Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thangstagiving!


Wishing you and yours a warm old-fashioned Thanksgiving Day!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A dating meme

Due to the recent exposure I've had reconnecting with many old friends from high school and before, most of whom are NOT on their first marriage or long term relationship anymore (I have to include LTR because SOME of us can't yet marry - but I'm not bitchy about that...much) - it got me wondering...

...what - God forbid - would my dating profile look like if I EVER had to enter the dating marketplace again.

"Formerly gorgeous, now "settled" 45 yo GWM, 6'2" with what was once a football player build and currently in posession of most if not all of his own hair, recently widowed with dark sense of humor, mad culinary skillz and a totally random nature - except for my kitchen...don't you dare re-arrange ANYTHING in my kitchen....seeks independent yet nurturing GWM 40-55 with own car and apartment/home/job, no history of mental illness, addictive behavior or voting Republican.

The most qualified candidates will be:
  • Endlessly attentive to my stories
  • Able to name at least 3 of the top 5 "gay" movies
  • Not a total show queen
  • A big band fan
  • Understanding of the fact that YES, I may pass out on occasion
  • Understanding of the fact that I prefer to sleep in my chair some nights
  • At least 5'7" - I will not compromise here. It's damned awkward.
  • Preferably Celtic or Western European in origin - will consider others, but...feh.. why bother?
  • Willing to occasionally listen to show tunes without calling me a fag or a show queen
  • Tolerant of my friend AerialPJ and I and our mad schemes and plans. I promise you, our new performance art show, "It's Kabuki, bitches!" will be well accepted and reviewed - it will!! Really!
  • Understanding of the fact that if he is not in a position currently, AerialPJ is the backup husband.
  • Cognizant of who Isabella Rosellini and Gene Tierney are (this one is Pass/Fail, kittens.)
  • Able to not put their Lilliputian underwear in my @#$%^&&* underwear drawer so I don't have to scream and swear and suffer bodily injury when I am dressing in the dark at 5 am to catch a train to New York City because you don't go to work until 1 p.m.
  • Cruel and vindictive, as required.
  • Endlessly devoted and loyal.
  • Willing to be medicated or psychoanalyzed.
  • Able to sing every Disney song since Little Mermaid.
For ease of reference, think Kitty Montgomery with a dark side.

If this sounds like you, then drop me a line. Photo and proof of employment required; copies of your voter ID card, previous year's tax return and current medical records moves you to the head of the line

What's your dating profile look like?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Potty humor

One of the cool things about working with a bunch of researchers is finding out how weird their sense of humor really is.

You'd never know it from passing them casually in the hall and overhearing bits of conversation about MIPS and nanometers.

But in the Aisle 22, 1st floor gents, a contest of sorts appears to have taken place.

Over grout.

To be found, written in pencil, in the itty bitty grout lines of the wall tiles can be found gems - clues to this elusive geek humor.

"How grout thou art"

"I fish for grout"

"No grout about it"

and my personal favorite...

"Immediate groutification."

There. That's a minute of your life you'll never get back.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Standing up.

There is a riddle I heard when I first moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989 :

"What do you call emptying the bars, closing the shops, blocking traffic on Market Street and marching on City Hall?"

The answer?

A San Francisco first date.

And it's true. I know of nowhere in the US where it's just SO easy to become part of a protest. They happen spontaneously.

When B and I lived in the Castro District in SF, we had to have contingency plans for getting home from the Walgreens four blocks away if they closed Market or Castro Street.

And we've been walking down those streets when the call went out - "Out of the bars and into the streets! Out of the bars and into the streets" - after a local politician had just announced on the radio that he was vetoing some kind of LGBT thing.

Wham. Instant protest. Traffic snarled. People stranded. Things set on fire. Just add water and stir.

And I have lain on Market Street, I have shouted "no blood for oil!", and I have seen rotting Christmas trees set ablaze on the curbs of Haight-Ashbury as we marched against injustice.

Protests were unifying and revelatory - they were cathartic and fulfilling. Protest was passion - protesters linked up, hooked up and shacked up, until the cold grey light of dawn illuminated furtive departures and mumbled pleasantries, ending with an uncomfortable train ride home.

Now - I protest by writing checks, blogging, e-mailing and debating in the informal yet rarefied salon of our circle of friends. Oh, and of course, by voting in every single election.

I no longer have to worry about a sudden protest disrupting my tranquil suburban neighborhood. Nor do I have to be concerned that protesters might close down the mid-Hudson bridges, preventing me from getting home from my job.

