Monday, January 31, 2005

Could it be?

This morning, Marc had something to tell me. "Last night, I had the strangest dream," he began. Being the perennial smartass that I am, I immediately said, "you sailed away to China, in a little rowboat to find me?" This didn’t even slow Marc down—after all, he’s used to my silliness.

In fact, he sounded quite serious—not in a "something's wrong" kind of way, but he was not going to have his story derailed. No, he said he had dreamed that we got home and there was a message on the machine. It was my Mom. She said she and my Dad had been on a trip to Nashville and had a good time there, and she wanted us to know that they were fine.

Marc said it all seemed very real. He even said that her voice was like it had been years ago, before the cancer that would eventually kill her did nerve damage that made her voice somewhat raspy. But no, she sounded like the Mom of years ago, happy and healthy.

I know how Fiddler on the Roof this sounds, taking the dreams of one’s spouse as real messages from beyond the grave. Still, I wonder if it really could be. Nashville would be the kind of place they might go to have some fun, since they both liked music so much. Of course, Marc knows this, so was his mind playing tricks on him?

I did ask him one question—"Marc, do you know what kind of music Mom liked to play in her car?" "No," he said. "She liked all music, but she usually had the news on when I was in the car with her."

He’s right that she liked all kinds of music, but, most often, she played country music in the car. She liked country music, and I bet she’d enjoy a trip to Nashville. Marc didn’t know that piece of it.

Oh, one last tidbit—the "message" came right between the Jewish calendar and regular calendar one-year anniversaries of her death. Right smack in the middle.

So was that really a message from her? Obviously, there’s no way I can know, but it's the kind of message my Mom would leave. Just something to say they were together, were having fun and were alright. I sure hope it really was her. I really do.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

If you do nothing else right...

Mr. President, it's time to declare victory and bring the troops home. Apparently, the Iraqi people turned out in big numbers. Bigger numbers than Americans turn out for our elections, but that's another story.

So it's time to hand it over to the duly elected government of Iraq and get the hell out of there. Enough American troops have died in a country where we're not wanted. Saddam is out of power, the people had an election. So get our troops home!

Don't be a dumbass and wait for things to be running smoothly, because they never will. This was a bad idea from the start, so take this opportunity to declare victory and run like hell before it all implodes.


On an unrelated note, something very strange happened this morning. In fact, you might want to sit down if, for some reason, you're standing in front of your computer. Ready?

The United States Postal Service made a delivery. It was a package from our Korean tailor. (That's a semi-long story, but the short version is, he comes here, takes orders from lots of folks, then goes back to Korea and ships the clothes over.) Anyhow, the doorbell rang this morning--on a Sunday, that means either Jehovah's Witnesses trying to convert me or the Fire Department collecting for beer (not that they say that's what it's for... but that's what it's for).

Instead, it was the US Postal Service delivering a package. Marc says it's because this was an Express Mail package, but I'm still amazed. I didn't think they had delivered anything on Sundays since my parents were kids.

Maybe this was some rogue postal carrier, and I was just lucky that he was acting out the delivery part of his job before opening up on some unlucky bastard with an Uzi. I'll have to watch the papers tomorrow and see if anyone around here got machinegunned.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Someday, I will have to go there

I have a small family. It would be much larger, but for the fact that a great number of my relatives were murdered by the Germans in World War II. They weren’t brought to concentration camps. In fact, they never made it that far. Instead, they were shot right in their home town. It was a mass execution, and that was that.

This mass killing was all too common during the war. The Germans didn’t always bother shipping Jews—and other victims—off to concentration camps. Sometimes they just killed them right where they found them (in this case, in their homes in the Ukraine), often after forcing some of them to dig ditches that would serve as their own graves.

Despite the particular circumstances of the deaths of these family members, I feel a pull to see the concentration camps myself, perhaps because they are tangible reminders of the unspeakable evil unleashed on the world not so long ago. Growing up, I saw films of the camps, motion pictures of gas chambers, starved prisoners and piles of corpses being bulldozed into mass graves. It’s all etched deeply into my mind, and it will never leave. How could it?

So, with all of this well established, my family history as well as the overall history of the Holocaust, why should I travel thousands of miles to see this? Well, I don’t know the answer to that, really, but I feel a pull. I’ve been reading articles about the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, and I feel like I need to find the time, at some point in my life, to go stand face-to-face with these remnants of this terrible evil.

