Sunday, May 31, 2009

A grand start to the weekend

Despite a dubious start, it's been a lovely weekend.

Saturday morning was bright and warm and lovely - the dogs awoke me at about 7:45 - not bad for this pack - with Patsy pacing. This is her sign for "need to go out now!!" We've made great strides in housebreaking, considering she spent the first 7 months of her life outside. Eddy - a breeze. Patsy - not so much.

So we wended our way downstairs and let everyone out. I didn't even take time to put my glasses on, but hey - it's fine - I can still see well enough to make coffee.

So - while the coffee was brewing - I emptied the dishwasher, rinsed and refilled it with a new load. Emptied, cleaned and refilled the 2-week watering device for our five little darlings (think water cooler bottle sitting on a big bowl), fed the cats, let the dogs back in and fed them ...all the while the birds are chirping, the leaves on the trees are rustling. Glorious.

So - after about 30 minutes of morning bliss - I head upstairs to retrieve my glasses.

I paused to lift the shades on our bedroom windows and


Doggie stress poop.

Dog owners will know exactly what this is - it's the " I tried to wait for you - honestly, I did" doggie equivalent of the Hiroshima blast that humans get when they wait until the last conceivable possible second. The type you don't want at friends or when you are in a public restroom.

Especially after Mexican food.

It's not pretty.

And to be hopping around on one foot and 'whURPping' - a sound I make when I am trying not to vomit (I have had a life-long extreme reaction to the smell of dog poo) - while the husband SNORES and SLEEPS the morning away not three feet away - is a little disconcerting!

But to spare you the gory details, I dealt with it - and we moved on.
(Thank GOD we have an upstairs bath that is only 3 one-legged poop hops from the bedroom.)

When hubby finally awoke a half hour later and descended the stairs, "the story" was waiting for him at the bottom with a fresh cup of coffee in its hand.



"SO -" it said. "You missed a glorious morning."

"I know - I heard," he said.

"And you did NOTHING?!?!$@$%^&"

"um. no."


"Sounded like someone peed on the rug overnight."

!!!!!!!!!!!!1!1!1!1 Insert Japanese Movie Monster screeching here - overlaid with intense swearing and anti-Irish epithets !111!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!!

"Oh," he said. "Didn't realize it was so bad."

"I'd bleach the sink before you do anything upstairs."


"Enough milk in your coffee?"

"Yah. Fine."

Eighteen years will do that to you.

Shorthanding your crazy (and we do this a lot) is like having someone pee on your fireworks.

They may still work but - hey - why the fudge bother? It'll probably smell bad.


But for all my passive-aggressive pals out there, he's been having a long kip (nap) on this lovely Sunday evening - post-Champagne and gardening - it's been a lovely day.

But I am about to hit 'enter" to this post and let in the winged howler monkeys we call our puppies....

...just to wake daddy up.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Tradition --- Tradition!!

Let's put things in perspective, shall we?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I've been tagged - oh dear...

Thanks to Lou, at The Quiet Life - I've been conscripted to share the following details about myself:

1) What is your current obsession?

Strangely - and unusual for me - I am not currently obsessing over anything. That's VERY rare.

2) What are you wearing today?

I'm working from home so I have on blue cotton pajama bottoms and a lime green t-shirt.

3) What's for dinner?

Haven't thought of that yet - likely a spinach salad with chopped chicken, olives, gorgonzola and a balsamic dressing.

4) What would you eat for your last meal?

A juicy Midwestern steak, rice and lots of vodka.

5) What's the last thing you bought?

Seasons 1-3 of Absolutely Fabulous and the entire Fawlty Towers series on DVD - so I can get rid of the VHS tapes.

6) What are you listening to right now?

Rain and wind blowing through the 100-200 year old trees outside - with the birds chirping as they bathe

7) What do you think of the person who tagged you?

Lou reminds me of who I would like to be if I was a woman - a strong, self-assured female with a love of friends, good times and family.

8) If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?