Or do I?

Are we on the brink of a new age of activism? I believe we are. And I - for one - am very excited at the idea.

Major social change only happens when radical and overwhelming events precipitate change. And I can think of no more likely sudden and radical topic-at-hand as the marriage equality debate.

Post Proposition 8 protests and backlashes are breaking out all over the nation. A unified, nationwide protest will take place this Saturday, November 15th.

From the Join the Impact site:

"Every day since Election Day, thousands have protested up and down streets in cities across California, including in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento. A national, grassroots coalition of LGBT activists have followed in their footsteps.

On Nov. 15, 1:30 p.m. EST/10:30 a.m. PST, in large cities and state capitals across the country, Pro-Equality supporters will raise public awareness of the need for LGBT equality in marriage and in other civil rights."
Wow. Just wow.

Do I think it's right that Americans march? Hell, yes.

Do I think that it's right for us to march on and/or boycott institutions that fund or mobilize activities designed to prevent ANY American from having equal rights and worth under the law - even if it is a religious institution? Double hell, yes.

Anti-LGBT activists have bullied and boycotted businesses for years - some have folded under their pressure, others have not. We have as much right to turn the tables and boycott and protest against those who would seek to press their morals and beliefs on us through the passage of oppressive legislation, singularly designed to prevent a segment of the American public from having the full rights and privileges as those who wish to pass the law.

Will I march this weekend? Not likely. We'd have to schlep to Albany, get a hotel room, find someone to take care of the know, the crap that old former protesters have to deal with. If Kingston or New Paltz had one, I might stay up late enough to participate.

What I will do, however, is begin to ask questions locally - and find information on who supports what and who donates to whom. And base my support of their products or services on whether they believe - or not - that I should have the same rights and privileges as anyone else.

I have already dumped my former chiropractor, after finding out through public records that he was donating thousands of dollars a year to the Republican National Committee. Not with my office fees, you aren't.

There are restaurants and diners here in our city where we will not eat and farmer's market vendors from whom we will not buy. They have made their affiliations and beliefs known.

And from now on - if I don't know - I will ask. It may seem rude to some, but the time for the good little gays and lesbians to stay silent and smile and be patient is over.

Melissa Etheridge's recent statement reflects how I feel. If I am to pay my taxes and support my community as a full citizen, then you had damned well better be prepared to make and support me as a full citizen -- and not put legislation in place to prevent me from being one.

Quiet time is over for the status quo. Consider yourselves warned.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I most certainly do not feel this way this morning

I'm actually feeling more "gangsta' with Minnie Mouse dancing on my head.

Ultimate time waster ->

Thursday, November 06, 2008

For this, I shaved?

Good God, what a day.

My friend and former corporate communications colleague Elyssa asked for my help to do some podcasting at the 2008 Asian Leadership Conference our company was co-sponsoring in New York City, so...let me break it down how it went down...

  • I woke up at 4:30 so I could shower, shave and dress to catch the 5:56 a.m. Amtrak train to Manhattan
  • There was an accident on the bridge over the Hudson, with the resulting back-up causing me to arrive at the station parking lot at precisely 5:56 a.m.
  • Amtrak being Amtrak, the train was posted as running twelve minutes late
  • Phew
  • Math whiz time: The 5:56 train arrive at 6:20
  • Twelve-minutes says what?
  • Grrrrr
  • The seat in front of me was occupied by the foulest human being I have ever encountered in my entire life. In addition to winning the cosmic lottery for the most undesirable genetic traits you could possibly imagine (we're talking U-G-L-Y that the Devil wouldn't touch), he snored and farted the entire trip
  • I donned my headphones and pulled my cashmere sweater from Italy up over my mouth and nose, relying on my lingering Chanel Egoiste to see me through ( I once had a similar experience at a 1:00 a.m. post-Cirque Du Soleil moment in Harlem at the 125th Street Metro North station where only the lingering smell of the hand-cream in my treasured Takashimaya three-sided shopping bag kept me from hyperventilating and fainting)
  • Then we reached the rail bridge into Manhattan where we ended up sitting for nearly an hour because a faulty bridge switch sensor or some damned thing was malfunctioning - during which time no less than 20 other Metro North and Amtrak trains whizzed past us like we were the retarded kid in gym class
  • Note to self: The clientele may steal your shoes when you're asleep on Metro North, but their trains were moving
  • Gorgo the smog monster in the next seat went back to snoring and farting
  • It was at this point I realized that I had left my cell phone in the car
  • We finally arrive at Penn Station at 8:35 - presumably just moments before the 7:00 a.m. train I could have taken would have arrived
  • God, I hate Amtrak
  • I was supposed to have met Elyssa at 8:15
  • I had to use our company's 800 number to reach someone in my office to look up Elyssa's cell phone number
  • The only working pay phone at Penn Station is in a Sbarro's pizza joint playing hip-hop at full volume for your morning enjoyment
  • I finally reached her and then caught a cab to go to the hotel near Battery Park (for those of you who aren't familiar with Battery Park - the only thing farther south is New Jersey...or Florida)
  • Apparently, Muqtada al-Sadr's forces have left Iraq and are focused on destroying the West Side Highway, causing me to spend yet another hour in an overheated taxi cab that smelled of B.O. and Cardamom - I'm not judging, just saying.
I finally arrived and found Elyssa - who was suffering from an enormous head cold or possibly something more serious. You see, Elyssa's boyfriend is doing his residency at Columbia Medical and is exposed to some of the most exotic diseases known to mankind. As Elyssa related to me, people from the Dominican Republic who get sick are known to hop planes, fly to New York and check into Columbia. This is apparently called "DR in the ER."

