Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Margot Gayle, Urban Preservationist and Crusader with Style, Dies at 100
Monday, September 29, 2008
30 Years of ties and 3 weird suits
Not pictured are the ones I will keep. The more conservative Brooks Brothers rep ties of my recent years. The Valentino, Hermes and Longchamp foulard prints from Paris that are forever rich and classic. And, a certain hand-painted one from C.
Unrelatedly, I am also pitching three weird suits acquired in three separate moments of vacation induced madness. The one on the left is totally iridescent. The one in the center is entirely silk. All three have huge padded shoulders and have never once been worn. I can't imagine who might want them, but I once did, and if they soon end up in a landfill, I doubt that I will have accrued any bad karma.
As I say goodbye to thirty years of ties and three weird suits, I do not feel that I have learned much of a lesson about the spending, the sporting, the clinging, the looking and the strutting we all do. The lesson I do feel is the one about giving it up, putting down baggage, laying to rest the past and not looking back. Learning that the words about these things are more valuable and enduring than the things themselves. Still, I hope I never lose these photos. Every few years, I may want to click on them to feel their full humor and horror and to enter the memory that all those brightly colored workday nooses carry, of co-workers and meetings and promotions and tensions and coffee and major reports due tomorrow and demanding bosses and politics and the glorious grinding halt and now from far away a plastic bag stuffed with it all and set next to the door. Lucky, free me.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Barney Frank to the rescue.
I met him briefly at a New Year's Eve party in Provincetown. Having a mouthful of cheesecake, I said "Mffppynoo!"
(photo: Lauren Victoria Burke/Associated Press)
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I laughed. C laughed.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Nelly is a 55 yr old menopausal woman in Ireland and interested in gardening.
She's got a potty mouth and her blog is exactly as old as mine.
And what a fine mind.
And, she's got an ear for everyday dialogue just like someone else we all know.
She makes me determined to use the word wee more often.
And, finally, the "favorite movies" listed in her profile are Repo Man, Shrek, Midnight Cowboy, Pulp Fiction, American History X ,Mama Mia!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
As an economic crisis deepened into a recession, voters turned to the mayor of Buenos Aires, Fernando de la Rua, and elected him president in 1999. He was faced with the need to cut public spending and hike taxes during the recession.
The economy stagnated further, investors panicked, the bond market teetered on the brink of oblivion and the country seemed unable to service its increasingly heavy international debt. Cavallo was brought back in as the Economy Minister, and in January 2001, rather than declaring a debt default, he sought more than US$20 million more in loans from the IMF.
Argentina had been living on credit and it could no longer sustain its lifestyle. The facade of a successful economy had been ripped away, and the indebted weak inner workings were exposed. As the storm clouds gathered, there was a run on the banks. Between July and November, Argentines withdrew about US$20 billion from the banks, hiding it under their mattresses or sending it abroad. In a last ditch effort to keep money in the country, the government imposed a limit of US$1000 a month on bank withdrawals. Called the "corralito" (little corral), the strategy crushed many informal sectors of the economy that function on cash (taxis, food markets), and rioters and looters took to the streets. As the government tried to hoard the remaining hard currency, all bank savings were converted to pesos and any remaining trust in the government was broken. Middle class protestors joined the fray in a series of pot-and-pan banging protests, and both Cavallo and then de la Rua resigned.
Two new presidents came and went in the same week, and the world's greatest default on public debt was declared.
The peso devalued rapidly and people's savings were reduced to a fraction of their earlier value. In January 2002, the banks were only open for a total of six days and confidence in the government was non-existent. The economy ceased to function: cash became scarce, imports stopped and demand for non-essential items flat-lined. More than half of the fiercely proud Argentine people found themselves below the national poverty line: the once comfortable middle class woke up in the lower classes and the former lower classes were plunged into destitution. Business people ate in soup kitchens and homelessness became rampant.
This story has a happy ending, with Argentina eventually settling its US$9.5 billion international debt in 2006. Still, inflation went crazy. The only thing that saved Argentina was international tourism.
Is it wrong to fear that New York City might be plunged into rioting and looting if nothing is done to stop the dominoes from falling in our current crisis?
Tomorrow on Bilerico: "Can you love a gay priest?"