It’s still unimaginable that any human being could deliberately plan the mass extermination of another group of human beings, but it surely happened. Worse yet, it continues to happen. We’ve seen genocidal acts in my lifetime, and we must always be on guard against the hatred that is capable of unleashing such mass murder on any population.

In today’s New York Times, the head of the European Jewish Congress made the terrifying point that the transition from the acts of mass vandalism of Kristallnacht, where Jewish shops were vandalized, to the Wannsee Conference, where German leaders discussed the “final solution to the Jewish question in Europe” happened in just a few years—“the blink of an eye,” as he said.

Let us also remember that it wasn’t just the Jews, although we were the main target (as a gay Jew, I really would have been a prime target). The Germans planned to wipe out any race of people they deemed inferior. This could happen to anyone, although we Jews are the prime example and remain a favorite target of many in this world. The thing that strikes the most terror in my heart is that Germany managed to do this.

Those who are students of history will realize that, prior to this time, Germany was a country that valued tolerance and put a premium on intellectual achievement. If Germany could turn into this butchering monster, any country could.

The article in the Times ends on a note that really sends a reminder of what even those who survived the camps went through. One survivor who went back years ago noticed that something looked different—there was grass there. So what’s the big deal about grass? It’s this—there was no grass to be seen when she was there, because the starving prisoners had eaten it all.


Addendum: This is well worth the time it takes to read it. I found it to be a very moving (and troubling) column.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Blue Pearl

I'll let my Bokey get into more details when he is ready, but I have to say something about this myself. The granite counters just got installed in the kitchen of our new house (to which we have yet to move, by the way). I wanted the granite called Blue Pearl. Marc liked it, but I think he preferred another color. He went along with Blue Pearl because I liked it--and that says something, since the kitchen is really his domain.

Anyhow, we went out east to see the slabs before they cut them, and we loved what we saw. Even so, now that they are cut, polished and installed, they look AMAZING. Now, we've seen blue pearl in all kinds of shades--which is why we insisted on looking at the slabs before accepting them for cutting, etc.--but this is the most gorgeous shade of blue (as opposed to many slabs that look very gray). Also, it has LOTS of mica pieces in it--that's what gives this type of granite its special look.

You'll all just have to see it when you come to the housewarming party. :) The place is really starting to come together!

The "new" house is my family home. When my Mom died, Marc and I decided to buy out my brothers, sell our current house and move there. Before that, however, we are literally gutting the place and updating it from top to bottom. I think she'd be happy with how it's turning out. Also, this will make it our house, and that should be good for me emotionally.

In closing, let me thank all of the wonderful people who sent me cyber-hugs and good wishes on the anniversary of losing my Mom. I can't tell you how much that means to me. Thank you, all!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Okay, enough sobbing. Back to business.

Time for a little political commentary. I'm too tired to do this right, so I'll just throw out a couple of things. It's all so absurd that I really don't need to say too much.

White House Predicts $427 Billion Deficit, Including New War Costs

1) What happened to fiscal responsibility? Oh, speaking of money, keep your thieving hands off of Social Security. We have 401(k) accounts and such for private savings, Mr. President. Your Wall Street asshole buddies will just have to make due with that. Social Security is the safety net. Those dollars shouldn't be set free--it's a defined benefit-style plan and the dollars need to stay committed to that. Ask someone to explain it to you, if you can find any caring in you, you phony.

2) About those war costs... can we say QUAGMIRE? I know reading isn't a big part of your life, but you might want to read about VIETNAM... you know, that war you ducked by getting into the National Guard and then lacking the integrity to even show up for that! If you won't read about it and can't find a good picture book, have someone explain it to you (someone outside your circle of sycophants). Maybe a history professor... you know, someone with a passing interest in the truth (if their presence near you won't result in the equivalent of a matter-antimatter explosion).

Monday, January 24, 2005

The anniversary of the worst day of my life

The day that will always hit me hardest is February 6th. That’s the day that my mother died. I am Jewish and was raised well, but I’m not devout enough to really think in terms of the Jewish calendar.

I am, however, following the Jewish calendar for the observance of my Mom’s death. This year, the day of the Jewish calendar matching the day of my mother’s death last year is today.

So, last night I lit a Yahrzeit candle and said the appropriate prayers. I cried, and Marc hugged me to help me through it. I’ll cry and need hugs again on February 6th, of course. Maybe having two anniversaries of this tragedy will help me heal.

