She has traveled the backs of sofas and launched herself from end tables. She's chewed on my shoe and peed (more than once) on my carpet. She has led me through rain and snow across Union Hill in search of a spot suitable for pooping. Her ball and Kong remain intact, while Alex's favorite toy is in shreds. And she has chased and chewed Alex from nose to tail. Just this morning she even goaded cranky old Jack into joining the rolling wrestling match that has dominated the last week here.
She's a pain in the ass, and completely delightful. Brett and I both look forward to next time.
You already know the basics of the story. Harvey Milk leaves New York for San Francisco, energizes the Castro, and after a number of failed attempts is finally elected Supervisor. He orchestrates the defeat of Proposition 6 and enacts a gay rights ordinance, only to be shot to death by Dan White (portrayed as an uptight, ego-driven boozehound by Josh Brolin). Still, the storytelling is really well done, and there's probably some things you'll learn while you watch. The Twinkie Defense? That came from Dan White's attorneys, which I did not know. I also didn't know that Dan White served 5 years and was released from prison. Five years for two deaths doesn't seem quite like justice, but he returned to San Francisco and evenually killed himself so in the end I suppose it doesn't matter.
There's also lots of old news footage of Anita Bryant. We Wiki'd her when we got home to see if she was still alive. Sadly she is, but I'm pleased to report that her divorce apparently ruined her in the eyes of her fundamentalist christian audience, and she's filed for bankruptcy twice. She now lives in Edmond, Oklahoma where she runs something called Anita Bryant Ministries. I've never heard of Anita Bryant Ministries, which is just as it should be.
Sean Penn is amazing as Harvey Milk. You start watching thinking "wow, Sean Penn just kissed a guy" but before long it's all Harvey and no Sean. The supporting cast is just as good. James Franco plays Milk's boyfriend Scott Smith, and couldn't be more adorable. Admittedly, I have a bit of a 70's fetish. The hair, the clothes, the mustaches...yeah baby. But even without all that the acting is great.
My verdict: well worth the price of a ticket. Go and enjoy.
I picked her up today, and within an hour or so she and Alex were chasing each other around the house. Jack doesn't really want to play, but doesn't seem to want her playing with Alex either so he just sits and barks. They're on break now and she's sitting in my lap as I type, and Jack is taking a breather on the couch.
Her dad likes her shaggy rather than in a standard schnauzer cut, and while I like my boys trimmed up, I do think she's awfully cute all fuzzy. She got a bath and her teeth brushed for her stay, and she's just as sweet as can be. The boys know to avoid the laptop cords from our computers so once she figures that out we should be all good.
Cross your fingers for us. I don't really mind the mayhem so much, but I worry that Brett's head may explode!
I work in the Operations group, and have a few vacation days in a use-or-lose situation, so I took today off and put together a little gathering for my co-workers. I think 10 or so is the perfect number for things like this, and that was about what I had.
It was a nice opportunity to use the old white ironstone pieces I've been picking up lately, and I was pleased with how my table looked. The mix of patterns and styles, all in white, against a neutral linen cloth was nice. I wish I had taken a picture, but I was still pulling things together when the first person arrived. (Thank you again Dan for putting together my cheese platter!) My bronze altar candlesticks work with everything, and the bowl I brought back from France made a perfect centerpiece just filled with colorful retro Christmas ornaments.
Everyone came and seemed to enjoy themselves. We're having the most God-awful, freezing, wet weather, so I did some hot ham sandwiches with a mustard and butter spread, and a cheesy potato and corn chowder. For those that just wanted to snack there were cheeses and grapes, hummus, vegetables and dip, and nuts and wasabi peas. (are wasabi peas addictive for anyone besides me?)
Finally, props to the girls behind the deli counter at the Brookside Market. You recommended a ham, which you advised I should taste. When it was delicious and I ordered some, you first asked how I wanted it sliced and then laid it out neatly, making it easy to build sandwiches for a crowd. The other grocery store I sometimes shop at just grabs a fist full, weighs it, and tosses it in a bag.