Message: Dear Father Tony,
I recently read something about a closeted gay pastor. After decades of service, he is being told to leave after coming out to his superiors. He is having to give up his job because his church decided he wasnâ€™t fit to serve solely on the basis of his orientation. His choice was to be true to himself or fulfill his calling. We can only guess the pain and questioning he is experiencing.
What are your thoughts on gay clergy? What hope does this man or any LGBT person have in todayâ€™s religious climate?
Update: Here's my response.
Beware the Single Daddy
*And, Mr. Clinton, you'll be gratified by her definition of sex:
Sex, to get technical about it, is the mixing of genes from two parents to make a new individual that has a genetic contribution from both. Asexuality thus refers to any of a number of forms of reproduction that involve only one genetic parent.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Outing Mark Buse
Then, decide: should he be outed or not?
The interesting aspect of this situation is that it is more about Mark Buse than it is about McCain. Buse is the one we are after when we talk about hypocrisy. We know what McCain believes. What is unacceptable is the fact that a gay man would carry his train.
It is quite clear to me that we who are OK with outing this guy would feel the same way even if he were the Chief of Staff for Obama.
I know something about the thrill of being highly placed and closeted in a powerful organization that considers some people to be second class, and, that is homophobic. You really have no choice if you want to regain your integrity. You have to leave it.
Taking it to an extreme
I am not sure I quite understand how this surgery is done. Is it turned inside out in the way that you turn a sleeve inside out? Or, is it sliced lengthwise with halves then flipped over so the external sides are facing each other. How is the urinary function either maintained or rerouted? Does the glans end up at the sunshine or the shadow end of the new business? Also, when an inversion placed inside gets erect, isn't there the risk that it will stab some nearby vital organ? Does anyone know a medical site with diagrams that can help me visual this? (Don't worry, baby, I'm not considering it. I'm just curious about how it is accomplished.)
I wonder how many men would be aroused by such a creature. I wonder how many actually pay him for sex. If he still has a reversed 8.5" dick, as he claims, does it shoot blanks, and if so, in what direction?
I wonder about medical ethics when I read about people like him. If I went to a doctor and said that I had always felt like more of an amphibian than a human, could he conceivably web my fingers and toes and still keep his license? What if I told a surgeon that I had always felt like an eggplant trapped inside a man's body, and would he please remove my appendages and smooth my surfaces and fill in my crevices and color my skin purple....
Thinking about these things can really help us get to the heart of what essentials define an individual and what are merely accidentals. Personally, I might be among those who would be able to have sex with this guy depending on how he used the entire composition of his identity. His total "personhood" would either make or break the desirability of his topography.
Fashion Trend Alert - Cuffed Jeans
Caution: do not confuse cuffs with rolls. Rolled jeans signify the proximity of high water, a bicycle or Mayberry. Cuffs are a deliberation for those unconcerned with the bail-outs of financial institutions or whether or not Frank Rich's coinage of the word truthiness meaning political mendacity will catch fire.
Caution: these cuffs should be applied exclusively to long legs. The short among us will not be permitted to adjust the width of the cuff proportionally.
Caution: cuffed denim shorts, like smallpox supposedly eradicated worldwide, reappeared on the streets of Manhattan toward the end of the summer. Black suited men jumping out of Crown Victorias snatched the guys wearing these off the sidewalks. I think they have it under control, but we won't know for sure until next summer.
On Saturday, on Bear Hill in Central Park, Ned cuffs:
Nick also cuffs:
The kids, Corey and Matt, still in knickers and therefore unable to cuff, were delighted with a new tee shirt from Lululemon that changes color wherever you chew it.
I myself own two Lululemon tee shirts. One has silver threads that supposedly absorb odor. They do. I smell like a locker room when I wear it. The second one was marketed as being made of seaweed. This was exposed as a hoax. I am remorseful when I wear this shirt. It is indeed a Lulu Lemon. I don't shop there anymore.
With no regard for appearances fashionable or un, our group fell into its usual shenanigans
Darkness surprised us, its equinocturnal army claiming our unguarded citadel while we were in a nearby valley throwing the frisbee. I think that next summer we will modify this game. The frisbee will be thrown from one group to another (rather than from one Sprite-addled blogger to the next) with individual teammates fighting for it. I suggest we call this new game "Catch the Bouquet".