I just can’t believe that a year has passed—in any calendar—since I lost her. When my Dad died, I couldn’t understand how the world kept going. I have a similar feeling regarding my Mom, but I feel more lost without her and can’t quite comprehend how I keep going.

I know I was lucky. I had wonderful parents who loved me more than anything. The problem is, they’re gone now. Perhaps their souls are in paradise, as one of the prayers says, but I’m selfish. I want them back.

If there is any justice in this world, they are in paradise. More importantly, they’re together. I know very well that they’d rather be together in the worst of times than apart in paradise. So I hope you’re together and happy, Mom and Dad. I’m trying to stay strong here, but it’s very difficult. I miss you more than I could ever say.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Old Man Winter can kiss my ass our asses

I know I speak for myself and the other members of this household. All of this cold and snow sucks! Think I'm alone in this? Check out this look...

This is really directed at me, but his unhappiness comes from being outside. We forced him to go out, hoping that he would do his business, but he hates the snow. So he sat down by the back door and insisted upon being let back in. The look he's giving is due to my wanting him to cooperate as I took pictures when I should have been opening the door for His Highness.

In truth, not everyone here hates the snow. Mandy is thrilled to see snow and loves to go run and play in it...

Bernice is indifferent to it, and Marc & I just want it to go away! It makes for some interesting scenes...

...but I really can live without it.

One last note--I don't want to ignore the passing of Johnny Carson. I was a great fan of his. It felt like a cheap post to just have one about him--and I'm sure plenty of other folks will post about his death--but I really did like him a lot. There's been no other person who could do what he did. Try as they might, every other talk/variety show host is just a pale shadow of this great man.

Saturday, January 22, 2005


Round one of the snow seems to be tapering off. I went out and did another blow job, and I found that a fitting on the arms of the snowblower has disappeared, so I improvised something for now to hold it together, but it's time for another trip to the repair shop.

In the meantime, our driveway and walks are clear, as well as the sidewalk in front of our house and those of our neighbors on either side. I just took a nice, hot shower and feel a bit better, but I'm sure to sleep well tonight.

Thank God I don't have to shovel anymore (except the front steps which the snowblower, of course, can't climb). Before the snowblower, it was torture; of course, back then, we didn't clear as much of the walks and driveway--we'd only do what we had to.

If you're wondering, I'd say we've gotten about six inches of snow so far, with a lot more to come later.

Well, actually, since I'm posting on the Internet, I probably should revise that to say we've gotten eight-and-a-half hard, throbbing inches of snow. ;)

Just for the record, if I never saw another snowflake again, that would be fine with me!

A busy 24 hours

Last night, we went to a lovely party at the home of Rice Cake and Anthony. Rice Cake, formerly known as Michael (and apparently dubbed "Rice Cake" by someone who wrote Anthony's and Michael's names in Chinese for them), invited over several friends for drinks, hors d’oeuvres and some light food. This included bowls of chili, made by Anthony, and guacamole found at a Spanish Harlem store. It all was wonderful.

I brought our little camera and took a few pictures. This isn't my favorite shot of Marc, but I love the mischievous look on Wayne's face...

Then there's this picture, a rice queen's wet dream...

Today, I continued my mediation class. These poor, deluded people think they will be able to continue the class around 11am tomorrow. We shall see, but I have serious doubts. Some of them are getting there by mass transit, while I saw others driving small cars.

I have a four-wheel-drive SUV, so I can get there, but it won't be particularly safe even for me. For the others, I don't see it happening. Even so, I will check by phone in the morning (as they're supposed to put a message on their voicemail if they still plan to try to hold the class) and may try to attend if they are silly enough to try to get it done.

After class today, it was all about the blow job--you know, with the snowblower. Also, we went over to the "new" house for a few minutes. One nice thing is this...

I know... so what's the big deal? It's a room cluttered with the contractors' equipment. This is true, but what the picture can't show is that this room was once only useful in the warm months. Now, it's fully insulated and has brand new windows and its own heat zone, so when we walked out there, it was nice and warm. If the house were done already and we were living there, I could be lounging out there, sipping hot cocoa and watching the snow fall. Unless I was in the living room enjoying a nice fire in the fireplace. I can't wait for the new place to be done, so I can make these important decisions! :)

Friday, January 21, 2005


Yesterday afternoon, I began a mediator training course that lasts 30 hours, running right through the weekend. The course is interesting, but it's hard not to get distracted.