Easy - Connemara, Ireland. I love the people, the region and the way of life.

9) If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?

I'd love to be back in Rome - drinking red wine and nibbling on focaccia and people watching.

10) Which language do you want to learn?


11) What's your favorite quote (for now)?

"Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death" - Auntie Mame

12) What is your favourite colour?

I'd have to say purple, if pushed.

13) What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?

A black cotton turtleneck sweater (jumper) that I can only wear when it's freezing outside.

14) What is your dream job?

To be a singer.

15) What's your favourite magazine?

This Old House

16) If you had £100 now, what would you spend it on?

Top shelf booze

17) What are you going to do after this?

Entertain our good friend and watch the Isaac Mizrahi train wreck fashion show series on TV

18) What are your favourite films?

All about Eve, Enchanted April, The Women, Dinner at Eight, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Marnie

19) What's your favourite fruit?

Asian pears.

20) What inspires you?


21) Your favourite books?

A Confederacy of Dunces and anything by Edith Wharton or P.G. Wodehouse.

22) Do you collect anything?

Not anymore - I've run out of room. Anybody want to buy some inexpensive black amethyst Depression Glass? I have a LOT.

23) What are you currently reading?

The latest in the 'Wicked' series about the Cowardly Lion - although I must admit, I'm a bit confused and want to re-read the first two.

24) Go to your book shelf, take down the first book with a red spine you see, turn to page 26 and type out the first line:

"Sam - then called Samson Hunts Alone - stood over the carcass of the mule deer he had just shot, cradling the heavy Winchester .30-30 in his arms" - Coyote Blue, by Christopher Moore

25) By what criteria do you judge a person?

Honesty, intellect, judgment - but most of all, sense of humor and of the ridiculousness of life.

Sadly, Lou has already tagged the few meager folk I'd consider worth reading. So I will think upon whom else I shall tag.

But among our shared blogging compatriots, I'd choose to tag:

Bob - at I should be laughing
Edder - at I don't care for your tone

Because I love them...

Cheers for now- xoxo

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why do we need permission?

As I was perusing the opinion pages of one of the two local newspapers I typically sip my second cup of morning coffee over (after reading an hours' worth of blogs on my blog roll), I ran across this wonderfully written opinion piece in the Albany Times Union by contributor and local businessman, Matt Baumgartner.

While the opinion pages of the Times Union (somewhat fairly balanced with an equal number of liberals and wingnuts screeching at each other) and the Poughkeepsie Journal (raving dinosaur conservatives keening for the days of slavery and the Inquisition), I usually end up with my blood pressure elevated and my heart pumping in outrage.

However, this morning's sweet and slightly innocuous piece left me smiling and happy. When I checked back just a few minutes ago, though - it was the flood of positive comments received that really made me glad to have unearthed this little gem.

Enjoy it for yourself. And give a cheer for a local business owner who is willing to put his heart and his livelihood on the line to share his truth.

Gay is good. Proposition 8 is bad.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pray, chant, do whatever you can...

UPDATE: Today at 10:00 am Pacific Daylight Time, the California Supreme Court delivered their verdict to uphold Proposition 8. The court has decided to honor and uphold the 13,000 marriages performed pre-Prop. 8.

I am disgusted and sickened that any government would or could uphold legalized bigotry and oppression in this day and age.

I weep for the state I called home for eleven years. And I feel for the friends and family I have living there.

But until I can set foot in California and be seen as an equal under the law, California has seen the last dollar, its last cent from me - and the last time I will ever set foot in the Golden State.

Perhaps after years in the sun - of being a beacon and a shining example of progressive thinking and tolerance, the meanness and tackiness and petty intolerances of the plastic, inelastic stucco-for-brains lower half of the state are creeping like an infection northward - to destroy the last remaining vestiges of free thinkers.

I read a horror story once where a band of vampires sealed off and took over Los Angeles. They were poised on the brink of ultimate success when "the big one" hits - a massive earthquake that destroys the city and washes it clean under tidal waves of salt water.

