homophobic bigot.

i've already stated that i hope the combination of this film with the passage of prop8 in california will serve as a wake-up call to homosexuals. no longer can we be content with our cocktails and go-go boys.

i have found myself very angry since the passage of prop8... and anger is not generally an emotion that comes terribly easy to me. i don't generally care enough for something to make me angry... i'm not generally surprised enough for something so hate-filled as prop8 to make me angry. i am a very accomplished cynic, after all.

and yet i'm angry.

last night i struggled to fall asleep as thoughts of milk consumed me. and i found myself asking questions of....myself.

what have i done? what can i do? does it make sense to stay in houston when there's obviously no chance of change for homosexuals coming any time soon? should i go somewhere i have a better chance of making a difference? or is it more important to fight in a state like texas because it is a tougher battle?

and i was angry at my fellow fags in texas who seem so complacent in the face of growing hatred and bigotry rearing up from grassroots efforts of the religious right.

have we just given up in houston? in texas?

the anti-prop8 rally i went to in san francisco saw 7,500 angry homosexuals out to protest. there were a couple of hundred in houston.

but my anger was not only towards my complacent, cocksucking compatriots.

i found myself angry at a brother who votes republican.... a brother who i believe loves me but doesn't care enough about the hatred i face every day to vote against those individuals that would strive to uphold that bigotry.

i was angry at the thought that certain family members may still not pass the final test of acceptance when i finally bring home that first boyfriend.

yes, my lovelies... now entering the latter part of my thirties, i've yet to find love.... and introduce a partner to my family.

my friend sally put it best when she said my homosexuality is still in the abstract with my family. it's easy to accept the wise-cracking, artistic faggot son when you don't have to watch him hold hands with his lover... or kiss his lover.

and i honestly don't know how they'll react. i think it will be hard.

my parents are children of the 40s and 50s.... very different times. for all their progressive strong points, mindsets from that period are still present. it wasn't easy for them when i dated an african american woman in college.

there are also conservative streaks in my brothers and their wives.... how will they handle it? will i be asked not to kiss my boyfriend in front of the children?

it's not every day a movie stokes this type of debate within myself.... but milk has shaken me.

i hope it shakes a lot of people.... we need to be shaken out of our slumber.

we need to make noise.

we need to make those who are uncomfortable.... uncomfortable.

we need to demand equal rights....

not separate but equal.

not tolerance. fuck tolerance. i don't need to be "tolerated" by anybody.

i don't need to be "accepted" by anybody, for that matter.

what i need is equality.

and if you haven't seen milk.... see it. and let's talk.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

What In Gay Hell?

oh, my lovelies... i don't know what the fuck i just experienced this evening. but it wasn't pretty.

allow me to preface. the past several years i have attended the annual illumination project here in houston. it usually falls around world AIDS day and it's always been a lovely event. dance, musical performances, a reading from the laramie project.

but the woman who normally does it couldn't do it this year... she usually brings in talent from new york.

what i saw tonight... let's just say the illumination project was fisted this year without any use of elbow grease.

this year the evening was produced by "falcon" in cooperation of the empire of the royal sovereign imperial court of the single star. i don't really know what the fuck that is except that drag queens wear crowns, the men wear cowboy hats and sashes and it's all very queeny.

first off... i'd like to say that i've always been a big supporter of the illumination project. it had class and it was moving... each evening ended with candles placed on the stage for individuals to light in memory of a loved one lost or a loved one infected.

and i'd like to say that i'm a big believer in the fact that the gay community is the only population that continues to have large numbers infected with HIV that does anything to raise awareness, raise money.... fight for education. no other group, african american or latino, is really doing anything or holding any benefit to help fight against AIDS.

having said that... fuck me the event was gay, gay, GAY tonight. and it lost almost any aspect of sophistication or taste.

let's get a couple of things out of the way:

1) men: stop lip-syncing to other men singing. jesus christ! this drives me nuts. if you can't sing... don't sing. but for godssake don't just lip-sync to someone who has talent. leave that to the drag queens.

2) speaking o' drag queens.... drag queens don't make everything better. hell, they rarely make anything better. not that i don't appreciate drag queens. (although, i appreciate the ones that do their own singing more. singing on your own impresses me, if you can't tell). but the evening ended with a rather sweet dance between two men that suddenly brought in a drag queen and just camped up what otherwise probably could have been moving.

3) did you notice the "legitimate" performers did not stick around for a curtain call at the end of the show? yeah.... they were probably embarrassed.