The problem comes from some of my fellow students. The class is a mix of working folks, like me, and law students. Among the law students are some very lovely specimens.

There's Michael, who I thought looked like his ethnic heritage was Italian, but then I saw his last name and that appears to be Eastern European. Not that it matters, really. He's just hot!

Then we have Jeffrey. He's not model-gorgeous, just kinda nice looking (which is fine), but he has big legs. Sitting there with those muscular thighs spread is like an invitation to my lustful mind. :)

Another distraction is a young, cute Asian boy. His name is Patrick. What is it about Asian boys named Patrick? Are they legally required to be hotties? ;) Actually, the difference between this one and my old buddy Patrick is that this one is young.

(Oh boy, am I going to get it for that! Of course, I had a big, evil smile on my face when I typed that "the difference" line. hehehe)

So far, the course has been interesting. At least if it gets boring, I have nice things to look at!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Time for a civics lesson

Today, the President will take the oath of office for a second time. He will likely say, at the end of the oath, "so help me God."

Now, anyone who has read this blog knows how I just love hearing how this is a Christian nation, etc., from people who don't know their American history and think individual rights and open dissent are unpatriotic, when exactly the opposite is true.

For today's little lesson, I refer you to a document that I honestly don't think the President and his entourage have read (at least not in its entirety), the United States Constitution. Specifically, please see Article II, section 1, clause 8: Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

"Oath OR AFFIRMATION?" An option to "AFFIRM"? Really? That suggests *gasp* that a President might not want to swear to his oath. Now, if this is a Christian nation, how could this possibly be? Who wrote this silly document? What's that? The Founding Fathers wrote it? Now, isn't that interesting?

Oh, one other note: would someone like to tell me where in the Constitution's mandate of an oath it says, "so help me God"? Don't waste time looking. It's not there!

This country was founded with a strong belief in the separation of Church and State, with an eye toward freedom from religion, as much as it was toward freedom of religion.

So as we enter a second term of this Administration, someone needs to remind many of our fellow citizens that their religious views are just that--their views, not mine. So stop trying to legislate your view of the world, morality and God into my life. I won't stand idly by, and, for the record, I am the one upholding the patriotic values on which this country was founded, not the religious right.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A tragedy

I was going to use my first blog entry since returning to New York for bitching about the ridiculous cold and also to blast Delta Airlines for being such disorganized, incompetent assholes. However, my return home found me facing something far more distressing.

Patrick's blog is gone. My memory is too poor to be certain, but this may be the first blog I ever read. I knew Patrick for a long time before he even had a blog, so I can't say I met him this way.

Even so, Patrick's blog,, was wonderful. His posts were witty and entertaining, his writing always excellent, and the occasional photos were always wonderful. He didn't decide to shut it down. Instead, Yahoo managed to delete it. He spent lots of time yelling at them, but it seems that the damage is done and is permanent.

I know I'll still have my friend Patrick in my life (and God forbid it's ever otherwise!), and he'll still take and share lovely photos, but I feel like I've suffered a real loss. Sorry, PatCHy. I always loved your blog.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Oy, such a trip this has been

We're in Atlanta. We got here Friday morning, having flown from JFK on the 6:20am Delta flight. Well, actually it wasn't Delta. It was a (Delta subsidiary) Comair "regional jet". If it had crashed, I would have been comforted in my final moments by the thought that at least no one else would have to fly on that piece of crap.

Being a big guy, I could understand if the seat felt narrow (which, of course, it did--it's an airline seat; Calista Flockhart would be cramped), but these seats were too short! I've got short legs, but the cushions weren't anywhere near long enough to support my thighs. Poor Marc has his knees against the seat in front of him! I'd say this treatment violated the Geneva Conventions, but I don't think we observe them anymore in this country. We were NOT comfortable.

Even so, we made it to Atlanta. We checked into the Wingate Inn. It seems nice enough, but the beds actually are made of granite. Now, a firm mattress I could deal with, but these things have no give, no support, no... um, what are the words I'm looking for? Oh yeah... no quality!

So we're going to check out tomorrow morning, after one more night of torture (too late to leave now), and move to another hotel. It's a nicer place, and we hope the beds are better, too!

On a positive note, it's nice seeing Marc's mom. We've done some errands with her and even took her to get a new computer.