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Later today, on Bilerico
Not everything in this town is beautiful
This complex is aptly named "Gale Force".
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Also, the "s" isn't needed because the sign refers to a single intersection.
Here's something odd. Both of these were in a public restroom in the center of town. I cannot come up with any expla nation for this very curio us spa cing.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I sometimes wonder
Monday, September 15, 2008
I'll finish it tomorrow
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Two beautiful, wonderful women of Provincetown
In those days, Luanne, her partner, was still living mostly In New Jersey where she had a career and two kids to raise. Having successfully discharged those responsibilities, she is now in Provincetown year round. They make a gorgeous couple, and to see them again after an absence of several years is grand. (Kelly is on the left in this photo.)
Kelly has written a book called Jack of Nine Tales. It is about her cat, Jack. I who am not at all a "cat person" love this cat. Jack would frequently saunter into my garden and leap up onto my shoulder to watch me grill a piece of salmon. Other times, he'd come over while I would have a book in my hand. He would collapse on the sunny stones of the patio next to my chair and stretch himself out with all paws in the air, as if to say, "I am bored. You got new?" Jack had charm and I often found myself talking to him, I am sorry to have to admit. I'd ask him where he had been and for details about what everyone else was doing. When I opened the sliders, he was in the house in a flash, and I knew that he was familiar with the interior of every other house in the vicinity and that it was probably a good thing that he could not talk.
Jack is still living with Kelly and Luanne. In addition to his book, there are "Jack" stuffed animals and a line of "Jack" accessories.
Some folks are fond of talking about the differences among LGBT people. About the differences between the gay men and lesbians who live in Provincetown. About who has control of the town today. About how the lesbians kept the place alive during the earliest years of the AIDS epidemic. About how the east end is for them and the west end is for us. These two beautiful, wonderful women prove that this is worthless chatter, and more than the sky and the sea and the wealth, Kelly and Luanne and Jack are what this town is all about, and why I still miss it.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I had forgotten why
Easy is the descent into silly.
She died the year after her arrest in a badly lit jail cell.
"Yeech. There is no amount of punctuation that can save that sentence."
We make the grand promenade down Commercial. Nothing much has changed. Stopped to chat with many old friends. More tomorrow. Meanwhile, here is my traveling companion priming his pump and chatting up a potential vacation fling:
Friday, September 12, 2008
An important speculation
Delightful slice, dice and ice.
Find a video of the session because the transcript is not enough. You need to see Barbara Walter's face. You need to see Whoopi freak out about what McCain said about the Constitution. And, you need to see the totally non-verbal freeze-job they did on the woman who would be First Lady.
Best political interview of the season.
Update: You can see it here on JoeMyGod.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Voting for skin
I want a scrubbed and unscripted and unvetted candidate. I would like a candidate in a tee shirt and jeans who is so focused on our national problems that he doesn't have time to knot a tie or apply deodorant or get a haircut. I just want him to be clean. In every way. And strong. And efficient. And to think of things that I have not thought of.
Read this today
C pointed this out to me knowing that I rarely get to the opinion columns in The Times. Roger Cohen says it all. I hope it is not too late.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Thursday on Bilerico: $10 sex you will never forget
I read about you first on Joe.my.god and now more regularly on Bilerico. I visited your farmboyz blog today and read "The Pepsi Challenge".
I am surely dense on this but can you tell me what is that "a favorite turnstile venue" ? A name and/or address too :)
bão - to keep, to hold, to embrace
phác - natural, innocent, simple
Here's the answer
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Men's Fashion Alert
Accessories made of real or simulated crocodile will be everywhere. There's something happy about the patterning of crocodile hide. Those young rakes who would be sardonic and irreverent will choose it in white.
Long have I lusted for a pair of blackish jeans with a polished finish, and that are crinkled and glisten like oil cloth. On Sunday, they found me. They are made by G-star, and they are the only new jeans worth buying. Admit it. You already own enough jeans. You need an exceptional reason to part with a sack of money for yet another pair, but that is what I did. C and I got on our bikes and coasted down fifty blocks ( with me yelling at the taxis and tourists) of Broadway to the G-star store where a very sweet and young Miguel guessed that I had a 30" or maybe 31" waist....I thanked him and said that we probably ought to start with the 33" ones but he wouldn't hear of it and I left with a pair of 32X30s that Miguel promises will not shrink. He was adamant about this and said that he would personally buy them back if they did shrink and that he'd give me his number to back up this promise. This made C snort. Here's a photo from the G-star website. I've got two words for those among you who might think my acquisition is age-inappropriate.