4) just because they're your friends doesn't mean they have to have a number in the show.

and oh....the numbers. my god what a giant faggot train wreck!

i mean...there were some nice numbers. a piece danced by nozomi iijima and my new husband, tandy herrera, of the houston ballet was lovely. city of ballet houston's "sentimientos" was quite nice. although when the little, asian boy started his solo to just the drum... i really had to stop myself from yelling out: "go, billy! go!"

even the two numbers by houston metropolitan dance company... a fosse number that would have made fosse, himself, cringe...simply because of the sloppiness and un-uniformity of it.. and "whatever lola wants" with the phallocentric banana dance.... they were fun. despite some flaws.

but my god... two drag queens and three royal court members lip-syncing various numbers from you're a good man, charlie brown and another round of drag queens and empire members lip-syncing to the best little whore house in texas.

these were painful, uninspired numbers. bad drag. bad lip-syncing. just badly conceived.

a big-haired dyke ruined "somewhere over the rainbow" while rainbow-colored tarps rippled out from pictures of individuals who had died. it could have been moving...but it was terrible.

but this brings up another point i'd like to make.... there were about seven or eight pictures up there... all gay, white men... save one black man (who was probably gay).

now...while i'm a big believer in the fact that only gay men hold events to raise money for AIDS.... the entire event grossly ignored the growing infection rate in other races...especially black men and young, black women.

the event was held by gay men for gay men... it was not inclusive. it was self-aggrandizing, egotistical and embarrassing.

it was a reason to get your friends together for an event that should have been held at mary's or tony's corner pocket (sleazy, gay dives for my non-houston readers).

the illumination project was conceived to raise awareness of all those impacted by HIV. when you fill a show with drag queens and other camp... you alienate an entire population that is also suffering.

two more quick rants and i shall leave the horrid nightmare of this evening behind me.

1) there was a number by the "lone star lariats." i just knew it would be butch-looking men in cowboy drag dancing like a reject scene out of oklahoma. and sure enough.... bad cowboy drag along with two-stepping and line dancing.

and i'm sorry...but watching two men two-step queers me out. it's not natural.

i can watch two men salsa or slow dance... but two men doin' the boot-scoot boogie really freaks me out.

2) the flyboys of houston performed. a gaggle of half-naked, tweaked out twinks spinning flags like studio 54 still exists. it was over the top and there was nothing subtle in their "interpretive" dance. and it highlights PERFECTLY the problem with gay men and gay plays...

put a gaggle of half-naked, tweaked out twinks on a stage... or even one or two half-naked or fully-naked men on stage... and the gay audience will eat it alive and give you a standing ovation every night.

this drives me bonkers! it's why gay theater is so sub-par.

we don't require anything of it except some nudity... we care nothing of characters or plot or drama....

all we want is half-naked, tweaked out twinks....

and guess what? the fly boys of houston were an ENORMOUS success.

hell, i'm sure the entire event tonight will go down as an enormous success for most people who attended. because... i guarantee you...they were all friends of performers or members of the royal, empress court...or whatever it's called.

i hate to shit on such an important event... but this year was a disgrace to what was once such a moving evening.

i only hope i can take over next year and save this show from itself.

embarrassing. i mean...funny while you're watching it.... but embarrassing when you look back.

oy... queens!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Notes From All Over: Thanksgiving Leftovers Edition

i realize thanksgiving is quickly becoming a distant memory.... but i had a houseful of people through sunday and then i've just been busy (or worn out) the past couple of evenings.

i do, however, still have the remnants of three pies in my refrigerator plus an odd mixture of thanksgiving leftovers... mostly mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.

i think my brother finished off the dressing last night...

the big news of the thanksgiving holiday: i held my first baby.

well, not my first baby. for the first time i held a baby. yes, i met my pudgy, little niece leah kathryn.

and what everyone said would happen, happened: i melted.

she is just an adorable little butterball, full of personality. and she knows what she wants and when she wants it... my favorite quality in a woman.

so...despite being up early (even for me) every day of the holiday break, it was a wonderful time. let me break down some highlights.

the dinner
wednesday night i made the celery/sage dressing, the double crust apple pie and a roasted garlic and potato soup. the soup would be the accompaniment to the turkey sandwiches for the UT v. A&M game thursday night.

thursday i made the pumpkin pie, the corn casserole, mashed potatoes and roasted acorn squash and cauliflower. i also made a delicious cranberry sauce my friend rhoda suggested:

simple cranberry sauce
1 orange, quartered (rind and all)
1 bag cranberries
1 cup sugar

pulse together in food processor until desired thickness.

it was yummy.

my younger brother handled the dead turkey (which i refuse to touch) and everything was marvelous. in fact, we were all too full for soup and sandwiches during the game so we all just had pie.