Looking to the less materialistic side of things, it's just good to see her and spend some quality time. Tomorrow morning, Marc will join his family for church (while the Jew sits at the house and tries to stay out of trouble). :)

A couple of sights from the trip? Well, I can offer a camera-phone shot of the Big Chicken (yes, that's what the locals call this thing--this is what counts as a landmark in Marietta, Georgia)...

Not only is this thing huge (56 feet tall), but the beak actually opens and closes. Sorry I don't have a better shot, but this is about as good as it gets with a cell phone from a moving car.

Then there's this young man...

His name is Scooby. Yes, I know he doesn't look like a Scooby, but he was named by a little kid, so Scooby it is. He's a very sweet dog, even if he does almost nothing but beg (for either food or having his belly scratched).

I suppose I've had worse trips. I just hope the new hotel has good beds!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

What ARE they doing on those trains?

I've apparently been missing some serious fun on the Long Island Railroad. On the way back from an interview in NYC this morning, I was sitting next to an emergency exit window...

This is a good thing, in case the train gets hit by a wave, flips over and starts flooding. This way, I can follow Shelley Winters right outta there.

Okay, that's fine. What makes me wonder what I've been missing is what it says on the handle for the window...

"PULL HANDLE DOWN" Okay, that makes sense.


REMOVE RUBBER??? Who the fuck is wearing a rubber on the train? And why??

More importantly, when? And can I watch? Or, better yet, help? ;)

You know, I always figured the stains on the seats were from spilled drinks! Now I know better!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

This is why we spend on schools

As I mentioned before, we spend a lot on our schools around here. This prior mention was in the context of my being appalled at the President wanting to kill the federal tax deductibility of school (and other local/state) taxes.

So how do the schoolchildren in Texas do, Mr. President? I gather that you think we spend too much on our schools here. Well, that depends upon what kind of future you want for the children and, by extension, the country and the world. My evidence for the effectiveness of our expensive schools? This year's national Intel Science Competition semi-finalists were announced today.

Of the 300 Intel semi-finalists nationwide, as Newsday put it, 83 LI teens make Intel science contest semifinals.

Your schooling may not have given you a good grasp of math, so let me help. That's just under 28% of all of the semi-finalists nationwide. It doesn't mean ~28% came from New York. This is just Long Island.

I don't have any children, and I'm not going to have any. Even so, I want to pay school taxes at the rate necessary to produce results like these. I want all children to have an education good enough to maximize their potential. I want this for them and for my country.

Education is the key to a better future. Why can't you see this? Are you that short-sighted? Is it greed that keeps you and your friends from spending on education?

One last note that I'm sure you'd find appalling: while I think we need to tighten up the standards for public school teachers, I don't think we pay them enough. The bad teachers should be weeded out--they're dangerous to our future. The good ones, on the other hand, are priceless. They should be paid so well that there will be real competition for these jobs and the best of the best will consider teaching as their career, it being one of the noblest of all professions.

As if my silly crush weren't bad enough already

After the Jets' win this weekend, I was, of course, thinking of lovely Chad Pennington again. In thinking about him--and when he would move in with us--I was wondering when he was born. So I turned to the Internet to find out. That was easily accomplished, and it came with a special bonus... a photo I hadn't seen before! It's not just Chad. He's with someone else, and, as you can see, that someone else is a real dog (yet another plus for him--dog lovers are great, IMHO)!

The photo's undated, but, based upon the date of the article with which I found it, I'd guess it's a couple of years old.

Whatever the age, I love the hair. Chad, is that what your hair would look like after our night of passion? Perhaps after you have a morning shower (for which I would join you, of course) and just let it dry naturally?

Come on over, Chad. We're waiting! ;)

Oh, if anyone's wondering, he's 28 years old.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

If only I knew

Today, in looking at my Statcounter Keyword Analysis, I see that some poor soul in Green Bay, Wisconsin, found my blog by entering the following into a Yahoo! search engine:

how big is jude law's penis?

Two thoughts come to mind:

1) If I had personal knowledge of such a thing, I don't think I'd be putting that on the blog--instead, I'd be concentrating on repeatedly re-measuring it--by seeing how far down my throat it goes! (with Marc's help, of course) ;)

2) If I did have personal knowledge of this, I know a certain bovine-philic young man who would be none too happy!

Sadly, I have no more knowledge of this than the poor wretch who entered such a silly search. I know things may be boring in Green Bay (as it's one of those many places that isn't New York), but does someone really think this information is available through a Yahoo! search?

Sunday, January 09, 2005

What a terrific book!