The nerdiest of plaids are back in town, as are the puffiest of parkas, but some things must not be dignified with photos. Also, it is a sign of cultural poverty, but there is no denying the yawning fact that black is the new black.
Speaking of plaid, I am wistful about the old Abercrombie & Fitch. Before they killed it. Many years ago, I walked into an A&F store and saw a classic plaid shirt that I coveted. The salesman came up to me and tried to be helpful but I assured him that I would never pay that much money for a plaid shirt. He told me that the quality made it worth the money. I agreed to purchase it and asked for a "large" while grumbling about the fact that it would probably shrink down to a dollish size. He gave me the "medium" and told me that A&F shirts do not shrink or fade and that if I ever had a problem with the shirt I could certainly return it. He was absolutely right. I love that shirt. It is indestructible. It has never faded or shrunk. I bet they can't say the same about the stuff they sell today.
While on the subject of the classics, here I am with Eddie, proving that even in the Carhartt store, if one has fashion sense, even brutalistic detachable hoods seem to fly off the shelf.
Finally, the resurgence of the pea coat, which began last year, has now acquired hurricane strength. I'll soon be trotting out my authentic British navy model, purchased at an army/navy store for less than ten bucks many years ago.
Labels: men's fashion
Monday, September 08, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
I'm wondering about three things
2) The seedless grape. Can any greater servitude to the human race be imagined than the production of fruit without seeds? How are more of these plants generated given the fact that they fire blanks? Does each seedless grape plant resent us? Do they feel like the eunuchs in the court of Cleopatra?
3) Sea water. I know we can't drink it, but why not? Some salt is good for us. We evolved from sea creatures. How could we have lost our relationship with sea water? It doesn't seem to follow the rules of evolution. What is in sea water that would kill us? Is it poison?
On Saturday night, at a party on Horatio Street, I had a spirited and exclusive dialogue with a reknowned author who thought my wondering about these things to be quaint. He also dismissed my desire to believe in some sort of god and some sort of afterlife. He is seventy-five years old and facing his mortality with both agile hands on all the gears of his brilliant mind, but when I asked him why he continued to do good in this world given his beliefs....
Friday, September 05, 2008
A Temporary Marriage of Convenience
First you ought to read Bil's post in which he admits to knowing not as much as he would like to know about feminism and trans people in order to better inform his writing. The comments are a graduate course in LGBT issues.
Then you should read Bil's follow-up post and the comments in which we discuss the nature of the LGBT community and dissect/dispute its unity.
I think that for a long time we have been afraid to admit that we gay men really don't have much in common with lesbians and trans people. You will find in my comments on Bil's posts that I feel that all the facets of the LGBT diamond together make for brilliance but that we are soldiers from different hamlets, recruited for a common battle which, when over, will allow us to return to our separate ways.
I know at least one rather well read blogger who turns up his nose at Bilerico saying that it is boring. I disagree. Focus, dear, and pay attention for longer than it takes to hit the bridge in a Neil Sedaka tune.
PS: don't miss the comment in which I am accused of being Andrea Dworkin.
Smart New York
NYC parking specials for the smart fortwo
The smart fortwo was built for cities around the world. Its small size allows urban dwellers to easily maneuver heavily congested streets and squeeze into the tightest of parking spots. People are starting to take notice of those customers who make responsible vehicle choices like the smart fortwo, especially as an urban solution.