For all I know, Elyssa could have had Dengue Fever or Berri-Berri.

Trying to put the best face on things - we settled in and tackled the buffet. Surprisingly, the Marriott Downtown (see "Jersey") has a unique take on "ethnic" foods. While I enjoyed some amazing Asian food today - remember, it's the Asian Leadership Conference - there were such amusing additions as knishes and cannolis mixed in with the soba noodles, pork buns and thousand year old eggs for an amusing ethnic counterpoint.

Note: I did have the most AMAZING steamed pork buns I've had since leaving San Francisco. I wanted to seduce the chef - keep me in Char Siu Bao and I am anyones little lotus flower.


Anyway - as the day went on, poor Elyssa worsened. First, our list of targeted attendees and luminaries were largely absent or unavailable for podcasting. We made the best of it and recorded as many attendee interviews as we could - but through the process, Elyssa continued to decline.

By early afternoon, Elyssa was nearly a vegetable. She drank pots of tea and ate spicy Asian delicacies to no avail. At one point, we realized she had been sitting in the same spot doing nothing for an entire hour.

We finally decided to call it a day and shared a cab, dropping me at Penn Station well in advance of my train's departure time.

To their credit, my Amtrak train left on time and was only 15 minuted late arriving at my final destination. During the ride, I edited our podcast material - only once accidentally yanking out my headphone plug and treating my fellow passengers to a boring analysis by a senior vice president of the business opportunity provided the global economic downturn.

When I finally arrived home. as I always do after a day in Manhattan, I peeled off my clothing, jumped in the shower and washed the grime and stress of the city away.

I poured a vodka tonic and sat down to reflect upon my day - knowing that a brighter and more glorious day awaits me tomorrow. It's Friday. And I will be working from home in my pajamas and fluffy slippers.

No shaving, no Amtrak...just me, a weekend in the offing, and my weekly Friday early cocktail hour.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008


"In the wake of a sometimes bitter, and ultimately successful, campaign to ban same-sex marriage in California, leaders of the Mormon church are calling for civility and kindness from those on both sides of the issue… Salt Lake City-based church elder L. Whitney Clayton says the church is genuinely concerned about the emotional divide created by the gay marriage issue and says he hopes people will treat each other with civility and respect."

In a word. No.

It's on, bitches.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Decision '08

The democratic experience

I voted this morning on my way to the office. Our polling place is the elementary school a block from my house. The registration table was staffed with a number of the retired ladies from my immediate neighborhood.

After running the gauntlet of bake sale tables set up in the hallway, I was greeted by my elderly neighbors, complimented on how lovely our gardens were this year, and brought up to speed on Ray down the street who fell from a ladder over the weekend and was airlifted out to a hospital in Albany.

Voting was straightforward. We employ those amazing mechanical voting machines that look like punch card computer consoles from the 1950s. Everything seems to be made out of cast iron and the votes registered by moving little levers into a position that uncovers a preprinted red "X" next to the candidates name.

A quick "whoosh" as the lever is pulled, my vote registered and the curtains opened - the great Democratic experience is complete.

Now - the long wait begins.

It's finally here

Election Day - 2008

Please - whomever you choose - get out and vote today.

It really does matter. Perhaps now more than ever.