If only. I wonder what the tsunami historical record for Orange and San Diego Counties looks like.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

There's something magical about Spring and Summer mornings - especially when everything is new and wearing that shade of "new green." I'm always mesmerized by the morning light as it is filtered through the trees - so I found myself the other morning transfixed at the front door, a steaming cup of aromatic coffee in my hand, the still-cool breeze gently teasing the wind chimes, the birds raucous in the trees - raising a din and then falling silent. No cars. No people. Just peace and warmth and Spring - all captured in a moment.

Ah, Memorial Day Weekend - the American starters flag that signals the kickoff of the Summer season. A 3 day weekend of barbecuing, gardening, drinking and lovely times spent outside in the sun.

It's also the start of the great lumbering migration out of the cities and into "the country." (i.e., anything above the Bronx). From now thru the first weekend in September, the roads and highways up here in "the country" will be jammed with pleasure seekers heading from their concrete canyons to their weekend homes in the Catskills or the Adirondacks. Curbs and parking lots in small, quaint towns will be awash in a sea of yellow New Jersey license plates and SUVs with Manhattan dealership decals on their rear.

As for us - we're staying put. What we love about where we live is that it's close enough to things to be convenient - yet far out enough to be peaceful and quiet.

So every new season can be like a getaway.

We can take shady walks - or stretch out on the hammock...

Take in glorious local color

Wander though lush, manicured gardens...

Let the kids sunbathe and not have to worry about them for a while...

Enjoy quirky finds...

Listen to the sounds of nature (this guy was belting out like nobody's business!)...

And partake of cocktails and local food specialties on a gracious veranda.

So, we plan to have a lovely local getaway this weekend - one where we won't have to pack a suitcase, drive any distance, or even change our shoes.

I hope you are having a similarly wonderful weekend, wherever you are.

Ciao, darlings.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This is not the music of my people

So, Saturday night we went down to our local seafood eatery (where some say even the salad is fried) to perform a good deed.

The evening started with some amazing food and cocktails at our favorite trattoria down in the Rondout. We know so many people down there now that there's always a friendly face to say 'hi' to. And the new chef at the restaurant is amazing - the food was great before but now....all I can say is 'wow.'

Anyway, it had started to rain and after sating ourselves, we dashed across the street to the music venue.

The whole reason for going is that the lead singer and guitarist is a very good customer where Brian works and he and his girlfriend are just very, very nice people. And this was the musical debut, as it were, of his band.

And I must admit - he was great. The vocals were spot-on and the guitar work - flawless. They played well together and seemed to have a very good time.

So - it was a nice debut for our friend and is girlfriend - but that's not what we're here to talk about - is it?

You want...


A warning: the remainder of this post deals in gross generalizations, stereotypes, some hetero-bashing, and general petty bitchiness about people who are probably lovely in person but can still make the Baby Jesus cry.

What was really amusing and really MADE the evening is that two extremely jaded gay men are now sitting in a redneck hetero mating pool - on a Saturday night.

You could practically smell the desperation - or maybe that was the lobster tank. I don't know.

And it couldn't have been better in terms of the cast of characters. We had:

  • A bachelorette party of 8 - and I'm sorry - but it was a LOW RENT bachelorette party to be at this place. Each had a bad feather boa and a cheesy cardboard tiara.

  • A "cowgirl" of approximately 6' 3" wearing a floor length skirt, denim jacket, cowboy hat and enough make-up to hide Sweden. Our choices were a) transgender, either pre-op or post-op, b) transvestite with no gay or female friends, or c) unnaturally tall woman with no friends whatsoever.
  • Multiple cliques of young males with porn star bodies and faces that..well, they didn't live up to the chassis. Let's just put it that way.

    In fact, there seemed to be something "off" about each one - we're not talking visible birth defects or anything - they were Eyes too small or too close together - extremely bad hair - visible extra teeth - and some who looked like they'd been hit with shovels. Stuff like that.