Recently in New York City, Meyers Parking, the owner of parking garages near popular Manhattan attractions, has reduced its parking prices by 50% for smart fortwo owners. If you live in the tri-state area you can enjoy reduced parking rates at the following locations:
Madison Square Garden Area
218 W. 31st Street/225 W. 30th Street (between 7th and 8th)
340 W. 31st Street (between 8th and 9th)
323 W. 34th Street/334 W. 35th Street (between 8th and 9th)
141 W. 43rd Street/146 W. 44th Street (between 6th and Broadway)
Empire State Building/Midtown
9 W. 35th Street/12 W. 36th Street (between 5th and 6th)
Upper East Side
154 E. 87th Street (between 3rd and Lexington)
fashion fleet: the ultimate urban trunk show
Club Monaco, a global fashion brand, and smart USA are collaborating to bring inspiration and design to the urban professional with the launch of FASHION FLEET: The Ultimate Urban Trunk Show. The fleet showcases a caravan of chic Club Monaco designed smart fortwos and fall fashion, courtesy of Club Monaco.
The Club Monaco smart fortwos, ten in total, will feature images from the newly launched Fall 2008 Club Monaco Campaign as well as the brand’s iconic black and white crest. The Fall Collection and campaign were inspired by the idea of the downtown aristocrat who brings uptown elegance a downtown flare.
The partnership will launch during Fashion Week in New York City with the ultimate urban trunk show. Club Monaco designed smart fortwo vehicles will cruise New York City streets making stops at the landmark Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week locales. 75 lucky New Yorkers will receive gift bags with iconic pieces from Club Monaco’s Fall Collection at each stop, including cashmere scarves, sunglasses from the newly launched collection, statement jewelry and small Italian leather goods.
The ultimate urban trunk show will debut on Sunday, September 7 in the Meatpacking District and will continue with stops in SoHo, Wall Street, the Flatiron District, Midtown and Bryant Park on Monday and Tuesday during peak lunch-time hours. In addition, Club Monaco’s 57th Street Store window will be dedicated to the partnership throughout Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week featuring a unique design and one of the Club Monaco designed smart fortwos.
The Club Monaco and smart USA collaboration generates a design philosophy that marries functionality and style; tradition and modernity. The result is a dynamic partnership that is not limited by age, price or location. It’s about iconic style.
New York/New Jersey Lookout
The smart owners group from the New York and New Jersey area just had their second meeting at the State Line Lookout at beautiful and scenic Palisades, NJ overlooking the Hudson River. Ten smart owners made the trip to celebrate their unique cars at the state border. The owners showed off their radios, antennas, cargo organizers and vanity plates - everything that makes them enthusiastic about their new smart fortwo.
Labels: smartcar smartfortwo smartusa
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Tomorrow on Bilerico: "If you see something, say something?"
Dear Father Tony,
I’m in a quandary about limits.
I have a colleague whose teen son is acknowledged by his school friends to be gay. My kid says “everyone knows.” But since my colleague has said nothing, I have no idea if he knows. I’m willing to show him I’m supportive, but is it appropriate for me to say something? Is it possible that the boy’s father doesn’t know what all the boy’s friends know and seem to accept? Or, if the father hasn’t come to terms with his son’s sexuality, should I mention “in passing” supportive comments about acceptance?
And on a related but theoretical note, what would you do if you have a friend and discover that the spouse of that person is gay? Do you say something? To whom?
I don’t know where the line is between helpfulness and intrusion. I would really appreciate your take on this.
UPDATE: Per BJ's request, here's the answer.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Fashion trend alert
This be odd. These twinks are not muslim. They have no urgent political opinions, but they must have something to say because they waddle down the street like malnourished ducks quacking into their cell phones. I bet they think they've just discovered a clever use for a Williams-Sonoma dish rag.
The keffiyeh are messy and fall off their little shoulders, fluttering in the breeze like threadbare bureau scarves by an open window in a cheap hotel.
Pale tee shirts, low jeans and brightly colored Vans either checkered or depicting musical heroes such as The Beatles who were history before these kids were born complete their look.
The young get away with murder.
(photo by Diego Lema)
Monday, September 01, 2008
Clockwise from top left: an early watercolor by Harvey Dodd, an oil on canvas by Chuck Anzalone, an oil on canvas by Robert Hughes showing Flyer's boathouse (or the old "dick dock" depending on your point of view) and an oil painting on board of Mayo Bay by Blossom Newman.
Also included in the sale was a gorgeous painting by Greta Waldrop, a Cape Cod artist and art teacher.
A strange feeling. The selling of a painting. The transaction is a sequestered and anesthetized reality. Like painless dentistry.