I am a creature of poorly designed habits when it comes to my reading. I'll have any number of books at any given time and will slowly make my way through them. Sometimes I read some of one, then a bit of another, then back and forth, unless one really grabs my attention and won't let go.

My tastes vary, as my recent readings can attest. I've bounced between a Clive Cussler novel, John Laurence's The Cat from Hue (a non-fiction account of his years in Vietnam as a journalist), Mark Acito's How I Paid for College and various other works.

In the "waiting to be read" stack were two books by someone I actually know, the charming Mr. Rob Byrnes. Despite my actually knowing and having shared drinks with Rob, his books were simply waiting their turn in the rotation. Now, if I had any brains, I would have read them a long time ago. Wouldn't you, if you knew the author? That would have been the smart thing to do, in case the subject came up in conversation.

Anyhow, I cracked open The Night We Met a couple of evenings ago. I already felt that Rob wrote well, just from reading his blog entries, but now I really know it! More important than his ability to string together well-constructed sentences and paragraphs is his ability to spin a really good story.

The Night We Met is a fun, page-turner of a tale. It's a rare book that I really don't want to put down. I do most of my book reading (as opposed to magazines and newspapers) before going to sleep. So I usually read a chapter or two each night, and it takes me weeks to get through a book.

Rob's The Night We Met took me three nights. Last night, I just couldn't stop. I stayed up until 4:15am to finish it. I really could have used a better night's sleep, but I just had to read the rest of it! To any younger readers of my blog who think staying up until 4:15 is no big deal, just give that a few years until you don't have to go out to bars anymore to get laid and have settled, hopefully, into domestic bliss. (That or just don't want to be up so late, as it takes a toll.) In this house, we're generally not awake at that hour! :)

I must admit that I approach many gay-themed novels with what I might call light-hearted trepidation. Light-hearted for my expectation of something fun to which I can relate. Trepidation because most such books are second-rate works. Not so in this case, and I'm sorry I didn't get to this sooner.

I don't recall if I've ever recommended a book here before this one, but, if not, let this be the first. The Night We Met has fun, fear and romance, and it's a good solid yarn. Go buy it!

In a world where avid readers need to swim through seas of dreck (whether gay-themed or mainstream) to find the literary pearls, follow my lead and enjoy this book. It's worth every penny! Good work should be rewarded, as there's so little of it, so I repeat, buy it!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Evil and the fight to stop it

There have always been bad people in this world. There's no question about that. There have always been political divides in our country, as well. Even so, when someone gains a national following sufficient for his or her words to show up in major news magazines and that person is, by any civilized measure, truly twisted, then something has gone seriously wrong.

Part of this is clearly the fault of the various news media, virtually all of which have cast aside journalistic integrity in favor of scoring easy ratings points from chasing sensational stories. All in all, this gives me great concern.

The particular piece of sensationalistic fecal matter that has me out of sorts at the moment comes from the evil mouth of Ann Coulter. Before I share the lovely words here, let me pause to ask when "conservative" came to mean "hate monger"? As deeply troubled as I am by the current state of the Republican party, even worse are those who identify themselves as "conservative", for they aren't the conservatives of decades past. Instead, they are these closed-minded hateful individuals like Ann Coulter who aren't even worried about spouting their narrow-minded views in public. That's what really worries me--these people always existed, but now they feel fine spouting their trash publicly.

So here's what Ann Coulter recently said (in what apparently is her idea of an appropriately loving holiday message), addressed to Islamic peoples around the world: "Just think: If we'd invaded your countries, killed your leaders, and converted you to Christianity, you'd all be opening Christmas presents... about now."

People like this just handed George W. Bush a second term in the White House. They won, and that's that... but the fight goes on. I'm ashamed of people like this, making many in this world think that Americans are dangerous, hate-filled people.

I will NOT let the proud legacy of my nation be turned into this kind of trash. The fight goes on, and those of us who respect the differences distinguishing each of us will win this fight. Maybe not today, but the day will come. It will come legally, appropriately, through the electoral processes of this proud republic, perhaps over the course of years, but it will come.

This post is dedicated to the work of People for the American Way, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign and every individual and organization that continues to fight for the real values of our Founding Fathers and Constitution. If you're not already in this fight, join with us. We have a country and a world to protect!

Friday, January 07, 2005

Where shall I begin?