  • Females in expensive shoes with no idea how to wear them or walk in them - paired with outfits that would send a girl from Long or Staten Island shrieking back home. One rather junoesque girl walked in with just the top of her straight hair gathered up in a clip, a white heavily-cowled blouse, tight black capris and a pair of black bondage strap heels that would make Lagerfeld feel a bit faint. The overall effect was that she looked like one of those cartoon water drop people who advertise water softeners or rock salt. In bondage heels.
There were a few "suspect characters" there as well. Soft looking boys with doe eyes who kept trying to fit in - but who kept wandering away in despair. Returning to drown their sorrows in another watered down drink.

I was moved to comfort them, but chose to maintain my post. A couple times, I felt very moved. But persevered.

I was perched on my chair, bemused smile on my face, alert --- listening intently and politely as I would at the opera or the symphony - or anywhere else where you can't actually dance to the music. Clapping when appropriate. Smiling at the band and nodding in their direction.

The rare exception of the night was when the band played "I'm turning Japanese" and we (those of a 'certain age') all had to fight the urge to "pogo" or slam-dance on the dance floor.

But I digress.

Some of our companions chided us for not dancing. How could we, I asked? This is not the music of my people!

The music of my people has soul - it has desire. It has passion. It has drum machines.

We dance to Martha Wash, Donna Summer and LaBelle and groups with names like sparkly French fabrics - lovely black songstresses who can belt out a driving beat that will make you sweat, and gyrate and grind. We dance to hip-grinding, deep pelvic, primitive and prideful beats - lusty music that smells of cologne and sweat, salty kisses and whispered promises, slithering across the floor, strong arms moving you closer...


ok. sorry about that....


oh my. Anyway -

So this was some crazy white people music that doesn't even get played at wedding receptions until all the old people go home and the bride's father is drunk and trying to feel up your maid of honor.

At one point, one of the girls from the bachelorette party came over with a wine menu and opened it, asking if we wanted red or white. The menu had a large cartoon penis pasted into it - obviously one of their bachelorette party 'dares." The poor girl looked embarrassed and desperate, so we each ordered a glass of penis and allowed her to escape unharmed back into the wild.

And some time later, one of the bachelorettes - not the bride - began to cry, forcing the other girls to pay attention to their drunk stupid friend.

You selfish cow. Who the hell cries at a bachelorette party? If you are not the bride, then YOU ARE BEING A BAD GUEST. This is the bride's final fling. And when that bride is leaving her girlhood behind at a place that smells of desperation and lobster poop, you don't get to steal her thunder.

Bad bachelorette - bad! Time out for you.

Anyway - the night wound down - the drinks (which were N-A-S-T-Y) petered out and it was time to go.

It felt good to have an excuse for being there at closing time - as the drunk and desperate surveyed the remaining possibilities.

You know - I'm often glad that I don't have to be in the dating scene anymore, but man, I'd totally forgotten what the playing field looked like.

Give me corporate America any day - it's easier. The days of shaking my money maker for love are well and amply behind me - as is my money maker, matter of fact.

Well - to all you young lovers - wherever you are... I hope I never see you in this element again. I'm going to have to double up on my meds to get this out of my mind. Jesus Christ.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Anatomy of a Sunday

Out at local seafood jointery until 2:30 am listening to talented guitarist/vocalist play "straight people music" (more to come on that later), sitting up until 3:30 am trying to eat crackers and calm cheap vodka stomach, waking at 12:30 Sunday afternoon - and then....

Cocktails and antipasti on the patio

Firing up the Crosley on the sun porch

And some classic Big Band and Jazz vocals...there's nothing better

Highlight of the day - burying inflated balloons where the puppies are digging. We're thinking this will be fun - as well as an effective deterrent. (We're thinking of selling seats)

Hope your Sunday is going as well!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Simply asking for our due

E-mailed to the New York State Senate this afternoon:

Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen of the New York State Senate:

With the decision to sign into law the New Hampshire Marriage Equality bill, Governor Lynch demonstrates that civil marriage equity is indeed possible to achieve with protections for religious institutions and organizations with religious affiliations.