All in all, a busy day, but a great evening. Here's hoping rush hour tomorrow morning isnt a total mess.
A woman I worked with gave me a business card for AJ's Zoom N Groom. Amanda and Jacquie came and showed me around their mobile grooming van. Extended in the back and on top it housed a full size tub, hydraulic grooming table, heating, cooling, and maybe most importantly, lots of dog treats. I got an appointment and hoped for the best.
I worked odd hours then, and was home for Jack's second appointment. We answered the door and when he saw who it was he ran to the kitchen, got one of his stuffed animals and brought it to them. That was all I needed to see.
When I sold the house and moved in with Brett, Kirby and Jack got groomed together. When prices went up we stopped, but before long we were back on the waiting list, and shortly after that back to regular grooming. When Kirb was gone Jacquie cared enough to send a card. When Alex arrived she was happy to add him to the appointment.
It's wonderful to see people who have their own business and a great product do well. The girls run two vans now, each working alone, because all of their routes were full and they were turning away so many customers. It's so convenient to just leave a check on the counter and know she'll take care of everything. More than that, it's worth the price (which isn't cheap) knowing that she'll be good to them like they were her own, and after an hour and a half or so they're back home safe and sound.
She comes once a month, usually on a Thursday, early in the morning. Brett's in charge of AM walks, and says they pull like hell when they see the van. We go off to work as she does her thing, and come home to the clean, handsome boys you see above.
Congratulations to Mrs. Blandings, Decorno, and ArchitectDesign! Here's wishing you all a less styled, less icon-laden, and taxidermy free new year!
I got home from work, and after a quick walk and getting schnauzer dinner in the bowls, I grabbed the camera thinking I'd take a couple shots of my funky blue, orange, and silver tree. Daylight was not my friend. It seemed to make the tree look oddly flat, and you could see the light wires clear as day.
Once the sun was down I turned off all the lights, set my camera for night shots, and things got a little bit (a very little bit) better. The night setting seems to emphasize even the slightest hand movement, so you'll have to pardon a bit of blur.Here's a detail shot taken mostly to show you the blue onion ornaments. I loved the shape and color, but because they're plastic I was really ambivalent. You can see the seams in places, and there were only two boxes in the entire place. But I went for it, and on the tree they really don't appear any different from the glass balls. I'm loving the orange glass balls too. I might have to venture back for a few more boxes of them for Christmas future.
I'd taken the green balls and put them in a glass urn on our new cabinet in the entry. The red and blue ones went in a huge glass hurricane on the sideboard in a subtle Christmas nod to our alma mater. And the gold ones...they stayed in their boxes in the plastic tub. I have some gorgeous brown ones as well, but no real use for them this year. And my small collection of retro Radko Shiny-Brite are on the dining room table in the white ironstone bowl I brought back from Paris.
The point being, I have a thing about buying Christmas balls. In a few years we'll have a complete wardrobe of them in every color, because it seems I can only handle a limited pallette on our tree.
Our office closed at 4pm today because of the ice and snow. Frugal shopper (and 4-wheel driver) that I am, off I went to Hobby Lobby to find some half off bargains to pimp our tree.
You could burn about 80 percent of that store at no real loss, but there are a few things there I can put to work. I found a couple sets of onion-shaped ornaments in a really great blue. Think blueprint rather than navy or royal. I also picked up a box of 12 sort of swirling, ribbed, tulip-shaped things that were that blue over silver. They're plastic, and I thought they might be awful, but they've turned out to be just fine.
And then, there in the aisle of glass ornaments, was what I had in the back of my mind but never thought anyone would have: burnt orange Christmas balls. I bought three six packs. Finally, some blue plaid organza ribbon for garland finishes it nicely, without being overly visible. (Note to lower-price-point ribbon manufacturers: There is still a market for ribbon without wired edges. Please remember us going forward.)
So the tree trimming is complete. Not overly traditional, but not at all out-there, and we're way pleased with the result.