Vatican to loan ancient texts to Israel

This article refers to ancient Jewish texts. If I were to ask what the Vatican is doing with them in the first place, that would be wrong, I suppose. "Jewish community leaders said they are ecstatic to have the opportunity to study the work of Moses Maimonides, and at least three other medieval manuscripts." See? I'm supposed to be ecstatic and not ask uncomfortable questions.

"A delegation of about 160 rabbis and cantors worldwide, including Blech, and American laypeople will meet with Pope John Paul II this month to thank him for years of goodwill, including working out an agreement to display the priceless Jewish artifacts for the first time in Israel." Okay, so having kissed the Pope's ass ring, these Jewish leaders now get to borrow priceless texts of enormous importance to Jewish history, texts created by important people from Jewish history.

Is this the first time they've been on loan? No. In fact, they've been to GERMANY before, but this will be their first loan to Israel. Germany? Why do I remember that name? Something to do with missing members of my family, as I recall. Well, at least Germany got these Jewish texts first. (That sound you hear is me sputtering.)

I love this line from the article: "There is no known recorded history showing exactly how or when the Vatican acquired the writings, Blech said." Yes, because the Vatican, unlike President Nixon, knew enough to burn the tapes (or whatever incriminating evidence might be lying around, since audio tape probably wasn't big during the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc.).

It's very nice that the Pope is being nice to Jews. It sure beats the fine work of Pius XII. Even so, I feel somewhat underwhelmed by this show of generosity.

Maybe I'm just not sufficiently appreciative. It's possible, I suppose.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Typhoid PatCHy

I don't know how he did it, but I think he infected me over the Internet or through my cell phone. For several days, I worried about Patrick, as he fought off a nasty virus. I kept pushing him, via IM and cell text messages, to drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest.

So what's happened? Well, I hear that Patrick is better, but I had to go home early from work today, with chills, dizziness, a splitting headache, muscle aches and various other niceties.

For all of the things I (and any number of other gay men) have wanted Patrick to give them over the years, I really could live without this. ;) I know, I know. How could he give me a virus via IM and cell phone text messages? Honestly, I don't know, but he's magical. Somehow, he did it!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Why I read the sports section

Every day, when I read The New York Times, I take a quick glance at the sports section. I really care very little about sports. So why look? For adorable jocks like Mr. Pennington here...

He's adorable and must have a great body under that uniform (if anyone has pictures of him out of his uniform, please do share!). I really developed a crush on him when I recently saw him speak to the press. He sounds bright and quite literate. Well, that was it... cute, built, bright and literate. I'm in love.

So, um, Chad. I know you get out to Long Island--you practice less than five miles from here. So why not stop by sometime? Marc would love to meat meet you, too!

You're pouting in the photo. We could cheer you up!

Really, Chad, feel free to stop by. We gay boys are very good at certain things that I'm sure you'd find very enjoyable! You know, if you just lie back, close your eyes and enjoy, it doesn't make you gay! ;)

Monday, January 03, 2005


(Be warned: this is not a happy post. I just think that writing about this will help me cope.)

I barely slept last night. The pain most often hits me at night. It’s not physical pain. It’s emotional pain. It’s contagious, too, as Marc had to spend some time comforting me and sharing the agony.

This is a cruel world. Sometimes I wonder if the greatest joys in life could hold up against the pure pain life sometimes brings.

It has been almost eleven months since my Mom and grandmother died, sixteen days apart. It took me years to come to grips with my Dad’s death (he died in 1998), but 2004 brought pain that I just can’t reconcile. The loss of my Mom was the ultimate blow, but I loved my grandmother, too, and the two deaths in the space of a few weeks was a staggering one-two punch.

Friends and family recently wished me a happy new year. Well, it can hardly be worse than 2004. I sure hope for it to be much better.

What keeps me up at night? The loss of my loved ones? Yes, that’s certainly part of it. I miss them, my Mom especially, and I am selfish—I want them back! What’s worse than the losses are the visions.

Not “visions” in the sense of seeing things that may or may not exist. What I mean is mental pictures of people I love more than words can say suffering with horrible diseases. It’s bad enough to lose the ones you love, but having seen them slowly suffer as their time on this earth drew to a close is what really haunts me.