Through specific wording of these bills, New Hampshire - along with Vermont and Connecticut - can bridge the divide and enact marriage equality in their states with no exposure to religious institutions.

I encourage you to consider your position on a similar law passing in New York State.

The LGBT community works here, lives here, and pays taxes here. Some of us have children who attend school here and many volunteer in our communities.

All we're asking for is an equal footing in protecting those we love and being able to enjoy the same civil and legal benefits accorded to others.

We do not wish to change religious thought or redefine religious definitions of marriage. What we want is simply to be recognized as equal citizens of this great state.

I urge you - consider the actions of these other wise bodies. And consider your vote with your heart and your conscience.

Thank you for your consideration and for your leadership.


And Amen.

I will give you plankton

Hat tip to Travis at Mediocre for airing what is possibly the most disturbing yet hysterical video I've seen in a long time.

Be forewarned - cover your keyboards before viewing. And I cannot be held responsible for any mental or emotional damage incurred after you start the video.

Role model - WIN

Former Miss USA Shanna Moakler resigned as co-executive director of the Miss California USA pageant on Wednesday after the parent organization's head honcho, Donald Trump, allowed controversial Miss California Carrie Prejean to keep her crown.

"I cannot with a clear conscience move forward supporting and promoting the Miss Universe Organization when I no longer believe in it or the contracts I signed committing myself as a youth," she said in a statement issued by her publicist. "I want to be a role model for young women with high hopes of pageantry, but now feel it more important to be a role model for my children."

Well done, you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ooh - I hate not being European!

Why don't we have anything as cool in America as the Eurovision contest?

There's some seriously cool music here - at least conceptually. I mean, who says you can't combine traditional costume with club beats? And I bet none of the Balkan Girls are shaving their heads and trashing their ex's SUV with an umbrella after a nervous breakdown.

Dude- this stuff is just too cool.

Make me sing like Gypsy, my little Czech Freddie Mercury!

And actually, Peter - doesn't the Inga and Anush video (center) look just a little too uncomfortably like the performance art piece that is in our heads and no one understands but us? It's like if we took "It's Kabuki, bitches!" to Armenia.

Quickly, get me some eyeliner and some carpeting - and a video camera!!!!

Some cool vids below - linkie to the others here.

OMG. How cool is Armenia with those balloons everywhere and random interactive DNA helixes?!? And they are all so happy!! Must go!!

And I swear I had the following Nelly video in a recent dream - right down to spinning on the front porch of my Moldovan cabin in a brocade vest and woolen skirt. But I promised the young men dancing I'd never tell what happened after. (Nelly is pretty foxy though, right?) Shhh.

Monday, May 11, 2009

You like me! You really like me!!

Announcing the new and improved Chlorine in the Gene Pool:

"Now with the twice the awards as a week-and-a-half ago"

Gee whiz, kids - I've been called a lot of things but never award-winning - well, except for the high school feature writing competition in Salina, Kansas back in 1981 where I rose, Sally Field-like, from a rank of lowly cartoonist I was called in to pinch hit for the feature writer who had fallen ill, only to sweep the category and propel the Emporia High School Journalism class to undreamed-of heights of prominence among Kansas High Schools.

My life has been so empty ever since...

Our heroine pauses, examining the ruined finery that has come to define her life ever since the boll weevils came, destroying the crops. She pauses only to take a sip from the ever-present bottle of acrid, low-price gin. She wipes a tear from her cheek, glances longingly at the shellacked and yellowing piece of paper on her wall and continues...

Huh? oh. yeah. right.

Anyway. The lovely edder at I don't care for your tone has recognized my humble blog with the Honest Blogger award - an award presented by others to those "whose blog's content or design is, in the giver's opinion, brilliant."

What a compliment. I've been called many things but brilliant isn't usually in the mix. Random, damnably cheerful, disturbing - but not brilliant.