(my apologies to anyone offended by this post's title. I'm afraid I'm just the kind of boy who cant resist a good ball joke)
It was cool enough to keep the crowd down (you'll never see me there in the summer when it's more beer garden than gallery walk), but not so awful that you hated to be out. After a few galleries we walked over to Pizzabella for dinner, and then down to see what was new at Black Bamboo.
I've long been a fan of old asian lacquered furniture, and you can always count on Black Bamboo to have some great pieces. Our entryway has needed attention for a while now, and Brett really liked some of the old lacquer cabinets. Still, I wasn't sure that red or black lacquer was exactly right for where we had in mind. There was a small piece in a gorgeous burnt orange, but on our two-tone brown marble floor, hmm, maybe not.
Last weekend we stopped in Kincaid's at 45th and State Line, across the street from Mrs. Blandings favorite, Christoper Filley. Kincaid's is exclusively asian casegoods, architectural, and ceramics. She's got some really wonderful things, including the Chinese cabinet pictured above which now lives in our entry, and totally jump started us to get that room in shape.
Tonight after dinner, completely on a whim, we painted the walls. We'd been planning to since we moved in, but with the cabinet and the print (relocated from the bedroom where it was never really visible), and some paint we had on hand (Sherwin Williams Restrained Gold), we got on it.The white crackled ceramic lamp (yes, there's always a lamp) was a six buck estate sale buy that I had rewired and waiting for the perfect spot. The new small black barrel shade and silver greek key finial from The Light Shop give it more the scale of a buffet lamp. The lines, while not expressly asian, work great with the old lacquer cabinet. A small round raku box, a preserved boxwood wreath from Nell Hill's, a candle, and we're good. This will be great to come home to each evening.
The most recent addition is pictured above. If you spend any time in antique stores or malls, you've seen the barrel pitchers, pottery embossed to look like a wooden barrel. An auction last weekend contained a huge collection of old yellow ware, including this barrel bowl. It's in pristine condition and I've never seen one before, and I was thrilled when one of the ringmen finally picked it up to sell. I waited nearly 3 hours for it, I'm not sure if that's embarassing or a point of pride.I'm also pretty omnivorous in the type of bowl I like. These glazed bowls are all marked USA, with the exception of the pale blue one on the far right, which I believe is unmarked Bauer ringware. I use my bowls for cooking, and often for serving, so I don't buy anything cracked. Chips don't bother me if they're small.
Oh, and this doesn't include the white ones. Porcelain, ironstone, salt-glaze and restaurant ware. I'll save those for another post.
Boyfriend is a lawyer with his own firm here in town. Not a huge firm, but they do a fair bit of business and I decided early to keep him anonymous. He's a reader of the blog (hey baby!) and assures me that using his first name is fine.
So the secret's out. I'm not hiding Anderson Cooper, but I do have my own personal silver fox. His name is Brett.
I know what you're thinking, but no, this isn't Sunday night. Officer Santana was a handsome guy too, but this isn't him.
Kory describes himself as an "all around person who'll settle for nothing but experiencing life to the fullest." Trust me Kory, this is not going to get you a date. I know it sounded exciting when you wrote it, but it says nothing. Also, a photo in front of Olive Garden doesn't exactly scream "adventurer!" Mostly it says you enjoy breadsticks.Having your photo taken with the singing cowboy while holding an I Heart NY bag? Meh. What's the cultural capitol of the world compared to a man in his underwear.
I read further, and he goes on to say "I enjoy meeting new people and learning new things because there is something new to learn everyday and alot of times the people you meet are the ones that teach these things to you." I'd like to teach you some things Kory, starting with grammar and punctuation, and ending with the dangers of mangled metaphors. If we have time I can also cover how to gracefully refuse a drink, or ask the doorman to call you a cab.
Look, my favorite photo of all!
Kory mentions that "I have just made a huge lifestyle change for the better and I am working towards doing all of those things that I have always dreamed of doing, but have never been able to do so." I'm not convinced, but hey, reach for the stars. I suppose if you've had to work up to property damage and fleeing the scene of an accident I should cheer the progress.