A&M vs. Texas
we all hunkered down to watch the game thursday night and watched the horns spank and embarrass the aggies..... it was an incredible game for colt mccoy and one that may have put him back in the lead for the heisman.

unfortunately.... OU beat OSU handily on saturday and when the sunday BCS standings came out... no one was surprised when oklahoma leap-frogged over texas to go ahead to the big 12 championship and, probably, the BSC championship game.

it was a big disappointment..... but texas, at #3, is still ensured a great bowl game.

the bouncy chair
okay... so, there's this thing that babies sit in that hangs from the door frame and it twists and turns and swings and bounces. my niece fuckin' loves this thing.

the first time they put her in it...she just jumped and jumped and jumped and giggled and cooed and smiled.... i fuckin' lost it. i was laughing so hard i had tears in my eyes.

it was like watching a monkey at the zoo. my god - it was so funny.

but hey...she loves it. and it keeps her entertained.

by the way...i took to holding my niece more as the visit wore on. it's not so hard afterall... except that she is really heavy.

it felt very odd at first... but i made sure i held her one last time before she left for baton rouge.

p.s. don't expect me to want to hold every baby now that my hymen has been broken. i just want to hold my niece. get your own damn uncles to do your heavy lifting.

the 2nd annual pie off
we held the second annual pie off on saturday this year.... i'd like to think it was a great success.

eight pies... each one more delicious than the next.

the entries:
2 sour cream, apple pies
1 classic pecan
1 double crust apple pie
1 lemon ice box pie
1 orange meringue
1 chocolate peanut butter pie
1 triple chocolate pumpkin pie

the last pie was mine... straight from martha stewart's november magazine. and while i still need to master my dripping technique... i thought it was fierce. rich, dense, chocolaty. delish.

but...the judges were not judging on difficulty or style, the sour cream apple pie scored the blue ribbon, followed by the melting chocolate peanut butter pie and finally the pecan pie...which had style and taste.

but we all know mine was the best... i'm just not allowed to win because i host.

oh - and a special shout-out to sister epiphenita's friend lori for bringing the makings for pie-flavored drinks: pumpkin pie and apple pie. yummy and potent.

but there were about 13 people at the pie off and i thought it went well.

except for the losing part...

monday night debut
the houston texans made their monday night debut this week against the jacksonville jaguars. i don't know if the texans played particularly well or if jacksonville played exceptionally bad... but we won. 17-30, houston.

this is in large part thanks to our defense, in particular mario williams.

meanwhile, sage rosenfels remains inconsistent and steve slayton continues to be this season's pleasant surprise.

the national exposure was nice... but jesus - those commentators on ESPN talk incessantly. i swear they're stoned.... just three giggling stoners.

election update
saxby chambliss won his reelection bid to the U.S. senate in yesterday's georgia run-off against democratic challenger jim martin. there goes the dem's hope for a 60-seat majority.

meanwhile in minnesota: 93% of the ballots have been recounted with norm coleman holding a 303 vote lead over democrat and all-around great liberal, al franken.

franken did win a ruling by the state attorney general that will include more absentee ballots, however, so i'm hoping he can close the gap.

expect results in another week or two.

madam secretary
monday, president-elect barack obama made his choice for secretary of state official: hillary rodham clinton.

brava and yay!

no need for a book tour
doris kearns goodwin need not worry about a book tour for her new book on lincoln, team of rivals. more commentators and pundits have used that phrase over the past two weeks than i've heard in my life!

i'm sure doris thanks you for helping her sell more and more books... but cut it out, for fuckssake!

obama is being a pragmatist and picking the best people for the jobs.... no matter who they are.

but...congratulations, doris. love ya, girl.

in closing
are there really only 21 shopping days left until christmas.

fuck me, i'm just not ready.... and i've really neglected my movie watching in anticipation of the upcoming awards season. i mean...the independent spirit award nominations came out today.

rachel getting married leads the way... and it's really a very good film. devastating. and anne hathaway and rosemarie dewitt are superb.

okay...i guess i should end my work day with a bit of work. but i needed a sanity break so i thought i'd catch up.

more soon, i'm sure.


did anyone see jupiter and venus the past two nights? lovely celestial viewing.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

'Meet' David Gregory

well, the "official" announcement should be coming down soon....but david gregory has been tapped to fill the vacant chair of meet the press. the huffington post broke the story and it has been confirmed by politico.

tom brokaw has been filling in since the untimely death of the great tim russert but it's been known he was only a temporary (or "interim") moderator.

gregory beat out several other possible contenders as the search for russert's successor had reached a fevered-gossip pitch around washington. other names bandied about: chuck todd & andrea mitchell of NBC, gwen ifill of PBS, ted koppel and even katie couric.

gregory, the current host of 1600 pennsylvania avenue (previously known as race to the white house) on msnbc, was not my first choice as the new moderator of press. i was hoping for chucky t or ifill.... but he's a strong interviewer and should do well. he's covered the white house for years and is known as not backing down when questioning the president or his press secretaries.

best of luck, sir. you have some big shoes to fill.