But I bow and thank edder - whose blog I find to be a constant and reliable source of honest candor, wry amusement and biting wit (and no small amount of dysfunctional kinship and snark) - gratefully for the recognition.

As a recipient, it appears that I must share ten honest things about myself. As regular readers know, I started wearing my shame on my sleeve some decades ago. In addition to a belief that honesty is always best and that 'Karma in this lifetime is a bitch so why not be who you truly are', I tried carrying my shame in my pocket and it kept stealing money and prank calling people.

So , with that understanding - here we go:

  1. I am an uncharacteristically bad Virgo. I display none of the most positive traits, nor any of the more negative traits. My soul-expression would be better suited by an astrological sign based on the comedy act of Wayland and Madame. That I share a birthday with Ivan the Terrible should surprise no one.
  2. I have explored many alternative religions and belief systems, most of which have their own Zodiac. In each case, my sign or spirit totem is generally a small fluffy animal with big eyes that I would normally spit-roast or incorporate into a dish requiring a wine-based reduction.
  3. I have no truck with stupid people. I simply can not be bothered. This is reflected by my belief in legalizing retroactive family planning.
  4. I have been knocked unconscious more times than must be generally healthy for any living being. This has prepared me well for functional alcoholism.
  5. I generally like animals more than people - but disdain either if they are yappy, prone to shaking, poo on the floor, or fit in a purse.
  6. I have very few regrets in life. I tried to get my shame to eat the two remaining ones, but even it was horrified and ran away screaming.
  7. I am a devotee of good manners and politeness. But I'll cut you if you cross me.
  8. I lost my virtue to the original Star Wars soundtrack.
  9. My last three years in High School can be most adequately be described as 'future heterosexual proving ground.'
  10. I am a great friend and, despite many other character flaws, a damned good person.
By the terms of the award, I am duty-bound to pass along the love to other deserving blogs.

However, I plan to cogitate on that duty for a bit - my #11 would be that I am terribly indecisive when it comes to decisions like these. I hate leaving people out and don't wish to offend others.

So - I will simply say "thank you for the honor of your recognition and for the pleasure of your company" and exit the room with a slight bow at the waist.

As any well-mannered gentleman would.

Plus, it's cocktail hour and I'm late.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hysterical - Wanda Sykes

At The White House Correspondents' Dinner

Part 1:

Part 2:

Mothers Day - the fun bit

Happy Mother's Day

This day has come and gone 45 times now since you brought me into the world.

There've been handmade cards, and flowers picked from the field, and gifts of perfume you'd never consider wearing - thanks to Dad's well-meaning but questionable advice and his gratefully acknowledged financial support at the local pharmacy where I used to by my 45 records.

There have been Mother's Days where times were tough - and others when times were great. We've sometimes been together - more often we've been separated by thousands of miles.

No matter the circumstances, cards, words, flowers and cheap perfumes - none were never adequate to express my gratitude to you.

From origins so humble you had to sew your own wedding dress and never having ventured beyond the borders of your home state until you were married - you taught me to want a better life but never at the expense of others. And to embrace every opportunity to expand my horizons.

All those years managing executive dining rooms at factories and mills, you taught me that every person has value and is deserving of respect, be they a dish washer or an executive.

You also taught me to be fair but firm - I remember watching those who worked for you cry, every time we left for another adventure.

Through your words and deeds - you taught me to be blind to the color of a person's skin - that people were all the same and should be treated equally.

You taught me patience - all those years you and Dad struggled to make ends meet. You stayed strong and supportive and we never wanted for anything.

You taught me strength. When a prolonged and arduous chain of life events might have crushed another person, you instead burst out of your shell, took charge, started kicking some butt - and have never looked back.

You taught me wonder. Possessing a child-like curiosity and wide-eyed wonder of the new and different, you taught us to look beyond the instant - to explore, to learn and to want to understand.

And you taught me devotion. No matter what life throws your way, if you love someone, you will stay by their side - even at the expense of your own hopes and dreams.