Finally, he ends by saying "I firmly believe you need to grab life by the balls before it takes off on you." I say keep reaching for those balls Kory, because I think life's getting ready to grab you right back. And I'm hoping its by the ankles.
1. The love a good man.
Seriously. I'm fully aware that I'm no picnic to live with. The fact that he loves me as much as he does, and has for as long as he has, well, that's just pretty amazing. If he would occasionally wipe down the handle and door on the refrigerator, my life would be near perfect. =)
My schnauzers are barky little terrorists that I love only slightly less than Boyfriend. People who aren't fond of dogs don't understand the depth of this devotion. A neighbor of mine took a passive-aggressive verbal jab at my boys last week and I'm still mad about it. My new hall policy? No correcting, and no apologizing. I will love and adore these dogs until their last breath, and after we move I will never think of this neighbor again.
3. The Internet.
While it may separate us in some ways, it's brought us together in others. Blogs, ebay, banking, chatting, porn, I mean entertainment...all at our fingertips. What's not to love?
4. Being 41.
Not the number so much, as the change in my mind once I hit 40. I'm far more interesting now than I've ever been. I've lost the ability to care about the inconsequential. I've lost the fear of growing old, of not succeeding, of others opinions. It's been wonderfully freeing.
5. Just being.
I've been lucky enough to be healthy all of my life. I'm rarely sick. I've never had any medical procedure outside of a dentist's office, and I've been to the emergency room exactly once. I turned 18 in 1986 when HIV was the "gay cancer" that wiped out a generation of young men, and I came through it unscathed. I'm a lucky boy.
So there's my five. I'm not tagging others, but if you're reading this and you blog, how about telling us what you're thankful for. Leave me a comment so I can come see what you say.
Joe has gained a fair bit of celebrity, and along with that comes the pleasure of trolls commenting on his posts. They usually come from WingNutDaily or some other conservative christian blog, and they're always breathtakingly hateful. One such commenter earlier today finished his diatribe by stating that he was looking forward to a new strain of AIDS. You know, so we'd all die.
I had two thoughts after I read that. First, I love the fact that my blog audience is tiny, thoughtful, witty and well-mannered. And second, could wishing a disease on someone as an insult be any more lame? I've insulted a few people in my day (it's rare, but not unheard of), but never once did it occur to me to say something like "I can't wait for you to contract an inoperable tumor, or a never-before-seen variety of liver cancer!"
Later in the day, a new name popped up in the comments during a verbal evisceration of Michelle Malkin. Let me note that I did not take part in the ritual because I don't really know much about Ms. Malkin (apparently she's just dreadful!), and because the original post linked to the Live Puppy Cam. (I'm watching it while I'm writing this, one of them just peed. On the pee pad. Good Puppy!)
The new commenter, who to his credit was not anonymous, and linked to his own blog (which I looked at briefly, he thinks Obama is a communist) said the following:
"Look, I will do you all a favor. This is obviously a blog where no one outside of your coffee klatsch is welcome. I will depart. May I suggest that you tone down the vitrol please? You want people like Michelle Malkin to stop writing about Gay hate, stop it here. Prove it to the outside world. Peaceful demonstrations, not interrupting church services and going after people who donated to Prop 8. Keep it civil, keep it peaceful and maybe people will listen. Give them fists and profanities and they will hit back and hit back hard. There is a blog I regularly comment on. It is liberal and the Blogmaster if you will is gay and has been to many PEACEFUL, NON VIOLENT demonstrations."
Then he gave the link, signed off with "peace," and was immediatly lambasted by the fast-typing, foul-mouthed homos that are the JMG regulars. God love them.
I thought about it all afternoon, and reread his comment a number of times, and I'm just not sure what to make of it. I do have to give him props for not hiding. And more credit for what, on the surface at least, seems to be an effort to add something to the conversation, especially when he'd have to know he'd be the minority viewpoint standing squarely in hostile territory.
But telling us to tone down the vitriol? (note I spelled it right) You really should know your audience before you start making those suggestions. Then I get to the part about gay hate (we have our own now!) and it starts to sound like blaming the victim. The comment about interrupting church services I actually agree with. (That stunt pulled by Bash Back was just stupid. Don't give ammo to the enemy!) As for Prop 8, using the donor list doesn't strike me as much different from the boycotts the evangelicals have been staging for years. Let's all put our mouths where our money is.