I have a lifetime of wonderful memories of my Mom that I can cherish. So what comes to me late at night, as I lie in bed unable to sleep? I see that most wonderful lady lying in a hospital bed, only able to tolerate the pain because of a morphine IV; I remember with great clarity how the cancer she had battled for years suddenly (or so it seemed—the oncologist may have been keeping us in the dark as to the true progress) rushed up and took her life, robbing her of the ability to communicate before she could even grasp how it had taken such a bad turn. I remember the agony of her trying to talk to me, of my leaning in trying to hear her whisper over the noise of the medical equipment, feeling I had failed her when I couldn’t make out the words. What if it was something she really needed to say?

I cope with life’s hardships with humor. I like good comedy, and I personally am a perennial smartass and kidder. Remember the song, Tears of a Clown? Okay, I’m not a clown, but a lot of humor is hiding pain. My pain runs too deep to keep buried. I just don’t know how to get all of the pain out.

The icing on the cake is that I never know when something will bring the pain right to the surface. For example, a few days ago, Marc and I were watching TV when I landed on an episode of South Park. It was a silly (aren’t they all?) sort of Christmas episode. Part of the plot involved the death of a mountain lion. That saddened me enough, but when her cubs came out of the cave to find that their mother was dead, I started crying. Now, this was a cartoon animal; a cartoon animal in South Park. Not exactly connected to real life. Even so, I was crying.

When South Park made me cry, Marc tried to comfort me. “Honey, it’s just a cartoon.” I’m an animal lover and hurt for any animal I see hurt or killed—a road-kill squirrel makes me sad. That, however, is not what drove this. I have a huge reserve of emotional pain, and the idea of a mother (even a cartoon animal mother) dying was all it took for the tears to start. In a way, that’s good—crying helps me get the pain out. The ridiculous part is that I usually can’t cry. I feel like I could use to do lots of crying, but I usually can’t make it happen.

I wish I could make the pain go away. I want to remember the many years of good memories. I’m sure that day will come, but it may be a long way off. Until then, I may suffer through a lot of sleepless nights. Why must life be so hard?

Saturday, January 01, 2005

A happy New Year

Our friend, Byrne, spent New Year's Eve at our home. We had drinks and a lovely dinner, and we spent much of the night watching things like Twilight Zone reruns. Yes, we're a wild bunch. Woo hoo! :)

Today, we had a great breakfast, courtesy of my honey, Marc--he made a great broccoli quiche for breakfast (and, of course, was responsible for last night's feast--brisket and assorted delicious side dishes). Then we took Byrne to see the construction progress on what will be our new home in a couple of months.

After that, we headed to Robert Moses State Park (on the western tip of Fire Island). We walked on the boardwalk and enjoyed seeing the waves roll in.

The boys were cold...

But I think the cold was worth enduring, considering the sunset views...


Okay, it's my idea, so of course I think it's wonderful.


Okay, with that said, I have a great business idea. I told Marc, but he seems rather skeptical.

Clearly, this country has taken a frightening swing to the right, with Christian conservatives leading the charge. Having heard that this is a "Christian nation" to the point of nausea, I've taken a break from reminding these idiots of the separation of church and state and the Founding Fathers' determination that this not be a Christian nation.

Instead, I've decided that I should go with the flow and do what they expect Jews like me to do anyhow--separate them from their money. So now comes the brilliant part.

We need a Christian theme park chain. It will be like Sea World but more Christian. I will call it... are you ready for this? ...


Good, huh? :) For some reason, Marc rolled his eyes when I told him.

We will have a large porpoise statue at the entrance, standing up on its tail (you know, like they do in all of those Sea World shows), but with its little head bowed and its flippers together as if in prayer. This would be appropriate, since all of our animals would be reverent and would swim in holy water (I'm sure we could grease some local priest to bless the water for us).

The porpoise statue would say "Porpoise Christi" over it and "The Dolphin of Christ" underneath it. Marc pointed out that dolphins and porpoises are different, but I reminded him of two things: 1) most people don't know this; and 2) since we'll be drawing no Jews to this, the odds of anyone being smart enough to know this are even smaller.

(Given how many Christian friends I have--not to mention a Christian partner--I expect some serious grief for that last comment!) :)

We could franchise the food stands, but we'd require special procedures. For example, you might buy chicken nuggets at a food stand, but they wouldn't be delivered in a little tray. Instead, you'd stand in front of a server, mouth open, and the server would place one piece at a time in your mouth while intoning, "the nugget of Christ."

I still have to work out the rest of this, but it's going to be big. If you're a creative person with a good mind for business, I'm sure you can see this. Of course, investors will be needed, so get your checkbooks ready. Join with me, brothers and sisters! This is our path to wealth and glory!