Thank you, Mom. For all of that and more.

Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Oh how embarassing...

So - I had to call my doctor's office this afternoon and as I am hanging up the phone, I see a police cruiser pulling up in front of the house. There's a knock on the door.

I answered and said hello to the policeman, stepped out onto the porch and asked how I could help him.

He looked at me for a second and said, "Didn't you dial 911?" (emergency response in the USA) I explained I was on another call prior to his stopping by.

"Is there anyone else home?"

(laughing nervously) No sir - just me.

"Do you know where all your phones are."

Um - yah.

"Were you using a phone key response system?"

No - I actually felt relieved and smart - it was a voice response system.



Why is he looking at me like I'm crazy or dangerous?

He asked my name - wished me a good day and departed.

Then it hit me.

About 15 minutes prior to calling the doctor, I had called a florist in Nebraska to send my mom a bouquet for Mother's Day.

Okay - you know how when you're at the office, you sometimes have to dial a 9 or an 8 to get outside line?

Sometimes I forget when I am working at home, and I occasionally dial a 9 - then realize it - then hang up and dial correctly.

So - what did I do? I remember dialing 9-1 and then saying a bad word and hanging up - but you know how if don't hold the button down long enough, the original call kinda goes on hold - then dialed 1 and the florist's number.

Whoo whoo - cop time.

Damn, I feel stupid.

But he was kind of cute.

So naughty...

...but laughing my butt off.

I am SO going to Hell.

via toffuti break

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Good things

As our friend, Martha might say. Here's what made me happy today:

Maine enacts law allowing gay marriages

State becomes fifth to do so; New Hampshire could decide later today.

Super classy First Lady Michelle Obama was honored Tuesday night as one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People at an event in Manhattan.

M*A*S*H star David Ogden Stiers comes out.

I beat all 40 levels of Icebreaker Red Clan!


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A lovely morning

Despite cloudy skies, a cool breeze and a few raindrops, it's a lovely morning here the Mid Hudson Valley.

The fog is lingering around the tops of the Catskills in the distance and the smell of lilac trees in bloom scents the wind, providing a a brief frisson of joy when delivered through open windows.

Having been a cool night, morning found me entangled in a comforter sandwiched between and under two very sleepy and heavy puppies. Only sharp nails and the knowledge of our last visit outdoors could rouse me from my warm nest.

It's one of those morning where you've slept well, the coffee tastes exceptionally good, and you're in that middle-place where you feel you want nothing more than to crawl into bed - but you know that despite being clad in pajamas and sporting bed hair, it's time to log on and begin your day of working from home.

Or to check your e-mail and then blog for a bit. : )

But the nicest surprise of all this morning was being selected by a new blog friend to receive the "One Lovely Blog Award" courtesy of the lovely Lou over at The Quiet Life.

Lou was good enough to stop by and feed my new Llama friend, Fernando, some hay (see the sidebar) - and to notify me of having been selected.

Many thanks, cherie. It is truly appreciated.

Now - as I understand it - it falls to me to pass along this recognition to some other blogs that I have recently come across and enjoy (recent being subjective, I imagine).

Well, two blogs I only discovered VERY recently and that I have enjoyed immensely (and made a regular part of my daily blogroll) - in addition to Lou's - are:

Both Bob and Edder have great blogs and great insights. Bob's writing is thoughtful and creative. Edder sounds very much like she could be a charming, acerbic and marvelously complicated sibling.

Some others I've enjoyed for a bit longer, but I wouldn't exactly call them "lovely." Bitchy, catty, campy and irreverent - yes. Highly political, super liberal , pro-gay, pro-feminist - also check.

But I could easily picture some quizzical expressions were I to hand them the teacup and lace doily.

"So - you found my piece on the endemic bias in the LGBT community towards transgender activists 'lovely?' Erm......"

But let me say that I treasure all the blogs I read every day - sometimes twice/thrice. And I sincerely appreciate every one who visits here.