But then he says "Keep it civil." And if you read my big Prop 8 post you know how that pisses me off. It's like saying "you be good gays, quiet gays, and maybe we'll think about easing up on the denial of rights thing..." I'll point out here that we really shouldn't have to ask for any of this.
Then there's his follow-up warning that our foes will "hit back hard," which seems to suggest we should be fearful (we're not). And he closes by telling us that he's a reasonable conservative. Why, he's even a regular commenter on a liberal blog run by a gay dude! Who demonstrates peacefully!
I'm stumped. Who would I rather have a conversation with, those who's opinions and beliefs fall somewhere near my own, or someone with whom I'm bound to disagree on almost everything? Does a discourse between opposing viewpoints educate both sides, or are the sides so far apart that in this battle at least, there's little chance of finding middle ground?
Before and after the speakers (who we couldn't really hear because their PA system was small) everyone lined up along 47th street and cheered the cars that honked as they passed. The event organizers said that we needed to keep the sidewalks clear and people gladly complied.
I thought of California only once or twice throughout the day. Liberal, laid-back California. Gavin Newsom and Nancy Pelosi and the Governator. The left coast would never move to actively discriminate, especially now with gay marriage already on the books.
I trusted my gut, it was all going to be okay.
Barack Obama would bring some dignity and intelligence back to the White House. And sometime, when we had a few days and some extra cash, Boyfriend and I would go to Palm Springs, and after more than a decade together, make it legal. For the first time in a long time, it was all going to be okay.
But my gut was only half right.
I've been surprised at how Proposition 8's passing has effected me, the level of anger and hurt that I feel. I think that maybe it's because we seemed to be moving in the right direction, and now we've taken this gigantic step back. Or rather, we've been pushed back by the leaders of the mormon church
Yes, I've placed my blame.
I read an article that proposed the black and latin communities, not believed to be supportive of gay rights, made the difference because they turned out in higher numbers to vote in the general election. I suppose that could be true, but it seems both racist and facile. Money, on the other hand, always makes a difference when Americans have something to vote on, and on that front the mormon church led the way.
For these churches (mormon and others) the priority is not food for the hungry, treatment for the addicted, or apparently any kind of help for those in need. Ensuring that Boyfriend and I remain unequal in the eyes of the law, that's job one.
So, what do I do now?
As the shouting began, the mormons issued a statement asking for "a spirit of mutual respect and civility," and here I sit, feeling neither. After eight years of watching the Bush administration wreck our reputation in the world, of having my patriotism questioned simply because of my party affiliation, you'll have to pardon me if I'm less than satisfied with where civility has gotten me.
And now, for the religious right to effectively block my entrance to the courthouse, when I've never once asked to walk down their aisle, well I'm not feeling especially respectful. Am I supposed to stand quietly by, with a smile on my face, while they continue their work to ensure that I never receive quite the same benefits, or enjoy quite the same rights as my straight counterparts?
So I've spent the week trying to make some sense of it. I've written and re-written this post each day because I'm alternately disheartened and enraged, and no combination of words seems to adequately convey the way I feel.
I can only conclude that I'm trying to make sense of something that makes no sense. Were I to marry my partner none of those who voted yes on Proposition 8 would know, no change in their lives would occur. The institution of Marriage, battered and bruised as it is, would remain.
I've tried to explain this in past letters to representatives. I've asked why, legally, I should be denied this right. I've asked how my marriage would affect theirs. They've never replied with anything more than a form letter assuring me that my opinion counts. I can only believe it's because they know deep down I'm right.
So I'm left feeling lost, not sure what to do, if anything can be done. And sad. Sad because of all that transpired throughout the California campaign. And sad because as we enter the holiday season, and as I think back on Notre Dame, Sainte Chappelle, Westminster Cathedral, all toured on our recent vacation, I have no charity, at least for now, for the church.