Here's hoping you have a 'lovely' day. ;)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Big Art WTF?

So - Brian and his boss are pouring wine at an art gallery opening tonight. I stopped by to see what was on offer, since Brian had said the images he'd seen were rather similar to the Frederic Church/Hudson River School of painting.

The studio is housed in a former television studio in Kingston's "midtown" (read: ghetto). I parked the car on the street within view of the gallery and dashed indoors.

As I entered the gallery, I had to check to make sure that I hadn't stumbled upon one of those "starving artist" oil paintings sales and expositions that you see advertised at hotels near major airports. You know the ones - where one of their biggest selling points is that they have sofa-sized paintings.

There's a damn good reason those artists are starving, by the way.

Anyhoo - I saw a few nice landscapes, but nothing remotely close to the Hudson River School in quality.

But mixed in with them were these faux-Victoriana gauzy foo-foo nightmares that resembled nothing more than Marie Osmond dolls on canvas. And not the good ones - the rejects. There was some malformity associated with each one - one had man feet. Another had a torso that looked like a science experiment. Yet another had a lopsided face, with one eye sagging down her cheek as if she were melting.

And yet - and yet - the artist (a "realist painter") had the gall to list these paintings for thousands of dollars. Like I'm going to pay $12,000 for a painting of a lopsided Victorian transvestite holding daisies on a porch.

I was gobsmacked.

But it gets better. The artist 's wife - billed as an 'impressionist' (translation: has no talent and paints with her elbows.) - had some equally egregious and overpriced paintings that any grade school child would be ashamed to show their parents.

We were making up names for some of the paintings - 'Morning Splendor' became 'Exploding Trees.' 'Roses for Mary' became 'Mental Breakdown ala Hitchcock.'

They were simply dreadful.

Now - before anyone gets on the "art is in the eye of the beholder" soap box - I know art and I know artists. And I appreciate all forms of art. We happen to own some very good art - and some not so good art. But it's all art that speaks to us.

Simply put, what I was seeing here was pedestrian art and sub-par delusions of grandeur being touted as high art.

Another artist - one who worked in pastels - and had some lovely pieces in the exhibit. Some I'd consider buying not only because they were beautiful to look at - but they were also priced more reasonably in the hundreds of dollars, not thousands.

I look forward to hearing how the exhibition went. And whether any pieces sold.

And then I want a list of the people who bought them.

I plan to have some lovely canvasses that I've rolled around on - naked - and covered in paint.

Maybe I can get that new car after all.

Saturday morning

So - it's been an exciting couple of weeks on the same sex marriage front here.

From a feeling of almost hopelessness about marriage equality coming to New York - and there being a chance Prop 8 will be overturned in California - there now seems to be a glimmer of light on both fronts.

The recent groundswell of support for the idea of same sex civil marriage - both legislatively and publicly - in the states surrounding us, plus brave plucky little Iowa, seems to be creating a subtle yet seismic shift.

My heart goes out to Iowa and its GLBT community. I'm from the Midwest myself and my parents still live in Nebraska. I've experienced the narrowness of view and tolerance in those states firsthand. These brave Iowans are truly taking a stand in a hostile environment - unlike New England, where everyone here seems to be playing "hey - wait for me!!!"

Fortunately, I also think the religious right and the hyper-hysterical "pro-family" zealots and defenders of marriage are experiencing a huge amount of blowback from their untethered fear mongering over the past couple of decades.

We've transitioned from 8 years of living based on fear to a new, calmer and more rational existence. The hysterics and overblown tactics of these intolerant asshats seem so much more bizarre and desperate when viewed through this current lense.

The skies have not fallen over Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut or Massachusetts. Civilization has not ground to a halt. This is good news for New Hampshire, Maine, New York and Minnesota - who may all be next in line.

Twenty five years ago - I never would have dreamed of seeing this happen in America. That I may live to see equality on a national level in my lifetime is simply mind-blowing.

I am hopeful. And cautiously optimistic. And happy. Very, very happy.